Tag Archives: POD

8 “Starter”Book Marketing Tools

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GUEST BLOG:

“The First 8 Things to Do to Start Marketing Your Book”

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by Catherine Auman, LMFT, Author of Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth, Publisher – Green Tara Press, www.greentarapress.com

8 “Starter” Books Marketing Ideas

You didn’t know that becoming an author meant becoming a marketer, did you? That’s okay; neither did I. The fact is, you’ll need to become actively involved in the marketing of your book because if you don’t, no one but a few friends and family will buy it. Then again, even they might not.

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Really, it can be fun. Here are 8 BRIGHT IDEAS you can get started on before publication:

1) First, gather the items you’ll need to market your book:

  • Author photos/headshots – professionally done, please
  • Author bios of varying lengths – 100 words, 200 words
  • Book synopsis, about 100 words, written to entice readers
  • A jpg of your cover
  • Your elevator speech – a 30-second verbal summary of your book for use at cocktail and other parties when someone asks you, “What’s your book about?”
  • If you don’t have a website, get one. If you do have one, redesign it to promote your books as well as yourself.

2)  Create an Amazon Author Profile. This establishes you as a legitimate author. You can link your website, blog, videos, the promotional tools above and the ones you will develop in the future. Go to authorcentral.amazon.com and it will walk you through the steps.

3)  Create a Facebook Page for your book. Invite all your friends to Like (or Love). Start posting the items above and anything you can think of to create buzz. People prefer it if you try to educate, enlighten, or amuse them rather than just sell.

4)  Create a Goodreads Author Profile. Goodreads is where the avid readers hang out. Go to the Goodreads Author Program tutorial which will teach you how. Later you will be sponsoring book giveaways as promotions.

5)  Go to Vistaprint.com and make some inexpensive postcards using the jpg of the cover of your book. You can use these in any number of ways: send out by snail mail, leave at coffee houses, tack up on bulletin boards, and many uses you will come up with as you go along. I always keep some in my bag – you never know who might want one.

6)  Start identifying people and places to ask for book reviews. You will want to get as many as possible, and you’ll be able to use the reviews later for further marketing.

7)  Identify local stores that are likely to sell your book – not just bookstores, but gift stores and specialty shops.

8)   Schedule and plan your Book Release Party. Congratulations! You’re a published author.

© 2016 Catherine Aumancatherine auman book cover sept 2015 guest blog

(c) The Therapist Writer Blog by Sylvia Cary, LMFT, author of The Therapist Writer: Helping Mental Health Professionals Get Published. Timberlake PressTimberlakePress.com.

 

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The Two Main Publishing Options for Therapist Writers

Mental health professionals are out there trying to make a living like everyone else. Most of them agree that getting a book published, which builds a therapist’s credibility, is good for business. But with all the publishing options available today, which is best?

Basically, you have two choices:  Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing. With traditional publishing (also called “New York,” trade, mainstream, or commercial), they pay you. With Self-Publishing (also called “subsidy,” “author service” companies, or “indie” publishing — all using print-on-demand [POD] digital technology), you pay them.

Gutenberg struggles with his printing press in the 15th Century. Today, self-publishing is a tad less strenuous.

Are you with me so far?

Now, if all you had to do was choose between “They pay you” and “You pay them,” then your decision would be obvious, right? Duh! But not so fast. Picking one of the “They pay you” options isn’t as easy or doable as it sounds. Nor is it necessarily the best choice for you financially.

Consider this: In today’s publishing environment, a new, non-celeb author’s chances of getting a book contract with a top “New York” publisher or one of their many imprints are slim — maybe 1-2%. Plus in most cases (not all) you have to get an agent first to arrange the introduction, which is a challenge in itself. It may be wiser to move on to one of the hundreds of small, independent (i.e., not under the umbrella of one of the majors) houses. But here again you still may need an agent. Ugh.

