Thursday, April 26, 2018

Selling Your Book in English: Tips for Success


Whether you already write mainly in English, or you have a book in your native language that you want to have translated, it’s a great idea to have English versions of your book available. Selling your book in English gives you access to a very wide market - even including countries where English is not the main language. According to Babbel, around 20% of the global population are English speakers, although not all of those are native speakers. English is an 'official language' in many countries, including the Philippines and a large proportion of the Caribbean islands.

Given the number of people that speak the language, it makes sense to have English versions of your books available for people to read. Here are a few tips to ensure that selling your book in English is a success. 

1. Optimize your author information


There are lots of different marketplaces where you can sell your book in English, but by far the most popular is Amazon. Their Author Central feature is available in both America and the UK. If you are selling your books in English, make sure you have an English-language author profile and book details available on both of these Author Central platforms. 

 Translating book into English

2. Ensure it's edited by a native speaker

Readers will often leave poor reviews for books in English with obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, but if your book was translated from a different language into English then you also need to edit for idioms and sayings that don't translate well. A good translator will pick up on these and remove them or replace them with something that works.

Ideally, you would choose a translator familiar with American English if you want global appeal. Other English-speaking countries are used to American English and will generally be comfortable reading in American English and understand most idioms and sayings used.

3. Rewrite the blub in English and redesign the cover 

You can see our general book blurb tips here, but your blurb needs to be rewritten to appeal to native English speakers. Take into account any cultural differences as well as just language when rewriting the blurb to make sure that you're maximizing your sales.

Your cover might need more work than just putting an English title and blurb on it. You'll also want to look at popular books on Amazon.com in your genre and their covers. If your cover wouldn't look right on a bookshelf next to those then you'll want to redesign your cover so that it would.

4. Beware of costs and legal issues 

Having a book translated can be very costly, and the expense can prevent a lot of authors from selling their books in English.  If you want to have your book translated into English, then Babelcube offers a simple way of having your book translated with no upfront costs.

You should also be cautious that in some European countries the copyright of the translated work belongs to the actual translator, unless a clear legal agreement stipulates otherwise. Using Babelcube means you keep the copyright, and all rights transfer back to you after 5 years so there are no unwanted legal headaches.

Selling your book in English makes sense

If you're still undecided about having your book translated, consider these points: 
  • English speakers make up 20% of the global population
  • Books in English are read across many countries, even where English is not the native language. For example, India is the second-largest English language book market. 
  • You can use Babelcube to get your books translated with no upfront cost

Using the tips provided in this article, you're sure to see great sales of your English language books, so why not get started today on having your books translated?
Selling Book In English
Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres. She has partnered with Babelcube to publish novels in additional languages. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How to Write a Book Blurb That Sells


When it comes to selling lots of books, there are 3 things you need to get right before you begin any marketing efforts. The cover, the title, and the blurb are the triumvirate of closing the sale for books.

You need to get all 3 right so that when customers land on your book page, they just HAVE to buy your book, and don’t get distracted by the shiny ‘also bought’ section before they’ve purchased your book.  While most authors have the cover and title nailed, there’s a skill to writing a great book blurb that a lot of indie authors haven’t mastered yet.

It’s not a synopsis that simply summarises the plot. You want to describe the plot without giving away too much of the story, while still giving them enough detail to hook them into buying. Simple, right?

Well, no: that’s why most indie writers will say writing the blurb is the hardest part of writing a book. If writing a good one doesn’t come naturally to you, then don’t worry. We’ve put together this handy guide to writing a blurb that will have your self-published book flying off the digital shelves.

Step 1: What is the book ABOUT?

Write down what your book is about in a short paragraph of no more than 200 words. Don’t think too hard about it, just answer the question ‘what is your book about?’

Now read it back. Ask yourself this question: ‘does it just tell you what happens in the book, or does it truly capture the feeling in the book?’  

You want to capture the feeling of your book with language appropriate to the book’s genre. A crime thriller blurb should be a little tense and dark, a sweet contemporary romance should be hopeful and emotionally uplifting.

If your initial paragraph was more about the action and events in the book, write it again but give more emphasis to the feeling of the book and not the action.
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Step 2: Make it ACTIVE, not PASSIVE

Seek and destroy any passive verbs. Your blurb is short, so it needs to be punchy and active. Keeping your verbs active will make your writing clearer, more concise, and more interesting for the reader.

Go through the paragraph and take out as much of the passive voice as you can. If you need a quick refresher on active and passive voice, Grammar Girl has a great guide here.

Step 3: Give it a tagline

Now we’re going to refine the paragraph you wrote earlier. Your blurb should start with a tagline, a standalone line that captures the very essence of the book. Roughly ten to fifteen words long, this should grab your reader by the… umm… eyes - and make them NEED to read on.

It’s normally one sentence, but it could be two short ones. If the paragraph you wrote earlier already has a great sentence that could be a tagline, then use it here.

Example:
One phone call can change everything.

