Posted on September 21st, 2014 No comments
One of the biggest problems business owners, particularly solopreneurs and authors, have, is the tendency to try to do it all. Rebecca Livermore is known for her ability to help authors free up their time by taking care of the tedious stuff, podcast support, Kindle formatting and uploading, blog writing, proofreading and editing. She’s a wealth of information. I’m so thrilled she has agreed to answer my curious questions on writing and publishing Kindle eBooks. If you foresee a book in your near future you don’t want to miss this interview!
Carol: Rebecca, Can you begin by telling my readers and I a little bit about yourself, your services and how you got started as a freelance writer?
Rebecca: I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, where I got my start in writing for print magazines. When I was about to graduate from high school, I told my parents that I wanted to be a freelance writer, but my dad encouraged me to do something “more practical.” Because of that, I put off writing for a long time.
I don’t begrudge my dad for that advice. Both he and my mom came from poor backgrounds, and through a lot of hard work and “being practical” were able to provide a nice home for our family. I think he was concerned that as a writer I would fit into the starving artist category, and he certainly didn’t want me to go through that, so his advice was motivated by his care for me and what he felt was in my best interest.
Thankfully, my husband saw great potential in me, and encouraged me to write and even went so far as to subscribe to Writer’s Digest Magazine for me, even before I was ready to start writing. His encouragement eventually paid off and I decided to give writing a try.
Knowing that writing was a competitive field, I set a goal that I wouldn’t give up until I had written and submitted 100 articles and had all of them rejected. If that happened, at that point I would give myself permission to quit. Fortunately, I sold the second article I wrote and from there was very motivated to keep writing.
In 2006 I transitioned into writing for the Web, which I now focus on almost exclusively.
In terms of my services, I provide consulting related to various types of content creation such as blogging and podcasting. I also provide some hands on help with podcasting, and editing and Kindle services such as formatting and submission of Kindle books.
Carol: Have you written any books of your own and published them to Kindle?
Rebecca: Yes. At the current time I’ve published two of my own Kindle books and am working on a third one. I’ve also just started cowriting a Kindle book. All of my Kindle books can be found at http://eBooksByRebecca.com.
Carol: Why should an author consider Kindle? What do you love the most about the opportunities Kindle provides authors?
Rebecca: Kindle provides a lot of opportunities for authors. While you can definitely create eBooks and sell them from your own site, Amazon is a great place to find readers for your books, since it has its own search engine.
In addition to that, Kindle deals with the delivery of your eBooks so you don’t have to set up a store, deal with collecting payment, deal with customer issues, etc.
Unless you pay someone for editing, cover design, etc. there is no actual upfront cost for publishing a Kindle book. A percentage of each sale goes to Amazon, and the remainder goes to you.
It’s still important to promote the books you write because putting them up on Amazon in and of itself will not be enough to grow your readership to the place where it will be really profitable, but Amazon certainly provides an excellent platform for independent authors.
Carol: I’m in the middle of writing two eBooks and planning on submitting them to Kindle. Do they need to be formatted in a special way before they can be uploaded? Is this something you can help authors with who don’t enjoy the technical side of things?
Rebecca: Yes, you do need to format your books specifically for Kindle. For example, you don’t just upload a PDF or a Word document and hope for the best. It’s not super complicated to do, and there are instructions for doing so on the Kindle Direct Publishing website, but it does require attention to detail and is a little on the techy side.
Because of the attention to detail and technical details, I do provide this service for authors who would prefer to focus their time and energy on writing instead of spending time and perhaps frustration formatting.
Carol: We both know working from home can come with many blessings and many challenges. What nugget of wisdom would you like to share for someone considering working from home as a freelancer?
Rebecca: I think a key is to know your optimal work time — the time of day that you work best — and then spend that time on the most important aspect of your business. For instance, I personally work best in the morning, and I largely make a living writing, so I spend the first hours of my day focused on writing. I do that before spending time on email, social media, etc. This type of focus helps me to make progress in the things that matter most.
Carol: Is there secret ways to increase your Kindle books ranking on Amazon?
Rebecca: There are certainly things you can do to help increase your rankings. One is that it’s important to leverage your existing network. For instance, if you have an email list, letting your list know you have a new book, and occasionally promoting it to your list. You can, of course, also share about your book on social media.
But one of the biggest keys is to write multiple books in the same genre. Most of the people really making decent money with Kindle books are doing so because they have several books. This works well because if people like your work, they are likely to buy many if not all of your books. You can also use each of your books to promote your other books by doing things like linking to your other books at the end of each book.
