Category Archives: Marketing Tips

The Savvy Authorpreneur Presents… Build Your Business, Write a Book

The Savvy Authorpreneur Presents… Build Your Business, Write a Book

This has been my topic for the last week, and so far I think most of you get why you should write a book. Be sure to check out my 7 Reasons if you are still confused, and listen to my recently aired podcast with Danette Moss. Some of you ask “what’s next?”. You’ve committed to writing a book, so let’s listen and then take a look at what you need to do to be successful.


Concept Clarity

When working on a non-fiction book it’s a good idea to have a full outline in place before you start. Your outline makes things easy for you and for your reader: it ensures that you include everything important (and leave out the tangents), and it lets you organize your information in the most logical order. To get to the outline, however, you must know what you are going to write about! To gain concept clarity you must:

  1. Specify your target audience (Examples: customers, employees, suppliers, partners, investors, personal networking contacts, business networking contacts, family, and friends)
  2. Specify what your topic is- What do readers need to learn? What ideas position you as a trendsetter in your field?
  3. Make a promise. What good will your book do, for whom?

Create Your Content Outline

Now that you have focused on a specific topic you can start your outline. What 3-5 things must your reader know? What are the learning goals to help them gain this knowledge? You will need to take these answers and put them into an outline format that works for you. You can always change the order and titles later, but you want to have at least three main concepts and go from there.

Creating Your Content

Now, this is the fun part! You can write whatever comes to mind for each chapter and learning goal you defined above. Experiencing writer’s block? Write the question you want to answer and move on! Can’t write? Say it out loud

Dragon NaturallySpeaking


This tool takes dictation as you speak, which will save time and energy re-visiting your content later. Simply speak your sections or chapter titles as you go along and you are set!


BONUS TIP: In addition to voice commands and the ability to import vocabulary lists, the tool also allows you to quickly and easily post to Facebook or Twitter at any time – no matter what application is currently active on the screen.


MS OneNote

A note-taking and personal information management application for collecting, organizing and sharing digital notes, OneNote is a great tool for self recording and helping you stay organized while you’re at it. 

Using the Insert tab, you can record audio and connect it to the Chapter you are speaking about.

  1. Start recording your audio
  2. Type the name of the chapter or subheading as you say the title
  3. Continue talking about this topic
  4. Once recorded, you can transcribe it yourself, use or an editor to transcribe it for you


Evernote lets you capture photos, articles, and even music you like, storing it and organizing it for you so you can easily reference it later. You can record much the same as with MS OneNote, but with a greater ease of transferring the final output for a third party to transcribe. I also find that EverNote works better on my mobile so you can record on the go and add notes to go with your recording from anywhere.

BONUS TIP: As we start to own multiple devices, things like maintaining an orderly list of articles you want to read or maintaining an organized set of bookmarks or photos you want to keep, becomes a bit more of a challenge. It is easy to send it all directly to your Evernote account, tagged and categorized in its own notebook.

When emailing something to your Evernote account, in the subject line you put the notebook name in front of “@” (so @makeuseof for anything to go into the MakeUseOf notebook, for example) and all tags need to have the hashtag before it (so #makeuseof).  Note that the notebook needs to already exist in your Evernote account.  Evernote won’t create it for you automatically when the email arrives.



Editing Resources

Editing your book is a very important part of the process. A well-researched book will go unappreciated for lack of editing. Terms you should know:

  • Developmental editing- Deals with the overall organization of a manuscript.
  • Copy editing- Checks grammar line by line, calls out lapses in logic or sequential slip-ups.
  • Proofreading- Checks the finished product, like interior layout, to ensure that the final document is accurately re-created

Check out these resources for finding editors:

  • eLance- a freelance website that allows you to post your job and find editors based on your genre and budget
  • MediaBistro- the leading provider of jobs, news, education, events, and research for the media industry.
  • Craigslist- The easiest way to get a plethora of applications! It may take more weeding out of junk, but it’s still the most used tool

Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?

Traditional publishing is on someone else’s time/ budget. Contracts may come with an advance, and your publisher covers production and pays you a royalty % per sale. Self-publishing requires investment. You set your own timing, earn 100% of net sales, and should have full control of your book. If you choose to self-publish, make sure you find the right team! At minimum you need:

  • Cover designer
  • Editor
  • Interior layout designer
  • Printer

You can also utilize self-publishing companies like EverFaith Press to help you form your required team. You should always retain your rights, and any final files should belong to you.


