Monthly Archives: July 2018

[PAPERBACK] The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

Coming soon! The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

COMING SOON TO BOOKSTORES (OCTOBER 31, 2018)

Non-fiction (Business Self-Help)

The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers
Kindle (.MOBI) Ebook ASIN: TBD
KOBO and E-Sentral (.EPUB) Ebook 978-1-988971-28-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988971-27-8
Copyright 2018 Kim Staflund, All Rights Reserved

It takes the patience of a spider to weave an intricate web that can repeatedly attract—and catch—her prey. Spiderwebs are true miracles of organic engineering, and online marketing works in much the same way. You can grow your readership using various search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and almost all of them include effective writing.

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” (Moz, n.d.)

What constitutes quality traffic? It is relevant visitors to your website—people who are looking for the types of books and information that you offer. What is an organic search engine result? It is a search result that you didn’t pay for—a result that occurred naturally through an intricate web weaving process.

Buy the ebook versions through Amazon’s KindleKobo, and E-Sentral.




The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

The Art of Organic Web Weaving: Why Writers are Natural Online Marketers

AVAILABLE VERY SOON through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral! Watch for it!

You’re a writer—not a salesperson. You don’t want to have to sell your books after you write them. Well, I have some good news for you. Writing is selling in the online world. Writers are natural online marketers. What you already do instinctively is exactly what it takes to grow your readership throughout the world wide web.

Every day, people are searching for books like yours online. They perform those searches by typing various words and phrases (known as keywords) into search engines like Google and online bookstores like Amazon and Kobo. The more keywords you can associate with your books, and the higher your ranking grows on each of these websites, the better your chance of being found by the people searching for you.

So, how do you optimize your ranking on each of these websites? It takes the patience of a spider to weave an intricate web that can repeatedly attract—and catch—her prey. Spiderwebs are true miracles of organic engineering, and online marketing works in much the same way. You can grow your readership using various search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and almost all of them include effective writing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. (Moz, n.d.)

What constitutes quality traffic? It is relevant visitors to your website—people who are looking for the types of books and information that you offer. What is an organic search engine result? It is a search result that you didn’t pay for—a result that occurred naturally through an intricate web weaving process. The more clickable links that direct quality traffic to your website, that also show up in the top five or 10 organic search results of any search engine, the more potential customers will likely visit your website. This will improve the readership of all your books and help you build your name as a reputable author within your genre over time.

It’s easier than you may think. Sales success isn’t reserved for extroverted salespeople, nor is online marketing talent reserved for technical experts. You may be pleasantly surprised by what it takes to achieve success online because you’ll see—possibly for the first time—just how achievable this is for you as a writer. You’re at an advantage online, believe it or not. Writing is selling in today’s online world, and writers are natural online marketers.



Some Striking Statistics in Favour of Video Marketing [An Excerpt]

Video Marketing

Enjoy this excerpt about video marketing from the upcoming seventh installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t done nearly enough video marketing—partly because I don’t enjoy listening to my own voice or seeing myself on camera (which is a necessary part of proofing and editing one’s videos), and partly because I’m a novice with cameras, lighting, and video editing software (I have a funny story to share with you in this regard). Like most people, I tend to focus on the marketing skills I’m good at while avoiding the others. But then it came time to research and begin writing this mini ebook. When I came across all the compelling statistics in favour of video marketing, I realized my procrastination must come to an end. It’s time to ramp up my video marketing game. Now. (Well, maybe after I’m done writing this book.)

As part of my research, I came across a Forbes article by Matt Bowman, titled “Video Marketing: The Future Of Content Marketing,” that I highly recommend you read in full. Here’s a short excerpt from it to whet your appetite:

Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years, according to news shared by HubSpot:
● Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
● Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
● Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
(Bowman, 2017)

In the most recent T-Shaped ebook, titled Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we looked at how important click-through traffic is to the SEO of a website. When people visit just one page of your site and then leave, that’s considered a bounce; whereas, if they click on one of your links to visit another webpage on your site, that’s considered a click-through. Since click-throughs are what improve your SEO in the eyes of Google, and conversions (e.g., views of your book descriptions that lead to sales) are what earn you an income, these statistics are highly motivating.

