Author Archives: Kim Staflund

About Kim Staflund

As a book publisher, Kim Staflund works with businesses and individuals around the world to produce superior quality ebooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers. As the founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG), she has extensive experience with the traditional (trade), vanity, and supported self-publishing business models as both a service provider and an author. Kim built her company from the perspective of the author—taking the best practices from each business model to create a company that puts its authors first, while ensuring a professional, saleable result. Think of PPG as a skilled project manager for self-publishing authors. Using the supported self-publishing business model, the company assists authors in producing truly professional books by guiding them through the entire process from conception to publication. PPG helps both individuals and businesses to publish quality books and provides them with online distribution opportunities throughout the world. In addition to her writing and book publishing background, Kim has a substantial sales and sales management history that includes new business development, both inside and outside account management of all types and sizes of companies, and personnel management and leadership experience within unionized and non-unionized environments. Add her firsthand knowledge of records management, process management, and project management into the mix and you have everything that is required in a professional book publisher to help authors everywhere succeed. Kim’s number one priority in each of these roles has always been, and will always be, to earn (and keep) the trust of each of her clients by providing honest, ethical, and thoughtful customer service that meets or exceeds their expectations.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

I took a break over the holiday season to relax and am I ever glad I did so. As a result, I’m rested and excited to start off the new year with this Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019. I’m looking forward to many more micro wins throughout the year that will bring me to my desired macro wins at the end.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 - 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Blog Subscribers

Now, what do I mean when I say “micro wins” versus “macro wins”? I borrowed these two terms from a lady I greatly admire named Lisa Nichols, from her book titled Abundance Now. She talks about the importance of celebrating small successes along the way rather than just focusing on the end goal. As a result, you keep yourself motivated and inspired all along the way. You enjoy the whole journey. Because you’re giving yourself indicators, all along the way, to let yourself know you’re on the right track.

I started January 2018 with a goal of reaching 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year. As you can see, I’ve surpassed that goal. In fact, I still enjoyed mass gains over the holiday season based on all the work I’d done this past year. From the time I posted my last Blogging Progress Report until today, I’ve gained an additional 1,280 subscribers. That’s an average of 37 new subscribers per day. Consequently, this is leading to an increased number of book downloads.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Amazon Book Reports

In 2017 and 2018, I published five free books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral. I used these books, along with this blog, to drive more traffic to my 35+ paid books on these sites. Finally, the strategy is beginning to work.

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Kobo Book Reports

Kobo reporting is not as detailed as Amazon reporting is. But this is a valuable publishing platform that helps me reach additional readers I’m not reaching through Amazon. Here are my results on this platform so far.

ALL sales to date summary

ALL sales to date summary

KOBO ALL sales to date by country

Sales to date by country

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – E-Sentral Book Reports

E-Sentral reporting is sparse. For that reason, I have to email them to get updates on my book downloads. This is all I’ve been able to get from them so far:

Book id Title No of downloads
183238 An Independent Author’s Checklist: FREE Help for Indie Authors 19
183547 Diary of an Indie Blogger: My Roadmap to Success 12
203127 Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright 38
201602 Why Traditional Bookstores Won’t Carry Your Book on Their Shelves … and Why That’s Okay 20
185091 How to Price an Ebook: A FREE Guide for Independent Authors 28

Blogging and Book Download Goals for 2019

In 2019, my goal is to increase this blog to 25,000 subscribers. I want to more than double my subscriber base by December 31, 2019. That will be my main macro win: 25,000 subscribers. Of course, I’ll update you on the micro wins—the monthly blogging progress reports—along the way.

I also plan to increase my free book downloads by 25% this year. By contrast, last year, between the above three ecommerce sites, I saw 4,828 free downloads of my books. In 2019, I want to see an additional 1,207 free books downloaded for a total of 6,035.

Most noteworthy, I plan to increase my paid book downloads by 500% over last year. I saw paid downloads (both ebooks and paperbacks) totalling 83 books from the above three ecommerce sites last year. In 2019, I’m shooting for an additional 417 paid book downloads for a total of 500 this year.

