Transcripts

 Publishing Q&A

Transcript of Doce Blant Publishing Group Chat

15 January 2016

 

Doce Blant

WELCOME everyone to our informal discussion to chat with the EXPERTS about the publishing process.

 

We are fortunate to have a few people online with us, ready to answer questions and talk about their experience with the publishing process. Before we get started — if each of you will take a moment to introduce yourselves (if you feel comfortable doing so) that would be fabulous!

1/14, 4:03pm

Adam Scott

Hi guys my name is Adam. I’m in Longbeach CA.

1/14, 4:03pm

Cutter Slagle

Hi, everyone! I’m Cutter Slagle in San Diego.

1/14, 4:04pm

Doce Blant

Welcome Adam and Cutter!!

And Lois

1/14, 4:04pm

Gina B. Darlington

I am Gina Darlington, a writer and prospective published author I live in Flagstaff, AZ

1/14, 4:05pm

Lois Cozens

Hi from Utah, where the flurries have already begun. I’m Lois

1/14, 4:06pm

Doce Blant

So that you know a little about Cutter and Lois — Cutter Slagle is an author, published last year with Doce Blant. His novel, The Next Victim is a huge hit and we are very proud to have Cutter on board!

Lois is an acquisitions editor (meaning, she screens manuscript submissions for publication as they come in). Lois also edits, as does Mary (who will be joining us later)

1/14, 4:07pm

Lois Cozens

I’m looking forward to reading your book, Cutter.

1/14, 4:07pm

Cutter Slagle

Thanks, Lois. And thanks for the kind words, Doce.

1/14, 4:07pm

Marti Melville

Sorry I’m late!!

1/14, 4:08pm

Doce Blant

Maybe Cutter can start us out by talking about his experience being published and the difference between self-publishing (short stories) through Amazon versus publishing with a publishing company

If you don’t mind Cutter

Welcome Marti

1/14, 4:09pm

Cutter Slagle

Definitely.

1/14, 4:09pm

Doce Blant

Marti is also a published author with Doce Blant

1/14, 4:12pm

Cutter Slagle

Let’s see: I have experience with both self-publishing and now, thanks to Doce Blant, publishing with an actual company. One thing that stands out between the two is the team work. With self-publishing, in my experience, I was completely on my own. However, when working with a publishing company, I’ve been given the chance to work with and speak with others in the industry – editors, marketing gurus, etc. Furthermore, my novel, The Next Victim, is offered in more places than just Amazon.

1/14, 4:13pm

Cutter Slagle

Working with a publishing company has given me the chance to reach more people with my book.

1/14, 4:13pm

Lois Cozens

That’s definitely a bonus.

1/14, 4:13pm

Gina B. Darlington

I have two friends who have self-published, as well as my brother. It seems like marketing is the hardest thing about it. I invited them to join us, as I think their work is good and should be marketed more.

1/14, 4:13pm

Marti Melville

If I can jump in … books published through a publishing company hit a larger market

1/14, 4:14pm

Doce Blant

Marketing is a challenge for everyone — including traditionally published authors. Let me see if I can get Paul on here to talk about that, since we’re hitting that subject now

1/14, 4:14pm

Adam Scott

What kind of areas, besides Amazon, do books appear after publication?

1/14, 4:15pm

Doce Blant

And Marti is correct, the marketing is different (to answer your question, Adam) because of the way the book is made available to retailers.

1/14, 4:16pm

Doce Blant

When a book is publishing traditionally, there is distribution attached through the publisher. Baker & Taylor and Ingram are the two main distributors for books, each taking a different category of books (ie: B&T distributes to schools mainly, Ingram to retail stores like B&N, etc.)

1/14, 4:17pm

Doce Blant

The books distributed through them by a publishing house generally offer options for discount and returns that are almost mandatory for any retailer to put a book on its shelf

The options are: Discount of at least 55% and returns (for unsold books).

1/14, 4:18pm

Lois Cozens

Hasn’t Ingram been around for quite some time, now?

1/14, 4:19pm

Doce Blant

Self publishing companies do not provide these options, which is why you won’t see Create Space publishing books on major retail stores’ shelves.

Ingram and B&T have been around for a long time.

1/14, 4:21pm

Ivey Taijeron

Hello, Everyone. My name is Cristi Taijeron and I am the author of Endless Horizon Pirate Stories. I am currently self-published and I am always looking to learn more about improving the marketing and the publishing process. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say in this meeting. smile emoticon

1/14, 4:22pm

Lois Cozens

That’s definitely a plus!

1/14, 4:22pm

Doce Blant

Welcome Cristi

To continue the answer to Adam’s question —

Because B&T and Ingram have developed their relationships with major retailers for so many years, they are able to reach out to a larger number of stores for placement. Think about these distribution companies as “Agents” for the books

1/14, 4:25pm

Doce Blant

Cutter — can you elaborate on what that looks like in your experience between self and traditional publishing

1/14, 4:26pm

Adam Scott

This is great information. As a new author, I know marketing, and building a fan base is important. If you are getting ready to put out your first novel, how do you suggest going about building a fan base or following before the book comes out?

1/14, 4:26pm

Cutter Slagle

For starters, my novel published with Doce Blant is available on Barnes and Noble.com, while my self-published books are not.

I also know that my novel will be pitched to Target to see if the retail store wants to carry it.

This was never an option for my self-published books, obviously.

1/14, 4:27pm

Marti Melville

Also, in my experience, it was very difficult to get all formats published via self-publishing. Traditional provides for hardbound, Nook, Kindle, Apple readers, etc

1/14, 4:28pm

Lois Cozens

It’s great to have all of those options.

1/14, 4:28pm

Cutter Slagle

Yes, I agree, Marti.

1/14, 4:29pm

Doce Blant

To clarify — Doce Blant has its own distribution rep that presents all of our authors to major retailers, in addition to what Ingram provides in distribution (a double-whammy to the buyers).

Having Ingram behind our books with the options mentioned above allows them to stock the books on the shelves. Most retailers don’t even question that piece of it (libraries included). Of course, it all depends on what the buyers are looking for.

Does this answer your question Adam?

Paul Schreiter is our media expert and has a unique grasp on marketing. Are you online and able to give us your input, Paul?

1/14, 4:34pm

Marti Melville

I think that when we (as authors) remember that we are building a brand, it makes a difference in how to look at marketing.

1/14, 4:35pm

Gina B. Darlington

You mentioned that a blog was important when we met in October to assist with marketing.

1/14, 4:36pm

Marti Melville

Yes. Paul knows more about this than I do. Cutter has nailed it writing blogs

1/14, 4:36pm

Doce Blant

Cutter – tell us what you learned about blogging, if you wouldn’t mind

1/14, 4:36pm

Lois Cozens

I’ve read some and really enjoyed them.

1/14, 4:37pm

Cutter Slagle

At first I was against blog writing, but I’ve found it to be fun and helpful. When blogging about trending topics, you blog posts can (hopefully) reach a wider audience. An audience that maybe wouldn’t be looking for your novel.

1/14, 4:37pm

Adam Scott

Sorry stepped away for a sec. Yes that is great information! Very excited!

1/14, 4:38pm

Gina B. Darlington

Do you try to focus on your “genre” in your blog, or use it to write about other things?

1/14, 4:38pm

Doce Blant

With Paul’s permission, we’ll share what he’s told the authors in his interviews. Mainly that the key is to find trending words for that day or week and write a blog around those.

1/14, 4:38pm

Lois Cozens

You’re welcome! Blogging has intimidated me so far.

1/14, 4:38pm

Cutter Slagle

For example, I blogged on Monday about Kim Kardashian. I can’t stand her, but her name was trending. I connected her name to my book (something about if the book was turned into a movie would it star Kim K) and then posted it on social media and tagged her.

1/14, 4:39pm

Doce Blant

Paul’s words: “Take three main trending words and write a story about them that includes your book’s genre.” Cutter has this process perfected!

1/14, 4:39pm

Adam Scott

I have been blogging for years at the request of my author and friend Jon Scalzi…He has also had a blog for years and has built a huge following posting about books, politics, crazy cat pictures, and general musing throughout the day.

1/14, 4:39pm

Doce Blant

Cutter, where do you find your trending phrases?

1/14, 4:40pm

Doce Blant

Paul’s advice can rank you in Google searches. We offer a free 1 hr consult for each of our authors

1/14, 4:40pm

Cutter Slagle

I don’t blog in my genre. My fiction genre is murder mystery, suspense, etc. My blog writing is very real – when you read my blogs you get a sense of who I am. I’m blogging as me. To find trending words, I just google “Google Trends” and then find three or four words or phrases that I can easily connect to the title of my novel.

1/14, 4:40pm

Adam Scott

http://whatever.scalzi.com/

Whatever – PROBABLY JUST MADE OF BUGS

My Arisia Schedule January 11, 2016 John Scalzi14 Comments My first science fiction convention of the year is this weekend: Arisia, at which I am the author Guest of Honor. Wheee! Here are the panels I’ll be on and the events I’ll be doing. Friday: 8:30pm: The Future of Mars – Literature, Panel – 1…

whatever.scalzi.com

1/14, 4:41pm

Marti Melville

So true! I out-ranked Johnny Depp in a “Johnny Depp” search once because of the keywords I used in my blog

1/14, 4:42pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Ahoy Mates

1/14, 4:42pm

Doce Blant

SMART of you Cutter because CUTTER SLAGLE is your brand! That’s exactly what you want to brand, not “Murder-Mystery” (what if you decide to write romance one day?)

Christi — do you blog?

Cristi – apologies for incorrectly spelling your name

Barnacle – we’re talking about marketing and blogs. Tell us about your recent experience marketing your book at Barnes & Noble!!

1/14, 4:45pm

Ivey Taijeron

I use “blog” on my facebook author page. I use it to share information about my current projects, to announce upcoming releases and events, and also share tidbits of pirate history. I also have a pirate historian who occasionally posts for me.. I love when he does that.

1/14, 4:45pm

Doce Blant

Do you have a website as well?

1/14, 4:46pm

Ivey Taijeron

I have thought about doing a traditional blog, but I am so successful on FB that I have not taken the time to devote my time elsewhere yet.

1/14, 4:47pm

Doce Blant

Barnacle – we’re talking about marketing and blogs. Tell us about your recent experience marketing your book at Barnes & Noble!!

Congratulations! You should be very proud, Cristi!

Barnacle is also a pirate author — in case you couldn’t tell!

1/14, 4:47pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I just went in and spoke with the manager trying to sell my character and myself

1/14, 4:48pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

They were all on board with the Pirate theme that they decided to dedicate an entire signing to me

1/14, 4:48pm

Doce Blant

(there’s more to his story)

1/14, 4:49pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I should’ve been in my Pirate attire, would’ve had more of an impact I believe

1/14, 4:50pm

Doce Blant

Tell them about your follow up phone call from the B&N manager!

1/14, 4:50pm

Lois Cozens

Have you had the signing yet, Bill?

1/14, 4:51pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Yes, they called me on the phone just last week saying that they had taken a managers meeting about me. Want to give me the star treatment, even spoke of bringing in local schools for the event

1/14, 4:51pm

Jaye Helm

Hello everyone! Stowaway Jaye here.

1/14, 4:52pm

Doce Blant

The very cool thing about Barnacle’s experience that isn’t easily recognized, is that he had all of the pieces in place when he approached B&N (ahead of our distribution rep) so that when the B&N manager vetted him (which I can guarantee they did), they could see he had the proper publication and distribution to put his book on their shelves.

1/14, 4:53pm

Gina B. Darlington

Ivey, tell me more about your Facebook “blog.” Is that similar to what Anne Lamot does?

