Why (some) Authors Fail

Why (some) Authors Fail

Sorry for the buzz kill title of this article, but instead of spreading pixie dust as many marketing articles do, I thought I’d take a hard look at the realities of self-defeating behavior and some of the things authors might buy into that will sabotage their careers. Over the years I’ve written a lot of articles on how to be successful, but to be successful you must first learn how to fail up, meaning that you learn from what you did wrong, take full responsibility for it and move on. Lessons in publishing are often costly, both in time and dollars. I don’t presume to tell you that you should avoid making any mistakes, but many of them are avoidable. Here are a few for you to consider.

Not learning enough about the industry

The first piece of this is simple: get to know the market you are in. This is a bit of a dual message because I’m not just speaking of the market you are promoting to: your area of expertise, but also to the publishing industry at large. Who else is publishing in this area? What are they publishing? Is your area of writing hot or a fading trend? These are all good things to know before you jump headlong into your area. Getting to know your market can help you not only avoid expensive errors but also possibly incorporate trends into your book that could help to leverage its success. How to learn about the industry? Read up on it at sites like Publishersmarketplace.com, subscribe to the free or paid newsletter the site offers. This will give you a good sense of what’s selling, who’s buying, what’s being published. Publishers Weekly is another good resource. If you can’t afford a subscription try their online site at publishersweekly.com, or check out your local library to see if they carry any copies. This is a great industry resource.

Not Accepting Feedback

A couple of weeks ago an author who has sat in on a number of my classes, both online and off, asked me numerous times how she could get onto Huffington Post as a blogger. I told her I would try to pursue a Huffpo blogger for her to get feedback on her work. I did this as a favor because, well, she was relentless in her pursuit of this and I had to admire that. So, I finally got a blogger to review her work and the critique came back not so good. In fact it was terrible. I sat on it for a day, wondering if I should share it with her. I finally decided that if she was so relentless about her career, she would be equally relentless about crafting a perfect message, right? Not so much, actually. When I forwarded her the feedback she shot me off an email saying that many other people loved it and that astrologically this was a terrible time to accept feedback so she would dismiss it. Some moon phase or something. I honestly can’t recall. No, I’m not making this up. OK, listen, full confession time here. I have a friend who calls me whenever Mercury is retrograde, “don’t buy anything electronic” she says, and I listen. Well, sometimes. Anyway, point being that I get that we’re all driven by a different drummer, but if someone takes the time to critique your work why would you not try to learn from that? Look, I know not everyone is going to be spot-on with their feedback, but take from it what you can and move on – better yourself, better your writing.
Feedback is a crucial part to any writer’s career. If someone who is more knowledgeable than you about the industry you are in is willing to give you feedback you should listen. Really. In a room of one hundred authors I can pick out the successful ones. You know who they are? They are the ones who aren’t so wrapped up in their egos that they aren’t willing to listen and learn.

Not Surrounding Yourself with Enough Professionals

Let’s face it, your mother and immediate family will love anything you write. These are not the people who will offer you the kind of guidance that will further your career. Yes, they will (and should) love and support you through this work, but you need professionals you trust by your side giving you advice, wisdom, and direction. You don’t need to keep a group of experts on retainer, but you need to know who they are so you can call on them when you need help.

Not Doing Their Research

What would you think of a store owner who opened a yogurt shop in downtown San Diego only to find that five other stores were opening within months of his, one of them a very successful franchise with a huge following? Wouldn’t this make you sort of wonder why on earth this store owner would do that, I mean open a store without doing the proper research? Then why on earth would you launch head first into publishing without knowing your market – I mean the publishing market? So many authors learn the ropes after their book is out, and by then it’s too late. Well, not too late really because you still have a book, but late in the sense that you can’t really do anything about mistakes made and the money it’s gonna cost you. There are a ton of online resources out there. Get to know them, I’ve listed a number of them in this article and there are more, many more. The Internet is abundant with free content. Use it.

Measuring Their Success in Book Sales

Many of you might be shaking your head wondering how I could possibly say this, but it’s true. Book sales, even in the best of economic climates, are sketchy and planning your success or failure around them is a very bad way to market your book. Here’s the reality: exposure = awareness = sales. The more exposure you get, the more awareness there is for the book, the more sales you may get. But this equation takes time and in the midst of this marketing many other really great non-book-sale-related things may happen. An example of this is an author who didn’t really sell a lot of her books as she was marketing, but found that her speaking gigs started to pick up. Each speaking gig netted her about fifty book sales, and because of the market she was in, many of those book sales turned into individual consulting gigs that brought in much more revenue than a single book sale ever could have.

Get the picture?

The other reason I say this is because book sales can be tough to calculate, many reporting agencies don’t report sales for three to six months. I know this sounds crazy but it’s part of the reason why publishing is such a tricky business. So, if you’re doing a huge push in December and you look at your statement in January and find that you’ve only sold 3 books, it might be because you’re looking at sales figures from September or October when you weren’t doing any marketing at all.