Written by 
Rochelle Carter is the Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, an award-winning publishing company with three imprints. She is author of The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship, a book widely endorsed by bestselling authors and industry professionals that is designed to help authors have a successful career. Carter has received national recognition for her leadership and professional achievements, and her imprints have published over 40 books in less than three years, 98% of which enjoy 4-star or higher Amazon ratings.

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

by Joanna Penn

Let’s face it, there are a lot of small businesses out there and you need a way to stand out. Writing a professional business book can give you instant credibility and it’s surprisingly achievable with digital technology to reach a global audience with your words. Attention is the first step in the sales funnel and a book is a great way to get you and your business noticed.

Here are 7 more reasons you should write a book for your business.

1. Demonstrate your expertise

You’ve spent years gathering your knowledge in a specific niche. You have notes and seminars, training programs and articles as well as a lot of know-how in your head but how do you quickly and easily prove your ability? A book with your name on front establishes you as the expert and provides an easily consumable version of your knowledge.

2. Increase your credibility and status

Authors are respected because they have achieved the concrete goal of publishing their work. People look at you differently when you say you’re an author. This increases your credibility in the market and will also give you more confidence in promoting your business.

3. Solidify and articulate your knowledge

You may have perfected your one line elevator pitch but writing a book gives you the opportunity to expand and fully express your story. Business books are no longer dry and boring. They contain plenty of personal stories and anecdotes so you can share the unique aspects you bring to your niche. This also gives people a chance to know, like and trust you which is a key component in whether they will hire you or recommend you to others.

4. Expand opportunities for media and speaking

If you have a physical book it can act as a business card, demonstrating your ability to speak coherently on your topic. This is useful for media as there is existing credibility and a focused topic they can interview you about. A book is also recommended if you want to create or expand your own speaking business. The most highly paid speakers have multiple books associated with the topics they speak on and speaking is a great way to bring new people into your business.

5. Create multiple streams of income

You can sell your book online or at your live speaking events. You can also use the book as the basis of a larger product line to expand income streams. The book is your entry level information but you can also have an online multi-media course that expands the material, plus a full day workshop and 1:1 coaching around the topic. People might not be willing to go straight for the higher priced product but they will likely part with a smaller amount to read your book.

6. Grow your business internationally

If you market your books to a wider audience, you can attract new people to your business. They may read your book and then want to investigate your professional services further. You can easily and cheaply publish print books as well as eBooks on With print on demand technology, you can sell books to the huge US market as well as other countries.

7. The book you write will change your life

Many people have a dream of writing a book, but that dream can now become a concrete goal. You probably started your business because you are passionate about something and want to change people’s lives. You have a story that needs to be told. Well, your voice is important and your words can be heard if you get them out there.  In these days of digital printing, you can achieve your goal of writing a book even with a small budget. So state your goal, and get writing!

Make 2014 the year your business stands out from the crowd!

Live in Oregon? Join Publisher and Author Rochelle Carter and the Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon on Wednesday, May 14th at Madison’s Grill for a unique Connect & Grow Dinner experience. Get step-by-step guidance on how to choose your topic, write your book and publish so that you can Build Your Business! Sponsored by Ellechor Media, LLC.




Tags: , ,

Stop Talking About Your Book, Start Talking About Your Passion

Stop Talking About Your Book, Start Talking About Your Passion

My attention was recently brought to a discussion in the Author U group on LinkedIn, and it highlighted one tip that sometimes I think we as authors forget (or misinterpret): Stop Talking About Your Book!

Now, I know someone is thinking “If I don’t talk about it, how will they know?“, or maybe they ask themselves “How else will I make my book stand out?“.

To those thoughts, and any similar thoughts I respond: “What if potential readers are so turned off by your tactics that they don’t even give your book a chance?

We have all seen them: groups on Facebook filled with flyby promotions. Groups that ONLY these authors are visiting just to drop off their latest promo. Authors, you should know that your readers have left the building. Besieged by promotion after promotion with no dialogue, they have blocked or left this group and you are not promoting to anyone. Remember the other authors aren’t active either, they just want to drop a line about their latest soon-to-be best-seller.

Promote Your Passion

Elwood Billshot, author at and a fellow Author U mate says this about how you can more effectively promote your book:

Many engaging comments in a variety of groups and conversations will generate interest in you as a person. Eventually this becomes an interest in your work.

The key to promoting your book is not Spam, it’s about relationships. If you are not sure where the line is, I recommend you read The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing: 9 1/2 Ways to Get People to Love You by Cathey Armillas to fully understand what I mean. The relationships you create with fellow authors and readers is what will generate the interest you need and the sales you want. It’s a journey, it takes commitment, and as Elwood also says, “It’s all about persistence and attrition.”

