Wednesday, October 31, 2018

As an Indie author, do you want to be in on cross promotions? And some awesome KU Reads for November

Update: January 2021 - I'm out of KU But you can read The Bonus for FREE here

 

As a reader, I love KU because my subscription lets me read Indie authors galore, without killing my book budget.

As an author, I love working with other KU authors to cross promote because working as a group makes for light hands.

From the author discussions I see, cross promotions are a bit controversial.  Here are some of the common questions.

  • Should I only work with authors in my own genre?
  • What if the other authors have sucky reviews?
  • What if I do all the promo and they sit about and do FA?
  • What if I have a zillion fans and they have two?
Those kinds of questions are absolutely essential if you're a known brand like Anne Rice or JK Rowling but if you're like me, and you make three to four figures a month, I think the priority is on getting your name out there.

My view is this: there are millions of books out there, and you can't sell unless you're visible.

About genre. Most readers have several favourite genres: marketing your cartel story to a vampire loving crowd might get you a new reader or two.

About those sucky reviews. Yes, we all have some and there's always a learning curve. To me, today's indie author with a so-so cover and a few typos may well be next year's EL James.

About lazy butts. In every promo, there will be a few who sign up and coast. Life is unfair. Suck it up.

About fan bases. If all of your readers buy whatever you suggest, and you have a significant amount of them, then you're a big brand and you should not be doing simple Indie cross promotion.

However, if like me you are still breaking into the big time, I think that leaning in together is more valuable than tit-for-tat thinking. Also, their two followers may be super-fans who post and chat up your book endlessly.

In other words, my take is, What do I have to lose? And the answer is, Nothing.

This month I'm in on two different promotions.

The first is the KU Author Share Group   <---- click to sign up

Desire in Tartan: A Highland Vampires Romance
By Suz deMello
195 pages

Dugald Kilburn is sure that he’ll never find love. And why should he?

‘Tis rare for vampires and their mates to reproduce successfully and Dugald kens that. He’s certain his lust caused his first wife’s death in childbed.

Innocent Alice Derwent presents Dugald with a dilemma. She’s different than any woman he’s known, different and altogether alluring. And while the lady is innocent, her feelings are anything but.

Will he bed and wed the lady, risking her life? Or remain celibate, sparing her?

But when threatened with death, Alice decides she doesn’t want to die without knowing Dugald’s love. Can he resist her charms?

Read this book free on KU on Amazon USA
Read this book free on KU on Amazon UK
Read this book free on KU on Amazon Canada
Read this book free on KU on Amazon Australia
Read this book free on KU on Amazon India

Love, Laughter and Lots of Dogs <-------my book!!!!
By Ellen Whyte
135 pages

Kelly Taylor’s homemade pet treat business is taking off. Even better, utterly yummy Lord Cory Winthrop, the man she had a teenage crush on, asks her out for dinner.

Back on a lightning visit home, Cory Winthrop runs into his childhood friend, Kelly. Captivated by her happy nature, he becomes determined to win her heart.

However, finding true love is never easy. Kelly worries she may not fit into Cory’s spectacularly glamorous lifestyle. To complicate matters, Cory’s banking career is at a crossroads, and his evil ex is about to come rocketing back into his life.

Will Cory and Kelly be able to overcome their difficulties and live happily ever after?

A warm, light-hearted small town romance with a curvy girl and a very hunky billionaire banker. Featuring Hamish, the adorable rescue puppy.

Read this on KU on Amazon India

Insatiable Appetites
by Bella Jeanisse
200 pages

Have you ever had an impossible fantasy? What would you do if you had the chance to make it come true? Would you go for it or chicken out?

These four bite-sized, dirty tales of fantasy come to life are sure to get your blood pumping and send your loins into a frenzy! Each of these short stories are chock full of erotic moments with a romantic twist. I promise, no cliffhangers, just happy endings!

Warning: For ADULTS only! Contains graphic erotic scenes, some of which may be considered offensive or taboo.



Read this book free on KU on Amazon USA
Read this book free on KU on Amazon UK
Read this book free on KU on Amazon Canada
Read this book free on KU on Amazon Australia
Read this book free on KU on Amazon India


All Screwed Up <-------my book!!!!
By AJ Adams
300 pages

Sexy, sassy adult model Lacy Desire is in deep trouble. Having walked out on her abusive photographer ex and wrecked a major deal, he and his underworld backers are out for revenge. Lacy decides only one man can save her: Rex Winslow, the super hot money launderer for the Disciples MC. His rep for violence and mayhem doesn’t worry her because she knows a secret that will keep him in line.

Rex Winslow, tenth Viscount Ravenshurst and financial guru to the Disciples MC, is about to pull off the deal of a lifetime that will restore his family name and fortune. When Lacy turns up and blackmails him into helping her, he’s furious. Worse, her troubles bring the Horde, rivals to the Disciples MC, crashing in on his deal. Handing her over will fix it but cold-hearted practical Rex discovers he’s fallen head over heels. Can he give her up?

All Screwed Up on KU on Amazon India

I'm also taking part in the Love Kissed KU Reads promo. There are tonnes of books featured but I don't have the HTML to share them all with you. I'm afraid you'll have to click through to see.

BUT there's an awesome$50 Amazon gift card giveaway!  So bookmark our reads and go and see the girls at Love Kissed, okay?





Sunday, October 28, 2018

How I made my book trailer for less than $15


A real video maker will probably collapse into horrified giggles at both the product and the method but if you can’t afford to hire a pro and like my trailer for Dark Hunter, here’s how I did it.

