Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Marketing Monday: Book Promotion Tweets of the Week

Here are some of the more important book marketing tweets and book promotion tips that I've shared during the past week:

#TwitterSageAdvice Book Marketing Bestsellers: Book Promotion Blog: The 30-Day Twitter Challenge http://blog.bookmarket.com/2009/03/30-day-twitter-challenge.html

@IamColinSpencer I am currently working on a series of ebooks on how to market ebooks. They will be incredible. Watch this space for more information.

376 real people (and a few organizations) worth following on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/list/JohnKremer/people-worth-following #Twitter #follow

Top 10 Social Media Blogs: The 2012 Winners! - http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/top-10-social-media-blogs-the-2012-winners - a great collection of social media blogs

Announce your blog tours to 7,419 members of The Book Marketing Network here: http://thebookmarketingnetwork.com/group/blog-tours-only

Book Marketing on LinkedIn: How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Gets Instant Attention for Your Book - http://blog.bookmarket.com/2012/01/book-marketing-makeover-how-to-create.html

Why a Book Marketing Plan Is Critical to Bookselling Success - http://blog.bookmarket.com/2012/01/book-marketing-makeover-why-book.html #book #marketing #plan

I thought my updated Squidoo lens on self-publishing bestsellers was worth sharing - http://www.squidoo.com/bestsellermarketing

There are very few things worth being afraid of. - Greek TV show #fear

For Bookstores Only: Advice on Selling More Books - http://askthebooksellers.com/for-bookstores-only-advice-on-selling-more-books

If you missed the webinar with @JohnKremer and @nancyjuetten about broadcasting your brilliance, get the replay here: http://www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com/nancy-juetten-and-john-kremer-say-bye-bye-boring-bio-and-get-ready-for-opportunity-in-the-new-year

Kindle ebooks, copyrights, and your rights as an author when someone steals your work - http://bit.ly/KindleCopyright

John Kremer on Twitter

If you'd like to catch all of my major book marketing tweets, follow me at http://twitter.com/johnkremer.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: 6 Reasons to Use Public Domain in Your Writing and Publishing

Guest post by Daniel Hall

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Public Domain
to Profit More in Your Writing and Publishing Efforts

Let me start with a big bold statement… ready?

Properly using quality public domain content can transform your writing and publishing endeavors and be way more profitable than you can imagine.

In this short article I intend to show you my top six reasons for using public domain content. Hold on tight, here we go…

Reason #1 - Flexibility

First, let me give you a brief definition of what public domain is. According to the University of California the public domain is generally defined as consisting of works that are either ineligible for copyright protection or with expired copyrights. No permission whatsoever is needed to copy or use public domain works.

The definition gives rise to the first reason you should use public domain content in your writing and publishing endeavors; namely, flexibility.

That is, if a work is in the public domain, then it can be used in any way by any citizen of the country where it is in the public domain without asking for permission and without paying royalties (using public domain is FREE). Effectively you can use the content, sell it, change it, add to it or subtract from it without limitation. The sky is the limit with public domain.

The long and the short of it is if you find a suitable public domain work, you can use it in any way you wish. That is ultimate flexibility.

Reason #2 – Wealth of Content

The library of available public domain content is so vast and rich that you would never run out of it. Some public domain content is older, some is new. But there is a surprisingly large body of public domain work available to draw from.

How large? 85 million books and millions more magazine articles.

Additionally, much of what is in the public domain is well-written quality content. Further, while some of it is quite old, much of it is also evergreen. For example, how many ways are there to grow tasty tomatoes or develop a good golf swing?

More than this, the breadth of the subject matter available is enormous and useful. For example, you can find books and articles on subjects ranging from swimming to crotchet. The key point here is that much of this evergreen content is searched for and purchased today. This is to say that there is a market willing to pay for the content available in the public domain. Groovy!

Reason #3 – Derivative Works

The next reason to use public domain works is big: You can make derivative works from them.

There is also very good precedent for authors, publishers and media companies using public domain in their works. Disney is a great example. In fact, many of the Disney movies and characters we have come to love were derived from public domain works such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Sleeping Beauty; Alice in Wonderland; The Little Mermaid; Beauty and the Beast; Pinocchio; Robin Hood; Peter Pan; Winnie the Pooh; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Tarzan; The Prince and the Pauper; Cinderella; Mulan; The Jungle Book; and Aladdin.

I mention these works specifically because Disney models what I recommend you do with your writing. They took the original and added a new twist or developed the characters in a different light. That is, Disney created derivative works. 

What I want you to understand about derivative works is they are eligible for copyright protection. Whereas Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is in the public domain and not protected by or eligible for copyright, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is protected by copyright as a derivative work.

That is all well and good, you may be saying, but public domain works seem out of date and not all that useful. It is true that some public domain is old but, on the other hand, much of it is recent. For example, most everything published by the U.S. Federal Government is in the public domain. And they crank out new high-quality content every day. Also, many magazines published in 1964 and earlier are in the public domain. In addition, there are many books and articles that are released into the public domain on purpose. 

Beyond this, you should not be concerned if a public domain work is old. That is one of the great advantages of public domain: As the writer/publisher you can and should look for ways to update and revise public domain work. Make it current. Make it relevant. 

Reason #4 – Easy to Find 

While it is true that the vast majority of available public domain have not been digitized, more and more of it is making its way on to the Internet. For example, Google is busy digitizing public domain books and magazines (http://books.google.com).

The Hathi Trust (http://www.hathitrust.org) is a collection of educational institutions worldwide that are making their libraries available online. Many of the titles available through the Hathi Trust are in the public domain. In fact, as of the day of writing, there were exactly 2,711,662 public domain volumes. That’s a bunch of material.

But wait, Bob, there’s more. In fact, here are some additional public domain repositories to sink your teeth into:
Project Gutenberg (text) - http://www.gutenberg.org

Internet Archive (text, music, film) - http://www.archive.org

Musopen (Music) - http://www.musopen.org/music
Reason #5 – No Flashing Cursors

Perhaps my favorite reason for using public domain is it can give you a starting place. That is, one of the biggest hurdles I personally face in starting new writing projects is seeing that flashing cursor in the sea of white that is a blank page.

Public domain content can give you a base on which to work. This can be exceedingly comforting especially if you are the type that gets anxious when faced with a blank page. And, if I may be so bold, you are more likely to let your creative juices flow when you are comfortable. If you are more creative, more relaxed you end up with a better quality finished product in my humble opinion.

Reason #6 – Increased Productivity

Closely tied to Reason #5, public domain content can increase your productivity enormously. Because you are starting with a completed public domain work your job is to simply add value to what is already there. That is, put you own twists, update it or relate the information to you own niche.

The point I want you to get is with public domain content some of your work is already done and because of that you can get more product to market, faster without sacrificing quality.

There you have it. I hope I have persuaded you to start using public domain or at least explore the opportunity further.

If you’d like a great webinar training on how to use public domain content produced by the U.S. Federal Government freee, then register for it right here - Government Public Domain Webinar
Daniel Hall
About the Author

Besides his public domain program, Daniel Hall has created many other incredible programs, including the following:

Real Fast DVD - How to create and produce a DVD fast.

Real Fast Book - How to write and publish a book fast.

Real Fast Book Marketing - A program created by John Kremer and Daniel Hall on how to sell 200 books (or more) in two weeks or less.

Real Fast Book Distribution - How to distribute your book fast.

Real Fast Webinars - How to write, produce, and promote webinars.

Speakers Cruise Free - Learn how to cruise the world for free while giving on-board seminars and workshops.

Travel Making Money - How to make money while you travel the world.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Two Book Marketing Mistakes That Could Cost You Sales

Guest post by Judy Cullins

Most authors sell only 200 self-published books. It’s possible to sell so many more copies by getting much more visibility at places like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. And remember blogging that adds to both your online visibility and credibility. Avoid the mistakes and take the actions below to get your books into the hands of your target audience.

Two Mistakes You Don’t Need to Make and Their Solutions

1. You don't stand out from the crowd of others in your field.

Let’s say you are a life coach who offers to solve your audience’s problems in relationships, finances, attitudes and a wide list of complaints. They want solutions.

So how do you stand out from all the other coaches in your area of savvy expertise? One simple answer is to develop a strong brand. And writing a short book on one of your coaching specialties to that specific audience is step one.

