Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting it done (marketing/promotions)

Many would agree it is hard marketing your newly published book(s) with a full-time job that pays the actual bills. I have been away for weeks with weeks to go completing one of many more of my military schools. I must say; the runs in the morning have changed. I no longer think of how tired I am rounding that last corner of my last mile. I now think of creative ways of getting it done (marketing/promotions) coming up with new marketing strategies and ways to get traffic to my site.

The air is clean, crisp and new and so are many of my ideas. When I say new I mean new for me, I am positive they have been done and are being done by many other authors. I completed my run yesterday, did my cool down and walked back to my room. I sat down and pulled out a notebook, I wrote down the question, “Why did I write my books?” Four pages later I realized I was not doing enough to get my books out there, I was not doing enough to getting it done (marketing/promotions).

I followed many of the suggested promotions listed that instructs us to:

1. Start a Blog
2. Create a Website
3. Network (on and offline)
4. Myspace (each book)
5. Facebook
6. iGoogle
7. Twitter
8. Technorati

There are many more but is it enough? Do they do what they say? I have networked with many positive encounters, while many turned out to be dead-ends. I did however come across a site today Nothing Binding that seems to do what they say they would do. This is the first of my getting it done (marketing/promotions). I pulled out the marketing section of my business plan and revamped a few things. I downsized many of my online networks and began to dig in my heels. I sent out a few book review request and have a blog talk radio interview tomorrow at 1:00 with Write Turns Allowed.

I wrote my first book Simon Says Share because I wanted to give back to the children. So now I decided with my one book, I will support three causes. My book is for the children and when you purchase it, it will be for their enjoyment and to benefit someone in need. This is my first getting it done (marketing/promotions) task.

So if it's a run, walk or vacation use it to take a fresh look at what you are doing and don't be afraid to take another approach. Forget that old saying "If it's not broke don't fix it" if you don't do anything your making a mistake. Happy Publishing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Respect Your Business and Have a Plan

Let me start with a quote from Dr. Myles Munroe:

“Do not seek greatness, but seek to serve others with your gift to the maximum extent that you can, and you will become a sought-after person. In essence, Jesus defined true leadership as becoming a person who is valuable to others rather than a person of just position or fame.”

Authors have a talent, a gift God has bestowed upon them. Many chose to share this gift while others are still pondering the idea of putting pen to paper. No matter who you are or when you decide to do it TREAT YOUR BOOK LIKE A BUSINESS. Your books are going to make you revenue when people purchase them. Your book is a product and you should promote like one.

Many non-authors say, “If you are writing for the love of it, why have a business plan?” To sum it up, if we were only writing for the pleasure of it, our notes, short stories and poems would still be tucked away under our mattress for our eyes only. It takes a lot of work to get a book published; did I say it takes a lot of work to get a book published? So why would it not be for the money or at least some money.

I started my Simon Says Series because I want to make an impact on society. I wanted to reach children, parents, and teachers by sending a positive, creative message. I also wanted to make some money. Money was and is still not my motivation but it is part of the equation. I created a business plan, a working business plan; the same plan I keep next to my computer and follow. I make changes to it regularly by taking out what does not work and adding what does. I keep up with all the free promotional sites and online tours anything to make my book a success in progress.

Your book is your business and you must have a plan. Business plans are no longer the 100-page documents they use to be; they can be as simple as five pages as long as it fits your book needs and addresses all of your book needs. I have a few business plan samples that I cut and pasted from to create my business plan for my Simons Says Series, in fact, when I finish the entry I have to update it to add blogging.

Remember, treat your book like a business, and respect your business by having a plan. If you would like a copy of the sample business plans, I have just log onto my website Simon Says Books and send me an email. Happy writing and God Bless.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fresh Start

Wow, a year has come and gone. GOD has blessed us. Now that we are well rested and recovered from the Holiday Festivities we must get back to work. We as self-publishers do not have time for New Year’s Resolutions, like loose weight, going to the gym and stuff like that. We have books to write, publish and market.

So what do we do first?

First, we must pull out those business plans that we have tucked away, dust them off and make the necessary updates. I know with all of the networks I have joined in just 2008, I know my marketing section needs to be updated along with adding the virtual book tours and blogradio shows that generated some revenue.

Second, pull out those first editions and look them over…is it time for another edition with a little flare? My friend just revamped her first book by making some suggested changes and is making more revenue from the second edition than she did with the first.

Third, look at your team, the people surrounding you. Think about what you did not like and what you will not stand for in 2009; address it now tomorrow will be too late. We never want to make the same mistake twice especially in our business, it cost us too much. Basically kick them to the curb, yes I know the pain of finding someone else is time consuming but it is better than settling when you are suppose to be in charge so take charge

Fourth, review your networks and myspace pages. Get rid of the ones you don’t use, try to consolidate the ones that over lap. I know I have so many NING accounts I am staring to get 10-12 emails from the same people because we are friends on so many of the same networks. If you must keep all the networks try to put them all on one page for easy access.

Lastly, enjoy what you do, stay strong and motivated. Distance yourself from the naysayers. Surround yourself with positive people, smile, believe in what you do and again enjoy yourself. We as self-publishers knew this was going to be hard work, sleepless nights in some cases and trying on the nerves at times, but we love it. Yes, the work is hard but look what we have accomplished. I am so proud of all of the people I have met since I decided to self-publish and proud to carry that positive relationship into my 2009.

