Category Archives: Book Tips

Seth Godin and getting impact by broadening access

Sometimes we get lost in our focus and forget the “what’s out there also…” part of what we do, believe, write about. As non-fiction writers we are open to that ‘what’ so lets put our mind in gear and reach that other interest.

I speak with authors all the time about who is their audience and the whys. Once we get our purpose and promise inline with our speaking process allows us to move into another perspective.

I’ve subscribed to Seth Godin for years and find his daily emails to be very helpful. I hope you do too, he sends out a daily post which really can stimulate your thinking.

Widest common denominator

If you’re creating something where widespread inputs, usage and adoption lead to significant benefits, it’s worth considering who you’re excluding.

The curb cut turned out not simply to be a boon for wheelchair users. At low cost, it opened the sidewalk to a significantly larger audience of strollers, delivery people and skateboarders, too.

Often, we make the mistake of focusing on too broad an audience. Obsessing about the minimum viable audience forces us to make something that’s truly better. But once we identify those we seek to serve, broadening access is a powerful way to add impact.

This isn’t a matter of high or low, more or less. It’s the power of thinking hard about who it’s for and what it’s for.

 

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List of 50 Book awards

50 Book Awards

Note: this list is old and some links might not work.

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City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award

http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_780_237_0_43/http%3B/content.calgary.ca/CCA/City+Hall/Business+Units/City+Clerks+Department/Administration+Services/Calgary+Awards/City+of+Calgary+W.O.+Mitchell+Book+Prize.htm

Deadline: December

“The City of Calgary established this prize, in honour of renowned Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell, to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors.”

Fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children’s literature, and drama books are eligible. Self-published works, anthologies, cookbooks, guidebooks, textbooks, technical manuals, bibliographies, works of a purely academic or scholarly nature, books of less than 48 pages (except children’s literature), books written in other than English or French, multi-authored books if any one of the authors is not a Calgarian, and reprints or new editions of previously published books are not eligible.


Next Generation Indie Book Award Continue reading

Please Join my New Mailing List!

This maybe be duplicated. I want to be sure you get the message.

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Thank you for being interested in my design services all these years,
I know I have not posted for awhile, life happens and now I’m back at it so…

I have been reorganizing my business and have changed my email
provider.  Please sign up to my NEW mailing list service at one of the links below.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=BookCoverDesignerTIPSByKarrieRoss&loc=en_US

OR on my website page

http://tinyurl.com/bookmailinglist

Be sure to do something everyday towards the production, promotion of your book.

Karrie Ross
https://www.bookcoverdesigner.com

How to add a website Bookmark icon to your iphone

 How to make a desktop icon bookmark for your website url for use on your iphone so when someone asks about your book you can take them directly to your author website page of choice.

1. login to your phone
2. find the Safari icon and open the program
3. type in your website url
4. at the bottom of the screen you’ll see a rectangular icon page with arrow pointing out of the top…
5. tap the icon and when it opens successfully there will be a few options choose the one that works for your needs
4. you will be asked to choose a name for the icon… do so
5. go to your iphone desktop and find it… most likely on the last page of icons… remember you can move it by holding down the thumb button to get the icons giggling with an X… be sure not to hit the X but MOVE the icon to a forward page and once there hit the thumb button again.
Have fun with this easy way to visit your site.
Karrie Ross

How do I treat the cover for a second edition?

Second Edition book changes or entirely new content? Some things to consider:

  1. is it really a second edition or are you just correcting errors? Adding new info and what percentage?
  2. second editions usually apply to timely content… like text books, directories etc. content with info that needs to be updated for specific uses yearly
  3.  will you need a new ISBN or can you use the same one
  4. will the book need some kind of identifier on cover that states it is new info, use year, or second edition, or edition 2 etc.
  5. the cover can be kept pretty much the same if you want, but I suggest putting an identifier of a different color somehow to make it perfectly clear its a new edition.
  6. can you and will it benefit you to get new reviews to post along with old ones …  will it be good to state that the review is from the first edition.
  7. there might be other items that will need to be done depending on your type of book.

Contact me to help with your book design, marketing and promotion. Start with a consulting session and we’ll build from there.

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Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!

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Karrie Ross is an award winning author of a parenting book and childrens picture book.

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Publishing a book challenges your brian… Huffington Post

Tip: Blogging Happy…not just about the New Year!

Happy New Year! We hear that every year at this time… only 5 more days to go. Do you know what you’ll be doing? Will you start that blog to promote your book, it’s subject, your focus, your sharing with the world the who you are?

Do you have a website… that has a blog? If not, why? This is one of the best tools for beginning your journey in promotion. Next is social media. No, it’s not easy or quick or even fun at times. BUT remember you are on a mission to find a place for your voice, a place to join a community and participate.

Blog is a place like home, somewhere to write your daily thoughts and share the what is on your mind… if you haven’t got one… start it today…if you don’t have a website… call me, I’ll help you set it up so your happy can be shared.

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!

