Posts Tagged ‘author tips’

Publishing FAQs | Endorsements: The 6 Ws

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Frequently asked questions. Every industry has them and publishing is no different. Ambassador International has the pleasure of working with many new and upcoming authors as well as already-established authors who still need our assistance. Many of these authors come to us with lots of questions. Publishing your first book (or your 10th!) is exciting! There are many details to work out and decisions to make. This Publishing FAQ series covers questions Ambassador International receives regularly. Previously covered questions are:


Publishing FAQsEndorsements: The 6 Ws


Merriam-Webster defines endorsing as “to approve openly” or “to recommend (something, such as a product or service).”  An endorsement for a book is not a review, it is a statement that openly approves or recommends your book to readers.


An endorsement lends credibility to a book. They are a no-cost marketing strategy that can be used in the promotion of your book.



Whether you have signed a contract or not, it is never too early to begin seeking endorsements.Click To Tweet


In simplest terms, the more recognizable the endorser, the better, but also keep in mind that any endorsement is better than none. Endorsements can come from various sources – a recognized leader in the field, pastor, librarians, authors {award-winning authors are ideal but not required}


Endorsements will be used for your book, either on the cover or in the interior. They will also be used in marketing material.


While Ambassador International can try and help authors acquire endorsements, we recommend you review your personal connections first and determine if you have any connections who would qualify as an endorser. And then all you have to do is ask them! It’s simple, really! If you don’t have personal connections, you can still seek out possible endorsers but you may have to try a little harder to get a yes. Endorsements are, or should be, offered for free, but we recommend that you offer and send the endorser a personally-signed copy of your book upon publication as a way of saying thank you.


We applaud you for doing your research to try and make your book the best version of itself it can be! Whether you have already signed a contract or still hope to in the future, you can begin the process now of trying to secure endorsements for your book. We recommend our authors try to have two or three good endorsements, but even if you get one, remember what we said earlier, any endorsement is better than no endorsement .

TED Talks Every Writer Should Watch: Elizabeth Gilbert “Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating”

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TED talks are “ideas worth spreading” in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. In this five-part series, Nicole Bell shares TED talks every writer should watch. Part one featured Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Genius, part two featured Andrew Stanton’s talk, Clues to a Great Story, part three featured Brené Brown on The Power of Vulnerability and last week Mac Barnett presented Why a Good Book is a Secret Door.

I began my TED Talks series with the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert, so I find it fitting to conclude the series with her, as well. This Talk was given a little over a year ago—April 2014 to be exact—and thus Gilbert has had time to react fully to her success from Eat. Pray. Love. So, what happens after being flung into the international spotlight of fame and success beyond your wildest dreams? What’s next?


To unpublished authors, this Talk of Gilbert’s may sound a bit selfish. She’s complaining about having success? Well, yes—that’s her point. She says, “I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its own success.” This success left her wondering what was next—could she pull off another Eat. Pray. Love. again? Gilbert was smart enough to know that her next book would not be as well received as her previous work. What I find astonishing is how she overcame the anxiety she felt through the publication of her next book—she continued to write. The very thing that had brought her fame—writing—had then ripped her down; yet, she returned to it to build herself back up.


She attributes her return to writing to the fact that writing is her home. According to her, “Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself.” As Christians, we find our home in Christ and His saving grace. Thank goodness our home is not in our own strength or willpower—we’d fail before we even started! It is through His strength and fortification that we can find something on earth to be our temporary home (haven’t we all heard that before?). For Gilbert and many other writers, this temporal home indeed is writing. Gilbert asserts, “The only trick is that you’ve got to identify the best, worthiest thing that you love most, and then build your house right on top of it and don’t budge from it.” Build our house, eh? That does sound like something we’ve all heard before.


Matthew 7:24-25 (ESV) “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”


If we are founded on Christ, we can survive anything—even our own success. Too many times newspapers and magazines are filled with stories of once-successful individuals who let the spotlight go to their heads and ruin their lives. Though Gilbert may not have “gone off the deep end” after her success, she found herself in an equally dangerous place of insecurity in her identity. She describes, “The only thing that [you are] capable of feeling is the absolute value of this emotional equation, the exact distance that you have been flung from yourself.” If we remain true to ourselves as children of God, we can survive absolutely anything—even our own success. In Gilbert’s words, “I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.” We live in the hands of a mighty and gracious God, from whom our creativity and drive to write flow. Soli deo Gloria.

