Instead Of Worrying About Book PR, Strategize and Take Action
The other day I was fretting over preparing records and documents for my accountant so he could file my taxes for last year. It’s an exercise I go through annually, often spending weeks stressing over something that I can get done in a matter of days. This is what many of us do – not just with our taxes or life challenges, but with our book publicity.
The idea of promoting one’s book wears each of us down. We put more energy into worrying than in doing something about it. Fear is exhausting – and useless. It just causes us to delay and put off what we really need to attack. My advice to authors is this: Stop thinking about having to promote your book and instead apply that time and energy into actually executing a solid book publicity campaign.
#CreativeMich (@CreativeMich) Vol. 3 N. 123 (03/20/2018) Netflix has a boom in Michigan connections; Oscar winner comes home for Ann Arbor Film Festival
We’ve all been there: a book we were excited about, one that we worked on earnestly.
But when it hit the market, all that came back was a big yawn.
No author wants to be in that situation, most of all a self-published author. We gamble our own time, money, and commitment to our books, and we really need a positive response sometimes just to keep going.
But there it is: your baby isn’t selling.
What went wrong? Is it something you can fix, or is it embedded in the DNA of your book, a flaw so grave it can never recover?
Take a look at this list and see if you’ve been guilty of any of these oversights.
And don’t feel too bad, we all make mistakes, miss important road signs, get confused on the journey to publication.
Question: I am pondering publishing a book through Ingram Spark and would like the book in bookstores. When should you use ISBN numbers to self-publish?
Answer: Every book you publish, whether self-published or done with a major publisher, should have a separate ISBN number. In fact, each version of the book you publisher should have a separate ISBN number: hardcover, paperback, audio, ebook.
Co-host events in bookstores and creative venues
Vying for time in bookstores and other venues is becoming more and more competitive. So authors, especially children’s authors, should keep your expectations in check by thinking of this as a long-term strategy to sell more books.
When it comes to events, introduce yourself to local indie bookstores, retail boutiques, gift shops, craft shops, and even coffee shops and breweries!
Coffee and beer? Yes! Coffee shops are popular with stay at home and work from home moms. They meet friends with other kids there. It’s a great place for an event because for children’s authors especially, your buyers are already hanging out. So you can use it as a great way to sell more books! And if you live in a beer-centric area, I probably don’t have to tell you that breweries are often very family (and dog!) friendly. And parents are always looking for ways to keep the kids entertained while enjoying a brew!
Not learning to read is life threatening via @detroitnews #michlit #motownwriters #detroit #literacy
http://detne.ws/2FmOAUv via @detroitnews
The tragic truth is we are failing many of our children in America and if they do not receive some badly needed intensive care they may never recover.
One of the great strengths of our country historically was our ability to teach most of our children well if they reached our public schools.
Telling someone you’re a writer (poet, author, journalist, whatever) often gets, um, an interesting response or unwanted feedback. Many thanks to my fellow writers (and Barbara Bos of Women’s Writers, Women’s Books) for sharing these gems:
One of the most common questions that authors are asked is “Where do you get your ideas from?”
In this video and article, I’ll explain how to find and capture ideas for your novel.
Once you get the hang of capturing ideas and writing them down, it seems like they just happen by magic.
But I remember back when I was a cubicle slave and used to write technical specifications all day. I didn’t feel creative at all and I certainly didn’t have any ideas.
I had to retrain my brain in order to start writing fiction.
Trying to solve a problem in your manuscript and you just can’t figure it out? Just say you don’t care and move on to something else.
Yes, really. Stay with me on this one. Let’s say you’ve been working on a problem in your manuscript for hours, days, months, or a lifetime in dog years. You’re trying to write a new piece of it, or you’re trying to solve an old problem in a new way, or you’re working on any scene that requires some creativity on your part. But you’re tired. It’s draft 37 and you’re burned out. You don’t really care how the love interest dies anymore; you just know he needs to be dead in a way that gets to the next plot point and isn’t inconsistent with three other conditions already set up in the rest of the story. Frankly, if you could make him appear to you in the flesh for a moment, you’d hone one of your chewed-up pencils to a super-sharp point and just do the deed yourself. That would feel so good right now.
But that’s not how this works. Now, you’re seasoned enough to know that you can’t wait for your muse to show up before you start to write, so you sit down in your chair, lift your fingers to the keyboard, but…nothing. You can’t figure out the problem. You eat chocolate, and…nothing. You drink copious amounts of coffee. Nothing (except an urgent need to pee). You stare out the window, walk the dog, clean the house… All the usual prescriptions for jogging a writer’s brain add up to you being no closer to accessing the necessary creativity than you were at the beginning of this effort.
