John Kremer's Blog, page 6
June 20, 2014
Here are 11 websites you might find useful as an author or publisher:
Loads.in — Find out how long it takes your website to load.
Pipl.com — A search engine for finding people. This can be useful when you are trying to track down people for testimonials, etc.
PrintWhatYouLike.com — Print precisely what you want from any webpage.
RadioReference.com — Listen to radio channels across the nation. Could be useful in book radio talk shows.
Readability-Score.com — Find out how readable your text is.
Rhymer.com — Online rhyming dictionary for the poet in all of us.
SearchTempest.com — Search all of CraigsList with one search.
WakerUpper.com — Send yourself a wake-up call so you get started writing early.
WooRank.com — Find out what your website is missing, how you can improve it, and how to make Google recognize it better.
WriteCheck.com — Correct grammar and check for plagiarism.
YouConvertIt.com — Convert documents into various formats. This can be very useful.
In this video, Bill Van Orsdel of Wavecloud Publishing interviews actress, producer, agent, and author Philippa Burgess.
Four types of content for TV & Film
Three reasons TV & Film buyers buy
Content adjustments to improve your fit for TV & Film
How to structure your pitch
This book marketing video is definitely worth a view or even 60 minutes.
Here’s the PDF version of this talk: https://www.wavecloud.com/public/Preparing%20your%20book%20for%20TV%20and%20Movies.pdf
For more about Philippa Burgess, check out http://www.philippaburgess.com. Note: This seems to be a very new website (it doesn’t even have a home page yet!).
I just found out about ThingLink today. It’s a free/paid service to allow you to create links and other interactive elements on any image you can upload.
Check out this image I just created on ThingLink. Just place your cursor on the image and see it come alive with links.
Start by signing up for the Basic Business Plan, which is free. Upgrades are more expensive: $250 to $1,500 per month, but could be worth it to certain bloggers, book publishers, or author groups.
With the more expensive upgrades, you can remove the ThingLink tag and upload your own icons. With the $1,500 option you can also feature interactive icons in advertising banners.
June 17, 2014
A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
— William Clark Styron, Jr.
June 12, 2014
Writing is the painting of the voice. — Voltaire
June 11, 2014
Of course, these same ideas can inspire your new books, new talks, new products, Facebook posts, pins, tweets, comments, and shares.
Note: The image to the right showcases Konrad Sander’s email newsletter sign-up form. It gives lots of reasons to sign up for his newsletter. That makes it something you might want to model in creating your own sign-up form.
I always find that I write the best stuff when it’s something that I know really, really well. And that usually means mucking around with new ideas as often as possible. Experimenting, taking risks, working from different places, meeting new people. ~ Ramsay Taplin is known as The Blog Tyrant.
Answer questions for people. Look for things that people are discussing on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ and help them learn something. Providing value with your blog content is very important. ~ Peg Fitzpatrick is Head of Social Strategy for Canva, an online design tool.
I find inspiration for my own posts by solving problems for myself or my clients. So whatever makes my life easier, will make my readers lives easier. So I write about what I do to make my author life more productive: tools, tips, strategies, and techniques. ~ Cindy Ratzlaff was named by Forbes as one of the Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.
I keep a blogging playbook with me so that I can jot down ideas as they come. This used to be on a moleskin but I switched to Evernote for ease of use. ~ Nate Riggs is president of NR Media Group.
My best source of inspiration is conversations with my readers. I offer personal coaching services, so I get to spend many hours a month listening to their frustrations and helping them make progress. ~ Pamela Wilson believes your business may be small, but your brand can be BIG.
Most of my content comes from my personal experiences. When I find something that personally works for me, I’ll blog about it. ~ Steve Scott regularly blogs on SteveScott.com.
The way I find inspiration is generally to read other blogs within the same niche, irrespective of what that particular niche might be. ~ Joseph Archibald blogs at josepharchibald.com.
Do interesting stuff first (e.g. writing a book, doing social media experiments) and then blog about it, instead of the other way around. Nothing inspires more than reporting about your own actions. ~ Mars Dorian is a great branding expert.
Listen to reader emails. What problems are they having? What’s working for them? What questions do they have? ~ Sean Ogle helps people build businesses they can run from anywhere in the world.
Live experiments always work well. If you’re writing about leadership — try accepting a pro bono leadership role yourself and report back on your experiences. ~ Ian Brodie helps consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win more clients.
Stay away from writing basic articles that everyone has already written about. Share and create real experiences for your readership to better relate with you. ~ Zac Johnson is founder of BloggingTips.com.
Get inspiration from reading marketing books, attending seminars, conferences and jotting down ideas from speakers. ~ Michael Chibuzor edits the Content Marketing Up blog.
