3 Simple Must-Dos for Self-Published Authors

Nov. 26, 2018

So, you’re an author who's recently self-published a book and is ready to proceed to the next step. Well, what is the next step? First of all, congratulations on this great achievement! Publishing a book is never as easy as it may seem, so kudos to you!

Now, how do we get the word out there that your book is live and available? Well, you absolutely must make these three simple moves:

1. Build an online presence. (i) Create social media accounts if you haven't already - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and post photos of your book cover on these platforms. (ii) Find various Facebook groups to join (groups for authors, bloggers, book reviewers etc.). Post your book cover and synopsis on these groups so it shows up on all members' feeds. (iii) Create a Facebook Author fan page get as many likes on them as possible by either inviting people to join (organically), or paying Facebook to advertise your page (paid ad). Focus on building your presence as an author. (iv) Create a Goodreads Author account, and post your book details on there.

2. Seek book reviewers. The more people are talking about your book, the more hits you get to your book's store site (e.g. Amazon), and the more recognition you get as an author. Find reviewers or bloggers that read your genre and ask if they're willing to review your book. Some may ask for a fee, others may simply request a free book in exchange. Be prepared either way. 

3. Invest in paid promotion. Some authors will scoff or turn their faces away at this, but it's a vital truth you shouldn't run away from. As a self-published author, you're responsible for your book marketing, so you have to be ready to invest in some promotion strategies that require payment to successfully get your story out there. Again, find bloggers and influencers that will be willing to have your book on their sites either on a permanent basis or for a certain period of time. Imagine the thousands of eyeballs this promises to draw to your book, eyeballs belonging to loyal fans and followers of these influencers. If the bloggers are generous enough, they could even promote your book on their social media. Think about that for a sec. Yep, that's a thousand more eyeballs on your book. It's important to understand that if you, as an author, want people to invest in you and your book, you have to be willing to invest in yourself and your book as well, through active promotion/marketing strategies.

BooKecCenTric accepts books for reviews and also offers authors the chance to promote their books through various ways - Book features, Author Interviews and Dedicated Author pages. While there's a free book review option, my main intent with this blog is to help authors get the word out there and have people understand what their message is about. Books are featured here permanently, and I also promote these books on my social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). 

You cannot go wrong with seeking bloggers to help promote your book. If you're serious about building your brand as an author, then you absolutely should not shy away from investing in your book. Change your thinking today and let's get your book out there! 

If you want to know more about how I can help you spread your message, take a look at promotions.bookeccentric.com to see tons of options I have available for you, or simply send me a quick message and let me know what your promotion needs are. My goal is to see you SHINE ;)

6 Emotional Books That'll Make You Cry

Oct. 24, 2018

I've come to realize, through my journey in the world of books, that there are books, and there are books. Yeah, I mean those books that make you all mushy and weepy. Those tear-jerker pages that you keep turning page after page as a tear (or two) trickles down your hot cheek, even though part of you wants to put it down. I've had a few of those, so I thought I'd share my top 6 tear-jerking books of all time :'(

1. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
I couldn't think of anything else for days. I watched the movie before reading the book, and it made me so incredibly sad. It's quite a beautiful story, so much so that when I see the author's name on a book, my heart skips, perhaps with excitement, or maybe with apprehension and fear of what I might find in her next read. Amazing literature at its very best.

Book Summary
Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.  A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

The Fault in Our Stars
, by John Green
This was another tear-jerker that had me thinking about life and why unfortunate things tend to happen to those undeserving of such.

Book Summary
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

3. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
A romantic story that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you want to read (and watch) it over and over. 

Book Summary
Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals—steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

4. Chop Chop, L.N. Cronk
A Christian fiction that not just pulled at my heart but almost tugged it out of my rib cage. It involves a young girl, a young boy, a group of friends, a tragedy, and so much more. You simply have to read it to understand the full incredible story. By the way, this title is just the first in a series. I've now read all 10 titles in the series.

Book Summary
Ever since Laci was a little girl she's been growing out her pretty, brown hair and chopping it off to send to Locks of Love. When Greg moves into town and finds out what she's doing, he thinks it's a great idea...so he starts doing it too! It's just one of the things that reserved, young David must tolerate as their friendship grows throughout the years. As they near adulthood, they grow not only closer to each other, but closer to God as well. David finds himself content in every way, but when tragedy occurs David must struggle to find his way back to God. Contemporary Christian Fiction: Top Rated... Best Selling... Award Winning! Don't let the fact that it's the first in a series scare you off - Chop, Chop is a complete, stand-alone novel that will NOT leave you hanging. Sequels are available, however, for those who wish to follow the characters further. Often pegged as a "Young Adult" novel, demographics show that most readers of the Chop, Chop series are actually between the ages of 25 and 55 (and the sequels are definitely geared toward that age group). Whether you're young or old, Chop, Chop is a true coming-of-age story about friendship, loss and forgiveness that is sure to touch your heart.

