The Book Deal blog has a great post about how to time your book’s launch. Apparently agents and publishers love books that can be tied into annual events and anniversaries. It doesn’t take a genius to guess that Christmas is a huge book publishing tie in but there are other lesser known events that writer’s need to know about. Read the post and make note of the bonus “Tie-ins by the month” at the end. Do you have an idea for a book that ties in with an annual event? Use the comment function and let us know!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not it’s worth your time writing and publishing a book to build your personal brand, you’ll like Mitchell Levy’s “42 Rules for Driving Success with Books”. Read this review with a mind map on Mitchell Levy’s “42 Rules for Driving Success with Books”.
Author Nathan Bransford gives us a wickedly funny take on publishing a book in his post “The Publishing Process in GIF Form“. Although his take on the usual process is dead on, it doesn’t have to be like this. If you work with new publishers like 42Rules, you don’t have to go through the traditional process that can take years to get your book to market.
With our proven formula, you can go from having an idea, to having a book on Amazon in less than six months. The 42Rules program is the only program of its kind to combine the three critical elements required to make a book successful: Writing, Publishing and Marketing.
If you have a non-fiction book in you, contact with us right away to learn more about our program. We look forward to working with you.
Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer blog has an insightful and honest article that discusses the inherent flaws a self published book might have if an experienced editor was not used. Joel was a judge of the annual BAIPA Book Awards and shares some questions posed by an author who received some criticism of her book. You can read the answers Joel provided but I think the point of the post is that even a self published author needs an experienced editor who understands formatting and publishing conventions. If you want a book that gets read you need help and there are plenty of experienced independent editors who can help you.
Thanks to Kindle and other e-readers Indie writers are finally getting the attention they deserve. Hot off the presses the “50 Shades of Grey” self published Kindle bestseller trilogy is now in paperback at your local Target and Walmart and the movie rights have already been sold. The blog “Self-Publishing Success Stories” has compiled a list of more than 170 authors who have sold more than 50,000 self-published ebooks to date. These sales figures are meant to inspire other authors but the real message is that traditional publishing houses have become dinosaurs. Unable or unwilling to change with the times they are being left behind while self published authors sell more than many best sellers back in the day. To see who is selling what and how many visit Self-Publishing Success Stories.
If you need Amazon.com reviews and you want them to come with the “Amazon Verified Purchase” notation then you’ll need to send the review copies via Kindle. The Selling Books blog offers a description of how to do this AND includes a step-by-step video. This is great information, for free that you won’t find anywhere else. Click this link to read more.
The Book Deal blog has a great interview with Jackie Morse Kessler, the author of a four-book Young Adulst series with Houghton/Graphia: Hunger, Rage, Loss and the upcoming Breath. Ms. Kessler just finished a blog book tour and explains how it works and what the benefits are for authors. To read this insightful post at the Book Deal blog and let us know if you’ve ever participated in a book blog tour.
Your book readers are critical to your success as an author. So you better know them inside out or you are not going to be successful. I know this is a bold statement but it’s true!
As a publisher I always ask my potential authors if they know who will buy and read their book. Almost all of them say “I believe that everyone could enjoy reading my book.” Wrong! It would be lovely if everyone would buy and love your book but that doesn’t happen even for a bestselling author. People have very definitive tastes in book topics and writing styles. You can’t possibly appeal to all of them and it would be a waste of your time to try target the entire world.
Defining your target reader is the most important thing you can do before creating your marketing plan. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about social media , PR or advertising – if you don’t know who your target reader is none of this stuff will be effective.
Do some research by looking at books similar to your own and check out the reviews. Start by identifying who your readers are by using standard demographics like:
- Marital Status
- Family Size
- Language Spoken
Once you come up with a profile of a target reader you will be able to use that information to find out where these people hang out and then take the steps to communicate with them. Without this information you’re really shooting in the dark!
Patricia Fry offers a frequently updated blog about publishing and writing that is a great resource for writers of all genres. You’ll find lots of great tips on how to sell more books. Take a look and let us know what you think!
No doubt about it… FaceBook is fun. You can find friends from high school, college, old employers… it’s great to see how people are doing. However, the biggest challenge authors have with FaceBook is where to draw the line between the personal and professional.
Branding yourself as an author versus your personal life can be confusing. FaceBook can help or hinder you in this area if you don’t use it appropriately. You can use Facebook Fan Pages to create a separate presence for your book AND to build an audience.
A Fan Page is a page that can be created just for your book. This was done to allow authors, businesses, bands, non-profits and others to have a place to gather. Individuals can become “Fans” of your page, which is completely separate from your personal profile. The benefit for us authors is that you can provide book related content to your fans without them seeing the picture of you sent your grandparents last Christmas.
Now you can begin telling people about your Fan Page and invite them to “become a fan”. You can advertise within FaceBook and target potential readers. On your Fan Page, you want to give folks things to do, learn, try all focusing on the topic of your book. Ask fans to leave comments and respond to comments when you have the time. You can use Social Oomph or Hootsuite to schedule content updates to your Fan Page for you! Use your Fan Page like a mini website to promote your book.