Still not convinced? Then let me share my own story with you. As of today, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been out since July of 2009. I suspect to date it’s sold 5,000 or fewer copies. Not impressive, is it? Does that number bother me? Not at all. Want to know why? Because out of the copies sold I have probably brought twenty to thirty new authors on board who will likely be authors for life. Also, I got a teaching gig at NYU because someone handed someone at NYU this book and all of a sudden – there you have it. So if I measured my success by book sales, you bet I’d be depressed. Thank God I don’t. Book sales aren’t what drive my success. The same should be true for you. Start measuring your success in other ways and book sales will come. I promise.

Seth Godin aka brilliant marketer addressed this in a recent blog post too: http://bit.ly/9n1Y9v

Not Understanding How New York Publishing Works

We may not like how the corporate publishing model works, we may find fault with it, but to understand it is to understand how the industry works. For example, knowing the publishing seasons and why Fall is the biggest time for New York publishers to launch a book and perhaps the worst time for you to send your book to market if you’ve self-published.

Also, know that that corporate publishers don’t publish to niches, or rarely do, so if you’re publishing to a niche, you may have a real leg up.

As for bookstores, the big six in New York pretty much own most of the shelf space in your local Barnes & Noble, so if you’re vying to get in there, you are going to have to do more than show up with a book in hand and a winning smile. You’re going to have to promote yourself to that local market and gain enough interest for your book that people start asking for it in bookstores.

Understanding the corporate publishing model means knowing and researching your industry and again, not just the industry you are writing for, but the market of publishing in general. Knowing what’s selling, what’s not – who’s buying, who’s closing their doors. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with it and you’ll have a much more successful campaign.

Playing the Blame Game

If something goes wrong, own it. Unless it’s really not your fault, unless you were taken for a ride somehow, swindled or whatever. Own it. Take responsibility. Here’s an example. Recently an author came up to me after a class I taught and said she’d pitched 200 bloggers and only 5 of them wanted her book. What was wrong with them? Well, maybe it wasn’t the bloggers at all. Bloggers are busy, busier than they’ve ever been so your pitch has to be strong and your book exactly right for the blogger you are pitching. If you’re not getting a lot of pick up on your pitch you might need a new pitch and/or you might need a new set of bloggers. Don’t assume it’s someone else’s fault. Investigate what happened and take a critical look at the results. If you don’t feel you can be objective, hire someone to sift through the data. Assuming success eluded you because of someone else’s lack of interest or follow through might be undermining your campaign and you could be missing out on important data that could really help turn your campaign around.

Believing in the Unbelievable

There are no guarantees. No one can promise book sales, fame, or Oprah. Period. End of story. If someone is promising you these things, run, or if the offer seems too good to be true it likely is. If all else fails ask someone you trust. I get folks asking me all the time about campaigns, programs, and marketing opportunities. Feel free to do the same. Whether you are working with us or not, now or in the future, I will always give you a fair and honest answer. If you’d rather go to someone else, great – but find someone whose opinion you trust and ask before signing on the dotted line.

Success is not about hard work alone, it’s also about making smart, savvy choices and not being blinded by your own ambition, creativity, or ego such that it undermines your work. To be successful you need to be relentless, believe in your work and your mission but you also need to be objective, realistic, and humble. That is a successful mix for any author and in the end, isn’t really about getting the book out there? Focus on what matters. Good luck!

Helpful Resources:

Some great and helpful books:

Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, Volume 2: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (ParaPublishing, 2009) Dan Poynter

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book (Writer’s Digest, 2009 or 2010) Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier

Doing Business by the Book: How to Craft a Crowd-Pleasing Book and Attract More Clients and Speaking Engagements Than You Ever Thought Possible – Sophfronia Scott (Advantage Media Group, 2008)

1001 Ways to Market Your Book – John Kremer (Open Horizons, 2009)

Red Hot Internet Publicity – Penny Sansevieri (Cosimo, 2009)

Get Published Today – Penny Sansevieri (Lulu Publishing, 2010)

Great Publishing Blogs

The Self Publishing Review http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/ 

POD People http://podpeep.blogspot.com/

Nathan Bransford http://blog.nathanbransford.com/ 

Moby Lives http://mhpbooks.com/mobylives/ 

Holt Uncensored http://www.holtuncensored.com/hu/ 

The Book Deal http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/ 

Galleycat http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/?c=rss

Ten Ways to Know If Your (Internet) Marketing is Paying Off

Ten Ways to Know if Your (Internet) Marketing is Paying Off

So you’re out there marketing. You’re doing all the right things (or so you think). You’re following the book marketing advice of some leaders in the industry. You’ve got a checklist and you’re methodically checking off your goals. But how do you know you’re doing everything right? The fact is, most of us don’t. Yet we forge ahead, keeping pace with our marketing plan, without ever knowing if it’s paying off. We don’t see it in sales. Does that mean it’s not working?