You need to show them what you can do for their problems and concerns. That means you need to get their questions on what they want. That could be, for example, “I have a wonderful business life, so why aren’t I happy?” Or, “I'm in a negative relationship with my xxx and can’t seem to leave. Can you help me?”

After you write an engaging short print or ebook, you need to get much bigger visibility and credibility if you want to get book sales. That means you need to do some research and even brand coaching to show how you and your books are unique and necessary for your reader.

One client, who wrote a photo book on Cuba, had a problem with focus. Should she focus on her book or on her established business as a positivity coach? The solution we came up with was that she should get more active on LinkedIn, answer questions, and then mention her book in the groups.

She creatively coupled her striking photos of Cuba with the positivity values she found there in the people. It's a how-to book with gorgeous pictures that convinced me to go to Cuba next year, with or without Castro's blessings. Her motivation centered on her clients using the positivity values.

She also got great testimonials from the influential leaders in her field. What others say about you convinces your audience to pay attention to you.

So, to stand out from the crowd, get more interactive on targeted LinkedIn groups to learn from others and show your strengths. And use testimonials on your site, in your blogs, and in your LinkedIn profile where you post great recommendations from people who have read your books or experienced your service. Post them in your tweets and Facebook pages as well.

2. You don’t keep a business blog going.

If you don’t post to your blog at least once a week, you will not reach and convert your audience to become your fans, buy your book, or use your services.

Five years ago, I wrote a blog and didn’t get much response. I quit. Just three years ago, I put up a WordPress blog and got active in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I wrote blog posts regularly and kept adding to that number each week.

You may want to replace article marketing with blog marketing. Remember, Google loves keyword rich titles You want your audience to know the benefits specific to them in your titles and first paragraphs.

Results? Visitors are hooked to keep reading, comment, and subscribe to your blog for automatic emails to them with the latest how-to information in your topic. Blog writing and book chapter writing are similar.

My own blog numbers went from 2,500 to over 6,000 readers a month by marketing with blogs and sharing my blog posts daily with my favorite social media communities. The sales that followed put a smile on my face for sure.

Building your sales comes from engaging your audience for months and years so you need to develop patience and self-acceptance. You'll get there. Just be consistent and focus your time on what works.

Does this sound like too much effort? Will it take too much time? Not for me. Remember, if you don’t set money goals, get a book marketing plan going, and get active with your online promotions, you’ll make pathetic book sales of only 200 copies.

Make a difference in your audience’s life. Give them ongoing free information that pulls them to buy you or your books. Give them value in everything you write. Notice over time how your audience engages with you.

What book marketing mistakes do you know about you could share here? I’d love your input. Leave your comments below.

Judy Cullins

About the Author

Book and blog eoach Judy Cullins helps you transform your blog into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books for business people and authors including LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales and Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast!

Judy offers free weekly publications on writing and online marketing at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.php.


Blog Tour Palooza

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Gets Instant Attention for Your Book

Guest post by Kristina Jaramillo

LinkedIn is a valuable resource for authors looking to target business executives and small business owners as there are over 135 millions business professionals on LinkedIn.

You can also use LinkedIn to get you publicity for your book. In fact a survey from Arketi Web Watch Media states that 92% of today’s journalists are now actively using LinkedIn. That is more than any other social networking site.

Before, you can begin marketing your book on LinkedIn, you must have a strong LinkedIn profile foundation that will entice prospects, referral sources, potential book buyers and the media to connect with you.

6 Ways to Promote Your Book on Your LinkedIn Profile

1. Use your LinkedIn profile headline to promote your book.

By just stating that you are the author of XYZ, you are not telling the reader of your profile anything. You need to use your headline to showcase a result or benefit of your book(s). For example, here is the headline I created for James Lange, JD, CPA:
CPA, Lawyer, Bestselling Finance Author & Roth IRA Expert Seen on CNN & Bloomberg Shows How to Build Tax-Free Wealth
Here’s a headline template, you can also use:
“Inside (insert book title) This (insert industry) Author Reveals (insert secret information shared within book).
2. Link to a squeeze page that offers a sneak preview.

In your website postings on your LinkedIn profile, link to a squeeze page that offers a sneak preview of your book – in other words, a couple of free chapters. This way, you can collect names and emails and provide them with even more information. When you add the website URLs to your LinkedIn profile, do not just put the default “Company Website.” You can label the website URL “Free Book Chapters.”

3. Create a position that describes how your book will help a specific audience.

For example here is the position I created for my client Ron Karr to promote his book:
“Sales Leadership Author Shows the 7 Traits of Great Sellers in Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way Book at Karr Associates - Sales Leadership and Business Transformation Expert”
This is the copy that we include in his profile to further explain his position:
If you don't take a leadership role in producing results for your clients, someone else will. In my book, "Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way," I reveal what great sellers do and this is based on decades of research. And, I show how anyone can implement the same powerful principle.
In my book, you will find an in-depth exploration of the seven critical traits all sales leaders share.
Today's top sales leaders:
  • Have a clear vision of where they're going.
  • Position themselves powerfully in the minds of customers.
  • Build alliances rather than go it alone.
  • Ask powerful questions that result in new sales opportunities.
  • Create a value proposition that neutralizes the competition.
  • Communicate well and persuasively.
  • Embrace accountability and responsibility.
Many sales leaders learn these principles through trial and error. This book helps you avoid the trial and error part and skip straight to the success part. Why learn the hard way when you can read this book, learn these principles, and start — today — selling more, faster, and at a higher profit?

We then add endorsements for the book within the position copy plus we provide a link to get the book.

4. Promote your book on LinkedIn using Amazon’s Recommended Reading List App.

LinkedIn offers a great application called “Reading List with Amazon” but the key is to use it correctly. It is nice for the person who is reading your profile to know what you are currently reading or what you recommend. But if they click on the link of the book you posted, they will quickly be taken away from your profile. Use this app to promote you as the author and show your books.

5. Add a media kit for the book on your LinkedIn profile.

Using the box.net application you can include files like your:
  • author bio
  • book cover pictures that the media can use to publicize your book
  • book reviews
  • testimonials
  • endorsements
  • media mentions and
  • any other information about your book that should be included in your media kit
This way when you do connect with key media professional they have all your book information right at their finger tips.

6. Get video testimonials for your book and add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Powerful video testimonials provide more credibility as you can watch the body language and see the customer. You can upload video testimonials using SlideShare and Google Presentations apps.
Plus, you can add your own videos and not only be able tell people what they can learn from your book but you will be able to show them your strategies in action.

Once You Create a LinkedIn Profile That Effectively Promotes Your Book…

You can create your own LinkedIn group, where you can create discussions based on the content of your book. This way you are regularly putting your book in front of your prospects, referral sources and the media’s faces. Plus, you can share your discussions with other groups that your prospects belong to this way you get information about your book in front of hundreds of thousands of potential buyers. But, you need that strong LinkedIn profile first if you want people to take your information seriously.

LinkedIn Expert Kristina Jaramillo

About the Author

LinkedIn Expert Kristina Jaramillo creates online marketplace opportunities for book authors who want more website traffic, prospects and profits. She is also the creator of the first and only Instant LinkedIn Marketing Templates that hold you by the hand and take you through every step of the LinkedIn marketing process. Grab her Instant LinkedIn Marketing Templates now at: http://www.InstantLinkedInMarketingTemplates.com/bookmarket.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Why a Book Marketing Plan Is Critical to Bookselling Success

Guest post by Dana Lynn Smith

Some authors write and publish books for their own self-fulfillment, and that's great. But if you want to make money or get a wide readership through your publishing venture, it needs to be treated like a business. Among other things, that means having a solid marketing plan to guide your strategy for selling books.

Here are some of the reasons why authors need a book marketing plan:

Some authors jump from one promotional activity to another, without any real strategy. Others do little or no promotion. A written book marketing plan is a blueprint to guide you in how, when, and where to promote your book.

The process of creating a book marketing plan helps you think through the characteristics of your book's target audiences and how to reach them.

There is huge competition in the book business, and readers have limited time and money to spend on books. With more than 300,000 new books published each year in the U.S. alone, and several million backlist titles available, it's essential to have a strategy for letting your target audiences know about your book and persuading them to buy it.

