March 15, 2010 was a very exciting day for me. After more than a lifetime of dreaming and a year of writing, editing, photo shoots and all around hard work I self-published my first book, Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down.
At the time I was working professionally in HIV prevention and HIV/AIDS awareness was a passion of mine so publishing a book of erotic fiction with an emphasis on HIV education was right up my alley.
Two years prior I was published in Zane’s Succulent Chocolate Flava 2 so it would also seem that erotica was right up my alley!
Truth is, erotica is really not my genre of choice. Sure, I’m good at it. Damn good if I may toot my horn, but I had no intention of releasing book after book of erotic fiction. Many of the short stories I have written are quite unusual and have a sci-fi feel like Love no haha.
These days creative writing has taken a back seat much to my surprise and I have no plans to publish a book (paperback) anytime soon. Ebooks however are another thing . There may be more projects that I will release electronically like I did with The Half Series: When Black People Look White, which started as a blog series on this website.
Being a self-published author is almost a thankless job that often results in low sales and no recognition. It’s tough as a writer to do something you love and not be successful at it.
But hey, those are the breaks!
HIV continues to be a major problem for African-Americans and that is why I wrote Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down.
Some of you may only remember Kevin Powell as the angry Black guy on the very first season of MTV’s Real World who got into a heated argument with cast mate, Julie, about racism in the streets of New York City.
That was a lifetime ago, 23 years to be exact, and Kevin Powell is now known as a very prestigious and prolific activist, writer and public speaker with an extensive and very impressive resume.
I recently followed him on Twitter and he returned the favor. Here’s the conversation that lead to this #FridayReads feature:
Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and The Ghost of Dr. King are 22 raw, unfiltered blogs and essays, intent on not just exposing, but understanding, all the while building bridges of dialogue — with ourselves, and with our America.
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Abigail Ekue is a writer, photographer and author of The Darker Side of Lust – 5th Anniversary Edition. She continues her brand of reality-based, sex-positive erotica in this edition of the book while addressing the positive and negative aspects of love, long-term relationships, lust, spontaneity and denial.
Not one to shy away from the taboo, the 5th Anniversary Edition includes stories which focus on sexless marriages, infidelity, open marriages, anal sex & pegging, masturbation, first-time encounters, sex work, religion, abuse and death through character-driven short stories and vignettes featuring heterosexual, bisexual and transgender characters.
This collection also includes revised stories from Abigail Ekue’s mini book, Exhaust Pipes, and brand new stories that were not in the first edition of The Darker Side of Lust.
Currently The Darker Side of Lust - 5th Anniversary Edition is available at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago and Skylight Books in Los Angeles, CA. Paperback books can also be bought direct from The Darker Side of Lust website. Ebooks are available on Kindle, NOOK and Kobo.
To celebrate the release of the book, Ekue is hosting a series of events including private concert readings, live art events, workshops and erotic astrology readings. She is also making appearances on radio shows and podcasts sharing selections from The Darker Side of Lust – 5th Anniversary Edition, her writing process and her views on sex, sexuality, self-care and wellness.
The ability to sell eBooks as an independent author has simplified drastically over the past few years. eBook marketing has become easier to handle due to readers’ interest in downloading books to their mobile devices, and helping drive the e-reading revolution. Taking on the right approach to marketing an eBook is critical to selling it to your potential audience, and as long as you understand a couple of factors pertinent to decision-making, you should be able to quickly drive more sales without even having to be a qualified marketing expert.
The following tips will help you gain a better understanding of how you can create better strategies for marketing eBooks, and how you can increase people’s interest in reading it.
Whether they are commuting to work or back home, relaxing in their Malibu beachfront vacation house, or enjoying a cup of their favorite tea blend while snuggling near the fireplace, people are consistently looking for interesting materials they can read in their spare time. A great marketing strategy you should be using is giving away your eBook for a limited period of time, such as 30 or 60 days, before starting to charge money for it.
Free eBook giveaways are typically best when it comes to generating word of mouth, as they enable your readers to familiarize with your writing style, and decide whether they want to read more of your work in the future.
According to eBook innovator Seth Godin, giving away your first eBook for free constitutes an excellent opportunity to market it. Godin encourages new authors to send their eBook to twenty closest friends, and wait for it to be shared further. “If each of those twenty people send the eBook further to another twenty people, then you will have 400 readers for your eBook,” he says. “And if those 400 will send it further to another 400, you will soon have eight thousand readers. If you manage to get a minimum of twenty thousand readers after having distributed the eBook for free, then you already have your own audience.”
