Book + Website = More Sales

So you market on your website too don’t you? I mean besides having all the information on your book, where to buy it (complete with “Buy Now” buttons that redirect to Amazon or wherever), you do announce your book being on sale, and post 4 and 5 star reviews too, right?! You also have a book trailer too don’t you?

We live in a visual world and images help sell anything. Book trailers are simple and contain good visual images related to your book, music and verbiage. They usually run about 2-3 minutes in length. If you have a YouTube channel you can upload them there too and imbed them in your website.

Here are a few suggested websites to check out –

How To Make a Book Trailer for FREE That Looks Professional

Spotlight on Business: 4 Elements of an Awesome Animoto Book Trailer

For those of you who are not do-it-yourself inclined I highly recommend my good friend Andrea Kalli

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Book + Contest/Giveaway = More Sales

Want more reviews? Set up a giveaway or contest on Facebook ( or Goodreads . It’s really that simple.

Just remember to Tweet about it on Twitter, send out emails, or better yet, announce it in your monthly newsletter, on your website and blog. Done.

There’s a cool site called RaffleCopter that will help take the guess work out of creating a giveaway and picking a winner. On the flipside you can create a list in MailChimp with an entry form and gather winners or if you’re a Google Docs kind of person – create a form in Google Docs to share in your newsletter, on your website and blog and in your Facebook and Twitter posts. Once the contest ends you find an online number generator to randomly pick the winner(s).

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Book + Email List = More Sales

You have an email list, right?! Yes. Great!!! No? Let’s talk! You NEED a list!! NOW!

Seriously, an email list is imperative for authors. Whether it contains family, friends, ex-whatevers, co-workers, local chamber of commerce members, attendees from your book signing or reading, wherever you get them you need a list!

You can sign up for for free. It’s free to use for lists (that mean a combination of lists or a single list) of 2,000 subscribers. You can upload what you have in a CSV file. The cool thing about MailChimp is it won’t import duplicates. No more comparing lists of hunting for duplicate email addresses. Nice.

MailChimp also offers a very user-friendly interface so that you create a newsletter, simple announcements, etc., to stay in contact with your readers. You can break up your lists into personal contacts, reviewers, newsletter, etc. With each list you have the ability to create a signup form that you can send in an email or announcement or embedded on your website. MailChimp also integrates with Facebook! Now you have no excuse for not starting and growing a list.

MailChimp Disclaimer: I love and have set up several authors with this application. I am not affiliated in any way with I just like the simplicity and ease of use. There are many, many other applications that have the same and/or similar features so please do your homework and research the best option for you.

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Book + Distribution = More Sales

Okay, let’s talk about distribution. Where are your books being sold? Mainly online? Good. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Google Books, Scribd and Smashwords? Where else? Did you know that where you choose to have your book printed impacts your distribution?

Yep, a lot of self-published authors choose to use CreateSpace (because Amazon owns it, duh.) and IngramSpark  mainly because of the enhanced distribution. IngramSpark offers a broader range of distribution markets around the world. I know, Amazon is the place to be, I agree. But why not take a chance and see if ingramSpark’s distribution system can add a few sales to your bottom line. You don’t have to publish with IngramSpark, just set up an account and upload your files. They take it from there. Use CreateSpace for your Amazon sales. Bingo! The best of both worlds!

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Book + Social Media = More Sales

Every author should be at the very least on Facebook  and Twitter . Social media is where the majority of readers get their information on authors, new releases, books on sale and reviews. There are specific Facebook Groups that are dedicated to simply promoting author’s books.

If you have a personal Facebook account then you can set up an author page. It’s very simple to do. Once it’s set up, you can post about your book being on sale, or it’s release date or your next book signing.

Don’t forget you can hold events on Facebook too. I was fortunate to be a part of one of my author’s Romance Writers Gone Wild event in November this year. It was amazing! So many authors volunteered their time and a few bucks for the overall prizes and to share books excerpts, interesting facts, reveal covers, announce new books and lots of other fun! There were over 600 Facebook attendees. You might want to look into doing something similar or just having your own Facebook Event.

GoodReads  is a great place to get reviews as well as place a few ads or hold a giveaway.

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Book + Reviews = More Sales

You have a book and want to boost sales, great! How many reviews do you have?

Reviews are key to getting more sales because people want to know if your book is worth their money (always a first consideration) and time (strong second consideration). They will read your book’s review on Amazon and Goodreads to see what other people say about your book. You need reviews.