Step 4: Hook the reader

Ok, so you grabbed them with your tagline. Now your hook has to keep them reading on. In roughly 25-30 words tell them what’s at stake, or the pinch point your character finds themselves in.  This is the elevator pitch of your book.

Example:
The last time James saw Emily was their wedding day, six years ago. Now his estranged wife is battling for her life in the ICU, and he’s responsible for the son he never knew existed.

Step 5:  Seal the deal

This is where you can use the paragraph you write earlier, with perhaps a few tweaks. Cover the key points of the story without giving any spoilers. Keep the language short, snappy and hyperbolic, and the tone should match your genre.

This is a great place to add a few keywords if you like, but make sure they work with the blurb and don’t overdo it.

Make the final line a cliff-hanger of sorts to give the reader no choice other than to read the book to find out exactly what happens.

Example:
When James gets the call, his first reaction is to say no. Emily shattered his world when she vanished on their wedding night, leaving him with nothing but a letter and a hardened heart. He spent six years rebuilding his life, and there’s no room in it for a kid.

But he can’t abandon his own flesh and blood, so he takes the boy in anyway. Through the eyes of his son, he starts to see the joy in life again. By the time Emily wakes up, James is determined to never let him go.

Will the secret that tore Emily and James apart six years ago be their undoing now, or can a child’s innocence give them a second chance at romance?
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Conclusion

So, there you have it, a 5-step hands-on guide to writing a book blurb that will have your self-published books flying off the virtual shelves.

Next time you’re faced with writing a blurb, follow the steps above to write a blurb that converts browsers to readers.


Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres. She has partnered with Babelcube to publish novels in additional languages.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Using Keywords to Maximize Your Self-Published Book Sales


You’ve written your book. You put your heart and soul into it, you’re proud of the end result and you’ve pressed the ‘publish’ button. Aaaannnnd, nothing. Maybe a couple of sales. You’re disheartened. Maybe it’s not as good as you thought? Should you have paid more for your cover? Should you give up on this self-published author business?

Hold your horses. There’s probably a simpler solution that’s really very easy to fix with a little research on your part. People are browsing Amazon right now, wanting to buy an ebook like yours. We will use Amazon and its Kindle keywords as the case study, but the strategies apply to other online retailers too. The problem is that unless your book is hanging out on the bestseller list, the only way they really have to find your book is to use keywords.

The biggest mistake people make when they publish their book is to not put enough effort into choosing the right kindle keywords. The good news is that you can easily change your keywords whenever you want – so if your book sales are disappointing, try tweaking the keywords and watch your sales rise.

This is great news for you -  you can figure out the best keywords to use to get your book in front of people that want to read it. Here’s a handy guide on how to do just that.

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Finding keywords readers search for

The first mistake indie authors make is to just put in the keyword section a bunch of words they think are related to their book. While that’s not necessarily wrong, you only get seven keywords. To make the most of them you want to make sure that not only are the words you use related to your actual book; they are the words readers are using to find books like yours.

Most self-published authors will choose the obvious words. For a thriller they might choose something like: thriller; crime; killer; dark; gritty; victim; murder. Those are all perfectly good keywords on the face of it. They’re linked to the type of book, and are probably the kind of things a reader searches for. So why might you want to rethink them?

You could try and think like your readers, which could help you use the words they would use. It’s still guesswork though. Or you could use a few tricks to find out what words people actually do use.

What is this sorcery? The Amazon search bar. It has a very handy auto-populate feature that does the hard work for you. When you do your keyword research, use incognito or private browsing mode with your internet browser – that way the search bar won’t use information specific to you and your past searches, and will just show you what are generally popular searches.

Choosing the right kindle keywords

The next important part of this tactic is to check that your list of keywords is lucrative. How do you do that? You see how many and which books show up in the results. Handy tip – very few people scroll beyond page 1 of results, and almost nobody makes it past page 3. So, if your book isn’t going to have a chance of being on page one of the results, you’re wasting your keyword space.

A keyword of ‘crime’ will pit you against around 60,000 other books in the search results. You can bet your book isn’t going to be near the top of those results unless it’s already selling well and highly reviewed.

Making sure that most of the book keywords you’ve chosen have less than 1,000 results is a good way of making sure your book won’t get buried too far under a pile of others in the search results. More than 2,000 and it’s probably not a keyword you want to be using. I find using a mix of keywords that have different numbers of search results works best: a couple at 800-1,000, a couple at 500-800, and the others less than 500.

What if all the keywords I found have too many results?

If you’re writing a book in a popular genre, you might struggle to find keywords for your book with under 1,000 results easily. One way to build a list up is to use Google. Type in your keyword, and look for what auto populates. When you select one, scroll to the bottom of the page and look at ‘related searches’ for even more ideas. Keep doing this until you have a long list of possible keywords and phrases readers use that you can then test in Amazon’s search bar.

Another tip is to type the genre into Amazon’s search bar and follow it with the word ‘with’. Using our theoretical thriller, I type in ‘thriller with’ into the search bar and ‘thriller with surprise ending’ is auto populated. At the time of writing this article, that had 158 results. Perfect!

