Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with John Allison, author of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy’s. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Philadelphian John Allison spent 25 years at a Big Ten University teaching Chemistry, and is now home teaching at The College of New Jersey. He enjoys constructing plays, short stories, and monologues. The world premiere of his first play, "Bud's Used People Lot" (2004), was produced by the Twin City Players (suburban Chicago). Jersey Voices selected two of his One-Act plays for their productions of short play collections by Jersey Playwrights. 23 of his monologues were read in Kate Daly's Monologue Mania (Bloomfield, NJ) over a two-year period. Look for him on the Barnegat Bay, on the sailing vessel Abby-Gale.
All royalties from sales of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy’s will go to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund. As a resident of the State of New Jersey, I know how much help my coastal neighbors still need to rebuild, and I am happy to make this commitment.
Relax in the world of a unique local salon, and enjoy meeting owner Sarah Joy, her interesting staff and above-average clients. Follow Sarah from starting her business, knee deep in dog poop and broken glass, past some disembodied heads, through a ghostly visit, and to a meeting with Miss America. On occasional Saturday nights, selected clients gather for an evening of haircuts, wine, food and conversation. One particular Saturday night challenges the group, as they find themselves being tested by a shotgun, resting against Sarah's forehead. By night's end, some are hospitalized, others are arrested, and everyone is changed.
Why did you decide to publish with Infinity Publishing?
I had a story that I wanted to tell, and wanted to learn how to publish a book. I spent considerable time comparing on-demand publishers, and decided that Infinity could give me what I wanted without having to sell the family cow.
Why should readers pick up your book? They should definitely buy two copies of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy’s if: 1) they are tired of conventional adversary/hero stories; 2) they have hair and occasionally get it cut; 3) they like to actually get to know characters; 4) they want to figure out who’s holding the shotgun; 5) they understand that all royalties go to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund; and 6) they might want to buy it just for the cover!
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
There are two, and for each of them this book is a kind of coming-of-age story about them. One is a teenage hearing-impaired girl, the other is an aging woman who’s losing her hair as fast as everything else!
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
It’s not a conventional story, but a slice-of-life story. Readers get to know the characters, watch them interact, and see them at their best and worst. I’m still learning about the book! A reader commented on how many of the characters were strong women. It wasn’t planned but it does appear to be true. Another commented that it might be similar to Steel Magnolias, another slice-of-life story with perhaps no main character, quirky, and about a hair salon!
Who designed the cover?
I really want to thank the artistic staff at Infinity, who did a great job. They created just what I wanted, and I was really concerned about being able to have a high quality cover. I purchased the image from shutterstock.com, which offers an amazing collection of professional photos. I found just what I needed there.
Can you describe your main character in 3 words?
Great question. No. Depending on where you are in the book, you may make different decisions of who the main character actually is. If you take a step back, life usually doesn’t have main characters. Sometimes you’re one of the many, at times you have to step up and serve as a hero (or heroine).
List three adjectives that describe your book as a whole:
Intimate, unpredictable, powerful
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Paperback books are available at most websites where books are sold. Ebooks for the Kindle can be purchased at Amazon.com, and for the Nook at the Barnes & Noble website. All royalties go to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund. For the largest contribution to our neighbors along the NJ shore, purchase the paperback directly from Infinity Publishing at https://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-8014-X. More information on the book can be found at: http://saturdaynightatsarahjoys.blogspot.com.
Who inspires you?
Young people. Old people. Anyone involved in Community Theatre; they remind me that stories need to feel almost real, and that it doesn’t hurt to keep the audience almost always smiling.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do?
My father constantly talked. Often he would talk just to make you smile. Occasionally he would tell stories of growing up in Philadelphia, or being in the Army, or he would tell (one of many versions of) stories of his family. My mother was one of ten children, so I had no shortage of aunts and uncles. Many of them were storytellers as well, so it is a natural thing for me. Often, writing is the medium, but I also enjoy the spoken word such as theatre and monologues. Writing is one way to make contact with another person, through a story, to point out that we all have shared experiences. No one is alone.
If you could visit a place for research, where would it be?
I’d go to Stardate 1411.1, to visit James T. Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise. I would like to spend some time in the Star Trek future, in a time when, for the known universe, racism, bigotry and stupid people are history.
