Archives for June 2015

Open Letter to Amazon – How to Improve KDP

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Open-Letter-to-Amazon

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I always meant to write to Amazon – not to their “customer-service” email – but as a registered letter, addressed to their CEO, responsible for customer / supplier relations or Jeff Bezos. Being too busy, I never got around it.  Just now I found by chance a former blog post by David Gaughran who had done exactly this: At a London Book Fair, he took the opportunity to meet representatives from Amazon and present a list of feature requests and complaints.  This list sheds a light on a lot of the issues that authors have with Kindle Direct Publishing and reasons how and why KDP and Select should be improved.
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David Gaughran: “I was merely the conduit, a lot of these suggestions came from the comments on my blog and KindleBoards.  I also had lists for CreateSpace and Kobo.  In the case of the latter, the stuff was a lot more basic (i.e. fix search, give us freeload numbers, improve discovery etc.) but everyone was very open to feedback.  The good thing about bringing these issues up face-to-face is that it can help get stuff prioritized when they realize it’s a real issue rather than people grumbling about a minor inconvenience.”
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Excerpt from David’s List:

1. More Data!
I appreciate that lots of stuff is proprietary and that there might be privacy concerns surrounding what can be shared, but KDP could at least share conversion rates.

2. Coupons
Smashwords and Apple both have a coupon system and it’s a handy way to give a free copies to readers, reviewers and competition winners.

3. Full Territorial Pricing
At the moment we can set different prices in each country, but only within certain restrictions.

5. Customer Service
There are many things I love about KDP, but the customer service isn’t one of them. Reps often seem to scan the email until they get to the first issue, enter a canned response, and ignore the rest of the email.

6. Payment
KDP has expanded electronic payments to lots more countries, which is a welcome development, but there are still many authors in places like Australia who can only be paid by check. They are quite ubiquitous still in America, but not so in the rest of the world. When I was living in Sweden, where checks are also being phased out, the bank wanted to charge something like $125 to cash a foreign check (the check was for around $300!).
Read the rest of his suggestions how Amazon can improve.

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Snippets from the Reader’s Comments/Suggestions to Amazon:

  • Customer service would be a priority. And data! I second all of these suggestions. These are things KDP has desperately needed for a long time.
  • The canned responses from an Indian call center will only be worse if you expected a phone call. They will simply tell you the same thing they would in an email.
  • As for sales reporting, their Excel spreadsheet is from the last century.
  • There is no accurate reporting, and any questions about sales data are ignored. Finally, Amazon (and KDP) treat the content as their property, not yours, and they decide what gets sold, when and for how much.
  • It would be great if Amazon and other retailers would auto-post reviews across their different sites, at all of their countries’ sites.
  • Electronic payments don’t work for all bank accounts at all banks, even in the UK – I have had repeated problems with mine and when they are investigating I can’t use my account. Ouch. So I am back to checks which, as pointed out, is a nightmare.
  • As a result of Goodreads and Amazon sheltering and protecting review trolls and absurd rules, the value of any reviews on either site is zero.  Goodreads even goes so far as to threaten authors who speak out against reviews that are personal attacks with the destruction of their career. This has to be stopped.
  • I’d love for audiobooks to be available to the customer straight from the main book page on Amazon instead of being redirected to Audible. Let’s make it all one-click shopping! (it works for mp3 files).
  • I’d be happy if they could extend the electronic payments to New Zealand. Seriously, who still uses cheques today, apart from Amazon? I also agree on expanding the category fields on the interface itself. It makes so much more sense and I think Amazon knows it.
  • The KDP dashboard needs a real makeover all around, it’s incredibly difficult to find what I need and the books that can’t be deleted really clutter things up too.
  • Coupon codes and more categories would be awesome.
  • If an author is making minor changes that do not involve uploading a new version of their book — such as changing the blurb, adding tags, or changing the price — it shouldn’t take twelve plus hours for a) the changes to go into effect and b) the book to again be available for sale.
  • There are several categories that you can select but that do not exist in other countries’ Kindle store.
  • Amazon is a huge organization and to a large extent a law unto themselves. But they still need to take care of independent authors, because they are where most of their products comes from.
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Kindle Direct Publishing has a lot of room for improvement that would help us as well as them.  Again: customer service would be a priority.  And data.  And acting as a joined up company worldwide rather than different author sites in different countries… After all: we are the ones who provide them the content they are selling – for free – until we get eventually paid for our work.
P.S. At least some new category options are available now.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