1/14, 4:53pm

Doce Blant

That’s exactly what they will do with his book signing and specifically told Barnacle NOT to bring books.

Congratulations, BB! That’s a perfect example of the difference between traditional distribution and the struggles that self-published authors go through

1/14, 4:54pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Before when I was an independent publisher with my 1st book it was way more difficult! They wouldn’t have given me the time of day!

1/14, 4:55pm

Doce Blant

That’s been the experience of most authors. The sell sheet Barnacle walked in with gave the manager the information B&N needed to know they could take the discount and return policy required to stock books.

That … and Barnacle’s dynamic brand (and sweet personality) is what sealed the deal for him.

1/14, 4:55pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Some grand tif between Amazon and retail book stores

1/14, 4:56pm

Doce Blant

We’re talking about Barnacle’s experience with B&N. You know first hand how it works for marketing and distribution. Can you share a little of your experience with this

1/14, 4:56pm

Ivey Taijeron

Hey, Gina. I’d love to talk to you more about my facebook blog. Here is the link if you want to check it out and message me if you want more info  https://www.facebook.com/EndlessHorizonPirateStories

1/14, 4:57pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Yes, the manager of B&N was a lady…so I winked a lot! I gave her my best smolder! wink emoticon

1/14, 4:57pm

Doce Blant

Cutter — you have experience with smaller retail stores and with your local library, don’t you?

1/14, 4:59pm

Cutter Slagle

Yep, I’m here.

Sorry, missed your question.

For me, the local libraries and stores ( in Ohio, where I’m from) it was just as simple as calling and introducing myself and my book.

1/14, 5:00pm

Doce Blant

Just curious what your experience has been with retailers and book signings

1/14, 5:01pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

ya small independent book stores especially in our home towns seemed to be more welcoming.

1/14, 5:01pm

Cutter Slagle

Just being personable and describing my book.

I agree, Shelby.

1/14, 5:01pm

Ivey Taijeron

That’s what I need to try, Shelby.

1/14, 5:01pm

Marti Melville

I was called by a store on Catalina Island. They’d orders my books and just wanted me to come sign. It was nice to have everything taken care of in advance

1/14, 5:02pm

Doce Blant

It makes a difference to have books already in a store waiting for you.

1/14, 5:02pm

Lois Cozens

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing!

1/14, 5:02pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Marti said something good to me the other day. She said,” Remember you are doing the bookstores a favor too by being there.”

1/14, 5:03pm

Lois Cozens

It draws a crowd

1/14, 5:04pm

Doce Blant

Marti is correct. YOU are the brand and the stores NEED your brand to make money. As the author, you’re the commodity that will help put money in their cash register!

1/14, 5:04pm

Doce Blant

Have all of the questions regarding marketing been answered?

Paul – do you want to add anything here?

1/14, 5:06pm

Lois Cozens

I have a blog question still

1/14, 5:08pm

Doce Blant

Lois — what is your question about blogging? I’m about to turn it over to you to talk about acquisition editing and ms screening.

1/14, 5:09pm

Lois Cozens

There are so many blog sites, how do you choose one, and what do you blog about? Seems simple but I’m a little lost with all of the sites available

1/14, 5:09pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Cutter is the blogging King!!!!!!

1/14, 5:09pm

Lois Cozens

Yes!

1/14, 5:09pm

Cutter Slagle

Haha thank you!

1/14, 5:10pm

Marti Melville

Cutter has blogging mastered!

1/14, 5:10pm

Lois Cozens

Adam as well, if he’s still here

So to make it simple, how did you choose your site?

1/14, 5:10pm

Cutter Slagle

I really don’t do anything special. I use word press. I just find those trending words and connect them to my novel. My blogs are all kind of silly and don’t really offer much, but I think those trending words really help.

1/14, 5:10pm

Adam Scott

I highly recommend WordPress. It’s easy to use, and allows very simple customization. I’ve been blogging since 2009 and have used both blogger and WordPress and I go with WordPress everytime!

1/14, 5:11pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Barnacle blogs on his main website

1/14, 5:11pm

Cutter Slagle

I agree, Adam. I like WordPress.

1/14, 5:11pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

good info Adam

1/14, 5:11pm

Lois Cozens

Thanks, guys.

1/14, 5:11pm

Adam Scott

If anyone needs help setting up a WordPress site I’ve done it dozens of times and am happy to offer help where needed

1/14, 5:11pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

thx

1/14, 5:12pm

Adam Scott

I actually just set up one for a client yesterday

1/14, 5:12pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I use google trends. Gives you the latest lowdown of names and events

1/14, 5:12pm

Lois Cozens

I’ll be in touch, and thanks, all good advice!

1/14, 5:13pm

Doce Blant

Lois is an acquisitions editor and line editor. She has some great experience screening manuscripts submitted for publication (it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it). Lois is also an author.

Lois — talk to us about what you look for when screening submissions

1/14, 5:14pm

Lois Cozens

Glad to be here.

1/14, 5:14pm

Adam Scott

Lois is amazing everyone!

1/14, 5:14pm

Lois Cozens

First of all, I LOVE screening and editing!

Aw thx!

1/14, 5:15pm

Marti Melville

She’s an amazing writer as well. I’ve had a sneak-peek at one of her manuscripts

1/14, 5:16pm

Lois Cozens

Reading what someone has written, regardless of ability, is fascinating to me. It’s like a peek inside the way their minds work and how they think.

1/14, 5:16pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Question Anyone have an opinion on the importance of book trailers, videos?

because I’m getting ready to shoot #2…anybody wanna be a Pirate! lol

1/14, 5:17pm

Doce Blant

HUGELY important. According to what Paul advised us this week, Google isn’t the only one ranking with video clips — FB is too! Your book trailer as a video will throw your brand in front of many more people!

1/14, 5:18pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

I feel like if the book trailer is done well it’s more exposure.

1/14, 5:18pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I believe in today’s market a good visual impact is important

1/14, 5:18pm

Lois Cozens

Absolutely!

1/14, 5:19pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

yes we live in a visual world

1/14, 5:19pm

Doce Blant

Welcome Tamara!

1/14, 5:20pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Not much to the imagination anymore , so if the book trailer doesn’t tell to much and leave some to the imagination……..

1/14, 5:20pm

Doce Blant

Tamara does layout for books

1/14, 5:20pm

Tamara Cribley

Thanks! Glad to join in.

1/14, 5:20pm

Doce Blant

Questions about acquisitions, editing, and layout?

1/14, 5:22pm

Lois Cozens

When screening, I would add that I look for a good flow as well as development of characters

1/14, 5:22pm

Doce Blant

Tamara — you’ll recognize many of those on this discussion. A few others are considering publishing and looking to gather information. Gina is a writer, Adam is a writer, Cristi is a published writer (not with DBP frown emoticon )

1/14, 5:22pm

Tamara Cribley

Hi Bill, I hear you were able to get some signings lined up. The book looks fantastic. Fiona did an incredible job with the cover. I think it will do really well.

1/14, 5:22pm

Tamara Cribley

Great to meet you all. I’m a total formatting junkie, so if you have any questions about print or ebook design, let me know!

1/14, 5:22pm

Gina B. Darlington

I have a question about submitting material. Can you submit a sample of the book or do you need the entire book finished?

1/14, 5:24pm

Doce Blant

Doce Blant’s policy is a short synopsis of the book in the submission letter with an attachment that includes the first 50 pages.

What are your thoughts on this Lois?

Formatting questions? This is critical for those who have different sized books (affects page count) and those with images (how-to and children’s)

1/14, 5:25pm

Lois Cozens

Usually I can get a great feel within those 50 pages. However, sometimes if the story has great potential but isn’t quite developed yet, I’ll request more to get a fair idea.

1/14, 5:26pm

Marti Melville

Is that true for kids’ books too, Lois?

1/14, 5:27pm

Lois Cozens

Kids books are usually shorter and need to hook the young reader sooner

1/14, 5:28pm

Doce Blant

Any questions about formatting?

1/14, 5:29pm

Marti Melville

I have one. I always tell people to send their manuscripts in Word, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc. Is this necessary for layout?

1/14, 5:29pm

Tamara Cribley

Formatting is one of those elements of the process that’s really easy to overlook because when it’s done properly, you don’t notice it. It’s when you’ve created disruptions for the reader that t really stands out.

1/14, 5:30pm

Lois Cozens

I can certainly appreciate that, Tamara

1/14, 5:30pm

Doce Blant

Very true. Many times, authors themselves don’t notice errors until the book is in layout! Fortunately, Tamara is very skilled at catching those.

1/14, 5:30pm

Tamara Cribley

What’s most important is consistency, at least for my process. I will take the word doc and then apply styles and reformat as needed, but if the manuscript that’s submitted has a variety of style and formatting already applied, it can be very difficult for me to know what you as the author intended.

1/14, 5:32pm

Marti Melville

So is it best to have no formatting in an ms that comes to you?

1/14, 5:35pm

Tamara Cribley

Not necessarily, Marti. But you do want to keep it simple. One style for headlines, one for chapter breaks, one for epigraphs, etc. You do want to avoid any heavy styling such as Small Caps or Drop Caps. Word adds some really funky back end stuff that can be difficult to over come in the formatting process, so the simpler the better in the manuscript. We can add all the visual extras in the design process.

1/14, 5:36pm

Doce Blant

Great question.

1/14, 5:36pm

Marti Melville

What about headers and footers?

1/14, 5:37pm

Tamara Cribley

Headers and footer don’t carry over to the software that I, and most designers, use. So while it’s okay to include them and they won’t cause any problems, they’ll need to be “rebuilt in the formatting software.

1/14, 5:37pm

Tamara Cribley

If you’re working with headers and footers in Word, it’s really difficult to get everything to align properly or as you intend it to, unless you just stick with centered text.

1/14, 5:39pm

Doce Blant

Good to know. No headers or footers in manuscripts that are going to layout.

1/14, 5:39pm

Lois Cozens

What do you recommend working with, Tamara?

1/14, 5:39pm

Tamara Cribley

Word is definitely okay. It’s the best software for the editing process and as designers, it’s the integration we’re most familiar with.

1/14, 5:41pm

Marti Melville

What about margins and justifying versus left alignment for text?

1/14, 5:41pm

Tamara Cribley

If you want to tackle design, I use InDesign. It’s a bit intense if you’re not familiar with it, so I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. Formatting for publication can be done in word, but it can be a bit cumbersome. The biggest problem I have had with Word is that it doesn’t always export a proper PDF.

1/14, 5:41pm

Doce Blant

InDesign is a buggar for newbies (did we just say that?)

1/14, 5:41pm

Tamara Cribley

I have seen some really impressive formatting done in Word, so it’s very possible.

1/14, 5:42pm

Doce Blant

Tamara is a pro and so pleasant to work with

1/14, 5:42pm

Cindy Wade

As someone who is still in the beginning stages of writing, this all seems very complicated. Overwhelming. Lol.

1/14, 5:43pm

Tamara Cribley

Thanks Doce, I’ve had so much fun working on the last few Books, Especially Barnacle Bill. The images are so fantastic! True Pirates!

1/14, 5:43pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

ya it does for me too….. over my head Cindy

1/14, 5:43pm

Cindy Wade

If I just write and submit my book. What happens?

Thanks Shelby. I feel kind of dumb.

1/14, 5:43pm

Tamara Cribley

Cindy, It is really overwhelming. The publishing process is secondary to the writing process, but equally as important. It’s easiest to focus on one at a time.

1/14, 5:44pm

Doce Blant

That’s why it’s so nice to have a publisher do all of this for you! You write everything and we do the work

Or at least we pass it off to people like Tamara who does all the work!

