BOOK SECTION MAGAZINE 2016


What Can an Author Learn From a Book Marketing Log?

By Harriet Hodgson 

In February of 2016 I decided to keep a book marketing log. It would be simple document, a few sentences for each day of the month. I read my entries the other day and they surprised me. In fact, the log has turned into a learning experience. What have I learned from my log?

Over time a system develops. I realized it would be smarter and quicker to note similar things in the same way. For example, many entries begin with "Thanked these people on Twitter for their follows." I note the name and a fact about each person, such as non-fiction or sci-fi author.This continuity may help me with other writing projects.

Book marketing has many facets. I've taken the usual author steps, posting on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. I've done new things, too, such as retweeting videos, something I hadn't done before. One retweeted video refers to books as friends, and I added a message to it: Hope I'm your friend, someone you turn to for information and comfort. This note generated a "like" on Twitter.

A log can be a learning experience. Although I can crank out manuscripts efficiently, I'm not a computer person or a "techie." So the idea of metadata was intimidating. When I watched a podcast on the topic (something noted in my log) metadata became clearer. In fact, the podcast sparked my creativity and I wrote an article about metadata, and posted it under the resources tab on my website.

Helping other authors can be powerful and rewarding. My book marketing log, and the steps it documents, links me with many authors. I'm touched by the number of retweets and encouraging comments I've received. I thank the authors for their retweets, mentions, and likes. Some names have become familiar and conversations may ensure.

Writing connects authors with the world. Retweets have come from England, Scotland, Ireland, and far away countries I've only read about. I don't note every country in my lob, but I do note many of them. These notes connect me with a family of authors. Authors don't write in the same genre, but we are compelled to write, and fascinated with words, no matter which language we speak.

A log can nudge an author in new directions. When I read my log entries I realize that the fact of keeping a log is making me try things I never thought I would try. Now I'm keeping a list of ideas, such as adding a visual to every tab of my website. According to my publisher, it can take months or even years for marketing efforts to generate sales. Yet I'm pushing on, making daily entries, and doing all I can to spread the word about my books.

Today, publishers want their authors to help with marketing. Your book log can help you translate this idea into action. Just as important, you are documenting your efforts. If your publisher wants a summary of them, you have it. Book marketing isn't easy, but it's interesting and challenging. Make every day a book marketing day!

http://www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. Her latest releases: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, The Family Caregiver's Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, A Journal for Family Caregivers, and The Family Caregiver's Cookbook, slated for October release.


Why You Should Pay for Good Books

By Carmel M Audsley 

With the digital publishing revolution, anyone can produce a book. 'Anyone' who has no experience of writing, can string a few words together in badly constructed sentences, throw in a few swear words and sex scenes, make up ridiculous scenarios that go nowhere, then shout to the world that she is an author. She also complains rather loudly when no one buys her book.

'Someone', who has spent time learning and practising her craft, who can spell and put punctuation in all the right places so that the sentences make sense, who has taken the time to research, write, re-write, edit and proof a book and who has respect for her readers is more likely to be successful and can rightfully claim the title of author. Her books are more likely to sell too.

You can usually tell from the first few pages of a book whether or not you will enjoy the story. If you choose to buy a good book - one that has been crafted by a skilled writer - you are paying for hundreds of hours of research, thought, inspiration and determination to write the best book possible so that the reader can be taken on a journey and feel something at the end of it.

In my genre of historical fiction, I go to the places about which I write, to see the sights, hear the sounds and smell the odors and perfumes so that I can accurately describe those sensations. I research how the characters would have dressed in a certain period, the currency they used and the basics of their everyday lives. I don't want people to just read words - I want them to feel that they are actually there, walking along the cobbled streets or travelling thousands of miles across the sea in a crowded ship, or falling in love on a riverbank.

I write about things I know, but also about things I don't know. I like to find out about people and places, and the work I put into doing that comes across in my books because readers can be transported to those places too. I treat my characters - and my readers - with respect.

So when you buy a book, either a hard copy or kindle version, and you enjoy reading it, think about the hard work that went into creating that book. Then, instead of lending it, consider buying a copy for a family member or friend. You won't make an author rich, but you will give her the satisfaction of knowing that her work is appreciated and the incentive to keep researching and writing good books - and that's a win for everyone.


