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.
by Penny C. Sansevieri
Let's face it, regardless of the odds we authors still want to get into bookstores. But if you've been having a hard time with this, take heart. It's getting harder and harder to get into stores, but not impossible. We're going to look at some of the possibilities here.
First, it's important to understand the pressure stores are under right now. With the increased focus on publishers to get their authors out there, bookstores are being given most of their marching orders by their corporate office. Bookstore shelf space is bought and paid for by theNew Yorkpublishers, making getting on the shelves or display racks a bit tricky - if not impossible. So here's a game plan for those of you trying to survive outside of the traditional market.
1. Get to know your local store: I know this might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many authors don’t really know the people in their local store. The thing is, if you know them, they know you. Then, when you’re ready to promote your book they might be more open to having you in their store if you have taken the time to get to know them.
2. Events: One way to get into a bookstore is by doing an event. Sometimes when you do an event the store may stock the book before and after you've done your program. Start to follow the types of events they do at the store. Get an events calendar or get on their email list. You’ll start to see trends emerge. For example, they might have an independent author night you could participate in. Also be cautious for big releases, like the recent Stephenie Meyer events many stores had planned. If you are trying to capture the attention of a store when they’re in the middle of a major book launch, you’re likely to be ignored.
a) Book signings are boring, offer to do an event instead. Events are a draw, book signings aren’t unless you’re a celebrity. Plan to do a talk, educate, entertain, or enlighten. This will be a more attractive pitch to the bookstore and will draw more people to your talk.
b) Get to know the local authors in your area and then offer to plan events for them. Here’s how this works: Bookstores are inundated with local authors asking for a time slot, but what if you went to the bookstore manager and said that you’d be willing to coordinate a once a month event featuring all the local authors? The bookstore could just refer all local independently published authors to you, you could coordinate this - and guess what? Not only are you helping the store, but guess who’s getting a monthly showcase in their store? You. You can do this with more than one store if you have the time, but keep in mind that with cutbacks often one store manager will oversee a few locations so you might only have to go through one person.
c) If they won’t let you coordinate a monthly event, suggest that they have an Independent author night if they haven’t already started this. If they have an Independent author night you should definitely participate, it’s a great way to gain exposure, not to mention network with some local people.
3. Distribution: Making sure that the bookstore can actually acquire the book is often the first step in getting stocked. Bookstores generally tap into two databases for stocking: Baker & Taylor and Ingram. If you're listed there, bookstores can order the book, though a listing in those databases doesn't usually prompt stocking because these are not distributors, they are wholesalers. There's a big difference. Distributors such as IPG, Perseus, and Midpoint actively push the book into the bookstores, or try to sell copies into the stores during their sales push. Wholesalers don't do this, so if you can get a distributor for your book, great! This could really help your in-store success.
4. Local marketing: don't forget any marketing you do locally, whether it's speaking in venues outside of the bookstores, television, radio, or print. All of this can drive traffic into the bookstores. Market locally and when you do, let the stores know you're going to have a feature or appearance so they can stock the book, if they want to. It's always a great idea to get to know the managers or buyers for your local stores so you can alert them to media or an event you're doing. This not only keeps you and your book on their radar screen, but it's a nice courtesy to offer them. Most managers are stretched pretty thin and appreciate the buying tip, whenever they can get it. Even if they choose not to stock your book the first or second time, keep alerting them to your promotion. Eventually they just might.
5. Know your Geography: Let’s say you live inNew York, but your book is more suited to theMidwest market... Why keep pushing in an area that's already inundated with authors and books and events? Why not push it to a market that’s more appropriate for your topic? By doing this you will not only open up channels you might not have considered, but you'll likely do better in sales. When you do this, you should plan to coordinate some marketing around it so folks in that local area are aware that your book is there.
6. Buy a book: Don’t just wander the store trying to make friends: shop there. Support your local stores regardless of whether they are a chain or independent. You’d be surprised what a difference this makes when you’re trying to get to know the folks who could book you for an event or stock the book on their shelves.
7. Funnel your buyers: Try as best you can to funnel everyone to one store to purchase your book. If you’re having a tough time getting shelf space (and aren’t we all?), funneling folks to one store might prompt that store to keep a few copies of your book on hand. Whenever you do local speaking or media, let them know by name and address where they can get your book. Stores have been known to take in books that they’re getting lots of requests for, regardless of how they are published. If you’re sending people to one store - instead of fragmenting them to a bunch of different ones - you could start building an ongoing interest in reorders, and sometimes all it takes is one store to stock it before the neighboring stores will follow suit.
