Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Promotion - Great List of Websites That Will Promote Your eBook

Whether you're an author, a marketer,  or a business owner with your own ebook, this is something you should checkout.

James Calbraith (author / publisher) has an amazing list of 90 websites where you can promote your ebook. He notes though that the "majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra."

Visit the post here:
90 Sites to Advertise Your Book



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Copy Editing, Line Editing, Substantive Editing

According to Merrian-Webster, editing is the process of preparing "(something written) to be published or used : to make changes, correct mistakes, etc., in (something written)."

In other words, it's the process of making your content, manuscript or other writing sparkle. It makes the content publishable.

If you’re a marketer, healthcare professional, or business owner chances are you will occasionally need professional editing for:

  • A book
  • Webcopy
  • A guest post on a ‘heavy hitter’ blog
  • An academic or health article you will be submitting to a journal or magazine
  • An essay
  • A thesis

When the occasion arises, it’d be a good idea to know which type of editing your manuscript needs. Hopefully, the descriptions below will give you an idea.

Copy Editing

This is the bare-bottom basic of mechanical editing. It covers:

•    Spelling (includes checking for homonyms)
•    Punctuation (periods, commas, semicolons, dashes, etc.)
•    Typos
•    Grammar (verb tense, numerals, etc.)

A homonym is a word that sounds just like another word, but has a different spelling and meaning. (e.g., hear/here/hair; it’s/its, to/too/two). These are words that spell-check won’t usually pick up.

Line Editing

This is the mechanical aspect of editing. Line editing includes checking for:

•    Copy Editing
•    Run-on sentences
•    Sentence clarity
•    Overuse of adverbs and adjective
•    Words used to begin sentences and paragraphs
•    And, more

It also checks for certain inconsistencies, such as:

•    Are the chapter titles all written the same?
•    Are names, such as countries and states, treated the same?

The manuscript is checked line-by-line. This is one of the most common editing requests.

Substantive Editing (Content Editing)

According to the CMS [Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, 2.46]:

“Substantive editing deals with the organization and presentation of content. It involves rewriting to improve style or eliminate ambiguity, reorganizing or tightening, recasting tables, and other remedial activities. (It should not be confused with developmental editing, a more drastic process; see 2.45.)”

This form of editing is in-depth. This is where the entire story is checked, line-by-line. It includes:

•    Line Editing
•    Rephrasing/rewriting sentences
•    Rephrasing/rewriting paragraphs
•    Checking for tight writing
•    Check POV (point of view)
•    Checking plot credibility
•    Advising if particular content (sentence/paragraph/story) is appropriate for children
•    Checking for clarity
•    Checking for readability
•    And much more

Substantive editing is time consuming and can take up to four weeks.

NOTE: It often happens that the author doesn’t realize the needs of her/his manuscript. Your editor should let you know if it’d be a good idea to ‘take it up a notch.’ Obviously, it’s the author’s choice, but the editor should let you know.

What’s the point of paying for line editing if the story’s structure needs an overall.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Email Marketing and Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

Email marketing is pretty straight-forward. And, it's important to realize it falls under the content marketing umbrella.

As an email marketer you send out emails in order to create a relationship with your subscribers, build trust, and ultimately sell what you’re offering. It may be a book or other product. It may be a service. Whichever it is, the saying goes, ‘people buy from people they trust.’

It’s important to keep in mind though that you should genuinely be striving to help your audience, especially your subscribers, reach their goals. It shouldn’t be ALL about selling.

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are words that motivate a viewer to take action. It may be to sign up to your mailing list. It may be to buy your book or other product. It may be to take a survey. It may be to sign up to your course or class. Whatever it is you’re offering or selling, it needs a CTA.

According to an article at, “You should have a big, standout call-to-action in every email marketing message you send.”

But, are CTA’s one-size-fits-all?

No. No, they’re not.

There are a number of elements in CTAs, such as the background color, the text, the text color, the size, the positioning, the design, and so on. Even how you use a CTA can vary.

