Updated March 12, 2018
Gather ’round author, dear author friends. Let’s chat about Book+Main for a few. I know many of you are wondering, I signed up for a Book+Main Author Account … now what?
Well, let me be one of the first to say, welcome to Book+Main, fellow author! We’re excited to have you onboard and look forward to getting your account verified.
If you haven’t already taken a few minutes to read through my How to Use Book+Main post, I would recommend doing that first to ground you in the below content. And I know that it’s long, but it’s worth the read if you’re considering the platform.
But before I start talking about the ins and outs and perks of being an author on Book+Main, there are a few very important things to keep in mind.
This isn’t Goodreads. It’s not Facebook. Nor is it Wattpad. And it’s certainly not Twitter either. It is not a place for giveaways and sale alerts. And all of this is a very good thing.
We already have an abundance of channels to help us tout new releases and sales and giveaways and run ads and blog posts and trailers and blitzes and promotions and takeovers and live videos and signings and audiobooks and book tours and virtual parties and paperbacks and everything else our little author hearts can dream up. (Phew! That was a lot for one breath.)
But what we don’t have is a safe and unsaturated place, just for our little bibliophile selves to eat our hearts out and devour scenes and discover new and unknown books and authors without any preconceived notion.
But at the intersection of Book+Main (did ya see what I did there?!) is that exact utopia. It is a content-based platform, and your stories are at the heart of it all.
I like to think of Book+Main as a little digital library, sitting on a peaceful cloud, with readers browsing through an anonymous card catalog based on subjects, where they get to read snippets hand-selected by the authors themselves.
Book+Main will give you the opportunity to match up with prospective readers in an unbiased environment. As an author, you control the content that they see. You decide which metatags to leverage to help them find you. You determine how to put your best foot forward.
You don’t have to fight an ever-changing algorithm. And you don’t have to worry about getting lost in a sea of dredge. It’s simply you and a sea of readers, waiting to connect.
Sound like something that interests you? It should! So read on to learn more about becoming a Book+Main Author …
Secure Your Account
If you haven’t done so already, head on over to www.bookandmainbites.com and register for an author account. Your username will be visible to everyone, so don’t select something like NSYNC4Lyfe. Make it ownable and identifiable to you, like your name or penname … something where your readers and fans can easily find you.
Case and point? I’m @BLBerry on the platform. And while I could’ve gone with BL, Barb, Barbara, Babs, B-Money, BitesByBerry or any ridiculous variation, nobody would be able to find me if they searched for my name, because people know me as BL Berry. So make it easy on yourself and others.
When you sign up for an author account on Book+Main, there is a verification process. And this process doesn’t happen with the blink of an eye or heck, even overnight. No, don’t moan and whine about this; stand up and give a thunderous applause for this foreword thinking moment.
This verification process allows the team to vet out published authors from fake and scam accounts. It also ensures that you are YOU and not somebody coming in and claiming to be you. Nobody wants our pretty, new playground to turn into a junkyard, so please be patient while the team is going through your submission to grant you access. It may take up to a week or two, especially during this launch phase.
Until you are verified, you are given a reader account. So you get to experience everything through the user’s eyes.
Unfortunately an exact wait time cannot be given on how long it’ll take for your author account to be verified. But there’s actually some value in waiting (I’ll get to that in a moment).
Once your account is verified, you will be notified via email from the Book+Main team and your two week author account trial begins!
Preparation is key to make the most of your two week author trial. And here are a few things you can start doing now so you can hit the ground running once you’re verified.
Build Your Base
Everybody starts at ground zero, readers and author accounts alike. So start building your network of followers now with your reader account. And be sure to follow others as well … friends, strangers, fellow authors! Once verified, you keep your followers/following lists so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Start Thinking About Your Bites
While you can’t upload any content until you’re verified, you CAN peruse your published and copyrighted works and start deciding on Bites from each of your titles. Most Bites are 1,000 words or less and you want to show variety, so plan for an array of Bites that showcase your writing style. Find steamy scenes. Angsty scenes. Sweet, romantic scenes. Hilarious scenes. Tearjerker scenes. Your favorite lines. The witty banter. Mix it up!