Happy New Year Everyone….GOD Bless!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Do I Want For The Holidays

Tis the season. The number one question right now is "What do you want for the holidays?" Well today I wish and want everyone to have a joyful, and safe Holiday. Often times we get caught up in our shopping, cooking and baking and forget to wish others well. We don't mean to but we do, we'll use the "It's Implied" line.

This is the time we as self-publishers put off our business and get involved with the Holidays all the while saying we're gonna make up the time. We know it's not true because the time is gone and our work can't be rushed or forced, but we say it anyway. It makes us feel better. So I am saying to you, all of you enjoy your holiday, be safe and get back to work on December 26.

Have a HAPPY....

GOD Bless

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lillie Walks With An Angel - Coming Soon

Lillie Walks With An Angel is a story about an 11- year old girl whose strong faith in GOD helps her through some tough times. Her mother died during her tour in IRAQ. Her grandparents move into the house to take care of her. Her father and brother are currently on tour overseas in Afghanistan. Lillie finds comfort by having a strong love for GOD, gratitude and family. While giving her testimony in front of the church congregation, Lillie is presented with a tear filled surprise. This story is a must read for everyone, girls, mothers and daughters, it will make you laugh, cry and smile. The book also includes bible scriptures and space to express yourself.

Title: Lillie Walks With An Angel
ISBN: 978-0-982879-1-6
Type: Paperback
Pages: 80
Price: $8.99
Genre: Religion, Children, and Faith
Author: Teresa Butler
Illustration: Marcello Milteer

To pre-order Lillie Walks With An Angel "CLICK HERE"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I love what I do

I love what I do, I love meeting new people I love this. I have met so many people doing such wonderful things it amazes me everyday. I told someone yesterday, this is all worthwhile! Yes, I want to sell my books and make money but THIS is more than I expected. I have to talk about this book I love it, I love the message. When I first saw the cover on the Book Marketing Network I just had to ask the author who did the illustration. Since that first question Adonya and I have been communicating off and on about certain things and it is great.

In My Mind...

The World through the Eyes of Autism
by Adonya Wong

"“In my mind, I see many colors, bright like a rainbow, shooting about like comets in a night sky.” Take a closer look… What do you see? In My Mind, by Adonya Wong, explores the inner world of an autistic child—the world that no one else can see. From exciting adventures to silly games and conversations with friends, look closely and see how a child with autism sees the world…and how the world sees him. "

You have to go to her site M.O.C.H.A. Mothers of Color for Holistic Alternatives is a not for profit community based organization that sees as its mission to promotion of healthy, natural alternative and life choices for underrepresented minority women and their families.

So for those of us new to the POD game and still learning, try seek out people who will help. Yes, you will have those that want to keep the information to themselves but forget about them and move on. I love to share information and I love to receive it as well. Every good deed is recognized by others and by GOD. We believe in what we are doing and if we band together and believe in ourselves as a group, we would be a force to be reckoned with.

Watch the trailer for In My Mind

Find more videos like this on Book Marketing Network

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Professional Criticism

Many people do not like constructive criticism, and no one likes to be criticized on something they poured their heart into. Print On Demand authors I am here to say take it with a smile, it can only help you, make you better and strengthen your spirit. This is how my professional criticism about my book started. I met Courtney Crosslin of Have a Wonderful at a Cocktails and Connection Meet-up in New Haven, CT given by Apresenta Concept. Courtney and I spoke throughout the night and she mentioned Bea’s Book Store. The real name is A Walk In Truth Christian Books – Black Print Bookstore located at 162 Edgewood Avenue, New Haven, CT. Everyone knows it as Bea’s Bookstore because Ms. Bea Dozier-Taylor has been in the book business for 20 years. Congrats to you Ms. Bea. Courtney kept in touch by e-mail and sent me the information I needed to contact the bookstore. I followed up and talked with Ms. Jaymes Grace of Communication Works 4U on the telephone and we set up a date and time.

Needless to say I prepared for my presentation the night before, I knew what I was going to wear, backwards planned the time I should leave the house everything. Now for a 20-minute ride that took me 1 hour and 20 minutes, I could not believe this could be happening. I called ahead to inform her I was going to be late and the traffic was out of control. I’m in the military late is never an option but I was not going to let this turn of events spiral into something worse so I kept a positive attitude and I finally arrived.

I gave my presentation, my press kits; promotional items everything, I was proud of myself because I am new at this public speaking thing. Then Ms. Bea let me have it, now do not get me wrong, EVERYTHING she said to me was true and made so much sense but what I keep playing in my mind to this day and what we as self-publishers should always keep in mind. We are not like traditional authors/publishers with agents, these authors have a team of experts that are paid by the company to make sure the book is 100%, while we as self-publishers research and pay many people for a service to make sure our books are a 100%. We must not settle for anything less than perfection. Ms. Bea gave me some wonderful advice and I will take every single one of them with a strong embrace. I called my graphics guy and told him to do my bookmarks over – he agreed but I have to pay for shipping.

So I said all of that to say this, many of us do what we do for the love of writing, creative freedom and joy of it so do not allow ANYONE to take that away by giving you substandard service. If it is not what you want have them do it again or demand your money back. I am proud of my books and look forward to bringing them to Ms. Bea Dozier-Taylor and Ms. Jaymes Grace for their stamp of approval. Thank ALL of you ladies for everything.

PS: Everyone should attempt to seek out a Ms. Bea Dozier-Taylor and Ms. Jaymes Grace they will be your best resource, nothing but positive things can happen.

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