1/14, 5:44pm

Mary Harris

Hi, Marti! Finally here! And I love hearing Tamara talk about her work!

1/14, 5:45pm

Doce Blant

Our advice: Focus on writing the very best that you can and let us do the rest!!

1/14, 5:45pm

Tamara Cribley

Doce has a really incredible team of professionals who handle all of the publishing process. It really does allow you to focus on being an author.

1/14, 5:45pm

Doce Blant

Mary is our editor. She’s amazing and has worked on several of our projects. Welcome Mary!

1/14, 5:45pm

1/14, 5:45pm

Doce Blant

Thank you Tamara. I couldn’t agree more!

We’ll take good care of you, Cindy!

If any of you have questions about editing, please ask Mary.

1/14, 5:46pm

Mary Harris

Thank you, Marti! I’d like to respond to one of the authors who was really nervous about headers and stuff. As Tamara pointed out, it won’t carry over but I prefer to edit *without* all those things on the page! Write your story!

1/14, 5:47pm

Marti Melville

Is it easier to edit in Word, double-paced, and with 1″ margins?

1/14, 5:48pm

Mary Harris

Fiona is a genius, just like Tamara!

1/14, 5:48pm

Lois Cozens

I’d like to know that, too, Marti!

1/14, 5:48pm

Doce Blant

Fiona designed all of our author’s covers, except Cutter’s. He is blessed to have an incredibly talented family member design his (an we LOVE it!)

1/14, 5:49pm

Mary Harris

I prefer to see the Word doc with the 1″ margins, 8×11 page size, 1.5 line spacing. But that’s me. Industry standard is 2.0 line spacing, Times New Roman.

1/14, 5:49pm

Doce Blant

That’s what we ask for with submitted manuscripts (only we ask for double-spacing)

1/14, 5:49pm

Cindy Wade

Cutter, I’ve never read your books. But how in detail do you get with Gore? And what about what some people call proclaim language?

Profane

I hate auto correct.

1/14, 5:51pm

Cutter Slagle

Hi, Cindy – When it comes to gore, it don’t get into too much detail. In fact, most of my killings happen off stage. Sometimes less is more frightening – let the reader picture it for themselves. As for language, I use language. I’m not afraid to use the “F” word. wink emoticon

1/14, 5:52pm

Lois Cozens

I love that idea, Cutter!

1/14, 5:52pm

Cindy Wade

Ok. I’m pretty intense and wasn’t sure about language.

1/14, 5:52pm

Tamara Cribley

BalluHuHu is really charming. So great to hear that it’s being considered for the reading list!

1/14, 5:52pm

Marti Melville

I write mild gore for the Pirate’s (when limbs get cut off) but I focus on the story and only add what helps to advance the plot. No gore for gore’s sake.

1/14, 5:53pm

Cutter Slagle

I like to think of my writing as more psychological suspense versus horror – so not too much gore, though there is killings and murder. As for language, it doesn’t phase me.

I agree, Marti.

1/14, 5:53pm

Tamara Cribley

Cindy, the big thing to remember is how your target audience will receive it. I’ve done a lot of work with Erotic Romance… it’s not for everyone and would offend many groups, but for the right audience, it’s totally appropriate.

1/14, 5:53pm

Cutter Slagle

If gore is necessary or helps move the story forward, then use it. Don’t use it for shock value. Same with language.

1/14, 5:54pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

listening to you guys make me want to write

1/14, 5:54pm

Lois Cozens

Sounds like Hitchcock. All about tension and suspense!

1/14, 5:55pm

Doce Blant

This is the reason we have genre delineations. As an author, focus on the story and we’ll help you place it into the proper genre. Tamara is correct, not every story is for every reader (pirate novels included

😛

1/14, 5:55pm

Mary Harris

And like Hitchcock, a shortened timeline heightens suspense as well. If someone has to do something in a short amount of time, the tension can be incredible!

1/14, 5:55pm

Cindy Wade

My stories are based on very gruesome things that happened where I worked. The atrocities I witnessed have actually given me P.T.S.D. and writing is helping me.

1/14, 5:56pm

Lois Cozens

Good for that then, Cindy.

1/14, 5:56pm

Doce Blant

That’s a great point, Mary!

1/14, 5:56pm

Mary Harris

Cindy, people who write and journal “get it out” and it can be disturbing for others to read, but it’s extremely helpful if someone is in a similar situation. They don’t feel so alone. Good for you! heart emoticon

1/14, 5:56pm

Doce Blant

Mary is a content editor — her advice for advancing plots is invaluable!

1/14, 5:57pm

Mary Harris

Thank you, Marti. My only task is to make the story the best it can be!

1/14, 5:57pm

Lois Cozens

Yes, Doce, I agree. I have ideas already

Thank you Mary!

1/14, 5:58pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Great info Mary indeed

1/14, 5:58pm

Tamara Cribley

I second that, Doce! Mary is also has a great deal of experience editing non-fiction books that deal with real-life, personal challenges.

1/14, 5:58pm

Doce Blant

Cutter – when you write your stories, do you plan out the plot or the “how” of the murder? How do you do it to keep the mystery moving forward and still have nail-biting twists (which is the comments we receive from your readers)

1/14, 5:59pm

Mary Harris

One of Tamara’s unique gifts is to break up the story into sections and chapters so that tension and “readability” are heightened, sometimes by the use of symbols and icons. She’s so inventive!

1/14, 5:59pm

Cindy Wade

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure that writing about such things and publishing them is okay.

What does Tamara write?

1/14, 6:00pm

Doce Blant

Absolutely! People need to hear what is happening and others need to know they’re not alone in their own struggles

1/14, 6:00pm

Tamara Cribley

Thanks Mary. That’s a good point, subtle visual indicators can really help move a story along.

1/14, 6:00pm

Mary Harris

Dear Cindy, Tamara is our formatter. She’s the one who makes the book beautiful inside!

1/14, 6:01pm

Cindy Wade

Thank you Doce

1/14, 6:01pm

Cutter Slagle

I don’t plan too much – I usually have the overall plot: how the murders are going to happen and why (the killer’s motive), but beyond that, I just kind of write and see where the story takes me. When writing, I like to try and surprise myself. I have certain plot points I want to it, but I don’t have the whole novel planned out.

1/14, 6:01pm

Tamara Cribley

Yep, I’m exclusively a designer. Okay, I’m a reader too

1/14, 6:01pm

Mary Harris

Dear Cutter, do you do a timeline, even if it’s kinda vague?

1/14, 6:01pm

Marti Melville

I write the same way, Cutter. The story writes itself

1/14, 6:02pm

Doce Blant

Compendiums are invaluable (and can be published, FYI)

1/14, 6:02pm

Lois Cozens

I agree…. General idea and conclusion and what can occur as the story moves

1/14, 6:02pm

Cutter Slagle

I would say I use a vague timeline, at best.

Just depends on the story.

1/14, 6:03pm

Doce Blant

Cristi — how do you do your writing? Because you write historically, do you use a timeline?

1/14, 6:03pm

Cindy Wade

Are timelines important?

1/14, 6:04pm

Marti Melville

I thought I was finished after 1st book…but no! Three more followed because the characters had more to tell

1/14, 6:04pm

Mary Harris

I do think a timeline works to the author’s advantage. Getting to Wednesday without ever living through Tuesday will create problems. And your readers and reviewers will let you know about it!

1/14, 6:05pm

Cutter Slagle

Personally, I think the timeline depends on the story. I would imagine that for some stories a timeline is a character itself.

1/14, 6:05pm

Cindy Wade

Mine are dreams and flashbacks. So a timeline would be hard for me.

1/14, 6:06pm

Cutter Slagle

For The Next Victim, a detailed timeline wasn’t necessary.

1/14, 6:06pm

Cindy Wade

I definitely need to read it. Does anyone else here write about true events?

1/14, 6:07pm

Doce Blant

Good point, Cutter. How do writers best deal with time-breaks or jumping forward (or backward – say in time travel) and still keep the story flow tight

1/14, 6:07pm

Cindy Wade

Marti is great at that.

1/14, 6:07pm

Doce Blant

That was for Mary or anyone who has experience with writing in time-jumps

We have several authors who have written auto-biographies

1/14, 6:08pm

Lois Cozens

I think all stories have elements of truth if not actual events guised as fiction.

1/14, 6:08pm

Mary Harris

I find that dreams and jumps in time are probably the stories that need a timeline the most. Think “Memento.” No way Christopher could have written that screenplay without knowing what events happened when.

1/14, 6:09pm

Marti Melville

I had an editor suggest breaking my time travel jumps into parts: Part 1, Part 2.

1/14, 6:10pm

Tamara Cribley

Keep in mind that when you get into unusual timelines, it can be difficult for a reader to make that leap with you. Sometimes you will need a visual indicator to help readers follow you.

1/14, 6:11pm

Doce Blant

Like an image? Barnacle — you did that with your book.

1/14, 6:13pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I love using images to lead but not to overpower one’s own imagination.

1/14, 6:13pm

Lois Cozens

Tamara, what types of visual indicators would you suggest? A personal item? Or a place?

1/14, 6:13pm

Tamara Cribley

Sometimes an image, or sometimes a unique text treatment. I’ve recently worked on book where they author wanted to use a different graphic to start each each scene where a different character was the feature.

1/14, 6:14pm

Lois Cozens

That would be interesting.

1/14, 6:14pm

Marti Melville

That would have helped me stay on track in Game of Thrones

1/14, 6:15pm

Cindy Wade

With dreams and memories or flashbacks they don’t go in order of events. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Doce has their work cut out with me.

1/14, 6:15pm

Tamara Cribley

Lois, I like to keep graphics simple, either a non-specific flourish type graphic for a traditional scene break, or something more specific to the book.

But regardless, simplicity is key. It should b subtle and not distract from the content of the story.

1/14, 6:15pm

Doce Blant

Which brings up a good point – is a certain genre better for images than others when trying to separate time jumps?

1/14, 6:16pm

Lois Cozens

And Cindy, you may want to compile the events first, then structure them into a sequence.

1/14, 6:17pm

Tamara Cribley

I’m not sure that one genre is better for graphics than another, but you want to keep the graphics appropriate to it. I wouldn’t use a very angular icon in a historic romance, for example.

1/14, 6:17pm

Doce Blant

Mary — from a content editor’s perspective, is there a better or best way to separate time jumps or scene changes in the text?

1/14, 6:18pm

Mary Harris

As I edit, I’m happy with asterisks. I know the author will work with Tamara to fancy it up a bit, but a simple break to start with is best.

1/14, 6:18pm

Doce Blant

What about a book like Cutter’s. Typically, we don’t use icons or graphics in novels like his. Do you see that happening more nowadays?

1/14, 6:19pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

So Cindy can you tell me more about your story? curious

1/14, 6:19pm

Cindy Wade

How does writing about real people and events work legally? Do you have to change names?

1/14, 6:20pm

Doce Blant

Yes, unless you have written permission to use their name in a book. It is illegal

1/14, 6:20pm

Mary Harris

It depends. What a typical legal answer! But if you’re writing about a current celebrity, I would urge avoiding the exact name and detailed description. If you’re writing about Jean Harlow, I think you’re good!

1/14, 6:20pm

Cindy Wade

Marti, is it ok to talk about what happened?

1/14, 6:21pm

Marti Melville

I’d say yes

1/14, 6:23pm

Lois Cozens

Cindy, are you fictionalizing it?