Carol: I wanted to be sure to tell everyone reading this interview that we met on Twitter. I think Twitter is underestimated. I have met authors, clients and many new connections on Twitter. How important do you feel Twitter has been in growing your business?
Rebecca: I’ve been on Twitter for quite some time, but have only recently really started using it. I’ve been blown away by the number of people who have connected with me on Twitter and reached out to me regarding my services, or as with you, reached out to me for interviews. I’m also finding it to be a good way to build my email list since I link to an opt-in page in my Twitter profile.
Moving forward, investing time in Twitter is one of my top strategies for growing my business.
Carol: How important do you feel podcasting is to an authors growth and exposure? Especially new authors?
Rebecca: Podcasting is a great way for authors to build a platform. One big reason is that there are fewer podcasts than blogs, so it’s easier to be found through a podcast than a blog. At the same time, podcasting and blogging work together well since you can (and should) post your podcasts on your blog.
Whether you’re a new or established author, a podcast can really help you expand your reach.
Carol: For someone dreaming of writing a book but just can’t seem to get started what would you like to tell them?
Rebecca: Most often when people have a hard time getting started, it’s because the task feels overwhelming. This is especially true for something as big as a book.
The best way to make an overwhelming task less overwhelming is to break it down into bite-sized pieces. With a book, I would start off by doing a brain dump of everything you can think of that might be included in the book. It’s important to do this step without any judgment or worrying about whether or not the ideas are good ones. (You can eliminate the bad ideas later!)
Once you’ve done the initial brain dump, take all of those bits and put them together in an organized way. You can do this on paper, on index cards, or whatever makes the most sense to you. Then take that and write the book, bit by bit.
For example, if you used index cards, you could pick up one index card, and then write just that section. Writing your book “one index card at a time” is not overwhelming and yet can help you make great progress. If you had 50 index cards and tackled writing the content for one card each day, you can have your book written in two months.
Carol: Is there a page recommendation for ebooks? Do they need to be as long as a paper book?
Rebecca: The great news is that eBooks are typically shorter than print books, so they can be a bit faster and easier to write.
There really is a broad range of page lengths for eBooks, but a general rule of thumb is between 10,000 and 30,000 words, compared to an average of about 50,000 words for a print book.
To translate this into pages, an average book page is 250 words. So a 10,000 word Kindle book would be 40 pages, and a 30,000 Kindle book would be 120 pages. It’s important to note, however, that Kindle books don’t have “pages” in the traditional sense.
You can even write Kindle books that are less than 10,000 words, but it’s important to note the length in the description and to also price the book accordingly, so people don’t feel ripped off. For instance, I would price a book that is over 10,000 words at $2.99 and a book that is shorter at either $0.99 or $1.99.
Thanks Rebecca for that tidbit of very important information. Pricing seems to be a common issue for eBook authors.
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts. Are you enjoying my latest interviews? Would you like to see more?
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Social Media Help 4 U is a virtual based business that supports authors and businesses based on integrity. Social Media Help 4 U offers conscious based business services, providing intuitive and skill based social media management, product reviews & consulting. Carol and her team manage social media accounts for busy business owners, authors and entrepreneurs. They assist their clients in building their online presence, engagement and connections with like minded people, customers and clients. They are fully aware that their clients online reputation is at stake. With the values of integrity, honesty and dependability being their top priority. Carol enjoys writing, the outdoors, having fun with her family & friends and interviewing movers & shakers in the writing world.
Posted on September 13th, 2014 No comments
Hello everyone, I wanted to invite you to join me on Facebook and share your business.
I’m hosting a Facebook party all weekend long. How do you participate? It’s simple. Go to my Facebook page. You will see my “Share Your Business” graphic.
Underneath it in the comments tag your business Facebook page or share the url to your business webpage. Be sure to tell us what your business is all about. Please like the graphic and share it so others can join in the party. You only have to follow the businesses you are interested in.
Here’s a tip. Like new pages from your Facebook page. This is done easily on your desktop. Then when you share or comment on a page it’s promoting and bringing attention to your page not you. If your page is your brand that’s where the focus needs to be, not your personal profile. But before you go check out my 3 tips on growing your business page with Facebook be sure to take a peek at my special bonus. Don’t worry i’m not selling you anything.
Three Ways To Grow Your Business With Facebook Plus A Special Bonus. (Be sure to read entire article.)
1. Engage – get talking, sharing and liking. When someone responds to something your business page shares on Facebook acknowledge them. Answer their questions, thank them, like their comments. This let’s them know you are paying attention and their feedback matters. Every time there is engagement on your page through a comment, like share, etc it bumps your post back into the newsfeed.