If all of your bites are first kiss scenes and you’re using the same five pieces of metadata on each bite, you’re not making the most of the platform. Our recommendation? Select bites that can fit into a wide variety of metadata tags so you can reach more new readers. Each Bite can have five pieces of Metadata/Tropes attached to it for the search functionality. This is imperative to help your story get in the hands of a new reader.
Also think about the flame factor when selecting Bites. You’ll be asked to rate your Bite on a scale of one flame to five flames, one being a meet cute and five being a panty-incinerating sex scene.
Helpful tip when determining what you want to feature as a bite: Make sure your selection is spoiler-free. You want the reader to one-click your book, so don’t give away an important piece of the story to make the reading experience of the novel anticlimactic!
Find An Image For Each Bite
Secure images for your Bites. Every bite you upload must have an associated image. But in order to post you must own the rights to the photograph. So no Googling and right-click saving a photo that you love from a recent search. You don’t own that. And don’t even think about posting that sexy, shirtless photo of Scott Eastwood, even if he was your muse for your sexy hero. You don’t own that image either (but if you do legally own a semi-nekkid image of him, message me! I’d love to chat!).
All files must be smaller than 5 MB and there’s an auto-cropping tool built into the platform to ensure your image meets the right specifications.
Note that when you upload the image, you are required to verify that you legally own the rights to the image. So if you don’t have an awesome stash of stock images in your back pocket, start checking out sites like Big Stock Photo and Deposit Photo so you have the right visuals purchased and in place.
Experiment with the freshly updated “POST” feature!
Newly updated in 2018 is the Post feature! Previously, this section was used to share bites from other authors and followers, but this part of the platform has been updated to allow individuals post to updates like blogger sign-ups, questions for readers, brand new teasers, and other fun updates.
Posts are limited to seven per user per day as to not clog the platform with unnecessary junk. And the best part is, is that everything appears in chronological order so you don’t have to get frustrated with an algorithm constantly hiding your content!
Most Importantly, Actively USE THE PLATFORM
Writers are first and foremost, readers. So don’t just sit back and do nothing while you wait for your author account trial to start. Get in there and learn and understand the value of the platform as a reader. When you fully understand the reader experience, the more likely you are to provide content that readers will gravitate toward, which ultimately sets yourself up for success.
Congratulations! You’ve been Verified! Now what?
Upon notice of your verification, you’ll receive access to your dashboard where you can go in and post the bites that you’ve prepared. Keep in mind that your dashboard can only be accessed from www.bookandmainbites.com and not the mobile app.
Now, I know it’s exciting and you want to post everything you’ve prepared all at once, but I would encourage you to pace yourself and be thoughtful with the content and the frequency in which you post your Bites. You’ll find that you can only post 3 bites per 24 hours, so the schedule functionality is your friend.
And remember when I said you want to build your follower base as a reader? This is why! When you publish a new Bite, it will automatically deliver to everyone who is following you. If their push notification is enabled for you, it’ll be delivered right to their phone. If their push notification is turned off, they’ll see your Bite in their notifications the next time they log onto Book+Main as well as in their main feed.
Your freshly published Bite will also automatically stream into the Discover tab of users who are not currently following you and seamlessly integrate into the search functionality, provided you included relevant metadata tags.
Once you’re in your author dashboard, don’t forget to add your books, too. Each Bite gets tied to a book, so don’t overlook this step if you want Book+Main to help you generate sales!
So what happens when my trial is over?
As authors, both traditionally published and indie, we are running a business. We are the President, CEO, COO, CFO, CCO and Chief Executive Everything of our business. And as you know, businesses come with expenses. And once your trial is over, there is an expense to keep up with your Author account.
(OMG … stop rolling your eyes, resist the urge to close out of this browser and keep with me for just one hot minute! I know this is where I’m about to lose some of you, so I beg you, keep reading and consider this perspective before you make any decisions.)
We all invest in our craft through classes and editing and proofreading and cover designs and teasers and formatting. And we all invest in tools like MailChimp, MailerLite, BookFunnel, InstaFreebie, HootSuite, PostCron, domain costs, PR firms and promo companies. And I know we spend a pretty penny on our advertising budgets, enticing swag, shipping costs, signing fees, travel costs and more.
