Category Archives: book marketing tips

Book Marketing Tips for Authors

8 Tips for Getting Book Reviews

8 Tips for Getting Book Reviews

Step One is to find reviewers.

Some authors don’t realize they can to go out and find people who like to review books. There are many places to locate potential reviewers, and most of them won’t cost you a penny beyond your investment of time. Here are my eight tips for getting book reviews for your amazing book.

8 Tips for Getting Book ReviewsTip #1: The Book Review Directory

I just discovered The Book Review Directory. It is a website where reviewers can sign up, and authors can list their books. Most books have a direct link to where it can you can purchase them.

Authors can buy paid ads too.

Over 125 Book Reviewer bloggers are listed here. Books are classified by genre.

All in all, it is worth exploring this site to find reviewers for your books.

Tip #2: Rave Reviews Book Club

There is a small annual membership fee, $25, for this group. It is a supportive group of authors reviewing and buying books by other authors in the group. They have an online catalog, contests, a virtual book club, spotlight authors, member of the month and other ways to get noticed and to promote your books. It may not be the prettiest website from a visual standpoint, but what it lacks in visual design it more than makes up for in the wholehearted support for participating self-publishers.

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/

Rave Reviews Book Club started on Facebook.

Tip #3: Choosy Bookworm

Choosy Bookworm has a “Read & Review Program” that allows an author to give away an ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon / Goodreads. They have over 60,000 subscribers to their Daily Deals Newsletter, 7,200+ Twitter followers (@choosybookworm), and 14,700+ Choosy Bookworm Facebook Fans. They also have paid options for promoting your ebook to their readers.

Tip #4: Reader’s Favorite

Reader’s Favorite offers free book reviews which they will post on some of the top trade and social media sites. They will create an online Review Page for your book where they will post all four and five stars reviews. They do not guarantee that they will select your book, and it may take up to 3 months. They offer Paid Review services that range in price from $59 – $199.

You can participate in the Monthly Book Giveaway program by providing a free copy or your book to the contest winner.

Tip #5: Underground Book Reviews

Underground Book Reviews focuses on independently published books. They don’t charge to review and only accept the following types of books:

  • Novels and novellas of all genres
  • Adult, young adult and middle-grade fiction
  • Self-published and independently published fiction

Although they do not review them, they will still list these books on their site)

  • Non-fiction
  • Memoir
  • Children’s books
  • Short story compilations
  • Graphic Novels
  • Poetry compilations

They offer advertising opportunities on their website for a fee.

You must become a subscriber to submit a book for review. You will receive their e-zine, book reviews, interviews and articles in a weekly email.

You can become a Premium Member for 99 cents a year.

There is a directory of members which includes authors and publishing professionals.

Tip #6: The American Library Association Booklist

  • www.ala.org/booklist, The American Library Association Booklist Publications, includes an archive of over 160,000 reviews which they make available to their subscribers. An excellent resource for authors and independent publishers. You can submit books for consideration before being published. Click here for instructions to submit your book.

Tip #7: Reader’s Circle

www.readerscircle.org has over 200,000 readers. You can find or start a book club with help from this site. Authors can promote their books by paying a one-time fee of $70.

Authors can add their events to the Reader’s Circle calendar.

https://www.facebook.com/readers.circle/

Tip #8: BookLife

BookLife.com is a website from Publishers Weekly dedicated to indie authors. The site provides a free and easy way to submit self-published books to Publishers Weekly for review and offers editorial content—success stories, interviews, author profiles, how-to pieces, news, and features—geared toward helping indie authors achieve their goals. Whether an author focuses on writing and editing, art and design, or marketing and distribution, BookLife has valuable resources that can help along the way.

I agree they offer lots of great resources for indie authors. When you arrive on their landing page, you will find a great big button that looks like this:

booklife free services

Bonus Tips: Online Book Clubs

WellRead Book Club

www.wellread.org/the-club/well-read-book-club/ has a TV show where they feature one book a month. Members can post comments and reviews. You can request an interview and get more information about Well Read from producer@wellread.org.

Online Book Club

onlinebookclub.org is a free site for readers where you apply to have your book reviewed.

Goodreads Groups

www.goodreads.com/group You can search for reviewers, join groups and so much more. Amazon owns Goodreads. Goodreads is the place for avid readers and reviewers. You can put out a request for reviewers. Free to join.

Here are two articles about joining online book clubs:

Should You Join an Online Book Club? Hell, Yes. By Catherine McKenzie, published in Huffington Post

Online Book Clubs: Talk That Stays on the Page  By Judy Abel in The New York Times

Get Book Reviews for Your Amazing Book

Go out there and get book reviews. Then, post a comment about your results with these resources or share recommendations for other places to find reviewers.

self talk

Self Talk is Your “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

Self Talk is Your Get Out of Jail Free Card

Have you ever felt like you were stuck? Maybe you wanted to change something in your life. Yet, every time you said that today would be different, pesky old habits showed up. You stayed right where you have always been. Your self talk sabotaged you.

