Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Sunday, October 28, 2012

eBook Writing: How Do I Get The Expertise In My Head Into An eBook?

Filed under: Author Tips,e-Books — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Ellen Violette, Guest Author

The best way to get the expertise that’s in your head into an ebook is to first, figure out what your topic is going to be based on knowledge you already have. It’s a lot easier to do, when it’s something you are very familiar with.

eBookThen, figure out how you can shine new light on the your subject that will be of interest to your readers. Otherwise, there will be no reason for them to read it! You can do this by going to forums, chat rooms, discussion boards, and social media sites and see what people are thirsty for that they aren’t finding from other experts in your field.

Next. make an outline. Think of it like a grocery list. You wouldn’t sit and fret over making out a grocery list. You’d just think about what you wanted at the market and write it down. Do the same thing with your ebook.

Most people get choked up because they think of an ebook as a big project and they are trying to get it all down at once. But, really, it’s just one thought at a time. So make your list quickly. Ask yourself, “What do I want to talk about first? What do I want to talk about next? etc. And just keep going until you’ve got all your major thoughts down.

I once did this with my husband who is NOT a great writer and who was sure he could never write an ebook, and we got his whole outline done in about 3 minutes because he absolutely KNEW what he wanted to say. He just didn’t know how to get it down on paper until I prompted him. Then, go back and do the same thing with the points you want to make in each chapter.

An ebookWith this process, you can see how doing an outline helps immensely to get the knowledge out of your head onto paper in an organized and manageable way. By laying out your thoughts chapter by chapter and then the points you want to make in each chapter, you WILL develop a skeleton for your ebook.

Then, you can just go back and fill it in with the knowledge you already have. If you find this is too difficult for you to do, try doing a brain dump. Take a sheet of paper, or get on your computer, and just start writing everything you can think of on your topic. Get it all out of your head onto the paper.

Then, go back and look for the main ideas that you can turn into chapters. Then add the points you want to make in each chapter-turning your brain dump into an outline. And, if you run into spots where you don’t have the knowledge you need, you can leave them blank and come back later to fill them in with researched material. (Always do this last, so you don’t waste time on research that you may not end up using.)

Follow this process and you’ll never have a problem getting your expertise out of your head again!

This article is reprinted from The eBook Profit Secret Newsletter.

EllenVioletteCopyright 2012 by Ellen Violette. All Rights Reserved. eBook/Self-Publishing/Internet coach, Ellen Violette, teaches people how to create a unique message and an irresistible brand through easy-to-create 72-hour ebooks, and Internet marketing strategies. Get her FREE Special Report “9 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid for Outrageous eBook Profits.”

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sign Your eBook with Kindlegraph

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Laura Pepper Wu, Guest Author

With so many book tours going digital, it’s no surprise that book signings are going digital too. You can sign your readers’ Kindles through Kindlegraph, and the Nook Color through a feature built into the device.

The reason this is so great? Even if you’re ePublishing-only with no plans to produce a print book, you can still host book signings and have a book release party to generate some buzz. Go do it!

1. Watch a demonstration of how Kindlegraph works here: http://screencast.com/t/qtGuelwX
2. Sign up for Kindlegraph here: http://www.kindlegraph.com/ (you’ll need to sign in with a Twitter account, it’s free)
3. Scroll down to ‘Authors- sign up here!’ at the bottom of the page and enter your book’s ASIN (a code that Amazon assigns your book).

Laura2Copyright 2012 by Laura Pepper Wu. Visit Laura’s Website. Lots of great articles for authors @ http://www.30daybooks.com/popular-articles/. Subscribe to: “Magic Monday” Marketing Tips @ http://www.30daybooks.com/free-email-series/
Blog: http://www.30daybooks.com/blog/

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Common Mistakes to Pitching the Press

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Pitching the Press — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Marsha Freedman, Guest Author

All the manpower shortages today at newspapers and magazines have made it much easier – in some ways – to break into print. In other ways, it has gotten harder.

If you send an e-mail with your credentials and a brief sample of a free, original article, tips list or other content you can provide, editors may just leap at the opportunity. That is, if they believe it will appeal to their audience and if the quality is very good. (They don’t want to spend as much time editing your piece as it would take for them to write it themselves!)

Print publications with online outlets present even riper opportunities: They need new content throughout the day to satisfy the continuous demands of their audience.

On the other hand, if your aim is to get a reporter to write about you, the job just got tougher. Today’s print media have sharply reduced their staffs in the past few years. Some have even cut back on the frequency of publishing. That means more competition for less time and attention.

