Wednesday

The Wait is Over, Your Book is Finally Available for Sale

It's a long road, as most authors can probably tell you, from first starting your story to the day it's actually available for sale. A road filled with writing, outlines, revisions, critiquing, self-editing, some doubts and frustration (maybe a lot of doubts and frustration), more revisions, critiquing, and editing, and so on.

That road can take you one to two years to travel, but then . . . you reach your destination . . . your goal. All your doubts, impatience, and frustration disappears. Your book is now available for sale at retailers and bookstores! Now you can relax and take a breather before you start on your next book.

Uh, but, wait a minute. You thought writing the book and having to be patient through the submissions and publishing journey was tough? Well, roll up your sleeves and dig in, because now comes the hard part - selling your book.

Okay, all this is a lead-up to my big announcement: Walking Through Walls is now available for sale. :)

Get your copy today at:

AMAZON
BARNES and NOBLE

For those who haven't heard of Walking Through Walls, it is a middle grade fantasy adventure based on an ancient Chinese tale. You can read a number of reviews, check out a couple of interior illustrations, and find out more about my book at: http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

Don't forget to check out the book trailer:
Walking Through Walls Book Trailer

Reviews are a powerful selling tool.

I take the time to post my reviews to the usual places. And, I always make them long enough to post to the article directories, particularly EzineArticles.

This strategy produces a couple of benefits:

1. The author gets free effective promotion to a broader audience.
2. The reviewer gets the satisfaction of helping out a fellow author, plus increased visibility from the review posting sites and article directories. And, remember, you never know who will end up reading your work online, whether a review, an article, an e-book, or other content.

So, if you've read or are thinking of reading Walking Through Walls, please take the time to put a review up at AMAZON. Oh and if you don't mind, please CLICK on the LIKE button. Then down just a bit and on the right hand side, you'll find a Tweet Button and Facebook Button - if you click on both that'll add more sparks to the book marketing fire!

Along with my shameless plug for promotion help, these are book marketing strategies you should be using to help promote your own book!


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Monday

Creating, Promoting, and Selling in the Writing World

I recently attended a teleconference presented by David Riklan, a well-known marketing expert and the founder of SelfGrowth.com. The focus of the topic was creating a successful online business from scratch.

According to Riklan, the first two ‘core’ ways to establish a successful online business, one that generates income is to:

1.    Create your own product to sell.
2.    Create a service to sell.

Please understand that when you create a product or service, it should be a quality product or service. It needs to address the potential customer’s problem, need, or want.

What are some of the products and services you, as a writer, can create and sell online?

1. Books
2. eBooks
3. Podcasts
4. Workshops
5. Teleclasses
6. Webinars
7. White papers
8. Your writing skills as a ghostwriter, freelance writer, or copywriter
9. Speaking engagements
10. Coaching
11. Videos
12. Animations

You can see there are a number of things you can create and sell. And, when you create one product, you can always turn it into a number of others.

For example, if you present a live chat workshop be sure to have it copied. You can later create a report from the transcript and/or create a podcast. You can also create an ebook from the content you prepared for the workshop.

The same can be done for any of the products or services mentioned above. Rework the original content into as many other products you want.

But, take note that just having a business or a product to sell won’t necessarily generate an income. You need to attract potential clients and/or customers to your website to become a mailing list subscriber. You need to get them to click on your opt-in box.

Why is it so important to attract visitors and potential clients to your site and get their email addresses?

Statistics show that a first time visitor will not buy what you’re offering. But, if you have that person on your mailing list, you have the opportunity to try again and to promote other products or services you have for sale.

Along with your products and services, you can become an affiliate marketer to other products and/or services you feel are of value to your subscriber. This creates a win-win-win situation. The product creator gets a sale, you get an affiliate fee, and the customer gets what he wants or needs.

How to you promote your product or service:

To promote what you're offering, you need a number of things, the first three are:

1. An optimized website
2. A content marketing strategy
3. An inbound marketing strategy

Once you get the visitor to your website, the next step needs to take place. He needs to say YES to your call-to-action. In this case it would  be clicking on your email list opt-in box.


What is the most effective strategy to use to motivate someone to give his email address and increase your subscriber list?

The key to getting an email address is to offer something the visitor will feel is worth his valuable email address. The number one way to do this is by offering a FREEBIE. The visitor subscribes to your mailing list and then gets the freebie. This is known as an ethical bribe.

Obviously, the freebie must be something people want or need. If you have a health site focused on allergies, visitors will want information on allergies, maybe a report on the latest allergy statistics or alternative strategies for alleviating allergy symptoms.