Read books about your topic. Not blogs — books. Blogs are written by anybody, but books are written by people dedicated enough to their topic that they’ll devote a year or more creating a single work about it. ~ David Cain blogs at Raptitude, a blog for getting better at being human.
Jump out of your environment and immerse yourself in something new. Stealing ideas from other walks of life and conceptually blending them into what you do is powerful. ~ Eric T. Wagner is founder of Mighty Wise Academy.
For 24 more blogging inspiration ideas, see this blog post: How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Posts (38 Blogging Experts Reveal Their Secrets) by Konrad Sanders
June 10, 2014
Mobile visitors to Forbes.com accounted for 51% of all visits (39% smartphones and 11.5% tablet) during the first week in May, 2014.
Chief Product Office for Forbes, Lewis D’Vorkin noted: Making money in the media business increasingly means finding ways to tap consumer interest in online streams.
He went on to write that “I see the flow—mainly on phones—as a new opportunity to serve both consumers and marketers. If done right, editorial, native ads, marketing messages and promotions can live together, even serve one another, all within the flow.”
He also noted that “the trick for news outlets is to construct a mobile flow that appeals to visitors but also supports video, sponsorships, interstitials, galleries and more.”
This same trick, ultimately, must also be performed by authors, publishers, speakers, bloggers, and other content creators.
June 9, 2014
On November 14, 2012, I posted a redesign of a pin I had found on Pinterest. My redesign was simple: A pink border around the black and white graphic. Nothing fancy. You can see the original post here: http://infographicaday.com/the-skinny-rules-via-bob-harper.
That post started to go viral, sending as many as a 1,000 people to my website every day. But I wasn’t satisfied with that rather bland graphic, so I redesigned it and posted the new one on January 7, 2013. You can see the result (in a smaller format) right here to the left (and can view the larger graphic here: http://infographicaday.com/bob-harper-the-skinny-rules).
As you can see, I made the new pin more colorful (playing off the color of the cover), designed it to fit the long and tall format of Pinterest, and made sure it was readable when pinned.
In a year and a half, this image has now been pinned by 1,416,972 people (according to the most recent stats from Pinterest). It still drives between 50 and 200 people to InfographicADay.com every day. Over the year and a half, it has driven 122,547 visitors to the website. That averages out to almost 7,000 visitors every month.
Now, that’s viral.
The original redesign that I posted in November 2012 has had 107,788 repins in 19 months and, on average, drives 1,000 new visitors to InfographicADay.com every month.
Several other original pins that I created have had 94,000 pins in 48 weeks and 134,000 pins in 19 weeks. Most of my original fitness and motivation pins average 1,000 or more repins. 80% of the visitors to InfographicADay.com (20,000 per month) come from Pinterest.
Here’s a copy of the Bob Harper infographic taken from yesterday, showing the current Pinterest repin count.
I currently have 18,292 followers on Pinterest, with 16,000 of them following my Fitness Matters board, among others. As I’ve noted in a previous post, people on Pinterest love inspirational quotes, beautiful places, and the 6 F’s: fitness, food, fashion, family, funny, and fido/felines.
June 8, 2014
I found these rules on Facebook and modified them a little to include 13 rules of good behavior. Common decency, otherwise known as the rules of etiquette, requires most of us to follow these rules of good behavior.
How many of these common actions do you take while interacting with others? You’ll find that marketing, social media, networking, and partnering with others will always go more smoothly if you adopt these guidelines.
If you move it, put it back.
If you drop it, pick it up.
If you break it, admit it.
If you can’t fix it, find someone who can.
If you open it, close it.
If you turn it on, turn it off.
If you have to apologize, don’t do it again.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
If you value it, take care of it.
If it’s not your business, don’t ask questions.
If you borrow it, return it.
If you tear it, mend it.
If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.
June 7, 2014
Guest Post by Nina Amir
Before sharing an excerpt from Nina Amir’s new book, The Author Training Manual (Develop Markets, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively), I’d like to review it briefly.
Nina’s abbreviation for The Author Training Manual is a good description of the value of her book. The abbreviation? ATM. Nina’s book can enable authors to create their own ATMs to withdraw money whenever they need it simply by creating new books.
Nina’s advice is solid. And there’s a gold mine in the four sample book proposals (or business plans), especially with the insightful comments by agents. Read these first. Then go back and read the rest of the book.
And her training exercises at the end will help you develop your own book proposals (if you want to sell your manuscript to a book publisher) or business plans (if you plan to self-publish or do ebooks).
Now here’s an edited (for space) excerpt from Nina’s The Author Training Manual . . .
Can You Describe the Market for Your Book?
I edited a proposal for an aspiring author who had written a memoir about her escape from Egypt to America. The original document simply said the book would be of interest to Muslims as well as to Americans interested in the news about the Arab Spring. Additionally, since a woman had written the book and the book was about a woman, she felt it would have appeal to female readers. That’s all the information she offered about markets.
