A guide for writers with or without published work. A comprehensive resource that every writer should have in their library in order to learn how to publish, promote, and market themselves on the Internet.
Is your book project ready for the next E-Revolution?
I've been asked a lot about successful email campaigns, and this week we're focused on running them effectively. A solid email campaign can really benefit your book and your platform. This week, we'll look at the benefits as well as how you can start one of your own! And we have a great webinar coming up taught by the awesome literary agent and producer, Ken Atchity. He's going to teach us how to find a publisher. I hope you can tune in!
It's another great week and we hope you enjoy this jam-packed issue!
Wishing you publishing success,
Penny, Paula, Susan, Sherrie, Yoonmi and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Get $100 off Social Bookmarking!
We're offering $100 off AME's Social Bookmarking service when you add it to any Virtual Author Tour! Regular rate $595.
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Feature Article: Seven Secrets of Creating Effective Email Campaigns
These days it seems you can't open your inbox without seeing a dozen (or more) email pitches for something. Some are newsletters and others are special offers. But how many do you really open? And, an even better question is, do they still work? The answer is yes, they do, but there's a catch: they have to be good. Really, really good. Years ago when email newsletters and announcements came out, everyone was pushing pretty much everything they could, from announcing their next book signings to blasting Amazon to hitting bestseller status. I even got one from someone I don't know with links to their Aunt Ethel's 86th birthday party. Well, bless little Aunt Ethel, but honestly, why would I care? That's the point: relevancy above all.
Why would you consider an email newsletter? Here's one reason: it's difficult to stay top of mind with your consumer. With so much coming at us it's easy to forget. Last week I had this very thing happen to me. I was looking for an editor with a specific specialty. I had worked with her a year ago and had lost her card, she didn't do any type of marketing such as a newsletter (she may have done a print mailing but I never saw it), so instead of sending her the business, I was forced to find someone else. See? The simple effort of staying in touch doesn't just garner you the attention of your consumer/reader, but it can also get you business, book sales and speaking gigs.
What does it take to create an outstanding newsletter everyone will want to read? Here are a few simple steps to consider:
1) Know your audience: Know who you're writing for and who will be reading this. Make sure the information is relevant to them.
2) Go low on promotion: When it comes to promotional copy in a newsletter, I recommend the 95/5% rule: 95% helpful information and 5% sales copy. Trust me on this. I can't tell you how many newsletters I delete that are overly self-promotional. If the newsletter/email campaign is good, it will sell you. Trust me on this one.
3) Content, content, content: Make sure the content is good and you've addressed the WIIFM factor (What's In It For Me?). If you don't ask this, your reader most certainly will. Over-deliver on your content, you'll be glad you did.
4) Collaborate: If you don't think you have the bandwidth to write an entire newsletter yourself then collaborate with a few people who are in your industry but not direct competitors. Our newsletter does this, it's a mix of voices and, consequently, it is varied and rich in content.
5) Frequency: The general rule of thumb is that the more often you send out your newsletter, the shorter it should be. If your newsletter goes out weekly, think of offering just a quick tip. If it goes out monthly, then it can be longer. The same holds true for general email campaigns.
6) Give your newsletter a "voice." What I mean is give your newsletter a personality. You don't want a stale, monotone, unfriendly marketing piece that doesn't speak to your reader, do you? Show your personality, let it shine through. I like to think that our newsletter has a lot of our voice in it. In order to create "voice" you might want to follow some of the same rules that you do when blogging: don't hesitate to share an opinion, viewpoint, stance, advice, etc. Speak to your reader, not at them.
7) Don't just sit there and read, do something! Make sure that you have a strong call to action in your newsletter; if you have several calls to action even better. Get your reader to do something, engage them in what you're writing, send them to helpful links, offer them bonuses, specials, exclusives. Remember, if they took the time to open and read your newsletter they should get something besides great content. Great links to helpful sites, maybe even a free download, all these things are enticing and will keep your reader coming back for more!