I discovered a way to change the rules. Instead of being stuck, I found out how to use my mind to get my heart’s desire.

Self talk is your get out of jail free card or your prison

Our brains believe everything we tell them.You can change the story and change your results.

If you tell yourself you aren’t good at something, your brain will believe you. If you tell yourself you are good at something, your brain will believe you. So, program you brain with the outcome you want instead of the one you have had up to now.

Be the Change You Want to See

I began with a small investment of time and vision. It has transformed my experience. You can break free of what was and have a better life when you follow this recipe.

For almost a month I start every day with two powerful practices:

  1. The Daily Clean Your House Flow
  2. Reading a set of affirmations

As a result of my doing these two things, I am experiencing changes in how I look and feel. I am happy to report that my energy level is soaring. I wake up with a sense of excitement and anticipation for all that I will do each day. I am happier than I have ever been. I am approaching difficult situations and projects with confidence. I know that I will find a way to solve every problem before me.

What Changed?

I am a regular practitioner of the Daily Clean Your House Flow. I have done this flow every morning for many years. It is a simple, 9-step energy flow that I learned from Deborah Myers. Deborah is founder of Health at Your Fingertips and Daily Clean Your House Flow. “Jumper Cables” are my go to practice when I need an energy boost. If my body to goes into reaction, like being at the dentist or getting chemotherapy, they calm me. I use it when I fly and I never have jet lag as a result. I do the entire flow when I wake up and right before bed too. Doing it before I go to sleep helps me sleep better. I sleep deeper and I rested when I awake. I have had trouble sleeping most of my life. I used to be restless and worried at bedtime. I would struggle to fall asleep and staying asleep. Now I am asleep in minutes and if I wake up, I fall right back to sleep.

The Daily Clean Your House Flow resets my body’s energy system, like resetting the breaker when there is a blown out fuse in your house. It keeps me feeling alert when I need to be and restful when that is mode I want to be in. It only takes about 10-minutes to go through all of the steps and I can do it anywhere. I think it is wonderful that I can give myself so much love and self-care any time, anywhere.

Resetting My Brain

I attended a workshop with Steven C. Campbell, the Mind Whisper a few weeks ago. I first met Steven about three years ago when he came to speak at a meeting of the Bay Area Consultants Network, BACN. Steven is a master at creating the world he wants to live in and showing others how to do the same.

The second change came about as a result of attending a workshop with Steven C. Campbell, the Mind Whisper. I first met Steven about three years ago when he came to speak at a meeting of the Bay Area Consultants Network, BACN. Steven is a master at creating the world he wants to live in and showing others how to do the same. His book on this topic, Making Your Mind Magnificent – Flourishing at Any Age.

I attended a workshop he based on the book. I learned how to get my mind to work for me, not against me. He demonstrated how to create powerful affirmations and how to use them. The old thinking about affirmations has changed. I learned about affirmations from Shakti Gawain’s groundbreaking books and tapes. I still have my copies of Living in the Light and Creative Visualization. We thought that repetition implanted affirmations. Affirmations would become a mantra. It turns out that repetition actually doesn’t work. It puts our brains to sleep, not into action. Our brains need to replace our current self-image with a stronger picture. We assimilate affirmations that show us a new reality. Picturing the change we want to see as if it already true. Charging the visualization with positive emotions seals the deal. His book is a great guide to the workings of the mind.


I won’t reveal my affirmations here. They are private and only matter to me. I will reveal that I put my affirmations in writing. Steven helped me improve what I started with. I printed two sets of my affirmations. I placed one set near my makeup mirror and another in a spot I see every morning. I read them to myself in a slow, calm fashion. Almost immediately, I noticed a shift in my energy. This good feeling is now part of how I see myself.

I’ve gotten traction in n the weeks since I committed my goals to paper.  Projects that had been stuck in the “good idea” mode for a long while are moving forward. And, as I said earlier, I am happier than I have ever been.

Change Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

By putting these practices into place, I changed the way I look and feel. I made a minimal investment of time and almost no effort. I am somewhat lazy when it comes to making changes. These two practices are painless and come with big rewards. They appeal to my lazy brain and they work even if I don’t know how or why. By putting these two practices into action, I am seeing big changes. Friends have commented that there is a glow about me. I have noticed it too.

More and more, my clothes are a bit looser than before. I have more pep and I my concentration is better. I recommend putting these two practices into your toolkit. It doesn’t have to be painful to get what you want when you put your mind to it.

Learn How to Feel Good Every Day with Deborah Myers

Energy Care Balance GuideYou can learn from Deborah Myers too. She has a workshop coming up in Santa Rosa. She will teach you the Daily Clean Your House Flow. It is an entry-level workshop that covers self-help acupressure techniques. She is the author of The Energy Balancing Care Guide which is used in the workshop. She also is the mastermind behind the Daily Clean Your House Flow toolkits. These are resources that will help you feel better every day.

