Category Archives: Sales and Marketing

3 Ways Authors Can Use LinkedIn to Promote Books

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place to sell books … if you do it the right way. I’ve received several emails via LinkedIn over the years from newly self-published authors who were advertising their books, trying to convince me to buy them. If you’re one of these authors, I genuinely applaud you for taking that important step toward self-promotion. That said, I’d like to share with you a more effective approach that will bring you more success in the future.

As the largest business networking site in the world, and the 13th largest social media site overall, LinkedIn acts as an online resume where you can highlight your expertise within your field. It is also a fantastic place to showcase your book. Don’t push people too hard here, though. For example, unsolicited email requests to buy your book are a no-no on this site. Build your audience gradually with relevant and informative posts.

Use the Publications Section on LinkedIn

Using a section of LinkedIn called Publications, you can link your profile directly to your book’s ecommerce storefront on Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Kobo, or even Amazon to promote it in an unobtrusive way. This is a great way to appeal to the audience that is already interested in you and your book. They’ve already chosen to visit your profile on their own. So, why not provide a link to where they can buy your book?

Join Groups on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can join groups that are related to your field. You can share book excerpts or blog entries with other members of these groups. It’s a great way to drive more traffic to your blog entries—traffic in the form of people who have already shown an interest in your topic by virtue of the LinkedIn group you met them in. They may send you a connection request and eventually buy your book via the Publications section on your profile page.

Be Interactive and Professional on LinkedIn

Build your audience gradually by posting relevant and informative blog entries twice a week to groups that are interested in your topic matter. Only occasionally post them as status updates directly from your profile page. Engage in conversations with those who post comments to your blog entries and status updates. Let your audience get to know you by replying to their posts and answering their questions. Then let the rest of it happen organically. Always be professional.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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.




The 4 Fundamentals of Modern Marketing

Modern marketing offers several opportunities that weren’t available even a decade ago. In this modern world of virtual office environments and cloud computing, you can sell just about anything online; this opens you and your company up to a worldwide audience, no matter where you’re starting from. The Internet is the great equalizer. Webpages are the new storefronts. Money is less necessary to make those storefronts appealing to potential customers than creativity is, but four fundamentals remain.

Modern marketing

Modern marketing

Modern Marketing Understands Top-of-Mind Awareness

Just as it is for businesses inside a traditional shopping mall, your target market is a fluid and ever-changing stream of old and new customers. You need to stay in front of them. Why? So that, when they’re ready to buy what you’re selling, they’ll recall your company ahead of all the others. In the world of advertising, sales, and marketing, this is known as creating top-of-mind awareness.

Some of the traditional ways that businesses create top-of-mind awareness are to place regular ads on television, radio, and billboards, or in print media outlets such as magazines and newspapers. Repetition is the key to success in any advertising campaign, and this can get pretty expensive in these traditional arenas. We’re talking hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars per month to run enough ads to achieve top-of-mind awareness with the general public, depending on how large a trading area you’re trying to reach. Luckily, there is a virtually free online alternative known as blogging that utilizes the power of keywords to draw people in from anywhere in the world that has Internet access; there is also the benefit of free social media websites to super-charge those blogging campaigns.

Modern Marketing is Cost-Effective and Unobtrusive

In addition to cost-effectiveness, possibly the greatest benefit to blogging and social media marketing is that these are unobtrusive forms of advertising. Traditional advertising methods (e.g., print media, television, radio, and billboards) try their best to “interrupt” customers into noticing them. Blogging appeals to the audience that is already in the market for your products and services. No need to try to interrupt anyone to gain his or her interest; if he or she is typing those keywords into a search engine to try to find you, it’s because he or she is already interested in what you have to offer. All you have to do is to be there in the top organic search engine results. And voilà! You’ve got your prospective customer’s attention and hopefully some new business to go with it.

