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December 2012

Happy Holidays from Book1Blog

We are going to take a two week break from our weekly blog postings - long enough to wish each of you a joyous holiday season and an enjoyable start to the New Year.

We will be back with our next post on January 7, 2013.

Until then, best wishes to all of you.


7 Ways to Research Your Nonfiction Book

By Bobbi Linkemer

If you plan on writing a nonfiction book, chances are you will have to do some research. Here are seven of the most effective ways to go about researching a book.

1. Interviews. There are three rules to effective interviewing. The first rule is to find an expert. The second is to use every listening skill you have. The third rule is to continue to build your understanding and knowledge base with every question and every person you talk to.

2. Library research rooms. Your best friend should be the research librarian and your local library. They can point you to the precise reference books you need. Even with online sites, 90 percent of research is done through libraries' full-text databases.

3. University & specialized libraries. If you haven't visited one, do it just for your general reference, if not for a specific subject.

4. Books on your subject area. Chances are if you have an idea, someone else has had it also - and has probably written about it. This doesn't mean you should abandon your idea; it simply means you must tackle it in a different way. Bookstores, libraries and online sites can be great resources for other books on your subject.

5. Corporations and business publications. To learn about specific industries, start collecting corporate annual reports. Look up relevant magazine and newspaper articles. Check out business publications and related TV channels. All can be great resources.

6 Government agencies. Government agencies produce tons of literature. Much of it is free and is there for the asking. You can start by visiting www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/tree.

7. The internet. In today's world, the World Wide Web is an unlimited source of material. The secret of researching on the web is knowing how to use search engines. Look up researching online at www.marin.cc.ca.us/adair/workshop.html.  

[Bobbi Linkemer is a book coach, ghostwriter, editor and author of 17 books. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs and individuals. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]

How to Ask for Book Reviews

By Karen Hodges Miller

Who would you like to provide you with book reviews? Do you have friends, acquaintances or networking contacts who have made a name for themselves in your field? Ask them to review your book before it is published. These blurbs can be used on the back cover of your book or just before or after the title page as testimonials. You can also place them on your website.

Don't be shy. Think of the most well-known people in your field and approach them. If you aren't personally acquainted with them, try to get an introduction through a mutual acquaintance. If you are in the same field, you may want to reference a trade organization or other connection that you share. What's the worst that can happen? The person will say no to you, and you will move on to the next one on your list.

To ask for a review, send an email explaining exactly what you want. A two or three sentence review of your book is just fine. In fact, anything over one paragraph can be difficult to place in your book. It is also polite to add a link to a reviewers website or reference the person's work when you print the review.

Attach a PDF of your book with your request, making sure that it is edited and proofread before you send it. If you are just sending an excerpt of your book, make sure you explain this.

Give the reviewer a date to return the review. Even the most responsible and well-intentioned people will procrastinate. Don't forget to send a thank-you note when you receive the review. And make sure you send the reviewer a complimentary copy of your book when it is finished.

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

How to Avoid Self-Publishing Stumbling Blocks

Like any business, self-publishing has stumbling blocks you need to be aware of. If self-publishing a book was easy, everyone would be doing it. To avoid some of these stumbling blocks,  here are four things you should consider.

1. Be prepared to talk about yourself and your book - at all times.

Contrary to what your mother may have taught you, to be successful you must become a braggart. You'll need to learn how to "toot" your own horn. It's going to be up to you to tell anybody and everybody about your book and how great it is.

2. Understand the financial obligations you will encounter.

Self-publishing is an investment, an investment in yourself. You are going to need some start-up capital. There must be enough money to print your book, send out review copies, do phone follow-up, sustain an advertising campaign, etc.

How much you spend will depend upon a number of factors. How long will your book be? Will it have photographs? Will the cover be full color? Will you desktop publish or have it professionally designed and typeset? How many copies will you print? Via what method?

3. Remember that money alone will not make your book a success.

When considering what kind of investment you need/want to make, be forewarned. Lack of market analysis, careful planning, budgeting, and persistence have caused some people to lose their investment. In today's digital printing world, books can be launched on a shoestring by using print on demand (POD).

4. In the end, it's the time commitment you make that will be most important.

You should be willing to devote a substantial block of your time to your publishing project. While this can be spread over a long period, there is no getting around the fact that to have a dynamite book, you must spend a considerable amount of time writing it, revising it, producing it, and promoting it.

Being aware of potential stumbling blocks is the first step in ensuring that you avoid them.

[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.]