Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: My New Years Wish List

Blog post by John Kremer

Here is a wish list I wrote a number of years ago for my newsletter. I thought I'd share it with you this year. The wishes are still consistent with what I feel now. Enjoy the new year.

My Holiday Wish List

Real people connecting with real people. Talking. Really talking. In person, face to face, body to body, soul to soul.

People taking the time to grow as people rather than growing as employees or as cogs in some great machine. People learning to be great souls. Kind souls. Generous souls.

People taking the time to be parents, grandparents, children, and neighbors. People taking the time to be friends and lovers.

People taking the time to cultivate a garden. As someone once wrote, a garden is the best place to find God – because you can dig for him there.

People taking the time to get back in touch with what is really important.

Call it religion. Call it spirit. Call it soul. Call it whatever you like.

But it is deep. And it is rich. And it is incredibly abundant. And it is the only thing that really matters.

John Kremer

John Kremer

Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: 10 Tips to Create Your Best Internet Radio Show

Guest post adapted from Blog Talk Radio

Internet radio shows are a great way to build a tribe, create relationships with many top websites and blogs, and produce new product that you can sell, give away, or use to build a brand.

Here are a few tips adapted from Blog Talk Radio's Ten Tips for Preparing for Your BlogTalkRadio Show (available free at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com)

Blog Talk Radio

1. Choose a Title - Before setting up a radio show, be sure to select a show name you can live with. Also write a good description and decide on the keywords you want to focus on.

2. Be Consistent - When choosing to do a radio show, you'll build up a larger audience and create true fans if you host your show at the same time every week. A weekly show is best. Monthly is too infrequent to build a solid fan base.

3. Create an Intro - Every show needs a great intro. Add music, voice over, and pizazz to the introduction of your show. It also helps to have a closing outro to create a more professional sounding show.

4. Outline Your Show - If you want to avoid dead air or rambling shows, create an outline and stick to it.

5. Get Ready for Your Guests - Make sure your guests know the number to call in and the time and date for the show. Also prepare them with some questions you will be asking. And prepare yourself so you know your guest and what they will talk about as well as possible.

6. Queue Up Your Audio - Make sure you have your intro, outro, and other audio ready to go. It makes it easier for you to produce a professional-sounding show.

7. Test Your Show - Before announcing your show publicly, carry out one or two test shows so you can work out all the kinks in running your show.

8. Find a Quiet Place - Broadcast your show from a room that is quiet and away from any potential interruptions. Be sure to turn off any phones, ban the kids and pets, and soundproof your room as much as possible.

9. Dial in Ahead of Time - Call in 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time to launch the chat room, make sure all the sound settings are correct, and get settled before going on the air.

10. Optimize Sound Quality - Dial into your show with a high-quality landline or high-quality headset (if using Skype). Don't use a speaker phone, cellphone, or conference line.

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The top ten things you can do in 2012 to sell more books: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/12/i-am-presenting-one-day-live-seminar-at.html

John Kremer is presenting a special one-day live seminar in Palm Springs, California on January 8th. Learn how to market your books more effectively.

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Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: One Author's Book Promotion Journey

Guest post by Rosie Cochran

Writing is a joy. It's fun. It's stimulating. It's an outlet.

And then there is marketing. You've written a great novel. You've poured your heart and soul into it, but what good is a book if you can't market it? Where do you even begin? I've asked myself that question.

A Murder UnseenMarketing is a journey. For the uninitiated, it may seem strewn with boulders, broken bridges, detours, and sometimes dead-ends. You may find your gas tank close to empty and wonder if you'll ever reach your destination. As the miles pass you by, and you see no impressive results, you may be tempted to give up. The fog of uncertainty rolls in. You find yourself tempted to do a u-turn and head back to the safety of your home. It's then that you need to remind yourself that marketing is a journey. It's not a race. It's not a quick trip to the marketplace. It's a journey.

As my journey began, I committed myself to continue on despite the obstacles. Some of my attempts at marketing can be deemed total failures, but that is part of the learning process. It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, and that wise people learn from the mistakes of others. Along the way I have met wonderful authors who have been more than generous in sharing tips from their own experiences. They have shared what has worked and what has not worked. I can consider myself wise when I observe what has and has not worked for others and determine how best to implement those methods for my unique situation.

As a relatively unknown author, they've convinced me that exposure is my greatest need. Initially, exposure is more important than financial reward. Obscurity will never result in sales. They've convinced me that, though giving away copies of my novel may appear counterproductive, it isn't.

Getting copies into the hands of avid readers willing to give reviews initiates the word of mouth cycle. It creates a ripple effect. One pebble thrown into the pond may ripple out to a select group of readers. Ten pebbles thrown into the pond can cause ripples to various groups. Ripples are good.

Social media can be likened to a great pond. As reviews are given, we can throw pebbles into Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads---and then watch for the ripple effect. Self-promotion is okay, but what we really want is to get other people talking about our books on these social medias. We want ripples.

Where am I at on this journey? I'm traveling down a stretch of the road called Exposure. I'm still throwing pebbles into the pond. Sometimes I see the ripples; sometimes I don't. But that's okay. It's a journey, not a race. I just need to remind myself of that from time to time. I need to take the time to enjoy the journey. I love to hear where you are at on your journey!

About the Author

Rosie Cochran

Rosie Cochran is author of A Murder Unseen. You can download a free ebook edition at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105174). Use the coupon code: YZ29M. This free offer is good until January 5, 2012.

Rosie also blogs at Writing to Marketing (http://writingtomarketing.wordpress.com) and Rosie Rambles On (http://rosierambleson.wordpress.com).

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The top ten things you can do in 2012 to sell more books: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/12/i-am-presenting-one-day-live-seminar-at.html

John Kremer is presenting a special one-day live seminar in Palm Springs, California on January 8th. Learn how to market your books more effectively.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: The 12 Days of Christmas for Book Promotion

Blog post by John Kremer

12 Days of ChristmasOn the first day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
A short speech in a bookstore.

On the second day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the third day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the fourth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the fifth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the sixth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Eight books a-giving
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Nine columns writing
Eight books a-giving
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Ten podcasts sending
Nine columns writing
Eight books a-giving
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Eleven blogs commenting
Ten podcasts sending
Nine columns writing
Eight books a-giving
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My promo tip is this:
Twelve guest posts making
Eleven blogs commenting
Ten podcasts sending
Nine columns writing
Eight books a-giving
Seven Facebook pages
Six news releases
Five TV shows
Four webinars
Three blog posts
Two Twitter tweets   
And a short speech in a bookstore.


Please let me know your own book promotion tips. You can email those to me at johnkremer@bookmarket.com or via comments below. Thanks.

About the Author

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and the multimedia course on Book Marketing Magic.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing, ebook promotion, and Internet marketing consulting with John Kremer. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting.

Details on consulting services here: http://www.bookmarket.com/consulting.htm

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: A Gift of Marketing Interviews from Jay Abraham

Guest post by Jay Abraham

Just a few hours ago, I received the following email from Jay Abraham, one of the top marketing wizards of today. Check out his generous offer below:

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It's holiday time. I'm giving the perfect gift to anyone of you who doesn't have everything you want - in business (of course, but in your personal life, too!).

It's an outrageous collection of business lessons, life secrets, high-achievement ethical short-cuts, performance enhancement accelerators, explosive ways to leverage-up your impact/output/results.

It's a one-of-its-kind Collector-Worthy compendium of deep, penetrating, Socratic interviews I personally conducted in the last two months with six legendary Super Stars of business, sports, entertainment, arts and entrepreneurship.

Originally conducted for four magazines I'm a partner in--my interviews ended up going so wildly deep and broad that only 1/4th of each interview could fit into the format of each magazine.

