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book promotion promoting your book

Budget enough time and patience for your book promotion

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This article courtesy of BookBaby.

book promotion promoting your bookWhat are the most important elements of book promotion? Here’s my five-part answer!

It’s THE question. The one I’m always asked, whether I’m speaking at author conferences or doing webinars. It’s top of mind for all those would-be authors who are itching to give self publishing a try. Though phrased a little differently each time, it goes something like this:

What’s most important when it comes to book promotion?

My response is always the same – a five-part answer. The first four parts are, quite frankly, pretty predictable. The last one might come as a bit of a surprise.

Here are all of the must-haves:

  • You wrote your best book. Hopefully it’s a great book. But it’s your best effort and you can’t ask for anything more.
  • Your manuscript was edited by a professional. Not by your sister, the part-time English teacher. Your book deserves to be edited by a pro who has devoted her lifetime to the unique craft of book editing.
  • Your book cover is eye-catching and appropriate for you genre. It requires the talents of a graphic artist who specializes in book design. The fastest way to condemn a book to the bottom of the heap is to give it an amateur-looking cover.
  • Your book is being widely distributed. That means creating an eBook, print books and print-on-demand distribution. Maximum eyeballs, and that’s not just Amazon!

Like I said – it’s pretty much the standard stuff you read everywhere. And finally there’s this:

  • You’ve factored time into the equation. Publishing requires patience. Many of the mistakes a novice author makes revolve around time. Either they rush into the marketplace, or they give up too quickly.

Publishing experts like to say, “Publishing is a marathon and not a sprint.” I buy into that, but I like this better: “Good books don’t have an expiration date.” Authors need to realize that overnight sensations are rare. Patience and persistence are essential to a great book marketing plan for self-published authors.

Here are the five ways that you can put time on your side:

1. Publish when YOU are ready.
Of course that means taking the proper time to finish your best manuscript. But it also means you need to allow time for editing (3-6 weeks) and creating a great cover design (2-4 weeks). But there should be a limit to your patience when it comes to picking your publishing path.

First-time authors who want to be traditionally published  should expect 18 to 24 months to pass before their book is on the market. And that’s if they’re successful in finding both an agent and publisher – no sure thing. But if you choose to self publish, it takes only a fraction of that time, in some cases as few as six weeks. An easy choice, don’t you think?

2. Make pre-sales your priority.
A lot of authors miss out on the single most important marketing time period for their eBooks and print on demand books: Pre-sales periods on Amazon and Barnes &Noble. Pre-sales are when books are listed for sale in advance of the official release date. Customers can read sample teasers and place orders (and their credit cards aren’t charged until the release date!)

Pre-sales time frames have tons of benefits, but not all of them are apparent to first-time authors.

  • Collecting these pre-release sales can provide you a better chance of making the best seller lists on many retailers, including iBooks, B&N, and Kobo. (It does not influence Amazon charts).
  • Having a future release date means you can orchestrate the availability of your book, and use this launch date as a centerpiece of some marketing efforts.
  • Behind the scenes, pre-sales activity has a huge effect on your positioning on retailers such as Amazon. Their algorithms measure activity on your selling pages – the more page views, traffic, and sales during that period mean your eBook could come up higher in searches and other referral methods. With print on demand, Amazon will take a more aggressive inventory position based on strong customer activity.

3. Let me be the first to say it: Book Launch, Book Smaunch. It’s not all that.
This goes against a lot of popular book marketing thinking today. What’s the real value of a book launch? It really depends on who you are. If you are an established author with a built-in audience, a book launch can be a powerful selling starting point. But what about the typical self-published author searching for those alpha readers?

I understand that your book launches might be a nice personal milestone or accomplishment to commemorate that first book. Am I advising against having a book launch? Certainly not. But I advise you to put this opportunity to good use:

  • Use the opportunity to interact with your readers – even if only a few – as well as other authors. Get close to them – they can be a tremendous resource.
  • Measure each and every one of your marketing efforts surrounding the event. Try to learn what works and what doesn’t.
  • Don’t get stressed out if your launch doesn’t sell hundreds of books. I’ll tell you right now – it most likely won’t, but that doesn’t mean your book will fail. Don’t let this deter you from future efforts.

4. Take your time when marketing.
Lord knows there are no shortage of book marketing opportunities — getting reviews, going on “blog tours,” sending press releases, posting on all the social media platforms. And don’t forget spending time on Goodreads.

