product review

Re-Blog: Here’s a Handy Trick If You Use Word by Leah Braemel

Warning Scrivener Users!

I had a melt-down-worthy moment with Scrivener recently. (I’m on a PC, by the way.) I just finished composing my entire 113k manuscript for my next novel and Scrivener did some updates to their software. When I opened my manuscript in the updated version, it told me I had to convert the old file format in order to be used in the updated software. Where there were once seventeen chapters and an epilogue, I was down to the first three chapters of my book! Fifteen chapters…GONE!

Thank the GODS I still had my old computer with the older version of the software and was able to open the back-up and export the whole thing into MS Word. Crisis averted and I didn’t end up sitting in the corner, sucking my thumb and rocking back and forth while I lamented over losing my novel. What a nightmare! Continue reading

Plugin Review: MyMail Newsletter

mymailUPDATE: I still think this is a nice option for authors who have a small mailing list. However, I will caution you that if you’re actively building your mailing list – which you should be if you want to make money from writing books – you will quickly outgrow this plugin AND your website will probably be unable to handle the workload. I had only 4000 people on my mailing list and sending out a broadcast message took 13 hours to perform. Not very efficient. My current recommendation (as of 9/21/16) is MailChimp. But I’m outgrowing them, too, due to a rather complex Reader Club drip campaign I run.

However, I’m keeping this evaluation on my site for those who have a mailing list smaller than 2000 subscribers. Continue reading

Arial’s Author Toolbox

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading lately, but not fiction. This year (2015), I’ve been spending a lot of time honing my craft and doing my best to be a more efficient writer. In addition to that, I’ve been focusing on how to best market myself as an author.

Self-published authors – and actually most authors these days regardless of who publishes their books – have to devote a portion of their time to marketing. More and more publishers DON’T do marketing for their authors or the marketing is very broad (e.g., specials on a genre versus pushing a certain author).

So how does an author find the time to write AND market? THAT’S the big conundrum I’ve been putting nose-to-the-grindstone effort to find out. And guess what…you all will get to benefit from my efforts! UPDATED 2/9/16: I’ve just updated this post. See changes noted below. Also, though I’ve changed some pricing and removed other, please check pricing before you buy. They change all the time. Continue reading

Indie Authors – Should You Publish Your Books to Audio??

bbb01_audiobookI’m just gonna answer this question right off the bat: YES!

Now I’m gonna tell you…

  • Why you SHOULD produce your books to audio.
  • HOW to do it AND how to do it for FREE (or at least no money up front)
  • When you should do it for free and when you should pay outright for the work.
  • And why you shouldn’t do it yourself (or how to determine if you should)

Why Should You Produce Your Books to Audio

I have threes answers for this one:

  1. It’s another stream of income you don’t have already.
  2. Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular.
  3. You’ll be tapping into another audience of readers.

Continue reading

Mailing List Plugin Review: MailPoet

I might add more to this later and give updates in my comments, but I’ve been playing around with the MailPoet plugin for about a week now and I have good and not-so-good things to say about it. In all fairness, I still have some comments/e-mails to the MailPoet support team and I’m waiting to hear back from them on some of my concerns, but here’s my initial review of the plugin.

How To Get the Plugin

For those of you who have a WordPress website, you can find the plugin either by going to their plugin page on WordPress OR by going into the Plugins section on the admin side of your site and looking for “MailPoet”. Personally, I think it’s easier to install it from there.

My Initial Observations

Continue reading