TED Talks Every Writer Should Watch: Mac Barnett “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door”

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TED talks are “ideas worth spreading” in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. In this five-part series, Nicole Bell shares TED talks every writer should watch. Part one featured Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Genius, part two featured Andrew Stanton’s talk, Clues to a Great Story and part three featured Brené Brown on The Power of Vulnerability.

This week I’ve chosen a TED Talk that I hope makes you at least a little nostalgic for your favorite childhood bedtime stories. Mac Barnett is a children’s author who offers a humorous and whimsical discussion on the Art of fiction.


I want to focus on what he calls,“that place in the middle, that place which you could call art or fiction.” There is a rather intelligent sounding word to describe this phenomenon: verisimilitude, which Merriam-Webster defines as “the quality of seeming real”.  Seeming real. On the one hand, we know fiction stories are not real because we’ve been taught since we were young that fiction stories aren’t true. They didn’t happen historically, they include fantastical elements outside the realm of known physics, and they have whatever other reasons you give to define fiction from non-fiction. But, like Barnett says, at the same time they also are real in their own strange way.  He explains, “We know these characters aren’t real, but we have real feelings about them, and we’re able to do that. We know these characters aren’t real, and yet we also know that they are.”

I think an important observation Barnett makes is that we feel real emotions for non-real characters. We experience the anxiety and excitement of Frodo and Sam just before they leave the Shire in The Lord of the Rings, we cry when Aslan dies in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (well, I do, at least), And these are not fake or insincere feelings. Some people like to call fiction an “escape” from reality, but I would disagree. It’s perhaps an exaggeration of reality, but definitely not an escape. A good book according to Barnett is, “A secret door that opens and lets the stories out into reality.” Stories into reality—not the other way around. We let the stories enter and consume our lives; our lives do not interrupt the stories we read. My grandmother once told me about overhearing a conversation between two of her friends about another person. She didn’t realize until the conversation was almost over that the women were talking about a character on a TV show and not a “real” friend of theirs. So, in one sense, fiction is a world of “honest lies.”

Barnett had the incredible experience of working at 826 Valencia where this phenomenon of fiction is more tangibly in the physical world. Notice I used the word “physical” rather than “real.” JK Rowling has a brilliant quote from Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” I think this might help us understand this “middle” ground of fiction where truth and lies are allowed to co-exist.

Whether you write children’s fiction or something geared for older audiences, it is equally important to remember how real your characters truly are. They don’t exist as mere letters on pages in a book; they become personalities in the minds of your readers right alongside the personalities of their friends and family. We should all want our fiction be a safe place where reality meets exaggerated reality. Work to have a strong, tangible verisimilitude in your writing. Let your stories become secret doors for readers of all ages to truly enjoy and experience.

TED Talks Every Writer Should Watch: Brené Brown “The Power of Vulnerability”

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TED talks are “ideas worth spreading” in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. In this five-part series, Nicole Bell shares TED talks every writer should watch. Part one featured Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Genius and part two featured Andrew Stanton’s talk, Clues to a Great Story.

This week’s TED talk, while not explicitly related to writing, discusses one of the most important virtues of being a writer: Vulnerability.

As writers, our job is not to use our writings exclusively as cathartic personal diary entries or profit gain, but to use them instead as a means by which we can connect with other people on the deepest emotional and spiritual levels. In order to do this, we must be open with ourselves and with our readers. Brené Brown discusses her six-year study of vulnerability and it’s importance in our daily lives.

My sophomore year of college I had to put together a rising Junior portfolio for my writing professors to review. After they had read through it, we had a meeting to discuss their thoughts on my writing and to allow them to give me their decision as to whether I should continue as a Creative Writing major (talk about intimidating!). I sat on the old, squishy sofa in the head of my department’s office and nervously tapped my foot as they began their evaluation. Everything was in order and seemed up to par—with one exception. “Miss Nicole,” my fiction professor with the tattoos on his forearms and crazy patterned tie crossed his arms, “it’s all good, but I feel like you’re holding something back.” My other professor nodded in agreement, “Yeah, it all feels a little…reserved.”

My heart sunk. Like Brown says in her Talk, you can receive 37 positives and one “opportunity for growth” only to have it ruin your whole month. I was frustrated first because I hadn’t been perfect, and second because I had no idea how to fix the problem they had found. What did they mean by, “I’m holding something back”? What I didn’t realize then was, in Brown’s terminology, I was feeling shame: “And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?”