If you were told your stories were unbelievable and no written very well, would you continue to write? What would your response be?
Fiction can and at times should be unbelievable. My writing style is often non-traditional, since I’m constantly experimenting when I write. I write for myself first, and if others enjoy it, that’s great. If my writing isn’t perfect then I need to continue writing, to make it better. It’s too much fun to stop. I honestly welcome criticism.
What are your strengths as a writer?
At some point in your life, you get to stop apologizing for how you do the things you do, and just be yourself. You do this by labeling all that you do, things that raise eyebrows, as quirky. I’m there! Also, I have a sense of humor with a dash of sarcasm sprinkled in. To me sarcasm is an art, not a negative thing. You may love it or hate it but you can’t ignore it.
Where did you grow up? How did your hometown (or other places you have lived) inspire your writing?
I grew up in suburban Philadelphia in a little town of 10,000 residents stuffed into one square mile. I was very fortunate to have lived in a row house, where people sit on their attached porches or on their “stoops” and talk every day. Philadelphia was a great place to be as a kid! It had everything I could want. I’ve lived in academic areas for most of my adult life; they have been an interesting contrast to my early years. Neither of my parents finished high school and I was the first in the family to go to college. I’ve been very fortunate in always being immersed in stimulating environments.
What is your favorite genre?
I’m not interested in genre. I hope I never know the genre of a book I’m reading. Genres are just cubbyholes that won’t be around for much longer, I hope. We need more books with urban science fiction lesbian themes! Labels just constrain us for no reason.
Have you ever sat and just watched the people go by?
I grew up on boardwalks along the Jersey shore, so yes! Now I always watch with the hope that each one will be carrying a copy of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy’s!
To order a copy of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's go to www.buybooksontheweb.com
Announce the release of your book, reach your audience, and build positive word of mouth by sending out Advance Reading Copies (ARC) to reviewers and columnists before it is available to the public.
Put your book directly into the hands of the media to create pre-release buzz in anticipation of your book being available for sale. Publishing a book gives you a platform for sharing your unique perspective to experts, columnists, journalists and your readers.
Prior to receiving your proof copies from Infinity, you will have the option of purchasing our Advance Reading Copies program for $275 (For color books additional charges may apply). When you receive your proof copies, you will also receive:
- 24 books with “ADVANCE READING COPY” boldly printed across the front and back covers
- 24 book mailers
- 24 mailing labels with Infinity’s return address and “Requested Advance Reading Copy” printed on the label
- 24 announcement cards explaining this complimentary ARC is provided by prior correspondence with the author
These 24 ARC’s do not count as your first order so you may still take advantage of the 50% discount the first time you order your newly published books!
While your book is moving through production, you have time to contact book reviewers and promoters offering them an ARC. If you’re the author of a non-fiction special interest niche book, contact the top experts in that specialized field of interest – they’ll often mention your book as a fresh insight into the topic and perhaps write an endorsing blurb you can use when promoting your book. Novelists can use ARC’s to send to reading circles that are known for their interest in the author’s genre.
You don’t have to send all 24 copies out – you can give ARC’s to your family and friends to help get the buzz about your book. ARC’s are an excellent way to start the word-of-mouth promotion of your book.
Keep in mind that the ARC’s are the same as your proof copies, complete with any goofs and errors that still must be corrected. Your close circle of friends reading an ARC will provide more sets of eyes helping to identify those small imperfections that need to be corrected before your book is approved by you and released for sale. Fear not – the professionals receiving your ARC’s know they’re reading a book that’s in the final stages of completion – not perfect, but very close to perfection.
Did you order and send out ARCs to potential reviewers? Share your experience with us.
Image courtesy of arinas74
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Writing a book synopsis is arguably the most difficult step in the publishing process. How can you contain an entire book in one, small paragraph? We're here to help and guide you with a few tips!
All In The Details. It may seem arbitrary, but it's important to include at least your main characters name in your book synopsis, if your book is a work of fiction that is. This is the first time your reader will connect with your story, and a character's name will help solidify this. It may be personal taste, but I also think that your book title should be included at some point, possibly near the end. This will aid you from a marketing standpoint as reviewers may post your synopsis to their website.
Take A Look Back. Review your chapters and write down the main events in each; then narrow this list down with another edit. You will want to include the most vital plot points in your synopsis but without giving too much away. It should be a teaser of sorts as your main goal is to keep your potential reader intrigued enough to purchase the book. If your book is a piece of non-fiction, such as a cookbook, you can also highlight key recipes that you think your reader will enjoy.
Two's Company. Because there is no definitive length to a synopsis, it’s recommended you have two versions: a long synopsis and a short synopsis. The longer synopsis can be used on the back of your book or interior flap of your hardcover's dust jacket. Your short synopsis will be a great addition to media pitch emails as it will give book marketers a taste of your book without crowding them with too much detail.
Do you have tips for writing a synopsis? What is your favorite part of your book synopsis? Share with us!
Image courtesy of tonyamaker
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Did you know that many authors aren’t even aware that Amazon provides a FREE author page to each and every author who has an ISBN and listed on their site? It’s true! Your Amazon Author Central page is a fantastic publicity tool to help you better market their books. But to be the most effective, you have to keep it up-to-date. Follow us as we detail the key elements of keeping your Author Central page current.
Bio. Once your account is activated, you then can set-up your author profile. This is where you tell your potential readers about yourself, including your author website URL and bio. You can pull this from your author page on BBOTW.
Photos. Once you have filled in as much information as you can, don't forget to include your photo. You'll want to include an author headshot as well as your book cover image. If you're a children's book author, you can also include images of your characters and illustrations.
Social Media. To maximize this valuable sales tool, you will want to link to your Twitter account as well as your blog RSS feed. Both of these tools will keep your author page active, every time you post a blog or send out a Tweet. This will keep your readers current with your day to day online happenings.
Video. This section is a great place to upload your book trailer or another type of multimedia that you may have created to go along with your book: an interview, a radio segment or even a cooking segment for your recipe book. This provides readers with an enhanced interactive view of your book and author page.
Books. As you publish and add more books to your collection as an author, you will have to go in and manually add them to your page. This is especially important to keep up with if you are the author of a series of books, as you will be needing to update this section more frequently.
International. Even if you have already set up your Amazon.com Author Central page, this does not mean it is set up on international Amazon sites. Currently, the UK, France, Germany and Japan sites offer this service but is not equipped with all of the features that the US Amazon provides (ex. some of the international sites do not have the blog RSS feed sync). Be sure that you set up your international pages as well!
Update your Amazon Author Central page and share the link with us in the comments below for added exposure to your page!
Image courtesty of Mashable.com.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
When entering into the publishing process, every author will have a unique experience. The beauty of working with Infinity Publishing is that our team takes the burden of publishing off your shoulders, allowing authors to focus on the bigger picture. You deserve the very best after all, don’t you?
The step that every Infinity author has in common, however, is choosing from one of the four all-inclusive publishing packages (unless you went a la carte, of course). But how does one decide between Thoreau, Alcott, Poe and Twain? This week, we are breaking down the basics for you on how to pick the package that’s perfect for you and your title.
For authors looking to dip their toes into the publishing pond, we have Thoreau. This is Infinity’s simplest package that gives you the bare necessities to get your book published. Available for any genre, we recommend this for authors that are looking to publish a personal family memoir or someone looking to publish a quality book at a bargain price.
If you’re looking to be a novelist like Louisa May Alcott, we have the package for you! Alcott has all of the basics Thoreau offers but with marketing and promotional experience added on for good measure. Who doesn’t want to see their name in lights (or on the bestseller list for that matter)? This is an extremely well rounded program for authors looking for that PR edge.
Moving on to the Poe package will surely take you to the next level. Not only does it include the marketing aspect of the Alcott but you also have the option to print your book in a variety of formats. This includes a hard cover and soft cover interior and choosing either full color or black & white interior. If that doesn’t get you hooked, the slew of add-ons will seal the deal for you on this package.
If you thought you had heard it all, we’ve provided you with all the bells and whistles with the Twain. Publishing, marketing and more – this package will take your title down your own right path. Work along with an Infinity Publishing professional every step of your journey and enjoy the ad-ons along the way.
Don’t forget about Infinity’s trusty Authors Concierge™. You can choose online how you would like to publish your book and save 10% in the process. An experienced Author Advocate will contact you within one business day to answer any questions, guide you through the rest of the process and assure your total satisfaction.
Remember, Infinity Publishing is there for you, from pre-publishing to the delivery of your first books!
Drop us a line and share your experience with Infinity in the comments section below.
Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with Mark A. Cooper, author of Edelweiss Pirates: Operation Einstein. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Mark was born in London UK, he moved to Florida in 2003. He had a moderate success writing non-fiction books, in 2008 his first novel Fledging Jason Steed was published. It became an international hit among young readers. Fictionreviwer.com named it Young Adult Book of the year 2009 and it was finalist in the 2009 'Indie book Awards'. In 2010 Prince William announced it as his favorite book.
Mark later published book 2 (Revenge) of the Jason Steed series and is currently writing book 3.
Synopsis: Edelweiss Pirates: Operation Einstein
A group of fun loving rebellious German teens calling themselves the Edelweiss Pirates, witnesses something so dreadful they decide to take action when a six-year old Jewish girl is left orphaned. Torn between patriotism for the country they love and there own rights and freedoms they have to try and do the unthinkable, but with the Gestapo and Hitler Youth hot on their trail; is it too late?
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Grandpa Gunthire, a lovable old rogue who adopts his grandson and becomes a champion of the Edelweiss Pirates. He makes money poaching and dealing on the black market.
Are the characters in your books based on people you know?
People I come across, I use parts of their character and blend them to make mine.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Jason Steed 3. Jason has turned 12, he does not want to get involved with spy’s, police, or any undercover work again. But when a family friend disappears, a suspected child slavery business is blamed. Jason puts himself in harms way to find out who is behind it and rescue his friend.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I have done both now. Jason Steed was first self-published I had great success; an agent and traditional publisher took me under their wing. The publishers took control of my book, cutting it back by 23,000 words. The promotion was non existent, I won’t go that route again, I prefer to be in control and will now only go with a POD company. Infinity is a company who I have so far had 4 books with, I am very happy with them.
If you were told your stories were unbelievable and no written very well, would you continue to write? What would your response be?
I would laugh; the Beatles where told the same by a record company executive, look what happened to them.
Why did you decide to publish with Infinity Publishing?
I have used them before; I owe the success of Fledgling Jason Steed to them. They published it first before it was picked up by an agent and traditional publisher.
Do you like to travel? If so where is your favorite city?
Sarasota Florida, that’s why I live here.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My wife and son support me with everything I do.
Where do you want to go with your writing career? Where do you see your writing career in five years?
To carry on with the success I have had, and of course I still dream about a movie deal.
For more information about Mark A. Cooper and Edelweiss Pirates, visit:
by Jillian Bullock
After 20 years of back and forth writing my memoir, Here I Stand, I finally got serious. I dedicated two solid years of writing three hours a day along with one year of edits after I presented my book to an editor. Although the book wasn't published yet I started getting media interviews, which garnished interest from movie producers about optioning the rights to my life story.
Here I Stand tells the unforgettable true story of my life as a young, African-American woman who defies the odds by becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, an award winning filmmaker and a competitive martial artist after I overcame life with the Philadelphia Italian Mafia, rape, drug addiction, violence, criminal activity, homelessness, prostitution, and teenage motherhood.
Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing
As an independent filmmaker and screenwriter, many of my filmmaking colleagues suggested that I get the book published as fast as possible in order to do a "book/movie tie-in." I wanted to get my book published the traditional way, so I sent out numerous query letters to literary agents. I got a few emails from agents who wanted to read my proposal. Most of the agents ultimately passed. One agent, however, loved the proposal and wanted to represent me. As she worked her magic sending the proposal out to various publishers, I did some research on the publishing process. I realized if I did go the traditional publishing route it could take up to two years before Here I Stand was on the market. Thinking back to what the film folks said two years and the interest from movie producers could die.
To get my book out as soon as possible, I turned to self-publishing. After doing extensive research on companies, I decided to go with Infinity Publishing. The representative who was assigned to me was thorough, patient and accessible. In six months time I was holding my memoir in my hands. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling to know after 20 years and much blood, sweat and tears I was now an author.
A Life Altering Moment
With the book available, I was ready to deal with the producers who expressed interest in Here I Stand. While I tried to work a deal, which meant finding a producer/director I clicked with and who understood my vision for the film, I started doing motivational speaking. Not only was I able to share my story of how I transformed my life, but I was allowed to sell books after the speech.
Surprisingly, I wasn't prepared for people's response to my story. Yes, it was brutal and hardcore, considering my upbringing and horrific experiences, but I noticed that people were moved by my triumph of overcoming the odds. I made a point to share with people how one's past doesn't dictate what their future will be and despite the obstacles, challenges and hardships people may endure they still can go on to achieve happiness, success and greatness in life.
After one speech, a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes. She said, "I'm going to call you Dr. Jill because your words heal." With that one line my life completely changed. Afterwards, I started getting emails, phone calls and letters addressed to - Dr. Jill. I think the woman I spoke to must have been either a great publicist or an angel. I had a moment of clarity and now I realized it wasn't just about me obtaining a movie deal for my book, it became something much bigger. In order for me to truly reach out and help people, I went on to get a certification as a Professional Life Coach. I also decided to return to college in January 2013 to begin working on acquiring a Ph.D. in Psychology, so I could actually earn the knowledge, education and title of "Dr. Jill."
When my book was first published, I never thought about how my experiences could help someone change or improve their lives. At the time I was writing more for myself. I wanted to purge those emotional demons I held inside as a result of all I've been through. Now, as I continue to look for the right home for my story with the right producer, director or movie studio, helping people has become a much more important mission for me. As I continue giving speeches and writing books, it is important that I use my words to make a difference in the lives of others.
Jillian Bullock, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is an award winning filmmaker, a fitness expert, a motivational speaker, and a certified professional life coach. After graduating from La Salle University in 1991, Jillian got an internship on the set of Spike Lee's film, Malcolm X. She formed Jaguar Productions, Inc., a film and sports entertainment company in 1995. Jillian has sold two scripts, one in 2010, entitled A Champion Inside, and one in 2011, entitled A Scar Across My Heart.
She is the CEO of Jillian Bullock Enterprises, LLC, a fitness, wellness and empowerment company. Jillian is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology and she is working on two new books, A Warrior's Heart: From Crack Street, to Wall Street, to Hollywood, a sequel to her memoir HERE I STAND, and Elite Warriors: How to Look, Feel and Perform Like an Athlete, Even if You Don't Want to Become One.
As a martial artist (she holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Wing Chun) and a boxer, Jillian is also a freelance writer for several publications and writes articles on the following topics: fitness, martial arts, boxing, health, wellness, rape and sexual assault, and domestic violence. She has been featured on several TV and radio programs and interviewed for numerous magazines and newspapers, including People, Essence, Ebony, Yahoo Sports!, New York Times, and more.
For more information, visit www.jillianbullockenterprises.com.
I was an English major in college, so my homework for four years was basically to read. I loved the classics in school – Jane Austen, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck. Now that I’m an Author Advocate for Infinity Publishing, I find myself falling in love with every book an author tells me about.
It’s almost impossible for me not to get excited about a book while I’m talking to authors. They are so passionate about their stories and excited to see all their hard work finally come to fruition.
Sometimes I think the memoirs are my favorite because every Infinity Publishing author has such a unique and interesting life story. Other times, I think the children’s books are the best because it’s so important to get children excited about reading. But then there are the novels – adventure, romance, science fiction – the characters and stories are so fascinating. And I can’t forget about the nonfiction books in which authors relate intriguing and useful information about all kinds of topics.
Just as every book is different, every book needs a different publishing plan. Would the book be best in print, ebook, or audio book format? Or perhaps all three formats? Which marketing plan will get the word out to the most readers? Would your book benefit from professional copyediting or translation services? What are the advantages of extended distribution for your book?
These are the questions that Author Advocates are here to answer. Everyday I talk to authors who are nervous about taking the next step. Some have done extensive research on publishers and others don’t know where to start or what questions they should be asking. Either way, they want to make sure they are making the right decision.
So if you are thinking about publishing a book, we want to hear from you. You did the hard part – you wrote the book. Now let us guide you to the publishing package that is right for your book. Whether you are putting the last period in place or just starting Chapter One, we would love to hear more about your book and tell you more about what it means to be an Infinity Publishing author.
Photo courtesy of mvttley.
Lindsey Huckabee is an Author Advocate for Infinity Publishing. You can tell Lindsey about your book by emailing her at Lindsey@infinitypublishing.com.
By Catherine C. Brooks
Write a book about Mathews County Post offices, it seemed an impossible job. After a leader of businessmen and women in our general area read my articles in a regional magazine for over two-years, he asked me to write a book about Post Offices in Mathews County, Virginia. For a time, I felt the idea absurd. However, I had a copy of the initial research that my maternal aunt had done. She spent six weeks during the summer of 1961, worked in the Postal Archives in Washington D.C., and gathered information about Mathews County Post Offices. Then, I contacted the historian of the Mathews County Historical Society and found a wealth of information sat in their files. I spent multiple hours hand copying it. On other mornings when the sun was shining, I drove to the areas and took pictures of any remaining older buildings that housed the post offices in former years. Contact with postmasters that were still living or serving the local offices gave more input for my book. As I wrote about one community after another, the title became obvious, “Walk with Me”.
After spending months researching and writing my books that relate local history, I find promotion and sales a challenge when the first shipment arrives from Infinity Publishing. I live in a rural area with a limited population. However, with one or more reviews in hand, I contact the local weekly newspaper. They not only publish a review, but also send a reporter for a photo and details as to why I wrote the book last published. The ideal is that a review, with an accompanying ad, precedes my first book signing by only a few days. I always have copies of previously published titles on hand at each new book signing. It is unbelievable how many of the older publications I sell.
Mathews County has a Market Days celebration, which is similar to a county fair, the first Saturday after Labor Day each year. I get permission to set up in Mathews Memorial Library on Main Street with books and a pen. It is the largest book sales and signing that I have each year. The library doesn’t make a charge, but I always give them a copy of the latest book.
I appeared on the local radio station once with a new publication. I don’t know how many sales can be contributed to that interview. However, every exposure helps.
It was a surprise when I learned someone had placed “Walk with Me” in the Mathews County archives in the Virginia Library, Richmond, Virginia. The small county had 44 post offices with 38 open at one time. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, citizens walked, rode horse back, or if affluent, rode in carriages to the general store with a post office in the corner for a distance of up to five miles. They wanted to make one trip take care of their needs.
“Didn’t Know We Were Poor” is a favorite with the women. It’s about life in the county before and during the Great Depression. “Photographic Memories Of Mathews County” competes with other photo books, but readers ask for more pictures in another book.
My book about World War II shows how the war affected conditions on the home front as well as overseas. “War Brought Trials and Anxieties …” contains newspaper clippings, diaries, and letters from my fiancé. There is little about actual battles, and more about the emotional affect the war had on both servicemen and those at home.
Catherine C. Brooks has a passion for local history, having lived in Mathews County, Virginia, since birth. She operated “The Craftsman Shop,” a retail fabric store, with a workroom for window treatments/furniture covers business, for 25 years after her husband’s death. Since retirement, she enjoys sharing the history that she has lived. Other than work in a local church and enjoying family and friends, Brooks spends her time writing or telling about yesteryears. She has found life in Mathews, a rural county on the Bay, where few farms remain as they did the first decades of her life, worthwhile. Her first book, “Walk with Me,” continues to be in demand, and calls for “Didn’t Know We Were Poor,” War Brought Trials and Anxiety,” and “Photographic Memories of Mathews County” increase. Her church denomination’s newsletter and several magazines have published Brooks’ articles.
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Vohsen.
by Brittany Lavin
Nothing is more effective for promoting a book than hearing about the book directly from the author. Without a doubt, it’s the author saying a few words pitching the merits of his or her book that will motivate consumers to order their book. Generating interest in the book is the entire focus of every promotional effort—the goal is to produce the buzz that persuades the buyer to purchase the author’s book.
For decades authors trekked to bookstores throughout the land to talk up their books with folks attending these in store presentations, however, in recent years there are fewer bookstores hosting author book signings and the attendance at these events has dropped drastically with the increasing popularity of the Internet. Every month more folks were discovering the ease of accessing and benefitting from the various offerings, opportunities, and informative features found on the far reaching digital web supporting and encouraging social networking.
Folks long accustom to communicating via letters, handwritten notes, and phone calls carried by miles of wire, are now suddenly zapped into a lightening flash speed of communicating with the ability of reach out and thoughtfully touch people almost anywhere in the world with a smart-phone call or through typed words in emails, instant-messages, and brief twitters or tweaks. And then came blogs—blogs where the reflective thoughts posted by bloggers hang accessible forever in the vastness of cyber-space.
Authors promoting their books were some of the first individuals to benefit from publishing book dedicated websites and posting an array of content on their blogs. Their informative content provided exposure to visitors and readers to buzz to others about their book content. Thankfully, the technologists then found a way to deliver the voice and vision of individuals via easy to produce videos recorded with digital cameras included as a feature of their smart phone or captured by the laptop computer’s build-in video cam. Soon individually produced and distributed videos were popping up like spring mushrooms all across the web.
Never in the long history of book publishing, have individual authors been graced with free and open access through a public portal to reach beyond the pages of their books and connect directly with people interested in knowing more about the authors and their books.
Infinity would like all of our authors to have this opportunity to promote their books
You, the author, need to take the first step by creating a book video to benefit from this marvelous promotional opportunity.
Here are a few basic steps for making it happen:
1. Prepare an outline of what you want to mention in your video. Some folks like to have a script, but the last thing you want to do is to come off looking like you are reading something word-for-word. You’re the author and you need to project a high degree of ease and comfort when you talk about your book.
2. Practice your presentation in front of a mirror so you’re able to deliver your message in 1-3 minutes—if you go longer than 5 minutes you’ll lose their attention. Smile and be natural, you want to try to have the demeanor of meeting an old friend who just asked you about your book and you only have a few minutes to talk with them.
3. The keywords are “talk with them”—don’t get all uppity and start talking down to them. This is a sure turnoff, so be sure to come from a place of talking “with” rather than “to” them.
4. Dress for comfort by selecting a shirt, blouse, or sweater that’s fashionable and is in keeping with what you normally wear in public. You’ll be striving for a head-and-shoulder shot that features your face—keep the background simple and uncluttered so viewers are focused on what you are saying and not trying to figure out what’s going on in the surroundings.
5. This is a solo performance, so don’t include spouses, cute kids or lovable pets—you are the spotlighted star.
6. Be sure your closing includes where viewers can order your book and the briefest URL to your book dedicated website. You want them to visit your website to read more about you and your book.
7. By producing your own video in the comfort of your home you have the ability of redoing your video to smooth out any glitches and misspoken words.
8. Variety increases attention and the reach of your videos, so vary the thrust of your future video content while keeping the primary focus on your book, for example:
A. First and foremost talk about your book—this is the topic you’re most familiar with so always lead with what you know best and benefits you the most.
B. Create a video to promote attendance at a future event you will be participating in with your book—be sure to include where and when with contact info for folks interested in meeting you in person.
C. Talk about your publishing experience with Infinity Publishing—be specific with regards to mentioning any unique features we provided that directly benefited the publication and distribution of your book, or simply say a few words about your experience with us.
D. Reader reviewers are great when posted on your book dedicated website, but you can increase their impact by making a video that includes what others have said about your book.
8. Submit your book videos to Infinity Publishing and we’ll post them on Infinity’s blog and other video outlets—exposure is the name of the game and the more exposure for your book is all the better for increasing book sales. Your book dedicated website and Facebook are great places for you to post links to all of your book promotion videos.
Invest some of your time reviewing book videos created by other authors and make notes about what aspects worked well that can be incorporated into your presentation, and also learn from what came across as things you want to avoid doing. With a bit of ongoing research and carefully planning your approach, your finished results will be more effective and you’ll reach a larger audience with your book video.
Perhaps the most important recommendations are to keep your book video simple and stay focused on the primary information you are conveying to every viewer clicking on to see and hear what you have to say about your book.