Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Importance of Meter in Rhyming Books

Question from Reader: If writing and self-publishing a book in rhyme, does it matter if the meter and scan are not 100% perfect, if the book has been tested on children and parents, and they love it? Realistically, how many children and parents are going to pick up on imperfections if the book is still very easy to read?

I've just had a story professionally edited for meter and scan, and I can't see why it all matters. I am wondering if its worth the time and money when perhaps it may be better to just put the book out there and let the audience decide.

John's Answer: It does not always need to be perfect. But if there are more than two or three imperfect meters in a 32-page book, kids and parents may very well be disappointed. A key to the success of children's books is how many times children pick up the book to read it again (or have it read to them again).

Everyone will pick up on the imperfections. Always do. Whether it will matter to them is another thing. Again, some imperfections are often acceptable, but not too many.

You can always put the book out there and let the audience decide. They are the ultimate arbiters for something like this.

Now, most meter problems can be solved. It just takes a little more time to edit and refine the text. Why not try that first?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

John Kremer's Online Book Marketing Seminar

John Kremer is hosting a two-day live seminar on how to market your books online. This is very short notice. The seminar will be held in Prescott, Arizona on March 29th and 30th (Saturday and Sunday). Times: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days.

During this seminar, John will be teaching four insider ways to get five to ten million online impressions for your book, your ideas, your website, or whatever else you want to promote. That simple. I'll teach you the fastest way, a slower way, and a really inexpensive way that doesn't take a lot of time or knowledge to implement. But, if you don't know how to make use of 10 million impressions, this course is not for you.

The above statement is blunt, but realistic. Don't take this seminar if you're not ready to handle that kind of interest. As part of the course, I'll reveal the five best ways to convert that sort of interest into book sales -- lots of book sales!

Please note that the four key ways to reach lots of people online will not include Google AdWords (too expensive), social networks like MySpace and Facebook (too time-consuming), knowledge networks like Squidoo or Wikipedea (again, too time-consuming), or tagging networks (no control). These tools will be discussed, however, in the context of the other quicker, easier, and cheaper ways that will be revealed.

I know this is very short notice, but if you can make this seminar, you will be very glad you did.

To sign up, click here: John Kremer's Online Book Marketing Seminar.

This seminar will be very interactive. Bring your computers and online access so you can begin testing John's tips right away. Wi-Fi will be available in the seminar room.

The cost is only $497 for two days of the most intense and useful tips you'll ever receive on how to market your books and services online.

I haven't set the location yet for the seminar, but it will be somewhere close to downtown Prescott, Arizona. If you need to book a hotel or motel in the Prescott area, check They have many low-cost motels as well as wonderful slightly higher cost bread & breakfast inns. Prescott is a two-hour drive from the Phoenix, Arizona airport.

John Kremer's Online Book Marketing Seminar

March 29 to 30, 2008 (Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Prescott, Arizona (specific location to be named later)

To sign up, click here: John Kremer's Online Book Marketing Seminar: shop/cgi/shop/cart/add?shopID=12&qty=1&prodID=20195.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Strong Images: Strong Book Covers

A reader of this blog brought my attention to the above cover. As she wrote:

"I always enjoy your blog posts about book covers. I came across a wonderful cover for a book called Pocket Psycho. Unfortunately, the book is only available in Australia, but gosh, I'd buy it here in a heartbeat just based on that cover! It so perfectly conveys the feelings of a modern day cubicle worker trapped by a malevolent boss. I thought you'd get a kick out of the cover, as well."

She's right. I did enjoy the cover, especially the image. The typeface on the title -- that I'd change. But I can see why she'd buy the book based on that image.

Since it is not available in the U.S., check out the website at job-search/job-market-insider/surviving-the-office-monster.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Welcome to the Book Marketing Network

1495 authors have now joined the Book Marketing Network on Ning. Let's make it 1,500. If you haven't joined yet, do it today. You can add videos, blog, add photos, join in discussions, make friends, network, create relationships, join in joint marketing programs, etc. You can join the network here:

Here is a music video a young lady added to the Book Marketing Network not long ago. Lovely song. Enjoy:

To learn more about the singer, go to:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Book Covers Sell Books

In today's interview featured in Shelf Awareness, Felicia Sullivan describes a book she bought for the cover:

"Serious Girls by Maxine Swann. The image of two schoolgirls clutching hands, their legs submerged in a pond, their backs flat on anemic grass, their eyes gazing up at a bleached sky, a smattering of red on a uniform (blood?), haunted me. I remember browsing the New Releases section in my local bookstore, and I kept walking by Serious Girls, disturbed, curious. I didn't know anything about the book or the author, but on that particular day, I knew that I wanted to learn more about those two girls."

