The Plasmatic Writer

The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue

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My thoughts about books, writing, the publishing industry and other outside topics usually horror related. This blog is connected to Goodreads and Amazon. If you would like to express your own opinion on one of these articles I have written please feel free to comment as I encourage feedback.

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Do Vampires & The Monster Exist?(Revised)

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Do Vampires Exist?

 Now I could look up the documents and evidence to support if vampires exist but I thought it’d be a lot simpler if I give you my personal opinion on whether they do or don’t but both with an analysis from interesting standpoints.

 

Reason vampires don’t exist: The idea that there’s beings in this world that suck the blood from others to stay alive seems a bit farfetched and out there. When I say beings I of course mean man and not any creatures we already have exsisting today that do this such as bats, mosquitoes and leaches. The principle of immortality seems unobtainable and nonexistent. Finally, if such beings existed wouldn’t they try to take over by wiping out the human race?

 

Reasons they could exist: A human being who takes on the characteristics of a vampire to an extreme level can technically by some standard be considered a vampire. Of course there is likely a lapse in reality and mental capacity replaced by a psychotic trait which makes them want to go through such extremes to be a vampire but again there are people like this out there and that’s one way it can be said that vampires exist.

 

The second reason is one we are all familiar with, it’s called evolution and extinction. Now hear me out. We evolved over the centuries into human beings. Dinosaurs and animals have become extinct. Would it be so hard to believe that vampires may have existed at one point in time? Perhaps they were an early level of man that evolution charts don’t show or they existed centuries ago along with humans and just slowly became extinct for whatever reason. Do I believe this? No but I came up with it as a way to explain that it could certainly have been possible.

 


Does Frankenstein’s Monster Exist?

 

Reasons it doesn’t exist: Fiction is a funny thing isn’t it? It’s also creative which means it allows us to create wonders that otherwise can never happen, case and point the monster. There is no rational idea or possibility that any man whether he’s the most brilliant scientist or doctor in the world can create a person out of body parts from dead people. It’s gross and I’m sure some maniacs have tried it but obviously it’s just not physically or genetically possible. Someone said there is countless medical and scientific discoveries being made that could make this possible which again I get but I'm talking about a monster being created as Dr. Frankenstein created it. Yes Dr. Frankenstien is a doctor and what he does is scientific but the horror aspect and the fact he uses dead body parts is what I'm referring to. This premise is why I believe a monster of such sorts cannot be created. 

 

Reasons it could exist: I’ve pretty much just said there’s no way it could humanly be possible however there is only one way to which Frankenstein’s monster could exist...if it were a robot. It is possible for a person to make a human like robot/android that looks like and functions just as the monster does but then you’d have to ask yourself is it the same thing? Irrelevant in my opinion and yes considering it’s the only logical possibility. Again the medical presmie comes into mind but I would lean more toward a person already being alive and having several parts of their body replaced by parts of another but does that make them a monster or fixed up person? 


One reason I decided to take a closer look in comparison on vampires and the monster is because in my first book The Macabre Masterpiece I have a chapter called Creatures which has poems that talk about these two beings. While my take on Frankenstein's monster is pretty much what we already know from the books and movies just shorter and in poem form my take on vampires is a bit different. The reason for this article on whether or not vampires are real is based on my poems and how we as a society percieve vampires lately. My poems deal with how vampires are somber, sad and question their existance. The poems also deal with how we as a society have forgotten who they are and what they are capable. We think they are romantic, mysterious and all sparkly and cute when they are the furthest thing from it. 

Do Werewolves and Zombies Exist?

Posted on November 9, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Do Werewolves Exist?

 

Reasons Werewolves don’t exist: Contrary to the belif that Native Americans have that a man can change into an animal, people cannot turn into animals, it’s just not humanly possible. Therefore there’s no way possible for a man to turn into a rabid wolf and start going around killing people. Also the moon has no effect on how people act despite what some may say.

 

Reasons they could exist: Like a suggested in the vampires part again we go back to the evolution chart. In a way early pre-humans were more animal like so in a way a werewolf was more possible. Also there could be a genetic effect in man to which he grow a tremendous amount of hair, so much that he looks like a werewolf. Yes this seems ridiculous but again these are just two theories as to how werewolves could exist.

 


Do Zombies Exist?

 

Reasons Zombies exist: Well first off Zombies do exist just not in the way we think they do. Zombies are real and it’s a practice in Africa and of voodoo in which a person is controlled and sometimes even buried to believe they are dead. For a more thorough and better analysis check out a piece called Voodoo Zombies vs Flesh eating Zombies on https://monstersofmidian.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/31-days-of-halloween-day-13-voodoo-zombies-vs-flesh-eating-zombies/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Monsters of Midian’s website. She gives a great breakdown of the difference and how real one is from the other. 

