The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the category “Book Promotion”

Getting ready for a successful book fair

The warm-weather months are upon us, and this often means book festivals, book fairs, conferences, and other events. So, this seemed like as good a time as any to offer some tips on what authors need when selling their books at events. While events vary, the basic needs tend to be pretty similar.

via Tips to Help Authors Make their Festival/Events a Success ‹ Indies Unlimited ‹ Reader —

If you haven’t attended a book fair as an author with books to sign and sell, R. J. Crayton at Indies Unlimited has compiled a list of everything you need to take with you.

Selling books at a festival begins with being seen and ends with your signing a lot of books. There’s a bit of art to this, and that means setting up your booth or table to attract attention and make transactions with readers friendly and easy to accomplish.


Book Marketing tips for trad published authors

“Over the course of my ongoing tour, a lot of people have asked me what it’s like working with a major publisher and how much book marketing is expected of a traditionally published author. The answer is, it’s great, but it’s also a lot of work. In fact, based on my conversations with self-published authors, I can tell you that the book marketing effort required by a traditionally published author is about 99% the same as what’s expected of a self-published writer.”

Source: Book Marketing tips for trad published authors via Mark Noce

Mark Noce’s comments may surprise some self-published and small-press-published authors who assume larger publishers do more of the promotion work. As you’ll see, that’s not possible, due to the volume of new books coming out every month.

But Mark offers some nice tips here, well worth reading.


Does the book you’re promoting have a sell sheet?

“Book sell sheets are an essential and integral part of a book’s marketing and publicity plans. For this reason, it is important for you to understand what goes into a great sell sheet. So, to help you get a firm handle on the basics, here is a list of terminology that you will need to know when preparing your sell sheet for your book’s marketing plan.”

Source: Sell Sheet Terminology For Book Marketers

Joseph C. Kunz posted this blog about the importance of sell sheets last fall. I didn’t mention it here at the time because I was working on other things. However, now that I’m actively seeking reviewers for my latest novel, I’ve been updating the sell sheet.

Sell sheets are not a new technique, though I seldom see them written about. Kunz has a good overview. If you want more information, simply type “author’s sell sheet” into your search engine and you’ll get a lot of advice and examples.

I see the sell sheet as indispensable, even if you just paste it into an e-mail and never make printed copies, for giving prospective reviewers, article writers and others a quick capsule look at your book and it’s “vital statistics.”


You want your book to sell, right?

“Whether you design your own book exterior and interior or are working with a professional, here are a few precepts that will guide you towards a better product, and thus more sales.

“Lesson Number One: Think of the Reader’s Experience”

Source: Design Your Book to Sell – Indies Unlimited

Gordon Long brings us a quick list of steps we must take to convert “my manuscript” into “the reader’s book.”

Yes, it’s been mine for a while, my words, my muse, my drafts and revisions, but once it gets on the shelf and/or on Amazon’s website. it’s no longer just “mine.” It’s a story told for the reader, a writing prompt for his or her imagination.

But first, s/he has to pick it up. With the advice in this Indies Unlimited post, you can make sure that happens.


Hometown Reads, a new place for authors

“Thanks for visiting Hometown Reads! We’re launching our site for Toledo authors and readers first, with plans to quickly expand to other Midwest cities, and then across the country. As of March 2016, we’re in beta, with plans to add more features, resources, and opportunities as we grow. ”

Source: Hometown Reads

I have mixed feelings about sites and programs for indie authors. On one hand, I wonder if appearing on such sites simply alerts readers to the fact that we’re not mainstream authors so that they dismiss us without a second look. But I also like the idea of getting the word out and hope that one day the mainstream media and its reviewers will take us seriously. (Once again, this year’s “best of” and “most overlooked” book lists included no ultra-small presses and authors.)

So how do we get on the radar? Traditionally, one starts in his or her home town and works to become known there first. I hope this new site will help that happen.



What a deal – three free Kindle books

The Kindle editions of three of my novels are free on selected days:

  • The Sun Singer (December 9, 10, and 11) – Contemporary fantasy about a young men who has been hiding his psychic gift. When he finds himself in an alternative universe of warring factions, he must resurrect that gift in order to survive.
  • Willing Spirits (December 12) – Paranormal short story about a high school student who procrastinates on her book report project and looks to an unusual source to keep her from flunking her English course.
  • Waking Plain (December 13) – Fairy tale about a prince who is cast into a deep sleep that can only be broken by a kiss, the problem being he’s so plain no prospective marriage partner wants to wake him up.

