Articles tagged "tips"

Market Your Book on Facebook

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Did you know Lulu has a free marketing tool that allows you to share books with your Facebook friends? Did you know that the entire process could be done in less than a minute? Here’s how…

Market Your Book on Facebook

That’s it! You’re now sharing your book with your entire Facebook network.

Promote your books on Facebook.

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.

Why a Good Author Photo Goes a Long Way

Lulu just got back from Book Expo America in New York last week. While we were there, we had the opportunity to meet thousands of people ranging from industry professionals, to up-and-coming authors, to people that were “just checking things out.” It was fascinating to see the different stages authors were at in their careers and it was great to see so many people at the convention learning how market themselves more effectively.

Many authors came with a sample of their book or had a handout with a little blurb and a photo of themselves. It was interesting to see how different each author’s photo was and how much some stood out in my mind – even after talking with so many people. I realized that many people new to the writing profession might not know how important a good photo of themselves is or how much it can help further their career.

An author should have a good photo on hand because it makes you look more professional. The people at BEA with great photos seemed better composed and more prepared. Isilhouette-question-mark-muck-small understand that many authors have spent so much time working on their book and making it pristine, that when they’re done, the photo can be an after thought. You want to be measured by your skill of the written word and not what you look like. But think about the last time you went to the bookstore. Can you recall picking up a title with a blurry, washed-out photo of the author on the back cover or inside flap? Do you think you’d be as likely to spend your hard-earned cash on a book that had a photo like that on it? In the same way a bad cover can make you second guess the quality of a book, a bad photo can make you rethink the reliability of the author. It helps to think of your book as a business card, and a bad photo is like handing someone a card written in crayon.

April 19 Lulu U Class: Tricks to Sell More Books

Be sure to sign up for the next Lulu University class on April 19th @ 7PM: Red Hot Web 2.0 Tricks to Sell More Books! You’ve heard the term “Web 2.0” but can it really help you sell more books? You bet it can and this class will show you how. Packed with tons of information and super simple things anyone can to do get themselves into the Web 2.0 marketing world, you’ll walk away with fun ideas, simple tricks, and tons of helpful advice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Creating “feeder” sites that feed traffic into your web site!
  • Using book videos to sell more books
  • Using Wikipedia to market yourself
  • Why linking to other web sites is a bad idea
  • How to get more web site traffic right away!
  • Got blog? The one thing you should NEVER do with your blog!

Don’t miss this class! Sign up today!

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.

Burn, Which, Burn!

By Richard Curtis

Of the million ways that digital technology has impacted on publishing, one that has not been noted to my knowledge is the significance of manuscript submissions online. Only a few years ago, the only procedure for submission of manuscripts by authors and agents was US mail or, in urgent cases, courier or messenger. Emailing manuscripts as attachments unless expressly requested by editors was a breach of protocol to say nothing of good manners.

Two or three years ago that changed. Though unsolicited material was still prohibited, email submissions by recognized authors and agents were accepted, and today this practice is commonplace. But until the introduction of the Sony E-Book Reader and the Amazon Kindle, editors receiving emailed manuscripts printed them out and read them in the traditional way – on paper. Agents and authors rejoiced because the cost and bother of printing and mailing manuscripts was shifted to publishers. And though publishers bore these burdens stoically, the scramble for photocopier time, the expense of purchasing and maintaining high-speed machines, and the wasteful generation of paper were just further proof that publishing was still stuck in a twentieth century brick and mortar/mechanical business model.

Last summer, an editor told me at lunch that her company had experimentally distributed Sony E-Book Readers to its editorial staff and encouraged it to download manuscript submissions into the device and read them that way. She said she was deliriously happy; it solved a million problems from schlepping heavy manuscripts in back-straining briefcases and backpacks, to shameful waste of environmental resources. Some other benefits were the ability to read books on crowded buses and subways without having to shuffle pages.

Since then, publisher after publisher has followed suit. As a great many editors commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the subway line between the boroughs has been nicknamed the Sony Express. (Some editors prefer to read submissions on Amazon Kindles.)