The Book Marketing Blog

by Penny Sansevieri
AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 16, 2015
February 16, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This edition features posts on book marketing, getting published, writing, and book sales. Thank you to all of our contributors.


Hazel Longuet submitted 20 Writing Tips: This Week’s Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “Here are top 20 articles that got most traction from my social media followers last week. They cover the whole gamut (writing, self-publishing, book promotion, author platforms, social media). A collection of great articles from great authors.”

writing working on laptop keyboard

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 23 Poetry Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “This list consists of publishers that do not charge a fee or require an agent, and which offer royalties, however modest. All of them publish book-length collections and/or chapbooks.”

Book Marketing

Iola Goulton submitted Introducing NetGalley posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “What is NetGalley, and how does it work (for writers and reviewers)?”

Book Sales

Sarah Bolme submitted The State of Fiction Reading posted at Marketing Christian Books saying, “Is fiction reading on the decline? If so, what does this mean for book sales?”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 9, 2015
February 14, 2015by: Penny
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We’ve got some great tips for you from these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include getting more out of Twitter, keeping inspired to write, handling bad book reviews, and more. Happy marketing!


* Be Traditionally Published or be Damned?

Being a self-published author means you’ve survived the gauntlet of publishing to get your book out to the world:

* How to Handle Bad Book Reviews

For starters, develop a thick skin or just don’t read reviews of your book:

book review word cloud

* 10 Things to Say to a Writer Who’s on the Ledge

If things don’t look so good, here are some things to remember to put it into perspective:

* The Ebook is Not Dead

Don’t believe the hype, the statistics prove that ebooks are alive and doing well:

* 8 Compelling Ways to Tell 140 Character Stories On Twitter

Discover the elements of a great tweet:

* Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Publicists & Media Want to See on the Outside of a Book

This book cover checklist will ensure you produce the best cover for your book:

* 3 Common Mistakes Authors Make With Amazon Book Listings (and how to fix them!)

Is your Amazon listing doing everything possible to make your book appealing to readers?

* 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog and Social Media Posts

Images are important, and this list of resources will help your graphics stand out wherever you use them:

Your eBook Deal How-To Guide!
February 12, 2015by: ameeditor
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eBook Sites You Should Be Using to Promote Your eBook Deal!

POSTED eBook Deal How-To 02122015So you’ve scheduled an eBook promotion and marked down the price of your book (or maybe you’re even offering it for FREE –, but now what? How are people going to hear about this promotion?

You have to do a little work to get your book into the hands of readers. In addition to announcing your eBook deal on your website and other social media platforms it’s definitely worth your time to have a few eBook promotion sites blast out an announcement to their readers.

Check out these sites when you need to get the word out about your eBook promotion!

Note: You may wish to promote on a variety of sites. Some have paid options, others are free. Some sites won’t post about your book unless you have a minimum number of reviews, a certain star rating on Amazon or are priced below a certain dollar amount. A few restrict genres, too. So pay attention to the “rules” for each site.

Author Marketing Club – Join their club, and take advantage of the perks.

AwesomeGang – “Where awesome readers meet awesome authors”

BookBasset – Their guaranteed Freebie post costs under 8 bucks

BargainBooksy – Easy to use site, with tons of subscribers

BookBub – Their packages are on the more expensive side, but the average downloads are very impressive

BookGoodies – Some of their forms are pretty involved, but they have tons of options worth considering

BookGorilla – Their paid services have a far reach, and won’t break the bank

Book Lover’s Heaven – Their form is simple, and there are no strings attached

BookSends – Depending on the genre of your book, they have affordable options

Cheap eBooks for Teens – If you have a YA book, take 60 seconds and submit your info to this site

Daily Free eBooks – Their name is a bit misleading because they actually promote books that range in price from 0.01-0.99

Digital Book Today – You’ll find countless free and paid submission options here

eBooksHabit – Their paid options are only $10-20

eReader Girl – They accept non-fiction, Christian Fiction and children’s book submissions

eReaders News Today – They have over 500,000 subscribers

eReader Perks– They also provide some really helpful links to resources for authors