 

Reasons Zombies don’t exist: If you read the link I sent you then you’ll know why and what kind of zombies exist. So the bigger question is do the zombies we perceive in movies and television exist? Yes and no. The truth is they exist except they aren’t called zombies, they’re simply called “cannibals”. People who eat flesh are not zombies they are just cannibals and either psychopaths or people from an ancient tribe in other countries who believe in eating other humans. “Zombie” has no relevance to flesh eaters in the real world but somewhere down the road perhaps George Romero himself decided to create a new type of zombie who is dead and eat’s flesh and brains. The only way such a zombie could exist is if the voodoo sorcerer who made the zombie told him to eat human flesh and brains so by that standard...they could exist although I don’t think they believe in doing that.

How Creatures of Horror Relate to Aliens

Posted on November 9, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

-Documented Accounts on sightings

Horror Relation: creatures of horror are just like UFO’s and aliens we don’t know if they exist but there’s plenty of accounts that they do.

 

For centuries our idea and thoughts of whether or not aliens exist has always sparked questions and debates. Like aliens many throughout the years have also claimed to have seen creatures of horror such as vampires, zombies, werewolves and other monsters. Do they exist? Well that’s where evidence comes in. There is tons of evidence and countless documents on people who have sightings on aliens and monsters for years. Some have been just kids playing pranks and others people telling wild stories but then there are those accounts that are to be taken seriously. Many people throughout different areas and countries claim to have seen strange beasts and when these people are all from the same area, chances are authorities and us as a society start to put some thought that there may be something there. With aliens we all know about the endless accounts and sightings but with horror creatures there’s also claims of sightings..only people tend to be looked at as though their off their rockers or not all there in the head. However with every nut job claiming to see a creature there is a legitimate person making a serious claim and sighting. There have been countless vampire, werewolf, zombies, man-made monsters and other beastly sightings of creatures but these most well known four that people don’t think are fiction after all.


 

Would you know if you saw a vampire? It seems silly but there’s more into the possibility then you may think. Have you ever seen a beast you couldn’t place? A person who seemed a little out of it and lazier than normal? A person that looked so disfigured that you’d swear they were man made? Yes this all seems foolish and ridiculous but people have claimed to have seen them and not all of them are nutty or looking for 15 minutes of fame. After all, when you say to the public that you’ve seen an alien your life as you know it changes and you’ll never get the government off your back. So if that’s the case with aliens then why is it so hard to believe that people claim to see these creatures? What it really all comes down to is that aliens and creatures are the same..they aren’t human and yet millions of people claim to see them. Whether or not they exist is up for debate but then again ask yourself this, if so many people are making claims don’t they account for something? This can be said about bigfoot and personally I think bigfoot is a species of gorilla/human hybrid so the claims that there is only one are fetched. Remember though, horror creatures could be just as real as aliens, bigfoot or the loch ness monster and with so many people claiming such sightings there should be a bit of looking into to see if they truly exist because documents and sightings are still coming out today and they’re only going to become bigger.

 

-They cause discussions and opinions

Horror Relation: The creatures like aliens are always a topic of discussion. They get people to talk about their opinions on the matter of whether or not they exist and reasons supporting both sides.

 

Sort of similar to what I stated in the first reason but whether or not you believe in aliens or horror monsters the fact is that they get people to talk and discuss. With aliens of course there is vast opinions where the subject matter is usually back and forth debating on whether or not they’re real. With horror creatures it’s usually whose the best one and not whether or not they exist or which one most likely exists but nevertheless such a vast range of epic monster talk gets people talking just like alien talk does. While people debate the existence of aliens they tend to be more open to the idea of if horror creatures existed and what they would do. Why is this? Well perhaps because horror is a more enjoyed genre whereas not everyone is into aliens and Ufology. Also people grow up watching horror films and see the creatures and while they are supposed to be feared there’s like ability there, with UFO’s and aliens there’s a big unknown factor as well as the possibility they may take over the world. So if I had to guess I’d say people would be more open to the idea of there being horror monsters over ufo’s and aliens but it’s worth knowing that both bring thorough and valid discussions.

 

-There’s Plenty of Info on Them

Horror Relation: Like Ufology, there’s plenty of information on the topic to go over and look at throughout the years. Whether it’s old info or current and modern information the fact is that there’s enough to work with.

 

Obviously there is tons of info on everything but from a theoretical, hypothetical and debating standpoint they both have a substantial amounts of information for ideas to which we can only speculate as to whether or not existence is true. Also the info on them is similar in the sense that they are entities and there’s no solid conclusive and definitive evidence that states they they are on this earth and they exist.

 

The Horror of Politics

Posted on October 18, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Politics, a topic that you either like and enjoy making an opinion about or have no interest in whatsoever and couldn’t care less. If your like me you fall under the second category but given that we have a presidential election this year lots of people such as myself who have no business talking politics are talking about it and rightfully so. This year more than any other year there is clear evidence that there’s horror in politics. Now I could sit here and slam both parties running for president but that’s not the point of this article. The point is to show that the overall basis of their simple being, their tactics and the whole running for president in itself has become downright horrific. Politics have always been like this, it doesn’t take a follower of it to see that but when you have two people running for president whose wild views and opinions are out there, it makes you wonder how it’s come to this and really makes you say “oh the horror!”. Go down the line and you’ll see countless dirty politicians doing whatever they can to win a seat or become president but it just feels that this year is the worst and it makes me as the biggest question of all...what is our country in for with either party becoming president?