Unfortunately, a lot of people (including some professionals) pitch themselves, their books, products or companies in ways that pretty much guarantee they’ll get no response. Today’s editors are busier than ever; they’re looking for pitches that are clear and concise, and content that’s clean, accurate and ready to use. Too often, that’s not what they get.

deadlineWhat are some of the common mistakes people make when pitching to print editors? Take a look:

Pay no heed to deadlines: Newspapers are generally daily or weekly; magazines may publish weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. Both plan their feature content ahead of time. For papers, that may be from a few days to two or three weeks ahead of publication. Magazines may be working on their May issue in February. Either way, working in advance is vital. If you’re hoping to time your story idea or article to coincide with a season or special event, consider when you’d like to see it published and work backward from that date. It also helps to comb the publication’s website for information on deadlines and policies regarding unsolicited material.

Don’t read the publication: You can’t tailor your pitch or article to suit the needs of the publication if you’ve never read it. Once you understand what sort of content it uses, in what format and in which sections, you can customize your piece. Say you, as the owner of a children’s art gallery, want to provide back-to-school tips for helping inspire creativity. You can A) Send an article full of tips to the main editor listed on the website, or B) Read a few issues of the newspaper or magazine and find out if and when it publishes a parenting page or an arts page, and who the editor is. (You can also see if it uses a question-and-answer format, bulleted tips, or longer articles.) You’ll also likely win the respect of the editor, who will give you bonus points for taking the time to do your homework.

newsBe oblivious to the news: If you don’t know today’s issues, trends and breaking news, how can you offer up something timely and current? Most publications look for a “news hook” – a way to give a piece context because it relates to something happening now. There have been lots of news features on the Mormon religion, for instance, since Mitt Romney began campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination. Romney being Mormon gives publications a reason to write about that religion. He’s a great news hook. Does your business offer solutions for people to help beat the recession? Do you write romance novels, and can you tie that expertise into advice for brides-to-be like Jennifer Aniston? If it’s in the news and you can speak to it, don’t hesitate to get your pitch together and send it off today.

Be as verbose as possible: No editor wants to wade through page after page of narrative, waiting for you to get to the point. Sometimes a simple e-mail with a few sentences describing your story angle and how it relates to a timely topic is enough. However you choose to present the information, do it in a way that respects your contact’s time. Brief is best.

Hide the important information: If editors have to search for dates, your contact information, or local relevance, they’ll likely give up – even if they’re initially interested in your pitch. Think of the information you would need if you were considering writing a story or publishing what has been provided. The vital information should be present and clearly visible.
Even if you don’t make these common mistakes, catching the interest of an editor can be difficult. Remember to paste your pitch into the body of your e-mail – don’t send it as an attachment, which may get it flagged as junk mail. Follow up with a polite phone call (“Just wanted to make sure you received my e-mail regarding an article I can write for you”). And don’t give up!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2012 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Thursday, October 4, 2012

25+ Ways to Generate Better Online Book Sales

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Nick Atkinson, Guest Author

After almost 3 years back in publishing – returning from ecommerce (Borders.co.uk) – I’ve discovered that there are masses of opportunities for publishers to improve the way they sell online. This list represents some of the best and most easily achievable ideas. Some require no investment, some require cultural and personnel change but the common themes are entrepreneurism, tactics and optimisation – 3 vital characteristics needed to be successful at ecommerce, whether as a retailer or vendor.

writersclockThe ecommerce world is cutthroat and competitive and with the ever-increasing volume of product flooding the market, it’s vital for publishers to understand what happens to their product data when it hits the web, whatever device that happens via, and what influence they can exert over that data to improve discoverability, competitiveness and conversion rate, as well as ensuring that they are using appropriate and well-configured digital marketing techniques to maximise sales. There’s still a place for making a YouTube video but unless it’s driving measurable sales and you understand how and why, think again.

1. Optimise your synopsis information for specific keywords – try the tool, Scribe. It’s designed for non-technical people to optimise text without compromising editorial integrity http://www.scribeseo.com – publishing and SEO can mix, trust me.

2. Understand the latest SEO trends and rules. One of the biggest problems retailers face is that presented by the Google Panda and Penguin search algorithm updates. Duplicate content (and piracy) is a big SEO no-no – all retailers feature duplicate content. The game is constantly changing.

3. Supply retailer-specific synopsis data to avoid duplicate content issues and to test conversion rates of variations – testing requires the support of the retailer as they’ll need to supply analytics data.

4. Optimise your synopsis information for display on the web, using best-practise reading structures. Think bullet points and lists, F-structures and summary-first techniques.

5. Ensure title and subtitle fields are well-formed pieces of data that facilitate discoverability. In the case of most retailers this data will form part of the URL and appear in tags on the page – getting it right is vital for good search performance.

6. Sounds obvious but use ONIX to its full potential – most publishers don’t utilise all the fields. The framework is designed with discoverability in mind.

7. Ensure your eBook synopsis is format-relevant – if the synopsis is for an ebook, edit it with that in mind. It’s no longer enough to just rip the synopsis from the AI or the back of the book to use as metadata.

8. Embed hyperlinks to promote other titles in your eBook files, especially by the same author – note this has to be retailer-specific.

