Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Free Services to Get You Mentioned in the Media

Filed under: Author Tips,Pitching the Press — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Excerpt from “How To Get Your Book Into Bookstores” by Elaine Wilkes

Here are some free services to get you mentioned in the media (magazines, newspapers, even TV). These services can get you major publicity. They send you daily leads from reporters working on stories.

ElaineWilkes

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http://www.HelpAReporterOut.com
http://www.ReporterConnection.com
http://www.PitchRate.com
http://www.PrLeads.com, run by Dan Janel. It’s a month-to month service that costs $99 a month. You can cancel anytime.

These services send you daily leads from reporters working on stories. For example, one reporter wanted a nutritionist to comment about the Special K diet that consists of eating only Special K cereal for one week to lose a jean size. I replied, “With the Special K diet, don’t give up your big jeans! That diet is like charge card eating—do it now and pay with your health later.” They used those comments in their story. I could have said, “Eating fruits and vegetables is much better,” but that’s boring! Reporters generally want fresh ideas and comments. The point is, the minute you get the lead, do your best to answer it right away! Reporters are on tight timelines. If they get something they like, they’ll use it and move on.

Also, in your e-mail make sure you say why you’re a credible source to comment on their lead. I have a signature e-mail that has all the information written down, so all I have to do is fill in my comment and send it off. After I add the comment, I add it to a Word document so I have a catalog of comments in alphabetical order according to topic. I don’t need to think up something clever to say every time; instead, I just copy and paste what I wrote before.

Elaine-WilkesCopyright © 2013 Elaine Wilkes. Elaine Wilkes, Ph.D., is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Nature’s Secret Messages: Hidden In Plain Sight. As a published author with a highly acclaimed book, she thought her book would be in all the stores. Wrong! It wasn’t in all, but maybe in just a handful of independent stores. As a learning addict with a background in research, she worked diligently to learn everything you need to know about getting your book into all types of stores, not just bookstores, and also how to get it in the Internet stores. She spoke with hundreds of insiders in the book business, along with spending hundreds and hundreds of hours of tedious research. All this work led her to create this comprehensive How To Get Your Book Into Stores Course because this needed information couldn’t be found anywhere else. Follow her on Facebook.

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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

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Friday, August 16, 2013

How to Blog a Book

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Many writers tell me that they just don’t have time to write a book. They just write for the fun of it. Hmmm. I once thought that to be true, however, if you have a “passion” for writing, you will find time. My writing coach, Peggy Fielding (Tulsa) once told me that if I was really serious about writing a book, I would spend no less than one hour each day writing. I was shocked. There was no way that I had the time to do that, so I started with 15 minutes and went from there. Today, I usually spend at least an hour writing, mostly late in the evening and into the morning.

BlogABook2Today, I have 5 websites and 4 blogs. Something new goes up on each blog every 4th day, plus I’m always adding new stuff to my websites too. The more often you blog, the quicker you will gain readers. To date, I have written nearly 2,500 articles on 3 topics and have more content than I need for three more good books to add to the five I’ve written already.

Blogging a book is the easiest and quickest way to write a book and promote it at the same time. I suggest that you print out the posts after you finish them and place them in a binder. I will distance myself from that writing for a day or two, come back, re-read what I wrote and make any edits and reprint. This creates a physical manuscript that will help you gauge how much content your book has and will give you a good idea of how much you have yet to write. This will be the first draft of your book. Be careful to stay on topic.

“Each time bloggers write a post and hit ‘publish,’ they become both authors and independent publishers. In a survey conducted by Technorati last year, 61 percent of the respondents said they spend more than three hours blogging each week and 33 percent said they update their blog at least once a day. That means they write consistently; some have a daily writing practice, whether they call it that or not. That’s more than can be said of a lot of would-be authors.” ~ Nina Amir

Blog-a-Book

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I will often get ideas from comments that people post to my blog. Things I post on Facebook and Twitter often are later included in my blog posts.