These books are always free for Amazon customers with Kindle Unlimited accounts.



Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

“Amazon recently made some changes to their pre-order process that give authors more flexibility. Back in 2014, in what was considered a great leap forward foward self-published authors, Amazon provided the ability to offer books for pre-order.”

Source: Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility – Indies Unlimited

Now, author R. J. Crayton tells us that changes in the system will make the service even easier to use. I like having the ability to due pre-orders as my publication dates draw near.



How to Boost a Post on Facebook

“In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to boost individual posts to get them in front of more people.”

Source: How to Boost a Post on Facebook – Indies Unlimited

facebookUnfortunately, whether you’re using a Facebook profile or a page, a relatively small number of your friends (or those who’ve LIKED the page) see your posts. However, when you make important announcements like newly released book or other product, you can “boost” the status update to a targeted audience for a relatively low fee.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, so it’s nice seeing this tutorial by Melinda Clayton that shows those who haven’t yet discovered the feature just how to set it up.


Poets & Writers Information Clearing House

I enjoy reading this magazine. I also enjoy its online presence from writers’ news to the database of grants and competitions. However, the page filled with links to Poets & Writers articles is a must, especially for new writers. This solid information is so much better than the quasi-SPAM webinars and pitches that appear in our e-mail in-baskets and litter our Facebook newsfeeds.

Here are the topics: Literary Journals and Magazines; Publishing Your Book; Literary Agents; Creative Writing Contests and Competitions; Vanity Publishers; Copyright Information for Writers; Book Promotion & Publicity; Writers Conferences, Colonies, and Workshops; MFA Programs, Literary Organizations; Self-Publishing.

And here’s the link:

Click on the graphic.

Click on the graphic.

It’s like a goldmine. Maybe better.

Here’s hoping all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying a day off, or possible a day fighting a locusts’ plague of shoppers out at the Black Friday sales.




You published a book? Yawn. . .

I recently read that the major reason people don’t buy your new book is indifference.

Some say it’s price. Some day it’s because you’re unknown and the readers’ to-be-read list is already filled up with mainstream authors from traditional New York publishers. Some say it’s because self-published and small-press books aren’t even seen (ads, Facebook, major review outlets) by prospective readers. All true. But still, if you haven’t given them a reason to care, they’ll remain indifferent to it.

Most regular readers can afford your book because most of them are buying a lot of higher priced books from big publishing from authors they have already come to know and trust.

So, how do we become one the authors in the know-and-trust group?

Everyone and their brother has talked about the value of a good story, a carefully selected genre, an eye-catching cover, and a well edited book. So, there’s no need for me to say all that again.

Since most of us don’t have the clout to get free New York Times or Kirkus or Publishers Weekly reviews or to hire a publicist who has reporters calling to set up author interviews, that leaves us to some extent with the social media where most of us probably need to be doing more than we are to interact with people.

As Mark David Gerson reminds us in his new book Engage!: Winning Social Media Strategies for Authors, the social media are social and that means interacting with the people on our friends’ list rather than displaying a list of our recent activities, an occasional buy-my-book post, and a lot of cat pictures.

We’re all busy, so when we’re not creating Facebook status updates or sharing, we’re mostly clicking LIKE. This is a short-sighted approach. When somebody comments on a post of ours, clicking LIKE doesn’t cut it. As Gerson says, Engage with them–that is, converse. When you see a post on another person’s profile, LIKE is the easy way out. Make a comment even if it’s simply “great news.” Better yet, if the subject is something you care about, ask questions and share helpful links.

How does this help? People get to “know you” and that leads to them trusting you when you say you have written a book that really does deliver on its promise to entertain them. Basically, we have to do what bestselling authors don’t have the time or inclination to do: spend time with our prospective readers. If we do that, we’ve gone a long way to counteracting those indifferent yawns and persuading them to spend some time reading our books.


Four of my Kindle books are FREE during my Halloween sale 11/28 through 11/31: At Sea, Waking Plane, Dream of Crows, and Willing Spirits.


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