More Learning in 2019

I learned a lot this past year on how to reach more people more effectively all over the world. My plan is to continue with the blogging pace of at least three new posts per week along with at least one new book published every six weeks. This is how I’ll achieve these goals. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Diary of an Indie Blogger: My Roadmap to Success (VOLUME 2)

Diary of an Indie Blogger VOL 2 (See below for links on where to download it FREE!)

Diary of an Indie Blogger VOL 2 (See below for links on where to download it FREE!)

I’ve decided to continue sharing large parts of the PPG Publisher’s Blog with you in book form at the end of each year. Annual Diary of an Indie Blogger books will be a new PPG tradition. And I think you’re going to like this new one especially. With some help, I’ve added even more content to my blog over these past two years than in the first seven years combined!

Diary of an Indie Blogger: My Roadmap to Success (VOLUME 2)

The first book contained the first seven years of blog content. Diary of an Indie Blogger (Volume 2) excludes any guest posts from the actual PPG Publisher’s Blog. But it still shows my growth as a blogger, and all I’ve learn about SEO, over the past two years. I know you’ll find this helpful for your own blogging/writing career.

Of course, this book is not meant to take the place of the PPG Publisher’s Blog altogether. I recommend you check out the many educational pieces written by others for my subscribers. There are helpful tips on everything from crowd funding to movie adaptation, et cetera, in all these posts. This book does not include those tips.

Also check out a new category this year: Blogging Progress Reports. You’ll notice, as you read through this book, that the format of my posts began to change toward the end of the year. After much research, I learned the most effective ways to write posts so they’re sure to be indexed by search engines like Google. I not only want these posts to be indexed. They should have a high enough ranking that they land on page one of a key word search. Needless to say, I’ve learned how to do that effectively this year. And there is more help coming to you in 2019! Keep watching for more!

Download Diary of an Indie Blogger VOL 1 on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral free of charge.

Download Diary of an Indie Blogger VOL 2 on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral free of charge.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It’s That Simple.

Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It's That Simple.

Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It’s That Simple.

Good news authors—especially the introverts out there. You can sell more earn more simply by writing more. It really is that simple! Here’s how I know…

My shift in thinking began in around mid-to-late 2015. I had been in the book publishing business, in one capacity or another, for close to 25 years. I’d been publishing books under my own label, Polished Publishing Group (PPG), since November 2009. I knew how to produce a truly professional product for my authors, and I had ample experience to be able to teach them all the traditional book sales and marketing methods. I was a best selling author in my own right, and so were many of my authors. So, everything looked great on the surface.

But here was the reality: my company wasn’t generating enough profit to allow me to leave my full-time sales job. My own royalties, and my best authors’ royalties, weren’t all that impressive. All these bestsellers were earning less than $500 per year in royalties. That was the hard truth.

Burnout and Refocus Time

I was burning out. I could no longer maintain my pace of 50+ hours of corporate sales coupled with another 20+ hours of book publishing, sales, and marketing every week. Especially if there was no end in sight to all this work—no definite increase in profits to show me I was on the right track. I felt discouraged. I felt like I was failing my authors, never mind myself.

So, do you know what I did? I quit my full-time job, and I scaled back the publishing work for a little while. There was something I had wanted to do since my early twenties that I allowed myself to do in my forties. I embarked on my very own “Eat, Pray, Love” working holiday in Asia and taught English in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2016. What a blessing this experience was! I was blessed not only by all the people I met and all the life lessons I learned, but also by my renewed sense of purpose when I returned home.

If you’re feeling burned out in any way, I recommend you do something like this for yourself. Walk away from your work for a while. Have fun! Eat! Pray! Love! Then, once you’re fully rejuvenated, get back to work. You’ll be so much more productive if you do. And you may just find the answers to your questions that had eluded you for so long. That’s what happened to me.

Sell More Earn More in the United Kingdom

I didn’t go back to a “real job” straightaway because I wanted to turn off the corporate noise for a while and really focus on my craft. And I found four personal investors to help me cover my expenses while I focused. In early 2017, I started studying and learning all about email marketing. I also Googled things like “successful authors” and “profitable publishing” to figure out how to take things to the next level and start making some real money publishing books.

