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March 2014

How To Successfully Promote Your Book Locally

Although it is often overlooked, some of the best book promotion opportunities can come right in an author's backyard. When considering your local area and region, chances are that you might be better known here than nationally or globally. Pursuing your local market can often be a great first step in successfully launching your book.

Here are eight great ideas to help you promote your book locally.

1. Always carry a quantity of your books and some promotional literature with you, everywhere you travel. You never know when you might meet a potential customer or a marketing opportunity.

2. Planning a weekend trip? If so, do some preliminary research to identify bookstores, retailers and libraries that you can call on while traveling.

3. When talking to bookstore managers and librarians, promote yourself as a local author. Place "local author" stickers on any books you plan to sell in your local area.

4. Think about what type of retailers relate well to the subject matter of your book. Look for retailers besides just bookstores that may offer a great marketing fit.

5. Schedule speaking engagements at local libraries. This can be especially effective for children's books and for nonfiction books about travel, business, fitness, finances, etc.

6. Look for other speaking engagements besides libraries. There are many organizations, such as business and civic groups, church groups, schools and trade shows, looking for interesting speakers to speak at their meetings.

7. Seek publicity through your local media. Create and send press releases to media in the town where live and where you were born, as well as to your college alumni newsletter, associations and clubs you belong to.

8. Exhibit a book fairs and festivals, especially if your book is related to the theme of the event, or if your book has appeal to a broad audience.

Starting a marketing campaign for your book can be a challenge. However, often focusing initially on your local market can be a terrific first step.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from an article written by Dana Lynn Smith, book marketing coach and author of the SavvyBook Marketer Guides.]

The "Top 10" Greatest Book Writing Tips

By George Kittredge

In April 2010, Book1One launched Book1Blog, a blog dedicated to providing aspiring authors with guidance and tips on how to successfully write, self-publish and promote books they wish to create. Now, almost four years later and thanks to many professionals who have contributed, people like Sue Collier, Valerie Douglas, Bobbi Linkemer, Karen Hodges Miller, Dan Poynter, Karrie Ross, Marilyn Ross, Dana Lynn Smith and Danny O. Snow, this blog now contains over 200 published posts packed with terrific advice every book writer should read.

From the hundreds of great tips, we've assembled a "top 10" greatest tips. Here they are.

1. Before your start writing, consider who will buy and read your book, and what you plan to give them.

2. For nonfiction writers, the more specific you make your book, the more potential buyers will identify with it.

3. The key to any book is the strength of its concept, its point. If you can't explain what your book is about in one sentence, you don't have a clear idea of your message.

4. Chances are if you have an idea for a book, someone else has likely 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.

5. Visit a bookstore. Look for a book that you like for its binding, layout, overall feel, margins, typesetting, everything. When you find such a book - buy it, and use this book as your book model.

6. Your book cover should not only tell people what your book is about, it should tell them why they should buy it.

7. Place your book title near the top of your cover. Your book may wind up being displayed on a rack with only the top one-third of the front cover peeking over the book in front of it.

8. Always subtitle your nonfiction book. There are two very good reasons. First, Books-in-Print and other important listing sources enter both the title and the subtitle in their databases, so you can get more mileage out of your listing if you have a subtitle. Second, a subtitle gives you more opportunity to describe your book.

9. Every writer needs a profession editor - someone who can clarify your concept; plan and organize your material; read for content, consistency and style; check for grammer, punctuation and typos; and catch those mistakes you and everyone else has missed.

10. It is highly possible that you will sell more books through specialty stores than bookstores. Look for stores that you believe your potential buyers would frequent.

And finally, here is a bonus tip. "Limit your book title to five words maximum."


7 Action Items to Take Before You Begin Writing Your Book

By Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow

Much has been written about what you need to do when you are writing your book. For example, Book1Blog is filled with over 100 posts on the subject. Yet, some of the most important actions you can take should occur before you begin writing. Here is some solid advice worth considering.

  1. Don't make the mistake of writing your book before you know your audience. Do some initial research to identify the type of readers you want to aim your book at before you start writing.
  2. Go to libraries, bookstores and the internet. Read and study other books that are similar to your subject matter. Your book will have a much better chance for success if it fills a need that you discover is not already met, or does a better job at meeting the needs of your audience.
  3. Observe how comparable books are made. Are they soft cover, hard cover or coil bound? How many pages do they contain? What is their pricing? What is their overall appearance? Then plan your book to be truly competitive in each respect.
  4. Read books written by experts that offer self-publishing advice and tips. Such books can give you insights before your begin writing and help you avoid potential pitfalls down the road.
  5. Join one or more trade associations and/or local book writing organizations. Such groups can provide meaningful opportunities for ongoing education and networking.
  6. Talk to book designers. An experience book designer can explain things such as why each chapter might start on a right-hand page, or why faces in a photo should be at least as big as a dime.
  7. If you are truly self-publishing and plan to hire a book printer, discuss your project with some professional printers. These folks can show you how to optimize your printing dollar that can save money.

It's generally considered that books such as successful novels and poetry books are tougher to write than successful nonfiction books. The reason is that it is harder to pinpoint the audience for general fiction than for a book about a specific, practical topic. However, regardless as to the type of book you plan to write, it- will have a greater chance for success if you plan carefully beforehand - before you begin actually writing.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from U-Publish.com 5.0, co-authored by Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow.]

Guidelines for Creating That Award-Winning Book Title

One of the best ways to motivate someone to pick up your book and look at it, is to create a dynamic and eye-catching book title on the cover. Wouldn't it be great if there were some absolute rules or proven formulas you could follow that would enable you to create that award-winning book title? But alas, there are none.

However, the following guidelines may help you create a book title that can really work for your book.

  1. It's best to have a clear title over a catchy one. And ideally, your title should start with the two or three most relevant words, so that when it shows up in a database, a searcher can immediately catch your drift.
  2. When considering your title, look at the power of numbers. Things like: 5 Ways to..., 21 Secrets for..., 50 Money Making Tip... Interestingly, studies show odd numbers work best.
  3. Another approach is to identify the three biggest problems your book solves. These can help answer a potential reader's questions of "What's in it for me?" or "Why should I care."
  4. Sometimes a play on words can have a dramatic effect. The subtitle of Jim Soules book about finding your perfect mate included A Guide for Twogetherness.
  5. Looking at magazine titles can also stimulate ideas. Sometimes by just substituting one word, you can produce a grabber title.

Just as there are guidelines for good titles, there are also some negative you should avoid. Stay away from titles that are trite, such as All That Glitters Is Not Gold or To Be or Not To Be. Profane or controversial titles can spell disaster. And don't choose a title or subtitle that can give misleading signals - such as "This book isn't what I thought it would be."

One final recommendation. Always subtitle your nonfiction books. There are two very good reasons. First, Books in Print and other listing sources enter both the title and the subtitle in their databases, so you can get additional mileage out of your listing with a subtitle. Second, a subtitle also gives you an opportunity to describe your book.

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