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SPA Girls Podcast

Updated 12 days ago

Arts
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How To
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Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.

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Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.

iTunes Ratings

48 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
2
2
2

Great resource

By Tinacity50 - Apr 24 2020
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Thanks to Lucy Score for introducing me to the SPA Girls. I love Lucy’s books so I listened to her episode and now I am a SPA Girls fan too! I have been thinking of writing a book for a long time and with the real world, accessible advice I get from each episode, I think I could really do this. Thank you so much!

Great podcast!

By MocahgirlInGA - Mar 11 2020
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Love the guests you have on this show. Lately this is a cant miss podcast.

iTunes Ratings

48 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
2
2
2

Great resource

By Tinacity50 - Apr 24 2020
Read more
Thanks to Lucy Score for introducing me to the SPA Girls. I love Lucy’s books so I listened to her episode and now I am a SPA Girls fan too! I have been thinking of writing a book for a long time and with the real world, accessible advice I get from each episode, I think I could really do this. Thank you so much!

Great podcast!

By MocahgirlInGA - Mar 11 2020
Read more
Love the guests you have on this show. Lately this is a cant miss podcast.
Cover image of SPA Girls Podcast

SPA Girls Podcast

Latest release on May 27, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 12 days ago

Rank #1: SPA Girls Podcast – EP182 – Facebook Ads with Maria Luis (Part One)

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Not sure about how Facebook Ads work? Need to learn the basics?

Join the SPA Girls as bestselling author Maria Luis breaks down Facebook Ads for us, from the beginning steps, to how to choose the best images; plus what to do, and what not to do, and everything in between! 

This is the first part of a two-part series on Facebook Ads from an author who has been successfully running her own ads for the last two years. It features loads of tips and advice for running ads, how to tell if it’s a good ad, and how to scale up once you’ve got an ad that’s working for you.

If you’ve been thinking about trying out Facebook ads, or have previously tried them only to be disappointed, then this is the episode for you! 

www.marialuis.org

www.spagirlspodcast.com

P.S. to see what ads an author’s page (or brand’s) is running, just go to facebook, click on Page Transparency (right hand column on desktop) and click SEE MORE – then scroll down to “Ads From This Page” and you’ll be able to view the ads they’re running.

Example of Maria’s facebook ad:

Apr 10 2019

50mins

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Rank #2: SPA Girls Podcast – EP191 – Seven-Figure Success With Skye Warren

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Ever thought that if only you had more time in your day, you’d be successful? Rich? How you’d get all your writing done? 

Well, this is the podcast for you! 

When romance author Skye Warren went from being able to work all hours of the day to only being able to manage two hours every day, she had to figure out how to keep money from her writing coming in. And fast. She had a mortgage and other bills to pay. 

What she learned was that by focusing her efforts, she was able to concentrate on the small percentage of actions that made her the most money – writing and facebook ads. 

This is the story of how Skye went from struggling to earn five figures while working all day, to earning over a million dollars a year working only four hours a day. 

This is part one of two parts you don’t want to miss! 

Jun 12 2019

30mins

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Rank #3: SPA Girls Podcast – EP164 – Talking Reverse Harem with Steffanie Holmes

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We’ve talked about reverse harem a little bit on the show, but this week we decided to get someone on who knows all about it, so we could pick their brains… Mwahahaha…

We convinced USA Today Bestselling paranormal romance author Steffanie Holmes to come on the show and chat about exactly what reverse harem is, how she came to write reverse harem novels, what you need to know about it, and how she so successfully launched her recent series.

Steff is a very smart author, and she’s steeped in the reverse harem world, so not only was she was able to give us heaps of useful information for how to write and launch a reverse harem series, but  also insights into her writing style, her processes and ideas for marketing your books.

Cher’s main takeaway from the interview: I loved Steff’s idea of using a rough outline with just a few sentences per chapter to help speed along the writing process, but the key is to have an idea of how to begin and where the story ends. I might never write reverse harem, but I’m sure that even a simple outline would help when you’re trying to corral several heroes!

Trudi’s main takeaway from the interview: It was fascinating to be able to pick Steff’s brains on the ins and outs of the reverse harem genre (or relationship type, as Steff told us to call it), and to learn more about the reverse harem Facebook groups, and the ways she’s been able to do outreach for her new series.

LINKS:

Steff’s website: http://steffanieholmes.com/
Steff’s blog: https://www.steffmetal.com/

Follow the SPA Girls on facebook and twitter @spagirlspodcast

Dec 05 2018

59mins

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Rank #4: SPA Girls Podcast – EP232 – Interview with Lucy Score

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If you’ve been wondering about how to make the most of being in KU…this is the episode for you! 

Lucy Score is the bestselling author of romantic comedy and contemporary romance novels and she’s been doing super well in KU. We asked her to be on the show to tell you how to make the most of being exclusive to Amazon as well!  

Lucy is smart and savvy, and gave us some fantastic tips, so be sure you have a pen and notepad with you as you listen to this one! She also has one of the best author taglines we’ve seen to date: “Writing romance so steamy, her family can’t look her in the eye!”

Find Lucy’s website here.

Mar 25 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #5: SPA Girls Podcast – EP192 – Seven-Figure Success With Skye Warren – Part 2

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This is the second episode in the interview series with bestselling author and Facebook guru, Skye Warren. 

Skye has had a fascinating author journey, and in this second episode she talks to us about the changes she had to make with regards to her mindset before she could become successful as an author.

If you’ve ever said that you can’t do something that you know you need to do for your career, then you have to listen to this episode (and you probably need to have a look at your mindset, and what you’re subconsciously telling yourself).

And finally, she talks about Facebook Ads, and gives us some tips on how to make our own ads successful. 

Jun 18 2019

35mins

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Rank #6: SPA Girls Podcast – EP165 – He Said, She Said – Creating Dazzling Dialogue

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Love or hate it, dialogue is an essential element to fiction writing.

Done well, dialogue can be very powerful. We know and understand the subtext of dialogue without having to be told, and writers can use this to create amazing scenes and tense moments.

Done badly, however, dialogue can kick your readers out of the scene, make them frustrated and ultimately stop reading.

So how do you make sure your dialogue sings instead of stinks? Easy peasy! Just listen to this episode… 🙂

Today in the SPA we go through what dialogue is, how to use it to your best advantage, we give you some dialogue techniques, talk about ways you can use dialogue to amp up your scene, and work through some of the do’s and don’t’s for creating dialogue that dances on the rooftops!

Show Notes: 

Basics of Said/Exclaimed etc

– Dialogue isn’t just filler. It has to work hard. It epitomises the conflict of the story you’re telling.

– We’re more interested in a story when it comes through via a dialogue than description. It’s more active.

– Said is a word people don’t see when they read, so don’t worry about using it, just not too much!

– It is also good to change things up slightly, you don’t want to sound monotonous,

– While you can use said often, it’s not the same for verbs. “shouted,” “exclaimed,” “laughed,” “snorted,” “demanded”, “insisted,” “screeched,” “screamed,” ” maintained” etc.

An example of overkill: 

“I think that’s your worst look yet,” Jessie said sighing.

“Surely not, I look seriously hot,” Melanie pouted.

“It’s the pink scarf, with the pink sunglasses, and don’t get me started on the pink hair,” Jessie maintained.

“You’re jealous,” Melanie declared.

– Don’t overuse words alongside said either, just because you think it’s boring. Words like grimly, or hotly etc. Extra words are not needed and clutter dialogue.

– If there are only two people in the scene, you shouldn’t need too many “he said/she said” moments.