Erotica Everyday – Write erotica? Submit your deal here

FreeBooksy – They are partnered up with Bargainbooksy, and are specifically for books that are free

Free Book Dude – If you have a book trailer, they’ll even add it to your post

Frugal Freebies – This site is about all things free, and they’ll post your listing on social media as well

GoodKindles – Great options and flexibility with their packages

HotZippy – One form submits your listing to multiple sites

Indie Book of the Day – All authors, all book types

Ignite Your Book – Their very affordable paid option will get you in front of all their newsletter subscribers

Kindle Book Promos – Listing options and resources for authors can be found here

Kindle Nation Daily – All things Kindle, every day

Naughty List Books – For erotica and romance authors

One Hundred Free Books – Paid and free options for books marked $2.99 and under

Read – Great books, no middleman

ReadCheaply – Help them promote their service, and they’ll help you promote your book

Reading Deals – Free and paid options, all under $10

Risque Librarian – Submit your erotica or romance listing to get in front of their readers

StoryFinds – Tons of options to give your book the exposure it needs

The Book Circle – Connecting authors, readers and publishers

The Kindle Book Review – They tell you not to put all your eggs in one basket, and offer recommendations for other great eBook deal submission sites

Next Up: Part Two of Our eBook Promotion Guide! Hashtags and Twitter accounts to use to help you promote your eBook deal!

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Maximizing Media Leads: Tip #42 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 10, 2015by: ameeditor
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We’ve heard from a lot of you telling us how much you love these tips. We’re so glad you do! Well, here are a few more that you’ll receive over the coming weeks. You ready to sell more books? Here we go!

  1. Maximizing Media Leads
  2. Ten Reasons Why You Should be Blogging
  3. What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling
  4. Creating Powerful Content That Will Help You Sell Books
  5. A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Video in your Promotion
  6. The Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success
  7. 20 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Website and Blog
  8. 50 Things to Tweet About
  9. The Power and SEO Behind Blog Commenting
  10. Six Simple Ways to Promote Your YouTube Channel
  11. Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Ranking on Google

Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

Tip 42Maximizing Media Leads

Thanks to HARO ( and similar media leads services, there are media leads out there for everyone, all the time. Media, media, everywhere! The key, however, is to maximize these leads. Often, we think that as long as we respond to them, and give them our information, the hard part is done. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In fact it’s really just the beginning. How can you get better exposure for your pitches? Here is a quick guide to pitching these media leads services that will provide you with insight and guidance for better placement and better stickiness to the stories you pitch.

Pitching the right lead: First and foremost, you need to define the right lead to pitch. But really, it’s more than that. Keep in mind that for a variety of topics such as finance, dieting and parenting you might find a lot of leads but not all of them are appropriate to your topic. Some people think that you shouldn’t pitch anything that isn’t 100% spot on. If I followed this way of thinking, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into a variety of publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine (issue forthcoming).

So what’s the goal? The goal is to go after as many leads as you can within the appropriate market. For example, if you have a diet book that is focused on a soy based program and you see a lead about getting ready for summer, you might think it seems off, but the idea here might be to pitch them your topic, to help people get ready for summer. The same is true for an article on the high divorce rate and you have a book on making divorce a smoother transition. This could be a great opportunity for you to pitch a sidebar idea on creating a gentler transition for families of divorce.

The idea really is that, to the degree it’s appropriate, pitch yourself to as many on-point topics as you can. When I do this, however, I will always address the issue of the topic they pitched and then ask if they are interested in perhaps taking a sidebar angle to the piece or offering an extended insight into their topic. You’d be amazed at how often this gets a response.

Response time: Basically, as fast as you can. You should never, ever, ever sit on a lead unless you need to gather additional data before responding. Don’t wait. Period. Remember that you aren’t the only person seeing that lead, many of these reporters and journalists get hundreds of responses per lead they send and generally, the first who respond get the most attention. Ignore the deadline and send it right away, if you wait until minutes before the deadline you might get buried in the hundreds of other leads that have flooded the recipient’s inbox.

