Archive for the ‘Marketing Tips’ Category

Self Publishing on the Ipad

Apple’s distribution system for the Ipad (and Ipod), is a free application called iBooks. Once installed, iBooks allows you to buy, download and store your ebooks. Individual writers are not able to directly upload titles. Instead, Apple has appointed a number of Apple-approved iBookstore aggregators. One of these is Smashwords and uploading your book to their site is simple. Here’s how:

REGISTER: Sign up for a Smashwords account. Choose a ‘member name’ that corresponds with the pen name or publisher name you will be using. Choose this carefully, as you cannot change it later.

FORMAT: Study and implement the Smashwords Style Guide so you can learn how to format your ebook. Your book must be uploaded to Smashwords as a Microsoft Word .doc file.

COVER IMAGE: You will need a quality book cover image (JPEG file), and it must be a vertical rectangle shape and at least 600 pixels tall. The cover cannot be a grey scale image and it cannot contain hyperlinks or website addresses. 

PRICE, ATTACH & UPLOAD: Once you have formatted your book to the Style Guide, click the Publish link at the top of any page. Carefully fill out the required information. Apple prices ebooks in 99 cent increments, so it’s a good idea to do the same.

CONVERSION: After you click the publish button, your browser will pause as it uploads your information to the conversion service. At the end of the conversion you may see messages, suggesting formatting problems. Once your book has been converted you will receive email confirmation.

CHECK FOR INSTRUCTIONS: Check your Dashboard. Under the ‘Premium Status’ column, it should say ‘Pending review’ or ‘Accepted.’ It usually takes a week or less for Smashwords to manually approve your title for the Premium Catalog. If it says ‘Requires Modification,’ click the link for instructions, where you’ll find messages from our reviewers.

UPLOAD NEW VERSION (IF REQUIRED): If you were asked to revise your book, when you’ve finished the revisions return to your Dashboard and click ‘Upload new version.’

VALIDATE YOUR EPUB: Once your ebook conversion completes, it’ll output your book in multiple formats, including EPUB.  Apple requires that your EPUB file pass the EPUBCHECK validator.  Here’s how you can check:  Go to your book page, download the complete EPUB, then upload it to a free validator, such as http://threepress.org/document/epub-validate.  Most books pass 100%.  If your book fails, it’s usually caused by easy to fix problems such as poorly formed hyperlinks. Once you’ve fixed your book, return to your Dashboard and click ‘upload new version.’

ASSIGN AN ISBN: Apple requires your book have an ISBN. Go to the ISBN Manager page to assign one to your book. Your ebook ISBN must be different than the print book ISBN..

OPT-IN TO APPLE CATALOG: Go to your Dashboard and click on the Channel Manager link where you must manually opt-in to the Smashwords-Apple distribution channel for each book. You will be asked to carefully review and agree to special terms, required by Apple, in order for them to list your book in the iBookstore.

WAIT: After your book is accepted to the Premium Catalog, and you’ve assigned your ISBN and have opted in to the Apple channel, then you must wait for Smashwords to distribute your book to Apple. It will usually appear in the iPad iBookstore within a day or two of shipping.

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK: Download the free Smashwords Book Marketing Guide for an extensive list of free book marketing ideas.

GET PAID: For all sales, you’ll earn 60% of the retail price. Smashwords pays quarterly on all monies received on your behalf by the end of each quarter.