– A quote followed by an action will always indicate who’s talking.

– When we are face to face, we get visual clues from body language as well as the words being spoken. You can use that to help indicate what the person is feeling without having to say:

“I think we should go home,” he said angrily.

“I think we should go home,” he said, slamming his fist into the kitchen table.

“I think we should go home.” His eyes filled with tears and he turned away.

“I think we should go home.” She smiled radiantly and held up her engagement ring to catch the light.

– Good to have those books – Negative and positive emotion thesaurus etc. Body language by Barbara and Alan Pease, and the language of love books.

– people’s eyes are naturally drawn to white space in a book. In a non-fiction book you can sort this out by having loads of headings and sub headings. In a fiction book, this is the dialogue.

Dialogue is the same as a scene – if it’s not relevant, cut it!

– You need to know what each character wants, and that needs to come out in the dialogue. (Think of Katniss in the Hunger Games. As soon as her sister’s name is called out – “I volunteer as tribute.” No more powerful words. We know she’s basically volunteering to die for the sake of her sister. She would do anything for her sister, and she shows it through those small words.)

– know the conflict and amp it up. Characters can’t just leave the scene, they have to fight against the conflict or there is no story.

– Remember don’t let the dialogue ramble, sometimes you just need to sum up the situation with a paragraph or two. As an article by Jericho Writers (see links below) says “Get in late and out early. Don’t bother with small talk. Decide the point of each interaction, begin with it as late as possible, ending as soon as your point is made.”

– Dialogue can give away a lot about where someone comes from, and the kind of person they are. “So where did you learn to cook like that?” “I did three years in an International Culinary School in Paris.”

– Be careful about overloading dialogue with jargon, or dialogue specific to a country. “Dinna fash lassie!” “Sweet as bro.”

– It’s vital that dialogue flows, or you will lose the readers attention

Famous lines of dialogue, and why they’re so good:

“ET phone home.” (It sums up what ET is fighting for the whole movie. He’s desperate to get home the whole movie.”

“You want the truth? You can’t handle the Truth!” It was the snapping point for the character. He was desperate to tell them what he’d done, he wasn’t ashamed of it, and the lawyer (Tom Cruise) just had to goad him into it.

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Rhett’s final words to Scarlett.

“Hasta la Vista, Baby.”

“I’ll be back.”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

“We’ll always have Paris.”

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Dialogue as descriptor

– If you have to explain how someone is feeling as they’re speaking you’re not doing a good job with your dialogue, or creating the scene or picture in the readers head. “Never say you’re actually doing it,” Sarah said frowning. “I am, and you just wait and see it will work out,” Pete said snorting.

– Remember to show don’t tell in some situations. If you have to say he said angrily, it looses its punch, and suggests the reader can’t work it out for themselves what’s going on, which in turn says you haven’t created the scene well.

– If the dialogue is good, it can include action also. “You’re an idiot, put down that knife.”

– Really good dialogue will stand on it’s own.

– Sometimes what characters say tells us a lot about them, and their backstory. For example, if they have no wish to discuss their past, perhaps they have issues? “Will you come with me to the Christmas Parade, Jake?” “I don’t do Christmas.” We have to wonder why?

– As with any scene, know what the point of the dialogue is. Know what is going on in the heads of the characters and make sure that comes across in what they’re saying. Don’t be lazy and just tell. Think of ways to show how they’re feeling through the dialogue.

Tricky tips for Creating Great Dialogue

– Clever dialogue is oblique (see anything written by Aaron Sorkin or the Gilmore Girls rapid fire dialogue) per Jericho Writers – “So direct dialogue is where person X says something or asks a question, and person Y answers in the most logical, direct way.

We hate that! As readers, we hate it.

Oblique dialogue is where people never quite answer each other in a straight way. Where a question doesn’t get a straightforward response. Where random connections are made. Where we never quite know where things are going.

As readers, we love that. It’s dialogue to die for.

…Want to achieve the same effect? Just keep your dialogue not quite joined up. People should drop in random things, go off at tangents, talk in non-sequiturs, respond to an emotional implication not the thing that’s directly on the page – or anything. Just keep it broken. Keep it exciting!…”

– The dialogue should elicit emotion, in the same way your wider story should. A scene in a kitchen with two people making tea and sitting down to drink it, and discussing the weather – shouldn’t be about that at all. If it is, it’s the most boring scene in the world. There should be undercurrents of tension. What is it that these two characters are fighting against? Has one of them just found out the other is cheating with her husband? Does one of them owe the other money, but can’t repay it? Have their kids been fighting? Expelled for stealing?

– If you want to amp up the dialogue, amp up the scene. A couple having a fight? What about a couple having a fight while on a boat in shark infested waters? A girl finally deciding to tell her crush how she feels? What about if she did it while he was out on a date with another girl?

– Different kinds of dialogue for different genres. Fast and snappy in thrillers, more thoughtful and romantic in romance.

– Try to become your characters as you write them. Slip into their heads and write what they would say.

– Say it aloud, to see how it sounds

– Remember the way we speak in person is not the same as sparkling dialogue on a page

– Some writers just write the dialogue in a scene first, and add in the descriptors later.

HELPFUL LINKS:
www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/10/04/dialogue-mistakes/
Jericho Writers How To Write Dialogue In Fiction: https://jerichowriters.com/writing-dialogue/

Book: How To Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KN0JEYA/

Dec 12 2018

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Rank #7: SPA Girls Podcast – EP226 – Romance Your Brand with Zoe York

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We are delighted to welcome back NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Zoe York, to the SPA! Zoe is a busy mom of two young boys and the creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances, a sci-fi romance series and now non-fiction for authors. Since 2013, Zoe has published 56 books, lead numerous workshops both in person and online, and is a fellow podcaster – The SisterCast is where Zoe and her sister Amanda talk about media, marketing, and how awesome it is to be a perfectly average mom.

Today we talk to Zoe about building a marketable genre fiction series as detailed in her first non-fiction book for writers: Romance Your Brand. For first time ever in print, Zoe York breaks down how she plans a series–something she has done ten times over. Romance Your Brand is an adaptation of an intensive four-week course, now available to authors everywhere. This book covers:

  • high-concept pitches
  • taglines and blurbs
  • world building and casts of characters
  • writing the first book in a series
  • finding comparable series and covers
  • how to write towards future marketing
  • and why ALL OF THE ABOVE should be considered before you write a single word

This episode has fabulous marketing advice from Zoe, so get out your notebook and be ready!

“The truth is, success is found in trial and error. There’s no magic button, and maybe everything I’ve taught you so far might not be quite right for you. I still think it’s worth trying.” ~ Zoe York.

Feb 11 2020

1hr 3mins

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Rank #8: SPA Girls Podcast – EP210 – Slow & Steady to Six Figures with Serenity Woods

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Serenity Woods is a New Zealand self-publishing superstar with more than 70 books published (both traditionally and indie). She’s a USA Today bestselling author of sexy contemporary romances, most of which are set in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand, where she lives.

Serenity joins the SPA Girls again this week to discuss her publishing strategy and the road to six figures – hint, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Her SPA Girls Podcast episode from when she last appeared with us at the beginning of 2019 is one of our most downloaded episodes ever. This latest one is sure to be just as popular, with Serenity’s frank honesty, encouragement and keen insight into how you too can be a six-figure author.

Find Serenity at: https://www.serenitywoodsromance.com/

Oct 23 2019

42mins

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Rank #9: SPA Girls Podcast – EP171 – Interview With Serenity Woods

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We are delighted to welcome romance author, Serenity Woods, to the SPA today. Serenity lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand. She is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and has been published since 2011 and self-published since 2013.