You need to provide a freebie that is geared toward your target market. It must be something that offers a solution to their problem or provides something they want. It should be something that will help establish you as an expert in that niche. And, it must be perceived as having 'real' value.

This is the process of creating a product or service, promoting it, and selling it through your mailing list.

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR ONLINE PLATFORM?

Get Website Traffic with Inbound Marketing is just what you need.
This 4-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing covers: optimizing your website, blogging smart, email marketing, and social media marketing.

It's interactive, in-depth, and priced right. Check it out today. Just click on the link above for the details.




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Writing Books - Is There Money in It?

In the marketing arena, one of the messages conveyed is that unless you're a major author with a tremendous amount of sales, you will not get rich from writing books. You may not even be able to make a living. But, you should still strive to get published because it does open some doors and allows for alternative means of income.

How does an author create a living out of writing?

Well, whether you're in the process of writing a book, in the process of having a book published, or your book is already available for sale, there are a few strategies writers can use to supplement their income, or create a living from writing:

1. Create e-books and offer them for sale. If you're a fiction writer, write about elements of writing, the process, the pit falls, the publishing process, your marketing strategies, and so on. Write what you know.

2. If you have interests other than the fiction you write, capitalize on them also. Maybe, you're a great cook, write about cooking. If you have an interest in health, do the research and write about it.

For steps 1 and 2, it's easy to create an ebook with images and a cover. You can offer them on your site, or through services such as Kindle, Lulu.com, and Smashwords.com.

If you're willing to invest in a clickbank account or another of these types of services, you can find affiliates to help sell your e-books.

3. Don't forget this ONE essential strategy that all writers need to utilize: Write articles, research appropriate magazines and submit, submit, submit - if you don't submit your work, you will not get published, or earn an income from your writing. And, as stated above, being published does matter; it opens up doors and opportunities that may not otherwise be open.

4. If you're writing nonfiction, think spin-offs. You can create journals, white papers, and even videos and podcasts for sale.

5. Look into selling through catalogues.

6. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, seek out corporations or businesses that may be interested in your topic. For example: I wrote a bed time story and my writing coach, suggested I look into children's stores (furniture, clothing, toys, etc.) to see if they'd be interested in buying in bulk to offer the book to their clients for sale or as giveaways.

7. If you're published, offer teleclasses or coaching. This is one of those opportunities that will work better if you're published.

8. Promote, Promote, Promote!

These are a few of the strategies you can use to generate income from writing.

Tip: Remember to be focused and research your target market.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You might find these articles of interest:

A Smorgasbord of 10 Writing Article Links
You Can Write – First Eliminate Negative Talk

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Karen Cioffi Freelance Writer

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Wednesday

Do You Want to Get Your Book Into Book Stores?

As authors we would all love to see our books in bookstores, but how do we go about doing that? Well, today's guest post is by the book marketing guru, Penny Sanseveri, and she addresses this question with 8 secrets.

8 Secrets for Getting Into Bookstores

By Penny Sanseveri

Let's face it, regardless of the odds we authors still want to get into bookstores. But if you've been having a hard time with this, take heart. It's getting harder and harder to get into stores, but not impossible. We're going to look at some of the possibilities here.

First, it's important to understand the pressure stores are under right now. With the increased focus on publishers to get their authors out there, bookstores are being given most of their marching orders by their corporate office. Bookstore shelf space is bought and paid for by the New York publishers, making getting on the shelves or display racks a bit tricky - if not impossible. So here's a game plan for those of you trying to survive outside of the traditional market.

1. Get to know your local store: I know this might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many authors don't really know the people in their local store. The thing is, if you know them, they know you. Then, when you're ready to promote your book they might be more open to having you in their store if you have taken the time to get to know them.

2. Events: One way to get into a bookstore is by doing an event. Sometimes when you do an event the store may stock the book before and after you've done your program. Start to follow the types of events they do at the store. Get an events calendar or get on their email list. You'll start to see trends emerge. For example, they might have an independent author night you could participate in. Also be cautious for big releases, like the recent Stephenie Meyer events many stores had planned. If you are trying to capture the attention of a store when they're in the middle of a major book launch, you're likely to be ignored.

a) Book signings are boring, offer to do an event instead. Events are a draw, book signings aren't unless you're a celebrity. Plan to do a talk, educate, entertain, or enlighten. This will be a more attractive pitch to the bookstore and will draw more people to your talk.

b) Get to know the local authors in your area and then offer to plan events for them. Here's how this works: Bookstores are inundated with local authors asking for a time slot, but what if you went to the bookstore manager and said that you'd be willing to coordinate a once a month event featuring all the local authors? The bookstore could just refer all local independently published authors to you, you could coordinate this - and guess what? Not only are you helping the store, but guess who's getting a monthly showcase in their store? You. You can do this with more than one store if you have the time, but keep in mind that with cutbacks often one store manager will oversee a few locations so you might only have to go through one person.

c) If they won't let you coordinate a monthly event, suggest that they have an Independent author night if they haven't already started this. If they have an Independent author night you should definitely participate, it's a great way to gain exposure, not to mention network with some local people.