All of that was true, but the information was not specific enough to really determine whether her book had the potential to sell well. She needed to do more research to find out how many people might actually purchase her book—how many people comprised the markets she mentioned.
We did that research and discovered the following statistics based on a study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and released in 2011:
The world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next twenty years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030.
If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4% of the world’s total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030.
In the United States, the population projections show the number of Muslims more than doubling over the next two decades, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030.
Those statistics prove a market exists for the book—a large market any publisher should find propitious. We also found market statistics on the secondary women’s market the author planned to target:
Women buy 72% of all books given as gifts, according to a 1991 Gallup survey, and considering the fact below, this likely hasn’t changed much.
Women bought 64% of all books sold in 2009, according to a study conducted by the publishing research firm Bowker.
Women make up 55% of the U.S. population.
Again, the market for her book is more clearly defined by these figures.
Carla King wrote about her adventures riding motorcycles in her self-published book, American Borders: A Solo Circumnavigation of the United States on a Russian Sidecar Motorcycle. This might seem like a memoir that wouldn’t interest too many people. In fact, her audience includes some six million people who have motorcycles registered in the United States.
Surprisingly, a good portion of those people are female—a good thing for King. The Motorcycle Industry Council reported in 2009 that the number of female motorcycle operators in the United States increased to about 7.2 million out of 27 million overall riders. About one in ten owners at that time were women.
The American Motorcyclist Association has about 225,000 members as of this printing. While the number of female members is under 10 percent, the number of new female members is increasing.
According to King, American Borders enjoys a significant number of nonmotorcycling readers, as will her upcoming China Road Motorcycle Diaries, such as those who like adventure, travel, and women’s issues. “One woman who read it recommended it as being ‘part Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and part Harlequin Romance,’” she says.
Yet, many men purchase American Borders, especially around the holidays. “I make the most money at motorcycle shows that take place around Christmas, when lots of gift buying is happening. A book about a woman adventure motorcycling is very popular with guys who are trying to get their gals on a bike. It’s better than buying lingerie!” she claims. Her online holiday sales correspond with that holiday trend as well.
A book does not have to have a huge market, though. It’s possible to sell a lot of books by targeting your work to a niche market. Self-publishing expert and author Dan Poynter provides a good example of an author who has written books for small niche markets. He self-published The Parachute Manual: A Technical Treatise on the Parachute. About 350,000 people complete more than three million jumps in a typical year. There are about four hundred skydiving centers scattered across the United States. Most are located on smaller outlying airports. That’s not a huge market by any means, but it’s an engaged market that spends a fair amount of money on its hobby. And, more important to the author, these people are easy to find and reach.
A book that might seem to have a small audience might still be a viable project. A small hobby or interest could have hundreds of thousands of potential readers—and that’s just in the United States. If you also consider the potential of selling your book internationally, the audience grows larger.
A novelist can and should consider target markets as well. The rise of the chick-lit category, for instance, came out of the market for those books, which can be described as smart, fun fiction for and/or about women of all ages. Knowing how many women purchase books, it’s obvious why mom lit has grown into a category of its own, too. There are novels targeted at those who enjoy reading about female detectives, time travel, particular time periods, and even knitting.
Recently, paranormal fiction has sold well because so many people are interested in things like telekinesis and clairvoyance. Such people—young and old—represent a target market. Novelists can choose almost any target market—Generation X, people who love to travel, adults or children who love to cook, those who have elderly parents living at home, individuals touched by suicide, parents with gay children, or singles who adopt pets—and write novels to target these markets. You need only craft stories that include characters, themes, and details that relate to those readers’ interests and experiences.
Traditionally, novelists have not done much market analysis, but such research will help you write a better book and sell more books—to both publishers and readers. Novelist C.S. Lakin lets a publisher know what market she plans to target when she writes a book proposal. For example, here is a market statement describing her Sacred Sites series:
The Sacred Sites books are written for a wide audience with sophistication of language and themes that will find much appeal with both Christian and mainstream fantasy readers. And although these books deal with scriptural themes and use biblical Hebrew, they are written so those of any (or no) faith will enjoy them.
Keep in mind that market interests change quickly and what seems like a hot topic right now probably has already turned cold for most publishers. As agent Verna Dreisbach points out, “Take, for example, the DaVinci and vampire type books. Once they are out, the market has probably already changed. That’s when a lot of novice writers start writing a vampire book. By the time agents get that manuscript, that market has come and gone, and publishers are way over it—considering time spent writing, pitching, acquiring, editing, marketing, and getting the book to print. By then publishers have moved on to zombies. Writers can’t necessarily write to the current market. They have to be ahead of the game, finding new markets and interests, too.”
For more great advice on preparing your book proposal or business plan, read the rest of Nina’s The Author Training Manual via Kindle.