But if I put thriller, surprise, and ending into my keywords won’t that use up 3 words on just one possible search? I can hear you thinking. What you may not know, is that although they are called keywords, you can actually use phrases separated by commas, and they count as one ‘word’. There’s an overall character limit, but you can fit several phrases in there before it reaches the limit. So, thriller with surprise ending only uses one of your seven keywords for your self-published book.

Using keywords to get into a sub-category

The only exception to these book keyword rules is when you’re using one or two of your precious keywords to appear in a popular sub-category.

If there’s a sub-category you want your book to feature in but it isn’t on the pre-defined list that you can choose from when you publish, check out Amazon’s handy guide on which keywords can get you into that category here.

Conclusion

So, there you have it – how to maximise your keyword potential for your self-published ebook. Just make sure that you don’t include anything that would misrepresent your book – such as the name of another book or any of Amazon’s program names like ‘Kindle Unlimited’. Don’t repeat keywords that are already in your book’s title, as they are already used for search results.  More information on keywords, and what not to include can be found here.

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 Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghost writes in the romance and erotica genres.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Social Media Marketing for Your Self-Published Books | Practical Strategies

Social media is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to market your self-published books for free. You can pay for advertising on social media, which can be very effective, but it’s also possible to get your books out to a wider audience using purely organic methods.

If you’ve not built a social media presence as an indie author yet, or you have tried, but were disappointed with the results then read on for some top tips on how you can market your self-published books for free.

What should you post?

Post updates on your writing process, your upcoming books, general writing advice and tips, reviews of books you love, and anything you think your target audience will enjoy. If you know your target reader loves animals, and you have dogs or cats, include some pictures of your pets and funny anecdotes about them. If your target audience enjoys shopping and fashion, you can also share a little content about those topics occasionally.

Look at the social media accounts of your favourite authors and see what they post about. Which posts get the most engagement, and can you identify why and then emulate it? The key things are that you should be getting your own personality across while keeping your audience interested and entertained.

Video is an increasingly popular medium on social media, so think of ways you can use video creatively as well as static images and text-only posts.

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Choose your platforms wisely

It’s easy to get overexcited and create accounts on every social media site available, but it’s better to make a concentrated effort on one or two platforms than to spread yourself too thinly across them all. You need to make regular posts to keep the accounts active and exciting, and to reach as many potential readers as possible.

So, which platforms should you concentrate on?

Facebook

Facebook: one of the first sites people think of when you say ‘social media,’ Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool; but they change the rules and their algorithms regularly, meaning it can be challenging to get the organic reach you need.

If you have a budget for paid ads, or already have a large enough following, Facebook is a brilliant place to be marketing your books as it has the most users of any social media platform by a mile. If you don’t have either of those things, then you’ll need to put in extra effort to build a Facebook following.

You may have noticed that you see fewer ‘page’ posts in your Facebook newsfeed recently. That’s because Facebook has been separating them out, and putting most page posts in a separate ‘Explore’ feed for users. Yet many people haven’t realised the Explore feed is there, and pages have seen their organic reach drop dramatically.

What you probably have been seeing in your regular newsfeed are ‘sponsored’ posts from pages and businesses – which are paid ads. You also sometimes still see page posts that your Facebook friends have liked.

These changes mean it’s harder than ever before to gain momentum on Facebook, especially for new indie authors. Creating effective, engaging content is crucial to being noticed, and you’ll also possibly need to enlist the help of family and friends to share your posts to reach a wider audience.

On top of that, you can join reader groups on Facebook and participate in those to help build your audience. Pay attention to the rules for each group though, self-promotion is often against group rules. Once you’ve built a presence in the group as a reader, contact the page admin and politely ask if you could share your author page in the group. Don’t do this without frequently participating first.

If you don’t have the time or money to devote to participating in groups, posting on your page regularly and monitoring what’s working, your effort is probably better focused elsewhere.

Instagram

Which leads us to Instagram. It’s growing rapidly, and it is not very difficult to gain followers and build your audience on Instagram. It does take work, but with a few hours a week you could cultivate an impressive audience. Building a following on Instagram can seem tricky, but there are two techniques that are quick and easy to use.

The first is hashtags. You can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post, and I’d recommend at least 15-20 per post. It’s tempting to think you should pick the most popular hashtags, but unless you have a huge following and lots of engagement already, your posts will get lost very quickly.

Look for hashtags with 20-50,000 posts and make these the bulk of your hashtags, with only a couple of larger ones. This way, they stay visible for longer to people searching them, and you’re more likely to hit the coveted ‘top posts’ spot for those hashtags.

The second, very effective way of gaining followers is to run a ‘follow/unfollow’ cycle. Follow accounts of authors who write similar genres, or bloggers who review your genres. Then begin to follow the accounts that are following them. This way you are targeting people who are most likely to want to read your books.

