THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER!
A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.
Oct. 27, 2011 Issue #258
in this issue
— Note From The Editor
— Don’t Overlook Regional Pitching
— Feature Article: The 10 Deadly Sins of Website Design
— Boost Your Blog
— Just For You: AME’s Book Marketing Resources
— Book Bits and Bites
— Using Cross Promotions To Save Money And Sell Books
— The Scoop on QR Codes
— Open Now: The 2012 Indie Excellence Awards
— Press Kit Basics
— Penny in the News!
— Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
— November Webinar: 10 Mistakes That Will Absolutely Kill Your Book!
— Get Found on Social Media
— Join the Success Summit 2011
— Make LinkedIn Work for You
— Social Media Snippet: PageLever
— Social Media Snippet: PeopleBrowsr
— Reader Tip!
— WHO ARE WE
Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to a new issue of THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER.
You are receiving this newsletter compliments of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To opt out, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.
Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
I love writers’ conferences, don’t you? I’m off to Author 101 in fabulous Las Vegas tomorrow and after that, it’s all about BlogWorld. If you’re going to be at any of these fantastic events, be sure and let me know. I’d love to meet up with you!
You know we always get such great feedback on our website but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, there was a time when it was pretty darned awful. I learned by error, lost opportunities and being around a lot of really savvy people who knew what a website should and shouldn’t do.
Then, when we launched the new AME site last August, we found a whole new level of online success. The results of the redesign have been extraordinary. This week, we’re looking at some website mistakes and how to fix them. Generally with websites most of what we do is fixable and when it isn’t – well, you can just tear it down and start over.
Hopefully, though, you won’t have to redo your site. Enjoy this week’s article, I hope it’s helpful!
Here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween!
Penny, Paula, Amy, Bianca and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Don’t Overlook Regional Pitching
The lure of national coverage means we sometimes overlook media closer to home. But that kind of coverage can be invaluable to you and your book: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri/why-regional-pitching-can_b_890022.html
Feature Article: The 10 Deadly Sins of Website Design
A Checklist to Help You Avoid Them
So, you’re ready to create your very own author site, or maybe you’re updating your old one. We all know there’s a lot that can go wrong with a website (server gone down?) but there’s also a lot you can do in the early stages to avoid some mishaps down the road. Here’s a checklist that you can take with you as you work through the design elements of your website:
1. Cluttered: Let’s just start there. A cluttered site is the kiss of death to conversion. Make sure the site you choose is clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate. If you can’t figure it out, I guarantee you your visitor won’t, either.
2. Confusing: Tell them what you want them to do. Several times. In order to make a sale, you have to tell your visitor what you want them to do – over and over and over. When we were redesigning our website, http://www.amarketingexpert.com, I kept hearing this from my web designer: let’s tell them again and again what we want them to do. I responded to her, “But my visitors aren’t stupid, they’ll know what to do!” The problem is most surfers don’t. We’re busy, we’re distracted, we want information and we want it now, also we want to know right away if we’ve landed on a site that can help us. If you repeat your primary message, they won’t be able to miss it, and if the site is what they’re looking for, they will stay. Which takes me to:
3. Too many messages: You must have one primary message and objective for your website. Yes, I know you want to do so much with it. You want to sell books and get speaking engagements and maybe even some consulting gigs. But all of this starts with one, clear objective. Take my site, for example. I have books, I am a speaker, I also sell marketing services and we are a full-service marketing and publicity firm. Wow, that’s a lot, right? Yes, it is, but if you look at our homepage you don’t see my books or my speaking. Why? Well, as much as I’d love to sell my books by the truckload, and speaking gigs are always fun to do, they don’t keep the business going the way new business does. That’s my primary objective.
4. Not knowing what your consumer wants: Once you figure out what you are selling, now you have to package it in a way that will entice your buyer. Knowing what they want and how they want it is key. Let’s say you’ve written a cookbook for busy parents. And let’s say your only objective is to sell books. That’s a great goal! Now, your site needs to be designed around that goal. That means the book is front and center on the homepage, and because your user is probably busier than most, there’s a big ‘buy now’ button just under the book that takes them to a page where they can purchase and download an eBook or order a print copy. Easy! You may also want to add a sign-up on the homepage so your readers can get cooking ideas, recipes and tips in their inbox a couple of times a month!
5. Cropsharing: This is what I call those folks who use other people’s website domains. I seem to recall years ago there was something called Angelfire. Anyone could get a free site there. You could never own it, or upgrade, it was on their server and that was that. The problem is when their site goes away, so does yours. There are a lot of freebie websites out there, there’s nothing wrong with this per se (other than I don’t think we should design our own sites), and if you’re strapped for cash this is a great, initial way to get started. But be sure that you can own the site at some point. Often free sites have an upgrade option, look into it before you build your website!
6. Copying your competition: It’s great to love what your competition is doing, but don’t copy them pixel for pixel. Not only is it not a nice thing to do, but consumers landing on both sites may not be able to tell the difference! Additionally, if Google spots this type of duplication, you could get your site pulled down.
7. Uh-oh, typo: Please spell check your website. Really. I don’t understand why anyone would launch a site that wasn’t spellchecked.
