Dana Lynn Smith's Blog

March 18, 2014


So many authors write for their love of writing or their desire to share their story or message, but if we want to sell books, it's important to treat publishing like a business. In today's guest post Stacey Aaronson discusses the mindset of thinking like a publisher. 

Why Self-Publishing Authors Must Think Like a Publisher

by Stacey Aaronson

After working with over twenty independent authors over the past two years as their editor, book designer, and publishing partner, one glaring issue has come to light:

The majority of self-publishing authors don’t realize that they can’t merely think like a writer; they must think like a publisher—if, that is, they want to sell books.

The thing is, it’s not easy for writers to shift into this mode of thinking—and I would venture to guess that most writers don’t even know they should be thinking this way before they even begin a manuscript. As a writer myself, I confess I didn’t consider the publisher’s mentality until I became a book production professional in the indie publishing realm, so I know firsthand how foreign it can seem.

But here’s the unsavory truth: the various self-publishing portals that have opened the door for would-be authors to get a book into readers’ hands are great, but many writers are running to upload all degrees of manuscripts—from the languishing and rejected, to the unedited and poorly designed—without honoring the legacy of traditional publishing. In short, thousands of substandard books are entering the literary marketplace because a multitude of writers are sadly stuck not only in ego mode, but in the belief that producing a book is somehow not a craft and an art. If we don’t want to destroy the reputation of books altogether—and if we want to reap a financial benefit as an author—this mindset has to change.

The problem is, we as writers are so frequently wooed by the romance of seeing our name in print, or of having a book to sell in the back of the room at a conference, that we’re not thinking about the reader. What we actually want—credibility on some level—often isn’t fulfilled by our actions, leaving us with a wholly unmarketable book. Why?

Because as writers, we too commonly focus on what will benefit us as writers (being able to say we’re published, cutting corners on production to save money, putting “author” next to our name on social media), while publishers care about what will benefit the reader (excellent writing and editing, polished and professional cover and interior design, an established audience who’ll receive a tangible reward in reading the book, sales that reflect the book’s overall high quality). There’s a huge difference between the two.

So how does a writer make the switch?

Simply think about it this way: Does a publisher ever agree to partner on a book because they can’t wait to grant the writer’s wish of having a published book to show off? Certainly not. They only accept manuscripts they believe have a strong benefit for or interest to readers, as well as a clear audience, and will therefore make a profit. Do they likewise skimp on editing and book design because they don’t believe those elements are necessary? Of course not; quite the contrary. But authors don’t see a bill for the thousands of dollars publishing houses invest in their book; they simply get their (typically) small advance and then wait months or even years to receive a single royalty check.

Writers, on the other hand, often forget that the goal of writing a book shouldn’t be self-serving, but rather audience serving. Now while a discussion on the details of exploring your book’s audience and subject matter and building a platform as an author is way beyond the scope of this post, what I can offer you is this crucial piece of advice:

Before you ever put your fingers to the keyboard, you must establish why you’re writing the book. Make an honest list of the reasons. If you realize the benefits are all about you as a writer and neglect to be focused on the reader, you won’t have a book to create—and therefore to market—until you do some serious homework to discover why a reader will be inspired/be guided/learn/be entertained/become better for buying and reading your book. What’s more, you have to explore how your book will stand out in its genre against those already in existence; you don’t want to write a book that’s been written, perhaps better than the one you endeavor to write. You must ensure that your book will have unique selling points and clear benefits for the reader that will make it irresistible. Once you do that, you’ll be well on your way to thinking like a publisher, which is when a marketable book—and credible published author—will be born.

About the Author

Stacey Aaronson is a professional book doctor who takes self-publishing authors by the hand and transforms their manuscript into the book they’ve dreamed of—from impeccable editing and proofreading to engaging, audience-targeted cover and professional interior design—rivaling or exceeding a traditional house publication. She has been a trusted book production partner for some of the most accomplished coaches, educators, entrepreneurs, and writers of inspirational non-fiction and memoir, and she is the author of the blog “The Self-Publishing Scoop” at TheBookDoctorIsIn.com.

