Monthly Archives: June 2016

Don’t Just Like Posts COMMENT & SHARE

COMMENTBuilding a platform as an Indie Author or Indie Business takes time.  It is time we need to use wisely, with the best of our knowledge while we grow.  I know I have learnt alot over the last two years, though Marketing is still a weak spot for me. First you need to invite your family and friends to your page, this extends your reach for anything you post. The reach goes even further if they comment or share your post.

Content Marketing is hard work.  What do you do? What do your fans want to know? How can you convince them to stay with you? Like and share your work with others.  Here is the sticking point. On facebook, liking a post is of little value to anyone.  What you need to do is comment and share the post.  

First the person has to grab your interest.  A trimuph in life is always well recieved along with pictures.  I know I get more comments on posts like this.  Now if I post about a client and or a book…NOTHING or very little response…WHY.  What am I doing wrong? Is it possible to add something personal to a post, therefore possibly gathering more comments and shares?  Something I am going to try out.

Another place we get stuck is in groups.  Yes, I know we are all readers. However, we need to get out of this circle and into the fan based groups, the readers groups. Goodreads is a reader based website, I find it difficult to use, though I am slowly learning.  There are other websites which are similar. Readers Gazette, Books Go Social etc. Also how many of us belong to the same groups, therefore the things we share are to the same people. No wonder we get stuck in a rut, we’re going round in circles.

We also need to realise not everyone speaks English or wants to read books in English – a sticking point for many authors because translation can cost the earth. Totally mind boggling. My children’s book ‘Girlie and the War of the Wasps,’ has a translation cost of about $4000 NZ. This is for 10,000 words…eek.  The language to translate to is Maori, the translator is fully trained.

One way might be STREET TEAMS, though I have never had one and I have no idea how effective they are.  Do they help sell more books or get people interested?

As a publisher I have a thirty page plus Newsletter. This goes out every two months. Marketing is FREE if you sign up for the newsletter.  Once you get a copy you can share at will..This is how we will further our reach, well I hope so 🙂 If you can’t share the newsletter what is the point of marketing you.  We need the readers, your fans…Keep the ball rolling.

There are many different place we can catch an audience and though learning how is the difficult part, please remember two things.


Does Writing Fit Me?

Going back to my childhood I remember I was about twelve years old when I discovered reading as a delight, rather than a necessary evil – typical kid. I devoured ‘The Famous Five,’ and all the books by Enid Blyton. I loved to read ‘Biggles and Worrals,’ flying adventures by Captain W E Johns. However my true favourite was ‘The Narina Stories,’ by C S Lewis – Stories I still read today.

At high school, I found a love of English Language and Literature. I hated reading out loud in class, I avoided it at all costs (if I could).  Sadly I was not allowed to do O’level English, they decided I wasn’t good enough even though I did pass their test.  Goes to prove how wrong teachers can be.

Two years at college and no true qualifications, I did well in Business Studies (I didn’t at school) and ended up in a sewing factory…Certainy not my dream job, though I must admit to learning some very useful skills.  What I had wanted to do was Computing…This was in the time when there was no Paint, Word, Excel at all. Pictures were built with numbers, it was so cool. A tape and tape recorder to upload anything. It is amazing how technology changed.

I also trained as a retail assistant, was excellent at my job which sadly ended to quickly. On the dole (Benefit) I had the opportunity to do a business course.  Yes, computers. This was still prior to getting the Internet. Of course the tutors in the 1990’s were not trained teachers, rather computer techs. My tutor was ok, not brilliant, especially after  I accidently proved him wrong with an equation. Note to People – Never say it can’t be done, because I will probably find a way.  I passed everything except what they used to call Spreadsheets now EXCEL – why did I fail?  Someone sent the wrong exam paper twice.

Still no job in computers.  

In 1989 I travelled to New Zealand for a holiday, fell in love and I migrated back in 1991 to marry my then Fiance, after two years of chatty letters.  Life was good. Marriage, Jobs, motherhood, love and in 2000 my husband went back to college, this is when we got our first computer.  This was the time I started my Family History Research as well. Research, writing out social stories and producing books for family.  Moving forward to 2011 and I fell into novel writing, quite by accident. It was never something which crossed my mind as something to do. 

It is now 2016.  My novel from 2011 is going to be published this year. It is a historical mystery, romance, set in late Regency and early Victorian times. It is book one of a series set in Gloucestershire, England.  During the writing of this book, I learnt how to use microsoft office, I learnt how to write  a synopsis (still don’t like them) and book blurbs, I can use wordpress, blogger, create a website. I am learning marketing as I grow my business.  It is amazing what I know and I love to share. I have been through 4 laptops…and I now have a tablet too.

If you have a question for me, please ask…I my have an answer, though no promises.