After a reasonable amount of time, you can unfollow any that are not following you back. I usually spend a week adding people a few per day and interacting with them on my Instagram feed. This consists of liking and commenting positively on as many posts as I can. Then the next week I start removing non-followers, a few per day, then repeat. You can get to thousands of targeted followers in a few months doing this, and by interacting with them via your feed, you are building rapport and also the added chance their friends will see your comments and visit your bio.

Your Instagram bio should have a link to your Amazon author page, your own website, or your Goodreads author profile. Basically, anywhere that they can purchase your books from.

Twitter

Twitter is another platform where it easier to reach people, even if they don’t follow you. Using hashtags like on Instagram, jumping on relevant ‘trending’ hashtags, and responding to other people’s tweets are all good ways to increase your reach.

Debates are often lively on Twitter, and while courting a little controversy can help boost your publicity and followers, be careful what you put out there. You don’t want to get carried away and lose credibility. It’s especially important not to respond badly to any negative reviews of your work, as it rarely ends well.

Twitter also works best with higher post volumes. While you can build audiences on Facebook and Instagram with 1 post per day, you’ll want somewhere between 3 and 5 posts per day on Twitter.

Like Instagram, your bio should include a link to somewhere the reader can purchase your books.

Schedule your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts to save time

To make it a little easier there are numerous scheduling apps that you can use to automate your posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can write all your posts at the beginning of the week, and the scheduling app will release them on the time and date you specify—meaning you don’t have to worry about it other than to respond to any readers who comment on your posts.

There are lots of scheduling apps available, and most of them are free to use for a couple of accounts, so play around until you find one you like best.

Goodreads

Goodreads isn’t necessarily a true social media site, but it has a lot of the characteristics of one and has the undeniable advantage that Goodreads members are actual readers, often voracious ones. Plus, you can see what kind of books people have read, are reading, and want to read. It’s a great place for self-published authors to connect with readers and keep an eye on emerging reader trends and up and coming genres.

If you don’t have a Goodreads author profile, I highly recommend you create one. Join Goodreads reading groups in your genres, and participate without pushing your books at first. Over time, you’ll build a network of readers that you have developed a relationship with. When you’ve built that relationship, then you can suggest your own book for them to read and they will be more likely to actually read and review it.

Social media for selling books in foreign languages

Social media is growing massively in non-English speaking countries too and is perfect for selling books in foreign languages. If you have your book translated and are selling books in multiple languages, (and why wouldn’t you?), your translators may be able to do some of the social media marketing in those countries for you. If you’re using Babelcube’s free book translation service, promoting the book will be in the freelance translator’s interests too, as the royalties are split, and there’s no upfront fee for the author.

Conclusion

All of the social media platforms have their own charms and are effective ways of marketing your books. However, if you can only choose one or two platforms to promote your self-published books, I recommend Goodreads and Instagram. They are both thriving platforms, and you can get a lot of exposure for your books for free.
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Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Self Publishing Your Book This Year: Tips and Trends

Self-publishing has exploded over recent years, and thousands of people are making additional income or a full-time living from self-publishing their work with major online books retailers. Here’s a handy guide for everything you need to know if you plan on self-publishing this year – whether you’re a seasoned indie author or a first-time self-publisher.

Industry Trends

Ebooks are still dominating the market, but there’s a rise in the number of people bucking the trend and reverting to paperbacks. Make sure you’re not left in the cold by not having paperback versions of your book available by using one of the many print-on-demand services. Amazon now offers the ability to publish your books as ebooks and in paperback right from the KDP platform.

Self-published books are often criticised for low-quality editing and covers. With more books on the market than ever before, make sure your books stand out for the right reasons. If you have the skills to do so, make sure you invest the time needed to self-edit your books to a high standard. Otherwise, try and budget for paying an editor to polish your final manuscript.

Audiobooks are increasing in popularity, and are the fastest-growing sector in publishing; so, if you have the budget to have your book turned into audio then it’s definitely one option to consider. More people than ever before are listening to audiobooks, so give them the chance to listen to yours.
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Keywords

When you list your books on any of the major distributor’s websites, you need to make sure you are choosing strong keywords to list your book under. Your title or book blurb should also include some keywords to make sure that readers can find your books. Looking at what people search on Google will give you a good idea of which words to concentrate on.

Moz’s keyword tool is the one I use the most as a self-published author, as it’s straightforward to use and also suggests alternative keywords for you along with their search volumes- making your job much easier. Look for keywords related to your genres where there are more than 50 searches a month as these are the ones where you will be most likely to achieve excellent visibility.

Social Media

Social Media is still a popular way to market books for indie authors, but with constant changes to Facebook feeds and rules for business pages, make sure you are up to date with how to get the best reach on the various social media channels.

If you have a budget for ads, use it. Facebook ads can be a very cost-effective way of getting your books in front of your target readers. If not, focus on creating engaging content to draw more readers to your page. Consider Facebook Live videos to boost your reach and engagement, and to let your readers get to know you not only as a self-published author but as a person too.