Tips For Selling Books On The Kindle & Ipad

  • Think about selling from the buyer’s perspective. As the author of an ebook, spend some time figuring out how readers will find out about your book or come across it among the thousands of books in the Apple and Kindle store. Then once they have found it, you must also ensure that they feel compelled enough to want to buy it.
  • Hang out where readers of Kindle and Ipad books hang out. Spend time promoting your book on the internet, where your readers are hanging out. Join reader sites like GoodReads and subscribe to blogs and groups that cater to Kindle owners like KindleBoards, Kindle Forum, Kindlechat, or Kindle Nation Daily. Sign up to these sites and participate in the conversations. Your customized signature, with links back to your author website and or blog, and pictures of your book covers linked to your Amazon product page, act a bit like a business card. The more times a potential reader sees your name and book titles, the more likely they will type those details in when they are looking for new books to download.
  • Your cover design, interior design and formatting are the most crucial elements to success. If you are going to shell out any money this is where to spend it. There are lots of freelancers out there with reasonable rates.
  • Make sure your book is completely ready before you start to promote. Your product description needs to be well-written, your excerpt must be available, and you should have at least 4-5 reviews written by professional reviewers. There are more and more websites, blogs, and enewsletters that are willing to review ebooks. Most professional reviewers will then put their reviews on Amazon.
  • Make your pricing competitive. Go to the specific categories in which your book will show up and look at the prices of your competitors. If you aren’t a big name, $2.99-3.99 is probably the safest price point for genre fiction.
  • Don’t make your big promotional push prematurely. Banners on Kindle sites, promotional packages and paying for ads can cause a temporary bump in sales, but only if everything else is in place.
  • Use Amazon’s browsing capabilities effectively. Make sure your book appears in the right categories on Amazon, so potential readers find what they’re looking for.

Hope all this helps in your quest to sell more books!

Love & Light

The Word Queen xx

Book Marketing Tips

Below I’ve listed ten vital tips to a successful book publicity campaign…I suggest that you include as many of them as possible into your own marketing plan and that way you’ll sell lots of copies!

1. Take no for an answer. It can be frustrating when certain media bodies aren’t interested in your book, but always thank them for their time and move on. If you try and argue with them you’ll leave a bad impression and your chances of working with them in the future will be slim.

2. Start immediately! A book publicity campaign works best if it’s started six months prior to your books publication date. Begin publicising your story to mainstream and industry media way before your book’s release, and target consumers once it is available to order.

3. Create a press kit. Before you begin promoting your book prepare a press kit, including a cover letter, press release, author bio, Q&A page, sample interview questions, and articles.

4. Know your target audience. Identify exactly who is likely to buy your book. The more focused you are when it comes to marketing your book, the better your results will be. If your book is quite mainstream, begin with a smaller audience and broaden your focus after you’ve saturated the first audience.

5. Ask friends, colleagues, or anyone who likes your book to place reviews on Amazon. Amazon is highly influential and the reviews count for a lot, so encourage anyone who says they enjoyed your book to place a review. If there are a lot of reviews on Amazon (preferably four or five star reviews) other people who are interested in buying your book will be encouraged to order it.

6. Offer sample chapters as free downloads on the website created for your book. Turn a couple of your best chapters into PDF files and let people download them for free. This is the equivalent of letting people browse through your book at a bookstore! Sample chapters ‘tease’ readers into wanting more and that way they will be motivated to buy your book.

7. Review other books in the same field / genre as yours. Review these books on Amazon using your real name, accompanied by ‘author of the book ((title of your book here))’ Aim to review books in the same genre as yours that are higher up the sales rankings, and that way more people will have the chance of finding your book, as when people read your review a percentage of them will click through to your book!

8. Offer some copies of your book as prizes. Local radio shows, magazines, or societies will often be interested in running competitions, and will provide you with valuable publicity if you give them a few books to offer to their audience as prizes.

9. Build your web site address into your book. When writing your book, include as many reasons as possible for readers to visit your web site. Don’t just simply list your web site address in your biography, or on the last page of the book. Present readers with an array of valid reasons to visit your site. You could offer downloadable versions of engagement tools, such as checklists and worksheets. Promise updated content; ideas and topics that occurred to you after you completed your book. If your book is in black and white, but includes photographs or charts, post colour versions of the visuals on your website. Don’t see your website as merely a promotional tool, but as an additional resource alongside your book.

10. Encourage reader comments and questions. Use your website to create an interactive relationship with your readers. Solicit their comments and questions. Perhaps offer a prize for the best question of the month, and answer it on your home page.

Amazon Bestseller Campaign

So, finally your book is written, published and for sale on all the top websites, including Amazon.com. As more than 80 per cent of all book sales now occur on Amazon, you’d be better off focusing your marketing efforts on driving potential buyers there. Amazon has a great reputation and what’s more, it’s possible to turn your book into an Amazon bestseller relatively easily – although like anything in life, this does require a dosage of effort! Amazon is much more than just an online store; it is the largest bookseller in the world and undeniably it is the first choice of readers to buy the books. Your book gains enormous visibility by running a determinative Amazon bestseller campaign.

