Archives for September 2015

How to Find Your Target Readers

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Viewers.

When asking authors: “Who are the ideal buyers of your book?”  I sometimes get the answer: “Everyone between 20 and 70 years of age.” Well… no comment.  Every book has its own niche, and a certain demographic who looks out for just the type of book you are writing. The question is, how to find them and let them know about your book.  The means to market your book, and where and how to do it, should be tailored to these readers.
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The First Step: Research Your Competition.
Nothing easier than going to their social media sites, including Goodreads, and their blog or website.  It will reveal their followers and readers and you will find all the comments to their posts including the avatar of the commenters.  You in turn can follow these readers and fans as well, and learn more about them – to answer this important question: Who are your ideal readers in terms of age, gender, education, location, etc.?  It will also answer this question: In what ways, places, or media are your target buyers easiest to reach?
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Potential Book Purchasers.
Non-Fiction Writers: Are there other groups of potential buyers that might be interesting for you?  You as a travel writer could approach travel agencies, event planners, hotels, golf club shops, gourmet shops, sporting goods stores, gift stores or museums in the area you are writing about – rather than just trying to appeal to single travellers as readers.
If you write in the business field, your books could be well suited as corporate gifts.  Research people on LinkedIn.  Or google the reader demographics for magazines, publications or newsletters that are similar to the topics of your book.
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The “Search” function on top of each social media site,
at online retailers sites and on blogs is your best helper.
Do some brainstorming or google for the best keywords
in addition to those, you have already chosen for your own book.  Using these keywords, you will be surprised how much you find out about potential readers and your book markets.
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Post Surveys to Learn About Your Readers.
People love to take surveys.  Think about interesting questions / answers for your poll or survey to learn about your future readers.  A great way for new writers to make connections too.  It will build community engagement, real relationships with potential buyers, and interest in your work if you do it right.  It will also leave readers more receptive to your next book promotion.  Best of all: Many surveys or poll sites are free to use.  With simple online surveys, you can take your social-media networking success to an entirely new level.
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Ask for Feedback.
Invite your networks to provide honest and immediate feedback.  Let your potential readers choose the name of your protagonist.  Again give them at least three options. Also, explain in what time or century the story unfolds and provide them with a hint of what kind of novel you have written.  You can also create a survey about which online retailers should carry your book beside Amazon, and give at least five additional company names.  Include an incentive to encourage your peers to complete your survey.  For example, draw a winner of the most popular book cover, name, or online retailer.  Offer a Kindle or a small digital camera as the first prize.
SurveyMonkey has a free, basic poll version, same with SodaHead. TWTPoll offers a pay-as-you-go version for $7 per survey.  Get lots of practical tips on how to incorporate your poll at a variety of social media sites in an article at the SocialMediaExaminer.
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What do Your Readers Want?
How does your book satisfy the needs of your readers, is one more question (easier to answer for non-fiction!).  Finding and narrowing your niche will help you to reach–and appeal to–more of the people that will ultimately buy your book.  For example: Why do mystery or thriller readers choose this category?  Or why do romance readers grab these books?  Here too, a poll or survey will help you to get answers, maybe even in-person interviews at bookstores, book fairs or libraries.  Check out reviews of similar books you are writing will help too.  And again comments on your competitors blog / website or your own.

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Use also these suggestions by Jane Friedman:

  • What groups or organizations are involved in this special area?
  • What businesses tie into this element?
  • What blogs exist that tackle this interest or idea?
  • Who is talking about this concept or thing online?
  • What movies or TV shows focus on this element?

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Remember: Not only you as an author, but also literary agents and traditional publishers also want you to know who your audience is, your allure to that particular group, and how you plan on connecting with them. It might be one of the first questions when you pitch your book to them.
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Small excerpt from the upcoming book:
111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free

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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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More Success for Your Book With Blog Tours

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Book-Blog-Tour.

Blog tours are a fantastic way to get more exposure and to promote your books – if your target blogs’ audience has avid readers in your genre.  Each blog tour will be completely different in both, style and reach and it offers unique and interesting content.
While you can hire professionals to help set up your book blog tour, you can also do it alone.  But it will take time, planning, research, and a lot of patience, and it is only advisable only if you have connections to many book bloggers!

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Many book promotion sites require at least a handful of reviews for your book, blog tours usually don’t, which means they are ideal for new authors.  Blog tour organizers require a fee, but it’s worth it as you will usually get your book in front of targeted readers for your genre.  More benefits for you, especially increased online book visibility, more Twitter and Google+ followers, Facebook “likes”, more followers on your own website or blog, more book reviews, and eventually in the future more book sales.
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Carefully Choose the Blog Tour Organizer
You may already follow the most influential bloggers in your genre.  If not, research those focused on your genre with professionally presented websites/blogs, recent blog tours, blog posts, and an active social media presence.  Check how well these book bloggers promote participating authors.  Find out where fellow authors in your genre have participated in blog tours.  Ask your writer buddies and your writing communities for recommendations or readers for book bloggers they follow.  Study not only the blog tour web site, but also each of their social media presence and find out how popular the blog really is: use Alexa.com to learn about their ranking worldwide and national.   Carefully read submission guidelines and follow them.