If you don’t have a social media account to promote your books, make this the year you set one up. You don’t have to be active on every platform -- you can just choose one platform, and post regularly. Over time, you’ll build an audience of people that are engaged with your books and want to buy your new book releases.

International Markets

Growth across non-English speaking markets is set to rise. Get ahead of the game in this year by making sure your books have translations available in as many languages as possible.

The book translation service Babelcube offers authors a way to do this without having to pay any upfront fees for translations. Babelcube also takes care of distributing your self-published books -- meaning that your translated books will get in front of international audiences quickly and easily without you needing to set up and manage lots of different accounts.

Most Importantly

All of these tips will help drive you towards success as an indie author, but the real key to success in self-publishing is the same now as it has been since the beginning. Publish as many high-quality books as you can manage this year, and you will increase your chances of success drastically.

Wishing you a successful and fun adventure self-publishing your books in many languages. 
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Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Experiences as a Self-Published Author

In the last ten years or so, self-publishing has gone from strength to strength, and it’s something many more people are considering as an alternative to traditional publishing. It’s easier than it’s ever been to get your story out there and get paid for it. Going the indie author route can be both incredibly frustrating, and incredibly rewarding. Here’s a brief rundown of my experience self-publishing over the past three years.

What made me decide to self-publish?

I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I loved reading as a small child, and I would always say I wanted to write books. As I got older, I lost sight of the dream a little, choosing the ‘sensible’ options of office work and management, and a steady salary.

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While my jobs have often involved some kind of writing: automated emails, customer communications, web copy and the like, I never got around to writing any of the fiction that I always wanted to.

I might have continued without ever writing a book if I hadn’t decided to complete a degree as a mature student. I opted for an English degree, and one of the modules I chose was creative writing. I loved the module, it reignited in me the passion for writing I’d had when I was younger and receiving good grades spurred me on.

One of our assignments was to find a market for a short story we wrote, and I was fascinated by how many options there are. During my research, I came across self-publishing. I vaguely knew of it but hadn’t realized just how straightforward it could be to get your work available to readers.

As much as I’d enjoyed the course, I hadn’t expected to start writing seriously. The daunting thought of getting an agent, the months of waiting to hear back from publishers. I had a day job I enjoyed, and I didn’t want to write the next critically acclaimed novel, I just wanted to monetize my hobby.

Self-publishing was the ideal solution, and I jumped right in. I researched like crazy for weeks before I wrote my first novella, looking at the different genres and identifying what was both potentially lucrative and enjoyable for me to write.

Why I use pen names for my self-published books

In the end, I chose to focus on writing erotic romance, primarily because it’s a huge market. Although I do read books in the genre, it’s not actually my first choice of reading material. I chose it because it’s fun, and can be lucrative. It’s competitive for sure, there are a lot of other similar books out there, but romance readers are voracious, so there’s room for everyone.

I also write some spiritual non-fiction as well as straightforward non-erotic romance, so I publish under three different pen names to keep my genres separate.

I also keep my pen names top secret. Mysterious, right? Mostly I just do that for personal reasons, if I shared them with my family and friends I might get more sales, but I prefer to keep each ‘persona’ completely separate, and I find it helps my creativity on racier scenes when I’m not worried about whether my mother might read it!

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How it costs me less than a coffee to self-publish my books

During my intensive research phase, I came across a lot of differing advice. Many people advised to pay an editor, a cover designer, and use paid advertising. All great things if you have the budget for it, but I’m a huge believer in the principle of MVP – or minimum viable product. Basically, I like to spend as little as possible to get the job done to a good standard.

I’m an English graduate, so I edit my own work. Paying an editor might polish it that little bit more, but the return on investment would probably be minimal for me—my reader reviews give me a good barometer, and they’re all happy with the writing quality.

I design my own covers, mostly with free stock that has a creative commons license for unlimited use. I occasionally pay for a good stock image, but I try not to if possible. Then I use Canva to create the cover. I always check out the best sellers in my genres and choose fonts, colors, and themes that emulate those.  

How I maximize sales of my self-published books

I do use social media to market my books, but I don’t market them heavily. I run Facebook ads occasionally with a minimal budget of up to $3 a day for one week, and mostly leverage my email list to promote new material, which is pretty much free.

The best way I’ve found, by far, to get readers to buy more books, is to have more books written and available for them to buy. So when I think I want to sell more books—the first thing I do is write and publish another one.

The other thing I make sure to do is to have my books translated. In the same way that having more books available gives readers more chance of discovering you, having translated versions of your books gets you in front of readers that would never have found you otherwise.

To do that, I always use Babelcube because their business model means I don’t pay upfront for a book translation service. Instead, I share the royalties with the translator so that I’m never out of pocket. More readers, more money, no risk. It’s one of my secret weapons for increasing sales of my books.  

