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Marketing, Marketing and Wait For It…Marketing

It admittedly scares me when an author approaches me and says, “I need help with marketing my book.” Okay, that alone doesn’t scare me and in fact, thrills me however, read further. “When is your book due for release?” I ask. “Oh it’s already been released.” he or she says. “Congrats!” I say, “What types of marketing have you been doing so far?” “Well,” he or she says, “Nothing yet and I’m getting irritated and discouraged because I have no sales.”

This is a prime example as to why you should start marketing your book….yesterday. As I’ve said before, you should begin marketing your book BEFORE the release. If you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe Jonathan Gunson, Author and CEO of Bestseller Labs. His article, “The Single Most Effective Book Marketing Strategy An Author Can Use,” offers some excellent advice (http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-most-effective-book-marketing-strategy/):

 

How can you get a ‘rave’ response when you launch your next book?

Start Marketing Your Book Long Before It Appears On The Stage

The day your book launches is way too late to start your marketing program. Ideally your ‘theater’ needs to be filled with an eagerly waiting crowd, long before your book fronts the footlights. But for first time authors this can quite rightly seem to be an impossible stretch.

Most authors dream of hitting a home run, as Colleen Hoover did earlier this year with her novel Hopeless. But the reality is this does not happen for the vast majority of writers, and so promotional activity needs to begin well in advance.

For example, Tim Ferris started marketing three years before he launched The 4 Hour Work Week by collecting bloggers, media and supporters, and stayed in touch with them right through.

Rebecca Skloot also began building her audience several years before launching her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

 

Is it Too Late To Start?

If you did leave marketing your book until after launch, don’t worry – all is not lost. It simply means that it’ll take longer. And if it’s an eBook, you still have plenty of time to successfully market your book, because on Amazon, your book lasts forever, giving it time to find its audience. But do start today if you haven’t already.

The fact is, for the initial book in your series, you may not entirely ‘fill the theater’ prior to launch. But by the time your third book in your series comes around, you’ll not only have a fan base, but be well versed in all the theatrical tactics around launching a book.

This has also been my personal experience. I took a very long road and found out the hard way. But after taking many wrong turns, I finally got there, love every minute of it now, and am happy to share what I’ve discovered.

 

Don’t Plan To Be ‘In Store’, Plan To Be READ

For a moment, picture the dream of the aspiring author: A newly published novel on the bookstore shelves:

But… where is it? The reality is that the thrill of seeing your book ‘live’ in a store wears off very quickly.

Publishing is merely the beginning. What you really need is your books being read, because if your books have appeal, readers will want to spread the word. Your fans are ‘reader evangelists’ who’ll carry the flame for your books and drive the most powerful form of promotion – viral, word-of-mouth recommendation.

Your task therefore is to ignite the viral flame using your author platform, which includes interaction with readers on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

 

You’re A Rock Star To Your Readers, So Connect With Them

Readers have given you their commitment, you owe them yours.

So take time to communicate with them and reply if they ask questions or send praise. Why? Because if you keep on producing titles, and maintain contact, your readers will become your fans and ‘Word Of Mouth’ promoters for life.

Your fans value the fruits of your imagination far more than you may ever know. From your very first book, readers become invested in you. If your books are well written and have appeal, they’ll buy everything you write and feel they ‘own’ you. You certainly owe them your allegiance, because they’ve given you theirs.

Aim your communications at them, connect with them, and keep the fans you’ve already made constantly fascinated, engaged, and crowding into the ‘theater’ at the launch of your next book.

And the bottom line is… start today.

 

What are you waiting for?? (Evin – http://www.saplingpublishing.com)

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How To Get Your Writing Noticed

Writing is fun. It’s great stress relief, a great form of entertainment and an outlet to the sometimes woes of living in the real world. You can create any type of character you want and have him/her live anyplace in the world.

 

Some writers write strictly for fun and for themselves. They don’t have the desire for others to read it however most writers do have the desire for others to read their work. In fact, most dream of being published one day.

 

The question is, is how in the world do you get your writing noticed? You know I have once again done my research and found a great article for you, don’t you?

 

Without further adieu (http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/noticed.html):

 

How To Get Noticed by Editors And Publishers:

Make Your Strengths Shine

by Shelley Wake

 

 

To be a successful writer and get noticed, being good often isn’t good enough. You have to shine. You have to have something that puts you above all others. Of course though, nobody is perfect. Everyone has faults and flaws. But everyone has talents and abilities too. What’s your talent?

 

Find your talent and focus on it. Develop it. Showcase it in your writing so it really shines through. Remember, one thing that stands out is far easier to notice than ten things that are good, but not great. Make sure your best skill stands out.