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What You Can Expect
Blog tour packages can include a variety of content types ranging from guest posts, author interviews to contests, spotlights, book excerpts, or a high-traffic email newsletter to readers.  The tour organizer will pair you with blogs they know would work best for your books.
It’s always a bonus when the book blogger and participating blogs review your book as well.  Offer free book review copies, and maybe a couple more as prizes during the blog tour.  Book bloggers often place reviews on both, Amazon and Goodreads, and certainly on their own website or blog.  Popular prizes during a blog tour are also gift cards from online retailers, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Traditional book blogs, can also be excellent places to contact regarding their participation – if they post articles, relating to the content of your title. For example, if you wrote a thriller that takes place in New York City, find blogs that are related to travel and tourism, ethnic restaurants, gun shops, fashion boutiques, aviation… and so forth.  If you write non-fiction, you will even find more blogs to pitch to.
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What You Should Offer
During your blog tour you exclusively “stop by” at one blog per day and you want to prepare and offer unique content to each blogger (kind of guest blog about your book and yourself as a writer).  Offer different content on each blog a week in advance of the publication date.  You may have fans following you to each blog tour location and you need to share something different at each stop.
Plan your tour at least eight to ten weeks! ahead of the actual tour dates, which should ideally be soon after the launch of your book so readers can easily buy it after hearing about it on the tour.  Avoid any time short before or during holidays.  Each book blog tour length is different, ranging from one to four weeks.

Offer each blogger exclusive content, that their readers will not find anywhere else.  Send them unique interview and blog ideas, based on their audience.  Research their tours in the past – and which authors/books have been the most popular.  Ideas for book blog content include author interviews, Questions & Answers, observations, backstories, personal observations, character interviews, related recipes, and book excerpts tailored to the book blogger’s demographics, maybe advice, expert opinion or how-to’s for non-fiction.

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How to Contact Book Bloggers
After reading carefully their submission policy, write them a friendly email, commenting on their blog, or a favorite author in common.  Describe your book title, the genre, a brief summary, a short bio, your social media presences, and links to your sales pages and Goodreads page as well as your own website or blog.  Describe your ideas for blogs and how you will promote the blog tour, including any freebies.  Offer a free review copy of your book and don’t forget your contact information besides your idea how long you would like the tour to last.

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Create Valuable Original Content
Each stop on your blog tour is a great opportunity to win new readers and reviewers.  Each of your articles can be later used on your own site, so, preparing the content for your blog tour is not an additional work.  Edit each of your posts for perfect content.  Include photos of your book cover and an author photo for use on their site.  Every part of your blog tour should be promoted through your newsletter, blog, website, social media – including the free event announcements on Google+ and Goodreads.
Write a separate event invitation for every day where you appear on a book blog site.  Don’t forget to do the same on LinkedIn, where each of your followers will receive an email notification.  Include also the blogger’s social media and blog links in your promotion.  After the event, respond friendly and quickly to encourage additional interaction.

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Part of the Success is up to YOU
As better you plan your the timing and the right content mix and as more you promote the blog tour – as better the book promotion works.  Give readers and bloggers value!  Don’t forget to thank the blogger personally and publicly.  You will likely be contacting them again for your next book. Once you have a relationship started with bloggers, continue with commenting on their other posts, retweeting or sharing Google+ posts, etc.

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Examples of High Rated Blog Tour Offers:

Suspense, Romance, YA, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction
http://xpressobooktours.com/services/

Mainly Romance and Fantasy
http://www.enchantedbookpromotions.com/

Romance, Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal, Historical
http://www.goddessfish.com/services/virtual-book-tours/

Young Adult FREE Blog Tours
http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/p/what-we-do.html

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Find more Book Blog Tours in author Greg Stranberg’s article for The Book Designer.
He even wrote a very detailed, helpful book about this topic, where he describes in detail 50 ebook blog tours.
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Including blog tours into your book marketing mix, is great for boosting your book’s visibility as well as for getting reviews, and to introduce your writing to new audiences.  For even more success, it is important to promote the blog tour before and after the date.
Blog tours are all about exposure, to become introduced to new readers, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see an immediate spike in sales.  It all takes time until you have a solid platform, and blog tours are a great tool to achieve this.

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A Great New Title for Fantasy Lovers: VENGEANCE

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Vengeance

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Praise for Vengeance
“A magical novel that takes you into the world of half-elves.”
“A great mix of fantasy and humor.”
“A well-written novel packed with vivid imagery, strong world-building, characters that resonate with the reader and a single thread of taking vengeance for the death of a loved one.”

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Vengeance 
Four centuries ago, the Rebellion against genocide established a safe-haven for the Far Isles Half-Elven.  The uneasy truce with the enemies that surround the Half-Elven is now collapsing.
An unprovoked attack, that kills her granddaughter and almost kills her daughter, is evidence enough for Mariah.  But, will the fierce warrior and her ring-mate, Ashton, be able to convince Linden, Lord High Commander of the Marches, that their people are in danger?