To preview Stacey’s upcoming online course, “How to Pinpoint Your Book’s Uniqueness and Audience for Maximum Marketing Success,” visit SavvyAuthorMastery.com for a free gift!

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Published on March 18, 2014 02:00 • 36 views

March 5, 2014

IreneConlan Hosting or appearing as a guest on online radio shows and podcasts is a terrific way for authors to gain publicity for themselves and their books.

Nonfiction authors can use these shows to build their reputation as experts in their fields, and some show hosts even earn revenue from advertising or sponsorships. 

In today's guest post, Irene Conlan shares her strategies for hosting a successful radio show. Irene's show is on the Voice America network. Blog Talk Radio is another popular place for authors to host radio shows. 

Putting a Radio Show Together

by Irene Conlan

I had never considered hosting a radio show until my son came home one day with the announcement, "Mom, you're going to do a radio show!" After a good bit of thought and a lot of trepidation, I agreed. I had started The Self Improvement Blog in 2007 so a show on self improvement seemed to be a good choice for a topic. The blog and the show together could offer a "double whammy." I was asked to put thirteen shows together as a starter and the first show aired on November 4, 2010.

This is me, three years and a hundred and seventy shows later, loving my job as host of The Self Improvement Show.

What do I love about it? Well, a lot of things, but I am blown away by my guests, their stories, their accomplishments and their triumphs, and I now have friends all over the world. In the beginning I didn't know where to find guests—that was the scary part. Francine Silverman came to my rescue a couple of times, helping me fill in some of those early gaps. Now I am booked six months in advance and have a waiting list of people who will come at a moment's notice. Gotta love it!

For me, the show is serious business. I want to showcase my guest and also make it fun for my guest and listeners. If I'm not prepared, the show won't be successful much less fun. I think each host needs to find what works best for them and their particular outreach. In the beginning there was a lot of trial and error (mostly a lot of error). After a few months I developed a routine that I follow and I'll share it with you so you have some idea what goes into preparing for a show. Keep in mind that each host is unique and does it in a way that works for him/her.

Once the guest and I have agreed on a date, here's what I do to get it ready for the air:

• I gather the needed information to put the show together—most of it supplied by the guest or their PR firm. It includes:

Contact information (We broadcast live via phone or Skype.)
A bio and headshot
Questions they want me to be sure to ask (I formulate my own questions but I want their input as well.)

• Most of my guests have written a book so I do a book review. Yes, I read the book from cover to cover and post a review on my blog, Amazon.com and other sites that take book reviews.

• I do an extensive search of the Internet, including YouTube and Vimeo, to find any information I can about my guest. By the time the show airs I know them well.

• I write a brief biography and a description of the show. Based on this information, VoiceAmerica prepares an e-card which I send to the guest and/or their PR firm to e-mail to their lists. I send it to my list also.

• On the Sunday before the show I post their picture, bio and a description of the show on The Self Improvement Blog. I will also post any videos that are available—up to three. All this stays up until the following Sunday when I post information about the next guest.

• A day or two before the show, I write my introduction and formulate the questions.

• On the day of the show I post the book review, Tweet, and post an article either written by the guest or pertaining to the topic of the day. Then I relax so I can enjoy the show, too.

• The day following the show I send the guest a link to the show that they can use on their website, blog or newsletter if they wish to do so.

• Their show is automatically played on the home page of my blog and remains there for the week.

• I listen to every show to see how I can improve. I'm still working hard to remove any "ums" and "you knows" from my vocabulary and it's proving to be an uphill battle.

• As soon as last week's show is "put to bed" I start working on next week's show.

While I certainly don't consider myself a professional show host, I know I bring value to both my guest and my listeners. I had no idea it would take this much time and effort, but would I do it again? Absolutely! If you have any thought of doing a radio show, DO IT. If I can, you can. And as I say at every station break, "Stay tuned for more."

This article originally appeared on Francine Silverman's Talk Radio Advocate blog.

About the Author

Irene Conlan has a Master's Degree in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Metaphysics. Now retired, she manages The Self Improvement Blog and hosts The Self Improvement Show. She has two sons, three grandsons, and a crazy dog in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Published on March 05, 2014 02:12 • 17 views

February 25, 2014

TargetMarketby Dana Lynn Smith

Adding subtitles to books is an effective way to appeal to potential customers and increase the odds of a book being found online. Subtitles are useful for both fiction and nonfiction and they can even be added to books that are already published.