Today I have fifteen published works, plus two in anthologies. Four under the pen name of Beth Bayley.  My historical romance will be under another pen name of  Kayleigh Broughton.  Each pen name has their own wordpress.  You can find them here. (beth bayley)

I have overflowing muses who pick weird times to appear and can cause rauctions with my characters arguing whose story should be written next.  You can see some of the character interviews on my wordpress (claire) and the arguements on Garrett Investigations Bureau page on Facebook.  The joys of writing and letting them take control is fun.  I nearly tossed on character out of a plane without a parachute due to his rant at me – of course his story is not on hold until next year.  His girlfriend isn’t best please with him.

So why does writing fit me so well…I have a computer, a vivid imagination which scares the hell out of my children and over 40 drafts to finish….I love it.  I wish people would love my writing.  Sadly it isn’t so, well not yet.  I am totally useless at marketing myself so instead I help other Indie Authors get published.  Now this is something I am really good at and I really enjoy.  So keep the ball rolling and send me your draft work.  Maybe we can work together, maybe not…Who knows until you try.

Meanwhile I have a book to finish formatting and upload to kindle for a client, so I’m off outta here until next time.

Debut Author Event

J C Christian is our latest client and will be releasing her book ‘Reaching for the Light – An Incest Survivor’s Story,’ on the 4th July 2016.  Yes Independance day! A new beginning! FREEDOM!!  Remember ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE.’

On the 9th July 2016, J C Christian and hostess Kayleigh Broughton will be holding an Book Release Party.  There will be author takeovers from around the world along with her Book Cover Designer and her Publisher (US).

Those doing take overs are:

Claire Plaisted- Publisher & Author, Michelle Dianna Lowe – Author, Elizabeth Newton – Author, Charity DeVeries – Web Designer, Jenn Deese – Author, Claudia Plaisted – Book Cover Designer, Tracy Kincaid – Author, Zorha Edwards – Poet, Markie Madden – Author

Reaching for the Light is a memoir of memories written over the last 18 months with much grief and bravery many will never know.  It tells of a journey of untoiced violence towards a young girl and a nassistic parent who portrayed family life as normal.

Until the young woman fell apart and all the horror of her life surfaced.  You will hear a childs voice in a childs writing.  You will cry at the horror if you manage to read it.  You will laugh when funny things happen.  PTSD is very much present in this authors life.  A strong woman who lives her daily life with what went before. A life which had many other complications through to a beautiful ending… for the short term.

There will be a book two – let there be no doubt about it. This is a must read, for those who wish to understand and those who are survivors themself, be warned…YOU WILL CRY.




From Author to Indie Publishing Company

A short  blog on my business.

Some of the questions I am continually asked is – How & Why did you become a Publisher? Why didn’t you stick it out as an Author. (I am still an Author.)

I have no idea who knows what rules on Amazon and other similar websites, so the first part out-of-the-way is – Did you know authors who live in a country without an Amazon site don’t get paid out straight away. (28th each month)  This means in the four years I have been an author, I have yet to be paid.  Amazon won’t pay out until you reach the $100 threshold or equivalent in each country you sell in aka  USA, UK and Europe and Australia. As you can well imagine from this comment, I don’t sell many books at all. There again I don’t overly market them either.  On Smashwords it is $50 and as yet I have no idea for Draft to Digital.

This is part of the reason I became a Publisher.

In May of 2014 I had published several of my own books.  I was asked by a gentleman to format and teach him how to publish as well.  From there I formed my own company on 31st July 2014.  Since this time, I’ve been making connections, working with clients, and building my foundations for a better future.

The other Why is because, like most authors we dislike having our work rejected and the exceedingly long waits to find out, along with the emails which don’t even give you a hint of the reason why.  Needless to say, I learnt a lot about what is expected from an author so they can submit a draft book.

How it is set out. How to do a query letter, a long synopsis etc.  It was hard work, though I won in the end, well within reason. I didnt’ realise at the time, I was building on my formatting I have been doing for years as a Family History Researcher.  Though a huge learning curve, most became second nature with in months.

Helping others was ingrained into me from my childhood.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t assist others, it didn’t matter who they were – friend or foe, if I was needed, I helped.  

Today I am building on my life experiences and delivering  services to Indie Authors.  I love chatting and keeping my clients happy, correcting issues which arise or advise on how to work though an issue.  I also love to learn with my clients, the extended knowledge is amazing. How people are reactive or proactive to different scenarios in life. Maybe it’s time to write my memoir…LOL.  

Social media has taught me a lot as well.  Articles at your fingertips, investigations to delve into and research for books or clients.  How to use it for marketing to improve their chances for success – I am useless at promoting myself, I have no idea why.  I do know what I should be doing.

This year I am taking a class in ‘Small Business Enterprise,’ – Diploma. I have recently graduated my certificate in ‘Small Business Management,’ and need to utilise these skills.  A year ago I also obtained my Certificate for Rotorua X Incubate program, a short compact Business Course which I found useful, though a bit ahead of what I needed at that time.  I was literally at the start of my Publishing Career where as other businesses who participated has been in business a lot longer and therefore, further ahead.

