Write with reckless abandon

Today, we quoted Colorado’s most prolific author and my friend Othniel J. Seiden in our company’s newsletter. His advice to authors is to just “Puke it out!”  Or a less brutal way to say it is to “Write with Reckless Abandon.” When you’re in the mood to write – just write! Leave the second guessing out, leave the editing to others, just write!

Othniel Seiden

Colorado’s Most Prolific Author

Othniel Seiden has been writing for decades and he has been successful beyond most people’s dreams having books published by commercial publishers, translated into tons of new languages and selling hundreds of thousands of copies over time.  So, his advice is pretty valuable.

Otti also has a way of taking an epic novel and breaking it down into novellas or an encompassing non-fiction book and breaking it into separate microbooks.

These smaller versions or excerpts are more highly targeted and work to reach their market share quite effectively.

For instance, he wrote Coping with Arthritis and in that book, he had a chapter about Fibromyalgia. He decided he wanted to write a book called Coping with Fibromyalgia. Instead of starting a new book, he just chopped out the non-Fibromyalgia parts out of Coping with Arthritis and published what was left as its own book.

People who have Fibromyalgia using are searching for Fibromyalgia over Arthritis, so this book sells wonderfully well, even though the niche is much smaller.

My favorite set of questions, when an author comes to me with a book project is, “Is your book really a book?” “Is it only a book?” “Is it only one book?” The last time I asked that question, the book went from 1 physical book to 2 versions of the physical book and 13 e-books. Most times you have more potential than you thought you did. Let us help you figure that out!

Call us for a consult today! 303.794.8888. Or find out more at http://getting-published.com

Be the star of your own news channel

For writers, writing should be easy. But for most, writing about themselves, and especially writing about themselves in the 3rd person is not so easy.

A press release is simply a news story. Go back to Journalism 101, who, what, when, where, why and how – Pick an event and give yourself the assignment to cover it.  Is it your first review on Amazon? Is it your launch party? Is it feedback from your fans? Is it the tour you’ll be taking with your books? Is it who the book is ‘really’ about? Is it about who the book will help and why?

All of these examples are media worthy news events. Not all will be picked up, but as many as possible should be written about.

For instance, we are working the 30-day Kickstarter campaign, which has gotten me back to writing again and even back to writing this blog. We added a “For the Media” page on the main website and have put 4 press releases up there since we began. We’ve e-mailed and called several news agencies to pick up our press release, and some have, but of course, not all of the ones we contacted. However, a significant amount have.  But whether the news sources pick it up or not, it is content for your website and more content gives search engines more reasons to find your website which gives more readers a chance to find it. So, find 10 good things to write a press release about, and start writing and releasing them.

The following is a press release for our bike product, but you can see what we mean by being the star of your own news channel!

from http://lucidbrake.com/media.php

LucidBrake debut with Cyclists – A Stunning Success

On Saturday, May 11 at the Wheels of Thunder bicycle race thousands of people turned out for a beautiful Colorado morning and a day of cycling. The LucidBrake’s team showed up in force to volunteer and show LucidBrakes in action.

In an effort to display the versatility of the mount-anywhere feature of a LucidBrake (and not wanting to interfere with anyone else’s ride), the team mounted a LucidBrake on a foam-core sign. Just by holding the sign in front of them and pulling it back to their chest in a rapid motion simulating braking, the LucidBrake went from being an awareness beacon to a brake light in a literal ‘flash’.

The spectacle of a brake light on a sign was so compelling that inventor John C. Craig was invited up to the podium to talk about the LucidBrake. “It’s not just a beacon, it’s a brake light that works well mounting it almost anywhere,” Craig said. “It’s an intelligent brake light that re-adjusts itself to how it is mounted so that it accurately signals deceleration.” The crowd applauded the concept as Craig went on to explain, “LucidBrake’s first production run is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign through the month of May. If successful, we can get these brakes in the hands of these cyclists this summer and start preventing many injuries and saving lives.”

