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Outwit Writer’s Block

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Are you sitting and staring at a blank notebook on your desk?  It’s a common problem among writers.  You’ll find lots of advice on how to outwit the dreaded writer’s block but here’s an idea that may be new to you.  Instead of starting at the beginning of your book start at the end.  Pretend your book is in your publisher’s hand and they are asking you to write the book jacket copy.  You’ll need to write something concise and intriguing to get readers to buy your book.  You might want to do some research first by reading the jacket copy of books in your genre.  Don’t agonize over this exercise… it’s meant only to stimulate you to write a brief outline of your plot.  Once you have this done go back to that blank notebook and use this copy to outline your book.  You’ll find it much easier to get started in outwiting writer’s block.

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Author’s Quick Guide to Engaging Your Fan Base

The “Author’s Quick Guide to Engaging Your Fan Base” is an e-book for Kindle written by Kristen Eckstein, the Ultimate Book Coach.  From the description of the book Eckstein says “The secret to engaging your fan base is to help them, and help them profitably. By helping them invest in themselves, you’re giving them an incentive to change their world and achieve their dreams. Engaging your fan base in this way will ensure their ongoing support of you in the future. It’s the foundation to an amazing and brilliant relationship!”

This affordable e-book is just one of many written by the author to help you sell more books!

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Author Asks Readers Not To Buy His Book…

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“Vernon Downs” by Jaime Clarke will be available in December from his small publisher Roundabout Press.  Clarke says that the book will be available on Amazon.com in April of 2o14 but he doesn’t want readers to buy it from Amazon.com then or now.  As publishers know Amazon.com offers such discount prices on books that there is little left for the publisher or the author.  Buying directly from the publisher means the publisher, and author, will make more money.

We want to know if this will become the trend.  We all love getting discounted books from Amazon.com but publishing companies and book stores have suffered and/or closed because of this.  What can we all do to change this?

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Biblio Connection Loves Bibliophiles And… Authors!

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Biblio Connection defines bibliophiles as “collectors, readers, authors and sellers”.  The site was created to bring these people together and there are a number of ways authors can benefit from this wonderful celebration of books.  Authors can find potential readers by talking about their books, post listings and giveaway copies to the Biblio Connection audience.

To learn more about Biblio Connection read this list of available features from their website.

  • Connect – find others with a passion for books
  • Enjoy – join a discussion, take a quiz or get inspired
  • Find – browse the Classified Ads and enhance your book collection
  • List – your book related services in the Service Provider Directory
  • Meet – fellow writers, collectors, sellers, authors and readers
  • Organize – schedule a book collectors/club meeting, a book fair, invite friends
  • Promote – your book and brand through giveaways and article features
  • Sell – your used/collectable books in the Classified Ads
  • Share – tell your stories and share your knowledge
  • Start – a group and discuss your favorite books or collecting experiences
  • Win – free books through our sponsored book giveaways

If you have a written a book, run don’t walk over to Biblio Connection!

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If You Write Fiction Giveaway Short Stories

sell more books

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Here’s a brilliant idea we had for promoting fiction books.  There are so many fiction authors out there and more joining the market daily that it makes one wonder how can you stand out from the crowd?

Certainly there are many marketing tasks you should be doing, and we cover many of them in this blog, but aside from marketing how can you give your potential readers a taste of your writing?  Give them a taste by giving them a taste.  Write a short story or two featuring the characters of your book and give it away to potential readers.  There are so many places on the web where you can post your short stories for free that we won’t list them all there but Wattpad is a good place to start.

Your short story may be a prequel to your novel or perhaps a sequel.  It could be an expansion on a plot device in your novel or it could introduce a new character.  Use your innate creativity to create this short story and then promote the heck out of it.  This is a great way to grab the attention of potential readers by giving them a “taste” for free!

