Written By: Jackie Weger - Mar• 23•16


marketing-strategy-planI have debated for months whether to blog on this topic or not. I just gave in. Sometimes when I read blogs by marketing

Donna Fasano, USA Today & Amazon bestselling author

Donna Fasano, USA Today & Amazon bestselling author. Click to visit Donna’s author page. She has a magnificent array of romance novels.

doyennes such Jane Friedman, I feel like a rank amateur. Next, I’ll visit a Facebook page and a new indie author is asking: “Should I publish with Amazon or KDP?” Somebody gave the answer, so I moved on. Believe me, when I was a newbie I Ate Stupid for Breakfast five days a week. I was intimidated by digital technology. Still am. Honey, I hire that stuff done. But! I know what the technology is supposed to do, because I see the end results. I asked indie authors, I asked Google, I asked editors and I asked Amazon. I didn’t know what a Tweet was. Didn’t know how to compose one. When I uploaded my first indie book, Donna Fasano, (bless her kindness) got on SKYPE with me and walked me through it.

I was bluntly told I didn’t know what I was doing. Okay. Nailed me. So I stopped and learned the industry. I read Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran and another by Martin Crosbie. I’ve read them more than once. I read blogs and articles by the dozens…I came away with conflicting ideas and suggestions, good information and buckets of misinformation. I’ve since learned nobody knows it all.  Boo-ya.

So what’s my problem?  So few of the newest wave of indie authors are doing their homework. They want to be spoon fed ehow. It’s wearying. I must answer a half-dozen emails a day fielding questions and the answers are already all over the Web. Everything I’ve learned in the past three years is blogged on this site or

I have a huge amount of empathy for the new guys. I do because I know where they’re coming from. I answer their questions and emails.  Indie authorship is work.  There are no shortcuts. I wish. I encourage authors to read Amazon’s Terms of Service. Few do. Some have never explored

eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

eNovel Authors at Work…a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE. Follow us on Twitter and never miss a FREE or discounted book. We Tweet those like mad. Just tick our logo.

their Amazon book pages top to bottom or side to side.  Do I know it all? Heck No! I recently begged help for a basic MS Word setup.

What I notice most now is awful misinformation being bruited about.  Want to know the worst offenders? Legacy published authors who have never hired an editor, ordered a cover, formatted or uploaded a book, bought promotion or set up a Rafflecopter. These guys don’t have a clue how to track a book, check a site’s Alexa rank or read an Amazon royalty report. Last week I noticed a legacy pubbed author blogging about setting up a review exchange and trade. Moreover, the author asks the reviewers to buy one another’s legacy priced books. Wow! That is expensive. Doesn’t have a clue about ehow to Amazon Gift a book to a reviewer. It slipped past the guy that Amazon frowns on author-traded reviews.  A legacy-published author is not on the indie author’s side of the fence.

Here is another: A legacy published author wants 299$ to promote my books in a newsletter. I asked how many subscribers and click through rate. Way under 10,000 subscribers. Click through rate 1%. HUH? That ain’t worth 299$.  If the author knows how to sell books, how come his are sucking mud in bestseller ranks on two venues? If the author can’t sell his/her own books…how the heck is he/she/it gonna sell mine or yours?

Snake oil ~ Looks good, sounds good--Bites!

Snake oil ~ Looks good, sounds good–Bites!

Here is a fact: Snake Oil is made from both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. When you cotton on to a viper, you know to get out of the way and sit on your wallet. But the benign snake can do just as much damage due to a serious lack of know-how.

Here is an example. 

One indie author is asking another about price-matching on Amazon. The author wants to price a book 99c on every sales venue, but wants to force Amazon to price match the unit currently at 2.99 on Amazon. When Amazon price matches at 99c the author earns 70% royalty instead of 35%.  But! After ten days or so, Amazon tells the author to price the unit at a straight 99c. The author who wants to engage the system says: “What if I just ignore Amazon?”

