KBoards’ “Book Discovery Day” Promotion (Update)

My KBoard Book Discovery Day was scheduled for their Tuesday blog post, the day they typically feature new or overlooked books.  Since I’m committed to giving an honest review of the $15 service, I’ll admit to my readers that I was a bit irritated when I went to their blog page several times during the course of the day, only to find that the book discovery related post wasn’t posted yet.  That being said, I decided to cut them some slack after checking for the final time on Tuesday evening.  I resolved to just wait and view the posting tomorrow (now today).

After a quick run to my local post office this morning, I checked in with the KBoards blog at 11:00 am and still no mention of the current “Book Discovery” titles.  I found the previous Tuesday’s post, as well as other previous dates, but not the current post.  Then I remembered that they said to be sure and check their Facebook page about the blog post.  When I went there, that’s where I saw the current link.  I followed the link and found my book details midway down the page (screenshot below).

“Book Discovery” Benefits?

So the question is this really a beneficial book promotion service and would I use this particular promotion again?  FOR SURE!  I don’t know how much I’m winning with it right now because it’s too soon to tell, but I know I’m definitely not losing by getting my book in people’s face.  So be sure to check me out on the:

KBoards Book Discovery Day (Blog Post)

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There was one small point that I was a little miffed about; the fact that the blog post link – when used in social media – automatically displays one of the book images from the page and it wasn’t mine.  I had to make sure I indicated in my posting that my book is ONE OF THE BOOKS featured on the page, so they wouldn’t mistakenly think the image in the social media post was my book.  Other than that, I was happy to make various mentions about the KBoards blog post to my own Twitter, Google+ and Facebook accounts.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts if you decide to use KBoards.

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Local Author Meets Local Libraries – (Skipping Childhood: A Novel)

Skipping Childhood:  A Novel is the dark urban drama recently released by author Charm Baker; a Los Angeles California resident.  If all goes as expected, this coming of age story about an abused child who resorts to killing will be available in southern California local libraries.

Baker has submitted requests to the following local branches, in an effort to have them offer the Amazon and digital downloads of the book, as well as copies of the print format.  If you reside near any of the following branches, and would like to read a copy, please check with your local branch to see if the title:  Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer) is available.

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If you would like to submit an online library request so they will obtain the book for your branch, please follow the simple instructions below.

SUBMIT A REQUEST TO LOCAL LIBRARY

Click this link:  Public Library

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look on the right side of page for the “Contact” link.  Follow the contact link to the “Suggest a Purchase” link and simply insert the following details under the section that says:

Fill in these Suggested Item Details:

TITLE:  Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer)

AUTHOR:  Charm Baker

PUBLISHER:  Just Charm Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE:  Jan. 1, 2017

ISBN:  978-1540648808

FORMAT:  Book

 

KBoards: Why I Plan to Use Kindle Boards Book Marketing in 2017

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As most new and existing Indie authors know, KBoards is a popular Kindle book marketing resource site.  They offer a number of great of marketing and promotion opportunities for new indie titles.  In a previous blog post, I spoke about two of those marketing opportunities.  Today I would like to provide updates on one of those services.  That service is the $35 “one day featured book” service.

I knew my book, “Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer) would be featured for one day on Monday November 28th.  The night before, I decided to log into KBoards and see if there were any suggestions on what I could do the next day to help me get the maximum benefit from the promotion.  It just so happens that it was after midnight when I logged into KBoards, which meant that technically it was already Monday.  Low and behold, the first thing I see when I log onto the sight was my book ad – YAY!

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I checked into the website periodically throughout the day and of course my ad was still there, just as promised.  I know that KBoards is a reputable site with a pretty good Alexa rating.  They get very decent traffic, therefore, your book can gain a good amount of exposure, even for one day.  Although I’ve yet to see what the results are from this promotion, I believe the $35 is money well spent.  I may even purchase the two day plan next time around.  I think it was $80.  If you’re a self-published author with a new title to promote, I wholeheartedly recommend using KBoards.  You can notice what the simple but (hopefully) effective book ad looks like in the screen shots below, plus see how strategic the ad placement is on the page.

