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2/2020 NOTICE - To fight back against spam comments, I am closing comments to all older posts. Current blog posts will still have comments open. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 1

COVID-19 and Authors / IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


I came across a post talking how people were saying this is not the time to promote books (unless they're free). The creator of the post said authors had apparently received direct messages telling them they shouldn't be promoting a product right now.

This is so wrong.

While it's true that sales may tank because people aren't buying as many books right now due to money concerns or stress, authors need to keep promoting. Promoting our books during this time doesn't mean we're being insensitive. Rather, we're doing what we have to do for our careers, our sanity, our happiness. It is more important now than ever to keep doing normal tasks.

Social media feeds are full of posts about the virus, shelter-in-place orders, worries, lay-offs, bare store shelves, and politics. We need to see bright colors and pretty covers in our feeds. We need to share excerpts/quotes that make readers laugh or swoon. When readers see book promotions, they are relieved, happy...it's a bit of normalcy in this stressful time, and reading is an escape for them.

And for people to say that only free eBooks are the ones that should be promoted right now is short-sighted and unrealistic.

A lot goes into planning a book's release. Authors can't just postpone the releases of their new books. They may lose money or their publisher may not allow it, and no one knows when this situation will end. Many authors rely on publishing for income, which is likely not great to begin with, and to have to delay releases for months could hurt them. (If authors are able to delay their releases with ease, they're lucky but...still stressed and worried.)

Also, authors can't give away all of their books for free. It's wrong to claim that authors should be providing free products or nothing at all during a time when everyone is suffering. Even them.

Authors are doing what they can. They are providing happy places and worlds readers can escape to. They are offering 99 cent sales or marking their eBooks as free for a limited time.


Facebook meme.

No one should be telling authors 99 cents sales aren't enough.

Or we're capitalizing on the pandemic when we offer 99 cents sales. (Traditionally published authors can't mark their eBooks as free as easily as others can.)

Or that all of our books should be free.

Or we shouldn't promote our books, unless they're free.

Or we can't celebrate our new releases and post about them.

NO ONE should be ridiculing authors during this difficult time when we're suffering, as well, and trying to do what we can for readers and for ourselves.

Don't forget... we're small businesses being impacted now, too.

(This is a tweet that was shared widely on Facebook.)

Authors:
1) If you want to promote during this time, do it! But treat it like a normal promotion, not related to what's happening in the world. (I do caution against promoting just because people are stuck at home.) If you have a new release, shout it from the rooftops and don't stop.
2) If you want to mark your eBooks as free (or 99 cents) to help others out during this time, definitely say so. That's wonderful and will be appreciated by many readers.

I marked all of my mom's picture books to free for this reason. With all the kids not in school, Sammy the Teddy Bear wanted to make sure parents and children would have stories to read.

TIP: To get Amazon to mark your eBooks to $0.00, you first have to mark them as free elsewhere. Doing this through Smashwords (if you're there) is super easy. When you do this, other retailers are notified. Within hours your price is dropped. The best way for authors to get Amazon to drop a price to free is through this KDP link. Click on the "pricing" and then "price matching" options and follow their directions to send them an email. I never have a problem doing this for my mom's eBooks.

SIDE NOTE: Right now, I’m not offering 99 cents sales on my series because, after seeing a post by another author, I wondered if people would want to read about natural disasters during a pandemic. Would it be too much?? As it is, I don’t promote during real natural disasters. I especially avoid promoting the book in which the disaster appears in. As you can imagine, this is tough, and not something I anticipated before I started this series, so while this situation is new for most authors, this is something I deal with several times a year.


Until next time...

Stay healthy, everyone!


Monday, March 16

Do I Need a Website / Vlog + Gabe's Guardian by Beverly Stowe McClure


Thank you for coming to a vlog edition of Write with Fey!

In this video, I discuss an important question that many writers ask "Do I need a website?"

This is a video from 2017, but still worth watching. :)

Enjoy!

Do I Need a Website?


Length: 7:46


Thanks for watching!


Feel free to comment on my blog and/or on the video on YouTube. To go to this video's YouTube page, click on the title located on the video.

QUESTION: Do you have a website (separate from your blog)? Why or why not?

***

Just released today -
The latest from Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. 

Gabe’s Guardian Angel

By Beverly Stowe McClure



Young Adult Fiction: Boys & Men / Loners & Outcasts / Bullying

Print ISBN 9781939844668 $15.95

EBook ISBN 9781939844675 $4.99


BOOK LINKS:




Gabe never asked for an angel…

Gabe Montana’s clumsy. He’s overweight, and he’s dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable—so miserable he wants to die. 

Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea, and comes up with a different plan. He’ll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn’t just help with the bullies. What’s with this self-confidence stuff?

Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel’s advice?


PRAISE:

“An important read for young adults and their families.” - Donna McDine, multi-award winning author of stories for children

“It takes a tough subject and handles it in a positive, uplifting way. A must read for teens and tweens.” – Sandra Cox, author

“Gabe’s Guardian Angel is a good read for any youngster who has ever felt isolated and bullied.”– L.G. Keltner, author


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers and clouds. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.

www.beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com



Wednesday, March 4

Dear Author with No Reviews / IWSG




We've decided to do something different and have TWO book options for you to choose from. You DO NOT have to read both books unless you truly want to.

The Lovely Bones
Chill Factor
Discussion Day is March 25.

We will have open discussions with a few optional questions for The Lovely Bones and Chill Factor on March 25. We will pay both books equal attention.


Join the book club: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/214387-the-insecure-writer-s-support-group-book-club 


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Dear Author with No Reviews,

Last year, I saw several authors (not from IWSG) complain about not being able to get reviews for their books, no matter what they did. They panicked because reviews = sales. The thing is, it is hard to get reviews, and it’s even harder now than it was, say, five years ago.

Reviews are very important to authors. It's true. That's why you may see posts from authors on social media encouraging readers to post reviews. (These types of posts are gentle reminders. They're not trying to be rude or selfish.)

With self-publishing growing every year, with small publishers signing dozens of authors a year, and with many authors publishing several books a year, no wonder it’s hard to get reviews, because all of these authors are looking for reviews, too.

Reviewers are back-logged. They either don’t respond to review requests anymore or have to pass. Even if they accept, there’s no guarantee that they will finish the book. Or like it. And the important thing to know is that they aren’t required to post a review, even if they accept a book to review.

Every author is facing these odds. (Unless, of course, you’re a big name or are published by one of the Big 5 with a team pushing your book.)

Simply put, this is just the way it is. And, again, everyone is struggling to get reviews (and sales). Honestly, it sucks, but that’s the publishing climate we are in, and we have to accept it and adapt.

Reviews may not pour in, but you should cherish every little one that you get simply because they don’t come easily or often. And, please, don’t hate on any reviews that you do get, like a four-star review that is nit-picky (I did see a post ranting about this), because a four-star review is awesome. Take it!

There’s a saying that reviews are for readers, not the author, so if a four-star review gets you down, don’t read your reviews anymore.

I don't actively go looking for newly posted reviews of my books, and I am much happier for it. Once you come to term with these things, you will be, too.


Updated to Add: Amazon does make it extremely tough for people to post reviews and for authors to keep the ones they have. Half the time, I can't post reviews there. Many commenters have mentioned Amazon turning down reviews, but there's a reason why I didn't talk about Amazon in this post, and that's because Amazon is not the only place where reviews can be posted. Reviews anywhere are helpful.



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