Not at all. You could be seeing the effects in other places but just aren’t keeping track of it.
I find that especially in social media you need to keep a close eye on what’s working and what’s not. If you’ve spent *any* kind of time online you know that you can be in front of your computer for what seems like 20 minutes and yet three hours have gone by. If the three hours of marketing is paying off, then it’s fine to spend the time. But you need to know the difference. Here are a few things you can review to measure the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of your marketing.

Jumping in without a plan: Set clear, measureable goals because most marketing is invisible. Let’s face it, you send an email and wonder half the time if the intended recipient got it or if it ended up in a spam filter, never to be seen again. That’s the power behind goals. You need them and you need to run your campaign by them. So what are your goals? And no, you may not say sell books. Yes, that factors in – but there are a million small steps along the way before you even get to sales. Consider these goals and see if any of them fit your book, topic, and future:

Establish yourself as an expert or get known in your particular field. Hey, maybe you just want to be known as the go-to person for everything related to paranormal romance. That’s great and it’s a realistic, attainable goal.

Increase the visibility of your brand. OK, sort of the same as the bullet before this one but more geared to the non-fiction author.

Increase traffic and incoming links to your website. This is a great goal. Whether you are fiction or non-fiction it’s a great focus.

Do what makes sense for your book: if your followers aren’t on Twitter then why have you spent the last month or so promoting yourself on there? Mind you, Twitter works for most of the books we manage, but there are a few that don’t make sense. Twitter skews older than most people think so don’t be surprised if your YA reader isn’t on there. Before you launch head first into a campaign, make sure it fits your demographic.

Neglecting other marketing: I know it’s easy to get all a-twitter about Twitter but what else are you doing to promote yourself and your book? If you’re good at events and speaking are you still focused on that? Don’t get too myopic on doing just one thing for your marketing. The truth is, you need to do a lot of different things, balanced out over a week or a month for your marketing to really make sense.

Set goals – be clear on what you hope to achieve in social media: What are your goals for Twitter? If it’s just about gathering followers then you are missing a big piece of this social networking tool. For many marketing people it’s all about the number, but numbers don’t make as much sense unless they are driving interest to you and your book. If the numbers keep growing along with traffic to your website then you’re on the right track. But if you’re just growing numbers for the sake of being able to say that you have 10,000 followers then it makes no sense. That’s like buying a fancy car you can’t really afford. Eventually the debt of it will drag you down. It’s the same with Twitter and Facebook and any other social media site. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the activity.

Be clear on who you are trying to reach: many of you say you’re trying to reach readers but is that really true? We all want to sell books, but who are you really going after? In all likelihood you will have a variety of different targets you are going after. Consider these: booksellers, speaking opportunities, interviews, bulk sale targets, reviewers, and readers to name a few.

Measure effectively: in order to know if stuff is working you’ll need to measure effectively. As I pointed out earlier on in this article you may not want to do that by fans or followers – instead consider these ideas as ways to measure your success:

Retweets on Twitter: the best sign of success on Twitter is the amount of retweets. Are you getting them and if so, how often? If your tweets are good and your followers are active, you should see a few a week at least (depending on the amount of followers you have). If you’re curious about the amount of Tweets that get RT’d – check out retweetrank.com. Twitter Analyzer (twitteranalyzer.com) is another great tool for determining how far tweets have traveled.

Site hits: are the hits to your site increasing? Are you watching your analytics to be sure? If you’re not, you should be. Watch your site stats closely and monitor the increase in traffic and where it’s coming from.

Inbound links: how many new ones are you getting? Did you do a vanity search before you started this campaign? If not, do that now. Make sure you know how many new incoming links you’re getting as a result of your efforts.

Sign-ups to your mailing list: are they increasing? If you’re doing the right stuff in your social media they should be increasing weekly.

Increasing the contacts in your industry: remember that social media marketing is just like going to a networking meeting. You want to expand your reach and get to know others in your industry. If you’re not increasing your reach and contact base then you need to be. This is another great way to gauge how effective your marketing is.

We always want to make progress in our marketing but we’re not always sure how to do it or if what we’re doing is making a difference. Follow these steps and see if it doesn’t help your marketing momentum. If it’s paying off, you’ll know sooner rather than later and you can keep doing the good stuff, and punt the bad.

Bonus: additional tools for tracking marketing

Bit.ly: this site serves as both a URL shortener and also as a measurement tool. Bit.ly can help get you real time results on clicks to links you are posting to Facebook and Twitter.

Google Analytics: if you don’t have any back end web analytics (and even if you do) Google gives you a lot of valuable data.

Trackur: this is a great monitoring site to see what’s being featured on you online and off. It’s not free like Google Alerts but much more comprehensive. Their basic package is $18 a month.

Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her website at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: subscribe@amarketingexpert.com Copyright © 2010 Penny C. Sansevieri

Getting a Head Start on Holiday Sales

Getting a Head Start on Holiday Sales

You know I used to laugh at the “Christmas in July” ads until I promoted my first Christmas-related book. We actually started the promotion in July and it was the perfect time. Why? Well, maybe no one is buying or thinking about December in July, but the holiday buying season is tough. In order to make any kind of headway you must start early, not just to capture the December sales but also to get in front of any early shoppers. Once those Christmas in July ads start to hit radio and TV, consumers (those who like to shop early) start to gather ideas for their own shopping lists.