 



Best-Ranking Keywords in Amazon Categories

 

Keywords

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Many trade publishers and author-publishers don’t understand Amazon’s categories and fail to use the system to their advantage.  They either don’t use all categories available to them or, without drilling down further, they choose something generic like Fiction, which is useless as a category unless being at the very top of the Amazon rankings.  When you are picking a category you don’t want one with a broad, busy market, you want a category that’s narrow.  Why?  Because Amazon’s algorithm is ignited when a book hits the top of a category.

Amazon offers BISAC subject headings, which are industry standard – not always reflecting the actual categories in the Kindle Store.  David Gaughran wrote in one of his blogs: “While the system attempts to map your BISAC choice to a Kindle Store category, it doesn’t always work. This leads to the situation where you have:

  • Categories that appear only in Books (i.e. the print book listings and not in the Kindle Store itself)
  • International-only categories (for example, Medical Thriller was a category in the UK Kindle Store, but not in the US until Amazon recently added it)
  • Unique Kindle Store categories that are not selectable when uploading
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This inexact mapping between the BISAC-inspired choices in the KDP interface and the actual categories in the Kindle Store creates both a problem and an opportunity.  Amazon recently added new granular sub-categories in some genres, but others were completely untouched.”
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Solutions for Authors and Publishers

They can’t add *additional* categories, but they can assign one of your two to the category you want. There’s actually two ways of doing this you can try:

1) Take the category name and add it as a keyword for that title in KDP. This works some of the time, but not always and indeed it may only work for the new categories, and even then not always. Amazon has an in-built keyword search or long-tail keyword phrase finder in their search field.
Use Amazon’s help page: Selecting Browse Categories.

Here an Example:
If you wrote a non-fiction book in the Business and Money category, Amazon advices: “In order for a title to appear in the Business & Money sub-categories below, the title’s search keywords must include at least one of the keywords or phrases listed next to the sub-category.”  Scroll down the page and select your genre. Using the nominated keywords, your book will appear in a number of sub-categories.  Keyword choices are listed for all major genres, however not the same categories in each country.
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Experimenting with keywords inside the KDP brings up lots of possibilities.  They used to show up as ‘tags’, but as you have noticed, Amazon has stopped readers from being able to view and use tags on its main website.  When using these methods, you do not need to spend a cent on software or e-books promising magical sales results.  All you need to do is carefully select your seven precious keywords, and then have your ebook perfectly positioned for buyers to find. You will see, your book will show up in more than two categories now.

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2) Choose “Non-Classifiable” as one of your categories, and then email KDP with the *full exact path* of the category you’re aiming for. You may get pushback, saying that you aren’t allowed to choose that. The customer service teams are incorrect when they say this, and you need to stay firm and keep insisting. If the category exists in the Kindle Store, and isn’t a restricted one like Kindle Singles or Kindle Serials, you *can* get your book there – it just might require a little persistence.

Authors of Historical Fiction for example, don’t get many category choices at Amazon, contrary to B&N – Barnes&Noble – where twenty different sub-categories are offered.

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Many authors and even trade publishers often don’t care about category, sometimes even don’t register or place the title only in one category.  Of all the work you do placing your book on Amazon, this might be the most important key piece of marketing.  Make sure you put the book in the most narrow category you can.  Switch your categories from time to time.  The good thing about Amazon is that they don’t limit you to the number of changes you can make.
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Read More:

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2EZES9JAJ6H02
http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/02/how-to-choose-kindle-keywords/
http://www.lindsayburoker.com/tips-and-tricks/book-more-categories-amazon-with-keywords/
http://business.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-choose-keywords-and-categories-for-your-kindle-ebook–fsw-39335

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Award-Winning Author Fiza Pathan

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Multi-book author Fiza Pathan’s next title is in the editing process right now …… and according to first readers even better than NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom.  It might shock readers even more than the prequel, and it might also get an award – as so many of her books.

