Friday, June 29, 2012

How to Sell eBooks at a Convention or Book Fair

by Kathryn Lively, author of Rock Deadly, currently FREE at ARe and Smashwords.

When I signed a contract for a small premium publisher to release my mystery novel, Pithed, I knew that the imprint focused more on digital sales than print. Pithed was released in eBook and paperback years before the Kindle revolution, therefore I found it challenging to market the digital version of the book, which was also the more affordable format. These days, however, more readers ask about the eBook availability of my books instead of print, and while I spend time promoting everything I write at book fair and cons, selling eBooks always proved challenging. These days, I now have access to many helpful tools, and so do you.

Whether you are a first-time author or have recently transferred your backlist to digital formats, you can sell eBooks offline. Set up your author table as you normally would and let readers know with the proper signage that they can purchase digital books on the spot, and even start reading them right there on their phones.

Selling eBooks at an Event

You'll need the following components to make your eBook sales venture a success:

1) Laptop, Tablet/Mobile Device and Working Internet/WiFi Connection. If you don't have a mobile subscription be sure to check in advance about the WiFi connection in your venue. If you have a MiFi device that you use for Internet on the go, make sure it's fully charged on the day of the event and that you have access to an electrical outlet for emergency re-charging.

2) Cloud Application for Storing Files (Mobile). If you have a laptop, you can store all digital files in a folder and e-mail them as you sell. Mobile users should have a cloud app that allows for e-mailing of files instantly. I use Dropbox for my eBooks because it has private folders where I can keep my books, and it is easy to use.

3) Online Payment System. In the past I accepted only cash for books, but thanks to applications like SquareUp and Paypal's new mobile system I can accept credit cards via my tablet. Using a card swiper device, customers can buy instantly, or I can input their information in the corresponding app. You can even email receipts on request.

Of course, while the sale of eBooks at a live event are easier now, one might ask, "How do you autograph an eBook?" I've found that authors have been creative in solving this problem. Autographed bookplates for a reader's Kindle or Nook, PDF files of the title page or cover with signature, and autographed cover postcards are a few ideas you can consider. I know authors who have been asked to sign Kindle covers - there is no impossible here.

With more readers interested in eBooks, you increase the opportunity to sell at fairs, conventions, and other events. Don't by shy in plugging your eBooks alongside your print titles. You may find the sales eclipse the paperbacks.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include Virginia Beach rug stores, Fairfax personal injury lawyers, Virginia health care services, Norfolk real estate agents, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Listen to Me - Rather, the Audio Book

First, I'd like to thank everybody who voted in my audio book poll. It was very interesting to see your response to the question of which book I should put into production first. There were actually a few close calls, but Sheer Bliss managed to edge out the competition. I found a great production company to handle the performance and recording, and Sheer Bliss should be available via Amazon, Audible, and iTunes in a few weeks. I've hired the same company to record She Loves Me, so keep an eye out for that one later this summer.

In the meantime, did you know I already have two books out in audio format? Truth or Dare and Daringly Delicious are produced through AudioMinx. Not only that, but there is a version of the free short Daring Hearts on Nobilis's podcast that you can listen to at no cost.

I'm still waiting to hear from the company that contracted Dare Me, Daring Young Man, and Dare to Dream. Hopefully those will be made available soon. Next on the block - and I've wanted to do this for years - is foreign translations. Still looking for a good German translator I can afford. The quotes given me, while perhaps reasonable in their eyes, are still too much for my bank account to handle. Either that, or I have to take a Berlitz crash course.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Release! Sinful Surprises by Leigh Ellwood

Recently I acquired the rights back to some stories, and saw I had enough words to create a print anthology of these paranormal romances! These stories have been or will be released individually, but if you'd like all of them for a good price this is your chance! Remember, if you haven't read them before, they're new to you!

Buy for only $2.99 in eBook: AmazonB&NSmashwords ~ARe

Award-winning author Leigh Ellwood offers four delightfully sinful tales of passionate paranormal activity. From amorous fairies to sleek and sensual were-creatures, these stories have bite.

The following titles have been made available individually in digital format. First time in print!

Leading Lady - a cult TV star hooks up with two out of this world fans at a convention, and ends up auditioning for a role that will change her life.

Excitable - A werewolf, cursed and cast from his pack, must find true love in order to reverse the spell. Can he find the right girl before the full moon?

Sweet Surprise - A delivery driver making a stop in an eerie town becomes hostage to an irate, amorous fae seeking vengeance on her employer. Both end up taking the standoff lying down, literally!

Sugar on Top - Spooky Sierra Glade's top gossip columnist has her cake and eats it, too, when she attempts to crash a secret bachelor party inside the cake.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On Weight Loss and Extreme Couponing - Why I Stink at Both

I've lost fifteen pounds in the last four weeks!

Normally, I'd view this as super awesome, but when you consider that I had once lost 40 pounds about two years ago, then gained it all back and have hovered around the same weight ever since, I wonder if I've truly lost. Since my little girl was born, I have been losing and regaining the same 40 pounds over and again, and this time I'm sick of it. I've hit my late 39's, I'm tired of climbing stairs and wheezing, and I want to be around when Little One goes off to college. So, it's back on Weight Watchers for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with Weight Watchers, in that it is the best and worst program for weight loss. Of all the programs I've tried, WW is the only one that works for me, yet while I'm on it there are days I want to peel off my skin and jump into the ocean. My problem with WW is I let it get too repetitive. I become so obsessed with tallying the points that I often play it safe and eat the same foods repeatedly. With little variety, I get bored easily, so it's little wonder that the second I hit goal I dive for the nearest Twinkies display at Kroger, and the vicious cycle starts again.

This time, however, I intended to mix it up more. I bring my own lunch to work, and I cook at home more. The variety this time around is better than in the past, so hopefully I'll get better results. I will also try not to worry when I have an off day - I'll just get back on track and not quit. Eating well is not a temporary thing anymore.

Which brings me to couponing. I cook at home and save so much money as opposed to eating out. Hubby and I have eaten out for most of our marriage. Our goofy schedules once commanded it, and I really don't think he likes eating at home, though he claims to cook well. In truth, he hasn't cooked in twenty years. With the little one getting older, I've managed to rope us in a few nights. I've tried extreme couponing recently and so far the best deal I made was saving seventy-five cents on two Milky Way bars, which were two for a buck. So, two candy bars for a quarter.

Milky Ways are eight WW points each. I haven't touched them.

It would be nice to walk into a grocery store on triple coupon day, plunk down a stack, and walk away with $500 worth of groceries for practically free. I don't think that's going to happen with me, though. For one, many coupons I've seen are for things I wouldn't buy, so I'd save more by not spending the money. For two, I don't have the patience to research where the coupons are worth more, because I have enough to do.

It's stressful, and when I'm stressed I eat. See where this is going?

So, I'll use coupons as I see fit, but I won't lose sleep over them, or feel guilty for that DQ Blizzard I had tonight. But, it is time for a loooong walk.