I can see why the image transfixes her. Are they dead? Just relaxing on a hot summer's day? You really can't tell by the cover.

An interesting use of negative space with a nearly blank white top half.

Would you want to read this book? Does the cover sell you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

7 Deadly Sins Authors Make and How You Can Avoid Them

Here's the second part of Fred Gleeck's article from yesterday. In this article, he lists the seven sins authors make and how you can avoid them. Good advice.


The most recent data I've seen says that 99% of authors make less than $50,000. Sad but true. Want to find out how to end up in the 1% who make more? Keep reading and avoid these deadly sins that most authors make.

1. Going with a Traditional Publisher. Unless you are a fiction writer, you'll make more money publishing a book yourself. My friend and client Bob Bly has had over 70 books published by traditional publishers. Every time I sit down with him he tells me that if he had it to do over again he would have made a LOT more money publishing the books himself.

2. Not including bounceback offers in your books. Whenever I do a seminar with writers in the room the vast majority don't even know what the word "bounceback" means. That's because most writers/authors/publishers have been taught the traditional model. Sell books and make money from the books. NOT. Use your book to get people to go to your website and sign up for your list. Then you can sell them much higher priced items forever!

3. Worrying about people STEALING your books published in e-book form. If you understand the new publishing model you should care less about people acquiring your e-books without paying for them. Instead, make sure to include a lot of bouncebacks AND make sure to include the following line in multiple places in the book: "Registered users of this e-book are entitled to the following free bonuses." Want to get people to pay for your e-book fast? Include this line and the bootleggers will come running back to pay for what they stole.

4. Not understanding how people learn. Although you're a writer, you'll have to understand that people learn using different modalities of learning. Although someone picked up your book, their PRIMARY method of learning may be by listening (audios) or watching (videos). It thus behooves you to create content in your subject matter in a variety of forms, not JUST the written word.

5. Not building a LIST of people who are interested in your topic. As a writer, your single biggest asset in your publishing business will be a list of dedicated fans of you and your work. Make sure to capture the names of any and everyone you can who visits your website that sells your book. Use a program like WebMarketingMagic to quickly and easily build your list. The list you build will be worth (if properly cultivated) between $.10 and $1.00 per person per month.

6. Sending people to a brochure site to sell your book(s). The line I always use is: A CONFUSED MIND ALWAYS SAYS NO! If you send people to a catch-all site that has every possible bit of information about who you are and what you do, don't expect people to end up buying the book. You've given them too many options. Instead, create a site that sells JUST your book. It's fine to have other sites, but each book must have a single site geared to selling just that book. Full stop. No exceptions.

7. Not understanding that you're no longer a writer, but an information marketer. Sure, you may think of yourself as an author or writer, but if you sell your knowledge in any other form as well, you're an information marketer. Do you do coaching or consulting on your topic? Do you do training and seminars? What about speaking? If you do anything in addition to writing, you, my friend are NOT a writer, you're an information marketer! Behave appropriately! Learn from other savvy individuals how to best leverage your skills and talents to maximize your returns!

In conclusion, the publishing business is changing. Changing rapidly. Don't get stuck using the OLD model. Learn how to maximize your revenue as an author who understands the new challenges. Understand the 7 items above and you're on your way!!


Fred's advice is something every author should read and apply. It doesn't mean that you have to follow his advice in every instance (I certainly don't), but if you do follow his advice, you'll undoubtedly make more money than if you commit any of the above seven deadly sins. It's your choice: sin or make money.

Whichever choice you make, be sure to do one more thing: Have fun. Enjoy what you do regardless of which way you decide.