Why I’ll keep on self-publishing in 2018

Besides anything else, I enjoy writing—and the fact that I can get paid anything at all for doing what I love is reason enough. There’s so much opportunity available for getting your work out there, that self-publishing is something of a no-brainer for me. There’s so much potential for expansion in the global market, and with more translated versions of my books through Babelcube, I’m sure 2018 will be my best year yet!

Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Have Your Book Translated Without an Upfront Cost

You may have noticed your English Language books already selling copies in other countries, but have you considered having your self-published book translated into different languages? Just imagine the incredible opportunity from having your books translated in additional languages. Think of all the new readers.

How big is the opportunity?

Having your books available in other languages creates brand new avenues for sales, and well over half of the global ebook market is in countries whose native language is not English. Germany alone holds 8%. The ‘rest of the world’ segment of the market encompasses many native languages such as Spanish and Portuguese.

How can I have my books translated without paying a lot of money upfront?

The primary barrier to translation for most self-published authors is the cost of hiring a translator. It can be expensive, and you’ve already invested a lot in your book: editing; a cover designer; marketing. The average budget won’t necessarily stretch to hiring a translator.
Fortunately, there’s another way. What if you could upload your book to a secure website and make it available for translators to bid? You can choose the translator you want, and then there are no upfront fees. Your book is distributed for you in the languages you choose, and you receive the royalties that you share with the translator.
Sounds great, right? Well, that model does exist, and it’s being used by thousands of authors already to increase their revenue with minimal effort and no additional costs at Babelcube.

How are the translation costs covered?

Everything is paid for by sharing the royalty revenue from the sale of the translated books. The percentage amount you receive depends on how much income your book has generated and ranges from 30% to 75% of net sales receipts. You can find the full royalty share information here, but the more income you generate, the higher the percentage you earn.
You retain copyright to all versions of your book and their covers, but Babelcube initially retains the distribution rights to that book and will distribute it via their channels, ensuring the translator is given their fair share of the royalties. After five years the distribution rights revert to you in full, and you are free to distribute the translated versions yourself alongside the English versions and receive full royalties.

Is it easy to do?

Setting up a Babelcube account and getting your books translated couldn’t be easier. I tried it myself a couple of years ago. As a self-published author with three genres and pen names, I was intrigued. I put one of my short, non-fiction books up on the Babelcube platform and waited for translators.
I didn’t have to wait long, and within two months I had my book translated and distributed in Portuguese, German, Italian and Spanish. Working with the translators was easy, they kept me updated every step of the way, and I was delighted with the end result.

How do I know the translation will be good-quality?

You do get the transcription to authorize, so it won’t be published until you are happy.
When I received mine, I spot-checked sections with the help of Google translate and friends-of-friends who were modern language teachers because I was aiming to keep my costs to zero upfront fees. If you want to check them more robustly, you could always hire a native speaker to read them for you.
Based on those checks, all the translations were great and had picked up on turns of phrase that don’t translate well, and either removed them or replaced them with something more appropriate for that language. The result was a manuscript that reads smoothly.
After three years of them being available, I’ve kept an eye on the reviews, and they’ve all been positive with no mentions of anything that seems lost in translation. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the quality of the translations considering I paid nothing upfront.

What could I earn from translated versions of my books?

Just like sales in English language books, it can be difficult to predict. To give you an idea of the revenue you could generate, 15% of my global annual income on my translated books last year came from Babelcube royalties.  Depending on the size and genres of your self-published catalog, you could be sitting on a little goldmine.

How do I know if it’s the right option for me?

Babelcube is perfect for you if:
  • You have books that you’ve written that you think could sell in other languages, but you don’t have wads of cash to have them translated.
  • You don’t want the hassle of arranging distribution and handling the foreign language translations.

Having your books translated for an upfront fee is suitable for authors who:
  • Have the cash upfront to pay the translator’s fee.
  • Are confident they will sell well enough in other languages to make back more than the translation fee.
  • Already have a large fan base in other countries where English isn’t the national language.
  • Want full control of the international distribution of their books.
So, if you want to take your books global but don’t want to fork out a lot of cash up front, why not register for an account at www.babelcube.com?  You could join the thousands of authors taking advantage of an additional revenue stream without the financial risk. 

Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa Flynn is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres. 
 Book translation for free

5 Tips to Sell More of Your Self-Published Book

One of the key concerns for self-published authors is how to maximise sales of their books. When you choose to self-publish your books independently of a traditional publishing house, you gain a lot of control over your work and the rights to that work.

However, you don’t have the benefit of a large marketing department, and the chances are that your book won’t magically climb onto the best-seller lists without a little help.

You’ve put in the hard work writing and publishing your book, and now you want to be able to help get it in front of as many readers as possible. Here are five tips to help you give your book sales a boost.

1. Using social media to drive book sales.

Most self-published authors will agree that having an active presence on social media is essential to building sales. The best way to use social media, however, is not to use it purely to sell your books. Simply creating profiles and posting regularly just about your books is not the best way to win sales.

Pick a couple of social media channels to use. Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are great for authors, but don’t discount others like LinkedIn as they can be good platforms for authors.

