post

Authors, Always Start Your Book With SELLING In Mind

Authors, You Have To Give A Reader A Reason To Buy Your Book; The Sooner, The Better. That’s Why You Have to Write With Selling In Mind As You Turn Book Browsers Into Instant Book Buyers!

Authors, what are you waiting for?  Or better yet, how long do you plan on waiting? Remember as a kid your parents always said do your best? They never said save your best, try less than your best, or that your best wasn’t necessary. They said ALWAYS do your best. And yes, that’s still true as you have a staring contest between you and the blank page of your book. You have a million plus ideas on how to start your first or fiftieth book, but if you’re not going with the idea of writing with selling in mind, then pick another idea.

So just what is meant by the term of writing with selling in mind? And no, I’m not talking about every sentence on the first page reading ‘Please buy my book.’ But hey, if it works, please let me know by leaving a comment below in the comment section, thanks.

It’s simple really, when I refer to the term of writing with selling in mind; you have to give the readers a reason to buy your book as soon as possible. Not ten pages in, not thirty pages in, or towards the middle of your book. They have to be hooked deep into your story early. So much so that they feel (remember that all buying decisions are emotionally based) they HAVE to buy your book to find out what happens next after such an incredible beginning. See why it’s NOT in your best interest to wait before you give them the good stuff?

Still sitting on the fence about just how important it is to always start writing your book with selling in mind?

selling

Did you know the SECRET SWEET SPOT where readers decide to ACTUALLY buy your book is in a book’s first few pages? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it the book’s title, cover, and synopsis that convinces the reader to always buy? If that’s true, why do readers ALWAYS open a book up and read a couple of pages? Because it’s here, in the first few pages of a book where the author DELIVERS on what the title, cover, and synopsis promised the reader.

The title of a book peaks the interest, the cover gives the WOW factor, and the synopsis is the prelude of what the book has to offer. The start of the book is and always will be what turns book browsers into buyers.

Ok, so now you know that a reader’s SECRET SWEET SPOT is where you should always start writing with selling in mind, but how do you leverage this bit of information that could skyrocket your book sells? Well I created a pdf that shows you 3 easy tips that will allow you to do just that and more.

As an author myself I know the struggle of starting off your book just right; building anticipation from the beginning of the story in a way that a reader has to know what happens next. But think of the incredible pressure that comes along with now knowing just how vital the first few pages of your book really is, knowing it’s here where a reader either decides to buy your book or not.

Arghhhhhh, the pressure!

It’s ok though because we know that pressure creates diamonds and I want to help you create a gem of a book. No pressure, no worries. Just a great story that starts off phenomenally. And if there’s still a bit of skepticism on just how important the first few pages of your book are, ask yourself a very obvious question then. Why do eBook distributers like Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, iBooks, etc. offers readers a chance to sample a books first few pages?

Because they have been hinting at the SECRET SWEET SELLING SPOT of readers all along.

So if you’re ready to increase your book sells dramatically just by leveraging the SECRET SWEET SPOT of readers just click on the link below and get your free pdf, How To Hook Readers At The Beginning Of Your Story In 3 Easy Tips.

And before you go could you do me just two small favors? First, if you found this blog helpful could you leave your comments below in the comment section and second, feel free to share this across social media as no author’s journey is meant to be traveled alone.

Old Skool Marketing 101-rules

Authors what if I told you that you could look to the past for one of the best marketing strategies that you could implement and not go broke? Yeah I know social media with all its bells and whistles has you spoiled. Having you believe that new is always better, but believe it or not, flyers, yes I said flyers, is one of the most cost efficient and effective strategies that you can use TODAY ( and yes, I’m aware that it’s the year 2016).

Before we get into how the use of flyers could literally have your book business flying high, lets look at this really informative video by Carmen Sognonvi as to what actually goes into an eye catching flyer.

Seems doable enough right? Even if you’re not comfortable with graphic design or the technical aspects, no worries. I have a FREE 5 Point Checklist that you can download that will get you the results you want when you create your flyers.

So get comfortable as Old Skool Marketing 101 is in session and while you’re at it stop scratching your head as you keep repeating ‘flyers’  to yourself in disbelief, I’m going to need you to trust me on this one.

