Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Book Marketing Challenge

     

My self-publishing journey began back in 2011. After I tediously learned each step in formatting the stories I wanted to tell (real life ones) and self-publishing the completed projects, I thought I might put together a program that would teach others how to do what I had learned how to do. I believe it was in 2012 that I googled “self-publishing for practically nothing” to see what else was available on the subject and found Shelley Hicks’ website http://www.self-publishing-coach.com. She had already done everything I was thinking of doing and then some. I subscribed to her newsletter and downloaded the free reports she offered. On April 25 (2 months ago), I received one of those newsletters announcing that Shelley was going to be one of the 40 contributing experts in the upcoming Book Marketing Challenge.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you know that I have been living on a fixed disability income since 1998. I would not have been able to take this course had there been a charge for it or if I had to drive any kind of distance to take it. While there were Gold and Diamond upgrade levels for a fee, I was able to enroll in the Silver level for FREE. The course was broken up into 30 individual well-organized daily segments which included articles, interviews, and exciting assignments (including the steps on how to complete them).

My favorite part of the course was related to blogging which spilled over into Facebook Fanpage Parties and Virtual Book Tours. I was excited to find out that I wouldn’t have to physically travel all over the world to do a book tour (although I wouldn’t mind). I had already self-published five books through CreateSpace, four of them through KDP, and had started this blog back in 2011. I also had created an Amazon Author Central Page, a Facebook Fan Page, and a Linkedin profile. I quickly absorbed the lessons about developing an author platform, identifying a target audience, and how to sync all the pages I had created together. I tweaked my blog heading to reflect the overall purpose for my books and began to rewrite the back cover contents to sum up what I had learned from the entire transformational process. At least all the books were print-on-demand so I am only throwing away about a dozen proof copies! I kept telling myself that I hadn’t sold very many books because something was going to shift – and this course was IT! (Sorry, Shelley – if I had been able to purchase your courses, I’m sure you would have described a similar process – and congratulations on being selected as part of the Book Marketing Challenge!)

My most recent memoir is “Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain”, a journey that began when I could no longer work back in 1998 and ended about 15 years ago when I discovered ways to shift my thinking and managed to create a meaningful life (after moving 43 times). I included stories about people, places, pets, and experiences (some of which were super-natural). My ideal readers, which I realized by taking this course, are people who have endured multiple life challenges and are looking for someone to relate to as well as be inspired by. My books can be viewed at www.amazon.com/author/reneealter or by clicking on any one of the book cover photos that are on this blog.

I am really excited about tomorrow’s Blog Hop!

P.S. To leave a comment, click on the (number) comments button below. And THANK YOU for visiting my blog!

33 comments:

  1. Renee! We are "sisters!" I too have been on fixed disability income from fibromyalgia for the past 14 years -- and although my health is better than it was back then (I was either in a wheelchair or in bed), I'm still not functioning at a level that allows full-time work. My spiritual journey over the past 20 years has been so instrumental in getting me back in balance, and bringing joy into my life again. Yes, there is great hope! I've written a novel that tells the story of the transformation that can come from tragedy and loss, and just this week published a workbook (non-fiction) to help others who want to begin their spiritual journey to learn their own secret to living the life they deserve to live.
    Meeting folks like you is truly a bonus to this wonderful challenge! I'll be following your blog -- and hope you'll visit mine at www.peghubbard.com

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    1. Hi, Peg! I am happy to meet you! I would like to see this workbook you put together. I will need to do something like this as well. And yes, I will go visit your website!

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post Renee! So glad you've come out the other side of your difficult journey and are wanting to help others. I signed up to follow your blog. I also have nonfiction inspirational books. If you'd be interested in checking out my blog, please visit me at http://pattitingen-author.blogspot.com/ Every blessing!

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    1. Hi, Patti! It's nice to meet you! And I will check out your blog!

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  3. You've overcome a lot of obstacles and your perseverance is an inspiration.

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    1. Thank you, Desiree! I look forward to reading your post next!

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  4. I'm also on fixed income disability and would not have been able to attend the program if it hadn't been free. I'm so glad it was because I learned so much. Your recent book, Love, Life, and God, sounds fascinating. Good luck with it!

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    1. Thank you! This book is still available for free if you are on the Kindle Select program. I will go explore your page next!