If you are a book agent or publisher you’ll want to register for the brand new newsletter from Random House. Random House says “Following positive feedback about our Author Newsletter, we are launching our Agent Newsletter edition this month, containing the same behind-the-scenes spotlights and information, and highlighting new features and content added to the Author Portal.” You can view the first newsletter here.
Nick Morgan contributor to Forbes has written an article about the not so fun roller coaster that is the world of publishing. You can read the entire article here.
Update your signature line in your business and personal email with your book title (even if the book is not finished). This idea sounds so simple, but I get hundreds of emails every day from authors who don’t add their book t their signature line. Think about how many emails you send every day. Your signature line is a valuable piece of email real estate that most people simply overlook. Yep, it’s simple and easy to do.
Don’t use your book picture in your signature. In some they come across as attachments and can’t be seen without opening the attachment which most people never do. Sometimes they show as broken links if someone has the html turned off in their e-mail settings. Either way, it doesn’t look pretty.
If you haven’t added your book title to your e-mail signature line do it now!
A great way to create a relationship and build trust with a potential reader is to give something to them for free. This could be an excerpt of your book, a free chapter, a tipsheet or checklist from the book, etc. In return you can ask them to give you their name and e-mail address so you can keep in touch.
Some of you may be unsure about this idea. You’re thinking “but why give it away when I can charge for it?” You can’t charge people for stuff if they don’t know you exist. People aren’t going to do business with someone if they have no idea who you are.
There are two things to remember when you give something away:
1. Make sure it has your name and contact information on it.
2. Make sure it has a real perceived to your clients.
In order for this strategy to be successful you need to make sure people know about it. Here are some promotional ideas to try:
1. Issue a press release using a free press release distribution site.
2. Announce it to all your social networks (FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
3. You can put an announcement in your local Chamber of Commerce email distribution.
4. Send an email to all the Associations, Networking Groups, industry groups that you are a part of.
Amazon.com editors have picked the top 20 best books for 2012 (through June). You can read the list at Amazon.com. It’s interesting to note that the top ten books on the list are from traditional publishers. Amazon is also holding a sweepstakes: “Customers can also enter the Best Books of the Year So Far Sweepstakes on the Amazon.com Books Facebook page through July 23 for a chance to win one of 10 Kindle Fire devices, each accompanied by a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card. There is no purchase necessary to enter. Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C., 18 or over. Learn more [here] and enter for a chance to win.”
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with social media because we really don’t understand the how and why of using it. Social media isn’t for everyone. It can take some time to get started, but if your readers use social media, then you should too.
Social media marketing includes the top three social media sites LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and blogs, podcasts, webcasts, teleseminars and video sharing sites like YouTube. Any place where people gather to talk and socialize is considered a social media site.
We can’t get into all the aspects of using social media to market your book here but you can check out the FREE webcasts I’ve created on the topic and there are quite a few. Click the link to visit 42Rules to check them out.
The New York Times book section is a great online resource for readers and authors. They cover book news, have book reviews, best seller lists, podcasts and more. If you love books as much as we do bookmark The New York Times Books.
Bondfire Books, a new e-publishing company, has been launched by Alive Communications, a Colorado Springs-based literary agency representing Christian and inspirational authors. The company will publish e-book exclusives by such bestselling authors as novelist Karen Kingsbury and Eugene Peterson, author and translator of The Message Bible. Read the rest of the press release at Publishers Weekly.
If you are an avid reader like all of us at 42Rules then take a look at the HuffPost Book Club. Started in December of 2011, the book club introduction says:
“Just like other book clubs, it’s a way for us to invite you to read books that you otherwise might not, and to be part of a larger community discussing their narratives and themes.
Unlike any other book club, we also want to hear about how your reading intersects with your experiences, your memories, your everyday life and with current events.”
If you’d like to join the club visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/book-club
Let’s face it. You need a Facebook Fan Page for your book and perhaps one for your company too. Some authors are promoting their books and keeping in touch with readers using their Fan Page and other authors let their page languish into oblivion. But you must have a Fan Page for your book. Your readers expect and your publisher may require it.
No matter how you use the page you must make a conscious effort not to break the rules created and put in place by Facebook for Fan Page administrators. There are many rules and you swore to uphold them when you signed on the dotted line before creating your Fan Page. Break even one of these rules and you can wave bye bye to your Fan Page and all of the fans you worked so hard to get.
Facebook is offering you a free service so they get to call the shots so it’s important to know the rules. Facebook reserves the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason and they can do so without warning. Marketing Gum has a great article about these rules and the consequences of breaking them. Did you know, for example, that your Fan Page cover photo cannot include your contact information or pimp your most recent coupon or sale? If you didn’t know that and if you haven’t read the rules you must read the article by Marketing Gum. To read the story of one company that broke the rules read “Social Media : To Facebook Hell & Back” and start taking these rules seriously.