When is it too late to start thinking about the holiday market? November is definitely much too late, October is iffy, but if you’re staring September in the face and haven’t done a lick of marketing towards holiday sales, that might be your last chance. Better to start early – mid to late summer is always great. Here are some tips to help you get a head start on the holiday buying season.

Events: start early. If you’d like to do events in December I suggest you start calling stores now. Many stores don’t do in-store events after Thanksgiving, but if you have local connections or some independent stores they might be open to this. Speaking at non-bookstore venues falls under the same category: start early.

Promos: start planning your promos in the fall. I recommend starting the promo roll-out right after Thanksgiving and planning a succession of promotional announcements all the way through late December. If you need to get special pricing on books, or if you’re going to bundle your book with some other items, this will give you plenty of time to plan for that.

Website: now is the time to make sure your website is ready for your holiday marketing. As you begin planning your promos make sure your web designer is ready to go to make any changes your site might need.

Targets: definitely define your target markets as soon as you can, the earlier the better. If you don’t have a good, solid idea of who you’re marketing to yet don’t use your holiday campaign to test this. Test market early. You’ll be glad you did. Don’t waste a holiday promo if you don’t have to. Knowing who you are going after will save you in costly marketing mistakes (and this goes for any time you are marketing).

Ebooks: I suspect with all the e-readers that have hit the market in the last 12 months – and with both Target and Best Buy carrying e-book readers – you’re going to see a lot of promotion for this over the holidays. Make sure your book is keyed into this market, what I mean is: if you had planned to get your book converted to an ebook, now is the time. Also, you might want to offer a special promo, if someone buys your e-book have them forward you the receipt for an additional special holiday bonus.

Social media: if you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, now is the time to join, and even if you are this is a great time to maximize your efforts and plan how you’ll use your social media to enhance your holiday promos. Will you offer specials to your social media “tribe” only? Will you have exclusives just for them? Consider early on what your social media strategy will be.

Exposure: if your exposure online is minimal, now is the time to ramp it up. Contacting blogs, websites, doing article syndication, participating in blogs, doing guest blogging… all of these things are great ways to gain exposure online. Remember, it’s not just about the holiday promos, it’s about making sure you are searchable online. That way, if someone searches on what you’re offering, you’ll come up in the search results. This will help you capture holiday shoppers who haven’t been exposed to you or your message yet.

The key to successful holiday promotion is planning and enough advanced marketing so that you’re not spinning your wheels in the Fall wondering why you’re not making any traction. If you’re ready to explode your holiday market start early, it’s the best way to make sure you have a spot waiting for you when the busiest shopping season of the year comes around again!

Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her website at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: subscribe@amarketingexpert.com Copyright © 2011 Penny C. Sansevieri

Guest Blogging – 5 Tips for Generating Traffic and Gaining Online Exposure

Guest Blogging – 5 Tips for Generating Traffic and Gaining Online Exposure
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Evelyn_Bourne]Evelyn Bourne

Guest blogging is a great way to supplement your article marketing. The practice of bloggers inviting other bloggers to publish on their blog has been going on since blogging began, but now this somewhat quietly kept practice is becoming more and more popular. If you are an online freelance writer you’re always looking for ways to get more traffic to your blog, and gain more exposure for your writing to attract more clients. The occasional guest blog posting gig can get you exposure to a new audience, confirm your expert status and attract fresh traffic to your blog.

As bloggers see the incredible results that they can gain from both guest blogging on other blogs and hosting guests on their blogs, they are engaging in the practice more and more.

In this article I want to share five simple tips for getting started as a guest blogger:

1. Choosing the right blogs
Your goal as a guest blogger is to find a new audience for your writing, to get wider exposure and to attract fresh traffic back to your blog. So, it makes sense to choose blogs that focus on keywords similar to yours, within the same industry and a similar compatible niche, and a similar audience demographic.

Choose blogs that are more established and higher ranked than yours for the biggest bang for your time, but don’t neglect those up-and-coming blogs with a growing, loyal following.

Spend the time to regularly visit the blogs in your niche that you would like to guest post for. Make note of their idiosyncrasies, practices and biases. Take notes and keep these issues in mind when you are writing your post so that you don’t slip up and offend your host, or embarrass yourself.

2. Making contact with the author
Compose a simple email to the blog owner explaining that you are offering to do a guest blog post for them. If this is your first contact with this blogger, briefly explain your blog’s topic and include a link.

Let the blogger know what you like about their blog, how your writing will fit in with their blogging style and topic, and how your content will add value to their audience.

3. Establishing a clear, mutually beneficial arrangement
Guest blog posting is a win-win for the guest blogger and the host blogger. The guest blogger gets exposure to a fresh audience, a nice boost in traffic back to their blog and more favorable search engine ranking from the highly relevant link.