Whichever platforms you use, seek out and follow people who like books similar to your own and engage with them.

Don’t tell them about your books straight away, just open friendly dialogue with them and the chances are they will check out your profile. Like their review of a similar book, if it’s one you’ve read and enjoyed, comment to say so.

Make sure your bios are optimized to show your books so people can see them if they look at your profile.

Post consistently, regularly, and at least 80% of it should be about something other than your own book promotions. Let people get to know you, share behind the scenes photos of your writing desk, share your (mild) frustrations and your day-to-day triumphs.

People love inspirational quotes, and you can also share quotes from your books without any apparent sales plugs.

Look out for mentions of your books, and comment/like/retweet every time if they are positive. Do not be tempted to defend your books by leaving defensive comments on bad reviews. Take a deep breath, don’t comment, and let it go.

2. Build an email list

Your email list is a golden opportunity to get your books in front of potential readers. Services like Mailchimp make this quite simple, and their free version allows for 2,000 email subscribers on your list.

Put links to your email list sign-up page at the back of your books, on your social media profiles, and on your blog if you have one.

Consider having a ‘lead magnet’ - perhaps a free short ‘prequel’ that you automatically send to readers who sign up to your email list as way of enticing them to sign up.

Once you have readers signed up, keep them engaged with regular newsletters. Make them consistent, whether it’s weekly or monthly keep up with your schedule.

The content can be reasonably short and snappy, and don’t make it only about pushing your books. Just like social media, it’s a chance to develop a relationship with readers that can enhance loyalty.

Build a relationship with your email audience by sharing insights and interesting stories or information that your target readers will relate to.

3. Maintain a blog

You hear this over and over again, but it’s true. A consistently maintained blog will help your search engine rankings and is another avenue to collect email sign-ups.

You can write about the process of writing and let readers know when new books are going to be released. Aim for at least one blog post a month and make sure it is relevant in some way to your target reader.

You can also write other articles that your target reader might enjoy. For romance authors, that might be a post on the best romantic movies of the year.

For non-fiction authors, you can choose related topics to your ebooks, so if you write books on fitness, you could post healthy recipes and fitness wearable reviews, among other things.

4. Reach out to influencers

Contact book bloggers and prolific reviewers of books in your genre to see if they would review your book. Do remember that many of these people do this for fun and are under no obligation to read your book.

They may receive dozens of these emails a day from indie authors, so make your email stand out by injecting your personality into it and keeping it short and to the point. Highlight what makes your self-published book unique in its genre.  

You can also get in touch with book clubs, either locally or via the internet. You can find some book club groups on Goodreads and other social media sites.

There are also a number of review sites where you can submit your books to be reviewed. Some charge a fee, but others are entirely free and certainly worth a look. The more reviews that are about your book the better.

5. Increase your potential market by having translated versions of your books

Use a service like Babelcube to get your books translated without laying out additional costs. Book translation can be expensive, but with Babelcube there’s no upfront cost to you.

You simply upload your manuscript to Babelcube, where hundreds of freelance translators can request to translate your self-published book into the languages you have chosen.

When you have chosen a candidate for your book translation job, they will complete the translation and send it to you for approval. When you approve the translated version, Babelcube will then distribute your book in the right countries for you, and share with you a percentage of the royalties.

There’s minimal additional effort from you, no financial risk, and you gain the chance to sell many more books in new languages.

This will allow a larger group of people to read your books, and more than half of the worldwide ebook market is outside of English-speaking countries. Making your books available to readers in their native languages opens up sales opportunities that you would not get otherwise.  

Conclusion

There are numerous ways to sell more of your self-published book, and this list is by no means exhaustive. The tips here are all robust ways of increasing your book sales, without laying out any additional costs for paid advertisements. Implementing these five tips will boost sales of your self-published books in no time, for free.  

Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres. 

Free book translations and book publishing. Sell more books

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How to Translate a Book? The Traditional Way and the New Approach

Are you a self-published author trying to reach new readers? Then you’ve probably thought about translating your work into another language. If you have, good thinking, because that’s one way to drastically improve your sales, reach new audiences and establish yourself as an international author.
However, there are some difficulties when it comes to translating. In fact, I’d like to share with you two ways you can translate your book – the traditional way and the way I recommend to all writers that ask me for advice.

The Traditional Way

Usually, translating a book involves three things. First, you need to find a professional translator who understands not only the grammar and vocabulary of the languages involved, but also one that understands the style and the context of your writing. Finding such a translator is often a hassle.
Another issue that arises with ‘the traditional way’ is the upfront fee. You find traditionally translators wish to be paid upfront before you have sold any books in the new language, and the amount can be significant. This creates a cash flow drain for a period.  

But perhaps the most troublesome part of translating a book this way is distribution to different retailers. Distributing the translated work to the right retailers can be quite a hassle. It’s not that difficult to pitch a book in English to folks on Amazon, but distributing a book to an audience that prefers another language often implies tapping into a whole new market. This is where you need to draw connections, make phone calls, research various self-publishing platforms (some of which are in a language you don’t understand) and the new market itself.

