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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Blogging Rules For All Authors

 


Authors, regardless whether you are launching your first book or your 20th, whether you write fiction, poetry, children’s books, or non-fiction, and whether you self-publish or are with a traditional publisher, indie press, or university press, there is one rule you must abide by when it comes to blogging: You need one.

Here are some truths:

·         You need a web site.

·         You need to be on social media.

·         You need book reviews.

·         You need third-party validation – the news media, testimonials, or other social media to praise you.

·         You need to blog.

Ok, so now that you uncovered this not-so-huge huge secret, that yes, you need a blog like yesterday, there are six more rules you must abide by when it comes to having a blog:

1.      Frequency/Consistency

You should publish your blog often enough to be relevant. Once a week is ideal – it is often enough to remain relevant and fresh, but not burdensome, such as daily, though some people can blog daily. Be consistent: pick a day of the week that you post regularly and don’t make any excuses as to why you are skipping a week. To avoid unforeseen circumstances such as work, health, drama, laziness, brain dead, write a bunch of blogs in advance of their publication date. Store them up so you can never get caught off guard. 

2.      Always Post Credentials At The Bottom Of Every Blog Entry

      End every blog with a few sentences about yourself, mention your website, and include a link to purchase your book.

 

3.      Blog With A Purpose

Blogs exist to do something – to sell a book, product or service; brand yourself; highlight an important message that helps others; and to be used on your social media posts. Write about something that helps you meet your objectives and goals.  

4.      Persona/Voice Authenticity & Consistency

      Your blog entries, after a while, should have their own fingerprints, meaning your work should be recognizable and distinguishable. You should write in your unmistakable voice and style. Are you a dead serious blog or a funny one? Do you tend to give advice and resources or are you more of a story teller? Do you like to help people or just complain? Be consistent with language, blog length, content, and overall theme, otherwise your blog will be unfocused and lack its uniqueness.  

5.      Add Images

Blogs are all about the words and ideas that you present. A blog has substance and style – but to enhance your blog, use an image with every post. It has been proven that blogs with images get more views.  

6.      Strong Headlines Need Only Apply

      You can have a great blog, but no one will read it unless the headline lures them in. The headline should be short, use keywords when possible, and say something that invites readers in. Make a profound statement. Declare some truth. Trash a myth. Raise an issue. Be racy. Be challenging. Ask a question. Reveal something. Shock us. Lead us. Say something!

Now go write your next blog and stay on schedule. Authors write – not just books – but blog posts, social media posts, byline articles, guest posts, and anything that will help call attention to their book. Blog, blog, blog!

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Could Authors Go Broke Trying To Make A Buck?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/could-authors-go-broke-trying-to-make.html

Should Authors Advertise Their Books?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/should-authors-advertise-their-books.html

Author Report Cards: Do You Make The Grade?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/author-report-cards-do-you-make-grade.html

Why Authors Don’t Get What They Want

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/why-authors-dont-get-what-they-want.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Authors Should Speak Up To Sell Books

 


One of the best ways for authors to sell books and make money is to actively speak and present in front of targeted groups. Of course, speaking is not for everyone. The shy and dull need not apply. Non-fiction authors have many more opportunities than novelists and poets. So where can one speak, especially during these isolating days of corona?

Well, many opportunities have opened up online, while many places shut down in-person speaking opportunities. But with the pandemic’s infection numbers dropping as vaccination numbers rise, there is pause for optimism. We will soon see a hybrid model for the second half of 2021, where some events will remain as online-only while some will simulcast online while there is a physical, in-person event going on.

Then, by 2022, we get back to most, if not all, events being in person. How well attended they are will depend on whether we reach herd immunity and the public’s confidence or willingness to mingle in person.

Whenever things open up, authors should be prepared. Now is the time to research potential speaking opportunities. Some will be unpaid, but the opportunity to sell books and market your brand will be there. Others will pay speaker fees or charge attendees an admission fee that includes the cost of a copy to sell books, establish a brand, get a message out, earn media coverage, and build a resume that could lead to more and better-paying speaking opportunities and consulting gigs.

Of course, speakers need to get their acts together. You will have to:

·         Craft a pitch or query letter to be sent to groups you seek to speak before.

·         Develop a speaker’s kit (background info, including video of you speaking).

·         Come up with a list of places to approach – and dig up their contact information.

·         Create presentations on various topics and of differing lengths.

There are a zillion places – locally, nationally, and internationally – that you can speak before, from bookstores and libraries, to schools, churches, businesses, non-profits, associations, government agencies, and many others. Often, to locate them, you need to go online and search for these places. Many times, there is an existing directory that has compiled exactly what you are looking for.  

Here are some lists to consult:

Non-Profits and Charities

www.topnonprofits.com/lists

www.guidestar.org/nonprofitdirectory

www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits

www.charity.lovetoknow.com/list_of_nonprofit_organizations

Community Organizations

Rotary Club

Kiwanis

Trade Associations

www.directoryofassociations.com

www.associationexecs.com/national-trade-and-professional-associations-directory

www.tatech.org/books/wedtles-guide-to-association-web-sites

Corporate Events

www.mpiweb.org

You can also search for things like “industry” and “conference.” For instance, try women’s conference, mental health conference, or business conference.

Authors should also look into speaking at book fairs or events put out by library associations.

The National Association for Campus Activities (www.naca.org) and The Association for Promotion of Campus Activities (www.capca.com) put on showcase events for speakers, entertainers, and authors.

Of course, authors don’t have to rely on a group, bookstore, or company to invite them as speakers. Authors can launch their own events and speak anywhere. They just need a location, microphone, and something to say.

Get out there and chat it up.

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Could Authors Go Broke Trying To Make A Buck?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/could-authors-go-broke-trying-to-make.html

Should Authors Advertise Their Books?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/should-authors-advertise-their-books.html

Author Report Cards: Do You Make The Grade?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/author-report-cards-do-you-make-grade.html

Why Authors Don’t Get What They Want

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/why-authors-dont-get-what-they-want.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Could Authors Go Broke Trying To Make A Buck?



Authors already complain of all the time and mindshare they put into crafting, researching, editing, and revising their book. It is a huge investment and challenge that they feel is worthwhile. But should they practically go into debt to publish, promote, and market their book?

In an era when some college degrees cost northward of a quarter-million dollars, there are authors who would spend at least one-tenth of that to publish and promote their book. Publishing a book may be accessible to all, but can they really afford to be authors?

How much should authors spend on their book?

It depends on:

* How much money they have
* Why they are getting published
* What they will get back on their investment

Is the book connected to one’s

* Passion or hobby?
* Mission to help others?
* Branding tool for a career?
* Selling of multiple products,  services, or  other books?

The cost of publishing a book and printing copies can run into the thousands quickly.
Everyone has their hand in your wallet. If you are self-published, you pay for everything, including:

* Manuscript editing
* Cover design
* Interior book design
* Printing
* Storage
* Shipping
* Distribution
* Advertising
* Contest or award submission fees
* Public relations
* Advertising
* Marketing
* Website development

Everyone needs to Invest in book marketing and publicity if they are to even have a shot at success, though such an expenditure comes with no guarantees. 

Authors need to make a realistic budget as to what is needed and what it costs. Then they must identify their resources and determine how they will finance their book. Then, they should set both goals and limits on these planned expenditures, allowing for a time to assess results before determining if additional spends are necessary and prudent.

Dollar for dollar, there are far more things one can invest their money in than in books, but that is only true if the pay-off is measured in dollars and cents. When it comes to books, one invests in hopes  and dreams, in their ego and legacy, in their love of writing and the art of story telling, and in their convictions and desires to help others by conveying their message. All of that is priceless.

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Authors Have Many Reasons To Give Up – But They Shouldn’t

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/authors-have-many-reasons-to-give-up.html

Why Authors Don’t Get What They Want

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/why-authors-dont-get-what-they-want.html

Writers Need To Be Nurtured, From Teens to Octogenarians

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/writers-need-to-be-nurtured-from-teens.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Should Authors Advertise Their Books?



Does advertising pay off for authors?

Well, it depends on:

* The cost of the ad campaign
* What you would net per book sale
* Where you advertise
* How often you advertise
* The quality of your ad’s offer

Further, compare the time/cost involved in advertising vs the cost-benefit of other pursuits, such as pursuing speaking engagements, securing traditional media exposure, time on social media, applying for book awards, etc. 

You may not have to choose to do advertising vs something else. You simply can do it all or a combination of things. Experiment. See what works. Then double down on anything that pays off. 

Popular ad destinations for authors are:

* Facebook
* Google 
* Amazon
* Twitter

Paid book reviews can be considered advertising, and I certainly recommend doing those with proven, industry publications such as Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord, and Book Life from Publisher’s Weekly. These ads may not sell enough books initially, but their third-party validation will support your brand and contribute to more sales down the road.

Advertising especially pays off for itself when the author has:

* Multiple books available for sale.
* Other services being sold on his or her website.
* An agenda and uses the ad to put forth a message or mission.
* A way of using the ad to directly raise funds.

The days of full-page ads in newspapers is dying but still exists. They rarely pay for themselves and are reserved for either a debut author hoping to make a splash or an established, best-selling author who merely wants to announce the newest book in an established series.

So what types of advertising can authors engage in?

Paid search — your site or book comes up when people search for a specific term.

Social media — ads can live on popular platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Display ads — ads on other websites.

Sponsored content — articles could be advertorials; or a legit article can then have a link to an advertisement that presents itself as an article.

