Thursday, February 28, 2013

CJ Lyons and How To Sell A Million Books

Marketing ... Pricing ... Selling
Panzer wants you to go watch this video with NYT bestselling author  C.J. Lyons. He's been on her email list forever. She's always dispensing her secrets to successful book marketing to the list.

When Panzer found out about this video, he took the Panzermobile over and checked it out. He says it's worth the trip! Grab a cup of tea and a sandwich because the video is almost 45 minutes long.

When you get to her site, scroll down until you see the screen. Click and you're on your way to learning about marketing, pricing and selling ebooks.

So, tootle on over to No Rules Just Write.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Today Panzer found a post at Joe Konrath's blog about Amazon's change to their Affiliates Program. Joe's take on the situation is different from Ed Robertson's yesterday. Joe doesn't see this new twist as "gloom and doom" for free ebooks. He sees the Kindle Select Program continuing with no interruptions for authors using the program to promote their ebooks to readers.

So, if you want to know why the FREE ebook is not going the way of the dinosaur, read Joe Konrath's opinion at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Amazon Is About To Throttle Free Books

Well, the Catosphere is full of yowling following Amazon's announcement of a change to their affiliate program terms.

Amazon has changed the rules and payments to sites that promote FREE ebooks.

Panzer says, "Oh, n-o-o-o! Say it isn't so!"

Will this be the end of our favorite free ebook sites? What about the Kindle Select Program?

You can read Ed Robertson's opinions on these questions and more at Amazon To Throttle Free Books?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Smashwords: Apple iBookstore Email Blast Features Multiple Sma...

Apple Breakout Books
Woo Hoo! The Apple iBookstore is featuring a lot of Smashwords authors in their Breakout Books promotion. I can't say all the authors count as indies. If you look at the list at the Smashwords blog, you'll see some on there are already traditionally published "big" names and so have a large following. (Hint: L.L. Barlett.) But at least Smashwords is well represented in the promotion.

Panzer says read about the promotion at Smashwords: Apple iBookstore Email Blast Features Multiple Sma...: Apple's US iBookstore, building on the momentum from the February 4 launch of their new ongoing Breakout Books promotion, today sent out ...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Indie Booksellers Sue Amazon

"Open Source" DRM ... Huh?
Panzer and I were out in the Panzermobile today. We found the Catosphere is abuzz with the news Amazon and the big traditional publishers are being sued by a group of indie booksellers.

And why you ask?

For "open source" DRM.

Huh? you say.  "Open source" DRM? But ... what's that?

Well that's what Panzer and I said too. So, we went around reading various posts until we found one we could understand by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing blog.

To get it explained to you, tootle over to Indie Booksellers Sue Amazon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Smashwords: Ebook Self-Publishing Takes Center Stage at San Fr...

There's a presentation under here somewhere.
We stopped in at the Smashwords blog today to see what Mark Coker had to say about the San Francisco Writers' Conference. According to Mark, the conference had a definite self-publishing flare to it this year. The conference has always been supportive of indie writers, but this year there were several indie authors featured as presentation speakers.

Mark did two presentations on self-publishing at the conference and he's included links to both for your enjoyment.

To learn about the future for self-publishing (indie) writers, tootle over to Smashwords: Ebook Self-Publishing Takes Center Stage at San Fr...: I just returned from an action-packed weekend at the San Francisco Writers Conference , one of the best writers conferences in the country...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

IndieReCon: 10 Ways to Make Your Cover Stand Out in the Crowd ...

No face? Uhmm. Okay!
We were out tootling around the Catosphere today and found this great post by Alicia Kat Dillman on covers for your ebooks. There are super examples to illustrate each point in the cover design steps.

Panzer and I do disagree with her on one point, however. Ms. Dillman says she's against the practice of "cutting off the heads" of persons portrayed on covers. I admit we did it on one of our covers. The reason? Our readers can "put themselves" on the cover and by extension become the character in the story.

Even with that caveat said, Panzer still recommends this post.

So, if you're still having trouble with your cover design process, get some help at IndieReCon: 10 Ways to Make Your Cover Stand Out in the Crowd ...: There are bad covers out there; we have all seen them. The ones with the glaring, eye-searing colors, painful design, and horrid photoshoppi...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Free Short Story Podcasts

Free! Free! Free! Podcasts!
Panzer and I found an interesting stopping spot in the Catosphere today. While we usually spend our time blog hoping when we're looking for stops for you, we happened to stumble on a site that offers FREE short story podcasts. (You know how my bad boy does the happy cat dance whenever he sees the word FREE!)

These are not straight mystery stories, but are instead the spooky kind of stories. But ... spooky can be mysterious, too. Right?

So, if you're looking for some FREE podcasts, tootle on over to Smoke and Mirrors

Have fun!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A New Panzerism

Panzer on Anger Management:

I will not claw the back of the couch.
I will not claw the back of the couch.
I will not claw the back of the couch.

But Mom didn't say anything about the arm chair!

The arm chair is fair game!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Business Rusch: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

What's Estate Planning?
 Panzer found a post at The Business Rusch blog that every writer should read.

Kristine Rusch's post deals with the fact it's important for more than one reason that we make sure we have our estates in place. We need to make sure we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure our estate is administered with our final wishes in mind. We especially want to make sure our copyrights are properly protected for our beneficiaries benefit.

Kristine has plenty of examples to illustrate her points of discussion. At the end of the post there are several links to resources to help you gain the information you'll need to put your estate together. (This is a very long post.)

If you're interested in estate planning for the writer, Panzer says tootle over to The Business Rusch: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to write a novel

Failure ... Me?
For all you novelists out there, Panzer and I went to Salon today and found a post about How to write a novel by Cary Tennis. It's done in the style of answering someone's questions about novel writing. Now, Panzer and I have some novel writing questions of our own. We have three novels in various states on their way to completion: one in outline, one in first draft, and one in third draft. So, we were very interested in what he had to say.

Tennis admits he's not a published novelist, but does give some good advice and resource reading. He also delves into the risk of failure we face and the excuses we make so we don't have to face that risk of failure.

So, all you inquiring novelists, tootle over to How to write a novel

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Killer Characters: Cat Fight in the Offing

Panzer picked out our stop in the Catosphere today. He parked the Panzermobile at the Killer Characters blog to read about the library cat from Miranda James' "Cat in the Stacks" mystery series. We learn about Diesel the Maine Coon cat and what's going on at the library now. And it looks like murder is in more than the mystery books there.

If you're interested in cat mysteries (besides Panzer's, of course), tootle over to Killer Characters: Cat Fight in the Offing: Stewart Delacorte from the " Cat in the Stacks " series by Miranda James Charlie Harris is a great landlord, and he's actually beco...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Think Like a Publisher 2013: Chapter 5: Return on Investment

It'll take how long?
Panzer and I took the Panzermobile over to Dean Wesley Smith's blog today to learn about Return on Investment for our ebook. This blog post is part of Smith's update to his Think Like A Publisher ebook.

The ROI Smith is talking about in his post is the length of time and words it takes to write a short story, short novel and long novel and how much money you'll make in return. He includes calculations for how long time-wise it will take for you to make enough money to cover your time investment. Those time lengths may surprise you. Although Smith gives the time in months, it's actually years to cover your writing time investment.

If you want to determine where your writing time will be best spent, tootle over to Think Like a Publisher 2013: Chapter 5: Return on Investment

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

One Million? I wish!
Okay, Panzer and I admit we haven"t been to J.A. Konrath's blog for a while. Like us, he hasn't been posting as often as before. But he has a new post up about how to boost your ebook sales. And he should know since he just hit the one million ebooks sold number.

He includes some good information about his sales experiences with Amazon, Kobo, and Pubit. Like Panzer and I he's had good sales figures with Smashwords.

He does have the same old standard sales recommendations everybody else has about a good cover, good editing and good storytelling.

But, all in all, he's got some interesting information for increasing our sales numbers.

So, if your interested in reading how to sell a million ebooks, tootle over to A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Indie eBook Marketing: When You Get to the Fork in the Road, You Must Take It.

Social Media Marketing?
Panzer is back looking into the marketing of Cats and Crime. While he is planning an updated version, it's never too early to get the marketing plan in place.

So ... Panzer stopped in at the Self-Publishing blog and found a post about the pros and cons of social media in marketing. The post has quotes from several indie authors about their experiences with social media.

To read the post and see what others are saying, tootle on over to Indie eBook Marketing: When You Get to the Fork in the Road, You Must Take It.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smashwords: Smashwords Authors Gain Seat at the Merchandising Table with the Apple iBookstore’s Breakout Books Promotion

Me ... Breakout Books?
Panzer stopped in at the Smashwords blog today. He found Mark Koker's post about Apple iBookstore's Breakout Books Promotion just what we've been looking for.

Panzer and I have uploaded Cats and Crime and Under New Management to Smashwords in December (Cats and Crime) and in January (Under New Management). While you can buy our ebooks directly from Smashwords, we use them as our distributors to all the major rEtailers, including Apple iBookstore, except Amazon. We upload separately to Amazon. We hope our sales (and free downloads) will get us into the Apple iBookstore Breakout Books Promotion in the near future..

To learn about Breakout Books, tootle on over to Smashwords: Smashwords Authors Gain Seat at the Merchandising Table with the Apple iBookstore’s Breakout Books Promotion

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: A Kitten Called Kitters

We haven't done a book review for a l-o-n-g time. But, Panzer found this cute little children's book, A Kitten Called Kitters: The Kitten Who Roared by Bob Guelfi, and insisted I read it to him.

Kitters is an orange tabby who wants to be a tiger. All the other kittens make fun of her. One day when Kitters is out walking, she hears a small sound. Going to investigate, she finds a little kitten being harassed by a big dog. Kitters does a Panzer attack. No spoiler here. You'll have to read it yourself to find out what happens.

Panzer gives the ebook four paws up.

The ebook is available at Amazon in the Kindle Store.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Panzerism

Wasted ... Wasted ... Time.
Panzer says:

Mom is always telling me to be a good kitty.

I did that once.

That was a wasted three minutes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

13 Ways To Kickstart Your Writing in 2013

I need help!
Okay, Panzer has been dragging his paws since New Year's Day. He just hasn't been able to get any new cat adventures started. So, he went out in the catosphere today looking for a little inspiration.  And he found it at the Andrew Jack Writing blog. He parked the Panzermobile to do a little reading. Now he's ready to hit the ground running and get some new cases started!

Do you need some inspiration, too? Well, here you go. Tootle on over and read 13 Ways To Kickstart Your Writing in 2013