With attacks by the Trestemontans from over the eastern sea, hints of magic by the Suthron Hounds, and Drummer Warriors using Spirit drums made from the skin of live human sacrifices, the Half-Elven Warriors have reason to worry…

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About the Author M. K. Theodoratus
A Northern California gal, M. K. Theodoratus has been intrigued by fantasy since she discovered the Oz books.  She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then.  When she’s not disappearing into other writer’s world, she’s creating her own alternative worlds — that of Andor where demons of many forms stalk humans and that of the Far Isle Half-Elven where she explores the social and political implications of genetic drift on a hybrid elf / human people.

A sixth grade English assignment introduced her to story writing. The teacher asked for a short story.  She got an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a novel the next summer. Theodoratus has been addicted to writing stories happily ever after.

“Though I have several novels sitting in my computer waiting to be edited, I find I prefer to write long short stories or what Kindle calls, Short Reads.”

“Visit my author website for story snippets and/or sample chapters of works in progress at http://www.mktheodoratus.com. As for social media, I can be found at my blog, Lessons from My Reading, and on Facebook [http://goo.gl/JIc13], Twitter, GoodReads, and Goggle+.
Vengeance is an e-novella or a Kindle short read epub, probably will be labeled by them as a 90 minute read 17,000 words.

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Short Author Interview:
“If someone has never heard about it, how would you explain in two sentence Vengeance?”

“After four centuries of political infighting with Linden, the ruler of the Half-Elven, Mariah does her best to avoid him, but when privateers attack her daughter, her anger boils over. With Ashton, her ring-mate and Linden’s half-brother, Mariah seeks vengeance, ignoring Linden’s decrees, only to discover a strange magic that threatens every thing the three hold dear.”
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“What are the keywords for the book?”

“Heroic fantasy, political fantasy, fantasy about half-elves, historical fantasy, privateers, magic, epic fantasy [since it’s part of a multi-generational saga], sword and sorcery [from a female point of view].”
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“What type of reader do you envision for it?”

“Simple answer: fantasy readers from teens through adults who like Sword & Sorcery and / or political fantasy.  The subject matter of Vengeance is similar to the Game of Thrones though the storyline is not nearly as violent, and there are no dragons and only mild sex. My Half Elves are rather grubby and don’t come close to the magnificence of Elrond Halfeven in The Lord of the Rings. In short, I really break genre clichés.”
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Follow M.K. Theodoratus here too:

Facebook    My Blog    Google+     GoodReads   Pinterest
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Test-Drives for Your Next Book

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Google-Car.

Google’s driver-less cars are cruising through the Silicon Valley for a while now (like the one above that I photographed last March in Cupertino, California).  Automakers, computer manufacturers, and almost every other industry solicits not only engineers’ but also consumer feedback before launching new products.  It’s just smart business and common sense.
So, why not test your books – before finishing the manuscript and send it off to the editor?
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Sure, authors and publishers often give away dozens or even hundreds of finished galleys and pre-release copies (ACR’s – Advanced Reviewer Copies) to gather reviewers for marketing purposes and to receive as many editorial reviews as possible.  It is a smart promotional strategy – but an even smarter one would be to apply the same idea earlier in the writing process.  Invite a group of test readers who represent your book’s target audience and give them access to critique your unfinished manuscripts.
The goal is to learn what resonates with readers and use their feedback to improve your marketing messages.

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James Scott Bell  suggests to question yourself, before offering your “big idea” to test readers:

  • Is your Protagonist someone you can see and hear?
  • Does your Lead character have heroic qualities, either evident or potential?
  • Who is the Opposition, and how is this character stronger than the Lead?
  • Can you envision a possible inner journey?
  • Begin at the end. Because of the climactic action, how will the Protagonist grow?
  • What will she / he have learned that is essential to their humanity?
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Writer Groups / Literary Communities.
In many blog posts and in my books I advised authors to join writer and reader groups and to become a member in several literary communities – off-line and online. One of the reasons is to get enough feedback and critique for your upcoming books – among other benefits that readers or readers groups provide an author with.
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Blog Subscribers / Email Lists.
Invite readers of your blog subscriber list or an email list to get an outline and a chapter or several of your (unfinished) manuscript, as these people from your lists equate to your target reader audience.  If test reading shows your original angle or subject needs tweaking, you’ll want to do that before you get too far into the writing process.
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Test-Drive Your Manuscript
Don’t try to guess what readers like.  Instead, test your manuscript – or chapters / snippets of it – on them, and let them convey what works and what areas need improvement.  Gathering this specific information will help you later to improve sales, extend readership and word of mouth.  A book’s success will be much higher if an author seeks reader feedback before completing their manuscript.
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Reader Communities.
The digital age of reading now enables authors and publishers to take advantage of the same approach. If you are a novelist / fiction writer, think Wattpad, LibraryThing, Shelfari, Booktalk…  Joining these reader communities has a lot of benefits, best of all: you can upload chapters of your manuscript or even the whole unfinished book.