 

While you think about that question let me ask you another, is a certain presidential candidate becoming president just as scary as a horror villain killing people or a gross gory scene? Before you think they have nothing to do with each other just remember this..the presidential candidate is real which means that yes there is most definitely a connection here. I’m sure many would rather be in a world of horror slashers than have to listen to the ignorant rambling of both parties especially the most outspoken one. What I’m really getting at though is the reality of horror. True and real horror exists and I’m not talking about ghosts and paranormal I’m talking about bad decision making along with economical and social decline that our country faces with the next president. It’s real horror, it’s real horror there’s no other way for me to put it. It’s like asking if you want Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees for president and yes you have to vote for one. Sure there’s the green party and libertarian party but let’s say that would be the equivalent of voting for a lesser evil that we know nothing about and we actually put our faith in Myers or Voorhees because at least we have an idea of what they are whereas voting for the lesser evils is a greater risk because not much is known about them.

 


Now I bet your asking two things, lesser of the two evils? And whose who between Myers and Voorhees? First off, what I mean by the lesser of two evils is that regardless of what we know the known villains are capable of we’d be more prone to vote for one of them because the other two are virtually unknown and therefore can’t be trusted because it could be worse..worse than the two main ones? Okay, okay, I’m sure you get the idea. As for whose who? It’s not important it was merely an example. Bottom line, I think people would rather vote for one of the movie slashers than one of the actual presidential candidates. Politics are evil, they bring out the worst in people and if you’re already deemed a bad person it just shows the world just how bad you truly are in the public eye. To me there are not winners in politics or in the becoming the next president because so much slander and nonsense gets brought up that the two candidates have become so eager to obtain the seat of power that they forget what they are running for...the people. When one of the candidates is clearly not a people person and degrades others what does it really say? It shows that there is true evil in this world and that there is real horror and most of it happens in the misconstrued lines that we call politics.

My Experience on Pinterest

Posted on August 29, 2016 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

So I've tried to use Pinterest more as a social media outlet and connect with readers and gain potential customers. I feel as though Pinterest is clearly different from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the sense that you can't just post what you want on there because on Pinterest there's boards and unless you have a board for what your posting you can't pin it. Here's what I've been doing on there lately:

 

I've created a board for all my articles and blog posts from my website and used https://pablo.buffer.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pablo For Buffer to create images for the posts to which I then pinned to the board. This will hopefully let more people see my blog posts on my website as I have always had a lack of views on that section of my site. Also using Pablo For Buffer is fun and made it easy to create simple related images of the posts themselves. This was also how I managed to get Pinterest on my Buffer which I would otherwise have to pay for by getting a premium account.

 

I created boards for stuff I'm interested in. I saw someone ask once on Twitter if you should create a separate business account on Twitter separate from your personal account and I say no. Given that you can create as many boards as you want you can easily make business/author related boards and boards of things that interest you and have them all on the same account. Any person who follows you or wants to check out your stuff and takes an interest in you can simply follow the boards they want and un-follow the ones they don't. For example I like Frank Sinatra but yet he has nothing to do with my writing, horror or poetry boards but yet I still have a board for him because he interests me. Anyone else who likes him can follow the board and anyone who doesn't can look elsewhere on my account for a board they do like,

 

I've found that you should make a board secret until you have at least 25 pins within it. This way you can build on it and it's easier to manage when your looking for things to put into it. I've done this with several of my boards as I like to build them up before I make them publicly available to view.

 

I've even made a board for something I thought I wouldn't but actually decided to based off another board. So upon finding pins of guns for my https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/weird-westernwestern-horror/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Western Horror board I found that I kept posting and seeing unique guns so rather than keep seeing them and overloading them into a board they don't fit in I created a https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/unique-guns/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Unique Guns board. Did I plan to? No, but seeing that I kept seeing them eventually I gained an interest in them and found that other do too so it makes for a good way to create boards by seeing if you have a certain amount in one and can make it into another.

 

Finally, I'd still like to establish my Pinterest more so that I can not only gain readers but connect to my potential audience there. I feel because Pinterest is used for so many things that how I can use it is being outweighed by my lack of really understanding how the site can truly work. I will take it slow and hope the process will eventually make sense and maybe then I will see a positive increase on there.

 

Do You Let An Idea Boil or Simmer?

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Whenever I come up with a great idea for a story or poem what I do is either run to my computer to write the basis of it or make a quick note of it on my phone using a notepad app. What I then do is what I made this thread for. After I write an idea, unless I have a ton of thoughts for it or it's dying for me to write it I usually let it simmer so to speak. I put it on the back burner and let it just sit there and I don't get started on it until I think it's the right time and I have enough for it. Two things usually pop into my head, a clever or gripping title or a really good idea for a story. I almost always decide to let it simmer not because I don't want to rush but because I want to see if it's worthy of becoming anything. I want to see if I still feel it's a good idea a day. a week or a month from when I think about it. Also I will try to let it simmer so I can build more on it or if a better title comes into play after I think of more on an idea. Finally a big reason I will let an idea simmer is because I don't know whether I want to make it into a poem, short story or even my next book. It usually becomes a poem or story and only when I have a mind blowing title do I set it aside for a  possible book idea. This last part ties into a similar blog post I wrote a while back on how do you decide what becomes a short story or your next book. 


