A list of awesome writer/reviewer tools from a Guest Blogger!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011
Hey Peeps!
I have got something fabulouso this weekend!!! A guest post from a fellow blogger! Jenn over at Indie Supporter has become a good friend to me as well as a wealth of information! Visit her blog http://indiesupporter.blogspot.com/ and follow her. You will get awesome interviews and some really great tips that she discovers in her journey through the writing and publishing world!

Today I am posting a little taste of Jenn.... (and what she has to say is yummy!)

So, without delay I will allow Jenn to explain more about her post:

Oh! Wait! One more thing... Jenn wrote this post for Indie authors and Reviewers but I wanted to say that this list can be useful to ANY author even traditionally published ones. Trad. published authors work hard for marketing too and these tools would be fab for anyone!!

Okay, I'm done.

Independent Author and Reviewer Toolbox

First off, thank you Cambria for letting me use your blog (AGAIN) as my soap box.
You totally rock my face off!!!

Let me start off by saying that I recently just ventured into the Indie World in May of this very year.
You may be asking, “ What could this newbie possibly have to offer me?”
The answer is maybe nothing at all or maybe everything.
It depends on you.
My journey started out with a single book that brought Indie’s to my attention (Damien’s Oracle by Lizzy Ford).
It dumbfounded me that a book of such AWESOMENESS hadn’t been picked up by a publisher AND was free.
What did I do you ask? Well, maybe you aren’t but I’m gonna tell you anways!
Well, I emailed her to thank her, tell her how incredible she was and ask how she went about becoming an Indie.
Lizzy was kind enough to take me under her wing and give me some pointers and help not only as a soon to be reviewer but as an aspiring writer.
She lit the fire under me to find out more of this world of Independent Authors and all that goes along with it.
What I have found is a plethora of information and resources out there for everyone from readers, reviewers to authors.
What I am giong to share with you is what I have found (as of yet) that I like and that I think people should really think about taking a look at if you haven’t already.
Most of these resources, you probably already know about and I apologize for the repeat but maybe there is someone out there who is a “newbie” and hasn’t heard of the tools of the trade.
I am also going to give credit where credit is due, some of these sites I have stumbled upon and some have been given to me by friends I have made in my quest of becoming and Indie.

(These steps are in no certain order)

Social Media:
 Authors - you need a blog.
Reviewers- it helps to have a blog.
Blogging  keeps friends and soon to be followers up to date on what you are doing whether it be what you are reviewing or writing.
It gets your name out there.
It also allows fans to way to contact you, leave comments and legally stalk you.
The best and most used sites to create your own blog is www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com .
Facebook is also a very useful tool.
I would say maybe Myspace but I don’t think anyone really uses that anymore.
If you do, my bad.
This is another form of communication and a great platform for promoting yourself.
I NEVER saw myself using this but I signed up for an account to stalk, I mean follow, my favorite authors.
When the tweets came in, I was just a little confused to say the least.
Twitter is a platform where you can only use 160 characters to say what you want, so either be brief or get creative with your shorthand.
Here is a short lesson in tweets,
@= ok , this means obviously at….like in email.
This alerts the person you want to talk to that you are talking to or even plugging them to get their name out there.
#= this is symbol used for common topics. (of which there are MILLIONS!)
The most commonly used ones with authors look like this: #amediting , #amwriting
Now, if someone were to do a search with those words like that, it would bring up a list of everyone who tweeted that .
One of those that drove me crazy and I had to Google to figure out what the hell it meant was #mywana.
All the authors were using it!
What does it mean?
Well, from what I found out a Best Selling Author coined this tweet and started it as a way for writers to connect and know they were not alone in their process.
WANA means, We Are Not Alone, neat huh?
The My part just stands for the book that is yours that you are editing, writing etc.
RT= This means, re tweet.
In short, Twitter is just another updater, microblog and people connector but it’s immediate.
                Online Book Clubs:
The best one I have found to date is www.Goodreads.com.
It allows you to buy, search, read and rate books.
You can connect with authors and other readers or reviewers.
They also have TONS of groups you can join to promote yourself, get advice or just hang out and make friends.