For most authors it can be completely overwhelming to do it all. So don’t. That’s my advice. Focus on one channel at a time. This month you can work on your Twitter campaign, follow the right people, add new followers. Then next month you can devote to Goodreads, and so on. If you buy into the concept of book publishing being a marathon, these short-term marketing targets are like the shorter legs of that long race.

5. When is it time to give up? Never!
A great, and very recent example of how persistence can pay off is the amazing story of The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep. Most folks have heard the story of the self-published book that suddenly shot up the New York Times Best Seller list in late August. Written by Swedish psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, the book attracted the attention of all the major traditional publishers, resulting in a reported seven-figure contract for future titles.

And now for the rest of the story. Ehrlin originally published the book in 2013 (with BookBaby) as an eBook. He posted very modest sales from the launch all the way through 2014. This lack of early success didn’t slow his enthusiasm for the book, and he had it converted into five languages and gave away over 45,000 eBooks! Ehrlin called in to the BookBaby customer service team quite often for advice and encouragement. He completely believed in his project and never stopped promoting it.

Later, Ehrlin created a printed book version and added Print On Demand distribution, with modest sales through 2015. Suddenly last summer, his sales started to climb. All of those free eBooks had created tremendous word-of-mouth marketing. A few stories appeared in European newspapers, and the story soon spread across the globe of his unique parenting techniques.

The moral to this story: After three plus years of hard work and effort, this “overnight sensation” was really anything but. Ehrlin used his marketing time wisely and he’s now reaping the rewards.

In the words of French dramatist Jean Racine: “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.” The key to your best book promotional effort could be revealed tomorrow, next week, or maybe next month. Be patient and give your book every chance it deserves to succeed.

Image via ShutterStock.com.

 

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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10 tips to help writers stay focused

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In the lead up to National Novel Writing Month, BookBaby crafted this incredibly simple but powerful infographic to help you do the little things to stay focused on writing. Print it out and tack it to your wall, make it your laptop wallpaper, or add your own contribution in the comment section. Then stop dawdling and write!

10 Tip to Help Writers Stay Focused

10-Tips-for-Writers-Writing-Process-Focus-BookBaby

 

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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Featured Author: David J.P. Fisher author, become an author, write a book, feature author, self publishing, book coach, nonfiction, non fiction, nonfiction writing, nonfiction book coach

Sought-after speaker publishes business book

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Tips to writing good copy

I am so proud of how far my client, David J.P. Fisher, has come! Not only has he published his book Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Networking Sucks and What to do About it, he has also been able to author various versions of the book tailored specifically for LinkedIn, millennials, and within your company.

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autobiography vs memoir book coach which should i write

Autobiography or Memoir: Which should you write?

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autobiography vs memoir book coach which should i writeThe words “autobiography” and “memoir” are often used interchangeably in social situations – (and even on Amazon.com categories!) but the two terms represent vastly different types of work.

What is a memoir?

A memoir is a written story that typically covers a portion of someone’s life. This type of book is often written by “normal” people like you and me, and can start at any point within an author’s life. Historically, autobiographies tend to be dryer material – more factually researched and historical than memoirs, which can have a more emotional edge and a moral to the story.

Should I write my memoir?

As I often say, you are the only one who can tell your story! Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you embark on the journey of writing your book:

  1. Do you have a story worth telling? If you have a story that others would be interested in – experiences you’ve had, circumstances that you’ve overcome, major accomplishments and the road to achievement – then there may be interest in your story. Oftentimes, the authors whose autobiographies perform best have been told by family, friends, and colleagues, “you should write a book,” for a number of years. Has this happened for you?
  2. Do you have a story that could help others?  I’m a firm believer that if your story has the potential to help others who face similar circumstances to yours, by bettering their lives or personal experiences, that you have a duty to share your story.
  3. Can your story be told with total honesty (absolutely no embellishment!) and how the readers’ attention? Often times, you’ll find that all of the little stories that make up the big story of your life can be interesting enough without added embellishment. You simply need to look at the language you use to impart your experiences.

What is an autobiography?

An autobiography typically covers the events of a writer’s entire life from birth to present. An autobiographical book typically focused on the total trajectory of an individual’s life and highlights many experiences from a personal point of view in chronological order. Authors typically highlight formative instances from childhood, adolescence, and their adult years. Autobiographies are typically written by celebrities, experts and people of significance, and contain highly researched and verifiable information.