One step in creating a book marketing plan is to consider how to position your book against competing books. This is especially helpful for nonfiction. How is your book different from other titles on the same subject, and how can you convey that to potential buyers?

Books don't sell themselves. It's important to develop a plan and take action every day, even if it's just sending one email, posting something online, or making a phone call. You can set daily, weekly and monthly goals for book promotion.

There are many ways to promote a book, and we all have limited time and budgets. It's vital to prioritize your book promotion tasks and plan how to best focus your time and money. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Think about which activities seem to have the highest potential for success, given your particular book, target audiences, skills, available time, and budget.

A marketing plan isn't just about promotional activities – it also defines book distribution, pricing and wholesale discount strategies.

If you are seeking a traditional publisher, a marketing plan is an essential part of the book proposal. Agents and publishers want to know exactly who the target market is, what the competition is like, what kind of credentials and platform the author has, and how well the author will promote the book.

A solid book marketing plan is your roadmap to success. Take action now to develop your book marketing plan by downloading the free report, Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/book-marketing-plans.html.

If you've already got a written book marketing plan, take some time to evaluate it and make any necessary revisions. You'll be glad you did!

Dana Lynn Smith

About the Author

Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book promotion tips, get her free book marketing tips ebook at http://www.TheSavvyBookMarketer.com.


Also check out: http://bookmarket.com/book-marketing-plan.htm

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Why a Blog Is an Author's Best Marketing Tool

Guest post by Nina Amir

Many writers I know still do not want to become bloggers. They voice the same complaints I hear about other new media.
“It’s a time sink.”

“It’s one more thing to do that takes me away from my writing.”

“I’d rather be writing.”

“My writing is more important.”
These aspiring and published authors don’t realize that blogging is writing.

However, it’s writing with an added benefit. When you blog you promote yourself and your writing at the same time. As such a blog offers you, an aspiring or published author, an easy and effective marketing tool before and after you publish a book.

In fact, your blog can serve as the hub of your marketing efforts. It can help you build the platform necessary to land a publishing deal or successfully sell a traditional or self-published book. That’s why it’s best not to wait to the last minute to get started. Begin blogging long before your book hits the stores.

Don’t know how to start? Here are a few tips to make your blogging quick, simple and effective.

Blogging Is as Easy as Writing One Page of Copy as Often as Possible

1. Keep posts short. Your blog posts need not be long; 250 words will suffice. That’s just one page of copy. Knock them out in about 30 minutes or so. Don’t write more than 500 words unless you are writing just once or twice a week.

2. Edit and proofread once or twice, then publish. If you find a typo later, go back and fix it. The great a great feature of a blog.

3. Don’t over think each post, and don’t obsess about your posts being totally finished or your thoughts being entirely complete. Leave posts a bit unfinished, your thoughts hanging. Let your readers finish your lists, answer a question, offer an opinion, join in the conversation. This will beget engaged readers.

4. Write a minimum of once a week; two or three times a week is better. The more fresh content you provide, the faster you will get noticed by search engines and gain readers.

5. Blog about any and all things related to the topic of your book. (For blog post ideas, check out this post.) By focusing on the topic of your book, you organically use keywords that help your blog get found by those searching for information on that subject. You also can opt for an author blog where you write about other things—let readers into your mind, your life, your interests.

How to Blog a Book

The Marketing Benefits of Your Blogging Efforts

What will your blogging do for you and your published or soon-to-be published book? Here are just a few benefits you’ll reap:

1. Blogging increases your internet visibility in the search engines. The more content you produce on your blog on one particular topic, the more likely your blog will rise up in ranks on the search engine results pages. The more easily you and your blog are found when people search for related keywords, the more easily your book will be found—and purchased—as well.

2. Your blog posts allow you to become known to potential book buyers. As you gain blog readers, you develop loyal fans that trust you. These people will, in turn, buy your book. Today, the two big words in marketing and promotion are “trust” and “free.”

With a blog, you can give away a ton of great information about your book and yourself and help develop a huge amount of trust. This encourages people to purchase your book (and future books).

3. Your blog encourages the building of an author’s platform, or tribe. To create a successful book, you must have an author’s platform, a base of followers, fans, friends, listeners, etc. Author and marketer extraordinaire Seth Godin calls this a tribe.

You can build this in many ways, but a blog with a large readership IS a platform. Thus, the more you blog (and produce great content), the more your readers will share your work across social networks, and your platform will grow there as well (if you are a member). This means more people, in turn, will learn about your book and possibly purchase it.

4. A successful blog may be your ticket to a traditional publishing deal. These days, traditional publishers want authors, in particular nonfiction authors, who have a strong platform. If you can prove to a publisher your blog has a large number of unique readers each month, this may be the only platform element you need to land a contract.

A successful blog coupled with good relationships with other bloggers and large numbers of followers on social networks also can equate to a decent promotion plan in many cases, which can help land a publishing deal.

5. Your blog might get discovered by a publisher and land a blog-to-book deal! More blogs than ever before are getting found by agents and publishers and turned into books. I estimate that more blog-to-book deals were made last year than at what was called the height of the blog-to-book trend in 2009. Publishes see blogs as test-marketed books. In the process of blogging you may find you’ve made yourself enormously attractive to a publisher.

6. Blogging makes you the expert on your topic and a thought leader in your field. According to Technorati.com, 56% of all bloggers say their blog has helped them establish a position as a thought leader within an industry, and 58% say they are better-known in their industry because of their blog.

As you blog, you display your knowledge of a topic. In fact, you can become the expert on your topic simply by blogging about it. As an expert, you will have many opportunities to speak about your book. Your book will be quoted by other experts. You will be interviewed by the media. All of this should result in more book sales or in the development of an author’s platform.

I’ll leave you with a well-used marketing message: As Mikey used to say, “Try it, you’ll like it.” Not only that, blogging may become the best and easiest marketing tool in your tool box.

Nina Amir

About the Author

Nina Amir, Your Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they achieve more inspired results. She motivates writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products and careers as authors as well as to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose.

The author of ten books, including How to Blog a Book, Nina is an editor, consultant, and coach. Her clients’ books have sold 230,000+ copies and landed deals with top publishers. The founder of Write Nonfiction in November, she writes four blogs and two Examiner.com columns. She appears weekly on the popular Dresser After Dark radio show.

For information on her services, visit CopyWright Communications. To find all her blogs, go to http://www.ninaamir.com.

Preorder How to Blog a Book and receive a free 15-minute blog-a-book, book-a-blog, or blog coaching session or a discount on an upcoming Blog Your Way to a Book Deal teleclass. The next class begins the first week of February.

Blog Tour Palooza

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Profit by Sharing Your Stories

Guest post by John F. Harnish

Surely you have favorite stories you enjoy sharing with friends who laugh and proclaim, “That’s a real good one!” Your payoff is the laughter spun from your engaging storytelling. However, there’s financial profit to be earned when the written version is offered for sale at Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook bookstores. This article explains how to transform your oral tales into written words that can earn 70% in royalties.

Now don’t go fogging your mind with insecure thoughts of your inability to do this. Yes you can and I’ll explain how in three steps. Indeed they’re sooo easy even a cave dweller can do it—as long as the cave is equipped with a computer that has Internet access.

‘Tis true, our primitive ancestors were the first bonafide storytellers. After hunting and avoiding being eaten by prowling beasts, the clan would circle around the fire-pit for the evening amusement of sharing stories about adventures of the day. Wandering visitors were welcomed as honored guests. They arrived with never-heard stories ready to tell by the glowing flames. New tales were always a special treat. They were like a new book-of-the-month club offering.

Throughout the early centuries of the dawning civilization, storytellers were held in high regard as entertainers—much the same way popular performers receive rock star treatment. The better their storytelling skills were, the greater their stature. In times of warring when brutal battles bloodied the landscape, there was a prevailing rule: “Don’t kill the storytellers!” Storytellers were like today’s CNN reporters; however, their stories were longer than 30-second sound bites.

ABC's of Creating Your Written Story

A - Always select a story about interesting life experiences you are familiar with and comfortable sharing in a written form. The story could be one told for generations at family gatherings, or it could be an amusing story that you heard, and it stuck in your mind. Your story could be based on local folklore or about a legendary event you bring a fresh spin to.