Fast forward one year to when I sat in a Scriptwriting class: We had a guest speaker for the day who was a local playwright, director, and actor. He sat at the head of the conference table and warned us that he would keep talking if we didn’t interrupt him with questions, but that was fine by me. I was entranced not just because he had the perfect rich and rolling southern Mississippi gent’s accent, but more because of his testimony to the necessity of vulnerability in his writing. He championed the exact same ideas of vulnerability Brown addresses in her Talk. The people who are most vulnerable in their writings have the best connections with their readers, who can then connect further with other readers. These writers, “were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection,” (Brown, on people who are whole-hearted).

My mind was blown. All the critiques from the junior portfolio suddenly started to make sense! I realized that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s necessary to show this in my writing. It’s okay to reveal my personality, flawed though it may be, in my stories, poetry, and characters. My writing has become so much more genuine and relatable since I’ve watched this TED Talk and since that day in scriptwriting class. Brown says, “You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness.” By shutting out my imperfections I had ultimately shut my whole self away from my readers.

Maybe some of you are holding back in your writing; I want to encourage you to take to heart what Brown has to say. Not only will your writing grow, but your personal relationships with others will deepen to new levels where you will reap the greatest relational rewards.

TED Talks Every Writer Should Watch: Andrew Stanton “Clues to a Great Story”

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TED talks are “ideas worth spreading” in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. In this five-part series, Nicole Bell shares TED talks every writer should watch. Part one featured Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Genius.

Every writer who has ever put ink to paper or his fingers to a keyboard has experienced this crazy rollercoaster called storytelling. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or blogs, you are ultimately telling some sort of story. Andrew Stanton’s Ted Talk is a little more geared toward fiction writers, but he discusses truths of writing that are applicable across all genres.

*Disclaimer- there is brief language around the 1:05 mark

So what do we do with this information? Stanton just told us that “Storytelling has guidelines, not hard, fast rules.” Rather than scanning your work to make sure it has each one of these, I suggest finding how to best implement these guidelines into your own writing. I’ve broken down what I found to be his main points into 6 guidelines that writers should consider when telling a story:

Make Me Care

This principle is applicable to all writing genres. If your readers don’t find a reason to care, they won’t find a reason to invest, and your book will find itself back on the shelf of your favorite local bookseller in no time. I like how Stanton words this: “It’s making a promise [to readers] that this story will lead somewhere that’s worth your time.” You don’t want to have to keep pulling your readers along; you shouldn’t have to beg them, “Now, stay with me here!” as your story progresses. Rather, they should be eating up your story paragraph by paragraph, dying to see what will happen next.

2 + 2

This principle of two plus two is one of the trickier points Stanton makes. Yes, people like to work for their “meal,” but they don’t want to overwork for it. I’ve seen some painful examples of authors who try to offer 2 + 2 but instead end up giving their readers something along the lines of a basic calculus problem. These authors gave too little information. Not everyone who reads your books will think exactly like you do. Something that may seem obvious to you might not translate well to other people. This is why it’s important to have a good, small circle of friends from different backgrounds who can let you know when something like this happens in your writing.

Change is Vital

Stanton said “If things go static, stories die, because life is never static.” This is why we say we’d rather watch paint dry than doing something else we believe would be boring; we don’t perceive any of the changes being made. You want to make sure that your writing is dynamic. This doesn’t mean every paragraph has to have a major plot change or character revelation. It does mean that the story has to go somewhere. Remember that promise you made earlier on in the Make Me Care principle? This is one of your main methods by which you keep your audience’s attention .

Strong Running Theme

I cannot stress this principle enough to the nonfiction writers out there. The fiction authors have it a little bit easier on this one, I think. They have a character who has some sort of end goal in sight—a journey, a change of character—that becomes the theme of the story.  However, when it comes to nonfiction, I’ve read more books than I would have liked that started on one topic but ended on something almost entirely unrelated. It’s easy to follow rabbit trails in any genre, but in nonfiction it is significantly easier to not return to the main route. Before you begin your book, write down your theme somewhere you will see it every time you go to write. When you’re done with a section, read what you’ve written and ask yourself: Does this directly and effectively get my theme across to readers? (Be mindful of the 2 + 2 principle here as well).