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Write a Prequel.
Consider producing a short version of the book.  For example, take one or several chapters and release it as a short story or Kindle Single. Watch sales; if they are good, move forward with the full edition. Expand the content and produce a full edition.  You can also offer it as an article – on the same subject as your book published – in a major magazine or newspaper, which can be a good indication that your book is viable.
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Non-Fiction Books.
For non-fiction writers it is easier: Many blog articles will show you the reader’s interest in certain subjects.  Dr. Joe Vitale listed the most interesting and timeless desires (which are certainly valid for fiction too – as they belong to the basic human desires) in an article for Mrfire.com:
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  • Keeping possessions and avoiding tax
  • Having more fun and / or attracting sex
  • Satisfying curiosity
  • Protecting the family
  • Being in style / have beautiful things
  • Avoiding trouble and criticism
  • Being an individual and protecting their reputation
  • Grabbing opportunities
  • Enjoying food and drinks
  • Being safe in every aspect
  • Making work easier
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Editors and literary agents are all looking for the “same thing,” only “different.”  Make your non-fiction book idea fit one of the key categories people are proven to want more information on.  Title it to reflect benefits people want.

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Market Analysis of Your Idea.
WritersDigest suggests these questions to ask yourself:

  • Who will want to read this story, and why?
  • Will the answer to the first question be enough for a publisher to publish your book? (Be honest.)
  • Can you truly see browsers in a store picking up your book and wanting to buy it?
  • Write a one-paragraph description of your idea. Read this to several trusted friends and ask for their reactions.  If they love it – great.  If they shake their heads, find out why.  Make any changes you deem necessary.

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So, test your books on a variety of readers just like great chefs taste-test their new menus.  Your audience is a critical asset, and social media as well as “real-life” readers, can help you build an invested proprietary audience—people who give you permission to market your books to them.  Approach your book in the same way as any entrepreneur would approach a new product, and in the future you should not ponder about questions like this anymore: “How do I find out if my e-book will sell – even before I write it?”

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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.



How to Approach a Literary Agent

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WritersMarketBook.

If you really want to sell your manuscript to a publisher, read all the blogs of literary agents, to get informed about the process and find out more about how they work and what they are like before you approach them.
And have a “business plan” for your book ready: Who will be your readers, who are
 your competitors and how will you market your book. You will be asked for this!
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Rachelle Gardner
Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She offers query tips and book proposal advice.

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Nathan Bransford Nathan Bransford knows a lot about writing and publishing, and offers in his blog advice on: How to Find a Literary Agent, How to Write a Query Letter, The Basic Query Letter Formula, Examples of Good Queries, How to Format Your Query Letter …

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Agent Research Ask them about an agent and they will tell you if he or she has established a public record, and if we have had any negative reports on the agent’s business practices. This service is free.

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Agent Query
Agent Query offers the largest and most current searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers.

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BookEnds
Agency BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. In their workshop Wednesdays everyone can post queries out there and will get comments open, also to anonymous posters.

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Nelson Newsletter Kristin Nelsons blog is a-must-read for every author about to send out a query. Subscribe to the Nelson Literary Agency newsletter.

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Query Shark
Send your query in for critique. A wealth of resources and Janet Reid shares them all, she also dissects queries, posting lots of examples what writers are doing right – and wrong!

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Query Wednesday
Gabriela Lessa, a Brazilian editor, writer, literary agent assistant and journalist helps you with your query. Have your query analyzed on QUERY WEDNESDAY.

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Call My Agent!
In which a literary agent in Sydney, Australia attempts to decode the world of publishing in order to assist writers. And sometimes to get things off her chest.

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Resources and More Blogs About Literary Agents:

What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/

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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/ 

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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

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Guide to Literary Agents
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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How to Write a Query Letter
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/

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100′s of Links to Publishers and Agentshttp://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/

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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/

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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

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For more agent blogs go to the Absolutewrite forum: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37784

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When you check out the agent, you’ll want to contact “Writer Beware”
Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/

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A typical literary agency receives close to 5,000 unsolicited query letters/book proposals per year – or approx. 150 per working day.  On average these agents accept only 10-12 new clients – only one out of every 500 submissions… So, better learn how to write a query, and how to approach the agent. 

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Interview: Bestselling Author Patrick Jones

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Patrick-Jones

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Today’s interview is with Patrick Jones, a great storyteller and bestselling author of  THE WOLF’S MOON, who just launched his latest book, THE RIVER.  A thriller that is another suspenseful page-turner, as his first one is!

In rural Missouri, Crawford County has had more than its share of wildlife problems. Not even a year earlier the woods were home to a vicious killer brought back from extinction. Something is haunting the rivers in Crawford County. The Missouri State Water Patrol must solve the deaths of several residents who died in the river but can they stop this menace before more people are killed?

Patrick, thanks a lot for talking with us about your latest title: THE RIVERFishing will never be the same again…
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***How did you get the idea for this new work?***
Very often I drive past several of the local rivers to get to the shooting range located nearby. Sometimes on the way back home I’ll stop and just think.  I have a favorite spot where I like to go, described in the story.
One day as I sat with a fishing line in the water, a young boy asked if he could fish alongside of me.  I, of course, said he could. He asked what kind of fish I was fishing for. My response was, “Moby Dick”. He looked puzzled asking, “What is a ‘Moby Dick’…”? I explained that it was a white whale in a book I read as a youth.  A few minutes later, my rod bent straight out and what was on the end fought like a whale. I landed a four and one-half pound Catfish. The boy had a surprised look on his face asking, “Is that ‘Moby Dick’…”?
“No,” I said, “just a Catfish”.
“Mister, I thought you caught a Shark or something”.
“Just a Catfish, son”.
On the way home, I wondered what I would have done if it was a shark.  Probably just cut the line.  That was when the idea hit me.

