Ever wished you could get a cool looking 3D graphics of your book like other authors have?

I’ll create one for you for free, all you have to do in return is promise to help promote my latest book – The Bitch (now available at Amazon). ie: Tweet or post about my book on Facebook.

It really is that simple … email me at tracytegan@gmail.com and let’s talk.

Tracy Tegan Books

You help me (by promoting my latest romance novel) and I’ll help you by making you a cool 3d book cover for your book!

Some more samples that you can pick from

Absolutely Unforgivable

The Bitch by Tracy Tegan

The Bitch is now available at Amazon.

Declan was Hannah’s first and only lover, and while she knew he truly cared for her, she couldn’t return his affections because she was secretly in love with her boss, Sawyer Trent.

But that was a hopeless cause because Sawyer had a fiancé who was not only beautiful but was also the daughter of a world-famous Formula 1 racer. How’s a girl to compete with that?

If all of that wasn’t enough for Hannah to deal with, her diabolically innocent cousin Ella comes for a town and that’s when her whole world falls apart.

The Bitch by Tracy Tegan

It seems the last year the buy-in scam has become far more common. Here’s how it works … you are invited to contribute a story or an essay to a compilation book. In return, you will be given a percentage of all the sales. The catch? They want cash up front. The amount they ask for can be anything from $100 to as much as $5,000.

Most recently one person was doing a complication of 100 chic-lit stories. All I had to do was give them $500 and they would not only publish my story but also guarantee me a percentage of sales.

A few months before that a publisher was asking only $3,600 from 10 different people. They claimed the money was for the marketing budget, and we would all be given a percentage of sales.

Before that was the 100 Halloween horror story compilation. All I had to do was give them $250 and they’ll publish by Halloween horror story and pay me a percentage of every book sold. The publisher gets $25,000 before the book is even out the door!

Is this a scam? ABSOLUTELY. You don’t need to pay to have your book published and anyone who tries to get you to pay is a scammer.

If you actually start looking into the books they’ve previously released (if they even have any) you’ll see their sales rank at amazon is horrible and that means nobody is buying the book. So you just paid money for a book that will never sell.

Why?

What does that do for you?

Don’t fall victim to the buy-in or co-publishing scam.

 

Piracy

Piracy may not seem like a subject that has much to do with book promotion, but you might be surprised.

Piracy

Usually, when people think of digital piracy, they think of illegal movie or music downloads. But it applies to photos as well and can be just as problematic for you if you are caught doing it.

I didn’t realize how rampant piracy was in the author community until last year when I decided to join some Facebook groups designated for authors to promote their books.

There are hundreds of these groups on Facebook, and some of them even have huge followings with tens of thousands of members. Sounds like a great way to promote your book, right? Well, it can be. Some authors say that using these types of groups can more than double their download rates.

But something else I noticed about these groups, was the increasing number of authors illegally using images they didn’t own.

It may sound harmless to some people, but if you get caught, it could cost the author $150,000 per offense.

That means if you do it just seven times, which is once a day, every day for a week, you’ve risked a possible default judgment against you for over a million dollars. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra million bucks lying around to pay out to the owner of the photos I was illegally using to promote my book.

And that’s just the default judgment, the company that owns the rights to that image you used, could very well go in and ask the judge for additional damages.

I decided to do a little research into the subject matter and contacted several of the authors that were doing this. Every single one of the authors I spoke with claimed to honestly have no idea what they were doing was illegal, nor did they realize that the copyright law protected the owners of the photographs with such a large default judgment, per offense.

Unfortunately for them, ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse for breaking it. And a new software is being developed every single day, that can go out on the internet to search for certain photos and when they find them illegally being used, they will go after you for a very simple reason. It’s easy for them to do and they are guaranteed a win; because you have no defense. You can’t say you didn’t know because not knowing isn’t a valid defense.

There are many companies dedicated to doing nothing but going after people who do this very thing and they are making an insane amount of money in what is known as ‘copyright settlements’.

I happen to know a guy who makes an incredible living doing nothing but going after people who are illegally using photos and video clips on social media sites, that they don’t own the rights to.