I do on occasion boil ideas. This is usually the case with poems. A lot of times I will think of a title or a few lines and rather than let it sit I will just get started on writing it. I will also on occasion boil a story by starting it but then it let simmer by stop writing about it. This usually happens because of writer's block which is why I tend not to boil my ideas. To me there's nothing worse than having a great idea for a story and getting started on it only to stop half way through because I ran out of ideas and where to go next. I'd like to think I'm not the only person who does this in that I lean toward simmering ideas but on occasion will get started right away. I feel a story needs to be just right and the only way to do that is to do what works best for you, in the case of myself it's letting it sit for a while to either build up or realizing it's not that great and I can scrap it to move on to something more creative. How about you? What do you do when you have a thought for a story? Do you let it simmer for a while or do you just get started and cook away into your writing?

Nothing's Ever Free, There's Always A Fee

Posted on July 19, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Nothing in life is free. You've heard the saying constantly and more and more as we rely on things the more they are no longer free. There are two things in life to know about any product, website or selling point, they are either not free or they are free until they aren't and eventually there will be a price. Obviously I'm being very broad here in the sense of referring to "free" with everything we spend money on but let's narrow it down to the publishing and book industry. Whether it's publishing a book or promoting a book you as a writer have the choice on whether or not you wish to spend money. If you want to publish you're book for free your inclined to do so, if you want to spend a little money or spend a lot because you don't feel like doing any work than you're also inclined to do that. Promoting can in a sense be the same way but leans more toward not being free. You can promote your book for free however you will soon realize that it only goes so far and that if you wih to make big on some of the stuff your doing now for free that....you'll have to spend money. This article will take a deeper look at the promoting and marketing aspect of books and how as the infamous saying goes nothing's ever free.


The first thing to realize is you can be successful using free ways to promote and market it just takes an investment, lots of dedicated time and sticking to what works best for you. However in most cases and if you're like me you wish to promote and market for free but not entirely for free which I've come to realize just isn't going to work. My philosophy is this: Promote for free and spend small and only when you have to. The problem? All the small things I find that will be useful to me aren't free at all. Call me crazy but I'm mostly optimistic about things when it comes to selling books I couldn't be further from it. If you manage where you wish to spend your money then chances are you'll be okay but I feel like the business is getting more and more about money and less about the value and enjoyment of the books themselves. It seems like no matter what promotion you want to use, what website you want to join or what ad you want to use it's either not free or it's way too expensive. I'm a realist, I see things for what they are, I also like guarantees and making my money back. Does that make me a bad person? No it just means I like to know that what I invest in has promise, is going to work, and I not only get my money's worth but then some. Of course not everything can be guaranteed but again it just seems like in this business you really have to know where your ducks are nevermind have them all in a row.


What is the truth? You're going to spend some money to promote and market, it's inevitable. The key is to spend accordingly and when you can except there are certain things that must be constant and are monthly. For instance if you want a top notch website with unlimited access to things you have to pay a fee plus if you want your own domain you have to pay a fee. If you want to join a mass e-mail site like MailChimp and send out outmated e-mails theres a fee. Get past 2,000 subscribers? There's a fee. If you want to join two just two promotional author sites there's a monthly fee. You want to join a class on how to help your sales? There's a big fee. This is what gets me, if you add all that up it's a big sum and if you don't have income your not exactly keen on forking all of it over nevermind if you have it. What all these fees say to me is your spending all this so you can have ways to sell your book but however much your spending on all this you now have a goal that you must reach or else it's a fail. You don't have to agree with this premise but it's not wrong. By spending money monthly on your website, domain, two promotion sites and your automated e-mail subscriber list your giving yourself a goal of sales you have to make and it isn't realistic, what it is is a vicious cycle. Priorities are key here and I more than anyone am all about organization and making money but as the saying goes, in order to make money you need to spend money. Yes but you also don't want to invest everything and end up broke either.


This isn't a rant so what is it that I'm saying? I'm saying nothing is free, I'm saying that not everyone has the money to invest and spend everywhere they please. I'm saying that I know it's a process but they don't make it easy but then again why have it easy when you need to work? Ah another cycle or irony. You're already working yourself to the bone to write your books so why should you have to work at spending money on so many things? I suppose a very simple answer is well if this helps your books making a ton of money and your getting tons of reviews out of it then you shouldn't have to worry...it's just not realistic or guaranteed enough to attempt though. Take time and research what you want to spend money on. Manage your money wisely and think of how much it will cost you yearly rather than monthly and if you can pay something in one shot you probably should. Too many sites have these pay later or pay monthly, yes it's convenient but I'm talking about the ones where it's one shot and done. I'm talking about pay once, don't worry so you can focus on your monthly fees. Your books aren't going to sell themselves and eventually your going to have to spend money, all I'm saying at this point and the message to take here is to figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. Spend accordingly and make sure your investments are the right ones.