An author’s work is definitely worth millions, but you cannot expect every single reader to be willing to spend that much on a few hundred pages they will likely finish reading in a couple of days. Even if your eBook takes on an interesting approach to a controversial matter, your potential readers will not be willing to risk spending much money regardless, especially if it happens to be your first published work.
As such, selling it for a lower price constitutes a good opportunity to get them to take a chance on your book. The point is convincing them of the quality of your book, so they will eventually become willing to spend more on your next one.
Darcie Chan, author of “The Mill River Recluse,” used the same eBook marketing strategy in order to get the audience to read her work. She lowered the price to a whopping $0.99, and she ended up selling several thousand copies a day.
Although she did not make much money considering the low-price take she went for, Chan’s opportunities doubled since she now has an established fan base. Thanks to her success, she is extremely likely to receive a substantial advance from a major publisher, or sell her next eBooks at higher prices.
In today’s ever-changing online environment, readers’ buying decisions are very much impacted by reviews published on specific eBook blogs. When you are marketing your eBook, getting it positively reviewed or promoted on one of these blogs is going to help you generate more sales, and earn much more from the first few months before publishing it.
Most people who are actively seeking new reading opportunities are accessing these blogs on a regular basis, meaning that there is a very good chance to see yours featured there as well.
Many eBook blogs and websites enable you to get your eBook listed for free, but there are others that might charge you a fee, particularly if they generate large amounts of traffic every month. For example, Kindle Nation provides sponsorship opportunities for marketing eBooks that can go up to $400, offering you the chance to run web-based ads on other eBook-related websites, such as GoodReads or IndieReader.
Marketing an eBook might be a time-extensive process that will require you to devote your resources to selling it to potential readers, and establishing your own audience. Thanks to the simplicity of the strategies we provided above, you should be able to get people to read your eBook – and become interested in your future ones – pretty soon.
Tanisha Williams is the author of two non-profit e-books “501c3 In 12-Steps” and “Simple Internal Controls That Protect Your Assets”. Her desire for more interaction with readers was the key inspiration behind the development of her latest business venture ChatEbooks (http://www.chatebooks.com/).
ChatEbooks, launched in October 2014, harnesses the strengths of social media in order to help authors and their readers engage and connect within the context of the selling/reading experience.
If you can apply the following 3 simple eBook marketing tips discussed in this article, it will help you to sell more of your electronic books online without breaking the bank. As you may already know, writing an eBook and successfully publishing it on the web is not the end of the story. In short, it is the beginning of a journey of an e-author who wants to make money with eBooks for the long-term. To this end, effective eBook marketing is critical to your success online.
Up till this stage, I believe you have researched and chosen a profitable eBook idea. You have also determined the size of your target market using keyword research tool and you are convinced that it is a good idea to write an eBook on the topic in question. With this in mind, you can start building an email list of subscribers in your niche market as quickly as possible. The purpose is to build your tribe that will trust you and be willing to listen to you when you write or say something.
It is easier to sell your eBook to people who already know you than to total strangers. Beyond that, you can also use your list for surveys and discover additional information you can include in your information product. During product launch, you will sell more of your eBooks if you already have an email list of potential buyers to reach out to. With your relationship with them, you should be able to know your target market’s needs and wants in advance and then provide spot-on solutions to them.
For you to set up a list building system properly, you need an ESP (Email Service Provider), a landing page to place an opt-in form and a free eBook, special report, or video to give away as an incentive for people who will be subscribing to your email list. You can quickly create a free eBook from your initial research by answering basic questions that your target audience is asking.
But you have to make sure you are providing quality information to your readers to make it worthwhile. You want to be recognized as an expert or authority on the subject starting with your free eBook. Ultimately, it will positively rub on your future eBook marketing efforts when you finally launch it.
Blogging has become a potent internet marketing method to build followers, fans and readers base in any niche market. Through this medium, you can write and publish SEO articles regularly on different topics related to your eBook idea and market that your target audience will find useful and helpful. By interacting with your blog readers through the comments section of your blog, you will be able to elicit additional information to include in your intellectual property which will enhance the quality of your electronic book.