Talk about why you chose this subject, what about it is near to your heart. People can connect to your passion and your ideas, if you let them in. Readers enjoy books because it gives them something to focus on, enjoy, and escape. Your conversations should be similar: give them something to focus on, allow them to enjoy their interactions with you, and then they may choose to “escape” with a book written by you, an individual who has proven to be interesting. This personal relationship can also make a lifetime fan and an influencer of your book.

A Personal Note…

I met Liv Warfield on my first Girls’ Night Out in Portland. She sang. I mean she SANG! Loved it. I got to talk to Liv after, and she was so friendly I just had to give up my $5 for her CD. I saw Liv Warfield often after that, I went to shows and I visited her store. I dragged my husband and every friend I knew to see Liv, and when her Prince-approved album The Unexpected came out I bought my copy immediately and I promote her every chance I get. To me, Liv Warfield is better than Beyoncé or Taylor Swift because she is REAL! I met her, I see her often and Liv Warfield is always friendly, so I feel like I know her. I also know others who have provided their stamp of approval from their encounters with Liv. It’s all about relationships.

Your Passion Makes Your Book Come Alive

This doesn’t mean you pass up the opportunity to strategically drop a promotional post in the appropriate sections of a group, and some will encourage this. Just remember that when everyone is selling, few are actually buying. As Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd says, “It takes deep, down passion to make a book come alive… it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction.”

What’s your Passion? Post a quick, blatant promo for your book or service here!

RCarter-EventRochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, an award-winning book publishing company. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To AuthorpreneurshipWrite Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Your Fiction Novel Getting the Attention It Deserves?

Adapted from an article by Marsha Friedman

Many new fiction authors are surprised to discover that 1) They have to work just as hard promoting their book as they did to write it, and 2) Getting media attention for works of fiction is really hard!

Most journalists and talk show hosts just don’t seem interested in fiction. Even when the author has great testimonials from people who’ve read their book. And even when the topic is profoundly compelling.

But you can get great publicity – and that’s not a fictitious tale!

Novelists are among the most under-served groups in terms of needing marketing help. One big problem is that many authors, and even marketers, strive only for publicity that overtly promotes the book, such as reviews, articles describing the plot and characters, and author Q-and-A’s about “why I wrote it.” That’s fine for journalists, show hosts and bloggers who specialize in writing and talking about books, but the rest will tell you, “Buy an ad!”

While the media may not be interested in the books – you can get them interested in the author. They’re always in need of expert sources to address topical news, trends and issues. Authors often do extensive research on a topic, place or character to make their novels more plausible. That becomes an area of expertise.

Their novel may be loosely based on their own experiences: growing up during the Depression, teaching in an urban school, traveling to foreign countries. That certainly makes them qualified to offer opinions on those topics or issues related to them.

Often, the themes in a novel reflect the lessons or morals the author feels are important to share. It may be that redemption is possible for any wrongdoers; that sacrifice brings rewards; that conforming to societal expectations is not necessarily a good thing

These themes underlie daily news stories, as well. Fiction authors can add depth and context to events and issues by identifying the underlying themes and expanding on them.

How will talking about something related to your book provide the publicity you need?

It gives both you and your book exposure. When quoted by journalists or interviewed on a talk show segment, you’re “Pamela Samuels Young, author of Anybody’s Daughter.” Your website address may get printed, repeated on air or flashed on TV screens. You may even get asked a couple questions about your book, in addition to the newsworthy information you provide.

Second, being quoted by traditional media is marketing gold; it’s an implied endorsement of both you and your book. If you’re the person journalists and show hosts are turning to for insight and expertise, they must value what you have to say.

Thanks to the Internet, that publicity is now worth more than ever. Almost every print publication also publishes online, where articles are exposed to even more people and can live indefinitely. Post links to these on your website, as well as links to, or clips of, your radio and TV interviews, and they’ll continue to give that credibility that makes you stand apart.

Yes, for many fiction writers, getting exposure can be daunting. But it’s not impossible!

Consider the areas of expertise you’ve developed that are relevant to your book; be willing to share that expertise, and focus more on exposure than overt book promotion, and a whole new world will open up to you.
And that’s no fantasy.

What kind of media coverage have you been able to get for your Fiction novel? What topics did you focus the discussion on?