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***You are interested in paleoanthropology and archeology, did it help with the research for this book***
My interests in paleoanthropology helped a great deal with researching the story.  My main research was years ago when my wife took a biology course that included many marine animals long extinct.  She would quiz me after each chapter in an attempt to catch me up.  Luckily, she never did (and until today I never told her I had the same textbook she used).

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***You like fishing, don’t you?  Will your buddies be scared when reading the story?***

I love to go fishing but the last couple of years I haven’t been able to go.  All of my old fishing buddies have gone to the “Great River in the Sky”, but I still have my wife (though she doesn’t like to bait the worm on the hook), and my grandchildren.

Cameron might be scared – a little anyway.
Cade and Bryce would just laugh.
Cody would ask if I was the one who shot the monster.
And my Evie would just smile.

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***Is there a connection to the real life of fishermen in the story***
Some years ago when my wife was out of town working, I’d go to a local Grill & Pub called “Blazer’s”. I had the pleasure on many evenings to sit and listen to people from the area talk about their fishing exploits.  I know all of the signs of someone telling a true story or a “fish tale”.  Either way, it was always an evening well spent.

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***Everybody I meet has their own special story; one simply has to take the time to listen… Do you get lots of ideas for your books from talking with people?***
I try to take the time to listen and watch people no matter where I am. They have so much to say without knowing that they are. People are willing to talk about themselves.  They want to think that their lives mean something – to themselves and to you.  Each person IS special!  I develop many of my characters based on people I know or have met.  I like to think that, by basing a character on them, I have captured their uniqueness in my writing.
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***Do your protagonists in THE RIVER resemble real-life persons?***
In any story that I write, the good guys are always from real life people. What is hard is coming up with new villains.
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***Many of your books’ readers might think about traveling to the beautifully  Ozarks in Missouri where your books take place.  Are you now “famous” in your area?***
I have gone far out of my way so that no one knows where I live. My house is on a small one-lane gravel road and my neighbors are so glad that I am low-key. Can you imagine the traffic?
When I go to the gas station or the grocery store, I am always asked when the next book is coming out. I’m not sure if they like me or my books, but either way I like them.  So if any of my readers want to come to the Ozark Region of Missouri, they will not be disappointed in the area. It is a wonderful place to visit and even a better place to live.

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“The River by Patrick Jones will keep you reading,
on the edge of your seat AND out of the water…”
Chris Graham, Amazon UK /Goodreads UK Reviewer

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The-River
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THE RIVER is available in print and in e-book format.  Maybe one day it will be an audio-book like THE WOLF’S MOON 

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THE RIVER book trailer on YouTube

Follow Patrick Jones on his social media and author pages too:
Patrick Jones’ author page at Amazon
Patrick Jones’ Twitter page is, another link to Twitter
Pinterest
FaceBook
Goodreads
Goodreads The Wolf’s Moon
Goodreads The River
LinkedIn

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Nothing New in e-Book Price Wars

MOST IMPORTANT FOR AUTHOR-PUBLISHERS:
Author Earnings Report states: Self-published authors now command more daily income from digital royalties than all the Big Five published authors combined. Why? 
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Author-Earnings.

In the lawsuit of 2009 it was already shown that the agreement the Big Five fought to win with Apple resulted in a reduction of profits per e-book sold.  Even now some publishers price their e-books much higher than others, which certainly doesn’t improve sales.  Freed from Amazon’s discounting, and with complete control over pricing, these publishers made a decision to push the price of many of their e-books above $9.99.
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The latest Author Earnings Report mentioned the massive shadow industry of ISBN-less e-books being sold, and the effect Kindle Unlimited has on title visibility.  Other findings were:

  • The average e-book price by independent authors is $3.87 – while the average price set by the Big Five publishers is $9.53 (gone up in the last two years by 17%).  Publishers are trading lower volume sales for more dollars per title.  Their higher prices aren’t just hurting readers; they haven’t been good for their authors either.  And authors seem to understand this, as many implored Amazon to continue discounting their works during negotiations with publishers last year.  Now it is impossible for Amazon to discount these books, and publishers and their authors are losing revenue as a result.
  • Self-published authors now command more daily income from digital royalties than all Big 5 published authors combined.
  • In just the last three months, Big Five publisher e-book unit sales have fallen another 18%.  Higher prices and a return to agency pricing seems to be seriously impacting sales.  And self-published authors are moving into that lost market share, with an increase in daily revenue of 12.4% since January 2015.

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Author Earnings Report concludes:
“By our data, which matches industry reports, this control has brought higher prices to consumers, lower sales for publishers, and fewer earnings for their authors.  It has also brought greater market share for self-published authors.  For authors who want control over their pricing, so they can avoid becoming casualties in wars between retailers and publishers, the choice of publication method is clear.  And it’s becoming even more clear from quarter to quarter, that self-published authors continue to win market share, and continue to take control of their careers.”

One commenter on this report: “Publishing is a weird business. Many authors are so eager to get published that they don’t negotiate things like price. You wouldn’t do this in any other business. You supply a product to a wholesaler, you want to discuss cost, manufacturing, MSRP, and the like. “Published” Authors tend to assume that publishers are going to A) Know what they’re doing and B) Do what’s best for the author.”

Why being so naive? Bestseller author Hugh Howey (Wool): “A writer’s chances of earning a living are now better by an order of magnitude than they were at any previous time in history.”

The Observer wrote in an article:
“Meanwhile, all told, more writers are producing more books and making more money than ever before. A lot of that increase has occurred outside major publishers, though.  This is also a point that Amazon has made in the past. Last summer, it gave the public a peek into its data around prices and e-book sales.”

The Amazon Books Team posted on the Kindle Forum, writing:

“For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.”

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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.



Motivation for Writers

Self-doubt plagues every writer at some point, no matter how successful they are.  Authors are often wondering whether their efforts are worthwhile.
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Motivation

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Cherish Your Visions and Accomplishments.
Write down every time you have been published or praised.  Napoleon Hill advices: “Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”  Talk with readers and writers about your work – if it is constructive. Ensure that you reach a milestone every week or two, such as 10,000 words or three chapters.

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Have Your Own Voice.
List your favorite artistic and cultural influences.  Are you using these as references in your writing, or avoiding them, because you don’t think people would understand them.  Ask other people: “What’s my (writers) voice?  What do I sound like?”  Ask yourself: “Do I enjoy what I’m writing as I’m writing it?”  If it feels like work, you may not be writing like yourself.

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Keep Writing.
Stay busy and produce more work, use writing tools that increase your productivity, exercises that kickstart your novel.  Establish a writing routine: keep a regular time and place that is dedicated to your writing process.  Sit down and start writing!
One page is roughly 250 words, and writing three pages for six days per week, for 50 weeks, you will finish a draft of around 225,000 words or 900 pages.   James Patterson launches as many as six novels a year (with the help of ghostwriters – however he outlines mostly around 80 pages himself).  Another writer who is very prolific is Stephen King with 60+ books so far.  Other such writers are mentioned in a former blog post, they wrote between eighteen and ninety-eight! books and they are true role models to follow for anyone, who complains about the hardship of writing.

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Sit Down, Write and Reach Milestones.
Reward yourself when writing is especially difficult.  Some days are just awful struggles.  You don’t want to sit down, and even when you do, the words just will not come.  Force yourself writing for ten or fifteen minutes, and you usually get the momentum to keep going and continuing.
Have a deadline and making it a realistic one.  Figure out how many words or pages you need to write per day and how many days per week to reach it.  Tick off the days on your calendar, where you reach your target.  Reward yourself when you are able to keep on track – it will increase your writers motivation.
Choose achievements along the way based on reaching milestones in terms of words or numbers of pages written depending on which you tend to count.

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Plan Your Days.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?  How many hours per week / day will you work on your new book?  When will your writing times be?
Don’t squeeze writing time into the leftover spaces. Keep a regular writing schedule,  just as you would make any other appointment.  Tell your loved ones when you will be unavailable due to writing.  Just because you are writing at home does not mean you are available for conversation, errands or household tasks.  If this is a problem, find an alternative place to work away from your home, such as a library or coffee shop and schedule time where you can write uninterrupted.

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Invest in Time for your Author Brand too.
Author Hope Clark recently wrote in her newsletter:
“…Branding is super critical right now. I hear long-time, mid-list authors complain these days about how their incomes are way down, but they are doing the same thing they have always done….marketing some, maybe posting on FB three times a week, thinking what worked in 2008 still works now.”

“You cannot be seen without being different. You cannot be heard without noise, a different kind of noise because God knows it’s noisy out there. You need a brand, and when you figure out what it is, then you need to sling it and work it hard. Daily. Yep, daily. You have to keep swimming or you’ll drown. Nobody is throwing you a life raft. The only options are to keep swimming, drown, or simply get out of the water. And the decision is all yours.”
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Persistence is the key for your writing success:
Fight back against self-doubt!  And always remember what Bestseller Author Stephen King said: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work”.  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? Read more in “12 Principles Of Highly Successful Authors”.

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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.



History of Digital Content Marketing

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Content.

Do you remember these digital steps?  Bill Gates encouraged users in the early 1990’s that literally anyone with a computer can publish whatever content they create.  “Put your stuff on the internet and you could potentially reach billions of people”.
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What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is different from advertising in two ways:
Content, everything you publish, (blog posts, tweets, short stories, guest blogs etc.) is on owned or earned media.  Content marketing is a pull, rather than a push, strategy. Content doesn’t interrupt, it attracts, it delivers value, such as advice, entertainment, and information.
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Around 1993: Official Birth of the e-Book
O’Reilly & Associates who created the first ever commercial website.  This e-book was a guide to the internet and it paved the way for corporations to create content and publish it to a wide audience.