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xFiza - Copy

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Fiza Pathan is the recipient of the following AWARDS:

The Mom’s Choice Awards® has named
Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them
and
Classics: How we can encourage children to read them
among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.
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2015 Beverly Hills International Book Award
Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them
was a Winner in the Education category.

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Classics-How

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Pinnacle Book Achievement Award has been awarded to the following books:

Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them
2014 Winner in the Category of Education.

NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom
2014 Winner in the Category of Novella.

So This Is Love-Collected Poems
2014 Winner in the Category of Poetry.

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xNimalaFizaPathan

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The Next Generation Indie Book Awards:

Classics: How we can encourage children to read them
was named a Finalist in the Category of Education/Academic.

NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom
was named a Finalist in the Category of Novella.
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2015 Eric Hoffer Book Awards:

Classics: How we can encourage children to read them
received Honourable Mention in the E-book Non-fiction category.

Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them
(Category Education) and Classics: How we can encourage children to read them (Category Reference) has been accepted into nomination for the Global Ebook Awards 2015.

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Which one in this eclectic collection of books by Fiza Pathan did impress you most?
Make sure to check her website http://fizapathan.com/ and her blog http://InsaneOwl.com for more of this prolific writer.

 

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11 Tips How to Organize a Book Sales Campaign

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Book-Launch

Launch, Photo Credit: NASA

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I have seen it too often, that authors decide one morning to have a book sale from the next day on and expect it to be a successful one.  Or they hurry editing, formatting and slap a cover image together, in order to get the book on Amazon’s sales pages before Christmas.  The minimum you can do to make it a success:

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1. Start EARLY !!!
You have about three months to promote a new print book (paper back or hardcover) before the bookstores clear their shelves for the next bestseller.  But if you can rack up enough pre-orders BEFORE the pub date, then you can kickstart your book launch.  Once it hits the New York Times or other lists, then a couple of weeks on those lists become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Again: the more time you give your book to be listed on Amazon and other online retailers BEFORE your publication date, the better.
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2. Write Several Blogs About Your Campaign / Book Launch Including Images.
Tell potential readers the benefits, e.g.:

  • Low price or even free
  • Send as inexpensive gifts
  • Give them a great incentive for a review
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3. Write a FREE short e-Book About Your Book.
Include all the sales links and an author biography in your prequel, and if you will participate in Amazon’s “Matchbox”, bundles of print and e-book.  Explain your potential readers the benefit of ordering a “bundle“.
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4. Campaign Announcement:
Cross promote your campaign: Always post and promote your event on your own website, blog and through email as well, so that non-Facebook/Twitter/Google+ users can learn about it and share your book sales campaign event without having to use these social media sites.  What’s more: Use Twitter to generate buzz and use LinkedIn to leverage business communities and post the event to LinkedIn.

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5. Google+ Posts
Add your blogs about your book launch or your book sales campaign – not only on your own Google+ timeline and your author / book page, but also at the dozens of Google+ reader communities where you are (hopefully) a member.

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6. Tweets
At least one tweet per hour, each one in a variety of text and accompanied by a cover image photo of your book or photographs from book scenes or areas where it takes place.  Sign up to several Twitter accounts.  You can establish up to five accounts.  But don’t post the same tweets everywhere!  And schedule well in advance, using Hootsuite or any other free scheduling service to find the best times to post on Twitter.

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7. Create a Re-tweet Button in a Free eBook.
Give away the first chapter of your book as an immediately accessible PDF on your web page or on Amazon. Include a re-tweet button in several strategic locations in the chapter. This allows people who love what they read, to easily share with friends on Twitter.  When someone clicks on this re-tweet button, it shows a pre-crafted tweet that says: “I’m reading @……. new book: … Get the first chapter free here too: http://………”
You get the idea?
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8. Announce the Campaign in Your Newsletter
It’s one of the reasons you ask your blog readers or website visitors to sign up for your newsletter: to inform them about specials and sales campaigns or book launches – besides providing regularly useful and entertaining content.
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9. Most Important: Have Your Event/Campaign on Google+
Google+ offers a great tool to invite people to your upcoming event. Are you still thinking about joining? Or are you one of the more than 300 Million users of Google+ yet?
Announce the event or book sales campaign on Google+ and also on Goodreads at least three weeks before the date. They both offer a free event function. A site that is very easy and fast to set up. Promote this event (can be real life or virtual) heavily on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, your blog and to your email list. And if your local newspaper, neighborhood paper etc. has an event page, or if they have an online version, get your event in! Search the internet for events/websites in your area and announce it there too.
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10. Create a photo contest
It can be a fun and friendly competition to get people excited about your book. And there’s no better platform than Social Media sites to do just that. You can call it the “Know my Book?” photo contest. All participants need to do, is to take a creative photo with the words “Know my Book?” or “Help Me Launch.” The three best images might receive the book or you can offer an additional first prize for a Kindle or a digital camera.

