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July 2012

Creating a Promotional Package That Really Wows Editors!

Planning to create a package of information to send to prospective editors? Make sure you include the following elements:

1. A brief cover letter. Start with a catchy lead that makes it clear why you are writing. Include a brief sales history, a short paragraph on your special qualifications for writing this book, appearances or personal promotions you have done, and why readers would be interested.

2. Potential markets. Do the work for the editors. By using actual statistics to quantify your market, you build a more dramatic case.

3. A selling handle. Include twenty to thirty sizzling, benefit-laden words that capture the special essence of your book.

4. Your unique selling proposition. What sets you apart? Tell about your book's specialness, plus the general tone and scope.

5. Your intended promotional involvement. Describe the participation you will have. Mention noteworthy contacts you have who might be helpful in promoting the book. What channels of distribution have you opened.?

6. A powerful author bio. Parade every credential you have. Make publishers aware of why you are uniquely qualified to address this subject at this time.

7. Special features. What additional characteristics make this book unique? Things like photos, illustrations, checklists, tables, action tips, etc.

8. Supportive materials. Include copies of book reviews - lots of them - so the editors sense a groundswell of interest about this title.  Also include complimentary fan letters, copies of large orders, articles by and about the author, anything that gives the project credibility.

9. The competition. Know your competition. What other books are in print on the same subject? How does yours differ? How is yours better? Why is your book likely to have long-range sales potential?

10. A copy of the book.

In short, develop a package that makes it easy for the editor to become excited about your book. It may seem like a lot of work - but it will be worth it.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]

10 Basic Rules for Successfully Marketing Your Book

The following 10 rules offer some outstanding guidance on how to go about marketing your book.

1. Marketing a book is really all about marketing you. You are selling your expertise, your knowledge and your ability to tell a story and to engage your audience.

2. The day you stop marketing your book is the day it stops selling. If you aren't telling people about your book, they won't be looking for it on their own.

3. If you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one. Your target audience is your "sweet spot", the 80 percent of the market that is most likely to purchase your book. Find out which group is most likely to buy.

4. Don't be a miser. Give books away. Don't be afraid to give away sample copies. Sow you books like seeds - you never know what fruit they will bring.

5. No one else cares about your book like you do. You are the person who cares the most about your book and who ultimately must make the decisions about which book marketing techniques to use.

6. Hire experts to help you. You cannot do it all or be an expert in everything. Hire experts when you need to. Spending your money wisely will reap positive returns.

7. There is no overnight success. If you really look hard, you'll find years of study and hard work went into most of what the media love to tout as an overnight success.

8. Don't give up. If a particular marketing technique is not working, try another, and then another.  Always be searching for a new way to promote your book.

9. Don't try to do it all at once. There are probably over a 100 different ways you could promote your book. When selecting the marketing techniques to use, pick just a few that appear to be the best fit, and focus on doing them as well as you can.

10. Always look professional. This goes for both you and your book. Pay for a professional editor, proofreader and graphic artist. Make sure that your book looks as professional as you do. 

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written by Karen Hodges Miller.]

Three Book Cover Design Tips - Think Internet,Typeface, and Color

Look to the internet

When designing your book cover, one of your major considerations should be the internet.  Be sure your cover titles are big and bold if you want them to work in cyberspace. Assess whether your title will be readable when your book is reduced to the tiny size presented on most websites. Be sure your cover translates well to a small web graphic.

Also use the internet, especially Amazon.com, to view a multitude of cover treatments. Print those you particularly like - they can make possible prototypes.

Letting type do the job

Type by itself without illustrations is often appropriate on a book cover, especially if the book is business related or how-to nature. Remember that typefaces have different personalities, so it's important to match your type choice to your subject matter. Your might want your title to be bold, or clean and clear cut. Regardless of the type you select, it must have one important quality - it must photograph extremely well.

One other thought. If you're using type alone and plan a hardcover, you might want to consider going without a dust jacket and have the title printed on the book cover itself.

The magic of color

Color also plays a large role in book cover design and the effect you are trying to create. A skilled designer uses one color of ink by itself, introduces another contrasting color by itself, then combines the two to create additional colors. Another color effect can be created by reversing out the color and letting the white of the paper show.

The illusion of an additional color can also be created by what is called a screen tint, a tone created by a regular patter of dots - the denser the dots, the darker the tone. Tints are expressed as percentages - 10 percent being very light and 50 percent much darker. Screen tinting is an economical technique that will also give your promotional materials added appeal.

So, it you count up the possibilities, you'll discover that you can produce several colors for your cover while merely paying for a two-color job, thereby reducing your design costs.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th edition, co authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]

How to Write Keyword Rich Articles to Successfully Promote Your Book

By Dana Lynn Smith

Writing articles for your own blog and submitting articles to newsletters and other blogs are very effective ways to promote your book. Articles posted on other sites can drive traffic to your website and improve your site's search engine optimization.

Good keyword optimization will make it easier for people who are interested in your topic to find your articles. Here are some guidelines to help you maximize the impact of your articles:

1. Determine the goals of your article. How will this article help you promote your book(s) and what action do you want  readers to take?

2. Define the target audience. Who are you writing to?

3. Select the topic of your article. What do you want readers to learn?

4. Determine the approximate length. About 400 to 700 words is a good length.

5. Select a primary and perhaps a secondary keyword phrase for your article. Google's keyword tool can help you research potential keywords.

6. Write the headline, using the primary keyword at the beginning if possible.

7. Once you have written your article, go back and find ways to work the keywords into the text. Do not overdo, however. You want to keep your article sounding natural. If you stuff in too many keywords or write awkward sentences, it will be obvious and will tend to trun readers off. One tip is, in your draft, to highlight keywords in yellow so that you can easily see how many times the keywords are used.

Finally, write a good resource box at the end of the article (see mine below), giving readers a reason to click through to your website.

[Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more book marketing tips, follow BookMarketer on Twitter and visit The Savvy Book Marketer Blog to get Dana's free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook.]

You may hear marketing experts talk about keyword density - the ratio of keywords to total word count on a web page. I don't count the words. I just try to make it look natural