It’s your story to tell the way you want to write it, but be sure you stay on topic and don’t overwhelm the reader with unnecessary details. The best stories to consider writing are the ones that you know thoroughly—and you can write passionately about.

And, “A” is for the author you become when your written words are published. Thanks to the Digital Age of Publishing, it’s not a matter of if your story will be published, but rather a question of when—and that could be within a few days.

B is for the beginning of the story. Creative writing professors teach hooking methods for manipulating parts of the story to make it a compelling read. If you’ve learned these techniques and you’re comfortable incorporating them into your story to capture the reader’s attention with a bit of foreshadowing, do so, but stay within your writing comfort zone. It’s fine to start at the beginning, letting the story come together in your mind while you’re writing it.

Be direct but don’t blow readers away. Keep your writing in an easy to follow conversational style. Don’t go preaching to your readers. Avoid lecturing like you’re explaining the finer points of chaos theory. Don’t get into ranting about pet peeves. Stay focused on telling the story and write in a friendly tone as if you were talking with the reader, because that’s what you’re doing through your written words.

“B” is also for the book you’re not writing at this time. Your first short story is a great way to test the water and learn from reader feedback how well you’ve expressed yourself. Writing a book is more complex than writing a story.

C is completion, bring your story to a conclusion. End the story or conjure up a creative cliffhanger to generate interest in your next story that’s a work-in-progress. Story writing is addictive. Sure, writing a fitting ending is difficult when you’re enjoying polishing your words, but there comes a time to finally write “The End.”

Unfortunately stories are not like Butterball turkeys, there isn’t a thingy to pop out letting you know the story is done just right. Only you can determine when the finished piece is ready to serve to the hungry public.

ebook publishing
ePublishing Your Story

Here’s the profit I boldly inserted in the title. There is a reliable estimate that attributes 95% of all digitized downloads to purchases from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Their combined 95% is a significant dominance in the marketplace. Downloads can be read on most of the popular reading devices. Kindle and Nook bookstores offer free sample reads for shoppers to peruse before clicking the buy button.

These links will take you to where to publish your stories for free and earn 70% in royalties:
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing at: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin and Barnes & Noble Pubit! at: http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com.

These author-friendly websites explain how to open a free account and publish your work. You need to provide checking account information—Amazon and B&N deposit monthly royalties directly into authors’ accounts. Both maintain real-time accounting pages showing sales as they occur.

If your content is all text, the conversion processes provided through their websites do an acceptable job. The download appears on handheld devices the same as it’s displayed on the preview screen. You always have the option of going back and making formatting adjustments.

Exposure, Exposure, Exposure

The three rules of selling real estate are location, location, and location. The same is true for successfully selling ebooks, except the magical word is exposure! The more exposure for your content, the better the opportunities are for selling ebooks.

When your content is on Amazon and B&N you have valuable windows of exposure on the most popular and customer-friendly bookstores. This is priceless real estate in high traffic locations that money can’t buy because it’s absolutely free.

They’ve made it easy for shoppers to find your content through the keywords uploaded with the ebook’s description. Both of these online giants optimize keywords and the title by putting the information into search engines. They’re creating exposure opportunities by maximizing your keywords. Both are liberal on the length of content descriptions.

Amazon and B&N are providing beneficial services and excellent exposure in exchange for their reasonable percentage of the selling price. Clearly they have created robust programs whereby both authors and booksellers benefit when ebooks sell.

The key phrase: when ebooks sell! The endless task of promoting is the responsibility of the authors. Everything authors can do to increase exposure eventually results in steadily increasing sales. One of the benefits of promoting your ebook is eventually happens a lot sooner.

Send a brief email to friends letting them know your published story is available for sale. They are likely to download it, especially when you include links to Amazon and B&N. Hopefully you’ll receive emails letting you know how much they enjoyed it. Respond with thanks and ask them to post blurbs where they purchased your story. Customer reviews are omnipotent for generating more sales.

Now start writing your story. Royalties of 70% are a great incentive.

Profit from Sharing Your Stories

About the Author

John F. Harnish, aka John Franklin, is a prolific author of more than a dozen popular books and numerous magazine articles. He is a descendant of Benjamin Franklin. With over five decades of experience in the publishing industry, John recently retired prematurely as a senior executive with a mid-size digital publisher.

This article is based on his ebook Profit from Sharing Your Stories When You Publish Ebooks through Amazon and B&N.

His most recent ebook is Busting Writer’s Block and other Tricks and Profitable Treats for Authors. John can be reached via his website at: The Nose Saga: Cancer Stinks.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: How to Sell Books Using Facebook

Guest post by Steve Harrison

Leif Peterson has a unique claim to fame: He’s the author of Missing, the first novel written entirely on Facebook. Initially started as a short writing challenge from a friend, Peterson soon realized the story, about a man who sees his own face on a Missing Person poster, had greater potential.

“I started posting daily installments on Facebook pretty much on a whim, but right away I realized that there were a lot of people paying attention,” Peterson says. “The fact that people were following along and often leaving comments was very motivating.”

For four months, five days a week, he posted new installments to his story and attracted many eager readers. Some of his biggest fans frequently shared their opinions on his Facebook page, and expressed frustration at having to wait 24 hours for the next chapter. Peterson decided to reward some of those readers by naming new characters after them.

Though Peterson had previously published fiction commercially, he chose to self-publish Missing about a year after he completed it, after his agent declined the story. Because of the unusual nature of the story’s genesis, he ended up getting a lot of unexpected attention online.

According to Peterson, “Once the book was published I sent out a press release. Interestingly, the press release got repeated on hundreds of websites and blogs. It even showed up on the New Yorker’s website, and a guy in the Philippines did a podcast about it.”

As Peterson’s story shows, Facebook’s viral quality makes this giant of social networking sites an important tool for any author’s promotional strategy. Fortunately, you don’t have to write an entire novel on Facebook to take advantage of its marketing power.


Karen Morss, the author of the self-published children’s book Flying Poodles: A Christmas Story, discovered another unique and fun way to promote her work — through profile matching.

“I had about 200 Facebook friends at the time, and I decided to post a new profile photo that was me and my standard poodle, Miss Lucy Ball,” Morss says. “All of a sudden, Facebook started suggesting friends that had poodles in their profiles. I also joined all the poodle pages on Facebook, and within six months I had over 1,800 friends, 1,600 of whom own poodles, or at least love them.” For Morss, the increase in Facebook friends led to an increase in book sales, as her story started being seen by the right audience.


For fiction authors, a fun Facebook promotion idea is to create pages and profiles for your main characters. Seth Grahame-Smith has a page for his bestselling novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and has created character profiles for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and Corpse Bill, among others. The page for his book has nearly 13,000 “likes” and the characters remain active on Facebook, interacting with fans.


With Facebook, the promotion possibilities are endless — but it’s important to understand how the site works, and what members want (or don’t want) to see in their friend feeds. Here are some tips for you on generating Facebook buzz without alienating your followers.

Tip No. 1: Do use Facebook’s tools to add friends.

Because Facebook is an interactive network, it will often suggest friends, events and groups for you to like. If you’ve always ignored these little prompts that appear on the side of the page, start checking them out. The more friends you have on Facebook, the greater opportunity you’ll have for people to find out more about you.

Make sure your profile includes easily accessible information about your book. You can fill out the About Me box under your profile picture with your book title and a brief description, so that visitors to your profile can immediately see you’re an author. Don’t forget to list your website under your personal information, too!

Tip No. 2: Don’t add friends or join groups blindly.

While it’s good to have a lot of Facebook friends, it’s better to have a lot of quality Facebook friends. There are still quite a few trolls out there looking to add people just for the sake of getting more page views to promote a website — usually an unsavory one. It only takes a second to view the profile for any friend or group request you receive, so make sure to check it out before you accept.

Tip No. 3: Do join groups that share interests related to your book’s subject.

Like Morss has done with her poodle book, joining relevant Facebook groups can give you a built-in audience that is interested in what you have to say. It’s easy to find groups on Facebook — simply enter a subject in the search box, and then click on the Groups tab of the results page.

Once you’ve joined a group, make sure you’re active and participatory. Being a static group member is not likely to help with your promotional efforts. Introduce yourself on the group’s wall, and participate in discussions and conversations that are going on within the group. This increases the chance that other group members will want to click through to your profile.

Tip No. 4: Don’t be a broken record.

If there’s one thing most people on Facebook don’t like, it’s friends who do nothing but ask them to buy something or join something every time they update their status. Don’t make every status update about your book. This is the fastest way to get people on Facebook to ignore you, or even unfriend you.

Instead, you can post links to interesting articles that are related to your book’s subject, share funny or inspirational quotes, add photos or videos, or offer valuable content for your friends or group members, such as free downloads or discounts.

The best way to promote on Facebook is to make your status updates interesting enough to get people to view your profile — which is where you should keep all the information about your book — and keep them coming back for future updates.

Steve Harrison

About the Author

Steve Harrison of Bradley Communications is the editor-in-chief of Book Marketing Update, a paid print newsletter. The above article originally appeared in that newsletter which goes out to members of the Million Dollar Author Club. You can get more information at http://www.milliondollarauthorclub.com.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Write a Tip Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less

Guest post by Judy Cullins

Are you blog marketing with tips already? Do you fully realize the benefits of that?

As you look for tips to help you in your business, millions of others are looking as well. Your online audiences love tips because they don't want to spend a lot of time reading. They want the easy-to-read nuggets that pertain to their needs and interests so they can skim. Your potential buyers want solutions to their problems and concerns.

When you give solutions, you show yourself as a trusted authority in your niche and bring your target market to your website. Once your visitor signs up for your ongoing tips, you will develop trust that brings eventual clients and program sales.

If you don’t write excellent blog tips, you won’t stand out from the crowd and won’t get those visitors you want. You will stay unknown; business will stagnate. That’s sad, because you won’t make the sales you want either.

So, are you ready to discover a blog marketing strategy that always works?

Meet the 30-minute Tip Blog Post!

The tip blog post delivers. You can write one in 30 minutes. Leverage your writing time. Take information from a longer how-to blog post of about 1,200 words or take from your how-to or self-help book chapters. You have hundreds of these in your files and folders awaiting a transformation.

Even if you're not a professional writer, you can write a tip because you know your audience's challenges. With a tip blog post you can partially solve your audience’s concerns. They’ll know you can do even more for them when they visit your website.

Remember, not all tips are equal. They need to follow a format. Many professionals write sloppy tips that don’t deliver information clearly. But now, you can be a top resource with this strategy.

Four Steps to Writing Your Tip Blog Post

1. Create a tip blog post title that pulls your audience in.

Include a benefit and/or your specific audience in your title. Put appropriate key words in the blog title, so the search engines will rank you higher.

Blog Coaching Tip. Make your first sentence count. Use keywords in it.

2. Write a hook and thesis in the first paragraph.

Look at my first line and paragraph above. It engages with questions on where you are now, gives benefits so you keep reading, and invites you in with enthusiasm.

3. Use a command verb to start each tip.

For example, “Do this, using specifics.” When you mix noun phases, some using –ing words, know that they are passive and your reader may yawn. Command verbs show action. When your tips are not consistent, your reader may get confused. When consistent, they move your audience to action.

4. Share the benefits for doing the tip.

Or share the consequences from not doing it after each command verb tip in each paragraph.

Most of us want to use positive outcomes, and yet some of our audiences will react better to consequences as motivators to move.

5. Give your readers resources to find more solutions to their challenges in each tip.

“Where do I find great people and programs on this topic?” your blog reader asks. One way is to include one or two website URL’s as a resource to use where your reader can get more information. Mention a book and its URL where they can get deeper information beyond the tips.

Use Google keyword phrases in this anchor text that will take your readers to expanded information. And, mention mentors who specialize in this category. If you don’t share where to get this information, you leave your readers unsatisfied.

Blog Coaching Tip. Write 10 blog tips in one article if you want 1000 words or more. Some blog sites require longer guest blogs. Write 3, 5 or 7 tips for shorter blogs that you and other blog sites want.

When you apply these blog tip gems, you will put your business on a fast track, and you’ll be known as a trusted authority who will make good things happen with your clients.

What was the number one tip you learned from this blog that will make your blog marketing more successful? And, leave your burning question too! I will answer it.

Get more specific blog help in LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Your Book and Business Sales at http://bookcoaching.com/linkedin-marketing.php.

Judy Cullins

About the Author

Book and Blog Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your blog into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books for business people and authors including LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales and Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast!, Judy offers free, weekly publications on writing and online marketing at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.php.

Blog Tour Palooza

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Using Twitter to Promote Your Books

Guest post by Coleen Torres

Before the onslaught of social media promotions, book marketing was done through more traditional routes such as book tours, mailing book copies out to be reviewed, and radio or TV interviews.

However, while those are still great ways to get word out there, utilizing the different social media platforms is an even more effective way to promote your latest book venture because of the magnitude of people they allow you to reach all at once. And while most people turn to Facebook first for marketing purposes, Twitter is an equally efficient and easy way to spread the word.

1. Create your own hashtag.

Having a unique hashtag (e.g., #HarryPotter) makes it easy for people to find all of the conversations ensuing around one particular topic – in this case, your book. The hashtag should be something pertinent to the book, such as the title of the book (if it’s short enough) or a prominent and well-known character from the book (if it’s from a series).

2. Have a custom landing page.

Your Twitter homepage should be a custom created Twitter page and not one that is a basic, run-of-the-mill page. Having a custom page is more visually appealing to people and shows that you are a professional and not just some random person.

Your Twitter profile page is essentially your first impression, and you want it to be one that encourages people to stay and learn more, not something that gets lost in the crowd. Be sure to include a link to your blog or book website so that interested people can easily locate your book.

3. Make your tweets real.

Don’t only send out automated-sounding tweets that are designed to sell your book. Send out tweets that help personalize you as well. People thrive on feeling a connection with others through social media, so you have to straddle the line between promoting your book and still being a real person. When you can learn to balance the two, you will find yourself infinitely more successful.

4. Market everything.

If you’re doing a book tour, having a book signing, hosting a Twitter chat, writing a blog or anything else that relates to you and your book, then you should be tweeting about it! This will help your expand your exposure.

5. Network!

Follow authors within your genre, reporters, book reviewers, booksellers, literary agents, etc. Twitter allows you to follow anyone and everyone, so you can connect and form relationships with people who can help you move forward within your profession. Once you form a relationship with them, you can use that as a tool to help you in your book promotions.

Twitter allows you to form more intimate relationships with people than other traditional social media platforms because it allows you to create a professional and yet personal persona. Use this the right way and you can escalate your book promotions to a whole new level of exposure and success.


About the Author

Coleen Torres is an editor with http://www.phonetvinternet.com. You can find more about her at her profile for the home phone service.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Creative Marketing Nets Real Results

Guest post by David A. Koop

I have tried many out of the box ideas for marketing my top 10 bestselling cancer memoir Cancer It's a Good Thing I Got It! What I would like to share with you now combines several of those ideas together, providing spectacular results for me. They can do the same for you.

David Koop While I was still in the middle of the writing process, I had business cards printed up. Yes, the full color cover of my book on the front and some very important information on the back.

I talked and talked with everyone about my book and always gave them a card. Every time I paid a bill I put two of my book cards in with the check. After paying for my meal at restaurants I always left a book card with the receipt. I still do these things today.

Part of the information on the back of the first book cards, those issued prior to publication, offered readers a chance to pre-purchase an autographed copy of my book at a discount. Yes, I did receive early orders with payment.

Those back orders were a strong incentive for me to finish writing the book. I had received readers’ hard-earned cash and even spent it, so I really needed to finish the book. If I could get people to pay that much money for the promise of a book, imagine how many I could sell with an actual book in hand.

One particular group of people who received a lot of those cards was Alaska Airlines employees: Ticket agents, gate agents, baggage handlers and flight attendants. It was great to see orders coming in online, the majority with one thing in common. jane@alaskaair.com, bob@alaskaair.com, francine@alaskaair.com, and on and on and on. WOW! It really works.

Many people who chose not to pre-order took advantage of another discount code "I Met Him." It gave them a 20% discount. They emailed us their interest in getting a copy of the book when it was published. With their names on our email list, a publication notice went out when the book was done and a wave of new orders came in.

It worked so well that with the help of all the pre-orders and pent up demand, my book was pushed onto the bestseller list!

I never go anywhere without my books in my briefcase, and I sell books every day that I can be out and about. The employees of Alaska Airlines are still top customers. I have yet to take a trip where I haven't sold a least one book per leg of the trip, usually more. Some employees have purchased one for themselves and extra copies for gifts.
I give the employee the card first and later, when the bulk of their duties on the plane are done, I ask them if they would like to see the book as I hand them a copy. The front and back cover usually seal the deal. Depending on the flight length, I sometimes suggest they check out the table of contents and maybe read a chapter or two. I make sure they know that they can get a copy autographed at a discount. I return to my seat and let them have as much time as they need.

One here, three or four there, no I’m not going to get rich at that rate. But at the end of the year it is an extra 300 to 400 books sold and lots of new readers spreading the word. Talk to everyone, everywhere, all the time and NEVER go out without some books.

Note from John Kremer: David attended the Palm Springs seminar I did recently, and I know he sold copies to many of the attendees, including multiple copies in some cases. David has a great story to tell - and he sells it well.

About the Author

David A. Koop is a bestselling author, speaker, and world class speaking coach. You can check out his moving cancer memoir Cancer It's a Good Thing I Got It! at http://www.somedaygroup.com.

Yes, "I Met Him" will still get you (the reader of this blog) a 20% discount at checkout on his website. It’s as easy as ABC - Always Be Closing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Don't Trip When Opportunity Calls

Guest post by Nancy Juetten

Do you want to be a sought-after and well compensated consultant, speaker, and media expert?  And, when you read these words, is your head nodding YES in a big way?

Imagine what it would mean for your business if the following happened for you:
Make News - You are tired of seeing your competitors featured in the news instead of your own perspectives. Now, you are ready to take your place in the media spotlight and take the initiative to seek out the right opportunities. Finally you turn media envy into media triumph – and smile all the way to the bank.
Makeover Your Website - You want to makeover the copy on your home page or your About Us page so it lands with impact for people who can’t wait to engage you to work your magic. Your new message is one that gives your balance sheet cause for celebration because your ideal clients “get to YES” about the programs, products, and services you offer.
Get Paid to Speak - You’ve set a goal to welcome 10 paid speaking engagements in the new year. And your new and compelling speaker sheet is just the ticket to compel meeting planners to get to a fast YES about you and your signature topic. They gladly pay your four or five-figure speaking fee.
It all sounds rather intoxicating, doesn't it?

Free Broadcast Your Brilliance Webinar
Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time: 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern
Here is the link to register: http://www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com/nancy-juetten-and-john-kremer-say-bye-bye-boring-bio-and-get-ready-for-opportunity-in-the-new-year

During this live call:
I will guide you through a five-step system that you can apply immediately to prepare winning stories about your expertise. Whether you want to attract clients, speaking gigs, or media interviews.
You’ll learn the essential messages you need to convey to get booked now.
You’ll learn some of the most common mis-steps to avoid so you can pave your path to prosperity faster.

When you are ready, you can respond with speed, ease, and grace to every opportunity to broadcast your brilliance and accelerate your path to prosperity now.

You are in good position to:
Get selected over the competition.

Get known as someone who is on the ball and a joy to work with.

Welcome referrals to other influential decision makers, joint venture partners, and meeting planners, and leveraged media opportunities that can bring your message far and wide to more of the right people.
Over the last year, I have finely tuned a program that guides independent business professionals, speakers, authors, and mission-driven experts to get seen, heard, celebrated and compensated for their expert status. Scores of graduates are celebrating their successes as measured by their enhanced credibility, visibility, and prosperity. And they are making it happen under their own power!

Wait and See Rarely Delivers the Right Rewards

Many aspiring and emerging experts choose to get ready to stand out and shine so they can step into their full potential. Others take a wait and see approach. They say that they will get ready when opportunity calls. Or, they just haven’t yet gotten around to getting their act together.

Far too many people are scrambling, which means that they aren’t making winning first impressions. Chances are, they are dropping other important balls with high priority projects in order to pull together what is needed. And they are wishing they had gotten their act together yesterday.

The fact is, being ready for opportunity counts for a lot.

If you know in your gut that you aren’t quite ready and you are ready to take action to change that, help is as close as your telephone or computer. I am inviting you to a free webinar that I and John Kremer are hosting on Tuesday, January 24th at 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern.

This call will get you fast on the path to readiness to welcome the right oportunities with ease, grace, and impact.

Again, visit the link below to register now. And, of course, invite your friends!


Broadcast Your Brilliance

About the Author

Nancy “Broadcast Your Brilliance” Juetten is a word wizard, workshop leader, and Bye-Bye Boring Bio author on a quest to guide mission-driven experts to spell out their greatness and broadcast their brilliance through the power of storytelling and publicity.

Whether clients seek to attract clients, speaking gigs, or media attention, they learn to welcome those results by acting on Nancy’s road-tested and proven advice to tell stories all their own. Best of all, they broadcast their brilliance with confidence, readiness, and ease so the right people can celebrate, invest, and benefit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Broadcast Your Brilliance

Guest post by Nancy Juetten

Aspiring experts and authors around the world are starting off the year with the bold intention to get known and get paid for their expert status.  If this is your goal, here are a few tips inspired by the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” to guide you forward:
  • Don’t let blue bird envy stand in your way. Wishing and hoping doesn’t get the job done. Get into action today to earn the attention you seek for your message.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get what you need. Good witches and mentors are everywhere — if you just ask the local munchkins for quality recommendations.
  • Don't settle. Along your yellow brick road to success, don’t settle for Munchkin Land when the Emerald City or the Land of Oz is what you really want. Think big about what you want to accomplish and the perfect outlets where you most want your message to be heard.
  • Celebrate new media. If the crystal ball isn’t delivering the solutions and information you need, find alternative ways to learn how to carry your message forward.
  • Put your best dress on and your best face forward before you make your pitch.
  • Stand out. It takes brains, courage, and heart to make your message stand out.
  • Stand apart. Frame your story as a horse of a different color so it stands apart.
  • Make magic. Just as Dorothy discovered, you can make a lot of magic happen if you just click your heels together and get to work.

Learn more by attending a free high-value webinar with Nancy Juetten hosted by John Kremer.

Tuesday, January 24th at 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern

Here is the link to save your place: http://www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com/nancy-juetten-and-john-kremer-say-bye-bye-boring-bio-and-get-ready-for-opportunity-in-the-new-year

Broadcast Your Brilliance

About the Author

Publicity expert Nancy Juetten has spoken to thousands of business owners through webinars, teleseminars, media interviews and articles. Juetten teaches the Broadcast Your Brilliance webinar series that trains professionals, speakers, and authors to get seen and heard in the media to attract clients, earn credibility, and make money. Sign up now for her high-impact webinar next week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: 5 Ways to Promote Self-Published Books

Guest post by Sarah Gilbert

Whether books have been published traditionally or through self-publishing routes, it is important for every author to know effective ways to promote their books. Someone can be the best writer in the world, but if people don’t know about their book, they won’t have many sales.

It is crucial, when you self publish your book, that you in turn do things to promote it.. Taking the time to promote your book will result in an increase in sales, recognition and success, without a doubt.

Here are 5 ways to promote self published books:

1. Start blogging. Blogging can be an effective way to build a platform. Using the right search engine optimization (SEO) words can help draw in traffic to the blog. Blogs can contain written posts or even video posts. Use it as a way to connect with current fans and create new ones.

2. Give talks. Giving talks or book readings can be an effective way to get noticed. Offer to give them at local book clubs and libraries. Or do an online virtual book tour or engage in webinars.

3. Connect with media. Many media outlets can be helpful in getting a book or author noticed. Send a press release or work with a public relations agent to contact local radio, television, and print media outlets. Offer to do talks, be a show guest, etc.

4. Send review copies. Many people review books, either on blogs or in print. Sending out some review copies, with a nice note enclosed, can be a good way to get them interested in choosing the book for a published review.

5. Use social media. The power of social media cannot be denied. Whether using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or something else, these are effective ways to connect with people and spread the word. Make it a goal to get connected.