You don’t just dump your blog content into a book without any further development or editing. You still have to pay attention to good editing. Some of my blog posts are adapted from my books which I wrote before I started blogging. I often get a book order as a result of the blog posts. My books were first self-published, then some of the content became blog posts. Blogging in a nonfiction category, especially if your blog focuses on how to do something or solves a problem for people, will often have a better chance of making it to a book.

If you are a writer, you need a blog regardless of whether your intention is to eventually turn it into a book. If you are a good writer and write what people really enjoy reading, you blog could eventually lead to a book.

Most blog posts are short, usually just about a computer screen’s worth of copy or so. That’s 250 to 350 words, 500 words tops. If you are a fast writer, you can write a post in about 30 minutes to an hour.

If you blogged an average of 350 words a day for 52 weeks, you would write 127,400 words. That’s two decently sized books in one year. And you’d only need to commit to one hour per day (or less) of writing time to accomplish this goal. You could write one book in six months. When you are done blogging your book, edit the manuscript and self-publish it.

Larry’s NOTE: There are many resources on the Internet about “blogging a book.” I’ve barely scratched the surface. Do a Google search. Nina Amir is a good person to follow. I recommend that you also read the articles she has posted on http://HowToBlogaBook.com/.

BONUS Articles: How to Blog a Book that Boosts Your Business
Write a Book
How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book

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Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. 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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

10 Reasons Why Self-Published Books Don’t Sell & What You Can Do to Ensure Yours DOES

Kristen Eckstein, Guest Author

One of the biggest complaints I hear from self-published authors who found The Ultimate Book Coach after they published their books is, “My book isn’t selling. Can you help me?”

And 99.9% of the time when I look at their book on Amazon or their website, I can name several reasons why they’re having problems selling their books.

Crazy woman with crossed eyes drinking wine through a strawHere are 10 reasons why their self-published books don’t sell, and what you can do to make sure yours does.

1. Obscure subject. Books that do well are those in a popular niche. If you do an Amazon search and find hundreds of books in your niche, that’s a good sign. It doesn’t mean that niche is over-populated, it means that niche is hopping. Think of the diet and food industry. More diet books are being published every day, and they still continue to sell.

If you want to tell your personal story, ensure its success by tying your story into how-to steps your reader can take to change his or her life. For example, if you’re writing your story about surviving cancer, focus on a specific type of cancer (narrow your niche) and specifically tell readers how they can get the same results you did and how you got through it.

2. Poorly edited. Sure your close friends and family will buy your book to support you, but all it takes is one nasty Amazon review from a reader outside your circle to dampen your overall sales. If you have a list of devout followers who hang on your every word, you can get them to give your book five stars on Amazon. However, be careful as too many five-star reviews paired with a lot of bad one- and two-star reviews will tell the truth that your book is poorly edited.

Ensure your book’s content is clean and professionally edited by a book industry expert, and you’ll go a long way toward satisfying your readers and getting complete strangers to sell your book for you by recommending it to their friends.

3. Poorly written. Let’s face it, some books are badly written to begin with. Hiring a professional editor can help, but I’ve read some books that are nothing short of one sales letter after another trying to get me to purchase the author’s or the authors’ friends’ stuff. Affiliate links and recommending programs is fine in a book, it’s even a good tactic for increasing residual income.

But you can really tick off your readers if your advertising copy outweighs your knowledgeable step-by-steps. Ticked off readers leave nasty reviews. Do yourself a favor, and make your book more saleable by delivering solid benefits to the reader, not just trying to sell them more crap. Think of your recommendations for products and services as the icing on your content’s cake.

4. Unprofessional cover design. It’s been proven that a clean, professional, easy-to-read cover sells more books. Initially when self-publishing through vanity publishers started becoming popular in the early 2000s, these books had a bad reputation due to the other reasons in this article, but primarily due to poor cover design. Having studied cover design for over 10 years, I can spot a horrible template cover vs. one done by a graphic designer vs. a professionally designed cover by someone who specializes in book cover design.

And believe me when I tell you, your readers will know the difference as well. A good cover has a lot of elements that draw the reader in to click, learn more about your book and buy it. If you can only outsource one step of your book’s production, hire a professional book cover designer. You won’t regret it!

5. Bad interior design. Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign? There’s a reason book layout software exists. And there’s a big reason why traditional publishers use this software. MS Word is not a page layout program. This is one of the primary reasons self-published books get poor reviews or fail to sell, because books formatted in MS Word scream, “Look at me! I’m self-published!”

A professional book layout designer understands the need for different spacing in the margins, paragraph styles, bulleted lists and the importance of other styles staying consistent.

A huge indication a book is self-published using MS Word is if blank pages still have the header and footer printed on them. Especially if you want your book to bring you new clients, this screams, “I did this cheap to save money.” And your client will read, “I cut corners when I coach you or work on your projects.” With money harder to come by, people are more willing to pay more for a higher quality than waste money cutting corners that should never be cut.

6. Yucky formatting. In the world of eBooks, formatting is key. Bad spacing, words appearing at random, graphics overlaying text, whole chapters bolded and italicized… You name it, it could go wrong in eBook formatting.
The more complex your layout is, especially if you created a pretty print book with a professional designer first, the more you should invest in a good eBook programmer. These programmers specialize in eBook XHTML language (which can be different than your standard website code) and know what it takes to avoid most of these issues.

7. Rush the process. Producing a high quality book that sells takes time. The more corners you cut and the more you rush the process, the more it will show in your finished product.
There’s a reason traditional book publishers take an average of two to three years to take a book from rough manuscript to hard copy. They take the time to do it right. If you want to compete in the market, take time to create a high quality work, both in polishing your writing and producing your final book.

8. Bookstore Requirements. Having a book signing at a brick-and-mortar store can be a huge deal for an author. Not only does it feel great, but many Barnes and Noble stores get their guest authors to appear on local news stations and listed in newspapers.

This is free publicity! By meeting these rigid requirements, other marketing doors will open for your book. If your book doesn’t meet their requirements, you must focus on online sales and any you can sell out of the trunk of your car.

9. Expectations. Many authors set their expectations so high they’re sorely disappointed. You may sell one book or thousands, and what you need to ask yourself is, “If my message changes just one life, is it worth it?” If the answer is, “Yes,” you’ll be surprised once you touch that one life and sales begin to flow. If you expect everyone to come knocking down your door because you just hit the “publish” button on your book, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
If you’re not careful, this disappointment can quickly lead to depression and a sense of failure, and those are emotions hard to keep to yourself. Spread those feelings and no one will want to buy your book, no matter how good it is. Be realistic in your expectations, and surprised and excited at your success!

10. Marketing. If your book meets everything in the list above, it still won’t sell if you don’t market it. Even traditional publishers are reneging on their contractual obligations to market well-established authors’ books. It doesn’t matter how your book gets published, you must market it. You can do everything right, but if you don’t tell people about your book, they won’t buy it.

If you’re afraid of the big, bad “M” word, invest in some book marketing courses and teach yourself out of your fear. It’s the only way you’ll succeed as a self-published author.

BONUS Articles: 40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
Self-Publishing – A 10-Point Must-Do Checklist for Authors – Part 1
Gary Bencivenga’s Wonderful Marketing Bullets

Recommended book: 1001 Ways to Market Your Books

KristenEcksteinCopyright 2013 by Kristen Eckstein. Kristen Eckstein is a highly sought-after publishing authority, two time best-selling author and award winning international speaker who has started 44 publishing companies and published 122 books and eBooks. She is founder of the “I am Published!” Ghost Publishing program, the Self-Publish On Demand training program and the “21 Ways” book series. She is the author of, “Turn Your Content into a Book in Only 3 Days.” Visit her 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

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