And if you’re asking ‘if flyers were so effective’ then why have their use been on a steady decline for the past two plus decades? Well that thing called the internet and Online Marketing came along with the promise of ease that lead to the decline of more than just using flyers to market your business. Yes everyone is online, but it’s only a small percentage of your market strategies that reach your target market organically.

old skool marketing

So authors when I tell you that if you want to breathe life back into your marketing strategies when it comes to your books then flyers are a sure way to go and here’s how:

An author who’s done their homework, usually knows their target market already (and if you don’t you need to). What they look like, what they like to do, where they shop, where they live, what they like to do for fun, etc. (the more you know about the audience your writing for, the deeper the connection you will have with them).

And the really huge kicker is the same places that your target audience frequents are usually the same places that you frequent, which makes it even easier to implement this strategy. So as an author why would you waste all of this knowledge and NOT put it to practical use?

Let me answer that for you, it’s hard to walk up to a complete stranger and face rejection. They say no, I’m not interested, I don’t read, or they just take your flyer and quickly deposit it in the first trash can they come across. Yes, this will happen, but you have to liken this to you posting content that gets no likes, no shares and no comments. The difference is you don’t take it personal because you feel safe in the comforts of your home and behind your keyboard.

And a quick reminder here, these people ARE NOT strangers, they are your target market so you know them, but I understand engaging with people for the first time can be a little intimidating. It’s ok, I can help you with that with a very short script to make talking to people easier than you could imagine.

“Hello I’m Author ____________________________ (fill in your name) and I just released my book ____________________________ (book title goes here) and I would love your support. Thank you so much.”

You say this as you make direct eye contact and a warm smile (shows genuine confidence) as you hand your flyer to them. Without thinking, your potential reader will accept the flyer you’re handing them and return your smile in the process.

Sometimes they will ask you what your book is about and where can they purchase it  (and of course all that information is on the flyer, but you still answer them and never tell them to look on the flyer).

And what if after asking what your book is about they say that they don’t read those kinds of books, politely looking to decline your offer (being an erotic author I have heard this objection countless times).

With your smile still intact, you simply ask them that if they happen to come across a friend or relative that would love reading that type of book, could they be so kind and pass your flyer along. And without a second thought and a warm smile returned to you they take your flyer.

Old Skool Marketin

Simple right? Of course it is.

But why stop there? When a reader is really interested in your book they will say I will check it out (the door of engagement opens wider). I immediately say great and thanks. That I would love to hear their feedback and could I send them a friend request on Facebook (you ask this with phone in hand and Facebook app open).

You wouldn’t believe how receptive they are to this as they give you their Facebook information.

Now did you see what you just accomplished with a simple flyer? You effectively marketed your book and organically added a new Facebook friend. Now who says that Old Skool Marketing don’t rule? Tell ’em to kick rocks.

But seriously though, flyers used strategically really extends your author brand, making you more accessible to readers. And a great way in doing that is partnering with brick and motor businesses.

Do you know what having your book flyers in an actual brick and mortar store would do for your author brand? Instant credibility that’s what.

Put that happy confident smile back on your face and go talk to some businesses that you think would be ideal to partner with. You’d be surprised at how many businesses would love to have your presence in their store. Especially if you frequent there as a customer.

Depending on your genre of book here are a few stores that you should consider partnering with:

  • Romance Author/ Flower Shops
  • Sci-Fi or Paranormal Author/ Comic Book Store (or costume store especially if its around Halloween time)
  • Urban (Street) Author/ Barber Shops & Hair Salons
  • Spiritual/ Church Bulletin Boards or Church Book Stores (if they have them)
  • Erotic Author/ Adult Toy Stores & Shops

I’m sure you can think of some more partnerships that will really increase your visibility as an author. I just wanted to give you a few to get those creative juices flowing as to the many possibilities you have at your disposal when you are using Old Skool Marketing.

Now if you have been following my blog for a while you know that using flyers is a great example of Marketing Partnerships For Authors; one of my main principals to building your author brand on.

I know this blog has kinda been on the long side, but I believe that I packed it with some pretty valuable take-aways that should and will give you the results you’re looking for as an author.

I don’t want you to read this and think that I’m anti social media when it comes to marketing. No, not in the least. But the smart and informed authors know that Facebook seems to be constantly changing their algorithms which affects the way your posts are received by the people on your friends list.

With this blog I hoped I showed you that you DON’T have to wait and ride out the ever changing tide of social media. You can actually get out and build your presence, sell books, and establish great working business relationships. All with good ol’ flyers and smart Old Skool Marketing.