Modern Marketing Uses an Attractive, Accessible Storefront

All your blogging and social media marketing efforts will be profitless unless you’re using those vehicles to consistently redirect people to the webpage where they can buy your product or service. We live in an “instant soup” society filled with customers that want quick and easy solutions to their problems. So, make it quick and easy for them to find the place to buy from you once they’ve read that compelling blog post or viewed that interesting tweet on Twitter. And make the page so attractive, they’ll want your book, product, or service even more.

Modern Marketing Includes Convenient, User-friendly Purchase Options

Some people are more comfortable with online shopping than others are. One customer may want to pay for a purchase using PayPal. Another will prefer to pay via the credit card of their choice. And there are still those individuals who would really appreciate an old-fashioned “pay by cheque or money order” option. As such, the more purchase options you can provide, the more convenient and user-friendly your online storefront will appear. It’s the equivalent of casting a much wider net to catch a greater variety of fish.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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.



Organic Web Weaving: Modern Book Publishing, Sales and Marketing

Organic Web Weaving

Organic Web Weaving

Organic web weaving is every author’s road to book sales success. Writing is selling in the online world. Writers are natural online marketers. Polished Publishing Group (PPG) can show you how many of today’s top authors are selling thousands of books every year using some simple online techniques. Most of these techniques require effective writing.

The best way to sell books in today’s world is to utilize the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Effective digital publishing requires a little more finesse than simply combining traditional offline sales and marketing methods with modern online techniques. Doing so can actually be counterproductive. This is because traditional publishing takes time while digital publishing requires momentum. If you want to succeed at publishing and selling books nowadays, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per month. The Internet rewards speed and productivity, and the Internet is your greatest ally. Used right, it can help you stand out among the millions of books being published worldwide each year.

Organic Web Weaving Techniques That Work

"Rapid Release" Publishing

“Rapid Release” Publishing

1. Blogging: If you have published (or plan to publish) a book, you will need a website to promote it. That’s your starting point. You don’t need anything fancy or expensive; a simple blog will do. If you haven’t already done so, you can create one for yourself using either WordPress.org or Blogger.com. Just follow their user-friendly instructions along with the instructions I give you in the three books shown on this blog post.

2. “Rapid Release” Publishing: There is a form of online book sales and marketing known as “rapid release” publishing that many of today’s most successful authors are using. Many of these authors are selling thousands of books every year by publishing this way. Some of them are earning six- and seven-figure incomes from their growing fan bases. Even mainstream authors like James Patterson are jumping on this bandwagon. He publishes multiple books in short periods of time, too. He refers to his “rapid release” book series as his BookShots line.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

3. Social Media Marketing: Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis. I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. I strongly recommend you read it. Yes, it is possible to sell books using nothing more than a comfortable chair in your quiet writing room, a laptop, an Internet connection, and your own God-given talent for writing. Authors around the world are proving it every day. You can join the fleet.

Organic Web Weaving Services Through Polished Publishing Group (PPG)

You can do it all yourself by following the user-friendly tips in the above three books. You can also contact PPG here to learn more about how we can help you weave a powerful web. The sooner you get started, the faster you’ll see results.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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.




A Shortlist of Google’s Top Ranking Factors … an Excerpt from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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

* * *     * * *     * * *

Throughout this T-shaped marketing ebook series, in several of my past blog posts, and in many of my other books, I’ve referenced the following six ranking factors that will help you to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO is crucial to your success as an author because it will help you to attract more readers and sell more books. How do I know these things work when applied with a consistent focus? Because 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. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on ecommerce sites such as 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. I also regularly read the research published by SEO industry leaders, such as Moz, which has guided me in building my book business so I can guide authors like you in doing the same. In short, this stuff works!