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11. Create Your Campaign Well in Advance
Give your event promotion enough time to spare, this also gives you time to notify / invite the people who you know are most likely to attend. With so many book sales to choose from, the key is to know your potential customers. Create your invitations, posts and tweets so as to reach as many individuals as possible with your marketing message.
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A Lot of Work You Say?
No matter if you are organizing a book launch for your latest work (or your first book), planning your Goodreads Giveaway or if you prepare to have your book on sale, or for free for a couple of days:  these campaigns need to be well organized and promoted – and all that well in advance.

Yes, sure, if you see it as WORK. But you like to write about your book, to tell people about it, to help your readers to find inexpensive copies of your book and to sell more books and get more reviews.  No one said that having a publishing business means “laughing all the way to the bank”.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



It All Sounds so Familiar …

Parallels Between Screen Writing and Novel Writing
When I read an article this morning on how to sell a screenplay on Jane Friedman’s blog – adapted from ScratchMag – I found so many parallels between the movie industry and publishing, that I just had to compare it right away.
Selling a movie script needs to be well planned and executed, and networking is a huge part of it. Here are some tips from Friedman’s blog how to pitch a movie and the similarities to books:
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA.

An Unknown Screen Writer Cannot Sell an Idea.
You must have a spec script to start playing, and it needs to be between 100 and 110 (correctly formatted) pages for a comedy and a little more for a drama. And don’t hang dreams on one brilliant screenplay.  Motto is “always be writing”; every piece you write opens doors to other jobs, and the process feeds on itself.
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Just as With Books…
I cannot count how often I received inquiries like this: “I am writing a historic novel (or have written) and would like to publish it with your company.  Thanks for answering soon.”
First of all, these authors don’t even bother to read our submission guidelines, where it’s clearly stated that we accept only non-fiction books, and that a submission should contain a cover letter stating why they want to publish with us, a table of the book’s contents, synopsis of the proposed book etc.   My answer to inquiries like these is always a link to the submission guidelines, and good luck for the rookie writer…
You are NOT considered an author if you wrote only one manuscript. Publishers will ask you what else have you written, they will ask “what’s your platform”? And if you have never published anything, not even a couple of newspaper or magazine articles or short stories, let alone a finished and edited manuscript, they might not be very interested in dealing with a total newcomer.

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Selling Your Script at Pitch-fests.
Jane Friedman wrote: “Ever attended a writing conference with a pitch component? Some say that writing conferences got the idea from Hollywood pitch-fests. A pitch-fest is just what it sounds like: an intense, anxiety-producing opportunity to talk to industry insiders about your script.”
“As in book publishing, there is a fair amount of criticism of the pitch-fest concept—those who say that hardly any agents or editors sign deals with people they meet at such events, and that the event organizers profit off the naive dreams of new writers. They are profitable events, to be sure, but the key as a pitching writer is not to have any expectations going in. You shouldn’t expect to sell anything at a pitch-fest.”
“Rather, it’s a bona fide opportunity to build a network of industry contacts and get valuable feedback. You can get some idea of whether what you’re working on is of value and marketable. And, best of all, you get to practice pitching, which is an essential skill in the screenwriting world.”

