March 2018 - Elena Paige

EPISODE 33: What authors need to know about Instagram with Charnaie Gordon

Today’s interview is with Instagram children’s book blogger, Charnaie Gordon (@HereWeeRead) about the #bookstagram community. 

Charnaie talks to us about how she developed her Instagram following of more than 23,000 readers who are hungry for children’s books, and how to best find and approach book bloggers.

  • Charnaie started book blogging in order to keep track of what she was reading and to help other people find great books. HereWeeRead was born on Instagram.
  • Instagram has a huge community of book lovers and is a great place for authors to be online. Check out #bookstagram.
  • When reaching out to book bloggers make sure they like the kind of books you write, and that they are connected to YOUR readers, not just any readers. Charnaie, for example, mentions in the interview, that she loves sharing picture books that have great covers, gorgeous illustrations, have positive themes and are about characters from diverse backgrounds. Find bloggers that love your kind of books for the right age group.
  • When approaching a book reviewer on Instagram:
    • Read their Book Review Policy.
    • Make sure you know the name of the reviewer and spell their name correctly.
    • Don’t just ask for your book to be reviewed. Instead introduce yourself professionally, summarise your book and provide a clear link to a free copy of the book.
  • When posting to Instagram you can include a great photo of your book and an enticing caption. You can also feature photos of the inside of your book, showcasing the illustrations. You can also include short videos. All these things can help to gain the attention of book bloggers and readers.
  • Authors can also use Instagram by keeping their backlist fresh through celebrating what’s currently happening with it now, ie did you win an award for this book, do a school visit etc. Use your Instagram posts to get people excited about your upcoming new release. You could also share coloring pages.
  • Build relationships on Instagram by reaching out to other authors and reviewers, introducing yourself and build on your commonalities. Build a community, support others and engage genuinely.
  • Finally, remember to use those hashtags. Charnaie recommended this tool for finding great hashtags and she uses up to 30 hashtags in her posts. Hashtag generator: http://displaypurposes.com

You can find Charnaie at www.hereweeread.com and she is also a contributor to Brightly at www.readbrightly.com.

Enjoy the show.

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EPISODE 32: Working with editors to create a book readers love with Clark Chamberlain

Today’s interview is with author and editor Clark Chamberlain.

Clark Chamberlain is an author and professional editor who works with authors at all levels and across multiple genres. Clark helps transform any manuscript into a novel that is both commercially viable and entertains readers. Clark is the creator of the Advanced Novel Writing with Harry Potter course and is known as The Story Engineer.

Clark talked to us all about how to work with editors to make your books the best they can be.

  • Clark gives amazing advice about how important it is to keep your inner editor and critic at bay during the writing process. Keep your self-stories positive and focus on writing consistently and ignoring that little inner voice that keeps telling you- “you’re not good enough.”
  • A developmental editor helps make your book the best it can be by improving your story structure and meeting reader expectations. Ask yourself “What do I want my reader to feel when they get to the end of my story?” That’s what you want your story to deliver. A line editor, on the other hand, edits grammar and sentence structure.
  • Questions to ask a developmental editor to make sure you are the right fit for each other include:
    • What the cost will be and exactly what you will receive for that fee. Be clear upfront what you’re getting.
    • Agree on how you will communicate with each other and how often.
    • How will story changes be suggested to you so you know what to change?
    • Editors can vary from each other, so make sure you understand how many rounds of edits you will receive and exactly what the process will be.
  • We dig into Clark’s incredible course: Advanced Novel Writing with Harry Potter, where Clark breaks down what made the Harry Potter series so successful and what ALL authors can learn from the process to make their own books engaging for readers. The course includes 17 lessons and breaks down good storytelling technique. Clark also guides us through how to meet reader expectations, how a novel is constructed and what its working parts are, as well as how to get those small elements in a story right so that you connect emotionally with your reader.
  • This and so much more in this interview that will help you become a better storyteller….

***Clark is so generous he has offered listeners of the Indikidlit Podcast a discount off the ‘Advanced Novel Writing with Harry Potter’ course. It’s now only $97 (normally $149) and you get his course on how to write great DIALOGUE absolutely free as part of it. Listen to me (Elena) – what a fab sales lady I’d make!!  I’ve no affiliation with the course whatsoever, and I did buy it myself and I’m super glad I did – it’s honestly worth so much more! And if you don’t buy it, and I end up selling more books than you do, you so know I’m going to say “I told you so!” Haha! All joking aside, you can find the course and the discount at www.thebookeditorshow/com/kidlit.***

You can find Clark and his developmental editing services at www.thebookeditorshow.com.

Enjoy the show.

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EPISODE 31: Kindle picture book formatting with Darcy Pattison

Today’s interview is with author and indie publishing expert Darcy Pattison.

 

 

 

 

 

Darcy Pattison is a writer of fiction and nonfiction children’s literature, a blogger, writing teacher, and indie publisher. Her books have been translated into nine languages. Although she is best known for her work in children’s literature, she is also a writing teacher traveling across the nation presenting her Novel Revision Retreat. She has been featured as a writer and writing teacher in prestigious publications such as Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, and 2012 Writer’s Market.

This is our third interview with Darcy and to be honest we could interview her every week – she is full of useful information! The main topic we discussed today was how to format your picture book for Kindle in a way that keeps your download fees as low as possible. Doing so means more profit for you and less money lost to Amazon. Here are her tips:

  • For books that are over 7mb in file size, it may be more worthwhile to choose the 30% royalty rate over the 70% royalty rate, as you don’t pay download costs.
  • In order to get your book file size down as small as possible (ideally 2mb) Darcy suggests reducing your image size in three ways:
    • Using a program such as photoshop to get your images to be 1200 x 1800 pixels.
    • When exporting them as JPG files choose 40-60% quality. Ideally, 40% if you feel the quality is still OK, which it should be.
    • Use the program ImageOptim to strip the metadata from the image, further reducing the size.
  • People’s main objections to reducing the image size of their illustrations are that they fear the quality of their book will suffer. But the quality is still very good on device screens. The upside is the reduced file size will reduce the size of your overall file considerable and therefore lower your download fee.
  • You can read the excellent article explaining book formatting much more thoroughly on Darcy’s Blog HERE.
  • Elena also asked “What about Vellum? Does it reduce the file size naturally?” Following the interview, she went ahead and experimented with one of her books which she formatted using Vellum. With 17 images that were very high-quality tiff files, the book’s download fee is 31cents. She reduced the file size of all the illustrations as suggested above and the download fee decreased to 29cents. Not much of a difference at all, suggesting Vellum already reduces the file size pretty well. Go Vellum!

You can find Darcy and her wealth of knowledge at www.darcypattison.com, www.indiekidsbooks.com, and www.mimshouse.com.

Enjoy the show.

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