Articles tagged "Book as Business Card"

Author Sylvia Inks: Publishing Project Planning

Last week, author Sylvia Inks dropped by the Lulu office to talk about her experience writing and self-publishing her book “Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid Profitable Business.”

Her book includes 21 tips for financial success, but today we discussed author success and the need for a publishing project plan.  Sylvia strongly recommends a plan that includes all the tasks you need to complete your book from writing it to the launch.

We wish to thank Sylvia for her time and expertise. If you wish to learn more, checkout our Facebook page. Sylvia and Grant had a detailed and wide-ranging live interview as part of our Facebook Live series.

Follow or Like us on Facebook to get the latest updates, announcements, and discounts.

You Are Why We Do What We Do

Most days our support team members answer questions about how to publish books and ebooks, track down late deliveries, and help people order books. Occasionally, we receive letters like this one, that remind us we are not just printing and selling books; we are also making a positive difference.

 

 

Dear Ellen,

     I know you have changed jobs at Lulu and I should be talking to the new account manager, but I feel like this note is for you since you are the person I worked with first.  The other day, I Googled information for my son and an advertisement for Lulu popped up and god bless you, there was our cookbook!  Thank you! It was very surprising to see Grits and Groceries in your ad!

     We really enjoy working with y’all and you couldn’t make it any easier for us.  I have been telling all my chef friends about how great your company has been to work with!  One of them cried when she found out what we make on each book.  She went with a traditional publisher and makes only 75 cents per book sold.

     I want you to know what this book does for us as a small business.  The sales from this little cookbook keep two full-time single mothers working, makes it so we can pay for time off when an employee is out sick, helps support one full time farmer and three part-time growers, and is the cornerstone for a new farmer’s market in Greenwood, South Carolina.

We really thank you for taking such good care of us and this little book.                               

Thanks,

Heidi Trull
Grits and Groceries

 

From everyone at Lulu:

Thank you Heidi. You and authors like you are the reason we come to work everyday. Our only goal is to see independent authors and entrepreneurs like you succeed. Keep up the good work. We’ll be looking for you soon on the Food Network.


About the Author:

Heidi and Joe Trull bring a life-long love of home-cooking to their new restaurant, Grits and Groceries. Born and raised in the Carolinas, they have traveled far and wide honing their skills. Now you can try those same recipes in your home.

Introducing the new Grits & Groceries cookbook with over 200 recipes from G&G’s famous tomato pie and praline bacon to southern staples such as angel biscuits and collard greens – and everything in between.

 

PR Part I: Ready, Set, Press Release!

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RALEIGH, NC – September 13, 2016 – Lulu, the pioneer and world leader in independent publishing, announced today that all authors should launch their new books with a well-crafted press release. “It’s your story and you should be the person telling it,” said Glenn@Lulu, Content Marketing Manager at Lulu Press.

 

press-release

That’s the most interesting thing I’ve heard all day!

That’s a pretty standard (and frankly boring) opening for a press release: Announce something, follow it by an authoritative, quotable quote, then tell the story. It’s really like writing a one-page essay. All you need to do is write a release that answers who, what, when, where, why and how. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

You may be surprised to learn there are people out there who make hundreds of dollars per press release. That’s right, all that money for writing five paragraphs announcing something someone thinks is newsworthy. In reality, this is something you can do yourself. All you need is a bit of practice and an ear for what will attract the attention of local, national, and global news outlets.

Let’s get started.

One second to fame

Books are published everyday. Another one being published is not news. Therefore, your headline has to jump off the screen and make a reporter want to read more of your story. Since your headline is the first impression you will make, avoid clichés, puns, and gimmicky subject lines. Otherwise your headline may be the last impression you make before a journalist hits the delete key.

Sell the hook, not the book

sell-the-hook

Sell the hook first. Then sell the book.