If this is what’s holding you back, then consider one of the specialty,  academic or university presses (listed in annual directories such as Writer’s Market or Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents 2011).  Some of these don’t require an agent, which is great. It cuts out a major gatekeeper. And, being smaller and publishing fewer books, they can give their author/experts more time and attention. But they can take ages to get back to you and be slow about putting your book out. This is frustrating if you have a timely topic or depend upon workshops and speaking engagements to make a living. You want your book available now for those back of the room sales.

All the more reason to start investigating the fascinating world of self-publishing – the option that many authors are going for first these days because they have more control, because there are no gatekeepers, and because they can make more money if they market their book well (which is the biggest challenge of all).

One option is to become your own publishing company and publish your book yourself (making you “indie” published rather than self published, a nice little distinction when it comes to any remaining stigma). In my state, California, becoming a publisher involves filing for a DBA and putting a notice in a local newspaper for four weeks. To publish, you can upload to a printer (such as Lightning Source) or sign up with an “author service” company, such as Amazon’s Create Space. Just be careful  not to buy expensive packages that contain things you don’t need. There are scams out there, so do your homework.

The more you DIY, the cheaper it will be. With Create Space, authors can buy their own ISBN number (www.bowker.com), keep ownership of their files, and do (or farm out) their own editing, interior design, covers, proofing and marketing. And finally, don’t forget to arrange for an e-book version of your paper book. E-Books are hot and it’s another “income stream.” So therapists, do it. Publish that book. Just think — what if Freud had never published a book, where would we therapists be then?

(copyright 2011 by Sylvia Cary, LMFT)

Borders, I Hardly Knew Ye

The Last Days of a Borders Bookstore

Like most writers, I love bookstores and hate seeing one close.  When there were plenty of them, I was picky.  For example, I was always more of a Barnes & Noble gal than a Borders gal because Barnes & Noble felt cozier — even after one local store removed their comfy armchairs and another started chaining their wooden armchairs together so you couldn’t move them off into a corner to read.  (Truly annoying!)  Still, I go back.

So even though Borders has only ranked #2 in my book (no pun intended), I’m  sorry to see it go bust.  As we all know, bookstores all over the world have been closing.  Sign of the digital times.  So last night, knowing that my local Woodland Hills, California Borders (one of the last 400 to get the ax)  would be closing in two days, I decided to go there to say goodbye.  I went with a little guilt in my heart — perhaps I never gave Borders a chance. Perhaps I should have spent more time in their coffee shop with my laptop. After all, unlike Barnes & Noble, they’d actually kept their comfy arms chairs for readers to sit in.  Had I been too harsh in judging Borders?

Looking for "Hot" Deals at the Borders Funeral

I also went there expecting some hot deals — like 75% off. As I walked in past hundreds of garish red, black and yellow “Going out of Business” and “Everything Must Go” signs, I heard a woman muttering to herself as she looked through the merchandise, “It’s so sad.”  I was sad, too — there were no hot deals!  Twenty to thirty percent off in this economy, and in this “last gasp” situation, is not a “hot” deal. That’s an everyday deal. I know this is like complaining about the food at a funeral reception — but I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth Borders expected to get rid of all that stuff (and there was a LOT of stuff) in just two days at only 20% to 30% off.  It made no fiscal sense — which in turn made me think that this might all tie in to Border’s larger financial problems — a certain disconnect with the surrounding realities perhaps?  But who knows? It’s not my area of expertise.  All I know is I said my goodbyes quickly, took a few pictures for this blog, and left without buying a thing.

I still love bookstores.  I’ll still grieve whenever one closes. But the new publishing realities (e-books, self-publishing, print-on-demand, becoming your own publishing company, online book marketing and even the Espresso Book Machine — see my July 31st post) have been knocking on the door for years and it’s time to answer the knock and learn how to love,  take advantage of, and profit from them — even if it means we have to buy our very own comfy arm chair to sit down in and read.