Tag Archives: book marketing

News: Great Southeast Book Festival 2016 — Call for Entries

I get a lot of notices for Book awards… here is one with a deadline of Feb. 14. Contact them at their url below.
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Deadline submissions in each category must be received by the close of business on February 14, 2016 .
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THE 2016 GREAT SOUTHEAST BOOK FESTIVAL – CALL FOR ENTRIES

NEW ORLEANS_The 2016 Great Southeast Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual competition honoring the best books of the late winter/spring.

The Great Southeast Book Festival will consider published and unpublished works in fiction, non-fiction, biography/autobiography, how-to, compilations/anthologies, photography/art, children’s, cookbooks, poetry, spiritual, young adult, business/technology, unpublished manuscripts, wild card (anything goes!), nature/animals and regional lit. There is no date of publication restriction, but all entries must be in English.

Our grand prize for the 2016 Great Southeast Book Festival winner is $500 cash and a flight to our awards ceremony in March, 2016, exact date and location TBD.

Submitted works will be judged by a panel using the following criteria:

1) General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.
2) The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

For more information, visit www.greatsoutheastbookfestival.com.

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CONTACT:  bruce@greatsoutheastbookfestival.com    323-665-8080

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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What Are You Doing to Help Make Your Book Website Interesting

Make Your book website interesting.  Consider basing your build design on these two principles: 1.)  that a person is interested in themselves 2.) that they are interested in other people.”

Ask yourself “What will make your home/or/book page interesting?” Good design plays an important part in your site’s being received. AND even more if you make the benefits  clear… the ‘what the viewer gains” like on my home page I spotlight being professional, building confidence, engaging readers.  All with the value I offer in mind.  The “what” you say your product/service can do is much more attractive than a beautiful web page with weak copy.

Promote with the benefits instead of a bio,  credentials or  the features of your product/service. Put them in their proper place on your site. But your audience will most want to know the value of your service/product to them.

Try not to answer questions like, “Will it solve my particular problem?” “What will I gain?” Some universal benefits answer the how tos: getting more passion, more energy, less fatigue, more money, good relationships, more time, less trouble, less stress, less drama and trauma.  Here’s a quick tutorial on creating an interesting home page:

1. Develop a list of 10-20 benefits for your book’s topic. Let you audience know the whys…

So on your home page write about the reasons why to use  your concepts, buy your book, use your services, what they will gain, or grow or be recognized.

2. Be specific. List the benefits. Describe how your customer will feel after buying your product. For example, after you buy my book you’ll look and feel ___blah blah. Then post a picture of that examples this statement. Make your page interesting by listing specific benefits.

3. Let the passion for your book topic show in your content copy. Which arouses your interest more.. to dominate to Plan, to Convert, to stop dreaming and take action. Fill your book page with passion and create desire with your audience.

4. Develop the skill of writing headlines. Provocative titles will stir interest. Provocative statements capture our attention like a fish on a hook. They throw out a question that causes them to ask… “What?”

Use a statement for an immediate effect. Don’t forget the power of the simple ‘How To” information title. It alerts your audience that the information that follows will be simple and easy to digest. Capture the attention of your reader with a book page filled with action, questioning,  headlines.

5. Give your links the power of benefits. See if you can avoid links that are not specific with where you are clicking to. Give life to all your links with benefits. Those left over benefits and titles you developed earlier in this article. Review each link and pretend you have to get every visitor to click on it.

Start slowly until you get what it is you need to do, remember, you have invested time and perhaps money into writing and publishing your book. Now, create the interest to your book page by giving your bulleted lists, headlines and links the power of benefits. Make it interesting and filled with benefitls and your book page and prosper!

Remember do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, product or service and contact me to help keep you on track.

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10 Publishing Tips that Assist – it’s the little things…

Here you are, thinking…what, how am I going to finish, design, publish and promote my book?
Some of you who are more familiar with my posts know I end with the statement of “Remember, do something every day toward…..” There is such power in this statement, please remember it.

Here are 10 things/actions/thoughts for you to consider:

  1. One of the things I found most daunting about writing a book was all the rewrites….UNTIL I realized how great the book turned out because of them.
  2. Research. One can never gather enough information. Whether it’s about your subject or how to self publish or promote. Spend time every day on the net reading
  3. Talk with like minded people. Open up to them and share your passions your book.
  4. Go read the first part of another book. Or the table of contents. Maybe the book is only about business, or even cooking…
  5. Go for a 15 min walk. Look at what’s around you… absorb
  6. Type in your website URL, look at your site and see how YOU react… is it what you thought? If not, change one thing and see how that works.
  7. Take out your camera/video/smart phone make a 30sec spot or shoot yourself doing something and write about it
  8. Go to or open a Google Account and set up google alerts
  9. Go to a book reading or signing…
  10. Talk to someone you don’t know and share these publishing tips

It’s nice to know that you can do things that help further your book or service. Even a laugh on the phone while talking to someone can open a door and move you to a new space. People like to be acknowledged as do you. Don’t miss a beat.