Simple Changes, Big Results

An example of how simple changes can increase conversions (clicks / sales), Heinz Ketchup decided to test the effect of changing the color of their product. They changed it from red to green and “sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months.”

Another example is Performable. They changed their CTA button from green to red. It resulted in a 21% increase in conversions.

Testing is a big factor in all marketing. Testing variations of your CTAs can prove to boost your conversions.

A Bit of Knowledge Can Go a Long Way

To tweak your CTA, it’s important to have an idea of which direction to go. This means you need to know your audience and you need to know what elements you want to test out.

Is your audience mixed, men and women?

If so, you should know that women prefer blue, purple, and green. Men prefer blue, green, and black. Testing your CTA button or text with the color blue or green will cover both bases.

Is your audience primarily English reading?
This reader reads from left to right and top to bottom. Having the copy (wording, text) lead the reader down to the CTA and having the CTA on the left should help boost conversion.

Is your copy easily understandable and anxiety free?

Marketing Experiments conducts ongoing marketing research into what increases conversion. They’ve found that easy to understand text is essential. They also found that the wording must be right.

You might think that offering a “Free Consultation” or a “Free Trial” will motivate your reader to take action, but the opposite may be true. A free consultation or trial may produce anxiety in the reader. She may feel there’s an implied cost involved.

“Get Started Now” doesn’t have an implied cost attached, so it’s more likely to boost conversion.

Summing it Up

Email marketing is a powerful way to reach your audience. It’s should be used to help them as well as promote what you’re offering.

Your CTA is what will prompt the reader to take action. Test out the various elements within the CTA to see what works best for you.


Conversion – This is the process of readers moving from reading to action by clicking on your links, in other words taking the action step in your CTA.


I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Content Marketing - Lose the Heavy Hand

The marketing landscape has changed. In fact, it's been changing for a while now. Rather than focusing your marketing strategy on 'hard selling', you need to work on engaging and informing your visitors, readers, and subscribers. Your audience needs to be a part of the discussion.

This builds trust and loyalty which in turn motivates people to say YES to what you're offering. This also help build a successful business.

It does seem most marketers know the importance of this strategy and use it, but I still see a few who don't get it.

People are much more 'buyer savvy.' They don't want to be told what to do, they want to be informed. So, keep this in mind in your content marketing.



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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Content Marketing - Why A Different Name Can Increase Your Product Price By 1000 Percent

Guest post by Sean D'Souza'

Is a sum of $229 expensive?

It really depends, doesn’t it?

What’s the $229 for?

Is it for a book?
A half day event?
A workshop?
An online workshop?
A course?
A set of 8 DVDs?

What always matters isn’t the content itself, but the packaging

So, for instance, let’s say you took a book and positioned it at $229, you’re actually getting your audience to compare your book to all the books out there. In such a case, a book may well be $16, and some books may be $37 or $100, but the moment you go into the $200+ zone, you’re asking your clients to make a big leap of faith. You’re asking them to pay 1000% more than any book out there. Doesn’t make sense, does it? It makes perfect sense (we’ll get to it shortly), but let’s do nothing but change the packaging.

So now the book is a self-study course

What’s in a self-study course? Why it may consist of the same elements outlined in the book. Now instead of one book you have several segments of the book separated into sections. You may throw in some video and some kind of Facebook group as well.

There may even be some additional interviews or bonus. But can you add more in a course than you can in a book? No you can’t. A book is likely to have almost identical information, and the only thing that’s changed is the name you gave your product.

Let’s do it again, shall we? Let’s change it into a live offline seminar

Is a live seminar more valuable than a course or book? You bet it is, and a $229 live seminar (even a half-day seminar) could be considered a bargain. Yet, is it likely that you’re going to get different content?

Nope, nope and nope.