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Authors to Love | The Business of Writing

author love

Written Voices Blog has been hosting a unique “Authors to Love” series this week in honor of Valentine’s Day.  All the authors introduced write about the business of writing. Authors such as Michelle Stimpson and Barbara Joe Williams have been featured thus far, with more to come the rest of the week. Today, Rochelle Carter, the CEO and publisher of Ellechor Media LLC, introduces readers to her latest book release The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship.

Click Here for the Exclusive Excerpt!



Rochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, a company with three publishing imprints and a bookstore. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To AuthorpreneurshipWrite Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.


Tags: , , , , ,

3 Things Authors Should Do Before Attending a Book Fair or Writers Conference

3 Things Authors Should Do Before Attending a Book Fair or Writers Conference

So, you’ve published a book and you are ready to let everyone see the fruits of your labor. Maybe someone contacted you, or maybe you just read about an event and you are trying to decide if you should go or not. Whether you are self-published or traditionally published, you are probably footing the cost of this venture on your own and therefore need to consider the pros and cons with a business mind.

Putting aside your personal excitement and friendships, does it really benefit you to put your money into this event? Is there a reasonable gain, either in sales or connections, that you will enjoy when it’s all over? Here are three things every author should do before attending an event that will help you make the right decision and make the most of any event:

1. Evaluate

  • Event Presence. How are they marketing the event? Do they have an official website? Is this their first event? Can you reasonably expect a crowd of 100 or more?
  • Event Schedule. Will it provide industry information you need? Is there opportunity to gain exposure for you and your work? What are the benefits of attending, beyond potential sales?
  • Event Budget. Consider your travel, housing and potential printing fees: Is it cost-effective? Are you required to pay both a registration and a vendor fee?
  • Additional Event Opportunities. Are you able to set up additional events, such as a book signing, a book club event, or a speaking engagement while in the city?

2. Prepare

  • Order copies of your book(s). Make sure you have about 30-50 books to take with you
  • Book any tickets or hotel rooms needed in advance, or as soon as you decide to go. If possible, stay at or within a mile of the event venue. Note that if there is no place to stay close by, you may want to rethink attending.
  • Print marketing collateral. Bookmarks are good, but even better you should have your book and author information on postcard size handouts. These are big enough to contain relevant information and not get lost, and small enough to not be cumbersome for attendees to hold on to. Make sure you have business cards as well, some people may want to connect with you post-event.

3. Promote

  • Let your fans know you are attending! Post it on social media and on your website. Include it in your newsletter if you have one.
  • Run a contest for potential attendees. You can offer a free book or giveaway a relevant item to the first five people to visit your booth/ table
  • Live tweet the event. If you have a twitter account, this is a great way to get people interested in visiting you. Use a hashtag associated with the event, or if there isn’t one create your own! Talk about what’s going on and remind attendees about any other campaigns you are running for attendees. For non-attendees, you can offer something as well for orders placed during the event.

These are just a few things to consider, but hopefully you have been given a few ideas on how to determine whether you should attend an event or not, especially ones that are outside of your local area.

Do you have any other criteria for evaluating potential events? Add them in the comments below!


Rochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, a company with three publishing imprints and a bookstore. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To AuthorpreneurshipWrite Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Simple Ways to Support the Author You Love

5 Simple Ways to Support the Author You Love

Dear Reader/ Supporter,

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you loved my book, or that you love that I’ve written one! I truly appreciate your kind words and promises for support. While hearing these things make me very happy, there are a few tangible things that you can do to really say “I love you!” or even just “I like you, you’re cool.” I hope you will take the time to follow-up on your appreciation for my work, since I can’t be a successful author without support from people like you. Thank you again for your time!

5 Simple Ways to Support An Author

  1. Buy A Copy From Me As A Gift For Friends And Family- It truly is a better payout for me as an author, so if you are able please collect your autographed copy of my book from me directly, or at least directly from my publisher
  2. Write A Review- It does not need to be a very long one, but simply write a few words on what impacted you most about my book. You can then copy and paste your review on other online bookstores. There’s nothing wrong with copying review and using it on other sites, like Amazon, GoodReads, Shelfari, Barnes& or
  3. Tell A Friend or Family Member– I know you have a friend/ family member or two that also enjoys reading. Why not suggest my book to that friend or family member? Word-of-mouth is the best way to help support an author! The more times a person hears about or sees a book, the greater the chances that they’ll pick it up and read it.
  4. Recommend Me At Your Library– Many libraries have online suggestion forms for new books, so fill one out please! If you frequent the library in person, take a moment to talk to them about your recommendation.
  5. Vote for Me In Free Contests- I am probably paying to enter several book awards where readers are the voters. Please take a moment to click on my post and vote.