Should You Appeal to Other Countries?

Posted on July 11, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

So your looking at your website stats and your sales on Amazon and you notice you have a decent amount of traffic from other countries. What does this mean? Should you do something about it and if so, what? Before we answer these questions let's first understand the basics. When you create a website and you put up a page for your books and you put out great content in blogs(you are putting out quality content right?) naturally people are going to visit your site. Not only will people visit your site and check it out but chances are they may be from another country. Let's first explain how it is your getting all this traffic from other countries. It comes down to tags, hashtags and most importantly; keywords. When you put tags and keywords into your titles and posts there are people out there looking for the very type of information your providing on your blogs. If your using the proper tags and keywords then chances are your page comes up first when they type in certain keywords and since people in other countries all like books and learning about certain types of information this is why you get visits from them. Since creating my site back in 2011 I have seen people from dozens upon dozens of countries including small islands I didn't even know existed. But is it a big deal and should you embrace appealing to other countries? The answer is yes.


When you get any type of publicity, acknowledgement or sales in any place you're going to try to figure out where, why and then try to capitalize on it to get even more. When these sales and acknowledgements are coming from other countries then just like any sale your going to analyze it, ask yourself why and try to appeal and tackle that aspect. One thing that would be good to do is to see why they are targeting a book of yours or content you provide and make the most of it. You should try to get sales any way you can and make the most of any opportunity this especially includes going after potential customers in other countries. It doesn't matter if they are in another country but the simple fact that your being noticed means you should try to embrace it and get sales wherever you can. Remember, any sale is a good sale so if you live in Chicago and you find out someone in Austria has bought your book then look into what made them buy and try to see if you can get more sales in Austria. 


I came across a thread on Goodreads where a woman noticed her book on a website that she wasn't familiar with. Naturally she assumed at first glance that it was a piracy site but it was in fact a book site from the Phillippines called National Book Store. This is where people from the Phillippines can get books and they can due to the fact that Kobo owns them so they are an affiliate of Kobo. I checked it out and typed my recent book Opium Warfare which is available on Kobo into the search and sure enough it came up. I then looked at the price, figured out how much it translates to in U.S dollars and then I asked myself if I should try to appeal and target to people in the phillippines. If I did all I'd have to do is refer them to that site and it would likely count as a sale for me because it's owned by Kobo. If you're struggling to sell in your country is it a bad idea to try and appeal to another? I suppose it depends but I think in the long run no. As I stated earlier a sale is a sale no matter where it's from so if anything just broaden your target audience and try to appeal to them in a different way than you would your normal audience, at least when it comes to trying to reach them.  Should you appeal to other countries? Absolutely. Make the most of any opportunity that comes your way. 

What to Use Facebook Ad's For

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As authors we have all been told to try or have at least thought of trying Facebook Ads. First and for most if your an author and you don't have a Facebook author page then you need to go make one right now(Go, Go, Go!). One thing we always here is why Facebook stinks when it comes to promoting because they don't let your followers see your posts. Well newsflash: Facebook wants to make money just like everyone else. Facebook Ads are not the worst thing in the world, believe me it took me some convincing but 2 webinars and a ton of research later and I can sit here and tell you that running a Facebook Ad is something you need to try at least once. I also recommend researching how they work or for an even better idea of how to run one smoothly that you check out some webinars from Mark Dawson as he has made millions from running Facebook Ad's and is a master craftsman at them. A Facebook Ad is the thing to do but what do you run an ad for? Well I will give you a rundown of what you should and should not make a Facebook ad for. 


What to run a Facebook Ad for:

Lead Generation Ad- This is where you run an ad to gain followers by obtaining their e-mail address and you do so by using the ad to bring the person to a landing page. A landing page is where you tell the person if they join your mailing list they will receieve something free from you such as a book in a series, a character graph, an exclusive freebie, etc. A lead generation is the recommended ad to run if your considering what to run an ad for. It's a great place to start because naturally you want to build a following to gain fans and frequent buyers of your book and you do so by this. It's recommended over sales directly because your giving people free stuff and if they like what you have to say and your work that your offering all for free then chances are you gain not only their trust but you've made them a fan and constant buyer of your works whenever they come out.


To Get Sales Directly- First off you'd click on "Send People to Your Website" to run an ad to sell your books directly. You can choose to send them to your website or you can send them to Amazon, it's up to you. I've been told this isn't the ideal thing to run an ad for but it's certainly not the worse as it's second to Lead Generation ads. This is for when you want to run an ad to gain sales without wishing to build an e-mail list, Also it's good if your like me and your still in the process of getting the landing page made and trying to get more e-mails. Running an ad for sales is a good way to test the waters and see just how good your ad is. If it's good enough and you target the right people then not only will you get more sales but you may even get return customers without having to get them to your landing page. So getting sales directly is another good reason to run an ad. 


Promote Your Page(Get More Followers)- This is a good thing to run an ad for if your just starting out a Author/Business page and want to gain some followers. Of course you want to target the right audience just like you would with any other ad. I actually ran my only ad for this back when I was a couple months in to having created my page. I generated around 150-250 followers and I targeted people who were fans of my two books at the time and the type of writing I do. I would also say this its good to run this for when your getting ready to do a giveaway on another page. Of course you can run an ad for that too but in the event you want to focus on the giveaway directly and not have to worry about promoting it from all spots. Basically it's better to run an ad for your page as a whole than it is to run an ad to boost your individual posts. 


Raise attendance for an Event- As I stated above perhaps you want to build up your followers as a secondary thing while your running a giveaway on another page. Well if you want to run a giveaway and tell people on Facebook about it you can and should run an ad for that as well. Again you want to identify your audience, target them as you would with any other ad and tell them about the giveaway or whatever type of event it might be and explain where and why they should check it out. 


Get video views- If you have a book trailer or made an informative video explaining something or  your giving people some promoting and marketing tips then running an ad to get views for the video is a good way to go. I don't know too much about it and I don't know how well it works but it does seem like it could work as good as most ways I've said to run an ad for. It's something to consider.

Increase Brand Awareness- This is new for Facebook ads. It reaches people more likely to pay attnetion to your ads and increases awareness for your brand. 


What to NOT run a Facebook Ad For:

Boost Posts- You know when you make a status about your book on your page and you check back in a few hours expecting to see hundreds of views and you only have 17? Or when you have a post doing so well that Facebook suggests you run an ad to boost the post? Yeah..you don't want to do this. The reason you don't want to run an ad for it is because it's redundant and pointless. Imagine running an ad every time you posted something informative? You'd be doing it a lot. It's not realistic and benefits Facebook more than it benefits you. Plus as I opened this section, they want you to run an ad for both your statuses doing poorly and strongly. Facebook's algorithms prevent your posts from reaching all your followers. They base who will see your content based on what they think your followers want to see...dumb right? There is a simple way around this so that you don't have to waste time and money on an ad to boost posts. One thing to do is post images related to what you wish to talk about. Images tend to generate more views then regular text statuses. Also sharing other people's posts tend to get more views because they are feeding off multiple pages. You can also add something if you wish. I will note however that this may no longer be possible due to Facebook changing how you can log in as your business page. Do not run an ad for boosting posts.  


Why You Shouldn't Pay For Reviews

Posted on July 5, 2016 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Should you pay for reviews? It's one of those questions you see people ask constantly and there is a good share of mixed opinions on both sides. Well let me in very simple terms put it to you like this..do not under any circumstances ever pay for reviews for your books! Now I bet your wondering why I am so strong about my opinion well I will explain it to you but first remember this. Reviews are not fully for an authors benefit they are for readers to check out to get an idea on books. I do disagree with the whole "Reviews are not for the author" again not true, they are but they aren't solely for the author. An author can use reviews to build credentials for their book so it stands out and because any book looks good with lots of them. To the question at hand though, why shouldn;t you pay for reviews?


The first reason is because it's not a good practice. You don't want to rely on spending money to get reviews when you can spend money on much more reasonable things toward your book. I don't have many reviews for my books but at the same time I don't want to spend a ton of money to get them either. Also I feel paying for them makes them feel less worthy, I like earning my reviews, I like the idea of getting a sale or enticing someone to by my book or getting a review out of no where. It's just not a good practice to get reviews that way. Another reason you shouldn't pay for reviews? The cost. Everyone always mentions Kirkus. Kirkus this Kirkus that. Do you know what Kirkus is? Unrealistic, Not for everyone and most of all way too expensive. I've heard it costs well into the $400-500 range which is just ridiculous. Also there's no guarantee you'll get your book in. Look, just because I'm against it doesn't mean you should be, I mean if you want to give them a try by all means I'm just telling you that your better off working your butt off getting reviews or simpler easier ways just not paying for them by using Kirkus.


Another reason you shouldn't pay for reviews is because you may end up with results you may not be happy with. We all want 5 star ratings and reviews, let's not sugar coat it, we do. As authors we all want our books to be best-sellers and 5 stars all across the board with nothing but good things..well again not realistic. This is most certainly true with book tours. Book Tours are great if you want people to feature your book, have you do a guest post, cover reveal but reviews not so much. Why are book tours bad for reviews? Two reasons: One, not everyone is going to enjoy the book and your not getting all good reviews and two, people tend to cancel and it's not guaranteed so when your told you'll get 8 reviews and you end up with 4, chances are your not going to be very happy that you spent such money. I know this happens because it's happened to me. it didn't discourage me from trying it again but it did make me re-think and now if I were to do a book tour it wouldn't solely be to get reviews it would be for everything and if someone wanted to review then I'd consider that an added bonus. 


