Category Archives: Marketing

An Author Website Checklist

For some publishing projects, it’s unclear who is responsible for what when it comes to marketing.

Should the author or the publisher tweet and publish Facebook posts? Who answers reader emails? And, perhaps most importantly, who runs the author website?

Because many authors are published by several publishers — and many self-publish their own work — an author’s Web presence can be scattered and have many owners, writes publishing expert and Digital Book World 2015 conference chairman Mike Shatzkin.

Unfortunately, who creates, manages and owns an author’s website isn’t an issue that will be resolved for every author any time soon. However, there are certain things that each author should have on her website. Shatzkin offers this checklist:

– List of all the author’s books, listed chronologically and by series

– Landing page for each book, including the cover, a description, reviews, excerpts, links to retail sites and other important metadata that would help readers discover the title and decide to buy

– Contact page so readers can easily send an email and get a response

– Email capture

– Social media buttons, so readers can easily sign up to follow the author on Twitter, etc.

– Calendar with upcoming publication dates and scheduled public appearances

– Page with links to articles and reviews by the author, as well as references to the author on blogs and in the press

In addition to these things on an author website, Shatzkin recommends that authors all should have:

– Up-to-date Amazon author page

– Google Plus page (which is crucial for effective search engine optimization strategy)

– Twitter and Facebook (optional)

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There Is One New Book On Amazon Every Five Minutes

In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.

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Journalists don’t read Press Releases!

They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release – if the start of the article doesn’t garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading?  Deal with actual facts––events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points:  Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

The content of the press release, beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.

The headline  should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size than the body copy.
First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.

The first paragraph (not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.

The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.

The press release body: copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted words.

The last paragraph can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.

Follow up quickly. Don’t send out your news release and forget about it. Call within a day or two to make sure the announcement was received. However, don’t call an editor or reporter when they are on a deadline. When calling, verify that they have time to talk. Be available when a reporter calls and have an “elevator pitch” ready: why your release is important to their readers and viewers.

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Risk-Free Publishing; Or, When Everyone Can Bankroll Books

Is it possible to publish books without financial risk?

In the case of the traditional publishing model, publishers often pay authors money in the form of an “advance on royalties.” They also invest in the creation of the book in the form of paying editors, book packagers and often others to bring it to market. If a book fails to sell, that publisher just loses that money.

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Rentin’, readin’, and returnin’: Portland’s iFlipd creates a platform for renting ebooks — and getting value out of recycling them

Leave it to Portland. I mean, when one of your landmarks is an entire city block crammed full of new and used books, you may have a thing or two to say about how we read—and share in the experience of the written word. And while ebooks may have changed that dynamic a bit, one Portland startup is working to rethink how we can be using that format more effectively.

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Traditional publishing is ‘no longer fair or sustainable’, says Society of Authors

Chief executive of 9,000-member UK group argues that while ‘authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing’

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Is Selling Direct Worth It?

The relaunch of the HarperCollins website, redesigned with an emphasis on direct sales to consumers, has revived a longtime debate in the book industry. In the new world of pervasive digital communication, social media, and easy direct access to consumers—not to mention the disruptive presence of Amazon—how aggressively should publishers use their websites to sell to consumers?

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