 

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Tip: Seasons Greetings! and Now is the time to Start/Finsih That Book!

Yep, it’s the Holidays and soon to be new year… what are your plans? How will you spend your time? Will you choose to write a book… could just be a little tip book… or that novel you have in your head in your day dreaming hours. START NOW!

Write out that idea, find a folder and start putting your thoughts in it. What do you want to share? Your notes will grow into that something more and eventually you’ll see the outline and main purpose.

or

Finish what you’ve started, finalize that manuscript and contact me. Lets get this moving along to a final product you can share with people who have the same interest, the same desires, the same questions. What you know IS important and sharable. Create the final title, firm up your selling points and how to promote…

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!

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Tip: Purpose and intent-writing for why?

I’m not just a book designer, I also write and put books together. The book I wrote was about parenting, it received several awards, that made me happy. I wrote it for another project I was working on at the time, I needed to “become a bigger person” so I took a subject that I knew about and wrote. It took me 9 months… HA! just like a baby… and then I started promoting it. The purpose was to move me along to the “bigger self” and intent was to pass along what I had learned on my want to being a parent.

I also put books together. I’m an award winning fine artist as well as author. I love the communities I associate with. I am currently on my second book spotlighting the community of Los Angeles artists I know. This might not be a big seller but it has a purpose of sharing what I’m interested in and an intention of letting other people see how I think and they become more aware of other the lives of other artists.

PURPOSE AND INTENT. What the why Continue reading

Tip: Raining in California…interesting writing subjects

It never rains in California. Over the past 5-10 years that has become more true than we Californians want to believe. We are in a drought. I’m noticing more and more articles/posts/comments being created that center around how to life with and survive in this condition. In our digital world there doesn’t seem to ever be enough information.

So this is the writers cue to start writing their take on the subject in the news. Doesn’t have to be the drought, but look at what people are talking about… that “what is on their mind” and as yourself if that is your question too.

I consult with authors on a variety of subjects on the publishing road…. is their topic is clear, what the table of contents might list like, what are the things that will make their book more interesting, elements that inspire as well as promotion and were to begin.

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!

 

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Writer’s Block be gone! Finishing Your Book. I’m not just a Book Designer…

I don’t believe in writer’s block. (I can hear the gasps of disbelief already.) I make this statement based on my experience writing an award winning parenting book. So my experience is for non-fiction more than fiction. But I would think that much of what I outline could cover both.  I believe that if we follow one simple fist step that writer’s block melts away and the words start flowing. But what is that “first step”? Well, a big part of my job as a book consultant and coach is to help people create something they can actually market: a finished book. Many of us have plenty of ideas but not a clue how to get them started.

Unlike other professions, authors operate under a whole different set of rules. Not all of us can’t just sit down and pound out a story, and those who can have created their own formula for doing so. In our minds, we see the final story, we see the cover, we see the characters, we see the market potential. And we see us on TV smiling and holding up our book for the whole world to see. Then we glance back down at our monitor and see nothing but a blinking cursor and blank page. And we are again reminded we have not even written one sentence.

Authors who have trouble see a huge, overwhelming project in front of them not the steps to finish. You finish a book, one step at a time. So the first step is that you have to break down your book into manageable, bite-size pieces.

This can be accomplished by creating a Table of Contents, (TOC)  that will guide you through the book content. Think of the TOC as your map, the map that will get you from point A to point B, guiding your thought process through your book. Begin by writing out your chapters headings, then write a 2-3 sentence description of what the chapter encompasses, keep it brief. Once the TOC is outlined, you’ll have a vision of your book from start to finish. Of course you can move them around and change them all you want.

A few things that creating the first step TOC will do for you:

  •  It will show you any gaps in your story that might need to be fleshed out
  •  it will give you a sense of completion, of seeing the book or project actually done,
  •  this step alone can propel an author enough to get their book done
  •  give the project a darned good kick-start.

Once you’ve started your TOC, you’ll want to go through it and create a “to do” list. Regardless of what your books subject is, you will always have a to-do list. Whether it’s getting endorsements, doing research, or getting approvals for quotes or excerpts for your book, this to-do list will become yet another item that will help get your book toward completion.

Once the to-do list is done, set it aside. Now you should have your completed TOC with a vision of the entire book and a growing list of items that will need to be handled for the book to get done. Now the real fun begins.

Some books on writing will tell you to set aside a day or two a week, or an evening here and there to get your book completed. That might work for some authors, but it didn’t for me. I found that I needed to stay dialed into the topic and if I  put the project aside for days or weeks at a time, promising myself to schedule time “as soon as I could.”  that rarely happened. What I found is that when I set aside some time every day to do something on the book, I got it completed a lot quicker. That’s where I came up with  the statement I use at the end of all my blog posts. (it’s at the end of this one too)

Let your fascination with the subject take over. The more you keep your interest in your project, the more it, the book,  will stay at the front of your mind, and the more energy you will invest to finish it. I won’t tell you to set aside hours each day — in fact, you don’t even have to set aside an hour. Take 15 minutes, or even five — whatever your schedule permits. If this seems like a ridiculously short amount of time, consider this: You now have your to-do list and your outlined TOC!  . If you are short on time one day, pick a quickie item from your to-do list and get it done. If you have more time, then pound out a chapter or two. The idea behind creating the to-do lists and a TOC is to not only give your project a structure, but to also eliminate any and all excuses for getting it done. Don’t feel like writing today? No problem. There’s probably a mountain of research just waiting to be reviewed.

