Tutorial: How to Open a Zazzle Store

gifts from authors christmas-2975398_960_720Here we are, in the thick of the holiday shopping season, and we indie authors are faced with a dilemma: What do we suggest for fans of our work who have already bought all of our books?

One option is to design stuff with images from our books, and either give them away or sell them. Zazzle is one place where you can do that. I’ve made a few things on Zazzle previously – buttons and bookmarks for giveaways, mainly – but this year I wanted to try my hand at some other merchandise. So I opened a store. It’s pretty easy, and you can do it with just one product. Continue reading “Tutorial: How to Open a Zazzle Store”

Marketing Uses for Book Covers

Once you’re got your excellent kick-ass book cover, what do you do with it beside plaster it all over your blog and Facebook page? Believe me, there are plenty of fun ways to use it for promotion, marketing, and just plain getting attention.


book cover e-magnetsMake business card-sized magnets and give them away at your next function. You can buy sticky-backed magnets from Amazon or any office store, print your book covers on card stock and stick them on. (Or Avery makes printable pre-scored business card sized magnets.) You can also buy full-sized sheets of thin magnet “paper” (available from Avery, Staples, and other manufacturers) that will go through your printer. You can make the magnets any size you wish, then just cut them out with scissors. The strength of this magnet paper is not as strong as the business card model, but it will definitely stick to a refrigerator. In the picture at left, the larger ones are business card-sized while the smaller ones are cut from the full sheet.

If you’re not into DIY, you can also have custom magnets made up by many online companies like Vistaprint. (See our Book Cover Resource page for links to all these items.) Continue reading “Marketing Uses for Book Covers”

Book Giveaway Karma

book karma reading cherubWhen I first started out in this business, I felt like I couldn’t afford to run any book giveaways. Like most of us, I started out with no money, and was hoping to pull off that miracle and shoot to the top with my first novel… you know, be another Amanda Hocking.

I’m kidding. I didn’t really think I could do that, but I did try to scrimp and save wherever I could. I’ve been doing this for three years now and my views have most definitely changed. Now I think you can’t afford not to do giveaways. Continue reading “Book Giveaway Karma”

Swag: It’s More than a Lamp from the Seventies

“Anyone know what book swag is? Anyone want to write a post about it?” asked Kat.

Behind the scenes at Indies Unlimited, while the Evil Mastermind is in his office plotting world domination (yes, he really does evilly mastermind), his co-conspirator, Kat Brooks, is out in the “bullpen,” rousing, encouraging, and whipping the minions into shape with promises of extra gruel “sometime in the distant future.” You older people (or young people who spend too much time watching old TV on cable) can imagine Kat as Mary Richards to Hise’s Lou Grant. Having had a thing for Mary Tyler Moore since the days when she was shacked up with Rob Petrie, how could I resist? (Only the ancient or trivia buff Rich Meyer will get that reference.)

Jumping up and down like Arnold Horshack I scream, “Ooh-ooh-oooooh! Mr. Kot …” Umm. Let’s try that again.

“Sure, I’ll do it, Mary, I mean Kat” Continue reading “Swag: It’s More than a Lamp from the Seventies”