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Author Archives: The Book Professor

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How Print On Demand Works [Infographic]

This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

In “Print On Demand: The biggest advance in publishing since Gutenberg,” we detailed the benefits of print on demand books for the independent author, and how digital printing hasn’t just leveled the playing field, but changed the nature of the game. It is now cost-effective to print books as needed, not relying on offset printers to churn out thousands of books to justify the fixed costs. We also pitch the value of BookBaby’s BookShop program, where independent authors are paid a 50 percent royalty for all printed book sales, the latest boon to our Print On Demand offering.

Now our designers have made this fun infographic that walks you through the seven steps of how Print On Demand works.

print on demandRead more on the BookBaby Blog about Print On Demand:

Print On Demand: Your Timeline To Maximize Book Sales
We have an unofficial mission statement around the BookBaby offices: “We make the little guy (or gal!) look big.” What does that mean? It’s really quite simple. We help our self-published authors from around the world create and publish a book that looks every bit as good as those produced by big-time authors from the large publishing houses.

Print On Demand: All You Need To Know About Book Pre-Sales
Every online book retailer has its own schedule and process for handling the ingestion of new books. Some are on a weekly schedule; others are on a monthly routine. Because this involves the shipment of a physical book, there is a lot of prep work involved for each store to set up an inventory number in its own store catalog database. As your book enters into the various systems, your listing will start appearing on retail websites around the globe. This is usually two to three weeks after you have finalized your files. Now starts your critical pre-sales period.

How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic]
You’ve finished your novel, you’re ready to self publish, and you’re considering print books for promotion and giveaways. How many should you print? Make it an even 100 to start with!

BookShop and Your Print On Demand Success
BookBaby has expanded its POD program to better serve indie authors. In sum, our new program: pays authors more – 50% of their list price; pays authors fast – in just a few days; promises in-stock status 24/7/365

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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Author Feature: Nancy Nelson – Helping Women Through Crisis and Grief

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Crisis. We don’t know why or how it will happen, but if you’ve lived long enough, it’s not a matter of if it will happen to you, but when. Now, we don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news or come across as negative. If anything, we believe that people can only survive with hope and help. But many of us here are also old enough to know that life isn’t always a fairytale and crises do happen to everyday people. Webster defines a crisis as: “an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending-especially one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome.” (Source)

Sometimes you can bring a crisis on yourself by a series of bad choices, and other times, you’re simply thrown into one.

Meet Nancy Nelson, Certified IPEC Professional Coach Specializing in Resiliency, Transition, and Grief

It’s easy to look at Nancy’s certifications and think: “Great, another academically certified expert. They can’t relate to me, they don’t know what I’ve gone through.” We hear you and completely understand that sentiment-many of us at The Book Professor have it too. But Nancy is different than just your average certified professional coach. She’s lived what she teaches and has come out on the other side still standing to share her own journey through crisis and grief.

Her Story

Nancy’s story isn’t pretty. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she asked her husband for a divorce. A few days later, he disappeared. His phone, his wallet, and his money were still in the house, but Bob was gone. The police conducted an extensive search, but he was nowhere to be found. Even the cadaver dogs couldn’t find a scent. Under the cloud of suspicion, Nancy did her best to hold things together for herself and her kids. But where was Bob? Her book, Lessons From the Ledge, is a harrowing tale of living through Bob’s disappearance and the aftermath of what was eventually discovered.

Nancy lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her 19-year-old son, Sam. Frequent visits from her 24-year-old daughter, Jillian, and the daily antics of Winnie the Rescued Wondermutt and Boltie Bolterson, the mighty chihuahua, keep her occupied and usually laughing. Widowed in 2010, she completed her BA in Applied Behavioral Science in 2013, and her certification in Life Coaching from IPEC in 2015. Normalizing grief and understanding the aftermath of suicide is her passion, as well as helping people grab their individual greatness.

Lessons from the Ledge was written to guide women in crisis to dig into their resilience, to push past the pitfalls, and to reframe the pain, so they can thrive instead of merely survive. The book will be available in July 2017.  Mark your calendars. This book is for EVERY woman!

“If even one person finds truth in what I write and feels less alone, all the struggle is worth it.”

-Nancy Nelson

What about you? Do you have a story to tell that can save lives, change lives or transform society? If you are someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help you make it happen!