Rather than see the electric ideas I mined out of each legend's mammoth brain go unused, I took each unabridged full-length interview (averaging 1 and 1/2 non-stop hours / 15-20 transcribed pages each), combined them all together into one wildly enriching compendium - totaling 100 pages of rich wisdom, exceptional insights and rarely discussed fresh slants on business, life, personal performance, competing masterfully, and so much more.

Consider this compendium: My Holiday Gift To You! It's offered with my hope that you'll read each interview carefully, then reflect on its abundant lessons and message.

Oh yes, I should probably identify my six legendary Super Star subjects so you'll be highly motivated to download this gift:
  • Daymond John - Star of TV's runaway success reality show "Shark Tank"
  • Harvey MacKay - Author of the Swim With Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive
  • Bruce Buffer - The Voice of Ultimate Fighting and an entrepreneur who controls $400 million in business
  • Josh Linkner - Founder of e-prize, investment partner with Magic Johnson
  • Shaquille O'Neal - Basketball legend
  • Sid Haig - Horror Movie Icon and star of Rob Zombie films
Eclectic collection of personages? Yes, absolutely! Electric collection of insights, ideas and lessons? Unquestionably!

Why am I doing this? Because I CAN and most people can't. Also, because I was blessed to draw out exceedingly inspiring commentary from each one of these legends and, frankly, it'd be a travesty to keep it all to myself.

I'm not trying to sell you a thing. In fact, if you take the one benevolent action step I request in the compendium, I'll send you four more killer full-length interview transcripts:
  • Stephen M.R. Covey on gaining trust
  • Stephen R. Covey on effectiveness and gaining passion for what you do and who you do it for.
  • Hall-of-Fame football legend Fran Tarkenton on the meaning of business life
  • And a brand new interview with Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee.

Go here http://www.abraham.com/superstars/interviews.html

No opt-in required. Nothing ever to buy. No sales offer is contained in the compendium either. It REALLY is a gift! Enjoy and prosper.

My purpose in life is to provide direction, guidance, advice and expert answers for all deserving, achievement-oriented business owners and entrepreneurs whose businesses are not living up to their true profit and performance potential.

I seek to plug them all into the minds and methods of superstar legends that are true game changers in whatever it is they do.

I'm constantly searching for breakthrough thinking, performance-enhancing perspectives, specialized understanding of issues and challenges. I'm hunting for success-based, high-level achievers whose masterful grasp of something can meaningfully help people like you better navigate and perform in the volatile business world you compete in today.

The express goal of every interview I conduct is to evoke highly actionable insights, ideas, recommendations and advice that an entrepreneur in your situation can implement and apply, right now!

About the Author

Jay Abraham is a mastermind marketer of the highest caliber. Download his free gift via his website here: http://www.abraham.com/superstars/interviews.html. Again, the free gift includes a 100-page PDF as well as four downloadable audio interviews. And, if you act on the free offer in the PDF, you'll get four more

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Marketing Your Books in 2012 and Beyond

Join me in Palm Springs for an incredible almost one-on-one seminar that will rock your book marketing world in 2012. Let me help you sell more books in 2012!

Blog Tour Palooza

I am presenting a one-day live seminar at the Miramonte Hotel and Spa in Palm Springs, California (actually Indian Wells near Palm Springs) on Sunday, January 8th. Here's what I will be covering:
  • The top ten things you can do in 2012 to sell more books.
  • The key secrets to setting up and carrying out an effective virtual book tour.
  • How to have your book, your website, and your brand go viral via the Internet.
  • The inside secrets to developing relationships that will help you sell a lot more books.

This one-day get-results seminar is only $130, including a great lunch. The seminar will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. with the delicious lunch break and other pauses during the day.

Start the new year of 2012 with a fully loaded plan to accelerate your book sales for the next 12 months and beyond!

In one day, I will teach you all the latest secrets of how other book publishers are selling more books every day.

To sign up for this insider's book marketing seminar, click here:
Palm Springs Seminar - http://bit.ly/PalmSpringsSeminar

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John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and the Book Marketing Magic multimedia course.

Blog Tour Palooza

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover Event - Happy Holidays

I wish you all a blessed and happy holiday period and a very abundant New Year.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: The Difference Between Book Publishing and Book Printing

Guest post courtesy of Pubslush.com

Pubslush.com


Pubslush Question: With the advent of print on demand technology, the meaning of publishing is evolving. Can you talk a bit more about your perspective on what it means to actually be published in the 21st century?

Susan Henderson's Answer: Well, first I think it’s important to make a distinction between printing and publishing a book. Anyone can take their writing, give it a nice font, add a pretty cover, and make it available for purchase. That is not a published book.

What publishing means is that someone has a plan for getting that book onto the radar of the people most likely to enjoy it. A publisher has a relationship with booksellers, book bloggers, readers, and reviewers, and so hopefully doesn’t rely on spam or the writer’s friends as the marketing strategy.

I think the reason self-publishing has such a poor reputation with booksellers and readers is that the field is flooded with impatient writers—writers who are not avid readers themselves, who haven’t taken the time to hone their craft, who take rejections from agents and editors to mean that the system is unfair rather than their work isn’t ready.

However, I think the pressure these outside publishing models are putting on the traditional system is a good thing. The current system overworks and underpays all of its players, and the big money is made primarily from celebrity memoirs, calendars, and diet books, which doesn’t say a lot about the system’s staying power or its protection of the arts.

These alternatives (whether they’re self-publishing, print on demand, small press, or direct e-publishing) are trying to address the parts of the system that are broken—the classically poor treatment of writers through the submission process, the lag time between getting a book deal and seeing the book on the shelves, the wildly miscalculated print runs, and so on. I don’t think anyone’s found the ultimate answer yet, but I’m convinced it’s going to come as a result of these outside pressures.

For the entire informative interview with Susan, see http://www.pubslush.com/blog/archives/257.

About the Author

Susan Henderson

Susan Henderson is the author of Up from the Blue, a debut novel published by HarperCollins in 2010 (with four printings so far). She blogs at LitPark and The Nervous Breakdown.

Pubslush is a new publishing company that uses crowdsourcing to select books for publication. Authors submit their manuscripts to us, and visitors vote on which ones they like the most. Check out their website at http://www.pubslush.com.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Feature Contests for a Quick and Effective Blog Post

Guest post by Cathy Stucker

Looking for a quick blog post idea? Try this:

Blogger Link Up

In every issue of BloggerLinkUp there are several notices of bloggers running contests and other giveaways. These listings are especially useful to our members with blogs about freebies, sweepstakes, etc. However, even if that isn't the focus of your blog, you can do at least an occasional post about these opportunities.

Just scan the list of Contests and Giveaways and choose one or more that would be of interest to your readers. Put together a short post about this cool thing you found, and tell your readers how they can enter to win.

Voila! You have a blog post. And your readers will learn about the chance to win something they want. Who doesn't like that?

Contests and Giveaways

Here are a few of the contests and giveaways announced one day in November on BloggerLinkUp:
27) $1000 Cash - Bring in the Holidays
28) black fabric rose hair pin brooch giveaway
29) Win Free Affiliate Summit Passes! #asw12
30) Loving Lilo $150 Sweepstakes
31) PartSelect is giving away $5000 in GE Appliances to one lucky blogger
32) TakePart "End Hunger" Gift Pack (Le Creuset Dutch Oven & More)
33) Win $100 Prize Package at Great Beauty Buys
34) Win an Oreck Forever Vacuum Cleaner!
35) www.KidsPartyWorld.com - Win a Kindle Fire
36) $100 Visa Gift Card (Ends 11/25) US
37) 5 Great Sponsors - 7 Chances to Win!
38) Seeking bloggers for an Indian Adventure
39) Vegan Pie in the Sky Cookbook {Rafflecopter Giveaway}
40) BornFreeŽ Eco Bottles Contest & Giveaway
41) Modern Floor Lamp - Win an authentic Pablo Prado Design!
42) Sister Devout book giveaway
43) Win 2 Holiday Specialty Gold Canyon Candles
44) Huge $190 Grand Prize Giveaway & More!
45) 25 CrazyDayz of Giving
46) Goo Goo Cluster's SEC Football Championship Trip Giveaway
47) Live a Pain Free Life Sweepstakes - Win a Vacation
48) Over $200 in Prizes!
49) Prize pack worth $70, Workout DVDS, Shake and T-shirt giveaway end 11-25-11
50) Shielo Hair Care VOLUME Volumizing Shampoo {Rafflecopter Giveaway}
51) Weight Loss Prize Pack (RV $191) or Food/Cooking Prize Pack (RV $115)
52) Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Pieces {Rafflecopter Giveaway}
53) Win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card
Look at all the opportunities above that could connect with your readers and fans.