So give up. Turn your attention to writing something else.
Let’s say you were house hunting.
You’ve got two small kids, two incomes, a decent budget. You’d like something with four bedrooms so you can have room for a home office and/or craft room, a garage for tools and the car, maybe a yard for a dog.
“I’ve got the perfect place for you,” says your plastic-smiling realtor. And she takes you to a decent but otherwise nondescript home. “You have to see this.”
You look around. “Um… the yard’s sort of small,” you point out.
“Yes, yes,” she says, ushering you through the living room.
“Does it have four bedrooms?”
“Sure,” she says, getting a little impatient. “And a garage. Sort of.”
“How’s the school dis…”
“Ta-dah!” She’s standing in the bathroom, and she moves her hands with a flourish… pointing to the toilet.
You blink. “That’s a toilet.”
“It’s a PLATINUM toilet.” She looks proud enough to bust. “And the SINK is platinum, too!”
You’re staring at her like she may be high at this point. “Um… okay. But how’s the school district?”
She is now obviously frustrated. “The kitchen sink is platinum too, you know. So are some of the doorknobs.”
You are really uncomfortable. Apparently platinum is a thing around here. “It’s lovely,” you say, hoping to mollify her. “Can we, er, look at the bedrooms?”
She grudgingly gives you the full walk-through. The house is serviceable, no question, but you wish that the owner had spent the money they’d blown on platinum-plating the plumbing on fencing the yard, or built an actual garage instead of the currently open carport. So this house will definitely be a no.
What does all of this have to do with your writing, you might ask?
New Detroit Resident, Award Winning Actor, @HillHarper & ARCHROK ENTMT Will Produce Hollywood’s First Black Egypt Film
For Immediate Release
Hill Harper has signed on with Archrok Entertainment to Co-Executive Produce the Egyptian film trilogy “Protector of the Gods.” This historical project will be directed by the stories’ creator, Kameko Tarnez. The story is set in a magical world created by Academy Award-winning VFX Director Pete Polyakov (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Interstellar,” and “Batman v Superman”) and Academy Award-winning Production Designer David Bryan (“The Hurt Locker,” “47 Meters Down,” “The Other Side of the Door”). Vol. 1 of the trilogy follows the journey of female Pharaoh Hatshepsut, played by British actress Shingai Shoniwa (lead singer of the multi-platinum selling group Noisettes). This will be followed by Vol. 2 (Nefertiti) and Vol. 3 (Cleopatra). Filming will begin in August 2018.
“Protector of the Gods” is an epic and magical story that we have yet to see envisioned nor attempted by a Hollywood studio. I am honored and excited to be co-executive producer of this amazing film and help bring it to audiences across the globe. Kameko’s storytelling takes you through the larger than life history of ancient Egypt from a distinctly African perspective. I think it is essential that moviegoers understand and watch historically accurate depictions of African history, from more than simply a slave narrative. Now more than ever, audiences are hungry for stories such as these told without bias. I am excited to be a part of bringing it to millions around the world!” – Hill Harper
Site: www.archrokent.com | www.protectorofthegods.com
Maintaining a blog isn’t easy, even if you have decades of experience that you can share. There are only so many topics that your audience cares about, and only so many ways to talk about those topics.
Let’s be honest – how many different ways can you say the same thing? Even I struggle to find new topics and new ways to elaborate on them, and I get paid to write creatively!
So how do you – as a small business owner, entrepreneur, or volunteer for a non-profit – find ways to share new, fresh blog posts?
One great way to boost book sales – especially if you write nonfiction and sell your titles through your own website, is to offer bonus content. That is, when a person buys your book, they get an additional book or item for free.
A bonus encourages others – especially fence sitters – to buy your book or product. That’s because it increases the value of their purchase. A bonus also can give you an advantage over competitors, particularly those who don’t offer one.
Many of us write from a burning need to share our story – and for some, that stems from a place of faith.
I interviewed Jerry Jenkins about the Left Behind series last year, and today, he returns to share his tips on how you can write inspirational fiction too.
The more massively important your message — one you feel called to communicate with the world — the more intimidating it becomes to write a story worthy of it, doesn’t it?
Not only do you have to grab your reader’s attention and clearly convey your point, but you also face questions like:
- What if my writing sounds preachy?
- What if it comes off tacky, inauthentic?
- Am I even qualified to write this?
If questions like these haunt you, you and I are a lot alike.