Should I write my autobiography?

If you are unsure about whether or not you should write a memoir, I’d recommend that you ask yourself all of the same questions listed above and that you add one more:

Is your life so significant that someone would be captivated by the entire experience – from the beginning until now? 

Additionally, you should consider if the public’s interest in your story is more emotional or historical. Autobiography is clearly the more historical of the two types of non-fiction life writing.

Are you ready to write?

If, after you’ve considered all of the questions above, you believe you have a story that needs to be told, I’m ready to help you start writing and publishing your book. The success of your book – and how relatable it is to your audience depends on how well you tell it. As your personal book coach, I can help you craft your story and work with you when you to write a book that is beyond compare. Don’t let fear of writing keep you from sharing your story with the world!

If you need help to write your book, consider working with me as you write your first book. Details below!

 

 


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ISBN Author Self Publishing

Your ISBN: Answers to New Authors’ FAQs

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ISBN Author Self PublishingOf all the mysteries surrounding the process of self publishing, the book ISBN ranks among the most intimidating to many new authors. We’re here to allay your concerns and give you answers.

This week Steve Spatz of Book Baby helps to answer one of the burning questions for new authors about the self-publishing process. Make sense of the Library of Congress’ numeric system for books nationwide. 

The ISBN. Seldom have thirteen little digits been so misunderstood. Our BookBaby publishing specialists field calls all day long about the International Standard Book Number – also known as the ISBN. Let me take this opportunity to field a few of the most common questions.

  • What is an ISBN? It is a numeric identifier that is used around the globe by book stores, publishers, and just about everyone in the publishing industry. ISBNs have either 10 or 13 digits (all ISBNs assigned after January 1, 2007 have 13 digits).
  • Am I required to have an ISBN to sell my book? If you plan to sell your book in bookstores, to libraries, or through most online retailers (with the notable exception of Amazon.com), you will need an International Standard Book Number.
  • Does Amazon use ISBNs? Yes, and no. Amazon ignores the ISBN you assign to your Kindle eBook and instead assigns its own identifier, called an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). This ASIN is what you and the public use to identify your Kindle eBook on Amazon when linking to the book. However, if your book does have an ISBN, that number can be used as a search term on the Amazon website.
  • I’m doing a print book and an eBook. Do I need two ISBNs, or can I use the same one?  You will need one number for each format, one for your eBook and another one for your printed book.
  • Do I need a separate ISBN for my hardcover and softcover version of the same book?  Yes, you need a separate identifier for each edition, to identify each volume for anyone who might want to find it in directories, catalogs, and databases.
  • If I get an ISBN, does that mean my book is automatically copyrighted? No. Copyright is administered by the Library of Congress and is an extension of intellectual property law. Understand that common copyright law states that the moment your work is in tangible form – once you commit words to paper or save to a digital file – it is protected under intellectual property law without any formal registration. That applies even if you do not use the copyright symbol in your book. However, registering your work with the Copyright Office allows you greater power to litigate if needed in the future and is the most definitive way to protect your work from theft or plagiarism.
  • Who can purchase an ISBN?  A self-published author is considered as a publisher, so you purchase a number like anyone else.
  • How do I get an ISBN? When you publish your book through BookBaby, you can purchase an ISBN for eBook and printed versions of your book. If you prefer to purchase this directly from Bowker – the company responsible for ISBNs in the United States – you can go to myidentifiers.com.
  • What do ISBNs cost? BookBaby sells ISBNs for $29 each. If you go direct to Bowker, a single ISBN costs $125, while 10 ISBNs cost $250. I should note, there is no difference in the ISBN purchased from BookBaby vs. one bought from Bowker. BookBaby purchases blocks of ISBNs from Bowker to provide to our authors.
  • I live outside of the United States. Can I purchase an ISBN? If you do not reside in the USA, you may purchase yours through BookBaby. There are over 160 ISBN Agencies worldwide, and each ISBN Agency is appointed as the exclusive agent responsible for assigning ISBNs to publishers residing in their country or geographic territory. Bowker is the only source authorized to assign ISBNs to publishers supplying an address in the United States.
  • I have my own ISBN number. Can I use that? Yes – as long as your number has not previously been used for a print or digital book. ISBNs that have been assigned to books should be reported to Bowker as the database of record: book titles can be registered at www.bowkerlink.com.
  • If I make minor revisions to my book, do I need to give it a new ISBN? No. If you aren’t making substantial changes to the text, it is not considered a reprint or a new edition. Let me add that the degree of changes that require a new ISBN can be a very subjective issue. The ISBN guidelines state that the inclusion of substantially new material, a major revision, or the addition of completely new elements would be defined as substantial change. Conversely if elements are deleted from the original book, this would also require a new ISBN. In addition, publishing a book in a different language also requires a unique ISBN number. Anything that makes it a new and different book from the original volume is likely to create a new edition.
  • Does changing the cover constitute a significant change? Will I have to get a new number? No, you do not need a new ISBN if you are just changing a cover. You can continue to use the same ISBN, since the text has not changed.