 


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Everyday People Solve Extraordinary Problems Everyday

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The month of April gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many organizations that are currently finding solutions to some of our world’s biggest problems. From World Autism Awareness day to Cancer Control Month, everyday people just like you have made it their mission to not only focus on finding solutions to these problems but to make sure our world is aware of these issues. I believe that our problems—all of them—can be solved and that the answers are trapped inside people like you. When you share what you know and what you’ve learned, you become the solution. Join us this month as we pay tribute to these noteworthy causes.

finding solutions

World Autism Awareness Day

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day. World Autism Awareness Day, or WAAD, is one of only four official health-specific United Nations Days, and it focuses on drawing attention to autism, a disorder that affects tens of millions of people worldwide. A new government study of parents suggests that 1 in 45 children ages 3-17 have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Not only is there no cure for autism, but there is still much debate as to what causes it. The prevalence and high rate of autism in our world should concern everyone. WAAD activities help to increase world knowledge about children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and they celebrate the talents and skills of those living with it.  For more information on Autism or how to become involved in a local event near you, visit Autism Speaks at www.autismspeaks.org. (Source)

Easter

Whether you celebrate this day by dying eggs with the little ones or watching the kiddos hunt for them in an Easter egg hunt, Easter is one of our world’s most beloved holidays.

But for many, Sunday, April 16th is not just about dying eggs or the Easter Bunny. Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday for many Christians, is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For many Christians,  this is the most important holiday of the Christian faith and is paramount to the Christian religion.

Earth Day-Saturday April 22nd

Did you know that the average American produces 1,600 POUNDS of garbage a year and uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water a DAY? Or what about the fact that the electricity used by appliances plugged in, but not in use, accounts for 1% of global C02 emissions? (Source) Yikes! That’s a lot of water and garbage! It’s facts like these that make me more conscious of the carbon footprint I’m leaving behind. And fortunately, we have organizations like The Earth Day Network to bring more attention to this crucial issue. This year, Earth Day is focused on environmental and climate change literacy. Even with all the attention that climate change has gotten, many people are still unaware of what that actually means and the threat it causes to our planet. For more information about Earth Day Network or how to participate in an Earth Day event near you, please visit www.earthday.org.

Alcohol Awareness Month

I can’t tell you how many people I know that battle the disease of alcoholism in quiet. Out of fear of being rejected by family and friends, they hide their addiction. Sometimes they find recovery and other times they don’t. Because of their struggle, I am so glad that organizations like the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence or NCADD designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month.

This awareness month was established in 1987 to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, genetically predisposed, and is fatal if untreated (Source)

There is hope and help for those living with alcoholism. The people that run NCADD are everyday people who are committed to finding solutions in recovery. To learn more about addiction or to get help for yourself and/or a loved one, visit https://www.ncadd.org/.

Cancer Control Month

Cancer. It crosses religions, race, age, social class and there isn’t a person on this planet that doesn’t know someone that’s been affected by it. It’s the second leading cause of death in the United States and the pain endured by those that have battled this disease as well as those that love them keeps us fighting for a cure.  And in 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the US alone (Source). I can’t tell you how many friends, loved ones, and associates I know that have had cancer wreak havoc on their life. This disease must be stopped.

The month of April is Cancer Control Month. In 1938, Congress passed a joint resolution requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation declaring April to be Cancer Control Month. And recently, President Donald Trump continued that proclamation. Let’s honor the memory of our loved ones that we’ve lost, and celebrate the survivors still here with us. Participate in your favorite cancer organization this month and help find a cure!

117 in 2017

I get excited when I learn about organizations such as the ones listed above that are out there finding solutions to some of our world’s biggest problems. Everyday people can and do solve extraordinary problems! This year, we too are looking for solutions to some of our worlds problems. How do we solve gun violence or tort reform?  How about you? What do you know, what have you been through, what have you discovered or developed that can help others? What inspirational nonfiction book could you write that will bring hope to others? Please join us in our effort to find 117 Solutions in 2017!

 


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developmental disabilities dignity

Dignity of All People-Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

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In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Because holidays like St. Patrick’s Day are also in March, the awareness about people with disabilities can get overlooked. This month, we want to take a moment to reflect on its importance and highlight the dignity of all people.