3. Distribution: Making sure that the bookstore can actually acquire the book is often the first step in getting stocked. Bookstores generally tap into two databases for stocking: Baker & Taylor and Ingram. If you're listed there, bookstores can order the book, though a listing in those databases doesn't usually prompt stocking because these are not distributors, they are wholesalers. There's a big difference. Distributors such as IPG, Perseus, and Midpoint actively push the book into the bookstores, or try to sell copies into the stores during their sales push. Wholesalers don't do this, so if you can get a distributor for your book, great! This could really help your in-store success.

4. Local marketing: Don't forget any marketing you do locally, whether it's speaking in venues outside of the bookstores, television, radio, or print. All of this can drive traffic into the bookstores. Market locally and when you do, let the stores know you're going to have a feature or appearance so they can stock the book, if they want to. It's always a great idea to get to know the managers or buyers for your local stores so you can alert them to media or an event you're doing. This not only keeps you and your book on their radar screen, but it's a nice courtesy to offer them. Most managers are stretched pretty thin and appreciate the buying tip, whenever they can get it. Even if they choose not to stock your book the first or second time, keep alerting them to your promotion. Eventually they just might.

5. Know your Geography: Let's say you live in New York, but your book is more suited to the Midwest market... Why keep pushing in an area that's already inundated with authors and books and events? Why not push it to a market that's more appropriate for your topic? By doing this you will not only open up channels you might not have considered, but you'll likely do better in sales. When you do this, you should plan to coordinate some marketing around it so folks in that local area are aware that your book is there.

6. Buy a book: Don't just wander the store trying to make friends: shop there. Support your local stores regardless of whether they are a chain or independent. You'd be surprised what a difference this makes when you're trying to get to know the folks who could book you for an event or stock the book on their shelves.

7. Funnel your buyers: Try as best you can to funnel everyone to one store to purchase your book. If you're having a tough time getting shelf space (and aren't we all?), funneling folks to one store might prompt that store to keep a few copies of your book on hand. Whenever you do local speaking or media, let them know by name and address where they can get your book. Stores have been known to take in books that they're getting lots of requests for, regardless of how they are published. If you're sending people to one store - instead of fragmenting them to a bunch of different ones - you could start building an ongoing interest in reorders, and sometimes all it takes is one store to stock it before the neighboring stores will follow suit.

Getting into bookstores isn't impossible, but it does require a dash of creativity. Keep in mind that if bookstores still aren't receptive after you've tried the tips in this article then maybe you're sitting in a tight market. Areas like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago might be tough areas to get noticed, because these are often the first stops traditional publishers seek when planning author tours and getting stocked on the shelves. If you're near those areas, try looking outside of the city for alternatives that are often overlooked by New York. If that doesn't work for you, then consider non-bookstore shelf space and events. If you're not sure how to do this, check out my other article on events outside of the normal bookstore market, http://huff.to/cx05E2

Over the years we've planned events for our authors in all sorts of non-bookstore venues such as: video stores, electronics stores, gyms and even grocery stores. If events are your focus, keep an open mind and remember: often the biggest piece of getting your book into a bookstore is the relationship you build with them.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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MORE ON BOOK MARKETING

Your Author Online Platform and Social Networks – Blog Page Views and Twitter Followers
Book Promotion: 20 Strategies that will Broaden Your Reach
Marketing Exposure by Nancy Sanders

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR ONLINE PLATFORM?

Give Your Author/Writer Business a Boost with Inbound Marketing is just what you need.

It's a 4-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing and covers: the basics of optimizing your website, blogging smart, email marketing, and social media marketing.

It's interactive, in-depth, and priced right. Check it out today. Just click CLICK HERE for the details.



Using Multiple Domain Names for Your Author Sites


Today's guest article is about creating domain names for specific landing pages on your websites or blogsites.