Serenity is incredibly business savvy and prolific. To date, she’s published 65 books across many different romance series, and she is a USA Today bestselling author, reaching #53 on the USA Today bestseller list with her Three Wise Men Box Set. Also, writing as Freya Robertson, she won the NZ Sir Julius Vogel Sci-Fi/Fantasy Award for Best Novel for her debut, Heartwood.

Serenity shares her self-publishing journey with us – the highs and the lows – from her modest start with a publishing a novella, to her success selling wide.  She also very honestly talks about her decision making behind moving to Amazon exclusively and the strategies for maximizing KU sales. 

We were so inspired by Serenity’s persistence, smarts and courage and promise this is an episode you’ll want to listen to more than once. Because it’s PACKED with so much information for you, we kept recording for an hour (and could have continued, but we’ll have Serenity back on the podcast again for sure 😉 ) 

Links:

Serenity Woods’ website: https://www.serenitywoodsromance.com/

KDP Rocket /Kindlepreneur: (see Dave Chesson’s free videos for AMS ads) https://kindlepreneur.com/book-marketing-101/

SPA Girls Podcast website: http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/

Jan 23 2019

59mins

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Rank #10: SPA Girls Podcast – EP180 – Book Descriptions with Brian Meeks

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Ever wondered if your book description could be better?

Ever thought it should sell more books? 

Then this is the episode for you. 

Brian Meeks, description-writer extraordinaire, talks with us about how to write a kick-ass description that will sell more books, and help amp up your advertising sales.

Turns out, it’s all about copywriting. 

And writing the best hooks you possibly can. 

Lucky for us, Brian takes us through every aspect of writing hooks to help you write your next description. 

In fact, we get him to do it on the fly, by giving him a description to fix, on air, as we listen. 

Thanks to Cheryl and her newly released book, Doughnuts and Disaster, Book Four in the Maple Lane Cozy Mystery series. Cher was brave enough to give Brian her description for him to have a go at re-writing – and believe me, he didn’t pull any punches!!

This is raw, honest, and exciting copywriting at its best, and you can listen in as the master creates a new blurb in less than 30 minutes!

Here’s the original description for you to read as he re-writes it: 

Maddie’s best friend is in danger!

A killer on the loose makes hairdresser, Angel, lose her appetite and because we’re talking a batch of her favourite jelly doughnuts this means the gloves are off for Maddie and her friends.

Wanting to make amends in theory sounds like a positive thing, but when someone who is part of Angel’s past arrives in town, that’s why things begin a slippery slope into disaster.

An ugly murder has Maddie, the Sheriff, Big Red – her faithful Maine Coon cat – and the Girlz back in action as they try to protect Angel from a mystery stranger.

Or is it someone she knows?

There are clues a-plenty and maybe a few red herrings in the fourth book in the Maple Lane Mysteries.

The new version written by Brian Meeks LIVE on the show:

The threat was real.

Her best friend could die.

Can Maddie save her in time?

The call surprised her. Maddie had been baking jelly donuts
for her best friend’s salon for years. Now, the order has been cancelled. What
does this mean? Is it the first sign of the apocalypse? Her friend adores the
donuts and now Maddie must get to the bottom of this mystery.

What is going on?

Angel loves her days in the salon and her clients enjoy
sweet treats she orders from her best friend, Maddie, but there’s just one
problem, the stress of a killer in town has taken her appetite.

And this isn’t the only thing worrying her.

Why would Angel’s ex-husband be back in town?

Maddie’s boyfriend, the sheriff, hasn’t been able to crack
the string of murders. She may need to give him a gentle hand with this one.

You’ll love the clues a plenty in this cozy mystery, because everyone enjoys figuring out the riddles.

Get it now.

Click this link to check out Brian’s book on writing descriptions.

Mar 27 2019

1hr 1min

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Rank #11: SPA Girls Podcast – EP175 – How To Make Facebook Work For You

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We often get asked what authors should post on Facebook, and whether it’s worthwhile even being on the platform at all. 

The answer from the SPA is a firm yes, we believe Facebook is a really useful tool for authors, especially in romance. There are many positives to having a presence on the social platform, not least of which is the ability to find and connect with readers and other authors. 

So this week we break down the platform and talk about the different areas that are useful to know about as an author, plus give you ideas to use for ongoing content, some etiquette to bear in mind for using Facebook, and ways you can use Facebook to amp up your book sales.

Show Notes:

Shar’s tips:
Tip 1:
It’s still worth having a facebook author page. Yes, organic reach has dropped but Facebook is STILL the biggest social media platform by far. Having an author page keeps your penname secret (if required), and means you can run ads.

Tip 2: Note sure what to post? Create a weekly schedule to ensure you mix up the content/chat/connection with readers posts versus SALES posts (should be 3/4:1 and then preschedule using the inbuilt facebook scheduling system to streamline the process – eg #MondayMovieFavs #TuesdayExcerpt #WednesdayWanderings #ThrowbackThursday #FridayFunny #SaturdaySnack #SundayShare

Tip 3: Experiment with Facebook ads and prepare to learn. Two things first: Understand how to calculate your readthrough on your series / Understand your audience (other authors they like via also boughts, movies that tie in, themes in common etc) Start with $5/day and try six ads in one ad set. Leave running for 3 or 4 days and then see which image is most successful. Then using that image create another six ads but this time change out the text. This is iteration and a way of testing. Facebook requires a LOT of testing.

Tip 4: Facebook Groups are a good way to communicate with your superfans – less so for new fans. To be effective they require clear rules, good moderation, and regular input. I personally believe they come about as a result of book sales success, rather than driving that success.

Trudi’s tips:

  1. Join other author’s groups/pages and see what they’re posting about and how they’re engaging with readers.
  2. Ask questions, use polls, reply when people post on your comments. Builds up your organic reach if you have more comments and engagement.
  3. Content curation is a valid way to post. It doesn’t all have to be original content from you.
  4. Know your readers, and know the kind of content they’d be likely to respond to.
  5. Consider working in with other authors if you can’t manage on your own. Make sure you’re in the same genre though, or it’s all for nothing.

Wendy’s tips:

  1. Doing short video clips of yourself is a great way to get your fans to interact. They love the personal touch, and seeing you talking directly to them is something they will respond to. I use Quick Time on my Mac to record, but there are other options depending on what computer/laptop you have.
  2. FB polls are a great way to interact at the same time as gaining valuable information. For example. What story trope do you like A. Friends to lovers B. Cinderella story C. Second chance at love. D. Secret romance.
  3. Engage/like other author pages. See what’s working for others, and mimic them. Save their posts to use at a later date.
  4. Keep your posts short, most people are looking at FB on their mobile devices and are doing so for short periods of time.

Cheryl’s tips:

  1. Taking time one day a week to schedule posts will make life a lot easier than thinking about it each day and using a themed hashtag as Shar suggests means you know the type of thing you want for each one. (Sunday works for me) I have a folder with graphics specifically for my posts separated into funnies, inspirational, animals etc.
  2. Share on other pages that you own to save time by using the same post. (personal v author page – only if it’s relevant). Use the share option on the bottom right hand of your post.
  3. Share in groups but be mindful of group rules and make sure you are on topic. If not, you could find yourself banned from that group.
  4. To gain likes, invite people who have already liked one of your posts to take the next step and like your Page. (The two things are different) To do so, just click on the list of names below the post. In the window, scroll down and click the Invite button.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Free video – how to set up a Facebook ad from Dave Chesson:
https://kindlepreneur.com/how-to-advertise-book-facebook-facebook-ads-for-books/

Mark Dawson’s free guides: https://selfpublishingformula.com/spf-resources/

Recommended read: Michael Cooper’s Help My Facebook Ads Suck!
https://www.amazon.com/Help-My-Facebook-Ads-Suck-ebook/dp/B078NBW3M3

Feb 20 2019

33mins

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Rank #12: SPA Girls Podcast – EP190 – Dictation With Scott Baker

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Are your wrists giving you problems?

