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August 2013

How to Develop a List of Book Buying Prospects

by Karen Hodges Miller

Developing a solid list of book buying prospects should be an integral part of your book marketing strategy. Here are four basic ways to create your prospect list.

1. Build an in-house list. The best list is one you personally develop over time, keeping track of clients, people you meet at networking functions, associates you work with and other personal contacts. You may also want to do some research online or at a library and compile lists of contacts from trade journals, business directories and other resources.

2. Speaking engagements and tradeshows. If you are asked to speak before an organization or group, be sure to request and obtain a copy of the attendees. The audience, after all, has made an effort to come out to see you, so you should assume that they are interested in learning more about you, your book and other services you may offer.

3. Join an association. Another way to develop a prospect list is by joining trade associations. Some groups make their membership directories available only to members; others offer them for sale; while still others have their membership lists available for free online. Each can become a valuable resource to you.

4. Purchase a list. If you choose to go this route, make sure you use a list broker who is knowledgeable, helpful and who listens to your needs. You'll find that lists are available for almost every market niche and in every price range.

Whereever your list comes from, it won't help you unless you put it to work. Then follow up with appropriate phone calls, personal emails or e-newsletters.

 [This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

Finding Your Book Writing Voice

By Bobbi Linkemer

When it comes to book writing, it's important to find the right voice. Here are a few simple rules when starting out to help you find your voice.

1. Be real and natural. If possible, write the way you speak, even if the grammar is a little shaky at first.

2. Start a conversation with your readers. Connect with them; engage them; answer their potential questions.

3. Concentrate on content, not style. What you say is more important than how you say it. You can't cover up lack of knowledge with words, words, and more words.

4. Think with your fingers. Put them on the keys and keep them there. Let the thoughts pour out, even if they seem jumbled.

5. Avoid jargon. Business, technical, political, academic, medical, any kind of jargon. Jargon is like speaking in code - it excludes the reader.

6. Don't change your voice for different audiences. All you have to be is clear, conversational, and concise. Don't pretend to be a CEO to write to businesspeople or a medical expert to write to doctors. Don't pretend, period.

7. And finally, don't try to hard. You will discover that some things develop in their own time. Your writer's voice will be one of them.

[This post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]

10 Questions to Test Your Book Idea

By Bobbi Linkemer

Writing a book is a challenge, and selecting the right book idea is the first issue you need to deal with. To test how "right" your book idea is, here are ten questions you need to answer before you begin your bookwriting project.

1. Why are you writing this book? In other words, what do you hope to achieve?

2. What is your book about? Before you go any further, it's a question you must answer - and be able to do it in one or two sentences.

3. How are you qualified to write this book? This is actually your bio as it pertains to your book's subject. The answer to this question will demonstrate your knowledge, experience and expertise.

4. Why is this an appropriate and timely topic? What is the big picture? The  content? The political or social environment? And why this book, now?

5. Who is your ideal reader? Describe this person demographically and by interests. What do you know about him or her?

6. How will your readers benefit? Why should they read your book? What will they learn or what problem will it solve for them?

7. How will you reach your ideal readers? What do they read and do? Where are likely to buy your book? Amazon.com? A bookstore? A grocery store? From your website?

8. How big is the market? How many potential readers are there? And where are they?

9. What else is out there on this subject? How is your book unique/special/important? How do the competition's books compare to yours.

10. How will you help to promote your book? This is an extremely important question if you are seeking a book publisher. Delineate specific plans. You'll need a plan that allows publishers to assess your willingness and cooperation in promoting your book.

[This post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]

Tips on Do-It-Yourself Page Design - Part 2

[The following is a second post of a two-part series. Click here to read Part 1.]

When is comes to page design, the decisions to be made about the type itself include style, size and white space. Remember, the hallmark of good typography is legibility.

There are two major families of type: serifs and sans serifs. Serifs are easier to read because they have little hooks on them that serve to hold the eye on the line. Some common, easy-to-read style are Century Schoolbook, Times Roman, Bodoni, Garamond, Palatino and Bookman. When you find a style that pleases you, stick with it rather than mixing faces. The place to introduce something different, such as a sans serif typeface, is in the chapter titles or subheads.

Point is one of the standard units of measurement used in typesetting. A point is approximately 1/72 inches. The other standard unit of measurement is the pica. One pica equals 12 points, or approximately 1/16 inches. Line lengths for typeset copy are specified in picas. For instance, a line that measures four inches wide would be disignated as 64 picas.

The white space between lines is called line space or leading. It is typically the type size plus two. For example, 10/12 indicates 10-point type with 12-point leading. Its purpose is to make the lines of type spread apart enough so that they do not strain the eye.

Most newspapers and magazine are done in 9- or 10-point type. Eleven-point is a nice, readable size. Often, the kind of book can dictate a size range. A children's book, for instance, will want larger type.

From a style perspective, there are certain things you may want highlighted by the use of boldface or italics. As a general rule, chapter headings and other important divisions should be done in boldface or with a different font.

But the biggest consideration is this. When it comes to book design, or more specifically page design, the most imp0rtant thing you can do is to make your book as easy as possible for someone to read.

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