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Tips for Pitch-fests – and Writer Conferences:

Movie: Your film should be easy to describe in terms of other successful films.
Book: Know exactly in which category your book would be placed.
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Movie: Invoke the name of a film that’s made a ton of money.
Book: Know your bestselling competition.
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Movie: Keep the pitch short. No matter how much time you have, always be able to describe your movie in one sentence.
Book: Remember the elevator pitch? Describe the value of your book for readers in one sentence!
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Movie: Rehearse your pitch before delivering. You shouldn’t have to read anything from note cards.
Book: Besides a perfect elevator pitch, and a blurb or several, have a bunch of reasons ready why someone should publish and promote your book. This is part of your “business plan” and you need to know your potential readers, how your book stands out and above bestselling books in your genre (know their sales numbers!), how impressive your platform is, where else than in bookstores your book can be sold and how you can market it from your side.

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Movie: Ideally, before you begin the pitching process, you should have an arsenal of materials ready to show or to send if requested, such as a log-line, one-sheet, synopsis, and treatment. Just about any published screenwriting how-to guide offers strong examples of these materials, along with a list of do’s and don’ts.
Book: Here they are called blurbs, synopsis, table of contents …

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Follow Up
“Regardless of how well the pitch goes, most people waste the opportunity by failing to properly follow up after the event.”
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Movie: Friedman advises to ask if there is an open door to pitch the next project, or for a writing assignment. Whatever happens, stay in touch, whether that’s through social media or some other method. Now that they’ve met you in person, they know you are human, you can present yourself well, then they see you on social media every day, and they don’t forget you.

Book: Meeting and pitching to editors at writer conferences is the first step and a wonderful opportunity to ask them for advice. But that needs follow up. A thank-you-note, following on social media, maybe even a Christmas/Hanukka Card and a pitch for your next book are essential to keep in touch

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Movie: Getting Attention Through Contests and Online Pitch/Listing Services
Studios, producers, and agencies frequently look at the winners of established contests. However, most winning scripts don’t get sold or produced; contests tend to be judged on artistic merit, not commercial viability. When evaluating a contest, research how well the winners have done—did any deals follow? Will the contest get your work in front of real industry contacts?
Book: If you finish very well in a competition, it’s easier to get your work read, period. Use it for your portfolio and the marketing of your book, but don’t expect too many publishing contracts / sales.

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Finding an Agent or Manager to Sell Your Script.
Movie: If you don’t like the idea of paying for play at an online pitch site (or at a pitchfest), you can try cold-querying agencies with your project. It’s not dissimilar from querying a literary agent. If an agency agrees to represent you, it will pitch your spec script to its contacts inside the industry. However, most agencies aren’t open to hearing from unknown writers and, even if they are, the query process takes persistence and patience—and often an appetite for talking on the phone to assistants. There’s a much bigger chicken-and-egg problem in Hollywood than in book publishing. You need an agent to submit your work, but agents won’t take you unless someone is already interested.
Book: It’s similar as querying a literary agent.
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Movie: Either an agent or a manager can help spread the word about your script, but only agents are regulated by the Writers Guild of America. Neither should ever ask for a reading fee.
Books: Unfortunately there is very few oversight in terms of literary agents, so it’s important to choose one with a very good reputation and great connections, and who has lots of references (authors).

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Movie: Friedman advises “Whether you score representation depends partly on whether you’re seen as a one-hit wonder. Agents and managers want to represent writers who can continually generate saleable scripts.” In their guide, Garant and Lennon say that sending out your script cold is probably the least likely way to get an agent. They write, “A method that will have a much higher success rate would be to write a short script, funny, scary, or touching, and shoot it. Get it up on YouTube or FunnyorDie (or the hundred other sites like those). … Try ANYTHING. … Even if it’s only thirty seconds long and only on the internet, a finished product gives you a huge advantage over a script on paper.”
Book: Ever heard about a book trailer?

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Working Your Connections and Relationships.
Jane Friedman: “If you’ve heard that it’s all about who you know, you heard right. Probably a smarter path than reaching out cold to agents and managers is to find someone you do know—a person in the industry who can offer you a small break—because Hollywood operates on relationships. If you don’t have any connections, you have to be adamant about making some, whether that’s through pitch-fests and pitch sites, hiring consultants, entering contests, or using opportunities presented by social media (try #scriptchat on Sundays).
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Movie: So much depends on presenting the right story to the right person at the right time. While talent is part of that, access and timing are equally important, which means your success can be largely out of your control. What you can control is being a relentless advocate of your own work, and developing a network of potential representatives and buyers—as well as promoting all those new stories that you’re prolifically producing.”
Book: I can only second these tips. Start with this article: Bestseller Tips,  or this one: Are you a good party guest?
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Last but not Least: Guides and Resources for Selling Your Script.
Movie: Jane Friedman gives lots of tips and links at the end of her article
Book: Valuable Tips for Authors – Don’t Miss This: Book Marketing on a Shoestring 

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Want to Know How Your Books Are Ranking?

