Sunday, March 31, 2019

Endorsements Sell Books

As a long-time reader, I have purchased a number of books because of an endorsement on the front or back cove or just inside the book. These brief words from someone with name recognition help you sell books. Sometimes these endorsements are called blurbs.

From my years in publishing, the process of getting these endorsements is often a bit mysterious to writers.
Without the author taking action during the production process, endorsements don’t happen. Many books are published without endorsements but if your book doesn’t have endorsements, you are missing this sales tool.

You have to ask people to endorse your book. One of the keys in this process is to understand these high profile people are busy and do not assume they will read your book before they send their endorsement.

What To Ask and What To Send

--Write a clear short subject line in email: like Easy Blurb Request. These people get a lot of emails and you want to make it clear from the beginning how your request is different and easy for them to handle.

--Attach the cover and the edited manuscript (probably not in layout at this point). Don’t assume they will read the manuscript but you want them to be able to read it and see the  designed cover.

--Write a brief email with only a few sentences. Give them a deadline and offer to write a “draft endorsement” if they don’t have the time to write one themselves. As I’ve done this process, I’m always surprised at who will ask for a draft endorsement. You have no idea of their schedule and  whether they are home or traveling or in some intense deadline. You want to make it easy so they agree to do it.

--Ask how they want to be identified. Some of the possible options are bestselling author, editor at ___ or president of ____ or any other way. You will get a variety of answers but want to identify your endorsers as they want to be named. Many of us have different roles in different places.

--Use their website contact form or social media to reach them. Some of these high profile people are hard to reach but you want to ask more people than you will actually need. When I did this process recently, some long-time friends did not respond. Others sent emails and said no for various reasons. 

If you can, you want to gather several pages of these endorsements. Some will be broken into phrases and used on the inside but also on the front or back cover.

For a couple of examples of endorsements, I encourage you to look at the sample of my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link). Notice the variety and different types of endorsements in these pages. You can do the same with your book. Also look in detail at the story of Jacqueline Marcell who self-published her book about elder care and had many high profile endorsements. She details her process and some of her resources in this article (follow this link).

After the book is in Print

When you have books in hand (often before the official release date), send a signed print copy to the endorser with your note of appreciation. This person helped you and your gratitude is an important step in the process.

It does take effort to get these endorsements but they pay off in increased book sales. Also online sites will often put the endorsements in the editorial dection of the book—i.e. before any customer reviews for the book—which is another opportunity for you as the author to influence and encourage the book sale.

Some writers wonder about the integrity of this process. The endorser didn’t read the book cover to  cover before adding their name to this process. Even though I understand how this process works, I still buy books because of a particular endorsement on a book.

My encouragement is for you to put the effort into this process during the book production and it will pay off for you.

How do you gather endorsements for  your book? Have I missed anything? If so, let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Does Your Book Include Acknowledgements?

The acknowledgement section is where book authors express gratitude.

As a long-time reader and lover of books plus my involvement in various aspects of the publishing industry, I notice fiction and nonfiction books include an acknowledgement section. This category appears in the Table of contents (mostly for nonfiction books).

These pages are where the author tells about the contributions of others to the book. They can be beta readers, editors, agents, others in the publishing house, along with friends and relatives. I have always read these sections and learn a great deal from them. For example, who is the literary agent for a bestselling author? The author could have included this information in the acknowledgement section.

For many years, these acknowledgement pages appeared in the early pages of a book. I suspect many readers skipped right over them and headed to the first pages of the book. In recent years, these acknowledgement sections have been tucked into the final pages of books (nonfiction and fiction). I still read them and often learn some extra information about the author in the process.

I've found many writers are looking for a literary agent. If you are in this category, you can use my free list of agents (follow this link) for their mailing address, website, email address, etc. I encourage authors to use this information not to SPAM them but for research. You are looking for the right agent who handles your type of book when you make your submission.

One of the ways to personalize your submission is to pick up some information about the agent from an acknowledgement page. Not every agent lists their clients on their website and even if they do, this list may not include all of the people they represent.  Who is a similar author to the book you are pitching?  One strategy with your submissions is to pitch your book to agents who represent this type of work. You know they are interested in this type of book. One of the ways you can discover the bestselling author's agent is in the acknowledgement section.

I believe the acknowledgement section of books is an important place. As authors, it is where we can express public gratitude to others who have helped us in the process of book creation and getting the book into the market.

Do you include an acknowledgement section in your book? How do you decide who to include in this section? Do you put it in the front or the back of your book? Let me know in the comments below.


What can you learn from an acknowledgement section in a book? Why is it important? Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Try My Secret Twitter Tool for FREE

What goals and dreams do you have for the months ahead? Reach more readers? Sell more books? Get them to your online course? Speak to more people? These goals or others are terrific but you must have the connection to people.

Since 2008, I’ve been on Twitter along with millions of other people. If you follow me, you will see that I tweet often throughout the day—which is one element of my success. To use Twitter effectively, you can't tweet once a day or once a week (like I see many writers doing). Consistently providing great content to your target audience is an important part of this process.

A second key is in this process of growing your presence on Twitter is using a secret tool every day. I've been using this tool consistently for years. The tool is called Refollow. In a few minutes, you can follow 800 new people in your target market. A certain percentage of these people will follow you back and your numbers will climb. My daily use of this tool is one of the key reasons I have over 200,000 followers on Twitter. You can follow the link in the previous sentence to see the number of my followers.

Please note my 200K followers are not bought or fake. These are real people who engage with me and my content. It’s what I want for you as well—to grow a large responsive audience.
Refollow is not complicated or expensive. I’ve arranged for you to get a FREE trial. Just use this link.

