ANOTHER NEW COVER

IS THE NEW COVER BETTER OR WORSE?

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WARNING – This short-story is intended for adults only due to its graphic language and sexual situations.

Her favorite Ghost

Clara continues her explorations at Club Desire.
She has been naughty before but this time Marcel, her kinky ghost lover, might just have ruined everything for her. Will Sam be able to forgive her actions? Is the humiliation of being shared with a stunning Domme too much? Or is she going to discover new things about herself?

*** This 6500- word-erotic short is a stand-alone book intended for adults only! It contains graphic language plus steamy, kinky sex scenes involving a ghost, an alpha male, a young Domme and a beautiful movie star. Plus, threesomes, foursomes, sex toys, ass play, oral skills, first-time lesbian sex, BDSM, and spanking.***

AMAZON

NEW COVER – CRAVING HER

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***WARNING ***
This short story is intended for adults only due to its explicit language and steamy scenes. Moreover, if you don’t like adult stories involving multiple partners, ‘Craving Her’ is not for you!
The Cast:
Sophia – a bright young woman who goes to an Ivy League college on a scholarship.
Bernie – her millionaire boyfriend who fools around behind her back.
Jim – Bernie’s roommate and Ron, his boyfriend – both are billionaires turned celebrities.
The Plot:
Gorgeous gay couple – deeply in love – decides to have an adventurous encounter with a woman to satisfy Ron’s growing curiosity.
Jim thinks he might have found their ideal partner in Bernie’s girlfriend.
Will nice and shy Sophia be up to something as naughty as their proposal? Should they ask her and risk Bernie’s friendship? Or will Fate intervene in Ron and Jim’s favor?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN

WITH A NEW COVER

HOW DOES IT LOOK?

HACD

Halloween at Club Desire

Clara Hervaux wants to go back to New Orleans and celebrate Halloween with Marcel at Club Desire. But things are complicated now that the movie star is the target of some crazy fan who’s been threatening her. How can she ditch the bodyguards that follow her around? Is it safe to go there alone? Will she be able to keep her escapades at the club as a secret? Or will she disappoint her favorite ghost and fail to spend Halloween night with him this year?

*** This 7500-word short is intended for adults only! It contains graphic language plus steamy, kinky scenes involving a celebrity, her gorgeous assistant, a stunning Club hostess and a hunky ghost. Not all at once, though! ***


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HALLOWEEN AT CLUB DESIRE is one of the short-stories in THE ONE MILLION PROJECT, an amazing collective work aimed at chary. It’s a collection of 24 short stories by 14 different authors now available on AMAZON exclusively.

Between Nov 2015 and Nov 2016 we hope to raise £1,000,000 for 3 main areas of Charity (CANCER RESEARCH – specifically stem cell research, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN (an International charity that aims to help at risk children and children on the street) and HOMELESSNESS (on an International scale) and thereafter all continuing sales on this book will go towards an ongoing One Million Project Foundation which will continue to raise money for charity as well as invest in the Arts/Creative projects. 90% of all money raised in perpetuity will go towards this purpose. The One Million Project is NON PROFIT.

Content is mostly G or PG with some adult content.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US eBook

Amazon UK eBook

Amazon US Paperback

Amazon UK Paperback

Facebook Page
Twitter

NEW COVERS

Lack of time doesn’t mean lack of inspiration

 

I haven’t been able to write much lately but have been updating some covers for old books.

How do these look? Please remember to leave your impressions below!

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NEW COVER FOR POWERLESS

No time to write a new story?

Why not give an old one a new cover?

For the last four months or so, I haven’t been able to write much more than blog posts and I’ve been feeling quite depressed about it.

Last week, I decided to change the cover for ‘Powerless’, one of my very first short-stories, because I wanted to test an article I was reading about how to create covers using Microsoft Word. I still haven’t had the time to look into most of the features the program offers – which was a pleasant surprise to discover it does, by the way – but I was quite satisfied with the result of my first attempt.

What do you think? *winks*

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TO TRANSLATE OR NOT TO TRANSLATE THAT SHOULDN’T EVEN BE A QUESTION

 WHY YOU SHOULD OFFER YOUR BOOKS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

As a native speaker of Portuguese and fluent in English, you might say I’m biased when the topic is offering my books in more than one language. But the fact is that since Amazon created KDP Unlimited for their Brazilian marketplace, my royalties in that market multiplied more than four times with only three titles – short-stories, by the way – published in Portuguese.