Don't Try to Sell Your Book Until You've Done This One Thing

By Amy Harrop 

If you want your book to be a sales success, there's no avoiding the need for some solid Amazon reviews. Even if you're a genius in every phase of marketing, failing to have your Amazon reviews in place first will result in wasted effort at all levels.

Therefore, you should time your book marketing campaign so that procuring Amazon reviews is at the head of the list, not at the bottom. Nail those reviews first, and it's like attaching a rocket booster to everything you do afterwards.

Here's what Amazon reviews will do for your book.

Every author has his or her unique way of marketing, but a few core principles adhere to anyone's campaign, no matter how it plays out. And it's a cold hard fact that getting your book reviewed on Amazon is one of these core elements of success.

I'll show you why Amazon reviews act as a multiplier for other marketing techniques in just a moment. But first, just to drive the point home, here are four benefits of nabbing some Amazon reviews before you begin your major marketing push:

- They provide social proof for your book - Amazon is king when it comes to checking out stuff we want to buy. Why? It's those reviews!

- One Amazon review encourages more- nobody wants to be first.

- If you get 10 reviews, the book qualifies to be listed in "also bought" or "you might like" sections on Amazon when consumers are purchasing other books.

- Amazon reviews will help you get your book reviewed on other review sites, since that's often a qualifying factor.

Even if you're a long way from selling thousands of copies through Amazon, get those reviews in there anyway. The goal is to prove your book exists in the mind of other readers who have bought and read it.

By doing this, you're coaxing your potential customers into a comfort zone where they'll be more likely to purchase your book. Nobody wants to be the first one out on the dance floor, or even the third or the fourth. Most people want to see a handful go before them before they'll follow.

Compare your book launch to the opening of a new restaurant.

Debuting your completed book without first having some reviews on Amazon is like opening a restaurant without first building any fanfare. As a restaurateur, you'd be expected to drum up support for your opening night to fill as many seats as possible, right? You'd be out of your mind to open without some sort of pre-launch buzz (at the very least an ad in the local paper).

In the restaurant industry, it's considered better not to launch at all than to have zero patrons your first day. You should think of your book launch the same way. When you begin the bulk of your advertising initiatives, it's good to have someone already "there" to say it's a good product... hence the reviews.

Of course for a restaurateur the buzz wouldn't stop there. The diners who showed up would be seated in the window to create a buzz-worthy scene for passersby (yes, that old trick... still around because it works!).

If you do have some great leads, they'll be even more likely to purchase if you have some Amazon reviews to show.

Seating people in the window on opening day of your restaurant is one way of leveraging social proof. That's also what you're doing with your first set of Amazon reviews.

Let's say you've made a few contacts and they seem interested in you and your book. They take note of your name or your title and then go to research your book to see if they might like to make a purchase.

Congratulations, that's 90% of marketing! That's what we call a hot lead: that person is more than halfway through your sales funnel and now all you need is the right gentle push during the last few steps of the sales process and you've made a sale.

Where does your lead go to research your book? The preeminent online spot for finding out about a book is Amazon. Even if someone plans to purchase elsewhere, it's those reviews that drive Amazon's popularity, and you'd better have some there once your "lead" arrives on your page to investigate your book.

It's all about making us of a major canon of ad-agency psychology: social proof.

A final note: despite what I've just told you, Amazon reviews aren't enough!

Of course all this assumes you've created an Amazon Authors page. This is where visitors can find out about you. Your Amazon Author page is also the spot where you redirect everyone on over to your website. Therefore, sprinkle liberally with links to your website and your social media accounts.

Why pull people off Amazon and onto your website or social media page? After all, Amazon is where they'll make the purchase. The reason is because if someone is on your author page, chances are they've come there from the book page where they would have made the purchase.

That visitor is already distracted from buying the book so you've got to recapture that interest. If there's nowhere to go from your Author page, it's a closed circle of discovery and you've lost the sale.

The ultimate goal is a fan base.

Get them over to your website where you can show them more of your wares. Let them get to know you, thereby hopefully creating a loyal fan not just a momentary spark of interest that may or may not result in a sale.

