Category: blog

Dec 12

5 Book Publishing Mistakes To Avoid

Publishing your book can be a big pain if you do not know what you are doing. Here are 5 Mistakes to avoid and think about before you print your book.

1. Wrong formatting – Chapters need to start on the right, chapter headings need to be consistent throughout and fonts need to be consistent.Note that fonts should be in the serif family for easier reading—and to ensure the book looks professional. Readers don’t want to spend hours reading books typeset in Arial fonts or Comic Sans.

2.Weak Back Cover Copy – The description of your book that goes on the back cover is typically the same sales copy that will be published on Amazon, BN.com, etc. This description is often your only chance to convince a reader to buy the book, which means that it must sizzle and convince a potential reader to fork over some cash.

For nonfiction, back cover copy should explain the benefits for the reader. For memoir and fiction, the copy should summarize a compelling story.

3.Wrong Book Pricing – A sure sign of a self-published book is when its price doesn’t align with others in the genre. For example, if you’ve authored a short, 100-page self-development book, don’t price the paperback at $24.99. When you do a little research into the genre, you’ll find that a short nonfiction book will more likely land in the $14.99 price range.

You also need to make sure you allow for enough margin to make a profit. Using the same example, your 100-page trade paperback will likely have a wholesale cost between $3 to $5, depending on your printer. When you set the retail price at $14.99, Amazon and other retailers will typically take around 50% off the cover price, thus paying you $7.50 for the book. Make sure to run these calculations before setting your retail price.

4.Forgotten Marketing – Waiting until the book is published is the worst time to think about marketing! Ideally, your marketing plans should begin as far in advance as possible. This can mean months or years before the book is released. Do yourself a favor and start establishing a marketing plan long before your next book becomes available. this includes setting up your website and social media profiles.

5.Wrong Publishing Company Name – If you are publishing your book with a “big box” publisher, like CreateSpace or IngramSpark, be sure to establish your own publishing company name. Allowing your brand to be associated with self-publishing services like IngramSpark or CreateSpace instantly tells media pros and potential readers that you’re self-published.

When deciding on a publishing company name, try to choose something that sounds like a legitimate publishing company. If your name is Annie Author, avoid using something like “Annie’s Publishing Co.” Remember, the goal is to create a professionally-produced book that doesn’t look like it was self-published.

These are 5 mistakes you can avoid when publishing your book. You can download a free publishing checklist to keep you organized. If you have questions just ask me, I would love to help you.

Dec 06

Use Your Book As A Business Card

Did you know that writing a book  and use it as a business card is a powerful marketing tool for you as a business owner?

By the way you are are not publishing your book in hopes of becoming a best-selling author

But to ……..produce a quality marketing tool to generate additional income.

That income can comes from speaking, coaching, consulting, and new customers. It’s not about selling LOADS of books.

Your Book Is Your New Business Card

    • Your book is a tool that encourages customers to buy your products, services, or offer you speaking engagements.

    • Your book helps you establish your expertise and sets you apart from others in your industry.

    • Your book becomes a powerful marketing tool. You can give copies of your book to prospects when you meet with them, and you can include copies when you send out proposals for speaking at industry events.

    • Your book will help you build your mailing list.

    • Your book will add legitimacy to training courses and workshops. It will encourage people to register for the classes you are hosting and teaching.

Using your story in your book is a powerful tool for helping others get to know you as a business owner, but also get to know you as a person!

If you need help formatting or publishing your book contact me Love to help you.

Jun 22

Do I need an EAN and ISBN

4car copy

For authors trying to figure out what EAN is and if they need it. Got quite a few questions lately regarding this question.

While most retail products in the US are marked with a UPC symbol, virtually every other country uses the European Article Number (EAN). To provide world wide standardization in the sale and handling of books and because the book industry produces so many products annually, a special “country” with its own EAN prefix just for books has been designated in the EAN system — 978 for “Bookland” — which is used in the universal barcode system.