Nonfiction Subtitles

Nonfiction books often have a short, catchy main title, followed by a longer, more descriptive subtitle. The subtitle is a good place to clarify the benefits of the book, identify the target audience, and include keywords that people might search for online. Here are some sample subtitles:

15 Ways Young Adults Can Build Good Credit

The Easy Way for New Mothers to Lose Weight

A 10 Step Plan for First Time Entrepreneurs

Novel Subtitles

Subtitles can also be effective in promoting novels. They are especially useful in clarifying the genre or storyline, identifying the target audience, and in denoting series books. Here are some fiction subtitle examples:

A Gripping Tale of Romantic Suspense

Detective McKee Mystery #3

A Dark Urban Fantasy

A Mystery for Cat Lovers

Adding Subtitles to Existing Books

If your book has already been published, it's not too late to add a subtitle. It's easy to add a subtitle to your own website and marketing materials. Depending on how and where the book was published, you may also be able to add a subtitle to the book and revise your cover artwork to include the subtitle.

Amazon frowns on authors making up subtitles packed with keywords for the sole purpose of influencing search results, so make sure your subtitle is a legitimate, meaningful descriptor for the book.

For self-published ebooks, you can change the title on Amazon's KPD publishing site. For self-published printed books, look into adding a subtitle through your Amazon Author Central page or through your CreateSpace account, if you published there.

The subtitle is supposed to appear on the book cover, although it may not make economic sense to pay a cover designer to revise your cover. If you do revise the cover, you can upload new cover artwork through CreateSpace or KDP, if you published there.

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Published on February 25, 2014 03:00 • 13 views

February 18, 2014

EllenCassedy I'm pleased to welcome back Ellen Cassedy with today's guest post on how to plan for a successful book promotion party. Book parties are often used as part of the launch of a new book, but keep in mind that you can also plan a party to celebrate a book that's been out for a while. 

Book Party:  Five Steps to Success

by Ellen Cassedy

I recently hosted a book party for my poet friend, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, whose new book is Prayers of a Heretic (Plain View Press). A big success! Follow these five steps and you can’t go wrong.

1. Make a plan 

Ask a friend to host. The emotional support is priceless, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up your own place. Instead you can focus on getting ready to present your book.

Choose a convenient time. Ours was Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

Don’t be afraid too few people will come. Right from the start, Ahron and I agreed that we’d go ahead with the party even if numbers were small. A book party is great practice for talking about and reading from your book, and the contact with supportive listeners – no matter how many or how few – supplies you with energy and confidence for doing more.

Don’t worry that too many people will come. If some guests have to stand, that’s fine – and exciting! My place isn’t huge, and we didn’t have a chair for everyone, but we made it work.

2.  Send out invitations

Email invitations should go out three or four weeks in advance. 

Subject heading: “Invitation to a book party.”

Keep it short. Include date, time, address, directions, and a link, like this: “Books will be available for purchase at the party. If you if you can’t make it, you can order the book here.” 

Provide a brief description of the book, including a short blurb.  

Ask people to RSVP. This will help you plan the food. And once people have said they’re coming, they’re more likely to do so.

Divide up your list into batches to avoid spam filters. 

Use Facebook, Twitter, and local list-serves to spread the word. (Rather than put my address on these public notices, I invited people to email me for directions.)

Cast a wide net.  Don’t be shy. Invite friends, neighbors, coworkers, family. Ask your host to do the same. Among our guests were someone’s acupuncturist, someone’s mother who was visiting from out of town, someone’s nephew’s girlfriend. 

Remember that sending out these notices is a way to let people know about your book, even if they don’t come to the party.

Don’t panic when you receive a flood of “Sorry, I can’t come” messages. Those who can’t come will tend to let you know right away. Those who can come usually take longer.  

Follow up with a reminder one week before the party. 

3.  At the party…

Eat and greet.  Serve simple food and drinks. No need for anything elaborate. We had dips, crackers, cookies, wine, and water. Let people mill about before and after your talk. Introduce people to one another. It’s a party!

