Market Your Self-Published Book

One of the most exciting things I do is self-publish books. A few months ago I wrote a couple of Kindle books. I got one uploaded before having a computer crash and losing a lot of drafts. Talk about a set back. But all things work together for the good, right?

The lesson to me was to get on with it when I get a book completed. Get it published and up it where the public can find it. The last book I published was Bold Creativity.  I wrote it as a two-part series on creativity for the professional person in business. It’s only $2.99 o Kindle to take a look if that’s an area of interest.

But what about you? Are you putting your words on paper, getting them published and letting the world enjoy them? If not, it might be time for you to consider this idea. One of the best ways to start promoting yourself as a professional is to publish. It doesn’t have to be a long book. The Bold Creativity is only about 51 pages, and some books on Kindle or ebooks are even shorter.

That means you don’t have to write a lot. Just go for quality over quantity. After it gets written you want people to find it. Here are a few good marketing ideas to bring your written work to the light.

1: HARO

Get on the “Help a Reporter Out (HARO)” list. I really like this list and have put in requests for speakers on my radio show, Seasoned Women Health Radio, and answered requests from reporters for a speaker. This site is often overlooked because people aren’t quite sure how to use it. Go over there and study some of the requests. See how many you could fit. You’d be surprised. Be prepared to send a .pdf copy of your book or an excerpt if you want to discuss this online. HARO is a great opportunity to get the word out about what you’re doing.

2. Promote Yourself

As a business professional you can’t be shy about promoting yourself. If you have book to share, you need to be proud of it. That means letting people know what you have to offer. If you publish a Kindle book or a soft cover using CreateSpace you will have an Amazon page. That’s pretty big. I have probably three or four already and have a goal to get several more up this year. Set your goal to get an  Amazon page if you don’t have one by publishing your book. Then start blogging, talking, speaking, and doing everything else you can to get the word out and ASK people to buy.

3. Write Your Own Book Review

First of all, write a dynamic book review on your own site on Amazon. That’s a huge place for eyeballs to possibly see your book. I say “possibly” because you have to drive traffic there to get readers.  So start talking it up alright?  Go to book review sites and get your book uploaded. Many of these sites are for authors who want to self promote.  Then of course, write another powerful self review. Here are two sites for book reviews. I haven’t had a chance to review all of them but you can check them out. If you find out how to get on one of them let us know in the comments section.

http://www.shelfari.com

Here’s where you could actually become a reviewer for books. If you get to post your name it can drive traffic to your blog and your book.

http://www.tbrnetwork.com/content/reviewer.asp

Look up other book review sites to see where you can submit your book.

4. Donate a copy

I’ve donated a copy of my book “Yes, You CAN Succeed Online” to several silent auctions for non-profits. I usually couple that with the chance to get a 30 minutes free coaching session or maybe to review an ebook or something similar.  This has been a great way to get some notoriety as well as new clients.

5. So Some Speaking

It’s not too difficult to be a speaker at local women’s groups or business clubs. Most are looking for new speakers each month.  As part of your talk, take your book to sell. I used to gather business cards by doing a drawing for my book. But I found that people won’t buy a copy until the drawing because they might win the book. Then the meeting is over and they leave. Instead, I announce I have my new book with me for sale at the beginning of my talk. Someone will usually be wiling to go around selling the book while you speak. Then do a drawing for a free business strategy session or another item. Works much better to increase book sales!

These are some of ways I’ve tried to make book sales that have worked. You have to get exposure for your book to generate sales. Don’t expect your sales to come to you. With self-publishing, you really do have to hustle and create buzz to get things going.

What have you done to promote your book? Leave some ideas in the comments below.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Writing and publishing a book is a dream of many Christian business women.  While getting a contract with a traditional publisher is one way to be a published author, so is self-publishing.  Publishing your own book is a very different experience than getting a book deal with a traditional publisher and not something everyone might want to do.  But the advantages to doing it yourself a growing. I’ve been blessed to be published through a traditional publisher and through self-publishing.  I love both ways, but realize the great advantages of going the self-publishing route.

For one thing, doing it yourself lets you get your book to the market place much quicker than if you go through a  traditional publisher.   It takes up to two years to get a traditional book published (at least in the non-fiction arena).  That means your information can start getting out dated before your book hits the shelves.  With self publishing you control how fast the book gets finished and out to the public.  This can happen in a matter of weeks or months.  This keeps your topic much fresher and your name in front of your target market.

Self-publishing is a great way to keep a lot more of the end profits from the book. Instead of getting around $1 per book sold, you can easily earn as much as $4 to $6 or even more depending on the price of the book.