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Years ago bestselling author Aaron Shepard created an Amazon Sales Rank website for all “Amazon Countries”.  He has been making big changes now at Sales Rank Express, which is not only a sales rank checker, book monitor, but also a market research tool.  

Shepard writes: “While it has long been usable only on desktops and laptops, I have finally redesigned it to adapt to the smaller screens and often slower connections of tablets and phones.  Now you can use it just about anywhere.  At the same time, I’ve cleared up a number of browser incompatibilities, so the site works better than it has for years.”

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Check Out This Useful Tool.
Go to http://www.salesrankexpress.com/ and find a button “Guide Me” – which is almost not necessary, due to the easy handling.   You only choose the country in which you want to search for your sales rank the ISBN or ASIN of your book, the title or author or publisher, the format of your book, what you intend to know: sales ranking, price ranking, reviewer rating etc.

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Sales Rank Express Offers 3 Views:

  •  Standard.
    This view, the default, gives you all the info that Sales Rank Express can offer. It is especially suited to desktop and laptop computers.
  • Lite.
    This view omits two special features that are inserted from outside sources—tracking charts and review stats. These features can significantly slow down Sales Rank Express, so you might choose this view if you’re on a slow connection or an older device. It’s especially suited to tablets.
  • Mini.
    This view, the fastest and most compact, leaves only enough data for rank checking. It’s especially suited to smartphones.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Aaron Shepard’s Sales Rank Express has a comprehensive FAQ page – where I found for example that it is better to enter only enough info to bring up the book or books you need.   Shepard advices: “Almost any individual book can be brought up with a last name in the Author box plus two or three keywords in the Title box. If you instead fill in the complete author name and the full title—and if Amazon happens to list one or the other slightly differently—then the book might not come up.
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Likewise, if you search for a single book by ISBN or ASIN, do not fill in any other box. Sales Rank Express even helps you correct any errors of Amazon’s that you spot! One of the chief advantages of Sales Rank Express is its international scope.
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You can just as easily check your books on Amazon in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Germany, India, Japan, or China.  And most of the info is yours without knowing any language other than English.  Sales Rank Express works by collecting and organizing data from Amazon’s Product Advertising API.
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The site is completely free to use, as much and as often as you like. Don’t miss to read the New York Times article  about this useful rank tool, or Seth Godin’s blog  or the one by GalleyCat.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

 

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



The Secret of Professional Author-Publishing

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Professional-Book-Layout

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Want to be Seen as a Serious Self-Publishing Author?
Don’t go further than to the next library or bookstore and check out trade-published books!  And even a quick online search on books from one of the “Big Five” on Amazon (through the “Look Inside” function) Kobo or iBooks will give you all the information you need to prepare your book professionally for the publishing process.

You will discover that trade books’ first pages are set up in this sequence:

  • half-title page
  • series title
  • title page
  • copyright page
  • dedications
  • a quote or epigraph
  • Table of Contents (TOC)
  • list of illustrations
  • list of tables
  • the foreword
  • preface
  • acknowledgements
  • introduction

Quite a few of the content in a printed book’s is irrelevant to an e-book.

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Amazon’s and Other Retailers Requirements
Only the title page, Table of Contents (TOC) and the copyright page are mandatory – also for e-books – and no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction!  TOC’s are now a binding requirement, and authors are starting to get notices from Amazon and other online retailers to include it in their books and ebooks if they haven’t already.  Amazon “Lets the reader easily find parts, sections, and chapters of your book from the “Kindle Go To” menu, and let readers see how far along they are in the book.” They give detailed and practical tips how to include the Table of Contents on their Kindle website.

