Articles tagged "marketing"

Setting Realistic Goals for Marketing Your Book: Part 2 – Realistic Expectations

In a recent post, I wrote about how treating yourself as a business can positively impact the way you market your DIY book.  While changing your perspective, researching what works with other companies, and coming up with a plan that you can follow through with are all huge steps towards reaching more readers and selling more books – that’s only part of coming up with a successful marketing strategy.

By completing your book, you’ve done something remarkable.  You’ve put so much hard work and energy into, it can be difficult not to be emotionally attached to your work.  But the key now, is to take a step back and start setting realistic expectations to go along with each of above steps. Otherwise, you may become frustrated or disappointed if you don’t think your book is gaining a large enough readership as quickly as you’d like.

Setting Realistic Goals for Marketing Your Book: Part 1 – Treat Yourself like a Business

goal-smWriting a book is no small feat. And you should be proud of yourself for all the hard work you’ve done so far. As exciting as it is to have a finished manuscript in front of you though, there is still a lot more to do after the typing has stopped and the pen and paper are put away. Some authors can afford to hire an agent or a publicist, but for others taking the DIY approach, marketing yourself and your book can seem pretty daunting. As much as you want to share your book with everyone and show them what you’ve accomplished, if you don’t set some realistic goals, you’re setting yourself up for some unnecessary disappointment and frustration. Planning how to market yourself and your work may be easier said then done, but the payoff – reaching more readers and selling more – is worth the effort.

Change Your Perspective
The first step to getting a better hold on your marketability is to change your perspective of yourself as a writer, to an entrepreneur starting your own business. You’ve done the writing, but now you have a product to sell. Whenever you take the time to put yourself “out there,” your ultimate goal should be to make a good impression on people so they’ll want to read your work, keep coming back, and recommend your book to others. You’re building your reputation – your own personal brand, and you need people to trust that brand in order to grow a loyal fan base. This is something that takes a lot of time, planning, and strategizing. Any successful business, big or small, starts with a list of goals and then creates a plan to achieve those goals. A successful business also remains flexible and responsive to its customer’s needs and the current trends of the market. You can do this by having backup plans in place for whenever one of your plans doesn’t work or you need to change something on the fly.

From the Vault: What Makes a Good Press Release? How to get the word out in 5 steps

Press ReleaseMarketing your work can seem more challenging than actually finishing it, but that’s just because you might not know where to start. A while back, Lauren Parker wrote a great post about creating a press in 5 Steps. With all the recent requests for guidance about self-marketing your work, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Lauren Parkers‘s helpful post. I’m certain that her advice will help you get the word out and get your book the attention it deserves. Enjoy!

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In the world of blogs, tweets and social networking, creating buzz around your book is easier than ever. But how do you reach reporters from traditional media? The traditional press release is still a great way to let people know of your newest book project.

Wait! How do I achieve fame and fortune with a traditional press release you ask. We can’t guarantee fame and fortune but with these five steps and a little elbow grease, you will be well on your way.

Try these steps when putting together your next release:

Lulu University is FREE!

Picture 2We offer a variety of free online webinars to help educate our authors on a variety of publishing topics – from how to create a press release to social networking. We’ll be adding to our list of topics and even have guest speakers joining the classes. Take advantage of our knowledgeable experts and learn the tips and tricks of publishing and marketing your books.

Please let us know what other classes you would be interested in seeing in our course catalog.

April 5 @ 7PM EST- Red Hot Internet Basics: Touring Yourself Online
If you’re ready to market your book online but don’t know where to start, you’ll love this class. We’ll look at creating and launching your very own Virtual Author Tour. During this class we’ll look at:

Top 5 Tips for Making a Great Ebook Stand Out.

Top 5 Tips for Making a Great Ebook Stand Out.

Analysts estimate Amazon’s Kindle selling about 1.5 million units by the end of 2009, while Barnes and Noble’s Nook is already sold out for the holidays.  More e-readers are popping onto the market, and publishers are beginning to rethink their approach to digital media, like Time Inc.’s recent demo of a digital version of Sports Illustrated. The immediacy and convenience of ebooks and digital content has definitely had an impact on how people today read.  Authors are beginning to realize that they can publish freely and digitally distribute their work for nothing other than their time with sites like Lulu.com.  But, how do you make a great ebook that stands out?

You CAN judge a book by its cover.

A good cover can be a great marketing tool for an ebook.  You want your cover to make someone scanning through a website, stop and click your ebook.  You don’t want to be tacky or overbearing, but the cover should draw attention.  In the open-publishing world, a cover gives readers their first impression of what to expect from an author’s book.  For now, the quality of a cover is a good indication of which authors have invested more time into their work than others.  Well-formatted and edited books typically have a cover that was put together by a professional designer and features professional art or photography that is eye-catching and relevant to the audience the content is trying to reach.

Do the work for your readers; be visible.

The easier you make the purchasing step for your customers, the better.  This can be done by making your ebook as visible as possible.  Every time you mention your book or yourself online, provide links to make it easy for people to find your content or more information about you.  Let’s say you just put up a book trailer on youtube.  That youtube page needs a link to your book’s storefront and the storefront needs a link to the video.  This is called cross-linking.