Still have unanswered questions? You can search for more answers on the BookBaby FAQ page in the help section at www.bookbaby.com, go directly to Bowker on the ISBN website, or reach out to our publishing specialists at info@bookbaby.com or at 877-961-6878.

Image via ShutterStock.com.

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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April-Webinar-how to attract an audience for your book book marketing

How to Attract an Audience for Your Book

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How to attract an audience for your bookAs a writer, you may enjoy the solitary pursuit of writing, but one thing’s for sure—when your book is finished you’ll want get it in the hands of readers. The best way to do that is to start now, even as you write your book, to attract your audience.

You may have heard the old adage that it takes seven touches to make a sale. In book marketing, that has held true. Your audience needs to hear what you’re about, to learn to respect you as you prove your expertise, and to become interested in you and enticed by what you have to say, well in advance of a purchase.

1. Define Your Audience

Before you can attract an audience, you need to know who they are. Of course, your readers are your audience, but who are they? Picture them as they walk in the bookstore. What do you see? Is it women between the ages of 30 and 50? Parents who want to instill values in their children? Business owners who are short of cash?

The key is to figure out who your audience is before you begin writing your nonfiction book because that’s the group you will influence, the group you will impact, and the group you will target when your book is complete.

2. Define Your Book’s Market

Isn’t your audience the same as your market? Not necessarily. Your market is the people/organizations/institutions that will purchase your book. For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook – the parents.

Think about those people/organizations/institutions that might purchase your book, for example, educators if you’re writing about children, or mental health practitioners if you are writing about walking conquering depression. Try to identify at least six markets for your book – a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to potential customers, so be thorough.

3. Classify Your Book

Part of knowing your audience is knowing where your book fits in relation to other books. In other words, what is it’s genre?

The term genre simply means a particular classification or type of book, and there are two main genres in writing: fiction and nonfiction. There are numerous sub-genres within each of these genres, and you need to know where your book fits. Why is this important? It’s important to you because you want to reach a certain audience, and people often select the books they read according to genre. That’s why bookstores divide their selections by genre—it makes it easier for people to find the books that appeal to them.

Think about your audience again. If they are looking for your book, what section will they browse in a bookstore? Assume they don’t know the book title or your name as the author. They simply want to find the information that your book delivers. Where are they going to look? Identify your book’s genre, and you will have some insight on how to reach your market.

This is the starting point for identifying your readers, but there’s more to it than simply identifying your genre. Your readers are buried within your target markets, and I want you to know how to scout them out.

4. Target Your Markets

With all the books being published, it’s more important that EVER to know your market and how to reach your audience.

So, go back to your ideal customer. They’re hard to find because they look like everyone else, so we have identify them according to what they need. And what is that? They need the SOLUTION that is found in your book. You may think, “I know who they are – generally – but I don’t know how to get to them specifically.”

Go back to your list you made of primary and secondary markets and create a detailed plan to reach them. Do this before your book is finished, so you’ll be ready to get your book in their hands when it’s published.


 

 

 

 


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benefits-of-self-publishing how to write a book book coach

5 Reasons to Consider Self-Publishing

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benefits-of-self-publishing how to write a book book coach
If you want to write or have already written a book and are worried about landing a book deal, you should really consider self-publishing. Times have changed, and signing on with a big publisher is no longer the only way to get your book into the hands (or onto the screens) of readers. Here’s why you should give self-publishing a chance.

1. One in three E-books sold on Amazon is self-published.

If you think readers will shy away from self-published books, think again. Sales show that readers are more and more interested in purchasing books from independent authors. If you can get a good fan base and work on a solid marketing campaign, your self-published book can absolutely compete with books published in the traditional manner.