Plan a 15- to 20-minute program:  Forty-five minutes in, ask your friend to introduce you. I talked for three minutes about my friendship with Ahron and what I love about his poignant, funny, painful, delicate, gemlike poems.

Talk and read. Ahron stood at the “podium” (a repurposed plant stand). He briefly described his book, then introduced and read an assortment of five poems – one about childhood, one about an experience inside an MRI machine, one erotic. He made sure to end on a particularly striking note.

Q & A:  Take approximately four questions. 

4.  On to the signing! 

We set up a small table where we put out a stack of books for sale. How big a stack? Not so big as to seem embarrassing, but enough to let guests know they’re expected to buy. Ahron signed while I took the money. Cash or check. I came prepared with change. 

Ahron brought a few copies of his previous books, too, and sold them all.

5.  The end

After everyone leaves, sit around, nibble at leftovers, and glow. 

Forty people heard Ahron read his poems. Twenty-four bought books. One took home the wrong coat.

We reviewed the chuckles, the hushed attention, the interesting questions – and a job well done! 

About thte Author

Ellen Cassedy’s Tips for Writers can be found at www.ellencassedy.com.  Her book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), won the 2013 Grub Street National Book Prize for non-fiction.


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Published on February 18, 2014 02:00 • 16 views

February 10, 2014


As an author, do you need a website and/or blog? The short answer is YES! But there’s a lot more that authors need to know to harness the promotional power of author websites. This is the first in a series of articles addressing some of the most common questions authors ask about blogs and websites.

Q: Why do I need an author website?

A website is an online hub – the place where authors can send potential customers, media, reviewers, and anyone else who needs information about the author and his or her books. A website gives authors a platform for promoting themselves and their work that’s entirely under their control, and it’s an essential tool for building a following.

Q: What’s the difference between a website and a blog?

A website is collection of online “pages” containing information and images. A blog (short for “Web log”) is a specific type of website where articles are posted periodically, displayed with the newest entries at the top of the page. These articles (called “posts”) are typically written by the site owner, but “guest posts” can also be included from other people. Blog posts were originally a sort of online diary, and they are often written in an informal, personal style. Most blogs allow readers to post comments on each article.

Blogging is a great way for authors to share news, information and promotions with their target audience and develop an online following. Blogs are also an ideal tool for nonfiction authors to showcase their expertise in their topic. Blog posts are valuable in attracting readers to the site. They even help websites rank higher in search engine results, because search engines value sites that are updated frequently.

So, do you need both a website and a blog? For most authors, I advise creating a combined site that incorporates both traditional information pages and blog posts. This is very easy to do when you set up your site on a blogging platform. (More about that in a future article.)

What questions do you have about author websites and blogs? Just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.

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Published on February 10, 2014 06:29 • 14 views

January 21, 2014


In today's guest post, novelist Linda Poitevin shares some great advice for using Twitter in book promotion. 

Ah, Twitter. Even if you haven’t yet succumbed to its potential marketing lure, you’re probably at least familiar with this rapidly growing social media platform. With roughly 555 million active users—and another 135,000 jumping on board every day (source: Statisticbrain.com)—it’s a difficult platform for authors to ignore.

Just as with any other social medium, however, your success on Twitter will very much depend on how well you use it. And sadly, many authors aren’t using it at all well. Rather, they’re committing the kinds of faux pas that cost them dearly: in followers, in sales, and in just plain goodwill. These authors are oftentimes the same ones who complain that Twitter does nothing for their sales, claiming it doesn’t work, telling others not to bother, and abandoning the platform altogether.

In my experience, however (gained over almost three years of trial and error), the exact opposite is true: used properly, Twitter can be an effective part of your marketing strategy. And much of your success with it will be rooted in basic etiquette.

1.  Your profile: It’s fine to include something about your work, but your profile shouldn’t be just about that. Followers want to know something about the person behind the work. My own profile reads like this: Author of The Grigori Legacy, where police procedural meets angel mythology. Wife, mother, gardener, coffee snob. Twisted sense of humor. Prone to random tweets. As you can see, I identify my work, but then I tell people about who I am…and I guarantee I get just as many followers (if not more) because of my twisted sense of humor, coffee addiction, and random tweets asI do because of my career path. Have fun with your profile and make it unique. Then, before you post it, put yourself in a potential follower’s shoes and answer this question honestly: would you be someone you wanted to follow?