Well, boo-ya, honey. Ignore an email from Amazon KDP or Quality Control and you will find yourself in a world of hurt.  Amazon may do you a nice and return the price to 2.99. Or, Amazon may block the sale of the book. Or, in a snit, Amazon may and can remove all of your books from sale, and suspend your KDP account for up to a year. Amazon has been very good about price-matching a 99c unit while in promotion. It has been good about price-matching a first book in a series to perma-free. Lest you think otherwise, both price-matches are a courtesy to benefit the Amazon book buyer–not the author. I don’t know these facts first hand. I do know authors who have had these experiences.  They told me and others about them. I have had Quality Control notices from Amazon KDP and handled them in a timely and appropriate manner. No problems.

The real issue is: Know who you’re listening to on the Web and in the indie industry.  If you’re listening to somebody who wants to get into your wallet–think twice. Do your research. If an author is telling you ehow–get ALL of the facts. Every fact and event has an upside and a downside. Right this minute, I’m hearing “to get your indie print editions into bookstores and libraries, sign on with IngramSpark.” I’m digging now to find authors signed with IngramSpark to learn if they see sales to libraries and bookstores. I did look at the author testimonials on IngramSpark. I also looked at the author’s print book best seller ranks. Here are two: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,092,508 in Books. Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,869,356 in Books. They ain’t selling. Woot. So I looked on Barnes and Noble. No book rank at all because not a single sale. Most recent review 2099 days ago. Here’s the scary part: It ain’t good business sense to post testimonials from authors who are not successfully using your product. Just sayin’…

Jane Friedman blogs about 4 Lessons for Authors. IMO, one of the best was presented by Rand Fishkin who said:  “…a lot of good content never gets seen because no one has thought through who will help it gain traction or how.”  In plain language that means if you ‘sit’ for an interview or write a guest post, who is gonna see it? The interviewed author/guest poster often has to tweet the interview and call up his/her followers to share it, because the blogger/interviewer has NO reach. Perhaps only 3 sites linking in, no active followers. So the author ends up ‘singing to the choir.’  I have a name for this: I call it hijacking, because the blogger is hijacking the author’s followers and supporters to bring traffic to his or her site. I don’t like it.

Here’s why: For three years I’ve worked like the dickens to build my two Twitter accounts. I registered a hashtag with Twubs. I pay a virtual assistant to help so I don’t fail to RT and say thank you my 30,000 followers. I have out-of-pocket expenses for Twitter ads and boosted Facebook posts. I’m not being selfish or egocentric.  It is simply not good business sense for me or any indie author to loan a hard won brand/reputation/platform–whatever those buzz words mean,  to a site that has no traction, which translates to no exposure. Rand Fishkin nailed it.

I believe in Author Choice.  If you enjoy those interviews and guest blogging, go for it. eNovel Authors at Work is designed around paying-it-forward. All all 50+ members do. We support one another. We network. Each and every member has helped to make the group successful. We exchange value. Our goal is to sell books. We do that, too. We learn from one another. It’s wonderful. Until I read Friedman and Fishkin, I thought I was becoming cynical and jaded. I felt guilty. Now, I realize my common sense was kicking in. Got it. I hope you do, too.

Would love it, if you take a few minutes to eyeball our author pages. eNovel members have above 400 stunning books for your reading pleasure.

Would love it, if you take a few minutes to eyeball our author pages. eNovel members have above 400 stunning books for your reading pleasure.

I’m Jackie Weger, founder of eNovel Authors at Work. We don’t sell anything here. We share what we learn. If you visit our other pages and blogs, you will see promoters mentioned, because we vet promoters. If a promoter is named on this site, we do business with ’em. Some are ace and above the fold. Some are ace, but smaller and below the fold. Some are just on our list because while the promoter may not move many books, the owner is honest and aboveboard and growing his/her site organically. That’s golden.  @JackieWeger 2016

Comments welcome. Love it, if you can add to the discussion. If you are an indie author, by all means, mention the title of your book after your comment/signature.


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  1. I have learned so much since I started as an indie author, and I appreciate support from many of my fellow authors. Like you, I prefer not to pay without ROI!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Aurora: I really think part of it is that many bloggers and promoters don’t see it the way we do. They think they are doing us favors. They don’t follow us back, don’t RT our tweets, don’t like our Facebook pages. Not a day goes by that I don’t get this: Invite your friends to like my page. Support is a two-way street. Plus, there’s a point at which we can do no more. My fans on my Facebook page, my Twitter accounts and subscribers to my newsletter are always the first to know when I have a book FREE to download, am offering a giveaway. Or FREE print editions or a $100 Gift card. We give value in exchange for fan support. Not to mention we write nice books to entertain them. I hope.

      • I am a blogger, and I realize this post is for authors, so I hope you won’t mind my weighing in here. If you are not paying the blogger, and if they do not run a profitable blog, meaning they make money via advertising, then they ARE doing you a favor. Would you work for free? It takes at least and hour to build a post. That is NOT including graphics,banners, videos, etc. Plus, read time, review time, and promo time. By the time I have done all of those things, I’m in the red. I DO follow, tweet etc. However, the favor is never returned. I never have an author follow my blog, like my FB page or follow me on Twitter. I seldom get a thank you. If I’m lucky, a publisher will pick up my post and give my blog a little extra love, or I might get a retweet, but not often. I might be in the minority on that, but I can tell you I am nearly burned out on blogging, and I know many others who are becoming lazier and lazier about it. It may be winding down some, and I for one, will be glad to see the backside of it because of how time consuming it is and how little I gain from all the effort. I think we have to try to see things from the other guy’s perspective in order to see the big picture. Authors can feel like we should feel privileged to host them, and sure, it’s an honor to have you featured on my blog, but I don’t like being treated like ‘the help’ either.Most bloggers love helping authors, but keep in mind they have many, many, many authors and books to promote, you have one book. I’m a single blogger, no staff. If I tweeted, and social media promoted all my authors at the same time everyday, I would never have time for anything else. I know there is a weariness within the book blogging world right now. So, let’s all try to get along. I support the best I can, but I can only do so much too. Just Sayin. You know I love you guys, I appreciate you and and am proud to be a part of your group. I am very opinionated, I know, but I try to understand your struggles and will support you when and where I can.

        • P.C. Zick says:

          It hit a nerve with me, too, Lu. I’ve been doing an Author Wednesday post for three years now. It does take time. Why do I do it? I do it to give other Indie Authors a platform and I do it to bring some traffic to my site, but as you state, Lu, that’s a minor thing considering all the time I spend formatting the posts. And with few exceptions (the members of this group in the exceptions), the authors don’t share, comment, or reblog, even after I gently prod them in that direction. I have met some great authors during this time, but I’ve decided that I’m done with it in April and will only use my blog when authors who I support and who support me want something published to use for their promotions. It’s been mostly a positive experience, but it’s no fun when I don’t even get a thank you from an author who I’ve spent an hour or more working to promote.

        • Jackie Weger says:

          Julie: I hear you. But! You are not saying anything much different than me. Just from the blogger POV. You are a TOP 1000 Amazon and Goodreads reviewer. I agree entirely with you about authors who don’t have the courtesy to say thank you, follow you and Tweet the reviews. Newbies often don’t know to do that. I damned sure didn’t. There is no set protocol. And all of those folks who charge fees to teach us ehow to build a platform NEVER mention courtesy to bloggers, only to fans. I love you when you get riled! You tell it like it is. I do believe there is intrinsic value when we do what we love.

          • Polly Iyer says:

            Every blog I’ve ever posted or every interviewer kind enough to interview me, gets my response to every comment. That’s what I believe everyone should do. Great posts from all of you.

  2. Livia Quinn says:

    I learn something – several somethings – from each of your blogs and from so many generous authors. My Donna Fasano is Dale Mayer who started as my Nano partner back in 2008. To say she’s a hard worker is like saying “Katrina dropped a little rain on New Orleans” LOL, A line from my book, Storm Crazy. But even though she’s much more successful AND busy than I, she still offers advice and her experience out of a kind heart. So many in our community are like that. What would we do without each other.

  3. Such an interesting post. Thanks again Jackie. And Julie for your input. So great that there’s a place to discuss things openly. I’m learning every day and it’s’ so important for us all to support each other and share what we discover ie where we are going wrong ) .