Invoke Wonder

What is wonder? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.” The way you invoke wonder into your writing is something you have to discover for yourself. Perhaps you’ll find you have a particular way you like to string words together. Or maybe you have a knack for choosing just the right vocabulary for your writing. I wish I could give you a formula or trick to figure this one out, but the mystery of wonder makes it tricky to nail down. Reflect on moments that filled you with wonder—what specifically about that moment/scene made you feel that way? Go from there!

Use What You Know

My writing professor once told me, “I can’t use the word ‘tentacles’ in my poetry. I know nothing about them except what I’ve seen on TV shows and movies. I can, however, use the word ‘grits’.”  Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t ever write about something we personally haven’t experienced—it just means we will write best about topics we know firsthand. Stanton explains, “Use what you know. Draw from it. It doesn’t always mean plot or fact. It means capturing a truth from your experiencing it, expressing values you personally feel deep down in your core.” I know nothing about skate culture. I’m an East Coast suburbia girl who was involved in the performing arts. It would take a lot of research for me to understand skate culture well enough to write something extensive about it. I can, however, talk about how a skater would feel after his best friend commits suicide. Or about how a flight attendant fell in love with the woman of his dreams. Loss, love, anger, joy—these are shared experiences to which anyone can relate. These are the things that should shape your story.

Free Webinar: 5 Things You Can Do To Gain Favor With The Media

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The following is a guest post from Mary Lu Saylor, a 30 year veteran in television news. On Thursday, November 13 she’s co-hosting a free webinar entitled “5 Things You Can Do To Gain Favor With the Media.”

I was asked by the folks at Ambassador International to provide a little insight for authors to promote their books.   I have a background in journalism and have been on the Mary Lu Saylorreceiving end of all sorts of information from organizations, businesses, and even publishing houses touting their latest offerings. I also am an avid reader.

Quick tips to promote your message:

  • Make connections with your local TV stations and offer to do a live interview (it really isn’t as scary as you think!) They may have a day time talk show or slots open during their morning, noon, or weekend newscasts.
  • See if your local newspaper will do a feature on you.
  • Local radio stations occasionally will feature people who are doing unique things in the community.

In your pitch to these outlets either via telephone, email, or snail mail make sure the information you provide is short and concise.   Give them the who, what, when, where, and why. Most importantly, make sure you tell them you are available.

Insight from authors

I reached out to two authors that I know and they have this advice for you:

Christian author Margaret Feinberg:

“As far as promoting books, we think it’s important for authors to know they are the plan. They are the editing plan. The marketing plan. The design plan. Everything. Authors shouldn’t think that if they sign with a traditional house everything will be taken care of. They need to be intentional about building and maintaining a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and others. They are the marketing plan. Great content is everything.”

Christian author Dwayne Morris:

“My greatest promotional tool was guest-posting on other people’s blogs. I connected with several people who have big platforms and they allowed me to speak into the lives of their audience. They also posted links to my book. (These include Michael Hyatt and Michael Nichols.) The bottom line…make connections with people and serve them and their audience. If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll eventually get what you want.”

I’m one of the presenters for an upcoming webinar “5 Things You Can Do To Gain Favor With The Media” which will give you more ideas about successfully delivering your message. Click here to sign up for the November 13 event.

I’d love to hear from you! Email me ( for a free tip sheet with more detail on some of the items I’ve outlined above.

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44 Ways to Promote Your eBook

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Looking for ways to promote your free or discounted eBook? Or perhaps you’d like to fill up your Kindle, Nook or iPad with even more budget-friendly reading material. Here is a fun list of sites that offer promotions for free, 99¢, bargain priced, and even new release eBooks. The categories are separated by websites that will list your book for free, and then those with promotional offers for a fee. Sites that have both free and paid promotions are listed in both categories.

44 ways to promote your ebook

44 ways to promote your ebook

Free Listings

These free listings do not charge a fee to promote your eBook on their website and some social media sites. They do, however, have specific submission guidelines and requirements.

1. Jungle Deals and Steals

Submission Type: Free eBook

Notes: ebooks should be submitted at least 24 hours in advance to be included in the daily freebie roundup.


2. EBook Friendly

Submission Type: Any eBook

Notes: Not guaranteed to be featured.


3. Cheap eBooks

Submission Type:  99¢ ebook

Notes: specializes in books that cost $0.99 or less and have 10+ reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4+ stars.


4. BookBub

Submission Type: Free or discounted by at least 50%

Notes: Not guaranteed to be featured.