Well, I guess I’ll need to explain myself to you, guys. I don’t know why but before I started writing, I thought I’d write in Portuguese and translate the texts into English. It sounded like the natural process to me. Surprise, surprise!!! The first time I sat down to write anything, the words came to me in English and that’s how I’ve been producing since then – I write in English and translate the stories to Portuguese… Go figure!! 😀

That is why I have had time to publish only three books in Portuguese but they are doing quite well in the Amazon.com.br marketplace considering I literally DO NOT advertise them. hahaha Check the rankings:

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‘Sem Força’ is the Portuguese version of ‘Powerless’ and as of today (Mar 25th 2015) it’s listed as # 1,907 PAID in the Brazilian general Kindle store; #1 in their Books > Romance > Lesbian romance and Books > Literature and Fiction > Gay & Lesbian > Lesbian; and #9 em Kindle Store > eBooks Kindle > LGBT/GLS. Click on the cover above to check for yourself because rankings vary from time to time.

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‘Halloween no Clube Desire’ is the Portuguese edition of ‘Halloween at Club Desire’ – I think that one was easy to guess, right? – and is also doing quite well on its own. It is # 3,311 PAID in the Brazilian general Kindle store; #24 in their Books > Literature and Fiction > Women Literature. Click on the cover above to check if ranking hasn’t changed.

cover

‘No Clube Desire’, Portuguese edition of ‘At the Club’, is performing similarly to HACD above. It is # 3,436 PAID in the Brazilian general Kindle store, which puts the short-story in #26 in their Books > Literature and Fiction > Women Literature. Please, click on the cover above to check the current ranking.


My point here is that the more versions of your story you put out there, the more chances you’ll have of being discovered. The numbers above show only these books’ performances in the Brazilian Kindle Store. They sell well in other marketplaces too.

I’m so happy with these results that I’ve hired a friend, who is a native speaker of Spanish and fluent in both English and Portuguese, to translate my books to Spanish. Soon, I intend to take the Mexican and the Spanish Kindle Stores by storm!!! LOL 😀

You don’t believe me? Fair enough. Here’s what other authors have said about translating their books. You can find the original text at Amazon KDP website: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A25ML2TL5OQQ11#words.

Some Things to Consider

Here are a few questions you may want to ask a freelancer to help make a decision:

• How long will the translation take?
• How much will the translation cost?
• Are they a native speaker of the desired language? (Keep in mind, translators generally translate into their native language.)
• Will they need specialized knowledge to translate my book, i.e. computer skills?
• What other books have they translated? Can they provide a resume or curriculum vitae?
• Do they work with an editor as part of the translation?
• What are the payment terms?
• Who will hold copyright of the translated work?

Words from Authors Who’ve Translated Their Work

Here are some testimonials from KDP authors who have had their works translated:

My Spanish translation of Area 51 is selling well on Amazon ES and also in the United States. I’m currently having over a dozen titles translated into Spanish, German and Italian and plan on expanding that list. As Kindle sales increase in those countries, I know I will see exponential growth in the marketplace.

-Bob Mayer, best-selling KDP author

In the digital era, non-English readers are just a button-click away. All you need are qualified, willing translators who see the opportunities in the new publishing era. I pay my translators a royalty percent of my sales on the belief that we will reap long-term benefits together, and I have independently published 10 foreign editions of my books. As Amazon continues to expand into new countries and languages, my catalog and audience will grow as well. Plus it’s fun and exciting to work with creative partners around the world. The way I look at it, I still have seven billion readers to meet, and Amazon is making it possible.

-Scott Nicholson, best-selling KDP author

I work hard to find a great team of translators and editors for each language, putting them together one by one via referrals from other writers and translators, and posting project proposals at companies like odesk.com and Craigslist. I hire a translator, 2 proofreaders, and a QA person for each language to try and make sure the translation is of the highest quality.

With regards to how long it takes per book that depends on the length of the book and each translator’s schedule. Usually I will have a translation back within 4-12 weeks. The proofreaders then need the time to work on the book. I usually have future translations in progress while I am in the process of production on each title – making the foreign cover, assembling the foreign metadata, etc.