2. Independent authors make up 25% of Amazon’s best E-book sellers list.

Not only are independent authors selling books, they are topping the charts. The books published by the “Big Five” publishers only represent 16% of the bestsellers. Self-publishing has allowed readers to discover new authors, and it’s clear that they are enjoying what they are reading. It just goes to show that if you can write a quality book and market it properly, you have a good chance of not only selling books, but also becoming a well-known author.

3. You are in control of your timeline.

If you go the traditional route, you will have to first spend several months searching for an agent, who will then spend even more time hunting down a publisher. Even if your book is accepted, the timeline for your book hitting the press could be 1-3 years, and remember, that’s if and only if you actually land a book deal. Not to mention the 15% you have to pay your agent for landing the deal.

If you self-publish, you can get your book out as soon as you are confident in your final draft. Obviously, it’s best to go through several edits and not begin the publishing process at 2am while you’re wired on your 4th cup of coffee. The point is that once your book is finished, you can publish it in a matter of months instead of years.

4. You set the price.

If you go the traditional route, your publisher will set the price for hardcover, paperback, and E-books, and you have no say in whatever price they choose. If you self-publish, you can set a price point that works for you. Smashword’s 2014 survey showed that E-books priced between $2.99 and $3.99 tend to sell best. If you think that seems low, keep in mind that you won’t have to turn over 85% of your profit to your publisher, like you would if you went the traditional route.

It’s free to publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace print on demand service, which allows you to print physical books only when they are needed. Print-on-Demand services also help you avoid excess inventory. Traditional publishing involves ordering press runs of books that could end up leaving you with a stack of books you have paid for but haven’t sold. Self-publishing through a POD service saves you money on inventory, as well as on the cost of shipping and storing the books.

5. You are in charge of marketing & sales.

Many authors believe that traditional publishers will go above and beyond to market their book, but that’s not true. The reality is, even if you go through a traditional publisher, you will most likely have to come to them with some sort of marketing plan, which they will then decide whether or not they want to implement. Not only will you be at the mercy of the publisher’s marketing tactics, you’ll also be tied to whatever budget they allot to you.

Self-publishing means you are completely in charge of your marketing. Even if you decide to hire a marketing consultant, you will have the final say on any marketing decision. No one believes in your book more than you do, so why not put your passion into your marketing strategy?

These days, readers are less concerned with who published a book and a lot more concerned about the quality of the writing. Self-publishing is an excellent option for any author that is ready to tell their story.


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The Gift of Following Your Dreams from The Book Professor Nonfiction Author Joe Fingerhut author joe fingerhut, the book professor author, writer, published author, how to write, author websites, becoming a better writer, publish a book

The Gift of Following Your Dreams from Author Joe Fingerhut

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The Gift of Following Your Dreams from The Book Professor Nonfiction Author Joe FingerhutPart speaker, part entertainer, part crazy dad, and always fully engaged, author Joe Fingerhut has written a high-impact book that will change lives, save lives, and transform society for teens. He already knew he had special gifts to share with others and took it to a new level when he published his first book!

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Featured Author - Helen Gennari had her book launch party for her first book, From The Heart of An Abandoned Daughter author, become an author, write a book, feature author, self publishing, book coach, nonfiction, non fiction, nonfiction writing, nonfiction book coach, helen gennari, book launch, book launch party, book marketing

Helen Gennari publishes inspirational survival story

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Helen Gennari is this month's Featured Author that recently celebrated with her book launch party for From The Heart of an Abandoned Daughter

Gennari’s autobiography launch party benefitted shelter for battered women

At the end of October my sweet friend and client, Helen Gennari, had a fabulous book launch party for her first book, From the Heart of an Abandoned Daughter: My Personal Journey Through Family Violence and Beyond, which benefitted Woman’s Place in St. Louis, a shelter for battered women. It has been wonderful to see her share her story about growing up with and surviving family violence and her desire to help others that struggle with similar situations.

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"You should write a book."

“You should write a book.”

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Has anyone ever told you that you should write a book?
How did that make you feel?

Maybe you’ve been told many times that you should write a book. How does that make you feel? Flattered? Annoyed? Scared? When I teach writing, I talk a lot about audience and how to connect with them, but the first step is to connect with yourself and be honest about the emotions you have about the prospect of writing a book. What are you feeling?