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Look Inside
When people use the “Look Inside” feature, especially in e-books, those traditional front matter / first book pages could easily take up half of the feature.  So you better move everything else – but the title page, copyright page, and the Table of Content (TOC) – to the last pages of the book.
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Copyright
The copyright page is essential as many e-book retailers won’t accept an ebook for sale unless it includes the copyright page.  It should consist of: Copyright [Year] Author name, e.g. ‘Copyright 2012 Allen Miller’ or ‘© 2012 Allen Miller’.
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Table of Contents (TOC)
Chapter entries in the content listing should be hyperlinked so that users can go straight to the start of a chapter from the TOC.  Distributors, such as Amazon will demand that you do this or they won’t accept your e-book. It will for sure improve the quality and usability of your e-book, and also will present you as a serious publisher.
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Important: Don’t include page numbers from your printed edition – it doesn’t make sense in an e-book. Due to a variety of eReaders, tablets and even computer screens where e-books are read – and even more due to the font size an e-book reader may choose – page numbers are totally useless.
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Take Advantage of Hyperlinks
An e-book is simply a specialized web page. Capitalize this fact for some “free advertising” of your other books, of your Social Media sites, to gather email newsletter sign ups and book reviews.
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THE END
Set up the following pages, right after the book’s last page:

1. Review Links: Give your readers a reasons to leave positive reviews and to recommend the book to others. Once readers have finished the last page and like your book, they are more inclined to leave an immediate book review.

2. Set up an opt-in link for your newsletter / mailing list

3. Link to all your Social Media sites, for example to:
Amazon author page and all your book online retailers
GoodReads.com and other book communities
Your own website and blog
Google+
Twitter.com
Pinterest.com
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If there are buttons already set up for Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. on your website, just click on them, copy the URL out of the address bar on the bottom of your page and create the link.
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4. Make it Easy for Reviewers
Amazon uses their own identifier for ebooks—ASIN—which means you have to wait until after the book is definitely published on the Kindle Store to create a link. As soon as your book is uploaded, you can use your book’s Amazon page, for example and link to “Post your own review”.

Building these links is just a matter of copy/paste.  If you are not familiar with HTML, ask your e-book formatter or your web designer to do it.  It’s worth the small effort – and a great chance to make the next sale, get reviews, new fans who rave about your book and followers on your Social Media sites.

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Reminder of Amazon’s Policy on Reviews
Jo Robinson wrote:  “Amazon is on the warpath right now as far as paid for and dishonest reviews are concerned, and us innocent Indies could get hurt as a result of being uninformed. Whether we agree with them or not, we have to follow the rules of any online retailer we use, so getting to know Amazon’s policy on this is important.”
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The (very) Last Pages of Your Book
Once you created all these URL’s, you may then add these pages to the end of the book:

  • List of your previous books including URL of the sales page
  • Acknowledgements
  • “About the author” or bio
  • Bibliography
  • Index Links (for non-fiction books)
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Remember: The first page sells your book. The last page sells your next book!
Setting up your book layout in the same professional way as trade publishers do and leveraging the fact that you can incorporate links, re-tweet buttons, sign-up forms and review encouragements in your e-book will bring you many more new readers for your future books!

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

 



Free Market Research for Authors

Authors who use crowdfunding to finance the production costs of their book get for free what industries pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for: MARKET RESEARCH

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Crowdfunding

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Proponents of the crowd funding approach argue that it allows good ideas – which do not always necessarily fit the pattern, required by conventional financiers – to break through and attract cash via this funding method.  It is certainly an amazing opportunity as one of the starting steps in the publishing process.
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Many Benefits, Beyond the Financial Gains:

  • Marketing – project initiators can show there is an audience and market for their project.
    In the case of an unsuccessful campaign, it provides good market feedback.
  • Profile – a compelling project can raise an author’s profile and provide a boost to their reputation.
  • Audience engagement – crowd funding creates a forum where project initiators can engage with their audiences. Audience can engage in the production process by following progress through updates from the creators and sharing feedback via comment features on the project’s crowd funding page.
  • Crowd funding often grows the overall number of books sold.
  • Feedback – offering pre-release access to content or the opportunity to beta-test content to project backers as a part of the funding incentives provides the project initiators with instant access to good market testing feedback.
  • Bringing passionate readers along for the publishing ride and creates deeper relationships and reader engagement.