Book sales really come down to people knowing about the book in the first place. The job of every author, whether self-published or not, is to let people know about your book and why they should read it. Make an effective plan of action for marketing your book, and then work toward it each month.


About the Author

Sarah Gilbert is the director of sales at Lulu.com, a print-on-demand publisher. Lulu has 1.1 million creators with 20,000 titles added to their collection each month.

Their  print-on-demand publishing service is provided free (with additional add-on services that do cost money) and authors retain all rights as well as 80 percent of all profit from sales. For more information, visit their website at http://www.lulu.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: John Kremer's Book Marketing Birthday Bash

Post by John Kremer

Last night, on my 63rd birthday, I hosted a Book Marketing Birthday Bash Q&A teleseminar. Here are a few of the questions that were asked and answered during the session:
  • I write children's books and magazine and newspaper articles. Do I need 2 websites, 1 for each?
  • What is the single biggest mistake self-publishing authors make promoting their books?
  • Can you give me any branding tips for book authors?
  • What are the best ways to gun up audience for Twitter or blogs?
  • What is a blog tour?
  • How do you get invited on a blog tour?
  • My book has been at the publishers for a while now. I do not know when it will be completed so I am not too sure what kind of marketing to do without a publication date. Any suggestions?
  • What's your feeling on the usefulness of book trailers?
  • We have a Christian book about weight loss. We have a website for the book. How would you recommend marketing it to churches around the country?
  • Is there an ideal size for an ebook? For example, the number of print pages that makes for a good ebook?
  • Is it a good idea to put your e-book in Amazon's free Kindle library? Any advantages?
  • Which is your favorite service for ebook conversion and distribution?
  • Is the book cover important in selling an ebook?
  • What, if anything, are the best kinds of swag to have for conferences, book stores, etc.?
  • My novel is published as an ebook only. Will your Real Fast Book Marketing program be a good fit for me?
I covered other areas as well in answering some of the above questions. You can listen to this free book promotion teleseminar at the following URL: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=25717449.

At the same URL, you can also download the teleseminar as an MP3 for listening as you drive, pack your books, jog, exercise, or work on your computer.

Your webinar on your birthday was SO helpful! I took notes throughout the hour and will plan to check out the many sites and ideas you recommended. I’ll continue listening to you and recommending you to my writing friends. - Kayleen Reusser, author of Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia

John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as the developer of the following programs:

Book Marketing Magic: http://www.bookmarket.com/novelmarketing.htm - How to market novels, children's books, memoirs, and more. $48 special offer

15,000 Eyeballs Internet Marketing Program: http://www.bookmarket.com/15000eyeballs.htm - Ten lessons on how to get thousands of impressions for you, your book, your blog, or your website. $50

Real Fast Book Marketing: http://www.bookmarket.com/realfastbookmarketing.htm - How to sell 100 to 200 copies of any book in two weeks or less. $97

Blog Tour Palooza: http://www.bookmarket.com/blog-tour-palooza.htm - How to carry out a blog tour or virtual book tour that gets millions of impressions, builds your brand, and sells thousands of books. $297

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Seth Godin's Advice to Book Authors, Part II

Advice to Book Authors, Part II

This article is now located here:

The Domino Project with Seth Godin

About the Author

Seth Godin is the founder of The Domino Project and has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and, most of all, changing everything.

John Kremer's Free Book Marketing Birthday Bash Teleseminar

Thanks to all of you who are wishing a great birthday on January 16th. I'm 63 years young.

I'm celebrating by giving a free teleseminar to answer all your book marketing and ebook promotion questions.

Details here: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=25717449

book marketing expert John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, developer of the Blog Tour Palooza program, and webmaster of BookMarket.com.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Seth Godin's Advice to Book Authors, Part I

Guest post by Seth Godin

If you’re an author or an aspiring author (and I trust that you are), it’s time to end the fruitless struggle with a dying business model and think hard about how the world has changed. I wrote two posts on this subject five years ago. Here, unchanged, is the first post:

Advice for Book Authors, Part I

Always beware of free advice. It is worth what it costs!

That said, I get a fair number of notes from well respected, intelligent people who are embarking on their first nonfiction book project. They tend to ask very similar questions, so I thought I’d go ahead and put down my five big ideas in one place to make it easier for everyone.

I guarantee you that you won’t agree with all of them, but, as they say, your mileage may vary.

1. Book publishing is an organized hobby, not a business.

The return on equity and return on time for authors and for publishers is horrendous. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re going to be disappointed.

On the other hand, a book gives you leverage to spread an idea and a brand far and wide. There’s a worldview that’s quite common that says that people who write books know what they are talking about and that a book confers some sort of authority.

2. The timeframe for the launch of books has gone from silly to unrealistic.

When the world moved more slowly, waiting more than a year for a book to come out was not great, but tolerable. Today, even though all other media has accelerated rapidly, books still take a year or more. You need to consider what the shelf life of your idea is.

3. There is no such thing as effective book promotion by a book publisher.

This isn’t true, of course. Harry Potter gets promoted. So did Freakonomics. But out of the 75,000 titles published last year in the US alone, I figure 100 were effectively promoted by the publishers. This leaves a pretty big gap. [Note from John Kremer: Now there are half a million titles published last year and, alas, only about 100 are effectively promoted by publishers.]

This gap is either unfilled, in which case the book fails, or it is filled by the author. Here’s the thing: publishing a book is really nothing but a socially acceptable opportunity to promote yourself and your ideas far and wide and often.

If you don’t promote it, no one will. If you don’t have a better strategy than, “Let’s get on Oprah,” you should stop now. If you don’t have an asset already–a permission base of thousands or tens of thousands of people, a popular blog, thousands of employees, a personal relationship with Willard Scott… then it’s too late to start building that asset once you start working on a book.

By the way, blurbs don’t sell books. Not really. You can get all the blurbs in the world for your book and it won’t help if you haven’t done everything else (quick aside: the guy who invented the word “blurb” also wrote the poem Purple Cow).

4. Books cost money and require the user to read them for the idea to spread.

Obvious, sure, but real problems. Real problems because the cost of a book introduces friction to your idea. It makes the idea spread much much more slowly than an online meme because in order for it to spread, someone has to buy it. Add to that the growing (and sad) fact that people hate to read. Too often, people have told me, with pride, that they read three chapters of my book. Just three.

5. Publishing is like venture capital, not like printing.

Printing your own book is very very easy and not particularly expensive. You can hire professional copyeditors and designers and end up with a book that looks just like one from Random House. That’s easy stuff.

What Random House and others do is invest. They invest cash in an advance. They invest time in creating the book itself and selling it in and they invest more cash in printing books. Like all VCs, they want a big return.

If you need the advance to live on, then publishers serve an essential function. If, on the other hand, you’re like most non-fiction authors and spreading the idea is worth more than the advance, you may not.

So, what’s my best advice for book authors?

Build an asset. Large numbers of influential people who read your blog or read your emails or watch your TV show or love your restaurant or or or…

Then, put your idea into a format where it will spread fast. That could be an ebook (a free one) or a pamphlet (a cheap one–the Joy of Jello sold millions and millions of copies at a dollar or less).

Then, if your idea catches on, you can sell the souvenir edition. The book. The thing people keep on their shelf or lend out or get from the library. Books are wonderful (I own too many!) but they’re not necessarily the best vessel for spreading your idea.

And the punchline, of course, is that if you do all these things, you won’t need a publisher. And that’s exactly when a publisher will want you! That’s the sort of author publishers do the best with.

Tomorrow: Part II of my Advice for Book Authors

The Domino Project with Seth Godin

About the Author

Seth Godin is the founder of The Domino Project and has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and, most of all, changing everything.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Networking with Colleagues

Guest post by Lynnette Phillips

Collegial networking - Impressive sounding jargon for something as simple as learning from and keeping in touch with your colleagues. The surprising thing that I have found is how generous people in the book world can be. Fellow marketers are eager to share their tips and information, authors go out of their way to keep in touch, publishers and publicists make sure you know how much you’re appreciated.

Networking like all marketing is built on relationships and, like in all relationships, some reciprocity is involved. Also realize that you have more colleagues in this field than just your fellow writers. Anyone who touches your work can be considered a colleague: editors, marketers, reviewers, readers, bloggers.

