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Self-Publishing is Easy — Self-Promotion is Hard [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Valerie Nygaard, founder of SoftCopy Publishing.

Photo: Jenny Downing | Flickr

Yes, self-publishing takes work, and working with a good service like our friends at DuoLit can make a huge difference, but in the end, it’s a known quantity. Getting a book to print these days can be done by anyone who has the smarts, creativity and outright doggedness it takes to write a good manuscript.

Before I started SoftCopy Publishing, I spent much of my career in search engine development. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Silicon Valley, it’s this: It doesn’t matter how good your idea is if no one knows about it.

It’s the same with books. There you are, with thousands of beautiful little words lined up just how you want them. You climb to the top of the nearest hill and shout to the world, “Look, World! Behold, my amazing creation!” As you stand with your arms outstretched to greet your throngs of fans, it occurs to you that the kiss on the cheek from your mother and the “good job” from your friend wasn’t quite the onslaught of adoration you had braced yourself for. So what next?Continue Reading

Author Media Kits: 12 Things to Include & Making a Great First Impression

Photo: I Don't Know, Maybe | Flickr

When you’re going on a job interview, you tend to dress a certain way.

You iron that nice shirt that’s been on the closet floor for a year or so, fashion a packing-tape lint roller to wipe away the dog hair on your pants — you make an effort to look nice! Why? It’s all about the first impression.

A well-dressed author media kit is just as important as a first impression. Here’s how to make it a good one!

What Is A Media Kit?

A media kit is a collection of all of the resources commonly requested by media outlets. I’ve also seen it described as your book’s “sales pitch,” and this certainly is true, to a point. If you’re distributing it with the goal of booking an interview or event it better do a darn good job of selling you!

Media kits serve several purposes:

  • Provides quick references for outlets doing stories on or interviews with you.
  • Gives event organizers a background on you and your book for booking purposes.
  • Allows tertiary service providers (web/blog designers, marketing helpers) to know exactly who you are and what your goals are for your book.Continue Reading

Conquering Book Marketing Fear: Seven Tips for the Introverted Author

AN: We’re taking the week off from original posts to focus on returning some e-mails and answering your questions — so let ‘er rip! Today, I’m posting an excerpt and a link to a guest post I wrote for Marketing Tips for Authors. It was originally published on June 22, 2010.

Photo by: Tiagø Ribeiro | Flickr

What if say the wrong thing?
What if my writing isn’t good enough?
What if no one buys my book?

We’ve all been there. Marketing anxiety is something the vast majority of authors have to deal with and is a commonly given reason for shrugging off book marketing. Forgoing book marketing, however, can seriously hurt your book’s chances for success.

How do we work up the courage to put ourselves (and our book) out there? As Ambrose Redmoon says,

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

In this case, selling more copies of your book is a pretty compelling reason to conquer that fear!

The process of conquering book marketing fear doesn’t mean you have to get up on stage at your Barnes and Noble to discuss the finer points of writing and take questions from your local version of Comic Book Guy.  Start small — utilize the seven tips below to move past marketing fear and sell more books!

[continue reading Conquering Book Marketing Fear: Seven Tips for the Introverted Author at Marketing Tips for Authors]

Marketing: 9 Ways To Market Your Book [Self-Publishing Basics]

Note: For an updated version of the information below, download Self-Publishing Basic Training for FREE (you’ll also get some nifty extras)!

Photo: Robert Scoble | Flickr

Ahhhhhhhh. Breathe a sigh of relief.

You’ve planned, written, edited, designed and made decision after decision and now, finally, your book is available for purchase.

Prop your feet up and relax — all the hard work is over…right? Right?

WRONG.

Your work is just beginning.

Now that your book is out, it’s time to sell some (okay, hopefully, MANY) copies. This is the longest (and most arduous) part of the self-publishing process. It’s hard. You’ll want to give up; throw in the towel; say that self-publishing was a horrible idea — DON’T do it!

It’s hard work, to be sure, but it’s also a total blast — after all, you’re finally getting to experience the moment many authors deram of: to see readers pick up and purchase copies of their book. This is where you gain lifetime fans and readers. This is where it all comes together!

After all, marketing isn’t about the traditional book tour anymore (thanks to Nicole at It’s All About Writing):

Luckily for us, those days are (mostly) over. It’s 2010, and there are more ways than ever to market your book. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, traditional or a little wacky there’s a method of marketing that’s right for you (and your book). Check out these nine ideas for starters:Continue Reading

Decisions, Part I : Pre-Planning [Self-Publishing Basics]

Note: For an updated version of the information below, download Self-Publishing Basic Training for FREE (you’ll also get some nifty extras)!

By Håkan Dahlström | Flickr

Decisions, decisions.

When deciding to self-publish or, heck, when deciding to write a book — many decisions must be made. The first set of these revolve around planning your book, both as an actual piece of completed work and from a marketing standpoint (if your goal is for other people to purchase it, that is).

In order to make the process of answering these questions less overwhelming we’ve broken them up into three posts based on when in the process the answers become critical. In this first post, we present a list of questions (separated into categories) to ask yourself before you put fingers to keys to begin writing your book.

Our Assumptions

Just a quick note: we’re working off of a couple of assumptions here. The first is that you’d like your book to reach an audience — any audience — beyond friends and family. The second is that you started the book writing process with the expectation of your work being traditionally published.

If you’re headed into the writing process with the intent to self-publish, we recommend also checking out next Monday’s post Big Decisions (subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t forget). The more questions you answer at the beginning of the process, the better.

Let your Mind (and Pen) Wander — Download the PDF

If you’re the type that likes to handwrite notes and outlines, you may want to download the PDF version of these questions. We give you plenty of room to write, sketch, and brainstorm — however you think best.Continue Reading