Off we go:



How to Choose and Use Multiple Domain Names for Your Author Website or Blog 

By Dana Lynn Smith

A domain name is the address that's used to direct others to your author website, and it's usually preceded by www. For example, my main website and blog is at http://TheSavvyBookMarketer.com.

One of the first decisions authors must make in setting up an author website or blog is what to call the site and what website domain name to use for marketing purposes. But it may be a good idea to purchase several domains and point them to your home page or to different areas of your website. Below are some examples of domains commonly used by authors.

Choose a domain that matches your book title and point it to your book sales page. For example, SavvyBookMarketer.com points to the sales page for my Savvy Book Marketer Guides.

If your book is not yet published, you may want to make sure the domain name (or an easy variation of it) is available before you decide on the final title. Depending on your business strategy, you may also want register a domain to match your publishing company name.

For branding purposes, get a domain that matches your author name and point it to the "about" page or media page on your site. If you have written several books, you can use your author domain name for your main website. You may have to be creative to register your own name – try using a middle name or initials, adding another word such as “author,” or using an alternate extension such as .net instead of .com.

If you have multiple websites, you can create a personal website using your author domain name and link from that site to your other sites. For example, DanaLynnSmith .com points to a website that contains links to all of my other sites.

If you’re a fiction author planning to publish multiple books, consider using a domain name related to your genre for your author website, such as RomanceAuthorJulieJones.com

For search engine optimization, buy a topical, keyword-rich domain to point to your home page or book sales page. Look for domains that contain keywords people are most likely to search for when looking up information about your topic. For example, SellingtoLibraries.com points to my sales page for my book, The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries.

According to Search Engine News, a domain name that exactly matches the keywords entered into a search engine tends to give that domain an advantage in the search results. Having keywords in the domain name also increases the chance of the searcher clicking on your link when they see it on the results page. The Google Keyword Tool is a good place to research the best keywords.

When choosing a domain name for your author website, watch out for potential pitfalls such as words or letters that look or sound bad when strung together. In your marketing materials, capitalize the first letter of each word in your domain name – it makes it much more readable. Here are some other tips:

•  Try to get the .com version of the domain name if possible
•  Don’t use hypens or other characters in your domain name
•  Don't make the domain name too long
•  Try for a domain that's memorable and brandable, if possible

Buying and Forwarding Domain Names

Some website hosting services will give you a free domain name, but it's best to purchase your own domain so that you have complete control over it, especially if you later change hosting services.

I use Go Daddy for my domains because of the low price (about $12 a year) and free and easy domain forwarding service. One free email address is included with each domain and you get POP3 service to access your email through programs such as Outlook. The signup process can be a bit cumbersome, because they try to sell you other products during the process, but their domain management tools are easy to use.

If your author website has a long, ugly URL, simply “forward” or “point” your domain name to that URL. For example my personal domain, DanaLynnSmith .com points directly to a website which is actually located at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/dana_lynn_smith/

Want to learn more? Here’s a free tutorial (sorry, the link doesn't work) on how to buy and forward domain names to your website using GoDaddy.  As a bonus, I'll show you a shortcut that makes the purchasing process much easier and show you exactly how to forward your domain to your author website.

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Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana's blog and get a copy of the Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you sign up for her free newsletter at http://BookMarketingNewsletter.com.

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MORE ON BOOK MARKETING

By-Pass Marketing and Book Selling
Book Marketing – 3 Reasons Why Editing Should Come Before Self-Publishing
Your Author Online Platform and Numbers – Newsletters, Subscribers, Speaking Engagements, and Book Sales




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Monday

The Freelance Writing Drivers Seat

Are You in the Driver's Seat of Your Freelance Business?

Guest Post By Nick Usborne

 Only a few very successful freelancers are truly in the driver's seat of their business. They control every aspect of their business and their work — day by day and year after year.

The majority of freelancers don't work this way. They spend their entire careers in the passenger seat. They are reactive. They allow their clients and other external factors to do the driving.

How about you? Read through these five key differentiators, and then determine whether you are in the driver's seat of your own freelance business, or not.

Differentiator #1 – Drivers have a 5-year plan, at least.

Freelancers who are in the driver's seat know where they are going. They also know what it will take to get them to their destination. They know the roads they will have to take, and the waypoints along the trip.

If you don't know where you are headed — if you don't have a long-term plan — you can hardly claim to be in the driver's seat.
(Unless you're out for a joy ride, with no particular destination in mind. But, if that is the case, you don't really have a business.)

Differentiator #2 – Drivers choose their clients, and their projects.