Responding: Short, sweet, and to the point. While I suggested in the above tip that you take some liberty with some of your leads and responses, I still recommend keeping it on point and short. In fact I’ll often highlight some key points, send the response off and indicate that I’m aware they might be sitting with a flooded inbox and if my response has piqued their interest, I am happy to send as much additional data as they need. Also, if appropriate, cite or link to any current articles that you’ve been featured in online so the media person can see the breadth of your knowledge. Oh and one final note, please, please, please spell check your emails. You’d never send a resume to a potential employer with typos in it, right? So it baffles me that anyone would send an email that wasn’t spell checked.

The media are your customers: Remember to always treat media like your customer and like a consumer, they probably have a lot of choices. Serve them as you would a new client. Give them what they need in a timely fashion and don’t under deliver. Ever. Don’t embellish, don’t alter the facts and be ready to prove every single point you are making in your pitch.

Managing the responses: As you get responses you should be ready to act immediately. In fact if you are pitching yourself to *any* media you should be checking your email regularly – several times a day in fact. Depending on the story you are pushing for, you should really be on top of your email, all the time so you can be prepared to respond immediately.

Follow up: Unless you’ve been tapped by the media person to be in the article don’t follow up on a lead you sent, ever. Why? Because if they need you they’ll let you know; if they don’t, a follow-up email is just annoying. Keep in mind that even if the media person doesn’t respond, you might still see some activity from them down the road. This happened to me with an INC online piece. They didn’t need me for the original story I had responded to but kept my information on file and used it later. Had I followed up a few times this might not have happened if I had gotten labeled as a “pest” – be careful the impression you make in email!

You’ve got placement! Great! Congratulations! So, what now?  Well now it’s time to promote, promote, promote the lead you were just featured in. Post it to Twitter, list it on your blog and Facebook Fan Page and oh, don’t forget to thank the media person too!

How to find great leads: There are a number of great resources out there for finding leads. Here are just a few of them!

Help A Reporter Out:

Reporter Connection:

Blogger Link Up:

Pitch Rate:

Media leads are a great way to get yourself in front of media who need your expertise. I have found media lead responding to be a fantastic way to gain media attention for our authors. Get on the media leads bandwagon and start responding. You never know where you could land a story!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 9, 2015
February 9, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We thank this week’s contributors for their pieces on writing, getting published, book marketing, self-publishing, and social media.


Hazel Longuet submitted 20 Writing Tips: This Week’s Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at Novel Experience, saying, “Every Monday I do a round-up of the previous week’s top 20 articles on writing, self-publishing and book promotion as buzzed up by the actions of my 7k social media followers – comprising of primarily published and aspiring authors. So here are this week’s top 20…..”

Success Tools Toolbox Succeeding Goal Skills

Social Media

Chrys Fey submitted How to Create an Author Facebook Page posted at Write With Fey, saying, “Creating a Facebook Page is a big step, because it says you’re ready to get more readers and engage with them.”

Book Marketing

Mayowa Ajisafe submitted How To Get The Best Cover Design And Use Your Cover Design To Market Your Book, Build A Side Author Business And Sell More Books With Derek Murphy posted at Authors Crib, saying, “In this episode of Authors Crib Podcast, I had a chat with Derek Murphy of The Creativ Indie and DIY Book Covers who is an author and a book cover design expert who has designed tons of book covers for bestselling authors like Joanna Penn of Derek shares his writing journey and discusses how he started working with authors as an editor and cover designer and offers tons of great cover design and book marketing tips, strategies and advice as well as his best tips on how authors can build a side business as an author to augment their writing income.”


David Leonhardt submitted Who Hires a Ghostwriter posted at The Happy Guy Writing Services, saying, “Everybody knows that some people hire ghostwriters. But it might surprise you to discover who some of those ‘some people’ are.”

Getting Published

Katie McCoach submitted What NOT to Say to a Literary Agent (or Editor) posted at KM Editorial, saying, “After attending an event hosted by GLAWS, KM Editorial shares the takeaways on what NOT to say to a literary agent (or editor) to sell your book.”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 2, 2015
February 7, 2015by: Penny
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Get some ideas and inspiration from these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include whether social media is worth a writer’s time, how to use Thunderclap to promote your book, a guide to advertising on Amazon, and more. Happy marketing!