***BONUS TIP***

This really works if you have a FREE SHORT STORY in a downloadable pdf format to give to your target market… (if you don’t know how to create one we’d love to help, just CLICK HERE)

Pass out flyers with your link to your freebie at bus stations, train stations, airports, public transportation, anywhere you can think of where a person will be traveling for an extended period of time.

Why?

Because after a while even social media gets BORING and your freebie can be the perfect escape. And if you are stuck on engaging your target market in this type of setting, no worries. I provided a simple, but effective script to follow…

Hello I’m Author______________________________________ (fill in your name) and it looks like you are about to do a little traveling. Well I have something for you during your ride. It’s my FREE eBook ________________________________________ (title of your book goes here) that you can download to your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Yep, that simple!

And if you’re thinking how GIVING AWAY a free eBook helps you as an author this is how. Your eBook (if properly connected) is attached to an email service provider which will capture that persons email that will allow you to market your paid books directly to them WITHOUT social media.

A direct connection between you and your reader… WOW!

Like I said old skool marketing rocks and using flyers the right way is highly effective.

My only question to you is what are you waiting on to get started?

 

Authors, Easy is Never in The Formula For Success

Authors if you think the life of a scribe is an easy one, please think again. Contrary to many others in the publishing industry I do feel that writing a book is as EASY as writing a paragraph. I plan on putting my theory to the test in another blog, but that’s for another day (coming very soon by the way). And for me that’s where the easiness stops and the commitment, the grind; whatever you chose to call your animal of dedication begins.

The pitfall of many new and 1st time authors is listening to the claims of becoming a bestselling author in just a few easy steps by the latest bestselling guru or how this guru’s proven formula is so easy even YOU can use it. Just replace YOU with a cute monkey if you have grabbed your wallet and whipped out your debit card and purchased that no fail system that oozes easiness because you my friend have fallen for the banana in the tail pipe.

easy cute monkey

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not saying all systems and formulas are meant to take advantage of new and first time authors, hell in a few months I will be launching my very own eCourse aimed at …you guessed it, new and 1st time authors, but I will not be making any claims of easy this and fail proof that. Just proven and effective methods that allows new and 1st time authors not only to compete in the Uber competitive publishing industry, but to thrive.

What’s even worse than being leery of the experts and the gurus and the way they talk of the publishing process being easy? When a first time author launches their first book and success comes easier than they could ever imagine. So how could that be considered a bad thing you have to ask?

If you’re that author who failed to do the same things you did when your first book was launched, than you can all but expect nothing but an epic failure to follow.

I stated earlier that in just a few months I’ll be launching an eCourse designed for 1st time and new authors to be competitive in today’s publishing industry, but today I’m going to share a two principles from that eCourse on how NOT to let early and easy success undermine being successful in the long-term.

171477_186793871345141_6024976_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2010 I self published and released my first book The Ugly Side of Sex and I could do NO wrong marketing wise. From the beauty and barber shops, to online, then onto flea markets, and finally I made it to the shelves of a Borders book store. I stood in front of the above picture you see above and couldn’t stop thinking I made it, I finally made it.

All my efforts paid off; from passing out flyers, to blogging, cultivating meaningful relationship in the publishing industry, doing regular radio and blog radio, landing a magazine interview, getting great write ups and even greater reviews. I was on cloud nine and this was only my first book and I thought if every publishing process I started would net end results like this then let me get started on my next book.

shruken boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did. I can honestly say to this day that A Boy & His Joyless Smile is some of my BEST writing to date and yet I was met with the deafening noise of crickets…. Not the barley chirping crickets; I’m talking crickets on steroids washed down with a couple of bottles of 5hr Energy crickets.

So what happened?

Did I pass out flyers for A Boy & His Joyless Smile like I littered the streets with flyers when it came to The Ugly Side of Sex? Not exactly. Did I stop by and show love to all the barber shops and beauty salons that always welcomed me in when I was a young and hungry author? No, but I wished I did though. Did I at least maintain relationships with all the bloggers, blog talk radio shows, magazines, and everyone that brought my 1st book? Well see, what had happen was…

Let me tell you what happened; EASY HAPPENED. Just because my first book was accepted so readily, I believed that everything I would write and release would be met with the same fanfare. That kind of thinking is what kills the literary careers of most new authors and definitely had mine on life support.