However, you don’t necessarily have to sell a lot of books in order for your book to become an Amazon bestseller. Also, bear in mind that there are many advantages to owning the title of ‘Amazon Bestselling Author.’

The process involves engineering, together with your contacts and Joint Venture (JV) partners, a massive email campaign, along with incentive bonuses if people buy your book from Amazon on a certain day. This will practically ascertain that your book will become an Amazon bestseller in one or more categories over a period of a couple of days, often even hours!

Amazon updates their numbers (or book sales figures) every hour. Yet your book will become a bestseller ‘by rate’ rather than the numbers of copies sold. This means you must sell as many books as you can in the shortest amount of time possible!

Although an Amazon bestseller campaign needs proficient planning and appropriate execution, it is undoubtedly a great way to boost sales, visibility and obviously gain a higher Amazon ranking.

Becoming a Number One Amazon Bestselling Author is extremely advantageous and there are virtually endless benefits. It allows you to:

•    Establish yourself as an expert in your field/niche.
•    Gain exposure for you and your book.
•    Drive a huge amount of traffic to a website or blog which talks about your book, etc…
•    Increase your consultation and coaching charges.
•    Receive offers from different sources of media to invite you for an interview about your book and your services.

Amazon Bestseller Campaign

The basic concept of an Amazon bestseller campaign is to drive people to a special page telling them about your book, and to get them to return to that page to buy your book on the specified day of your launch. The reason why you want them to come back on a specified day is to hike up your Amazon sales rank. Most people will be more than willing to return to your page (as opposed to going directly to Amazon to buy your book) because after they buy it, they’ll be able to claim some fantastic bonus gifts.

These free gifts (often with a combined value of $200 or more) will be offered by a group of Joint Venture Partners (JVP’s) who you have brought together.

Once the necessary steps have been taken and a launch date has been set, you can sit back and watch your book creep up the sales rankings and become an Amazon bestseller!

For information on how I can help you launch an Amazon bestseller campaign for your book email me on info@thewordqueen.com

Love & light

The Word Queen xx

Getting Book Reviews

An effective offline method of publicising and advertising your books to sell even more copies, is via book reviews

To have a chance at selling lots of copies of your book on Amazon, you’ll need lots of book reviews.  Bagging lots of book reviews is a vital ingredient of your marketing plan for the following reasons.

1. Book reviews raise awareness about your book. Readers who read book reviews do so because they are interested in buying books. 

2. Book reviews provide information about your book that readers can use to make a decision. 

3.  Book reviews provide immediate access to your book.  Most book review sites raise money through affiliate programs, so most will include an Amazon affiliate link with your review. 

4. Book reviews provide credibility for your book.  Many libraries and bookstores expect to see excerpts of book reviews with media kits to help them determine which books to stock. A well-written, but bad review, will still point out some good things about your book.

5.  Book reviews provide feedback.  While a single review is only one person’s opinion, if the same things pop up in multiple reviews, authors will be made aware of potential problems, which they can take action to rectify. 

Here’s a two-step method that I recommend you follow in order to get book reviews:

1) Find bloggers who are related to your book, or who have reviewed other books in a similar genre, with a Page Rank of three or more. If your main character is a doctor, contact doctor blogs. If your character is a psychic, write to psychic blogs, etc. Page Rank 3 (PR3) is the best ranking to aim for because once a blog hits PR4 they receive a lot of advertising requests. PR3 blogs are more likely to respond with a ‘yes!’

2) To ask for the review firstly tell them who you are and ask if they’d be interested in receiving a free copy of your book. Also mention that if they like it, you’d really appreciate a review on Amazon. Keep it short and to the point.  Perhaps you could also give the reviewer a summary, page count, genre, and the ISBN number of the book.  Provide a link to your website for more information. It’s a good idea to give the message a personal slant, as if you’re writing to a friend rather than a stranger. Also bear in mind that most people prefer to receive a physical book.

