.BOOK SECTION

MAGAZINE 2016


BOOKS

2016


What Does a Copywriter Actually Do?

By Sally Ormond 

"I'm a copywriter."

That response to the "what do you do?" question is usually met with a confused nod, quickly followed by "oh, so you copy out stuff for people", or "great, I've just written this new guide and I want someone to help me copyright it."

A copywriter does neither of those.

So what exactly does one do?

Well, as the name suggests, writing is obviously involved, but there's a bit more to it than that.

1. The interview

A copywriter doesn't just write; there's a lot more to the job than just that.

Before any words are written, the copywriter must meet with the client. Face to face is ideal, but that's not always possible (especially when, like me, your client base is global) so telephone, Skype or email is the next best thing.

During this initial stage, the copywriter is usually uncharacteristically quiet. At this stage, it's all about listening.

Not only will she be listening out for details about your business, produces/services, customers and aims, but she'll also be listening to how you speak. This will give valuable clues as to what the right tone of voice will be (how the writing sounds when it's read) for the project.

2. Back at the office

Unless further meetings are needed for progress updates (which can usually be done over the phone, email or Skype), the rest of the project is completed back at her office.

After the meeting, your copywriter will review the stack of notes she took.

Then she thinks.

Not only about what you discussed, but also about your audience and what they want to know and how to convey that to them in the most engaging and powerful way.

The thinking stage helps her plan strategy. After all, without a plan, you'll just get confused, limp writing.

During this stage, she'll also be able to spot any areas that need further research, so that will be the next stage of the process.

Research can be either on the internet (competitor analysis, topic research etc.) or with good old-fashioned books. It could even be taking a trip to a shopping centre or something like that (where your product is sold) to see how customers react to it.

Once that's done it's back to thinking and planning.

Now comes the bit you've been waiting for. She starts to write.

Following her plan, she'll begin to create an initial draft. That won't be the one you get to see; this one is more like a brain dump that will be constantly altered and refined to make it as powerful as possible.

This can take several days, in fact, it's best that it does because it means she can go away, leave it for a day or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes to further refine it.

3. First draft

Finally, the initial draft is ready for you to see.

Sometimes this will be emailed to you for your feedback, other times a further meeting will be held so you can go through it together.

It's really important at this stage that you look at it thoroughly and think about what it's saying. Remember, the copy has been written for your reader and therefore, will tell them what they need to know. It won't be about you and your business.

There's no room for your ego in your marketing materials (or your copywriter's for that matter). Every word has to resonate with the reader - it should be all about them.

Once you've gone through it, it's time to let your copywriter have your feedback. Suggest changes by all means, but remember you hired your copywriter because she's an expert in her field, so she knows what she's talking about.

4. Refine

Once your feedback has been given your copywriter goes back to the thinking, planning and writing stage again.

She'll amend the document as you have both agreed and re-submit it to your for your approval.

As you can see, there are a lot of stages to copywriting, and it's a very collaborative process. You have to be willing to give lots of information and time to the project, but you also have to be willing to listen to advice and take it.

A copywriter should never bully you, but they will offer advice. They will leave their ego at the door and write with a voice that's suited to your company and the audience the content is to address. Above all, your copywriter will bring a wealth of experience and guide you to a successful outcome.

Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting, is a professional copywriter, with extensive experience in both B2B and B2C markets.


Offer Your Book The Easy Way - Offer a Proposition

By Claudia Arango  

You can get paid to compose a book. It's effortlessly conceivable to make a quick $10,000, or even a six figure sum. You could even make seven figures - over a million dollars for twenty pages of content. It sounds mind blowing, however a quick seven figures is absolutely conceivable in the event that you have a HOT, hot thought or have had an affair that a huge number of individuals need to peruse about. In his 2001 book about composing true to life, Damn! Why Didn't I Write That?, writer Marc McCutcheon says that it's not hard to make a decent pay: "you can take in the exchange and start making a respectable salary much quicker than a great many people think conceivable".

The great part is that you don't have to compose your book before you get some cash. You compose a proposition, and a distributer will give you a development, which you can live on while you compose the book.

Composing a proposition is the brilliant approach to compose a book. It's the way proficient scholars offer verifiable. Offering a book on a proposition is much less demanding than offering a book that you've effectively composed. A book proposition is a finished depiction of your book. It contains the title, a clarification of what the book's around, a blueprint of sections, a business sector and rivalry study, and a specimen part.

A book proposition capacities similarly as any business proposition does: you're making an offer to somebody you plan to work with. It will be dealt with by distributers similarly that any business treats a proposition. A distributer will read your proposition, evaluate its practicality, cost it, and in the event that it looks as though the distributer will profit, the distributer will pay you to compose the book. When you've sold your proposed book to a distributer, your part doesn't end with composing your book. You're in organization with your distributer to guarantee the book's prosperity. In the event that you do your part, both you and your distributer will profit.

You and your distributer: an association

The distributer's business is offering books. The organization gains books which it trusts will offer, and offer well. Your distributer is setting up the cash to distribute your book, so you have to approach the task from his perspective and in addition your own.

We lack space to broadly expound about the distributed business here, yet you have to think about "returns", on the grounds that the test of profits makes distributed not quite the same as different organizations. Distributers offer books on relegation. Distributers ship books to bookshops, and if a book isn't sold inside a specific day and age, it's wrecked. The book retailer strips the spread from the book and sends the spread to the distributer for a full credit. This is the "arrival". On the off chance that a title doesn't offer, the distributer gets hammered. As you can envision, distributers are not any more quick to lose cash than you or I.


BOOKS FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 2016


How to Leverage Kindle Unlimited for Marketing Your Books

By Amy Harrop  

Whether you're an experienced author already racking up sales and new readership, or you're just dipping your toes into the vast waters of the self-publishing industry, the thought of making your books available through Kindle Unlimited (KU) has no doubt crossed your mind.

The real questions is, should you or shouldn't you?

Is there a clear advantage for you, the author, in using this service? Because let's be honest, your main goals are to gain exposure for your work andmake a living while doing it.

With this in mind, let's discuss how you can market your books effectively by leveraging the Kindle Unlimited platform, along with the pros and cons of using KU vs a wider distribution strategy.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

If you don't already know, Kindle Unlimited is a subscription-based service offered by Amazon that allows readers (Prime and otherwise) to access their entire inventory of KU books for one low monthly fee.

At under $10 a month, it's easy to see why Kindle Unlimited has gained a reputation as the "Netflix" of books!

But, wait a minute... $10 a month for unlimited access to all of their books!? If you're wondering who makes money with this arrangement other than Amazon, you'd be in good company.

Authors the world over have been scratching their heads and tip-toeing around signing up for Kindle Unlimited because they're not sure about its long-term benefits or potential drawbacks.

The Pros and Cons of Using KU vs. Using Wider Distribution

There are several pros and cons that go along with using KU vs. wider distribution options, or doing the exact opposite.

Pros

  • It enhances the reach of your books - Amazon has at least fifty percent market share in the US and UK when it comes to digital book sales. That's VERY significant. Their best-selling Kindle e-readers, tablets and apps, as well as Amazon's amazing ecommerce platform and knack for turning browsers into buyers are what drive this phenomenon. And it's increasing every year.

The bottom line? Having your books featured on Amazon increases the likelihood that they will be found and read by a lot of people.

  • You gain access to Amazon's ecommerce tools - Amazon's team is masterful at getting consumers to buy, and it's no different when they market digital books.

Through their KU program, you gain access to unique promotional tools like their Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotion, which both help to boost your readership and launch your new titles to success.

  • You earn royalties for ever page read - Unlike traditional books sales where a customer buys your book and you get a one-off payment, with KU authors are paid a small royalty for every page read from each book.

Yes, you probably won't make millions, but every penny does add up.

Cons

  • Exclusivity of your book title with KU - You read right. If you decide to promote a book using Kindle Unlimited, you cannot promote that title anywhere else.

You're title is bound to Amazon's KU for 90 day spans, after which, you have the option to renew your contract.

  • Potentially low earnings - Unless you're in the top percentile of book publishers in the Kindle Unlimited program, you shouldn't expect to get hefty royalty checks.

The vast majority of self-published authors find that the potential for earnings per book are much higher on other platforms when compared to KU.

There seems to be more to love about the program than there is to hate it.

But is it wise to put all of your eggs in one basket and have titles exclusive to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited? Is there a point to even signing up if the chance of earning significant royalties are slim?

The Answer: Yes and No, depending on your marketing strategy.

How to Use KU to Sell More Books

We already mentioned that Amazon has the lion's share of the digital book market, but something that you may not know is that their KY customers are no ordinary readers.

The average person who signs up for a subscription service like Kindle Unlimited is best described using one word: Voracious!

Think about it.

Who else would sign up for an unlimited supply of books each and every month? Someone who can't get enough of the written word and who has the potential to turn into a very loyal reader, if given a good reason!

Marketing experts the world over have used the "free offer" angle to hook new users into their products and services for decades. Some examples are, free samples given away at wholesale clubs, free trials of software and free content given away to get new subscribers for email lists.

It's so surprise that this strategy works amazingly well for selling eBooks too, especially if you're newer to the game and haven't made a name for yourself among readers.

If you view Kindle Unlimited as a springboard for launching your self-publishing career it can be a real asset. The key is not to make all of your books available there, but only a few of your absolute best.

And why your best work?

Because, if a reader comes across one of your books you want them to be so excited, spellbound and addicted that they have no choice but to go out and buy additional titles if they want more. How's that for encouragement?

Even a single exceptionally written and presented book offered on the KU platform has the ability to move you from completely unknown to prominent among your target audience, literally overnight.

But what if you're an established self-publisher who already has a significant following?

If you're already well-known and enjoying lucrative digital books sales, Kindle Unlimited may not be an essential aspect to growing your readership (although it can't hurt).

On the other hand, by not publishing at least one title on the platform, you may be missing out on significant marketing potential (don't worry, you can always use a pen name).

Lindsay Buroker, one author earning a full-time income for her work, attributes anywhere from 85-90% of her income to utilizing the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Kindle Unlimited platforms. In contrast, her other book titles spread across seven alternative platforms collectively bring in the remaining 10-15%.

In her case, the math is undeniable.

But the only way to know how it would work for you is to choose some titles, register for your own Amazon KU account and see what happens.

The Perils of Avoiding Wider Distribution

No matter how you feel about Amazon, the fact is that they are one of the major book distributors worldwide. While it may be a grave mistake to leave them out of your plans for marketing and distributing self-published titles, total exclusivity could be equally troublesome.

While it can be very effective, as with most things, there is one caveat to using Kindle Unlimited exclusively for marketing your brand.

While Amazon does have the majority of readers, you are missing out on the millions of readers on other platforms such as Apple's iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and more.

For that reason alone, it is never recommended to use any single distribution and promotion strategy. Instead, focus on using KU to promote some of your best books to gain the exposure and new readership that only Amazon can offer and put the rest of your books up for sale on any platform and in any format that will produce sales and profits for your work.

While Kindle Unlimited isn't a good fit for every author, it is worth investigating as part of a multi-strategy book marketing plan.