The content is likely to be the same because as the speaker gets on the stage, it’s more than likely they’re going to give you the very same slides that could easily fit into the self-study course. Yes, there may be some advantages to a live seminar, like networking or actually leaving your computer behind, but is the content any different?

Not really and here’s the proof

In 2009, I made a presentation at an event in the US. Those who’d attended that event paid $2000 to be there. Yes, I was one among 9 other speakers. So you could safely say that per head, I represented $200 of the workshop. So would you pay $200 to watch that presentation?

200 people did on that given day. And we know they liked our presentation, because on that day we sold more product than most of the other speakers. The question is: would you now pay $200 for that information if it were on YouTube?

Well, it is. And you know what that means, right? It’s free. So the very same information that cost an attendee $200 is now complimentary. What’s changed? Just the packaging, not the content.

But surely not all media is the same

No it’s not. For instance, I bought a ton of books on watercolours. I borrowed the second ton from the library. I’ve bought videos by the dozen on the subject, but I learned more in one workshop in Spain, than I learned from all those books.

Why? I can’t say for sure. Maybe I was ready. Maybe the teacher had a better method that I could learn from. In fact, one of the books I read were from that very teacher, but being there and being part of the experience made a huge difference to my skill set. So all media is not the same.

All the same, packaging counts…

You can take a book and make it a course, and sell it comfortably at 400% higher.

You can take a course, and make it an interactive group-based course and sell it at 10000% higher than an Amazon-priced book.
You can take a course online, put it offline and charge a lot more.

The content may, or may not change, but the price sure does.

Does this mean we’re getting ripped off?

No, not at all. A product must, for the most part, meet the expectation of the client. When we go to Amazon, we expect a book to be priced at a certain level. If it’s priced too low, you reject that deal.

And here’s proof: how would you like to go to a 7-day offline copywriting course for $229? Sound bizarre, doesn’t it? And it is. You are already finding fault with the course, even though you have not a clue what it’s all about, who’s conducting it or even why it’s so cheap? A price must, for the most part, sit at the same level as your expectations.

So why price a book at $229 if you’re going to meet with resistance?

Good question. It’s what Starbucks did with their coffee. When Starbucks entered the US market in a big way, the rest of the US was dishing out endless “coffee” for $1 or so. Then Starbucks brought in their fancy $4 lattes. That changed the perception of the buyer in the market. Eventually, every coffee rose to meet the Starbucks level.

Today, your perception of good coffee is not $1, but $4. Anyone offering you coffee for $1 would instantly be met with your disdain, or at least suspicion. Pricing a book at $229 sorts out the buyers who are willing to trust your “coffee” over the swill that’s out there in the market. They’re segregating themselves from the rest with their decision, and you’re in turn getting customers who are more likely to consume and apply your product.

Pricing is very dependent on packaging

For the most part, you don’t want to rock the boat. If you go too low, your work is disregarded and ignored. If you go too high it’s also met with a ton of resistance. And so naming your products in a way that befits the price is critical.

Is a sum of $229 expensive?

It really depends, doesn’t it?

Article courtesy of:

Psychotactics Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Social Media Marketing - Twitter is ‘Out of the Gate’ and on the Heels of Facebook

Twitter is getting ambitious. In fact, it’s recent changes show just how ambitious . . . and just how much they want to be like Facebook.

A couple of recent changes include:

The Twitter Header – you can now upload your own unique header on your account. I like this feature because if you take advantage of it (and use it right) your readers and visitors will quickly know what you’re about.

Twitter Favorite and Highlighted Tweets – you can now ‘favorite’ tweets you think are exceptional and you can highlight (make larger and/or post to the top of your page) your own tweets or those of others. This allows your readers to quickly see what you’re proudest of, your important information, and posts of others you want to highlight. This is another feature I like. It allows you to ‘highlight’ your good stuff and that of others.

Twitter and Images – Yep, you can upload tweets with images. I personally don’t like this feature because it reminds me too much of Facebook and Google+ and it detracts from the quick-scanning for information I want. While images are like ‘eye candy’ and people like them, if your interest is to quickly find information it is a distraction.