The blog host wins because they get some fresh, relevant content that provides something new for their readership, and buys them a bit of time to do other things. But the blog readers also benefit because they gain exposure to a new writer and a different look at the topic.

Be sure to spell out the terms of the arrangement so that both parties are clear on things like the approximate word count of the post, publication date, number and types and placement of links, ownership of the content, etc.

4. Coming up with the right content for the blog
Refer to the notes you took when you were choosing blogs to guest post on, and write from the perspective of someone who is familiar with the audience. Read through recent posts to get ideas for filling in and rounding out the blogger’s approach to the topic. Ask the blog host if there is a particular topic they would like for you to cover.

Be sure to always present your best work when guest posting. Do your research, format the post carefully and ask for someone to proofread it for you before you submit it.

5. The importance of follow up
After your post has been published, be sure to check back and respond to the comments. This is a great opportunity to forge a real relationship with another blogger and their readers, so don’t overlook this important part of the arrangement.

Go ahead and start guest blogging. It’s a great way to broaden your reach as a freelancer, create relationships and get some new, targeted traffic for your blog. If you are looking to host guest bloggers, it’s a great way to add fresh perspectives to your blog and give your readers a bit of variety.

Guest blogging is just one of the ways to get your name out there when you are an online Freelance writer. For more information about freelance writing, online marketing and personal development, visit, http://www.productivepen.com today.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Guest-Blogging—5-Tips-for-Generating-Traffic-and-Gaining-Online-Exposure&id=6520445] Guest Blogging – 5 Tips for Generating Traffic and Gaining Online Exposure

12 Ways to Create a Mailing List that Will Sell Books

12 Ways to Create a Mailing List that Will Sell Books

We’ve all heard this: capture email addresses on your website so you can market to them again. So we do, we capture email addresses and then we wonder what to do with them. What if you don’t really have news? Do you mail the list anyway? How can I monetize my list, and how much is too much?

We’ve had The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter for over eight years now and the newsletter, bursting in content, is one of the best promotional tools my company has. We’ve never done a single piece of advertisement for my firm, all of it has come from word of mouth, online, and our newsletter.

The key to a good newsletter list is simple really and the biggest piece of this is you’ve got to have something useful to say. While your friends and family might enjoy hearing about your latest book signing, people who happened onto your site and subscribed to your ezine might become bored with this information and unsubscribe. If you have a list or are considering starting one, consider these tips to get you going and help you maximize your newsletter.

Timing: How often you send the newsletter will really depend on your crowd, but I don’t recommend anything less than once a month. I know some people who send a quarterly newsletter and that’s fine if you don’t really have much to say, but if you’re looking for content so you can send the newsletter more frequently, then read on; I have some ideas and ways of maximizing the use of content for your newsletter.

Distribution: How will you send your newsletter? If your plan is to email it, forget it unless you have less than 100 subscribers. Anything over that and you should consider using a service like Aweber or Constant Contact. These places will handle your subscribes and unsubscribes for you. If you start mailing to a list larger than 50 from your email service, you run the risk of getting shut down for spam.

Easy Opt In: Make it easy for people to sign up. Make sure there’s a sign-up on your website, preferably the home page and then a mention of it again on your most popular page which, for most of us, is our blog. The opt-in will take new subscribers to your welcome page (which we’ll talk about in a minute) and handle sending your new readers right into the mailing list.

Ethical Bribe: So what will you give readers to get their email? It might not be enough just to tout that you have this fabulous newsletter; in fact, often it isn’t. Have something that they’ll want, a key item: e-book, tip sheet, whatever will entice readers to sign up for your newsletter. Here’s a hint: give them something they’ll have to keep referring to again and again so that your name and book stays in front of them.

Free: There are some folks in the industry who try to charge for their newsletters. Listen, I get it. A newsletter is a lot of work, but if done properly, it is a key promotional tool and therefore, should be free. Magazines can charge for subscriptions, you can’t. Make it free. Don’t even put a value on it. I know folks who do this, too. I think the value of the newsletter should be evident in its content, not in the price you chose to put on it.

Welcome pages: After someone signs up for your newsletter, what will they see? A simple thank you page on your website is a waste of an opportunity. Make sure there is a welcome page that shares their freebie (the ethical bribe) and tells them about one or two of your products. It’s also a great idea to offer a special on this welcome page as a “thank you” for signing up to your mailing list.

Check your facts: The quickest way to lose subscribers is to publish a newsletter full of factual mistakes. Do your fact and link checking prior to it going out. Seriously. It’s important not just to the credibility of your newsletter, but to you as well. I mean who wants to buy something from someone who can’t even be bothered to check their facts?

Also, please get your newsletter edited. I’ve seen some newsletters with a disclaimer that they are unedited. If you aren’t an editor and can’t afford one, see if you can get it done for free and then blurb the person in your newsletter as a way to reciprocate. Remember, everything is your resume. Would you send a CV to a potential employer that was full of typos? I didn’t think so.