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FEATURES OF BOOK AD SERVICE

There are several things to notice in this second screenshot (below).  First of all, there are links in your add that will offer visitors 3 different ways to view your book.  I believe the “Open it” link should enable them to read a sample, however since my book is a pre-release, the sample text is not available until the actual December 1, 2016 release.  Therefore, this particular link in my ad did not work.  Authors may want to keep this point in mind if you plan to use the “Featured book” service prior to your own book’s release.

The second accessible book link is the “Amazon” link in your ad.  This allows visitors to go directly to your book’s Amazon buy page so they can purchase it right then and there.  Cool huh?

The last link in your ad is a cool “Hover” link.  It allows them to see details about your book by simply hoovering over the link.  The screenshot you see below is an image I captured when I used the hover link.  As you can see, my book details for ““Skipping Childhood:  A Novel” is displayed.  Visitors get a chance to see that this title is an urban novel and a dark coming of age story about a twelve-year-old who resorts to killing as retribution.

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To learn more about this book, feel free to visit the book’s new compaion blog site:  skippingchildhood.blogspot.com because it outlines details about the book, as well as the characters.

To learn more about KBoards, visit:  www.kboards.com

Book Marketing: Promoting Your Self-published Title on a Limited Budget

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If you’re a new indie author like me; you know that book marketing is the hardest part of the whole writing a book process.  Promoting your self-published title on your own is definitely no easy task, especially if you’re on a limited budget.  There are some pretty straightforward things that you can do yourself, and even authors who can afford costly marketing fees still take advantage of some of these same tactics.

Here are a few not too expensive actions that I’ve taken to help promote my new title:  Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer).  Once you look over these services, you may find that you’re already familiar with them, and maybe have already tried them.  If not, why not check the websites out and see if they’re worth your time.  I only implemented the services very recently, so it’s too soon for me to discuss the results, but I’m hopeful.  All the websites listed below seem pretty reputable and should be able to provide at least some exposure for your book.  It definitely won’t hurt to try the services, even it takes a while for noticeable results.

After you’ve had a chance to check out the book promotion sites that I’ve just recently tried, be sure to pay attention to what I think is another awesome idea.  I stumbled across a form online that may help in more ways than you might imagine.

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Try Amazon Book Marketing Services

Amazon sent me an email regarding a new (or newer) marketing feature that they’re offering to KDP authors.  It basically works a lot like Google’s Adwords.  You can either run an ad campaign based on keywords, or based on other books and products that relate to your own.  The minimum Ad campaign amount you can start with is $100, so that’s what I did.   That amount can actually be stretched over a period of time, depending on the maximum amount I want to spend per day.  For instance, if you do like I did and select a 30 day period to run a campaign, that allows me a $3.33 a day budget before my hundred bucks is gone.  It’s a little more detailed than that, but that’s the gist of how it works.  I’ll post any results when I have them.

By the way, I had to supply some text as a caption for my ad, so I chose a variation of my book’s tagline.

Killing just ain’t right, but neither is child abuse. A twelve-year-old girl  takes matters into her own hands and when she does, it’s murder!

Hopefully this will be catchy enough to make viewers want to learn more about the book.  I pay for each click a person makes on specific keywords (it’s deducted from the $100), so I hope my words adequately convey what they’re searching for before they click the ad.

Check Out KBoards

For those who don’t know, KBoards stands for “Kindle Boards” and for good reason.  All the forums on the website and various resources relate specifically to Kindle books.  For example, I purchased the $35 service for a 1 Day Featured Book Ad.  My “Skipping Childhood” related book ad will run on Tuesday, November 29th.  On Tuesday When I visit the KBoards blog at:

http://kboards.blogspot.com and their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kboards

I will be able to see my ad featured there for the day.  It sounds like the kind of exposure that “Skipping Childhood” can really benefit from.  We’ll see.  If all goes well, the next time I’ll order the 2 day book feature for a little more.

KBoards Offer Much More

Since KBoards have so much to offer, I also selected another cool book marketing opportunity that was also economical.  This was the KB Book Discovery for only $15.  By now you may be thinking, “hmmm, not bad” and you’re right.  For a few dollars, why not get as much more exposure as possible?  Now that I’ve got your attention, I’ll let you visit the KBoards website and see what you get for this $15 service.