So the first principal I want to share with you is that you have to maintain consistent marketing efforts with each book project and not arrogantly think you’ve made it based off of your previous work.  Janet Jackson did sing ‘what have you done for me lately’ for a reason you know.

And from the titles of those two book; The Ugly Side of Sex and A Boy & His Joyless Smile, can you guess what else I did wrong? Sure take your time (took me forever to figure it out)…

im-sad-and-confused.jpg

Ok time’s up. What I did drastically wrong was genre hopping. I jumped from erotica, The Ugly Side Of Sex to a coming of age story with A Boy & His Joyless Smile. I mean who did I think I was James Patterson and I had a following that loved my writing regardless of what I wrote? Ninja please, I was an unknown author writing like  I knew my small, but growing following at the time would still keep pace.

Curse you ‘EASY’ and your false securities of effortlessness; luckily I followed up The Ugly Side of Sex with Dirty Secrets of Clean Sheets and Bad Kenny 1st Story to keep my fans of erotica happy. Does this mean an author shouldn’t write in other genres? Of course not. It just means no matter the genre make sure you have clearly identified your target market which is my second principal I want to share with you.

You’re an author and if you’re a good one, the writing ideas that keep you up at night won’t confine you to one specific genre and that’s fine. Writing is about expression and growth right? So when that urge strikes for you to write that Sci-fi Paranormal thriller just make sure you take the time to properly research your target market and keep in mind that the readers that may have supported you in other genres may not be up to following you into something new and that’s ok. Just make sure you don’t forget about them as you embark on your new writing journey. Remember even no matter what James Patterson writes about he always comes back to his Alex Cross series.

So as a new or first time author what are some of the challenges are you facing? Are your book sales lagging? Not sure how to properly identify your target market? Or do you just find it hard to keep the momentum going with your marketing efforts? Whatever obstacles you are facing with your book project(s) I want to help you not only overcome them, but flat out CRUSH THEM.

And I can help you do that just by you leaving exactly what’s stopping you from being the author you see yourself as with your comments and or questions below in the comment section and I promise to answer each and every one.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog and if you felt it helped you in any way then please feel free to share it across your social media platform as well. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

8 Rules for Kids That an Author Can Live By…

 

1.) Keep God First: Out of the rules my daughter and I discuss, keeping God first is my favorite. It helps her to try and see (she’s only 5 you know) that the owness of life’s hard times isn’t her own and thanks should be given in good and especially bad times This is done by keeping God first. As an author, especially a self published one, you will face more than your fair share of frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments. Keeping God first just as an author will take away the lonely feeling of no one understanding your struggle and giving you the strength to go on when you have ran out of reasons on why you should.

 

2.) Work Hard: Marlee wants to be an artist when she grows up, I’m sure that’s subject to change at least 20 times before she finds her life’s true calling, but as it stands now she wants to be the Basquiat of the crayon and pad. So when I come home from work and she has her markers, crayons, and drawing paper spread across the coffee table, but the t.v. on and the drawing paper still clean, I ask her just one question. ‘Marlee what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And with a sheepish grin she reaches for the remote and cuts the t.v. off. She understands that without hard work, her being an artist is just an answer to a question to what she wants to be when she gets older. As an author you are working on what you want to be. Now if you want to be a successful author , nothing will give you that much sought after success than hard work. Nothing. Period. Forget the ads you see on Facebook of how someone’s 3 secret steps will have you sell thousands of books. Or how by using their tried and true system, you too can become a bestselling author. If you were listening to me read this then you surely would have heard me laugh at the B.S. Anyone can write a book and for that you DON”T have to work hard, but if you want a successful career as an author than be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life

 

3.) I am Great: When Marlee and I first started to go over her rules together I would have her say I’m going to be great, now I have her say it in the present tense that she is already great and working on becoming greater. Being an author I think it’s vital to your success to know the day you sat down and dedicated yourself to becoming a successful author that at that very moment you became great and as you continue to hone your craft, you will without fail, become greater.  I know you look at your favorite authors and think ‘wow’, but your favorite authors at one time in their writing careers was exactly where you are today. And the one thing that not only your favorite author , but all successful authors have in common, is they know that they are great at what they do already. 8 rules

 

4.) I’m A Leader, Not A Follower: If the first rule is my favorite, then I’m a leader, not a follower has to be a close second. When Marlee gets around other kids and she’s ripping, running, and being bad as sometimes kids do, so I pull her to the side and ask her to recite all the rules. With an exhausted look on her face she just says rule number four since she knows that’s where I’ll stop her at to point out that she’s not currently being a leader, but a follower. And as you read rule number four, stop and ask yourself are you a leader or a follower. Are you playing it safe and continuously writing about what’s popular, or are you looking to write your truth, giving readers something else to think about instead of the same ol’ same. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are NO NEW stories under the sun sorry, but the way you present those stories can provoke thought and feed the passion of the masses. Sounds like a good leader to me.