Promote: This is key because once you decide to do a newsletter you’ll want to promote it. You can do so by adding it to your signature line in email (“sign up for my newsletter and get a free …”), you should also never go to a book event without a sign-up sheet, and add your newsletter info to the byline of any article you write that gets syndicated online.

Collaborate: If you’re strapped for content and time, why not open up your newsletter to other collaborators? Our newsletter, The Book Marketing Expert, is a collaboration of a lot of voices. We have publishing tips, website tips, social media tips, and the main article. It’s a great way to let others have a voice in your newsletter, which helps to promote them – and the best part of this is that if you have a collaborative newsletter you can all promote it to the different people you touch in your travels. This will help increase your sign-ups exponentially because you’re hitting that many more people. Your collaborators should be in the industry, but specializing in different areas. This will give your newsletter the flavor and interest it needs. Don’t worry about sharing your newsletter space with others, we’ve done it this way for years, and it’s a great way to build lots of useful content.

Be generous: Give lots of good information. By giving away good information people will want to read it, and when they read it you will build a readership and loyal following, not just for your newsletter but for your books and products as well.

Balance: The key to a good newsletter that will not only get read, but passed along, is balance. By this I mean balance giving with selling. My general rule of thumb is 95% helpful information and 5% selling; while that number may seem low trust me, this is a great balance. Yes, you can offer specials and offers to your readers, but that’s the 5%.

Content creation: While it may seem daunting to have to write content for a newsletter every month or every two weeks, you can use and reuse this content because not everyone will find you in the same place. What I mean by this is that some folks will find you on your blog, others might find you on Twitter and still others will find you by searching online and happening on an article you’ve syndicated. Once I create content for The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter, that content is then redistributed and reused in places like our blog, my Twitter account (@bookgal) our Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Marketing-Experts-Inc-AME/43882181670?ref=ts) or on my page at The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri). Use and reuse your content, though not too much. I generally will use my articles in one or two other places and that’s it, but the point is that they can be used again.

The idea behind a good newsletter is one that not only brings your readers in, but keeps them interested. It’s the marketing funnel we marketing people love to talk about so much, once you get someone to sign up, stay on their radar screen with helpful content. Once you do, you’ll find not only loyal readers, but loyal buyers as well.

Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an author’s message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book’s topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her website at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: subscribe@amarketingexpert.com Copyright © 2010 Penny C. Sansevieri

E-Publishing Price Points – At What Level Should a Self-Published Writer Price an E-Book?

E-Publishing Price Points – At What Level Should a Self-Published Writer Price an E-Book?
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Robert_L._Bacon]Robert L. Bacon

Can an Unknown Writer Compete at a Higher Price Point Than a Franchise Author?

The question posed by the subtitle is too absurd to even consider, yet it happens all the time. My favorite story involves a fellow who thought so much of his skill that he priced his e-book at $16. After a year of vigorous promotion he complained he’d sold only four copies, and one his wife bought for a relative. If e-books by major authors are priced in the $10 range, shouldn’t this have told the writer something about pricing his work?

Success Stories Abound for the $.99 E-Book

All anyone has to do is look at Amanda Hocking’s success and the way she priced her material. If I remember correctly, she even gave away some of her work to “grease the wheel.” Many authors, who often possess more marketing savvy than writing skill, have given away three-fourths of their books and offered their respective endings for a buck or so. And some of these books have sold in the tens of thousands of copies–and in a few instances even more.

It Seems Like $2.99 Is the Far Outside

I attended a seminar not long ago at which a successful e-book pioneer discussed pricing. This person had experimented with all sorts of price points and determined that $2.99 was the absolute outer limit for an e-book that was not previously released by a mainstream print publisher. His position was that $2.99 is the stretching point an e-book can withstand that’s not of the Stieg Larsson ilk, and anyone even remotely attune to the the publishing industry knows how seldom a phenomenon like that occurs. It might be worth noting that the first e-book concerning Bin Laden’s death was released at the same time as the print version, and the e-book price tag was $1.99!

So It Appears That $.99 to $2.99 Is the Comfort Zone

At the recent BEA conference, the CEO of one of the major publishing firms explained what everyone already knows, and this is that no one in the print business has yet learned how to market e-books. He went on to say that all of the distributing mediums which currently exist are quite good for hunters (of material) but not very good for what he called gatherers. With this in mind, it’s paramount for e-book writers to understand that unless a marketing plan is in place to drive a reader to a particular work, even a free book won’t be read–because no one will know it exists.

Robert L. Bacon, Founder

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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?E-Publishing-Price-Points—At-What-Level-Should-a-Self-Published-Writer-Price-an-E-Book?&id=6483958] E-Publishing Price Points – At What Level Should a Self-Published Writer Price an E-Book?

The Value of Real Art

The Value of Real Art
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=David_Tatham]David Tatham

Over the centuries, art has been hailed as a great creative reflection of past times, a record focusing on certain aspects of society in that particular time.