Remember, do something every day towards the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company… then contact me and let move it further forward.

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Time to publish my book, as well as market, promote, review, award shows and and and…

It is time again, to get back to the business at hand, which of course is to publish my book. You remember what that is right? The action that you take when you have a thought that just has to be shared, in words only you can relate. The words that keep you up at night and fill you with a great passion and fulfillment. The one and only action you want to do always and forever…without writers block to hold you back ….

Well, that sounds good in theory but after you’ve written your book out to manuscript form, proofed and double checked editied… now what? Who will design the cover. Who will layout the interior? Who will promote it to media outlets? Who will post daily to social media sites and converse with them…. who I ask … WHO? Kinda sounds like a Henny Penny nursery rhyme doesn’t it. Well, its not to far from that.

You realize, you will be the one unless you have an assistant or army of people who will do it for you. Most of us are the ones who pick up the next item on the checklist and start the learning process again. NOTE: once this new information is learned and actions are achieved… you will most likely move through it faster and happier and probably begin it even while you are writing your next book. YES, there will be a next one! YAY!

The best beginning is with what you know, but not always the best place to begin. Have I confused you yet? Think about it, say you really understand media, but without a cover design any work you put towards getting the news out there will be wasted since you really don’t have a product yet. Yes, your book is a product.

That’s why there are people like the book consultant, coach, designer, promotion and branding expert out there to help you through the tough “What’s next?” question and action to get and stay on the right course to creating a presence for you, your book and your concepts. There are many lists out there that can tell you what to do, I have lots here on my website. I have a list of award shows, a list of categories, a list of tips that will aide in your social media and blogging tips lists that will boggle your mind of all the options to do. In fact, that might be the reason you are here on my website, to check out all my services. Feel free to call me if there is a question not answered. We can set up a time for a 15 min. free discussion.

Knowing where you can go off the path can help you get to the end sooner, realizing that there are still several choices to make to even get there. Having another person list and guide the progress can be a time saving event.

As a self publishing author many skills are acquired along the way that will benefit you in all you do. Think about when you will be in front of an audience interested in your concepts, think of how empowered you’ll feel when you can answer any question about the how you did what you did that you are inspiring them to do.

This is how you can do that.

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Remember do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company. Contact me to set up a consulting session and get on the direct path.

 

Getting Insurance for your business…Other related subject: Small Business Insurance

This may seem off subject for my blog but I have the toughest time with things like insurance and lawyers and corporation procedures… so when I was told I needed to have general liability insurance I literally freaked! To put it mildly.

The lawyer who told me, referred me to an insurance man who said I didn’t make enough for him to bother with me! REALLY! Then the search began for a company who could write me a policy… and I called all over locally, the internet, friends gave me names… finally I realized I belonged to NASE, the National Association for the Self Employed… yes, I didn’t think of it in the first place… and they helped me.

There is a company, Hartford Insurance that has an online form for small businesses…. easy to fill out and their response was timely. Here is the web address, the company’s name is Crescent Insurance.
http://www.crescentinsurance.com/business_owners.asp

 

 

Don't forget to send a thank you note!

This tip courtesy of Rick Fishman newsletter

A “Rick Tip”

Don’t forget to send a thank you note!

I know it sounds crazy- but most people don’t send a thank you note after they do a
media interview…

Big mistake! Always send a note the the host and the producer.

In the note…
1- Thank them for having you on ( or for the interview)
2- Remember a specific item from the interview and talk about that
3- Give them your cell # and offer to be on anytime at the last minute
4- Tell how much fun you had on the show and how you got a great reaction (
phone calls and e mails etc)
5- Ask them for a “testimonial” and ask them to send it to you on their stationary (
for your press kit)
6- Ask them for an mp3 of the show ( or a tear sheet if it is a print interview)

For more tips go to http://www.plannedtvarts.com and sign up for our “TIP SHEET”
That’s it for this week
To Your Success
Rick
www.plannedtvarts.com

How to write the subtitle for your book…

When determining your subtitle…think benefits that the reader will get, think what you promise them.

Think bullet points (but don’t use them in the subtitle), think logically and think what “they” want to solve or know about. Re-read your intro, foreword and first chapter, pull out the phrases you already use and rework them into your subtitle.