Getting into bookstores isn’t impossible, but it does require a dash of creativity. Keep in mind that if bookstores still aren’t receptive after you’ve tried the tips in this article then maybe you’re sitting in a tight market. Areas likeLos Angeles,New YorkandChicagomight be tough areas to get noticed, because these are often the first stops traditional publishers seek when planning author tours and getting stocked on the shelves. If you’re near those areas, try looking outside of the city for alternatives that are often overlooked byNew York. If that doesn’t work for you, then consider non-bookstore shelf space and events. If you're not sure how to do this, check out my other article on events outside of the normal bookstore market, http://huff.to/cx05E2.
Over the years we’ve planned events for our authors in all sorts of non-bookstore venues such as: video stores, electronics stores, gyms and even grocery stores. If events are your focus, keep an open mind and remember: often the biggest piece of getting your book into a bookstore is the relationship you build with them.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the "road map to publishing success." AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an authors message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book's topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:email@example.com Copyright ã 2010 Penny C. Sansevieri
We are pleased to announce that books by IP authors were finalists in the annual IPPY Awards program.
IPPY Finalist Kathy Gruver, Infinity author of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet
It's an honor to have my hard work and passion acknowledged by the IPPY as a finalist for The Alternative Medicine Cabinet in the Alternative Medicine category. Trying to squeeze 20 years of health experience into a book was definitely a challenge and it's a joy to know that my work is being appreciated. I'm hoping this sparks even more interest for people in exploring how natural health can help everyone avoid drugs and surgery! More information about the book and natural health can be found at www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com and my weekly health tips at www.youtube.com/drkathygruver
IPPY Finalist Marc Little, Infinity author of Angels in the Midst
The recognition by the Indie Excellence Awards committee for ANGELS IN THE MIDST (Religion Fiction Category) is special because of the timing. The novel is the sequel to DON'T BLINK WHEN GOD CALLS and both follow the campaign trail and inauguration of Curt Felton, Jr., the first African American mayor of Forrestville, Florida. The backdrop and back stories are closely related to my former adopted hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, which ironically elected its first Black mayor in May 2011. Do I hear screenplay for HBO or the big screen for either book? Yes. I am proud to be one of Infinity's honored authors and I thank you for your professional guidance. My website is about.me/marclittle.com.
IPPY Finalist Mariana Williams, Infinity author of Stars or Stripes 4th of July
Mariana's novel was selected by the panel of judges as a 2011 IPPY Finalist in the Chick-lit category with her novel Stars or Stripes 4th of July. Mariana is currently vacationing in Europe and was unable to provide a blurb about her winning novel.
IPPY Finalist Bob O'Connor, Infinity author of The Life of Abraham Lincoln
Bob's novel was selected by the judges as a 2011 IPPY Festival in the history-non-fiction category with his book The Life of Abraham Lincoln. The book is a rare, never before published manuscript, written circa 1880 by a long time friend and personal body-guard to Abraham Lincoln. The book was found in The Huntington Library in California in 2008.
Many of our authors might not be aware that Infinity Publishing
has partnered with Eco-Libris
to launch the “100 Tree Project.” With this project, Infinity’s authors have the option to make a $50.00 donation to plant 100 trees for each book they publish. In return, Eco-Libris will authorize Infinity to include an official Eco-Libris logo that reads “100 trees planted for this book” on the book cover. This will serve as a reminder of their commitment to improving the environment.
Eco-Libris, founded in 2007, is a green company working with publishers, authors, and bookstores across the world to “green up” the book industry by promoting green practices, endorsing green books, and planting a tree for every book published.
Eco-libris has agreed to highlight each Infinity book that has taken advantage of the “100 Trees Project” in their blog. This blog will also be linked in Infinity’s Publishing blog which means more publicity for the author!
Ecolibris is currently highlighting The Last Orignal Idea by Alan K'necht and Geri Rockstein.
Click here for the full article by Eco-libris!