 

5.) Time is More Valuable than Money: Out of the 8 rules, this one was the hardest for Marlee to comprehend… at first. And for that matter, most people that don’t  understand the true value of time. You see time well spent can’t be priced at anything, but since we are at a lost for  just how valuable time truly is, we waste it and wait for tomorrow with another 24 hours to be gifted to us. And the sad thing about that is we will waste those 24 hours too because we still don’t value time like we do money. Case in point you’re an author looking to be a success author, but that will never happen because you don’t value the most precious thing you have in your possession and that’s time. You never miss your favorite television shows, your phone is never too far from your hand, and the only time you feel socially awkward is when you’re not caught up in the redundant cycle of social media. The way you spend your time directly affects the amount of money you can spend.

 

6.) I’m Responsible for my Own Success and Happiness: Most adults can’t fathom that it isn’t someone else’s fault when they haven’t achieved the amount of success and happiness they’d like to have because as children they’ve been raised to believe that responsibility falls on someone else besides them. Any time Marlee is upset because other kids might not want to play as she’s playing or she didn’t get the desired results from the amount of work she put into a project, I clearly point out to her that she and no one else is responsible for her success or happiness. NO ONE. As all the rules that apply to my daughter, I think this one aptly applies to the majority of the authors today. YOU and no one else, but you are DIRECTLY responsible for where you’re at in your career as an author. If you feel you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be at this stage of your career, well look no further than the amount of work you’ve put in. No, honestly, take a hard, long look and if you can say you left it all on the table (or wherever you write at) before you go to bed then all left for you to do is be patient and wait on the work you put in to pay off. This is no one else’s life or career, but your own, so the responsibility of your life and career rests squarely with you.

 

7.) I’m A Problem Solver, Not A Problem: If you’re blessed with kids then you know they will come crying to you when the slightest thing goes wrong until you fix it and then five minutes later something else is wrong. So how do you get them to want to fix things for themselves? Help change their thinking that’s how. I help Marlee to see herself as a problem solver so when a problem arises her mindset is not to focus on the problem, but what’s the best way to fix it. As authors you will face problem after problem after problem; where does it end? It doesn’t, but a change in thinking is where you should begin. I learned the very hard way (or maybe that should be expensive) that you can’t pay everyone to fix your problems, especially on a shoestring budget. So you better become a problem solver quick or add being broke to the long list of mounting problems. And the beautiful thing about looking at potential problems as only questions that need to be answered, is that it always makes you more knowledgeable for it. Through that acquired knowledge I’ve learned to typeset, format, design e-book and full book covers, plus a host of other services . FIND OUT HERE to see all that En El Publishing Service offers.

8 RULES

8.) I Love Rainbows: In the beginning all we had was seven rules, I guess it was my ode to The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, but at the end of the rules I put together with Marlee she would always add ‘I Love Rainbows’ at the end. I would tell Marlee I’m trying to teach her life lessons early and loving rainbows really didn’t have anything to help you deal with the harshness of life. She  would bury her cute chin in her chest and sulk upstairs to her room. One day my wife waited until we got done with “our” rules and wanted to talk with me as Marlee walked off, head down and feeling defeated because I wasn’t trying to hear anything about rainbows. My wife calmly explained to me that she thought what I was doing with Marlee was great, but I could be doing more harm than good. I asked how did she figure that and she sweetly said to me that I wasn’t letting her be herself by expressing her like for rainbows. That if helping Marlee to be the best she could be shouldn’t she have a say in the matter? I sat back and thought about what my wife was saying to me and felt horrible. As an author I’m one of the biggest proponents of writing what YOU want to write and be free and as expressive as you possible could be. The next time Marlee and I were going over the rules she stopped at seven and didn’t bother mentioning anything about rainbows, I lifted her chin off her chest and asked her was she going to add rainbows this time? Her little crooked smile and bright eyes said it all. So authors be free, be creative, be unique, but most of all be you.