Why You Should Be Creating Book Apps

FunkyFocus / Pixabay

I’ve heard it said before, that when everybody is zigging left, you should be zagging right. So if you’re doing the same things with your books  as everyone else,  you’re probably not going to stand out. In today’s blog post I’m going to show you one way you can do that.

One way to do that is to create a book app. Not only is easy to do, even if you haven’t got any technical knowledge or never built app before, but it’s way to get yourself in front of new readers.

Here’s 5 reasons why creating a book app is worth your time  doing.

1 –  You’re not competing with everybody else. If you’re in a market that’s saturated, you’re probably stand a better chance of getting your book in front of new readers by putting it in an app.

2 –  A book app is more than just a book.  By making it interactive it can last a long time on your reader’s tablet or iPhone, long after the book has been read.

3 – You can set up push notifications  and send a message to all readers when  you’ve got a new book out.

4 – You can set up a virtual book store in the app and sell your books through it. So it’s an easy way to repurpose the books you’ve already created.

5 –  If you’re looking for ideas for a lead magnet,  a free app is a good way to do it. And even if you give it away without an opt in,  you can set an opt in page  as part of the app so you can collect email addresses at a later point.

In my case I have stumbled upon this by accident. I had been selling books in the Minecraft genre and assumed that because I was selling my books in the Apple Store and in the Kindle store I was reaching all my readers. How wrong I was. By offering the first book free in a free app, and the rest of the collection on a virtual bookshelf behind a payment wall, I was surprised to find that I was still making sales through the app for the collection.

In another case I took one of my children’s books,  and again give it away free in a free app. But rather than having a bookshelf in it,  I created puzzle pages using the characters from the book to make the app more interactive.

How successful was that app? In a short period of time it had been downloaded 3000 times on the iTunes Store. But  stupidly, I lost out on this free traffic. Why? Because I didn’t find a way to monetize the app, either with a virtual bookshelf with my other books on it,  or with some kind of advertising inside it. Had I done so, I know I would have made some money from that free app,  either in increased book sales or by adding some of those people to an email list.

So I highly recommend, if you do go ahead and create a book app, make sure you’re prepared for what could happen. Have an opt in page,  have links going back to your website,  a virtual bookshelf, or at least have some kind of banner advertising inside to make some revenue from your downloads.

If you’d like to know how to create a book app,  I recommend you should drop by Appsmoment.com and sign up for an account there. Here you’ll find only ways to create a virtual bookstore,  ways of making your app more interactive, and set up push notifications so you can always keep in contact with your  audience.

Give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose and a new audience to put yourself in front of.

 

4 Ways To Raise Publicity For Your Book

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

One of the most popular questions I get asked after, ‘How do I write a book?’ is ‘How do I sell it?’ As a self published author, you haven’t got the ability to call on a large marketing team to do it for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to drive from one book store to another with the trunk of your car full of books.

A lot of this marketing and publicity can be done online at very little expense. And because of that everyone else is doing it too. So although it might have it easier nowadays, be prepared to wear down some digital shoe leather in the process. With that out of the way let’s take a look at  four ways to raise some publicity about your book.

1 –  Blog About It – There’s no one that wants to see your book be more successful than you.  Because of that, any promotion should begin with you. A blog is a good way to start. Not only can you use a blog to promote your book, using articles and videos, but it also allows you to build up a community of readers.

As you build an audience try to get them on a mailing list. Now only is it a way to keep in regular contact with them, but it helps to build a relationship. Once you have them on this email list, you can press them for book reviews, social media shout outs, and ideas for upcoming books that you could do.

2 – Guest Blog About It –  Apart from your own blog readers, a good way to raise publicity for about your book is to put yourself in front of somebody else’s readers. Do a search for popular blogs in your niche using your main ‘keyword + blog’,  and offer your services as a guest blogger.

Having a blog of your own is a powerful way of showing them the kind of content that you create, and also the audience that you can bring to their blog. But of which all blogs are looking for. Pay attention to how often the blog is updated and how popular it is. If they don’t have a subscription number (which shows the amount of readers) pay attention to how many comments blog posts get and if there is a community there already. The last thing you want to do is to become is a guest blogger on a dead blog.

3 – Share It On Social Networks – While sharing your book on social networks is a popular thing to do, be aware that there are tons of other people hitting these social networks every day trying to raise publicity for their books. If you want to distance yourself from those that are just ‘shouting out’ on these networks, you’re going to have to make yourself stand out. If you already have a community on any of these networks, use it to your best ability.

But if you haven’t,  and you’re just screaming ‘Get my book, get my book!’, you’re going to have little success. I’ll be honest, if people don’t know you,  like you, or trust you, then they’re probably not going to purchase your book. If you’re writing nonfiction, build a little bit of that trust by creating articles and content and give if away freely. If you’re writing fiction, create short stories or give some free samples of your work away on these social networks to get people’s attention.

4 – Create A Press Release –  Another way of raising publicity for you and your book is to create a press release and release it to all the news  and media websites. Again like the social networks, these websites are bombarded everyday by people looking for publicity for their products and services, so you’re going to have to stand out.

Like giving away free content  to get noticed on social media,  put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your press release. Why should they give you a moment of their time and use the content you’ve given them? And even if your press release isn’t right for them that day, have a media kit ready on your website, where you have other press releases they can use instead. These could consist of evergreen press releases that are linked to yearly holidays or commonly subjects that never go out of fashion.