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Two Places To Do Book Giveaways

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book marketing

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Book giveaways are an essential part of book marketing and it’s best if you set them up before the book is even published.  Our favorite two places to setup a giveaway is GoodReads and LibraryThing.  GoodReads is now owned by Amazon.com and they allow giveaways only for physical books.  LibraryThing is independently owned and allows giveaways for physical and e-books. It sounds strange but giving away a few books helps sales by exposing your book to more potential readers who may purchase when they don’t win.  Check both of these sites out to see if they will work for your books!

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Use Handles That Reflect Your Book Title

book marketing
book marketing

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On social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. you get asked to create a handle, page name, account name…  If you are going to use a different account for each book or series use the same handle and page name and relate it to your books.  For our book series we use 42Rules for our social media accounts.  Make sure you keep track of your handles and passwords because it’s easy to get confused!

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Why and How to Schedule a Virtual Book Tour

virtual book tour
virtual book tour

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eBook Review Gal has created a post that is essentially a blueprint for creating a winning virtual book tour.  We’ve discussed virtual tours before but it is rare to see someone break it down like the eBook Review Gal has done.  To read the post yourself click here!

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Publish An Excerpt Of Your Book On Issuu

book marketing

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Issuu is a new website where people can post publications.  They accept articles, whitepapers, books, magazines, etc.  We suggest you include an excerpt of your book in PDF with links to where the full book can be published.  Users can read the excerpts and compile them into “topical” stacks.

Make sure that you add the full cover of your book to the first page of your document for eye catching results!

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Make Your Amazon.com Book Description Robust

Amazon.com

Amazon.comYour book listing on Amazon.com, the biggest bookseller in the world, is critical.  So long as you follow the rules you can make it as robust as you want.  Although you can no longer add pictures to your description you can add special formatting using html to make your description stand out.

In your description consider adding:

An actual one or two paragraph description of the book and characters.
Table of contents for a non-fiction book.
Editorial reviews.
Testimonials or reviews that won’t show up on Amazon.com.
Links to your social media sites.
Your biography.

This space on your Amazon.com description is like gold.  Use it wisely!

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Recommended Book: Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing

Book Power will teach you how to harness the power of Amazon, the greatest retail giant on Amazon so your content will be seen. Use Amazon as a search engine and optimize your book in a way that will drive more leads than pay per click or search engine optimization. Stop wasting money trying to drive traffic and let them do it for you. Understand the power of Amazon’s massive e-commerce empire and use it to drive pre-qualified traffic, bring more dollars to your business and more clients to your door.

You will learn:

  • Why You Want to Publish on CreateSpace AND Kindle
  • The Benefits of Being a Published Author
  • Proper Formatting Techniques
  • Book Cover Design
  • How To Create An Outline
  • Choosing the Right Title
  • The Benefits of Aligning with Experts
  • What a Platform Is – And Why You Need One
  • The Importance of Consistent Branding
  • Secret Strategies for Writing Your Book Description
  • How Amazon Is Primarily A Search Engine
  • How To Put Your Book Into Four Categories for Maximum Exposure
  • What A Sales Funnel Looks Like
  • How To Promote with Book Tours
  • How A Book Helps You Reach More Markets & Drive More Sales
  • Why You Want To Think About A Book Trailer Video
  • Cross Pollinating Your Social Media for Best Results
  • The Importance of Consistent Branding
  • Optimizing Your Author Central Profile
  • The Best Ways To Promote Your Book
  • How To Use A Book To Gain Media Exposure
  • Using Your Book As a Lead Generator
  • Getting It Right The First Time
  • Engineering A Best Seller
  • Using Categories To Your Benefit
  • Keywords, Categories And Book Description SEO
  • How To Create Content Fast
  • The Authors Secret You Did Not Know About
  • Gamifying the Creation of Your Book
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25 Things I’m Learning From Closing a Bookstore

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publishing blogSalon.com has a touching owner by bookstore owner “JL Sathre” that is both funny, touching and sad.  There are so few physical bookstores anymore that learning of another one closing is a bit painful.  JL does a good job of reducing the pain and including the humor.  She started this journey by writing an article titled “25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore”.  You can read the entire article at “25 Things I’m Learning From Closing a Bookstore“.

