Most common mistake made by authors! Easiest to fix…

Our favorite and most easily corrected mistake is the misuse of the word “foreword.”

In a single second, anybody can tell if your book has been professionally edited. If you have misspelled FOREWORD by saying: “forward”, I can guarantee you that no one with any experience in publishing has looked at your book! I can guarantee you that it has not been professionally edited. Many times friends or family will do a proof read, but if they are not well-versed in the book publishing industry, this mistake frequently slips through. The “foreword” is about writing something before the content of the actual book itself.

It stands for “beFORE the WORD.”

If you can remember this, you’ll get it right – every time.

A second, very common mistake authors make, and it’s something seen quite often, is that the author will fix the word “foreword” on the chapter head itself, but forget to fix it in the table of contents. Authors ‘tell on themselves’ with this quite common slip-up. Be sure to double check this!

Profitable book publishing

One Benefit of Partner Publishing with Books To Believe In – We stop you from making amateur mistakes!

Nothing kills a book project faster or deflates the dreams of the author quicker than losing confidence in the book itself. If you get embarrassed easily, then please take the time and expense to get the book professionally edited. Your confidence is key to your success and nothing underminds that faster than someone showing you an easily-corrected mistake.

Advertisements

You’re in a marathon, not a sprint!

Every author I’ve ever met wanted to have instant success. 

As soon as their book was published, they expected  a waiting and eager public to be readily accessible to find and buy their book. They watch it happen over and over in the news –  – book released to hungry fans… However, unless you’ve done something to ‘prime the pump’ – your book is going to go into the proverbial slush pile of published books. Those books that are released and jump to the top of the best-seller list have had 18 months or more of a marketing department working exclusively for a great launch date. Chances are, your book wasn’t even conceived of 18 months before you published it.

There are 2.2 million books published on the average each year* (*Wikipedia) – and as soon as a book is listed on Amazon.com, it is in direct competition with the other 20+ million books on Amazon.com. To get it to land at the top of Amazon’s search list, the book’s webpage on Amazon has to be actively developed.

New books begin with a blank slate. 

By default, the only text on the book’s page is its description and if you’ve done your homework, your bio from AuthorCentral. Most authors need to be shown all the ways that they can develop the page and how to get it ‘seen’ by Amazon.com’s search engines. There are at least 10 ways that authors can help to develop their own book’s webpages.

SEO is a great business and website owners spend hundreds of dollars getting SEO optimization for their websites. At the end of the day, Amazon.com is just a web page, and there are multiple ways to affect the SEO of your book’s page.

I wrote the book Self-Publisher’s Tool Box to teach authors how to beef up their book’s Amazon.com presence.

While prepping for this year’s book marketing program, be sure that the Amazon.com page you bring your potential customers to will convert to sales.

Work to get at least five reviews and follow some of the other advice in the book and you’ll see your sales page convert more and more as the year progresses.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect miracles, instant success or get impatient with yourself. As long as your book is relevant to the world, you should be working to market it. At some point, momentum will take over, but even if that happens, you should still do something on a daily basis to market your book.

I wrote Angel On Board  in 1998, and it took me 11 years to get Angel On Board – Real Life Stories published. I market both as enthusiastically as I can and I enjoy seeing the sales results side by side and watching both continue to grow.

Impatience kills more author’s dreams than bad reviews, so please relax, and prepare yourself to get in shape for this book marketing exercise and track your progress as you go through the year. You should see the results getting better and better as the year progresses.

A couple more assumptions about you as an author…

As we go through this next year, marketing our books on a daily basis, I’m going to assume several things about you.

1. Because you are an author, you can write. So when I need you to write a quick article or do an exercise in creative writing, you’ll be up for the challenge.

2. You love to write and so not only can you write, but since you love to write, this will be fun. No big worries, I think there are only about 15 writing exercises, so it’s not like you’re going to have a whole second job here. In fact, this is supposed to be something you can get in the habit of doing every day, because it is easy!

3. You want to sell books or at a minimum, you want to get more readers. These exercises are about getting your book read. See prior blog post…

That being said, I’m going to give you your first writing exercise – but it isn’t due until 1/1/2013.

Assignment #1: Write a new blog post – about how your book helps/entertains your readership.

This implies that you already have your gmail account, and your account on blogger. If not, you have a few days to set it up.

Blog posts should be about the length of an article 3-5 paragraphs.

With this assignment, I want you to start connecting to your readership. This article should be all about them. Who they are and why your book helps/entertains them.

My example article will be posted on:  “Angel On Board’s” blog.

What are your goals for your book?

Today, I met with one of my authors who has been my client for many years. In recent months, he has seen a sales spike for his book. It is exciting for him, but even more exciting to receive the royalty check I gave him over lunch.

I hadn’t seen the author in person in quite some time, so I asked him what was new. He said that after having been on the shelf in a specific bookstore for over 4 years, he was asked to come back and pick up his unsold inventory (and a check for the couple of books that had sold). The bookstore being referred to is a locally owned and operated bookstore with a fine reputation in the area. This author told me his only goal was to get his books in that bookstore, and as soon as he did, he felt ‘complete as an author.’ He admitted he didn’t even think about how to help the bookstore sell the book, or how to make the book popular enough to reorder… No, he was happy enough just to have his books on their shelves.

I likened this to the team that says their goal is “To get to the Superbowl” when the other team’s goal is “To WIN the Superbowl.” If their goal is just to show up, it’s not even going to be a good game, because in their mind they’ve already reached the ultimate destination.

It’s the same for books… if the goal is just to be published, that’s the easy part – truly. I think the goal for the authors should be to have their books READ! What’s the fun in publishing if the book never gets opened?