It is simple and cheap to start a blog if you register a domain name and buy website hosting. You can use the same domain for your eBook sales landing page to build a blog by installing it on a directory. In order to get free targeted traffic to your website from search engines, it is important you target low competition keywords related to your market. There are lots of free keyword research tools out there that you can use to find long tail keyword phrases to target.
Social networking is now an part of a successful online marketing. Every activity on the internet is gravitating towards “community relationship.” In other words, you are alone in your own world if nobody can identify with you through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, just to mention a few.
eBook marketing is all about reaching out to more potential buyers and people who will be interested in your work and by creating awareness for your digital product before, during and after launching your electronic book. You have to bear in mind that marketing your eBook is an ongoing system which requires consistency and persistence.
In order to maximize your social media presence, you have to start optimizing your profile pages on all of these social media networks after signing up. Use the search functions on these websites to find your target audience and start building relationship with them. Always remember that selling more of your eBooks can only be achieved through relationship building and constant marketing.
Click this link to download our simplified eBook writing course which will walk you through the detailed steps to make money selling eBooks online from your website. It is a comprehensive ebook publishing guide that did not leave any stone unturned for you to learn and master how to publish an eBook and sell it online for huge profits.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Edward_Aigbokhae
Starving Artists Unite! #feedart
Originally posted on Dana Ellington Myles, MAPW:
Hi everyone. My name is Dana Ellington, and I’m a Starving Artist. (*sits down with a sigh*)
Yes my friends, despite having a steady nine to five, I am a Starving Artist. Much to my shame / embarrassment / guilt, it’s time to be completely honest and admit I don’t know how to run a business. Consequently, what few dollars I’ve made from the sales of my books, don’t add up to what I’ve spent or the debt I’ve accumulated while “investing” in my art. Granted, my money management skills weren’t the best to begin with but to an already difficult to handle situation, I tossed in the attempt at being a one woman publishing house in order to produce my books. I spent (and lost in one instance, shady web designer ran off with my money) money on printing, web hosting, web design, book launches (just one, but it cost…
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Thanks to MyBlogU I was able to collaborate with a group of knowledgeable and wonderful people to get answers to the question: How do you feed a starving artist?
Have a website where you present and sell your work.
If you live in a city with tourists, go set up shop on a sidewalk or in a park and show off and sell your artwork.
Sign up for Fiverr and learn the tricks of the trade: Yes, you will only get about $3.90 after a sale, but you need to learn how to up sell the $3.90, that is the icing on the cake, make your clients want more from you. Reel the client in, give them just enough to be satisfied.
If you offer something unique and different as far as art goes, offer training lessons and charge a fair price per hour or per lesson via Skype or in person.
In continuing the idea from above, find after-school centers or activity centers and see if they will hire you for a few hours a week to offer lessons to others.
Attend Comic Cons or Arts & Crafts Fairs and sell your work there – don’t be greedy – sell it for a price that makes people believe it is not too much and not too little. I’ve seen people sell beautiful artwork for as little as $5 (or 4 for $20) — they know it is not much, but it is something, and they might just sell it to that one person who wants to buy it all and then some.
Learn the art of up selling, for example, someone at Comic Con put their artwork on a metal plate, signed their name and wrote 1 out of 50 on the back. He assured me that he would only ever be making 50 pieces of this particular artwork and that I would have the first one. Why wouldn’t I want the first one of only 50? Maybe in 20 years, when they are all released, I am the FIRST – only 1 out of 50-people that owns that particular artwork. He assured me that any other piece of art I wanted that day would be half price.
He also gave me a card in which he wrote a unique number on it – this way, if I ever see him again, all I have to do is show him the card and he will give me a 20% discount on all his future artwork.
Be unique, different, and crazy. Stand out and make people laugh. Humor and weirdness will always grab people’s attention. If you are like everyone else, you are just like the average person who gets looked at once and passed over.
Have a steady day job until your talent and skills as a starving artist are so in demand, you won’t have time for a day job, because your passion will become your day job.
Know that you are never a failure and that your vision stands for something: You do have something to offer the world.
I advise you to check out one of my idols, the violinist Lindsey Stirling, for example, whom was shot down and told she had nothing to offer by 3 judges on America’s Got Talent. She knew she had something unique and different to offer the world, she just had to figure out how to sell it to the world and overcome what the judges told her she could not do. She is now a millionaire traveling the world, playing her music, and America’s Got Talent has asked her to perform for the audience multiple times.