Making Your Mind Magnificent is a great investment in creating the live you desire. I hope you will get a copies of these books for yourself.

Change Your Story for a Different Result

You can write a new story for yourself. In the past you may have had a fear of public speaking. Now you know you can rewrite your story and enjoy speaking and sharing about your book. What ever the challenge, you can rewrite the conversation and change the outcome.

Self talk is your get out of jail free card. Use it to get what you want now.

Self talk is your get out of jail free card. What happened before today doesn’t have write the script for what happens going forward. Start now. You have the power to write a happy ending for yourself. Your happy new life begins when you change the conversation. It’s up to you.

How to Easily Improve Your Writing with the Right App

Typewriter deconstructed

Easily Improve Your Writing – There’s an App for that!

Writing Tools for Authors Compared

Scrivener

My long standing favorite writing tool is Scrivener. It is a comprehensive tool that has helped me improve my writing. I am using it right now. It is my go to writing tool. I like it because:

  • I can gather information in one place
  • It syncs to Dropbox (no worries about losing content)
  • Designed for writers
  • It is easy to organize projects
  • I can add hyperlinks
  • I can import files from other programs (Microsoft Word)
  • Editing is a breeze
  • Built-in tools that make it easy to save and share what I write in Scrivener
  • I can find templates for just about any kind of writing project
  • The spelling and grammar features work well
  • I can customize the interface
  • It works

I started using Scrivener 4 years ago. My writing coach, Amber Starfire, revealed this wonderful tool. I immediately put it into my repertoire. Scrivener has a downside: Literature and Latte promised an iOS version of the program in 2012. We are still waiting in 2016. There are other iOS apps that can stand in for Scrivener and I will tell you about them next.

Textilus

This is a powerhouse app that helps you improve your writing. Most note programs are fine for short bits. Most of them lack serious formatting tools. Enter Textilus, which comes in a free and a pro version. I downloaded the free version to see how it performs. I used it for the first time yesterday and I like what I see. Textilus has formatting options like those in Apple Notes. Did you know that if you log out of your iCloud account, you will lose those notes saved to iCloud?

Textilus has the full power of a desktop app like Microsoft Word. It is isn’t perfect. You can choose where you will save or share your files. It connects with Dropbox, via email, iCloud or other cloud-based services. I imported the notes file I saved to Dropbox in RTF (Rich Text Format) into Scrivener. The file naming part of the app is a bit weak, but without looking at any help files or a manual, I figured it out.

Did I mention that is PC/MAC compatible? You can save to these formats:

  • Universal RTF and PDF based document file formats
  • RTF , RTFD , PDF , ePUB, Plain text, PNG and HTML

This is where it shows how powerful it is:

  • Auto-Syncing With iCloud Drive, Dropbox , Google Drive, Box, Scrivener, Evernote
  • Includes automated document syncing with most popular cloud services
  • Open-in email attachments. Send many documents in the same email
  • Open-in your Textilus documents with other apps

I say you will be happy if you use this app on your smart phone or tablet. You can get from the iTunes App Store

Hemingway

“Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.” That is a powerful statement. Just what I am looking for to easily improve my writing. I started my journey with this app recently. Lisa LaMagna is set to share this app at the next meeting of the Bay Area Consultants Network.  We have a segment, Life Hacks, where we share tools and resources that make life better.

I was curious about this app. I have a tendency to write over long sentences and this is an app that is training me to write cleaner and better. It highlights the different types of issues that are common to writers:

Yellow: hard to read rating.

Red: hard to read

Purple: Phrase has a simpler alternative

Blue: Adverb. Remove it

Green: Use of passive voice.

I ran my paragraph about Hemingway through the app and it told me that my sentence about Life Hacks is hard to read. I got a grade of 7 (good). I plan to draft my writing in Scrivener, then run it through Hemingway to see where I can improve. It come in a desktop and browser edition.

Poetica

Carla King shared this app at the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. Poetic is available from https://poetica.com/.  It is a WordPress plugin. It allows you to collaborate, markup your writing, from within WordPress. I plan to start using this with my clients. It will save us from having to send a slew of emails and the pain of using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Everything in one place. Sounds cool. I will report back on how well this works.

