Internet News for Writers

books on publishing
probably from www.freedigitalphotos.net

How do you reach out for help when writing and selling your books? A good publisher will have blogs and forums where you can interconnect with fellow authors. But sadly , and despite administrator requests, these all too often get taken over by blatant author promo rather than advice and help. Listen and help other authors with their writing and marketing problems and you are more likely to make friends and perhaps even sell some books.

Amazon Again

The book marketing scene is continually changing–the latest move is toward social media advertising, and if you’re an Amazon author, AMS ads. The ever-enthusiastic Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur.com has brought out a  free set of training videos on marketing with Amazon ads for everyone as technically challenged as me. I keep meaning to watch them as everything I have learned through him so far has been more than useful. Highly recommended.

Facebook can be a bit of a timewaster but it also hosts some marvellous private groups for writers and self-publishers where you can get help and advice from the best in the business.

To http or not to http

white padlock on green ground.
padlock courtesy of Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

And,of course, the big news which you ignore at your peril if you want people to find your site on the Internet. Google has warned time and again and is now taking action. Change your site from a http:// prefix to the secure https://  site which shows a safe green padlock on the address bar and carries a trust certificate.

You may see no reason to change if you’re not selling anything directly from your pages. But even if you only collect email addresses for your newsletter, you have the responsibility to provide data protection for anyone who signs up on your site.

With so many SSL certificate providers in the business, adding the secure socket layer is cheaper than it used to be and can even come free through sites like Cloudflare or Let’s Encrypt.

This being a site shared with my provider ipage.com–its nameappears in my url–it is entitled to a free https prefix but my .com sites are not.

ALLI Conference News

Speakers at the Book Expo Indie Author Fringe at the New York Book Fair are lining up to give presentations on how to sell your book. It’s a free online event all day on June 3 and not to be missed.

Presentations will be recorded for YouTube just in case 24 hours of web-watching is too great a surfeit of pleasure.

PLR –Pros and Cons

laptop and flying stack of books
another great illustration from Stuart Miles at www,freedigitalphotos.net

I do recommend buying PLR . I have folders full of past purchases languishing in a to-be-used folder in my documents file.

Private Label Rights can be a quick and fast way to boost your blog posts. The packs have focused content. They’re cheaper than hiring a ghost writer for your sites. You can rewrite the information as reports, auto-responder e-mails, even use it as a basis for e-books and print books, depending on the licence.

They often include images, audio and video files and can have pre-written auto-responder and social media files as well. This is very handy for a beginner blogger or marketer and a good pack is worth its price alone for everything you can learn from it about producing your own content.

You’re an author, after all, and producing PLR for others is yet another string to your bow. It’s getting harder all the time to live from fiction alone.

But take care not to fall into the trap of buying everything that comes your way. It all sounds good but is it?

gold and silver stars gnepphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of gnepphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All that Glitters…

Have you calculated your PLR costs recently? Be honest. Was it worth it?

A beginning of year calculation of my PLR costs stopped me in my tracks. I was about to click on the buy  button for a highly recommended health pack when I stopped to think.

I Googled the topic and found a brilliant site which gave me all the information I needed to research my own articles–for free.

PLR should always be rewritten anyway to put your own stamp on it. It may save you time in researching and planning but you do run the risk of finding surprisingly similar articles on competing sites. Be original.

It may promise free images but I don’t mind finding my own free images.  And PLR images do need to be changed or again you’re producing copycat info for blogs and social media. This only helps the PLR provider’s reputation rather than your own.

We all have our own favorite Internet Marketers. Mine–for always telling it how it is–is Tiffany Lambert, an ace PLR marketer who writes her own packs and only recommends providers she uses or has reviewed herself.

Avoid PLR Which…

  • has no writing sample. You must be able to see the quality.
  • has blind copy. The Sales page does not tell you exactly what you’re getting.
  • has too little content.
  • costs too much

What is too much when it comes to cost? Anything is too much if you can settle down to doing it yourself in a day or two. Pay for the things you can’t supply in a short time yourself–the videos, the social media images, the e-books.

But use them to learn how to do it for yourself in future.

notepad and photos, twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Buy PLR Which…

  • is an exact fit for your site
  • gives an example of the provider’s style, either through a free e-book or an up-to-date blog
  • offers a short money-back guarantee. You don’t want to be one of those scammers who download everything, use it, then want their money back.
  • teaches you something you want to learn for yourself.

But again, beware. Almost everything you want to know can be found online for free. All it takes is research time and the willingness to write your own copy.

Stop. Start. Write for your Life.

Writing is full of stops and starts–and it’s easy to let the stops get the upper hand. Some of us seem to write daily with no  problems at all.

threads photo Pixabay
threads photo Pixabay

Some of us are more like knitters who get upset with the dropped stitches, the length of time it takes to finish a sleeve or even with the pattern itself. The finished–or in my case usually unfinished– garment looks nothing like the stylish knit shown on the model.

We’re left with work boxes full of useless woolly not-quite jumpers and square socks and resentment at waste of time for nothing.

Sound familiar? How many unfinished, half-finished and rejected manuscripts do you have under the bed? On those dreary days when you can’t concentrate, think nothing’s going right , or wonder what’s the point of it all, try dusting off your past work.

You may well be gratified to find it’s not nearly as bad as you thought.

Five ways to profit from rejections

  • repurpose them as  short articles or blog posts
  • use them as teaching lessons–lots of new teaching platforms around. Look at Udemy, Teachable, Thinkific. You can even find a free version to get you started.
  • Rejig and use as freebies to build your subscriber list.
  • Share them on social media or as serials on Wattpad , asking for readers’ help in suggesting revisions. It may hurt but can only do good.
  • Profit by using them as a basis for improvement. Writing courses abound all over the web and are at their most helpful when you have work of your own to improve.

Life lessons in editing, writing, and marketing