1/14, 6:25pm

Cindy Wade

I worked at the humane society and witnessed things you can’t imagine. Torture for fun. When I went to police with tons of evidence I was told I was too sensitive and I was fired. I live in a small town and the good old boys covered each others backs. I took it to a lawyer abd was basically told to leave it alone.

1/14, 6:25pm

Doce Blant

We have a media attorney that we consult with about this very topic. The law is dependent on the situation. However, the advice we’ve been given is to opt for a conservative approach and get written permission to use anything about another living person (including quotes). A great resource is here: http://www.ibpa-online.org/resources/ask-the-experts/ibpas-ask-the-experts-publishing-law/

Legal Questions Answered by Publishing Experts

IBPA’s “Ask the Expert” answers member questions about publishing law. Experts cover copyright, libel, and choosing the right disclaimer.

ibpa-online.org

1/14, 6:26pm

Mary Harris

Excellent resource!

1/14, 6:26pm

Cindy Wade

I’m writing about real people and their horrific deeds, Lois.

1/14, 6:27pm

Lois Cozens

Will this stay active so we can access these links later?

1/14, 6:27pm

Doce Blant

IBPA stands for Independent Book Publishers Association. Doce Blant is a member. Our attorney is a media specialist and is amazing! Our advice is to just fictionalize anything in question.

1/14, 6:27pm

Mary Harris

Real people and real deeds are not that difficult to fictionalize.

1/14, 6:27pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Sorry to hear Cindy, I can’t believe the atrocities of some human beings.

1/14, 6:27pm

Doce Blant

If not, we’ll send it to you

The American Association of Publishers (AAP) also has very good resources.

1/14, 6:28pm

Cindy Wade

Yes Bill. People are cruel and disgusting.

1/14, 6:29pm

Lois Cozens

Yes, I understand, so I’m trying to say that if you fictionalize these horrific things, it will not be a legal issue.

1/14, 6:29pm

Doce Blant

Written stories about atrocities make for public awareness and that creates change (look at the Sea Shepherds)

1/14, 6:30pm

Cindy Wade

But if they really happened how are they fictional?

1/14, 6:30pm

Tamara Cribley

I have to head out for the evening, but I’ve enjoyed chatting with you all. If you have any questions about formatting or book design, you can get a hold of me through Doce Blant, or my website: www.deliberatepage.com. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Have a wonderful evening!

1/14, 6:30pm

Lois Cozens

Make it into a story, like most boôks or movies you see

1/14, 6:30pm

Marti Melville

write the events and change the names, gender, ages, appearances, locations of those involved

1/14, 6:31pm

Mary Harris

Along with Lois and Marti’s advice, making it into a story, with a bad guy, and a hero, and a happy ending, is fictionalizing it.

1/14, 6:35pm

Cindy Wade

I was hoping to use police reports I made as well as pictures, polygraph results, handwriting analysis from an FBI specialist. How could I do that?

1/14, 6:35pm

Lois Cozens

Cindy, does this help? I can only imagine how horrible that was.

The heroine could be the one to do those things

1/14, 6:35pm

Mary Harris

If you created it, I believe you can use it. The FBI material, you would need to obtain specific written permission

1/14, 6:36pm

Lois Cozens

Personally speaking, I would be afraid of backlash

1/14, 6:37pm

Doce Blant

You’ll need to get those documents released to you with a legal document stating you have permission to publish that information in a book (that you intend to make public).

It’s likely going to be next to impossible. I would highly recommend just describing the situation in a fictionalized story

1/14, 6:38pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Greetings from SA …Doce Blant – trust you are well. Great to meet online.

1/14, 6:38pm

Doce Blant

Fiction is powerful.

Hello Dale!!

1/14, 6:38pm

Marti Melville

Hi Dale!!

Dale is a marketing dynamo in So Africa

1/14, 6:39pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Hi there- great to chat. Please explain to me the process of writing a draft to publication?

1/14, 6:40pm

Doce Blant

Dale – many of our authors are on this discussion. You will recognize their names from their books.

1/14, 6:41pm

Doce Blant

Cindy – we can talk in depth about this if you’d like to

1/14, 6:41pm

Cindy Wade

Thanks Doce, that’s probably best.

1/14, 6:42pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Hi Cutter! Great to chat. I’m trying to get your books out here in our book stores –they’re awesome!

1/14, 6:42pm

Doce Blant

Dale – do you need the sell-sheets for the books? They are all internationally distributed

1/14, 6:43pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Hi Marti – we meet again. I love promoting all your books. I’d have a store for each of all the authors here.

Yes please! Sell sheets a definite.

Hi Barnacle Bill- your books are my next mission!

1/14, 6:44pm

Doce Blant

PM your email address and I’ll send them all as attachments. Can you print them where you are? We use Costco here. I’m not sure how to support you with that process best.

1/14, 6:46pm

Doce Blant

Done! These will come to you via email as attachments (maybe a couple of emails because there are a few sell-sheets to attach). I’ll include information for distribution as well.

Thank you!!

1/14, 6:48pm

Doce Blant

Does anyone have any questions for Dale — about the market and books in Africa?

1/14, 6:49pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

I actually need to forward you my “baby” manuscript one day. I’m attempting to write guys and girls.

1/14, 6:49pm

Doce Blant

Cutter’s and Deanna’s books are coming out in paperback in Feb. Joel’s will be in ePub and Hardbound by the end of the month. AND…we’ll have a new release within the next 6 weeks.

1/14, 6:49pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Exclusive books would be awesome to launch your books -all of you – I’m waiting to hear from their buyer.

1/14, 6:50pm

Doce Blant

YES! Love to read your ms!

1/14, 6:50pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Cool. I’ll be looking out for the books.

1/14, 6:51pm

Doce Blant

Ivey is a pirate writer although she isn’t published with Doce Blant. She is very talented from what we can tell!

1/14, 6:51pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Well Ill have to finish it first – getting there!

1/14, 6:51pm

Gina B. Darlington

I’m back and have caught up on the conversation so far.

1/14, 6:51pm

Doce Blant

Dale – Gina is a writer working on her ms

Welcome back, Gina

1/14, 6:52pm

Gina B. Darlington

Thanks. I’m getting so inspired listening/reading all your comments.

1/14, 6:53pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Well you are all nicely placed under an umbrella of Doce Blant which is great!

1/14, 6:53pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Cuttler – you write thrillers?

1/14, 6:53pm

Ivey Taijeron

Aw, thanks for the compliments. Doce Blant has a fine bunch of authors, as well.

1/14, 6:54pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

When is your next book

1/14, 6:54pm

Cutter Slagle

Yep, murder mystery, thrillers.

1/14, 6:54pm

Doce Blant

Most of our authors don’t write “pirate”

1/14, 6:54pm

Cutter Slagle

Hopefully, this summer. Working on it now. I need to just sit down and write it!

1/14, 6:56pm

Doce Blant

Guess who just joined the group! Kaycee — our Consultant Specialist is here!

1/14, 6:56pm

Doce Blant

Kaycee is the advisor, “go-to” person for most of the authors on here.

1/14, 6:56pm

Ivey Taijeron

Hi, Kaycee

Cool spelling

1/14, 6:56pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Thanks

1/14, 6:56pm

Ivey Taijeron

Every author needs a good advisor smile emoticon

1/14, 6:56pm

Doce Blant

She is invaluable to assisting the authors with everything they’re doing post-publication (a personal assistant, as-it-were)

We don’t know what we’d do without her.

Do you have any thoughts going into 2016 for the authors, Kaycee?

By-the-way, Kaycee didn’t guess “who did it” Cutter. You left her hanging! Good job!!

1/14, 6:59pm

Cutter Slagle

Haha! Awesome! Love hearing that! Hi, Kaycee!

1/14, 6:59pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

I thought I had it too! I was very surprised.

1/14, 7:00pm

Doce Blant

Dale – is there anything the authors (or we) can do to support your promoting in So. Africa? Do images, quotes, photos, videos, etc. help? What is the best for marketing there?

1/14, 7:02pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

What I have done is contact two bookstores. Their buyers are taking asin forever but as soon as I throttle them – which should be this week …. I can give you all the info and we can take it ffrom there.

1/14, 7:03pm

Doce Blant

Is FB a good connection social-media wise? Or does Twitter, Instgram, Google+ , etc seem stronger where you are?

1/14, 7:04pm

Adam Scott

Go for Instagram….FB is almost impossible without paying for it!

1/14, 7:04pm

Adam Scott

Trust me….I built a FB page from Zero to over 10000 fans and it was a pain in the ass.

1/14, 7:05pm

Doce Blant

What do you think about Twitter, Adam?

1/14, 7:05pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

As you can see my FB is dedicated to promoting and I have convinced quite a few converts or convicts – in your case Cutter

1/14, 7:06pm

Adam Scott

Twitter is good for a personal brand but not as a business

1/14, 7:06pm

Doce Blant

Personal branding is what authors do.

1/14, 7:06pm

Doce Blant

Do you disagree that Twitter works for authors?

1/14, 7:06pm

Adam Scott

Everyone should read the books put out by Gary V. He has incredible insight to social media and is the best on the biz.

1/14, 7:06pm

Doce Blant

JK Rowling is heavy on there — as are several other authors.

1/14, 7:06pm

Ivey Taijeron

I don’t like twitter. I always have too much to say for the limited character count. Any tips on making good use of it?

1/14, 7:07pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

I think Twitter is for world news and gripes not …. promotions

1/14, 7:07pm

Adam Scott

Yes it’s great for getting to know an author but you should only post one “book” promotion every three days or so

1/14, 7:07pm

Doce Blant

Does Instagram promote authors better, in your opinion?

1/14, 7:07pm

Lois Cozens

I dislike Twitter, as well

1/14, 7:07pm

Ivey Taijeron

I like instagram.

1/14, 7:07pm

Adam Scott

Yes we live in a visual world.

Everyone likes pictures

1/14, 7:07pm

Ivey Taijeron

I share screen shots of pages from my ebooks

1/14, 7:08pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

but i dont really get twitter and instagram

1/14, 7:08pm

Adam Scott

Plus it’s easier to tag search and be discovered

1/14, 7:08pm

Doce Blant

It’s about what SELLS brands. Think of this as $

1/14, 7:08pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

I think FB is where everyone socializes and have found it to be user friendly – far more than any other social platform at present

1/14, 7:09pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

I think Marti did an excellent job with her excerpts on FB – people loved them

1/14, 7:10pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

So I guess it is best to use all of the social medias if possible.

1/14, 7:10pm

Doce Blant

For those who need help with social media (including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, FB, Google+, etc.), please, PLEASE schedule a meeting with Paul.

Kaycee is a great resource as well. We can help tutor you and support what you want to do there

1/14, 7:10pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Facebook is great of course, but it is easier to reach new faces on other platforms.

1/14, 7:10pm

Ivey Taijeron

My only complaint is not being able to add web links to the description. You have to hope they care to go to your profile page. Unless, I’m missing something?

1/14, 7:10pm

Doce Blant

Yes! Exactly, Kaycee. ALL platforms need to be utilized.

1/14, 7:10pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Cuttler – what inspired you to write murder, thrillers etc

1/14, 7:11pm

Lois Cozens

Saturation

1/14, 7:11pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Kaycee, Barnacle needs your help blogging

1/14, 7:12pm

Cutter Slagle

When I read books and watch movies, I prefer that genre – suspense and mystery. I like the “whodunit” aspect. I like creating surprises and suspense.

1/14, 7:12pm

Doce Blant

We don’t advocate posting more than a quote or two from books for several reasons. Images with quotes from characters are great to get attention. But the bottom line is, the public wants to hear from YOU! Remember, if you write more than one book, YOU need to be what the reader remembers, not each individual character.