I use this $20 per month tool to follow 800 specific people every day in my target market, It is not random but I’m following people who are interested in my content or tweets. Your target will be different from mine but you can use the same tool to grow your Twitter following—and in only minutes a  day.

What if I follow them but they don’t follow me back?
Refollow also covers this aspect with another feature. The program will locate people who you have been following but have never followed you back. In my case, some of them I’ve been following for years and they haven’t followed me back. In minutes, I can unfollow up to 1,000 people a day. All of these details are within the rules of Twitter and accomplished through Refollow.

Discover the details and get your FREE trial at this link.

I want you to succeed and achieve your dreams. Refollow can be a key part of your success--provided you take action and use it consistently.

In the comments below, let me know how you are growing your following on Twitter. Maybe you have a different tool you are using and I'd love to learn about it. 


Use this “Secret” Tool to Increase Your Following on Twitter. Get a FREE Trial. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Use the Writer's Pivot When Stalled

It happens to me every day: I try something that doesn't work.

--program stalled. For example, I've mentioned using Refollow every day. It's a great tool but sometimes the program doesn't work or gets stalled. I have to return to it later in the day and see if it will work (and often it does so it is worth coming back to it again after several hours).

--phone call unreturned. As an acquisitions editor, I have convinced my colleagues to issue a contract for a book at Morgan James Publishing. I've not heard from some authors about their decision. Some authors take time and explore other options before they sign with Morgan James.

--emails unanswered.  I send email which does not get a response from another publishing colleague or an author. Some emails get stuck in a SPAM folder. Other times the person is busy and doesn't answer or many other reasons.

--pitches ignored. Some of my pitches to editors and others are not answered. Maybe it is a pitch to speak at an event or teach a workshop or write an article.

--lots of other similar things. With these various examples, I hope you get the idea what I'm talking about here. It happens to everyone. 

When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Do you have a game plan to keep going? I call this shift of action using the “writer pivot.” It's an intentional shift of direction into a new area where you can have success and get something accomplished.

Maybe you are promoting a product, and that effort is not working. My encouragement is for you to shift into something that will work.
There are several important action steps in this process.

1. Take your own responsibility. Many details are outside of my control. I can't control how others will react or respond. What I can control is my own response. I encourage you to understand this aspect and take your own responsibility. Basically you control what you can, then let the rest go and shift into something else.

2. No matter what happens in the process, keep moving forward. This often is an act of the will and requires persistence and  perseverance—excellent qualities for everyone in this business.

3. When one type of writing is not working, I encourage you to try a different type of writing. maybe you need to create an information product or a membership course. If you are a book writer, then maybe write some magazine articles. There are many different options in the writing world. I explore some of these options in my free first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link to download).

Don't go into stall but use the writer's pivot.

How do you react when something isn't working? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, March 03, 2019

Take Action After a Conference

Last weekend I attended a one day, local writers conference. It was a sold-out event and many writers attended this event throughout Colorado and came from 12 other states. 

During this event, I met a number of people and had a number of opportunities—-which I know will disappear without my follow-up actions. In this article, I want to give y0u some ideas about what I learned and will be doing from this one day event. Whatever your experience level in publishing, you can seize many opportunities—but only if you are prepared ahead fo the event.

Whenever you attend a conference, it's important to bring plenty of business cards and exchange them with everyone you meet. Make sure you don't just give them a card—but you ask (and receive) a card from them. This stack of business cards will be an important part of your follow-up process. 

After I meet someone, I will often make a little note on the business card of some follow-up action that I need to later. These events are intense contact with person after person and you can miss a critical idea if you don't write down something to remind you later. The day included many interactions with a variety of writers and I'm capturing a few of them in this article.

Here's some of the people I met at this one day local event:

1. I spoke with several brand new writers. One in particular was trying to figure out where to begin the writing process. As you know from reading these articles, I encouraged her to write magazine articles. She did not have a business card to easily give me her contact information (something common with new writers). I took down her information and promised to send her some information.

2. I found a possible local media contact. In the back of a workshop before it began, I exchanged business cards with someone—and read they were a local radio talk show host. I'll be following up to see if I can get booked on this program later this year.

3. I found some possible new authors for Morgan James. Throughout the day, I met several new writers and listened to their pitches and took their proposals. I will be following up with them to see if they are a good fit for Morgan James Publishing.

4. I saw a long-time literary agent friend. When I attended her workshop, she told about publishing her first book in April. We spoke privately afterwards and I told her about Goodreads. She mentioned that she had not done much with Goodreads and I offered to send a handout on Goodreads. I have this handout online and knew where it was so shortly after our conversation I sent the material in an email on the spot (so I did not have to remember to do it later). She got it while at the conference and thanked me for it. It's another way to handle these types of matters—often the sooner the better.

5. Learn from the different giveaways at the event. One of the keynote speakers gave away a free download. I wrote down the website, downloaded it and have printed it to read it carefully. Another exhibitor gave away a flash drive which has “writing resources.”  I gave them my name and email address to get the flashdrive (which is a wise marketing strategy to capture email addresses). I will be checking out this flash drive and learning from it. This type of learning is one of the actions I consistently take after a conference. Some people will sign up for the flashdrive (give their email like I did) then take it home and never put it into their computer to use the resources. I recommend when you go to these events, you learn from every possible source.

Are you scheduled to attend a conference in the next few months? Follow this link to get some of my recommendations for conferences. Also you can follow this link to see where I will be speaking and attend.

From my experience, many people attend these events, take notes in the workshops and never do anything with it to move their own writing life forward. I've listed a few of my actions from this event. It is a critical part of the process. If you don't take action then things slip through the cracks and never happen.

What actions do you take after a conference? Let me know in the comments below.


What actions do you take after a one-day conference? A prolific editor and author gives you some ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

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