Thursday, November 25, 2010

Still Need More Hits After Blog Jog Day?

As a follow-up to Blog Jog Day, and to help those who participated by including their Websites, I’ve decided to offer some help to them. Many said they did get fresh visitors and some new followers to their sites, but asked in the same breath, “How can I consistently get more?”

As an author, new visitors to your Blog or Website are crucial to getting noticed as a writer as well as selling your books or services. Getting hits comes from knowing how popular your site is with the search engines and being able to draw visitors through them as well as through your own “side-line” efforts. So how does your site rank?

First, use the Website Grader at to see your stats. Simply type in your Website URL and click “Generate Report” (un-check for “Monthly Updates”). This is the best free tool online to find out where your site ranks.

Now you know; so how do you improve these rankings? Start by sending a note to Google and other search engines every time you post something new. Yes, the search engines will automatically look for new posts, but not very often on a less popular site (as most of ours are). So you need to step up and submit your Website yourself (below are the links to do that). Make sure you are submitting the “exact” URL for your new post. Each time you post, Blogger or whoever you use, creates a special link just for that new post. Example:

My URL is
Bloggers assigned URL for my post on Publishing is
See the difference?

Here are the links to submit your new posts:

Next, get some inbound links by visiting sites which are similar in content to yours and asking for a link exchange. Scroll down to the bottom of this home page to see all the related links I have swapped with and how I place them on my page. Also, every time you visit another Blog, leave a comment with a link to your site.

Another appealing asset the search engines are happy to see is consistent new useful content on your site. The more good information you post, the more value they see in your site. More value means better placement when a potential customer is searching for your product.

For added hits to your site, I like Entrecard. You put the logo on your site (create one for yourself) and share advertizing spots on other members sites. Yes, over time many become repeated visits and quick click-throughs, but that still looks good to the search engines and you will get fresh visitors through your free ads. Sign up for Entrecard at

Make sure you have a “Share” button on your Website. That way visitors who like your site can share it on other social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Find the Share button at

I hope this information is helpful to you as we’re all in this together and I would love to see all those in this field become more successful! Notice all these marketing avenues are free?

This site (A Book Inside) has reached a page rank of 5 (that’s really good), but it took 5 years and a lot of work to get here. Even so, my visitor count could be better. I have a lot to learn; but what I do know I have shared with you here. If you know of some great ways to build a following, please share that with all of us in the comment section below.

Even right here and now, you can help my site by clicking the Share button and posting this on your own social networking sites! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Welcome to blog Jog Day!

I have a special gift for you just for stopping by! Leave your e-mail address in any of the comment areas and I will send you The Writer In You, a short e-book full of advice from published authors in all fields of writing.

When you’re done peeking at my site here, please click over to Rose Firewalker’s TeaGarden at I had the best time browsing through her Blog!

Remember Joggers, if you drift away from the chain of Blogs, click back here or start over back at Enjoy your journey!

Friday, November 12, 2010

To Be, Or Not To Be Self-Published; That Is The Question

This article coutesy of Angela Joseph. Thank you Angela!

The term self-publishing carries with it a lot of negative connotations. As writers, we are led to believe that if you self-publish your book, you immediately brand yourself as “not-good-enough.” Truth be told, most of the self-published books I have read have made me cringe, but some traditional books also come in for my mental red ink. With traditional publishers falling on hard times, editors are becoming more leery of taking on new names these days and are sticking with their tried and true authors. Occasionally, a new name makes it into the hallowed halls.
Knowing al this, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish my first non-fiction book Women For All Seasons which was released a few days ago. Why did I self-publish? Mainly, for reasons listed before. As a newbie without a platform, having a work of non-fiction accepted by a traditional publisher seemed as unlikely as snow falling in Florida. Also, I’ve heard that authors, indie or otherwise, must do their own promoting. You cannot rely on your publisher to promote your book for you. Since my book is a niche book, I thought if I market wisely, I could see some good results. For those reasons I never approached an agent or editor.

Bigger Royalties
Traditionally published books earn an average of 10% in royalties, which in most cases is just around $1.00. If you did get a big advance, that may help, otherwise $1.00 is not enough to make you give up your day job. To my great amazement, I realized that my self-published book would earn just slightly more on Amazon after the publisher has taken out his share. And it’s not likely to get into bookstores, nor is it likely to be reviewed, unless I choose to pay for a review. However, if I convert to an ebook or Kindle, which I plan to do, I can make much higher royalties.

The Advantages of Self Publishing
So what are the advantages of self publishing? First, it ensures that your masterpiece (if you can call it that) goes before the public instead of staying on your hard drive. Second, it's quick. Your work gets out while it’s still fresh in your mind and you still feel some connection to it. Third, if your book is well written, you can get positive feedback from your readers and your book may eventually be picked up by a traditional house. Fourth, even though you may not make a lot of sales, a good self-published book can lead to other things; speaking engagements, writing contracts and the like.

The Company You Keep
If you still think your self-published book puts you in the company of the less-than-noteworthy, think again. Ever heard of Virginia Wolf, Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, John Grishman? These famous scribes all self published at one time. So if you decide to go the self-published route, here are some things to consider. Do your homework. If you are tech savvy, you may opt for a service like Lulu where you can convert your work to a PDF file and upload it. Then you can design your cover or have someone do it for you. If not, you can research one of the many POD publishers, as I did, and choose the one that gives you the best value for your money. Polish your work as if you were pitching it to a reputable agent. Get someone to edit it, or enlist the help of your writers’ group (as I did). Only when you are satisfied that your book meets and passes the sparkle test, then go ahead and publish. Once you have submitted it, begin your marketing efforts. Make use of social networking sites, blogs and other communities to create buzz about your book. You may find that once you have done all that you can do, and then some, you will enjoy the journey of bringing your baby into the world.

Post courtesy of “Angela’s Freelance Writing.” Please visit Angela’s site at

If you are undecided as to how to publish your book, visit Plain & Simple Books Publishing at and learn about alternative book publishing options.

Image: George Bernard Shaw 1912

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Publish Your Book For Free? Yes!

Are you a writer ready to publish your book? Is the process confusing and frustrating? Not sure what publishing method to use? I may have a solution for you.

For more than five years now, I have had my own publishing company, Plain & Simple Books, LLC. The company was formed strictly for the purpose of publishing my own books; I am now ready to open my business to outside authors seeking alternative publishing.

What Plain & Simple Books is offering authors:
*No upfront costs
*Free basic layout and design (value $200+)
*Free basic cover design (value $300.00+)
*Commission on Amazon and Kindle sales
*Significant discount off the cover price for author book purchases (no minimum order)
*Authors maintain rights to copyright
*Finally, and most importantly…your finished book in hand!

To learn more, please visit my new “temporary” Website at or e-mail me with your questions at