The price depends on length and language. I’ve paid between $1,000 and $5,000. Some languages are less expensive (Spanish, Portuguese) and some are much higher (Swedish and Japanese).

It is a very exciting process – I love seeing all the titles go up in each language and it’s even more exciting when they start selling so well right out of the gate, as many of my self-published translated titles have been in the top 100 best seller lists at the Amazon stores in each country already! I have done German, French, Italian and Spanish so far. I will have Portuguese and Swedish out soon and am considering other languages as well.

-Bella Andre, best-selling KDP author

Keep in mind, the service descriptions above are based on public information available on the service providers’ websites. Amazon doesn’t endorse or recommend any one company over the other.

MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 5 of 5)

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Wow, you made it back! Thank you for your visit. Remember to leave your thoughts below.

Last week, I reminisced about my childhood reading habits. No surprise I’m such a nerd nowadays, huh? Oh, you didn’t read the post, you say? That’s fine, there’s no need to blush, sweetie. I invite you to check it here

Well, my dearest, I saved the best for last – SPREADING THE WORD.

You busted your behind polishing your text to perfection. You created an attractive cover. You mastered the eBook formatting with honors. You even created a printed version of your masterpiece. And much like the old saying, you believed once your book was ready, the readers would come. In your wildest dreams, they would flock in thousands to buy it.

Days and weeks passed and the readers didn’t come in the quantities or with the frequency you had imagined. Every time you logged into your account to check on sales, you dreaded seeing the rude arrow pointing down as your title plunged that famous online bookstore rankings. Your hopes began to falter and you doubted yourself.  

Do you remember my first post on Marketing Indie Books? I said most authors don’t want to bother with promoting their books. They’d rather concentrate on the creative process. That’s harder to accomplish for indie authors and I wrote extensively about the reasons then. I won’t repeat myself. You can find it here.

After you published your first book, (or second or tenth), you found out you needed to tell your readers about it because that nasty arrow on your sales dashboard kept disappearing at the bottom of the computer screen. What better way to do that than to have reviews posted where readers go to choose their next books?

There are many websites and Facebook pages where you find people who review books. All kinds of people reviewing all kinds of books. All you have to do is send them a copy and they’ll read it and post their opinion. Right? Are you sure? Really?! When are they going to do that? Where are they going to post their reviews? Your book is on sale only on one online store but the reviewer doesn’t have an account there. They have an account on the same store – Yay!! – but later you discover it’s on another marketplace – one that doesn’t help with your book’s ranking. Not to mention the people who get your book and never bother to post a review. I prefer to think they didn’t like my book because the alternative reason is preposterous.

I wasted a lot of time searching for reviewers and contacting them before I got to a rare oasis in this dry internet landscape: Rave Reviews Book Club. If you’re a member, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, go there NOW and join. You don’t know what you’re missing. Rave Review Book Club is the only place I found which offers such an impressive number of high-quality authors committed to supporting one another. This kind of network is priceless. Not to mention that a review written by an author looks so much better than a three-word comment from a regular customer on the online store. It makes your book look better, even if the rating is a ‘four star’, as opposed to a five-star comment stating your book is “a good read.”

Now, if you’re an author who doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to learn, how to create an attractive cover; to master the eBook formatting; or to create a printed version of your masterpiece. If you want to concentrate your best efforts and your precious time on writing your next novel, I recommend you find professionals who will take care of those things for you. They can do it all, except the writing bit, or do just the parts you don’t like or don’t have time to do.

I searched for such professionals for a while as well. Much as it happened when I looked for reviewers, I found out there were all kinds of people offering all kinds of services within the publishing industry. They offered complete packages or compartmentalized ones. There were very expensive services as well as extremely cheap ones. In most cases, a superficial analysis of their clients’ rankings on major online stores was enough to make me run for the hills. In other ones, just logging into their websites offered me evidence that the quality of their services was not what I wanted for my book. I had worked so hard on it. I wanted only the best for my baby, I mean, book. LOL

That was when I chose the people I trusted the most. People who respect books as much as I do. People who cherish authors, who make a point of supporting them. People who strive to deliver quality products because they are as much of a perfectionist as I am – the team at 4Willspublishing. Thank you for your hard work and congratulations on your many successful stories. You deserve all the praises you can get! YOU ROCK!

Thank you once again for stopping by today. Please, leave your thoughts and spread the word!!

MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 4 of 5)

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Welcome back to my Marketing Indie Books series. On Feb 2nd, I discussed how complex and sometimes frustrating Formatting eBooks can be. If you haven’t read the post, I invite you to check it here. Then, hurry back here. Go on! we’ll wait!

Today we’ll talk about – PRINTING YOUR BOOKS. The post will be briefer than the previous ones. Not because it’s not important, on the contrary. But because this aspect of the indie publishing industry is much easier than it might seem.

Before I became a writer, I had always been an avid reader. I would read almost anything I could find. Granted, if the book was really awful, I wouldn’t finish it. Still, I would try to read it. I revered the printed pages of books to the point of being unable to write on them, to make notes on the margins, as some of my friends would do when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindles!!! LoL)

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print book. And heard about the minimum number of copies a publishing house needed to print a book. This information added to my previous idea about the rarity of the printed words.

Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing my first short-stories, I didn’t dare consider printing them. I pushed that thought to the furthest corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until one day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL

There are many companies offering ‘print-on-demand’ services – if you’re not familiar with the term, it means they will print and deliver books as customers buy them. I won’t discuss here the pros and cons of each one of them or the good and bad points of this method of printing books. I will just say that, in my opinion, as an indie writer, if the greatest advantage of printing on demand is the cost, the biggest disadvantage is the price. Meaning – indie authors can’t usually afford the traditional way of first printing books in large quantities and then selling them. On the other hand, printing-on-demand a 400-page book will make your selling price go up to the stratosphere if you want to keep a sizeable margin of profits.

Having said that, I must confess that I chose to offer my books in print, with a very small margin of profit, mainly because it fed my ego. There, I said it! But in my defense, I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped around and somersaulted countless times when I held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a ‘published author’ now. I ROCK!” 😀

Like I said before, there are various companies to choose from when you decide to sell your stories in print. Personally, I stuck with CreateSpace because I thought it would be easier to work with a company in the Amazon group, since most of my titles are published exclusively with that online store.

Regarding the ‘how to’ part of using their services, I initially had problems with the formatting much as I described in my prvious post about eBooks. I won’t bore you repeating it. You can read it here, if you’re curious. I’ll just say that, although they don’t have a guide ready to be downloaded like KDP does, there are plenty of files you can access from their ‘Help’ tab, which address specific formatting issues. It took me a while to go through them and get the hang of the set-up. Once I did, though, I created a template-file and saved it to my computer. After that, I copied and pasted the following story to the template-file and saved as a new one. I repeated the process with all the other books. Voilà. I could finally sell my stories in print.

Thank you for visiting today. Please leave your thoughts below and stay tuned for more on Marketing Indie Books! Next post will be about ‘SPREADING THE WORD’ and it’s filled with priceless promotion tips.You don’t want to miss it!!

 

MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 3 of 5)

Welcome back to my series of posts about Marketing Indie books! I’m honored to have you here again.

On January 18th, I talked about how hard and time-consuming creating covers can be. If you haven’t read the post, please, click here. I think you’ll have fun with the exercise I proposed there.

Today I will share my discoveries about – FORMATTING EBOOKS

Do you remember the first part I posted on this subject two days ago? We reflected on how frustrating it sometimes is to see that your beautifully written book looks ugly on somebody’s eReader. Have you felt that frustration as well?

I get it, my friend! You spent countless hours searching for your book. After all, it doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction – you research information before putting pen to paper. Or cursor to screen, nowadays. You poured your heart and soul into the story. You made sure it was the best story you could have written. You uploaded it to the online stores and crossed your fingers. Readers liked it. They posted positive reviews about it. One day, somebody pointed out the story was great but they couldn’t give your book five starts because there were too many blank spaces in it. The next reviewer stated that they wouldn’t have mentioned problems with the formatting if no one else had done so, because they valued the story; but, since another customer had mentioned it, they would like to say they agreed on that. All of a sudden, you started getting one-star reviews based solely on the formatting issues. Before you knew it, the online store froze sales of your book and sent you a friendly email asking you to fix said issues before they could put your book back on sale at their store. *PANIC*.

Do you think I exaggerated? Do you reckon the story is unlikely to happen? Well, I cannot gauge the frequency of cases like the one I described above, but I know at least one. It didn’t happen to me. A dear friend and fellow author went through this ordeal over Christmas and New Year. He ended up missing a good period of sales for his brilliant, non-fiction book because the major online store where he had published it froze the book’s sales until he fixed the formatting issues. Namely – a few words that weren’t properly separated on the final ebook file and extra spaces between paragraphs that ‘hindered the readers optimum reading experience’. Bottom line is – we never know when an apparently small issue will amount to a huge one.

Furthermore, I believe delivering the best quality product possible is the minimum a supplier should do. In the business of publishing books, writers are the suppliers. Ergo (don’t you love this word – ‘ergo’? I do!) we must do our best to offer our readers a good-looking, easy-to-navigate eBook for their enjoyment. The important question is – is formatting eBooks a difficult task?

Well… yes and no.

It took me a while to figure out how to do it. I wasted a lot of time downloading apps, reading their instructions, and proceeding to create eBooks that looked awful. You see, it turned out I was doing things the other way around. I wrote my texts on Word® documents first and used apps to convert them into eBooks before uploading them to the online stores. Or I uploaded the .doc files directly to the stores automated converters. In both cases, I would set up the fonts, margins, headings on those Word® documents as I pleased. I didn’t know I needed to set the files in a specific way before converting them.

Almost by accident I stumbled on a comprehensive guide on formatting Ebooks called ‘Building Your Book for Kindle’. I downloaded it free of charge at the ‘Help’ section on my KDP Account Dashboard. It is a step-by-step text with screenshots to guide you through the whole process – from setting up your .doc file to uploading it to the automated converter on Amazon KDP. Once I created a compatible file, I used it as template for the following ones.

Although most of my titles are published exclusively on Amazon, I have a handful of books published elsewhere. Smashwords also offer good guides to formatting and publishing on their store. If you want to sell your books on Barnes & Noble and Apple, I recommend Draft2Digital. They offer excellent service for free, and attractive royalties plans.

To quote Bugs Bunny: ‘That’s all, folks!’ Come back next week for Part 4. I’ll talk about the ancient question – ‘to turn or not to turn’ your eBook into a printed book.

See you then!

Liz Gavin

MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 2 of 5)

Welcome back to marketing Indie Books series. On Jan 06th, I introduced the first part of my reflections on writing and marketing indie book. If you haven’t read the post, I invite you to check it here.

Today I want to share with you my ideas on – CREATING COVERS.

You know that old saying ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’, right? Well, the thing is – most people do that. Some people do that all the time.

In my defense, let me just make it clear that I know covers can be misleading. I know a beautiful cover image does not always means the content is to our liking. On the other hand, a plain-looking picture on the cover of a book may hide a treasure inside its pages.

I know all that. However, I often wonder – why not combine an excellent story and a compelling cover. Does it seem easy enough for you? Well… it’s not that simple, actually. One must have a picture they can use. I mean, the author must have taken a useful picture himself/herself to avoid facing copyright issues. If they don’t have it, they need to find an image, with good quality resolution, and appropriate dimensions, at one of the many royalty-free stock image websites available in the Internet.

Does it still sound simple? If you’re an author, you know it isn’t. If you’re a reader, let me propose an exercise. Think about a book you’ve read. Any book. Think about it’s storyline and main characters. Forget its actual cover and go online searching for an image you think portraits that storyline and those characters. How long did it take you to find it?

Great. You have your image. But, is the picture royalty-free? Is it ready to be used on the cover of your book? Do you need to edit it? Do you need to include a title and the author’s name? How do you do that? How long will it take you to finish your cover?

Phew! I’m tired already. Aren’t you? I told you it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Now, if you’re a reader, you may now have a slight idea of what we have to go through to offer you a decent-looking cover. If you’re am author and want to know more about it, I’ll tell you about my personal experience.

Editing pictures can be tricky. I’ve tried using Photoshop many times without results that satisfied me. Don’t get me wrong – it is a great program. I can’t seem to master it, though. I found an excellent website for editing images which offers user-friendly features. Mainly for those users who, like me, are leaning towards the ‘Photoshop-dumb-users’ kind. If you want to check it out, it’s called Pickmonkey. My favorite source for royalty-free stock images is Big Stock Photo because they have variety, high-resolution quality, and fair prices.

That’s all for today. folks. Tune in tomorrow, at the next stop on Lucky Blog Tour, for my musings on formatting your eBook.