  1. Publish relevant content on a consistent basis:
     . 
    Blogging is one of the best ways for you to stay engaged with your current and prospective readership; and, the more often you post something new online, the more points Google will award to your blog site thus improving its SEO. But you should know that Google is far from being the only search engine that rewards new content. Amazon and Kobo do, too, as mentioned in this book. Want to dramatically increase your SEO over the next year? Start posting relevant content on a consistent basis that pleases all these search engines.
     . 
  2. Build a high number of relevant backlinks to your website:
     . 
    In addition to blogging, I’ve also mentioned how legitimate book reviews, guest blogging, and content syndication can be used to increase the number of relevant backlinks to your website. This, too, is worthy of a higher ranking in Google’s eyes thus improving your SEO.
     . 
  3. Protect and improve your SEO with proper HTML coding (REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags):
     .
    While guest blogging and content syndication are both fantastic ways to improve your own website’s SEO, they can also cause duplicate content issues if too much of the same copy is being reused on different sites without due care. This is where implementing REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags can come in really handy as discussed in the HTML Coding for Beginners T-shaped ebook.
  4. Attract regular click-through traffic to your website:
     . 
    It stands to reason that the more content you post, the more backlinks that redirect to your site, and the higher your SEO ranking grows, the more traffic will find its way to your website and click on it. You want these people to stay there as long as possible. If they only click once and then leave, that’s called a bounce; but, if they click on a few different pages and stay there for a while to read things over, that’s called a click-through. A high bounce rate may affect your SEO negatively while you’ll garner more SEO points via an increased click-through rate—all the more reason to ensure your website contains relative and enticing content people will want to stay there and view.
     . 
  5. Encourage more social media activity and shares (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube):
     . 
    I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis.
     
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
     
    On March 26, 2018, Google went live with its new Mobile-First Index. According to Google, “Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.” If you want to know how to ensure your own website is mobile-friendly, be sure to pick up a copy of the Mobile Marketing T-shaped marketing ebook for some great tips.

Although I’ve written and spoken about the above six SEO ranking factors before, I’ve never discussed the below six. We’re going to review them in this book because, according to Searchmetrics Ranking Factors, they are some of the strongest factors that were found in all the sites surveyed that ranked in the top 10 Google search results:

  1. Protect your website’s security with HTTPS (SSL security certificates).
  2. Include attractive images and easy-to-read fonts in your website’s main content area to encourage more time on the site.
  3. Increase Pinterest activity.
  4. Increase Google+1 activity.
  5. Ensure you have a strong local SEO (e.g., free listings in business directories such as Google My Business, White Page, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  6. Answer industry-related questions on your blog to encourage featured snippets inclusion (as briefly mentioned in the Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising T-Shaped ebook).

As you can see, there are even more things you can do to improve your SEO that will be covered in this latest T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook. Do all these things, and the end result will surely be an increased readership and more book sales for you. Now, let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more….

* * *     * * *     * * *

I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, and a couple of months later on both Kobo and E-Sentral.



How Affiliate Marketing Can Help You Sell More Books

One way to engage your readers—and grow that readership even larger—is to offer them incentives that will help you sell more books. You can offer a free book to the people who are willing to share its publication announcement with their own social media networks. Or, even better for you both, you can invite these fans to register as affiliates with the various ecommerce merchant(s) you’re selling your books through (such as Amazon or Kobo). Once they’ve set up their affiliate profiles, they will be able to download customized affiliate links to your books that will track directly back to them, and they can share those links on their blogs and social media websites rather than just the standard website link. This way, they earn a little bit of money by helping you out. It’s like having a 100% commission sales force working for you without any upfront investment on your part whatsoever. Here’s a great description of affiliate marketing from a post titled “Affiliate Marketing 101: Part I” on the Acceleration Partners® blog:

WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?

Essentially affiliate marketing involves a merchant paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction.

As the author, you don’t have to track or pay for anything out of your own pocket. These transactions are between the affiliates (your readers) and the online merchants they registered with. At the end of the day, you’ll still get paid whatever royalty percentage you would normally be paid for the sale of your ebooks on each merchant’s website, and your affiliates’ commissions will be taken care of for you in the background. It’s a win-win-win scenario for you, the affiliate(s), and the merchant.

Where Kobo and Amazon have great affiliate programs that can help you sell more books, there is another website that can help you drive more traffic to an upcoming author event such as a bookstore signing or restaurant book launch: that website is called Eventbrite. It’s a great tool, and it’s completely free of charge to use just like the others. Not only does Eventbrite help you organize all your event details and ticket sales, it also offers a great affiliate marketing program which means you can get help selling more tickets from your existing fan base. It’s also worth noting that you can sync your Eventbrite events with your Facebook page for additional reach and exposure there.