Consider Your Local Library

Now it’s time to consider something you may not have really given thought to for your self-published book; your local library.  Hold on one moment and I’ll tell you why.  The fact of the matter is,  most of you savvy indie authors are probably already up on KBoards, not to mention the ever popular Goodreads, and Book Daily, two more popular sites.  If you are, that’s a good thing, but the fact that they’ve become so popular is reason enough not to rest all your hopes in their services.  There are just so many of us authors vying for needed attention.  That is not to say don’t bother trying these or other options; it’s just to say don’t limit yourself to these.

KBoards, Goodreads, and Book Daily are options that have really become like second nature to new authors and especially two-time self-published authors (by the second time around, you know the ropes).  Try them yourself and if they serve your particular purpose, great, use them again.  If not, move on to the next one, but in order to do that, you’ve got to start compiling a list of options; paid and non-paid.  And don’t be too lazy to SERIOUSLY monitor results.  I’ll talk more about this later in the week when I share screenshots from my Amazon marketing campaign.

Now about the local library.  I actually went to my local library and left an author introduction letter for the “adult books” librarian, along with a book flyer with details about “Skipping Childhood”.  In it, I told her several points about my African American urban life novel.  I briefly mentioned how it is a sort of twisted coming of age story about a twelve-year-old serial killer.  Later when I got home, I decided to try to find some actual email contact information for the librarian.  I discovered something even better on the public library website for my area.  It was a form for individuals to actually Submit a Purchase Request for a particular book.  Among the dropdown options to identify yourself were:  “Author” and also “Patron” so that let me know it was okay to submit my own book.  YAY!

There was a comment box at the end of the form, and once again, I took an opportunity to introduce myself as a local author and asked for their support.  Now for the REALLY cool part.  Since the form was specific to the library nearest me, I decided to search for another nearby library.  I located the site and luckily, all the sites were set up the same, with the exception of having their own special events, photos, etc.  I found the form to submit “Skipping Childhood” to another library.  The auto-form fill even worked, so all the information just popped in, the moment I put the first character in the box.  Needless to say, I got busy and submitted my request to as many libraries as I could before I got tired (50 in all).  I offered to provide courtesy print and digital copies from those who specifically requested them.

I’m not sure what results to expect, but I sure felt proud of myself for such an earnest effort towards the success of my book.  I realized also that if I could submit a request as the author, perhaps I could get some other locals to make the same request for my book.  That way, maybe librarians will see the title is in demand, and actually stock some for their branch.

With that said, if anyone in the Southern California area is near one of these Public Library locations, you can make a request to them to purchase a copy of “Skipping Childhood” for your nearest branch.  The print book will be released in January 2017, plenty enough time for them to order a few copies.  Some libraries also make digital downloads available, but if you use the following information, the ISBN is specifically for a print format.  All the information to make a library request for “Skipping Childhood” is below.  If you live in another state and would like to do the same for this book, please check for a link to your local branches.  Thank you.

Click this link:  Public Library

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look on the right side of page for the “Contact” link.  Follow the contact link to the “Suggest a Purchase” link and simply insert the following details under the section that says:

Fill in these Suggested Item Details:

TITLE:  Skipping Childhood:  A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer)

AUTHOR:  Charm Baker

PUBLISHER:  Just Charm Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE:  Jan. 1, 2017

ISBN:  978-1540648808

FORMAT:  Book

Get Innovative with Your Marketing

As you can see, this whole library option could turn out to be quite promising, even if only one or two librarians support you, they still may have a lot of influence on whether others buy or read your book.

If you’re a new indie author looking for more book marketing options, why not give these a try?  When you only have a limited budget to promote your book, give your new title every opportunity for exposure that you can.  Good Luck!

 

 

Murder Just Ain’t Right! But Neither is Child Abuse (Skipping Childhood: A Novel)

This post is notify readers that Charm Baker, author of the upcoming release:  Skipping Childhood is seeking Beta Readers before the December 1st 2016 publication date.  This contemporary African American novel is a dark thriller.  It is the shocking tale of an abused child who resorts to killing.

Readers who enjoy a good serial killer novel or revenge killing story will find both in Skipping Childhood.  The book sheds a different light on murder and dares to address the topic of children who kill.  It is a disturbing yet empowering story of abuse and survival.