2. Post often. There are many opinions on when to post but simply just getting consistent will help. Even having a posting calender with regular updates starting at 7 am can help. I like to post once an hour when possible. If i’m busy and i’m not able to post that often then I make sure I have content in the morning, at lunch time to catch the lunch crowd, another in the afternoon and one in the evening. This particularly helps if you have a very small ad budget.
3. Facebook ads. Yes Facebook is a pay to play place now. But who cares, you won’t find this kind of market anywhere. The ability to target your audience makes it second to none. Obviously an ad budget of $1,000 a day would become an overnight game changer for your business but if you are small business and your not sure, $300 a month is ideal. Seriously lacking in funds? Try $50 a month. I have pages that convert even on a small budget. Running ads helps your page get seen. Build up your customer/fan base then begin using a sales funnel to convert your ads into sales. Be sure to see my bonus below to learn how powerful Facebook can be for your business.Before you read my bonus, click the link above, head over to my Facebook page and join in the party. Share your FB page, website url or Twitter page. Then come back here and listen to Brendons powerful video!!Here is the bonus I’ve been telling you about.Super powerful Facebook marketing training video by Brendon Burchard (If swear words bother you skip this video. If not grab a pen and paper and take notes. Brendon is no joke. The people listening to him talk paid 25K to be there!) If you don’t have time to watch save it for later!!!
Watch this entire video to learn Brendon’s 10 favorite Facebook strategies, including his ad strategy and the gasp-inducing announcement that has the entire industry talking. This is not Brendon’s full presentation, just a shorter version of a secret speech he gave to a room of high-level marketers. Results shared by Brendon are not typical nor should be expected – he’s just sharing his personal experience with his personal friends in the room. Nothing here is a promise to you or guarantee of results or anything at all… in fact, there is nothing for sale in this video. (I’m not an affiliate and receive nothing for sharing this video. It’s simply powerful and I feel any business or marketer who has a page on Facebook should watch this. You can glean tips people pay a lot of money to learn. ~ Carol )Social Media Help 4 U is a virtual based business that supports authors and businesses based on integrity. Social Media Help 4 U offers conscious based business services, providing intuitive and skill based social media management, product reviews & consulting. Carol and her team manage social media accounts for busy business owners, authors and entrepreneurs. They assist their clients in building their online presence, engagement and connections with like minded people, customers and clients. They are fully aware that their clients online reputation is at stake. With the values of integrity, honesty and dependability being their top priority. Carol enjoys writing, the outdoors, having fun with her family & friends and interviewing movers & shakers in the writing world. Do you have an ad budget? Are you ready to rock your Facebook page? Contact Carol today!
Posted on September 7th, 2014 No comments
From time to time I like to share with you inspiring interviews from authors. I’ve been looking forward to this interview with Ellen Violette. I believe you will walk away from reading this interview with inspiration to get busy writing your own best seller. Read carefully. Ellen provides you some very useful tips! Ellen Violette is well known as the eBook Coach. She has helped many authors realize their dream of becoming a published author.
Carol: Ellen, how did you become known as the eBook Coach?
Ellen: I was a Grammy-nominated songwriter and a producer, winning a lot of awards, but not making much money. My parents were supporting my husband and me. We built a world-class recording studio in the house I grew up in and we had a blast.
But, then the Northridge earthquake hit and our house was severely damaged. We lived close to where the Santa Monica Freeway collapsed. Then, my parents both passed away within 11 months of each other and we were left with the damaged house. And that was the only potential equity in their estate-if we fixed it up.
So we spent a year doing that. We sold it, made good money, and came down to San Diego just as the real- estate market was taking off her. Since we did so well on my parent’s house and we enjoyed the process, we started buying, fixing, and selling houses. But, then the market got too hot and there was nothing to buy; all the investment money dried up too.
So, we took a property management job back in Los Angeles and I got online. I’d always wanted to write books but I hated the idea of having to write a book proposal and wait for someone to give me permission to publish. I had done that for 20 years in music and I was so over it.
Then, I found eBooks, and loved the idea that I could get directly to my audience and nobody could stop me! It was totally liberating and I just knew it was the right path for me. So, I wrote my first ebook from an ebook and it was extremely frustrating, so I went looking for an eBook Coach, but there weren’t any so I decided to become one. In fact, I was the very first eBook Coach, and several of the coaches out there have created their programs from mine.
But, since I was the first, I often refer to myself as the Original eBook Coach. And I’ve been blessed.