Top freelancers know which types of clients are best to work with and pay the highest fees. These are the clients they approach, capture, and work with. They don't waste valuable time on multiple, low-value engagements.

These freelancers behave less like typical freelancers, and more like small consulting companies or boutique advertising agencies. They go for the best clients.

You can take the same approach, behaving more like an up-and-coming company than an individual for hire.

Differentiator #3 – Drivers increase their value.

Smart freelancers know there is always more to learn. And, they are never shy to invest in their own education. They spend money to improve their core skills, and to add more skills their clients will find valuable.

The key here is to increase your perceived value in the eyes of prospective clients. The higher your perceived value in the client's eyes, the higher the fees you can charge.

Differentiator #4 – Drivers don't bill for their time, they bill for their value.

Smart freelancers don't have hourly rates. They don't write their estimates based on the time they will spend on an assignment. Instead, they estimate and bill based on the value of the work they produce.

A three-page online article might take you the same time to write as a three-page sales page. But, the sales page is worth ten times as much to the client. So, why charge the same amount for both?

Differentiator #5 – Drivers maximize their income from every job they do.

Ambitious freelancers seek to increase the scope of every project they take on. They don't just listen to what the client asks, but also make recommendations that deliver great value to the client, and more dollars to themselves.

As an example, when asked to rewrite a website home page, the driver might ask something like, "Would you like me to review your second-level pages at the same time? If the home page is changing, it would probably make sense to change some of those second-level pages, too."

In other words, freelancers in the driver's seat are proactive, seeking out new opportunities, and expanding on current projects.

In summary …

Most freelancers are totally passive, grateful for the work their clients give them, and getting by on the fees they are offered.

But, as soon as you claim your rightful place in the driver's seat, everything changes.

You take control and start taking action to get better clients, work smarter, and make more money.

Are you ready to get in the driver's seat?

[Ed. Note: Nick Usborne has been a copywriter for 30 years now, 11 of which he's dedicated solely to online copy. He is also the author of Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts (formerly Million-Dollar Secrets for Online Copywriting), a step-by-step guide showing copywriters how to apply their skills to writing for the Web, and confidently present themselves to any company, large or small, as an expert who can transform their online presence.]

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This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

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MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

Writing for Money – Breaking Into Freelance Writing
Building a Profitable Information Product Business
Freelance Copywriting – Be Smarter, Be Successful


Friday

Freelance Writing: Thinking of Getting Into It?

Freelance writing takes on a number of descriptions: writing for magazines, ghostwriting, copywriting, and any other form of writing-for-hire. And, while it may be a little intimidating, if you work at it you can learn the secrets to becoming successful.

Today, I have a guest post by Filbert Publishing's Beth Erickson on just this topic:

My Most Powerful Freelancing Secret

By Beth Erickson

My most powerful freelancing secret is knowledge.

No.  I'm not the most knowledgeable writer in the world.  I'm not even the best.  However, I'm a voracious reader.

I read everything I can get my hands on.  My library houses books by Bly, Hatch, Lewis, Throckmorton, Ogilvy, Kennedy, Stein, Levinson, and Nash - just to name a few.

I also subscribe to a ton of writing e-mags and magazines.  This helps me keep my e-mag, Writing Etc., up to snuff plus it provides me "inside information" on how to write articles that will be accepted by them.  When another publication runs one of my articles, they're, in effect, paying me while giving me prime advertising space.  (I do believe I learned this incredible
technique from a Mr. Bob Bly....)

I work on projects and market my writing services during the day, then I curl up with a good book every evening.  We rarely turn on the television at night, instead opt to keep the radio tuned to our favorite station.

Every evening, I study effective direct mail packages.  I read about writing techniques and innovative ways market products and services.

As I read each book, I stick a post-it note on the page that has a technique I want to try.  The next day I crack open that same book and actually DO what it suggested.

I repeat what works for me and chuck the ideas that didn't do what I thought it would do.

When I'm working for a client I read all the background materials they provide.  Then I research on my own, trying to know their industry inside out.  I also study their past promotion efforts and
try to get my hands on their competition's marketing materials.

I draw ideas from everything I've read to make my and my client's marketing materials as powerful as possible.

Just like educators and health care workers continually attend classes to earn their "Continuing Education Units," I invest time and money in purchasing the best books I can find to make my
writing efforts more effective than my competition.  But I don't just read and reread them, I study them and apply what I've learned in everything I write.

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power Queries." http://filbertpublishing.com

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MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

Successful Writing Strategy – Know Your Intent
You Can Write for Money
Write Like an Expert

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