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Letter to the Unknown Author

By Karen Baney

Dear Unknown Author,

I know the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into your book. The late nights. The early mornings. The crazy moments when the idea for your next chapter hits you and you can hardly wait to get time to sit down and pour it all out.

It’s your masterpiece, your joy. You wrote it with purpose and determination.

The happiest day of your life, next to your wedding day and the birth of your kids, was the birth of your book. Oh how you shouted for joy when you first saw your name on the cover of your book! Then when it became available in bookstores online or brick and mortar, you could hardly contain your excitement. Your baby, your masterpiece was finally out there in the world.

Then the excitement faded. Week after week you wondered if anyone would buy your book. Weeks turned to months. Months to years. The next book you wrote was with a little less enthusiasm—containing an underlying fear that maybe you aren’t really cut out for this whole writing thing.

I know what you’re saying. Reader, how can you know me so well? Where have you been? Did you read my book?

I would love to read it. I’m sure it is really good. I would love to go on the journey you so cleverly crafted with painstaking details.

Just one problem, dear unknown author: You are unknown to me.

You see, I only have a few minutes of time between picking up the kids from soccer and getting dinner on the stove—maybe we’ll just stop for fast food tonight—that it’s hard for me to take the time to find you. I have a blog that I read once every few weeks, and you’re not there. When I browse through my favorite genre, you’re not there. When I talk to friends, they haven’t heard of you either. You don’t show up in my Twitter stream.

I do like trying new authors, I really do. But with 18,000 other religious fiction authors vying for my attention, what have you done to get mine?

Maybe someday I’ll hear about you from a friend. Maybe my book club will bring you to my attention. Until then, you will remain an unknown author to me.

Blessings,

Busy Reader

What are you doing to stand out among the 18,000? Is your publish-it-and-they-will come strategy getting you nowhere? If so, unknown author, it’s time to stand out. It’s time to learn about marketing. Get out there. Be bold. Be seen. Be a name and not a number.

Karen_closeup_left_medBest-selling self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing.  She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years.  She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels.  To learn more about her novels visit her website: karenbaney.com. Authors can find tips and information on self-publishing and marketing at: www.myauthorservices.com.

Karen and her husband, Jim, also run several online businesses.  They make their home in Gilbert, AZ, with their two dogs.

Connect with Karen on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.10 Keys Cover Med

Not sure how to start marketing your book? Check out Karen’s new book just for authors: 10 Keys to Ebook Marketing Success. Now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Keys-Ebook-Marketing-Success-ebook/dp/B00B2YUQ16

For great marketing and self-publishing advice, visit MyAuthorServices.com.

Interview with Jim and Karen Baney

Welcome, Jim & Karen.  Can you tell us what Christian eBooks Today.com is all about?

Jim:  Christian eBooks Today.com is a website that is for fans of Christian fiction and nonfiction.  It is a safe place to browse and learn more about great Christian eBooks without worrying about coming across any racy or explicit content.

Why did you start Christian eBooks Today.com?

Karen:  I’ve been an avid reader of Christian fiction since I was a young girl.  But, over the past few years as I started publishing books, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to browse for Christian eBooks online without coming across some pretty embarrassing and racy covers.  I just wanted to find a good clean Christian romance book and find new authors.

In August, Jim joined the ranks of the unemployed, so I asked him what he thought about helping me launch a site for Christian readers.  It took some convincing, but he finally agreed to do it.

Jim:  Hey!  It didn’t really take much convincing.  I like the idea of being self-employed.

On your Vision and Mission page on the website, you mention edgy Christian fiction.  Can you tell us more about this?

Karen:  Sure.  Over the past few years or even a decade, the Christian fiction market is changing.  Authors are writing more true-to-life characters that get thrown into some pretty tough circumstances, such as rape, abuse, abandonment, etc.  In fact, some of my novels fall into that category.

Anyway, there is a bit of a divide in readership.  Some readers don’t like the trend, while others prefer it.  We wanted to mention that we accept those types of books on our site so readers are not surprised if they come across something like that.

So, your site includes Christian nonfiction too?

Jim:  Yes.  We include a variety of nonfiction genres, too.  Bible studies, devotionals, self-help, Christian living and much more.  We really want the site to be a place where readers can find any type of Christian eBooks.

Who runs the site, I mean really?

[Karen glances at Jim and giggles.]

Jim:  We joke around.  I’m the chief operations officer and Karen is the CEO.  She has the vision and then I do all the hard work to make it happen.

Karen:  [elbows Jim]  I do some of the hard work, like marketing and writing content.

Jim:  Okay, okay.  I’ll give you that.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Karen:  Yes.  We have a feature on our website under the “For Readers” menu called “Reader’s Choice”.  This is where readers can fill out a form telling us about great Christian eBooks that they’ve read.  Each week, we will select one submission to appear on our website.  Then, once a month we will randomly choose a winner from all of the submissions (even if they don’t get featured).  The winner receives a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Readers can submit as many eBooks as they want.

Wow, that sounds great!  So, where can we see this new website?

Jim:  Visit ChristianEBooksToday.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@cebtoday), Facebook, or Google+.  Check our site daily for our list of free fiction and free nonfiction ebooks.

Karen:  Remember to sign up for our newsletter too.  Just click on the envelope icon in the upper right corner of our site.  Each week we email readers a summary of our key weekly features including: guest blog posts, great reads, author of the week, and the reader’s choice selection for the week.

Thank you so much for hosting us!


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