 

 

Stacey’s Story: Start With Something Special

 

I had my breakthrough while taking a break from writing. I was watching the movie Bring it On and decided to watch the bonus features. One of them was an interview with the director and he talked about how the screenplay got noticed because it opened with the cheer song. That stood out, that got their attention, that made them want to read the rest. I decided to take the same approach. I took chances with the start. I started with a letter, a poem, a snippet from a diary. It must have made the difference because with that one change, a manuscript that had been rejected 14 times got purchased. –Stacey, Novelist

 

Carmen’s Story: Use Your Strengths

 

I was told by my teachers and by readers that my dialogue was really strong. So I decided to stop hiding it away and I put it right out front. I made the first chapter of my novel almost all dialogue. It got the attention of an agent, who has since told me that the individuality of the first chapter told him that he had found a new writer with a clear sense of style. He took me on and is now trying to sell that sense of style to publishers. Even better for me, he’s not just trying to sell my first book, he’s trying to sell me as the next new thing, a young writer to look out for! –Carmen, Novelist

 

Editor Says: “Forget Modesty”

 

Writing is not a business where you can afford to be modest. You have to get in there and show what you’ve got. Whatever you do better than everyone else, show it off. Build your work around your best skill. Otherwise, you’re going to be lumped in with the rest of the writers that are good, but don’t stand out. –James, Editor

 

Editor Says: “I’m Looking for One Thing”

 

Many writers make the mistake of trying to show me everything they do well. Forget it. I’m glancing at hundreds of manuscripts a day. To catch my attention, you have to hit me between the eyes with one strong point that I can’t not notice. There will be time later to show me your other strengths. For the first contact, focus on making one clear point about yourself and make it a good one.

–Darryn, Editor

 

Susan’s Story: Is it Really a Flaw?

 

In the early days of Susan’s career, everyone advised her that she relied on dialogue too much. So she cut out the dialogue. She kept writing but found her work lacked energy. Years later, she decided to ignore all the advice. The novel came naturally to her and it was almost all dialogue. The book reviews praised her unique style and voice. Susan learned her lesson—never suppress what comes naturally to you. Remember, what comes naturally to you might be your greatest gift, not your greatest

flaw.

 

Top Six Ways to Find Your Strength

 

1. Ask other people what stands out about your work.

 

2. Read some of your best work and make a list of what makes it good.

 

3. Read through the contents of a book about writing and ask yourself if there is an area you are good at.

 

4. Think about what other people have said about your work. Are there any comments that keep being repeated?

 

5. Ask yourself what you care about when you write.

 

6. What do you like about other people’s work? Often the things you notice in other people’s work are also the things that you are good at.

 

 

© Copyright Shelley Wake. All Rights Reserved.

 

Keep it up! You are almost there. (Evin – http://www.saplingpublishing.com)

 

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Book Marketing – Changes to Facebook

I must admit that I don’t keep on top of Facebook as a social media marketing tool much anymore. Due to their rapidly changing nature, I find it hard to follow their constant new endeavors. I’m not knocking them for this. I mean, we all have to make money somehow. Right? One of my clients asked a question however that forced me to do more research on their latest changes (thanks Christa!), which is a good thing. Now at least I’ll know what I’m talking about the next time a client asks me a question about them. 😉

I found at article written by Fidel Martinez (http://www.dailydot.com/news/facebook-paid-friend-posts-promotion-reach/). Hopefully this will answer some of your questions too:

“Facebook is tripling down on its Promoted Posts feature, confirming that it has begun rolling out the option of letting its users pay to to highlight their friends’ post.

The feature has been much maligned since it was first introduced in May 2012 for companies and then later for everyone else in October 2012.  

Among the feature’s biggest critics are the popular blog Dangerous Minds and actor George Takei, who assert that the company is purposefully throttling the reach of each post in order to force brands (and now, individuals) to pay to maintain the same level of exposure they once enjoyed.

Facebook has contested these accusations, claiming that their EdgeRank algorithm was designed to only show the most compelling content on a user’s news feed. They also stated that on average, brands reached 16 percent of their audiences. But a November 2012 study conducted by media investment management group GroupM claimed that the figure was closer to 10 percent.

When asked about the target audience for this feature—in other words, who would pay to promote their friends’ content?—a Facebook representative provided us with the following scenarios when this feature would come into play:

“If your friend is running a marathon for charity and has posted that information publicly, you can help that friend by promoting their post to all of your friends. Or if your friend is renting their apartment out and she tells her friends on Facebook, you can share the post with the people you and your friend have in common so that it shows up higher in news feed and more people notice it.”

Currently, the option to pay to promote your friends’ post is only available to people who have fewer than 5,000 friends or subscribers.

To use the feature, simply go to the top right corner of a given post and click on the drop down menu and click on the “Promote and Share” option.

You’ll then be able to add your own comment. Just hit publish, and the post will appear on your friends’ feeds.

The cost to promote another person’s content will be $7, the same amount Facebook charges to push your own posts.

The company also stresses that this new feature will respect the privacy settings of the original poster.

This is the latest in a string of attempts by Facebook to find new sources of revenue amid skepticism about the value of the company’s ad business. Since the social network became a publicly traded company in May 2012, it has experimented with various ways of making money from its 1 billion users, including adding the option to pay $1 to send a message to anyone’s private inbox.”

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Are traditional publishers dying a slow death?

I found an article on Forbes that I thought my readers my find interesting.

(Guy Kawasaki – www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2013/01/01/guy-kawasaki-to-traditional-publishers-your-days-are-numbered/):

1. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is generally detrimental to an author’s work.

Kawasaki believes that DRM constraints limit the distribution of their books. I’m not sure about that, but certainly the lack of DRM will provide more opportunities for people to read your book.

Kawasaki explains: “I focus on the joy of reading, so my advice is for authors to better monetize their IP by ensuring broad, timely, and inexpensive distribution to as much of the world as possible. Authors should trust people and not implement all sorts of heinous DRM. Life is simple: write a good book, get it out there quickly, price it reasonably, and trust your customers. ”

2. Build your personal brand before you start selling the book.

You can’t rely on publishers to promote your book anymore; Kawasaki says, it’s therefore imperative to build your own platform before the book is released. What he means is to build a network or community of people that are interested in your content. That way, when the book is released, you have thousands of people likely to buy it. That’s solid advice.

“The day you start writing is the day you should start building your brand,” Kawasaki suggests.

3. The secret for increasing an author’s odds for success are…

According to Kawasaki:One method that no one uses, though it’s hardly a secret, is to solicit feedback on your outline and your draft. I solicit feedback from literally millions of people who follow me on social media by uploading the entire outline of a book when I begin writing. Then I offer the full manuscript to anyone who wants to edit it near the end of the process. This yields two great results. First, lots of insightful feedback. Second, the moment your book is available on Amazon, people who have really read it can post reviews.”

This is a big idea – by crowdsourcing the editing of the book, you become invested in its success. You’re also more likely to buy it and recommend it to others.

4. You are your best marketing asset, but don’t forget the PR company.

For most of the book, Kawasaki and co-author Shawn Welch suggest authors need to “own the marketing” whether or not they self-published or work with a publisher.

“The lesson is that you need to conduct an introduction campaign that reaches out to hundreds of publications as well as your social-media following. I’m not suggesting firing a shotgun into the cyberspace, but there are probably 200 relevant targets for any genre. ”

5. How to navigate the Amazon

Kawasaki and Welch both believe Amazon has amassed an enormous amount of power in the publishing world: “When it comes to publishing, this is Amazon’s world, and the rest of us (readers, authors, and publishers) live in it.”

Pretty cool, huh? (Evin – http://www.mrgurupublishing.com)

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Persistence

We’ve all had those days. In fact, I’m having one today. You know…those, “I don’t want to get out of bed days.” Yeah, that would be me today but that’s beside the point. As I pull myself up and out of it, I’m going to pull you along with me. Here’s a good article I found that should gives us the boost we need (taken from Scott H. Young at: http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2008/07/10/building-your-persistence-levels. For the full article, go to his site):

Building Persistence

Enough talk about what persistence is, how do you build it?  Part of persistence is just improving your self-discipline.  Increasing the level of what you can resist mentally and emotionally before you collapse.  While self-discipline is important in the short-term, I don’t think it is as critical for goals that last years and decades.

Instead, I think the way to improve persistence is to enhance the two forces that make it up.  Either by increasing your intrinsic enjoyment of the pursuit, or increasing your resolution that giving up is unbearable.

Finding Intrinsic Enjoyment

The first step to this is easy; don’t work on goals you can’t enjoy.  Don’t start a business if you don’t like the customers.  Don’t start a training regimen if you hate the gym.  Don’t enter a faculty if you don’t like the subject.

The second step is to find ways to enjoy the work, regardless of the feedback.  In many ways, this can be as simple as becoming aware of what you’re doing.  It can be easy to become so obsessed with feedback (i.e. motivated) that you completely lose sight of what you’re doing in the current moment.

If I had a bad month at the gym, where my strength levels declined, that might start to cloud out the fact that I actually like going to the gym.  The same is true of learning, running this business or my social life.