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End of the 1990’s Blogging Becomes Popular
1999 Blogger (now Blogspot) was launched and blogging became mainstream. Blogger’s opinions and how-to articles are not less popular than they were twenty years ago.

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Early 2000’s Social Media Became Popular
MySpace and Facebook started out as student websites and turned into huge platforms.  LinkedIn and Twitter followed in a different way, then Google+ and Pinterest came…  With the launch of Instagram social media became visual.

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2005 Video and Video Marketing
YouTube launched and today it is the second most successful search engine.

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2012 Info-Graphics Became Popular
With the implementing of Googles’ Penguin algorithm businesses started to really focus their efforts on creating content that people would want to look at and share. Using infographics, lots of data could be shown, combined with a story in an attractive way, inviting people to share them at a much higher rate than just plain text.

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Content Marketing Now
Great news for Writers:  These days at least half of the marketing budget is used for content, often re-evaluating their entire advertising strategy – writers are on demand.  All the big brands use now content ahead of other marketing forms, and not only communicate, but involve their customers via storytelling.  Content offers value, news and appeal, instead of plain promotion.  It is about the consumer, not the brand.

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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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Free Checklist for “Passive” Book Marketing

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Checklist

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No author wants (and needs) to spend hours and hours every day to promote their books via social media.  There are lots of small and (often) quick tasks to show your book to a target audience of potential readers. Best of all: these steps are free and require only a bit research and brainstorming.  Most of the advice in our upcoming book 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free explains in detail how to implement these “passive” book promotion measures (including links).  Here is an excerpt of the most important steps that every author should plan before even sending the book to the editor:

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START WITH YOUR BOOK’S CONTENT:

  • Before you even write the first sentences in your book, research your “competition” and learn from them.
  • Find all the best-selling books in your genre / category.
    Make a list with possible keywords that readers can use to find a similar book.
  • Check out the complete categories/genres at Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Waterstone’s, and so forth.
  • Study all the books that could be similar to your future work.  Search in bookstores, libraries, and all online retailers.
  • Learn about the content of these books, the authors, how they represent themselves on- and off-line, what their writer’s platform is and how they market their books.

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Book Layout
“The first pages sell your book – the last pages sell all your other books – past and future”.
Show as much as possible from your book’s content to potential readers – especially for online sales:  Don’t clock the first pages with endless forewords and acknowledgments.  All you need is the title, author and publisher, the copyright page and the TOC’s (Table of Contents).
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Add this right after the last page:
Never print a book or format an e-book without a request for reviews (including a link to your online sales pages / Goodreads page, a listing of your website and blog or author pages, lists of all your social media sites and maybe even your contacts email.  Most important: list all your other book titles with sales links, so that readers can easily find more books written by you.

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YOUR AMAZON / KOBO / iBOOKS / B&N PRESENCE

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Create a Perfect Author Page
Use all the space Amazon and other online retailers and book communities give you:

  • Add a professional author photo & biography.
  • Add all your books.
  • Add videos (e.g. trailers for your books).
  • Add up to seven additional photos (e.g. you at your desk while writing, all of your books, or scenes from your books).
  • Add images or graphics from your book’s content.
  • Add a biography, and make sure to update it frequently.
  • List events, such as book readings, or book launches.
  • Add your Twitter address, so people can see your latest Tweet and easily follow you.
  • Set up the “Search Inside/Look Inside” feature.
  • Add an RSS feed linking to your blog–a great way to get your blog in front of new people and encourage them to follow you.
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Amount of Reviews Plays a Role
As a member on Goodreads, Wattpad, LibraryThing, Bibliophile etc., and to benefit especially from reviews, you must be a bit more active on these sites.  For example, when you shelve the books of other writers, recommend their books too.  Also, participate from time to time in forums, read and rate books, and (most important) review them.  How could someone expect to receive reviews if they are not writing any?  Be a good pal in this book community!
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Choose the Right Categories / Genres for Your Book
In what categories/genres are these books that are competitive with yours listed?  When you are picking a category you don’t want one with a broad, busy market, you want a category that’s narrow.  Of all the work you do to place your book on Amazon, this might be the most important piece of marketing.  Use all of the categories that are available to you: two for print books and two for e-books.  If your book is in print and digital, you have FOUR categories you can use!
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Place Editorial Reviews on Your Amazon Sales Page
Did you know, you can add all this content under “editorial reviews” on your sales page?

  • Product Detail Page
  • Updated Book Description
  • Author Message
  • From the Inside Flap
  • From the Back Cover
  • Magazine/Newspaper Reviews – and other reviews you received before your book’s launch

You can add several “Editorial Reviews”, and each one is important for confirming the quality of your book.  Read more about editorial reviews.
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Use Best-Ranking Keywords in Amazon
Amazon has a built-in keyword search, or long-tail keyword-phrase finder, in their search field. Use Amazon’s help page: Selecting Browse Categories.
There are many tools on the web to help with basic keyword research, including the Google Keyword Planner tool and googling“Best SEO Tools“.  Google’s Keyword Planner is for building new Search Network campaigns, or expanding existing ones.  You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by adding several lists of keywords together. Use those keywords in specific places throughout your video page.