The first clue came to me in the form of a Forbes article written about a self-published author in the United Kingdom named Mark Dawson: Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer. I was impressed … but skeptical. I figured maybe he was an anomaly. So, I kept reading and searching for more “realistic” examples of success.

Sell More Earn More in the United States

In May of 2017, I spoke at a writers’ conference in Columbia, Missouri. Because I only presented two break-out sessions of my own, I had the opportunity to attend many other people’s sessions that weekend. One of the most memorable sessions for me was Liz Schulte‘s break-out session. This American was one of only a handful of independent authors who were allowed to join her local traditional writers’ guild. Why? Because of her proven sales success. She was already earning a six-figure annual royalty in her second year of self-publishing.

WHAT??!!

Now it wasn’t just some seemingly “faraway fictional character” speaking to me about his success from a Forbes magazine article. This was a real person standing in front of me, telling me that she was doing many of the same things Mark Dawson was doing. And she was seeing similar results. Now I knew I was onto something big!

I went for a glass of wine with Liz that evening, and I soaked in all her knowledge. I also asked her to write a guest post for the PPG Publisher’s Blog and she willingly obliged despite how busy she is (click on her hyperlinked name above to read it). Thank you, Liz!

Sell More Earn More in Australia

Determined to meet even more authors like Mark and Liz, I posted a question on Quora asking authors to share their success stories with me. I received a somewhat cheeky reply from an Aussie, named Timothy Ellis, who said he wasn’t sure if I would consider him a success or not because he only sells around 3,000 books per month after two years as a self-publisher.

WHAT??!!

How?! Give me your success formula! Show me your stats!

Lucky for me, he obliged. Timothy Ellis willingly shared his success formula in this guest post on the PPG Publisher’s Blog. Thank you, Timothy!

Sell More Earn More in Canada … and All Over the World!

Long story short, since that time, I’ve been a student of many more successful authors who are following the same patterns as the above three are. In fact, I’ve studied and put into practice everything I’ve learned from these authors to see some success of my own over the past two years.

Here’s the best part: I have a “real job” again now, and even with this job taking up much of my time during the week, I’m still seeing some real progress with my own personal book sales. So, that tells you that you can do the same. You don’t have to quit your job and focus on writing and publishing alone in order to see success with it. You can easily maintain both … until you don’t have to do both anymore. Does that make sense?

My new “real job” is an added bonus for me, because the industry I’m in completely complements my writing and publishing aspirations: printing. I’ve learned so much more about printing this past year that I can offer even more helpful insights to authors everywhere—in Canada and abroad. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and I’m looking very forward to even more success 2019!

A New Focus for PPG in the New Year

In the meantime, I’ve stopped publishing books for other people. For now. There are so many publishers out there, and there are just as many self-publishing tools. But there are very few decent sales coaches for authors who can show you the path to significant success as an author. I’m drawing that roadmap right now. I’m living it as I’m drawing it, and I’ll be sharing it with you in the coming months. It will come complete with real life statistics that prove it’s possible to earn so much more than you ever thought possible by writing and publishing books. Watch for it in early 2019!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Profitable Publishing in 2019

profitable publishing

profitable publishing

What does profitable publishing look like to you? Is it signing a publishing deal with a major publisher like Amanda Hocking did after proving her marketability through self-publishing? Or maybe it’s upstaging trade publishers by selling more books as a self-publisher than they ever sold for you. That’s Mark Dawson‘s story. Is it seeing your paperback or hardcover for sale on the shelves of “bricks and mortar” bookstores? Or is it having your ebooks listed as best sellers in multiple categories on Amazon or Kobo? Profitable publishing can take on many different forms, depending on your personal goals. In fact, this blog is already full of various author success stories and their personal roadmaps to success. Each story is a little different. All of them are inspirational.

Profitable Publishing in 2019

In the upcoming year, I’ll be providing even more examples of success in all its forms. I once focused on cautioning authors about the “peculiar old-fashioned practices and unforeseen pitfalls” of the traditional publishing world. Now I want to focus more on what contemporary authors find is working well for them. There’s no sense in focusing on the past anymore. Right? I want to bring you today‘s recipes for success so you can begin implementing them immediately. In other words, I want to focus on truly profitable publishing in 2019.