Getting book reviews is a numbers game. Big commercial publishers often send out at least five-hundred review copies. Most indie authors can’t afford to send such a vast quantity, but it’s usually pretty affordable to send out ten or twenty copies to targeted blogs, plus email hundreds of other blogs with a digital copy.

At the beginning it’s all about  getting a following. You need reviews and support first then after you have that, you can focus your time and energy on selling your book and making money!

Love & Light

The Word Queen xx

Offline Book Marketing Methods

So let’s say you now have your first published book in your hands…and it feels great. All that hard work and effort has paid off and you can finally shout from the rooftop… “I’m a published author!”

Now if you landed a traditional publishing deal with one of the major publishing houses, this step won’t be SO important to you, as someone who has opted to self publish their book. The major publishing houses usually allocate each of their books a fairly large marketing budget, so as an author it’s easy to sit back and let them get on with it. However, there’s no harm in helping to push the sales along by engaging in a little self-promotion via some offlin ebook marketing methods.

If you self-published your book then unfortunately there’s no one else to market your book apart from you. After all, if no one knows that your book exists, apart from a few close friends and relatives, then you don’t have much chance of seeing it on the Times bestsellers list, or on any bestsellers list come to that!

Below is a list of effective oggline book marketing methods…

Teleseminars: A teleseminar is essentially a seminar over the phone using conference line services. It’s a great tool to build an audience quickly and share your message. You can be a guest on other people’s teleseminars or hold your own. There are many free resources available to hold your teleseminars, just do a search on Google to find one that suits you.

Joint Venture Launch: A joint venture launch involves asking potential partners to support you by sharing your information with their audience. Typically you’d select a partner who is well established in your field to gain the advantage of having access to their audience. You can offer your book for sale to your joint venture partner’s audience and sell lots more copies as a result. Maybe at the same time you could place an advert in your book, or on your website, to publicise your joint venture partner.

The Press:

  • Create a Press Release, including tips and how-to’s.
  • Get a Feature Story from the media
  • Write a how-to article and submit to relevant newspapers and magazines

Talk Show Radio and TV: If you manage to get on to TV or the radio, bear in mind that your audience mainly like to hear ‘how-to’ information, not other details about your book.

Local Talks: Sell your printed books at the back of the room. Take a clipboard and capture everyone’s emails at the talk.

I hope these offline book marketing methods work for you…next time I’ll focus on some effective online methods…

Love & Light

The Word Queen xxx

Using Twitter To Sell Books

Marketing your book via social media is a powerful tool, as it allows the author to build a relationship with the reader. Not only that, but it doesn’t have a direct monetary cost associated with it. The only cost is your time. Using Twitter to sell books is very powerful indeed!

Twitter is a brilliant way to connect with and build relationships with users. I have around three thousand followers on Twitter and every time I write a new post or come across an interesting article, I send it to three thousand people.

Never underestimate the power of using Twitter to sell books. 

As Twitter is such an important tool for selling books, I’m going to explain some effective tips and advice to use in order to boost sales.

Twitter Tips

Firstly go to www.twitter.com and create an account. Make sure you upload a clear, quality photo of yourself to your profile. People will want to see what you look like and who you are and if you leave the photo area blank, or use a fuzzy one, this doesn’t look very professional. If you upload a nice photo of you holding a copy of your book, that’s even better.

Next, ensure you write an effective profile and use keywords in your text. For example, you should definitely mention that you’re an author, whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author, the title of your book and what niche / topic / genre it focuses on. It’s always a nice idea to add something a little more personal to your profile too. For example, if you’ve written a book called Vegetarian Cooking, ideally your profile should read something like this: “Non-fiction author of Vegetarian Cooking, including advice, tips and easy recipes for vegetarians and vegans. In my spare time I like traveling, cross stitch and eating chocolate!” Make sure your profile includes the url of the blog you will have set up especially for your book.