The TOC is your beginning focus. The entry into the subject content. It’s as simple as that. And the TOC doesn’t stop there — it is how you plan out the steps that will keep the reader interested. Find the “core” of your book or the focus of your story. Ask yourself:

  • What’s the one thing this book cannot do without?
  • What’s the one thing this story circles around?
  • That’s your core.
  • If you’re still coming up with three or four things that your story circles around, you aren’t focused enough and neither is your book.
  • Find that one thing and build your story or book around it.

If you follow these beginning steps, your book will get finished quicker than you could have ever imagined.

AND that’s the first step… next you plan out the chapters.

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!
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Figuring Out What Makes a Great Book Title

Book publishing companies hire professional copywriters for figuring out what makes a great book title or “headline” because book publishing is big business; so there is a lot of thought that goes into making their titles as commercially-viable as possible.  Many well-known and highly successful books started out with other titles and grew into the ones that make them famous.

Visit the book store, notice how customers pick up a book, scan the front and back cover, and then put it down before going on to another book. The whole process takes about two seconds each. That’s all of the time you have to make an impression on a potential reader. In those two seconds, you must appeal  to three of the following five senses:

1) Sight: When someone first comes in contact with your book’s title, it is usually by seeing it on the front cover. So your title must  be aesthetically appealing.

2) Touch: Touch also means to “relate to”  your title must allow itself to touch by being able to relate to your readers or have some type of influence on them.

3) Sound: does your title have something good to say,  and say it well and say it often?  Remember your title will be heard often, so make it good.

4) Speech: If a person stumbles over the words, it will add to the difficult in marketing your book. Even if you are writing only for family members and friends, and you are giving away your book for free, there is still an element of marketing.

5) Smell: the title needs to have a distinctive quality or atmosphere, be sure it does not suggest that very little thought or concern was given to it, people will assume that the rest of the book is the same way.

Check out a recent bestselling book list, notice how many books out of 20 have a one-word title; two-word title; three-word title; four-word title; five-word title, etc.  The point is that the simpler/shorter the title, the better. How many did you find? How many appealed to YOUR senses? Now take a look at the working title of your book… is it compelling, does it appeal to the senses?

Remember to do something every day toward your book production and promotion… and contact me for consulting and design services… I will help you along in the process.

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Write a Book, Make a Difference in the World

Make a difference in the World… sounds good doesn’t it? When you write a book and even with the basic of promotion or internet exposure it, you, will live on. And the more you contribute the longer it will live, as very seldom will any info be erased from the internet. There are sites that specialize in saving image files of websites and their data. Hopefully the social media sites we all frequent will back up somewhere as well, and then there is google and their never ending need to gather material for the endless statistics and research we seem to becoming addicted to.

A book captures memories, expectations and changes we’ve left with others. A process I call planting seeds. Wisdom grows over time and time as well as knowledge is what we share, give in the participation of writing and self publishing a book that is in us. What a gift!

After all, the impact of our lives and our work is the mark you make on other people. Maybe the love of a pet and how it changed your life or a powerful experience on a trip your family took when you were young, or helping someone or talking to someone on the street… or how you teach your child to live from the heart and you example that in your life.

In the end, we are the moments that define us and when the learning is shared, become seeds that grow and will be remembered and passed along by example.

So be sure you create a life like you are an everlasting felt pen and leave your marks all over ….

Remember, do something every day  toward the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company and contact me to help you move it forward faster.

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Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing and Promotion?

Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing… a question I get asked many times in initial conversations. There was a time when becoming an author was “like totally out there” and seen as unreachable for most of us. Then, something happened and Continue reading

What’s happening in the digital world and how piracy is being looked at…

One of my threads just started talking about the how the music industry is dealing with digital piracy and the effects it’s having on the overall revenue… likening this to what will/might happen in other industries as this effect trickles down into books, artwork and such.

 

Will the self-publishing ebook go the way of the digital music MP3. How the music industry is handling the piracy of digital downloads and is this a possible answer for publishing and digital media over all? and DO we really want to go into this world so quickly as we see all these readers and pads popping up all over the place.

Even though the linked article is from 2011, I found it interesting from many perspectives…especially with the world of the internet thinking ‘free’ most of the time… what where how will revenue be developed?

Will we one day have a cable show where children’s books are read out loud as the interactive media pages turn on the television in the living room, or ipad reader-like device and the revenue comes from advertisers conveniently placed like we now see for video content? I wonder…

Remember, do something every day  toward the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company and contact me to help you move it forward faster.

 

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