More Choices

Here are additional apps to consider, depending on your style or writing focus:

  • Storyist for Mac OS X is a tool for novelists and screenwriters. www.storyist.com
  • Ulysses for Mac and iPad, www.ulysses.com/mac offers a clutter-free writing environment. An iOS version is available or you can sync with Daedalus Touch. Uylsses using a library for storing documents, which is like the binder in Scrivener. You can save your documents to iCloud, Dropbox or in your MacFinder. It has a Markdown sidebar were you can add web and e-pub friendly formatting. Ulysses includes tools you may already know and love, such as word and character count. You can export to PDF, Word, RTF, TXT and ePub.  $44.99 from the Mac App Store. If you write on the desktop and on your iOS devices, you will enjoy Ulysses. It includes auto-backup, smart lists, text-to-speech and themes. $19.99 for the iPad. This looks like what Scrivener promised and has yet to deliver for iOS.
  • Daedalus App lets you write on your iOS devices. It includes a built-in web browser. I was impress by these formatting features: dynamic size and kerning. These are features usually reserved for full-blown page layout programs like InDesign.
  • Write for Mac is a note taking and markdown writing app, writeapp.net/mac/. It and features tags which you can sync in the cloud with all your devices. Sync documents and folders in more than one location: iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive. You can add tags and it supports Markdown. Sharing is possible using AirDrop, Messages, Twitter, Facebook and it offers HTML previews. It comes in a desktop ($9.99) and iOS version ($1.99).
  • Writer for Mac, https://ia.net/writer/mac/ makes writing for websites, apps and videos easy. It comes in a free and pro version ($19.99). It syncs with iCloud and Dropbox, export to pdf or html, to and from Word.
  • For bloggers, check into MarsEdit, which is one of the priciest of the apps at $40. It looks and feels like Scrivener. MarsEdit supports WordPress and other popular blogging platforms like Tumblr and TypePad. Like Scrivener, you can embed url links, with the addition of images and header formats. You write in WYSIWYG and it converts to HTML automatically.

Headline Helpers

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” – DAVID OGILVY

This is a special category of writing. Headlines are an invitation to your audience. If your headline is boring, nobody will read the rest of your stuff. If you write blog posts, articles stories, you would do well to check into one or more of these headline analyzer tools.

I use to  these apps to write better headlines and titles. Two of them are free to use browser-based analyzers. The third is a paid desktop app with some unique features that make it worth the investment.

Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer

“Paste your headline in the text area below. The analysis engine will automatically cut your submission at 20 words, so we encourage you to do a word count before submitting! This will ensure the most accurate analysis.three areas:, Intellectual, Empathetic, Spiritual.

Scores are shown for each area and how you compare to expert copywriters. Using this tool will easily improve your writing.

http://www.aminstitute.com/

Coschedule Headline Analyzer

This analyzer has a different way of looking at your headlines. You paste in your headline and you are given a letter grade. This tools gives you an analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline.

  • Common
  • Uncommon
  • Emotional
  • Power

It shows the make-up of your headline: common words, uncommon words, emotional words, and power words. It shows the number of characters and words used in your headline too. The counts are helpful for SEO. It shows the keywords used in your headline.

http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

These headline analyzers differ in focus. Using them has helped me write attention grabbing headlines. I primarily use them for blog post titles and for email subject lines.

Fresh Title

This is a paid program. It includes swipe files and up to the minute results about what titles are getting viewers. Results are based on Google and Bing searches. It also possible to see what headlines/titles are trending in real time. You can see the keywords in the headlines.  I can save my own headlines for future reference. This is a timesaver for generating headlines that you know will work. MAC and PC compatible.

http://freshtitle.com/

There are many choices and my advice is…

I haven’t even touched on many of the specialty writing tools available. When evaluating apps, I begin with the  features I need, then I look at what else is possible. Being able access my files on any device is a “must have” for me. I use Scrivener when I am on my desktop. Before starting this article, I was unaware of some of the other writing tools available and may be switching over to one of these newer powerhouse apps.

My main purpose in seeking a good writing app is is to make my mobile note taking easier. My list of needs:

  • taking notes at meetings
  • blogging (drafts and editing)
  • prepare presentations
  • workshop materials
  • compose sales copy
  • Developing course materials

I was all set to buy Textilus Pro. After researching writing apps for this article, I am considering a move to Ulysses for my iPad. I like the features of Write and Writer too. My advice is to try out the apps you are considering if possible and many offer a free trial or have a free version and a paid version.

I almost forgot, another app I use on my iPad and iPhone: Index Card 4 – Corkboard Writing App. It uses note cards for each of your files, just as you find in Scrivener. You can reorder the cards and it rearranges your content. You move your writing around just as if you were using paper notecards. Index Card syncs with Scrivener which is how I can to use it. It is a stand in for the long-promised iOS version of Scrivener. You can save and share documents as RTF, TXT, PDF, Scrivener, Notecard, and OPML format. $4.99 available from iTunes and from the developer’s website: http://www.denvog.com/.

 

Markdown Defined

Markdown is code. Browsers need instructions to know how to display text and media.

Web pages and e-publications are built with html Markdown. It identifies the parts of a page: paragraphs, headings, lists, links, images,and tables.

Learn more about Markdown at Markdown Cheatsheet.

