Sunday, January 25, 2009

Use Every Possible Marketing Tool

When it comes to selling books, I written about many different marketing tools in these entries on The Writing Life. If you read various books on marketing, you will quickly learn there is not one method for selling your book but many different paths to sell books.

One of the tools that I've been watching and learning about is video book trailers. I was unsure how to find the right person to create one for my new book, Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. Then I met Misty Taggart at Trailer to the Stars! Productions. She did a fantastic job of listening to my needs then creating this less than two-minute book trailer:

I'm thrilled to have one more tool in my arsenal to tell people about the availability of my book.

Every author needs to actively work at gathering the right resources. Some people will watch the book trailer that will never bother to act from a physical postcard. While it is reverse for other people, they will respond to the postcard in the mail and never go to their computer and watch the video trailer. In my view, you want to be in both areas to interest people in your book.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Use What's In Front of You

It is easy to pick up on the negative news and the dismal information blitz about the state of the national economy. Here's my big insight for you: don't let it. Guard your heart and mind or it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead each day focus on the positives and make a conscious effort to see the opportunities around you. They are present if you look for them.

While you don't need any validation for these sentences, take a quick look at the cover of last week's New Yorker magazine:

Where are the opportunities around you? If you have been writing for children and that isn't providing enough income or publishing opportunities, can you move to a different age group or different type of writing (from books to magazines or online markets)? There is a vast array of possibilities in the publishing area--if you are open to them. I give some of those possibilities in the sample from Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams because it includes the first chapter of my book.

Whether you have your own products or no products, you can open the possibility of earning passive income through affiliate programs. I have a free program which includes training about how to use the tools. If you have a blog or a website, with very little effort on your part, you can add my product ads to the side bar of your blog and forget about it. When someone uses that ad to purchase the product, you will receive a notification and I receive notification, then in a few weeks you will receive a check. Why do I give away 50% of my income from these products? It's simple. Different people will go by your websites or blogs than will go to my different websites. I'm expanding my reach and you are earning some extra income. If you have a newsletter or are involved in an online group, you can add your affiliate link to your signature line. If someone purchases the product, you earn money from that simple action.

In the last few days, I've worked with a designer to create two different banner ads. One of them is for a horizontal position:

Ignite Your Dreams Now!

While the other ad is smaller and vertical:

Take The Leap

Each of these ads are "clickable" and take you to my site for Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. It's a way that I'm using the tools which are in my possession and I can actively do something about.

Many elements of the publishing world are outside of our control. Take responsibility for what you can and move ahead with it. Action will pay off much more than doing nothing.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Lighten Up Your Content with Cartoons

When I have been writing a book, the information becomes dense and the storytelling could become a little thin. How do you lighten up the content for your reader? While you will have to make sure it is the right situation, in many cases you can use cartoons inside the book to meet this need.

Where do you find cartoons? When I attended Mega Book Marketing University several years ago, Mark Victor Hansen used a number of cartoons in his presentation and recommended that writers use the New Yorker Cartoon Bank. This resource has remarkable cartoons but I would encourage you to look into the cost of these cartoons in a book. The last time I checked it was around $300 each--which was beyond my budget for Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams.

If you are in this situation, where do you turn? I used a well-worn resource: Google and a bit of patience and persistence. I discovered this May 1, 2002 newsletter from Dan Poynter. It listed four additional sources:

"C. CARTOON SOURCES. Freelance bureaus such as APCA (http://www.apcatoon.com) Cartoon Resource (http://www.cartoonresource.com) Creative Moonlighter (http://www.creativemoonlighter.com) Elance (http://www.elance.com)."

As I evaluated these various resources, one of them stood out for my situation and budget: Cartoon Resource. This place has thousands of cartoons from different artists and the cost was $10 each cartoon or affordable. My Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams book has 20 chapters so I used a cartoon related to the contents in every other chapter or 10 different cartoons. If you would like to see one of my cartoons, then follow this link to the book page number 22 (page 20 in the PDF) or click the book image below:

As you check this sample, make sure you notice two new additions to page 5 and page 22. I've added clickable buttons to take you right to the page to get your own copy of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. This book will give your own writing life the boost it needs for this coming year.

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