Why the move to catch up with Facebook

According to an article at Forbes, “Twitter Reveals Its Master Plan For Growing As Big As Facebook,” the social network is feeling investor pressure. The investors want a “growth curve” like that of FB. Whether this investor expectation is reasonable or unreasonable, the powers-that-be at Twitter feel the pressure to achieve what’s expected.

The problem?

The problem is basically Twitter's “acquisition of monthly active users has been slowing down, meaning it could be decades, not years, before it accrues the 1.3 billion Facebook has now.” Thus, the pressure.

What we have to look forward to

As it stands ‘right now,’ all your tweets are actually viewable on your profile (Me) page by those who follow you. In fact, I’m not sure if they’re visibility to anyone who visits your Me page. This is a great thing – your tweeting efforts produce the visibility you want and need.

But, in order to grab on to FB’s heels, Twitter is willing to mimic FB in anyway it can. One of those ways may be in your tweets’ visibility. FB uses an algorithm to determine which posts will get visibility and which won’t. If you get lots of likes and sharing, your posts will be more likely to be promoted. If you don’t, well, too bad.

With this algorithm, your efforts won’t necessarily produce the visibility you want or need. Twitter is willing to take this route if it thinks it will help them to catch up to FB.

To read more about Twitter’s plans, visit:

Twitter Reveals Its Master Plan For Growing As Big As Facebook



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Friday, August 8, 2014

Social Media Marketing - Should You Use Twitter Auto-Direct Messaging?

Have you ‘followed’ someone on Twitter and then received a Direct Message (DM) from that person?

I don’t get them from everyone I follow, but I do from some. And, it’s annoying.


These new connection messages are usually autoDMs. The autoDMs are messages that are setup to be sent automatically under certain criteria - usually when a new connection is made.

It may be:

A welcome message
A ‘follow me’ on Facebook (or other social network)
A ‘get this free’ offer

There are others also, but these are the usual ones and they are SPAM.

In my marketing research a while ago, I found it’s not the savvy thing to do and wonder why these people still use them anyway.

The auto DM will usually ask you to connect with the person on other social networks, or check out his/her book. But, I received one today that asked if I’d check out his website and let him know what I think. If this message gets people to click on the link, it will increase his website traffic.

So, as I do with the others, I deleted it. But, before I deleted, since it had to do with websites and I’m into website optimization, I did click on the link and found a few things that could be tweaked on the site, but that’s another post. This guy’s autoDM did get one more visitor to his site.

Two services that offer Twitter AutoDMs are Twitter DMer and Social Oomph. But, I recommend NOT setting up for autoDMs.

Mass Auto DMs

There are also ‘mass’ autoDMs. This tool is for sending mass messages about your new product or service. Or, maybe an event you’re hosting or a special offer. I’ve gotten some of these also. And, again, they’re annoying.

Unless you’ve already started a conversation with me and I at least know you somewhat, these DMs are spam.

Two services that offer this type of service are Twitter Mass DM Sender and Tweet Manager. Again, I recommend NOT using them – that’s why the links aren’t included.

Okay, I digressed a bit.

The point of this post is to answer the question of whether you should use Twitter AutoDMs and the answer is NO.

Everyone is busy. It’s important to respect the time of the people you’re connecting with.

And, there are many people who ‘unfollow’ those who send them autoDMs.

The ‘Real Deal’ DM

The opposite of AutoDMs are the unique and personal DMs. These direct messages are a great tool that you use directly through your Twitter account. Use the DM when appropriate - save it for a one-on-one question or conversation.

Avoid any type of messaging that involves spam.


If you want to find out how to stop AutoDMs, check out: “How to Stop Those Annoying AutoDMs.” It covers ways to opt-out of autoDMs.




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Need a ghostwriter (for individuals and businesses)? Find out how I can help: Karen Cioffi, Freelance Writer


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