If you want to reach the masses and sell an increasing number of books, then you’ll need to be publishing and selling online in very specific ways. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to your success, and there are some easy techniques all authors can learn to improve their rankings on all the search engines.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

In July 2018, I wrote that I had 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. I accomplished this by doing all the things I recommend in this book. This blog had remained at a stagnant 1,000 subscribers for many years, actually. It never grew until I purposefully set out to grow it using all those techniques. This is my Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018 to show you this blog’s subscriber growth rate to date. I’m now at 9,867 users as of writing time—and growing even faster every day! Why? Because, since my last report, I’ve learned even more tricks that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming blog posts and books.

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Why does this blog’s progress matter to my success as an author? There are three main reasons:

  1. It helps to increase my exposure on ecommerce sites such as Amazon which translates into even more book downloads.

    Historical Amazon book dowloadsHistorical Amazon book dowloads

    Historical Amazon book downloads

  2. It increases the Google Adsense revenue this blog generates for me due to the increase in traffic.

    Google Adsense Report

    Google Adsense Report

  3. It improves the chances of my mobile-friendly blog posts becoming featured snippets in Google searches, which can bring me even more traffic and registered users.

    Mobile first indexing and feature snippets

    Mobile first indexing and feature snippets

One of my book sales mentors, Joanna Penn, graciously shared her exact timeline to success in this blog post. She has inspired me to do the same for you. The best way to help you sell more books is to show you, step by step, how it’s done. So, this Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018 will be the first of many. I look forward to sharing even more success strategies with you in the coming year.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.







Reddit: Social Marketing [T-Shaped Marketing for Authors]

Reddit is a great place to promote new books. I talk about Reddit in the last T-Shaped Marketing for Authors ebook titled Social Marketing. Here’s an excerpt from that book which will be coming out this month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.

Reddit is a great social media tool!

Reddit is a great social media tool!

Reddit refers to itself as the “front page of the Internet” but, perhaps, it’s more accurately defined as the “sixth top page.” A web analytics company powered by Amazon, known as Alexa, reports Reddit as being in sixth place for top-visited sites in the United States and 20th place worldwide as I’m writing this. Either way, it is a powerful tool authors can use to drive more traffic to their own blogs (and books) in the form of relevant backlinks from a relevant, not to mention reputable, website. You do this by sharing links to your various blog posts. Or, you can simply post your views or questions for others to respond to right on the site.

As such, Reddit is best defined as a collection of forums where people can share news and views on just about any topic you can imagine. You can join Reddit and create your own forum threads (a.k.a. conversations) within the many established communities known as “subreddits.” This is a great way to try to generate discussion around a certain topic or issue, perhaps one related to your latest book or your career as an author. As with all social media, it’s also a good idea for you to post comments to other users’ threads so you can develop online relationships with them. If you do that, there’s a better chance of them upvoting your posts. This gives your posts more visibility so that more people will read them.

A popular form of conversation you can create on Reddit is known as an AMA which stands for “ask me anything.” Generally, high profile celebrities are known to start AMAs on Reddit to promote their new films (Bill Murray) or even their political views (Barack Obama). Why can’t an author also post an AMA to promote a new book? Not only can this generate interest in that new book, but the questions you receive might even generate some new blog post ideas for you that you hadn’t considered before.

I came across a post, written by Maxine Patenaude, on the Thornley Fallis Communications website that describes where the word “Reddit” comes from:

Did you know that “reddit” is the Latin word for render, which can mean “to submit for consideration or approval.” That basically sums up the concept of this popular social platform. (Patenaude, n.d.)

I recommend you incorporate Reddit as part of your social media marketing program, even if you’re simply sharing links to your blog posts here to begin with. It’s a genuinely effective tool you can use to improve your SEO.

I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt from my upcoming ebook—the final installment in the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors series. Watch for it this coming month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Book Marketing Services Canada

Book Marketing Services Canada

Book Marketing Services Canada

The other day, I Googled the term “book marketing services Canada” and came across some common advice on the Writing Tips Oasis website: “If you’re an author in Canada looking to partner with someone who can offer advice on publicizing your novel, or nonfiction book, devise a strategy for book publicity and perhaps even marketing, and then help you to implement a plan of action, you’ll most likely need a book publicist.” A list of five recommended Canadian publicists follows.