Write Better

Go out and use one or more of these tools and write better. I’d love to hear which one you are using and why you like it.

Queen Bee Catherine Sevenau

Queen Bee Catherine Sevenau

Queen Bee Catherine Tells Us Why She Writes

Catherine Sevenau mused, why write? She created quite a buzz with the launch of her book, Queen Bee. Once again, she filled the space at Reader’s Books in Sonoma with friends, family, fellow writers, and excitement.

I captured the Queen as she filled us in on why she writes:


Catherine read excerpts from the second installment in her memoir. She began with “Why Write” and set the tone for many great stories.

She choose tales that brought laughter to the crowd. Grandchildren, Satchel and Temple, shared the stage with Queen Bee Catherine. They also share winning smiles, dimples, a command of the room. I appreciate they each have a wry sense of humor too.

Well done.

Queen Bee’s Creative Hive

Catherine belongs to several creative groups, including BAIPA, the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. She and I often carpool to the meetings in Novato, where we learn about changes in the industry and best practices for publishing and marketing books. I was fortunate to work with Catherine on marketing for her first book, Behind These Doors.  She is a talented woman.

Find out more about these books and Catherine at www.sevenau.com

Replace Intentions with Actions for Astonishing Results

Replace Intentions with Actions for Astonishing Results

Replace Intentions with Actions for Astonishing Results sounds easy enough. Making resolutions for the new year is an established part of our culture. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Only 8% successfully reach their goals. The successful ones are those whose actions match their intentions.

Making a resolution is a declaration of intention. But, there is a catch. Simply stating your intentions is not enough to translate them into reality. The critical factor that most of us leave out of the equation: taking action.

Actions Turn Dreams Into Results

Actions are what makes your dreams come true. It is  great to dream. Dreams are a good place to start when creating a vision for the life you want. However, intentions will remain intentions without taking action. If you want a different result from what you have now, a change in behavior is necessary for success.

Many of my big dreams have come true. Like living in San Francisco. I didn’t just dream about it, I prepared for my move from San Diego to the City by the Bay. I did research. I got a subscription to the San Francisco Chronicle. I applied to audition at A.C.T. I saved money for my move. I made inquiries about where to live. I contacted several residence hotels and I booked a room. I turned my dreams into concrete actions.

The Power of Self-Talk

Self-talk can be empowering or it can keep you stuck. A conversation with a friend reminded me of this critical tool. The alignment of words with actions has the power to change the world. Words can move us forward or keep us in a place of denial. He told me about how his father. The old man likes to complain to his son about his health. He knows what to do to feel better and yet refuses to make any changes in his behavior. His dad is stuck in a place of wishful thinking. My friend feels that unless his father makes changes, he doesn’t have the right to complain. I agree. It is okay to express discontent. It is not okay to chronically complain about the same situation over and over again without taking action to change it. Like my friend, I noticed this pattern of self-talk and failure to take action in myself. It is a state of being out of alignment with the truth. My friend is working on being mindful of when his words don’t match his intentions and correcting his course of action. Speaking the truth is far easier than being deceptive or deluded. I feel at peace when I walk my talk. The stress of saying one thing and doing another disappears. I have more energy and a lightness when I do what I say I will do.

Alignment of Words and Actions

I couldn’t stop thinking of my conversation with my friend. I started to explore areas where I have been feeling stuck. Places where I got locked onto magical thinking. Being aware without being wrong or feeling shame. I clearly see areas where I am putting power behind my words with supportive actions. I also see ideas and goals that are languishing. Some goals are only good ideas because I haven’t moved into action to make them come true.

As my friend said, “I can do better.” It was not a put down, it was an honest assessment of himself. I too, can do better. If I take enough make small steps forward, I will make it to the finish line.

Fear Sometimes Keeps Me From Taking Action

Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being perfect. I know when I do something concrete that moves me closer to my goal, I feel excited and less fearful. It’s easy to talk about what I want. It is sometimes harder to do what I must to make my dreams come true.

Authors come to me because they “say” they want to sell more books. We talk about their goals. We talk about possibilities. We talk about what they are willing to do. Those who take action consistently are the ones who move the needle and sell more books.

Breaking Through the Fear

Being willing to take action on intentions is what it takes to turn dreams into reality. My gift is being able to see a dream, turn it into a project and break it down into small actions. Actions that are doable. Energy amplifies each time I complete a task propels me to keep chipping away and going forward.

Getting out of the mindset of perfection is freeing. Getting into the mindset that doing something every day makes a difference is empowering.

If you feel stuck, I have a proven way to get you out of the quicksand. This is true whether your goal is finish your book, publish your book or sell more books. You need to the help of other people. To sell more books, you need to connect with people in a meaningful way. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you are serious about building your author platform, I can help you on your journey. One of the best tools for breaking free of feeling stuck is a book by Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life.