Affiliate marketing is an important tool for authors to use in building their readerships overtime. It is an efficient way to engage with your fans and reward them for buying your books. It’s also a great way to draw in new readers. Look to the right of this article at all the links to various books on Amazon. Those are affiliate links. Look through all the posts in this blog and you’ll see many other examples of the same. It generates passive income for me as an author and publisher. I highly recommend you do the same for yourself.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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.



BookShots: The Hachette vs. Amazon Truce?

A few months ago, I published How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers which highlights a few highly successful independent authors who are using “rapid release” publishing (among other tactics) to sell thousands of books online. Many of them are earning six-figure incomes. One of the early pioneers earned seven figures in her first year. I’ve since come across an article from 2016, titled “James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books,” discussing how one of the world’s most famous trade-published authors is using some of the same tactics to sell more books to an extended audience:

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

In June, Mr. Patterson will test that idea with BookShots, a new line of short and propulsive novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting. Mr. Patterson will write some of the books himself, write some with others, and hand pick the rest. He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella.

This article states that Patterson created the idea of BookShots to try to capture the growing number of people who just don’t have/make the time read traditional 300- to 400-page novels anymore; but, considering he’s offering these novellas in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, I’m willing to bet Patterson also sees how BookShots can help him to monopolize on today’s digital selling trends. The fact is, the best way to sell a book online is to publish another book. When done on a consistent basis, as the above-mentioned independent authors do, it can successfully ping both Amazon’s and Google’s algorithms to place an author higher and higher up in the rankings. The higher your rank, the more books you will sell. Online selling has more to do with indifferent computerized processes than publicity or popularity.




I also see Patterson’s BookShots concept as a form of truce between Hachette Book Group (which publishes his books in the USA through its Little, Brown imprint) and Amazon after their epic battle a few years ago. To refresh your memory, Amazon believed that all ebooks should be priced low all the time. The Amazon Books Team went so far as to send out a mass email to all its ebook publishers seeking support of its stance. Below is an excerpt from that email which was also published by Dave Smith for BusinessInsider.com in August of 2014:

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores.…

…Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book.

Skip ahead a couple of years, and James Patterson announced his plan to publish cheaper BookShots novellas to reach the same audience Amazon was talking about. In the 2016 article, it states:

In some ways, Mr. Patterson’s effort is a throwback to the dime novels and pulp fiction magazines that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, when commercial fiction was widely available in drugstores.

There’s the truce. In November of 2014, Hachette was victorious in negotiating a deal that allowed trade publishers the continued right to dictate their own retail prices for the books they produce (as it should be, in my opinion). But Amazon got through in some ways, didn’t it? The company planted a seed with the traditional publishers that obviously grew. And now James Patterson and his team write BookShots.

The independent authors mentioned earlier may not be as famous as James Patterson. Just his name alone commands an automatic audience to sell all the BookShots he publishes each year with ease. But, as mentioned earlier, many are now selling thousands of books online each year using the exact tactics that are detailed inside How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers. I now do the same and have seen my personal blog users increase from 1,000 to over 5,000 in one year. I’ve also watched my personal monthly book downloads increase from under 5 books per month to 300+ books per month on average. Now you know what I mean when I say it’s unecessary to add a bunch of extra “fluff” into a book to get it to a certain word- or page-count to make it more saleable. That’s irrelevant in this day and age. You can sell just as many—if not more—books by writing and publishing BookShots like James Patterson does, whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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.

Reach Your Mobile Readers With QR Codes

What is a QR code and how can you create one for free?

A static QR code (static meaning “unchangeable” once created), such as the one to the left of this paragraph, is a two-dimensional barcode. You can easily create one for your blog and/or website free of charge on this website. Where traditional linear, one-dimensional barcodes (like the ones on the back of books) are used to store small bits of information about the object they are on (such as the price of that book), a QR code has a larger storage capacity and can re-direct scanners to websites for much more detailed information.