5. Pixel of Ink

Submission Type: Any $.99eBook

Notes: Will try to feature your book if it will be temporarily listed on sale for $.99 or less on in the next 30 days.


6. The eReader Cafe

Submission Type: $.99 ebook

Notes: Your book should be listed at $.99 for at least five days to be included in the Bargain store.


7. Great Books Great Deals

Submission Type: Discounted ebook

Notes: Must be $3.99 or less, have 20 or more reviews averaging 4+ stars on Amazon.


8. Snickslist

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Amazon Kindle Freebie promotion only. Your book must be currently free on Amazon to list your book here.


9. Ereader News Today

Submission Type: 99¢ ebook

Notes: Your book will need to have at least 10 reviews (from Amazon US), a 4.0 star rating, be priced 99 cents and be available on (Booked through July 10th)


10. Indie Book of the Day

Submission Type: Free Kindle Book

Notes: Please send in your submissions at least 2 days before your book goes free, priority goes to authors who notify in advance.


11. Addicted to Ebooks

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Reg. price $5.99 or less and 5+ Amazon reviews


12. Ebooks Habit

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: All ebooks submitted must have 3 reviews at the time of the free promotion or they will not be considered.


13. It’s Write Now

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Not guaranteed to be featured. (A paid guaranteed feature is posted below).


14. Book Praiser

Submission Type: Free or Bargain (less than $3) ebook

Notes: Asks that you like Facebook page, tweet, or subscribe to the newsletter of the site in return.


 15. Every Writer’s Resource

Submission Type: Any ebook

Notes: Just fill out form and submit. (Must also submit a short bio and excerpt from book)


16. Ignite Your Book

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Only accepts eBooks that are currently available through Amazon.


17. Digital Book Today

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: 18+ Amazon reviews & 4.0+ stars  (Other free promotional opportunities listed on website) Paid promotions listed below.


18. Books on the Knob

Submission Type: Discounted/Limited time sale ebook

Notes: Not guaranteed to be featured.


19. Ebooks Addict

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Not guaranteed to be featured. Book must have at least 3 positive customer reviews. (Guaranteed paid option available below).


20. The Writers Drawer

Submission Type: Any ebook

Notes:  The only requirement is that you submit an original piece of writing for posting, subject to approval, in one of the other sections of The Writer’s Drawer


21. Ereader Perks

Submission Type: Free ebook

Notes: Fill out form on website (Paid listings also available: see below).


22. Reading Deals

Submission Type: Any ebook

Notes: Submission not guaranteed to be featured


Paid Listings

The listings below offer many different features and ways to promote your eBook for a certain fee. Prices range depending on service. There are also strict submission rules and guidelines to follow.


1. Ebook Deal of the Day

Submission Type: Free or Regular priced ebook depending on package

Cost: $5-$10

 Notes: For the reg. price feature only accepting books primarily with ROMANCE genre and its sub-genres, or books that have a “touch of romance.”



Submission Type: Free or discounted ebooks

Cost: $5

Notes: Must be free, $.99, or a bundle at $1.99-$2.99


3. Gospel eBooks

Submission Type: Any Christian eBook

Cost: $50

Notes: Blackout dates: 1st of every month. The price must be $4 or less to qualify for listing.


4. The Vessel Project

Submission Type: Free and Discounted Christian eBooks

Cost: $75 for a one day featured status

Notes: This promotion will be a one day dedicated post for your book.


5.  Book Goodies

Submission Type: Bargain Priced ebook

Cost: $20 Up to 7 days Countdown Feature

Notes: Must be under $3


6. GoodKindles

Submission Type: Any ebook

Cost: Min. $7.95

Notes: Your book will be listed permanently on Goodkindles and our social profiles. It will be also featured in our daily newsletter.


 7. eReader Girl

Submission Type: Any ebook

Cost: $10

Notes: ebook will appear in the appropriate daily post (non-fiction, children’s ebooks, or Christian fiction), as well as in the daily newsletter.


8. Book Gorilla

Submission Type: Discounted ebooks

Cost: $100 for fiction

Notes: Must be under $3.99, at least 5 reviews and 4 star rating


9. Bargain Ebook Hunter

Submission Type: Free, 99¢, and Bargain priced ebooks

Cost: $15

Notes: 3 different options for promotion and requires 72 hours notice prior to book sale start.