The 70s and 80s paved the way for social change for those living with disabilities. With the support of President Reagan, “programs to provide career planning, job coaching, and employment for those living with disabilities began to increase. The idea that individuals with developmental disabilities could become productive members of the workforce was new to many people, and entrenched preconceptions had to be overcome.” (Source)

According to the Developmental Disabilities Act, the term developmental disability means a severe or chronic disability that happens before age 22 that is likely to continue and affects three or more of the following areas: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living and economic self-sufficiency. Many of us are unaware of the challenges that those with special needs endure on a daily basis. While I have never raised children with special needs, I have friends who have. I will never know the challenges they face, but their strength, courage, and perseverance to endure and advocate for their child is commendable. I admire them greatly.

Developmental Disabilities Recommended Reading

Reading is a great way to get a look at something that you might not have experienced firsthand. Books, both fiction and nonfiction, can help you get closer to the issue. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards is an incredibly moving story in which a man decides to send his newborn daughter, who suffers from Down Syndrome, away to an institution. The nurse tasked with taking the baby to the institution decides to raise the baby herself, and the novel takes you along for that journey. Another great read is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, a novel that centers around the detective adventures of a boy with an unnamed condition but that has indicators for developmental disabilities such as Asperger syndrome, high functioning Autism, or possibly Savant syndrome. Mark Haddon later noted in a blog that “”Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger’s….if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The book is not specifically about any specific disorder” (Source). That, in itself, is a beautiful sentiment, as it focuses the book on the story, not simply a disability.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is also told through the eyes of a boy with Aspberger’s syndrome who is navigating an emotional and confusing time after his father died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. This book would bridge nicely into our 117 Solutions in 2017 theme for next week: stories from survivors of terrorism.

Dignity of All People

Every person deserves respect. Every life is precious and has purpose and value. I am reminded of this quote from Pope Francis:

“Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things.”

I hope you can spend some time reflecting on the challenges that those living with disabilities face. Our country has come a long way in supporting them, but there is still so much more work to do. If you or someone you know has a solution to the challenges that those who live with disabilities face, please don’t be silent. Your story could be the hope and help that someone needs. Join us to find 117 Solutions in 2017.


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nonfiction writer tool

Nonfiction Writer Tool: Structure

There are a lot of things to think about when you start to write your nonfiction book, and one of them is its structure. Without structure you have chaos, and with chaos comes confusion. That’s why structure is such an important nonfiction writer tool.

Nonfiction Writer Tool-To become a nonfiction writer and not just someone who has a story to tell, you will need organization. Before you put pen to paper, your book percolates in your head and chaos reigns, doesn’t it? Unorganized thoughts, stray threads, and important principles are all slammed together without structure. You have something to say, but how will you communicate it?

Your job as a nonfiction writer is to communicate. You must lead the reader through your story, your concept, or your process and help them make sense of what you present.

In a sense, you are a tour guide. You are taking your readers on a journey, and it’s up to you to plot the route.

Start with your Purpose Statement.

The purpose is the final destination on your tour, and you want to take your readers along the path of least resistance to reach the ultimate purpose of the book. Don’t let your readers get lost!

A good nonfiction writer uses structure to keep their readers’ attention

I recently watched a brilliant preschool teacher move fourteen squirming, easily distracted, practically-like-puppies little ones down a hall, past a flight of stairs, and to the gym at the far end of the building without one child stepping out of line. Not even one.

How did she do it? She simply gave them something to grab onto. This brilliant woman had fashioned a six-foot piece of rope like a lion’s tail, and each child grabbed the tail and followed as she guided them along the path to the gym. Not one child let go, not even one.

Of course, your readers aren’t preschoolers. They’re intelligent men and women, but they, too, need something they can grab as you guide them to the purpose of your book.

They need to grab onto you for this journey. It’s your job to get them from point A to point B, and the best way to do that is to let them hang onto your tail.

So what is your tail? It’s your tale, your own story. Structure is the writing tool that will wrangle your readers and keep them following along with you. Your story is the tie that binds all parts of your book together, it’s you from end to end, and in the middle, too. Your book needs to be completely infested with your own story from start to finish. That’s what provides the structure for your book. It’s your story, and only you can tell it. Get organized and tell your tale.


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Client Profile: Craig Hughes – Teaching You How to Grow Your Small Business

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If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your small business, you’ll definitely want to read this book written by the owner of a taxicab company. We know what you’re thinking: Why would the owner of a cab company ever write a book, and what could I possibly learn from reading it? This man started out with a small taxi company and battled his way up to building a multi-million dollar business.