* How to Win Sales And Influence Amazon’s Algorithms

A great discussion between two authors who have found creative ways to share their audiences and boost their sales:

* Tips for Gaining Attention in the World of Fiction

Here are some things you can do to get your book noticed:

free 2

* Free Publicity for Your KDP Select Free Days

If you’re going to offer your ebook for free, you need to promote it. This list will give you a lot of options for free and paid sites as well as Facebook groups you can use to get the word out:

* How You Can Use Thunderclap to Promote Your Book

Thunderclap allows authors to build a book launch team, promote a sample chapter, share a book promotion, and more:

* How to Advertise on Amazon: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Now that authors who use KDP Select can advertise on Amazon, the question is: how does it work? Author Nicholas Rossis explains:

* 21 Free Resources for Authors

You’ll find a range of freebies here, and something is bound to be useful!

* The Finances of Publishing

How indie authors can set a realistic budget to get their book published, from book covers to editing to ebook and print formatting and more:

* Do Writers REALLY Need to Use Social Media Anymore?

Authors already have plenty to do – is social media just a time suck?

What to do When Amazon Pulls Reviews
February 5, 2015by: ameeditor
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If you’ve ever had a review yanked off of Amazon you know how frustrating that can be. I’ve spoken to some authors who lost one and others who lost dozens. Each time it’s assumed that Amazon is the devil and that they get a certain amount of enjoyment just randomly pulling reviews. While I was pretty certain this wasn’t true, I decided to call Amazon Author Central and get to the bottom of this.

The rep there was super helpful and very clear about their guidelines. Let’s look at a few:

Amazon Reviews 1Friends and family: Amazon considers friends and family to be biased reviews, and, if they can make a connection, they will pull these. This means that while it’s great to encourage friends to review your book if a connection can be made Amazon will pull the review. While you may find this unfair, I do get Amazon’s stance on this. They want reviews that are authentic. We all do. Sometimes well-meaning friends and family will post glowing five-star reviews that just say: I loved this book! Without a detailed explanation as to why. Glad they loved it, but let’s build out this review so it’s not just one or two nondescript sentences. This also isn’t helpful to future readers who may be considering your book *and* while none of us likes 2-star reviews, keep in mind that a book page with all 5-star reviews is regarded as suspect. So there’s nothing wrong with asking these folks to review your book, just know that Amazon may pull the review if they deem it biased.

IP Addresses: This is another place where you need to really be careful. If you have all of your work friends review the book from the same IP address Amazon will pull all of those reviews. This happened to an author I spoke with recently. She lost over forty reviews because of this. It’s fine to encourage work associates to review the book, but not a good idea to strong arm them into reviewing the book on company time or from the same IP address.

Sketchy/Questionable Reviews: As I mentioned earlier, sketchy reviews will always draw attention. And I’m not talking about reviews that are well-written, but reviews that don’t offer some level of detail. Reviews lacking details are often called into question, or at the very least, looked into by Amazon.

Algorithm Changes: As we all know, Amazon switches up the algorithms on their site quite frequently. Because of this, some reviews may vanish for a while only to return later. If you see reviews missing hold off a day or two before calling Amazon to see what happened.

Gift Cards: Here’s another interesting thing I noticed, and let me preface this by saying that Amazon did not confirm this point, it’s just something that I’ve discovered on my own. If you issue an e-gift card to someone and they turn around and buy your book and then review it, Amazon could pull the review. Why? Since this all came from my research I can’t be 100% sure why but I suspect it’s because Amazon may view a gift card as a bribe, especially if the gift card exceeds the cost of the book by a lot. This is one reason why in late 2014 I switched to straight gift cards that you buy at Staples or wherever. We use gift cards a lot for our authors. Gifts for bloggers to give to their readers, raffle prizes, etc. I used to issue them all via Amazon until I happened to stumble on this. Gifting an eBook, however, is very different. I do this all the time for folks who want to review my books on Kindle. I will gift them the eBook with a note thanking them for the read or the possible review or whatever.Amazon Reviews 2