That brings me to what's really important here. I stand by my stern warning not to launch without Amazon reviews but don't think for a moment that's all you need to do. Don't go fishing without a pole- yup, good advice- but you'll also need a hook and some bait.

A fan base craves an author website.

What you really need is an author website, which serves as the marketing hub for your book and all future books.

The key to long-term marketing success is to build a following for your work, and that can't be done simply by listing your book on Amazon, gathering reviews, and referring people to an author page.

The Holy Grail of authorship is a loyal fan following. People who follow authors look for them to have a multi-channel existence. So there's a Part Two to this article- Amazon reviews are crucial but you won't get very far without your own author website.

Check out my blog for more publishing tips. Amy Harrop Blog

ON LINE REVIEWS BY MIKE RAMEY

FROM WOODSTOCK TO ETERNITY

BY JOHN D. COOPER

“It all depends upon the “lens” you see your life through, and that lens is molded and developed in each of us by the influences in our lives.  For Morgan, his lens became tainted, his perspective redirected, his exuberant pioneer spirit deformed until it took on a much different mold.”

--John D. Cooper

“From Woodstock To Eternity”

    Writing fiction is a hard task.  Fictionalizing actual events is an even harder task.  Nevertheless, John D. Cooper puts his writing chops on excellent display in the work: “From Woodstock To Eternity” (400 pages, 2014, Create Space Publishing).

    This is not a work that one will finish in an afternoon.  For the older reader, it is an ‘up close’ look at an era gone by.  For the younger reader, it is a firm, unflinching look back at what life was like for your grandparents during the ‘summer of love’ era, and how--inch by inch--arrived in our modern times.  To both groups of readers, there will be an ending that will reward your efforts.

    However, let us not put the cart before the horse.  We have to start at the beginning.  The main character, Dustin Morgan did not ‘set out’ in life to become a drug smuggler…but Morgan enters the profession, well aware of the risks attached to it.  We start out aboard one of his ‘runs’ under the radar and over international waters into the USA.  Through a series of events, Captain Morgan lives to fly another day…by the skin of his teeth.

    There is more ahead.  For example, why the Woodstock era was important and how fast the idealism crumbled into dust as Morgan--like others--had to wonder where the ‘good vibes’ went.   Drifting along in life, Morgan soon finds that what was missing from the ‘good times’ that he had been enjoying was a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.  However, the ‘old life’ wasn’t going to willingly let Morgan go.

    “From Woodstock To Eternity” is available through Amazon.com, and your favorite on line bookseller.  Cooper supplies a work that shows the dangers of the drug trade--and the way out of it, if one wants to make a real choice.

    Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.

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Lift up Christ and lay the sinner low. --C. H. Spurgeon


DO-IT-YOURSELF, BE YOUR OWN PUBLICIST, TELL YOUR STORY & BOOST PROFIT!

Best-selling author and award-winning PR Expert, Karen Taylor Bass, releases her Do-It-Yourself public relations ebooks

-- Real Talk: 1 of out every 3 Black business will fail, but don’t have to. --

 Karen Taylor Bass With Ebooks

Ebook covers and author, Karen Taylor Bass

BlackNews.com

Award-winning PR Expert, speaker and best-selling author, Karen Taylor Bass, has created the must-have, do-it-yourself ‘Be Your Own Publicist’ eBooks (www.karentaylorbass.com/new/?page_id=477) for entrepreneurs to launch, build, sustain and boost profit for their brand. Bass’ e-Shop consists of popular items like creating press releases, pitch letters, website marketing, branding for products to sample business contract and non-disclosure agreement, all under $10. Her public relations strategic coaching, is the #1 best-selling service on the site.

“My eBook shop was created to give entrepreneurs what they need. Answers to win, run a profitable business, protect their intellectual property and be the go to expert in their field,” says Bass.

Bass recently spoke at the United Nations on how to leverage one’s brand and succeed in business. She has been featured as a PR Expert and ‘Brand’ Mom in several media outlets, including: Dr. Oz, CNN, BET, NBC's Weekend Today, Huffington Post, Fox-TV, ABC-TV, WPIX-11, Entrepreneur, Essence, Newsday and more.

“My eBook shop was created to give entrepreneurs what they need. Answers to win, run a profitable business, protect their intellectual property and be the go to expert in their field,” says Bass.

Bass recently spoke at the United Nations on how to leverage one’s brand and succeed in business. She has been featured as a PR Expert and ‘Brand’ Mom in several media outlets, including: Dr. Oz, CNN, BET, NBC Today Weekend, Huffington Post, Fox-TV, ABC-TV, WPIX-11, Entrepreneur, Essence, Newsday and more.

Karen has created memorable campaigns from Rap, Jazz, Pop, R&B and Latin music. Artists directly impacted by Karen’s gift includes but not limited to: Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey, Herbie Hancock, D’Angelo, Boy George, Dianne Reeves, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild and Proyecto Uno. Corporations such as Coca-Cola USA, the National Basketball Association tapped Bass to create media buzz for some NBA players.

Bass, the CEO of TaylorMade Media LLC, was recently selected by New York City Small Business Services to serve as a mentor to budding entrepreneurs for the pilot program, Women Entrepreneur Connect (We Connect, NYC). The selection process was competitive, with only 18 out of several thousand applicants selected.

For almost three decades, Karen has taken a solid approach to creating unique media campaigns, taking under-performing or unknown brands from obscurity to notoriety. A lover of music, she learned from her bosses at Double Xxposure, EMI Records, SONY Music and Time Warner, how to write and execute award-winning campaigns to engage consumers, build loyalty, boost profits for stakeholders and boost the bottom line.

If you’re ready to take your business and brand to the next level, visit Karen Taylor Bass site (www.karentaylorbass.com) to learn more.




How Blogs & Articles Can Attract Client Referrals

By Jeanette Bernice Nofri 

A recent national study by Hinge Marketing, Referral Marketing for Professional Services Firms, revealed that 20 percent of expertise-based referrals come from readers of blog posts and articles written by that individual. Blogs and articles were the second largest source of referrals behind first place, "hearing the individual speak."

Research also shows that, beyond training, credentials and experience, the majority of potential users of professional services look for someone who is trustworthy and able to relate to their situation.

Regardless of your field or specialty, or whether you practice independently or as part of a group, this data provides significant insight about the ability of written content to motivate readers' action to either contact you, or refer you to others. It confirms the idea that in-depth subject matter, written and presented well, is a powerful influence on viewer responsiveness.

When you add to this the fact that search engines now use various algorithms to identify high-quality content (in order to help internet searchers find the highest-quality sites), blogs and articles can be better appreciated as important boosters of overall marketing results, not just generators of referrals.

Here are some ways to improve the authority and influence of your articles and blogs. They are based on my research and experience, as well as some of Google's current criteria for assessing the level of quality of content:

  • Research every subject you write about. Nothing can undermine your credibility more than providing inaccurate or outdated information.
  • Cite sources of significant facts and statistics.
  • Choose topics that address your prospects' interests and concerns.
  • Use original writing only. Don't duplicate or rehash what you've read somewhere else.
  • Provide insightful, substantial content; and present it in an interesting way.
  • Be sincere and caring. Viewers want to know that you're concerned, at least generally, about the welfare of your readers and clients.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling and formatting. Your written content represents your professionalism.
  • Be relate-able. When readers can make an emotional connection with content, they are more likely to take action, such as contacting the site owner or sharing the information with others.
  • Don't overload your writing with keywords. It's more important to use good writing and provide valuable information.
  • Cultivate a trustworthy image. Find ways to indirectly communicate your best qualities: your ethics, integrity, sincerity, positivity, experience and expertise.
  • Present material in a professional, authoritative manner. Demonstrating your top-notch standards and expertise is a key to becoming a highly desirable professional services provider.

By providing high-quality, informative, and accurate content, you can increase the ability of your articles and blog posts to serve as "magnets" for attracting both referrals and new clients.

I can improve the impact of your website content, blogging, articles and other marketing outreach. If you're too busy to write your blog posts, I can write them for you. Contact me anytime to discuss how I might help with your writing needs. See more about this and other related topics at http://www.writingandmarketingservices.com.



BOOKS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2016