John F. Harnish, Vice President Author Services
Some folks might think this is a trick question, sort of like which came first: the chicken or the egg. No writer wants to publish a book that goes splat like a broken egg as it hits the floor-never going anywhere except into the trash. Indeed there are a few writers who have invested many long months and even years in toiling to complete their manuscripts, only to chicken out and never submit their first effort at writing a book for publication. Such a waste it is to have invested so much time and effort in creating a relatively polished draft of a book that lingers incomplete in an endless state of unpublished limbo.
Dan Poynter, author of more than 125 books, is quick to explain to aspiring authors that all published books are always only 95% complete-there's always an elusive 5% of undoneness that haunts all authors. Even established authors with a long list of publishing credits have that nagging feeling to do a wee bit more tweaking of their written words or perhaps do yet another rewrite of the opening of chapter three. However, keep in mind the chaos factor: your changes to chapter three will flutter throughout the rest of the book and the ensuing storm is likely to plunge you into another complete rewrite of the entire manuscript. Yes, it's another dratful delay that will keep your book from being published and release for public consumption.
Late in the 1960s, I discovered freelancing magazine articles and stringing for newspaper wire-services could produce a rather lucrative revenue flow. For sure checks would be forthcoming when the assignment was completed prior to the deadline, within the required word count, and right on target with the assigned topic. Of course my always hungry agent would call to see how I was progressing. I didn't need her gentle nudging me along because I knew a check would soon be on the way because most of the terms of payment were upon acceptance of the piece and not the delaying terms of upon publication. I dare say there was only one time when my agent called to inform me that I had to do a rewrite. Ugh, I was less than thrilled being told I had to do a rewrite, but I was totally elated learning the rewrite was because the editor liked my article so much that they wanted me to expand the assigned piece to become a lead feature. Naturally for more money!!!
Now that's a rewrite with a purpose and a cash reward waiting at the completion of my efforts is an excellent incentive. My agent referred to me as her perfect word-smith because if the price was right I'd write on almost any topic. Indeed I shamelessly confess I wrote for the folding green, thusly, my agent would pass on assignments offering only a publishing credit-bylines don't put immediate cash in the bank account. However, with time permitting I'd write freely for the American Cancer Society, the Heart Association, Planned Parenthood, and various community betterment groups as my way of creating good karma by providing purposeful help from the donation of my talents.
Too many writers embark on doing a rewrite without a defined purpose in mind-except with the intent to polish their manuscript one more time, or maybe a friend read it and made the suggestion that you need to include more of this or perhaps less of that. Opinions are so subjective-another friend might remark you need less of this and more of that. Stop trying to write for the masses and focus on first reaching one reader with your wordsmithing skills. When your words resonate well with one unknown person, you're on your way to reaching a whole lot more folks with your creative efforts.
It would be easy for writers to avoid falling into the bottomless pit of overwriting and rewriting if manuscripts were like a Butterball turkey with one of those little thingies that pops out when the turkey is cooked just right. Sadly that's not the case. Thusly the writer needs to make the fateful determination that their book is as done as it can be and submit the book for publication. Serve up that turkey and feast on the juicy joys of your completed efforts as you banish once and for all any thoughts of doing another delaying rewrite.
After submitting your book for publication, I would strongly recommend paying a mere .019 cents per word for Infinity's copyediting service to provide the peace of mind that typos and grammar goofs have been professionally purged from your book. If you want more individualized help creating or completing your book, you might consider getting feedback from an experienced developmental editor offered in one of our advanced Book Genesis programs.
The proof books are specifically for you to read over to make certain the book is essentially just how you submitted it to Infinity Publishing a few weeks ago for publication. This is not the time to go changing this and that all around, such undertakings will only delay the publication and distribution of your book and you could incur additional expenses to facilitate making more needless changes. The odds are those changes aren't going to make a bit of a difference in the quality of the overall good read you are providing for your readers.
Give yourself the gift of closure with your book, pronounce it finished, you're at the end of the writing process, now get it published and out there so folks can buy your book and read your telling words.
First of all, this article validates much of the basic philosophy long held by Infinity Publishing which has always believed in the resilience of the nation’s independent bookstores and their ability to stay in business and go toe-to-toe with chain super-stores. The national chains are in bed enjoying sweetheart deals for deeply discounted bestsellers from major houses, whose intent of the super-discounts and making their famous authors available for book signings were clearly to out-price and upstage those nearby indies.
