#New Indie Authors~ 5 Tips To Look Like a Pro

Written By: Jackie Weger - Feb• 24•18

How Savvy Indie Authors Know You’re Not~ The “Tells”

My favorite small isle in the Pacific Ocean. Rent: $75 US for a private room in a native’s house w/Kitchen privileges. Sole water source: Rainwater. Ancient sea glass from sunken galleons peppered the beaches. Loved my life there.

First, sharing this: I was reminded in a recent forum how dumb I seemed to indie authors and editors more experienced and savvier than I when I first stepped in the Digital Universe.

The ‘necessary’ room on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. At low tide, we could wade from island to island. High tide, we had to swim.

I asked what I considered smart questions about ehow and got snark: “What? Have you been living under a rock?” No, but I had been living in tiny jungle villages and off-islands where we had no electricity or running water a few hours a day, or not at all. No Internet, no phone service or cell phones. Nope. No grocery stores, no mail service, no garbage pick up. No public restrooms. And often not even a tiny cinder block or bamboo jail room because of no police presence.  No Amazon, Facebook or Twitter. Didn’t need a single one of those things to enjoy my laid back life.  I had a hammock, a thatched roof over my head, my companion dog, an outhouse, native food and a native stove to cook on,  books to read and a machete to dispatch vipers.  Life was good.

Moving on. There’s an entire confusing language for our indie world. Take “blog.” That word is both a verb and a noun. You have a blog  connected to a Web page  and you write a blog and post it on your blog.  I’m not even going to speak to the alphabet soup of acronyms, #hashtags, ASINs, urls and bit.ly links. So. The reminder hit when in a chat room a new indie spoke up that she has a Twitter Account, but didn’t know where to get a Tweet, how to compose a Tweet or even what a Tweet is supposed to do.  My heart heard her because I had to beg writers to compose  tweets for me. I learn by example and “show me.”

Here’s Tip # 1:  You can Tweet your book or a colleague’s book from the Amazon Book page: Here’s how: Go to your Amazon book page. On the lower right you will see these icons:  

Tick the envelop and copy the link. It look like this: http://a.co/f5Jwa5s. Close the envelop (x). Now tick on the Tweetie bird:  This Tweet comes up: [Now, you can Tweet it just as it is, but I revise it.]

To Revise: Delete that long url: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D7WKQRA/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_BvqJAb7DAZK1W. Insert the link you copied from the envelop: http://a.co/f5Jwa5s. Next add a hashtag: #Free w/KindleUnlimited or just #KindleLovers.  Tick the Tweetie bird and your tweet lands in your Twitter stream.  Done. Not only that, your cover will populate/show on the Tweet. url = address of site to find a book or anything else.

#Free w/KindleUnlimited Finding Home by Jackie Weger http://a.co/f5Jwa5s via @amazon 

Once more skilled you can populate your Tweet with reader comments  such as below. avp = Amazon Verified Purchase.

Finding Home: “…a clever, funny, romantic and heartwarming story.” ~ avp.  http://a.co/f5Jwa5s via @amazon ReTweet Please @retweet_groups.

Here’s Tip # 2: Pin a clever meme/Tweet about your book to the TOP of your Twitter.  The little down arrow: ∨ at the top of your Tweet is a drop down menu. Tick “Pin to my profile” …that is the top of your Twitter feed.  Go here to see my pinned Tweet: https://twitter.com/JackieWeger. You can change it anytime. Why sure—you are so welcome to follow me and Retweet that pinned tweet. Much appreciated.

Here’s Tip # 3: Your Tweet won’t reach an audience unless you add #hashtags that get retweets. I like:  ReTweet Please @4FreeKindleBookYou have to follow these folks on Twitter before you use their hash tag.  https://twitter.com/4FreeKindleBook. Another I like:  https://twitter.com/iartg . Hashtag: #IARTG.   Use these hash tags at the start of your Tweet: #Amazon, #Kindle, #KindleUnlimited and #bookclub alert book buyers interested in indie books. These few Hashtags will get you started. 

Here’s Tip #4:  When a promoter asks for the Amazon link/url to your book,  this is what they want: https://www.amazon.com/Sheriffs-Woman-Jackie-Weger-ebook/dp/B073V4C216/. Nothing after that last slash. If a site asks for the ASIN to your book: It’s a 10 digit number: B073V4C216. I highlighted it in the url. Hopefully, you already know how to copy and paste. If not, you right click your mouse and drag it over the link to highlight it, then left click copy to paste the text elsewhere.

Here’s Tip # 5: Editors, cover artists and formatters are NOT contributors to your book. Those folks are service providers. You do NOT add their names in the Author slot when uploading your book! You may or may not acknowledge those service providers on your copyright page. I often have them on the same page as my copyright. It is a courtesy.  But since I change covers and other data, I’ve started to list providers on eNovel’s Useful Links page.

Notice: Many indie authors add service providers as contributors in hopes readers will consider the book is professionally produced. Some indies use

Photofunia graphic for Count the Roses. I used MS Word Snipit to grab the section of the cover I wanted to use. The first icon in the list below your Tweet is to add a photo/book cover or meme.

trickery–adding a maiden name or a beta reader as a contributor. Readers don’t fall for that. They know the instant they read a blurb or the Look Inside if a book has had a professional touch. Yes they do! And the snark will come when a reader gives the book a low starred review out of annoyance. I respect indie authorship. THINK.  There would be a dearth of books for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords or iBooks.

Warning:  Before you follow anyone on Facebook or Twitter, look at their page or Twitter stream, Note the date of the last post or Tweet. If weeks or even months ago, do NOT follow. Those folks are not active, a waste of your time. Now let’s visit memes. It’s kind of cartoon or picture/graphics editor to feature your book. Tech savvy authors use Canva and other apps. I use Photofunia. It’s FREE and easy and not above my pay grade or tech talent.