There is another tool I use, the 5-15 Report. It is a one page document that I discovered when I worked at Smith & Hawken. It takes 15 minutes to write and 5 minutes to read. It is a way to capture what is going on over the course of a week. You can download a sample pdf for your own use.

Judy BakerJudy Baker is a certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, blogger, and speaker. “Marketing is a Conversation” — getting people talking is one of the ways she helps independent authors sell more books. brandvines.com delivers practical book marketing tips. Baker lives in Sonoma with her husband and three chickens, Spot, Buffy and Rosita.

Whip Up Excitement for Your Amazing New Book

 Whip Up Excitement for Your Amazing New Book

Whip Up Excitement for Your Amazing New Book

You’ve done the hard work of writing your amazing book and are on the way to having it published. In anticipation of your publication date, you will want to plan a book launch party. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • It’s a celebration
  • It’s an opportunity to get publicity for your book
  • You can partner with a non-profit and raise money on their behalf (and get in front of their audience)
  • Get people talking about your book
  • A way to have fun
  • It’s a photo op (you can get lots of people holding up your book)
  • An excellent way to thank people who helped you get your book published
  • You can sell books!

Plan a Book Launch Party

The Keys To A Successful Book Launch Party

  • Plan ahead (3-6 months before your book is ready)
  • Pick a team to help you
  • Pick a theme
  • Decorations
  • Reserve a venue
  • Create a budget for your party
  • Plan for refreshments
  • Get the word out (calls, email, snail mail, social media)
  • Invite local media to attend
  • Designate someone on your team or hire someone to take photos and video at the event
  • Order plenty of books so you have them available for the big day
  • Plan to sign books (bring pens)
  • Be prepared to sell your book
  • Have fun

Make Your Launch Special

Get creative and find ways to tie your party theme to your book. This works for fiction and non-fiction. One of my friends, Patricia V. Davis, had a spectacular book launch party that featured live music, delicious chocolates and sparkling wine, a contest for the best diva costume and selected readings and stories from and about her book, The Diva Doctrine, 16 Universal Principles every Woman Needs to Know.

Celebrate, have fun and raise awareness about your book. Give a great party and people will enjoy themselves and talk about it to their friends. They will share photos on Facebook and spread the word about your book.

A party is also a way to acknowledge yourself and your team for all the work you’ve put into publishing an amazing book.

Watch and share this 2 minute video about the positive impact you can make with a book launch party.

Have a story to share about your book launch? Include it in the comments section below.

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Your book is amazing. If you want to sell more books you need to tell the world about it. Arouse curiosity and get people talking about your book on social sites to grow your audience. Tease them and build anticipation for your book.

Tell Your Story in Small Bites

Plan a series of posts and updates that plant ideas and leave them wanting to know more. Interesting social status updates drive traffic to your blog. Provide astonishing insights and unveil your perspective in social posts. Consider creating a series of tweets based on chapters in your book. Reveal tidbits that arouse interest. Inspire their imagination. Surprise your readers. Grow your audience with quality. Focus on why your book is valuable.

Spotlight characters or an intriguing aspect of your story if you are writing fiction. Share endorsements that give your writing credibility. Reward readers with unique, colorful content or practical information.

Exploit the Power of Imagination

Smart authors use cliff-hangers. People want to know what comes next. Show glimpses of your book that unlock emotion. Unusual or exotic elements break through the ordinary conversations on social sites. Astound readers to get their attention. Then deliver on your promise. If there a secret in your book, tease with possibilities. Build suspense.

Try Before You Buy

Publishing short excerpts from your book is a popular way to attract readers. Giving away samples is a good investment. Like the food samples in a grocery store, sampling is a low-risk way for people to try out your writing. If they like the sample, you have engaged prospective book buyers.

Be Bold

Before you publish your book, you want to get as many people as you can talking about your upcoming book. What aspects of your book are daring, groundbreaking, pioneering or strange? Capitalize on what is innovative in your online book teasers.

Authentic stories work. Honest emotion, underdogs, second-chances, these are hooks that touch our hearts. You can talk about your book or what it took for you to write it. Talk about obstacles. Talk about triumphs. Be bold.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Use images in your social posts to get more eyeballs on what you are saying. Your book cover tells a story. You can make a video book trailer. Post photos from your book research. Post photos of yourself as you write your book. Take a quote from your book and turn it into an image. Create your own visuals using online services like canva.com or shareasimage.com where you can combine text and images like the one you see at the start of this post.

Watch the Video

In this short (under 1 minute) video, I recap why you want to arouse curiosity on social sites with teasers announcing your book.

These are a few ideas to get you thinking about ways you can arouse curiosity about your book. Now go out there and get people talking and you will sell more books.

Surprise, Delight, Engage, and Fascinate Readers with Your Kickass Blog

Surprise, Delight, Engage, And Fascinate Readers With Your Kick Ass Blog About Your Book

Surprise, Delight, Engage, And Fascinate Readers With Your Kick Ass Blog About Your BookStart your blog before you publish your book. It’s a way for you to have a conversation with curious readers. It is the place where you can connect with your community. It is your marketing hub.

A Blog is Your Website

With WordPress it is easy to create a site that will showcase your book. I’m talking about a self-hosted site where you own your domain (url) and WordPress.org is installed. I strongly advise you to avoid setting up your website on WordPress.com  which is someone else’s digital property. You will encounter many restrictions, you won’t look professional and worst of all, it doesn’t allow you the freedom to use powerful tools that grow your email list.

Nonfiction Authors Are Experts

Nonfiction authors can position themselves as experts by telling stories about a problem they solved in their book. People with that same problem can discover you through a search. They are attracted to your blog because they want to know what you know.

Fiction Authors Tell Amazing Stories

Fiction authors can talk about their characters, how they developed the book, research they did, how they came up with the idea for the book, and they may even post parts of the book prior to publication to get feedback from their readers.

Start Your Blog Before Your Book Is Published

Start your blog as early as possible so it can help you grow your audience before you publish your book. It’s a way for people to get to know you and the value of your writing. Each blog post is a sample of your perspective and your writing.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Use your blog to arouse curiosity about your book. Post about your process. Invite guests bloggers to participate and bring their audience to you.

  • Surprise your audience with value. Give them bonus information that may not appear in your book.
  • Delight your audience with great content.
  • Engage your audience by asking for their opinions. It is a way you can get feedback and improve your book before you go to publication.
  • Fascinate readers by giving them insider knowledge. A sneak peak behind the scenes can pull them into your world.

Each Post is a Gift

A blog about your book is a tremendous way for you to build interest and connect with an eager audience hungry for the content you offer. Think of each post as a gift for your readers. It’s a genuine and reliable way for you to generate interest in your book. People want to connect with you, the author. Don’t skimp on revealing fascinating information about yourself.

Set-up Your Blog in Under an Hour

You can start a blog in under an hour using WordPress. I’ve done it countless times. Here is an overview of what you need to do:

Purchase a domain name

I use bluehost.com as my Internet service provider. I go to them to purchase and register domains too. I appreciate bluehost’s reliable 24/7 customer service. They are only a phone call away.  bluehost is my choice of providers because of their one button WordPress installation, easy to navigate user interface, security, safety and support.

A Rose by Any Other Name

Your domain name could be your name (if it is unique and available), the name of your book or the name of your publishing company. Just like the title of your book, shorter is better when it comes to a url, and if you can use key words in your domain name as in your book title, that is even better.

Technically Challenged?

Even if you’re technically challenged, it is easy to find WordPress experts who can help you set up your blog and show you how to add new content. You can also find a consultant who will post for you.

A Blog is Easy and Affordable

Launching and contributing to your blog is an affordable and easy way for you to unlock a flow of exciting, revealing, important and valuable conversations with your readers.

Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Creating a beautiful blog is an unparalleled opportunity for independent authors. It is your home in cyberspace. It can attract attention, grow your audience, showcase your work, and provide media with information about you.

Make an irresistible offer of something that your target audience values. In exchange, visitors to your website will give you their email address. Email is one of the most effective ways to convert visitors into customers. Building your email list is vital to reaching your goal to sell more books.

Passion Fuels Action and Attraction

Use your imagination and breakthrough your fear. The more you write from a place of passion, the more you will enjoy posting and sharing with your audience. Authentic emotion connects to readers in a very deep way.

Each time you blog you are adding to your inventory of stories. Offer exclusive information to your readers and encourage them to become part of your inner circle.

Gather metrics on what is working for you on your blog — Google Analytics is free. Discover what touches a nerve with readers and build on it. Your blog puts a spotlight on your book, your expertise, and your point of view. Feed your blog fresh content on a regular basis and improve your discoverability on Google.

Link to Your Social Accounts

Share your posts on other social channels and pull people back to your blog. Each time you write a new post on your blog, be sure to tell the world. Link to your other social channels such as:

  • Amazon Author Page
  • Goodreads Author Page
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Surprise, Delight, Engage and Fascinate

Use Your Blog to Surprise, Delight, Engage, and Fascinate Readers

Build your blog, post by post. Feed it regularly. Nurture your audience. Do this consistently and grow your audience. You will sell more books.

Tell me how you are using your blog to grow your audience. Post your comments below.

Build Buzz, Get Blurbs and Reviews with ARCs

Build Buzz, Get Blurbs and Reviews with ARCs (Advance Reader Copies)

Free Book Marketing Tip #11

There are people waiting to help you improve your book and get the word out. And, they can help you before you publish. They can give you valuable feedback and start generating buzz. I am talking about Advance Readers!