And there you have it, four simple ways to get publicity for your book. But while they’re simple, some will require more work than others. Is it work to create a blog and build an audience? Yes. Will everybody do it? No. Is it easy to bypass all this and pay someone else to do it for you,? Yes. But is it going to build you an audience in the long term? Probably not.

Instead of looking at the whole world as your audience, sometimes it’s best to go small at first. Begin with a blog of your own and create an audience there. Build an audience on social media of people who actually listen to what you have to say. Get in touch with your local newspaper, or radio station, and give them content they can use.

Like any great writer you’re going to start off an audience of one. Focus on building your audience one reader at a time. If you’re only starting out, it’s probably best to save your money and focus on creating a following. Once you’ve built that audience however, you can call on it again and again about any future books you have coming out.

Now who would want that, right?

How To Start Fiction Writing

Janson_G / Pixabay

In today’s blog post we’re going to have a look at how to start fiction writing. I could write a long-winded post on how to begin writing,  what books to buy,  and other aspects like plot building, story creation, and character creation. I’m not going to do that today. What I’m going to do is show you baby steps you can take to see if fiction writing is right for you. The last thing I want is to see you invest money and time into something that maybe you haven’t got a love for.  So if you’d like to give it a go, the first thing is to take action and…

Start Small – Like learning to drive a car, or ride a bicycle, you’re never going to know how to do it unless you actually behind the wheel or on the saddle and begin. And so it is it fiction writing. If you’ve never written a piece of fiction before it’s better off to start small.

Try writing out a small scene between two characters having a discussion over a cup of coffee. If you’re having problems with this, close your eyes for a moment and imagine two of your favorite TV characters sitting across from each other and having a discussion. Because you probably know these characters well you shouldn’t have any difficulty imagining what they would say to each other. This piece doesn’t have to be very long, but it’ll will give you an idea of what it’s like to picture a scene in your mind and then convey it to a reader to read.

Now that you have an idea of what it’s like to write a scene, try and put a few of those together to create a small short story. The short story should be in a genre that you enjoy reading. If you love reading romance then write a small romance piece, if you’re more of a horror or thriller reader, then go to go down that route instead. Even if think your writing sucks, you’ll enjoy the process of writing more.

Your short story  doesn’t have to be very long, maybe two or three pages in length, but it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to create a longer piece of fiction. Again this piece doesn’t have to a start or finish point. They could begin with the first romantic  encounter between a couple and what takes place after that moment. Or it could be the cop in mid chase, running after a suspect that’s fleeing a bank job. Whatever you pick, it doesn’t have to have a start point or a finish point, It can leave the reader hanging in midair, but it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to put a couple of scenes together.

Be Prepared To Suck –  If you haven’t written anything since high school be prepared for your writing to suck. If you think you’re going to write the next Harry Potter on your very first draft you’re sadly mistaken. The best advice I can give you is when you’re writing, write like no one is ever going to read it. In this way you won’t edit yourself on what you’re going to put down in the page, but you’ll write from your heart. Because of that your fiction writing will be better and that emotion will come of the page because of it.

In these early stages it’s best not to share your work with anybody. Like a flower that’s barely breaking through the ground,  you and your work for going through a growth process.  The last thing you want is a snide comment from a friend or relative, that’s going to stomp on that work and crush your dream of becoming a writer.  Because of that it’s best to keep your early writing to yourself. Once you’ve got better and feel more confident  about your writing, then feel free the show it.

If you do get negative comments with your early pieces, try your best to distance yourself from you and your work. Although it can be hard to do this, because you have so much invested in that piece,  most negative comments are based on your work and not on you as a person, or your future ability to write. There haven’t been many writers who were good at writing on their very first attempt, and you won’t be any different.  Your writing may suck today, but in six months time (writing regularly) your work will look completely different.

Read More Fiction – If you want to write good fiction you’re going to have to read good fiction. Again like genre choice, don’t force yourself to read fiction that you don’t like. If your love is romance reading, then continue reading romance novels.

As you read, pay attention to how the author create scenes, what happens in those scenes, and how the characters interact with each other. For now don’t pay attention to two story line or plotting. Instead look at how characters are dressed and how they move in those scenes. Learning how to create story lines and plotting is further down the road with your fiction writing, so don’t be too worried about those for now.

From what are discovering, go back to your own fiction writing and take a look at the scenes that you’ve wrote. Now rewrite the scene using the things you’ve just discovered. How could you improve the dialogue between your characters? Could you bring some movement into your writing? Just because your characters are sitting down at a coffee table doesn’t mean there’s no  movement happening. One character could be nervously tapping their foot, while the other character could be nervously playing around with their coffee cup. Now from what you’ve read, rewrite that scene to make it even better.

Another way to improve your fiction writing to take a piece of your favorite fiction and writing it out by hand, word by word. Although this may seem laborious to do, writing fiction like this makes you slow down and pay attention to the  words the author chooses, how they describe scenes, their use of dialogue. (Even if you never did anything else, but wrote out a small piece of fiction everyday your fiction writing would improve in leaps and bounds.)

 

And there you have it, that’s how to start fiction writing. The most important thing is to get started. By writing out a few simple scenes, you’ll soon discover if fiction writing is right for you. If you enjoy the process, then go down the route of buying more books and courses on story line, character creation, and plotting. At the end of the day if you don’t enjoy fiction writing, your readers aren’t going to enjoy reading your work. But you’ll never know unless you get started.