What to do if a review gets pulled? Call Author Central and ask them for help solving this. Be polite, not frantic and panicked, and explain that you think reviews are missing. In cases with books I’ve been monitoring, I take screenshots of the reviews every few days or so. Not because I’m being paranoid about reviews getting pulled, but to keep track of the review progress for any particular title. Reviews often move around on the page depending on how many folks find them “helpful” so that’s good to watch, too. In one particular case, I had noticed a review went missing for a title I was working on, and because I had a record I could easily go back to Amazon and ask them what was going on. In this case it was because of the algorithms and the review popped back onto the book page within a day or two.

Having Amazon pull a review does not have to mean that the review is gone for good, sometimes it’s something that’s easily fixed. If Amazon won’t reinstate it, find out why so you can be sure it never happens again. Monitoring the review policy is important and sadly it’s not an exact science. Some of their assessments aren’t always fair, I agree. But having a book on Amazon and adhering to their terms of service is the world we live in.

Why (some) Authors Fail: Tip #41 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 4, 2015by: ameeditor
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Welcome to Tip #41 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! I hope you’re enjoying these tips and they are helping you sell more books.  So, ready? Here we go!

Tip 41Why (some) Authors Fail

Sorry for the buzz kill title of this article, but instead of spreading pixie dust as many marketing articles do, I thought I’d take a hard look at the realities of self-defeating behavior and some of the things authors might buy into that will sabotage their careers. Over the years I’ve written a lot of articles on how to be successful, but to be successful you must first learn how to fail up, meaning that you learn from what you did wrong, take full responsibility for it and move on. Lessons in publishing are often costly, both in time and dollars. I don’t presume to tell you that you should avoid making any mistakes, but many of them are avoidable. Here are a few for you to consider.

Not learning enough about the industry

The first piece of this is simple: get to know the market you are in. This is a bit of a dual message because I’m not just speaking of the market you are promoting to: your area of expertise, but also to the publishing industry at large. Who else is publishing in this area? What are they publishing? Is your area of writing hot or a fading trend? These are all good things to know before you jump headlong into your area. Getting to know your market can help you not only avoid expensive errors but also possibly incorporate trends into your book that could help to leverage its success. How to learn about the industry? Read up on it at sites like; subscribe to the free or paid newsletter the site offers. This will give you a good sense of what’s selling, who’s buying, what’s being published. Publishers Weekly is another good resource. If you can’t afford a subscription try their online site at, or check out your local library to see if they carry any copies. This is a great industry resource.

Not Accepting Feedback

A couple of weeks ago an author who has sat in on a number of my classes, both online and off, asked me numerous times how she could get onto Huffington Post as a blogger. I told her I would try to pursue a Huffpo blogger for her to get feedback on her work. I did this as a favor because, well, she was relentless in her pursuit of this and I had to admire that. So, I finally got a blogger to review her work and the critique came back not so good. In fact it was terrible. I sat on it for a day, wondering if I should share it with her. I finally decided that if she was so relentless about her career, she would be equally relentless about crafting a perfect message, right? Not so much, actually. When I forwarded her the feedback she shot me off an email saying that many other people loved it and that astrologically this was a terrible time to accept feedback so she would dismiss it. Some moon phase or something. I honestly can’t recall.  No, I’m not making this up. OK, listen, full confession time here. I have a friend who calls me whenever Mercury is retrograde, “don’t buy anything electronic” she says, and I listen. Well, sometimes. Anyway, point being that I get that we’re all driven by a different drummer, but if someone takes the time to critique your work why would you not try to learn from that? Look, I know not everyone is going to be spot-on with their feedback, but take from it what you can and move on – better yourself, better your writing.

Feedback is a crucial part to any writer’s career. If someone who is more knowledgeable than you about the industry you are in is willing to give you feedback you should listen. Really. In a room of one hundred authors I can pick out the successful ones. You know who they are? They are the ones who aren’t so wrapped up in their egos that they aren’t willing to listen and learn.