  4. Great article Jackie. Eating stupid for breakfast is what EVERY new author does – we have ALL done it- you make mistakes, you learn and then you move forward. UNLESS you keep making the same mistakes over and over. UNLESS you are chasing those millions and don’t want to put the work in. UNLESS you pay someone to buy your books so you can go up in the rankings – that’s going to be an expensive exercise after a while. UNLESS UNLESS UNLESS…and on it goes. Trial and error – hard work – see what works, what doesn’t. The beauty of enovel is that I can go on there and say “this worked for me and see the stats” and then someone else may go on there and say ‘this isn’t working but how about this’. I LOVE THIS (sorry for shouting). I’ve read some absolutely stupid things lately. I equate it to the article I read on weight loss that said that if you spin around like a whirling dervish you lose weight. See how that stupid that sounds? That’s exactly the type of stupidity being peddled AND they get money for it! SUCKER! Come here and give me your money.

    Last word goes to that pretty smart fellow Albert…

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

  5. Love the way you tell it as it is Jackie. Thanks for all the advice. Great post.

  6. We all ate stupid for breakfast as newbies. And, like you, Jackie, I sympathize with the authors that are starting now. Everyone makes the same mistakes at first. Via my Twitter and Facebook interactions I try to share as much advice as possible, but draw the line on two things: laziness (when authors don’t bother learning on their own and want all the info spoon fed by me) or when they get free promotion via my site but never bother reciprocating with as much as a like on my Facebook page or a comment on the blog post. I used to give everyone who asked free promotion in the past, but now I only assist those who seem active on line and like to spread the word, like I do. Regarding what you said about promoters who want our money for nothing, there are so many scammers out there. I check the Alexa rank every time a promoter reaches out to me. It’s a great indicator of the value on offer.

  7. Amy says:

    It’s an education for sure – and you made it SO much easier for me!

  8. Donna Fasano says:

    Jackie, when I clicked over here to read your post and saw my picture, I quivered in my boots. Uh-oh, I thought, what have I done now? LOL I had forgotten all about that Skype call! You learned the indie author ropes so quickly and so thoroughly that now I am the one asking you for help and information. You rock, woman! Every indie author should subscribe to eNovel Author’s blog. Learning from the experiences of others is vital in this business, and knowing someone who will tell it like it is (YOU) is like owning a pot of gold.

    Since you asked, in April I will be indie-publishing the second book in my Ocean City Boardwalk Series titles TWO HEARTS IN WINTER. I hope everyone will buy, read, enjoy, and review my new book. 🙂

    Thanks, Jackie, for giving so much of yourself to others in this business!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Oooo. I love the Ocean City Boardwalk series. Never fear, eNovel will get behind it. P.s. I still have that list of six things to do you sent me in 2013. It’s the only one that ever told me to follow back. Laffin’. I only got up the courage and moxie to start blogging in 2014. You were more help than you can possible know.

  9. KJD says:

    Great post, Jackie. thanks for sharing.
    Like you, I’m looking for the best approach to promoting my/our books. When.If I find it, I’ll let my friends know. Still searching though. 🙂

  10. Daphne Kapsali says:

    Brilliant. I love the way you write, so wonderfully no-nonsense and straightforward. Thank you.

  11. Laurie Boris says:

    Excellent advice, Jackie. I’ve learned the most about self-publishing from my fellow authors, and I’m grateful for their support. I am a little hinky about your comments about book bloggers, though. They work hard and don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. If I’m lucky enough to be featured on someone’s blog, no matter the size, I will share my little heart out. And that’s good for everyone. Everyone started with just a few followers. Featuring authors and bringing in their friends and fans is what builds the traffic.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you for your POV, Laurie. I love it that author/bloggers are speaking up. A coin has two sides, but it also has that rim. I’m learning from blogger comments. And those will help me to have a greater appreciation for their efforts. IMO our agendas have to meet somewhere, even if a little unbalanced. I get it. Comment alone, will help to educate us all.

      • Jackie Weger says:

        P.S. I do appreciate bloggers. But the gist of Fishkin’s point is: When a book or author is featured on a blog, is it reaching a new audience? Driving my followers to a site to comment and share does build traffic and that shows appreciation to the blogger who took time to make the presentation. Fishkin’s point is: My audience already knows me and my books, so where do we present our books for a new audience?