What makes your book relevant? Does it solve a problem? How does it relate to other books in the genre? Does your book explain or fit neatly into a current news story? Does the action in your book revolve around an upcoming holiday? Are you a coroner writing a crime novel? A mother writing a conspiracy thriller? A life-long city dweller celebrating life off the grid? Your press release is the means to tell your story. The book is almost an afterthought, “If you want to know more, you can find <insert title here> on Lulu and all major online bookstores.”

 

Don’t promote, inform

An effective press release is based on facts, not opinion. Of course you, your mom and your best friend think your book is the best book ever published, but that is only an opinion. A journalist needs facts and when possible quotes. If your book solves a problem, state the problem and the solution it provides. If your characters or plot happen to coincide with something happening in the news, explain why your book will help people better understand the situation. When possible, provide quotes from experts in your field or snippets from reputable reviewers.

The best book in the world – Really?

hyperboleYou want your headline and body text to be original, snappy, and attention grabbing; however, avoid using clichés and hyperbole. Unless you have proof your book will transform lives, leave readers breathless or on their knees begging for more, don’t include these overused tropes in your press release. They show a lack of thought and imagination (see above – facts not opinions).

 

Do your research

Your best bet for getting early publicity for your book will be from local newspapers, libraries, radio programs, and independent bookstores. With that said, make sure you do your homework and address your press release email to a person (name spelled correctly).   No one wants to receive a generic email blast sent to every Sir, Madame, or Whom it May Concern in the business. Make it personal. I spell my name Glenn with two Ns – you should too!

Everybody is busy (and lazy)

busy-lazy-journalists

Content, I need good content!

All journalists are on tight deadlines, so the easier you make it for them to write the story, the more likely it is your story will get their attention. When you send your press release email, include links to your author press kit (About the Author), your book’s retail page, and book excerpts. It is not recommended you send a free copy of your book with the initial contact. Instead, explain that free electronic copies will be provided upon request.

 

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to getting the publicity your book deserves. Remember, start local, be personal, and try different angles until you have perfected your press release. Then go national.

 

Up nextPR Part II: Write the Best Press Release – EVER!

Tips for composing the best book launch press release in the history of the written word in the format of a standard press release.

Additional Resources

Author Press Kit: How You Market You

Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Your Book

Five Hours to Success: Sell More Books

How to Publish a Paperback Book on Lulu.com

 

 

Driving Online Traffic and Book Sales

In previous articles we have discussed the two the key components of marketing your book (knowing your audience and knowing your book). Now we can talk about how to drive sales through the use of marketing tactics, which is a fancy way of saying that people need to be able to find you and your book on the internet.

We asked 4000 of our bestselling authors about their most effective methods of reaching their audience and encouraging book purchases.

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These authors credited their website with the lion’s share of their sales. When you combine the website-related responses with “email list” and “search engines,” you see that almost half of an author’s traffic and sells can be credited to their website(s).

To further highlight this finding, think about your own behavior. What’s the first thing you do online when you want to learn, do, or purchase something? You search for it. Then you browse the websites listed on the search results page. If you’ve ever searched for a company, person or event online and been unable to find any information, you probably gave up or got distracted by other things. From your own experience it is easy to see that the harder you are to find, the less likely you are to sell your books. Hence the importance of having a website to market your books.

In addition to websites, authors also mentioned social media as a tool for generating sales. Of all the available social media marketing techniques, having a Facebook page was overwhelmingly the most often cited way to sell books. We saw similar results earlier in our discussion of distribution strategies.

Action items

  1. Create a website for your book using a simple tool like WordPress.com.
  2. Make it easy for people to sign up for your mailing list with a free service like Mailchimp.com.
  3. Create a Facebook page dedicated to your books: https://www.facebook.com/about/pages.
  4. Write regular blog posts for your website and when possible on other sites as a guest poster.
  5. Find events where you can speak or share your knowledge with an audience interested in your topic.
  6. Improve the visibility of your website, either through advertising or search engine optimization.
  7. Send free promotional copies of your book to influential people, such as bloggers in your niche or book reviewers.

Key takeaway

Bestselling independent authors employ a mix of tactics to promote themselves and their work.

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