Resources, resources, resources!

I’ve been trolling the internet the last few weeks, looking for pointers on how to market myself and my books.  It’s a bit like reading parenting books when you’ve got a newborn: some of the advice doesn’t apply, some of the advice is a bit crazy, but every so often, I find a site that has a really good suggestion or idea or method that I want to try.

(Case in point: how to format a book so it actually looks good on Kindle.  Sure, I could just upload the Word file, but isn’t it better to include links to the chapters and ensure that all the spacing is even?)

So, because I’ve found some really good sites, I’m going to share what I’ve found to be particularly helpful so far.

Specific to Amazon:

  1. How to Navigate Amazon Categories. One of the things I’ll need to do when I upload my book is to decide what category it goes into.  And no lie, this can make or break a book right from the start – after all, mis-categorize the book, and I might not reach my target audience. This post talks about ways to choose my categories carefully, in order to boost visibility and therefore sales.  Not a bad thing to consider.  (Also, reading the 100 Least Competitive Categories on Amazon is kind of a hoot.  Want to write a children’s fictional account of the life of alligators?  You could totally own that category.)
  2. Preparing to Publish on Amazon. A step-by-step how-to guide on how to format your Word doc and then upload it so that it looks good on Kindle. I found a lot of this information to be very helpful (though I’ve made a few tweaks of my own that I think improve the way it appears).
  3. Tips for Good Cover Design. Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a graphic designer. But even I know you can’t just grab a pretty picture and stick a few words on and call it done.  (Okay, maybe that’s kind of what I did.  I’m sure this site will teach you all to do better.)
  4. Fool-proof Fonts for Book Covers. Related to the above, of course. What’s interesting is that the fonts are all grouped by genre: it’s so easy, when they’re organized this way, to see trends within the genres.


Social Media Posts:

  1. What Writers Should Know About Social Media. I’ve been dithering the last week or so about creating Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts for myself. (I tried FB years ago and didn’t like it, and I’ve never used Twitter, but I can see the benefit to having them for visibility.)  This post talks more about the numbers involved with Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social media sites like Pinterest and Instragram, and how these sites are being used by their members.  Kind of fascinating, even if you’re not a writer looking for an audience.
  2. Twitter Tips for Writers. I admit, I’m very, very tempted to get a Twitter.  If I do, I have the feeling this post will come in handy.


What resources have you found online that you’ve found useful?


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