10. Ask David

Submission Type: Books and ebooks

Cost: $15 “supporter pack”

Notes: Fee covers a 12 month period to send in an unlimited amount of books


11. Digital Book Today

Submission Type: Free, 99¢, Bargain priced, or Regular priced ebooks

Cost Ranging from $15-$90 depending on promotion

Notes: 9 different promotional offers with different submission guidelines and rules


12. Flurries of Words

Submission Type: Free, Bargain Priced and Newly Released ebooks

Cost: Promotional offers ranging from $3-$15

Notes: 6 promotional offers with different submission guidelines


13. Book Goodies

Submission Type: Free, Bargain Priced, and Regular priced ebooks

Cost: Ranging from a few free promotional offers to $10-$60 promos

Notes: Many different ways to promote your book and yourself as an author


14. Ebooks Habit

Submission Type: Free ebook

Cost: $10-$20

Notes: Two promotions: “Book of the Day” $20 and “Guaranteed Placement” $10. All ebooks submitted must have 3 reviews at the time of the free promotion or they will not be considered.


15. Ebooks Grow on Trees

Submission Type: Free, 99¢, $2.99 or less, and “Deals”

Cost: $20 one day $10 each additional day

Notes: Submit book at least 3 days in advance.


16. Ebooks Addict

Submission Type: Any ebook

Cost: $10

Notes: Book will be features as “Book of the Day.” Your book should have at least one review and an overall rating of at least three and a half stars or higher.


17. Bargain Booksy

Submission Type: Discounted eBooks $5 or less

Cost: $50

Notes: Must give 72 hour notice prior to beginning of promotional deal.


18. Free Booksey

Submission Type: Free eBooks

Cost: $50

Notes: Must give 72 hour notice prior to beginning of promotional deal.


19. It’s Write Now

Submission Type: Free and .99-$1.99 sales on eBooks

Cost: $10

Notes: Fill out form on website


20. Free & Discounted Books

Submission Type: Free, 99¢, and new ebooks

Cost: $45 for three days (Other promotions range $5-$50)

Notes: There are over 15 other promotional offers including: social media publicity, press releases, and giveaways


21. Reading Deals

Submission Type: Any ebook

Cost: $5

Notes: Guaranteed to be featured on website


22. Author Marketing Club

It is a shortcut website with listings to sites to promote your ebooks, some of which are listed here. It is free to register, and has many useful resources.



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She Speaks: Being the Author God Wants You To Be

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The following is a guest post from Ambassador author Carrie Daws about her recent experience at the She Speaks Conference, held July 24-26 in Concord, North Carolina.

Overwhelmed. Doing my best. Uncertain. Spinning my wheels.

These are the phrases I would have used to describe my author plan. I know God gave me books to write, but getting the thoughts from my head to your hands is not simple. Bookstores are flooded with a plethora of resources to help me, but I can’t read them all and sometimes they contradict. And who am I to write a book anyway? The great writers are doing a fine job without me. Are you as frustrated as I am?

she-speaks-Walking into the She Speaks Conference by Proverbs 31 Ministries this year, I expected to walk away with tools for marketing, ideas to spark creative juices, and lists of things to do. Instead, God infused my thoughts with truth.

What you think disqualifies you, is exactly what God is going to use to change someone else’s life.

Glynnis Whitwer

I’m not Francine Rivers and may never be as popular as she is, but the truth is that God already has Francine and doesn’t want me to be her. He created me to be me, to accomplish His purposes my way. And the shortcomings and inadequacies I see are often the very things that draw others to me, and thereby to Him.

Authors Carrie Daws, Shaunti Feldhahn and Kathy Barnett at the She Speaks Conference.

Authors Carrie Daws, Shaunti Feldhahn and Kathy Barnett at the She Speaks Conference.

God has something amazing for me to do. He is doing amazing things in the process.

Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti’s statement is one of those truths that I know but struggle to remember. I understand that God has a great plan that includes me, and I acknowledge that He wants to use me to accomplish incredible things. But the truth is that each step along the way is also amazing. It may not feel like it at the time, but when I stop to reflect back on the journey, I see those little moments that became stepping stones that got me where I stand right now. Every step is amazing.

You already have what it takes to accomplish His plans for you.