One of the great things about Lulu.com is that it offers non-exclusivity for an author’s book.  This means an author maintains the rights to their work, so they are free to upload it to Lulu and as many other sites as they want.  This is a way to have your work reach that many more people.  A little research into exclusivity rights could do a lot for your ebook.

Don’t make your customers read.

People want to read your ebook, not read about it.  Try to limit the text that appears around your ebook to a minimum.  A brief summation is a good thing, but make sure it builds up the content of the book.  Use language that makes readers want to dive in right away.  The less you say the better because you might talk potential readers out of a sale otherwise.  Leave the real talk to reviewers.

Proactively respond to your readers.

Most of the work that goes into selling an ebook arguably comes after it has been written.  All of the marketing for your book falls to you, and you need to be responsive to your growing audience.  Social networking makes this much easier.  Something like a Facebook fan page is a great way to maintain an open dialogue with several people at once while keeping people informed about your work.  Be aware of reviews and respond to them positively when appropriate.  weRead keeps authors connected with millions of users, and offers great opportunities to receive constructive criticism and expand their readership.

Keep up with the tech – know your formats.

.pdf, .epub, .bbeb, .lit.  There are dozens of different file formats able to be assigned to the end of your would-be ebook.  The most universal file format is International Digital or “EPUB.”  Some ebook tech only accept proprietary file formats though so keeping up on tech trends can go a long way in getting your content out.  Much like making your content as visible as possible, try making your content as accessible as possible by offering multiple file formats.  You’d hate to lose sales just because you didn’t offer your book in the Kindle’s .azw format.

Author Success Story, "Fallen Heroes"

by Barry Nugentpicture-7

Fallen Heroes is now on the shelves of several branches of Waterstones, including their flagship branch (where it was labeled a ‘cult hit’), which is regarded as the largest bookshop in Europe. I have, since then, done several book signings both in-store and at various conventions.

Thanks to the success of “Fallen Heroes” I now have an agent and an award winning TV and film production company has optioned the book itself. I am also working with a BBC journalist who will be adapting the story for a graphic novel to be published by Insomnia Publications.
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None of this would have been possible without the easy to use and excellent print on demand infrastructure set up by Lulu. One example is the ease by which I was able to release a new edition of the book with a back cover Waterstones review and a front cover quote/recommendation from fantasy author, James Barclay.

Through self-publishing I have pushed myself to do things, in terms of self-promotion and marketing, I would never have done otherwise (signings are not my strong point!). I have learnt a lot about what it takes to not only get your work out there but what to do once it is. It’s been a journey of hard work, disappointment, lesson learning and huge moments of sheer joy.

Lulu Author Interview: Anthony S. Policastro

Working at Lulu.com has been a pretty interesting experience. Aside from all I have learned about the publishing industry, I have met some pretty unique people. I interviewed a former adult movie actress, a magazine publisher, and even helped a person in Moose Jaw, Canada publish a book via Twitter.

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Even within Lulu.com there are tons of interesting people. I sat next to Anthony S. Policastro during his time at here and in between him getting hit in the head with a Nerf dart or answering his phone via his watch, we’d discuss different ways self-publishing authors can promote their books as well as the future of ebooks. Anthony has written two books that he has released through Lulu.com as well as guest posted on the Lulu Blog about writing and marketing.

Using Facebook Fan Pages to Promote Your Book

How does having 1000 True Fans sound to you? Nick first posted about that self publishing strategy back in May, and then Dan, John, and Lauren followed up with different ways to use the internet to achieve that goal, whether you Gain an Audience Using Twitter, Use the Power of a Blog to Promote Your Work, or Take it to the Web with Tools for Online Marketing and Promotion.

Gain an Audience Using Twitter

One key to selling your book, photo book or calendar is finding an audience who is interested in your topic. Website forums have been a good way to speak to people who share your same interests, but finding the right websites to post on can take quite a bit of time and effort.

In the past year, another great way to find and communicate with people who share your interests has emerged: Twitter. This web-based communication tool allows you to have conversations with numerous people whether they share your interests or are simply interesting in their own right. If you’re shy, you don’t have to actively engage people in conversation; you can follow people that interest you and sit back and watch the conversations unfold.

How to create the BEST book trailer, EVER. (seriously.)

Book trailers. You’ve seen ‘em and thought to yourself, “I could do that.” Perhaps you thought “I could do that better!” I’m here to tell you how!

  • First, write a book. This is the most difficult part of creating a book trailer. Once you’ve got that down, you are almost finished.
  • Publish your book on Lulu.com. This is imperative and will ensure that your book trailer will better than everyone else’s.
  • Be creative. Some book trailers have narrators explaining what the book is about, some book trailers are just words on the screen describing the book. I say make it interesting. You are obviously a creative person, you wrote a book! Use your imagination. Try asking some friends to act out an important scene in your book or maybe explain why people should buy your book using interpretive dance. What ever you do, be creative.

Avoid the book trailer pitfalls of despair: