Search This Blog

Loading...

Best Selling Author TV Video

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Brand New Top-Rated Writing Career Resource

Just a quick tip from my last SharingwithWriters newsletter as a way to encourage ou to subscribe. Peggy is a brand new resource for me and one who has her fingers in enough cookie dough for you to assemble a veritable gift basket of career-building resources! (-:

I'm always looking for resources where I can learn more and have my belief in hands-on marketing reaffirmed. I'm letting you know about a brand new discovery of mine. She is Peggy DeKay and does a series of podcasts which she posts on her Web site at http://tbowt.com. Click on "podcasts." You can also hear them on www.iTunes.Com. Here is a link to one favorite interview she did with Mark Wayne Adams, a children's book illustrator and author in Florida: http://www.thebusinessofwritingtoday.com/tbowt-037-an-interview-with-mark-wayne-adams-an-award-winning-author-illustrator-publisher-promoter-and-speaker
I know you'll want to reach out, send a query to be interviewed on her podcast yourself, and support this woman who wants you to know more about The Business of Writing. Find her at http://tbowt.com, http://peggydekay.com, and http://facebook.com/peggydekay
Please tell her I sent you and if you'd like to subscribe to SharingwithWriters newsletter, just send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subect line to hojonews (at) AOL (dot) com. 
PS: A reminder here: You can subscribe to this blog, too.
Happy writing!
Carolyn



-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So, Does Amazon's Lending Program Hinder Authors or Help?

Once in a while I reprint something from my SharingwithWriters newsletter, just to remind all my visitors and subscribers of the kinds of helpful info they'll get in it! Ha!  This is from my continuing Q and A a la Ann Landers column:

 
So What Do You Think About Amazon’s Kindle Lending Program
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUESTION:

How do you feel about the free borrowing feature offered by Amazon to their Prime members for their Kindle books? 

ANSWER:

I don't think any of us would have objected to library lending back in the days before Kindle. Yes, there are some differences--not least of which is that libraries bought the books they lent. But two of the benefits of lending programs still exist--library or Kindle.

1. They allow people who couldn't afford a book (or wouldn't spend the money) to read them. Most authors want their books read.

2. Readership--purchased or borrowed--will likely increase the buzz about a book which results in more sales. And that goes back to #1. People who can't afford a book can help create buzz, too.

There is another big advantage. If your book is available to borrow, say through Amazon's Prime program, reviewers are often just as happy accessing your book that way instead of having you send a hardcopy to them. That's a saving of time and money for the author.  Mmmm. Guess that relates to #1, too. (-:

The details of the Amazon program are at https://kdp.amazon.com/select.  Click on the link near the upper right on your KDP dashboard page.
 
----
If you don't subscribe to SharingwithWriters and would like to, please send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line: hojonews@aol.com. I'm happy to do it for you.  If you'd like to sample some past issues got to http://howtodoitfrugally.com/newsletter_copies.htm.

-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Author Lets Car Market for Her


Guest Post

Taking Your Branding to the Next Level? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By Kristine M. Smith, Author and Copywriter

After seven years as a well-regarded copywriter and after being invited into a Joint Venture partnership with John Assaraf, best-selling author and international business coach, I realized that it was high time to take my marketing efforts to the next level and stop looking and acting like a struggling startup.

I’m in a power partnership with a graphics design marketing man, Eli Struck of Enlighting Design so I sent him copy I’d written for my newest copywriting brochure. There would be an unusual amount of copy on the inside that would be challenging to segment properly, so I knew I was handing him a serious “adventure.” I needed the brochure to explain the return-on-investment value of hiring a professional copywriter to help prospective clients overcome any “sticker shock” they might experience (if they were hiring a professional writer for the first time) when they got to the price of my services.

Eli did such an amazing job on the brochure (as he does on everything he tackles; he’s Madison Avenue quality) that I asked what it would cost to professionally “wrap” the windows of my SUV so I wouldn’t be driving around town with small magnetic signs that telegraphed “Wannabe!” instead of “Tried-and-True Pro!” I was expecting a quote from him that I wasn’t willing to pay just yet (despite the fact that I had received 1000 stunningly beautiful, unique brochures and business cards from him, including the logo design, for a seriously reasonable price that not even Vistaprint™ could match). When Eli told me he could incorporate my logo and two “sound bites” from my elevator speech to make a smoking-hot presentation on the back and sides of my SUV for under $250 plus tax (including the $90 installation fee), I said, “Let’s see what ya got!” 

Eli found a SUV exactly like mine online and graphically placed the prototype of my “wrap” on its windows, showing me what my own SUV would look like before I paid him a dime. Again, I was amazed and thrilled. Waiting any longer to “go pro” wasn’t even an option. I said, “Let’s do it!”

Within a week I was driving 15 miles north to have Eli’s installer apply the finished product. The lettering and logo are done in stark white vinyl lettering on mine. There are many other options, but I like this one. It’s affordable, classy-looking, and boy howdy, does it get attention!

I’ve driven three places so far in my newly-decked-out SUV and each time I’ve stopped, people have asked me, “’Weaving words into wealth!’” or “’Turning browsers into buyers!’ How do you do that?” which gives me the chance to explain that I write website copy, brochures, flyers and other marketing materials that make people pick up the phone or engage in some other way instead of skittering away, never to be heard from again. Then I offer them a brochure to learn more, and I expect I’ll hear from them when they, or someone they know, needs a copywriter.

It almost goes without saying that this never happened when I was driving around town with small magnetic “wannabe” signs attached to the sides and back of my vehicle. Not even once.

So I’m onto something here. Catch the Wave

As an author or copywriter, having a professional-looking logo and intriguing catchphrase that lets other drivers know quickly what you offer is a boon. Imagine parking at a book fair, trade show, arts and crafts festival or anywhere else looking like you’re the full meal deal.

And get this: when you’re decked out like this, you are a traveling advertisement. This means that you can write off every mile you drive at tax time, not just when you drive to book venues and other places to ply your trade. (At least, this is true in Washington State. Ask your tax adviser if the same is true where you live.)

I have a feeling the cost of taking my vehicle up a notch in professionalism is going to pay for itself in less than a month, and every month thereafter as I “move on down, move on down the road…”

And yes, here is a shameless plug for my friend and power partner Eli Struck. If you live in the western Washington area, Enlighting Design should be your go-to provider for products and services like the ones I just explained. I endorse him wholeheartedly. His phone number is 206-229-9438. His address is 26426 Lake Fenwick Road South, Kent, WA 98032.

But Eli would be happy to work with you to design and create your marketing materials, including a vehicle wrap –simple, like mine, or more involved—no matter where you live.  He can include instructions for installing the wrap yourself, but I highly recommend that you hire an installer who knows what he or she is doing, because I watched as my graphics were installed and it would be all too easy to mess up and ruin the application unless you really know what you’re doing.

#

Kristine M. Smith is a copywriter and the author of seven books, three of which debuted well at Amazon (#1 in Motivational Self Help, #2 and #4 in Nature>Fauna and Animal Welfare, and #8 in Star Trek)  in 2001, 2011 and 2012. You visit her website at wordwhisperer.NET.

Kristine suggests this video for those who absolutely must do It themselves and thinks it would be easier with small decals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRkURz3GrDQ If you would like to see a sample of the brochure Eli did for Kristine, e-mal her at kristinemsmith@msn.com.

PS: “It happened again yesterday when I went to Taco Del Mar for a mondito burrito: people on the sidewalk were reading my SUV aloud as I came out the door of the restaurant. It throws me for a loop every time. I've had the graphics on my vehicle for less than a week and it has happened three or four times already--nearly every time I leave my driveway, in other words. This never happened when I had those crappy little magnetic signs on the SUV.

-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Overcrowded Docs? Here's an Answer to the "Sell Sheet Dilemma"


Borrowing Green Formatting from the Greats . . .
 
Subscribers to this editing blog probably know how I feel about learning from the greats—in this case the Smithsonian magazine. You may also have figured out that I’m a greenie.

So, ta da! Introducing the paragraph icon. You know, the one that looks like a backward “P” with two heavy lines on the right. But instead of using it as an invisible formatting tool, Smithsonian can see its beauty and makes it a space-saving design element on the opening pages of their feature articles. That means the page has less white space (which costs money in print magazines), but it also may mean a little more space for nifty illustrations.

