Serving the Story – Part 2

Sycamore tree by Melissa BowersockIn an earlier post, I talked about how the ending — indeed, every part — must serve the story. It may not be obvious, but we writers may actually have several forces tugging at us, and they often don’t agree in either intent or methodology. We have the story, of course. The story is what drives us; it’s what inhabits us until we get it down. In most cases, I would say that the story is outside of us, even though it’s inside of us. What I mean is that it’s not ours — it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the characters; it belongs to the theme. All we are doing is writing it down. Continue reading “Serving the Story – Part 2”

Advertising on Indies Unlimited

When it comes to paid promotion, we approach things a little differently than most sites.

  • All books, whether submitted for paid or free promotions, must go through a vetting process. Not all books are accepted. This means that if a book appears on Indies Unlimited, it meets and/or exceeds a certain level of quality. You may read more about our vetting process here.
  • We keep our ad rates low since we know most authors are on a tight (or non-existent budget). And, we only run two ads per week, so that paid features are not crowded together.
  • Our ads have permalinks which may be used in an author’s media kit. Most websites run a promotion for a short time, and then those links are gone.
  • Each ad is broadcast in a daily digest email to our subscribers, to our Facebook fans, on Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Google+, and to our Twitter followers. Our admins often also share posts, and our staff writers, if they see a book which interests them, will do the same on multiple platforms.
  • We don’t track visitors, per se. What we do follow is our Alexa ranking, which is more valuable since they allow a comparison to other web sites, and tell us how long people stay, and how many articles they view on average while they’re here. If you’re not familiar with Alexa, this very short article explains it. Our current rankings are at

Some of the effectiveness of the ad also depends on the author. If the author is disinterested and unresponsive to comments (if there are any), then the ad will not pack the punch it could. We provide all authors with a link to an article called “Putting Your Indies Unlimited Features to Work for You” which we recommend everyone read. ENT, KB&T, PeopleReads, and many others always suggest authors spread the word about their promotions, so this is no different.

If you are interested in purchasing an ad or pursuing any of our free features, please use the contact form on the advertising page. Tell us what feature or promo package you’d like and include an Amazon link to your book so we can begin the vetting process on your book. If your book is approved, we will send you the link to our PayPal page so you can make the purchase.

Once PayPal has notified us of your purchase, we will contact you using your PayPal e-mail address. If you use a different e-mail account or name than you used to make the query, we may ask for verification. If additional material is needed from you to prepare your promo, we will advise you of any remaining information we may need. Since promos comprise only a portion of overall site content, it may be a couple of weeks before your ad can be scheduled.

Purchasing an ad on any platform isn’t just about selling books (although we do have many happy and repeat customers). It is also about effective frequency. With a book in the sidebar of our high traffic site, that means a lot of people will be seeing it no matter which article they are reading.

Thanks for supporting Indies Unlimited.

Letting a Manuscript Sit

desert of maine sept 2008 photo by K. S. BrooksIn this world of self-publishing and numbers, there is always the “rush to press” or to get that book out there as quickly as possible. After all, time is money. Despite that, I have always been a fan of letting a manuscript sit: getting away from it, clearing my head, and moving on to other things. For at least six months.

Most authors don’t want to do this. And I can understand that.

We’ve had plenty of posts here on IU about putting a second set of eyes on your manuscript. What if that second set of eyes was yours? Continue reading “Letting a Manuscript Sit”

How to Write Better Dialogue

file0001934509658Last week, Big Al treated us to his vast experience on what not to do with dialogue and dialogue tags. That got me all excited to talk about one of my favorite topics: how to write better dialogue. Here are just a few tips:

1. Get a stronger handle on how people talk to each other. This is your best tool in your dialogue toolbox. Dialogue isn’t an exact replica of human speech. We’d have to contend with a lot of verbal tics and repetition if it were. But spending some time listening will improve your ear. I like to do that by eavesdropping on conversations. Legally, of course. Listening will also help you learn to craft dialogue that will differentiate one character from another. Continue reading “How to Write Better Dialogue”