Popularity begins at home… Books To Believe In opinion

party hatsAs an author, you are the first and most important person to taught the importance of your book to its readership. You need to visit the Amazon.com pages daily. You need to be the first one every day to tweet, post and pin about it everyday. Your readers of will follow suit, but you, as its creator, need to be the one leading the charge. Don’t be concerned that what you have to say is redundant, post something every day. Work to mix it up, but even if you repeat yourself, commit to a daily regimen of social media from your Amazon.com page!

The Books To Believe In team just published a new book!

LAUNCH YOUR BOOK BIG!!!! 

A new book written by the team at Books To Believe In to help Books To Believe In’s League of Extraordinary Authors gain more sales traction in the marketplace.

There are 3 kinds of book launches authors need to employ to launch their books to their eager and waiting audiences. They are easy to organize and execute. Best-seller status can be achieved right out of the gates.

If you’re a member of the League of Extraordinary Authors, please download the book. If you’re a published author that wants to listen in to what a publisher says to their authors, then enjoy the book as well.

Enjoy!!!!

Real Life Angel Stories – inspired by a fiction novel (by EJ Thornton)

For centuries, it has been said that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” and the case of Angel On Board.

I, EJ Thornton, the author of Angel On Board experienced something unexpected when meeting my readers. Once I broached the topic of Angels and having angelic experiences, it made it safe for others to talk about their experiences without fear of judgement. I listened to story after story after story of these people who just wanted to tell about their incredible experience in the loving way they experienced it.

Because I was open to this, I literally heard hundreds and hundreds of stories about amazing coincidences, amazing times of being protected or guided. Each story was stunning and the teller and I connected at a very special heart-based level.

What I began to realize was that there were more people out there with angel stories than I ever expected. Angel On Board – the novel – helps you remember your own. There is something incredibly familiar in those pages – or so I’m told.

Because these stories were so spectacular, I decided to compile them in a spin-off non-fiction series called “Angel On Board – Real Life Stories.” This is a collection of 40 stories from 12 different authors – including myself where I tell my angel stories. AND I explain which of the angel stories in Angel On Board were based on real life – or – “Art imitating Life” so to speak.

Broken up into 6 sections, the book has stories about Incredible Coincidences, Angelic Protection, Physical Proof, Signs and other Miracles, Birds and Winged Creatures, and being able to find Peace at Last.

This is just book one of a series. I will collect 50 stories for all future books and publish them as the stories come in. If you have had an angelic experience, near-death-experience or a coincidence that is far too amazing to have been a coincidence, we want to hear your stories.  Please write to me ej@ejthornton.com and use the subject line: Angel Story. We will consider your contribution for the next installment of Angel On Board – Real Life Stories.  Please keep all submissions to a maximum of 2500.

Bless you all!

Coincidences or angels… you decide.

This afternoon as I was reworking one of my books called Angel On Board – Real Life Stories (Book 1), and adding several new stories to the Kindle version – getting it ready for print, I suddenly found a new review on Angel On Board – Real Life Stories.

We published AOB-RLS originally in November of last year and since then it has only had one review come up. Today, WHILE WE ARE WORKING ON THAT VERY BOOK, we get a review… asking for more stories. I swear this is not a stunt, it is very real. It fits amazingly well into the last blog post I did – “Where attention goes…”

I just like to share strange stuff with you guys. We are in the process of putting the new version of the book up. I’ll post links when it is ready!

Have a great day!

Tell your future customers something they’ll want to tell others…

One surefire way to get more traffic is to get word of mouth buzz about your product. However, the science of getting someone to talk about your product is pretty complicated! That is why marketers and advertising agencies get so much money and why selling feels so hard and so scary to many people.

LucidBrake running under water

LucidBrake running under water

Here, I’ve put a picture of an electronics device working under water – yes, it is a LucidBrake – yes, I have a vested interest in its success. Putting that aside, I want to demonstrate how you get people to talk about something.

You interrupt them. You interrupt the flow of what is normal. You get their attention by creating a spectacle or a picture that they can’t ignore. Someone claiming a bike brake light is waterproof (ho – hum), someone claiming it would also work as a “boat brake light” and demonstrates it running under water – that will get attention. It will get the kind of attention that people want to share – because it is unusual and fun.