Renee Swope

This proclamation by Renee really caught my attention because I struggle every week to understand more about writing and HTML codes and best social media practices. I seem to be a constant flurry of learning what is just outside my grasp of understanding. Yet the truth is that God didn’t give me an assignment and send me on my way. He also gave me everything I would need to accomplish the assignment! Sometimes it’s in the form of books and blog posts and Google searches, and sometimes it’s through real people who make the keystrokes for me. But I am not alone on this journey that often feels very solitary.

Our passion cannot be our words. Our passion must be the Word.

Lysa TerKeurst

I endeavor to find the right words and put sentences in the order that will have the biggest impact. And while that’s important, the truth is that the time I spend with God in His Bible is more important. I must be filled with Him so I can overflow with love and grace and compassion. Otherwise, the words I find will not be the ones that change lives and make His name known.

She Speaks Carrie and Kathy

Ambassador authors of The Warrior’s Bride, Kathy Barnett and Carrie Daws.

This is not a game. We write to free people from bondage.

Christine Caine

Sometimes I put off writing because no one asks for an account of my time. Sometimes I put it off because it’s hard, or boring, or frustrating. Sometimes I just put words on paper and throw them out to the world without really considering what I just wrote. But Christine is right: our writing is not a game. God wants to use me and my writing—all my writing—to affect change. To love people. To free them from the bondages in which our enemy wants to bind them. This is a battle where sometimes, many times, I do not get a second chance.

So while I also learned a couple new tidbits about Pinterest and what Lysa TerKeurst strives to put into every chapter she writes, I walk away from She Speaks with encouragement and motivation from God, whom I’m reminded is my biggest cheerleader. What an amazing thought!


Learn more about Carrie Daws at Her newest book, The Warrior’s Bride: Biblical Strategies to Help the Military Spouse Thrive, will be released in fall 2014.

Getting the Most Out of Goodreads: Linking Other Social Media Accounts

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According to Goodreads,  almost 117,000  authors have joined the Goodreads Author programs. So how do you stand out among so many? Combine your social media forces to work in your favor.

In our previous posts, you’ve learned:

Now it’s time to expand your social networking and reach out to the rest of the world. Okay, realistically, how about we just start with Facebook?


You may have noticed that you can sign up for Goodreads with your Facebook account. When you sign up with Facebook, or when you connect your Goodreads to Facebook afterwards, Goodreads gives you the option to auto-post your Goodreads activity directly to Facebook.

Like any app that uses Facebook, Goodreads can get a bit “over enthusiastic” about posting on your wall—and you may never even realize it. So I would suggest disabling the “auto-post” feature and just share your reviews, giveaways, etc. manually.

As a side note, having a Facebook fan page the readers can “like” gives you a platform to promote yourself. Remember our discussion about Fans vs Friends in our last post? The same applies to a Facebook fan page. You can’t keep up a personal relationship with all of your fans (you are only human after all), so a fan page gives your readers a way to keep updated on your books and author news. But, alas, I digress. This post is about Goodreads, so let’s get back to it.


The Goodreads Author program gives you a blog when you sign up, but you may already have a blog. So Goodreads allows you to stream your blog posts from your website through your Goodreads blog; you only have to write your posts once to reach two websites. Pretty neat? I would say so.

Write reviews on your blog? Well, you can also have the book reviews that you write on Goodreads appear auto-post onto your blog. If you regularly post other book reviews on your blog, this is definitely a feature worth looking into.

goodreads widgetWidgets

A widget is a little device that you can place on the side of your blog—follow buttons, mini Twitter feeds, a book shelf from Goodreads—widgets come in all shapes and sizes. Widgets can get really complicated really fast. Fortunately, Goodreads foresaw your need and gives you several different shapes and sizes to fit the style of your blog.

By placing a Goodreads widget, or badge, on your blog, you give your readers another chance to connect with you, to go look at your profile, and, most importantly, see the books that you’ve written. Everything always points back towards your work.


You can also connect your Goodreads updates to Twitter. Goodreads will auto-post (auto-tweet?) your Goodreads activities—reviews, books read, etc.—straight to Twitter.  Again, this gives your readers another chance to connect with you and be exposed to your work.

All of these social avenues may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry! You don’t have to do them all. Just start with the social media accounts that you have. Don’t have a blog but love Twitter? Then start with Twitter. Every little step towards marketing yourself well is a step in the right direction.

Hopefully these past few weeks have helped you get your feet wet in the world of Goodreads self-promotion. If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below or contact us Twitter @AmbassadorIntl