8) Don't sell 'em fluff. Ok, I know I said seven tips, but I couldn't help adding a bonus (see what you get for reading all the way through this article? That's what I mean by over-delivering). Readers want the information, and they want it fast. Don't use a lot of extra (and sometimes useless) content just to puff up your newsletter to make it seem bigger than it is. Give readers the information they want in clear, concise language and then send them on their way.
When it comes to the timing of your newsletter that depends on you and your audience. Our newsletter goes out once every two weeks. We find that to be a good balance: not too much, not too little. But each audience is different, so experiment with yours and see what gets readers to open your email.
Finally, get your newsletter edited. This is a big one. Don't put some disclaimer in it saying "it's not edited" because all that says is: you're not professional. I've seen this done, and to me, it deters from the message. Also, don't hand email your list unless it's small (less than 100 people) Why? Because your cable or DSL provider might decide that you're spamming people and will cut you off. People who do this will tell you that if you keep it to less than 50 email addresses per message you're fine, but I've found that even 20 names in an address line can set some service providers on alert. Trust me, it's not worth the hassle.
Effective email campaigns can really help promote your book and your brand. When done right, they can become a critical and very effective piece of your marketing plan. We've had our newsletter for over seven years, and in that time we've never placed a single ad for the company or my books, not anywhere. Why? Because I have never believed in ads. Frankly (and with all due respect to advertisement budgets everywhere), ad placement doesn't always bear the kind of return you want, especially in today's market where consumers are blocking out advertisements. What we're talking about here takes time and effort, but if done right, the pay-offs can be enormous.
Need Book Marketing Content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Learn 'How to Succeed Online and Sell More Books' and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.
You might be surprised how big your author's platform might be already. There are many different types of platforms, but they all basically mean that you have a built-in audience or fan base of people who are poised and ready to buy your book as soon as it comes out.
As Marcela Landres says in her book, How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You, "It's not who you know, but who knows you." That idea is at the core of having a strong platform.
It's important to think about this from the publisher's point of view in order to see just how crucial your platform is in landing you a book deal. Publishers are in the business of selling books; thousands of dollars are poured into printing costs and overhead, so they want to be sure that this book will pay off. After all, their jobs are on the line.
If you are a blogger that has at least 10,000 readers who make a point to read your work daily, or someone who regularly goes on the speaking circuit, talking to thousands of people at a time, it's likely that you have a strong enough platform for an agent and publisher to back up. Other examples of platforms include: if you had a previously self-published book that sold at least 5,000 to 10,000 copies, or if you were once the president of a large company, association or non-profit, and continue to have the support of others in your group.
There are tons of ways that you can create a platform for yourself, but no matter which approach you take, you have to make sure that there is enough publicity and buzz surrounding you to guarantee the success of your work.
Tip by Jeff Rivera, who is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. With over 100 clients to date, he has a 100% track record of getting at least 10 literary agents to request to read his client's manuscripts and proposals.
March 22 Webinar: Finding A Publisher
A story merchant's advice on getting published!
The good news is that the world is desperate for great stories. The bad news is that the Internet has made so many stories available the story marketplace has become a jungle - seemingly impenetrable to the new author.
This interview will:
· Describe the current story marketplace.
· Show you where you "fit in."
· Help you decide between "traditional" publishing and "self" publishing.
· Help you decide if you need an editor before you approach publishing.
· Show you what the economics behind publishing are all about.
· Tell you how much a traditional publisher makes for each book sold.
· Define what the word "platform" means and why you're hearing it from all directions.
· Help you understand the importance of marketing.
· Suggest ways of building a following for yourself using the Internet.
· Tell you how the Story Merchant can help you strategize your career and create tactics to make it happen.
· Answer your questions!
Tuesday, March 22, at 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST. Here's how to join the webinar.
2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.
Dial +1 (646) 558-2100 Access Code: 368-255-382 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 368-255-382
Literary manager/producer Dr. Ken Atchity has sold nearly hundreds of books and dozens of bestsellers, including publishing 15 of his own. You may know him already as the author of A Writer's Time, Writing Treatments That Sell, and How to Publish Your Novel. He's also sold nearly 100 movies, both television and theatrical, and has produced 30 films, including "The Kennedy Detail" (Discovery), "Gospel Hill" (Fox), "Joe Somebody" (Fox), "The Madams Family" (CBS), and the forthcoming "Lost Valentine" (with Betty White) and "Hysteria" (with Maggie Gyllenhaal). Visit his website at http://www.storymerchant.com and sign up for his free informational and inspirational newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - have to offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box, Friday, March 18, 10:30 a.m. Pacific
Entrepreneur, bestselling author and Squidoo founder Seth Godin discusses his new book, Poke the Box, and his new publishing venture, The Domino Project. Poke the Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project. A new kind of publishing, The Domino Project is Seth's brainchild, and powered by Amazon to spread ideas quickly, at low cost, and in a variety of formats.
Secrets to Landing an Agent, Tuesday, March 22, 4 p.m. Pacific
How do authors manage to get an agent? Special guest Jeff Rivera will offer tips to finding your writing voice, developing a platform, writing winning query letters, choosing between agents and much more! Whether you are still writing your book, have been self published, or have unsuccessfully queried agents in the past, this show will offer invaluable insights on what it takes to get an agent. Jeff Rivera is the founder of www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. With over 100 clients to date, he has a 100% track record of getting at least 10 literary agents to request to read his client's manuscripts and proposals.
* Smart Self Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter
* Smart Self Publishing: Making Money with Ebooks
* Smart Self Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher
* Branding: The Secret to Selling More Books
* Top Publishing Trends for 2011
* Secrets to Getting Your Book Into Libraries
* Getting Your Book into Bookstores with Elaine Wilkes
* This Book Will Make You Money with special guest Jim Kukral
* Blogging Ideas the Whole Year Through
* How to Make Money on Twitter
* A Self Publishing Success Story
* From Blog to Book
* What Van Halen Can Teach You About Book Marketing
* The Digital Book Revolution
* Powerhouse Promotion with Marci Shimoff
* It's Getting Hot in Here - erotica equals hot books and even hotter sales!
* How to Maximize Book Reviews
* E-books: the Savior of Publishing or the Foe? with Joe Konrath
* Special Guest Mari Smith, queen of Facebook
* Special Guest Seth Godin
* All Things Twitter! with Warren Whitlock
The Write Companion Opens for Business
The Write Companion was created by authors who truly believe that the writer is the precious gem in the publishing business. Each and every writer should have the option to let their creativity and imagination shine and end up with a manuscript that will grace both bookshelves and bestseller lists. From TWC you'll receive quality proofreading, editing, research, as well as ghostwriting services so that your ideas have a chance to be seen and enjoyed by book lovers across the globe.
Each month TWC will offer discounts on certain genres. For example, the month of March is dedicated to the inspirational story. Your angels, love, compassion, and beauty will be rewarded by The Write Companion where you will receive 25% off on all services that you need in order to make your story even more inspirational. Leave a message on our contact form about your project at http://www.thewritecompanion.com.
Submissions Needed for National Indie Excellence Awards
The 5th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards® announces a call for submissions. NIEA recognizes excellence in independent- and self-published books, a category that accounts for a rapidly growing segment of a publishing industry going through almost constant transformation.
Books published from 2008 to the present by self-published authors, small press, and independent publishers can be submitted for consideration in the categories of their choice.
Winners and Finalists will be announced nationally in mid May 2011.
All winners and finalists receive extensive media coverage and top award recipients are eligible to win prizes valued in excess of $12,000. These include sessions with outstanding media and PR consultants, marketing experts, and others in a position to assist authors and publishers in creating greater success with their books.
For information about the contest, including how to submit books, please visit www.indieexcellence.com. The deadline for entries is April 10, 2011.
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to email@example.com with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
WHO ARE WE
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
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