Meet Craig Hughes, Founder and Chairman of Total Transit, Inc., in the Phoenix, AZ area.

grow your small business

Craig knew nothing about the taxi business when he purchased an unsexy, dilapidated cab company in 1984. Since that time, he has grown that business to be the busiest taxi dispatch in the United States. Total Transit does $140 million in business each year and has enjoyed a 35% growth rate over the past 7 years. That is success by any standards!

Learn how to grow your small business

When Craig first came to us, he had an idea for a book that would help entrepreneurs get over the hurdles of moving from the start-up stage to the expansion phase. The purpose of Craig’s book is to inspire small business owners who are cash strapped, spread too thin, and feel trapped by their business to take action that moves them from their current all­-consuming, hands-­on approach to the freedom of a self-­sustaining enterprise. His book aims to teach you how to grow your small business so that you can enjoy true success, and not just wear the title of “small business owner.”

 

 

Craig understands the frustrations that small business owners face. There comes a time when they become the biggest obstacle to their company’s growth. Everything comes to a halt until they can solve the problem, call the customer, send the invoice, perform the service, etc. They feel trapped and want the business to start working for them, rather than continue working for the business.

His book, Get Out Of The Way: How To Grow Your Small Business From An All-Consuming, Hands­-On Approach To A Self­-Sustaining Enterprise, shows business owners and entrepreneurs a way to grow their business while gaining more freedom from its day-to-day demands. The book will be available in August 2017. Mark your calendars. You won’t want to miss this one!

If you are someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help you make it happen!

 

 


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The Importance of Reading: Celebrate Read Across America Day & Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

Today, March 2nd is Read Across America Day, as well as the birthday of the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss. It’s a great day to celebrate and discuss the importance of reading. We’ve written before about why good readers make good writers, but the importance of reading stretches to everyone, writers or otherwise. Reading is important throughout all stages of life, from childhood into old age.

The importance of reading for children

Read Across America Day was created to get more kids excited about reading. The idea behind the celebration was to create the same sense of enthusiasm for reading as schools do for sports and spirit weeks. It’s a wonderful initiative that shows children just how fun reading can be. Reading can be a challenge for some children, and that challenge can cause them to shy away from books and proclaim that reading simply doesn’t interest them. However, it is imperative that all children are given the guidance and encouragement they need to work on their reading skills.

For children whose minds are still actively developing, the importance of reading goes far beyond the enjoyment of books. Proper reading skills help children develop better communication skills as well as improved comprehension across all school subjects. Many studies show that children that read or are read to often in preschool and kindergarten perform better in other subjects such as math and science than students who have had less exposure to books.

Finding the right book is essential. Children need to have access to books that they enjoy, so that they can also come to enjoy the act of reading itself. Dr. Seuss books are a great place to start!

The importance of reading for adults

A child’s mind needs stimulation in order to develop, and the same is true for the mind of an adult! Books can serve so many purposes for adults and can truly help expand their minds. Here are just a few benefits to reading:

Learn new things

Books can teach you so much, whether it be how to perform a specific task such as building your own furniture, or how to guide yourself through a difficult time, such as a divorce. There are direct ways of learning through books that are written with the intent to teach the reader a new skill, but DIY and Self Help books are certainly not the only types of books that can teach the reader something. The beauty of reading is that each reader experiences the book in his or her own way. You might read a novel and learn something new about yourself. Nonfiction books can expose you to a facet of history you didn’t know before because life is nonfiction, after all. Books make excellent teachers.

importance of reading

Relate to others

Reading books can also help you relate to others on a deeper level. While reading a painful story that was written with brutal honesty, you might start to see yourself within the pages. You may even feel as if the writer put into words what you yourself could not.

Of course, the importance of reading as a way to relate to others isn’t just about relating to people who have had experiences similar to your own. Stories, fiction or nonfiction, can allow you to see through the eyes of someone else and give you a better understanding of a situation, experience, or perspective that you had never explored on your own. Books expand your mind by allowing you to reach outside your own life and take a look at something new.

Get exposed to different experiences

You are only one person. You cannot see every place or experience every situation firsthand. You can, however, expose yourself to an incredibly diverse variety of people, places, and experiences through books. Reading may expose you to a hobby that you had never considered but, after reading about it, find that you might really enjoy it. Stories can give you some perspective when it comes to tough topics and choices that people are faced with every day, even if you yourself have never had to make those difficult decisions. Books expose you to worlds outside of your own, which is why reading is so incredibly important.

Read Across America Day may have been created with children in mind, but I urge you to honor this day by picking up a book and re-dedicating yourself to reading.