Do you want to write that book but don’t know how to get started?
How does that make you feel?

Have you ever had “write my book” on your mental to-do list? If so, that goal is probably jammed in there like this:

  1. Finish project at work
  2. Go to the kids’ ball game
  3. Make appointment with financial advisor
  4. Write my book!

Oh yes, let me just WRITE MY BOOK in between juggling my work schedule and a busy family life!

How do you feel when there’s such a huge item on your list that you know you won’t accomplish in one night or even one month — along with the smaller items that you will? Don’t set yourself up for failure! There’s a better way.

Did you start to write your book and get tangled up?

How did that make you feel?

Maybe you put pen to paper and started to write, but you got lost along the way. Perhaps you started with one idea, then drifted to another, and now nothing is organized or seems intelligent. Are you Frustrated? Aggravated? Defeated?

Now…

How do you WANT to feel?

The great news is that you CAN write your book in less than one year, and when you do that, you will feel emotions like accomplishment, completion, and triumph.And this is only the beginning!

Listen to my friend and client Helen G. and what she said about writing her first book: 

“I knew I wanted to write a book and had already begun. … In 2007 I met Lundy Bancroft at his St. Louis workshop, told him my childhood experience and he strongly encouraged me to write a book about it.

[Since I wrote my book] my life is still very busy …[but] the best part of what I have experienced is the positive effect it is having on my family who are very supportive~~and the many friends and colleagues who seem eager to read my book.

I have dreams of a long vacation, time for some R & R. After that, get started on my next book, to be followed by a third! … At 74 I hope to be able to keep up with my dreams.

Nancy has been wonderful to work with. She is a person of integrity and compassion. She is supportive, knowledgeable, and available.

The most difficult thing for me has been the fact that all of this is so new to me and I don’t always know the questions to ask. However, I’ve always felt that my questions were addressed with respect and understanding.

I now consider Nancy a dear friend whom I hope to continue working with. She deserves the very best. I could not have done this without her and the resources to which she directed me.”

Are you ready to start down the path that I have painstakingly and specifically built for you to follow to write your nonfiction book?


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7 Important Sources of Book Reviews for Indie Authors 3

7 Important Sources of Book Reviews for Indie Authors

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book readingWhen you’re looking for your next read, how do you shop? I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I do is to ask my friends for recommendations. They can’t all know my exacting tastes in the books that I read, but when I hear glowing reviews or repeat recommendations among my friends, I take note. If the book is available as an ebook, I will usually download the sample right away to see if the book is a good fit.

Future Importance of Book Reviews for Indie Authors

A recent article by the Huffington Post predicted that self published ebooks will achieve a 50% share of the book market by 2020, citing reasons such as the decline of brick and mortar stores and the increased publishing savvy of indie authors. However, with the meteoric rise of self publishing, we’ve seen as much poor writing in the marketplace as quality writing, and readers are seeking validation that a book is worth their time. Since there are no signs that this trend will change anytime soon, book reviews for indie authors are and will continue to be a critical and important cornerstone for your indie book marketing strategy.

How do you get the book reviews you need?

ebook reader book reviewer self publishing

Offer a generous number of ebooks to avid readers to increase the likelihood of getting your book reviewed..

Christine Nolfi (@christinenolfi), the author of Reviews Sell Books, recommends that you focus on getting 10 quality reviews for your book. Below, we’ve listed seven sources of reviews you should investigate first.