And then we have the price tag for takeovers and release parties. I absolutely LOVE doing these to engage with readers, but I know we all start to see the same familiar faces time and time again. And then you’ve got the people who are there just for a freebie. Plus, I don’t know about you, but when I do a takeover, I am easily investing $10-$20 per event depending on what I’m giving away! A handful of those each month really adds up over the course of a year.
Yes, all of these things are wonderful and paramount for engagement, we all know how they can also be a distractions … they steer us away from our essence as authors. They put us one step further away from our one true love in this industry … the story. The content we create. That one bite-sized snippet that turns a new reader onto our work. We know that if we can hook a new reader with just a bite, they’ll be excited (and hopefully willing) to sink their teeth into the whole book.
Our primary job as an author is to tell the stories we harbor inside. And Book+Main brings us back to our roots and gives us a channel exclusively for our storytelling. But not only that, it also gives us an avenue to foster a relationship with new readers.
What are you doing today to invest in nurturing new readers outside of a release blitz or occasional takeover? How are you positioning yourself to be discovered by Karen in Portland, Maine who is a book dragon, or MacKenzie in Vancouver who just signed up for Kindle Unlimited (which coincidentally is also a metadata tag)?
I’d venture to say not a whole heck of a lot. But you know what? We should be doing more, all of us. And it should be a priority for us to help us continue to grow as authors and expand our reach.
And that, right there, is the value that Book+Main brings.
There are THOUSANDS of romance readers playing on this platform with more signing on each day and these readers are so eager to discover their next book. Book+Main is giving them the opportunity to see what catches their eye without any outside influence.
We hope you see the incredible value that this platform brings both to you personally and our industry. It truly is a game-changer.
If you’re curious to learn more about the pricing structure after the two week trial is complete, simply click here to view the pricing options (note, it may require you to be logged out of your account to view). And when you’re done looking, I strongly encourage you to do the math. Look at what you’re investing in other areas of your business and consider what those channels are doing to put your words, your books, directly in the hands of a brand new reader.
After the trial if you decide that Book+Main isn’t right for you, that is totally okay. There are no hard feelings and we won’t make it awkward for anyone. If you elect not to sign on, your Author account will simply revert back to the free reader account. However, I can’t speak to what will happen to any content you may have uploaded during your trial, as I truthfully don’t know at this time. But I do hope Book+Main will stay in your consideration set for the future.
What happens if I’m not yet published? Can I still sign up for an Author account?
Let me be the first to congratulate you on tackling this awesome feat of writing a book!
In order to qualify for an Author account you need to have at least one published book on either Amazon or iBooks. Why? Because if a reader falls in love with your Bite, we want for them to be able to go on and buy your book! If there isn’t the buy option, it’s an opportunity lost within the platform.
So until you are published, go ahead and register for a reader account and start building your network. Then, once your book is live, you’ll be able to convert to your Author account trial.
What has the feedback been so far?
Honestly? As authors we’ve been tickled with the new readers we’ve connected with. Here’s a few snapshots of what we’ve seen on the platform …
See!! This kind of feedback is really the tip of the iceberg with making those connections with new readers. I don’t know about you, but I really think that Book+Main is onto something!
Okay. I’m totally on board, here. I love what the platform stands for and your focus on the content. But it looks like Book+Main Bites is all romance, what gives?
It’s important to realize that this first phase of Book+Main is specifically focusing on the romance genre. So if you write Sci-Fi or Mystery of even Non-Fiction, don’t fret—you haven’t been overlooked. Your time will come! Simply be sure to note your specific genre when you’re creating an account so you can be one of the first in your genre to onboard and adopt the platform.
Hmm … I still have questions that you didn’t address here. Can you help me out?
Of course! It’s really not a problem and odds are, there’s someone else with a similar question. Feel free to ask a question below in the comments and I’ll respond when I’m able and to the best of my abilities. I may not have the answer, but I will try to help you find it! You can also direct questions directly to the Book+Main team via the message system on their Facebook page.