About the Author

Cathy Stucker, the Idea Lady, is the founder of BloggerLinkUp. You can sign up for BloggerLinkUp at http://www.BloggerLinkUp.com.

Request Guest Posts: http://bloggerlinkup.com/guest-post-ask

Offer Guest Posts: http://bloggerlinkup.com/guest-post-offer

Request Sources for Interviews: http://bloggerlinkup.com/sources

Offer Products for Review or Giveaway: http://bloggerlinkup.com/review

Announce Contests and Giveaways: http://bloggerlinkup.com/giveaway

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Using Social Networks and Facebook Contests to Sell Books

Guest post by Omar Luqmaan-Harris

1. How large is your platform or network? Did you use your platform or network in marketing your book? If so, how?

The platform for The Pantheon Collective (an independent publishing venture) is currently over 11,000 strong. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare, Flickr, and Goodreads) is essential to our marketing strategy.

Growing this network and engaging them has been essential to the success of our three published books: Sellout by James W. Lewis, When Love Isn't Enough by Stephanie Casher, A Hard Man is Good to Find by James W. Lewis, and our soon to be published fourth novel: One Blood by Qwantu Amaru.

One Blood Novel2. Are you involved in any social networks? Have you used them in marketing your book? Again, if so, how?

Currently we have 7 Facebook pages, 4 Twitter accounts, 4 websites, a Slideshare page, 4 YouTube channels, a LinkedIn page, and 3 Goodreads pages.

One of the keys to leveraging social media into sales and marketing is to clearly define the target audience for our books. We have created several Facebook pages branded specifically to the book we are promoting and we engage each page's audience very differently depending on the profile of that audience.

For example, on our oneblood Fanpage (http://www.facebook.com/onebloodbook), which is a horror/supernatural suspense novel, we engage the audience via posting horror related content every day with a few calls to action sprinkled in between. On Scribd and Slideshare, we have posted profiles of the characters of One Blood, as well as a free 30-chapter preview of the novel. Then we link back to these properties on Facebook, Twitter, and our websites.

3. Have you created and posted any online videos? Did any of them go viral? How many people viewed them?

Video has been a part of our engagement strategy from the beginning of our publishing venture. The book teaser for our first novel Sellout by James W. Lewis has received over 2,000 views and has won several book teaser awards. Our latest book teaser for One Blood by Qwantu Amaru has been viewed nearly 3,000 times.

4. What Internet marketing technique produced the best sales results for your book? Did you do anything interesting to boost the effectiveness of the technique?

Figuring out how to make the normally passive and voyeuristic Facebook audience active and engaged in promoting our books has been a key marketing tactic we've used to sell nearly 10,000 copies of 3 books (91% via Amazon kindle) in less than two years.

We found a social contest site, Wildfire interactive, and integrated this with our Facebook pages. The contest was simple: We encouraged existing fans of the Facebook page to share the page with five of their friends. Once they did this, they sent us an email with the subject I Shared and we would send them a free PDF copy of the book. They needed to read their free book and post a review on Amazon.com. Once the book reached the requisite number of reviews on Amazon, one lucky person would receive a $150 Amazon gift card and free signed copies of all of our books. We have used this promotion twice in the past year to significantly boost the fan page numbers, Amazon reviews, and our opt-in e-mail database.

Final Prediction

Here’s a prediction for you that’s already partially come true. First, ebooks will reach and then exceed trade paperbacks in unit sales. Trade paperbacks are the bread and butter of bookstore chains so they will crumble under the weight of all that stagnating inventory on their shelves.

Big Publishing will respond by jacking up the prices of their own ebooks without upping their author’s royalties, causing a mass exodus of authors from their ranks. The best literary agents will broker phenomenal deals for the superstar authors making the bottom line ache even more for the Big Guys. To hide their wounds, The Big 6 will become the Big 2 or 3 as inevitable consolidation becomes all the rage.

Meanwhile, indie publishers and authors will become savvier and the complexion of top lists like the New York Times Bestseller list will change permanently when there are as many indie authors represented as traditionally published authors. It is at this moment that Big Publishing will give up the ghost and start a massive round of layoffs.

This is the worst thing they could ever do, as some of the world’s best editors, book marketers, and sales people will now be free agents and thus competitors to the very companies that fired them. Consolidation will continue until there are only two Big Guys left who have finally found a niche to make money: hardcovers for the die-hard collectors and textbooks.

About the Author

Omar Luqmaan-Harris, aka Qwantu Amaru, is author of One Blood and a co-founder of The Pantheon Collective.

The Pantheon Collective

The mission of The Pantheon Collective is to empower and inspire authors to take control of their publishing dreams. Follow us on our website at http://www.pantheoncollective.com to get free information on publishing, book marketing, and other useful tips.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How Much Should an Ebook Cost?

Guest post by Seth Godin

How much should an ebook cost? This is the wrong question.

The right question is: How much will an ebook cost?

Because the answer isn’t up to one author or one publisher or even a price-fixing cartel. It’s up to the market, which is a far more complicated entity. There are no shoulds in the market, just reality.

On one hand, the marginal cost of delivering a single ebook is close to zero. It might cost Amazon and B&N a dime to transmit it, but it certainly costs the publisher nothing.

(People who disagree with that statement don’t understand the concept of marginal cost and should look it up before participating in this discussion. Marginal cost is very different from opportunity cost or sunk cost or lost profits.)

In a market where the marginal cost is close to zero, prices tend to race to zero as well. Except…

Except when there are no substitutes. If you want Elvis Costello to call you on the phone and wish you a happy birthday, he can charge you whatever he wants, because even though it costs him very little, you have no alternatives. If you want Elvis, well, there’s only one. Take it or leave it.

Two Price Points for Ebooks

Seth Godin on eBook PricingSo our analysis begins with the notion that there will be at least two price points for ebooks.

One will be super cheap, perhaps a dollar, for ebooks where there are substitutes. Genre fiction, diet books, manuals, instruction guides, travel books–if you can’t tell them apart before you read them, then of course you should buy the cheaper one, all other things being equal (and those other things might include reviews, reputation, etc.).

But what about books where there is no obvious substitute. A Neil Gaiman book, or a Tiger Mother, or even that one Ellery Queen book you haven’t read?

Here, we need to take a moment and think about the nature of substitutes. Of course, there is no substitute for Neil. On the other hand, at $100 a book, most of us would make do and move on to our second choice. So there is a substitute, just not a perfect one or an easy one.

For books that come with a provenance, with a brand we seek out, I think there are again two price points. One is for the book we need to read right now, the hot one, the one for which there is buzz. These books can demand a premium and probably will. Certainly less than $20 (a moral ceiling related to the price of a paper copy) and probably more than $10 (which is the floor set by Amazon as the price of a bestseller on the Kindle). In a moment, I’ll riff on how this buzz might come to happen more productively from the point of view of the publisher.

For books that aren’t hot, that aren’t new or fresh or filled with buzz, it’s hard for me to see how profit and volume can be maximized at a price like that. All the data I’ve seen and produced in experiments shows me that trial and purchase and conversion goes up significantly at less than $10.

Certainly, at zero there’s a huge boost: perhaps 100 or 1,000 times as many copies a day are sold at zero than at ten dollars. While zero gets you volume, you make nothing, so that’s not sustainable in the long run.

I’m guessing that the market for backlist titles where there are possible substitutes is going to settle in at $7. Low enough to be less than $10, to indicate that this is a bargain, at least psychically, but high enough that selling a few thousand of a five-year-old title is just fine.

Creating Buzz to Sell More Ebooks

Which leads to my guess/proposal for creating buzz, particularly for unknown authors with great books. That category (call them UAGB) is the most interesting in all of publishing, because it’s about buzz and breaking open a new idea/author.

I would start those books at ZERO and raise the price a penny for every ten purchases until I got to $15 and then hold it there for three months.

If the book really is great, the first 1,000 readers (who are easy to find, because they love to read and love a bargain and have to hurry before the price exceeds a dollar) either start raving about the book or they don’t. If they do, then the next few thousand readers are going to stampede along. Still a bargain, but moving fast.

Now, by the time the book hits $15, it’s been read by 15,000 people. Understand, please, that in the book business, 15,000 readers in a week is a national bestseller, a huge hit. You’ve just created a new must-read author.

That means that pricing of the future looks like:
Zero: promo titles

$1: backlist service titles, useful but not irreplaceable

$7: backlist titles from authors you love

$15: current bestsellers
There’s probably no form of media that has as much history of crazy pricing as books. There are $100 art books on the bestseller lists and 3 cent Chick tracts handed out every Sunday. Most of this is related to the fact that the marginal cost of a printed book varies so much (records, movies and videogames vary not at all). Now that books are entering the same space as these other sorts of media, expect that the pricing follows suit.

The Domino Project with Seth Godin

About the Author

Seth Godin is the founder of The Domino Project and has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and, most of all, changing everything.

How do you price your ebooks? Please leave a comment below. Join in the discussion and help all of us get a better handle on how to price our ebooks.

Blog Tour Palooza

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How Will the Economy Affect Book Sales in 2012?

Blog post via The Economic Collapse

According to The Economic Collapse, here are some economic numbers from 2011 that will not only shock you but could really impact your book sales in 2012.

Note: Sources of these statistics are included in the original post on The Economic Collapse Blog: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/50-economic-numbers-from-2011-that-are-almost-too-crazy-to-believe.
  1. 48% of Americans are considered low income or are living in poverty.
  2. 57% of all U.S. children are living in homes considered low income or impoverished.
  3. If the number of Americans that wanted jobs were the same today as in 2007, the official unemployment rate would be 11%.
  4. The average American worker now stays unemployed for over 40 weeks.
  5. 77% of small businesses do not plan to hire new workers.
  6. There are fewer payroll jobs in the U.S. today than back in 2000 (even though we've added 30 million more people).
  7. Accounting for inflation, median household income has dropped by 6.8% since 2007.
  8. In December 2006, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed; in December 2011 that number had shrunk to 14.5 million (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  9. Almost 20% of U.S. adults who are currently employed consider themselves underemployed (Gallup Poll).
  10. 20% of American adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages (Paul Osterman).
  11. More than 40% of all jobs in the U.S. are low income jobs (no definition of low income).
  12. In July 2011, 81.2% of working age men (ages 25 to 54) had a job.
  13. One out of 3 Americans would not be able to make their mortgage or rent payment if they lost their current job (a recent survey).
  14. The total net worth of U.S. households dropped by 4.1% in the 3rd quarter of 2011 (Federal Reserve).
  15. The ratio of household debt to personal income is now 154% (BlackRock Investment Institute).
  16. 51% of Americans over the age of 18 are married. In 1960, that percentage was 72% (Pew Research Center).
  17. The post office has lost more than $5 billion over the past year. How will you ship your books if they go out of business?
  18. New home construction in the U.S. will set an all-time record low in 2011.
  19. 19% of men between the ages of 25 and 34 now live with their parents.
  20. Electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than inflation for five years in a row.
  21. Health care costs now account for 16.3% of personal consumption (Bureau of Economic Analysis).
  22. 41% of working age Americans are currently paying off medical debt (or are having medical bill problems).
  23. The U.S. trade deficit is projected to be $558.2 billion in 2011.
  24. 46% of American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement (Employee Benefit Research Institute).
  25. 16% of elderly Americans live below the federal poverty line.
  26. 37% of U.S. households led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
  27. One out of seven Americans are on food stamps (and one out of four children).
  28. 48.5% of Americans live in a household that receives some form of government assistance.
  29. Federal spending accounts for 24% of GDP.
  30. For three years, the Federal government has had a budget deficit of more than a trillion dollars.
  31. The national debt has increased by more than $4.4 trillion in the past three years. The federal debt now stands as more than $15 trillion.
  32. If the federal government began right now to repay the national debt at a rate of five dollars per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.
  33. During the Obama administration, the federal government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time George Washington took office to the time Bill Clinton took office. That means approximately 1/3 of our national debt accumulated during the first 200 years. During the next 16 years, that national debt doubled. And, during the last three years, the federal government has accumulated another 1/3 of the total debt. That is an incredible acceleration of debt.

These numbers mean that at least 50% of all Americans probably can't afford your book. And probably won't be able to afford any books for at least another two to five years.

Americans will still be holding back on spending probably for most of 2012 and possibly beyond. That means you really need to understand WHY people might want to buy your book and sell them on the need for your book (either as information, inspiration, education, or entertainment).

About the Source

The Economic Collapse Blog chronicles the changes that have been occurring in the American economy over the past four years as well as the on-going threat to American budgets.

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Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: John Kremer's Tips for Effective Book Promotion

Blog post by John Kremer

Here's a video Q&A with me where I describe some of the most effective book promotion tips:



Enjoy!

Please let me know your own book promotion tips. You can email those to me at johnkremer@bookmarket.com or via comments below. Thanks.

About the Author

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and the multimedia course on Book Marketing Magic.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Selling Books Via Event Planners

Guest post by D. E. Boone

I learned from John Kremer's 15,000 Eyeballs Program that one of the best ways to promote a book is to give away free copies. At first this made no sense to me. Although giving away free books seems counter-intuitive, I kept hearing that it worked.

John suggested that we give away an ebook version of our book. It's much less expensive and much easier to give away online. I am doing that now, but initially I decided to try something more risky.

Legs Talk book cover

At a social gathering, I met an event planner. Instead of my business card, I gave her a free copy of my humorous gift book, Legs Talk: A Modern Girl's Dating Tale. Legs Talk is a quirky, offbeat, Sex in the City kind of girlie book. Photographs take the reader on a wacky relationship trip that makes you laugh and sigh. It is an illustrated story of a relationship that soured and eventually went bad. The story is told by a pair of gorgeous legs.

The event planner told me she was putting together a ladies only party. She enjoyed my book so much, she asked me to donate 20 free print copies for the event. Since most of the attendees were single women, she figured they would enjoy Legs Talk's witty one-liners and break up humor. The idea was to turn poison into medicine. I took a chance and gave this stranger 20 copies of my book with order forms attached. It worked. Legs Talk was a big hit.

Currently, the event planner purchases copies of my book (at a discount) whenever she throws a similar event. She has even planned ladies only get-over him parties. So far, I sold over 100 books and expect to sell many more.

About the Author
D.E. Boone is the author of Legs Talk: A Modern Girl's Dating Tale. Find out more about her book at http://www.legs-talk.com.

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Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How to Personalize Tweets on Twitter

Guest post by Mari Smith

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 2 of Mari Smith's new book, The New Relationship Marketing...

Before sending my tweet to Owen, I glanced at his Twitter profile and saw that his city is listed as Vancouver, British Columbia. Now, he may be from anywhere in the world, but currently he lives in Canada—something I would ordinarily have no way of knowing. But, if he were a native, he would know exactly where Kootenay Lake is (about 500 miles inland from Vancouver), which is where I spent my childhood.