There are three more important SEO ranking factors that video marketing can help you with: posting relevant content on a consistent basis, building up relevant backlinks to your website, and making your website mobile-friendly. Every time you post a video on YouTube that contains a link to your website in the description area, you’ve posted relevant content and created a relevant backlink to your website. Better yet, when you embed that video into your home webpage for others to view, you’ve just made that webpage more mobile-friendly:

Today, one of the biggest trends driving the digital marketing world is responsive design. When a company’s content doesn’t perform well on a given device or browser system, the business behind it loses traffic and suffers decreased conversions as a result. Fortunately, video content is fit for consumption on all devices, ranging from computers to mobile phones. This expands video’s reach and makes it more user-friendly and consumer-focused. (Bowman, 2017)

If you’re feeling resistant or overwhelmed by the idea of producing regular video content for yourself—maybe because you think it will be complicated or expensive—then you’ll be pleased to learn about one of the top “Video Marketing Trends for 2018” according to Epic Productions, LLC: creating quick, live videos (like the ones you post on Facebook) to announce a new book signing or launch event. All you must do to “go live” on social media is record yourself on your smartphone and then post it to your account. Done. When you go live, all your social media friends and followers will be notified immediately, and their curiosity at seeing you live on video is likely to make them click on the link.

That’s one quick idea on how to utilize video marketing to your advantage this coming year. Throughout this book, I’ll share a few more with you from the expensive to the cost-effective. This will provide you with a great start and some helpful resources.

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I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.



My Winding Road from Traditional Publishing to Digital Publishing

How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! © 2013

I started Polished Publishing Group (PPG) as a “digital publishing” company in November 2009. In retrospect, I didn’t fully understand effective digital publishing at that time. Nine years later, I can confidentally say I do, and the way I run my company is evolving as a result.

Like many others in my generation and older, I come from a traditional publishing background. I cut my teeth on paperbacks, hardcovers, and offset printing at a small literary press back in 1993. We put all our authors’ books through a thorough, substantive editing process followed by an even more fastidious graphic design and proofreading regimen to polish them to perfection. Then we “sold” (and I use that word loosely) our books by mailing out printed press releases and review copies to all the relevant media in our area, entering some books into contests, arranging the occasional breakfast launch or evening wine and cheese reading event for others, and shipping part of our inventory to various Canadian distributors to house for us. Other than that, we relied on standing orders and word of mouth to “sell” our books to the masses. Once the next season of frontlist titles came out six months later, the latter became part of the dust-collecting backlist.

An Early Education in Traditional and Digital Publishing

It was an eye-opening experience for someone like me who took this job straight out of college thinking I was going to learn what it takes to become a bestselling author from the inside out. (Even just writing that sentence makes me chuckle now.) As detailed in the introduction of How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit!, I quickly learned the realities of this industry. I came to see that our top authors were the ones who bought wholesale copies of their books from us and worked tirelessly to sell them out. They saw themselves as entrepreneurs, and they treated their books as their businesses.

Small Canadian presses aren’t alone in this. Far from it. In fact, the “Big Five” international trade publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—also admit to focusing primarily on their frontlist titles for only a short period of time. Once those books fall to the back list, the responsibility of continued promotion falls to their authors as detailed in this excerpt from Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson (16-Mar-2012) Paperback:

As soon as a book shows signs that it’s going to take off, the sales, marketing and publicity operations mobilize behind it and look for ways to support it with extra advertising, trying to get more radio and TV appearances, extending the author’s tour or putting together a new tour to cities where the book is doing particularly well, and so on. … the sales, marketing and publicity operations are geared and resourced in such a way that, when they see that a fire is starting to ignite, they are able to pour generous quantities of fuel on the flames. … But if further appeals fall on deaf ears and sales fail to pick up, then the marketing and publicity effort will be wound up pretty quickly – ‘In two to three weeks we might pull the plug,’ … So how long does a book have out there in the marketplace to show signs of life? How many weeks before it becomes a dead fish that will be left to float downstream? … I would say the life of a book today is about six weeks. And quite frankly it’s even shorter than that, but you probably have six weeks and that’s it. (Thompson, 2012)

How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It Worldwide Based on Value, Not Price! © 2014

Unless you’re selling it yourselves, authors. Sell it yourself and your book will have a much longer shelflife. As long as you stay focused on selling on any book, it will remain a frontlist title for you. That’s a fact.

I knew that much nine years ago. I had also learned how to sell after leaving my job at that literary press to begin a lifelong career in corporate sales with some of the most prominent industry leaders in print media, office supplies, and multi-function digital and offset printing. I had a strong grasp on digital communications and how easy it now is to communicate and do business with people all over the world so long as each party has a proper WIFI connection. So, in my mind, I was a “digital publisher” because I operated in a virtual office environment, and because I not only had the experience and expertise to help authors produce trade-quality books; I could also teach them how to sell their books worldwide both offline and online.

But Here’s the Problem With That

I now know effective digital publishing requires a little more finesse than simply intermingling yesterday’s offline sales and marketing methodologies with today’s online techniques. Doing so can acutally be counterproductive because the latter requires patience while the former requires momentum. In the traditional offline world, authors must appeal to the interests of people such as agents, booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you move more books on their schedules; but, in the online world, you’re working with impartial algorithms and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to increase your exposure as detailed here: https://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/2018/06/a-shortlist-of-googles-top-ranking-factors-an-excerpt-from-search-engine-optimization-seo/. In other words, if you want to succeed at selling books in this day and age, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per week and promoting it on someone else’s timeline. The Internet rewards speed and productivity, and the Internet is your greatest sales tool.

How to Publish a Book in the East That Your Can Sell in the West © 2018

How much speed and productivity are we talking about? There are literally millions of new books published around the world every year now. The playing field has drastically changed from when my publishing career began 25 years ago. It is far more competitive and nearly impossible to stand out among the crowd if you’re doing things the traditional way. I’ve come to see that my approach has to change with the times if I’m to survive in this new digital arena and all my authors—myself included—are to thrive. More and more, I’ve also come to see that it’s necessary to embrace a digital revolution known as “rapid release” publishing, as discussed in my latest book titled How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West. You can reach people worldwide now, but there is a right way to do it that will improve your odds of success. This is the new publishing model I’m now developing for PPG’s upcoming authors.

How do I know this works? I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you in my new book. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date, but that’s nothing. You’re sure to be inspired by many even greater success stories contained within the book. And once I’ve grown my own numbers to a “respectable” level by today’s North American corporate standards, I plan to package the program to help you achieve the same effective digital publishing results with a dedicated team by your side.

For those of you who are public speakers and business professionals selling your books at trade shows and conferences, the traditional publishing methods still apply. You’ll find the first two books mentioned above are still helpful. For everyone else, stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.  

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[PAPERBACK] How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

[PAPERBACK] How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

Watch for How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West in the autumn of 2018. This new title will be available through all major bookstores worldwide in paperback format, plus on Kobo.com and E-Sentral.com in .EPUB ebook format, on October 15, 2018.

Those who wish to sneak an early peek will be able to find this book on Amazon in .MOBI ebook format as early as July 15, 2018, and it will be free of charge for five days that week only.

This book contains a repeatable, entirely achievable six-week publishing process—a blueprint you can easily follow no matter what type of book series you wish to publish on three recommended ecommerce sites. It also contains case studies of several highly successful authors who are already doing these things and earning massive incomes from it.  Read more here.



How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

COMING SOON to Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral! Order it online!

Do you want to publish a book in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, or Southeast Asia? Do you dream of selling your book to English-speaking westerners in the United Kingdom and North America? If yes, you’ll find this book very helpful. You will learn where and how to publish a book that has a worldwide reach. You will also learn the online methods today’s top independent authors (also known as “indie authors”) are using to sell thousands of ebooks every year—at western prices. All you need is access to a computer that contains Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader along with a WIFI connection to the Internet, and you’re in business.

In this book, we’ll cover how to publish a book and:

– what the “Big Five” traditional (trade) publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—are looking for when scouting new book projects;

– why you don’t need a literary agent to help you reach today’s publishers;

– the three publishing methods available to you;

– why the old publishing boundaries that once blocked the east from the west are now nearly dissolved;

– how today’s top search engine, Google, ranks webpages around the world (and why this is important to your commercial success);

– how to publish regular content in a way that bolsters your performance on all kinds of search engines (including online stores);

– why you should publish more than one ebook online;

– why you should publish your ebooks to more than one platform for best results;

and the list goes on!

You’re in the driver’s seat.

Gone are the days when the world’s large corporate book publishers set the pace and direction of the entire publishing market. Today’s western indie authors are now in the driver’s seat, and it can be the same for eastern authors in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia. The tools are already at your fingertips, and ebook publishing is the easiest and most affordable way to begin. (And when I say “affordable,” I mean almost completely free of charge. Now that’s affordable!)

Your only necessary cost will be editing, which will be covered in great detail in this book. The fact is, if you want your ebook to be accepted by a western-based English-speaking population, you’ll need to hire a western-based English editor to help you get things right. I’ll show you exactly where and how to find one at a price that suits your budget.

If you want to know how to publish a book in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, or Southeast Asia, this book can help. You’ll also learn how to sell your book to westerners in the United Kingdom and North America. The whole process from start to finish—from outlining a full ebook series to publishing it online—will be covered in this book. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know exactly how to publish a book. You’ll know what it takes to successfully sell it, too.