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ISBN
Always Get Your Own ISBN
!  Self-publishing authors can list their books worldwide in official databases for book retailers only if they are considered the publisher and have purchased their ISBN at their countries official agency, such as R.R. Bowker in the USA.  If you are not buying it from Bowker, and instead getting it cheaper, or for free, from vanity printers (everyone who poses as a “publisher”, taking money from writers for “services” that authors could get much cheaper elsewhere), or POD printers (CreateSpace for example or SmashWords).  Never, ever exchange your publisher status for saving a couple of dollars.  Where to find the official sellers of ISBN’s in other English-speaking countries is listed in a SavvyBookWriters article.

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Bowker’s Worldwide Listing
You may know Bowker from ordering your ISBN numbers, but they are also the provider for “Books In Print and Global Books In Print” that contain listings of bibliographical information for international book titles available in the USA or any other part of the world, in bookstores and libraries.  Setting up a new book on Bowkerlink is easy and FREE.  Read more in this blog post.

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GOODREADS / LIBRARYTHING / WATTPAD

Reader Communities
Join at least a handful of book communities in your genre on sites such as BookTalk, Wattpad, KindleBoards, BiblioPhil, KindleMojo, etc. – NOT to sell your book there, but to have an author presence at book lover communities, and to make contacts to future readers.  Find all the links to these communities here.
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YOUR WEB PRESENCE
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Sharing and Follow Buttons on Your Website / Blog
Make it easy for them to share what you have written with their social networks – and forward it to their followers and friends, and these also forward it to their friends and followers …. You get the idea!
The best way to start this process is to include clickable buttons to offer the idea of sharing front and center, and make it simple for your readers to post your link to LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and most important: to Google+ and many other social networks.

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Add Email Newsletter Sign-Up and Contact Forms
Getting started with an email newsletter is simple and also free.  Keep your newsletter short, useful, and structured.  Always remember that people don’t read on the internet, they just scan the text.  Provide value and interesting content that your readers are looking forward to receive. Don’t spam them with daily newsletters that are reading like sales pitches.  Emails can’t be missed like a social media post that disappears in readers’ feeds within seconds.

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EVEN MORE BOOK PROMOTION AND SALES

Get a Writer Buddy – or a Whole Group
Place chapters of your manuscript to Wattpad and other reader communities.  Join Meet-Up groups (in all cities worldwide) to find other writers, critique groups and often future beta-readers and reviewers of your titles.
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Write More!
Present readers with samples of your craft: write short stories, prequels for your next book, blogs, guest blog, magazine and newspaper articles.
Your novel or your non-fiction book is full of keywords and ideas for blogs, guest blogs and newspaper or magazines.  While it takes a long time until you can make money with your books, while you might be paid for your writing within a few weeks or months , and it might turn into a long-term business relation with the editors.
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Publish Articles on LinkedIn
LinkedIn allows their members to publish articles on their site; completely new ones, or former blog articles slightly re-written.  It gives you credibility, shows your expertise, and gives you more exposure on their site–thus more potential book readers.  And if you have lots of followers, they all will read your posts because LinkedIn sends them your content via e-mail!
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Bundle Your Books
You don’t have to be a multi-book author before you can start “bundling” your book.  One book needs only to be in print and digital format – and voilà! you have a bundle.  At Amazon it’s called “Kindle Match Book”.  Customers will also be able to buy inexpensive e-copies of books they have previously bought in hardcover or paperback.  Benefits of Bundles and Box Sets:
Bundling your books is a great way of creating a higher-priced product, a bulk-purchase – and at the same time offering your readers an attractive deal.
Another benefit for you as the author: increased visibility – readers have at least one more way to find you with every bundle you create.  For example, if you wrote four books – people have four possibilities to discover your books.  If you create two bundles of two books each, suddenly readers get six ways to discover your books – without you writing anything new.  More details can be found in this blog article at SavvyBookWriters.

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Create a Bookstore on Your own Website
Sell your books from your own website too.  Install either Gumroad, Shopify, E-Junkie or Ecwid e-stores on your blog or website.  What are your benefits?

  • It drives more traffic to your website
  • Immediate payments
  • You earn 100% from your sales price
  • You will have higher revenues
  • You will know who are your readers

There are dozens of ready-to-go online stores available, called “e-commerce” which can be installed in your existing website or blog – relatively easy and quick.  You have to have your own (hosted) website or blog, the paid versions – not a free website.
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Sell From all Major Online Retailers
Sell your books, e-books and audio-books not only through Amazon but as well on Barnes&Noble, Apple and Kobo websites, to have your “eggs in more than one basket”.  And don’t forget the potentially huge potential market for hardcover books, selling them to libraries all over the country!
If you don’t want to upload your book yourself, get help from this aggregator for one yearly fee and reap 100% of your books revenue: eBookPartnership.com.  Aggregators will handle distribution, sales, accepting payments, and are managing your account with the online retailers.  Avoid aggregators who take a 10 or even 15% commission for every book sold. Get more tips here.

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There are many more steps you can do as an author to promote your book.  Get all the latest info here on this blog and on the upcoming book:  111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free.

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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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