Monday, August 29, 2011

Online411 Email Newsletter: First Issue

This is a reprinting of my first Online 411 email newsletter. Today I want to talk about a website that got me over 1,000 impressions within 4 days. The website: is a question-and-answer website. And, to my mind, the most useful for both asking and answering questions - much better than Yahoo Answers. I just joined on August 8th and answered nine questions in the first two days.

The first question I answered was: Would self-publishing a novel as an eBook affect the likelihood of it getting published in print by a publisher? That question had been viewed 148 times between July 6th when it was asked and August 12th when I checked.

My answer to that question was viewed 167 times within the first 8 hours! And 186 times in the first four days.

Here was my answer: Self-publishing a novel will not turn off publishers - IF you sell a lot of books via great book promotion. Of course, if you don't sell any copies of your novel, then no publisher will be interested.

Self-publishing offers many rewards if done right. Need some inspiration? See the Self-Publishing Hall of Fame at That hall of fame features 400 authors who have successfully self-published, including many novelists.

In 3 to 4 days, my other answers were viewed 125 times, 134 times, 133 times, 126 times, 149 times, 143 times, and 124 times.

In the first two days on Quora, I answered 9 questions. So far, that's created 1,120 impressions in less than 4 days - and that doesn't count one answer I can't track.

While links on are no-follow (meaning the search engines don't give them any value), users can and do click through on the links you shared. In my first 9 answers, I shared links to my websites at least 3 times - all resulting in more traffic to my websites.

If you feel comfortable answering questions on your specialty (the topic of your book or website), you should start answering questions on Quora.

My first 9 answers took me about 20 minutes total to find questions and respond to them.

I'll be sharing more online marketing tips in the next issue.

John Kremer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Tim O'Reilly Bootstrapped O'Reilly Media with Happy Accidents

Tim O'Reilly

Neat video conversation with Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media on how he started up this computer book publisher:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lesson Plans Help to Sell Children's Books

Here is a story from Renee Heiss, author of several books for teachers and parents:

Since my books target teachers and parents, I took them to the NJEA teacher’s convention. There, I showcased my books at a small display table (I couldn’t afford more than the tiny space!)

As teachers browsed my books, I offered a sample lesson plan they could use to implement the ideas contained within the books. I printed a different plan for each book at my table. Those lesson plans were the single most effective marketing ploy at the convention. Without them, I doubt I would have sold as many books as I did.

The lesson plans include page numbers for reference in my books and the National Standards that apply to the activities. As a retired teacher, I know what teachers want for their students. As a book author, I had a less than strong hold on how to market my books until I provided the lesson plans to promote my books.

Feng Shui for the Classroom

These lesson plans are also available at my website by book title:

Feng Shui for the Classroom: 101 Easy-to-Use Ideas ( - Tips on how to balance your classroom by placing objects to energize your students.

Helping Kids Help: Organizing Successful Charitable Projects ( - Ideas on how to plan, structure, motivate, and implement philanthropy for kids.

Somebody Cares! ( - Book highlights the efforts of the Care Bags Foundation as a fictional girl plans a very different birthday party.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Author Success Story: Selling Books in Grocery Stores


Back in 1993 I convinced a local Richmond, Virginia grocery chain, Ukrop’s, to let me set up a table near their grill during dinner time when people would have to wait for their orders so I could sell copies of Wired. I sold over 100 copies, including to the woman who whispered to her husband, “I thought she was the sample lady.”

The sale went so well the chain decided to start carrying local authors and hold similar appearances.

- Story from Martha Randolph Carr, author of Wired. Her website:

Wired is now available on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords & iBooks!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Promotion for Novelists and Other Book Authors

Book Marketing Magic

The following interview is one I did for Gatekeepers Post:

How do you balance promoting your book and writing time as well?

I find that promoting my book generates new content for new books, so book promotion is not a waste of time and really doesn't take away from writing new books or revising old books.

Besides, book promotion - if done right - really shouldn't take you more than an hour a day. If you are taking more than one hour a day, you are doing the wrong things to promote your books.

In the above sentence, I'm talking about proactive book promotion actions like writing emails, posting to social networks, writing a blog, etc. These actions should not take much time.

It is perfectly okay to spend more time doing interviews, attending effective book-signing events, organizing blog tours, etc. Stick with the actions that actually produce measurable results.

Would you suggest Twitter as a great way to promote your novel?

Twitter is an okay way to promote a novel or a book. It is not a great way.

Personally, I find the most effective way to use Twitter is to post 3 to 4 times a day with great content. Then repost your tweets to your email newsletter and/or your blog. I get at least 80% of my tweet views - and clickthroughs - from my email newsletter and blog posts.

The above actions takes me about 10 minutes a day at most.

What are common mistakes authors make when writing?

Listening to others. Listen to your heart instead.

Second mistake: Not writing every day. Writing every day is the best way to discover and improve your style. It is also an incredible way to discover what you really want to write.

What are common mistakes when writers are promoting their books?

1. Doing time-sucking promotional activities. As noted above, if you are spending more than one hour a day doing book promotion, you are wasting too much time on nonproductive actions. Stick with actions that work.

2. Not joining in with like-minded book authors to do joint promotional campaigns. You can easily connect with other book authors via The Book Marketing Network.

What are your tips for not using too many flashbacks?

Since I don't write novels, I have no tips for this. But note: Flashbacks slow down the action. Great novels move. They sweep you along in a wave of action. They keep you reading.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes flashbacks are very effective. The Time Traveler's Wife couldn't have worked without a lot of flashbacks.

What are your thoughts on what writers like Joe Konrath are doing?

I applaud them. I think more and more novelists and other book authors are going to find it makes much more sense in today's world to publish ebooks and sell online. Why get 10% royalties, one year or more delays, and loss of control when you can have full control, instant publishing, and 70% royalties?

Of course, that comes with a caveat: You do have to do book promotion if you want to succeed selling your own ebooks and print-on-demand books. Without really great book promotion, you'll be having full control and no sales. That makes no sense at all.

So, for authors that want to go the way of Joe Konrath or Amanda Hocking, they have to learn how to promote their books. That simple.

John Kremer
John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. If you want to launch a SuperStar Blog Tour™, a Mega Blog Tour™, or a Blogpalooza™, click the graphic below:

Blog Tour Palooza

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Classy Professional Football Player

David Akers, placekicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, was let go this year and he had to pick up and move to Seattle to find work as an NFL placekicker.

Before he left Philadelphia, he paid to have the following billboard place near the Interstate going by the NFL stadium in Philadelphia where he used to work:

David Akers on a billboard

Now, that's a man I'd want on my team.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Interesting Bookshelf - Warning: Naked Bodies

I just saw this photo of an interesting bookshelf in Levine Breaking News. I'm not sure, but such a bookshelf might encourage more reading. Then again, it might not. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

an interesting bookshelf

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Redwood Writers Band Together to Sell Books in Coffeehouses

The following is excerpted from a forum post by Mary Lynn Archibault in The Book Marketing Network:

Members of my California Writers' Club branch, the Redwood Writers, have banded together to sell our books in coffeehouses around our county. One of our members takes the books around and sets up the displays for a percentage of sales, and sells her books too.

It's working well. Seems folks who hang out in coffeehouses like to read. I sold 11 books last month, and I didn't have to do anything but supply the books!

Accidental Cowgirl

Mary Lynn Archibault, author of Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, No Clue


The Book Marketing Network

If you'd like to connect with other book authors and create more joint promotions with other authors, be sure to check out The Book Marketing Network.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Viral Travel Video: 70,000+ Views in Three Days

Here's another travel video - an incredibly well-edited montage - that is already going viral with 72,000 views in three days. Just one minute long.

Can you piggyback on it?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Book Marketing Tweets You Can Use: August, 2011, Week One

There are some great book marketing lessons and tips included within these short tweets.

Book Publicity: Key Ways to Become a Quotable Expert -

Finding the Best Book Cover Design Software -

The first Book Promotion Carnival is now posted:

Social Media Marketing Tips - From Cowboys and Aliens by @ZimblerMiller -

My Google+ profile (John Kremer):

Ebook Marketing Topics | Ask John Kremer -

Neighborhood Bookshops: Live with More Books Than You Can Read -

@officialbsj Book first, movie first? - Doesn't matter as long as you get paid big money for your rights.

One reason I created my Book Marketing Magic course was to teach novelists, memoir writers, and children's book writers how to sell more books. 60% off this week at:​lmarketing.htm

Book Cover Designs: How to Get the Best Design for Your Novel

Book Publishing Topics: Posts on Book Publishing, Writing Books, and Book Design -

An Interesting Way to Create a Viral Video -

Flantoons: Cartoons for Academic Books -

For Bookstores Only: Advice on Selling More Books | Ask the Booksellers -

Book Promotion Carnival - I'm looking for more submissions to the next one -

7 Vibrant Pillars of Online Book Marketing -

Book Cover Design: The Importance of Setting Out Your Ideas by James Marinero -

eBook Publishing: The Trend Is Up, Up, Up -

The above are just some of the tweets I sent out during the past two weeks. What more did you miss? Follow my tweets at

John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as webmaster at,, and
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