The Kickstarter campaign (http://bikebrakelight.com) is about 1/3 over and is roughly 1/3 funded, so more awareness is required to insure that production can being this year.

“If you ride, or love someone that does, please back the campaign so that we can start manufacturing these bike brake lights beginning in June,” Criag said at the end of his time on stage.

For more information about LucidBrakes, watch for them at bike events across Colorado in May or visit http://LucidBrake.com

Feb 5 – Valentine’s day starts now!

So what happens you have two conflicting celebrations on the same day? Today is “Disaster Day” and “National Pancake Day” and #IHOP is trending right now. Seems to me the Pancakes have it… I’d rather talk about them anyhow! Who’s with me?

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Well, football season is officially over and that tends to get me looking toward spring, spring activities, new growth and all that lot! Even the groundhog said we’d have an early spring, not to mention global warming. It also feels like people’s pocketbook strings are loosening and more people are buying books right now.

The publishing side of the business is cyclical. I started noticing that the second year I was in business and it has held true ever since. Right now we are in the “I’m going to get this book published this year – New Year’s Resolution” phase. A ton of new projects begin right at the first of the year and this year is no exception. What that means to our business is that those projects will launch in the spring. That’s cool because that takes us through the lull of late February/March when everyone is doing their taxes instead of writing books!

Our next really big commercial holiday is Valentine’s day and if you have a book that deals with love – on any level – you need to work that tie-in from this moment on, until midnight on the 14th. We publish some and we list them on “Great Relationship Books” like “Finding Your Fortune” and “Autumn Romance”. We will be giving them some serious attention between now and the 14th.  We publish several books that are just about relationships, and those are easy to tie into Valentine’s Day. But my challenge to you is, whether there is an obvious tie-in or not, is to come up with 5 tweets about why Valentine’s Day is important to your book.

The moral to today’s story – there is ALWAYS a connection to current events. There is always a way to make your book relevant to what is going on. Sometimes it is challenging to make a connection, but you can do it… You’re smart! You’re an author!

Go ahead – give me a challenging book to tie into a Valentine’s day campaign – I’ll do my best. Write it below in the comments!

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 27 – Twitter stuff today

#NeverHaveIEver is trending on Twitter… somehow that reminds me of Burger King coupons, but I digress…  And according to George Takei,   it is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Remnant by Othniel J. Seiden is a wonderful historically accurate fiction book about Babi Yar, Kiev and the Forest People who were part of the Jewish Resistance during WWII. It is a stunning novel, and it is gaining quite a following!

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I created a new “Thousand Tweet” campaign for Udemy – because we publish a class through Udemy and like Amazon.com, they have an affiliate program. We are enrolled as affiliates.  In less than 3 hours, Udemy logged that we had over 421 people click-through into their site from our Twitter. TWITTER IS POWERFUL, PEOPLE! TWITTER IS POWERFUL!

So today, I want you to:

  • Follow your followers
  • Using 2 of your keywords as search terms, find 15 more people to follow
  • Tweet using 3 of the trending words
  • Go to your Amazon.com page and Tweet from there – and if you can also use the trending words do, if not use your keywords!

Taking some time in Twitter and building up your following is well worth your while.  If you want to find out about the Thousand Tweet campaign, click through to Thousand Tweets and fill out the form at the bottom.

Just Tweet – any chance you get – not just about your book. Keep your readers interested by telling them about your day, your thoughts or just share great quotes. Twitter is a significant tool in your book marketing arsenal.

TTFN

Jan 24 – Free Classified Ads

Eskimo Pie Patent Day –  John Belushi‘s birthday, 1949. #CallOutSomeoneBeautiful is trending on Twitter.

Check out the comments on the previous posts… You authors are doing great – #CallOutSomeoneBeautiful – to my authors and followers! Here’s to you!    (I just tweeted that. I hope people read your comments. I sure do and they are appreciated. I’m glad you all are doing so well.