Oh, and please don’t include buy links to your book(s)! The only link that should be in your profile is one to either your website or your blog—anything more screams “sales pitch” and will turn off potential followers.

2.  Include your photo: or your dog’s photo, or your cat’s photo, or your book cover, or anything other than the egg that’s the default. The lack of photo suggests a spam account and potential followers will pass you by on that alone.

3.  Autoresponders: If you’re using (or thinking of using) one of the many auto-response apps in order to thank new followers, don’t. Just...don’t. No matter how you format these things (and yes, I know because I’ve tried them), the receiving party knows that it’s an auto response. I would rather receive no response from you (and assume you’re grateful for the follow) than be told in no uncertain terms that you can’t be bothered to take the time to do so personally.

4.  Autoresponders part 2: If you absolutely must use an autoresponder (and again, I beg you not to do so!), under no circumstances should you include a buy link to your book. Not even if it’s free. Again, there’s a place in your profile to include a link to your website or blog (which in turn is the proper place to include buy links for your books). If I’m interested in seeing your work, I will click on that link. If you direct message me with an auto response that includes a buy link, I will unfollow you.

And that brings me to the topic of…

5.  Self-promotion: As many Twitter users do, when someone follows me, I usually check them out before deciding whether to follow back. If your tweet stream is nothing but self-promotion, I’m not interested. Yes, we understand you’re excited because you have a book out, but if you take a look around you and you’ll see that half of Twitter has a book out. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but trust me: on Twitter, publishing a book is really not that special.

Instead of bombarding your followers with constant “buy my book” messages, talk to them. Engage with them. Have real conversations with them. Tweet links you think others will find interesting. Re-tweet (RT) others’ news and links (but don’t rely on this alone—a constant stream of RTs is a special kind of annoyance of its own). People are far more likely to buy your books—heck, they’re more likely to look at them—if they’ve gotten to know you a little. Behave like the proverbial used car salesman, however, and...well, not so much.

This isn’t to say you can’t ever promote your books, because of course you can. New release? Tell us about it. Stellar review? We want to hear. Special event? Knock yourself out. Just don’t do it in every single tweet, and remember to intersperse other things in there, too. (The general rule of thumb is no more than one promo tweet for every nine “other” tweets.)

In short, approach people on Twitter the same way you’d approach a stranger in real life. You wouldn’t walk up to someone at a social gathering and announce “Hi, I’m so-and-so. You should buy my book” (at least, I sincerely hope not!), and you shouldn’t be doing that on Twitter, either. Instead, introduce yourself, chat a little, find out about your followers, and be interested and interesting. If you begin treating Twitter as the social media that it’s meant to be, the marketing will follow…

…and you may even make some new friends along the way.

About the Author

Linda Poitevin is the author of the dark urban fantasy series, The Grigori Legacy, from Ace/Roc Books. Linda lives near Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and in her other life is wife, mother, friend, gardener, coffee snob, freelance writer, and zookeeper of too many pets. When she isn’t writing, Linda can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods. For more information, check out her website at www.lindapoitevin.com.

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Published on January 21, 2014 03:00 • 33 views

January 14, 2014

QAQ:  Hedy M asks whether authors who are promoting books to minors should put an email sign-up form on their website and whether there any legal considerations.

A:  An email sign-up form an important tool in allowing authors to build a mailing list and keep in touch with readers and potential book buyers. Most authors use blog-based websites and place the sign-up form in the sidebar so that it appears on all pages of the website. 

In the United States there are federal regulations regarding collecting personal information about children under the age of 13.  Websites designed for children (and websites geared to a general audience that knowingly collect information from people under 13) must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. 

This page on the Federal Trade Commission website has information about compliance. Because these regulations are so complex, it may be best to place a notice on your email sign-up form stating that only people who are 13 years or older may sign up. See paragraph 14 on this page

This article is for informational purposes only. Consult an attorney for legal advice.