Smithsonian designers/formatters just stick one of these symbols into the copy anywhere there would normally be a new paragraph or the start of a new block of dialogue. That saves them lines between paragraphs and indent and end of paragraph space. 
 
 To make it ever-so-clear that this is intentional, they make the symbols a nice dark gray—a slight departure from the black used in their fonts. Here is information from Word how to make the paragraph symbol—one that can be seen—in your copy. http://www.ehow.com/how_6951039_insert-paragraph-sign-word-document.html.
 
I think this design element would be especially useful for authors’ sell sheets where every fraction of an inch counts. To make your paragraph icons gray, click on your Font Color icon in the ribbon in your Word program.

CHJ
 
PS: Subscribe to my free SharingwithWriters newsletter for more articles and tips like this and get a free e-copy of my Great Little Last-Minute Edits. Find subscription windows on the upper right corner of almost every page of my Web site http://howtodoitfrugally.com.
 
 
-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your Query Letters: Answering a Request from a Reporter


I think I've mentioned on this blog the value of using the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) service to get exposure for you, your business, and your book--maybe more than once! (Use the search engine in this blog if you want to know more about it!).
I'm pretty sure I've also mentioned using out-of-the-box methods of selling books, and I know I talked about selling books in retail stores other than bookstores in The Frugal Book Promoter. This post is a bit about using them all to help your book sales. It will also serve as a template for some kinds of pitches--especially when you're following up on a request from a contact.
Specifically I am pasting a quick pitch I used to answer a HARO call for information. It's really just an adaptation of a more formal query letter, but I thought maybe it would inspire you to be a little less formal with your queries and pitches and still provide reporters and others with what they need if they are open to featuring you in a story. 
 Notice that a pitch or query absolutely must be tailored to the needs of the editor or writer you are contacting and that, generally speaking, it shouldn't have the tone of a formal business letter. Notice, that I am answering this reporter's call for my favorite ways to sell books to retailers.

Elaine, I give lots of ideas for selling books in the multi award-winning book you see in my e-mail signature, and all of them are things I've tried myself. I know their out-of-the-box character is one thing that has kept this book selling for years, well into its second edition.

One of my favorite stories is how I combined my thirty years as founder and owner of a chain of retail stores with my newer career in publishing and, I have to say, that retail experience has surely come in handy.

You probably know how hard it is to get books into airports.  Here's how I did that for a novel set in Salt Lake City. It was published just before the Winter Olympics in 2001 and I knew that retail stores in and around that venue would be looking for tie-in products. Bookstore buyers do the same thing. That is, they look for merchandise that is current,  that will interest their customers and those who walk by their windows and down their aisles.

 

So, it's up to an author or publisher to finding an angle that will make the book profitable for whatever retail outlet he or she is approaching. The Salt Lake City aspect of my book was perfect for this occasion and so was the fact that the "cute meet" in the book was set on the slopes of Alta, one of the Olympics venues near Salt Lake City.

 
I targeted the chains in airports, but also the gift stores paying special attention to independent gift stores. (I sent query letters and sales packets first to the airports in Utah and branched out to other major airlines' hubs).  I offered buyers a package deal of twelve books that came with a free point of purchase display with an Olympic-Utah themed header card.

 

I sweetened the pot by telling buyers that if they didn't sell at least ten books before the Olympics, they didn't have to pay for the order. Every one of them paid, though I didn't see reorders from them all. I don't think it's necessarily the no-risk offer that is so important. I think it's that an offer like this is contagious. If the sales person (in this case, the author or publisher) is so sure of her product's appeal, the buyer or owner of the shop will catch the bug.

 

This particular sales technique once worked on me when I was in retailing. I was shown colorful little odd-shaped lollipops I never would have put in my store otherwise, but the sales person suggested we could sell them as tie-ons in our giftwrap department.  BTW, I explain this in a little more detail  in my HowToDoItFugally book for retailers, A Retailer's Guide to In-Store Promotions .
 
[I always include an offer to help any way I can with images (not attachments), more information, and a media kit. My signature gives several ways to contact me. I always include a phone number in case the reporter is on deadline. And, of course, always include a thank you.]

 

Once you have written a few query letters or pitches, it becomes a lot easier to write another. And I save each new query letters with a different focus that I write so I don't have to reinvent the wheel if that a similar query should ever be needed again.

 
-----
  Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .