Day: September 2, 2015

Review of ‘Keith Ramsbottom: Rebel Leader’

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In AD 59, Keith Ramsbottom is a youngster living in the small British village of Effluvium that happens to be occupied by the Romans. Britain needs a savior, but, other than the warrior princess, Boudicca, all they have is Keith, a lad who hates the Latin homework he’s forced to endure, and who, with his friends Horace and the slave girl, Pulchitrude, is determined to lead a rebellion. Keith is also enamored of Boudicca, and wants to impress her. His problem is, he has no real idea how to achieve either of his aims, and his dimwitted friend, Horace, is only helpful if there’s food to be consumed. Pulchitrude is the brains of his rebellion, but, as a slave girl, no one really pays her any heed.

Keith Ramsbottom: Rebel Leader by Scott Pixello is a hilarious story that is as historically inaccurate as it is hilarious. The author skillfully blends offbeat modern cultural references with semi-accurate ancient history in a way that will have you laughing until you wet your pants—something Keith can relate to.

A solid five star offering!

#IWSG: How to Promote Your Book for Free

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InsecureWritersSupportGroupIt’s that time of the month again—first Wednesday—time for a contribution to Alec Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group, a collection of nearly 300 avid bloggers who share ideas, fears—you name it—about writing for fellow writers. If you’d like to become a part of this stellar group, go here and sign up.

This month, I want to address an issue that I know concerns everyone who writes for publication; book promotion, and how to avoid some of the schemes floating around.

Book promotion is like going to the dentist. It’s one of those things that is unpleasant, but necessary for good health, or in the case of a book, getting sales. Social media, as pervasive as it is these days, is a good way to promote your published work, or even create buzz for a work in progress, but the problem is knowing how to use it.

I’ve found Twitter to be a highly effective means to get word out about my books. So, apparently, have thousands—if not millions—of other people. As with any technique that works, it has also spawned a whole new industry of people who offer, for a fee, to help you get your word out to the Twitterverse.

I’m not calling these offers scams, because the majority of them are probably honest offers. But, honest or not, they are unnecessary. Why pay $50 upwards to have tweets posted about your book by someone else, when you could, with a little effort, probably do the same thing yourself? Or, you could find one of the free retweet services, such as CoPromote, to do it. I’ve been using this one for several months now, and during time have reached over 4 million new potential readers, and seen a 25% increase in monthly book sales, both paperback and e-Book. CoPromote is a relatively easy concept. You sign up, link your account to your Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts. You then pick a Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube post to promote and highlight it (the instructions are easy). After you’ve selected a post to promote, you scroll through posts by other members and select up to ten per day. The posts you select are promoted on your accounts, and other members promote your post. My average number of shares during the two week promotion period has been 150,000 to just over 300,000 new shares. That’s a lot of new readers. When I first signed up, Facebook posts could also be linked, but due to technical problems, this is no longer possible. The web masters at CoPromote say they’re working on the problem, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. There is, though, a way around the problem. I have my Facebook and Twitter accounts linked, so that when I tweet, it also does a Facebook post. Helps others more than me, other than the fact that it helps enhance my reputation as someone who promotes others–not a bad thing for a writer.

I use CoPromote primarily to promote published books, but have also used it for other projects, such as my photography.  This gives me extended reach to new readers without having to do frequent sales pitches on my own accounts. And, it costs me nothing. Now, you can’t get better advertising than that. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else who has had experience with CoPromote or any other free book promotion site.