1/14, 7:12pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

ok, I’ll get in touch with him tomorrow about that. Thank you for letting me know.

1/14, 7:12pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Great – you need to watch SA news too !!!

1/14, 7:13pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Cutter, you have been a big help to Barnacle as well.

1/14, 7:13pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Its been great chatting to you and please know I will be promoting ALL of you – watch out for your ads.

1/14, 7:13pm

Cutter Slagle

Thanks, Shelby. I’m not sure what I’ve done, but I’m happy to help in any way I can.

1/14, 7:14pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

I need to know more about Instagram and the best way to utilize it

1/14, 7:14pm

Doce Blant

Kaycee is the queen of Instagram

1/14, 7:14pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

I love authors …. you’re in my heart guys.

1/14, 7:15pm

Doce Blant

Thank you Mary and Dale! Hope to see you tomorrow. Thank you for your comments and support!

1/14, 7:15pm

Adam Scott

Seriously! Read anything by Gary V! It will change the way you look at social media!!!!!!

1/14, 7:15pm

Doce Blant

I think Gary V. is the one Paul follows as well.

1/14, 7:16pm

Barnacle Bill Bedlam

Thank you one and all for the great advice!

1/14, 7:17pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

It has been a great discussion – just a pity there’s a time difference. You guys sleep – we get up!

1/14, 7:17pm

Doce Blant

Tomorrow — we’ll be here again. Please join us if you can!

1/14, 7:18pm

Gina B. Darlington

Is there anyway to put together a summary of the points made. So much info to process.

1/14, 7:18pm

Doce Blant

Adam and Kaycee — I’d love to hear your thoughts about social media

1/14, 7:19pm

Doce Blant

Update the rest of us who are not as savvy to using social media as a platform to build a brand and reach massive public attention.

1/14, 7:20pm

Adam Scott

Each social media account serves a different purpose. My recommendation to clients is this…

Look at each platform and decide which works best with your personal brand.

For example…

Instagram, as I mentioned, works great for people who like imagery and pictures. However to be popular on it you need to be able to take good photos. Instagram is NOT for memes or pics off the internet.

Further … FB is good, but FB has an algorithm that makes it hard for fans to see your posts. So if you have 100 fans only about 10% see what you post.

1/14, 7:22pm

Marti Melville

What if you want to hit everything effectively? For example, like investing.

1/14, 7:23pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

interesting Adam

1/14, 7:23pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Marti and all of you – the fact that you interact with your target market makes you all amazing! That’s where the differences. You’re NOT just out there – you’re a person when you interact and places your books a cut above the rest.

1/14, 7:23pm

Adam Scott

That can be frustrating bc FBbos not linear

1/14, 7:23pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

did not even know that

1/14, 7:23pm

Adam Scott

Here is the HARD truth…

1/14, 7:23pm

Doce Blant

True about the FB algorithm. Recently, they changed it too so that video clips are what drives public exposure on FB.

1/14, 7:23pm

Adam Scott

No one can hit all social media accounts effectively. And if you try you will KILL yourself!!!!

I always advise my clients to pick ONE and stick to it like glue!!!!

1/14, 7:24pm

Marti Melville

Thanks Dale. That’s exactly how Barnacle got his book into B&N

1/14, 7:24pm

Adam Scott

Learn everything you can about it…and build that account day by day post by post

1/14, 7:24pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

The personal touch – the midas touch!

1/14, 7:24pm

Adam Scott

Think of social media this way….

As authors….

Try writing 5-7 books all at once and make each one amazing

Can’t be done

So focus on one at a time

1/14, 7:25pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

Adam you are awesome!

1/14, 7:26pm

Adam Scott

Build it well and make each post content WORTH looking at

Crap content is still crap

1/14, 7:26pm

Marti Melville

Do you think age plays into it? Like YA books should hit one soc. med platform and mystery a different one?

1/14, 7:26pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

so how about if Barnacle focuses on FB and i focus on Twitter?

1/14, 7:26pm

Adam Scott

As long as whatever platform you focus on … You focus on GOOD content

1/14, 7:27pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

makes sense!

1/14, 7:27pm

Adam Scott

If YOU wouldn’t stop and read your own post from someone else DONT post it

1/14, 7:27pm

Doce Blant

I agree with your premise, Adam. But the problem with limiting to one platform is that it cuts out a huge part of the consumers we’re trying to reach.

1/14, 7:28pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

But doing one thing right is better than 3 things half-assed

1/14, 7:28pm

Adam Scott

This is true, but think of it this way….

1/14, 7:28pm

Doce Blant

Good point

So break it down into genres, if you would. What social media platform is best for YA (Barnacle Bill & Sarafina)?

1/14, 7:29pm

Adam Scott

Each social media platform has hundreds of thousands of accounts … Focus on one….build or right….and the followers and fan base will come

I would honestly say this on genres

1/14, 7:29pm

Lois Cozens

That’s excellent thinking

1/14, 7:30pm

Doce Blant

What social media platform for mystery (adult) and paranormal — Cutter, Marti, Joel, Robert?

Romance? (Deanna)?

1/14, 7:30pm

Adam Scott

There is no age group for social media anymore. FB started out for college kids. Now we’re all on it. Snap Chat started out for teenagers. Now they are the largest growing SM platform out there.

1/14, 7:30pm

Dale Gillian Johnston

Is there a magic formula to getting your content into a bookguys and girls>I often wonder – do you just get an idea and magic flows from it?

1/14, 7:31pm

Doce Blant

However, there’s an older generation on FB than on Snapchat or Instagram.

1/14, 7:31pm

Adam Scott

Study other authors and look at their social media platforms then imitate, copy, replicate.

1/14, 7:31pm

Doce Blant

It seems that it defeats the purpose to focus all of an author’s time on Snapchat if they are selling to adults — or am I missing the point?

1/14, 7:32pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

ya my daughter says FB is for old people……

1/14, 7:32pm

Adam Scott

There is a learning curve and study involved but with patience and learning you can do it.

I just started my FB author page and am focusing on putting out good writing prompts, author quotes, and great images.

1/14, 7:33pm

Lois Cozens

I have seen your prompts and posts, Adam, and they encourage interaction.

1/14, 7:33pm

Adam Scott

I will only self promote maybe once a week, and put out 3-4 posts a day

1/14, 7:34pm

Doce Blant

Thank you Dale!! Watch your email for the sell-sheets! Thanks for your help, once again!

And you promote on FB almost exclusively?

1/14, 7:34pm

Adam Scott

But I know FB really well and have learned a lot over 7 years advertising on it

1/14, 7:34pm

Doce Blant

Cutter — you and Adam write in similar genres / age groups.

1/14, 7:35pm

Adam Scott

I am now leaning towards Instagram for promotion…but that was after a year of learning photography

1/14, 7:35pm

Doce Blant

This is all great information!

1/14, 7:35pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

very good info

1/14, 7:35pm

Adam Scott

The bottom line is you can’t wing it

You have to put time learning and effort into it.

1/14, 7:35pm

Doce Blant

What do you mean by “wing it?”

1/14, 7:36pm

Adam Scott

A lot of clients I work with will start a page and start just throwing up non-engaging posts

Their content offers the user nothing

1/14, 7:36pm

Gina B. Darlington

Adam what do you think about a word press blog vs a Facebook authors page?

1/14, 7:36pm

Adam Scott

There’s no dialogue or conversation

The images are grabbed from the net

1/14, 7:37pm

Marti Melville

What do you think of the photo with quotes from books? Or excerpt one-liners?

1/14, 7:37pm

Adam Scott

And most of the posts are just ads of one type or another

1/14, 7:37pm

Doce Blant

Gina – you need both

Website are a must to draw sales

1/14, 7:38pm

Adam Scott

The content you put out, much like our stories, have to engage people. Draw them in. Make them STOP scrolling.

That take creativity and planning

I plan my FB posts a week in advance on Sunday and I spend a good 4-6 hours writing them, shooting images, and researching tag words.

1/14, 7:39pm

Doce Blant

Do you use the same process for Instagram?

1/14, 7:39pm

Adam Scott

Then every comment on my page gets a response. Every new fan gets a TY message from me.

Yes I do

1/14, 7:39pm

Doce Blant

What do you think about Google+?

1/14, 7:39pm

Adam Scott

Google + is a waste of time

It was dead 5 years ago

1/14, 7:40pm

Gina B. Darlington

What’s a ty message?

1/14, 7:40pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

I really think blogging was bigger a few years ago, and blogging just for the sake of blogging isn’t going to pull many in. Things move faster now.

1/14, 7:40pm

Adam Scott

Every expert out there will say the same

1/14, 7:40pm

Doce Blant

How do you get listed for google searches then? FB isn’t strong enough on Google+

1/14, 7:40pm

Adam Scott

A thank you message

That’s where a strong blog/website comes in

1/14, 7:40pm

Doce Blant

How have blogs changed over the years, Kaycee?

1/14, 7:41pm

Adam Scott

But again you have to put good content on there

1/14, 7:41pm

Doce Blant

Gotcha! Agree completely!

1/14, 7:41pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

I can count maybe 3 public figures I follow that I would take the time to stop and read a blog post from.

1/14, 7:42pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

And even that depends on the subject.

1/14, 7:42pm

Adam Scott

Kaycee why would you read those posts

1/14, 7:42pm

Doce Blant

Is length the problem or content? What makes a “strong” blog content?

1/14, 7:42pm

Adam Scott

What draws you to them

The running social trend is this…

1/14, 7:43pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

If they are announcing something that is actually new/big with their book/movie/comic series.

1/14, 7:43pm

Adam Scott

If you wrote a blog post that take readers longer then 3 minutes to read they won’t finish the article or post

1/14, 7:43pm

Doce Blant

But doesn’t Google look at content length when they rank them?

1/14, 7:44pm

Adam Scott

Nope

1/14, 7:44pm

Shelby Snyder-Kirby

so much good info my head is swimming

1/14, 7:45pm

Marti Melville

So if someone does a Google search using the words “pirate novel”, how does the author compete with Creighton who wrote Pirate Latitudes on the search just to be seen?

1/14, 7:46pm

Adam Scott

*Recorded message unavailable

1/14, 7:47pm

Doce Blant

Great advice!

Keywords in the title are so important!!

1/14, 7:50pm

Adam Scott

Keywords are important

1/14, 7:50pm

Doce Blant

We’re about done for the night. Anything anyone wants to cover in the last 10 minutes? I

Tomorrow at 4pm, we’re going to do this again. Perhaps we can put together ideas for topics we want to talk about, continue the discussion about social media posting, and bring in others who may want to share

1/14, 7:52pm

Adam Scott

And if anyone has questions please feel free to message me on social media

1/14, 7:52pm

Doce Blant

Thanks so much everyone!! Please come back again tomorrow. Let’s pick up where we left off. Everyone wants to pick your brain again, Adam. Plus, Fiona (cover artist) may join us!

 

 

 

Transcript of Doce Blant Publishing Group Chat

16 January 2016 

4:00pm

Doce Blant

Ready for ROUND 2 of our discussion on Publishing?

Let’s get this party started!!

Before we start chatting, let’s introduce ourselves once more for those who are new. Please tell us why you are interested in publishing as well

4:02pm

Adam Scott

Hi guys, my name is Adam. I am in southern CA, and am currently working on a novel about Lucifer.

4:03pm

Marti Melville

Hello…my name is Marti – I’ve written 4 books which are all published (my kids’ book by Doce Blant)

4:03pm

Doce Blant

We are soooo stoked to read your book, by the way, Adam

And we LOVE Grandma BallyHuHu, Marti

4:03pm

Adam Scott

Thank you…I have really enjoyed writing it!

4:04pm

Kiri Callaghan

Hi, my name is Kiri, I’m also in SoCal and I self-published an urban fantasy very loosely based on Alice in Wonderland and am working on the sequel

4:04pm

Lois Cozens

I’m Lois! My genre so far is contemporary romance and new romance

4:05pm

Ivey Taijeron

Hi, I’m Cristi Taijeron, author of Endless Horizon Pirate Stories

4:07pm

Doce Blant

So … tonight, Paul is going to join us and talk a little bit about SEO. Adam helped everyone get familiar with social media last night. Hopefully, you can continue the discussion … Adam?

4:08pm

Adam Scott

Of course

I am also writing a detailed article on social media for my blog and will post it this weekend as a resource

4:09pm

Doce Blant

Paul is here!!

4:09pm

Paul Schreiter

Hi everyone. Glad I could join the party tonight.

4:10pm

Doce Blant

Welcome Paul!! Will you give us a short introduction and then launch into talking about social media and what SEO is?

4:11pm

Paul Schreiter

Sure, thanks. I’m a retired dentist who has a couple of other loves… computers and marketing. I’ve studied both for years and found some pretty useful things. Some of you have found that out I believe.

4:12pm

Doce Blant

Fiona Jayde has also joined us. She is our award-winning cover artist and a marketing expert. Those of you who have questions for her, please go ahead and ask (she’ll only be online a short time)

4:13pm

Paul Schreiter

Search engine optimization has changed drastically over the years. Before we could pull a few tricks and get ranked really quickly. I once got a website davidarchuletastory.com ranked #6 in just 2 days. It’s not that quick any more. Wish it was.

4:13pm

Adam Scott

I would LOVE to know how cover art is put together, how much input the author has, and how much the book cover matters.

4:14pm

Doce Blant

Paul — are you going to be on here for a while? Can we jump to Fiona? She has to leave within the next 45 min. but I don’t want to lose you because your info is SO important!!

4:14pm

Paul Schreiter

Would LOVE to hear from Fiona!!!

4:14pm

Fiona Jayde

Hi Paul and everyone!

Great question Adam!

4:15pm

Fiona Jayde

every cover artist is different, so I’ll take you through a quick overview of my process

Ivey Taijeron

Speaking of book covers, let me just say that I do judge a book by its cover. It’s the first thing people see. Maybe it’s just because I’m an artist, but i think it matters a bunch

4:16pm

Cindy Wade

I agree Ivey

4:16pm

Adam Scott

I have often NOT bought books based on their cover *hides in shame*

4:16pm

Kiri Callaghan

I did a lot when I was younger–but that was before I had this HUGE list of recommendations to work through.

4:16pm

Doce Blant

Which is why we have award-winning cover artists on our team!

4:17pm

Kiri Callaghan

Huzzah Fiona!

4:17pm

Fiona Jayde

once I get a cover art request, I first work with the author to see what is comparable on the market – because the cover is for readers to be attracted to the book. A lot of times when people hate the covers, it’s because the authors who are way too emotionally involved in a cover call the shots. I generally work with authors in a collaborative way to guide them toward what is marketable and find that fine line between “unique author vision” and “the readers of that genre/trope” will be attracted to the image

4:17pm

Jaye Helm

Hello everyone! I’m here.

4:18pm

Fiona Jayde

And then – it’s on the authors to make the blurb as attractive as possible because once I get the readers to look at your book, you gotta reel them in!

4:18pm

Jaye Helm

I agree with Fiona.

4:18pm

Doce Blant

We’re very particular about the blurb on the back, as Fiona can attest. That is the #2 selling “hook” of a book

4:18pm

Adam Scott

Fiona you are talking about the book summary right?

4:19pm

Fiona Jayde

Yes Adam:) The book summary

4:19pm

Marti Melville

Yes. The blurb and book summary are the same

4:19pm

Ivey Taijeron

Oi. Blurbs take years off my life. It’s so important and harder than writing the whole book. Haha

4:19pm

Jaye Helm

Ivey you are so right!

4:19pm

Doce Blant

There’s a formula

4:19pm

Fiona Jayde

I once had a book about a kickass woman pirate and the author wrote about “the history period” in the blurb! So I nagged him to check out similar books and change the blurb to make it more interesting about the character. luckily he did!

Who cares about the history period – we like CHARCTERS!

4:20pm

Fiona Jayde

so my job – to get readers to click

4:20pm

Fiona Jayde

then YOUR job – reel them in!

4:20pm

Ivey Taijeron

I’d love to know this formula, Doce

4:20pm

Adam Scott

Do you do your own artwork or work with stock like images?

4:20pm

Marti Melville

Fortunately, Doce Blant works one-on-one to create a solid blurb

4:21pm

Fiona Jayde

I am a photo manipulation artist – meaning I use stock photography and blend it with various techniques. I can’t draw despite having an art degree

4:21pm

Doce Blant

Come on board with us, Ivey! We’ll work with you to get a really good one written

Fiona has the final say on blurb though

4:21pm

Kiri Callaghan

Oh that’s fantastic though! I love the photographic look.

4:22pm

Lois Cozens

That’s good to know about. I struggle with that, as well

4:22pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Hi everyone! sorry I’m late

4:22pm

Doce Blant

Are you okay with us sharing one of your covers, Fiona?

4:23pm

Cindy Wade

Would love to see one of Fiona’ s covers.

4:24pm

Doce Blant

This is a great cover that took some reworking to get just right — but it turned out awesome and sold the manager at B&N on hosting a book signing for the author.

4:24pm

Kiri Callaghan

That’s fantastic

4:24pm

Cindy Wade

Love it

4:24pm

Adam Scott

Is there usually a difference between cover art for Hardback vs paper?

4:25pm

Fiona Jayde

there’s not much difference design wise, but there are some differences in set up (you need to leave more margins, etc)

4:25pm

Jaye Helm

Fiona is amazing! I love her work!

4:26pm

Paul Schreiter

Fiona, do you have a worksheet or something you like to use to get inside an author’s brain to help your design process along?

4:26pm

Adam Scott

Great work!

4:27pm

Fiona Jayde

Thanks Adam! Paul – I sure do! I have a questionnaire which I’ve developed over the years I’ve been doing this. It delves into the author’s brain but also sets expectations by going along the marketing angle. This way there’s little chance of disconnect between what the author wants and what the readers of the genre may expect.

4:29pm

Marti Melville

What is the trend now days for covers? Or is there one?

4:29pm

Fiona Jayde

Marti – trends generally depend on the genre

4:29pm

Kiri Callaghan

What is something we should really steer clear of?

4:30pm

Fiona Jayde

self made covers:)

4:30pm

Adam Scott

Great question!

4:30pm

Kiri Callaghan

Are there any “trends” we should probably let go of (obviously we should trust the cover artist)

But I know some people are like, “I HAVE THIS SET IN MY BRAIN”, but are there any covers that we see often in stores that are kinda “no no”s?

4:30pm

Marti Melville

Do you see huge transitions between them? I’m thinking of the Twilight books … for a while, every cover was plain background with a central object in it. I like that look too, btw

4:31pm

Doce Blant

Amen on the self-created covers!

4:33pm

Fiona Jayde

it really depends. Generally what happens is a break out books happens and then everyone tries to recapture the same lightning

4:33pm

Doce Blant

In truth, when an expert is involved in your project, you’re best to let that expert do what he/she does best! It’s frustrating from a publisher’s standpoint to tug-o-war with an author over an idea or concept when the expert has worked so hard to bring that author excellence.

4:33pm

Adam Scott

OK so question on that

Obviously trust the artist…however…Fiona in your experience do you try to imitate other covers, or come up with some unique?

4:34pm

Fiona Jayde

depends on author audience

if an author is very new, it’s better to ride coattailes of someone that is expected for the genre

if author has a presense, we can be a bit more loose

basically it’s all about what readers will be attracted to and balance that with author appeals

i have an author client who is releasing often and has a lot of readers – so I can do some more unique looks for her

4:35pm

Adam Scott

Interesting

4:36pm

Fiona Jayde

a brand new author is better going for a “obvious recognizable genre”

4:36pm

Doce Blant

And that’s where the “expertise” is so valuable – Fiona knows what sells.

So how long do you consult with the author, Fiona, before creating the cover?
4:39pm

Paul – can you add to this, about media and the importance of images, video clips, etc to social media

Fiona Jayde

it generally depends on the author and the book – sometimes it takes a few emails, sometimes there’s a slew of back and fourth.

4:41pm

Adam Scott

Awesome! So the lesson I am hearing is…Trust the artist lol

4:41pm

Paul Schreiter

Imagery is a huge part of creating emotions. The more senses you can stimulate, the deeper the connection. I always wished I could inventa computer monitor that would produce smells like popcorn or baking cookies. Words without images are great and vice versa, but together they’re far more powerful.

4:42pm

Doce Blant

YES!

That is so very true with writing too, Paul

If Mary were here, she’d probably agree. Lois, what do you think?

Welcome Terry!!

4:43pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

Hello!

4:43pm

Ivey Taijeron

Well said, Paul. BTW, I just had a candle made to go along with my series. If you have never heard of Book Scents, check her out! http://www.bookscentscandles.com/

4:43pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

Deanna Jewel here

4:44pm

Doce Blant

AKA: Deanna Jewel is a romance writer. Her cover is the one with the Native American time-travel image on it. Just released in Hardcover

4:44pm

Lois Cozens

Yes, for me imagery and emotion are very strong

4:44pm

Paul Schreiter

More senses involved is also why video is so powerful.

4:44pm

Fiona Jayde

So sorry to cut this short everyone – gotta go pick up the munchkin. Thx for the awesome questions!

4:44pm

Doce Blant

Thanks Fiona!!

4:44pm

Doce Blant

Paul – talk about what you found out about FB and video clips (speaking of senses)

By-the-way, if any of you have friends that you think would enjoy this discussion, please feel free to add them.

4:46pm

Paul Schreiter

The human eye is designed to notice contrast. Video is often running 27 or 30 frames per second and our subconscious blends it all together to augment our natural emotions. If you can capture an idea in a very short video, it’s powerful. Just ask Vine

Vine is the 6 second video site. Hilarious.

4:47pm

Doce Blant

Barnacle — are you there?

Why do you think Vine is so successful?

4:48pm

Paul Schreiter

http://vine-videos.com/

4:48pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

thanks for the Vine link!

4:48pm

Paul Schreiter

Vine is successful because you have to be fast, succinct, clever.

If you don’t like a video, you’ve only wasted 6 seconds.

4:49pm

Doce Blant

Paul does the video clips for the Doce Blant authors (by-the-way).

4:49pm

Marti Melville

Can anyone post on Vine?

4:49pm

Kiri Callaghan

Yes

You set up an acocunt just like twitter

And people follow you

4:50pm

Paul Schreiter

It’s the same on your websites and blogs. You don’t need to make big productions. Short little videos capture emotions, they capture hearts. Jaye did a couple of clever videos. Barnacle and a clever little “Where’s Barnacle” series that he did.

4:50pm

Doce Blant

Cutter’s were great too!

4:51pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I need to just make one and quite worrying that it won’t be perfect

4:51pm

Paul Schreiter

I don’t know where they ended up. I just helped prepare them. Where did they get posted Jaye, Barnacle, Cutter?

4:52pm

Kiri Callaghan

Well vines make it easy to not be perfect because you don’t really have a window to edit or anything.4:52pm

Doce Blant

Each author has a page on the Doce Blant website. At the bottom is a link to their video clips:

https://www.doceblant.com/video-clips-of-jaye-helm/

4:52pm

Paul Schreiter

Terry, the market LOVES authenticity. Hollywood production types of videos are great, but from the heart is even more powerful

4:52pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

ah, kewl on the links at DBP

4:53pm

Doce Blant

This runs for Chase Bank on TV for our author, Joel Silverman:

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7U7g/jpmorgan-chase-chase-mastery-dog-trainer-feat-joel-silverman

4:54pm

Paul Schreiter

Because authenticity is so strong, people love to know about you on blogs on a regular basis. It never hurts to link what you write to something that’s trending at any given moment. Like Fiona said aboutt new authors, you kind of ride the coattails of what’s already going on and being seen.

4:54pm

Doce Blant

Cutter talks about his favorite Halloween recipe in one of his. smile emoticon

https://www.doceblant.com/more-from-cutter/

4:55pm

Marti Melville

I can attest to the authenticity. You should see what Paul thinks is cute on mine (but he’s always right!)

4:56pm

Doce Blant

How does it affect your SEO ranking and FB?

4:57pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

LOL I love doing book trailers but those take 8-10 hours…..I should be able to do a 1 min video!

4:57pm

Kiri Callaghan

Ooh, one thing I do want to say when it comes to FB–for the most part advertising through FB is usually not worth the money. I learned this working as a social media manager in my last job. It expands your reach but a lot of that reach will be to dummy accounts and that’s not actually helping you.

4:57pm

Paul Schreiter

Google keeps rewriting their algorithm and it’s become amazingly human. They penalize the very things that was standard SEO techniques just a couple of years ago. They’re looking for genuine and original. They penalize plagiarism like crazy.

4:58pm

Doce Blant

Will you be specific, Paul?

4:59pm

Paul Schreiter

In the old days it was heavily about keywords and meta data. You picked a word or phrase you wanted to rank and you heavily used it throughout your copy.

4:59pm

Adam Scott

I am not sure what Paul is going to say, but I imagine it will mirror some of what I said last night about putting up quality content.

4:59pm

Paul Schreiter

Some people say keywords don’t matter any more, but they are TOTALLY WRONG.

4:59pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I’ve already learned new stuff stopping in here…..Vine and Book Scents! I’ll be checking into them more

4:59pm

Doce Blant

So part of what Adam was talking about yesterday was FB and why authors should focus on one social media venue. But you’re saying, not FB, Kiri?

4:59pm

Paul Schreiter

I’m not sure what I’m going to say either, Adam. Haha

4:59pm

Kiri Callaghan

So buying Likes is still a really big business on FB

With overseas companies

5:00pm

Adam Scott

Keywords are important, but in association with good content…right Paul?

5:00pm

Kiri Callaghan

It makes your business seem more legitimate. However FB has been cracking down on like-bots. So to make these dummy accounts seem more real, they will go through and like multiple things to make the profile more robust

5:00pm

Doce Blant

I think Adam and Paul are hitting on the same thing — although it sounds as if Paul advocates for Google and Adam advocates for Instagram and FB?

5:00pm

Kiri Callaghan

Usually the things that are being advertised in the side bar (like an author page)

5:00pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

my reach on FB is to about 5 people and I have hundreds of friends and followers yet don’t reach them all because of the algorithms

5:01pm

Paul Schreiter

Absolutely. Google is absolutely looking for AUTHORITATIVE sites. Their business is guiding people to quality content when they do a search.

5:01pm

Ivey Taijeron

algorithms?

5:01pm

Kiri Callaghan

So while your author page likes DO go up, they’re not real people, so it doesn’t actually help you.

Does that make sense?

5:02pm

Ivey Taijeron

I once paid for an add on FB, I get more interest on posts I do not pay to promote. I see what you are saying, Kiri

5:02pm

Paul Schreiter

Algorithms are the formulas used to determine if something matches or not. Good SEO is learning what the formulats are favoring and then doing those things so your site or video or blog will rank higher and more people will see it.

5:02pm

Kiri Callaghan

If you have a large reach it can be sometimes helpful for say a book that just hit the shelves, but you’re better off putting your ad money elsewhere

5:02pm

Marti Melville

So what is the best, most basic thing I can do to get my brand noticed and “out there” to sell books?

5:02pm

Paul Schreiter

Kiri, you’re so right. FB is NOT and equal opportunity sharer.

5:03pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I would say I use twitter most for marketing and get the best results from twitter postings

5:03pm

Ivey Taijeron

I do most of my promo stuff on FB So I love learning more about what works and what doesn’t. I usually learn by trial and error. haha.

5:04pm

Doce Blant

We’ve noticed a lot of authors promote to other authors. Is this a good idea or how can the authors reach readers and clients who will buy their book and follow them as fans?

5:04pm

Mary Harris

Hi! It’s Mary, and I’m chiming in now! I’ve noticed a lot of ads directed at me based on what sites I’ve checked out recently. And Amazon is good at sending me info about books I might be interested in. However, what I’ve noticed is that most authors have not really worked on their material! I see repetition in blurbs, for example – that drives me nuts!

5:04pm

Ivey Taijeron

I have like 1300 Likes and get about 200 views per post. .

5:04pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I know which of my posts on twitter work because a certain book will get purchased because of the way I reword a tweet

5:05pm

Ivey Taijeron

Oh, Terry, teach me the ways of Twitter. So far it just makes me crazy

5:05pm

Marti Melville

I do too Ivey. The question is, how do “likes” really equate to book sales?

5:05pm

Adam Scott

If you are looking to learn more about social media there are some great resources out there to help you learn.

5:06pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I have several followers, many of the authors, who retweet my post and its then seen by their followers

5:06pm

Paul Schreiter

One of the things Google does is give more props to certain things than others (just like FB in that regard). It’s one of the reasons why Google Plus still has huge value, in spite of it being crap in competing with FB. I think someone said it was dead 5 years ago. True, as a FB competitor. But it’s one of the BEST things you can use from an SEO point of view because Google promotes itself first.

5:06pm

Ivey Taijeron

So far, most of my sales come from FB. So it works. But I want it to work more. haha

5:06pm

Kiri Callaghan

The key to twitter is treating it like a party. You know like five people, maybe, and you chat with them, and every now and then there is a lull in the music and someone hears you say something funny or inspiration (through a RT) and more people wander over as a result.

5:06pm

Doce Blant

There is a general maxed-out number of around 200 people who will buy from FB (friends, family, etc). Once that has capped off, the sales generally slow to almost a stop.

5:06pm

Ivey Taijeron

Ahhhh. Good way to explain it, Kiri.

5:07pm

Paul Schreiter

Good point, Doce. Nobody ever got famous selling only to family and friends

5:07pm

Doce Blant

Distribution is key to large sales.

5:07pm

Kiri Callaghan

The weird thing about Google + is no one really likes it, especially YouTubers who were FORCED to use it for a while. So while you should be posting to your Google+ page, don’t use it as your source of interaction. But Paul is right, it’s where Google will pull from

5:07pm

Doce Blant

But marketing supports the distribution — they go hand in hand.

5:08pm

Adam Scott

The other way to build a fan base, and Kiri and I have experience in this, is hit some of the more “geek” conventions and do panel disscussions.

Its a GREAT way to build an audience.

5:08pm

Ivey Taijeron

Ooooo I would love to do that

5:08pm

Adam Scott

Its actually how authors like Jim Butcher got word out about his books

5:09pm

Paul Schreiter

Google plus made 2 changes recently that can be big deals. The biggest one is the way you can link your website to your G+ page. Authoritative backlinks have FAR MORE power than if our little group here linked to each other’s sites

5:09pm

Marti Melville

Twitter was powerful for me when I had a complaint about an airline situation happening in real time. I got immediate response on Twitter – nothing from the other sites

5:09pm

Adam Scott

It doesn’t cost you anything, but you do have to submit a write up to the convention about your panel and what it will be about

Kiri has a lot of experience in this

5:09pm

Paul Schreiter

BTW, I’m implying that G+ is an authoritative site… especially in THEIR eyes

5:09pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

so when we do our one minute video, we could also post it to our Your tube page so my followers there would see me more

5:09pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

I know I’ve found some great books at comic cons.

5:10pm

Kiri Callaghan

If you can meet people in person, it’s seriously a great way to sell books

5:10pm

Doce Blant

So you suggest the authors link to one another’s websites on their blogs?

5:10pm

Kiri Callaghan

When they have a face and get to have a meaningful dialogue with you about your writing, you tend to make fans maybe slower but they stick around

It’s how you get your “super fans”, in my opinion

Definitely post to your YouTube!

5:11pm

Mary Harris

A lot of cons also sell the a/v tapes. If you buy one and add it to your website, it’s great visibility and promo!

5:11pm

Kiri Callaghan

Though when you do your video, if you use a phone, please film in landscape mode, not portrait.

5:11pm

Ivey Taijeron

Have any of you ever done a vendor booth at an event?

5:11pm

Mary Harris

A tape of you on the panel, I meant!

5:11pm

Adam Scott

Plus during your discussion you can encourage people to like you FB and or twitter account. I used to do this, and then would give away a prize to one random new follower in the panel group.

5:12pm

Mary Harris

I’ve done panels, and I attach my business card to the handout. I’ve gotten a lot of “looks” that way!

5:12pm

Paul Schreiter

Yes, quality of contacts is more powerful than quantity

5:12pm

Kiri Callaghan

And you already have an in at conventions! Especially if people are in costume

5:12pm

Kiri Callaghan

A good friend of mine usually asks what they’re into for the convention and uses that to recommend one of his books

5:13pm

Doce Blant

We have an event coming up that will feature some of the Doce Blant authors on panel discussions. I believe Joel has been asked to demonstrate his dog training too

5:13pm

Terry Ordway Blankenship

I have author links on a page on my website if anyone wants me to add them, I’d be happy to. deannajewel.com We’re heading out for supper but I’ll be back here as soon as I get home!

5:13pm

Ivey Taijeron

I go to pirate parties for networking. But I am planning to get a booth at the big one this summer. I also create artwork to go along with my stories. Any tips about how to make the best use of this time?

5:15pm

Paul Schreiter

For those of you who do conventions, panels, etc., where you collect names, do it digitally and not on paper. There are systems out there that you can collect a name/email and immediately start a conversation with them. Very powerful and saves a lot of work over collecting names on a clipboard.

5:15pm

Kiri Callaghan

I usually tell them to follow my twitter

5:15pm

Kiri Callaghan

Everyone has their phone with them

I don’t do email lists

Which is probably foolish of me

5:16pm

Paul Schreiter

We used to use one called Instant Contact, but I think they’ve changed that now. We’d collect their name and then have our response go to them about 10 minutes later so they didn’t know it was an immediate auto-responder. It improved our lead capture by about 25 times what was done on paper

5:16pm

Ivey Taijeron

I have an email list and do occasional newsletters. My readers seem to like it when I do.

5:16pm

Marti Melville

Festivals and cons are fun but expensive. I want to know what to do to get to a larger market

Not just local

5:17pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

So just fyi, you should probably have a back up plan in case the 4g or whatever is crap at a con. The larger ones almost always hit issues with so many people being on at once.

5:17pm

Doce Blant

We use Mail Chimp

5:17pm

Cindy Wade

Does Doce Blant help with all of this? I know absolutely nothing about Twitter, videos, etc. I only post in Facebook.

5:17pm

Ivey Taijeron

Mail Chimp. I have heard of that. I do it all the caveman way. Haha

5:18pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

I can walk you through anything you need help with, Cindy.