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The 2014 Digital Book Awards

The Digital Book Awards (formerly known as the Publishing Innovation Awards), founded in 2010, recognizes innovation, creativity and excellence in all aspects of digital book publishing. Each year, award winners and finalists in 15 categories demonstrate fresh thinking, inspired design and bold technology integration, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in this constantly evolving publishing arena.

The program encompasses all forms of digital publishing that are available to consumers as ebooks, enhanced digital books and apps, in order to showcase and reward the work of authors, developers and publishers.

Our 2013 winners and finalists, celebrated at an awards luncheon at the Digital Book World Conference, included titles from the big-six publishers, independent publishers, international producers, digital developers, platform hosts, and self-published authors— in other words, a true reflection of the current digital publishing landscape.

All entrants to the Digital Book Awards are automatically entered in our QED process. The QED is a rigorous 13-point inspection conducted by a network of experienced ebook developers to ensure that all entries meet our criteria before the judging begins.

Once the QED process has been completed and your entry is certified “QED ready,” your entry is then reviewed by one of our prestigious judges, all of whom are widely recognized within the publishing industry for their expertise in ebook content, design and production.

Learn why you should enter discover the categories available for this year’s award at Digital Book World!

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Recommended Book: Money Making Machine

Money Making Machine – How To Publish, Market and Make Money Using Kindle Books is a Kindle book by Anbu Rayappan.  The author wrote this book about his success with Kindle books that he has not even written.  He gives tips on how to outsource books for Kindle in addition to lots of marketing tips.  In 4 QUICK and SIMPLE Steps, he will tell you exactly what you need to do to create and market your book.

Included in this book are tips such as:

  • How to use KDP Select to improve your sales.
  • How to use Google Keyword Tool to effectively market your kindle book
  • how can you convert your passion and expertise into a money-making book
  • how to select a clickable and amazing cover design
  • list of more than 75 power words to create your book description
  • how to effectively use book description to improve seo
  • how to bring your book on to the first page of amazon search result
  • how to choose titles which persuade the customers to click using
  • emotive hidden persuasion technique?
  • How to get your dream cover design from the designer?
  • Where to find excellent cover designs for your book
  • how to use reviews to sell more books?
  • How to make your competitor to sell your book
  • how to get your book appear in “customer who bought…” Section
  • what color should be your cover design?
  • What fonts sell more books?
  • How to get 70% royalty from amazon?
  • What price to choose to maximize your profit?
  • How to sell your book free and still make money?
  • How to get to the top 100 best sellers list?
  • Do you need page break at the end of every page?
  • How to find the right category to sell more copies?
  • An amazing way to figure out the number of copies sold from sales rank.

 

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How a Car Can Unlock Your Author Website

book marketingAuthorMedia.com has a fantastic blog post for newbies who don’t know how to create a website for their book.  Their analogy is to compare your car to your author website.   They even rank blogging platforms in car terms!  How adorable is that?

Creating a blog or website can be very confusing for someone who isn’t web savvy but everyone understands the ins and outs of cars!  You can read the full post on AuthorMedia.com.

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Product Failures Are Opportunities to Delight Customers

field serviceNo one wants a product to fail, but it happens. The way you deal with failure can create significant opportunity to enhance customer loyalty.

But, if handled poorly, it gives your customers the excuse they need to buy from your competitors. Your customer views product failure as an emergency, especially if it affects business operations.

Take a dentist, for example. If his or her vacuum system stops working, the office must shut down until it’s repaired. This is inconvenient for the dentist, the staff, and the patients. It also represents loss in business revenue until the system runs again. This kind of situation is high priority for field service organizations servicing dental offices.

In industrial settings, when a product fails, you may have to deal with irate customers who have spent lots of money with your company. This can be a golden opportunity to show customers that you support them with speed and efficiency.

“90% of what I deal with starts as a problem, but I don’t look at it as a problem. I look at it as an opportunity to delight a customer,” says Michel Yasso of MSR Consulting Group. Customer service organizations offer the following steps when first contacted by a customer with a problem. Field service organizations should follow the same steps:

• Empathize with the customer; do not make excuses.
• Don’t patronize or talk down to customers; this will only make the situation worse. Really listen to what the customer is telling you, take notes regarding the situation, and ask for clarification.
• Remain calm even if the customer is not.
• Apologize, if appropriate. Say something like, “I’m sorry you are frustrated; let’s see how we can resolve this situation.”
• Promise to try to fix the problem or to try to find a solution. This will ease the tension the customer has created. The customer is looking for a resolution. Then do what you promise.
• Answer confidently, and take responsibility for assisting, even if this means you must refer the case to someone else.
• Give the customer a time when you will get back in touch—one hour, four hours, one day, etc. Then be sure you call back at the appointed time. Keep following up at regular intervals until issues are resolved.
• Take action to get the customer operating as soon as possible, or obtain information and estimates when this will happen.
• Write clear, concise reviews of incidents. Document issues and resolutions.  Keep notes about anything that may assist others who deal with the customer in the future.

Your customers know that things will break, but they will be upset anyway. Your ability to react quickly and efficiently is crucial.

Sometimes, field service doesn’t go as expected. It may be appropriate to escalate to your customer’s executive management, especially when situations involve significant disruption in business. In these cases, your service executive or director should call the customer C-level executive and apologize. Give realistic estimates for repair, and perhaps, tell the executive you are going to make suggestions, after the issue is resolved, about how to avoid future disruptions. This may include things like more frequent maintenance or the purchase of redundant systems for critical business processes.

Professor Morris Cohen of The Wharton School notes, “The objective of service is to generate customer satisfaction. And satisfaction results from the difference between the customer’s perceptions of service versus the customer’s expectation for service. If the perception is greater than the expectation, the customer will be satisfied or even delighted.” The opposite is also true, no matter the objective quality of service. So, set realistic customer expectations, and strive to exceed those. You will have delighted, loyal customers.

(c) 2013, Rosemary Coates and Jim Reily

This article is Rule 2 from the new book “42 Rules for Superior Field Service“.  Purchase it today!

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Hangout With Your Super Fans Using Google Hangouts

Google PlusGoogle Hangouts are a feature of Google+ and they allow you to hold a webinar with nine people or less.  You can use Google Hangouts as a reward system for super fans who introduce your book to new readers.  You may already know who these people are but if you don’t you’ll need to find out.  Hold a contest with specific goals for fans to promote your book(s) and use the hangout as the reward.  You’ll need to have written rules that enforce a “no spamming” rule to protect your reputation but if done carefully this could be a great incentive for fans to bring you new readers.  You can learn more about Google Hangouts here.

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Use Videos To Create Rapport With Readers

If you have a decent webcam on your computer you can create short videos about your book and post them on your site, on YouTube and share them on social media sites.

This should be particularly easy if you write fiction because you can create a video for each important character.  You can talk about their history, motives, feelings, etc.  The list is endless.

For non-fiction you could create a video for each chapter.  Expand on the main theme, offer additional resources, discuss reader feedback, etc.

There are many people who are visual learners and video appeals to them more than any other medium.  Learn how to optimize your videos for search and drive your website rankings higher in the search engines.

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Twitter For Fiction Characters

book marketingCommunicating with readers and potential readers is your main goal with promoting your book.  Consider creating a Twitter account for your main character(s) and using it to communicate with readers.  Some authors are having luck with this but be sure to read Twitter rules first.  If you decide to do this create a robust profile for your character but make sure that you disclose that your character is fictional.  If you already do this successfully let us know in the comment section and we’ll feature your account on our blog!

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Sell More Books Through Guest Posting

No, we don’t mean guest post and push books on readers.  No sane blogger would allow this anyway.  What we mean is to offer guest posts that cover the topic of your book and the blogger will most likely allow you a link to your book website.  Before you start offering guests posts be sure to read the rules (if there are any) offered by the blogger and be aware that you will need to offer unique content not used anywhere else!

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