For fun and to expand your ehow, visit the Amazon Global venues below, type in your name or book title. By all means, Tweet your book from those venues. Use Google translate to translate a word or two  in your Tweet such as Read FREE. 無料で読む is Read Free in Japanese. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ http://www.amazon.in/ https://www.amazon.de https://www.amazon.ca/ https://www.amazon.com.au/ http://www.amazon.cn/ https://www.amazon.co.jp.

If you are serious about writing and becoming a successful indie author you must study the industry. Successful does not mean becoming a best seller or a sensation over night. Yes, you can read all the suggestions, interviews and tell-all by authors highlighting all they did to become best sellers. Telling you straight: You cannot mimic their success because they started earlier than you or me. They have written more books. Perhaps they had more $$$, a great support group or were in the right place at the right time. They’re made. Your path to success starts today, one book at a time.

As for the lament, “I can’t afford to promote,” or the myriad other complaints an indie might have about the cost involved in becoming successful, I say: If you are good to your book, it will be good to you. None of the above suggestions cost so much as a nickel and will give your book some nice exposure. For more resources visit these eNovel pages: Useful Links & Resources.

Comments Welcome. Be nice. Add to the discussion. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.  Thanks for visiting.

Get this: I’m gonna be sassy here and add to the discussion of my own post. 1) Notice that © ~ copyright symbol.  Use it on all of your blogs. In MS Word, you’ll find it via this path: Insert, Symbols. 2) There are live links in all of my blogs.  To truly learn the ropes, the savvy indie clicks on the links in informative blogs. They have value and information you may one day need. 3) Live link every cover and title to your book(s) to a buy page.




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  1. Be still my heart, you’re talking like a geek 🙂 Excellent post Jackie!

  2. Excellent twitter suggestions from someone who lived on an internet-less island!

    • JACKIE WEGER says:

      That was ten years ago. One of the islands has an Internet Cafe now. The school in the small mountain village I lived in has a computer room with a few computers. It also has a telephone kiosk in the village with a pay phone–but no telephone cable or land lines to the kiosk! And a satellite dish for the school, a gift from an NGO agency. The internet room in the school is the only one with electricity, except when the wires are down which is most of the rainy season. Teachers are paid $250 US a month. A doctor working for the government health service $500 US a month. A visit to the Clinic open only on Tuesdays cost 50 cents.

  3. Emily Kaplan says:

    Thanks, Jackie. Everyone is a newbie sometime.

  4. Laura B. says:

    I’d love to visit your island! Bookmarked this post, as I’ve done so many times. You help cut through the clutter! Thanks, Jackie

  5. Rosie Dean says:

    I will check out Photofunia, and I love the nudge to promote from global Amazon venues.

    Thanks, Jackie.

  6. Wonderful! I never knew about that little envelope. (Or many of the suggestions here either) Off to explore now. Bless you, Jackie! X

  7. Alexa Dare says:

    Great advice! So much to learn! Thank you for sharing, Jackie!

  8. Julie says:

    Glad you were there for me when I was a newbie, Jackie. Being part of Enovel has been a boon to my indie knowledge!
    Julie Frayn
    Author of Mazie Baby

  9. P. C. Zick says:

    Great post, Jackie. New authors don’t know these things until they’re told.

    • JACKIE WEGER says:

      Patricia: Worse, when we’re newbies, we don’t even know what to ask. I’ve read all of the best ehow books and not one! Mentions how easy to to Tweet from Amazon or easy to revise the Tweet or speak to Amazon global sites. As soon as I get a notice from amazon one of our members has a new release, I’m off to Tweet it. Takes only one minute.

  10. Great info, jackie! MUCH thanks… as always

  11. Handy to know the little envelope produces a shortlink. Thanks, Jackie! There’s always something new to take away from reading your posts 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions. I always look forward to your blog posts because I always learn something new. This is another very informative post!

  13. Donna Fasano (@DonnaFaz) says:

    More great information! I especially like Tip #2. A bright, eye-catching graphic makes any tweet much more noticeable. Thanks, Jackie! New indies everywhere should fall at your feet!

  14. talleyrlc says:

    Great info! I didn’t know about the little envelope–I just Tweet straight from the icon. I love Canva but hadn’t heard of the other one. Thanks!
    Rebecca Talley

  15. Mia Fox says:

    Such great advice as always!

  16. Very interesting and informative post. Thank you so much

  17. So informed, as usual. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Linda Lee says:

    Thanks, Jackie. I need a better list of hashtags! 🙂

  19. Great info as always. Thanks Jackie. And for the newbies reading this there’s plenty more fabulous posts on this site. Great idea to bookmark them.

  20. Always something to learn, I usually tinyurl a link to make more space for customising, never knew about the envelope, duh.

  21. dalefurse says:

    I definitely needed this post when I first started and while I think I’ve learned a lot, I did not know about the url available in the envelope either. Thanks.

  22. janinecatmom says:

    This is great advice for someone who is starting to write. I’m a book blogger, not a writer, but some of your tips are useful to me too.

  23. Linda Lee says:

    “The envelope, please!” As usual, Jackie, I always learn a lot from your in-depth posts. Thanks very much! Shared. 🙂

  24. I love your nuts and bolts, get down to business approach, Jackie. I learned that “envelope” trick for Twitter from you a long time ago, along with a lot of other useful advice. Thanks!

  25. P. C. Zick says:

    Great reminders. Thank you.

  26. Mimi Barbour says:

    Great advice, Jackie. Thank you… <3

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