Executive Producer of Malkia Entertainment

Marketing is the Key

So I finally realize that book promotion is extremely important and harder than what I initially thought.  I was a lot like a few other first time authors in thinking that just because I had a really good book, the sales would be going through the roof.  I was wrong about that.  When you are trying to sell books, especially self-published books, marketing is everything.  You could have the next Best Seller available on Amazon.com or wherever you choose to publish, and nobody will ever know if you don’t put the necessary work into getting your work noticed.  While the quality of what you write is very important, how you market what you write, is even more important.  Thank God I’ve finally wisened up and am taking advantage of all of the resources available to me for book promotion.  To get your name out there as an accomplished author and your book’s name out there as a must-read, you have to put the work in.  It can almost turn into a full-time job, but it’s well worth it.

Here’s a few places that have been quite useful for me, as far as for book promotion and providing information for Indie authors:

Ebook: “How to Make, Market and Sell eBooks” by Jason Matthews

Facebook page: The Author’s Bookstore

Amazon.com  Meet the Authors page:

http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd__ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2UYC1FC06SU8S&cdThread=Tx2DE9KCP67EHWD&displayType=tagsDetail

Tx2DE9KCP67EHWD&displayType=tagsDetail

Good Reads Author Program: www.goodreads.com (After you sign up for a free account, you’ll be able to apply for an Author’s account).

Facebook group: How to Make, Market and Sell eBooks.

It’s also a good idea to start a Facebook fan page for your book.  You can tell people about it using your regular Facebook account or by Twitter or your website etc.

If you have written a book or are considering writing a book, take advantage of the resources listed and get ahead of the game in getting your book sold.

 

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Releasing My Book In Print

My last entry was about my trip to Africa in August and how much I needed that time there.  Since coming back from the trip I fulfilled one thing that I promised I would do: get my book in print.  The paperback version of “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” was released in early October and made available on Amazon.com. 

Editing for the print version was completely different than for the Kindle.  When I was writing for the Kindle all of my emotions regarding Nick and our relationship were still very fresh.  I remembered nearly everything he said to me and carried the impact of his love very close to my heart.  When I started editing for print, it had been a while since I had consistently read Nick and my emails to one another.     Re-reading all of that was like reopening a wound.  I started reliving all of the moments we shared together and remembering all of the love we had.  Sadness filled me all over again as I realized that I would never speak to Nick again and never fully experience our love the way I once had.  It hurt so bad seeing all of his beautiful words that I thought I couldn’t finish editing for print.  About halfway through it I remember breaking down in tears, not knowing if I could get it done; the pain of missing him was just too great.  I did get the book done though and I am so proud of myself for doing so. 

I do not know all that lies ahead for me and this book but I do know that I want to honor Nick for the good man that he was to me.  True love is hard to find and the gift that I had in him was truly a miracle…

Healing For the Soul

This year’s trip to Africa was exactly what I needed.  There were so many emotions running through me: joy, sadness, anticipation…  My main goal was to go there to gain healing for my soul.  Since losing Nick I hadn’t been the same.  I was filled with grief, and rightly so– Nick was a great man– but I felt like I needed strength to move on in life; strength that I couldn’t get without going back to the motherland.

When I got there, I could feel the love in the atmosphere.  Seeing the faces of the people who have so closely become my family, made me smile beyond belief.  The hugs and the laughs kept coming, and my healing began.  One of the greatest parts about being there was that it was for a happy occasion; a wedding.  All of us gathering together celebrating is what really helped me because I was so concerned about how they were doing after I last saw them last year.  It was so good to see everyone dancing and cheering and to see with my own eyes that they are coping.  Yes, the memories of Nick will always linger, but at least I’m comforted knowing that they have the strength to make it through, and that strength brings joy.

I saw so much that I can’t even begin to explain, but everything that I saw, felt, heard, did, led to one thing: me knowing that I can make it without the love of my life, and that all will be well, especially with the help of a wonderful family.