If someone is going to share a book/product with someone else, the act of sharing has to make the sharer ‘look good.’

So how does that apply to books? Let’s look at the recent viral books? What about 50 Shades of Gray? Sex right? Easy score! Go look at the top 100 books in Amazon.com and see if you can figure out why they’re there. Which ones have some tidbit of information or discuss a topic that people want/need to talk about? Plenty.

So now, the $1,000,000 question… what is in your book that others will find a talking point? You should be the first one to talk about it. Is it some particular scene? Is it information about a sensitive issue? What will get tongues to wag?

There’s a really cool place to find out… If you have a Kindle book that has been out for any amount of time, there will be a ‘shared notes and highlights’ section. For example, click here and scroll about 2/3 down the page. This is where Amazon tracks what people are highlighting in your Kindle book. When there are several for a specific section, then that passage of the book lands on this section of the Amazon sales page. It’s pretty cool.

If you see this starting to happen, follow through with it. Repost it on Facebook, Tweet, Pin with a picture, make a poster with the really good quote. It’s as good, if not better than a review. Better because you own the copyright of the material and can use it to your heart’s content.

Your book will become viral on the Internet when every one person will tell at least two others something about it. Where is your gold? There’s plenty of it inside the pages of your book!

Feb 12 – Dreams and nightmares

Today is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

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You can’t live the dream if you look like a nightmare… Garrett of Organo Gold.   Garrett is a young man, dressed in a suit. He looks sharp and intelligent and when he opens his mouth to speak, it is like a moment with Yoda. Bits of wisdom just come out and you’re mesmerized. I particularly liked this quote, because it reminded me of a couple of books I’ve been asked to help lately.

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These books were written over a long period of time and the people who wrote these books really like what they wrote and think the world should experience it.  But when it came to publishing, they took all the short cuts. They did their own layout – even though they had never laid out a book before. They did their own cover, even though they had never created a cover before.  And they published their own books without paying any additional fees just because they could. Now they have a finished book, but no one is buying it. And they would like to know why not.

It is just like the time I did it in 1998. I published Angel On Board with a two-color cover – with no graphics on the cover, spiral bound and using Times New Roman text squished on as small of a page as I could because it reduced the print costs. Yes, I had made a book, and I could sell the book (or at least people bought it) when I sold it to them myself. They caught my passion and bought the book. But the book wasn’t ready to publish and it wasn’t professionally done. I’ll never forget the sweet woman who picked up an early copy of Angel On Board by its spiral bind and held it out to me like it had cooties… “Did that yourself, did ya?” she knowingly asked in a shrill voice that I’ll never forget.

I was proud of my accomplishment and said, “Yes I did.” And I convinced her to buy it. So I thought I had won the day with that encounter. However, in just the next year, I met a cover designer who for $50 made my cover come alive.  See the history of Angel On Board’s cover here.  The result was dramatic. It went from a book that I had to sell to a book that could sell itself.

My point is that we all start out as amateurs and sometimes it shows. Getting just a little professional help can make a world of difference. I started out as an amateur and learned through brute force and ignorance (emphasis on the ignorance) how to navigate through the publishing industry.  I started the publishing company that I wished I could’ve found – one that teaches authors what they need to know to be successful.  I know how it feels to love a book so much and hope that people will understand, read it and share it, and I know the sting of having that not happen or not happen quick enough. But every time when I’ve gone for guidance about it, I do learn more and make things better. The resources are out there. Some are free – and some need to be paid for.

If you have created your book in a vacuum, and it isn’t selling the way you want it to, then perhaps it is time to reach out and get some advice to improve your book. Marketing alone will not help if your book looks ‘like you did it yourself.’  Write to us at http://getting-published.com

Feb 10 – Milestones and coincidences

#ThingsThatMatter – It’s Umbrella Day  and the styrofoam cooler was invented today – giving rise to so many countless picnics.

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Also, Angel On Board has passed another great milestone. It has received 50 reviews on Amazon.com. Check them out!!! Very sweet sentiments on most of the reviews. Each one reminds me why I wrote the book and makes me feel like it was well-worth the effort!