Finally there is another reason you shouldn't pay for reviews and it doesn't involve money..your thinking huh? What does he mean? I mean review swaps. They mind as well be considered paying for reviews because your not paying in money your paying by agreeing to give someone good praise for their book if they give praise to yours. NO, NO, NO! This is not only not good to do but it's downright frowned upon for authors. It means your only reading a book and pardon my french(kissing ass) so that you get a good review. That's not realistic and nobody wants to look at reviews for a book only to notice they have a ton of 5 star books and lots of them sound as though the person read the back cover and just through something together. You should never do a review swap because they aren't honest and in my opinion it's the same as spending a ton of money on getting them...don't do it, it's not worth it. So in the long run remember the keys to what you have read and why you shouldn't pay to get reviews. There are many ways to get reviews without paying such as joining Author's Marketing Club and trying their Review Grabber Tool, going onto Goodreads and ask for reviews in appropriate groups and folders, running a giveaway on Goodreads, Amazon or Rafflecopter, etc. These are just a few ideas but any idea is better than paying for reviews.

Is Mailchimp Worth the Money?

Posted on July 4, 2016 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Mailchimp is an e-mail marketing service that allows you to gain followers and create and write e-mails to send to your followers in a mass setting. It's easy to set-up and account however it's not quite all that easy to use, at least I don't think so. It can be a bit confusing so I would say just like any site you really have to use it a few times to get used to it. Basically the idea behind Mailchimp is it acts as a way for you to e-mail a bunch of people on your mailing list(you are building an e-mail list right?) Sorry I feel as though I was required to say that but even if your not big on building an e-mail list you should at the very least try and give it a shot. So why Mailchimp? Well there are other places you can use but I've always been told that Mailchimp is the most recommended. I joined a few months back and didn't like it but then seeing that I needed one to buld an e-mail list decided to give it another shot. The good thing about Mailchimp is you can upload an exsisting e-mail list and you can set a landing page or link on your site or post it to gain that persons e-mail to which you can then add to your list on MailChimp. So from that regard and everything else I have stated, Mailchimp would seem like quite the site to use right? Well that can be debated as my next point of discussion is about the title of this very post.


Is MailChimp worth the money? Well First off you should know that Mailchimp is free of charge to use however...If you want to be able to automatically send e-mails to your followers or ones to people who join to welcome them and give them info and something free then you need to pay a fee. The automation feature costs are based on the amount of followers you have. For example I have 25 followers so I'm in the $10 range if I were to pay to use it but I don't. The more followers you have the more you pay. When I first found out the automation wasn't free I won't lie I pretty much rode off the site. I find it ridiculous that there's a fee because obviously automation is a big part of using the site because no one wants to sit there and write every single new member manually especially if you run an ad to attract more followers. However, not only is this not free but they start charging you more money after you reach over 2,000 followers. This bothers me because they assume every single hard working indie author who wants to build a list has the money..well they don't, I know I don't. You have to spend money monthly to keep up your service on Mailchimp plus whatever else your spending, it's just a vicious cycle to me and unless you can really backup and cover your costs I don't think MailChimp is worth it.


Is Mailchimp worth it? Well this is just my opinion. I say if you have and are will to spend money and you have a solid e-mail list going then by all means go ahead and use the automation feature. Some people will make it work better than others. For me, I don't have the funds to pay monthly to use it and keep it up and even if I did I don't know that I would because I just don't get the full aspect of it. It's hard enough gaining followers as is and to reach them you need to pay a fee? I may be an outsider on this thought but I just don't get it. I'll say this much..I think your better off getting automation when you reach 2,000 followers. They start charging you after you reach 2,000 so either automation becomes free and they just charge you just for the amount of followers or they charge you for both but either way I would think it's best to consider paying when it's worth it and you have a decent size following. Mailchimp is used by millions and recommended by many so I am not totally against it, I get the premise and the idea and I myself still have an account and plan on using it. I may consider getting the automation fee when I get a good size following. So is it worth the money? Yes but only if you're either already set up to do so or you plan on set up to do so.


What's the Right Price for an Ebook?

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

You just published your book. You've set the paperback price on whichever publisher you use and now you need to set the ebook/Kindle price on Amazon...but what should you set your ebook price at? If your like me you've wondered this not only while pricing your books before they've come out but even well after you've already published them. With ebooks very much just as popular as paperbacks(if not more) an author has to make sure they have the price of their ebooks just right. As I always like to say you want a price that you can live with and won't lose sleep over although sometimes that may not be up to you which is why you should do some research on how to go about it. Luckily I have some ideas as to how you should price your ebook. Before I give some ideas as to what and how you should price your ebook just remember the following basics:

-Don't set your ebook at a ridiculous price:

You don't want to set your ebook in double digits especially if your an indie author. Lots of times if you see an ebook priced in the $10-15.99 range it's usually because the author is with a traditional publisher or well established enough to do so.

-Don't set it at the same price as your paperback:

This seems like a no brainer to me although it needs to be said. An ebook is different from a paperback and both have different markets so it's not the best idea price your ebook at the same price as your paperback.

