Monday, July 25, 2016

Top Ten Websites to Help Authors

Here are a list of top websites that authors can use to help build their careers. There’s no specific theme behind them, and it includes advertising websites, review websites, services, and anything else that I’ve found beneficial since hitting that publish button on KDP.

10 – BookBub – The king of email advertising. Bookbub has been around for a long time and only takes the best of the best books with a lot of reviews, and even then only if it matches the current tastes of their readers. It can boost your book sales unlike no other program out there, and if you’ve submitted before and been denied don’t worry: everyone has. Just keep trying.

9 – Online Book Club – A website where you can submit for a free editorial review. They have a lot of promotional options as well, and if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to join the community it can really help you out.

8 – CLC – Literary Classics comes with reviews and a contest. It isn’t necessarily cheap to enter, but they put a lot of work into their annual book awards and there are some amazing people who work here. If your book is a good fit for YA or children, then this company can help immensely in building up your career and helping you expand. When they like a book, they will champion it.

7 – Reader’s Favorite – This website can help immensely for anyone interested in getting a free review or entering a contest for their works. The submission process is easy and the company has a lot of different systems in place to help indie authors to build their careers.

6 – IBPA – A very professional organization that has discounts and benefits for its members. A lot of their services are powerful and expensive, so this is something that can be hugely beneficial as an author’s career expands. The discounts alone can pay for the yearly fee.

5 – Wattpad – An online forum for authors and readers to look at works in progress and offer feedback and critiques. It’s a difficult community to work into and the site feels somewhat fractured, but it can be immensely useful.

4 – WriteOn – Similar to Wattpad, but the site is a little easier to navigate. This forum is filled with more authors and less readers, so occasionally it can feel like shouting into the abyss to get attention for your book. That being said, people can be very helpful.

3 – RRBC – An online community of authors and readers that are full of information and support for your career. When you join, you’ll find an engaged and professional group of people who are always willing to help. The more you put in, the more you’ll get. Has an annual fee, but it isn’t a lot.

2 – BookFunnel – A hosting service for eBooks you’re planning to give away, BookFunnel can help you distribute watermarked copies of your book to readers. Great for giveaways and being able to track how many copies you give a month, or for newsletter signups to track the number of people who take advantage of free offers. They have a really cheap entry level option for authors who aren’t making a lot of money, and they deliver the preferred format directly to your readers.

1 – KBoards – If you want to put your finger on the pulse of amazon’s publishing network, this is where it is. Anything that is happening in the world of self-publishing can be found here, and usually as soon as it comes into existence. The people are friendly and supportive and browsing will teach you more about writing and publishing than you ever would have expected.

There you have it: those are just a few of the websites I’ve discovered as an indie author that can help build a career. A lot of them I only found out about recently and wished I knew about sooner.

My best advice for authors is to just have fun with it. Experiment and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you’re having fun with your books, then other people will too.

Raven’s Peak
World on Fire
Book 1
Lincoln Cole

Genre: Horror/Paranormal Thriller

Date of Publication: 7/4/16

ISBN: 9780997225976

Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 76,000

Cover Artist: MN Arzu

Book Description:

A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven's Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to find out what is happening. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she's ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

She rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she's forced to protect him, which is easy, and also trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven's Peak. Trust, however, is considerably more difficult for someone who grew up living on the knife's edge of danger.

Can they discover the cause of the town's insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