Owen Clark's Twitter profile
Figure 1 - Owen Clark’s @ByzhubOwen Twitter profile

Mari Smith's personalized tweet
Figure 2 - Owen’s tweet back to Mari

Even though my tweet seems short and simple, I put a fair bit of thought into it before writing and posting by considering the following:
  • I was responding to a previous tweet from Owen and started my reply with “thanks”—a very powerful word that you’ll want to use as frequently as possible. In fact, “thank you” is even better, as it has the word “you” in it too!
  • I used Owen’s first name naturally.
  • I found something in his bio that it appeared I had in common with him, and checked if this fact was true with a simple question.
  • I shared a little about myself by letting him know where I spent my summers.
As you can see from Owen’s reply, he was impressed and replied with a wonderful warm message suggesting that we might meet up in person next time I was in the area.

Over time, you’ll become unconsciously competent with these habits too; the more you practice, the better you’ll become.

About the Author

Mari Smith is the author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, and Profitable Network Using the Social Web.

You can download a free copy of Chapter 2 of Mari's new book by visiting her website here: http://marismith.com/NewRelationshipMarketing_MariSmith_SampleChapter.pdf.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How a Book Marketing Technique Turned into a Brand New and Far More Lucrative Product

Guest post by Elizabeth Claire

By 1996 I had written five or six books in the field of English as a second language that were published by Prentice Hall and others. I was poking along, poking along at a 5% royalty, not making much money for me.

I decided to give my books a boost by starting a newspaper for immigrants (the likely target of some of my books) that would be given out free in Bergen County, New Jersey. I bought books from the publishers at the resellers discount and promoted my books in the newspaper. As a result, I made 40% for myself in addition to the 5% royalty.

Easy English NewsThus began Easy English NEWS, a 12-page tabloid-size freebie newspaper that I wrote and with a partner distributed to high schools, adult schools, libraries, ethnic book stores, etc. It was full of useful information that immigrants need to know, in short sentences and simple vocabulary. My 20 years experience teaching newcomers made me an expert in what English language learners want to know - and how to write that in simple English. We were going to fund the newspaper with ads in addition to ads for my own books.

A year later, and a few book sales later, my partner convinced me to give a try at selling Easy English NEWS by subscription rather than give it away. We changed it to a national paper for immigrants, sent samples out to high schools and adult schools with ESL programs and, quite honestly, I hoped no one would buy it, as it was far too much work.

But teachers ordered it. It filled a need in this niche, and there was nothing else on the market like it. Compliments kept me going for the first five years that it took us to break even and start to build up enough money for a salary for me.

Seventeen years later, it is still going strong, a half million dollars in subscription sales each year, with a circulation of 45,000, and a readership of 120,000. An ad in the paper invites teachers and students to my website where I sell the 26 books, games, and CDs I have produced by now.

Easy English NEWS became the breadwinner, and although I offer specials and sales at the website, many schools with meager budgets buy only one copy of the books and photocopy them - but it is very hard to photocopy a tabloid size newspaper!

To market the newspaper has been easier than marketing the books. Reason? When you print 45,000 copies on newsprint, the cost per each paper is low enough to give away samples, even class sets to teachers, whereas it's prohibitive to give away samples of books that teachers are going to photocopy and never buy any more.

When teachers have a copy of Easy English NEWS in their hand, they can see its value ... and want to get next month's and the month after that edition as well. I have a graduated volume discount, so the larger the class size or the district, the lower the price. This makes it a no brainer for them to subscribe. While the typical order is for 20 copies a month at $1.40 per copy for ten months, New York City Dept of Ed Adult Education Program orders 6,000 copies of the paper every month. At 90 cents per copy, they get a fantastic bargain, and I do OK as well.

Easy English News

Of course, the down side of this is that I have to produce the product over and over and over: plan, research, write many articles, get photos and illustrations, rewrite to simple English, define difficult words, send to copy editors, enter edits, layout and design each page...and all by a deadline. That doesn't leave a lot of time to market my books other than to send out free samples twice a year to a list of ESL programs across the country.

I haven't missed a deadline, though, in 17 years, through computer crashes, lightning strikes, broken elbow, broken heart, cancer surgery, family emergencies, new love, and moving to Virginia. I almost sold out three times, but I am getting good at it, get lots of accolades and appreciation, and have decided to keep on keeping on.

In addition to covering my grandkids' dental bills and helping with tuition, I have a paid-off sea captain's house for a summer retreat on the Bay of Fundy, and a winter headquarters on a lake (with two kayaks) in Virginia Beach, which will be paid off in another two weeks.

I wake up each morning so happy to have created so much work for myself, doing what I love, contributing to others, creating jobs for others, in a place of great beauty and clean air, having fun, and paying my bills. And working most days in my pajamas. Until it's time to kayak.

Life is good, and I have to say, I owe so much of getting started to you, way back with my first book, Dangerous English, in 1981. Thank you!!

About the Author

Elizabeth Claire

Elizabeth Claire is the author of numerous books on English as a second language but her greatest success is her job as editor and publisher of Easy English NEWS. For more about Elizabeth's books and newspaper, check out her website at http://www.elizabethclaire.com.

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Want to know how to blog you way to success? Then check out http://www.bookmarket.com/blog-tour-palooza.htm.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Selling to Libraries, Bookstores, and Other Retailers

Guest audio with Elaine Wilkes and John Kremer

Listen in to this audio podcast featuring Elaine Wilkes and John Kremer. It features lots of great content about selling to libraries, bookstores, and other retailers. As well as key information on ebook publishing, ISBN numbers, and more.


About the Authors

Elaine Wilkes is the Hay House author of Nature's Secret Messages: Hidden in Plain Sight. John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.

Get Your Books Into Bookstores

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Promoting November As Picture Book Month

Guest post by Dianne de Las Casas

Have I got a great story to tell about how a literacy movement I created called Picture Book Month that went viral and was featured on the Oprah Life Lift blog. First, the answers to your questions:

How large is your platform or network? Did you use your platform or network in marketing your book? If so, how?
  • Personal Website: 10 million+ hits per year
  • Email newsletter: 12,000+ monthly
  • Facebook: nearly 2,871
  • Facebook Page: 1,210
  • Twitter: 5,338 followers (60 Klout)
  • Google+: 598 have me in their circles
  • LinkedIn: 942 connections
I heavily use my website, the Picture Book Month website, email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with my network.

What publicity produced the best results in terms of book sales? Magazines, newspapers, radio, TV? Which TV shows or magazines created the most impact?

Oprah Life Lift blog, Huffington Post, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Deccan Herald (India), tons and tons of blogs

What Internet marketing technique produced the best sales results for your book? Did you do anything interesting to boost the effectiveness of the technique?

I sent out press releases to major industry media. Stories by the media coupled with social media using Twitter and Facebook produced the best results.

So here's the story.

November is Picture Book Month!

I am a children's book author and storyteller. I specialize in picture books. In October 2010, the New York Times published an article that declared "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children." It set the children's book world on fire and it set me on fire.

In September 2011, I had the idea to create a campaign, an international initiative designating November as Picture Book Month. I enlisted the aid of several movers and shakers in my industry and created a marketing plan. I wanted Picture Book Month to be repeated year after year so the first year in existence was very important.

Picture Book Month

A timeless logo was created by Joyce Wan, a picture book author and owner of a stationery company. I created a hook: "November is Picture Book Month! Read * Share * Celebrate!" My web designer and I built a website: http://www.picturebookmonth.com, which featured an essay a day about the importance of picture books by Picture Book Month Champions, prominent people in the field - authors, illustrators, bloggers, and literacy experts.

