Revisiting Your Book Marketing Strategies

I published my first novel a little over three years ago. As part of my promotion for that title and the three that followed, I was featured on a number of other blogs, either as a guest blogger, in an interview or as a spotlight feature. In total, it was over 53 posts. This past weekend I reviewed all of them as I consolidated them into one place. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that 20 of them no longer existed, whether because the post had been deleted or the blog itself no longer existed.


I want people to understand this: when I published my first book three years ago, blogs were considered an important promotional strategy. Some of it was to improve our SEO, and some of it was to help expand our audience to readers of different blogs. Some authors—myself included—paid companies to arrange blog tours and get us space on other people’s blogs, because 1) there were so many blogs that most people couldn’t keep track of them, and 2) many blogs had a backlog of requests but were more likely to respond to someone they’d already dealt with. In other words, blog tour promoters earned their money.

But now many of those posts are gone, and so are a number of blogs that I posted on.

I’m not bitter about it—a few months ago, I cleaned house on my own blog, mostly to get rid of posts with missing images after I changed email accounts—but it served as an important reminder that indie authors need to constantly reconsider what our options are and where our time is best spent. Here are my recommendations based on what I’ve seen in the last year. Continue Reading

7 Free Ways to Promote Your Book

The most crucial step for the success of any book is marketing. This is an unfortunate truth since the content is what should really determine the book’s success. This is not how the world works, however. Many great books have died silently in the past due to weak marketing. If you spend 2 days writing a book, you should spend 8 days promoting it. This applies to books, ebooks, and any other product on your mind.


Promoting your book requires time and patience. It’s not as glamorous as writing the book itself. It’s an ongoing process requiring continuous revision and adjustment. While there are many standard methods for general marketing and exposure, we will be looking at methods which can be used for books, with a stronger emphasis on ebooks. The more methods you apply from this list, the greater your chance for success. The most important ingredient here, is patience. Continue Reading

Creating a BMI Calculator Widget for Your Ebook

Book widgets may shape the future of interactive ebook technology. If you want to have utmost flexibility creating interactive ebooks, then its best to learn how to develop book widgets yourself. Following our previous post introducing Book Widgets, in this post we will be actually developing a BMI calculator widget to use in an interactive ebook about health and fitness.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a metric used to calculate the amount of tissue mass in a human body, and based on that value, categorize the person as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. The formula is simple: the person’s weight divided by the person’s height squared. The resulting units are kg/m2. To give you an idea, here is a screenshot of what the final widget will look like.


If you’d like to have the source files for this widget to follow along, you can download it from here. So, let’s start! Continue Reading

Book Widgets: Everything You Need to Know

Book Widgets - Everything you need to know

Book widgets could be the next big thing in digital publishing. Ever since their introduction by Apple’s iBooks Author, they are being used more frequently in interactive ebooks. Especially with their easy customization and integration, they have the potential of rapid expansion in this industry. They resemble Lego blocks, with the difference that they can be reproduced and re-used infinitely. Because the contents of a widget are based on open web standards (HTML5), they can be created or edited in basic HTML/JavaScript editors. Thus, the flexibility.

However, book widgets are considered to be a new topic for many, as there are no confirmed standards yet (or is there?) to be employed by creators other than iBooks Author. So you will find online resources about book widgets scarce. This is why we decided to collect as much information as we can about book widgets, and give it to you here.

This article is divided as follows:

Book widget examples

Types of book widgets

Where to find book widgets?

Adding book widgets in Kotobee Author

How to create book widgets from scratch?


A lot of visuals will be used to make this article light and easy to follow, so no worries. If you’re ready, jump in to the first section. Continue Reading

How I published my interactive ebook to the Apple iBookstore [Case Study]

Getting your ebook approved by Apple’s iBookstore can be a pain in the butt. Apple can be extremely strict with requirements. But the great potential and users behind its stores makes it all worthwhile. In this post, we’re interviewing Mark Kroeze, from San Antonio Texas, who has lately published his interactive ebook Sleeping Time Series to the Apple iBookstore.

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First tell us about yourself

I was raised on a farm in northern Minnesota, United States near the border of Canada. We worked hard on the farm and I always enjoyed the outdoors and the weekends when my father and I could go fishing. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and work as a forester for the State of Texas. My fiancé works as a Colon and Rectal Surgeon in Texas. My four year old son is a little nature boy too and we love our talking pet parrots! Continue Reading

How to Create an Interactive Ebook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ebooks are the new norm in education and publishing. Add interactive content and you’ve got yourself a top-notch product that is sure to put you ahead of the game. This comprehensive guide will lead you through the journey so that you know how to create an interactive ebook and how to publish and distribute the ebook to different platforms. We will start together from building your content, to choosing your preferred online and offline tools and along the way we’ll give you the answers to the most common questions writers ask.

Create interactive ebook


Learning how to create an interactive ebook is simple, but let us start first by defining what an “interactive ebook” is. This term has been over used in past years by publishers who think that inserting a moving picture in their ebook would deem it “interactive”. Although they are not entirely at fault here, but it just sounds quite silly given that they didn’t even scratch the tip of the interactive iceberg. With current technologies like HTML5 and EPUB 3.0, you can go way beyond a digital moving picture. You can provide experiences rich with reader engagement as they play touch-based games, answer questions and even participate in polls or send feedback–all inside the ebook. And that’s how we would rather define interactivity—fully engaged readers.

So you want to learn how to create an interactive ebook? Let’s jump right in then!

We’ll now go through the 4 stages to take you from inception to a published interactive ebook:

  1. Preparing interactive ebook content and material
  2. Designing and customizing ebooks for your target audience
  3. Picking ebook creators and editors to build your interactive ebook
  4. Publishing and distributing your interactive ebook

Continue Reading

Alice in EPUB-Land: Understanding the EPUB Format


EPUB is boring – there I’ve said it. To make it sound even worse, we’re running a company building EPUB authoring tools for several years. Try Googling what is EPUB format and you’ll find yourself buried alive under IDPF pages of complex definitions and terminologies about EPUB – something that will basically give you a nightmare.

There seriously aren’t many good online resources explaining EPUB format in a simple way, and that’s what makes it boring. It’s unfair because EPUB format should not be boring – it actually solves a lot of problems with digital publishing. And it shouldn’t take a tech-savvy to like it, let alone understand it.

We thought we’d spice things up, and explain the EPUB format metaphorically in the easiest way possible. We will explain the anatomy of an EPUB format’s file structure, if you look inside. To make it stick, this will be as visual as possible: a variation of Alice in Wonderland.

So.. down the rabbit hole! Continue Reading