Any EAN which begins with the 978 prefix is called a Bookland EAN barcode and is used on books and book related products.

In Canada, getting an ISBN with barcode is free in the United States the charge is around $125. The bar code is part of the ISBN making the number 13 digits long.

When you get your own ISBN this registers the book to you the author not for example to Createspace or Amazon.

The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

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Apr 25

Tips For Building An Author Platform

build-writer-platform copyTime and again I get asked

  • What is an Author Platform
  • Do I need one
  • How do I make one

I came across this informative podcast by Jane Friedman’

She discusses building an author platform, including the struggles authors face and what the key components of a platform are, tips for blogging for both fiction and nonfiction authors, and what she would do if she started as an author today. It is 37 minutes long and I know you will enjoy this information.

And remember if you need help building your website I can help.

 

 

Mar 14

coloring book contest

The-Mindfulness-Coloring-Book-Collection-Bright_Large400_ID-1409289Coloring Books are great fun. These 3 coloring books are being given away. You can enter the contest here:click here 

 

Coloring is totally accessible to everyone. Regardless of any coloring “skill level”, a person can happily apply crayon, colored pencil, marker, or pen to the coloring book pages.

By now we know how to color inside the lines!

The Mindfulness Coloring Book is a particularly exciting collection because the designs within it are so diverse. One page may have mandalas while another page shows a gorgeous landscape. Portraits, abstract patterns, cartoons, and more fill this book. Not only will you find a variety of content inside, but the level of detail from image to image also varies. Ranging from bold lines and low levels of detail to very fine lines and intricate detail, the coloring book pages suit any mood!

Here is the link again to enter the contest. Enter

 

 

Mar 08

Doodling is an incredibly powerful tool

doodle2

Do you believe- to doodle-  means  making meaningless marks, to do something of little value, substance or import, and — my personal favorite — to do nothing. No wonder people are averse to doodling at work. Doing nothing at work is totally inappropriate.

But research says something different about Doodling.

Our culture is so intensely focused on verbal information that we’re almost blinded to the value of doodling. Here’s the truth: doodling is an incredibly powerful tool, and it is a tool that we need to remember and to re-learn.

Doodling is really to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think. That is why millions of people doodle. Here’s another interesting truth about the doodle: People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but in reality, it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing.

Pretty neat, right?

So here is my point: Under no circumstances should doodling be eradicated from a classroom or a boardroom or while watching TV.. On the contrary, doodling should be leveraged in precisely those situations where information density is very high and the need for processing that information is very high. And I will go you one further. Doodling is  universally accessible and it is not intimidating as an art form, it can help us see the bigger picture and open our minds to solving a problem

This is a fact: doodling has a profound impact on the way that we can process information and the way that we can solve problems.

So, I say let us doodle more.  Especially when we are trying to think of a story line or how to move  a character into the next scene. It helps us think and solve problems.What do you think

Feb 27

Write Better: Create A Bullet Journal

largeBullet Journal Your Way Into Writing

Do you find it hard to find time to write?

When you do have time to write, do you waste time wondering what to do?

Inspired by a blog post by the wonderful children’s book author Kate Messner, I have started bullet journaling.

To find out how to do this, watch the video

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

With these Journals you can personalize them to suit your personality.

Action Steps:.

  1. Take the time to think out your month
  2.  Think out your days and week
  3.   Break down your writing projects into distinct steps.

You might find, like me, that you have more time to write when you make it a priority and when you know just what to do when you sit down. This last bit is so important to me,,,I do not have to “think what next” it is all set out in my Journal. I can go ahead and “DO”

I have built a word doc Bullet Journal you can access for free. Click here
Hope you find it as helpful as I have!

Jan 28

Social Media Planner For Authors

chestshire cat

Did you know that the work you put in before your book launch determines the success of your book?

And like the cat says if you don’t know where you want to go or how you want to publicize your book nothing will get done which also means no success.

Of course you could wait for launch day, but you may be left wondering why the hundreds of sales you were expecting don’t happen.

Writing a book is a good start, but it’s not enough. You need to promote it too.

Promoting your book takes careful planning so you get the most out of your time and effort. And that’s why having a Social Media Book Marketing Plan is an essential part of the process.

Most of you probably already know that your author websites are considered the hub of your promotional platform and everything outside of this such as, social media, forums and events work at drawing viewers and readers deeper into your web, with the purpose of landing at your website or directly buying your book.

Things to think about

Why do I want to use social media to promote your book?

What I mean: to sell books, to connect with readers, or promote a Hangout

What do I want to accomplish with your social media efforts?

What I mean: gain followers to your social media, create a niche following for your books, or build an author platform.

How much time do you have to spend each day on social media?

What I mean: You must determine how much time you’re willing to invest on social media. Will it be 15 minutes in the morning and evening, one hour total per day.

You’ll need to make a commitment to your social media every day once you get started.

Two smaller chunks are better than one larger one so you can check on comments and activity.

The Social Media Planning Template helps you harness the power of social media marketing and amplify your ‘word of mouth’ marketing through your social network.

To keep you on track with your marketing, download a free social media planner. It will keep you organized.

 

 

Jan 18

Market Your Fictional Character on Social Media

You’ll find fictional characters on social media. And they’re all from books.
ivanthegiraffeCheck out Ivan the Giraffe.
He has his own book series
It’s an effective strategy for novelists.

 

Why you want to do this

Why should you create social media profiles for your characters? Here are just a few reasons:

 

By bringing your character to life outside the pages of your book, you’re giving readers and fans an opportunity to connect with the character in a way that further bonds them to your writing. This can be especially meaningful for series authors.

It helps you create character depth while you’re writing your book.

You’ve got something to say on social media besides “buy my book.”

You will have an outlet for precious, beloved material cut from the story.

It can be more fun than tweeting or posting Facebook updates as yourself.

Tips for doing it effectively

Really get into character when you post.

Too many people use their character’s Facebook Page to post content that they post on their author Page, too. You know — the standard “Author XYZ is doing a book signing tomorrow!” or “(Book title) just got another five-star review on Amazon!”Is that really what your character would be sharing on social media?Get into character and have a little fun with it!
Your character’s status updates should be created from their perspective, not yours.

Stay away from those “buy my book” messages that are inherent in author appearance announcements and focus, instead, on what your character might say or do at that event.

Look for real ways to engage readers with your characters.

Let your character ask questions, provide commentary on world affairs or politics, share favorite image quotes, request movie recommendations, or post pictures from a book club appearance. Know what your audience is interested in, and use your character to share information, ask questions, or lead a discussion on that.

Don’t market. Connect.

Stop thinking about selling books. Focus instead on connecting with readers. Your character’s social media accounts provide a way to bring that character out of the type on the page and into a new dimension. You get to bring that character to life.

If you’re forcing your character to share details about book signings or $.99 sale days, you’re just trying to sell. Readers aren’t interested in that — they’re interested in their favorite character’s take on what’s happening in the world around them.

Character profile resources If you like this idea but have trouble imagining how you’d pull this off, consider using social media profile templates that educators use to bring fictional characters to life for today’s social media savvy students. “Fakebook” is one. Here is a twitter template. Just filling out the templates without worrying about hitting “submit” will get you thinking about how you want to approach this.

You might also have fun with “ifaketext,” an online tool that lets you create images of fake iPhone messages — messages that, of course, might have been sent by your character.

Does your book’s character have a social media profile? Share the link in a comment!

Jan 16

How To Start A WordPress Blog -Checklist

Many of my clients have asked for a WordPress checklist.  It makes creating a blog so much more efficient if you have  a list made of all the things to successfully launch a WordPress blog. The customization section is where the real things start to happen. Things like permalinks, categories, plugins and doing this all with SEO in mind.

So here is the list. Start checking items off your list!

 

1and11. Register a Domain Name
Do this step first, as you’ll need to enter your domain name when you set up your hosting account.

I use 1and1.com to locate available domain names and over the past 10 years they have given exceptional service and kept my domain registration secure.  You always want to set up your hosting separately from your domain.

The main reason I advocate for keeping your domain name(s) separate from web hosting is because things are far more likely to go wrong with your web hosting before your domain name. Domain registrars are at least partially regulated, by ICANN. . Domain registrars serve one purpose: managing a domain name for a small fee.

Web hosts have full control of what your website can do. Almost all of them have restrictions in their terms of service (especially shared hosting) which limit what you can and can’t do. If they have your domain name too, you can’t simply change web hosts in the event of a problem or dispute. Your domain can be held hostage or as a bargaining chip to make sure you renew or pay them.

There is potentially a secondary problem with a web host registering a domain name for you. The ownership of the domain name comes into question. Do they register it in your name making you the legal owner or their company’s name, making them the de facto owner.

So to summarize. domain name registration with one company web hosting on an other.

2. Set up your Hosting Account
I use HostGator to host my WordPress blogs because they make it easy to install, and they have great online & phone support. They are also very inexpensive at less than $10/month for unlimited domains, sites and/or blogs on that one account.

click on the image above, and use the coupon code “wordpresschecklist”. That will give you the first month free (or, for a penny – which is about as close to free as you can get).

3. Update Nameservers
Check your email for the account details for your new hosting account. Inside this email you’ll find 2 nameservers. Keep the email open and go back to1and1.com. Log in to your account, find your new domain name, and edit the nameservers to the two shown in your HostGator email. Contact me if you need help.

It can take up to 72 hours for your domain name to point to your new hosting account, so you want to do these steps right away.

4. Install WordPress
You don’t have to download WordPress and then try to manually install it yourself – that’s doing things the hard way. Instead, go back to your HostGator welcome message and find the link to your control panel. You will have to use the temporary IP Address link since your domain hasn’t propagated yet. Log in to your control panel with the username and password in that same email.

Once you log in, scroll down and look for the Quickinstall button. It’s towards the bottom, under Software/Services. Under the navigation on the left, choose WordPress and follow the instructions to install your WordPress blog.

5. Choose a WordPress Theme
While you’re waiting for the domain to propagate, do a search for “free wordpress themes”. Pick one (or pick a few) and download the zip files. Do not Unzip or extract the files.

Your wordpress install comes with a free theme which is exceptionally functional. Has all the bells and whistles that you will need..just need to activate it.

6. Still Waiting?
At this point you are probably still waiting for your domain name to propagate (meaning the nameserver update hasn’t taken effect yet so you still can’t see your new WordPress blog when you type your domain name into a browser).

There isn’t much you can do at this point since most of your links – including your WordPress admin login – depend on the domain name. So while you are waiting, decide what your first few blog posts will be about.

Write a few blog posts, based on the keyword phrases you selected. It’s a great starting point because you know people are searching those phrases, and are specifically interested in those topics.

7. WordPress Customization
Once your domain is working, you’ll be able to log in to the WordPress dashboard. Just go to yourdomain/wp-admin/ in a browser, and put in the username and password you chose when you installed WordPress on your hosting account.

Now that you’re logged in – Welcome to WordPress!! – follow these steps:

activate your new theme (under appearance > themes)
change permalink structure help
edit/delete the default post (Hello World) and delete the test comment
fill out About Me page  About page is one of the most important pillars of your blog.Often I’ll visit blogs and want to know more information about the author – either so I can   contact them, or quote them in a reference – and have zero luck finding anything at all.
Can you answer this one basic question: Who are you?
Ideally you have a photo and a basic introduction to “who you are and what you do”.. you   should have a visible hyperlink to an About Me page.
Remember to tell viewer how you can help them not give a long list of all your credentials.

edit/add categories

Now you’re all set and ready to blog! 😀

If you need more instruction you can purchase a set of 23 videos explaining in depth how to install and customize your new wordpress site. go here