I reached out and found major partners like the Children's Book Council, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Better World Books, and Scholastic. I wrote a press release that was sent to all the children's book industry media. Digital badges were made so that people could put them on their websites. A Twibbon was created for Twitter and Facebook. A Twitter hashtag (#PictureBookMonth) was created. The website featured a month-long theme calendar, activities, and printables for librarians and teachers. Professional videos were produced by a motion graphics designer. All of this was done in less than a month!

My co-founders (Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba, Tara Lazar and Wendy Martin) and I began shouting it out on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. The initiative struck a chord and became a movement. It took hold on Twitter, Facebook, and all over the kidlitosphere.

The movement became so big that it was written about in School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Huffington Post, and OPRAH! (http://www.oprah.com/blogs/November-is-Picture-Book-Month). A story about Picture Book Month was featured on Life Lift, The Oprah blog. By the time it hit Oprah, the movement had gone viral and went worldwide. I was getting emails, photos, and videos from around the world with schools and libraries holding Picture Book Month celebrations.

You know you have a cause and a movement when the "me" becomes a "we." Picture Book Month was also written about in Jamaica, Philippines, Australia, Canada, and India, to name a few countries. Go ahead and Google "Picture Book Month." You'll get a few million results.

To create a cause like this you need a few things in place. The first and most important thing is a genuine passion and a love for your cause. Secondly, others need to share that passion. Next, you need to have a balance of what I call newsmakers and news reporters. The newsmakers are the celebrities people want to read about. The news reporters are the people who evangelize the cause.

You must also have a strong network. Without this network to spread the news, there is no news. Your vision must be backed up by a solid plan. Finally, be prepared to work. Movements need leaders and leaders must work.



I have already lined up Picture Book Month Champions for next year. 2012 promises to be even bigger and better. It will be even more international in scope, bridging picture books and picture book lovers around the world. If you would like to be involved, please fill out the contact form on our website at http://www.picturebookmonth.com.

November is Picture Book Month! Read * Share * Celebrate!

When submitting your answer, please also send me your name and website or blog, plus a short sales message. This information will be featured at the end of your interview.

About the Author

Diane de las Casas

Dianne de Las Casas is an author, storyteller, and founder of Picture Book Month. Check out her storyteller website at http://www.storyconnection.net. And, of course, the Picture Book Month website at http://www.picturebookmonth.com.

Please leave a comment below to tell us how you plan to celebrate Picture Book Month during November next year. Thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Do You Avoid LinkedIn Because You Don't Know How to Use It?

Guest post by Judy Cullins

I’m discouraged by what I see on LinkedIn. Many authors don’t take advantage of LinkedIn’s power to promote and market themselves and their books there. It’s frustrating for me to see the big mistakes authors are making on what has become the second largest social network in the U.S, and the one that is perfect for authors and businesses that brand themselves with a book.

LinkedIn is the best way to get you and your book seen and loved! You get much more visibility and credibility on LinkedIn than FB and Twitter.

Proof of LinkedIn Results

My own targeted traffic comes first, from my name and brand, Judy Cullins / book coaching, and other related searches on Google. Second source? LinkedIn, by a mile! My results include more than doubled traffic, from around 2,200 to over 6,000 a month, and also more opt-ins. From these opt-ins, book and coaching sales have doubled this year.

What Are Book Authors and Professionals Doing Wrong on LinkedIn?

Here are just a few of the problems I see regularly...
  1. They sign up and forget about it.
  2. They don’t update their LI profile enough. Canned and old information looks OLD.
  3. They join the wrong groups. They need to focus on their target audience and groups that they can network in.
  4. They use the groups, but don’t interact and make relationships. They blatantly shout "Buy my book!"
  5. They don’t know how to use LinkedIn’s applications such as connecting your blog with LinkedIn or listing your books with direct links in your profile.
  6. They don’t know how to prioritize their profile placements. Which is more important - your recommendations and summary or your college?
  7. They don’t have a personalized URL (mine is http://Linkedin.com/in/JudyCullins).
  8. They sign up for 40-50 groups and don’t participate much. You must build relationships.
  9. They collect numbers. They send invites to anyone! They don’t focus on their best audiences.
  10. They don't use laser focus on their main book or service. Too many things to distract their audience.
  11. Their profile focuses on them, not their audience. Use the YOU point of view here.

See more LinkedIn benefits at http://bookcoaching.com/linkedin-marketing.php

Judy Cullins

About the Author

Book, Blog, and LinkedIn Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your LinkedIn presence into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books that include LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales, Judy offers free, up-to-the minute weekly publications on writing and online marketing at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.php.

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Blog Tour Palooza

Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How to Get Your Book into Bookstores, Retail Outlets, and Internet Retailers

Guest post by Elaine Wilkes

Here's a fact . . .

Tons of books are still sold through retail outlets and 140,000 plus libraries. The message: You should be selling your books both online AND off.

And there are lots of places in addition to traditional bookstores where your book will sell. That's why you should register for this webinar:

How to Get Your Book into Bookstores, Chain Stores, Internet Retailers, and Specialty Retailers

This is an A to Z training and it's completely complimentary. You can listen in here:

http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventID=24934296

In this profit-packed webinar you'll discover how to ...
  • How authors make over $1 million in sales. What are they're doing that you can do too.
  • The vital not-so-obvious information store buyers want and need to see in emails
  • What to say and what not to say to arouse the most interest in your book
  • Secrets to selling your book to libraries
  • Outside-the-box thinking to get buyers’ attention
  • What to say (and what not to say) to arouse the most interest in your book
  • Plus much, much more.

This webinar is designed to help you get tons of books in all types of retail and online outlets (not just book stores).

As both a published and self-published author, I worked diligently to find out how to get my books into stores and on the Internet. I ended up calling over 1000 store buyers, along with spending hundreds of hours of tedious research, and conducting numerous interviews with book business insiders to discover the secrets for getting your book into all types of places.

That's when I realized that other authors would want to know these secrets, so I decided to create an
extensive training program designed specifically for both self-published and trade-published authors.

You’ll want to attend this excellent webinar where I take you through the exact steps for helping you promote your book to buyers.

Again, you can listen in here:


http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventID=24934296

About the Author

Elaine Wilkes is the Hay House author of Nature's Secret Messages: Hidden in Plain Sight.

Get Your Books Into Bookstores

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: How Amanda Hocking Really Did It

Guest post by Scott Lorenz

Amanda HockingAmanda Hocking, as I’m sure you know, is a bestselling ebook author on Amazon.com. Since uploading her first ebook in the spring of 2010, she has grossed about $2 million. She’s got 10 novels under her belt, all of which fall into the paranormal-romance category. The prominent entertainment company, Media Rights Capital, optioned her four-book Trylle vampire series.

Clearly, she’s had great success self-publishing her ebooks. So, it was a surprise when Hocking decided to sign with St. Martin’s Press, which is a very established publishing house.

Hocking has openly explained that she suffered from depression for the vast majority of her life and turned to writing as a sort of escape. She finished her first novel at 17, titled Dreams I Can’t Remember and was turned down by each of the 50 agents to whom she’d sent her work.

Not long thereafter, she caught a clip on YouTube of the band Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus encouraging American youth to make their dreams come true. Hocking admits having a sort of aha moment and realized that she could not wait for her dreams to come true. She had to put forth the effort and make them come true.

In 2009, Hocking began to treat writing as a job rather than something she did for entertainment. She wrote a few more novels, sent them off to agents, and still received only rejections.

In April 2010, Hocking uploaded her novel My Blood Approves to Amazon, then later to Smashwords, then directly on Barnes & Noble’s site. Hocking started selling books, first a few a day, then as she uploaded more of her work, she managed to sell 26 books in one day in May. These days, the author is selling 9,000 books a day.