  • Friends & Family: One way to do that is to provide advance review copies (ARCs) to a list of trusted friends and family in your inner circle. If you’re publishing and promoting a second or third book, you likely have a short list in mind of people who have reviewed your other books. That is exactly where you should start. These people are going to be the most motivated and invested in your success. However, you should diversify your outreach to include others beyond your inner circle.
  • Bloggers: Regardless of the topic of your book, odds are that there are influential bloggers who have written about and have curated a following interested in the very same topic. One of my favorite sites for indie authors is Indie Review, which offers a frequently-updated list of book bloggers. At last count, this list contained 269 potential reviewers and even helps you to narrow down their areas of interest and book preferences so that you’ll be more likely to be a good match. BookBloggerList.com offers this list of non-fiction book reviewers as well.
  • Book Review Guilds: Traditional publishers have long worked with vanity reviewers to get the reviews and quotes needed to promote the books they will launch. Indie versions of this method are also starting to arise.
  • Book Grabbr: For $25 per month, authors can get their books in front of interested readers who sign up to receive free books in exchange for their reviews. Click here to learn more about BookGrabbr.
  • Amazon Meet Our Authors: Amazon provides a forum where authors can introduce themselves and their book, and can seek out reviews. The “Meet Our Authors” community offers a place for authors and reviewers to connect, but authors are advised to post only in their designated forums, and not to post in the forums specifically created for book reviewers.
  • LibraryThing Member Giveaway: Reach out early in your planning process and get your book in line for the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program, which allows you to offer a set number of books up to the LibraryThing members who are often active reviewers. While those who win your book are not obligated to review it, you’ll find this group of readers to be a rich opportunity. If you offer an ebook, give a generous number of copies, so you can increase the likelihood that you’ll see a return.
  • Social Media: Hopefully in advance of your launch, you’ve been curating a strong following on social media that spans beyond friends and family. Give away a few advance copies to your social connections —  the ones that you think are most likely to broadcast their take on your tome. Check out Bookarma, which allows authors broader social reach through shared promotion of other authors. This will help you expand your social reach while making friends and allies in the literary community.

For more information on self-publishing success,writing tips and classes by The Book Professor, stay connected. Sign up to receive news, updates and more delivered to your inbox.


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Which authors services are right for self-publishing authors? 1

Which authors services are right for self-publishing authors?

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self-publishing book cycleThe Independent Publishing market is strong and vibrant, and as a result, a whole slew of providers for author services have emerged, which can leave authors confused about where to turn to for help. And you do need help. You need to turn your manuscript into a polished, professional product and get it out of your hands and in the hands of readers.

In the traditional publishing model, it was all about the publisher. They not only controlled the process, but they controlled all aspects of the product. They chose the book title, the cover, controlled the editing, release dates, and the distribution channels. They also controlled the purse strings, and shared only a small return with you. And yet, if you wanted your book to be successful, you had to jump into the marketing and bear those expenses.

But independent publishing has changed all that. This process is no longer a ferris wheel-type structure where you, the author, are completely absent. There’s now a streamlined flow and YOU are at the center of everything. EVERYTHING! For reputable service providers, it’s all about YOU:  About helping you to be successful, about helping you produce a world-class product that you can market around the world.

the-book-cycleStep One: Write
It starts with the writing. Many authors simply put their pen to paper and fly, but others, particularly if they are writing nonfiction like The Book Professor clients, need help to organize and express their message. They get help from a writing coach.

Step Two: Edit
Every big-name author has a phenomenal editor, and if you skip this step, you will certainly fail. Professionals don’t rely on their college student or their friend who majored in English to edit their book. They engage a professional book editor who knows how to sustain and shape a message over a couple hundred pages.

Step Three: Proofread
Don’t think that you or your editor can proofread your own material. You can’t. Your brain is amazing, and it will fill in missing words that you accidentally deleted. You’ll never even notice if you’ve made a mistake – that is, until you see it in print!

Step Four: Design
There are two parts to your book design: the cover and the interior. Hire a professional for both. This is non-negotiable. You must do it.

Step Five: Produce
You’ll have to decide what forms your book will take, and with the advent of print-on-demand services, you can produce physical books without making a costly up-front investment. The books are printed as they are sold, and if you want to change the content, you simply upload a new digital file. eBooks, of course, are an especially hot market for Indie authors, and you need a conversion partner like BookBaby who will do your book justice.

Step Six: Distribute
Your book must be available for readers to buy, and you’ll want them to be available through every possible channel.

Step Seven: Market
Marketing your book feel overwhelming, but the easiest first step is to join Bookarma, where authors help other authors market their books globally for only $15 per month. Click here to see how it works

CHOOSE WISELY

Some service providers take advantage of authors. They over-promise and under-deliver, and have been known to produce substandard results. You don’t need that.

What goes on inside that Bookflow makes all the difference. When those of us who serve authors as reputable providers give and help and share and serve you, it changes the game. We know the Bookflow from beginning to end and perform our part without cutting corners to get ahead, without rushing through and making mistakes, without over-promising, without over-charging, without missing deadlines. We are free to do our best, to offer best pricing, and to work together to establish a total project budget that a serious author can afford. That’s the abundance attitude. That’s good karma!


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