You control the content that goes into your book.  There is no publisher or editor looking over your shoulders every step of the way. You have no limitations on content and you don’t need to write for marketing. You can just write precisely what it is you want to write.  Of course, the downside is that you don’t get the guidance that comes with a traditional publisher.  You don’t have the eyes of someone who’s experienced in the industry helping you along.

Traditional publishers have a large staff of people on hand, ready to do all kinds of different things to help get your book off the ground. When you self-publish, you have to do all of these things on your own or find freelancers to do it for you.

These tasks include:

* Proofreading your book
* Having graphics designed for your front cover
* Provding photographs for your author bio
* Getting the book edited
* Having your book laid out
*and much more.

The options for getting the book printed include many different print on demand and small print run companies to choose from. You can find many of them through a Google search.

The more books you print at a time, the lower your cost per book and the higher your profit per sale. Though you can sell books on a single-printing basis, you’re usually better off buying a couple hundred at a time.

When you self-publish a book, you have to handle all of the marketing yourself. You are responsible for generating the publicity that brings in the sales. You can generate sales through online advertising, through in-person sales, through reputation or through whatever techniques you want to use to generate buzz.

Most large stores like Barnes & Noble tend not to deal with self-published authors. There are exceptions to this rule, especially if you start to create a ton of demand. By and large, however, you can’t rely on traditional forms of distribution to do your marketing for you.

In summary, you can expect to be in control of the whole publishing process when you go it on your own but it also means you don’t have the same level of professional support.  Consider some of these pros and cons as you get started with the publishing process.  The bottom line is, get started writing your book.  You can get it published and become the author you’ve always wanted to be.

Tips to Write Like a Pro – FAST

Writing content for your website or blog is an important key to promoting your online presence. But does it seem to take forever to write content for your website or blog? Do you struggle to create information products?

If so, you can learn a few tricks of the trade from professional writers.

#1 Outline your ideas – Before you sit down to write or type, make sure you know what you’re going to write about. Jot down your main point or headline. Underneath, bullet your supporting point ideas. When you actually sit down to write, you’ll have a format to work with.

#2 Choose a format for your content – Every single thing you write adheres to some type of format.  For example,

  • A tips article offers a series of bullet points or quick two- to three-sentence paragraphs.
  • A “how to” article will list steps.
  • A review article will summarize the product or service being reviewed and then dive into the pros and cons of the item.
  • A tutorial will break the topic into manageable lessons. And an informative article will have a topic paragraph with three supporting points and a conclusion.

Decide on the format you will use when you’re outlining your content to be able to quickly move through the writing process.

#3 Research later – This may not make a bit of sense at first, but let’s explain it. Research takes time and you can often waste time in the process. You might go into research blindly, looking for information to use in your content. However, if you write your content first, making notes along the way about where you need to do research, then your research will be focused.

For example, imagine you’re writing a report on comparing sugar substitutes. Researching sugar substitutes can be a very broad and time-consuming process. However, researching the illnesses caused by saccharine is much more specific and will take you a tenth of the time.

#4 Edit later – This is a habit that takes time to learn. Many people edit as they go, correct their spelling, change their sentences and even add and delete content as they’re writing. This takes too much time and it breaks the thought flow. Instead, just write. Don’t edit anything until you’re done.

Once you’ve put all of your thoughts on paper, go back and make changes, edits and corrections. This habit takes time, commitment and practice but it does work. It’s about letting go of perfection and enjoying the process of writing. It’s okay to have a really bad first draft. No one will ever see it.

#5 Finally, this little trick is a real time saver – When you’re writing, simply write as if you’re answering a friend’s question. This helps in two key ways.

  • The first is that you’re writing conversationally. Conversational copy is accessible copy and it’s something your readers will appreciate. It’s also much easier to write.
  • Secondly, if you’re answering a question it’s really easy to determine what you want to say.

For example, let’s go back to that report on sugar substitutes. When you’re creating your outline using the question format it might look something like this:

  • What are sugar substitutes?
  • Are sugar substitutes bad for your health?
  • Are there any benefits to using sugar substitutes?
  • Which sugar substitutes are the best?

If you’re writing this report and you are an expert in health and nutrition, then answering these questions will come naturally. It helps kick your brain into writing mode and removes any procrastination or stress from the writing process.

You really don’t have to be a professional writer to write great content quickly. Take advantage of these trade secrets and boost your content productivity today.

Unique Article Ideas Are All Around You

Great content is the foundation for any successful website or blog. Content marketing is also one of the most effective tactics a business owner can employ. Unfortunately,  it sometimes seems to be very difficult to find something original to write about, particularly on a regular and consistent baiss.

