Caribbean Short Story Competition – Deadline August 31st

At Potbake Productions, part of our vision is promoting the growth of literature. In light of this, we are launching another Caribbean Short Story Competition, a short story competition with a twist. The last competition had 16 winners and their titles were released in a book called Across The Caribbean. The book launch was at NAPA, Trinidad.

This time around, there will be a total of 10 finalists. The overall winner gets USD $ 250.00 and their story, along with the 9 other winning stories, will be published as a short story collection in 2013.

 Guidelines

  • Entrants must be citizens of the Caribbean.
  • Entrants must be greater than or equal to 13 years of age.
  • A maximum of 2 entries per entrant.
  • Finalists from the last competition set the bar high. Great, logical plots, clean, careful work, a variety of appropriately-used literary techniques. Do the same. You’re competing at a high level and want to stand out.
  • Stories must be a minimum of 2,500 words but no greater than 3,000 words. Other entries will not be considered.
  • Stories must be original works, having never been featured in any other publication, newspaper, magazine or otherwise.
  • Submissions must be in MS WORD or PDF format and must include the word count, author’s name and contact information
  • Entries submitted after Saturday, 31st August 2013, will not be considered.
  • Entries can be sent via hard or soft copy
    • Email: submissions@potbake.com. Subject line must be: “CSSC.2011/2012”.
    • Hard copy submissions must be made to #3, 3rd Street West, Beaulieu Avenue, Trincity, Trinidad, West Indies. Continue reading

Advertising Your Book on a Budget

by Lyndon Baptiste

I like giving away books more than I like the idea of spending money on advertising because I believe if a product is good enough it will sell itself. But in December 2012, for Potbake’s fourth birthday, we decided to offer free ebooks and spend no more than USD 100.00 advertising the offering. It sounds strange right: Avertising something that’s free? But I’ve since learnt that not because something is free means people will know about it. Imagine you’re in the grocery and you walk along all the aisles except the one where they happen to be giving out free samples of a wine or snack you really want to taste.

So, we had an offer and we knew our max budget, but I didn’t have a plan except to run the ads on Facebook and Google and share posts, tweets and pictures on Google+, Twitter and Instagram on the actual days of the offering. When I mentioned this to dad, he gave me something to think about: do movies just show up one day in the cinema? I thought about it and two weeks before I created an article on potbake.com promoting the offering (which turned out to be a great thing because as it turns out advertising an external URL on Facebook was a lot cheaper than an actual Facebook post; compare USD 0.05 to USD 0.65). We shared the link on the different channels we mentioned, got Retweets, Likes, Shares and +1s. Randy Baker was kind enough to post an article on the 15 December mentioning the free books. Then we scheduled campaigns on Facebook and Google with ads that linked to our website article rather than the links to the books on Amazon.com. This was important in terms of measuring the traffic the campaigns generated. If you’re an author or publisher it’s a pretty good idea to have a website, Facebook Page, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest account. This isn’t vanity and there’s no need to daily slave after maintaining these accounts, but you need to connect with as many people possible. I went along with no clear plan but hopefully the madness might make sense. The first step was to enrol the book in Amazon’s KDP Select which facilitates 5 days of free promotion and allows Select Members to borrow the book for free.

Advertising on Facebook

The first thing I learnt is that you can’t advertise to the people of the world. You need to have some idea of who might be interested, what’s their age, where are they from.  For example, I needed to advertise to folks who have some interest in an Amazon Kindle. But registering that interest to the world may yield a result in the millions so I targeted the people of the Caribbean interested in Amazon.com, the Kindle or Kindle Fire. Note: If the books were for sale, I wouldn’t have advertised to people with these interests between the ages of 13 and 17. While they might be interested, they would have less buying power. But the books were free. I included teenagers. Figure 1 shows that an audience of 105,580 from the Caribbean fit this profile.

To continue reading, go to:

http://www.potbake.com/potbake/news/read/newsId/34