  12. It is such a learning curve, and I’m so glad that I am part of this group. There’s a support system.

  13. As always, Jackie, you have spent your time to help others who might not even know they need help:-) When I went Indie I was lucky that Rebecca Dahlke had already joined that brave new world and dragged me, kicking and screaming, in with her. I also had a techie in the house, and my husband dove in and leaned many of the aspects that I was totally uninterested in learning. Thanks for brings up all the new stuff we need to pay attention to.

  14. Julie Frayn says:

    Lady, you exhaust me. Only because I don’t know how you keep on top of all this. But I am so glad you do, and that you share with us. I quit eating stupid for breakfast, but sometimes I snack on it a little. Trying to cut down, you know? 🙂

    Julie W’s comment made me feel like a real schmuck for not thinking about the ongoing sharing of the bloggers that never fail to support us. I will be better at that.

    Julie Frayn
    Author of Mazie Baby

  15. Polly Iyer says:

    Wonderful post from the hardest-working indie author around. I always learn something. (Lots for me to learn.)

  16. Great post, Jackie. It’s all important to share, that’s for sure.
    Now, I have a confession…
    When I started on the internet three years ago, I never said thank you or shared when I was interviewed or just featured.

    I think you all know by now it’s not because I’m a self-centered jerk. It was because I was so ignorant, I didn’t know how to do it!

    Little by little I’ve been learning, and now I not only comment to say thanks, I try to respond to each person weighing in if I’m featured on a blog. I have been scheduling those blogs in my hootesuite account.

    For anyone who featured me at least two years ago…please forgive!

  17. You’re so right about misinformation, almost on every level. Much of it depends on someone’s personal experience, which may or may not be a reliable guide for the rest of us…

    When authors start out, it’s important to learn as much as we can on our own. As with the act of writing, there are no shortcuts. If we get stumped or confused, we can ask for help/advice without sounding ignorant.

    We all need assistance from time to time, but it’s no excuse to take advantage of everyone else’s hard work. I try never to forget the magic words “please” and “thank you” or to give back whenever I can.

    You always give freely of your time and help, Jackie–you have from the outset. Since I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it now: Thank you for everything you do for our group. 🙂

  18. Jackie Weger says:

    Moved from original thread for easier reading:
    Julie Whiteley In reply to Jackie Weger.

    LOL! I’m not really riled up. I’m just explaining things from the blogger perspective. There are lots of changes going on in the book blogger realm right now. Fewer and fewer bloggers are signing up with tour promoters. One reason is that the promoters never take up for the host. They always, always, always take care of the author, and authors make some pretty big demands and can be very rude and difficult. But, the promoters are getting paid, and the host is not. That is only one complaint of many.

    These days, I only do quick html copy and paste post for one promoter who is so awesome, but I will not do full post with reviews, ever, for a promoter. I do my own thing without all the drama. Reminding authors to participate with bloggers is a promoters job, or a publicist, or assistant’s responsibility and I should not have to nag the author to follow protocol. If I do suggest to the author they need to pay it forward, usually, it falls on deaf ears.

    If I were to become more vocal, say via social media, I would most likely get crucified. It’s pretty much catch 22. But, these days I do my own thing. I tag authors, and publishers, although they may not say much, I know my blog gets some attention, due to the numbers I see. But, for indies they can’t always rely on others to help them with social media. If you sign up for a tour, then you darned well better be present that day. Bloggers host as many as five authors in a day, running on two or more pages! That’s just because of the demand, and the desire to help everyone they can. Not all bloggers promote on social media, but many of them do because it works to their advantage. BUT, where does it say they owe you that follow? As long as they post to the blog, that is all you have a right to expect. Anything extra they do is just butter on the bread. Many of us are so bogged down with material it’s all we can do to keep up. As for the book.. Well, let’s see. If you gift me a book, that sells on AZ for six dollars, and I only spend one hour on your book, then I’m making minimum wage at best. But, of course, reading, writing a good, in depth review, posting that review on all avenues, building the blog, creating graphics, then promoting on social media can take anywhere from five hours to forty-eight hours depending on the situation, meaning that I’m working for free. If a blog is making money from ads, then that’s another story, but even so, it’s much harder work than one might think and is very time consuming. The best way to think of this, is that we have to be sensitive to one another’s needs and issues, and try to make it work to both our advantages. But, as it is now, I see long, well established book bloggers abandoning their blogs, and opting for a stronger social media presence. It is so much easier to gain followers on FB, Twitter, etc, than with a blog. Since so many blogs do not make enough money to cover their cost, which can include giveaways they do themselves, then why not make it easier on themselves? They get far more exposure that way, and if the goal is to help the author, then social media is the best bet.