Book publicists can definitely help boost your book’s visibility in the mainstream media more quickly than you can yourself. But their services are usually quite expensive. Here are two much more affordable “book marketing services Canada” options that are also effective. I’m writing this blog post for those of you who will do the same Google search as I did.

Book Marketing Services Canada

There are literally millions of books being published worldwide every year. We all have access to them through various online retailers. Books from around the world can be downloaded to our laptops with the click of a button. It’s that easy now. The book publishing landscape has clearly changed, and it’s increasingly competitive as a direct result. So, the traditional way of marketing books is less and less effective. In today’s world, online marketing is the single most effective way to promote books.

First, you need a personalized web presence where your readers can easily find you and links to all your books. The best web presence for authors is a blog. Why? With a blog, you can literally write your way to increased book sales.

Second, you need to ensure you’re writing each blog entry in an SEO-friendly way. In the online world, your best friend is Google. We all use it to find answers to our questions. Your desired readers are also using it to find books like yours, so you need to understand how Google ranks webpages to ensure your blog entries always land at the top of a search. 

Highly Recommended Podcast

Joanna Penn: Creative Writer Breaks Free From A Job She Hated, Starts A Blog, And Today Makes $100,000+ As A Best Selling Crime Thriller Author And Mentor To Writers

“During this podcast you will hear Joanna tell the story of writing her first book, then successfully landing an incredible amount of publicity – including some prime-time on Australian television – with the end result of selling ZERO books.”

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Bookstore Signings: Setting Up and Selling Books

Bookstore signings are still a popular form of marketing for most authors. Here’s how to set one up and ensure you sell books during it.

Bookstore Signings FREE BOOK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079R41YR7

Bookstore Signings FREE BOOK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079R41YR7

Call the Bookstore at Least 3 Months in Advance

Bookstores tend to set up their in-store events and signings a few months in advance. This is especially true leading up to Christmas time. So, if your book in being published in the late summer or fall, you’ll need to call well in advance. Give the store at least three months’ notice to ensure you’re able to secure a date for your signing.

For signings in the summer time, you can usually get in sooner. I’ve been able to book summer bookstore signings with only three or four weeks’ notice.

When calling the bookstore, ask for the event planner. Tell that person the approximate date (usually a Saturday or Sunday afternoon) you have in mind for the signing. From there, they’ll provide a choice of available times for you to choose from. Then book it in your calendar.

Print Enough Books for Your Bookstore Signings

Some bookstores will want you to send them books in advance, so they can display your title before the signing. Others are fine if you simply bring books with you on the day of the event. This is a question to ask the bookstore’s event planner when you call to book a date with them.

Bookstore Signings PRINTING TIPS: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1988971195/

Bookstore Signings PRINTING TIPS: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1988971195/

Generally, 10 or 20 books is enough to bring to bookstore signings. That is, unless you’ve invited several more people yourself. The majority of your event’s sales will come from your own guest list. So, be sure to invite as many people as you can. As a rule, only around 50% of the people you invite will show up and buy a book from you. If you invite 30 people, you can reasonably expect 15 book sales.

Market Your Bookstore Signings in Advance

The event planner will most likely ask you to provide an author photo, brief author bio, and a digital copy of your book cover in advance. Many bookstores have an events page on their websites where they advertise upcoming events. They’ll add your information there, to help you promote the event.

But you should never rely on bookstore traffic alone to make your event successful. Nor should you rely on their marketing alone. Promote your upcoming bookstore signings on your own blog and social media sites. Send out email invitations to your friends and colleagues to make sure they know about the book. Help spread the word about all your author events for best results.

Bookstore Signings

Bookstore Signings

Bring Your Own Pens, Table Posters, and Business Cards

All bookstores will supply you with a table and a chair. Most will also supply a table cloth for you. The rest is up to you.