More and more in recent years,these records by highly regarded artists throughout the past have become seen as invaluable and almost priceless items. I say, ‘almost’ priceless, because as we often see in some of the world’s great auction houses, works of art selling for incredibly high sums.

How difficult it is to place a value on an original unique piece of art that is the only representation of a certain scene during that period.

Fashion does have a part to play in the increase or decrease of a painting. The most susceptible type of work to ‘fall from favour’ overnight is modern, or contemporary work. From the investor’s point of view timing is absolutely critical when buying or selling a piece of this art. As we have seen, a contemporary painting valued at over one million pounds can sometimes be sold for a mere fraction of that figure when the fashion changes and the work is regarded as ‘old hat’.

The safest, and probably the most sensible approach to investing in art is to consider artists that have a proven track record for many years. Not simply a local or national artist that has been heavily promoted by the publishers for a short period of time, who then drops into obscurity within a matter of years. But an artist whose work is seen in many public galleries throughout the world and has had an extremely successful career, an artist who’s work is collected by knowledgeable members of the community, and is held in high esteem throughout the art world.. The work by these artists are definitely the most collectable, as they will stand the test of time and have something of real value to say to their observers.

Do not be persuaded by the luxury furnishings of a well placed gallery and a professional seller. Do a little research into the artist’s work that you wish to collect, and remember that if you are buying for decoration only, then let the price you pay work some work reflect that. If you are able to combine pleasure and investment then it is a bonus, but it is a difficult and tricky task to do so. Many people are lulled into a false sense of security, listening to only what they wish to hear, and are surprised years later that their ‘investment’ has increased as much as their car or three piece suite’.

David Tatham has been involved in the world of fine arts for over twenty five years and. His website contains a wealth of information, also hundreds signed, limited edition prints and original works of art by world famous artists, eg. The conservationist and wildlife artist, [http://www.davidshepherd.com]David Shepherd. [http://www.davidshepherd.com]http://www.davidshepherd.com.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Value-of-Real-Art&id=6524668] The Value of Real Art

Five E Distributors to Sell Your Ebook

Five E Distributors to Sell Your Ebook

by Q.B. Wells

Ebook distributors shorten the time it takes for publishers and authors to distribute the ebook to multiple retailers and make the product for sale to consumers. The publisher provides the distributor with the ebook in the contracted format megadata information and the necessary artwork. The publisher agrees to a wholesale price.

The distributor manages the accounting and delivering of the ebook contents to ebookstore retailers such as Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, etc. The ebook distributor then pays the publisher a percentage of royalty based on the amount of sales from each retailers platform. The ebook distributor may charge 0-70% depending on the services, platform and how many retailers they have relationships with to sell the publishers product.

Some ebook distributors will charge publishers a setup fee and some will charge no upfront fees and receive a larger percent of the royalty from sales. As an added service, some ebook distributors will provide conversion or ebook formatting to make sure the ebook has a professional look and is compatible with most reading devices.

Use an ebook distributor if you want to save time or are not approved for an account from top retailers like Apple Ipad. Check the ebook distributors guidelines to see if contracts are exclusive or not.

Below are five top ebook distributors that will save time and get your ebook distributed to numerous platforms and get you to earning money now. They are in alphabetical order.

Art Official Media LLC – Provides ebook formatting, marketing and distribution for publishers to Apple Ipad, Amazon Kindle, Overdrive, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo and direct downloads through the publishers website. Works with publishers of 20 titles or less.

BookBaby – Provides distribution of ebooks to Apple IPad, Nook and Kindle for a small setup fee that includes basic formatting and setup. Check the website for royalty fees and additional ebookstores.

Lightning Source – Provides wholesale ebook distribution to their network of eretailers and have other services to make the ebook file available as print on demand paperback. Check their website for exact retailers and fees.

Overdrive – Provides distribution of ebooks to libraries and educational institutions. Works with publishers of 10 titles or more and has made considerable advances in the mobile library and k-12 market.

Smashwords – Provides distribution of ebooks in too many formats and platforms to list. However, publishers will need to read the guide carefully to manually format ebooks for inclusion in their system and available to the most popular ebookstores.

Find a ebook distributor If you are unable to get approved for a direct account to publish to the major ebookstores, have any issues formatting or limited time to setup accounts from all retailers.

Q.B. Wells is the publisher of Art Official Media LLC and an author living in Baltimore City, Maryland. He has written books (Blackface, Doughboy), book reviews, articles and essays about urban literature and culture for The Urban Book Source, Urbania Magazine and www.UrbaniaMag.com. For a low-cost ebook distributor solution, contact http://www.ArtOfficialmedia.com/contact.html

Seven Places Authors Can Use Smart Phone Credit Card Processors

Seven Places Publishers Can Use the New Smart Phone Credit Card Processors
By Q.B. Wells

Using the smartphone as a credit and debit card processor has made life easier for all business owners but none more than the indie publisher.