“Reverend, you have a visitor.”
He couldn’t remember when he fell in love with the pain. When agony first turned to pleasure, and then to joy. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this. He remembered screaming all those years ago when first they put him in this cell; those memories were vague, though, like reflections in a dusty mirror.
“Open D4.”
A buzz as the door slid open, inconsequential. The aching need was what drove him in this moment, and nothing else mattered. It was a primal desire: a longing for the tingly rush of adrenaline each time the lash licked his flesh. The blood dripping down his parched skin fulfilled him like biting into a juicy strawberry on a warm summer’s day. 
“Some woman. Says she needs to speak with you immediately. She says her name is Frieda.”
A pause, the lash hovering in the air like a poised snake. The Reverend remembered that name, found it dancing in the recesses of his mind. He tried to pull himself back from the ritual, back to reality, but it was an uphill slog through knee-deep mud to reclaim those memories.
It was always difficult to focus when he was in the midst of his cleansing. All he managed to cling to was the name. Frieda. It was the name of an angel, he knew. . . or perhaps a devil.
One and the same when all was said and done.
She belonged to a past life, only the whispers of which he could recall. The ritual reclaimed him, embraced him with its fiery need. His memories were nothing compared to the whip in his hand, its nine tails gracing his flesh.
The lash struck down on his left shoulder blade, scattering droplets of blood against the wall behind him. Those droplets would stain the granite for months, he knew, before finally fading away. He clenched his teeth in a feral grin as the whip landed with a sickening, wet slapping sound.
“Jesus,” a new voice whispered from the doorway. “Does he always do that?”
“Every morning.”
“You’ll cuff him?”
“Why? Are you scared?”
The Reverend raised the lash into the air, poised for another strike.
“Just…man, you said he was crazy…but this…”
The lash came down, lapping at his back and the tender muscles hidden there. He let out a groan of mixed agony and pleasure.
These men were meaningless, their voices only echoes amid the rest, an endless drone. He wanted them to leave him alone with his ritual. They weren’t worth his time.
“I think we can spare the handcuffs this time; the last guy who tried spent a month in the hospital.”
“Regulation says we have to.”
“Then you do it.”
The guards fell silent. The cat-o’-nine-tails, his friend, his love, became the only sound in the roughhewn cell, echoing off the granite walls. He took a rasping breath, blew it out, and cracked the lash again. More blood. More agony. More pleasure.
“I don’t think we need to cuff him,” the second guard decided.
“Good idea. Besides, the Reverend isn’t going to cause us any trouble. He only hurts himself. Right, Reverend?”
The air tasted of copper, sickly sweet. He wished he could see his back and the scars, but there were no mirrors in his cell. They removed the only one he had when he broke shards off to slice into his arms and legs. They were afraid he would kill himself.
How ironic was that?
“Right, Reverend?”
Mirrors were dangerous things, he remembered from that past life. They called the other side, the darker side. An imperfect reflection stared back, threatening to steal pieces of the soul away forever.
“Reverend? Can you hear me?”
The guard reached out to tap the Reverend on the shoulder. Just a tap, no danger at all, but his hand never even came close. Honed reflexes reacted before anyone could possibly understand what was happening.
Suddenly the Reverend was standing. He hovered above the guard who was down on his knees. The man let out a sharp cry, his left shoulder twisted up at an uncomfortable angle by the Reverend’s iron grip.
The lash hung in the air, ready to strike at its new prey.
The Reverend looked curiously at the man, seeing him for the first time. He recognized him as one of the first guardsmen he’d ever spoken with when placed in this cell. A nice European chap with a wife and two young children. A little overweight and balding, but well-intentioned.
Most of him didn’t want to hurt this man, but there was a part—a hungry, needful part—that did. That part wanted to hurt this man in ways neither of them could even imagine. One twist would snap his arm. Two would shatter the bone; the sound as it snapped would be . . . 
A symphony rivaling Tchaikovsky.
The second guard—the younger one that smelled of fear—stumbled back, struggling to draw his gun.
“No! No, don’t!”
That from the first, on his knees as if praying. The Reverend wondered if he prayed at night with his family before heading to bed. Doubtless, he prayed that he would make it home safely from work and that one of the inmates wouldn’t rip his throat out or gouge out his eyes. Right now, he was waving his free hand at his partner to get his attention, to stop him.
The younger guard finally worked the gun free and pointed it at the Reverend. His hands were shaking as he said, “Let him go!”
“Don’t shoot, Ed!”
“Let him go!”
The older guard, pleading this time: “Don’t piss him off!”

 About the Author:

Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

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