Final USPS Udate, Twitter, Merchant Circle & More

I’ve received another $55 check from the Postal Service. That brings the total repayment to $110. I’m going to stop with that amount though I’m still owed another $25. I feel lucky to have gotten this much back. For future reference if I ever lose something else in the mail I’ve insured, I now know to keep pushing for a fair payment and have the Washington D.C address to write first.

At last count, I have 40 following me on Twitter and 66 followers. It seems as though I see an increase in followers after I’ve blogged on Book Marketing Network, iFOGO and Publetariat. This last week I picked up Blog Expert, Rachel Karl, as a follower. She said I had a nice blog. I wondered which one she looked at since I blog on eight sites now. Rachel had checked my Twitter site out well enough to let me know that the link to my website under my name wasn’t working. I appreciated the FYI, immediately fixed the problem and tweeted Rachel back to let her know the link works now.

My twitter bio has lead different types of businesses and people with varied interest to follow me. I stated I like writing books, gardening, flowers, fishing and boating. Therefore boat businesses and boaters, flower businesses, gardeners and nature lovers follow me. I thought about not returning the follow or changing my bio if I might be misleading some tweeters, but what I wanted was to promote my books and online bookstore. Most followers must read books so after email notification from followers, I send them a thank you message from Author Fay Risner and mention one of my books or where to buy my books online and my online bookstore. I’ve picked up some authors including Steve Weber, author of Plug Your Book, a book about internet book promoting which has been helpful to me, and he didn’t even know at the time I’d bought his book.

Google Partner Program has decided to make ebooks out of the books in the program if the authors are agreeable. I’ve had my books in the program for awhile but I haven’t finished filling out the forms they needed. August 6 is when they will begin promoting ebooks. Once a month for some time now, I’ve received an email notice about how many of my books were viewed and how many pages looked at. This notice is a way for me to see what genres readers are interested in.

I accidentally came across Merchant Circle on the internet. There is one for every city in every state. If a you come from a small town that hasn’t started using Merchant Circle yet be the first one to start if you consider your book selling a business. Sign up is free. I didn’t think of myself as a business when I began this venture, but last year I published two books at Lightning Source, Inc. I had to fill out tax forms and send for a sales tax permit before Lightning Source would print my books. Since I was considered a business, that lead to me to starting my online bookstore.

The added features on Merchant Circle are from $249 to $39, but I signed up for the free site. Do I expect to sell more books in my area when my town has a population of 600, and everyone knows everyone else. The biggest businesses are the nursing home and the John Deere Implement dealer. Not really, but Google Crawler is working on the site. My blog is picked up by major search engines which extends my reach and will introduce my books to more customers that search the internet like I do. I felt it was worth the effort to sign up for the free package and give it a try.

I had to have a logo so I used a copy of my business card since I’m not good with graphics. An advertisement and a coupon can be made. My coupon states a free book for the sale of one book on the site and a review of my business or the book purchased. The advertisement states that my stories are clean; no curse words or sex scenes. Books written by a Midwestern author with wholesome values.

The results are in for July for my Kindle books sales. With the raise in price, sales went down to about half of what I sold in June, but the royalty went from 35% to 70% so the total royalty amount was about the same. Better news is I’m now selling my series of five mystery books which wasn’t getting noticed before. That gives me encouragement to write Amazing Gracie Mystery number six.

Amazon’s Author Central has sent out emails to authors with an author page to tell them they won’t be able to blog on site after August 15th. They will need to submit a link to another blog they write. I’ve tried linking to another blog before without success, but I’m working on it again.

And finally, I read a helpful article on that I liked titled The Truth About Typos by Mark Barrett’s Ditchwalk. He said reread what you write at least once. Slow down and concentrate. Don’t publish when you’re tired. Just know that what you’ve written will never be perfect. Sooner or later a typo will survive. If you as a self published author worry about those typos like I do, this would be a good article to read. If nothing else the article made me feel a little better about those dreaded typos that did survive.