by | Mar 8, 2011 | Book Marketing Basics

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A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing

and POWERFUL promotion.

February 3, 2011 Issue #239


in this issue

— Note From The Editor

— Buy an AME Program and Win a Kindle!

— Feature Article: Smart Self-Publishing: How to Get Published Without Getting Scammed

— Using Twitter to Market Your Book

— Check Out AME’s Book Marketing Channel on YouTube!

— Book Bits and Bites

— How to Backup Facebook to the Cloud

— Kindle Publishing for Blogs

— Press Releases Still Matter

— Mobile Market

— Penny in the News!

— Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say

— Website Woes?

— Get Personal

— Searching With Success

— National Indie Excellence Awards Seeks Submissions

— Twitter Tip: 52 Fantastic Twitter Follows for Self-Publishers

— Twitter Tip – Retweet Mojo

— Reader Tip!


— ————————————————————

Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor


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!

Dear Author,

Glad to have you back, and welcome to another issue of Book Marketing Expert. Hey guess what? We’re on Kindle now! Our blog and newsletter – yes, exciting stuff. Have you put your stuff on Kindle? If you haven’t, you should. And speaking of Kindle, how would you like a free one? Check out our great new offer in this newsletter.

So, you’re ready to get published, yes? Good! Then you’ll love this week’s article on Smart Self-Publishing. We’ve seen a lot of ways *not* to get published, so this week we’re starting our Smart Self-Publishing series on how to find a publisher. Next up, we’ll look at how to become a publisher. And oh, yes, we’ll also be discussing the phenomenon that is eBooks!

Thanks for joining us for another issue, we’re so glad to have you back! And if you’re going to the O’Reilly conference in NYC on Feb. 14 and 15 let me know, I’d love to meet up with you there!

Wishing you publishing success,

Penny, Paula, Susan, Sherrie, Yoonmi and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

P.S. – “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:

P.P.S. – 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

Buy an AME Program and Win a Kindle!


To kick off 2011, we’re offering a FREE Kindle with the purchase of any AME marketing campaign service from February 3-14, 2011.*

Contract and payment/deposit must be received by February 14, 2011 at Midnight PST. This offer is good on both paid in full orders and with our payment plan options.

The Kindle will be shipped to the billing address provided on the AME contract at the time of the order. The Kindle will not be shipped to the client until the payment in full is received and all campaign paperwork is processed.

In the event the campaign is canceled for any reason, standard terms and conditions apply PLUS there will be an additional charge to recover the cost of the Kindle, plus shipping and handling charges and any administrative fees. Please write on your paperwork “KINDLE” at time of submission.

*DIY programs not included.

To take advantage of this offer, email

Feature Article: Smart Self-Publishing: How to Get Published Without Getting Scammed


Something I learned early on in this industry is that publishing, like any other industry, is full of scams. Not everyone is unethical; however, there are a certain number of people who prey on someone’s desire for success by offering them pie-in-the-sky promises they can never fulfill. In our series on Smart Self-Publishing, we’re going to look at a few different industry segments, starting first with publishers and finding the right one for you.

These days, there are more choices than ever to get published. Because of this, the options and opportunities within each can seen a bit overwhelming. Here are some quick tips:

1) Research, research, research: as I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of choices. Take your time and do your research. If a publisher is unethical or has a bad reputation, you’ll find this pretty easily online. Some great sites for finding unethical publishers and other industry providers are:

Writer Beware:
Predators & Editors:
Absolute Write:

2) Ask other authors: if your research hasn’t turned up anything consistent, it might be that the publisher (like any vendor) has had a couple of bad experiences, but that doesn’t always make them a bad publisher. I recommend that you look at the store page on their website and Google some of the authors listed. If you email these authors through their own personal web pages, asking them about their experience with the publisher, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how helpful they are. Publishing, unlike some other markets, is a very helpful industry. You can even ask some professionals you admire if you’re unsure. Most of us are always eager to help!

3) Check your contract: there are a variety of reasons for an author to self-publish, one of them is being able to keep their rights and creative license. Regardless of the publisher, you should be able to keep all rights. If they keep any rights for any length of time, move on to a company that will allow you to keep all of your rights. This includes: movie, audio, foreign, and electronic.

4) Promises, promises: don’t believe the hype. Yes, we are all selling services but there is only so much that a publisher can promise you. They can promise you a finished book. Beyond that it’s a lot of hard work and a little luck.