Article ideas are actually all around you.  It’s a matter of knowing how to keep your eyes and creative mind focused on article ideas.  So let’s take a look at a few ways to find unique article ideas. Finding arei

#1. Top Magainzes. Mainstream magazines always focus on the latest and most interesting topics in their category. They have the whole catchy article thing down pat.  Grab a few headlines from any magazine that you enjoy and convert it to meet your niche.

For example, “Is Your Hair Color Aging You?” from More Magazine (September 2010 issue) can be changed to:

  • “Is your home aging you?”
    “Are your pets aging you?”
    “Are your eating habits aging you?”
    “Are your business habits aging you?”
    “Is your commute aging you?”
    “Is your freelance business aging you?”
    “Is your technology aging you?”

The headline can be molded to fit just about any niche.

#2 Use News Headlines – Every day there are controversies, emergencies, tragedies, disasters, weird news, achievements and editorials published. Find stories that affect your industry and write about them. Tapping into current events is a great way to not only create content but also to attract new readers and drive traffic to your website.

#3 Read Blogs – How many times do you read a blog post and comment on it? If you’re not reading industry blogs and interacting, you should be. It’s a wonderful way to increase your awareness and exposure, and to drive website traffic. It’s also a great way to generate content ideas. Use your comments as the foundation for a new article. Expand on a blog post you recently read. If someone posted a particularly compelling comment, ask if you can include it in your article or blog post.

#4 Networking. Networking is a tremendous way to drive traffic to your website. It’s also a lucrative source of content ideas. Use comments you’ve read or made to start an article. Follow interesting links and use those ideas as a starting point for content. Sometimes, you’ll have a particularly compelling interaction either while networking online or off. Use that interaction as the foundation for an article. Finally, browse social media sites and look for commonly asked questions. Those make great material for valuable articles and blog posts.

#5 Bestseller’s List – Visit Amazon.com’s bestseller’s list for your category and browse the top 25-50 titles  Do you see common themes? Read the table of content for those books to brainstorm article ideas.

When you look outside the box for inspiration, you can come up with relevant and interesting content time and time again.  When those content ideas start flowing, write them down someplace safe.  That way, when you’re seeking a good content idea, you already have a list of them saved.

How to Make Your Content Go Further

You probably spend a lot of your time, energy and money creating content. You know the importance of content to drive traffic, market your business, provide value and ultimately to support your business. However, chances are you’re not making the most of your existing content efforts.

Here are a few key strategies to make your content go further.

E-books and Reports

One of the wonderful things about e-books and reports is the sheer size of them. There’s a lot of content packed into a thirty page e-book or report. That thirty page e-book could be repurposed to create:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Guest blog posts
  • Email messages/autoresponders/business newsletter
  • Social networking posts (imagine the number of Tweets you could pull out of a thirty page e-book!)
  • Lessons for an online course
  • A workbook from the e-book or report, depending on the subject matter.
  • Audio files – Get really creative, read the e-book or report aloud and create audio files. Add screenshots and make it a video series.

Articles and Blog Posts

While articles and blog posts are generally shorter in content, they can still pack a powerful punch. You can use articles and blog posts in almost as many variations and formats as you can repurpose e-books and reports. Here are a few ideas to get your creative thoughts  flowing.

  • Collect articles and/or blog posts that are similar and create a report
  • Collect articles and/or blog posts and create an e-book. Organization is key here. You’ll want to add an introduction and transitions to make the report or e-book flow. However, your organization will be the biggest time expenditure.
  • Pull tips or information out of blog posts or articles and post on social networking sites.
  • Repurpose blog posts or articles for article marketing sites.
  • Collect articles and/or blog posts and create an online course.

Finally, you may have a few pieces of content you are completely unaware of that can be tremendously valuable to you and maximizing your overall content strategy. They include:

Blog And Forum Comments

Your comments are often well thought out and valuable, right? These comments can be used as material for articles and/or blog posts. Don’t let your input go to waste by leaving it to just one site. Reuse it!

Social Networking Interactions

Quite often the material you receive from social networking interactions is ripe for republication. Upon receiving permission from the contributors to your discussion, you can use the material as a blog post or article on your site.

Miscellaneous Downloads

This includes blueprints, worksheets, templates, mindmaps and other miscellaneous content. Your downloads can often be compiled into one large file for added customer value. It’s a great way to add a bonus to a product, launch an opt-in list promotion or simply draw attention to your website. Collect your downloads into one nice package and offer them to your customers.

Before you sit down to implement next month’s content plan, create a content maximizing plan too. Decide in advance all of the many ways you’re going to reuse that content and watch your return on investment grow.