 


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Black History Month — Start by Celebrating National Freedom Day

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Today, February 1st,  is the first day of Black History Month. It is also National Freedom Day. With fun and silly National “something” Days like National Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Popcorn Day, it’s easy to overlook important commemorative days like National Freedom Day. This year, I want to appreciate National Freedom Day and everything it stands for throughout Black History Month.

National Freedom Day commemorates “the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.” (Source)

It’s an excellent way to begin Black History Month. It’s a day to celebrate freedom for all people, particularly for African-Americans. Black History Month highlights those who contributed to our nation, before and after the abolition of slavery. And what is history other than the stories of people who suffered, fought, and persevered? It’s a time to remember the incredible stories of those who helped make our nation what it is today. Stories are important. They connect one generation to another, and I particularly like the famous Black poet, Maya Angelou’s opinion about stories:

Do you have an untold story inside of you? Even if you’re not a writer, you can still tell your story. You’re the only one who has your story. You’re the only one who can tell it.

I’m particularly fond of Maya Angelou, partly because she was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where I live. But what really draws me to her is her wisdom. She has depth and speaks truth that we need to hear. This is one of my favorite quotes of hers:

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Stories, more often than not, involve pain. Experiences are not always easy or pleasant, but they make us who we are. They shape us and the world around us. The world can be a scary place, but we can find comfort in shared experiences, shared stories. Stories build bridges and create connections.

I encourage you to spend National Freedom Day and Black History Month reading stories about black Americans and thinking about your own story. Your story could be the voice of hope and help that someone needs. Join us to find 117 Solutions in 2017 , so we can find 117 Solutions this year to some of our most pressing problems. It’s your story and only you can tell it.


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Your Online Reputation And Author Brand

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This article was originally guest posted to BookBaby by Caroline Black

Your online reputation can be your most powerful marketing tool and beacon for your author brand, as long as it’s properly monitored.

Once upon a time, authors could hide behind the pages of their books with no one knowing much about them aside from the name on the front cover. We now live in a very different age.

Many readers want to know as much about the person writing the story as they do about the content. For better or worse, the Internet has provided a platform for exploration that makes it easy for fans to delve into your background, and if you aren’t properly vetting what a Google search of your name brings up, it could lead to disaster for your career.

Representing your author brand

Representing your author brand covers more than just going on book tours and signings. A plethora of online platforms can be harnessed by authors as promotional tools. However, sloppy practices when producing websites, working on social media, or messaging your mailing list could cause more harm than good.

If a prospective new reader, or even a long-term fan, doesn’t like the way you present yourself online, it’s highly likely she won’t pick up another copy of your work ever again. The author brand you chose to promote is up to you, but there are questions every author should ask when considering his or her online reputation.

1. Are you marketable?

Even though the product you’re looking to sell is yourself – or at least your talents as a writer – it’s still important to consider the marketability factor of the personality you’re promoting. To begin with, it’s essential to have a comprehensive grasp of yourself as a writer; consider what themes, ideas or message you’re trying to portray with your work and what emotional response you’re trying to elicit.

After this has been established, it’s time to check whether your online reputation reflects these ideals. Consider colors, graphics and font type when setting up webpages, and be stringent about the wording and emotional weight of the things you post.

2. Are you authentic?

There’s no rule stating your online reputation has to be a positive one; plenty of public figures have found notoriety through controversy and scandal. However, if you are endeavoring to be a provocative online figure, it is important to ensure that your author brand has been properly planned and considered.

It might seem fun to play the femme fatale or outspoken critic on the Internet, but if that sort of personality is far detached from who you are, then it’s only going to be a matter of time before your readership sees through this. “Fake” is a buzzword that pops up regularly on the Internet, usually inspiring a cutthroat response.

While your online presence as an author may be more carefully fabricated than your personal social media profiles, you’re still trying to present an authentic front. Audiences want to know who you are, not who you are pretending to be.

3. Are you engaging?

It’s not enough to post a single tweet or only update your website around the time of your book release or other significant event. The key to growing a fan base is to provide regular, engaging online content. This is why so many writers have set up personal blogs.

Writing relevant posts about topics related to your work or your goal as an author means your name and face are potentially popping up in the feeds of your fans and new readers. Staying active in this way also does a lot to increase your Google ranking. Both of these things are essential to a good online reputation and continued success in your career.

