1 03, 2016

The one-step method to make your website work

By | March 1, 2016|Marketing|Comments Off on The one-step method to make your website work

What’s the most efficient, as well as most effective, way to get from your couch to the fridge? Is it a shortcut such as taking a giant leap? Or is it taking a number of comfortable steps? Walking, which is one step—and always and only one step—at a time, has been the winning transportation tactic employed by people since the dawn of time. Gliding and flying aren’t possible in a living room setting while jumping and leaping are just too energy consuming to make it worthwhile. If you kept exerting the amount of energy needed for jumping, you’d end up having to make more frequent trips to the fridge than otherwise needed. So “one step at a time” is the best way to get from your couch to the fridge. What does this have to do with book marketing? We take the one-step method granted when it comes to biped [...]

12 10, 2015

How big is your audience?

By | October 12, 2015|Marketing, Publishing|Comments Off on How big is your audience?

A few years ago I had a weekend evening to myself, and decided to go to a play. I found a performance of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘night Mother by Marsha Norman showing at the Tucson Temple of Music and Art. I arrived very early, so I wasn’t surprised that there was only one other person in the audience, but was surprised when no one else showed up. The play started, and I thought to myself: “Now I am stuck here, even if the performance is terrible. I’m 50% of the audience. I can’t just stand up and walk out.” That turned out not to be a problem. The performance was completely engrossing. ‘night Mother is a two-hour play with only two actors. I can’t even begin to imagine what it took for the actors to sustain the emotional intensity that they exhibited for those two hours, let alone what [...]

22 09, 2015

The World’s Worst Ebook Artwork

By | September 22, 2015|Authors Academy, Marketing, News|Comments Off on The World’s Worst Ebook Artwork

Wheatmark client and Authors Academy member Bill Corbett sent me the link to this sobering article the other day. It talks about how the digital era has led to a decline in income for authors. The article cites a number of reasons for this, but another one (which the article doesn’t discuss) is increased competition. According to recent numbers I’ve seen, there are now more than 4,500 books published every day. That’s a heck of a lot of books vying for readers’ attention! How do you compete with all those titles? One great way is to submit your book to—and win—contests. But—and you can see this one coming—with all those books being published each day, far more books than ever before are being submitted to contests for consideration. How do you ensure your book has a good chance of standing out from the crowd and getting recognized? Some tips are [...]

9 06, 2015

Is your book cursed?

By | June 9, 2015|Marketing, Publishing|Comments Off on Is your book cursed?

Wheatmark client Michelee Cabot forwarded me this fascinating entry from Wikipedia about the dreaded “book curse.” The best way I can describe it in contemporary terms is that it was like medieval copyright protection! According to the article, “a book curse was the most widely employed and effective method of discouraging the thievery of manuscripts during the medieval period.” Punishments usually included excommunication, damnation, or anathema. Harsh! These days, the punishment for swiping someone else’s work is more pedestrian: typically, the ripped-off author is entitled to financial damages. Copyright is one of least understood areas of publishing, while simultaneously being one of the areas of highest concern for authors… and first-time authors in particular. Here’s the scoop: even in its draft-manuscript stage (for example, in a Microsoft Word document stored on your computer’s hard drive) your manuscript is copyrighted under US law. If someone steals your draft and publishes it [...]

24 04, 2015

What should you be doing to market your book?

By | April 24, 2015|Authors Academy, Marketing, News|Comments Off on What should you be doing to market your book?

I received an email recently from long-time Wheatmark client Eddie Browning that invited him to display his books at Book Expo America (BEA) next month. Eddie’s kind enough to keep me in the loop about all the different kinds of promotions authors receive on a daily basis that claim to help them market their work. Eddie doesn’t have any intention of taking the bait, but I saw this as an opportunity to share a valuable marketing lesson with all of our readers. The lesson is that good marketing is a process, not an event. This is a tricky concept for many authors to grasp. They equate “marketing” with “selling.” They’ll often say things like “I tried marketing my book, and it didn’t work.” Usually, what they actually mean is “I tried selling my book, and it didn’t work.” What’s the difference? “Selling” is pretty straight-forward. It means asking for the [...]