We have always stressed the importance of regional connections by encouraging our authors to schedule events in their local independent bookstores. The owners/managers know the value of community roots and the appeal of introducing a newly published author with books -- autographed for their customers. Niche market books have always sold well through indies, and Infinity offers a dazzling array of niche topics – fully returnable at a 40% discount is a good deal. Plus, we have authors in the store’s backyard poised to do readings.
It’s interesting to note that the chains and major houses who hooked up early on with POD publishing services haven’t done much that’s noticeable in support of the resulting books. Perhaps the universal fault in the business model was their impersonal approach with contracted and over-taxed authors.
By engaging in self-publishing through Infinity, the author retains all rights to the book and Infinity pays monthly royalties on every book sold – we earn our profit selling books to ever expanding niches and discount books to our authors who create and control the content.
The importance of increasing independent bookstore sales, coupled with expanding customer purchases of niche books from small presses and evolving publishers, demonstrates the ability of indies and small regional chains to thrive and profit under the giants’ shadow. They’re doing this by expanding their on-shelf selection of niche books, introducing new flavors of fiction, spreading out romance, and howling over a vast offering of how-to books. We live in fascinating times – and the happenings in our evolving branch of publishing are especially interesting. The content and course of the book in the market place is being returned to the control of the author to decide upon – and not the corporate bean-counters who have counted too long on formulated publishing to produce the over projected profit. Authors who know and care about the content, published by a cost-effective book publishing system, delivered to a customer-aware and author-friendly indie is a winning combination that’s producing increasing sales when the rest of the industry is rather flat.
-John F. Harnish
by Brian Jud
Television is the glamour medium in the broadcast industry, making you instantly recognizable to millions of people across the country. But appearing on the air does not guarantee book sales. There are three major elements that control the way you are perceived by the viewers: your physical features, clothes and body language:
1. There’s not much you can do to change your physical features, but you can work with them. Use makeup to hide or accentuate certain physical features. Most women use makeup regularly and feel comfortable wearing it. If you are not familiar or comfortable with makeup, get assistance from a media trainer or from a sales representative at a local theatrical or cosmetic shop.
2. Dress to feel comfortable and create the image you want. Choose clothes that will not distract from your message. People should pay attention to what you say, not what you are wearing.
Choose colors that are best for you, given your hair and skin coloring. In general, dark colors are best for suits, and blue is a safe color. Earth tones and neutral colors work well on television, too. Before you choose your attire for any particular show, watch it or call ahead to find out the background color of the set.
Accessories should be simple, non-distracting and quiet. Use them to complement your intended image. Jewelry should be functional, subtle and not so bright as to cause camera problems. Glasses may be worn if needed to read.
3. There are volumes written about body language and how you project an image through your posture, movements and gestures -- intentionally or unintentionally.
Here are a few tips.
Be seated comfortably with your forearms placed on the armrests. Sit toward the front of the chair and lean slightly forward. If you are seated in a large sofa, sit near the front edge so you are not enveloped in it, particularly if you are short.
Use your hands strategically and naturally. Do not use quick, stiff, contrived gestures, but practice making smooth ones that appear spontaneous. Use your hands and arms to reinforce what you are saying. Do not look into the camera as you answer the interviewer’s questions. You are having a discussion with your host, so focus on his or her eyes.
Relax, enjoy yourself and you will sell more books when you are on the air.
Brian Jud is host of the television show, The Book Authority, a media coach and author of the media-training video program, You’re On The Air. Brian also hosts Book Central Station, where you can find rated lists of suppliers to help you write, publish, and market your books.
Director, Author Services, LinDee Rochelle, February 3, 2011:
Many of us have a smart phone. Those who don’t—I think I envy you. Like before the computer, life was so much simpler without all the bells ‘n’ whistles; but here we are ringing and whistling—do we know what song they’re playing?
Today dear authors, we’re talkin’ about Apps. I confess, the only ones I have on my phone were there when I bought it from Verizon. In less than two years my near-top-of-the-line 3G phone has been supplanted by the new 4G network, the Droid, and the iPhone. Sigh. I haven’t yet even figured out all the features on this one—including its apps.
But whether you’re using your phone, PC, laptop, e-reader, or iPad, you likely have a desktop-full of apps. Unfortunately, many of us have no idea what the term “apps” really means and how it can be beneficial to you, a hibernating writer/author, if not now, certainly in the near future.