An ARC is Different from the Boat Noah Built

In publishing, ARC is short for “Advance Readers Copy.” It is a preview of your soon to be released book. Seeing a book in print is exciting. Getting a printed ARC is worth the time and effort. With options like createspace, the cost is lower than ever before. I’ve been a designer for more than 20 years and it is really amazing that until you see it printed, you may not catch typo’s that are impervious to spell check, or those odd bits of formatting that need attention that will literally jump off the printed page yet hide on the computer screen. 

Sending out ARCs to helpful and eager readers will provide you with insights and testimonials you can use in your book marketing. Advance readers can also pinpoint areas where you need to do some fine-tuning before you publish.

Advance Readers Are Invaluable

These folks are different from the editors you hire to improve your book. Advance readers are willing to read your book, give honest reactions and criticism, for free. They don’t replace the expertise of editors. They complement it. If they love your book they will tell other readers, even before your book is available!

Ask for Help

Ask for beta readers and potential reviewers before you go to press. Reach out to book critics too. Look for top influencers in your field of expertise targeting those who can boost the visibility of your book and help you reach a larger audience.

Timing

Don’t have to wait until you have published your next book to reach out to reviewers, readers and influencers. They can help you refine your book and improve it before publishing. Allow about 8 weeks for them to read your book and send back comments. You can select the best comments and use them (with written permission) on your back cover, in your publicity, and on your website.

Best Practices 

  • Clearly label your “Advance Reader Copy” as such.
  • ARC’s are not for sale.
  • ARC’s can be a pdf.
  • You can print ARCs using a service like createspace.
  • Offer a finished copy of your book when it is published in exchange for an honest review.

Edit Before You Send Out an ARC

While an ARC is not a final copy and doesn’t have to be perfect, be sure you have done your due diligence and have had your book professionally edited first. Evaluations you receive from ARC readers will be different from those of the editor(s) involved in your project. Advance/beta readers may identify issues of readability, grammar, or plot, but if you have done a good job working with your editor(s), it is more likely beta readers will give you positive comments not potshots. If you learn that there are some fixes needed, you have saved yourself from prematurely publishing your work.    

Where To Find Advance Readers

Goodreads is a great place to start. Reach out to thought leaders in your field or genre. Ask for advance readers by making a request to your email list. You can also use social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter to find readers.

Advance Reader Copies are part of a successful book marketing strategy.

Additional Resources

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/get-reviews-for-your-book/

http://timgrahl.com/amazon-reviews/

 

You Can Be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

You Can Be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

You Can be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

I’m Shy So Why Am I in Marketing?

People are usually surprised when I tell them I am shy. Most people don’t see me that way because I am a “situational extrovert.” If I have a job to do, I feel confident. I look for ways of helping others to take the focus off of me.

I learned shyness from both of my parents. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I discovered I could do things differently. I learned some tips to help me go forward and connect with people instead of staying off in my own prison of shyness. After years of doubt, of feeling fearful, isolated, resentful and sad, I knew it was time for a change.

Breaking the Ice or How I Learned to Break Free of My Fears

It was the day I attended a luncheon where Susan Roane was the speaker. During the time before she made her presentation, she went from table to table asking questions. She got to know them as individuals. When it came time for her speech, I listened with astonishment. She ably included specific bits of information she learned from the 100 or so people in the room. Susan showed me a way out of my dungeon of shyness. Being interested in others and asking them about themselves was my ticket to being more comfortable with strangers. How to Work a Room, is one of the best books about creating connections.

Another favorite book of mine is Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. This inspired me to acknowledge my fear and do things I had avoided. She identified five truths about fear. They are:

  1. The Fear will always be with you
  2. The only way to overcome fear is do go out and do what you are afraid of
  3. You will only feel better about yourself when you go out and do it!
  4. Everyone is afraid of facing the unknown
  5. Pushing through your fear is better than feeling helpless

Authors Can Be Shy

You can get out of the trap of shyness. You wrote a book for a reason. Focus on your purpose, your message to the world. Here are some ways for you to break free and get moving on your book marketing:

  1. List the reasons you wrote the book and the value people will get when they read it.
  2. Be gentle with yourself and remember nobody’s perfect . Pick one thing you can do today that will put you in front of your audience. Do this every day for at least 10 minutes. The more you practice a skill, the easier it becomes for you.
  3. Celebrate your wins. Keep track of your successes. You might do this in a digital journal or a notebook. Include positive reviews, encouraging words, awards, those wins you can look at when ever you need a boost.
  4. Partner with someone. You don’t have to go it alone. Get together with a friend or another author and check-in regularly. Helping others helps you.

What is Holding You Back? By Sam Horn is another book I recommend for overcoming shyness. Sam gives an assortment of practical actions you can take immediately and get on with your life.

It’s O.K. To Be Shy

  1. Acknowledge your fear.
  2. Be curious.
  3. Be helpful.

These are my big three fear busting tips. Do you have a tip to share about overcoming shyness? Share them in the comments area.