www.guerrillawordfare.com – This is Lizzy Ford’s blog.
The reason why you should check this out is not only because she is an amazing author but she has an amazing hubby who is posting FREE web information such as how to increase traffic, make your blog work for you, etc.
If you are a more visual learner, he has even done You Tube videos!
I  can NOT recommend this site enough!
www.Kristenlamb.org -  This is the blog of the woman who coined the tweet #mywana!
She is always blogging advice to authors on writing techniques and how to get agknowledged.
http://kateevangelistarandr.blogspot.com – This site is the blog of Kate Evangelista a writer and avid blogger.
She is updating her blog almost daily with free books from various authors and genres’  that you can sign up to review.
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/46156.Creative_Reviews - This place is my home away from home.
Lizzy lit a fire under me and  this group keeps it burning.
Creative Reviews is a group on GoodReads.com  where you can find authors, editors, reviewers, readers and more!
We discuss everything from books to everyday life.
Authors can sign up and ask for people to review their books and therefore,  reviewers have something to review (duh) ;)
www.bookblogs.ning.com -  You must have a blog to sign up for this free site.
Book blogs is where you network and “pimp” your site to other bloggers.
www.netgalley.com – Net Galley is a site where you can sign up and request ARCs’  (Advanced Reader’s Copies)  from various publishing companies to read.
The catch is that you have to review them.
Not too bad of a catch, if you ask me.
To get more future approvals, it helps if you have a blog and post it there, as well as wherever the book is going to be sold.
www.journalstone.com – I’m not just mentioning them because I occasionally write reviews for them.
They are good place to get honest reviews AND authors can now post their books there for sale FOR FREE!!!!!
http://www.maeidesign.com -  Regina does everything and she is GREAT at it. She does website design, cover design, photography, logos, you name it she does it.  https://www.facebook.com/#!/MaeIDesignandPhotography

http://dandilyonfluff.com/ember-marketing -  Ember Marketing: Awesome Book trailers and more! They do trailers and music videos go to their site for an example and to view their portfolio.

CafePress http://www.cafepress.com/  you can set up your own merchandise shop and upload your images to make custom items just for your book or project. Its free to set up and they handle all the shipping and printing. You can even make money!
www.theeyesforediting.com -  ATTN AUTHORS!!! EVERY Author NEEDS an Editor and Amy Eye is your chick!
She is passionate, fair and most importantly funny.
Check out this site before you press the send button on your book…..
http://dafeenah-hiddentreasure.blogspot.com -  This site is of course a blog but most importantly, it is the way for you to contact an AWESOME artist!
Dafeenah can do ANYTHING!!!
Ok, well to be more precise, Dafeenah designs book covers, websites and book trailers.
She is a graphic “Arteest”!!!
Check her out!
www.kickstarter.com -  This is a fund raising site.
You can use this site to raise funds towards the costs of publishing your book.
Does it work?
Yes, but I think it will work best if you have a decent following first.
Lizzy Ford used this site to help with the costs of her upcoming book Katie’s Hope and got more than her actual goal.
How does this work you ask?
Well, it’s like this, you basically draft a proposal for peeps to give you money.
What’s the incentive for them to do so?
Lizzy made a reward structure, like for every dollar donated, the person is listed as a sponsor on her web page.
For every 5 bucks, a hand written thank you note and 5 free ebooks.
The rewards go up from there.
Here is the catch, there is a deadline to reach your goal.
People can offer to contribute money to your project and they give the site their info for payment.
If the goal is reached, the funds are taken out and given to the author.
If the goal is not reached in time then the author gets none of the money and you keep it.
www.kindlepost.blogspot.com  -  This is an Amazon site that they use to tell Kindle users the newest cheaper books. You can also follow on Twitter @Kindlepost
And finally,
www.vistaprint.com – A cheap way to self market.
You can design and buy business cards, magnets and brochures in bulk on the real cheap side.

So there you have it.
That is what  I have learned since my falling into the Indie rabbit hole in May.
I hope that you check out these sites and that you found some of this information useful.
Thanks for letting me give you my two cents and THANK YOU, Cambria for letting me rant again!

I want to thank Jenn for being here today and for the great info. I want to turn to you, the followers and ask: do you have anything or anyone you could add to this list? Any hot tips to share? Leave me a comment and don't forget to check out Jenn's blog!
Have an awesome weekend!!


  1. Jenn said...:

    Thank you so much! Looks awesome! Just waiting for splitter to comment on the yummy part. Lol.

  1. Jenn said...:

    Ok I forgot some, www.createspace.com to get you books printed on the cheap in bulk.
    Random.org for giveaways on blogs n sites it picks the winners for you.

  1. Dranea said...:

    Thank you for sharing all of the links and pimpin out some great sites, you know we all love you!! :)

  1. Jenn said...:

    AWWWW I love YOU!!!

  1. Cambria said...:

    Thanks to all who stopped by for the awesome tips!!!

  1. Wow.... so much awesome info ;D Thanks for taking the time to share it all, and for the Ember Marketing mention!

  1. Cambria said...:

    Anytime Angela!!! Ember marketing rocks!

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