As you can see, ‘the traditional way’ involves a lot of time, effort, and financial risk, especially for newcomers. Each step takes a lot of self-perseverance and knowledge to be completed properly. But as I said, I’ll also share with you another, far easier and lower risk way to sell your books in new languages.

The Babelcube Way

An innovative company has been around for quite some time called Babelcube. It’s a translation and publishing company that connects self-published authors/publishers with a diverse group of talented freelance translators. The way that this service works is completely different, and much better than the traditional approach, especially for those self-publishers who are translating their work for the first time.

First of all, it involves zero monetary risk. Instead of paying the translator upfront and worrying whether they’ll translate your book well, or even at all, the translators on Babelcube have a real financial incentive to do the best job they can. The reason? Well, the reason is simple; as compensation for their work they get a share of royalties from book sales.

So right off the bat, you can rest assured that the translation part will be done as best as is humanly possible. But how could these translators know that your book will sell well, or at all? Why would they translate your book and let you mess up the sales, leaving them with nothing to show for their hard work? To support book sales, Babelcube automatically distributes the translated book to 100s of retailers, ensuring that you will have your book available in plenty of sales channels from the large global online retailers to local websites. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved.

Summary

So there you have it. Translating a book, especially if it’s a larger work, is business like any other. Professional authors who have been in the game for a decade or two sometimes have a team of proven translators and publishers whom they can rely on.

New self-published authors, also known as indie authors, can build up these connections as well, but it takes time. Independent authors can fast-track their growth and make a profit without taking any financial risks is through the proven translation and distribution website Babelcube.

With that being said, I hope this article will help you, and that your book will touch the hearts and minds of many people, and in multiple languages as well!

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Babelcube offers authors and publishers the opportunity to sell their books in additional languages with a simple process and no upfront cost or financial risk.

Most books are only in one language due to the upfront cost of translation, struggles to find a translator, and complexities of working with retailers in different countries. Babelcube removes these barriers. Translators are paid via a share of royalties—creating a true partnership.

Babelcube is the easiest way to translate and sell a book in multiple languages. Book publishers and self-published authors team up with translators. The translated books are sold through 100s of retailers.

Check it out at Babelcube.
 Indie authors - sell more books


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

How to Be a Successful Translator

How to Be a Successful Translator

Passion for languages… this is something all translators have in common. Even before becoming a skilled and professional translator, these people have a predisposition for languages. These people will turn out to be pretty much effective translators. Clearly, this predisposition for languages will be reflected in a smoothness in no less than two languages. Many people label this as a ‘gift’ from birth. However, this is not the sole precondition of becoming a good translator. A good translator should learn and practice the skills all the time. One of the most important preconditions for becoming a skilled translator is the profound knowledge of one's own particular mother tongue. But, the unconditional love for languages truly is one of the main prerequisites, as no one wants to work in a sphere he or she does not like. If one wants to be a good translator, here are some great tips to follow.

Know yourself

Before choosing the profession, you must be aware of yourself, your temper, your skills, your strong points. If you feel the power, the passion for the language, if you see that you manage to learn a new language easily, then you are likely to become a good translator. Picking a specialty that fits your interests and identity will make you more joyful for the rest of your life.

Know the languages

Of course, number one precondition of becoming a successful translator. You should master the languages you learn. There are many ways to maintain and develop the language skills, like:
·         Reading in all languages
·         Watching TV and listening to the radio, audiobooks, and music in the second or third language
·         Practicing public speaking skills (in all languages)
·         Developing writing and research skills
·         Enhancing analytical skills

Get certified

The other crucial thing to do in order to become successful is to get certified. Having a document that proves that you are a specialist will make people confident in your proficiency. Many universities offer advanced degrees and professional certifications in translation.

Gain experience

The other step towards becoming successful is gaining experience. Experience is always quite important. All the clients tend to hire a person, who is experienced. You can take extra classes in interpreting or translation, you can apply for internships or become a volunteer. It is vital to get experience to allow you to demonstrate your abilities to potential customers and gather feedback. One terrific way to get experience is by creating your own translation project by translating books that you choose at Babelcube.

Learn to meet deadlines

The other crucial thing is to manage to meet the deadlines. Most of the time, you will be rushed to finish your task earlier than you would like. So, you must be ready for such kinds of situations.

Keep learning

As you advance as a translator, there are different ranges to consider also. There can be many different fields, in which you should get knowledge about in order to create a wonderful translation. You should be ready to learn many new things each day, particularly if you are a freelance translator. For instance, one day you may be asked to do a translation in the medical sphere. You must have excellent knowledge and a rich vocabulary, which will continue to improve as you work.
We hope these tips would help you in the future!
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Babelcube is the easiest way to translate and sell a book in multiple languages. Book publishers and self-published authors team up with translators. The translated books are sold through 100s of retailers. 

Check it out at Babelcube.

Freelance Translation Projects