Just how did she do it? Well, the stories she writes are an obvious piece of her success. Her novels combine action and romance with a dash of quirk and topped off by Hocking’s creative style of writing. Additionally, by selling ebooks, Hocking was able to sell the books for far less money compared to a traditional bookstore book. People were more inclined to spend the 99¢ or $3.00 to read her work instead of dropping upwards of $15.00 for a book off the shelf of a trendy bookstore.

Hocking has a very blasé attitude in regard to her success and rapid writing. When asked just how she manages to complete her work so quickly, Hocking responds on her blog, “I don’t know. I just write a lot and drink a lot of Red Bull.”

Hocking also suggests that writing paired with reading more than she writes was instrumental in her success. She made sure to edit her novels a great deal in order to get them just right. Learning to take criticism was useful to Hocking’s success because she was able to understand that although her books weren’t for everyone, they did have an audience.

Taking a look at her blog, Hocking describes herself as an obsessive tweeter. John Hughes mourner. Batman devotee. Muppet activist. Unicorn enthusiast. Fraggin Aardvarks guitarist. Author of the USA Today bestselling Trylle trilogy and the upcoming Watersong series.

She actively updates her blog, so her fans always have something new to read. This past October was Hocking’s second annual Zombiepalooza! on her blog, which ran for the entire month of October. Hocking explains that while she especially enjoys zombies, Zombiepalooza is really a celebration of all things horror and Halloween. Throughout the month, there were guest posts, giveaways, and other fun goodies, such as the ultimate Halloween Playlist.

John Kremer recently mentioned Amanda Hocking in a seminar about blog tours. Amanda Hocking inspired him to name a particular type of blog tour a Blogpalooza. John got the name from Hocking, after her first Zombiepalooza in October 2010.

In his seminar, John also explained a few of Amanda’s stats, which were affected dramatically by Zombiepalooza. Before Zombiepalooza, Amanda had been selling about 3,000 to 5,000 copies of Kindle ebooks each month. She sold about 20,000 total before October 2010. In December 2010, after Zombiepalooza, she sold 100,000 copies in the month of December alone. In January, she sold 450,000 copies of her Kindle ebook novels.

In February of 2011, she made the USA Today bestseller list. By the end of February, she had sold 900,000 copies of self-published Kindle ebooks. In March 2011, her book sales totaled over 1 million copies, and she subsequently sold the rights to four of her books to St. Martin’s Press for $2 million.

Some were surprised by her decision to sell her book rights, but Hocking has explained that in order to be a billion-dollar author, she needs people to buy her books at Wal-Mart. In order to get her books onto shelves, she had to partner with St. Martin’s Press.

Says Hocking, “I'm a writer. I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling emails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation. I am spending so much time on things that are not writing.”

“I like writing. I even like marketing, especially when it comes to interacting with readers. And I don't mind editing. I just don't want to run my corporation, because that takes away from writing and everything else that I actually enjoy doing,” concludes Hocking.

After gaining so much success, Amanda has been able to seize unique opportunities. For example, she was a featured speaker at Comic Con in San Diego. Additionally, she was able to buy a life-size Han Solo figure from Star Wars, which was encased in carbonite. The life-size figure is rare and was something Hocking had her eye on for quite some time. The unique purchase was due in great part to the success of her Zombiepalooza.

In addition to her own blog, Hocking has separate blogs for her book Virtue, My Blood Approves, The Hollows series, as well as a blog dedicated to soundtracks for her various books. Hocking follows dozens of blogs herself. Having blogged since April 2009, Hocking has had nearly 2 million page views. Check out Amanda’s blog to learn more about her, her work, and to see release dates of her upcoming books at http://AmandaHocking.blogspot.com or her Facebook fan page. http://www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans.

The bottom line: Amanda Hocking is an incredibly talented author. She has achieved great success in her career, largely due to marketing her novels so effectively. Amanda began writing ebooks and now has a multimillion dollar book deal. Her talent for both writing and knowing how to market her books has enabled her to become a wildly successful author. Amanda Hocking has helped pave the way for authors to follow in her footsteps without the traditional gatekeepers of publishing being involved.

Scott Lorenz

About the Author

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is president of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, Time, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, and Howard Stern, to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications' approach to book marketing at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com. Contact Lorenz at 734-667-2090. Email: scottlorenz@westwindcos.com. Follow him on Twitter @aBookPublicist.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Marketing Makeovers - Query Letters That Work: Grab Them with the First Sentence

Guest post by Jeff Rivera

Agents are so busy nowadays they won't even give a query letter an entire paragraph to grab them.

If you've passed the first test, what I like to call the scan test (meaning it looks professional at first glance), then you'll be lucky to go on to the next test: the first sentence.

Literary Agents in 7 DaysThey might be patient enough to even give you the first few sentences but Honey, if you don't have it together by then, you can kiss your chances of landing that agent goodbye. There are so many different ways to grab an agent.

These are 5 of the techniques I use for my clients. I've ghostwritten over 100 query letters for clients successfully. 100% of them have interested at least 10 top agents that have requested to read their manuscript or book proposal. In other words, use these techniques - they work.

You don't need to use all of them, just choose one.

The Top 5 Ways to Grab an Agent with Your Very First Sentence

1) Start with a question that makes them ponder?

2) Talk about a dramatic moment in your personal life that connects with the book you've written

3) Tell them immediately about your platform

4) Compliment them on a specific recent sale

5) Tell them who referred you

Use one of the 5 suggestions above, and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com.

Jeff Rivera

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.

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The reader with the best comment on this guest post will win a CD interview of Samantha Ettus on how to brand yourself through social media and networking.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting

Friday, December 09, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Writing Effective Emails That Get Attention

Guest post by Jill Konrath

The following tips are excerpted with permission from Jill Konrath's The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting.



According to email provider ExactTarget, people take only 2.7 seconds to decide if they will read, forward or delete a message. These busy people sit with their finger on the delete button ready to blast you into oblivion the moment they detect that you're trying to sell them something.

So what does it take to capture their attention? Is it even possible to craft an irresistible message that compels potential prospects to immediately hit “Reply” and request a meeting with you?
  • One seller sent an email to the CEO of a company and just eight minutes later got a return message asking for a conference call.
  • Another salesperson had been trying unsuccessfully to reach a decision maker for months. When she changed her messaging, she got a request for a meeting 30 minutes later.
  • An inside salesperson used these strategies to set up meetings with marketing VPs. While his competitors were battling it out in purchasing, he'd get the business with no competition.
Snap Factors Matter

What's behind these lightning-quick decisions? I spent several years studying this behavior before Iwrote SNAP Selling, my newest book that's focused on selling to frazzled people. I discovered that they evaluated every sales interaction (phone calls, emails, meetings) by asking themselves these four key questions.
  • How simple is it? In other words, does it require effort for me to quickly grasp the meaning or will it throw me into overload?
  • Does this person bring value? Yes, they're making a decision about YOU personally. Not your company, service or solution. You!
  • Is this aligned with my objectives? Unless what you say is clearly aligned, it's irrelevant and not worth even one more second of their valuable time.
  • How big a priority is it? Urgent matters always take precedence over everything else.


Mastering the Basics

Here are the primary things you need to think about before you even craft your message.
  • Length. Keep your prospecting emails under 90 words. Shorter is nearly always better when dealing with today's crazy-busy prospects. Remember that many people are reading your messages in their preview screen or mobile device. They hate scrolling and worse, they hate rambling messages.
  • Look. Simple text (black and white) messages are essential when reaching out to a new person. If you have fancy templates, save them for your friends or family. They don't evoke the image of a highly capable resource. Also, think carefully before using logos, and definitely avoid using colored fonts. Logos and color, especially red, catch the eye of spam blockers.
  • Links. If you have some good resources on your website that you want to drive your prospects to, only send one link per email. People will look at one link, but more than that sends them into overwhelm. Future emails can include the additional links.
  • Attachments. Don't send any with your first email. People are wary of opening attachments from strangers. But after you've initiated a conversation (either online or via phone), it's okay to send an attachment. Again, just send one at a time. If you send more, they won't read any.
  • Proofing. Read your emails three times. Then print your email and read it again. You’ll be surprised at how different it looks, and you’ll catch overlooked errors. Spelling and obvious grammar errors give prospects the opportunity they’re looking for to hit the delete key.
If you'd like to read the entire free report, The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting, get it here: http://learn.gotomeeting.com/forms/G2MC-Sales-WP-2011-Ult-Guide-S?ID=70150000000Xmqf (made available free via GoToMeeting but registration is required).