Believe in yourself and know you can do it no matter what anyone tells you. Never see rejection as failure. Never see failure as the end. Everything in your life that happens to you is an opportunity and a possibility for anything to happen. Anything is possible.
I know very few artists who can make money just one way. Most likely you will be successful if you can set a few different streams of income. Go to craft fairs, sell in the galleries, have a blog and build your online presence. Sell online through web-sites like Etsy, Dawanda and Zibbet (choose only one or you will have zero free time if you are trying to be everywhere).
Take commissions. Consider teaching your art, as teaching is actually a very good source of income. Constantly create new work, you need a lot of it to get noticed. The most important, do not give up.
Leverage Facebook to create your own brand (which can be you as individual or in the form of business page). After providing free or paid stuff, request for a Facebook (or any other social media that you prefer) like. Have a link of your website/blog (in case you cannot afford for the time being, go for free ones) on Facebook. Include affiliate links of products that you can sell directly to customers on your website. Make use of website to earn revenue through sales which can even be selling flight tickets or mobile recharge to your friends and relatives.
First you need to keep a track of contests in your field and participate in those contests to showcase your talent. If you win, it may open up new possibilities. Second is to identify influencers in your field and try to get a recommendation of your work from them that you can use as a reference for approaching others for work.
As the hashtag suggests, it’s a movement pertaining to the world of creative professionals and self-sufficiency issues, which a lot of people think don’t go hand in hand.
My Story – I am a teacher by training, taught for 27 years. I moved to Ireland for a temporary teaching job, contract not renewed after 1 year. I applied for all manner of jobs, eventually got one working 24/7 standby as a security van driver, repairing ATMs around Ireland. I was made redundant in 2010 aged 57. I had no option but to work as a writer online.
I built up my knowledge, reputation and contacts at InfoBarrel.com for 2 years. People I met on the forum offered me paid work because of my reputation. Every paid job I have had since 2010 has been from someone I met in a forum!
Moral? Help other people 24/7, 100%. Don’t expect any reward, but welcome it if it comes.
My Philosophy Now – The 5 Currencies – Time, Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts, Money – Use every 24 hours of Time every day to grow my Knowledge, Reputation and Contacts. Take every opportunity to spread my Knowledge. The Money just happens – AND it really does work like that!!
Fluence is a great place to find authors, music artists and much more. They send you submissions and all you have to do is write a review about their work. Also you can feature them by extending your help to feature them.
Try fluence.io to help music, writers and artists.
The strange thing, for me, is that I have been told that I am “so good” that it is assumed that I am with a major label. As a result, I am often excluded from the “starving artist” category because everyone assumes that I have the financial and production backing of a major label.
Also, I was #1 in Los Angeles, for a year, on the Jazz Charts on Reverbnation. People have written about me as a “legend.”
But, still, the reason I fit in the “starving artist” category is because people download and listen to my music and I have a good fan base, but there is no profit. My music is funded through my social media consulting (socialwebcafe) and not only do I not make money on it, but it hasn’t even been a drop in the bucket for paying for the production and distribution costs. Basically, I give my music away for free and as a gift.
I have had so many people say, “Why are you not doing the Deborah E gig full-time?” Well, because then my children wouldn’t eat. So, instead, I share my music because I love people and love to share. :)
I’m a totally blind coach aspiring public speaker blogger sometimes podcaster and recent self published author. My book is called Leading You Out of The Darkness Into The Light and it’s a short motivational book with exercises that the reader is encouraged to work through and report on their progress via email.
I’m hoping this will result in people actually making progress and it makes my offering unique. This idea I’m going to tell you about isn’t mine but its one me and a fellow coach are working on. She is a coach in California that is part of a women’s professional group. She made a presentation at a conference recently where she put out a poster of my book cover and encouraged people to buy it. She wanted to offer print copies of my book for sale but they aren’t available yet, so she gave them an opportunity to buy the e-book plus pre-order the print copy at the event for a low package price.
I’m thinking this is something that could be replicated by other authors. its something I’m exploring and getting other friends of mine to do at their events. of course once I start attending networking events I will have to return the favor. I have done guest posts and have been interviewed for podcasts, blog articles and radio shows.