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Published on January 14, 2014 07:04 • 22 views

November 28, 2013

SaleTagsAs we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in America this week, I'm reminded of how grateful I am for all of my friends, followers, subscribers, book customers and clients.

As a special thank you, I'm offering a 30% discount on Savvy Book Marketer guides and training programs designed to give authors the skills they need to sell more books. 

To claim your special discount, just enter the code thanks3 in the "discount" field at checkout to save 30% on your order. The discount field is located just above the name/address area on my order form.

Book Marketing Guides

How to Get Your Book Reviewed

Virtual Book Tour Magic

How to Sell More Books on Amazon

Selling Your Book to Libraries

Facebook Guide for Authors

Twitter Guide for Authors

Pinterest Guide for Authors

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Book Marketing Plan Workshop

How to Sell More Novels

How to Sell More Nonfiction Books

How to Sell More Children's Books

Make Money with Teleseminars and Webinars

How to Promote Your Novel

Ebook Publishing Success

Get details on each of these products at SavvyBookMarketer.com.

The Thanksgiving coupon code is valid through Sunday, December 1, 2013.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dana signature

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Published on November 28, 2013 23:00 • 24 views

November 26, 2013

As many of my readers know, I'm a big fan of virtual book tours and I've even written a book on the topoic. Today I'm pleased to share a guest post from Bryan Cohen as part of the tour for his new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2.

Bryan Cohen Author of 1,000 Creative Writing PromptsFive Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Blog Tour Post

by Bryan Cohen

Blog tours are taking over the internet. After staring my latest blog tour to celebrate my new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2, I searched for #blogtour on Twitter to see what I was up against. The search came up with tweets for hundreds of blog tours! Blog tours were relatively young when I did my first tour two and a half years ago. Nowadays, you need to figure out how to stand out. Here are five questions you should ask yourself before writing a blog tour post.

1. How is this new?

While "there's nothing new under the sun," there's always a new way to say something. Are you going to write the millionth post with the top five fiction writing tips? Instead, why not go outside the box? Whether you think big or think small to get to your new idea, make sure it hasn't been done one too many times before.

2. Is the post relevant to this blog?

You've done it! You've scored a guest post on a blog with 10,000 followers and you're bound to find new readers and a rabid fan base! Before you start counting up your prospective book sales, make sure your post idea syncs with the blogger's usual subject matter. If you're posting on a book marketing blog, your post on creating unique characters for fiction is unlikely to hit home. Your post doesn't have to be a retread of what the blogger has already written, but you need to make sure your new potential fans are interested in reading the post in the first place.

3. What's the point of your post?

Most blog tours are all about promoting a product. Since most people don't like being pitched to directly, you need to figure out what it is you're doing with your post. Are you giving other authors advice so that they'll trust you as an authority on the subject? Are you trying to get people to know more about you so they'll like your writing style? Are you trying to go viral on a really popular blog?

You don't necessarily need to know what the point of your post is when you write a rough draft, but the finished post should be focused on a particular goal. If your post is a mishmash of multiple goals, you're less likely to achieve any of them. Figure out the point of your post before you send it to its new digital home.

4. Does it fit with your product?

I'm lucky. I'm writing a book for other writers. As long as I write blog posts for prospective authors, I'm good to go. If you're promoting a science fiction series, a post about book marketing might not do the trick. You need to make sure your posts target your desired audience.

5. Would you read it?

Here's the real test. If you saw your post come up on your Facebook or Twitter feed, would you click? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is yes, you're on the right track. If the answer is no, something needs to change. Play around with the subject matter, the title and the first few sentences to make the post something you'd be interested in. Because if you would click, your new fans will as well.

Asking these questions before writing any post will help you get the most out of your tour. Blog tours can be grueling, but with a little extra work, they can get you just the marketing push you need. 

About the Author

1000 Creative Writing Prompts Volume 2 CoverIn honor of his new book, Bryan Cohen is hosting the "1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter! And click here to check out the rest of Cohen's blog tour!

Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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Published on November 26, 2013 00:00 • 34 views

July 22, 2013

Kathleen-gage In today's guest post, author and online marketing expert Kathleen Gage shares her top book promotion strategies. This post is part of the launch for her terrific new book, Power Up for Profits.

Three Top Strategies to Guarantee Book Sales

by Kathleen Gage

“Writing the book is the easy part. Then

begins the work,” went a recent conversation I had with a new author.

Peggy (not her real name) was incredibly

excited about her recently released book. Like many first time authors, she was

convinced the book would take on a life of its own and somehow, someway be

found by an agent. The agent would then find a big name publisher. The big name

publisher would get Peggy on a bunch of major shows.

I have watched this scene unfold countless

times with naive authors. The fact is, as an author it is up to you to take

control of marketing and promoting your book.

If you’re serious about selling books you have

to put more effort into marketing your book than writing it.

Recently I surveyed a group of several hundred

authors. "What's your greatest challenge with marketing and selling your

book(s)?" was the only question asked.

The results were as follows:

38% knowledge

33% time

17% money

7% fear

5% other

Sadly, even when many authors are told they

must market their book they fail to get into massive action to raise awareness

about their works.

Three of the most effective marketing

strategies are:


Guest blogging

Email marketing

Endorsements are simply when others say how good a book is

rather than the author blowing his or her own horn. Don’t get me wrong, I

believe we need to blow our own horn, but as in the case of Power

Up for Profits
I have the likes of Suzanne Evans, Peggy McColl, Dr.

Joe Vitale, Eva Gregory, Adam Urbanski, and Steve Olsher who gave glowing


Within my

industry the above mentioned names carry a lot of weight. If someone is considering

whether or not to buy my book, endorsements from industry experts can be a huge

part of the final decision the buyer makes.


blogging opportunities are likely one of the best ways to reach new readers,

yet a very underutilized resource.

Since you

like to write anyway (well I’m assuming you do since you’re a writer) it’s

simply a matter of reaching out to the right blog owners to offer a featured

blog post.

The easiest

way to create ample guest blogging opportunities is to make sure your writing

is viewed in locations such as article directories, forums and your own blog.

When a blog

owner can review your writing they will be more likely to invite you to

contribute to their blog rather than taking a huge risk with someone who has

nothing published online.


marketing is an absolute must do. However, in order to do so you need a list of


Whenever I

release a new book or information product I always let my opt-in subscribers


Start now to

build your list to reap the benefits for years to come.

Here’s a

bonus strategy - offer live presentations. Speaking engagements are one of my

personal favorites. I love the platform and love when I connect with my

audience. When you are in your zone and you connect with an audience, they are

eager to buy your books.

To get the

most out of your marketing efforts you need to implement a multi-pronged

approach for your books —pre-launch, launch and post-launch.

Pre launch

should start as much as six to twelve months before your book is published. Use

pre launch as an opportunity to build your opt in list, reach out to joint

venture and affiliate partners, contact the media and secure interview and

guest blogging opportunities.


happens shortly after the book is published. To get the most out of your

marketing efforts plan to have a very targeted promotions campaign for a

specific period of time for the book. One of the main objectives is to increase

the book’s position on Amazon. Include guest blogging, interviews, webinars,

teleseminars, and email marketing.

Post launch

is what you do once the book is published, you have had a very targeted short

term, highly focused promotions and now the novelty has worn off.

Post launch

is an ongoing process that includes many of the same elements as the launch but

it’s more spread out and not as frenzied.

By having

the long term in mind you will definitely enjoy greater success for your books.

About Kathleen Gage:

Kathleen Gage is the

“no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author,

product creation specialist and owner of “Power Up for Profits.” Kathleen helps

entrepreneurs make money online. Her clients are driven by making a difference through

their own unique voice.


mission is to help people understand that their business is merely a means to

get their message out to the world. She teaches that it’s not just about what

you do, but the reasons behind why you do it.

Her newest book,


Up For Profits: The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing
is the

perfect resource for any author who wants to reach more of their market in the

fastest, most cost effective methods possible. For a very limited time when you

order the book through Amazon you receive Kathleen’s full Six Figure List

Building Program and Sell Thousands from Any Platform.

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Published on July 22, 2013 10:11 • 73 views