26 01, 2015

Tips for Successful Blogging

By | January 26, 2015|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Tips for Successful Blogging

As the marketing specialist for Wheatmark, I have the privilege to work alongside many authors as they take their first steps into the unfamiliar world of blogging and social media. For those individuals with little to no experience in this area, this step toward marketing themselves can feel rather daunting and unattainable. This feeling, however, is not unordinary. Maintaining a blog and staying committed to promoting your brand takes a great deal of effort, but having a persistent attitude and an openness to learning will allow you to be more successful in the long run. I recently stumbled across an article with a list of valuable tips to help you become a successful blogger. Out of the 19 tips provided, here are five that I believe are the most useful: 1. Make sure you have an About page that represents who you are and what you do. Who you are [...]

5 01, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions…and a pretty neat trick

By | January 5, 2015|Authors Academy, Marketing, Publishing|Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions…and a pretty neat trick

It’s that time of year again… time to resolve to finally get those things done that somehow, we’ve failed to achieve every year prior to date. For some, it might be losing weight. For others, it might be getting their books finished and ready for publication. Still others might finally be ready to make some progress on their marketing. The problem is: everyone knows that most resolutions are broken by February, if they even last that long. How do you ensure that you follow through on your resolutions? Today I’m going to share a neat trick that I learned from one of my mentors, marketing legend John Carlton. John’s trick is simple, but profound: sit down and write a letter to yourself, but date it January 1, 2016. That’s right: one year from now. In the letter, write down all that you have accomplished this year—that is, in the year [...]

3 01, 2015

5 Things Your Author Website Should Do

By | January 3, 2015|Authors Academy, Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on 5 Things Your Author Website Should Do

I could have titled this article “Five Things Your Author Website Should Have” instead of “Five Things Your Author Website Should Do.” And it would have been a very different article. When we market our message or services, it is a very common error for us to think in terms of features instead of benefits. It does not matter how many bells and whistles your website has if they aren’t doing anything in terms of accomplishing your website’s goals. Does your website have goals? A reason to exist? If you’re asking the question, What should my website do? you’ll be closer to thinking in terms of goals than if you’re asking, What should my website have?” Only you can come up with a goal for your website, but I’m listing five below that you should consider. 1. Establish or solidify your credibility as an author or expert in your niche. [...]

15 12, 2014

My Book Got Optioned. Here’s What Happened.

By | December 15, 2014|Authors Academy, Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on My Book Got Optioned. Here’s What Happened.

I came across this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education and thought I’d forward it on to you. As many of you know, I was a screen-writer in my former life, so I can really relate to this piece. I was working in the indie world, and, since we’d arranged our own financing, my first professional writing gig was made into a finished film. We sold it to a number of foreign TV markets, and landed several domestic DVD deals. Yes, this was a “straight-to-video” project—domestically, at least. But at least we got it made, and then got it out there. To get a film or TV project made, you need to have three ingredients: 1. Material to develop 2. Access to distribution 3. Financing (money) In my case, we had all three. But if you’ve written a book, you’ve got number one above covered, too. That means all [...]

9 12, 2014

It ain’t over

By | December 9, 2014|Authors Academy, Marketing|Comments Off on It ain’t over

2014 is coming to an end. In fact, for some folks, the year is already over. They figure: if it ain’t done by now, it ain’t gonna get done! I don’t agree with that philosophy, though. Not at all. You see, while many people essentially take six weeks off between Thanksgiving and New Years, successful people recognize that this period is ripe with opportunity. Take the example of marketing your books. Many authors are racing to implement some tactics quickly to “get the word out” about their books, thinking that this is their best chance to generate some meaningful sales. It’s the holidays, after all… which means people are buying things, right? But as Jim Best discussed with me on last month’s Authors Academy call, all the work he does to generate his impressive holiday sales comes BEFORE the holidays! (Jim’s sold more than 70,000 copies of his books to [...]