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Quite a few crowd funding services are available, best known and trusted are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo  – see also a comparison table on Wikipedia.

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Support From Your Customers
Too often, authors write books before knowing the depth of their reader base.  The supporters of your crowd funding campaign are your future readers / customers. Crowd funding is a way to pre-order books before they are produced – invaluable for a startup author-publisher. Crowd funding means you have readers even before your book is published.

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Nothing New …
The idea of funding books by subscriptions is actually something that was already popular in the 18th century.  Now we are really going back to a time before we had big, trade publishers who used to give writers large advances in the past.  These days authors are using the web to attract readers to their own book project.

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Readers and Reviewers
Authors can offer copies of their book to supporters. Let’s say an author’s book campaign gains the support of a hundred people who will receive a copy of the book as a reward. On launch day the author will already have access to those hundred readers, who will be able to review the book on Goodreads, Amazon or B&N, Kobo or Apple and generate attention and momentum immediately after publication.  If the book is sold in print through bookstores, it has only a couple of weeks to succeed and with an initial boost its likelihood of success is much greater.

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Key to Campaign Success
The author’s knowledge of the audience of their book and how to reach them is the key to success in publishing. Crowd funding means, an author is able to test the market for the book and find and connect with their audience pre-publication, which gives them a tremendous advantage when the book is published and promoted to a large audience of readers. Get lots of tips for a successful campaign from a former blog article.  Important is that such a campaign is well planned and that authors create a relationship with their backers.

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Read more:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/crowdfunding-success-with-kickstarter-or-indiegogo/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/crowd-funding-more-than-money-for-your-book/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/startnext-crowdfunding-jetzt-auch-in-deutschland/ (German)

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/great-news-for-canadian-authors-kickstarter-is-here/

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

 

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



12 Principles Of Highly Successful Authors

Why not learning from and replicate the habits and qualities of some of the most famous, wealthiest, and most celebrated authors in the world?  Why not harness the power of these principles for your own success as an author?

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Successful-Authors

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Be self-confident – believe in the possibility of your own success.
If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?  To be successful you need to hone your writing craft enough to become really successful.

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Commit to writing.
It might sound obvious, but a writer writes.  Dedicate yourself to an idea, and make it a habit to write at a certain time of the day – every day – no matter what.

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Learn how to motivate yourself.
Successful writers are highly motivated for their writing, they know exactly what that motivation is, and what they need to do to regain it, if they lose it from time to time.

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Take control of your live.
Your competence to tackle writing books is the better way than to wait for a mentor to tell you exactly what you need to do with your writing life.  If you want to get your novel(s) published, you need to be the one who gets things moving.

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Connect with others – readers and writers.
Learning to connect with others makes you a better writer, a better communicator, and improves the chances of people liking you and your books. It also will improve your book ideas. Don’t hide behind the “being a shy writer”.

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Connect with your own purpose and values.
Successful authors know that their values show in their own writing and tell the world who they are. Accept how worthwhile and valuable it is to the world, and offer it without reservation, like a personal mission.

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Use Affirmations to motivate yourself.
All successful authors have used affirmations at some stage in their lives to propel them forward, create some for yourself and you will be able to claim your rightful place among successful authors.

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Set goals for yourself.
Set checkpoints for yourself along the way.  Successful authors know exactly what they are trying to achieve, and continually make steps towards their goals.  Create your own path to success.

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Write, write and write even more.
Stephen King said it famously: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work”. Successful people have actually written their books. Commitment can only be measured by action.

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Self-Management is important.
Successful writers learn to manage their time which is the most precious, free good they have. Spend more time on the things that are important! Find ways to remove stress from your live.

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Make writing part of your happiness.
It’s the only thing that matters. Write about the things that truly matter to you; that entertain you, interest you, and it will contribute to your happiness in the long term – success will follow.

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Last but not least:  have patience and perseverance!
Create a plan, have patience and discipline, faith in yourself and have a long-term perspective.  Remember the 10,000-hour-rule for writers – or five years and five books – and you will succeed!

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

 

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



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