Let’s delve into it together
Definition: Do you believe there is a website named WhatIsAnApp? I never cease to be amazed. Alan Boris explains succinctly: “The short answer: App is short for "application," a software program that performs a (usually) useful function such as word processing; a tool provided by a computer that performs a task to benefit the user.”
Boris surmises that the shorter term “app” is preferred for marketing because in addition to saving space with fewer letters, it also denotes “software meant for smaller devices.” However, the overall term refers to the smallest iPhone app, to the most complex multi-use program. Think Microsoft Word and Excel. In basic terms, says Boris, “Application software performs a task for the user and often generates document files.”
You probably picked up on the reference to Word and Excel, but don’t confuse your individual files with apps—your files are documents, but the Word or Excel program you created (and use) them through is an app(lication). Why they don’t simply call them programs so there’s less confusion, I just don’t know.
Some apps are brand-specific and only perform with their brand’s support—as in Apple’s offerings—rendered usable solely for the iPhone and iPad. Others may work with a variety of phones and devices, but your experience with an app may also vary, per device. As much as Apple would like to keep things proprietary, users will ultimately demand multi-system capabilities.
So how do apps relate to authors?
An app could make one of your books interactive, and/or allow readers to purchase all of your books, and interactive products and writings you might create to brand you and your book(s). With an app readers can make purchases, link to your events page, blog, and bio, and experience you, the author, on a more personal level than ever before. Traditional publishers have been providing apps for their most celebrated authors for the past couple of years.
Where there were few apps for mobile devices back in 2001, as of September 2010, Steve Jobs announced a figure of 250,000 just in the Apple Store. That doesn’t count more than 113,000 in Google’s Android Market—and add hundreds of thousands more available in myriad places around the globe. For writers and authors, this means you can jump on the app bandwagon and create your own, so your readers will never be without you! But it also appears we’re already looking at another technology glut.
While you may be thinking that you’d better find your spot on the bandwagon asap, despite the plethora of apps already available, it may be wise to wait. Just like the e-book landscape, practically before the first wave catches on, the mobile apps industry is shifting with more force than the Earth’s tectonic plates.
From the Seattle Times (02/02/2011), “Apple confirmed that it would require app developers that sell e-books outside of their iPad and iPhone apps — through a website, for example — to also sell the books inside those apps. And purchases that originate in the app must be made through Apple, which keeps a 30 percent cut.” It’s all about the money.
But if you want to grab a side-railing on the bandwagon anyway, check out popular Corona SDK, which offers development software subscriptions from $199 to $349; so for some that price is reasonable if you are a DIY author and want to offer your books and products in the latest technology. However, be prepared to hone your “techie” skills.
Although you won’t necessarily need to learn HTML, you will have to switch off your right brain and engage your logical left brain to create an app. Other app development companies specifically for authors provide the service for you—albeit a bit pricey, averaging around $1,000. And of course, this will require a significant amount of time away from your right brain and your writing muse.
You might want to let the dust settle on the apps industry and watch a while longer. Perhaps a wait-and-see attitude is what’s required before we throw caution to the wind and hook our book to the mobile app bandwagon. Better to wait and find a solid seat rather than be thrown off at the first turn.
However, make no mistake, this is the wave of the publishing future and together with e-books, will rewrite the definition of “book.”
Ciao for now! … LinDee
V.P. Spoken Books Publishing, Dave Giorgio, January 21, 2011:
We spend a lot of time talking and writing about making a book great. Personally, I believe heavily in the concept of writing, rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting, until the author feels the book is as good as anything that has been published, or at least truly as good as the book can be.
I will be honest in that I have spoken to thousands of authors, and many of them are in such a rush to publish, that they go about doing so without a single look back with a self-critical eye.
I believe it's important to have a really good idea of where your book stands in the big picture, and to be able to publish the book knowing that the book has really been given the scrutiny it deserves, and then perhaps even a little more.
The answer is: HARRY POTTER.
Yes, that is my answer to this question and I'll tell you why. I've read and reread those Potter books numerous times. They are just so engaging and beautifully written. Part 1 of the 7th movie came out recently and I saw it. I decided to reread book 7 in anticipation of part 2 of the 7th movie coming out in July. And as I near the end of the book, I realize just how excellent the book is, as well as the fact that I don't want it to end.