Well, this story will continue in the days to come as I choose to honor Nick and be grateful for the time that we had together. We’ll see what will come of this.  Pain this bad doesn’t come for no reason;  I may not understand it, but at least I will do something with it.  I want to make Nick’s name great worldwide………

Kindle Software

eBooks on Amazon.com were originally created for their ebook reader, the Kindle.  However, Amazon created software so that even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still download and read their ebooks.  The link to download the Kindle software for various phones, computers and iPod/iPad is:

www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/kcp

Sometimes when people think about writing a book they assume that the traditional way, of creating a manuscript and then submitting to an agent, who then submits to a publishing house, is the way to go.  This way does work for some but the success rate is slim, especially for a first time author. 

Before I wrote Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost, I took a seminar on book publishing.  I found out about how traditional publishing really works, from both an accomplished author and an agent at a publishing house.  One of the things that I found out is that once you release your book to a publishing house, you lose all rights to it.  Yes, you will make a percentage of the book sales, but the final say-so on book design and even content is no longer in your hands.  On the upside, the publishing house helps a lot with the publicity for your book and is able to get it into the hands of many wholesalers, whom are not open to the public.  This wasn’t enough to convince me to go with a traditional publishing house to publish my book though.

Love of My Life is a very personal book with lots of African lingo and slang and I didn’t want any of that changed.  I wanted the right to put anything in my book that  I wanted and leave it that way.  I wanted as much of the original language as possible and wasn’t sure if that would be maintained if I allowed it to be edited by someone at a publishing house, not familiar with the story.  That’s why I decided to self publish through Amazon.com for the Kindle.

At Amazon, I had complete control over all content in the book and book cover layout.  The result is a book with writings in their purest form, with only slight editing of grammatical or spelling errors.  Also, by choosing Amazon.com, I was able to reach a worldwide audience with just the click of a button and not have to wait for my book to be put in stores before it was available to buy.  The downside is that now all of the promotion for the book is up to me.  This is more challenging than I thought it would be.  I have to come up with creative ways to get the word out to people.

Overall, I am still happy I chose to go with Amazon.com as an eBook, but I am also looking to get the book into print.  Some people just like to hold the paper in their hands and I might be nice for me to see an actual book in print.  Printing will still be done through the self publishing avenue though;  I want to maintain complete control over content. More details to come.

Thanks Amazon.com!

I went to Africa in 2008 as a business Trip. My then boss, asked me to travel to four different countries in Africa as a Production Assistant.  We were shooting a video for a company that hired us.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t exactly like planes and I had to take two very long plane rides just to get there, so that was problem number one.  And, all I knew about Africa was what I had been shown on tv and those images weren’t very good.  I was in for a surprise, a good one.

Kenya was the first stop of the four countries.  I remember getting off the plane and feeling a sense that I was “home.”  I never felt anything like that before.  There was such an emotion of belonging.  We got settled into our hotel and I knew inside of me that I was there for a reason, I just didn’t know what the reason was.

We visited places in Kenya like Bungoma, Kisumu and Nairobi.  Nairobi had the worse street traffic I’ve ever saw in my entire life.  What is considered as dangerous to the unsuspecting American, is fairly normal car activity in Nairobi.  Nairobi is a very big city in Kenya and the life there reflects that.  What I enjoyed the most though, was traveling the back roads and seeing the lesser developed areas.  It’s something about the way the people lived that just spoke to me.  Their kindness and simplicity was beyond anything I’d ever seen in America.  There didn’t seem to be one ounce of arrogance or undue entitlement.

Of course the joy of meeting Nick changed my life forever but it was more than just him.  It was the stories and comraderie of the people; it was having tea in the middle of the day;  it was being treated with love and respect.  Africa is a wonderful place.

Overall I had a great time and when I got back to America I was a changed woman.  The imprint of Africa had been left on my soul in such a way that I longed to be there.

I know that my path in life will lead me back there several times and maybe…even permanently….

As of Wednesday July 6, 2011 “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” was officially nominated for a Global Ebook Award. I am so excited about this opportunity and all that it presents. Just to be nominated is an honor but the ultimate goal is to be the winner in the Non-fiction/Memoir category. We’ll see how it goes. Check back for updates on the competition.