There are 3 milestones in any book’s life:
1. Getting written
2. Getting published
3. Getting read!

If your publisher isn’t talking to you about how you accomplish goal #3, you’ve got the wrong publisher!

If you’re only interested in getting on the bookstore shelves, be ready to have your books returned to you.

You need to be thinking about ways to make your book fly off those bookstore shelves! You need to be focusing on ways to get your books to sell through those Internet bookstore websites.

Ask yourself, and listen for the true answer, “What are my goals for my book?” Write down your answer. Now, go for it!

When you’re ready to publish, visit getting-published.com.

Necessary Tools to Play Along

This post is a continuation of the last post as most all of these posts will be this year.

To accomplish the task that I’ve set ahead of me this year, I will need several things. If you want to do the same tasks for your book, then you’ll need the same several things.

  •  First, you need your book listed on Kindle. It would be preferable to have the paperback version of the book also listed on Amazon.com, but for the moment, we have not done that yet. The Kindle version of my book is found at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AB7XXU6/grearelabook-20 Please click through to this book to get familiar with it and if you are signed on to your Amazon.com account, please ‘like’ it.
  •  You need a Twitter.com Account. Our Twitter address is @AngelAuthors.  https://twitter.com/AngelAuthors  If you click through to look at this account, please ‘Friend it’.
  •  You need an active Amazon.com account that is able to leave reviews.
  •  You should get an account on StumbledUpon.com. You can use your Facebook to sign up with that service.
  •  You will need a Squidoo.com account. Again, you can use your Facebook sign-on to get one of these accounts.
  •  You should get a blog – The simplest to use for me is blogger.com
  •  You should have an AuthorCentral account. Sign on to Amazon.com with your normal sign-on and then type in the URL AuthorCentral.Amazon.com and sign up for it if you don’t already have it.
  •  Find a news organization’s website and create a sign-on with them, such that you can leave comments on news stories. For our purposes, I will use the Denver News Station: 9news.com

RELAX:  You don’t need all of these at this moment. But throughout the year, you’ll be posting on all of these websites and social medias. We’ll approach this process one step at a time and you’ll just slide right on into the habit of working on your book every day!

Get a cheat sheet next to you with all your sign-ons and passwords and that will make this all very easy.

New Year’s Resolution for Authors… More book marketing

What will it get for authors to stick to this resolution?

All year, we’ve had our highs and lows.

The year started out amazingly strong for those of us who were among the first to take advantage of Amazon’s KDP Select program. December, January and February were stunning months – totally eclipsing the prior year’s sales in just a few weeks. Alas, enough people jumped onto that bandwagon, that those days are a distant memory, but going exclusive with Amazon.com and fully utilizing the KDP Select program is still the best game in town for any self-published author!

Amazon is working to give us good reasons to stay loyal – like adding several new countries and doubling the additive value of the KOLL program checkouts. So, it’s all still very good over there and getting better and better again – all the time.

What are we going to do to get this year’s book marketing work off to a good start?

Well, I have an idea…

I’m going to commit to blogging about what I am doing with one of my books once a day, and we are going to log the progress here. I’ll explain what I’m doing with social media – and I’ll include the links. I’ll explain where on the web I’m referencing my websites or Amazon.com and include the links. I’ll do my best to narrate the work that I do as an author for one of my books.

You can go to these same websites and you can emulate the activities for your own book. That is what I hope you will do.

Most authors ask me what to do as if I could hand them a road map with a list of things to do everyday, and even what to say. Well, I’ll be doing that here and hopefully you’ll follow along.

The book we’re going to be working with is by Angel On Board – Real Life Stories compiled by EJ Thornton & Capri Brock

.

This book is a spin off of Angel On Board by EJ Thornton, but we will work primarily with it.

If you haven’t signed up for the service to monitor your sales rank numbers, I suggest you do it now! http://forauthorsonly.com – It is the easiest thing you can set up to help increase your book sales.

Off we go…  Happy New Year 2013!

Stand behind everything you sell

During these past couple of weeks, we’ve made some purchases for the office. And with multiple big purchases, if the products aren’t in good working order, we return them for ones that are. It is expected that someone who pays money for merchandise is entitled to be satisfied with their purchases.

We purchased a computer at a local computer store and that computer’s keypad was defective. The “i” and “e” characters wouldn’t type. Two missing vowels is a serious deficit for a writer (you can’t even type the word “writer” without them). So we took back the computer and were met with an angry customer service person who ultimately made us so mad back that we just returned the purchase and insisted on our money back.

It is okay to have a customer who has defective merchandise be a little irritated, but that can not be met in kind by the store people. That is just plain bad customer service. If you sell merchandise, it will be returned. If you can’t stand behind it – don’t sell it.

The same is true for books and authors. So many of my authors when they first release their book want to know what my policy is for placing books in stores. I tell them that I give the store a substantial discount for the resell and I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee refund policy.

When the authors feel like that is too much pressure, I let them know that it is more of a positive selling point than a point of pain or stress. If I can take the risk out of a transaction, I make more transactions. If the books come back, so be it and I will refund, but they rarely come back.

I grew up with 100% satisfaction guarantees as the normal way of life for merchants in business and I continue that today with my publishing company and the books it sells. Authors, you need to be prepared to make this commitment to the world at large. You must understand that you won’t be ‘all things to all people’ and that some people will want to return your book because it isn’t for them. That’s okay, it wasn’t for them and that fact has more to do with them than the intrinsic value of your book. Just refund the money and keep looking forward to the next sale.

100% satisfaction guarantee – check out the books at BooksToBelieveIn.com