Come prepared with your own pens (for signing books) and small table posters that promote your book. You may also want to print book marks, business cards, or other marketing pieces like post cards to use as handouts.

The Business End of Bookstore Signings

As detailed in the first book above (which can be ordered free of charge from Amazon or Kobo), most bookstores will take your books on a consignment basis. This means, you must print and supply the books for the event. On the day of the event, they’ll assign a special barcode to your title that differentiates it as a consignment item.

When people come to your table to get a copy of your book, you will sign it for them. Then you’ll direct them to the bookstore’s till to pay for it. At the end of the event, the bookstore will tell you how many books were sold through their till. You’ll provide them with an invoice for that many books at the price sold less the bookstore’s discount (which is usually between 40 and 50 percent of the sale price). Within 30 days, they’ll send you a cheque for the amount invoiced.

Sometimes, if a book has sold well during an event, the bookstore will keep a few copies to see if they can sell even more for you. But, generally speaking, you usually take what’s left with you when you go home. You can use those for upcoming bookstore signings at other stores.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



What’s the Difference Between Tags and Keywords?

tags and keywords

tags and keywords

Tags and keywords both help people to find information on your blog. But there are key differences between the two that are important to know.

You may assume, as I once did, that the tags you attach to each blog post are helping your SEO. But the tags you assign to each post are simply labels that help your readers find information within your blog. For example, if you’re a dietitian, you may want to assign the label “vegan protein” to all the posts you write about hemp hearts, quinoa, brown rice, et cetera. That way, all those articles will come up when readers search for vegan protein recommendations on your blog. 

Tags and Keywords: What Search Engines are Looking For

If you want search engines to find each of those posts, you must assign more specific keywords to each post. And here’s the key difference: you can create whatever tags you want within your own blog, but keywords must match the search terms people are using on the search engines. Otherwise, they’re virtually useless. This is why keyword research is so important.

How you write each blog post is also important. Your post can still be effective, from an SEO standpoint, at only 300 words long. BUT here are four other things you must do to ensure the search engine crawlers can easily find and index it:

  1. Include your primary keyword in the slug (the URL) you create for the blog post.
  2. Include that keyword in at least one of your headings.
  3. Ensure the keyword also appears in the first paragraph.
  4. Attach the keyword to an image within the blog post, too.

Doing these things will make it clear to the crawlers what each individual blog post is about. It will ensure they know which keywords you want indexed.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Website vs. Blog: Which One Should Every Author Have?

Website vs. Blog

Website vs. Blog

Website vs. blog: which one should every author start out with? And what’s the difference between the two?

I’ll begin by clarifying that a blog is a type of website. Basically, anything you visit online that has its own URL (e.g., web address, domain name) is a website.

To use a familiar analogy, they’re all fruit. But you can think of traditional, static websites as apples. And you can consider blogs to be oranges. One of these fruits is much juicier than the other in terms of helping you to improve your SEO and get noticed by more readers online. And your sole purpose in having any type of online presence is to do just that: attract a larger readership to your book(s).

Website vs. Blog: Apple vs. Orange

As mentioned above, a traditional website is static in that once you create it, it just stays the same and sits there online waiting for people to view it. But a blog is dynamic. This means its content is always being updated. If you’re blogging correctly, you’re adding new content to your blog at least three times per week. And this is important to SEO. Search engines LOVE new content. They eat it up! The more relevant and helpful new content you give them to share with their users, the more they’ll reward you by placing you higher and higher in their ranking.

A traditional website is meant to provide basic information about you. What are your books about? Where can you be contacted? But a blog provides an expanded view of your author business as a whole. A blog is where you can share your thoughts, opinions, experiences, event calendars, and book excerpts in more meaningful ways. 

Blogs allow for reader engagement in the form of the comments section at the bottom of each post. Websites don’t have this ability. If you can get your readers to engage with you in this way, then you know you’re having an impact with them. That’s important.

Website vs. Blog: Summary

Websites are static, contain basic information, and don’t allow for reader engagement. A website is limited in its ability to improve your SEO.

Blogs are dynamic, provide your readers with an expanded view, and allow reader engagement in the form of comments. Since search engines love new content, blogs are the single best way for you to improve your SEO online.

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