Meanwhile back to Publishing, I could do with some Business Interviews! 

What is Grammar

Grammar – I have noted many different authors and readers see Grammar as something different.  Is it spelling errors, comma type errors or using the incorrect word – like being or been.  These two I was for ever mixing up and I probably still do

Now my main issue with Grammar is about the country you are from or living in.  Each English-speaking country has a slightly different system, meaning in a book review, unless they know previously, an author may get remarks on their Grammar.

Well drat.  I’m British and I live in New Zealand.  I’ve read books from UK, USA and NZ authors, it is no wonder my own Grammar is messed up.  I must admit one of the things I really dislike (from traditional publishing houses) is finding an English Historical book  – Regency Romance – written with American spelling.  There was no American Spelling in Britain in 1812, it makes a book look …unprofessional – in my opinion .

A book written in English History should be in English.  In fact books written about England or based in England should be in UK English. Dialects meanwhile should be about where a character is from.  I stopped reading the Regency books, the American spelling in a none American book irritated me far too much.  It is another reason I love reading Indie Author books, because we can write in our English which to me makes great sense.  However, we do need to let our readers know which English the book is written in.

Going on to comma’s etc, I find to many are used in American English.  I find some of them puzzling.  I was taught to either use a comma or the word AND when you take a breath. Since then I have learnt to use comma’s a little bit more – What I love about my editor is seeing how things should be.  Most I do agree with, some I don’t, however it is an eye-opener to be sure. This new thing with a comma plus AND is weird, though I’m getting used to it now.

Fullstops – A period to the US authors.  What a laugh I had working that one out the very first time.  Why is it considered correct to use only one space after a full stop?  Is it a space-saving exercise from tradition publishing?  I find it odd, and certainly don’t like it.  I was taught two spaces after a fullstop.  At least now I know how to remedy this after a draft is finished.  What do Indie Author’s think about this?

Speech marks is another one I have issues with.  Most authors use which is of course correct, some use what I call quote marks Why?  Still haven’t found out, though if someone could enlighten me, I’d be delighted to know.

FACEBOOK – I post like anyone else, and one thing I dislike being told in public I have an error.  I generally don’t care, after all it’s Facebook. I like to chat and post things more quickly.  Some work is draft work or just for fun.  Does one really need to edit.  I only edit when I think it is necessary. If anyone finds an error though, please don’t post for all to see…PM me.  I do check my blog posts.  Though still miss things. So now is the time to comment on my grammar.  I am sure some is incorrect in places…

There are so many ways to write, so much to learn and build on.  My learning curve is extending, though I still write in  easy English.  I have no idea what the average reading age in most English-speaking countries are.  How much does a reader notice on grammar, the none professional, the ones who pick up a book to read because they can, because they enjoyed the series…?

On a personal level I’ve had some good reviews yet the same book in another country mentioned copy-editing.  This goes to show how different readers read.

Comments welcome.  I love to learn.

To DRM or not to DRM

DRM (Digital Rights Management) was introduced to help stop piracy and people sharing files through internet file sharing websites.  It means when you buy an eBook you can only view on certain eReaders, you can’t share the file with friends, instead you are meant to tell them to buy a copy of their own, therefore letting the author earn more royalties. This also means the buyer can’t infringe on your copyright, which is still protected under copyright laws. 

So why do we bother, is it worth it. Surely when you own something you should be able to do as you wish with it. I mean you share paperback books with friends, you have parties and therefore they listen to music you bought…

I decided to blog about this because when I looked on Kobo and Nook I noted my books were DRM-FREE meaning I wasn’t covered. So I then went to both the sites I use to have a look see if I had ticked the box.  I couldn’t find it on Draft to Digital and Smashwords. It seems not to be essential anymore.

The laws are complicated and I doubt many of us even know the full meaning of DRM – even me.

Today I found a website about why DRM isn’t a good thing. Apparently it takes your rights away as a buyer. This is not about piracy though, this is about how you use an item. The information I gleaned states that technology watches your every step with DRM covered items. I must admit it was an interesting read. So what is true about DRM? Which part of this website is someones Opinion or true knowledge?   I don’t know, mainly because I don’t have enough knowledge about DRM. As a buyer though..which we all are – what should we do. 

I did find websites on why we should use DRM, though they were all complicated, talk about confusing.  I do wish some of these sites used simple English so more of us could comprehend better what is for the good, what is for the bad and which way we wish to go with DRM as an individual.

We all buy clothes, swap with friends, sisters. Listen to each others music, read each other’s paperbooks and videos, never mind household items.  Yeah I know it is different, though in some ways it is the same – what you do with what you buy is your business – just not with eBooks, Music and Videos.

Due to the above website I now wonder if DRM really necessary.  Our books are still pirated or scammed, DRM is apparently easy to crack and few chase copyright infringement (unless it is huge) due to cost, also remembering not all countries have Registered Copyright.

Now to work out if I will bother ticking the box on Kindle next time I release a book