About the Author



If you liked the ideas in this above post, check out Jill Konrath's Prospecting Tool Kit that contains four free must-have sales tools. They'll help you open more doors - and ultimately close more sales. Download the Prospecting Tool Kit now: http://bit.ly/ProspectingKit.

For more about Jill Konrath and her book Snap Selling, go to http://www.jillkonrath.com.

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Win a CD Interview on how to sell a million books!

The reader with the best comment on this guest post will win a CD interview of Cindy Cashman, where she talks about how she sold over 1 million books.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ebooks, and Should You Go Digital Only?

You remember the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes? You know, the one with the magical car that could also float and fly? Still one of my all-time favorite movies.

In that movie there was a creepy character called the Child Catcher, whose job it was to capture kids because they were banned in the mythical land of Vulgaria. In one particular scene he is attempting to lure out two children who are hiding by bribing them with treats and in the course of his efforts he utters the line “All free today.” So naturally, the children are captured and hauled off to be imprisoned in the castle.

“All free today.” That’s kind of like the promise made by those who urge authors to do only ebooks and deliver all of their information products digitally. No production costs, no graphics design costs, no shipping costs. All free today, right?

Well maybe, maybe not.

If you’re a book marketer, there will be some segment of your potential market that definitely wants the immediate gratification of digital delivery. And the lower prices that go along with it. And since you’ve avoided those printing, graphics and shipping costs, you may feel like you’re getting something for free.

But what portion of your potential market prefers the tangible? How many want to hold in their hands your actual printed book? Who want to curl up on the couch and read an actual book, not a Kindle or other e-reader?

Remember, it’s about maximum total profit. If you have a number of people who will not buy your book because they don’t want digital only delivery then your profit per unit sold may be less but your total overall profits may be greater.

Don’t assume that digital only is the way to go. Make sure you know your market and test to see which gets you get greater overall profit.

“All free today.” Those words keep coming back to me. Be careful to not get blindly lured into the digital only world without doing your homework first.

About the Author

Bret Ridgway is co-founder of Speaker Fulfillment Services, a company that provides product duplication and fulfillment for authors, speakers and information marketers. For more info visit http://www.SpeakerFulfillmentServices.com.

Note from John Kremer: SFS is the company than handles by book fulfillment. Good people to work with. Fast and responsive.

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Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Writing Contest Promotes Las Vegas Novel

Guest post by Avery Cardoza

To promote my new novel, Lost in Las Vegas, I came up with the idea of offering a nationwide writing contest with $5,000 in prizes that gets readers and potential writers into the madcap spirit of the book.

Lost in Las VegasI played off the city’s oft-used marketing slogan, “Should everything that happens in Vegas stay in Vegas” with an answer: We don’t think so! There's not another city in the world that evokes such strong reactions from people as Las Vegas. Crazy experiences, crazy times, things that a person may never do or experience in their lives, occur in this city where people let it all hang out. These ideas form the spirit of Lost in Las Vegas, and likewise, the focus of the writing contest.

Here is the teaser for the writing contest: “What have you lost in Las Vegas? Your money, your honey, your virginity? Or maybe you found something in Sin City—a big poker game, a binge, a gorgeous spouse (freedom from that spouse), whatever.

We’d like to hear about it! Keeping within the spirit and theme of Lost in Las Vegas—trouble, hard luck, good luck, or madcap adventure—we want your craziest Vegas true adventure story, or a fictional story that happened only in the Vegas of your wildest dreams.

The contest awards cash prizes as follows: 1st Place - $2,500, 2nd Place - $1,000, 3rd Place - $500, 4th Place - $375, and 5th Place - $250. Also, Reader’s Choice Awards: 1st Place - $250 and 2nd Place - $125. We’re telling writers to have fun writing their story, meaning readers will have fun reading it. As an added bonus, we’re going to publish the best stories in a book, Wild and Crazy Las Vegas Stories.

It has always been difficult to get attention for novels, which means you have to do something different. You must attempt to stand out in the crowd. After 13 excruciatingly difficult drafts and 10 years of work to complete my life’s work, I wanted to give Lost in Las Vegas every chance it could get to reach readers. Hence, this fun contest with $5,000 in prizes and a chance to get published themselves.

Lost in Las Vegas is an offbeat, dark comedy that follows John and Ludo, two hapless vacationers in Las Vegas, through a series of misadventures as their world collapses around them and their lives spiral downward into the seedy and treacherous underbelly of Sin City.

As the result of a dangerous infatuation with a mysterious woman, this bad-luck and no-luck duo in just twenty-four hours—find themselves hunted by the mob, FBI, six ferocious killers, police, and the Rat, a psychopathic ex-husband, in a world where nothing is as it seems. And from there, things go downhill—they’re broke, homeless, and wandering the streets with no way to get out of town.

Bickering every step of the way, they cross paths with eccentric and colorful characters inhabiting the shadows of Las Vegas casinos, strip clubs, and downtown streets. John and Ludo don’t quite know who is who and what is what as they desperately try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers and fulfill one very simple dream—get the hell out of Vegas!



About the Author

Avery Cardoza is the former editor-in-chief of Player, has written 21 books on beating the casino, and is the world’s largest publisher of gaming and gambling titles. Cardoza is also the owner of the legendary Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas (http://www.gamblersbookclub.com), home to the world’s largest selection of gaming books. Lost in Las Vegas is Cardoza’s first novel, which he began writing in the spring of 2002.

To find out more about the writing contest, contact Cardoza, or learn more about the book, go to http://www.lostinlasvegas.com.

Follow me on Twitter @averycardoza for news about Lost in Las Vegas, the $5,000 writing contest, exclusive gambling tips, Vegas happenings, more! Visit the book's website!

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Win a CD Interview on how to conduct effective Twitter contests!

The reader with the best comment on this guest post will win a CD by Tony Eldridge on Conducting Effective Twitter Contests.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: First-Time Novelist Novel Marketing Strategies

Guest post Q&A with Simone Bailey

Simone Bailey is an Australia author who specializes in adult satire and young adult fiction. As a member of The Book Marketing Network, she volunteered to be interviewed about her marketing efforts for her debut novel, Calumny While Reading Irving Welsh.

Question: Are you involved in any social networks? Have you used them in marketing your book? Again, if so, how?

Answer: Yes, I am a user of social media. I use Facebook and Twitter to publicize my work. I have posted some articles on The Book Marketing Network, which has the facility for sharing to these sites. I have also attached reviews for my work, reviews I have written for other's work, my press release, and newspaper interviews.

Question: Did you speak to promote your book? If so, what audiences or venues produced the best sales?

Answer: Yes, I have spoken at book launches, libraries, and classrooms. The book launch talks have been the most fruitful in terms of sales.

Question: What Internet marketing technique produced the best sales results for your book? Did you do anything interesting to boost the effectiveness of the technique?

Answer: My personal blog is where I do a lot of my marketing. I receive up to 1,000 hits per day on average. I have just posted on it,. Recently I've asked about getting some advertising on my blog as a form of extra income.

Simone Bailey

About the Author

Simone Bailey is the author of Calumny While Reading Irving Welsh. Her personal blog is at http://bingellsblog.bigblog.com.au.

Simone Bailey Blog

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Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here: http://bit.ly/JohnKremerConsulting
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