Influencer placement — having someone with a good sized and targeted following post online about you and your book; it is similar to companies paying for product placement in a movie.

Google is the biggest online advertising source. Facebook is second best, capturing 20% of the digital ad marketplace. Google owns YouTube and Facebook owns Instagram. The tech world is incestuous and dominated by a handful of monopoly-sized outfits. 

The rules of advertising are:

* Frequency plays a key role, so advertise multiple times
* Vary the message and look of your ad
* Customize an ad’s message to the demographics of the advertising outlet, medium, and platform
* You may get lucky or you may sell nothing

So, will advertising pay off for you?

I don’t know, but it is worth a shot. Follow some best practices and experiment with small budgets to see what works best. 

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Authors Have Many Reasons To Give Up – But They Shouldn’t

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/authors-have-many-reasons-to-give-up.html

Why Authors Don’t Get What They Want

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/why-authors-dont-get-what-they-want.html

Writers Need To Be Nurtured, From Teens to Octogenarians

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/writers-need-to-be-nurtured-from-teens.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Author Report Cards: Do You Make The Grade?


The once famous Edward I. Koch, boisterous mayor of New York City in the late 70s and 80s, used to ask, rhetorically of the media and his constituents: ‘How am I doin’?”


He felt the answer should be “Great.” He didn’t wait around to hear what anyone, especially a critic, really thought. He felt good about himself, confident he would eventually win most people over in his favor.

Should authors feel that way about themselves? 

They certainly should exude confidence and act in an assertive manner. If they don’t clearly indicate support for themselves then who will? 

But one’s inflated ego or ability to act blindly to things must not creep in either. Authors must always seek to win over critics, persuade someone to try their book, and get the media to see them as worthy of coverage. 

So how do you grade yourself? What do you well that you must keep up and build upon? Where do you fall short that needs improvement? Be honest.

An author’s report card may look something like this. One is a column of things an author can do to market their book; the other is a grade of their efforts; another for results. Finally, a notes column is available to brainstorm critical feedback and suggestions for improvement or expansion.

May I suggest your list can look something like this:

Website
— comprehensive coverage of key areas
— crafting readable, interesting content
— making content up-to-date 
— design quality and user-friendliness of site

Speaking
— identifying topics to speak on 
— outlining your presentation
— identifying the types of groups to pursue
— creating a specific contact list of places to speak
— contacting such groups
— crafting a query letter and speakers kit
— scheduling speaking appearances

Social Media Platforms
— determine which platforms to be on
— sign up to be on two or three
— learn how to use each platform
— develop content for posting
— post often, regularly, and consistently
— make a targeted and daily effort to increase your connection totals

Traditional Media 
— craft a pitch letter and press kit
— research a targeted media list
— reach out and follow-up with said list

Content Creation
— establish a blog
— establish a podcast
— establish a YouTube channel
— create content for each, schedule your postings, and circulate your content
— guest-post on people’s blogs
— write byline articles for sites, journals, newspapers, newsletters, and magazines

Testimonials & Reviews
— make a detailed contact list of whom to reach out to for book reviews or testimonials of your work, writing, or character
— reach out to people you know to get reviews
— submit your book for review to newspapers, magazines, trade journals, bloggers, amazon reviewers, and online book reviewers

Awards
— research a list of where to submit your book for an award
— make note of submission deadlines and requirements
— apply to them

Advertising
— locate ad venues and pricing
— research which ads work and why — then copy that strategy
— try some ads and measure effectiveness
— pour money into what works and stop your losses on the duds

Bulk Sales
— develop a list of companies, schools, churches, non-profits, groups, and government agencies that you can sell multiple copies to
— construct a letter to send to them
— send the letter
—follow-up

Expansion
— writing more books
— creating paid webinars, courses, and audiobooks
— using the book to get a literary agent for a new book
— networking
— repurposing old content 
— creating other products or services based on your book

Go ahead, grade your efforts in each area. Did you think about doing something — or did you do it? Did you really give it your all —or a half-assed attempt? Exactly how much time, brains, effort, and resources were devoted to the task at hand?

Next, grade your results. Did you do a great job, very good, ordinary, sub-par, or failure? 

Lastly, everything, no matter how wonderful you think you are— or how shitty a job you did— should get some notations next to it on how to do better. When we stop questioning ourselves ,or fail to see room for improvement, we become stunted and cease to be all that we are capable of being. We may even end up atrophying and go backwards.

How am I doing?

Ask yourself this question daily — and be prepared for an honest answer. From yourself.

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Authors Have Many Reasons To Give Up – But They Shouldn’t

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/authors-have-many-reasons-to-give-up.html

Why Authors Don’t Get What They Want

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/why-authors-dont-get-what-they-want.html

Writers Need To Be Nurtured, From Teens to Octogenarians

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/02/writers-need-to-be-nurtured-from-teens.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum