30
Nov
2016
1

How to publish your graduate thesis as a non-fiction book

Firstly, let me tell you a story.

A few years ago I had my MA in Literature and a self-published book I was proud of. I brought that book into a job interview thinking it would impress them.

It didn’t. I’d written a popular (though sensationalistic) non-fiction book and this was a very conservative literature department. It felt like I was on trial (one of the many reasons I decided academic life wasn’t for me).

Now however, I publish books to build my online businesses and also earn some profit; and since I had my PhD Thesis sitting around, I decided to put it out as a non-fiction book.

I made a video about that process (sorry the sound isn’t great).

 

Basically, there are two paths to publishing your thesis. Either you go traditional, get into libraries, which is good for your academic CV but probably not great for earnings; or you self-publish, which could earn more money if it’s a popular nonfiction topic and you don’t need to worry about your academic resume (I write full-time now, so I’m not looking for teaching jobs).

paradise lost study guide

Since my thesis is basically about Paradise Lost, though also about much more – and should have popular appeal – I set it up this way. Since very few academic books or publishers know anything about book marketing, SEO, or Amazon, it’ll be pretty easy for me to get my book to show up first for anyone searching for a Paradise Lost Study Guide, or books about The Devil or the History of Evil.

It probably won’t earn that much, but a few hundred bucks a month would be nice. More importantly, people will actually be reading my PhD thesis, instead of it just being stuck in a library somewhere.

If you need more help publishing or marketing your graduate thesis I have book design resources available, or you can visit my main site, www.creativindie.com

30
Nov
2016
2

Guerrilla Publishing Techniques for Indie Authors

Although I’ve been talking about book marketing for almost a decade, I mostly used nonfiction books to build my client-based business. I need my books to be visible enough to generate new leads, but I didn’t need them to produce real income.

That’s changing this year, as I’m not focused on becoming a full-time writer. Which means, my books need to earn enough money to live on.

I’m doing that in two ways: first, I want to make sure my books are part of a funnel or series, so I can make the first one free or cheap, get a lot of followers on Amazon and subscribers on my email list (I have 25,000 subscribers on my list after less than a year), and launch my books well enough they stick (which means, at least 1000 sales on launch).

But especially for non-fiction, I also want my books to be loss-leaders leading towards more expensive products, in my case, online courses. I launched my first online course earlier this year and it sold out in 48 hours. Now I’m building some courses I can make an “evergreen” part of my funnel, and hopefully sell on autopilot, as long as I can keep a steady flow of traffic. In that regard, I’m experimenting with free and paid companion workbooks for each course, and also giving away beta-access to the courses when people buy and review the books during launch.

Although The 21 Day Bestselling Author Platform will be my major new course, I’m first launching this shorter, tighter one on Guerrilla Publishing.

042-iphone6-with-dust-jacket-book-covervault

Some of the things I cover in this book are building links to get your book’s amazon page to show up in Google; building a huge email list before you launch your first book; giving incentives to boost preorders; getting lots of book reviews quickly; and how to keep the book selling well even when you stop promoting.

30
Nov
2016
0

The Editing Process As Told By Pro Editors

In honour of National Novel Writing Month, commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo, it is best to give authors the advantage and advice they should receive before they jump into writing a novel this month. Since they will be hard-pressed to find the time to do the research on what it takes to get your work published and sold if they believe in their work that much by the end of the month. If an author is so proud at the end of the month and wants to publish their work, they should take the step further and consider hiring an editor.

In the novel writing profession, the editor is a crucial part of the publishing process. The editor ensures that the book flows smoothly. They help the author make sure all holes are filled, the plot is seamless, characters are understandable and the syntax is clear. Yet, they do not receive the attention they deserve. Therefore, it is best to lay out the benefits of hiring an editor for a new book.

 

The Editor’s Process

So exactly what does a book editor do? According to The Balance, the editor has a few key steps in their process. After submission, the editor goes into what is referred to as the “developmental edit.”In that stage, the editor comments on what is missing and what can be improved upon. After the author revises the manuscript and the second manuscript is submitted, the editor line-edits, or copy edits, the work. After the author perfects the final draft of the manuscript, the editor than approves the work.

Additionally, according to blogger and self-published author Joanna Penn, hiring an editor can be a phenomenal asset to the author. From her own experience, a good editor—in her case Steve Parolini—gave positive feedback before the criticism. For her first novel, the criticism involved “big picture issues, plot, dialogue, redundancy, setting and characters.” From there, she drafted different scenes and compared them to the original manuscripts. She advises new authors to “budget for an editor, but make sure it’s a good one!”

 

What New Authors Need to Know

Author, blogger and editor Brian Klems gave new authors some advice on dealing with freelance editors. As someone who has had experience on both ends, he suggests that an author reread their manuscript before submitting it to an author. It is better to make all of the necessary corrections and edits before bringing in a fresh pair of eyes. He also suggests authors take heed to the editor’s notes. In his words, he advises to “discuss other ideas” if an author “disagrees” with the feedback. Most notably, he emphasizes the fact that the editor’s job to make the author’s book “the best it can be”—in the sense that the author’s intent with the book is accomplished and conveyed properly.

The Novel Doctor, and editor for Penn’s first novel, Steve Parolini gave advice to up-and-coming authors for their novels. Similarly to Klems, authors have to walk away from their projects before editing it. Then, the author will give him or herself a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective on their work. He also advises to take it a step further and print out the work, aiding in the new perspective. The most important process in creating an author’s second draft, however, is to dig deeply into the bulk of the work.

He suggests that writers should “listen” to their characters and “kill any figurative pets.” It is best to take note of any and all inconsistencies with the characters and make sure that their motives and actions are revealed when they are supposed to be. State as a personal pet peeve, he warns authors “Stop telling [your reader] a character’s thoughts about what he’s going to do just before you reveal the same thing through his actions.” Above all else, the author should be honest with their work and critique it without being harsh on him or herself.

Getting Your Work Published

When an author gets the approval from their editor to publish, they can do one of two things: 1) send their final manuscript to a publisher or 2) self-publish. Self-publishing can be tricky, given that an author risks less pay and potential to write books of lesser quality. Former Thomas Nelson Publishers CEO and author Michael Hyatt gave his list of suggestions every new author should follow before publishing their work. The most important step should be the homework. He suggests that an author should know the market before trying to pitch their ideas and manuscripts to publishers.

That includes reading articles about the novel market and following publishing blogs. If possible, save space in your budget for an agent. If an author is considering traditional publishing, it is best to have an agent, as to be taken more seriously. If nothing else, self-publishing is an option. However, his most critical piece of advice to keep the faith.

These tips should be useful for new authors looking for clues to either find helpful editors or simply improve their writing. It is advised for new authors to take these tips to heart and into their writing. Also, if and when looking for editors, it is best for writers to conduct their research, plan and budget accordingly.

24
Jan
2016
2

How to market young adult fiction (and get more book reviews)

I’ve recently realized that I have way too many websites; I haven’t posted anything on this one for awhile – I continue to post most of my book marketing case studies and experiments on my main site, www.creativindie.com. Things are getting more exciting now, because – while previously I only helped other authors market their books – now I’m publishing and marketing my own (including fiction!).

A lot of fiction authors say that what most people consider as book marketing doesn’t work as well for fiction writers.

Not true.

And I’m writing in young adult, a genre many authors feel is particularly frustrating (how do you reach teenage readers?).

I’m having fun learning and doing book launches, the first of which (January, 2016) is for Shearwater, a young adult mermaid romance. I built a YA email list to almost 10K with book giveaways, and I expect to have over 100 reviews the first week… but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will “stick” or keep earning money long term.

I know some books that have 300 reviews and still struggle to sell, and others with 20 reviews that make $20K a month.

Likewise, I know authors with 20 books that barely make $100 a month, and authors with 1 book that make $10K.

It doesn’t seem fair.

But this much is true:

1. You need to keep driving traffic so people find your books.

And this doesn’t have to mean getting on Twitter or doing promotions. With a handful of well written posts, on popular website, with keywords people are searching for, you’ll be able to bring in constant, long term traffic.

(This post, for example, is one of many that will bring new traffic to my novel – and I’ve linked my anchor text, “a young adult mermaid romance” directly to my Amazon page, so that it will rank well in Google search results).

2. Your book page needs to convert.

That means, when people find themselves on your Amazon page, they buy the book. That’s a combination of reviews, description and summary, editorial reviews and the about the author section, as well as the book cover. All that stuff helps them make a purchasing decision.

If you can drive traffic, and most of that traffic feels a thirst, a need, to actually buy and read your book, you’ve won.

That’s what I’m trying to make happen with my books. It will take some experimentation, but I’m doing a lot of things right, and by the end of 2016 I plan to have at least 10 books published and be making a living as a writer.

If you also write young adult and want some help, I’ve set up the Alliance of Young Adult Authors, and I also made a book review site just for YA books that authors can use to boost their traffic and visibility.

1
Oct
2015
0

Book Marketing for Non-Fiction – Health and Body

“Health is wealth.” “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Such sayings may sound cliched, but there is truth in them. Bodies age, get sick, and experience a lot of things, and for us to keep on with our daily lives, we have to continue to maintain our bodily health – and that means doing a lot, from engaging in proper exercise to eating the right types of food. And that’s where the health, body, and wellness books come in – advice from experts and tips based on experience, health and body books serve to help the health-conscious individual in the quest to being – and staying – healthy.

Below, you’ll find links to websites where you may be able to market your own health and body book. There are, as well, a lot of links that lead to resources for the health and body book writer, as well as communities and meet-ups for feedback!

Note: Most of the links provided are for resources, communities, and meet-ups related to health and body.

Links are being continually added to this post!

Blogs and Websites

Resources:

Author websites:

Facebook Groups

Discussion Groups on Facebook:

Classes and Fitness Groups:

Communities and Forums

Specific interests under Health and Body:

Meet-ups and Events

Magazines

Podcasts

Resources:

Do you know of any other great places to market health and body books, or communities for the health-and-body book writer? Let us know in the comments!

30
Sep
2015
2

3 THINGS TO DO IF YOUR BOOK ISN’T SELLING

The vast majority of self-published books don’t sell very well.

According to authorearnings.com, only 2.8% of authors earn more than $10,000 per year from their books. And that’s not even a full-time income.

That’s one fifth of the average American income. (Thank you Wikipedia.)

If you’re in the 97.2% of authors who makes less than $10,000 a year…this quick post is for you.

You see, I know what it feels like to write a book and have it sell a pitiful number of copies. My first month as a published author I made $1.05. Yippee.

But somehow…I made it.

As I type these words my latest book is sitting at #747 in the entire Kindle store. And it wasn’t even that hard to get there. I just did the 3 things I write about in this post.

Enjoy.

1. BE PROFESSIONAL

Most self-published books look like they’ve been self-published.

That’s not a good thing.

If you want people to buy your book, you have to do something to catch their attention. They’re not just going to randomly find your book and buy it. You have to give them a reason to click to find out more.

And the easiest way to do that?

Have a professional book page.

That means you need a drop-dead gorgeous cover. You need a gee-whiz title. You need plenty of positive reviews. You need an excellent book description.

No Fiverr covers, no generic titles, no spammy fake reviews, no one sentence book descriptions.

You’re going to get as much out of your book as you put in.

The more effort you put into making your book look as professional as possible…the better your book is going to sell. It really is that simple.

Now, you might argue: “but Fiverr covers ARE professional!”

No they’re not. Don’t go there. Just don’t. Trust me. I used to go the Fiverr route. The moment I switched my income went up from $800 a month to $4,000 a month.

NOW do you think Fiverr covers are professional?

Yeah. I thought so.

Or, you might argue “but aren’t generic keyword-laced titles more important than fancy titles?”

No, no, NO!

Sure, you might be able to drive some traffic to your book via keywords. But it won’t matter if you don’t have an appealing title to convert all of that traffic into book buyers!

I can’t even begin to explain how important it is to have the right title.

Remember, you need to give potential readers a REASON to read your book. So many authors don’t understand this. But the truth is: readers won’t just throw their money at you! You have to give them a reason to buy!

And one of the very best ways to do that is to have an absolutely amazing title. You know, the kind of title that you just HAVE to click on to find out more. The kind of title that practically FORCES you to buy.

You want a title like that for your book.

Now, I know you hear this over and over and over again. Have a good title, have a good cover, have a good book description, etc, etc, etc.

This isn’t exactly new advice.

But SO MANY authors either don’t know how to make their book look professional, or just don’t think it matters.

Trust me. It does.

If your book isn’t selling well..lack of a professional book page is probably why.

So now you have two choices…

Either “professional-ize” your book page and watch the sales roll in, or just leave it as it is, and see how things work out.

This is a big decision. I hope you’ll be smart about it.

2. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?

Ask yourself this question really quick…

How bad do you want to be a bestselling author?

Imagine all of the things you’ll be able to do. Imagine being able to quit your job. Imagine being able to have a free schedule, and spend your time doing what you love. Imagine having die-hard fans that would do anything for you.

Now…what are you willing to invest to get to that stage?

Because that scenario COULD be your every day life. I absolutely, 100% believe that you CAN become a bestselling author. You have what it takes.

The question is, are you willing to give what it takes?

You’re going to get as much out of a book as you’re willing to put in.

And that means you’re going to have to invest some moolah in your book launch. You’re going to have to buy some advertising.

Even if you have the best book page of all time…if you don’t have any traffic going to that book page, it won’t matter.

And, if you’re a brand new author, chances are you don’t have the reach and traction to drive a bunch of traffic to your professional book page.

Which means you’re going to have to buy advertising.

After you get your book page as professional-ized as possible, I’d recommend lowering the price to $0.99 and purchasing ad spots with a bunch of those promo sites.

Buck Books, Robin Reads, Book Zio, Ereader Girl, Ebooks Habit, Reading Deals…there’s no shortage of $0.99 promo sites.

You can get featured on a bunch of these sites and drive a lot of traffic for just $200-$300.

After that, raise the price to $3.99 (it helps your book stand out and converts better than $2.99 — at least in my experience) and Amazon’s algorithms will kick in and Amazon will actually start to promote your book for you.

It really is that simple.