Have you ever enjoyed a book so thoroughly that you reread it? It stands to reason that only a really well-done book is going to be experienced this way, multiple times.
Now, think about the intense scrutiny that this author must have put into the writing of those books. The process of the editor reading, marking, noting, highlighting, requesting changes, making suggestions, etc. Picture in your mind the labor that went into the creation of such a book.
If you really give it strong consideration, I think you'll have to conclude that such a book was not written and then published without such scrutiny and attention. In fact, it was that scrutiny and critical attention that created what the book is today: a book so excellent that it can be read over and over again. Timeless.
And so, if you think about your book this way, as a book that will be adored in such a manner, my sense is that you'll have even more of what you need to make your book the best it can be. Perhaps, even timeless.
Director, Author Services, LinDee Rochelle, January 19, 2011
Perception: authors love to talk about their books and will chew your ear off to do so—ergo, they’re great public speakers.
Reality: That statement is only half-true. It is true, most authors are passionate about their books and in a one-on-one encounter are completely comfortable to regale you with its best attributes (until your eyes roll). But put most of us behind the podium in a roomful of people with eyes front waiting for eloquent words of epiphany, and the world stands still.
I’m no psychologist, but my conjecture is many writers write—especially fiction storytellers—because it’s a solitary pursuit and takes them away from the daily human bombardment. So public speaking is often public enemy #1.
But speaking of ones, Book Marketing 101 tells us we must become comfortable holding court in public arenas in order to promote our books and engage potential new readers.
As an author you can learn, lament, and laugh over many a comrade’s tales of public panic and embarrassment, and the personal elation of successes; but the wad of fear in your throat is no laughing matter, when you rise for the first time (or tenth) to speak on behalf of your book.
“On behalf” you ask? Tip: When you’re invited to speak or land a public appearance, you have a better chance of a successful event if you do not simply talk about your book and how great it is. The real topic of your presentation should be either the expertise or insight you have acquired in the writing of your book which is worth sharing to a broad audience, or the book’s compelling topic that relates to today’s news. Never about the book itself.
Oh, all right … but how do we get rid of the lump in our throats?
There are tons of blogs, articles, organizations, and websites devoted to public speaking. I was introduced to the power of author public speaking when I booked presenters for my writers’ conferences sponsored by the creative organization I founded while in Phoenix for a while.
For one conference in early 2000s, I booked a comic. No, he wasn’t a “relief comic,” to lighten our moods following intense learning. Tim Davis was my keynote speaker. And I for one, learned more from him than any presenter on this topic before or since.
A stand-up comic, Tim was just beginning to build his business as a corporate coach for public speaking, and he volunteered, guaranteeing I wouldn’t be sorry. I never turn down free. And I certainly wasn’t sorry. We never had so much fun at a conference. Of course he made us laugh, but he also taught us to laugh at ourselves, and through comedic techniques, how to minimize the number of presentations where we’re laughed at—not with.
“When a comedian and the audience are in sync, it’s like cheek to cheek dancing,” says Tim’s website, defining rhythm. “Not only is every joke working, but even the set-ups are making everyone scream.”
Though he speaks of comedy, it’s true for anyone attempting to connect with an audience. Tip: It’s imperative that you develop the skill to read the emotion in the room as you step up to face their scrutiny. Every appearance and interview will be different, and though you have prepared what you hope is a dynamic presentation, be ready to make adjustments based on that first vibe.
Once you’ve published your book it’s time to step out of your author’s cave and mingle. Let the sparkle you possess on the inside shine through to the outside …
Speak up authors, and wow the crowd! … LinDee
Where to learn more about public speaking:
National Speakers Assoc. – local chapters help you learn and obtain speaking engagements http://www.nsaspeaker.org/
Toastmasters International – local chapters offer tips & techniques, and speaking opportunities
Advanced Public Speaking Institute – newsletter and list of free articles and pre-presentation checklist
Author Insider-Tips for Successful Speaking Engagements
Where to find public speaking opportunities:
Author Insider-Sources for Author Speaking Engagements
Writing and Publishing News by Patricia Fry – tips and opportunity ideas
Entrepreneur – though based on corporate needs, some good speaking opportunity thoughts, in general
Public Speaking Information – good information about speaking on the college circuit level