Look into Google Adwords or other SEO strategies in order to better structure your blog posts to attract more traffic.

4. Are you trustworthy?

For anyone who religiously uses the Internet, there’s a constant balance of trust and risk. You’re sharing your personal information with people you don’t actually know, so, by default, a presumed level of faith between you and those you are interacting with has to be established. However, this is fickle and can easily be broken.

There are many harmless hacks that are common for regular users of social media and blogging platforms. Most often, they manifest as spam links sent without your knowledge to your followers. Although they pose no real threat, many Internet users will avoid an infected domain once they’ve seen a problem.

There are lots of simple strategies to overcome this – password management, use of secure networks, etc. – but by far the best solution is the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). As one of the leading security programs on the market, a VPN encrypts all of your data and makes it very difficult for hackers or malware to gain access to your accounts. Secure Thoughts provides reviews of some of the best options on the market for those who want more information.

Your online reputation can be your most powerful marketing tool and beacon for your author brand, as long as it’s properly monitored. Ensuring you always have the questions outlined above in mind when setting up online accounts means you are positioned to get the biggest promotional benefit.

If you’ve had any insights related to an online reputation you’d like to share, be sure to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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comfort books

Find Your Comfort Books and Start Reading

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I’ve written other articles about why good readers make good writers, but reading is so much more than a tool to improve your writing skills. Books provide comfort in so many ways. But what exactly makes a book a “comfort book?” The truth is, it depends on the person and their current circumstances or mood. A comfort book could be something that allows you to escape into a new world for a little while, or a book that makes you laugh. For some people, comfort books are novels that whisk them away into a fictional world, while others prefer to delve into a memoir for real-life inspiration. If you are unsure of what book to grab for your next comfort read, consider a few of these options.

Re-reading

Re-reading an old favorite is a great place to start. Since you have already read the book, you’ll be familiar with thecomfort books characters and the plot, and familiarity is always a good thing to look for when you are in need of comfort. Re-reading also gives you a chance to experience the book in a new way, and makes it possible for a book that you didn’t previously consider a “comfort book” to become one. This BBC article points out that there is actually a science behind the comfort of re-reading:

Scientists have weighed in, too, citing the mental health benefits of re-reading. Research conducted with readers in the US and New Zealand found that on our first reading, we are preoccupied by the ‘what?’ and the ‘why?’. Second time round, we’re able to better savour the emotions that the plot continues to ignite. As researcher Cristel Russell of the American University explained of re-readers in an article published in the Journal of Consumer Research, returning to a book “brings new or renewed appreciation of both the object of consumption and their self.”

Allow yourself to get reacquainted with characters you love or a page-turner you tore through the first time. Try re-reading a series like Harry Potter or revisiting a classic such as Little Women. You can even head back to your childhood with favorites such as A Wrinkle in Time or Matilda.

Inspirational nonfiction books

Inspirational reads make great comfort books. Many people find that reading nonfiction helps them take a step back from their own life to see the world through someone else’s experiences and struggles. Stories of overcoming obstacles and survival could give you a new perspective on your current struggles. Self-help books and stories of big life changes can bring you a sense of calm and motivate you to improve your own life. Inspirational books become comfort books when the reader finds a story they need to hear.

Emotional rollercoaster fiction

Books that focus on tragedy, stressful situations, or dark topics may not seem like obvious choices for comfort books, but for many people, the gritty, dark stories are exactly what they need, especially when the books are fictional. Author Kameron Hurley discussed why when she feels overwhelmed by real-life problems, she turns to fictional books full of stressful, anxiety-inducing issues,

“But a fictional problem?

Somebody else is dealing with that. You’re just along for the ride.

It means you get to spend the whole ride actually feeling things, instead of buttoning it all back up so you can live.”

She goes onto say,

“Reading tragedies, I realized, connecting with characters who persevered in the face of grim odds, and certain ends – were actually comfort reading for me. They put me into high-stress situations with no personal stakes, so I could actually feel the fear and discomfort and rage and horror without having any skin in the game.”

Many people feel the same way as Hurley. For many, knowing that the book is fictional and will have to have some form of resolve is incredibly comforting. Escaping through a fictional tragedy can bring a strong sense of comfort and calm.

Find your comfort books

There is no set definition for a comfort book. It is simply a book that works for you at the particular time when you read it. When on the hunt for a good comfort read, consider what you want to get out of the book and what sort of story might be helpful for you in the moment. Let yourself get lost in a great book.


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