So how do you touch their lives regularly?

Share your thoughts, ideas, and tips or ask a question. These are great ways to network with colleagues and, like with marketing, there’s a variety of means! Try using both online and offline venues to reach the widest audience.

Social media is key. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are considered to be the top four networking sites online. Don’t mistake these as the only options though. Target your networking the same way you’d target your readers or marketing venues.
What genre or sub‑genre do you work in most often? Look for forums, discussion boards or even associations that support the avenue your publishing follows; what are your interests, are you self‑published, are your books in e-book format?
Target your followers. Make your social media networking more effective and efficient by targeting your followers, too. There are sites that promise to get you 1,000 new followers overnight but these won’t be quality followers. You’ll want to be able to weed out the spammers and anyone else who couldn’t care less about what you do. Ask yourself: Who would be most likely to retweet or recommend my posts to others?

Limit the number of fellow authors. Remember, you want to populate your group of followers with people who compliment what you do, not counterparts.
To do this you’ll want to accept each of your followers individually. I know, this sounds very time consuming but the payoff will come in the number of contacts you make; http://www.socialoomph.com can help you in this with their vet followers feature. Note: You want to increase the number of contacts you can make not the number of followers you can accumulate.

Connect with readers. As a writer you’ll want to form relationships and connect with readers. GoodReads is the largest reader networking community online making it an excellent place for an author to interact.

Join groups on Facebook to target audiences there. Find groups and individuals by typing search terms into the search bar at the top of the page. For example, you might type in “book bloggers” or “book blogger groups” or “book review groups” or “book reviewers.”

Mail thank you notes or cards. Everyone likes to be remembered and there’s a service that makes this easier than ever. Visit CardsforAuthors.com whether the relationship is online or offline oriented. You can select a card or note, inscribe your message and mail it off all from the comfort of your home. They will handle the addressing of the envelope and getting it to the post office with real postage!

Become part of a writer’s group or take a writing class. Before you know it you’ll be forming alliances with like-minded writers, critiquing each other’s work, learning from one another and even trading cross editing tasks. Why not network with a writer’s group online and another offline?

Join or organize a literary event such as a poetry reading or author’s meet and greet.

Become a member of a writers’ association such as the Western Writers of America.

Consider not only writing guest blog posts for colleagues but also interviewing other writers and reviewing each other’s books.

Lynnette Phillips

About the Author

Lynnette Phillips maintains three blogs; one for book reviews, one for book marketing tips and information and a third the provides links, resources and tips information on free platforms and writing contests available to writers and authors.

She also authors book marketing and self-publishing guides available on Kindle, including Fight Back! Don't Let Twitter and Facebook Take Over. She created Book Marketing on Auto-Pilot to help busy writers and authors automate their daily marketing tasks.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: You Can Be on ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX News Next Week!

Guest post by Clint Arthur

Before I appeared on TV the first time, I remember thinking to myself, Why would anybody want to put me on the news? I’m an unknown middle-age guy. I’m not a celebrity, not a movie star, not a politician. I have no TV experience. My book is self-published. So why would any producer want me?

But money is an amazing thing. I agreed to pay a publicist $1,500 for every local TV interview she got me, and a week later I received this email: “Congratulations! Just booked you on ABC15 Phoenix TV Friday, January 29, 2010.”

And after that one, three more followed in short order. I ended up paying that publicist $6,000 for my first four interviews. She was thrilled. I turned out to be pretty horrible on all 4 shows. Didn’t even budge the needle for my book on Amazon.

After posting the 4th video clip on YouTube, I was faced with a tough decision. As a businessman I had a hard time rationalizing an ROI of zero, but I knew that becoming great at TV interviews was important to my career as a writer. So I decided to do the only thing that made sense: I learned how to book myself on local TV shows.

It took months of trial and error, but I finally broke the code. Since then I’ve booked 31 interviews in cities all across America, including Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Diego, Albuquerque, Boston, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Making so many appearances and getting onto such big market stations has helped me to promote my books all the way to #1 on Amazon.

Once I knew what I was doing it got so easy that I started teaching my friends and business associates my tricks and secrets, and now my students have booked themselves in Connecticut, Virginia, Arkansas, Memphis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York!

New TV Power

It turns out that it’s better to book yourself on local TV shows than to hire a publicist.

1. Booking yourself is free. All it takes is time and phone-calls. You can do it, or you can have an assistant or secretary do it for you.

2. Booking yourself gives you the opportunity to audition for a producer right there on the phone, and using this form of instant audition you can often get booked on the spot.

3. Booking yourself allows you to respond and modify your pitch to meet a producer’s needs. Two authors who teach people how to make toasts switched gears when a Las Vegas producer didn’t have time in her schedule prior to New Year’s Eve. They modified their pitch to work for early January and got booked for CBS News Las Vegas on January 2, 2011.

4. You care more about your career. It’s better to book yourself because you actually care more about your career than publicists who only care about their careers. You don’t have to be wise King Solomon to know that nobody really cares about anyone beside themselves.

5. When you are booking yourself, you have more certainty. If producers are saying “No,” at least you really know that they are saying no. When my publicist told me “Good Morning America isn’t interested in you,” I always wondered if Good Morning America ever actually heard about me?

6. When you book yourself, you get to maintain total control over your relationship with the producers. Great relationships with producers have resulted in my eight appearances on Fox 5 San Diego, repeat appearances three times in Las Vegas, four times in Houston, and twice in both Chicago and Boston.

7. You can switch pitches. If you have more than one area of expertise and a producer says no to one pitch, you can instantly switch to another pitch while you’ve got her on the phone. You can make a second pitch for yourself, but a publicist will probably pitch a different client.

8. Local TV producers will actually book you off a voicemail message. I got booked on ABC Chicago my first time like that.

9. Local TV producers will book you off an email. Once you have the right media assets properly displayed on your website, you can get booked in major markets simply by sending out a segment proposal in an email. In the last two weeks I’ve appeared in Dallas (#5 Neilsen Market) and Los Angeles (#2 Neilsen Market) as a result of emails that I sent to producers who had never spoken to me prior to meeting me in their studios.

When I started booking myself on TV interviews, I was originally intimidated and shy about pitching. After all, who was I to be calling up these producers? And wasn’t it egotistical of me to pitch myself? I had a lot of insecurities, but as the number of interviews increased, I’ve come to realize this is perfectly acceptable.

Along the way I’ve met other authors who also book themselves.

Stephanie Ashcroft has done more than 1,000 local TV news interviews, and credits this publicity with helping to make her book 101 Things to Do with Cake Mix a New York Times bestseller.

Since releasing my New TV Power training program in September, I’ve taught hundreds of students how to start working their way up the ladder of local TV shows and into the major leagues of top 10 markets and national television shows.

Veronica Grey started New TV Power on October 26, 2011, and has done ten TV interviews to promote her three books and her independent movie since taking the course.

If you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, coach, seminar leader, filmmaker, or anyone with a message that needs to be shared with the world, local TV news is a wonderful forum to get the word out. It’s also a great way to hone your craft of being a great television interviewee, so when the big day comes and Good Morning America calls you, you won’t suck.

You can promote any book or product on TV. If you don’t have a product, you can use TV news interviews to position yourself as an expert. Alan Ladd of InterviewTheBest.com doesn’t have a book to back up his credentials, but nevertheless has appeared on Fox Los Angeles three times as an expert on how to get a job. Now he’s an expert because Fox LA News says he is.

Booking yourself on local TV interviews is a wide open playing field. The producers need you to fill time on their air. As long as you know how to give them what they need how they want it, they’ll be happy to let you use their shows to position yourself as an expert, build your platform, and promote your products/services.

Instead of asking yourself Who am I to want to be on TV? A much better question is What am I waiting for?

Clint Arthur of New TV Power

About the Author

Clint Arthur has used his New TV Power system to publicize his books What They Teach You At The Wharton Business School, The Last Year Of Your Life, The Income Doubler, and Daddy Loves You on TV shows across America, and has been a featured speaker on the topic of local TV interviews at The National Publicity Summit, Author 101 University, and the Quantum Leap Program.

Get three free training videos on how to book yourself on local TV at http://www.FreeTVPublicity.com.
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