They will file against hundreds or even thousands of people all at once and then settle with those people for a smaller amount. In some cases, the companies will agree to settle the case with you for a few thousand or work out a payment plan with you where you agree to pay them $1,000 a month, every month over the next year.

Do you really have an extra $1,000 a month lying around to pay out every month for the next year or two? Even if you talked them into a smaller settlement, that’s still money you have to spend.

And just think, you could have avoided all of this if you would have just used an image you legally licensed in the first place to promote your book.

Think you can’t afford to license images? Then how are you going to be able to afford the money it’s going to cost you if you get caught stealing them? Think twice before throwing up an image of your favorite celebrity to promote your book.

Here are some sites where you can legally license images.

Mr. Hollywood

Mr. Hollywood is now available at Amazon.

Allison Crawford is a nose-to-the-grindstone college student committed to getting her degree and staying out of trouble. Grayson Chase is a Hollywood bad boy committed to his career.

Their worlds collide when Allison’s roommate talks her into signing on as an extra in a movie being filmed on campus.

When he meets the lovely college student, Grayson is immediately intrigued, but Allison has no interest in a life of celebrity. Sure, Chase is hot—okay, incredibly sexy—but he’s so not for her. So why can’t she get him out of her head?

Grayson will do whatever it takes to make their relationship work, but the glare of the spotlight doesn’t make it easy. Will love be enough to glue their two worlds together?

 

Mr. Hollywood

Inspiration is everywhere and for me, it comes from all kinds of places. Most recently the Houston Writers Guild called for submissions for a crime anthology they were publishing. When I heard this I just sat down and tried to think of any crime I personally have been involved in or knew about. My mind flashed to a time when I was about 19 years old. I was working at a fortune 500 oil company downtown in the computer operations department.

They switched me working the midnight shift. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but I didn’t stay on that shift for long because news broke that there was some guy going around raping girls’ downtown, where the office building was. The first rape was not anywhere near the building but in time authorities figured out the one thing all of these girls had in common was they all worked at this company. So management scrambled around to issue new security protocols and switched off as many females on the midnight shift as they could. I got switched to say shift and never gave the incident another thought. So anyway, I used that story to write my submission for the crime anthology.

But I don’t always draw from real life. Sometimes I get inspired by other books I’ve read or a movie I’ve seen, a dream and I one time I even got inspired by a story from CSI. A girl overheard a murder in a hotel room. I only saw about the first five minutes of the episode but that was enough to give me a great idea for a new story about an FBI agent investigating a string of high-profile murders and a witness he wants to protect by not letting anyone know she saw anything in the first place.

When I do think of a new story idea what I do is type up everything I can think of about the story idea, the world, the characters, whatever comes to mind. I then save the document and file it away and then when I have more time or something else about the story comes to me, I open it back up and start writing away.

When I’m really ready to commit to a particular story I’ll think about it before I lay down. I’ll picture the whole story in my head, from scene to scene. Then when I have a scene that works, I’ll write down the details of what I’ve already played out in mind head.

Today we are going to talk about theft and how to protect your work from being stolen.

It is virtually impossible to protect a popular book from being stolen and given out for free on the internet. But you have to try and chances are, you aren’t quite as popular as Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King so it will be much easier to protect your work.

Let’s start with the simple way to start the process. Go to Google.com/alerts and enter your name where it says “Create an alert about …” but when you do make sure and enter your name in quotes like this … “Tracy Tegan”.

You want your alert to be an exact name match or you might get a lot of false alerts that will just be annoying.

Now you have told Google to alert you every time it comes across a new entry for your name and this includes when it finds websites offering your book illegally as a download.

Next, go to YouTube.com and search for your name or the names of your books. You might be surprised what you find there.  I found some jerk had taken all of the Thoughtless series by S.C. Stephens and illegally put them up on YouTube. They’ve been up for over 2 months and in that time thousands of people have listened to her audiobooks for free. She lost so many sales as a result. I mean why buy the book at Audible when you can just listen to it for free at YouTube, right?

thoughtless-stolen

So if you find yourself in this situation go to YouTube and report every video that is illegally streaming your books.  You can only report your own stolen books. So while it’s horrible that we found someone else stealing books belonging to an author we all know and love, but we can’t do anything about it other than warn her.

thoughtless-stolen-2

Once you click the REPORT button on YouTube, simply follow the stated instructions on the screen.

Now protecting your work on  YouTube is really the easy part. When you find your book on other websites it gets a little more complicated. When you find these you have to contact the site’s owner, and web hosting company and issue a DMCA takedown notice.

A DMCA takedown notice is a notification to a company, usually a web host or a search engine, that they are either hosting or linking to copyright-infringing material. It provides them notice to remove the copyrighted works.

If you want to find your book already being downloaded illegally search for something like “download YOURBOOK NAME” and then look for obvious offenders. Then you can send them your DMCA Take Down Notice. Here is a sample for you to use.

SAMPLE DMCA TAKE DOWN NOTICE

My name is INSERT YOUR NAME and I am the AUTHOR of INSERT BOOK NAME HERE. A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on at least one copyright owned by my company.

This was copied onto your servers without permission. The original BOOK, to which we own the exclusive copyrights, can be found at:
PROVIDE WEBSITE URL ie: http://amzn.to/1Sx1xL9

The unauthorized and infringing copy can be found at:
PUT THE URL OF THE WEBSITE WHO STOLE YOUR BOOOK HERE

This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.

Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action, you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.

I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury, I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.

Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.

Thank you.

YOUR NAME
Address
City, State Zip
Phone
E-mail

Now email this copy to the web hosting company. How can you find that out? Let’s take a look … it’s not always easy. If it’s from Blogger.com or Blogspot.com, then go here and simply follow the instructions.

http://rapidgator.net is a site that illegally hosts books. So what I do first is a WHOIS search. This will hopefully tell me who owns that domain name.

The first thing I noticed is that the site uses Domain Name Privacy protection, so I am unable to contact them directly.

Registrant Email: 54374c49q7mfir3i@5225b4d0pi3627q9.whoisprivacycorp.com

I will, however, attempt to send my DMCA notice to that address, but it’s not always successful.

Next, I look down at their name servers. This site has their own name servers. This is not uncommon when trying to mask your real identity or if they are a big company. Usually however with pirates, it’s to try and hide their real identity or who they really host with to try and avoid getting out of trouble.

Name Server: ns1.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns2.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns3.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns4.rapidgator.net Name Server: ns5.rapidgator.net

So what do I do now? I go to a site called http://www.whoishostingthis.com and I search rapidgator.net. This tells me that their hosting company is Netvillage. So if they don’t respond to my DMCA request I will go directly to their web host.

So next I go to the website rapidgator.net. This actually should have been my first step. I found a REPORT abuse link on their website, so I would fill out their form.

However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you have to find out who their hosting company is as a site like whoishostingthis.com and send your letters there.

I keep doing this for every single website I find illegally offering my book on their website. And every time Google sends me an alert letting me know of a new one, which honestly isn’t that often anymore, I repeat this process. I only takes a few minutes but it’s worth it.

Before I started doing this I found that over 20,000 people had illegally downloaded my first book Absolutely Unforgivable.

That’s 20,000 sales I’ll never get paid on and that’s not okay!

Stealing from someone is never okay and hopefully, now you understand how you can stop people from doing it from you.

By the way, if you like this article, please share it with your friends.

 

When reading a book we often form an image of the characters in our mind that often look very different from the actors or actresses cast to play those characters when they make a movie or TV show about the book in question.

Recently, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and digital artist by the name of Brian Joseph Davis created a series of police sketches based off of the physical descriptions from the books.

Do You Facebook

I admit I’ve been horrible about keeping up with my social media accounts. There are just so many. I have to remind myself to tweet hello, pin something and then try and come up with an engaging post to Facebook. Of course, we can’t forget Google+ either, or can we? Is that even still a thing?

I know that for most of 2015 I’ve been downright horrible with keeping up with my social media duties, but I promise I will do better next year, at least as far as Facebook goes, which apparently is still the most popular social media platform.