The solution is to switch your focus back on the tasks and let the results fade out of your thinking.  Get back to focusing on what you’re actually doing, and enjoying it, instead of obsessing about the numbers.  Focusing on numbers can be important for results, but that’s only when you’re actively making a new plan.  When you’re actually working, it’s usually better to focus on the work and forget the outcomes.

Avoiding the Alternative

The alternate way to boost your persistence is to accept that the alternative, to you, is less desirable.  I’ve written previously, that my goal is to run an online-based business full-time.  Only recently have I started to approach that goal.  In the past, there were many months when I completely lacked positive feedback that I was going in the right direction.

During that motivational crisis, the thing that helped me persist was that I knew struggling at this goal was better than the alternative of giving up.  I knew that I would always be driven towards the goal, so it was better to work towards and fail, than it was to sit back and wonder if I would have succeeded.

This approach may not sound too inspirational, but it works.  When you’re facing a dry-spell of motivation, it can be hard to summon up the optimism to believe things will get better soon.  But you can always compare the alternatives of giving up entirely with continuing through adversity.

I started this discussion yesterday, by referencing an article Cal Newport wrote about the danger of starting without commitment.  Since most worthwhile goals will have large gaps without feedback, it’s absolutely essential that your engines are running on more than just enthusiasm.  Persistence is the back-up fuel that can get you through the vacuums.

Whew. I feel better now. Don’t you? (Evin – http://www.mrgurupublishing.com)

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Marketing for Self-Published Authors

*Drum roll*….it’s here. Something ALL self-published authors have been looking for. MARKETING. Notice I didn’t say marketing assistance or marketing advice. I said MARKETING.

Guru Publishing has been evolving over the past year that we have been in business. We’ve been conducting ongoing research into the world of self-publishing and independent (indie) authors and after much work, we’ve found what self-published authors need the most and that’s a good marketing plan. If clients don’t know books exist, they won’t buy them and why? Because they don’t know they exist. It can become a vicious circle.

I’m not saying that all self-published authors fall short in the marketing arena but let’s face it. What do authors do best? Write, not market. Another thing…many self-publishing companies offer packages that include marketing but really. What do these consist of? Posters? Some business cards? The shipping of a media kit to the author to take care of? That is NOT marketing. It’s offering marketing tools to the client, but it’s not actual marketing.

Guru Publishing takes it a step further and offers to do the marketing for our clients. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. We will do the marketing for the author. I don’t mean that we will have a few posters printed. I mean we will do each and every part of marketing that is required to get the book and the face of the author out into the world. Check our site frequently as we begin to list our services: www.mrgurupublishing.com. If you have questions or requests in the meantime, contact me via the contact avenues on my site and I’ll speak with you.

Another perk of Guru Publishing? Yes, we are a self-publishing company but we are a self-publishing company that does not require any form of contract. We are also a self-publishing company that takes no percentage of your sales. Face it. We know what self-publishing really is and that is getting your book out there in print (including e-book format). It’s ensuring your work is professionally edited; it’s getting a great cover design, etc. It’s NOT using an ISBN that belongs to someone else, listing them as the publisher on your self-published book. It’s NOT watching huge percentages of your hard-earned sales go to someone else. It’s all about you having control of your own book.

We have to keep the lights on so yeah, we charge for our services but, they are all for you, custom designed by you. YOU design your own publishing and marketing packages with us. We don’t offer pre-packaged deals that may or may not have what you need.

Okay yeah. This post was one big advertisement but, I’m stoked! Check me out! (Evin – http://www.mrgurupublishing.com)

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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How to promote your book on a low budget

Remember I mentioned that I would give you tips on how to promote your book on a low or shoestring budget? Welcome to the first in my series.

Does the word “touring” scare you as an indie author? Do you see nothing but dollar signs and high credit card debt running through your head? Many indie authors do BUT, this does not have to be the case and yes, you CAN promote your book without raking up the credit card debt and in fact, you can actually tour for FREE. Yes, for free.

Let me introduce the *drum roll* blog tour! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the blog tour. This is a free and exciting way to promote your book. BEFORE I delve into this, let me warn you of one thing. You will find services out there that want to charge you to set up your blog tour. The costs can be big. I found one that offers a paid consultation and then $1000 down to even begin the start of your blog tour. This is not necessary. Should you choose to pay someone to help you, find someone that has legit references that you can contact AND, does not charge you an arm and a leg so to speak.

I’m going to share a video from Stacy Cochran, a self-published author. He will explain blog tours from his own experience, along with other low cost book marketing ideas. It’s about 20 minutes long but well worth the listen!

Happy blog touring!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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