    Even publishers and sites like Netgalley have switched their long standing requirement of having a public blog to asking for retail reviews on B&N and AZ and for a social media presence instead. But, all I was trying to explain was that bloggers deal with a lot more than you think, work much harder than you know, and it’s mostly a thankless job. I could complain long and loud about the lack of enthusiasm authors show bloggers but it would only make my situation worse, and I don’t need to alienate what small audience I do have. There are always two sides to the story. I just wanted to say that yes, I do think of it as a favor, but I do this for the love of good books, to support authors and help boost sales. I didn’t start doing this with the expectation of getting anything in return, and for the most part it’s a nice hobby and I enjoy it, but, when I hear an author bashing bloggers, suggesting we don’t take them seriously or work hard enough on their behalf I feel I should speak up. We sometimes have to walk a mile in the other guy’s shoes…

  19. TJ Shortt says:

    Another great post! So glad you are who you are and that you do take the time to try and help authors.
    I’ve learned so much from you, Jackie.

  20. Dale Furse says:

    What an interesting post. I also love your style, Jackie.

    You’re right, there’s so much info about publishing now on the net, it’s fantastic. But it can really be overwhelming especially when you read two or more posts on the same subject and they all have different views. I think, remembering the information is an opinion based on what the poster has personally experienced is the way to go.

    I also think authors should thank bloggers for taking the time to promote/interview them. I’ve followed blog tours and am always amazed when there are no comments, not even one from the featured author. Too sad and must make bloggers think, why did I bother? Sigh.

  21. EM Kaplan says:

    So many ways to throw my money away as an indie! Yes, a lot of it is live-and-learn. But thank goodness for people like you who share what they’ve learned!

  22. R.V. Doon says:

    I didn’t adjust well to social media and I’m still learning. Just yesterday an artist sent me 2 “renders” along with my ebook cover. They looked great, but I didn’t know their purpose. So being smarter, I emailed back and asked how they were used. Things change so fast in this industry its hard to keep up. I love this site and thanks for the refreshing posts.

  23. So many things are covered by simple good manners – saying please and thank you, and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes!

    You are so right – people are demanding when they should make a personal relationship first, and then ask nicely.

    Etc. Preaching to the choir here.

    The easy way for me to start was to read the blogs on publishing while I was finishing my debut novel (I’m excruciatingly slow – it gave me plenty of time). Then, cautiously, I started commenting on the blogs I read when I had something to add to the conversations.

    After that, I started my own blog, and got used to meeting people online, readers and other writers.

    Taught myself how to do everything along the way – slowly, and with several mentors who answered the questions I asked when stumped (not ‘How do I do X?’ from the very beginning). I am so grateful for J.M. Ney-Grimm’s unbelievably helpful comments and emails when I admired her covers (they are gorgeous) and asked a few questions. She went FAR above and beyond.

    I have posted everything I learned on my blog as I learned it – sometimes it’s helpful to others. I’m rather far out in left field in my methods, and very slow, so not too many people can use what I need to function, but I happily send out a template I’ve developed (though maybe one in a hundred has come back to tell me that they used it, and it helps) any time it is requested.

    Gently and slowly works for me – it won’t for most people. My marketing is and has to be very different because what I write is not common in indie, but I have read and interacted with lots of bloggers about what they’ve learned – and always give them credit.

    I think, as you probably do, that when the environment gets difficult because of all the shouting, it is going to lead to far less help from anyone. People like you who don’t get appreciated have far better things to do with their time – and spend it with the writers, readers, and bloggers who reciprocate.

    I thank you for your posts (I’ve read quite far into the archives) even if I learn something NOT to do – it’s still useful! And I find your author group admirable – and all the good ways of doing things right that you talk about. I’d join you if I could reciprocate; I won’t because I can’t.

    You shouldn’t have to teach new writers basic good manners. If they can write a whole book, they can learn how to behave in public.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you, Alicia: You have given me the opening I need to say: I am NOT bashing bloggers. I am trying to educate members of eNovel that before he or she accepts an invitation to guest post or sit for an interview, to do as Rand Fishkin suggests: “…a lot of good content never gets seen because no one has thought through who will help it gain traction or how.” I say it is Author Choice to accept or decline to write guest posts and/or sit for interviews. I deem it the author’s responsibility to: Check the Alexa rank. Look at previous posts… Any comments? Traffic? Most important: Will the post reach a new audience? If not, is there a better alternative for your time? And your book? And that is the gist of Fishkin’s message. Sounds like common sense to me. Thank’s again for weighing in. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie

  24. Mary Smith says:

    Great post, Jackie, with several interesting points. I’ve heard you mention before the number of ‘experts’ who put out posts offering to ‘help’ us sell our books – usually asking for our money. I’ve taken to checking their own sales ranks and as you say many are sucking mud and others have only ever written how-to books without seeming to have any experience. The exceptions being Martin Crosbie and David Gaughran.
    As for guests posts/interviews on blogs, I do find it can take a lot of time to answer the questions, especially as I try to vary what I say. I know they don’t usually lead to increased book sales but there’s something to be said for putting oneself out there – and the blogging community is on the whole very supportive in terms of promoting indie authors. I have always made a point of saying thank you to the host and engaging with people who comment.
    There will always be new things to learn as our indie world evolves and I’m so glad to be part of a group who shares whatever it learns.
    Mary Smith

  25. Interesting post. You’re right about the snake oil salesmen out there (and God help you if you start listening to webinars). I got a little riled by the same part the other bloggers have responded to. I’ve occasionally had guests on my blog (which is currently sinking in the rankings because I’ve decided writing is a higher priority than blogging and also because I’ve been having technical nightmares with Bluehost). I warn folks that it won’t get much exposure unless it gets picked up by Carnival of the Indies, or they manage to get it retweeted by all their pals. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t give them exposure out there on search engines and such, and like Julie and others here I put a lot of work into those posts and try to make sure they are interesting for indie authors in general, not just potential readers for that book. So…what Julie said.
    I can also understand folks who choose not to do a ton of promoting on Twitter, because I’m one of them. I made a conscious decision that I just didn’t want my twitter feed to be full of that. Now and then I’ll retweet a pal or a good deal — and, of course, return favors, but I don’t even tweet my own books daily anymore, unless I happen to be running a price promotion or something. The reality is that we all have different styles out there in the marketplace, just as we do in our writing.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Hi, Sandra. Thanks for weighing in. I know I touched a nerve. I get it that it is work to present an author. It also is a lovely pay-it-forward gesture. I appreciate that beyond measure. But here is what I’ve discovered…when I’m interviewed or guest post…it is up to me to draw attention to the post or the interview. The blogger’s supporters don’t show up. I’m not reaching a new audience–which is the G.O.A.L. So, I call on my supporters, but they ALREADY know me. I’m asking them to stop their lives and share all on Social media. I suppose I’m speaking to time management. It is author choice to engage in guest post and interviews. Julie Whiteley is a TOP 1000 Amazon book Reviewer. That is a whole other topic and event. I support Julie and what she does 100%. In the event of a review, the author needs to share that posted review with his or her followers and thank the reviewer. But when we are singing to the choir, we are spinning our wheels.

      That is my point and I’m not backing away from it. I have over 2000 reviews on my books. Suppose I asked my colleagues to tweet those things? I’d drive them nuts. Just sayin’…

  26. Jackie Weger says:

    Here’s a funny: I have just sent to spam two folks who want to write blogs for eNovel Authors at Work ~ because it needs new and exciting material. One spelled: “g00gle me.” Well, golly. That gives me so much confidence in her blogging skills. So I checked their sites and twitter… No Alexa ranking whatsoever, no comments, no nothing…and less than 500 Twitter followers–and no tweets reTweeted. And gosh–no charge for the service, just please follow and tweet the blogs to send traffic to their sites. I’m loathe to disappoint, but I’m not Eating Stupid for Breakfast today. Pass.

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