I may not have won Kindle Scout, but I learned a heck of a lot about blogging and marketing. This blog post is recapping my 30 day campaign:
Book marketing is not a clear cut task. There are no guaranteed marketing plans, and there’s lots of advice out there that might not work for you.
Ensure you have a solid product, because content is king. Otherwise, the rest is up in the air.
Since there are no foolproof promises, I thought I would try as many techniques as I could. One friend’s blog advised to jump on the newest trends and try to ride the wave.
I liked that advice, so when another friend told me about #TagsForLikes.com, I went for it.
Once you download the app, you search for the topic you will be instagramming about, and the app provides all the trending hashtags. Copy those hashtags into your post and voila! My post below tripled the amount of likes I had been receiving.
So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
Perhaps it’s a stupid trend, but as Einstein says:
Speaking of Einstein, want to hear more of his witty quotes? Vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout. It’s about a school run by spirits, and Einstein’s a teacher!
Beginning My Kindle Scout Journey
For over two years, I have been writing, scheming, and plotting my next book series. I am ready to announce the first book:
The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons series
The process was therapeutic. I worked through Juliandra Winklevoss’s highs and lows in a spirit-seeing world and at the same time built my own life in San Francisco, a magical wedding, two finance designations, and other small but meaningful achievements.
Writing this book has been an enjoyment and a distraction. It focused my attention on Vita Post Mortem Academy when I needed an escape. It gave me satisfaction when I spent months editing and then reread chapter one and felt the chills. It gave me a challenge when the plot didn’t align, but it also patted me on the back when a detail worked out just right.
I love this book for everything’s it’s given me, and I can’t wait to finally share it with others. I hope you can feel the love and passion I poured into it.
How Kindle Scout Works
For my new series, I am attempting something different. Perhaps it is because I live in the technology center of the universe, or maybe because I like to try difficult things, but either way, I decided to post my book on the Amazon crowdsourcing site, Kindle Scout.
On this page, readers are the scouts for the next great book. The Light of Supremazia will be posted on the site for 30 days for readers to vote as their favorite book. If it receives enough votes, Amazon will publish my book through their publishing house. So please, please vote!
Vote here: The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout Page
Varying Opinions on Kindle Scout
As an author hoping to find hordes of adoring readers, I had to weigh the pros and cons of launching a campaign on Kindle Scout. I found articles that berated Amazon for stealing the souls of authors by taking too large a percentage of sales and others that noted self-promotion is difficult and at least a Kindle Scout campaign gets your name out there.
I’m willing to give it a try. Writing is one of my favorite hobbies, but it’s not my day job. What do I have to lose? Plus, I’ve been through a book launch before. I’ve attempted to catch an agent’s attention, and I’ve self-published years and years of passionate writing. I’m willing to give this a shot. Here’s a few links to other’s opinions:
Cover Reveal for The Light of Supremazia
I would also like to officially reveal my creepy and stunning cover, designed by Kristin Centrella. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kristin.
The blogosphere is chock full of kind and helpful authors and readers. I stumbled upon The Book Wars a few months back. It is an entertaining blog for heavy readers with book reviews and all your favorite top ten lists. One of my favorite themes they discuss is cover design. With everything at our fingertips, snap judgments occur more often than ever. Their posts forced me to be thoughtful when working with Kristin on a cover design. Here are some of the things we talked about as important aspects the cover art for my book:
- Viewable in small format
- Eye catching
- Includes pop art
- Fewer, bolder colors
- Portrays the book
Finally, Marketing Blurb for my New Book:
Think it’s difficult to get into Harvard University? Try Vita Post Mortem Academy, a prestigious high school where John F. Kennedy teaches a class called American Ghosts stories, Albert Einstein grades science tests, and history’s most brilliant minds make up the rest of the teaching staff. Not a problem for Jules Winklevoss, one of the few who can see spirits.
Getting into school was a cakewalk, but Jules learns not all spirits are engaging and inspiring teachers. Fourteen years ago, Jules’s family thwarted an evil spirit’s rise to power. Now, the evil spirit wants revenge on all Winklevoss’s, beginning with Jules. As if evil spirit problems aren’t enough, add best friend drama, unattainable boy crushes, and homework to the mix, and needless to say, high school is going to be dreadful. Jules is determined to protect her family and keep herself alive, even if that means delving into the world of the dead.
NOW VOTE HERE!!! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1PMYID5KFXEY5
As I prepare to launch my next book series, I keep thinking about additional ways to enjoy the story. How many times have you read the details by J.K. Rowling about characters she didn’t mention at the end of the series? Or get excited because they brought the characters of Vampire Diaries to life in a tv series? Or sing along to a song from the Hunger Games movie on the radio?
Like a bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans or your very own Mocking Jay pin, I hope you enjoy Jules’s Vita Post Mortem Academy Class schedule!
The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons young adult, fantasy book series!
Check out the pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/
Check out the book trailer: https://youtu.be/ZfKnXA8oJBE
I recently attended a webinar by @JordanRosenfeld about writing a plot summary for a manuscript through Writer’s Digest. What I liked about her presentation was the notion that a plot is formulaic. She suggested using a three act setup. Being more math-minded, it was something I understood. I liken it to being a baker versus a cook. I am much better at following an exact recipe for lemon poppy muffins rather than a pan with some fancy sauce and adding a pinch of salt and a handful of basil.
Case in point – My husband emailed me the article with a picture of J.K. Rowling’s hand-drawn spreadsheets to map out her plots with the subject line “this is something you would do.” He knows me well. I had already started a google spreadsheet mapping out my book.
I have a good sense of pacing, but I like the way she mapped it out. I used a similar setup, stolen from Elizabeth Sims, to note the flow of the classic hero’s adventure. It worked well.
Writing a marketing blurb was a piece of cake after that. (Pun intended!) I simply used the section designated as “Act 1.” Feel free to let me know what you think.
Think it’s difficult to be accepted into Harvard? Imagine attending Vita Post Mortem Academy, where the spirit of John F. Kennedy teaches social studies and the spirit of Albert Einstein gives physics lectures. There’s no hope getting in if you can’t see spirits.
Jules believes in spirits. She doesn’t analyze their existence on a regular basis. She just accepts it as fact. Living in New York City, where anything is possible, how could she not believe in spirits? However, the summer before ninth grade, when her best friend, Johnny, dies, she finds herself yearning to see his spirit.
Johnny was prone to brushes with death due to mysterious accidents, but the ominous light and the girl who gave him a final shove on to the subway tracks puts doubt in Jules mind that his end was a freak incident.
The strange events are jarring, but the foundation of everything Jules knows is shaken when she finds out she’s adopted, and she’s forced to attend a special school in California run by the spirit of the biological grandmother she never met. Needless to say, high school is going to be overwhelming.
To see more pics for this book, go to: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/
Four plane rides, five diligence meetings, four states, six coffee catch-ups, and one Bat Mitzvah. That’s how I spent my first week of December. I was impressed. Okay, so I wasn’t attacked by monsters, I wasn’t gallivanting around Rome, and I wasn’t traveling on a trireme, but we can’t all be demigods searching for the House of Hades like Percy Jackson’s friends aboard the Argo II.
I did manage to find time to write a few more chapters of my next book series, Bone-Chilling. As I approached the last few chapters, I noticed the characters suffer from time travel whiplash. If you were able to see ghosts, like the main character, Juliandra Winklevoss, you would also have a hard time keeping track of which time period your teachers were from.
She knows one thing for certain, if they teach at Vida Post Mortem Academy, they must be superheroes. President John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Eleanor Roosevelt, are just a few of the spirits that make a translucent appearance.
Dead or alive, historic or unknown, traveling or stationary, there are many different types of superheroes. They can make sweeping changes or simply bring a smile to your face. My mom forwarded this picture of one of my favorite dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Twitch. He is the king of optimistic superheroes.
At the end of the day, one of my favorite reasons to travel is to see my rag-a-muffin cat, Zeus. Named after a Greek God, he too, likes to dress the part. Happy Holidays!
As research for my upcoming book and new series, I have been doing some homework on two people with very different personalities, who have left a big impression during the last century. While they worked in dissimilar fields, both brought an unconventional view during their time and were brave enough to share it.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” –Albert Einstein
I was originally drawn to this quote because Albert Einstein will be a spirit in my next series, teaching math and science to high school students in a school run by ghosts. All that aside, I believe having the confidence to stand up to those who don’t believe in you is a superpower. Of course, that is easier done when you are considered a genius.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous that absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe
The second person who will appear as a spirit in my series, teaching Psyche of the Spirit in a Physical Body is Marilyn Monroe. I consider standing out from the crowd a superpower, and one that Marilyn portrayed so well.
I can’t write a post on confidence without discussing Chelsea Steinem from my young adult, fantasy series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program. In the series, her “Gift” or special ability was invisibility. She explains how, just like her sarcasm and wit, her ability to disappear is like a shield, insulating her from other’s hurtful opinions.
Do you think confidence is a superpower?