Next, you need to start following people. It’s always a good idea here to find the right people to follow… not just any people. In the case of the example above, the best people to follow would be vegetarians and vegans. So how do you do that? Well I’ve found a few ways, which I’ll share with you below:

1. Type keywords relating to your niche in the Twitter search box at the top of the home page. For example ‘Vegetarian’ ‘Vegan’ ‘Vegetarian recipes’. Twitter will then display all the posts containing those keywords and you can through and follow those people. Many of them will follow you back automatically, although not all of them. We’ll move on to that in a moment.

2. Create an account with www.twellow.com – this is The Yellow Pages of Twitter and it’s amazing. Again, use the search box, or the category listings provided to type in your niche keywords and find other Twitter users with those words in their profile. A list will appear and you can follow any of them direct from that page (without having to go to Twitter).

3. Create an account with www.socialoomph.com – this is a Godsend, as you can set up an automatic DM to send anyone that follows you. You can also have Social Oomph automatically follow people who use your keywords either in their posts or in their profile. From the home page go to Direct Messages (which is located on the left hand menu), then choose ‘edit welcome DM’ to write a direct message which followers will receive automatically. I find it works better to rotate your direct messages so you can test and see which one is the most effective.

To add a few DMs to Social Oomph follow the format below: {Are you writing a book or trying to get one published? Msg me with your questions and get your FREE gift here: http://bit.ly/aTEGRh|Hi, Get your free report ’7 Steps To Writing Your Book & Getting It Published’ here: http://bit.ly/aTEGRh|Hi I’m The Word Queen! DM me with your writing & publishing questions. I’ll be happy to help xx} Obviously change the links to your own though, and change the text so it is related to your book. Make sure the auto follow box is ticked.

For some more general advice on using Twitter to sell books try and Tweet at least five times a day and make sure they don’t all focus on your book, with a link to buy it, or a link though to your blog. That will irritate other people, who will get the impression that you’re only interested in selling your book and you’ll be perceived as a selfish marketer. Post links to other related content that you find interesting and help other people in the Twitter community by retweeting their posts, etc… It’s also a good idea to Tweet at least twice a day about your life and what you’ve been up to. And that’s pretty much it when it comes to using Twitter to sell books.

So long as you follow these basic guidelines you’ll gain a large following in no time (and go on to sell lots of books!)

Love & Light

Keidi Keating, The Word Queen xxx

Using Social Media To Sell Books

Today I’d like to offer all you published Authors out there some tips on how to market your book. And if you haven’t got a book published yet, then bookmark this post so you can refer back to it when you do have your first published book in your hands!

When it comes to marketing your book online a good place to start is social media websites, simply because people love to meet published Authors.

Start by creating an account on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. These are the main three that I recommend, although if you really want to push the boat out then LinkedIn is well worth the extra effort.

For your profile photo, either use the cover of your book, or a nice photo of you holding your book. When writing your profile / biography be sure to let people know that you’re an Author and the title of your book. You should also include a weblink leading to your book for sale on Amazon, or to your book’s blog / website. (If you haven’t got your own blog / website for your book then you simply MUST and I’ll explain why in a future post).

Now’s the fun part! You must join as many groups as you can related to the subject matter of your book. For example, if your book is about the criminally insane (as one of my client’s books is) you should look at joining groups about this topic. You’ll be surprised at how many groups are out there, so don’t worry about finding a good few. You can also join more general groups such as ‘writing,’ ‘authors,’ ‘writers,’ ‘books’ etc…

Twitter is a completely different kettle of fish as it doesn’t involve groups, although you can use the search box on the home page to type in the words, for example ‘criminally insane’ and see what people are chatting about that subject, then you can follow them and hope they follow you back.

With Twitter you can also set up a profile on the ‘yellow pages’ of the site, Twellow. Here you can also find people to follow who are interested in the subject of your book.

I’ll be releasing future audio, ebook and video based products which reveal exactly how to implement a killer book marketing campaign, but for now take action by following the tips above. I really hope this helps you to sell some more books.

Just remember, don’t try to be somebody that you’re not on social media sites as that’s really obvious. Be yourself and people will adore you for it :)

Love & Light,

The Word Queen xxx

PS. Please check out the list of Marketing Packages I offer Authors!

I’d also recommend that you check out this video which explains what social media is and why you should be using it!

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