BUY IT AT:   AMAZON  |  SMASHWORDS  

Request for  Beta Readers

The book is completely finished and has been uploaded to distributors, pending the release date.  I am currently doing some final (ha ha) editing for grammatical and structural revisions and would love to receive some solid Reviews (or at least beta feedback) before the final upload.

If you would like to receive an early edition of manuscript and serve as a Beta Reader, please contact Charm Baker for a quick response mailto:skippingchildhoodnovel@gmail.com

NANO Authors Encouraged

If any NANO authors are seeking a Book Purchase to help their December 1st launch, I’m willing to swap.   This is not a request to pay for a review.  This is a solicitation for authors to buy my book and in exchange I’ll buy yours (totally allowed).  Reviews are optional on both ends.  If interested – I welcome an email  mailto:skippingchildhoodnovel@gmail.com and please include in the subject line:  NANO Book Buy

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Securing a Book Agent: How Does it Work?

Skipping Childhood:  A Novel Update on Publishing

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As the first week of November draws to an end, I’m happy to report that I personally made the right decision about NANO.  I realize that a lot of excited writers are benefiting from this extremely motivating challenge, but not all of us are cut out for staying with the herd (no shade intended whatsoever).

I’m still on track with my writing and the novel is truly progressing along.  I’m nearing 39,000 words and still counting!  I credit my progress to having taken the time last month to write out a detailed story outline, along with well thought out character profiles.  The whole story is finished, it’s just a matter of getting it all out, including the tons of notes that I’ve scribbled.

Securing a Book Agent

Oddly enough, I never thought I’d encounter a dilemma about whether or not to go with self-publishing or using an agent.  Any new author who has the great fortune to secure a book agent, I say go for it; it’s really a no brainer.  My question right now is:

Should I continue with my plans to self-publish and stay on target with the December release date?

I’ve been doing what I normally do with my unrepresented ebooks; trying to promote and get the word out in advance of the book’s release.  But suddenly, I decided to shift gears and send out some query letters to several agents.  I have a strong feeling that I will actually be successful with this endeavor, I’m just worried that I won’t get a response in time.  In which case, now what?  Do I continue on with self-publishing?

As I continue to get the book completed, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the right answer to this dilemma.  Anyone with any kind of insight on the subject can feel free to respond.  Until next time…

Thanks – Charm Baker

NANO Dropouts Unite!

Greetings out there to any fellow NANO dropouts like myself.  Are you a would-be NANO (National Novel Writing Month) participant who has already given up the challenge?  Well don’t be afraid to continue your goal on your own.

Don’t get me wrong; this post is in no way trying to deter any writers from taking that all important plunge of starting your novel.  As any writer knows, the hardest part of the writing process is actually sitting down and doing it.  That’s why NANO can be such a great source of motivation to a new or aspiring author.  It makes you want to get your butt in gear and JUST DO IT!

But also as most of us writers know; life can have a way of getting in the way of even our most thought out and well meaning plans.  Not to mention our primary obstacle to getting stuff done – ourselves.  So for whatever reason (you can read about mine in the previous posts) that you have chosen to discontinue, or not even attempt the NANO challenge this month, please don’t despair.  You’re definitely not alone.

Stop beating yourself up because the month is still young, and their is plenty of time to do as much as YOU possibly can.  Create your own self-imposed deadline and get cracking.  Want some additional motivation about how you actually have the NANO stuff you need already inside of you?  Then be sure to read my related posts, and see how as of today, even without NANO, I have written 30, 267 words and counting.

In all fairness, I have to admit, I started counting from October 15th (last month).  In my over zealousness to create an effective workable outline last month – in preparation for NANO – I was too tempted to start writing, so I did.  After all, the whole point of the challenge is to write.  Now, as of today’s date (November 5th), I’ve nearly reached my original NANO goal of 50,000 words in 30 days.

Clearly, while I didn’t stick with NANO this month, I am still living up to the spirit of the challenge.  So I say to you, continue working to meet your own goals – the ones that you can reasonably set for yourself.  I welcome you to follow me on this blog and social media as I provide updates about my new novel.  I plan to meet my book release date for:  “Skipping Childhood:  A Novel ( From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer)

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