Not Surrounding Yourself with Enough Professionals

Let’s face it, your mother and immediate family will love anything you write. These are not the people who will offer you the kind of guidance that will further your career. Yes, they will (and should) love and support you through this work, but you need professionals you trust by your side giving you advice, wisdom, and direction. You don’t need to keep a group of experts on retainer, but you need to know who they are so you can call on them when you need help.

Not Doing Their Research

What would you think of a store owner who opened a yogurt shop in downtown San Diego only to find that five other stores were opening within months of his, one of them a very successful franchise with a huge following? Wouldn’t this make you sort of wonder why on earth this store owner would do that, I mean open a store without doing the proper research?  Then why on earth would you launch head first into publishing without knowing your market – I mean the publishing market? So many authors learn the ropes after their book is out, and by then it’s too late. Well, not too late really because you still have a book, but late in the sense that you can’t really do anything about mistakes made and the money it’s gonna cost you. There are a ton of online resources out there. Get to know them. I’ve listed a number of them in this article and there are more, many more. The Internet is abundant with free content. Use it.

Measuring Their Success in Book Sales

Many of you might be shaking your head wondering how I could possibly say this, but it’s true. Book sales, even in the best of economic climates, are sketchy and planning your success or failure around them is a very bad way to market your book. Here’s the reality: exposure = awareness = sales. The more exposure you get, the more awareness there is for the book, the more sales you may get. But this equation takes time and in the midst of this marketing many other really great non-book-sale-related things may happen. An example of this is an author who didn’t really sell a lot of her books as she was marketing, but found that her speaking gigs started to pick up. Each speaking gig netted her about fifty book sales, and because of the market she was in, many of those book sales turned into individual consulting gigs that brought in much more revenue than a single book sale ever could have. Get the picture?

The other reason I say this is because book sales can be tough to calculate, many reporting agencies don’t report sales for three to six months. I know this sounds crazy but it’s part of the reason why publishing is such a tricky business. So, if you’re doing a huge push in December and you look at your statement in January and find that you’ve only sold 3 books, it might be because you’re looking at sales figures from September or October when you weren’t doing any marketing at all.

Still not convinced? Then let me share my own story with you. As of today, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been out since July of 2009. I suspect to date it’s sold 5,000 or fewer copies. Not impressive, is it? Does that number bother me? Not at all. Want to know why? Because out of the copies sold I have probably brought twenty to thirty new authors on board who will likely be authors for life. Also, I got a teaching gig at NYU because someone handed someone at NYU this book and all of a sudden – there you have it. So if I measured my success by book sales, you bet I’d be depressed. Thank God I don’t. Book sales aren’t what drive my success. The same should be true for you. Start measuring your success in other ways and book sales will come. I promise.

Seth Godin, aka brilliant marketer, addressed this in a recent blog post too:

Not Understanding How New York Publishing Works

We may not like how the corporate publishing model works, we may find fault with it, but to understand it is to understand how the industry works. For example, knowing the publishing seasons and why Fall is the biggest time for New York publishers to launch a book and perhaps the worst time for you to send your book to market if you’ve self-published.

Also, know that corporate publishers don’t publish to niches, or rarely do, so if you’re publishing to a niche, you may have a real leg up.

As for bookstores, the big six in New York pretty much own most of the shelf space in your local Barnes & Noble, so if you’re vying to get in there, you are going to have to do more than show up with a book in hand and a winning smile. You’re going to have to promote yourself to that local market and gain enough interest for your book that people start asking for it in bookstores.

Understanding the corporate publishing model means knowing and researching your industry and again, not just the industry you are writing for, but the market of publishing in general. Knowing what’s selling, what’s not – who’s buying, who’s closing their doors. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with it and you’ll have a much more successful campaign.