How are QR codes used?

It’s as simple as downloading a free QR reader on your smartphone and you’re ready to go. That’s why this is the perfect tool to reach your mobile readers. Anyone with a QR reader on his or her phone can now scan these barcodes from magazine ads, books, signs on the side of a road, computer screens, you name it. I even saw a large QR code on the side of a city bus and was able to scan it through the city train window so I could view a local restaurant’s take-out menu on my way home from work. Brilliant!

Why pay someone to create a QR code for you ?  

Several years ago, my company website looked much different than it does now. It looked great on a laptop or desktop screen, but it wasn’t mobile friendly in the least. At that time, I wanted to learn more about QR codes. I created a free one for myself and also paid another company to create a more professional-looking QR code for me so I could see the difference between the two. The QR code they created is shown to the right of this paragraph.

When scanning the static QR code I created for myself, I could see that it took people straight to my website as planned. This was wonderful except for one thing; that website was intended to be read on a large computer screen. When it was viewed on a smartphone, the text and graphics all appeared very tiny, and it was difficult to navigate.

There was quite a contrast when I scanned the dynamic QR code (dynamic meaning “changeable” once created) that was created for me by some QR mobile marketing experts. Not only did they create a much more attractive QR code for PPG, but they also created a much more mobile-friendly landing page that still redirected to PPG’s main site. They even went so far as to add one of PPG’s promotional YouTube videos to that landing page. 

Case in point: if your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, and your website service provider has been unable to help you fix that for some reason, then you can always use the services of a professional QR code creator. They will oftentimes create a mobile-friendly landing page for your site along with the code itself.

How can authors best utilize this technology?

Authors can place a page at the back of each of their books that contains a QR code that redirects readers to their blogs or websites to keep readers abreast of any upcoming book launches, tours, or books. It’s a real-time update for readers even five years after that particular book was published. How convenient is that?

Watch for my upcoming T-Shaped marketing book on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral that contains even more great mobile marketing tips! In this ebook, we’ll discuss the importance of mobile-friendly websites along with the value of QR codes, email marketing, text message (SMS and MMS) marketing, and social media marketing for authors.

* * *   * * *   * * *

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 Should Come First: the Paperback or the E-book? (And How it Affects Your Marketing)

This content first appeared on Warrior Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

* * *   * * *   * * *

I started another thread a little while ago titled How to Price an E-book, and this spawned a further discussion between me and another person regarding which should come first: the e-book or the paperback.

I wrote, “Whenever my company produces books for any authors (myself included), we start with either a paperback or a hardcover (their choice) and then convert those digital files to an e-book after that fact. That way, these authors have a larger net to catch more fish because they are appealing to the readers who still prefer to hold a hard copy in their hands as well as the ones who prefer to read soft copies.

To which he replied, “To be honest, I doubt that very many people on this forum are interested in creating either a hardback or paperback to begin with. They are digital marketers and create e-books first which may later be converted to paper using CreateSpace or some other service.

I can understand that point of view, but I think there is much more to consider here when it comes to both offline and digital marketing. Everyone trying to sell any type of book needs to familiarize themselves all the different players in the book supply chain, how these players can help you to sell more books (both online and offline), and what these players expect to see in your books before they’ll even pay attention to you, never mind help you.




For example, let’s take the reviewers that I talked about in this thread: You Can Buy Book Reviews to Promote Your Ebook Online!. Publicity is GOLD to any author–no matter what type of book you’ve published, no matter where/how you’re trying to sell that book. And a positive review from a reputable book reviewer can generate an amazing amount of publicity for you. But they have certain expectations of your books…

The professional reviewers want to see a properly (professionally) designed book, and they won’t pay attention to anything else much less review it for you. They expect to see all the proper cover design components and interior components (front matter, body, back matter) before they’ll ever take it seriously. For one example, they will want to see an index at the back of a non-fiction book … and we automatically create those in our paperbacks/hardcovers before converting them over to an e-book. But if you start with the e-book first, and then try to convert it to a paperback or hardcover, it will be missing many of these necessary components. The result is that the book won’t be taken seriously by the reputable industry reviewers–the ones who can generate that golden publicity for you.