To subscribe to Fred's ezine, Fred Gleeck Insights, go to

Fred offers five free books to anyone who wants them. Check them out at

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fred Gleeck Speaks: Your Book Is Only the Beginning

My friend Fred Gleeck wrote a great article in the most recent issue of his Fred Gleeck Insights ezine. I think you should read it. He's got some great things to say that I've also been saying. Every once in awhile, it's good to hear it from someone else. Here's Fred:


For the last almost 10 years I've been trying to tell authors that the money is NOT in the book. It's in EVERYTHING that comes AFTER the book. Most traditional authors (and aspiring authors) don't seem to understand this model.

That better change if authors want to make writing their full time occupation. If not, they're going to want to find a bartending job. If you know an author or someone who is thinking of writing a book, PLEASE send them a copy of this email.

I believe even more strongly than before that you can only make serious money as an author if you structure your business in a way that your book becomes the beginning and not the end of the process.

I've referred to my own books as negative cost lead generators. By this I mean that when I sell a book I make a few bucks but my REAL goal is to capture the email address of the person who buys it.

Take a sale I make on Amazon for one of my many books. Let's say the book sells for $14.95. After Amazon takes its cut I make around $6.50 per book. Since I get them printed for $3.50 a piece, I end up making $3 a book.

In the books I've got an offer on every page, trying to get people to give me their name and email address in exchange for an appropriate digital bribe.

Every author has got to understand that the sale of a book or two or two thousand does not make a BUSINESS. Smart authors build their business by building and cultivating their LIST. Your business becomes LIST BUILDING. A list that is created from making attractive offers to readers of the book between the pages of the book itself. The list that you create of people who have an interest in your topic area becomes a gold mine that you can continuously tap if you cultivate them correctly.

I was prompted to write about this topic (again) after reading Chris Anderson's most recent article in Wired magazine. Chris, if you don't know him is the author of the prescient Long Tail. In that book he explains why ITunes works. He explains that because the cost of distributing music has fallen to virtually ZERO, even the most obscure singer/songwriter can sell a download or two every month or so and have it work financially for both parties.

Similar things are happening in the book publishing business. Traditional books are now being transformed into e-books and the new e-book readers are getting better and better.

A recent book by Jeff Gomez (Print is Dead) talks about the imminent demise of physical books. It's mandatory reading if you are an author and suggested reading for EVERY info marketer. His premise is that that eventually people will become accustomed to getting their information directly from the computer and the need for a physical book will no longer be necessary.

I'm not sure I buy his premise completely, but he makes a very solid argument. In another 50 years it is entirely possible (for me) to envision a world where (new) physical books no longer exist. If we even partially buy into the argument, it becomes imperative for authors to look for other revenue sources than books themselves. Why? Because the effective COST of a book will be ZERO!

That's WHY I'm an information marketer. That's WHY every speaker, author and consultant should be building a list and creating ancillary products and services in their topic areas to sell to that list.

I spend an inordinate amount of my time reading and thinking. I consider this time well spent. I mainly think about how I can generate more revenue for myself and my clients through novel and creative ways.

Going back to Chris Anderson's article in Wired, he talks about a very interesting concept. He references a venture capitalist named Josh Kopelman. He talks about what he calls the penny gap. He postulates that FREE is one market and ANY other price is an entirely different market.

As an information marketer I'm constantly thinking about what price point a product should be released at. According to Kopelman's argument the question is really binary: FREE OR NOT?

I would suggest that you need to ask this question of yourself all the time when you produce any kind of intellectual property. It's really the FIRST question you should ask before you even produce a product. IF you decide you'll be giving it away, THEN all of your marketing efforts will be completely different.


In Fred's ezine, he attached an article he had previously written about the seven deadly sins authors make. I'll post that article as well tomorrow.

Fred offers five free books to anyone who wants them. Check them out at

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

John Kremer's Free Q&A Teleseminar

The first sessions of my free monthly Q&A teleseminar were held on Wednesday, March 4th. During these sessions, I answered many questions including the most important things for a new book author to do in marketing his or her book, the value of giving away ebooks, how to use Clickbank and other such services, selling books to catalogs and book clubs, selling books as premiums, and much more. You can listen to these two sessions at the following URLs. You can also download the sessions as MP3s for listening on your iPod.

John Kremer's Free Q&A Teleseminar: March 4, 2008 Afternoon:

John Kremer's Free Q&A Teleseminar: March 4, 2008 Evening:

For access to other free audio downloads from John Kremer, check out:
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