First, the video



Overview:
Basically, you’re going to create a bunch of slides and then add fancy animations to them. When you have your slideshow, you’ll use your PC to save it into movie format. Then, you add music on top of that.

You need:
·         A PC and internet connection
·         PowerPoint and Photo (both programmes come with Windows)
·         Your book covers
·         A collection of images to use - royalty free from Deposit Photos or Pixabay
·         A piece of music

#1 Plan
The first step is to plan how many slides you’re going to make and what information will be on each. If you have teasers, you can think of it as flipping through them to make a flip-book.

Avoid my screw-ups!
I started with way too much information. Keep the number of slides low and the text on them lean.

IMPORTANT: You’ll need about 5 to 7 seconds per slide and people won’t watch more than 90 seconds.  So when you do your layout, guesstimate how long the finished product might be.

Then trim, trim, trim.

#2 Make your slide show but only do the backgrounds for each slide
Pick a blank slide and add in all the images to make your basic slide. 

Avoid my screw-ups!
I made my first slide, added the text, fiddled with clever stuff and then moved on. BIG MISTAKE. Make all the backdrops for your slides (I had 12) and save the lot. Adding text and clever stuff comes after.

Think of what stays the same for each slide and use that to build a basic proto type. Then use copies of that to make ‘new’ slides.

My backgrounds all have my book cover and the words Free on Kindle Unlimited. What is different for every slide is the background image.Like this:



So, I made the first slide and saved it as slide 1. I then copied that, changed the background, saved it as slide 2, and so on. 

#3 Save your basic slideshow and make a copy
When you have all your basic slides ready, stop and save them. Make a copy and work on that. Then, when you mess up, you can ditch what you have and not lose your basic outline.

#4 Add basic text to every slide
Just get the words onto the slides. Read it through, make sure it’s not too long or complicated. Then save.

Avoid my screw-ups!
I had text on the bottom of some slides and at the top of others.  When I watched my first slideshow, I practically gave myself an eyeball hernia.

Make sure every slide has the same size text in the same place. That way, when you animate everything, your readers’ eyes will be trained in the same space each time.

#5 Add sexy transitions
Go to your first slide. Click just before the first letter of the first line of text. Then select Animation and click Show Animation pane.  Like this:



Go through each line of instruction and work through the menu to figure out whether you want it to appear as a block, by the word, by the letter, how fast it should all happen, whether you want to add glow, pulse etc.

Avoid my screw-ups!
The possibilities are huge. I went at it with 12 slides and almost killed myself with endless edits and learning. I suggest you take three slides and fiddle with those until they’re perfect and you know your way around the menus. When you’ve got it down, go big.

#6 Drive yourself into insanity by watching the slideshow over and over and over
Pick up every little mistake from a comma that’s the wrong colour to a transition that’s too slow.

#7 Save your slideshow and make a copy
Hide the finished product in a folder and make a copy. Then, when you mess up, you won’t lose everything.

Now, save the whole thing as an MP4.  Then, open that MP4 in Photo.

#8 Watch your soundless film
Does it look okay? Good, now to add music.

You need to buy a piece of music so that you don’t get into trouble about rights. Here are three places to buy music:  https://www.bensound.com, https://www.purple-planet.com/, https://www.hooksounds.com and https://www.premiumbeat.com

(Are you a musician who wants to sell music? Leave me a comment and I’ll add you to this list)

Avoid my screw-ups!
Search for music by time. You need a bit of music that last a second or two longer than your complete video.

#9 Let Photo add the music to your video
It will do magic things like make sure it fits and it will cut it off when it needs to be cut. God knows how, but I think we need to find the people who made this magic and hug them.

#10 Get at least six people to give you feedback
Having watched my video fifty thousand times, I couldn’t see it anymore. The first round of feedback had me redo the whole thing and the quality went up by ten thousand percent. 

HUGE THANK YOU to Lili and Gail who held my hand every step of the way and to Stephanie, Robin and Cheri who volunteered to give more feedback.

Then I took the new thing past everyone again, and some new eyes and that feedback helped me root out a background image that had two enormous nipples and picked out a full stop that had vanished during editing.

What you see now, is the result of about two days work. Was it worth it in terms of return on investment? I will let you know.

The Bonus

READ THE BONUS FOR FREE


"A beautifully twisted love story"
Damn, I just finished this book. It was unlike any other romance I've ever read. I mean after that first chapter I thought no way is this a romance novel? Read Charles M. Smith II's review of The Bonus here.


"In no way a typical love story..." 

From the opening page I was hooked, this is in no way a typical love story it was dark and dangerous and held me completely captivated! Read Tracey's review of The Bonus here

"One of the best dark romance ever!!!!"
There is a twisted romantic relationship, a great story line, but the main characters are so intelligent that they are always trying to outcome each other, it's so entertaining and simply delicious, the girl is so strong and so feisty a really refreshing change in the common formula of a dark romance. Read MATY's review of The Degas Girl here. 

"Wow!" 
It's always great to find an erotica book where the sex takes a backseat to the plot. Read VLL's review of The Degas Girl here. 

"5.0 out of 5 stars Wowza, Wowza, Wowza!!!"
This book was SO FECKIN’ GOOD!!!! Wowza, wowza, wowza! Read Bookaholic Mama's review of Deliverance here.

"I think this is a 5-star fantasy read. Fantasy is not really my preferred genre so I only chose this book because I knew from experience that I love what A.J. Adams writes." Read Helen's review of Beast here.