9. Try Pay With a Tweet to distribute free book samples on your website and in your marketing.

10. Use Amazon Marketplace to sell direct-to-consumer, especially consider this if you have the capability to connect to their great API and fulfillment isn’t a pain.

11. If you can’t sell directly from your corporate site, connect to an affiliate programme run by your favourite retail partner. Drive sales and extra margin.

12. Often the publisher’s own website can rank highest for a book, simply because they are the first people to display the product online (a bit of SEO helps too). Remember this and ensure your landing page is as well presented and structured as possible.

13. Read Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research. It will change the way you think about online shopping and ecommerce. http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com/

14. Monitor your product’s performance. If you don’t understand how it’s working online, you can’t improve it. These days releasing data (and your product) into the world and waiting for sales figures is not enough. Most retailers are focusing their business online, even if they have stores, and so an ever-increasing amount of data is available if you just ask. Why not explore the data supplied in Google’s partner programme dashboard – that’ll give you a great deal of insight into how people are engaging with your books.

WritersWastebasket15. Get analytical and get your staff to be analytical. Improving your online book sales requires an analytical mind. You need to be able to understand how your product is displaying and any issues associated, how it performs in search and most importantly, how discoverable it is. You also need to be able to understand and interpret the effect your efforts are having on sales.

16. Be tactical – if a competitor product is a penny cheaper, adjusting your price can make all the difference. We live in a world of comparison shopping. In a personal experience, a product I have worked on jumped from 1200 to the top 100 in Amazon’s charts overnight using this approach alone.

17. Check for competitor editions – if you’ve sold or bought rights for a book, make sure that other publisher editions aren’t appearing in territories they don’t have the rights to sell in. You wouldn’t believe how often this happens and the potential damage to sales this could cause, especially if the competitor edition is cheaper.

18. Use your website more. Most publishers have websites that let you create landing pages. Your book listing is great, but why not create a few page variations that are optimised for specific searches? You could include links to PR and multiple retailers as well as links to free sample downloads.

19. Think contextually. These days, digital marketing is all about placing your product in the right place at the right time in a position your target audience is going to see without altering their browsing habits. Use YouTube via Adwords. If someone’s searching for a specific recipe on YouTube and your cookery book features a similar recipe, show them an ad. It’s simple, measurable, scalable and cost-effective. And if channelled towards a retailer, can form part of your marketing spend negotiations.

20. Join the blogosphere and I don’t mean start a blog. If communicating with key bloggers isn’t part of your PR strategy, you are doing it wrong. Good bloggers have influence and audience and are becoming more savvy by the day. And they all need content. Build your own network and email lists and incorporate communicating to these people into your core PR and marketing activities.

21. Set up and monitor a hashtag on Twitter for all key releases and promote that in your marketing and even in your product. Let people talk as they read.

22. Use Facebook ads to market to Facebook pages. Facebook ads that drive users to Facebook pages to perform specific conversion goals have considerably better conversion rates than those which drive users to external sites. Keep users in the eco-system they are already in and are familiar with.

23. Acquire data. In every piece of digital marketing you run, whether running a competition with a partner or a social media drive, are you always getting data? Direct to consumer is the future and to win that battle, you’ll definitely need data, and as much of it as possible.

24. Get mobile. Not just as an afterthought. Make good samples available to Smartphone users, make sure your website works well on mobile, consider mobile-specific marketing (most big ad networks can differentiate by platform/device).

25. Think about the book’s jacket in terms of the web, not just in terms of print. Is the text legible, will it look good at around 300px wide, 72dpi, what happens to the spot UV layer when it’s in web form, are there any print-specific finishes that will need adjusting for online display?

And a bonus – numbers 26, 27 and 28…

26. According to Google research, the average customer uses 10.4 resources to influence their buying decisions online. I’m not convinced the number is that high for books but it’s worth thinking about the concept. Have you provided enough supporting material and content to ensure you can send that customer over the tipping point to transact. And, is that information available easily via search? Think press coverage, product reviews, blog posts, twitter activity, the author’s own presence online, video, consumer reviews and much more.

27. For the socialisers amongst you, check out the new social channels Branch and Medium to see what’s around the corner in social media. These channels have been created by the guys behind Blogger and Twitter.

28. Consider Quora. If your book is non-fiction and answers questions from ‘what’s the best recipe for lasagne?’, to ‘when was Michael Winner born?’, Quora can be a marketing channel for you.

Copyright 2012 by Nick Atkinson. Nick Atkinson is Head of Digital for Hardie Grant Publishing (AU, UK, NZ) and based in Melbourne, having previously been Digital Marketing Manager at Borders UK. With international experience spanning publishing and retail and having worked closely with most major publishers, Nick is well placed to offer insight into the evolving digital landscape in our industry. Oh yeah, and he struggles with describing himself in the third person. It’s just wrong. Visit his LinkIn and Twitter page.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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