Years ago, high fees forced some small publishers to stop using credit card processing terminals. The price of the service far outweighed the sales. The new smart phone app and credit card applications have publishers excited because they can increase sales without the extra upfront cost of being able to accept credit cards.

To take advantage of accepting credit cards. Here are several places to promote your books and sell more product with by accepting credit.

Airport – Sell a book directly to the traffickers at the airport. Approach a potential customer and pitch your book. If they don’t have cash, let them know you accept credit.

Presentation / Lecture – After a quality lecture or presentation, setup your books in the back room on a table and have your credit card stickers available to let people know that you are open for business.

Conference / Expo – Some readers may not carry a lot of cash when at a conference or expo but will have a credit/debit card handy. With a mobile credit card swiper, you won’t miss the opportunity to sell your books at the conference.

Homecoming celebrations- Schedule a vending table or setup a table at the homecoming event. Have the credit card processor available to close the sale.

Flea Market – Increase your ability to turn a profit on your vending table by having the mobile credit card swiper available.

Beauty Salon / Barber Shop – Walk around to the local barber shops and salons in your neighborhood. Pitch the owner and the customers.

Lounge – Arrange a book signing at a lounge. Tell readers and setup your books on the counter or a table. To jazz up the event, get a DJ or hire a live band.

With the Borders bookstores now closing and many other indy bookstores on the way out. Publishers and authors will need to find additional strategies to get the books to readers. The advent of the credit card processing app and free software makes it possible to keep all the options open.


Q.B. Wells is the publisher of Art Official Media LLC and an author living in Baltimore City, Maryland. He has written books (Blackface, Doughboy), book reviews, articles and essays about urban literature and culture for The Urban Book Source, Urbania Magazine and
www.UrbaniaMag.com. A member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Q.B. Wells presents workshops on publishing at local community centers and organizations. A visionary and entrepreneur, Q.B. Wells taught with the Baltimore City Public School System for several years before transitioning into teaching writing classes at Towson University. One Hundred Miles and Running (Blackface 2) is his second novel.

Book Publicity: Key Ways to Become an Expert Commentator

Book Publicity: Key Ways to Become an Expert Commentator

Want to get featured in more magazines? Then get ready to be an expert.

Now, being an expert is a natural for book authors since nothing positions a person as an expert better than a book. If you’d like to have more magazines and newspapers feature you as an expert commentator in their articles, here is the key action you can take:

1. Get the magazine’s upcoming features list. Most magazine websites and/or advertising kits feature a list of the major articles coming out in future issues. Some magazines even post an annual calendar of their major upcoming features.

2. Select a few articles to comment on. Check out that list of upcoming articles and pick out the ones where you could easily provide comments – and that would be a perfect fit for promoting your book or your expertise.

3. Uncover the writers. Find out which editor or freelance writer is working on the articles that seem most suitable. You may need to call the magazine and ask for this information – or it might be posted on their website.

4. Provide a sample comment. The best way to get noticed by the editor or writer is to send them a one-page pitch letter or email – leading off with a short, pithy, dynamite comment like the kind you could provide for such an article. Be dramatic. Be newsworthy. Be funny. Be short.

Finding More Upcoming Articles

Here are some other ways to track down upcoming articles that you might comment on:

1. Follow up on current articles. When you read an article that would have been a perfect fit for your comments, track down the author and offer to provide comments for a future article. Chances are very good that they are working on similar articles for the that magazine or other magazines they write for.

2. Contact the editor. Contact the editor or articles editor of major magazines where you’d like to be featured. Send them a good bio along with 3 or 4 of your best comments that have already been published in other magazines or newspapers.

3. Send Rolodex cards. Mail key publications Rolodex cards with your expertise printed on the tab of the cards. If you have more than one expertise (e.g., love, divorce, and parenting), send separate Rolodex cards featuring LOVE, DIVORCE, and PARENTING printed on the tabs.

Note: You’d be surprised how many magazine editors and reporters still rely on a printed Rolodex for keeping their key contacts. And, even if they have entered the digital age, the physical Rolodex cards will remind them to enter you into their databases.

Be sure to feature your name, address, phone, cell phone, fax, email, website, time zone, home phone, etc. Give them as many ways as possible to contact you. Even your private email address or your bedside phone number.

4. Follow media Twitter and Facebook streams. You’ll discover many of the articles that editors and freelance writers are already working on by following their social media streams. They might comment on someone they’ve just interviewed for an article. Or they might post a request for assistance. Or they might engage in a conversation with you.

5. Follow their websites. Most media now are placing major emphasis on adding more content to their websites and facilitating social contact with their readers. You’ll find many of the things their editors are interested in simply by following the headlines on the home pages of the magazine websites.

6. Comment on current articles. Most websites now allow – and even encourage – readers to comment on their articles.

Showcase your talent for providing incredible sound bites by commenting on those articles. The editors will soon be tracking you down for more.

Reprinted from Rick Sundays Tips

From my co- author John Kremer http://www.bookmarket.com
“Show Me About Book Publishing” by Judith Briles, Rick Frishman and John Kremer
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