8. Staying static: No one likes a site that never changes, and a quick and easy way to make sure you don’t have a static site is to add a blog to it. A blog is a fantastic way to keep your site looking fresh and it’s great for SEO, too.
9. Not understanding your traffic: OK, I admit this has less to do with website design, but it all flows into the same pot. Get to know your stats, and if you aren’t sure how to read your site analytics, get someone to help you. Many authors I speak to don’t even know if they have traffic reports. To me, that’s sort of like having access to a bank account you never check!
10. Nowhere to go: Regardless of how you will sell your book, you want to be sure that the sales process is super clear on the site. Additionally, you don’t want your consumer to go through a lot of steps to buy your book; with each step you lose a sale so keep that in mind. Ideally, no more than three steps to a buy!
When you’re going through your website – either building one, redoing one or making sure yours is in check, take note of the points I’ve shared here. It’s hard enough getting people to come to your site; when they get there don’t send them into “surf shock” and miss a potential sale.
Boost Your Blog
Make sure your site is up to date and mistake free with these 32 tips: http://marianlibrarian.com/2011/10/32-ways-to-tweak-your-blog-this-afternoon/
Just For You: AME’s Book Marketing Resources
“Like” our AME Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, Publishing Insider shows, and more: http://www.facebook.com/bookmarketingame?ref=sgm.
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 athttp://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.
Book Bits and Bites
Happy Reading: 10 Utterly Terrifying Books for Your Halloween Reading: http://flavorwire.com/222329/10-utterly-terrifying-books-for-your-halloween-reading
Portable Library: Biblioburro – The Donkey Library: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuTswmx9TQU
Sales Don’t Count: Authors Ranked by Beard Weight: http://flavorwire.com/223132/authors-ranked-by-beard-weight
Did You Know? The Worst Word in the English Language? “Nice.” A Look at its Etymology:http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/?p=7386
Using Cross Promotions To Save Money And Sell Books
Most of us who are trying to market books are on very tight budgets these days so it’s imperative to find ways to get the word out without spending big bucks.
Cross promotions are one way I’ve found to reach new audiences with a commitment of a little time and quite often, no cost.
But just what is cross promotion and how can it work for your book, you ask? Well, here are some of the basics and two examples that will perhaps get your creative juices flowing.
Cross promotion is a specific marketing tactic in which two businesses or people team up to promote each other’s products. The most important aspect is that you know your target audience and that you find someone with a similar audience or an audience with a related interest. I see authors who team up with other authors as a way of cross promotion – but your plan doesn’t really have to involve books at all.
Back when my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray was new, I decided it would be interesting to try to reach equine enthusiasts as a secondary market. This audience was not a crucial one, but a horse owned by the main character plays a major part in the plotline, which I figured could intrigue horse lovers. After contacting the Equine Art Guild, I received a handful of responses from artists willing to do a cross promotion with me. I picked one who specializes in equine and animal portraiture, and found that she already had a piece of art that resembled the equine character in my book (named Justus).
In addition to placing information on her website about my book (and me doing the same for her), this artist also created an entire Justus store on Cafepress which helps get the word out about her art and helps me by showcasing a character in my book. We also incorporated each other’s contact information on all our promotional material, including “Justus” greeting cards that I had printed to give out at book signings.
The great thing about cross promotion is it doesn’t have to cost anything to reach a new audience. This artist’s artwork is now being seen at the festivals and book signings I attend, and my book is being seen at art shows and horse events she attends. There was no money involved or exchanged. We simply worked together to promote each other’s products.
Another cross-promotional project I worked on involves the trailers for my Civil War novels. Since authentic-looking Civil War stock art is a little hard to come by, I requested permission to use the artwork of renowned Civil War artist Dale Gallon for Shades of Gray’s video. Mr. Gallon not only gave me permission, he promoted the video on his blog and linked his main website to mine, helping me to reach a whole new, world-wide audience of Civil War enthusiasts.
No author has the time or money to reach all of their books’ potential audiences. Concentrate your energy on a small, defined group, and then think of ways to reach secondary and related audiences without expending a lot of time – or money. Don’t be afraid to think big. You may be surprised at how willing others are to work with you if you have a quality product.
Jessica James is the author of two award-winning Civil War novels. Noble Cause, her latest, just received the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction. Learn more at http://www.jessicajamesbooks.com/
The Scoop on QR Codes
Have you seen QR codes? They’re those nifty little boxes that you click on with your phone/camera and they take you right to a website. Maybe yours!
If you’re not sure if you should use a QR code, check this out:
52% of mobile users know what a QR code is, 28% of them have used it.
Of all the phone types, iPhone users scan the most, 68% vs. 26% of Android users and only 4% of Blackberry users.
QR code scanning rose 1,200% from July to Dec 2010
~ Stats Courtesy of Jumpscan
Open Now: The 2012 Indie Excellence Awards
The Indie Excellence Awards contest is taking submissions!
NIEA celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text. To enter, please send one copy of your book per category entered. Books with publication dates of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible. Books published anywhere in the world may be submitted as long as they are in English and can be purchased in the United States.