5:18pm

Cindy Wade

Thanks Kaycee

5:18pm

Doce Blant

As an author, you are assigned a consultant specialist (Kaycee is one) who will work with you to do all of that. She is your “Agent”

5:18pm

Paul Schreiter

If you want to go big, you can’t do it manually. You HAVE to use systems. Can you imagine sitting down to write 10,000 thank you emails?

5:18pm

Ivey Taijeron

PS: You guys at Doce Blant are awesome. I love all the resources you have for your authors.

5:19pm

Doce Blant

Each author works with their C.S. and spends an hour FREE to consult one-on-one with Paul to come up with a marketing plan

5:19pm

Cindy Wade

I’m reading all of this and feeling anxious. Lol.

5:19pm

Adam Scott

Cindy, don’t feel anxious…There is a lot to learn, but you have resources and people who can help.

You are not in this alone

5:19pm

Cindy Wade

That’s great.

5:20pm

Doce Blant

So, Marti’s question is a good one. What can an author do to branch out of the local cons and festivals to build a fan base, Paul. Or is that the best way?

5:20pm

Ivey Taijeron

And that’s what is super cool about having a good publisher

5:20pm

Cindy Wade

Thank you everyone.

5:20pm

Adam Scott

Part of what I like about this Q&A is it’s introduced all of us to each other, and we can be there to help, inspire, support, and encourage each other!

5:20pm

Mary Harris

Most libraries love to have speakers. Volunteer to give a writing session, have a box of books with you, and have fun!

5:20pm

Cindy Wade

Agreed

5:21pm

Adam Scott

What I have done at conventions is offer ways my fans at the convention can interact with me online…

5:21pm

Doce Blant

Remember, there will be venues that will order your books through distribution for your event. You just show up and put on a show (ask Barnacle).

5:21pm

Adam Scott

For example

Every Christmas I do a scavenger hunt where fans have to create songs, take pictures, and find silly items wherever they are and post them to my page.

5:22pm

Doce Blant

There is a BIG difference promoting yourself with a traditional publisher versus a self-publisher

5:22pm

Kiri Callaghan

Fact

5:22pm

Paul Schreiter

I’ve got to head out. Anyone have any questions before I go?

5:23pm

Adam Scott

What’s the secret of the universe?

5:23pm

Doce Blant

If you could offer one single piece of advice to the authors to help them promote, what would it be, Paul?

5:24pm

Paul Schreiter

The secret of the universe is … blue. That’s it, just BLUE

5:24pm

Paul Schreiter

Wow, Doce, one SINGLE PIECE? Never stop promoting. Think McDonald’s, Coke, etc. that never ever stop putting themselves out there, even though we all know they exist.

5:25pm

Doce Blant

Thanks Paul! For those of you who haven’t had the chance, PLEASE contact Paul for your hour consultation! It’s on US

5:26pm

Paul Schreiter

Also, if you want to keep yourself being found, keep informed about the changes Google keeps making to their algorithms. Give more than you get. Law of the universe: givers get (without expecting to). smile emoticon

5:26pm

Doce Blant

Mary — from a senior editor’s position, what is the most important piece any author can do to make their ms ready for an editor?

5:27pm

Mary Harris

I’m a big fan of writing groups and beta readers. They’ll catch so many little glitches!

5:27pm

Paul Schreiter

I’ll be available for consultation as needed. Nytol

5:27pm

Doce Blant

Thanks again, Paul

We’re huge fans of beta-readers also

5:27pm

Cindy Wade

What are beta-readers?

5:28pm

Mary Harris

A volunteer who’ll read your book and give you intense feedback. And not your mom.5:28pm

5:28pm

Cindy Wade

Haha, thanks Mary.

5:29pm

Doce Blant

Can you give us a quick description of the difference in writing styles for each age group (ie: YA versus adult)? A lot of authors aren’t sure where their books fall

5:31pm

Mary Harris

The biggest difference is age. There’s a huge amount of physical and emotional growth that happens between ages 10-12, for example. Your MG book is probably aimed at 12. A YA book will not really use a lot of bad language, and your protagonist will be around 16. But the topics are all over the place!

5:31pm

Doce Blant

What about sentence structure. Is there a difference for each age

5:32pm

Mary Harris

If you look at the Options in Word, go to Proofing, then check the box that says “Show Readability Statistics,” you can highlight a section and it will tell you what grade level the writing is at. Easy peasy!

5:33pm

Marti Melville

I thought my series was a YA (because the heroine is 17 to begin with) but an agent told me it was adult

5:33pm

Mary Harris

DId the agent sell it?

5:33pm

Doce Blant

Excellent! Thank you Mary

5:33pm

Marti Melville

No

5:33pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Oh that is a neat resource

5:33pm

Marti Melville

But a different publisher got it and published it as an adult series

5:34pm

Ivey Taijeron

If you are talking about Midnight Omen, it feels more adult to me, Marti

5:34pm

Mary Harris

So much depends on what the publisher needs at the time, and how well they think they can market a genre. It may be that the agent and subsequent publisher did not feel comfortable selling YA books.

5:35pm

Marti Melville

Where is Options located in word? Sorry to be dense. I have a Mac

5:35pm

Mary Harris

Oooh. I’m on my Mac now, but I mostly use my PC for writing/editing. I’ve never used the Readability function on my Mac

5:36pm

Doce Blant

Demand plays a huge role in tipping a book one way or another, if it falls in the middle

5:37pm

Mary Harris

The daughter in “Pride and Prejudice” who ran off with the scamp soldier was 16!

5:38pm

Mary Harris

They’re pushing it in high school. Darn fine read!

5:38pm

Cindy Wade

I think I read it in high school.

5:38pm

Doce Blant

Any other editing tips?

5:39pm

Mary Harris

A timeline. Some people don’t believe in them. I’m a firm believer in having one, even if you don’t end up adhering to it!

5:39pm

Doce Blant

How do you recommend setting up a timeline, especially for a series?

5:40pm

Mary Harris

Whether a series or a standalone, the timeline is like a calendar. You have dates, or you have a list, but every big event, even if it happens before the book opens, is listed with the day/date it happened. Keeps things from getting confused!

5:41pm

Doce Blant

Do you suggest creating this as a linear type of timeline or is there a better way to do it?

5:42pm

Mary Harris

I’m a linear person. But some people work better with a wall calendar type display, or page-by-page icons. It depends on how you work best.

5:43pm

Doce Blant

Quantum physics experts would have you stack your timeline, just sayin’

5:44pm

Mary Harris

And for the past event/present event type of story, that may work best!

5:44pm

Adam Scott

I use whiteboards to set up timelines….A LOT of whiteboards!

5:45pm

Mary Harris

I love my whiteboard! And my eraser.

5:45pm

Marti Melville

Save The Cat format is what I use for screenwriting. I’ve used it in books too though

5:45pm

Ivey Taijeron

I am currently planning to print a calendar from 1641 and taking my notes on there

5:46pm

Mary Harris

Blake’s system works beautifully! Do you use the software?

5:47pm

Doce Blant

We use the STC format to create the blurb as well. For those who aren’t familiar with Blake Synder, here is his formula for creating a screenplay:

5:47pm

Marti Melville

No. I have a white board and cards. I also have that board blown up in my office

5:48pm

Doce Blant

Ivey — that’s the secret to a great back cover blurb. We walk the authors through creating the blurb then send it to Fiona for marketing suggestions

5:49pm

Mary Harris

Unfortunately, I need to scoot! This has been fun! If anyone has more questions, I’m at maryharrisauthor@hotmail.com. Feel free to ask anything! Hugs!

5:49pm

Doce Blant

Thanks so much, Mary! Have a great night.

5:50pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

So fun hearing from you Mary. Thank you!

5:51pm

Doce Blant

There are still quite a few of you on here. Is there a topic that you’d like to discuss together? Please keep this free of self-promoting (your work, books, business, etc) if possible so that we can keep our focus on general topics that include everyone.

Anything?

5:52pm

Adam Scott

Here is a sort of off the wall question…how many of you participate in writers groups in your area? Have you found them helpful in your writing process?

5:53pm

Doce Blant

Let me ask this — what do you as authors or aspiring authors want from your publishing company. How can we be more supportive of your process?

5:53pm

Marti Melville

I did for a while but the group was mostly time filled with self-promoting that I left it

5:54pm

Adam Scott

As far as what I am looking for…

5:55pm

Cindy Wade

It seems that you are VERY supportive. Can’t wait.

5:55pm

Adam Scott

Support, being a writer is hard enough. I think the quote goes “being a writer is simple…you cut yourself open and bleed on every page.” So having a company to support you in the process is wonderful!

5:56pm

Marti Melville

I want direction from experts. People like you’ve had on here to help me build my brand

5:56pm

Doce Blant

What does support look like to you, Adam?

Direction is critical, Marti. As you can see — marketing, writing, cover images, audience appeal changes quickly. These experts know what to do to take your sales to the next level.

5:57pm

Ivey Taijeron

I go through phases. Sometimes I am happy being and indie author. The one thing that makes me think I want a publisher is marketing. I can build a book from dream to print, and I enjoy every bit of it. My sales are decent and consistent, but I get tired of the effort it takes to promote. I would rather just write and do the creative part of the job.

5:57pm

Adam Scott

All the things we’ve talked about. Book covers, editing, distribution, etc.

Those are HUGE

5:59pm

Doce Blant

There are pros and cons to traditional versus self. Both are legit but offer different opportunities. You need to drill down to what your GOAL with your writing and publishing is. Once you identify that, you’ll know what is best for you

Do you feel that you’ll get that support here, Adam (you have tremendous experience in some of those areas)

All of our authors have been asked to present their goals for 2016 so that we can adapt a supportive program for them. This is where the Consultant Specialists are so valuable (Kaycee)

6:00pm

Doce Blant

Not every author has the same goals

6:00pm

Adam Scott

Yes I do! I looked at other publishers before settle on Doce and chose you guys because of the personal attention I get here!

6:01pm

Doce Blant

That’s a huge piece!

6:02pm

Ivey Taijeron

I like the personal attention thing. I am needy. haha.

6:02pm

Doce Blant

Each of the team members is dedicated to making the author successful. It’s super important that that focus isn’t lost in the hustle of marketing and putting together a book.

6:02pm

Adam Scott

And that’s a big deal. The other publishers seemed to focus on the company not the author.

6:03pm

Ivey Taijeron

I have heard quite a few stories like that, Adam.

6:03pm

Doce Blant

Quickly – share with your friends that there is a Rewards Program for DBP. When they sign into DBP, points are collected and free stuff is sent to them randomly (books and other stuff) – like the movie rewards

6:04pm

Adam Scott

Most publishers approach authors from the standpoint of ‘what can the author do for the company’. Doce is the opposite

6:04pm

Doce Blant

Also — are any of you interested in receiving a transcript of the discussions?

Thank you, Adam. That is the goal

6:04pm

Adam Scott

YEA!

Since Cindy is a new writer, do you have any suggestions for her Kaycee (as far as what makes it work between a published author and a consultant specialist?)

6:10pm

Cindy Wade

Very interested in what Kaycee has to say.

6:11pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Honestly, just ask for help. I’m here to help but I can’t if I don’t know you are having an issue. Between the resources of the experts behind DB and what I know, we can help with just about anything.

6:12pm

Marti Melville

That’s really true!

6:13pm

Cindy Wade

I’ll be in touch with you. I will need a lot of help. Right now it’s just a journal. Not sure at all how to turn it into a book.

6:14pm

Kaycee DoceBlant

Well let me know what I can do to guide you with that!

6:14pm

Doce Blant

Lois is a great resource for that too

Again – thanks for joining us. Happy writing everyone!

 

 

END OF DISCUSSION

 

 

 

Please join us next quarter for the next open group discussion with Doce Blant Publishing

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