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January 2013

How a Book Coach Can Help You Write Your Nonfiction Book

By Bobbi Linkemer

Hiring a book coach can be a great decision. Here are just some of things a book coach can do for the nonfiction author.

1. A book coach is a teacher, partner and personal cheerleader. Support and guidance are two of the secret ingredients of book writing success, and a coach will help you stay focused and confident.

2. A book coach guides you through every step of the process. This includes planning, research, writing, editing, publishing and promotion.

3. A book coach asks all the right questions during the planning phase. Things like what is the subject of your book? Your target audience? What are your qualifications? How will your book be different? And better? How much control do you want over the publishing process? How will you promote your book?

4. A book coach helps you set realistic goals and create a schedule for meeting them. Writing a book is a long-term project, but certainly not one that should drag on forever. A coach will help you set achievable goals to mark your progress, make them measureable and include firm completion dates.

5. A book coach works with you on polishing your manuscript. Regular feedback during the writing process will not only keep you on track, it will also ensure that your book follows your plan from start to finish.

6. A book coach clarifies available publishing options. You may dream about working with a large New York publisher but, if that is not possible, a coach can make you aware of other viable options such as print-on-demand, working with a small independent publisher focused on your niche market, or self-publishing.

7. A book coach helps you promote your book before and after it is published. Much, if not all, of the marketing and promotion of your book is going to be your responsibility, and you will need all the help you can get to be successful.

Writing a book for the first time can be a daunting challenge.  A book coach will help demistify the process and act as a guide through this uncharted territory.

[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.]

10 Rules to Follow When Holding a Book Marketing Event

By Karen Hodges Miller

Some of the best ways to promote both yourself and your book are through book marketing workshops, seminars and other speaking events. When you speak to people, you connect on a deeper level - they feel that they know you and are more likely to buy your book. You also can gain instant credibility as an expert on your subject.

There are many aspects to holding a book marketing event, and here are a few tips on how to successfully create and publicize them.

1. Promote yourself to organizations. Make up a list of organizations that you would like to speak in front of. Start local, then move to regional, and then national. In some instances, local groups make be able to connect you to other groups with larger audiences.

2. Get a video made. To successfully sell you speaking abilities, you need to give out a sample. A three- to five-minute video is all you need. If you have a speaking engagement booked, ask if you can discreetly videotape it.

3. Create a speaking press kit. Send your press kit out to those organizations on your target list. Your kit should include a list of engagements you already have conducted, the topics you cover, a link to your video and, of course, a copy of your book.    

4. Tell everyone. Once you have an engagement booked, tell everyone about it. Post it on Facebook and your website. Tweet about it. Mention it on LinkedIn and, if you have one, your blog and/or newsletter.

5. Selling your book at events. Ask the organization if you can bring books with you to sell at the event. Some organizations may want a percent of sales depending upon the type of arrangement you have with them.

6. Bring promotional materials with you. Create and bring bookmarks, flyers, business cards and other materials to hand out during your talk. Make sure your website, book title, ISBN and contact information appear prominently on all material.

7. Talk to your audience. Be prepared to stay and talk to people after the event. That's when the best networking occurs.

Every author should learn to be comfortable speaking in front of an audience. These rules offer a great starting point to help you become successful in holding book marketing speaking events.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written by Karen Hodges Miller. In addition to being an author, Karen is an editor and founder of Open Door Publications.]

Guidelines to Creating a Nationwide Book Marketing Target List

If you plan on selling your book, of all the hats you will wear as an author, the marketing hat may likely be the most important. The way to secure book reviews, get your book mentioned in nonreview publications, and generally light a fire that will ignite word-of-mouth recommendations is to create your own nationwide book marketing plan. And this starts with creating target lists. Here are some guidelines that may help you.

1. Your plan should include not only national book reviewers but any publication targeted to your audience, as well as syndicated columnists, newsletter editors, and book club editors.

2. Pinpoint selected book distributors, wholesalers, bookstores and libraries.

3. Add to your list selected radio and TV programs.

4. Other potential targets should include associations that may buy in bulk, special retail outlets, and book catalogs.

5. Don't overlook regional magazines and newspapers. Some publications serve specific geographic areas or target specific groups such as New Agers, businesspersons, seniors, or women.

6. What about civic, social, fraternal and alumni associations to which you belong? They like to highlight the accomplishments of members.

When considering who should be on your book marketing target lists, you'll need to pull together every conceivable source - both general and specialized - that you think might talk about or buy your book.

One additional note. Developing a mailing list of the reviewers you want to court should be one of your first priorities. Tailor your list to potential contacts whose editorial slant matches your type of book. Being specific will save significantly on promotional material and postage costs, and it will also avoid tempting a lot of folks who wouldn't seriously consider reviewing your book to request a free copy anyway.

[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.]