But you DO have to invest some money in your book launch. Otherwise…you’ll stay right where you are. With a poorly selling book.

(NOTE: This method of promotion works better with brand-new books. I haven’t tested it on older books. But if you’ve got a new book coming out soon…this simple promotion strategy works like a charm.)

3. DON’T GIVE UP…EVER

Nobody said that becoming a bestselling author would be easy.

If somebody did say that to you…they were lying.

Because it’s not easy.

It took me 6 years from the time I first started writing a book to the time I was earning a full-time income.

But if you want to become a bestselling author bad enough…you CAN achieve that dream. I guarantee it.

Heck, if I can do it, ANYBODY can. I mean it.

I’m only 16 years-old, and I make a full-time income doing what I love. You can do it to.

You just have to persevere, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and never, ever give up.

If you do that…you WILL be successful.

There’s no other option.

Success isn’t like chasing the end of a rainbow. It’s not some abstract, illusive, unobtainable “thing”.

It’s real.

And it can be yours.

You just have to give it your best, and never give up. Ever.

SUMMARY

I know this is a massive post. So here’s a quick summary of what we learned and what you can go do RIGHT NOW to jumpstart your book sales.

1) Invest in a professional cover. I recommendhttp://www.archangelink.com

2) Create a catchy title. Think outside the box. Come up with something that will FORCE potential readers to click to learn more.

3) Write a professional book description. Study a few books on copywriting if you don’t know how to write a good sales copy.

4) Get as many reviews as possible. Real reviews. The best way to do this (in my experience) is to develop a network of other authors in your niche that you can rely and ask the occasional favor.

5) Lower your book price to $0.99.

6) Invest $200-$300 (or more) in the various $0.99 promo sites.

7) Raise your book price to $3.99.

8) Sit back and watch as the Amazon algorithm kicks in.

9) Never give up.

10) Ever.

Is this the best way to market a book?

I don’t know.

But it’s worked extremely well for me.

And ANYBODY can do it. It seriously can’t get any simpler than this.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

If you enjoyed reading it, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a moment to like, comment, and share! wink emoticon

Cheers!

-Mark Messick

http://www.derangedbrilliance.com

21
Sep
2015
0

Book Marketing for Non-Fiction – Memoir

The memoir is a beautiful genre of non-fiction in which the writer tells stories from his or her life, in an engaging, readable format. What’s wonderful about the memoir is that you don’t just find out the cold facts of a person’s life, but it would be like you’re reliving his or her experiences by reading it, making the memoir a personal trip down memory lane. It’s certainly not going to be easy writing a memoir, but the end product – which would, hopefully, touch people’s lives – will be worth it.

Below are some links where you can market your memoir, as well as places where you can communicate with other memoir writers and resources to help you in your writing!

This list is a work in progress, and links are continually being added!

Blogs and Websites

Resources:

Facebook Groups

Communities and Forums

Meet-ups

Magazines and Newsletters

Accepts submissions:

Podcasts

And some bonuses!

Do you know of other great sites where writers can market their memoir? Let us know in the comments!

18
Sep
2015
3

How to market your young adult fiction

Young adult writers sometimes have difficulty connecting with readers and selling more books, for several reasons:

  1. Young adult (teen) readers may or may not have control over what books they buy, or their Amazon account.
  2. The young adult publishing space is saturated by traditional publishing houses with a huge budget, who can make really awesome websites and things to get traffic.
  3. Young adult readers love really great design, which means YA authors have to make better looking books to be successful.
  4. Targeting teens and advertising at them can seem icky, but authors don’t know – besides writing books – what else they can be doing to get readers’ attention.

Since I’m working on about a dozen YA books that I hope will provide full-time income in the next 3 years, I needed to overcome some of these difficulties, so I’m focusing on building a huge list of YA readers with events and giveaways, and networking with other YA authors to build a powerful community that can support each other.

To kick things off, I’m giving away $7500 worth of book marketing and author branding services, just for YA authors (especially those writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, dystopia or scifi). Check out the video below, or just click here to signup to win.

15
Sep
2015
0

Book Marketing for Non-Fiction – Cooking

Ingredients, recipes, tips and tricks from experts, personal responses and amazing experiences – all of these converge in the world of cooking, and all of these are shared through cooking books! Excellent recipes, cooking tips, guides – these are all the important ingredients one needs to create the perfect cookbook. And, of course, one very important ingredient – feedback and response from your readers and fellow cooks. Constant reviewing and constant “re-cooking” makes for a better dish- er, cook book!

Below, you’ll find links where you can market your cooking book, find resources, and of course, find communities where you can share your own insights and experiences.

Blogs and Websites

Resources/Cookbook-Making Sites

Facebook Groups

Communities and Forums

Podcasts

Meet-ups

Author Websites

Do you know of any other places where we can market cookbooks? Let us know in the comments!