Contrary to popular belief on this forum, there are still just as many people reading paperbacks/hardcovers as there are reading e-books. If your goal is to sell your books then, for best results, you should still be producing both in this day and age. Cast a larger net, catch more fish. And the hard copy–the paperback or the hardcover–needs to come first. The e-book needs to come second.

The Difference Between Advertising, Marketing, and Sales

Here’s an excerpt from Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors to help you sell more books…

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned over the years was the difference between advertising, marketing, and sales, and how they all work in conjunction with each other. Here are their definitions as per The Free Dictionary (2015a):

• ad·ver·tis·ing (ăd′v r-tī′zĭng)
n.
1. The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business,
as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
2. The business of designing and writing advertisements.

• mar·ket·ing (mär′kĭ-tĭng)
n.
1. The act or process of buying and selling in a market.
2. The strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to
particular groups of consumers, often including activities such as
advertising, branding, pricing, and sales.

• sell (sĕl)
v. sold (sōld), sell·ing, sells
v.tr.
1. To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent: We sold our old
car for a modest sum.
2. To offer or have available for sale: The store sells health foods.
4. To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of: a book
that sold a million copies.




To clarify, advertising is the vehicle you use to reach your target market of customers. Marketing is the language in which you choose to speak to them to pique their interest in your offering. And selling is the act of convincing them to buy from you—of coming right out and asking for the sale. The most successful salespeople harmonize all three of these components together in a well thought-out sales campaign, which I intend to teach you how to do in this book.

Since leaving that literary press and learning these new skills, I have achieved my goal and become a bestselling author. To date, my books have been publicly listed as bestsellers on Amazon’s Canadian, American, and United Kingdom ecommerce sites as well as in a traditional market—a prominent daily newspaper in one of Canada’s major cities.

I’ve published six books in total (you are reading the sixth one right now), including my two most recent titles that compile all my knowledge of the book publishing industry, as a whole, into two compact and easy-to-read volumes: How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! (Staflund, 2013) and How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price! (Staflund, 2014). I highly recommend picking up a copy of either of these books to complement the lessons you will learn in this one because they contain answers to basically every question you’ve ever had about how to write, publish, copyright, market, sell (online and traditional methods), price, print, and distribute a book anywhere in the world, no matter what book format you’re working with: ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, even audiobooks.

In this book, we’re going to focus on online advertising, sales, and marketing, alone. And, my introverted friends, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you in this regard:

  • Let’s start with the bad news
    If you want your book to sell well, you have to be an active participant in the selling process. There is no way around this, no matter which book publishing business model you’ve published your book through: the traditional trade publishers, the vanity publishers, or the hybrid publishers. Authors are entrepreneurs. Your book is your business.
  • And now for the good news
    It is possible to sell your book all around the world using nothing more than a comfortable chair in your quiet writing room, a laptop, an Internet connection, and your own God-given talent for writing.

Need more convincing when I say that you have to be an active participant in the selling of your book for it to be truly successful? Okay.




Let’s talk about a well-known, bestselling book series you’ve no doubt heard of: Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield. In The Secret (Byrne, 2006), Jack discussed what it took for him to make his trade-published Chicken Soup book a success. Around the time he was first published, he said he was earning only eight thousand dollars per year. Then he went on to share with Byrne,

. . . so I said, “I want to make a hundred thousand dollars in a
year.” Now, I had no idea how I could do that. I saw no strategy, no
possibility, but I just said, “I’m going to declare that, I’m going to
believe it, I’m going to act as if it’s true, and release it.” So I did that.

About four weeks into it, I had a hundred-thousand-dollar idea. It
just came right into my head. I had a book I had written, and I said,
“If I can sell four hundred thousand copies of my book at a quarter
each, that’d be a hundred thousand dollars.” Now, the book was there,
but I never had this thought. (One of the secrets is that when you
have an inspired thought, you have to trust it and act on it.) I didn’t
know how I was going to sell four hundred thousand copies.