Playing the Blame Game

If something goes wrong, own it. Unless it’s really not your fault, unless you were taken for a ride somehow, swindled or whatever. Own it. Take responsibility. Here’s an example. Recently an author came up to me after a class I taught and said she’d pitched 200 bloggers and only 5 of them wanted her book. What was wrong with them? Well, maybe it wasn’t the bloggers at all. Bloggers are busy, busier than they’ve ever been so your pitch has to be strong and your book exactly right for the blogger you are pitching. If you’re not getting a lot of pick up on your pitch you might need a new pitch and/or you might need a new set of bloggers. Don’t assume it’s someone else’s fault. Investigate what happened and take a critical look at the results. If you don’t feel you can be objective, hire someone to sift through the data. Assuming success eluded you because of someone else’s lack of interest or follow through might be undermining your campaign and you could be missing out on important data that could really help turn your campaign around.

Believing in the Unbelievable

There are no guarantees. No one can promise book sales, fame, or Oprah. Period. End of story. If someone is promising you these things, run, or if the offer seems too good to be true it likely is. If all else fails ask someone you trust. I get folks asking me all the time about campaigns, programs, and marketing opportunities. Feel free to do the same. Whether you are working with us or not, now or in the future, I will always give you a fair and honest answer. If you’d rather go to someone else, great – but find someone whose opinion you trust and ask before signing on the dotted line.

Success is not about hard work alone, it’s also about making smart, savvy choices and not being blinded by your own ambition, creativity, or ego such that it undermines your work. To be successful you need to be relentless, believe in your work and your mission but you also need to be objective, realistic, and humble. That is a successful mix for any author and in the end, isn’t really about getting the book out there? Focus on what matters. Good luck!

Helpful Resources:

Some great and helpful books

Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, Volume 2: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (ParaPublishing, 2009) Dan Poynter

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book (Writer’s Digest, 2009 or 2010) Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier

Doing Business by the Book: How to Craft a Crowd-Pleasing Book and Attract More Clients and Speaking Engagements Than You Ever Thought Possible – Sophfronia Scott (Advantage Media Group, 2008)

1001 Ways to Market Your Book – John Kremer (Open Horizons, 2009)

Red Hot Internet Publicity – Penny Sansevieri (Cosimo, 2009)

Get Published Today – Penny Sansevieri (Lulu Publishing, 2010)

Great Publishing Blogs

The Self Publishing Review

POD People

Nathan Bransford

Moby Lives

Holt Uncensored

The Book Deal


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Winning the Plagiarism Battle
February 2, 2015by: ameeditor
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About a week ago, I shared an experience I had with a company who reposted an article I wrote without credit or permission. You can see that post here:
If you click on the article in question, you’ll see that the article is gone. I wanted to share what transpired after I reported them. GoDaddy wrote me for additional information, which I provided, and within 48 hours they wrote me back with this note:


Godaddy response









Within an hour, the website owner who I’d been dealing with wrote me. He said he was surprised I’d taken this action and he cc’d GoDaddy on this correspondence. I reminded him of our correspondence and told him that in order to repost someone’s work you must credit them appropriately and contact them to ask permission.
So the website was down for a while, not sure how long, but I think at least a day. Now when you click the link it shows this:


404 Page Don't Let Someone Steal Your Stuff





It honestly took very little effort to battle this so if you ever find yourself in this situation, be sure to follow the guidelines here:
Don’t let someone steal your stuff!


Winning the Plagiarism Battle 1

AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 2, 2015
February 2, 2015by: Penny
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Happy February! Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week features posts on social media, getting published, and book marketing. Thank you to all of the contributors.

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 8 February Writing Contests – No Entry Fees posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “February is a short month, but it does not lack for writing contests. There is a little bit of everything this month: travel writing, poetry, short fiction, journalism, and – one of my favorites – the impoverished author contest.”

social media networks

Social Media

Hazel Longuet submitted The Ultimate Social Media Resources List posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “It can be confusing navigating the ever changing tide of social media channels. I’ve spent the last 2 years gathering the very best advice on social media, from some of the industry’s titans. It’s a great resource to guide me when I’m baffled, lacking inspiration or just in need of a tip or two. Today I’m going to share this resource with you…”

Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme submitted A Cautionary Tale posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Humans are tactile beings. We have five senses: hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting, and touching. Good marketers know that one key to reaching people is to engage more than just one of the five human senses with your message.”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

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