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  5. Hi Renee! Interesting post. I'm curious to learn more about you and how you made your mind shift. Will check out your book on Kindle Select. Hope you will keep visiting D'vorah's FB page over the coming months.

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    1. Hi, Jan! Sorry I missed your post during the blog hop! I have posted a number of links on left side of my blog that go to sites that helped me make the mind shift. I also listed some books.

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  6. Renee, thanks for the light bulb moment! When I read what you wrote about blogs, Facebook fan page parties, and virtual book tours... it made me realize that a virtual book tour can include the above and more! Why not incorporate "traveling" to our Amazon author page, Squidoo lens, Goodreads profile, and more. You've opened the door to even more possibilities!

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    1. Wow! Now I have to figure out what Squidoo is! Talk about opening the door to new possibilities! Thank you for stopping by my blog & posting a comment!

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  7. Renee~ You sound like some one who continues to not only see the glass full, but fuller! Blessings and Great Success to you.

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    1. Hi, Christine! Sorry I missed your post during the blog hop. I like the way you say I see the glass fuller ... like full to overflowing. I look forward to a future filled with lots of authors for friends.

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  9. Hello Renee,

    Wow, I am so proud of you for writing about your real life experiences. The book marketing challenge was a great experience for me as I am now about to complete my first book. I really enjoy the supportive author community.

    Feel free to sign up for my newsletter. The link in on the homepage of my website.

    Have a great day.
    Elizabeth Armstrong, Ph.D.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth. I definitely want to visit you website & sign up for your newsletters. (For some odd reason your post came through twice, so I deleted the 1st one). This blog hop is so much fun!

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  10. Renee: It sounds like you have overcome so much to get where you are. You go, girl! Blessings to you!

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  11. Hi, Shoshana! I had to click on the link to find out what your name is! Thank you for the blessings! Same to you!

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  12. Hi Renee
    Thanks much for sharing your many actions based on your learnings during D'vorah's brainchild these last 30 days. And I appreciate your bringing up the wonderful gift of "silver participation" that D'vorah so thoughtfully built into the experience. A win-win for all!
    Lee

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    1. Hi Lee! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post.

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  13. I am so happy Dvorah made this challenge available to a wide variety I writers on various levels of ability to pay! This has probably saved many lives! Many blessings!

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    1. Hi, Kate! Thanking for stopping by during the blog hop!

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  14. Thank you Renee for your input. The virtual book tour was a favourite for me too. I've had two run FOR me, for my book, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer. Now I plan to run one for myself and look forward to getting down to it, using the many lessons we learned over the last five weeks.

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  15. Hi Renee,
    Thanks for sharing. I was interested to see that the Fan pages and Virtual Book Tours were a part of the experience that helped you. I too plan to put a lot more work into these areas.
    Blessings from South Africa and I hope we can keep in touch!
    www.facebook.com/shirley.m.corder

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    1. Hi, Shirley! BMC was a wonderful course, wasn't it? There is another one that I was actually trying to keep up with during the challenge called "Transformational Author"--a perfect one for all of us who have gone through transformation & 'lived' to tell about it!

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  16. How exciting to see how you were inspired by the Book Marketing Challenge, Renee, AND that you are putting the plan into action. Your enthusiasm is contagious. You inspire me. Best wishes with your re-releases of your books AND with substitute teaching (I read your bio on Amazon.)

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    1. Hello, J.Q. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading your books even though I am a grown up. There was a lot I missed out on as a teen and I want to read your books to perhaps find out what I missed!

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  17. Renee, my fellow Reiki Master, I feel privileged to meet you through The Book Marketing Challenge. I wish for you all that you wish for yourself. Your energy is wonderful!

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    1. Hi Gina... thanks for stopping by. So much to learn! So much I WANT to learn. I have piles (neat ones) everywhere on varying topics that I want to study. After this BMC I knew I had to definitely block out Reiki time!

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  18. I am so impressed that you have managed to take a difficult situation and create something positive. I'm not sure I could be as strong as you.

    I can't wait to see what else you will share next.

    Best of luck, but I don't think you'll need it. :-)

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    1. Hi Mili, I somehow missed this post from you, but just seeing it now. Thank you for being supportive. I just started to post things on a "Lampasas Pain Support" Group Page. Another branch of my abilities is in the Reiki field. I thought this would be a good page to put related posts on. Meanwhile, I will be following YOU as what you are doing sure looks FUN!

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