I read the first book and thought it was badly written like so many other people.
The Grammarly team reviewed the book and came up with this infographic!
The following explains why I don’t plan to publish another book anytime soon.
Originally posted on Dana Ellington Myles, MAPW:
then I’m fairly confident I will never be a commercial success.
A recent trip to the bookstore had me browsing titles in my favorite genres and I noted how all the covers began to blend together. I feel the same about movie posters. They all look the same. And of course, the “experts” say that if I, as an indie – self-published author want to run with these “big dogs” then I too need to look like they look. Hmph.
These same “experts” tell me I should read a variety of fiction in my genre so that I understand what works – what it was in the crafting of these stories that made them appealing enough for all involved (agent, publisher, book seller, and book buyer) to throw down the dollars. So okay, I’ve done that. I’ve read…
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You might as well, you waste away precious hours on Facebook weekly…get paid for it!
Alan Roger Currie: The title of my third audiobook is Oooooh . . . Say it Again: Mastering the Fine Art of Verbal Seduction and Aural Sex. It is scheduled to be released on Amazon.com and Audible.com sometime between Monday, February 16, 2015 and Friday, February 20, 2015.
Alan Roger Currie: Yes, you sure did Dangerous! And I thank you for that. Actually, the paperback version of Oooooh . . . Say it Again was my best-selling paperback title between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014.
My other title, Mode One: Let the Women Know What You’re REALLY Thinking is my best-selling eBook as well as my best-selling audiobook at the moment.
Alan Roger Currie: (laughs) Yes, you actually did Dangerous, although I later changed the content. You, along with a handful of other women I know, had suggested to me way back in 2009 or 2010 that I should write a book that chronicled a lot of my hot, kinky phone sex experiences with women.
But instead of focusing solely and specifically on my past phone sex experiences with women, I ended up writing a book that was about the whole concept of helping men develop strong ‘verbal game’ and verbal seduction skills with women.
Alan Roger Currie: Since 1992, which was probably the first calendar year that I really got into having phone sex with women, up until now I would estimate that I have had phone sex with about 1,700 women. What is even more interesting, is that a significant percentage of those women have actually paid me money for regular and semi-regular episodes of phone sex.
For a period of time, I actually operated as somewhat of a “Phone Sex Gigolo” for women. Having women pay me for phone sex was almost like a part-time job for me between roughly 2003 and 2009.
Alan Roger Currie: I have had phone sex with far more women than I have had physical sex with, but I love actual intercourse and oral sex with women more. I started gravitating toward phone sex around the time when NBA basketball legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson announced that he had tested positive for the HIV virus.
After Johnson’s announcement, I became very reluctant to indulge in a high amount of unprotected casual intercourse with women. I hate condoms. Absolutely hate them. But I was mature enough to realize that I have to wear them if I am going to engage in short-term non-monogamous intercourse with multiple partners.
Alan Roger Currie: I’ve been given so many nicknames by women over the years, it’s not even funny. Dangerous, even you once referred to me as ‘The King of Seducing Women into Phone Sex.’ A former lover of mine and two of her girlfriends started calling me ‘The King of Verbal Seduction’ back in the 1990s when I was living in Los Angeles.
They were impressed with my ability to seduce women into having sex with me the same day I met them as well as my ability to overcome many women’s negative reactions and harsh criticisms to my bold, straightforward, erotically explicit approach and end up having sex with those same women who had initially behaved as if I was turning them off and had insulted them and offended them.
In my audiobook, I refer to women of that nature as “Wholesome Pretenders.” These women will initially have a very adverse and prudish reaction to a man who is attempting to persuade them into engaging in short-term and/or non-monogamous ‘casual’ sex, but eventually, they will give in to that man’s sexual desires and requests.
Alan Roger Currie: Because organized religion and other factions in society have led most women to believe that the only way they will be able to attract a husband or a long-term boyfriend is if they present themselves to men as ‘prudish, monogamy-minded good girls.’ So consequently, many women become sexually duplicitous in their behavior.
Alan Roger Currie: Always keep writing. Write, write, re-write, and write some more. I have now been a self-employed, self-sufficient author, public speaker, and professional dating coach for roughly 25 months now. Write about what you’re truly passionate about. Don’t wait for opportunities. Create them for yourself.