How about you? Do you still Facebook? If so be sure and like my page www.Facebook.com/TracyTegan. Who knows what I’ll come up with in the coming year, but I promise it will be something. 🙂

I’m a Social

You can follow me on twitter @TracyTegan, via Google plus at google.com/+tracytegan and keep up with her latest work on Facebook Facebook.com/TracyTegan and on YouTube by clicking here.

Tracy Tegan on Facebook Tracy Tegan on Google Plus Tracy Tegan on Twitter Tracy Tegan on Pinterest Tracy Tegan on YouTube

When I first heard about the Kindle Scout program I spent hours reading every single article I could find about it. In the end I found almost every article was the same, providing almost identical information about what Kindle Scout is and what it offers. For those who haven’t read the 30,000 other articles like I have, I’ll just summarize it for you …  If selected I would get $1,500 advance plus they were willing to guarantee me $25,000 in total sales or they would return my rights to be in full.

Despite my best effort, I couldn’t find any article with actual valuable information. Everyone is quick to tell you about the $1,500 cash advance but how about the books that have been previously selected, but what did they do to get picked? What were their stats like?

Anything with actual information other than what was on the original press release about Kindle Scout just flat out isn’t out there.

When I first heard about the Kindle Scout program it sounded like a dream come true to me. For the first time in my career as a writer, I felt like I actually had a chance to get one of my books published.

I released my first book in 2013 and I currently have six books published – two of which are full length novels and the others are novella length which is basically 10k to 30k words. I know on my own how many books I can move and I know that to get me $25,000 worth of book sales, they are going to have to do some sort of promotion and that means that my other six titles are going to benefit as well. So I could easily be looking at double that amount in book sales.

The problem is, getting them to accept me. First and foremost I had to write a book that was at least 50,000 words in length and fit into one of their three currently acceptable genres – Romance, Sci-fi / Fantasy or Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

As a romance author, obviously this was a no brainer for me. So I finished up my manuscript, created and then went to submit it. Next I had to come up with a cover. Anyone who visits the Kindle Scout website will quickly notice the quality of the book covers on the site are downright comical.

At the time of writing this article there are currently 15 books listed on the site and out of those only two have a somewhat professional or remotely decent looking cover. So in this area I knew I was pretty safe. I had a sexy cover for my book that looked like I spent a lot of money on having produced.

With that out of the way I pressed submit and waited. It took the Kindle Scout team a few days to get back with me and approve my listing. Once they did, they actually didn’t start it right away. Instead it was scheduled for several days out. The process for me began on June 2nd and would end officially on July 2nd at midnight.

I should note that unlike the normal Amazon site which runs based on PST, everything on the Kindle Scout site seems to run based on EST.

I pushed my book hard, harassing all my friends and followers on Facebook and twitter to please nominate my book. In the end I was able to generate 1.7k page views to my page and stayed hot and trending 60.5% of the time.

But was it enough? That I had to wait to find out. When my campaign ended, I was sent an auto-generated message letting me know that my book was under review for consideration for publication and that they would let me know in less than three business days. Of course it was a Friday when I got that letter so that meant I had to wait possibly until Tuesday of next week. Turns out though, I didn’t have to wait that long. At exactly midnight EST, two days later (Saturday night) I got a letter letting me know that they decided not publish my book. At the exact same time they notified all of those people who nominated my book letting them know.

I tried to find stats on other people who have used Kindle Scout but the information just flat out isn’t available. I hope that by sharing my stats, other authors will do the same.

  • 436 / 720 possible hours in hot and trending
  • 1.7k total page views

In the end I think that Kindle Scout is a good idea for independent authors that can’t generate at least $25,000 in sales on their own. Most independent authors find that they make less than $2,500 on their book. Honestly marketing a book on your own isn’t always easy and it takes time to build a platform. If you are a new author and don’t have a mailing list with 1,000 or more names on there, then getting Amazon to publish and promote your book can be a great thing.

However if you’ve been around awhile and can push your book to your legion of fans on your own, then you don’t really need Amazon or any publisher for that matter. Just publish your book yourself and sit back and enjoy the sales through your own marketing efforts. For the rest of us though, Kindle Scout offers some real possibilities.

While my book didn’t end up getting picked, I still think it has some great potential.