Okay, how do you get reviews? You can take the time to research book reviewer websites and blogs to see if they review your genre, what their backlog is (typically 3-4 months out), create a spreadsheet and then send out your emails and wait. OR you could spend a few bucks and sign up for review book tour with sites like , , , , InD’Tale Magazine Reviews . These sites will, for a nominal fee, take your book’s information and ARC and send it out for review with their current reviewer list. The reviewers then list a review on their website and Amazon. Some will list the review on multiple sites. Nice huh?

And don’t forget about Goodreads. Their main goal is book reviews! It’s free to sign up and put your books out there for your readers to find. (Don’t ignore Goodreads advertising and giveaways – great way to get attention!)

This is the best way to receive unbiased reviews and get a social media promotion going for your book as well. Check out these sites for other promotional opportunities like book cover reveal tours or featured author spots.

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So What Is An Author’s Assistant Anyway?

So many author’s contact me with questions about helping them with publicity and PR work. They think that’s what an author’s assistant is. Well, I’m here to set the issue straight.

The author’s assistant idea arose from a very savvy publicist, Jan King, who unfortunately passed a few years ago. Her concept embraced the use of Internet technology with the profession of virtual assistants. Hence the longer, but more accurate title “Professional Virtual Author Assistant”.

In essence, an author’s assistant is a combination of savvy virtual assistant with the knowledge and skills to assist authors in polishing their manuscripts, publishing their book and then setting up the social media promotion machine.

While an author’s assistant can do this, they can also be an ongoing administrative support person (or project manager) for an author’s day-to-day business tasks. Author assistants can create social media accounts, create and schedule posts, research materials or information for the posts and respond to comments or questions when an author is too busy at their day job. Keeping posts going out on a consistent basis is, after all, what social media is all about.

Author assistants can also update information for purchased ISBNs, submit a copyright request, send out review requests, update a website with new book information, setup and monitor a book or cover reveal tour. They can create an email campaign for a new book release and even schedule interviews, books signings and speaking engagements.

We can do what a virtual assistant does but we’re focused on helping authors create and publish the best books they can.


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EBook Copyright Page – Best Practices

Here’s and insightful guide to setting up your copyright page for your ebook. Honestly, I never thought about including the ISBN in the metadata. Brilliant idea!

Digital Book World (DBW) has great information on formatting ebooks. It’s a great resource for authors. Check this post out along with some of the others.



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Self-Publishing Advice

It’s one of those days where you have finished your work and you’re waiting for email replies, you know, mindless surfing the web for interesting stuff.Books image

I came across this on the Huffington Post about self-publishing advice and thought I would share. Interesting tidbits for new authors.

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“You get what you pay for.”‘ says the old adage. Yep, you do. Well I’m cheap and I admit it. I love “FREE” Kindle books. I download them every chance I get.

In the last two days I’ve downloaded three. Two of them I will never read, ever. My brain couldn’t get past the misspellings, grammatical and punctuation errors. I kept re-writing the sentences in my mind so that they made sense. It was grueling.

My question becomes “Why don’t you take the time to edit?” Obviously authors have taken the time to gather the information, research the facts (which with grammar, punctuation and spelling errors make the whole book suspect) and the time to write and assemble the book, get a great book cover, have it formatted, etc., but editing falls through the cracks.editing red pen

As an author assistant my first question is “Has your book been edited?” or “Do you have an editor in mind?” In my opinion you need to do the editing process as follows with every book:

1. Edit – find an editor in your genre first and foremost

2. Review and revise – make the changes as suggested by the editor

3. Edit – return it to the editor for another round of editing

4. Review and revise – make any additional changes

5. Proofread – not just you as the author, but have at least two more sets of eyes review the final manuscript

6. Interior formatted – and then review and proofread at least two more times

I can’t tell how many times I’ve helped authors through this entire step-by-step process only to find typos, misspellings, grammar and punctuation errors in the final PRINTED book. I don’t believe you can eliminate every error but you should strive to come as close as possible to an error free book. You can always clean it up in a next revised version if it truly bugs you.

My initial rant started because it wasn’t just a “few” errors, there was a plethora of all of the errors in just about every single paragraph. Once I started reading I quickly lost interest, felt my intelligence had been somehow insulted and found myself truly frustrated because I actually wasted my precious time to download these books only find the author’s lacked the professionalism to turn out a viable book for their audience. Good thing these books were “free”. If they ever get listed as bargain priced at $0.99 they simply will not sell. Someone, not me, will put up a review and the author’s future ability to sell any books will be thoroughly trashed.

Final thought – please edit, proofread, edit, review and proofread again for your sake, your credibility and for your future books and readership.


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