Then I saw the National Enquirer at the supermarket. I had seen that
millions of times and it was just background. And all of a sudden it
jumped out at me as foreground. I thought, “If readers knew about my
book, certainly four hundred thousand people would go out and buy
it.” About six weeks later I gave a talk at Hunter College in New York
to six hundred teachers, and afterward a woman approached me and
said, “That was a great talk. I want to interview you. Let me give you my
card.” As it turns out, she was a freelance writer who sold her stories to
the National Enquirer. The theme from “The Twilight Zone” went off
in my head, like, whoah, this stuff’s really working. That article came
out and our book sales started to take off. (pp. 96–97)

There are a couple of reasons for sharing this story with you that have nothing to do with spirituality or the lessons taught in The Secret. First and foremost, it clearly illustrates the realities of the traditional book publishing industry and just how small a royalty unknown trade-published authors can expect to earn from their books. (Only 25¢ per copy? Ouch! He would have to sell four hundred thousand copies of his book in order to earn his goal of $100,000? Yikes!) Second, this story also proves what I’ve been telling authors all along—that it’s up to you to sell your own book, no matter which type of publisher you’re working with: traditional trade publishers, vanity publishers, or supportive self-publishing houses.

Jack Canfield is the main reason why Jack Canfield became a bestselling author—not Jack Canfield’s publisher. Repeat that to yourself again. And again. And again. Until it sticks.




Once he got the ball rolling, Jack’s book sold millions of copies. And now? Years later, just his name can sell his books without that much effort on his part, no matter whom he publishes through. But he was the one who got that ball rolling in the beginning—much more so than his publisher. His publisher simply produced a professional, saleable version of his book for him and then supplied the distribution networks where Jack could direct people to buy it. Period. The same can be said for Fifty Shades of Grey, a vanity-published book by E. L. James that went viral via social media marketing and was later picked up by a subdivision of Random House, a trade publisher that wanted a cut of those sales (Wikipedia, 2015d). And the same can be said for what will need to happen to get the ball rolling for your book.

Even if you decide to hire a publicist as yet another vehicle to increase the exposure of your book through the mainstream media (which we will discuss as an option later on), you still have to be able to explain the many virtues of your book’s topic matter to the publicist’s company so they can explain those virtues to the media on your behalf. You have to first sell it to your publicity firm before it can convince the media to pick up the story.

Once you can reconcile yourself to this fact and commit yourself to actively selling your own book, you’ve already won half the battle right there. You’ve put yourself in the driver’s seat and are well on your way to success as an author as a direct result. Now let’s dig in a little deeper to learn exactly how you’re going to do this in an introvert-friendly way.

Copywriters and Ghostwriters: What They Have in Common

© hobvias sudoneighm

This content first appeared on Digital Point Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

 * * *   * * *   * * * 

Some people have asked me, “What is the difference between a copywriter and a ghostwriter What are their similarities?”

Well, I’ll start with the primary difference. It’s a simple difference. A copywriter is mainly concerned with producing sales and marketing copy for a client whereas a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book for someone else (whether it be non-fiction or fiction). The term “ghostwriter” simply means that, although they’ve written the book, they remain anonymous (a “ghost”) to that book’s readers because they aren’t listed as the author. The person/organization the book was written for is listed as the author … which is very similar to copywriting, isn’t it? The freelance copywriter rarely, if ever, receives public credit for the content they’ve written for someone else.




Which brings me to even more similarities between these two terms. The list of similarities–what they have in common–comprises much more. Here’s a short list:

1. Both ghostwriters and copywriters produce content for their clients. 
2. As stated above, neither ghostwriters nor copywriters receive public credit for the content they produce for their clients.
3. Both ghostwriting and copywriting are collaborative processes in that these writers need to gain a clear understanding of what their clients want ahead of time before they begin a project, and they may need to edit/correct it along with way once it has been proofread by the client.

There are three points to get that list started. How about if someone else jumps in here and picks up where I left off? What else do these two roles have in common?