I decided I could create a better program than anything out there so I created my 3 Days to eBook Cash Authoring Program. I then created my eBook Profit Marketing Secrets Program and my business took off immediately.
I made over $13,000 in the first 6 weeks and a 6-figure income on 2 ½ years. I now have clients who are making a high-6 or 7-figure income and doing it in less time than it took me because they don’t have to make all the mistakes I made. And, I’ve streamlined my processes even more over the years. Also, many of my clients have become Amazon best-selling authors which is very rewarding for me! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on September 5th, 2014 No commentsLast week my wonderful sister in-law shared this recipe on her Facebook page. I shared it to my Facebook page so I could go back to it later when I had a chance to print it out. As Fall approaches i’m feeling the urge to bake, do crafts and move into winter mode. The cool thing is the last four years I lost my love for doing most things. I was so drained due to becoming anemic that I actually slept A lot! I wrote about it last June. If you want to see my whole story you can get the complete scoop here! This year I’ve felt fantastic. My old loves are returning to me. (By that I mean scrapbooking, baking, writing, ect. I only have one true love. Mr. Lawrence.)Last weekend I baked these bad boys up. Oh my gosh they are so delicious! I’ve made banana bread for years. It’s a favorite around our house but these bars got rave reviews over and over again. Randy is requesting I make them already again soon. For variety and some added nutrition I added some freshly grated zucchini from my garden. I also added in a little cinnamon. Next time I’ll toss in a small handful of chocolate chips. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.I wish I could give the original author credit but the name of who put this delicious concoction together is unknown to me.This recipe was shared on Facebook over 455,000 times.Banana Bread Bars
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour
15×10-inch jelly roll pan.1. For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour
cream, butter, and eggs until creamy.
Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1
minute. Stir in walnuts.2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20
to 25 minutes or until golden brown.3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in
a large saucepan over medium heat until
boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate
brown and remove from heat4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract
and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it
should be thicker than a glaze but thinner
than frosting). Using a spatula, spread
the brown butter frosting over the warm
bars (the frosting will be easier to spread
while the bars are still warm).The frosting is easier to make then it sounds and it is sooooo good!If you love to cook you might want to follow my Yummy Food board on Pinterest!Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.What’s your favorite fall recipe?Carol Lawrence is the owner of Social Media Help 4 U , a virtual based business that supports authors and businesses based on integrity. Social Media Help 4 U offers conscious business services, providing intuitive and skill based social media management, product reviews & consulting. Carol and her team manage their clients social media accounts. They assist their clients in building their online presence, engagement and connections with like minded people, customers and clients. They are fully aware that their clients online reputation is at stake. With the values of integrity, honesty and dependability being their top priority. Looking for social media assistance to grow your online presence and provide top notch customer service? Look no further. Multiple packages available. Perfect for the business on a tight budget and for the company who knows the value of a marketing budget and needs help putting their company on the social map!
Posted on August 31st, 2014 No comments
This post is part of my series. A Day In The Life Of A Social Media Manager.
5 Signs You Are Experiencing Burnout And What To Do About It.
Sometimes life can get so crazy busy we forget to slow down. When we keep going we eventually burn out.
Here are five tell-tell signs i’ve reached my limit. Maybe you recognize the same symptoms within yourself.
I’m a giver. What can I say I come by it naturally. I tend to do everything else then take care of myself. Since I turned 40, I’m 45 now … I’ve felt my inner self calling to me more and more to put myself first.
I’ve learned it’s ok to say no. I’ve become real selective with how I spend my time and who I spend it with.
Time is precious and very valuable.
#1. I can’t sleep.
When I’m overly exhausted I start to feel like I can’t get enough sleep. My mind won’t shut up at night and distracting thoughts rumble through my head keeping me awake. This is a sure sign there is something deeper bothering me. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on August 30th, 2014 No comments
10 Tips For Reaching New Customers On Facebook
1. Post a sign in your store. Place by the cash register or on the door so your customers know you are on Facebook.
2. Customize your receipts to invite your customers to like your page on Facebook.
3. Email your current customer list. Invite them to like your Facebook page.
4. Sign into your Facebook Business/Fan page and like other pages from your page. Do this on your computer or laptop.
5. Make sure your link is on all your print advertising. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on August 24th, 2014 No comments
Social Media Business Taboo #1 – Setting up too many social media accounts. Your business doesn’t need multiple Facebook pages or Twitter pages. Keep it simple. Less confusion for your customers the better! Give your all to your main pages.
Social Media Business Taboo #2–No Communication! Pages that just sit there are not growing their business, providing excellent customer service or growing their bottom line. Get active. Engage and provide top notch customer service. You built your page for a reason. Don’t just let it sit there.
Social Media Business Taboo #3–Making your social media presence all about you. If all you do is promote and advertise, your audience is going to run away screaming. Alright maybe not screaming but they are going to run away. Share relevant content, fun content, be creative. Use memes, trivia, customer stories, photos, ask questions, share your personal side, etc. Add in products intermittently. Experiment to see what works for “your” audience. What works for one company doesn’t always work for another. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on August 17th, 2014 No comments
Wow, can you believe summer is almost over? I can’t. The summer has flown by. I’m not ready for it to end just yet. After spending the summer taking care of our clients social media platforms, writing multiple social media assessments and numerous consulting calls it has come to our attention we are filling a large need for social media assistance and training. But, you want more! You asked and we listened! After many requests this summer we have created a new package for businesses who are either on a tight budget or need a smaller amount of assistance than our much larger packages provide. We have created an affordable solution to assist busy business owners, keep their content active and engaging but allow room for them to jump in and share the fun stuff. Our special package is limited to the first seven businesses that sign up. We offer detailed top notch service so it’s imperative we never take on more than our team can handle.Package #1 – Due to High Demand. Help Me Get Started Package. For the owner on a tight budget! You asked and we listened.
- 3 Facebook updates per week
- 4 Tweets per week on Twitter or 2 updates per week on Pinterest or Instagram
- Accept friend requests on two networks, follow up on messages.
- Follow up on incoming comments, feedback, questions that require your attention keeping you connected to your audience.
- Follow up on inbox messages.
- Very basic client building.
- Audience building
- Email communication as needed.
By the way we offer multiple other services such as set up of Facebook Business Pages, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to help you get started.
Contact me right away to learn more. Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
No spammers please!
Carol Lawrence is the owner of Social Media Help 4 U , a virtual based business that supports authors and businesses based on integrity. Social Media Help 4 U offers conscious business services, providing intuitive and skill based social media management, product reviews & consulting. Carol and her team manage their clients social media accounts. They assist their clients in building their online presence, engagement and connections with like minded people, customers and clients. They are fully aware that their clients online reputation is at stake. With the values of integrity, honesty and dependability being their top priority. Looking for social media assistance to grow your online presence and provide top notch customer service? Look no further. Multiple packages available. Perfect for the business on a tight budget and for the company who knows the value of a marketing budget and needs help putting their company on the social map!
Posted on August 15th, 2014 No comments
Hey everyone, I hope you are doing well and your businesses are rocking it! I share a lot of memes on Facebook and Twitter and I keep getting asked how I create my own memes. Memes are not only eye catching, shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest but they are a great way to get your name out there. Authors like Annie Kagan and James Van Praagh are really creating buzz with their eye catching memes. Memes can be made with Photo Shop or by a graphic artist. But let’s be honest. Some people are on a tight budget or enjoy the creativity of making their own memes. If you like being creative then you need to check out the places I’ve listed below.
There are multiple places to go on your desktop and apps to choose from on your smart device.
Here’s a quick list of my favorites.
Canva.com - There are a variety of free backgrounds to pick from and a larger list of paid backgrounds that cost $1.00. You can also pick 11 backgrounds for $10.00
UseChisel.com - UseChisel is free. It supplies a variety of photos and automatically adds attribution to the photographer in the bottom right corner of the picture. You can upload your own photos as well to use in your memes or submit for others to use. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on July 27th, 2014 No comments
Build Your Brand – Expand Your Reach – Engage With Your Audience – Be Authentic – Gain Customers Trust – Then Share Your Product.
In today’s fast paced world people want results and they want them quickly. There’s not much patience anymore. There’s a new addiction. The need for instant gratification!
When it comes to growing your business, especially an online only business your going to have to pace yourself and prepare for the long haul. Success marketing is all over the internet. “Look at my new car!” “See me vacationing in Hawaii.” “Look at all the cash I made this month.” There is tremendous success taking place right now. Heck, I’m having success in my own business. I celebrate those have found a way to make it all work, but for those struggling or just getting started there are a few things I encourage you to think about.
You will need to build up your brand. Set it all up and put everything in place first. Your website with logo, Facebook page, Twitter page. etc. Put together your social profiles. Have your website technician add social follow buttons to your website so your new website visitors, clients and customers can easily follow you on social media. Be sure to have sharing buttons added as well so people can easily share your content with their friends on social media. Read the rest of this entry »