Thinking you need to get out and walk more? 

But still have to write all those books?? 

Then this episode is for you…

We talk to dictation expert Scott Baker about all aspects of dictation, from the right software to get, the products and technical knowledge you need to get started, and how to train that dragon to within an inch of its life!! 

Scott talks to us about everything from how to set up the dictation equipment correctly, the different ways you can dictate and how to make it as accurate as possible. 

He’s hugely knowledgeable, and is very generous with his information, so if you’ve ever wondered about dictation, or are considering getting it set up (or even tried and couldn’t get it to work properly!) then make sure you listen to this episode!  

https://scottbakerbooks.com

Jun 04 2019

59mins

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Rank #13: SPA Girls Podcast – EP215 – Taking Risks and Being Brave

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If you’re anything like the rest of us in the SPA, you’re quite happy in your writing cave. You don’t really want to leave the comfort of your keyboard. 

But this episode is all about why you really should take risks, be brave, and learn how to say yes to some of the really scary things in the self publishing industry. 

We’re just recently back from the wonderful Romance Author Mastermind conference put on by Skye Warren, so we use examples from information we learned at this amazing event to help us illustrate our points for this podcast. Another episode full of tips and tidbits that will help your self publishing career!

Nov 26 2019

29mins

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Rank #14: SPA Girls Podcast – EP214 – Interview with Lindsay Buroker

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I (Trudi Jaye) was VERY EXCITED to get to interview super-successful fantasy author and fellow podcaster Lindsay Buroker at 20BooksVegas, and (OMG!!) she didn’t disappoint.

Lindsay’s doing really well in the genres of Fantasy, Sci-Fi Romance, Fantasy Romance, and is about to publish a new Urban Fantasy series next year – so she talks about how she makes writing in multiple genres work so well for her career, how and why she switches between fantasy to sci-fi and, of course, how she’s so productive. 

Even if you’re not like me and a total fangirl, this is a must-listen episode from a super-smart self-publishing author.

Check out Lindsay here: www.lindsayburoker.com

Nov 20 2019

55mins

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Rank #15: SPA Girls Podcast – EP216 – Sharpen Up Your Author Career

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 It’s that time of year when we start looking back on the year, wondering how it all flew by so fast, and thinking about what we can do for the coming year. 

This week we’re talking about another lesson we learned at the Romance Author Mastermind (RAM) – making sure that you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on all the areas in your author career, from your backlist to your website and everywhere in between. It’s about making sure everything is as tight and sharp as you can make it, and it turns out that it’s a vital part of your business. 

If you want to learn how to sharpen up your author career, this is a must listen episode!

Dec 04 2019

33mins

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Rank #16: SPA Girls Podcast – EP178 – Newsletter Strategies with Larissa Reynolds, Part 2

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What’s the one objection you have to overcome to get readers to buy your book?

That question is the cliffhanger that Larissa Reynolds left us on in part 1. And now, here it is! The episode where you get to find out the answer…

In this second episode about newsletters, Larissa Reynolds talks to us about how to sell your books consistently via your list. 

She’s been writing newsletters for more than 20 years, and says it’s about more than just sending regular emails. It’s about knowing your readers, and making sure you’re approaching them in the right way.

She talks to us about how to get the right mindset with regards to your newsletter, how to focus the newsletter in the right direction, and how to ensure you’re connecting with your readers so they want to go out and buy your books.

Larissa’s website: www.authorlistlab.com

Mar 12 2019

46mins

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Rank #17: SPA Girls Podcast – EP169 – 5 Goals You Need To Make In 2019

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Goals! We’re all so excited about them at the beginning of January, and then we feel them like chains around our necks by the end of the month. (Well, here in the SPA we do. Maybe you’re able to make it into February without feeling like you’re never going to make them work…hehe)

What we’ve decided is that instead of overwhelming yourself with ALL THE GOALS, if you set one goal in these five areas, for a shorter period of time (we’re suggesting 12 weeks) then you’re more likely to make them happen.

We go through the five areas, and talk about the goals that we’re setting in each, and give suggestions of goals that you could set as well.

This is another information packed episode that will help you set some relevant goals that are going to help you move forward in 2019.

SHOW NOTES:

Quote from the 12 week year by Bryan Moran “Identify the “Keystone” Action and Focus on It. Once you have an intense desire to accomplish something, you then need to identify the core actions that will produce the result you’re after. Often you can come up with a laundry list of things that you could do, but that just leads to diffusion and discouragement. In most cases there are a few core activities that account for the majority of the result, and in some cases, there is one, perhaps two, primary activities that ultimately produce the result. It is critical that you identify the one or two “Keystone” actions and focus on them.”

What we’re trying to do is (whether over a year or a quarter (ie 12 weeks) is give you five areas to set a goal in, that will serve your long term growth as an author.

This was inspired in part by our podcast with author Kelly St Clare (Podcast #163) who sets ONE craft goal per manuscript she’s working on, rather than trying to fix “All The Things.”

Remember a goal needs a specific timeframe.

You also need to review your goals as you go through the specified timeframe to make sure you’re doing what needs to be done to hit the goal at the end. If you’re not achieving it, look at why, and try to make changes so that you will make the goal.

Craft: (in the next book)

One goal per book for a craft skill that you’re working on.

Sharyn: Learn correct comma usage

Trudi: Do better at characterisation.

Cheryl: Being more descriptive.

Other ideas for craft goals: 

  • Work on dialogue
  • Work on your sentence structure
  • Work on eradicating the passive voice in your writing
  • Introduce core elements early (setting, conflict, major characters, motivations etc)

Social Media: (To work on in Q1)

One aspect of SM that you’re going to work on.

Cher: Learn more about Facebook ads

Shar: Grow SPA Girls FB likes by 100 peeps, organically.

Trudi: Get more interactive in FB posts. At least 1 interactive post a week.

Other ideas for social media goals: 

  • Learn a new platform (but research the right one for your genre)
  • Create a post schedule and post daily – eg. #MondayMusings #TuesdayTunes #WednesdayExcerpt #ThursdayThrowback #FridayFunFact #SaturdaySilly #SundayBookRec

Marketing: (Work on in Q1)

One aspect of marketing to work on in first quarter.

Shar: Nail Book Bub Ads.

Cheryl: Get the open rates/clicks up on my newsletter.

Trudi: AMS UK ads – sign on and do them.

Other ideas for marketing goals: 

  • Learn facebook ads – create five new ones each month
  • Work on sending your email newsletter sign ups content that will have them opening every email from you! Short stories, deleted scenes etc.
  • Amp up your blurbs
  • Read more about copywriting
  • Write some short stories and other content for your newsletter and other marketing content

Productivity (Work on in Q1)

One thing to amp up your productivity in the next quarter.

Shar: Write 5000 per week on new manuscript. Set aside an hour a day for writing.

Cher: Get up earlier, and work without social media distractions.

Trudi: Lynn Johnston trick – write down everything you do.