5. Ocean's Apart, by Karen Kingsbury
A Christian fiction involving a little boy, his mother, a married couple, and a butterfly. (Just kidding. No butterfly.) A must-read.

Book Summary
A riveting story of secret sin and the healing power of forgiveness. Airline pilot Connor Evans and his wife, Michele, seem to be the perfect couple living what looks like a perfect life. Then a plane goes down in the Pacific Ocean. One of the casualties is Kiahna Siefert, a flight attendant Connor knew well. Too well. Kiahna’s will is very clear: before her seven-year-old son, Max, can be turned over to the state, he must spend the summer with the father he’s never met, the father who doesn’t know he exists: Connor Evans. Now will the presence of one lonely child and the truth he represents destroy Connor’s family? Or is it possible that healing and hope might come in the shape of a seven-year-old boy? 

6. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
This book definitely got my mind reeling. I can't say I cried, but the squeeze to my heart was no less intense. Read my full review of this book

Why I do what I do - A Glimpse

Aug. 23, 2018

As an editor and writer, I sometimes get asked why I do what I do, and how it is that I enjoy it so much. In the past, I’d wondered how it was that people could actually say they didn't read, but over time, I've come to understand we’re all wired differently, with different strengths, talents and gifts (it’s still no excuse for not reading!). I've also come to understand that sometimes, our passion for things can appear a little (or maybe a lot) strange and alien-y to others, and vice versa. Regardless, I’ll try to explain a little about why I do what I do.

So, allow me to digress with this post – I’m going to talk less about books, and a little more about me (although I can hardly talk about myself without talking about books).

I’m a thirty-something-year-old reading junkie who fell in love with reading at a very early age. Or perhaps I didn't just fall in love... perhaps I was already created to love right from the beginning of my life 😉 

My earliest memory of reading a book was at age 8, and thinking back now, I’m not sure how exactly I got hold of the books I used to read, but somehow I saw, grabbed, and devoured them like they were food to my soul. Fast forward to a few years later as a teenager earning pocket money – yeah you can guess what I used those monies on! I devoured Mills & Boon series, Harlequin Silhouette series, Malory Towers and Famous Five series, Nancy Drew series, Sweet Valley High series… you name it, I read it all. Through those books, I created my own world in my own mind, and through those books, I began to imagine and envision my own characters, settings, plot. Because of those books, I began to write my own stories.

I was an introvert through and through, living in my own mind and loving it! To the outside world, I was this quiet little girl, sometimes a little too quiet… if only they knew how loud my mind was, how energetic my soul felt, living in these dream worlds.

I fell hard for the written word, and as I transitioned to university, I knew what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be. I wanted to play with words for a living; read them, write them, fix them, whatever it would take, however long it would take, regardless of what anyone would think. 

Today, I’m living that dream, however long it might have taken me to get here. I love what I do, and because of my passion for words, this awesome blog was born. Through this blog, I’ve been able to connect with wonderful authors and readers alike, share my love for books, and appreciate the efforts and courage it takes authors to put themselves out there – it’s never an easy accomplishment.

You must be a great beta reader, someone once said to me. But I’m not just a beta reader (although I’m a great one and actively offer this critique service to authors). I don’t simply read books robotically and move on to the next. Reading a good book to me is like savouring the sweet and sour taste of an aged wine, or listening to music that speaks to your soul. I’m moved by the play on words by great authors, which is why literary fiction is, to date, my favourite genre in fiction. Lit Fic authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, George Orwell, Lois Lowry, Neil Gaiman, and Celeste Ng play with (and on) words so insanely, I get pleasure pangs every time I read their works. It’s not because the words used are delightful or pleasing. On the contrary – the words are sometimes hard to swallow. They’re deep, revealing, enlightening. The words show, rather than tell. That’s where the beauty in these words lies for me - the act of revealing the truth in all its unpretty, yet exquisite, nakedness.

In time, I’ll start sharing my little eccentric stories on here for all to read and enjoy! For now, get on that reading wagon (if you haven’t already), and join me in my reading challenge.

More author interviews and book reviews to come soon, so expect to hear about some riveting books and their amazing authors!

Happy reading!

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