Write it out in several different sequencing of words and keep it to around or under 10 words for best comprehension. Fill pages with your sentences. Keep reducing it down to more compact to-the-point phrases.

Put it aside for a few days, then go back.

Finding the time to research your market and get info from others can help you determine the best ways to move forward. I offer book consulting and coaching  sessions. Topics include: title and sub-title creation; book size, promotion, branding and marketing and answer the important questions you might have.

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Books designed with CDs – some things to consider

Should you put a CD in your book or not? or do you create a book designed with all the stuff in it that might go in the CD? good questions.

If your book is not sealed, shrink wrapped, the CD could be easily taken and then your book is not sellable and the book store will return it to you…not good. And… Continue reading

Photos scans for the interior of your book

I’ve written about this before… but it’s such an important subject here it is again…
I can’t encourage you enough to contact a knowledgeable professional if you are planning on having one or hundreds of photo/illustration images on the inside of you book. There are so many “if’s” involved and the wrong road could cost not only money but quality in the end product. Be sure that your images are scanned Continue reading

Will Illustrations Done in Pencil Reproduce Well for Printing?

You need to be very careful when you scan pencil. That being said, it’s used a lot. If your image is an outline, the line needs to be as solid as possible and in a 2B or softer pencil.

If your illustration is a full out image shaded etc, when it’s scanned you need to be sure that you don’t loose any of the mid-tones or make the darker areas more solid than you wanted. Pencil has a ‘shine’ quality when scanned that you might have trouble with.

Your illustrator should know how to draw to get the best results from today’s technology, be sure you let them know how their final product will be used. They might also offer the service of scanning them for you. Or you might find a professional imaging house to scan for you.

Each medium has a unique production process for them. It’s a good idea to have an open conversation with the illustrator and printer before work is done to get the best results for your final product. If you have any other questions about your book, please feel free to contact me.

That’s it. Keep doing something everyday towards your book …
Take a look at my website and contact me if you have any questions.

Karrie Ross
Your Book Designer
https://www.bookcoverdesigner.com

BEA – Book Expo America 2008 in Los Angeles

Just spent the day at the Book Expo America show (BEA). It’s big, covers two halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’m glad I went. I ran into lots of interesting people and learned a lot about using this type of show to promote books.

I spoke with several publishers and distributors about a book I’ve written, learned that many distributors also publish. The ones I spoke to, do expect the author to do their own public relations in the way of getting noticed etc. They also don’t ask for a total exclusive agreement either.

This show happens each year, next year 2009 it will be in New York. I know I’ll be there the whole three days…will you?

Remember, keep doing something everyday for your book and promotion.
https://www.bookcoverdesigner.com

Book Cover Design: BEA and How to Use it to Help you Research Interest for Your Book

I attended BEA with two intentions. First from the view of a Book Cover & Interior Designer and the second from the view of a new Author.

I noticed myself falling back into the comfort of the first since this is known to me and the way I make a living. I found many interesting services for authors from printers to doll makers for children’s books. I also came away with good information regarding what publishers are looking for to better inform my book design clients who use my services.

I attended on the last day of the show in the hopes of being a more welcomed conversation to the booth vendors, which turned out to be a good decision and I got some free books at the end!

And the second view as author being new and Continue reading

Book Design: Beginning Tips for How to Write Your Book…

You have an idea for a book. Now What? Let’s explore what it takes to write a book. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to begin writing a book and there have been many books writen on the subject. So if my article hits home in even a little way… research what’s out there for more information and start today… following your dream!

Here are a few beginning tips to writing your book:

1. What are your strengths? Take your best strength and begin there and figure out how to get the rest done through other vendor services.

2. Pick the type of book you’ll write:

–Non-fiction: how to books, self improvement, Continue reading

The Author-Entreprenuer

The current print on demand self publishing industry was built on vast numbers of hopeful people betting on the common dream of becoming a best-selling author; and some of the self publishing companies that fueled this notion skyrocketed from nowhere to being counted among the largest publishers on the planet. Ok, some of these authors were more grounded in reality, but there’s little doubt a great many were fantasizing about grabbing the brass ring.

A year ago, just about any self publishing services company website you visited was actively pitching the “dream” of becoming a published author. Hinting that perhaps you had a shot at “best seller” status and tailoring their marketing Continue reading

Book Cover Design: Do You Know How To Find Out What's On Your Audience's Mind?

You’ve got the topic you really want to write about but not sure if its relevant or if there is even interest in what excites you.

Go to the book store, see what other books have been written on it. Are any seeing the unique part you see?

Now got to the newspaper and magazine stand. What’s there that you can gather input from.

Be sure you cover all bases where your topic is being talked about and take notes, buy the publication and subscribe to the emails.