Other ideas for productivity goals: 

  • Spend time learning dictation
  • Work out the word count of your next book, and when it needs to be finished by, then work out how many words you need to write each day and set as a daily goal
  • Try changing where you write if you are struggling to get the words down. Cafes, or writing in a group situation.

Well Being (One per month)

One new habit per month.

Cher: New exercise regime – Pilates

Shar: Listening to headspace

Trudi: Start doing 10,000 steps every day. Get out in the garden.

Other ideas for goals: 

  • Set timer on phone and spend ten minutes stretching every day at 2pm.
  • Set a timer on your phone and go for a walk every hour for five-ten minutes.
  • Drink more water every day

Show Notes & Links

https://12weekyear.com/here-we-go-again/

http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep163-interview-with-kelly-st-clare/

https://insights.bookbub.com/best-bookbub-ads-2018/

https://writesmarternotharder.com/my-1-productivity-tool-for-getting-more-done/

Jan 09 2019

44mins

Play

Rank #18: SPA Girls Podcast – EP176 – How to Speak Self Publishing

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Ever listened to someone talking about self publishing and been mystified about what they’re actually saying? Maybe understood about one in every three words?

It’s a common problem, and one we sometimes come across ourselves, as things change in the industry and new jargon hits the streets.

Added to that, even if you decide to look it up online, it’s sometimes not easy to understand.

That’s where the SPA Girls come in. This episode we go through all the self publishing jargon we could think of, and explain what it is, and talk a little about why you might need to know each term and how it’s useful for you in your Indie career. 

This episode is packed with great tips around each word, and will hopefully give you an idea of what on earth is going on! 

Self-Publishing Glossary / Jargon

A

Active
Campaign

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Expensive platform, but allows a lot of
flexibility in terms of sending out emails.

Advertising
lists / email marketing promotion sites

Services
that have large email lists that they use to promote discounted and free books.
Authors pay a fee to the service, in return for their book being sent out to
the readers on the list. The most well known service with millions of readers
is BookBub. Other options include eReader News Today (ENT), FreeBooksy,
Bargainbooksy, Robin Reads and Books Barbarian.

Affiliate
Links

Services
like Amazon Associates offer the opportunity to receive a bounty in the form of
a percentage of the profit for promoting sales of their products.

Algorithm

An
algorithm is a set of rules used by computer programmers, usually to
automatically analyse and sort big data (large volumes of information). Amazon
has an extremely sophisticated algorithm that helps them figure out which books
are bestsellers, which are more popular, and which ones should be promoted to
which readers. There is a lot of information on the magical Amazon algorithm, because
many believe catching the algorithm helps with sales.

Amazon

The
main ebook publishing platform in the world. Can purchase both ebook and print
books via Amazon. Accounts for 80% of sales of ebooks. It uses an algorithm to
determine which books will be promoted.

ARCs
(Advanced Reader Copy)

Copies
of your book that you give out to your ARC or Street Team so they can read the
book before it’s out, and put reviews up on the various platforms for you when
it goes up. Giving out ARCs can help with promotion and marketing—the more you
give out, the more buzz you can garner.

Author
Bio

About
the author blurb.

Author
Brand/Platform

An
author brand is the feeling/general vibe surrounding your author personality.
It should be consistent with the kind of books you write. For example an author
who writes sweet contemporary novels shouldn’t write a blog full of the f-word.
It is to do with how your readers see you, the author. An author platform can
include everything from your website, your newsletter, your facebook page, any
facebook groups you run, or are in.

Author
Central

The
Amazon website where you put up your author details and connect your books to
your Amazon author page. You can also check your overall author ranking, your
book ranking and your sales ranking.

Author
page (Amazon)

A
separate page set up under your profile, for you to use for your author
activities, and also Facebook Ads.

B

Back
matter

This
is the information found at the back of your book, after the main novel. It can
include the author’s note, newsletter sign up page, or excerpt of the next book
in the series at the back. Or any combination thereof.

Bisac
Code

BISAC
(Book Industry Standards And Communications) subject codes are essentially
genre codes used by retailers and are part of your metadata. They help
categorize your book in the primary genre, topic and theme so readers can find
them when searching the online store. Choose Bisac codes that accurately and
clearly describe the content of your book as a whole.

Beta
readers

Readers
who will read your book before you publish to give you feedback on any issues
or problems with your book. They read it as a reader, not an editor, and will
generally find things like inconsistencies, plot holes and character problems,
and some grammar issues.

Blog
tour

Part
of promotion of a new release book, authors can pay to go around several blogs
by readers and other people interested in books in your genre. They can include
posting and excerpt, a post written by yourself, or a question and answer
session. They used to be very effective, not sure that they are considered
particularly effective any more.

Blurb
/Book Description

The
information about your book that gives readers the hook, and sells the book to
potential readers. In the old system of traditional publishing, a blurb was
also the quote that you got from other authors on the cover saying how much
they loved your book.

It
is most definitely not a description in the sense that you must describe the
plot like you would in a synopsis.

C

Call
to Action or CTA

Part
of the sales jargon. It is the one thing that you want your audience to do
after looking at your product. It might be buy the book, buy the next book, or
join your mailing list.

Categories

The
categories that your book falls into on the various sales platforms that help
readers find the books they love to read. They used to go by the BISAC (Book
Industry Standards and Communications) system which was used by the traditional
publishing industry, but in recent years this has evolved, especially on
Amazon, and they now use a wider selection of categories.

Copyright

Automatically protects your original works. You may use the
symbol © to help you demonstrate that you claim copyright in a particu- lar
work, but you do not need to. Protects original works. Copyright is automatic
in NZ; in the US you can to apply to register it.

Copy
editing/ Line editing

Usually
used interchangeably, this level of editing will fix problems with grammar and
spelling, but will also go more in-depth and find inconsistencies of plot or
character, sentence structure issues, etc etc.

CreateSpace

A
print on demand service owned by Amazon where Indie authors can use a pdf print
file, an ISBN and a cover to create print books to be sold at Amazon. (And
other places if you want to do extended distribution.) It has just been
announced that this service is being discontinued, because Amazon also has KDP
Print.

D

DRM

Digital
rights management. It is possible to check that you want to have DRM on your
ebooks, but it’s generally considered a bad idea.

Draft2Digital

An
aggregator who you can use to put your ebooks up to all the different platforms
if you choose to go wide (instead of being exclusive with Amazon). You can also
do audiobooks through Draft2Digital.

Developmental
editing / substantive editing/ structural editing /content editing

This
is a high level critique of your book, usually commenting on the overall
structure and storyline, and usually working with you to fix the overall book.
They won’t make changes to grammar and spelling.

E

Epub
files

The
type of file you will need format your manuscript into to publish your book to
be published by Kobo, iBooks, Nook etc (basically everyone else except Amazon).
.EPUB

F

Facebook
profile / Facebook Page

Your
facebook profile is your personal profile on Facebook. Facebook frowns on using
this for business. Instead your profile creates a Facebook Page for your author
name—this allows you to run ads from that page.

Final
Draft

The
completely edited and polished final version of your book that you’re going to
put up on the publishing platforms.

First
draft

Your
first version of your novel. Your first draft should never be the draft that
goes up on the publishing platforms.

Foreign
Rights

Usually
rights are for certain areas, and you can sell your print/ebook rights
separately.

Formatting

Formatting
refers to the process of changing a novel that is in a format such as word or
scrivener into a file type that can be used on one of the sales platforms like
Kobo, Amazon, or iBooks.

Forums

An
online forum such as Romance Divas where you can go and talk with other authors
about publishing, writing craft and anything else. It’s all in written form.

Front
matter

This
is the information found at the front of your book, before the main novel. This
could include the copyright page, your news- letter offer, the contents and the
dedication page.

G

Goodreads

A
social media platform for readers. Includes lists of books, people can mark
their favourites, talk in forums with other readers about their favourite
books, and give ratings for the books. Ratings on Goodreads tend to be harsher
than on Amazon, and the users can be quite vicious if they feel authors are
going on there and trying to sell or market their books aggressively.

Google
Play

A
publishing platform for ebooks, run by google. Locked to new accounts.

H

Hybrid
author

Someone
who is both traditionally and Indie published.

I

iBooks

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by Apple. It uses a curated system to
decide on which books are promoted.

Indie
Publishing

Another
word for self publishing (used by some people in preference to self publishing,
because of the negative connotations to SP.) In- die stands for Independent.
Indie authors are business owners who must organise everything themselves (even
if it is simply organis- ing the people who are going to do aspects of the work
for them).

Instafreebie

A
promotional tool used to gather newsletter subscribers, usuall via a free book
(called a reader magnet) or cross promotions with other authors. It worked
really well for a while when it first came out, but its effectiveness has
waned.

ISBN

The
unique number used in the publishing industry to count the number of books and
estimate sales. It’s not necessary to have an ISBN on Amazon, they will asign
an ASIN to your book, which is their own internal numbering.

In
the US it costs a fair amount of money to purchase ISBNs, but in New Zealand
they are available for free from the National Library. You need a separate ISBN
for each format of your book (ebook, print, etc), and if you’ve substantially
changed the book.

ITTN/ITIN/EIN

Tax
numbers for the US systems. We no longer need them, as we have a tax agreement
with the US, which means we can put our own NZ tax numbers into the system.

J

Jutoh

A
computer programme that can be used to format book files for publishing. Can be
used on both PC and Mac.

K

KDP
Print

Amazon’s
print on demand service, started after it purchased CreateSpace. It is done
through the same dashboard as KDP, making it quite convenient.

Keywords

In
this context they are the words used by the agregators to help describe your
book for potential readers. For example Amazon allows you to have seven
keywords or phrases, and you should find ones that describe your book’s main
tropes and genre traditions.

Kindle
Direct Publishing or KDP

Kindle
Direct Publishing is the publishing platform used by authors to put their books
onto Amazon.

Kindle
Unlimited or KU

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service that allows Amazon
users in the UK and US to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle
store for a single monthly payment. Subscribers can keep up to ten titles to
read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

For authors, to have your books available to KU readers, you
must be part of the Select programme, and therefore exclusive to Amazon. (This
exclusivity is only for ebooks, you are able to put print on demand books on
other sites.)

Payment for authors whose books are in the KU service is via
KENP, or pages read. Each month there is a pool of money allocated to be shared
among all eligible authors, which is worked out on a per page read basis.

Kobo

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by parent company Rakuten. Publishes to
more than 60 countries worldwide. It uses a curated system to decide on the
books being promoted and pushed through the service.

L-N

MailChimp

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and you
can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Probably one of the most well known
mailing platforms.

MailerLite

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website,
and manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Excellent back end, a few
deliverability issues, good price.

Meta
data

Background
information used to help searches. This includes keywords and categories used
on retailers. On a website, it is the back- ground information that you have on
the site that is not visible to visitors, but helps them be found in search
engines.

Mobi
files

The
type of file you will need to format your manuscript into to publish your book
to Amazon. .MOBI

Netgalley

A
service, mostly used by traditional publishers, to provide ARCs of books due to
be released to people in the industry such as librarians, bloggers, reviewers
etc. You pay a monthly or yearly fee for the privilege.

Newsletters/mailing
list

This
is a personal mailing list of people who have signed up to hear from you
specifically about your books. Mailing lists need to be or- ganised via a
mailing list platform. Authors can send out to their list weekly, fortnightly,
monthly or whenever they release a new book.

OP

Permafree

Permafree
means a book is permanently free. It’s a pricing strategy where your ebook
(usually first in series) is permanently free on all the booksellers. It is not
possible to just put a book permanently free on Amazon, but you can do it by
having the book wide, and making it free on at least two other platforms (Kobo
and iBooks) and then letting Amazon know and ask nicely for them to pricematch.

POD

Print
on Demand. This is a service that will print individual books, rather than
requiring publishers to print thousands of books at a time. New digital
technology has enabled this kind of service to be viable.

Podcasts

On-demand
audio shows, that can be listened to anywhere. A must listen is
www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com 😉

Preorders

Used
on Amazon, where you can put your book up to be sold, before the actual book is
able to purchased.

Proofreading

The
last part of the editing process, the proofreader will pick up grammatical
errors, and spelling mistakes etc, but will not comment on structural,
developmental or larger issues.

Publishing
Aggregators

A publishing aggregator is a service that lets you upload your
manuscript in one place, and then distributes your work to multiple
channels—the retailers who sell you work, such as Apple iBooks, Kobo, Amazon,
and more.

QR

Reader
Magnet

A
free book that you use to entice people to start reading your series, or to get
onto your mailing list.

Reviews

Readers
leave reviews of your ebooks on Amazon, and Amazon is rumoured to use these
reviews (possibly both the overall score and the number of reviews) as part of
their magical algorithm. There are rules surrounding who may leave reviews of
your books – family and friends are not allowed to leave a review and you can’t
offer anything other than an ARC in return for an honest review.

S

Scrivener

A
writing programme used by authors. It allows for notes, extra information,
photographs, extra folders and everything else you might need to be kept all in
one place while you write.

Smashwords

An
aggregator to put ebooks up on all the different platforms. One of the first
aggregator platforms.

Social
media platforms

All
the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat,
etc etc.

Street
team/Review team

The
loyal readers who will read your ARCs before your book is published, and give
you reviews on the different platforms once your book is live. They can also
help with word of mouth, and other promotional activities.

Synopsis

A
description of the plot of your book.

T

Target
Audience

The
people who will most enjoy your books.

Traditional
Publisher

The
traditional publishing houses who have a team of editors, marketers,
booksellers who purchase the rights to sell your books to bookstores, both
online and bricks and mortar. They take a large percentage of the profits in
order to pay for the printing, distribution and housing of print books. They
are the traditional “gatekeepers” to publishing.

Trope

Commonly
recurring themes or ideas in a genre. Different genres will have different
tropes, for example romance tropes include am- nesia, enemies to lovers, secret
baby. Urban Fantasy tropes include kick-butt heroines, magic in an urban
environment. Epic fantasy tropes include an outsider hero, or an evil king who
must be defeated.

U-Z

Universal
Link (Bitly)

A
trackable link that you can use in your books, on your website or other places
where you use links to obtain data.

Vellum

Vellum
is a computer program that can be used on Mac computers to format ebooks.

Wide
vs Exclusive

Wide
is when you have your books up on all the different platforms like Kobo,
Amazon, iBooks, and Nook. Exclusive is when you only have your books up on Amazon,
are part of the Select program and have your books in KU.

When
you are on Amazon but not in KU or Select, you earn money via book sales but
not page reads.

A

Active
Campaign

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Expensive platform, but allows a lot of
flexibility in terms of sending out emails.

Advertising
lists / email marketing promotion sites

Services
that have large email lists that they use to promote discounted and free books.
Authors pay a fee to the service, in return for their book being sent out to
the readers on the list. The most well known service with millions of readers
is BookBub. Other options include eReader News Today (ENT), FreeBooksy,
Bargainbooksy, Robin Reads and Books Barbarian.

Affiliate
Links

Services
like Amazon Associates offer the opportunity to receive a bounty in the form of
a percentage of the profit for promoting sales of their products.

Algorithm

An
algorithm is a set of rules used by computer programmers, usually to
automatically analyse and sort big data (large volumes of information). Amazon
has an extremely sophisticated algorithm that helps them figure out which books
are bestsellers, which are more popular, and which ones should be promoted to
which readers. There is a lot of information on the magical Amazon algorithm, because
many believe catching the algorithm helps with sales.

Amazon

The
main ebook publishing platform in the world. Can purchase both ebook and print
books via Amazon. Accounts for 80% of sales of ebooks. It uses an algorithm to
determine which books will be promoted.

ARCs
(Advanced Reader Copy)

Copies
of your book that you give out to your ARC or Street Team so they can read the
book before it’s out, and put reviews up on the various platforms for you when
it goes up. Giving out ARCs can help with promotion and marketing—the more you
give out, the more buzz you can garner.

Author
Bio

About
the author blurb.

Author
Brand/Platform

An
author brand is the feeling/general vibe surrounding your author personality.
It should be consistent with the kind of books you write. For example an author
who writes sweet contemporary novels shouldn’t write a blog full of the f-word.
It is to do with how your readers see you, the author. An author platform can
include everything from your website, your newsletter, your facebook page, any
facebook groups you run, or are in.

Author
Central

The
Amazon website where you put up your author details and connect your books to
your Amazon author page. You can also check your overall author ranking, your
book ranking and your sales ranking.

Author
page (Amazon)

A
separate page set up under your profile, for you to use for your author
activities, and also Facebook Ads.

B

Back
matter

This
is the information found at the back of your book, after the main novel. It can
include the author’s note, newsletter sign up page, or excerpt of the next book
in the series at the back. Or any combination thereof.

Bisac
Code

BISAC
(Book Industry Standards And Communications) subject codes are essentially
genre codes used by retailers and are part of your metadata. They help
categorize your book in the primary genre, topic and theme so readers can find
them when searching the online store. Choose Bisac codes that accurately and
clearly describe the content of your book as a whole.

Beta
readers

Readers
who will read your book before you publish to give you feedback on any issues
or problems with your book. They read it as a reader, not an editor, and will
generally find things like inconsistencies, plot holes and character problems,
and some grammar issues.

Blog
tour

Part
of promotion of a new release book, authors can pay to go around several blogs
by readers and other people interested in books in your genre. They can include
posting and excerpt, a post written by yourself, or a question and answer
session. They used to be very effective, not sure that they are considered
particularly effective any more.

Blurb
/Book Description

The
information about your book that gives readers the hook, and sells the book to
potential readers. In the old system of traditional publishing, a blurb was
also the quote that you got from other authors on the cover saying how much
they loved your book.

It
is most definitely not a description in the sense that you must describe the
plot like you would in a synopsis.

C

Call
to Action or CTA

Part
of the sales jargon. It is the one thing that you want your audience to do
after looking at your product. It might be buy the book, buy the next book, or
join your mailing list.

Categories

The
categories that your book falls into on the various sales platforms that help
readers find the books they love to read. They used to go by the BISAC (Book
Industry Standards and Communications) system which was used by the traditional
publishing industry, but in recent years this has evolved, especially on
Amazon, and they now use a wider selection of categories.

Copyright

Automatically protects your original works. You may use the
symbol © to help you demonstrate that you claim copyright in a particu- lar
work, but you do not need to. Protects original works. Copyright is automatic
in NZ; in the US you can to apply to register it.

Copy
editing/ Line editing

Usually
used interchangeably, this level of editing will fix problems with grammar and
spelling, but will also go more in-depth and find inconsistencies of plot or
character, sentence structure issues, etc etc.

CreateSpace

A
print on demand service owned by Amazon where Indie authors can use a pdf print
file, an ISBN and a cover to create print books to be sold at Amazon. (And
other places if you want to do extended distribution.) It has just been
announced that this service is being discontinued, because Amazon also has KDP
Print.

D

DRM

Digital
rights management. It is possible to check that you want to have DRM on your
ebooks, but it’s generally considered a bad idea.

Draft2Digital

An
aggregator who you can use to put your ebooks up to all the different platforms
if you choose to go wide (instead of being exclusive with Amazon). You can also
do audiobooks through Draft2Digital.

Developmental
editing / substantive editing/ structural editing /content editing

This
is a high level critique of your book, usually commenting on the overall
structure and storyline, and usually working with you to fix the overall book.
They won’t make changes to grammar and spelling.

E

Epub
files

The
type of file you will need format your manuscript into to publish your book to
be published by Kobo, iBooks, Nook etc (basically everyone else except Amazon).
.EPUB

F

Facebook
profile / Facebook Page

Your
facebook profile is your personal profile on Facebook. Facebook frowns on using
this for business. Instead your profile creates a Facebook Page for your author
name—this allows you to run ads from that page.

Final
Draft

The
completely edited and polished final version of your book that you’re going to
put up on the publishing platforms.

First
draft

Your
first version of your novel. Your first draft should never be the draft that
goes up on the publishing platforms.

Foreign
Rights

Usually
rights are for certain areas, and you can sell your print/ebook rights
separately.

Formatting

Formatting
refers to the process of changing a novel that is in a format such as word or
scrivener into a file type that can be used on one of the sales platforms like
Kobo, Amazon, or iBooks.

Forums

An
online forum such as Romance Divas where you can go and talk with other authors
about publishing, writing craft and anything else. It’s all in written form.

Front
matter

This
is the information found at the front of your book, before the main novel. This
could include the copyright page, your news- letter offer, the contents and the
dedication page.

G

Goodreads

A
social media platform for readers. Includes lists of books, people can mark
their favourites, talk in forums with other readers about their favourite
books, and give ratings for the books. Ratings on Goodreads tend to be harsher
than on Amazon, and the users can be quite vicious if they feel authors are
going on there and trying to sell or market their books aggressively.

Google
Play

A
publishing platform for ebooks, run by google. Locked to new accounts.

H

Hybrid
author

Someone
who is both traditionally and Indie published.

I

iBooks

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by Apple. It uses a curated system to
decide on which books are promoted.

Indie
Publishing

Another
word for self publishing (used by some people in preference to self publishing,
because of the negative connotations to SP.) In- die stands for Independent.
Indie authors are business owners who must organise everything themselves (even
if it is simply organis- ing the people who are going to do aspects of the work
for them).

Instafreebie

A
promotional tool used to gather newsletter subscribers, usuall via a free book
(called a reader magnet) or cross promotions with other authors. It worked
really well for a while when it first came out, but its effectiveness has
waned.

ISBN

The
unique number used in the publishing industry to count the number of books and
estimate sales. It’s not necessary to have an ISBN on Amazon, they will asign
an ASIN to your book, which is their own internal numbering.

In
the US it costs a fair amount of money to purchase ISBNs, but in New Zealand
they are available for free from the National Library. You need a separate ISBN
for each format of your book (ebook, print, etc), and if you’ve substantially
changed the book.

ITTN/ITIN/EIN

Tax
numbers for the US systems. We no longer need them, as we have a tax agreement
with the US, which means we can put our own NZ tax numbers into the system.

J

Jutoh

A
computer programme that can be used to format book files for publishing. Can be
used on both PC and Mac.

K

KDP
Print

Amazon’s
print on demand service, started after it purchased CreateSpace. It is done
through the same dashboard as KDP, making it quite convenient.

Keywords

In
this context they are the words used by the agregators to help describe your
book for potential readers. For example Amazon allows you to have seven
keywords or phrases, and you should find ones that describe your book’s main
tropes and genre traditions.

Kindle
Direct Publishing or KDP

Kindle
Direct Publishing is the publishing platform used by authors to put their books
onto Amazon.

Kindle
Unlimited or KU

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service that allows Amazon
users in the UK and US to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle
store for a single monthly payment. Subscribers can keep up to ten titles to
read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

For authors, to have your books available to KU readers, you
must be part of the Select programme, and therefore exclusive to Amazon. (This
exclusivity is only for ebooks, you are able to put print on demand books on
other sites.)

Payment for authors whose books are in the KU service is via
KENP, or pages read. Each month there is a pool of money allocated to be shared
among all eligible authors, which is worked out on a per page read basis.

Kobo

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by parent company Rakuten. Publishes to
more than 60 countries worldwide. It uses a curated system to decide on the
books being promoted and pushed through the service.

L-N

MailChimp

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and you
can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Probably one of the most well known
mailing platforms.

MailerLite

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website,
and manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Excellent back end, a few
deliverability issues, good price.

Meta
data

Background
information used to help searches. This includes keywords and categories used
on retailers. On a website, it is the back- ground information that you have on
the site that is not visible to visitors, but helps them be found in search
engines.

Mobi
files

The
type of file you will need to format your manuscript into to publish your book
to Amazon. .MOBI

Netgalley

A
service, mostly used by traditional publishers, to provide ARCs of books due to
be released to people in the industry such as librarians, bloggers, reviewers
etc. You pay a monthly or yearly fee for the privilege.

Newsletters/mailing
list

This
is a personal mailing list of people who have signed up to hear from you
specifically about your books. Mailing lists need to be or- ganised via a
mailing list platform. Authors can send out to their list weekly, fortnightly,
monthly or whenever they release a new book.

OP

Permafree

Permafree
means a book is permanently free. It’s a pricing strategy where your ebook
(usually first in series) is permanently free on all the booksellers. It is not
possible to just put a book permanently free on Amazon, but you can do it by
having the book wide, and making it free on at least two other platforms (Kobo
and iBooks) and then letting Amazon know and ask nicely for them to pricematch.

POD

Print
on Demand. This is a service that will print individual books, rather than
requiring publishers to print thousands of books at a time. New digital
technology has enabled this kind of service to be viable.

Podcasts

On-demand
audio shows, that can be listened to anywhere. A must listen is
www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com 😉

Preorders

Used
on Amazon, where you can put your book up to be sold, before the actual book is
able to purchased.

Proofreading

The
last part of the editing process, the proofreader will pick up grammatical
errors, and spelling mistakes etc, but will not comment on structural,
developmental or larger issues.

Publishing
Aggregators

A publishing aggregator is a service that lets you upload your
manuscript in one place, and then distributes your work to multiple
channels—the retailers who sell you work, such as Apple iBooks, Kobo, Amazon,
and more.

QR

Reader
Magnet

A
free book that you use to entice people to start reading your series, or to get
onto your mailing list.

Reviews

Readers
leave reviews of your ebooks on Amazon, and Amazon is rumoured to use these
reviews (possibly both the overall score and the number of reviews) as part of
their magical algorithm. There are rules surrounding who may leave reviews of
your books – family and friends are not allowed to leave a review and you can’t
offer anything other than an ARC in return for an honest review.

S

Scrivener

A
writing programme used by authors. It allows for notes, extra information,
photographs, extra folders and everything else you might need to be kept all in
one place while you write.

Smashwords

An
aggregator to put ebooks up on all the different platforms. One of the first
aggregator platforms.

Social
media platforms

All
the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat,
etc etc.

Street
team/Review team

The
loyal readers who will read your ARCs before your book is published, and give
you reviews on the different platforms once your book is live. They can also
help with word of mouth, and other promotional activities.

Synopsis

A
description of the plot of your book.

T

Target
Audience

The
people who will most enjoy your books.

Traditional
Publisher

The
traditional publishing houses who have a team of editors, marketers,
booksellers who purchase the rights to sell your books to bookstores, both
online and bricks and mortar. They take a large percentage of the profits in
order to pay for the printing, distribution and housing of print books. They
are the traditional “gatekeepers” to publishing.

Trope

Commonly
recurring themes or ideas in a genre. Different genres will have different
tropes, for example romance tropes include am- nesia, enemies to lovers, secret
baby. Urban Fantasy tropes include kick-butt heroines, magic in an urban
environment. Epic fantasy tropes include an outsider hero, or an evil king who
must be defeated.

U-Z

Universal
Link (Bitly)

A
trackable link that you can use in your books, on your website or other places
where you use links to obtain data.

Vellum

Vellum
is a computer program that can be used on Mac computers to format ebooks.

Wide
vs Exclusive

Wide
is when you have your books up on all the different platforms like Kobo,
Amazon, iBooks, and Nook. Exclusive is when you only have your books up on Amazon,
are part of the Select program and have your books in KU.

When
you are on Amazon but not in KU or Select, you earn money via book sales but
not page reads.

Feb 27 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #19: SPA Girls Podcast – EP197 – Hack Your Muse With Kelly McClymer

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Are you struggling to write? 

Wondering why you can’t just sit down and do it, when it’s your passion? 

This week we talk to Kelly McClymer about “Hacking Your Muse”, or how to convince yourself to sit down and write when you don’t seem to be able to do it… 

We all give ourselves excuses for why we can’t write, and Kelly breaks down the thoughts we have around writing, and how to change them so we can more easily get into the chair and write. 

She talks through why she used to sabotage herself, and how she learned how to change that around, and get more words. 

If you’re someone who struggles to write, despite loving it when you do, this is the episode for you! 

Kelly can be found at her website here.

Brooke Castillo – The Model on her website. 

Brooke Castillo’s The Model on You Tube.

Kelly McClymer’s Hack Your Muse facebook page.

Jul 25 2019

56mins

Play

Rank #20: SPA Girls Podcast – EP170 – Get Your Head In The Game

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Are you motivated or disillusioned by all the “end of year earnings” screenshots some authors post? For some of us, it’s incredibly inspiring; others find it a distraction or even a bit depressing! There is no “right” answer – the trick is understanding yourself and this week we talk about the things you CAN control and why you should feel super positive about that!

We also discuss Melissa Storm’s Litring Reader Survey which shows some very encouraging reader buying behaviour that can help your sales without you having to spend a fortune on advertising.

We put our thinking caps on and came up with our Top Ten Things that a self publisher needs to be (in the SPA Girls’ opinion 😉 )

  1. Thick skinned.
  2. Be willing to take risks.
  3. Be willing to learn new skills.
  4. Don’t buy into the drama, and someone else’s bull****
  5. Find your tribe.
  6. Be professional.
  7. Stay focused.
  8. Celebrate your successes.
  9. Don’t lose the passion.
  10. Remember you’re a star.
    how

Notes & Links

Litring Reader Survey: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/3mv5gisv8m
https://www.litring.com/

Keen
to join the SPA Girls in a live workshop? Join our mailing list here and we’ll
let you know the minute we have workshop bookings open.  Info here: https://selfpublishingworkshop.co.nz/index.html

Come say hi on Facebook and Twitter
@spagirlspodcast  

Jan 15 2019

28mins

Play