For more information, expanded category listings and entry forms please visit: http://www.indieexcellence.com
Press Kit Basics
Learn what every media kit should have, and why you should have online and offline kits:http://wordpreneur.com/how-to-create-an-effective-press-kit-for-your-book/
Penny in the News!
* BusinessInfoGuide.com interviewed Penny following the release of Get Published Today:http://businessinfoguide.com/interview-penny-c-sansevieri-author-get-published-today/
* SmallBusinessOnlineCommunity interviewed Penny for the article, “Master of Your Domain (Name): 8 Ways to Tune Up Your Company Website:”http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.bankofamerica.com/community/technologymanagement/blog/2011/10/19/master-of-your-domain-name-8-ways-to-tune-up-your-company-website
* Penny has a series on book marketing underway at BookBuzzr: http://www.bookbuzzr.com/blog/?s=Penny+Sansevieri&x=0&y=0.
* Keep up with Penny’s latest publishing/marketing piece for Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri.
Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. – and her guests – has 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!
Speaker Tips for Authors, Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. Eastern
Do you know the eight classic mistakes that speakers make when preparing keynotes or presentations? Our expert, Martha Lanaghen, a motivational and educational speaker and speaker coach, will discuss how you can tell a compelling story so people will want to buy your book – and much more!
Shows available for download at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepublishinginsiders:
* How to Get Your Book Reviewed
* All About Ghostwriting
* Publishing Insights from Ellora’s Cave
* Re-Purposing Your Content
* The Future of Author Events
* Selling Your Book in Bulk and Special Sales
* What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design
* Literary Agents and Their Evolving Role in Publishing
* The Dos and Don’ts of Distribution, Parts 1, 2 and 3
* SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box
* 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
* 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
* How to Make Money on Twitter
* A Self Publishing Success Story
* From Blog to Book
* The Digital Book Revolution
* Powerhouse Promotion with Marci Shimoff
* eBooks: the Savior of Publishing or the Foe? with Joe Konrath
* Special Guest Mari Smith, queen of Facebook
* All Things Twitter! with Warren Whitlock
November Webinar: 10 Mistakes That Will Absolutely Kill Your Book!
When: November 11, 2 p.m. EST, hosted by Hobie Hobart from Dunn+Associates Strategic Design and Branding for Authors and Experts
If you’re serious about your success, if you truly want to sell a ton of books, attract more customers, establish yourself as the leading expert in your industry, land more speaking and consulting engagements, solidify your brand, and build a profitable business empire, this presentation is for you!
In this one-of-a-kind session, Hobie Hobart will reveal:
* How to get the attention of agents and publishers.
* What distinguishes a bestselling, brand-building book from one that practically guarantees your book will never sell.
* How one self-published book attained bestseller status (over 1 million copies sold!) without being in a bookstore.
* Ways to resuscitate an old book or product that is withering-on-the-vine and transform it into a vibrant, new profit center.
* Tips to evaluate and know that your title and subtitle are clear, compelling and appropriate for your market.
* An incredibly simple method of leveraging your book for high-end specialty sales.
* How to brand your social media accounts for maximum leverage.
How to register:
Send an email to email@example.com and put “10 Mistakes” in the subject line and that’s it! We’ll get you signed up and you’ll receive an email with the log-in information the morning of the webinar.
For over 25 years, Hobie Hobart and his partner Kathi Dunn (known as one of the country’s top book cover designers) have created success tools like bestselling book covers and information products that authors, speakers and experts use to build their brands and business empires. Hobie is a respected book coach who helps authors through the maze of self-publishing seamlessly and cost-effectively. Hobie’s company, Dunn+Associates, worked for six years with Tony Robbins, developing seminar promotional materials and products including Tony’s legendary PowerTalk infomercial series. They also produced the branded marketing materials for Mark Victor Hansen’s Mega events for over five years. Their prestigious list of clients also includes Deepak Chopra, Ken Blanchard, Jack Canfield, John Edward, and Sylvia Browne, as well as HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Prentice Hall, Hay House, and a host of publishing giants.
Get Found on Social Media
Did you know that 46% of journalists get pitched through social media, and 70% of those pitches resulted in coverage? (That’s compared to 0-20% through standard media).
Join the Success Summit 2011
Are you where you’d like to be in all areas of your life and business or career? An amazing line-up of experts will offer their tips and insights at the Seize Your Success Summit Nov. 1-10.
The free teleconference will help you harness your power to transform your business, your career, your life, and the world: http://www.autowebbusiness.com/app/?af=1402692
Make LinkedIn Work for You
LinkedIn means business, and there are many ways to network once you know how to optimize your profile:http://workflowwriting.com/641111/7-quick-ways-to-turn-your-linkedin-profile-into-a-social-media-marketing-workhorse.php
Social Media Snippet: PageLever
Facebook fan page insights and analytics on steroids: http://pagelever.com/
Social Media Snippet: PeopleBrowsr
One of the most comprehensive social media planning and monitoring tools ever released:http://www.peoplebrowsr.com/
If you’ve got a Reader Tip you’d like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line “Author Services Info.” You can also visit our website at www.amarketingexpert.com.
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