5) The truth about returns: Many of the print-on-demand/self-publishers offer you a returns program. I haven’t found this to be very helpful. It costs the author to get in and then the bookstores have to participate, and few of them do. If you’re not sure, ask your local Barnes & Noble if they accept returns from this publisher, their answer will tell you whether a returns program is a good investment of your money.

6) Book sales: much like point #4, no one can promise you book sales, least of all the publisher. So be wary of any publisher who is promising you sales or a guarantee of book sales of any kind.

7) Cost to publish: in most cases, it should cost you less than $2,000 to publish your book. This will include the cover design, interior design, ISBN, bar code, ebook (in many cases) and anything else that needs to happen to turn this into a book. Like anything else, get this in writing.

8) Author discounts: the first 90 days of your book you will be your own best customer. This is why you want to be sure and get a good author discount on your book purchases. You’ll use the books you buy to promote the book, by sending it to media, book reviewers, etc.

9) Author royalties: author royalties vary greatly from publisher to publisher but don’t be swayed by higher royalties because the calculation might be a bit tricky. Let me explain. Most publishers will give you royalty based on the cost of the book. So, on a $10 book you’d get 20%. I’ve seen some publishers who will offer upwards of 80% royalty to authors to lure them in, but when you do the math on this it really comes out the same. Many times a higher royalty rate is calculated on the cost of the book wholesale, so let’s say your $10 book is now $5, plus they might deduct their own expenses from this cost, bringing it even lower. So while the 80% royalty looks great on paper, the math is sometimes even lower than a 20% rate depending on how much they discount the book.

10) Customer experience: before you put pen to paper and sign that contract, make sure that their customer experience matches your expectations. Now while I disagree that a publisher should respond immediately, they should respond to emails within 24 and sometimes 48 hours depending on when you send the message. I would call them and ask them some questions about their services, their packages, and their end-user experience. You are going to have a lot of questions, be sure that someone will be there to help you answer them.

11) Be realistic: remember that regardless of how good any publisher is, they might not be able to be all things to all authors. Meaning that for certain things, you may have to get your answers elsewhere. If you aren’t sure what they will and won’t help you with, ask them.

12) Timing: make sure you are clear on their timing as well as yours. You don’t want a book that’s going to be sitting in the cue for a long time while it’s waiting to see the light of day. Get the timing in writing, or at least a general estimate.

13) Book covers: I saved the best for last here, or rather the most important piece of this. The book cover is so significantly important that the NY publishers often spend weeks researching the perfect cover for the perfect market. To know if the publisher you are considering is good at book design: look at the other books on their website. If the covers there don’t impress you, move on. If you’re not sure what to look for in a good cover designer, spend the time and money and hire someone (a book marketing professional) who can look at the covers for you and tell you if they are quality. Also, if you find a publisher you love but their covers aren’t the best, you can always hire an outside designer to do the book cover design.

Keep in mind that most publishers are out there to do good work. We love the ones who do good work and help authors attain their dream. As you migrate through your choices, remember to not be swayed by flashy ad copy or high-end promises. Go with a solid, reputable publisher and you’ll be on your way to a successful career.

Here are some great recommendations:

Infinity Publishing:
Wheatmark Books:
Greenleaf Book Group:

Join us for the Smart Self Publishing Series: Part 2, Becoming Your Own Publisher on Blog Talk Radio Feb. 8, 4 p.m. Pacific:

Using Twitter to Market Your Book


Wondering how authors are using Twitter to market their books? Join Carolyn-Howard Johnson (author of the HowToDoItFrugally series); Laurel Marshfield (professional writer, ghostwriter, and developmental editor); Joel Friedlander (proprietor of Marin Bookworks); Phyllis Zimbler Miller (co-founder of Miller Mosaic Power Marketing); and Penny C. Sansevieri (CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.) as they discuss Twitter tactics and their experiences from the world of Twitter. Learn how authors are using Twitter to connect with their audiences and increase viewership. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your questions live to the panel.

When: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8 – 9 p.m. EST

To register, visit:

Check Out AME’s Book Marketing Channel on YouTube!


Learn ‘How to Succeed Online and Sell More Books’ and much more; new videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing!

Book Bits and Bites


A Visual Feast: The evolution of Alice in Wonderland, in book covers,

It’s Never Too Late! A 99-year-old Japanese grandmother has a self-published bestseller,

From a Senator’s Mouth: How many pages is a filibuster? We’ll see – VT Sen. Bernie Sanders will publish his,

Save Publishing: Join the ‘Read a Book at Bedtime’ Facebook Group,

How to Backup Facebook to the Cloud


While social media like Facebook and Twitter are ‘free,’ you have invested time in acquiring your friends, fans and followers.

Back in December I wrote about how you can backup your Facebook profile; and, said at that time I was testing a third-party program called Backupify:

Backupify is an amazing service which caters to backing up multiple services – Facebook being one of them. Using Facebook connect, Backupify will regularly save all your photos, friends lists, events, links, notes, and statuses to the cloud. The free version of Backupify can handle up to 2GB of storage.

Everything is stored on an S3 Amazon server and their privacy policy clearly states that any data you store on Backupify is yours, and they claim no right to it, nor do they look, sell, nor analyze it. Also, if you’re extra paranoid conscious about safety, it can allow you to hook up your own S3 Amazon server instead of using theirs.

You can set up a Personal account that will protect your personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and more for free. For high volume or multiple accounts, there are Pro accounts for a nominal monthly fee.

To see a screenshot of my current personal accounts, go to:

All appears to be working properly though *knock on wood* I’ve not needed to restore any accounts. However, I feel a bit safer, knowing I have something in place, just in case.

Tip offered by Susan Gilbert, AME’s Search Engine Marketing Expert and Web 2.0 company owner,, which provides Social Networking websites and services.

Kindle Publishing for Blogs


Guess who’s on Kindle blogs? We are! You can subscribe to the Author Marketing Experts blog as well as this newsletter, Book Marketing Expert.

Amazon Kindle Publishing for Blogs is a fast and easy self-publishing tool that lets you add and sell your blogs on the Kindle Store. Learn more at

Press Releases Still Matter


Press releases aren’t dead, but in the age of social media there’s definitely a different approach. ‘The 6 Essential Steps to Writing a Killer Press Release’ breaks it down,

Mobile Market


Who doesn’t have a cellphone these days? And with so many smartphones among them, don’t overlook that market. Learn how to sell your ebooks via mobile phones,

Penny in the News!


* Penny’s video, ‘How to Succeed Online and Sell More Books!’ has been posted at SEO Bridges,

* The Independent Book Publishers Association ran Penny’s article, ‘Today’s Best Press Release Tactics,’

* Penny has a series on book marketing underway at BookBuzzr,

* Keep up with Penny’s latest blog for Huffington Post,

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 – 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!

Upcoming show:

Smart Self Publishing Series: Part 2, Becoming Your Own Publisher, Feb. 8, 4 p.m. Pacific

Why would an author want to bypass traditional publishing and go it alone? There are myriad reasons to self publish, including the ability to keep your rights and creative license. But, there’s a lot you need to learn first: is your prospective publisher reputable? What should your contract cover? How will returns be handled? What will the process cost? What can you expect in royalties? Where and how will you distribute your book – and more, which we’ll discuss with our special guests: Eric Kampmann, president of Midpoint Trade Books, and Tanya Hall, Business Development Manager for Greenleaf Book Group.

Shows available for download at include:

* 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

Website Woes?


Does your website seem drab instead of fab? Maybe it’s time for an overhaul. Review these ‘Six steps to determine if it’s time for a website redesign,’

Get Personal


If you really want to build your social network following: get personal. Include a personal message with the request to ‘friend” someone on Facebook or add them to your tribe on LinkedIn. I personally don’t like the default messages. It’s sort of like walking up to someone at a networking event and saying the same things over and over: “Hey, I want to be your friend.” My first question would be, “Hmmm, ok, why?” Get personal: give them a reason to friend you. Tell them why you want to be part of their network. Maybe you’ve admired their work, maybe you are looking to create something with them. Maybe you just think they are the coolest thing on two feet. Whatever it is, get away from the generic. That only seems to work in grocery stores.

Searching With Success


There are many ways to restrict what you find in Google to get you a better result. Check out these Google options,

National Indie Excellence Awards Seeks Submissions


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 The deadline for entries is April 10, 2011.

Twitter Tip: 52 Fantastic Twitter Follows for Self-Publishers


This list includes designers, publishers, authors, marketers, agents, editors, and anyone connected to self-publishing in one way or another. They are active Twitter users and provide tremendous value to followers,

Twitter Tip – Retweet Mojo


Part of being successful on Twitter means that others find your posts useful and interesting and Retweet them. Not getting enough Retweet love? Check out ‘7 Reasons Why Your Posts Aren’t Getting Retweeted,’

Reader Tip!


If you’ve got a Reader Tip you’d like to share, please send it to with the subject line “reader tip.” Submissions should be 75 words or less.



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 with the subject line “Author Services Info.” You can also visit our website at

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