I’m not the author with the most reviews. That would be Jonathan Manske for “The Law of Attraction Made Simple.” He’s currently tracking at 78! Third place is “The Omen of the Crow” with 40 and fourth place is “The Remnant” with 30. Each and every review is acting like a sales person for its book! They are each so valuable!

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Today, I’d like to talk about titles and some funny things about titles that help sell books.

Last night, I watch Dallas on TNT and the episode was called “Sins of the Father.” We have a book by Dar Tomlinson called Sins of the Father! So, why isn’t this a conflict of interest or copyrights? Because titles can not be copyrighted. They are just ‘ideas.’ The expression of those ideas is the piece that is copyrightable. I have had to educate many authors over the years who want to title their book in one way, but feel they can’t because there is already a book out there by that name. Nothing is stopping them from doing publishing a book with the same title. In fact, it might just help in marketing the way it did with one of our books called “Blind Faith.”

One day, I saw a spike in the sales – especially of the Kindle version – of Blind Faith. I tracked it down to another book on the market that was on the New York Times best-seller list called Blind Faith. People were coming to Amazon.com looking for the NYT Blind Faith and stumbling upon AND BUYING our book, because it was right beside it in the search results. Was that a coincidence? In one way yes, but in another way no.

We work hard to have our books show up high in the search results for their author’s names and their own titles. Just by listing in Amazon.com, there’s no guarantee that your book will show up high in the search for its very own title. It is up to the author/publisher to make that happen!

So, the next time you write a book and think of a good title – before you decide to rename the book because the title is a cliche – think again! It just might be a good thing. No guarantees, but it is something to think about.

Feb 3 – Online is where it is at!

50 Seasons of Quarterbacks by Don Nichols

50 Seasons of Quarterbacks by Don Nichols

#NothingFeelsBetterThan is trending right now. It is Super Bowl Sunday and Cordova Ice Worm Day…

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This year Barnes & Noble is closing about 1/3 of its stores. That’s somewhere between 190-240 stores. It was hard enough getting on those bookshelves when they were in their heyday, but now, they have pulled back, now they aren’t willing to take any risks of any kind on unknown authors. So, stop trying to chase after book store shelf space. That model of doing business is dying if not dead. The same is true with traditional publishers. If you’re still waiting for someone to discover you or appreciate you, guess what – they can’t right now. Their industry is crumbling around them.

What hasn’t stopped happening is how much people are writing. In fact, I think that has increased. And in fact, the methods to get the books out there has become more and more diversified. So, it is a great time to be an author – as long as you’re keeping up with the times.

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Yesterday, I told you about a book launch for Peacemaker 2564AD. It was a successful event. Lots of people came, lots of books sold. But his reach was just his friends and family in the local area. He has a ton more people in his direct circle of influence who would love to go to a launch party for him. So, how do you do a launch party with a much greater reach? Go online!

Don’t just limit this to a launch event. If you have a new class – new lesson  – new anything, think about doing a virtual event!

  • First, become a reseller on Amazon.com for your book. List at least 50 copies (or as many as you have in inventory).  Truly, I hope you’ve already done this.
  • Second, find the link to your book in your Amazon store (not Amazon’s main store.) Angel On Board in my store  vs. Angel On Board in Amazon’s store – note the differences (quantities – ship from location etc).
  • Third, set a time and place for a phone call  1-2 hours long.
  • Fourth, find a free teleconference service like FreeConference.com (http://www.freeconference.com/) . There are several. Test it a couple of times with a small group of friends to get a feel for it.
  • Fifth, send out an e-vite for your time, place, with the phone number / pin # and the link to your book in your store.
  • Sixth, execute the call. Greet everyone. Do a reading. Take questions. Enjoy the visit. And every 15 minutes or so, repeat the web address for your store on Amazon.com.

What a virtual event does is give your extended friends and family a chance to celebrate your accomplishment with you and they’ll buy your book from you to be sure to get an autographed copy. This sale goes through the Amazon.com merchant account, so you don’t have to do any credit card processing. Best of all, Amazon.com registers a multitude of sales of your book and you get to see your sales rank improve dramatically – very likely to a best-seller status at least in one category. All this gets done in 1-2 hours!

Try it you’ll like it!

If you want help coordinating a virtual event, it is a service we provide. Call us at 303.794.8888 or e-mail publisher@bookstobelievein.com!