-50% of what your Paperback is

Consider at the very least of setting your ebook at half of what the price of your paperback is. For example if your paperback is $9.99 then your ebook would be $4.99. This isn't the most ideal practice but it gives you a base to work with.

So what's the ideal price to set for your book?

Between $0.99 and and $4.99. $2.99 and $3.99 are the most common with $3.99 being the most popular. Why are these good prices to set your ebook at? Well for one it's a price where both you and the reader can feel comfortable. You can get a decent amount of royalties from it based off the 70% on Amazon and your readers don't feel like they are spending all that much and are getting a quality book. Also $2.99 and $3.99 are a reasonable and very happy medium. 

How should you determine which price is best for you?

You can determine this by two ways: Length & Word Count and your books Genre. As you may know there are word count's that help determine what a book classifies under. From a short story to a novel. First here is a list of what word counts determine what your book is:

 

Novel over 40,000 words

Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words

Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words

Short story under 7,500 words

Basically it's like this, the longer the book the higher the price, the shorter the book the lower the price. Readers expect this whether it's fiction, non-fiction, memoirs or biographies. Typically an ebook under 50,000 words is expected to be listed at below $2.99 and any book priced at $2.99 is considered too expensive. it's also said that if your a credible author with a large fanbase that you can get away with listing your let's say 30,000 page book at $2.99. However I will state this; this is only recommended as I myself believe $2.99 to be a fairly reasonable price for any ebook no matter what size it is but again that's just me, you can take listen to what's recommended and base choose your price on this if you want.


Another way to determine your ebook's price is by what genre it's in. To me this is actually a very good idea. You can very easily determine this and it's a lot easier than word length. Basically what you do is go on Amazon and bring up the books within your genre. Check out the first page and see what each ebook is listed at(note: you should disregard any book with an either high or odball price).Your looking to see which price comes up most often whether it be $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $3.99, etc. I did this myself and I found that within the two genres my books fell under which were "Horror Poetry" and "Crime Thrillers" the average price was $0.99 and $2.99. This is a very simple way to decide of how to price your book. You can also do this one of two ways: you can take the price that shows up the most or you can add up all the totals and divide at the end for an amount..but this should only be chosen if you have a 50/50 split between two prices.


So there you have it. Two ways to figure out what the right price for your ebook should be. You can use the word count route and do it that way or you can decide based on the genre your book falls under. Remember this though, anything higher than $5.99 is pushing it, I get you want a good royalty amount but consider that a small reasonable price may get you a lot of downloads whereas a higher priced ebook may get you little sales. Dont set it at a ridiculous price you yourself would never even buy, don't make it the same price as your paperback and at the very least consider making your ebook 50% less than what your paperback is. Use the 50% as a template as a place to start of how you should price your book and go from there. 



Amazon Affiliates Program

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Are you a member of the Amazon Affiliates Program? For those who don't know what it is, basically you sign up and what you do is place Amazon ads on your profile or blog and anytime someone clicks on those ads and buys the product you get a percentage of that sale because the ad on your page was appealing.

 


You can pick what you wish to advertise on your page. You can pretty much advertise anything Amazon sells although I would recommend stuff that is in relation to what your page is about or you have knowledge on, you know just so the ads don't look totally out of place. I myself have ads for Kindle's and deals on books within my genres.

 


I haven't made any money off it but it's another way to make some quick cash, it's easy to sign up and there's really no harm in at least trying it out.

Making the Most of Amazon Author Profiles

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

One thing I've read in several places is how an author should make the most of their Amazon profile. The first thing is I don't think people really value their profile page on Amazon and don't realize what they can do with it. Why should you put effort into your profile? Well for starters when you send people to buy your books they may click on your name for more info about you or to check out more of your books.

 

Here are some things you can do for your Amazon profile to make it more valuable:

 

-Make a simple but informative Author bio

(The idea is you want to make it stand out so try writing a fresh bio rather than using the same old one you use everywhere else)

 

-Upload a professional or solid picture of yourself

(You don't have to be wearing a two piece suit but it should be an appropriate picture)

 

-Sync your blog to your page

(If you have a blog you can connect it to your Amazon page so people will see your articles and anything else you may post)

 

-Include links in your Bio

(Be sure to include links to your website or any social media sites you use and put them in your bio)

 

-Add your recent book's trailer

(If you have a book trailer for your novels you can upload one of them to your profile. I suggest uploading your most recent book)

 

-Include all your books

(Of course the books you've written will be listed but if you have written with someone or are part of any anthologies make sure your name is listed so that the book will show up in your books)

 

-Go over "Customers Also Bought Items By"

(Below your profile you should see a list of other authors under "Customers Also Bought Items By" this is telling the readers of your books that if they liked your works that maybe they'd also like these authors who are similar.

What can you do with this? Well you can't get rid of it or change it but you can make it work for you. Look up these authors and see what they are doing. Since they are similar to you perhaps you can reach out to them or find out what makes them successful and make what they do work for you)

 


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