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Othniel Seiden

Colorado’s Most Prolific Author

I strive to talk to at least 5 of my authors every day. Today I met with an interesting mix of them. The book development process is really fun. It is such a privilege to be a part of someone else’s dream. We had a second galley proof placed in the hands of one author, who clutched it to her heart when she saw it. We were working last minute cover tweaks on a rush job for Saturday. I corresponded with one author whose first book is starting to take off while its sequel is at the editor! An author ordered some new copies of their book and my favorite, Colorado’s most prolific author sent me the cover for his 31st book published with us… Such diverse personalities, messages, dreams and goals – and most of all such diverse customer bases.

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How do you reach such a diverse customer base. I tell people that I’ll teach them to market their book(s), while I market our entire inventory of books – which also includes their book(s). Books to Believe In boasts nearly 1000 new readers a day. This reach wasn’t possible before the Internet, at least not for a mid-range press like Books To Believe In.  The Internet has leveled the playing field and Amazon.com has done that even more effectively.

One important strategy is to get other websites to link to your website. A website isn’t exactly a “if you build it – they will come” proposition. You have to attract the traffic in – or funnel it in from other websites. The best way to do that is to develop a strategy of getting Backlinks into your websites. Sounds complicated? It can be if you want it to be – or you can use some tools made for this very exercise.  I’m referring to Free Classified Ads. There are dozens of places on the Internet where you can leave a classified ad and I’ll list a few for you. The ad performs two very important duties – one, it provides a place for people to click through to your website, two – it creates backlinks into your website that are seen by the search engines. Not all places allow the link to be live, but even if it isn’t, you ad is still there! Always at least try to put in a link though.

You can always place paid-for ads, but there is no need with all the free ad sites out there.

Just google “Free Classified Ads” and you’ll see more than you can handle.

Why would people allow you to place ads for free? Because they want your content. If you fill in their website with your information, they can have bigger and bigger and more robust websites. Monetizing a website happens many different ways, charging to place an ad isn’t necessarily the most profitable for these people. It doesn’t matter – one hand washes the other, so to speak, and they provide you a way to advertise your book and hopefully get a back link in the process.

If you find a good website, share it in the comments!

Thanks and have a great night!

Jan 22 – Cooperation

Ask Your Cat's QuestionsHey it’s: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day and National Blonde Brownie Day and suddenly I want to go to Applebee’s!  #InMyCity is trending on Twitter.

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I’d like to draw your attention to a comment by Carol Denker posted on yesterday’s blog about asking people for reviews. This is her personal experience and she already has another great review on her book Autumn Romance today. Check it out. Good job Carol!

Again, I’d like you comment on this blog and link to your book’s pages and talk about your experiences doing these exercises or your other great ideas. As I say to my ‘League of Extraordinary Authors,’ “A raising river floats all boats!” So, let me help you too. Part of book marketing is cooperation!

Go out to Amazon.com and leave a nice review for an author you know. If you’re like most authors, you network in writing groups. So, I bet you know several other authors. If not, let me suggest a couple of free Kindles that you could read today and give a nice review on. http://ebookstobelievein.com/freekindles.php Might I suggest Sparkle Phillips’ Finding Your Fortune – it speaks directly to authors. Download it for free (today), peruse it and give it a nice recommendation. If you don’t like that idea, there are 5 others to choose from.

Once you do something nice, then find that author’s fan page and post a link on it to your review. Let them know you’ve helped them.

One day as an experiment I created Top 10 pages for several authors. I usually charge for this service, but on this occasion I didn’t charge. I put out a direct Facebook message on their fan pages letting these authors know that their book was featured on a Top 10 page. Oh my, did they respond. They linked to these pages from their websites. They posted a direct thanks message to me, both private and public and some wrote a newsletter to their group about their new-found honor. My webpages got a ton of press because I was generous. I couldn’t have gotten that much press so quickly any other way. So, doing a little something for someone else really does help you. It comes back to you many times over.

If any of you want to put a good review up for any of the books at Books To Believe In, leave me a comment with the link to the book and the name of your book and I’ll create a top 10 page for you!

Have a great day!