Go team go!

 

Jan 31 – End of the first month… You gotta love it!

#SometimesYouHaveTo – It’s National Popcorn day and my husband told we can have it for dinner! So, good day!

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We’ve been doing this together for a month now. I’ve learned some cool things from you guys too and I appreciate all the comments. I hope you’re reading and sharing in those as well.

I have you’ve incorporated some of these ideas into your routine and have gotten used to marketing your book on a daily basis! Congrats if you did do that!

party hatsI get to celebrate an accomplishment! Technorati just told me that they’ll put this blog in their directory. That was a multi-step process, but it is complete now and everyone communicating with me here will get more exposure. So keep those cards and letters coming (or comments, comments are good)!

I absolutely have the best job in the world. I get to work with dreamers and creative types and we help people make their dreams a reality. Some of those are life-long dreams!  Today, I worked with a man to help him organize his book. Later, I get to go to the printers and review a proof for a 2/22 launch! Tomorrow, we attend a launch party for a great new sci-fi coming out. Today, I’ve added new books to Amazon.com, re-published a couple of Kindles, tweeted on several books, and advised a couple more authors. This is fun!

When you love what you do, it shows. That is why loving the book marketing process will actually help your books to sell. Embracing the marketing process, instead of dreading it shows in the quality of the blog-posts and the rest of your social media. If you just do the bare minimum, those are the results you get. If you go the extra mile, you’ll start to see results and that momentum will grow and grow.

So today, go write a Facebook post about how grateful you are to your readers and how you love to reach out to them.  Remember to use your power word at the end of the post!

Jan 26 – Read the comments…

Mighty Mouse is trending on Twitter and today they played the Senior Bowl… Not a national holiday – but important to my family! Go #72!

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http://super-e-books.com/how-to-add-your-free-e-book-to-the-super-e-books-calendar/ – One of the comments from yesterday enlightened me to a place where you can publicly list your ebook’s KDP free days.

One of the best tips I can give you is to exclusively publish your e-book through the Kindle process so that you can take advantage of the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select benefits.

It was said to me when I first wrote Angel On Board (1998) that one of the best ways to sell books is to give books away. At that time, they were referring to review copies sent to newspaper or magazine reviews who would hopefully publish a review. These days the reviews that count are the reviews that show up on Amazon.com. And one great way to get reviews is by giving these free books away. You are rewarded with reviews… and future sales.

Best-selling book

The day Angel On Board was #7 on all of Amazon.com

One day last February, Angel On Board gave away 16,000+ books. This blasted sales into the stratosphere for about 4 months solid. That day, Angel On Board was #7 – for all of Amazon.com! And the #1 Fiction book!

The momentum that gathered after that day was spectacular!

Angel On Board routinely makes it into the top 100 on her free days even now… I’ll let you know the next day it is free.

Just like the calendar referenced at the top of this tip, we publish a Kindle Free Site as well – http://KindleFreebees.com – This site shows the top 20 hot selling Kindle books in dozens of different categories. Then along the left side, there is a column that features Books To Believe In’s free books for that moment. It performs a service and markets our books.

Jumping on this Free Kindle bandwagon is a good idea and it has proven extraordinarily lucrative for my author’s books as well – connecting them with new clients and new readers all over the globe.

Since we’ve begun Tweeting about our free books every hour, we have seen another boost in the giveaways for the day, which in-turn boosts sales and new reviews.

Even if ‘giving books’ away seems counter intuitive to you, picture this…

In Christmas of 2011, Amazon.com sold 3,000,000 Kindles, Christmas 2012 was another banner year and there are 300,000,000 people in the US alone! Most of those in the US have a smart phone, PC, or tablet. Even a great day with 16,000 books given away didn’t dent my potential market at all. But what 16,000 people in one day learning about (and hopefully talking about) Angel On Board did was give me advertising exposure like I’d never experienced before.

For you fishermen out there… Think of it as ‘chumming the water with small fish to bring in the big catch!” It works and it is well worth it.

If your e-book isn’t exclusive with Amazon.com, you’re missing this. There aren’t enough ‘other-branded e-readers’ in the world that can match this!  If you are exclusive with Kindle, enroll your book in KDP, write down the free dates and load them into the link above!

Good night & good luck!