And reader, if you have another minute you can also:

  • Click the “Like” Button– Please “Like” my author page on Facebook if I have one, and on my book’s Amazon page (it’s near the top of my book page)
  • Share my Book- It can be on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Pinterest, whatever social media you use, with a short note on what you enjoyed about my book
  • Click on the “Tags People Associate With This Product” on Amazon– The more tags and the more clicks, the better a book will come up in search results, so please add the ones you feel are relevant


Your Ever-Grateful Author


Rochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, a company with three publishing imprints and a bookstore. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship, Write Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.


Tags: , , , , , ,

1 Simple Way to Promote Your Book And Gain Credibility As An Author

1 Simple Way to Promote Your Book And Gain Credibility As An Author

First, my apologies for the long title! I normally try to keep things as succinct as possible, but I need to get YOUR attention. There is one simple way every author with a quality product can both promote their book AND gain author credibility at the same time. Ready to here it?


This seems easy, and yet is so daunting for many authors. You can’t win one until you apply for one (or twenty), and while applying seems easy at first, many authors begin to wonder, “what qualifies MY book for this award?”. That niggling self-doubt often prevents authors from submitting their books for any awards. That, along with the application fees. “How do I know it’s a legitimate award?”.

To the first question I say that you should do your research, but be prepared to invest in yourself. Whether you have written a non-fiction or fiction book, you are going to have to spend some money on it. You should have already invested in the book cover and editing, so why not take it a step further to gain some recognition for those initial investments? Do not spend thousands on applications, but pick a few awards that have your book category and go for it.

To the last question I ask: does it matter? How many readers have a running list of ALL the “legitimate” book awards? How many really pay attention to what award you won? They are looking to see what credibility you have, starting with reviews but accentuated by awards won and other accolades gained. If you published your book the right way, your phenomenal book cover and stellar editing are screaming “Go for it!”. If you know you did not, well check out some tips on publishing. It’s not too late to get it right the second time. If you are still in the manuscript phase and without a contract, never fear! There are at least three awards you can apply for below.

Finalist BadgeNote: If you are a non-fiction author or business owner, I also highly recommend applying for personal awards in your fields of work. Again, if you are doing something worthwhile then you qualify. Take the time to toot your own horn and gain credibility for yourself and for the work you do. If I had not taken the chance, I would not currently be a Stiletto Woman In Business Award Finalist in two categories: Entrepreneur of the Year and Business On The Rise. 

For those ready to move forward, I have compiled a list of awards that I have recommended to my own authors and plan to seek for myself where it’s applicable to my book, The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship. Feel free to add additional awards in the comments, I will try to keep this list updated with your feedback.

Book, eBook & Manuscript Awards

  1. Axiom Business Book Awards
  2. Living Now Book Awards
  3. Independent Publisher Book Awards
  4. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards
  5. ACFW Genesis Awards (Unpublished Manuscripts Only)
  6. ACFW First Impressions Award (Based on 1st 5 Pages of Unpublished Manuscripts)
  7. Indie Book Awards
  8. Oregon Book Awards (Check your state for their literary arts book award, I won’t list every state!)
  9. Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association
  10. Midwest Book Awards
  11. ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards
  12. ECPA Christian Book Award
  13. Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
  14. Eric Hoffer Book Award
  15. Southern California Independent Booksellers Association SCIBA Book Awards
  16. eLit Awards
  17. PEN Open Book Awards (For Authors of Color who are NOT self-published AND have not received wide media coverage)
  18. Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) Book Awards
  19. IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Awards
  20. Late Night Library Debut-Litzer Award
  21. Readers’ Favorite Annual Book Award
  22. Ellechor Publishing House Avant-Garde Manuscript Award (Unpublished Manuscripts Only)
  23. Writer’s Digest Writing Competition
  24. Grace Awards (Reader Nominations Only)
  25. INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature
  26. Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards
  27. EPIC eBook Contest
  28. International Book Award
  29. Nautilus Book Award
  30. New England Book Festival
  31. Digital Book Awards
  32. Reader Views Literary Awards
  33. Shelf Unbound Writing Award
  34. USA Best Book Award

Self-Published Book Awards

  1. Bookworks Best Book of the Year
  2. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award
  3. National Indie Excellence Award
  4. Indie Reader Discovery Award
  5. Shirley You Jest! Book Award!
  6. International Rubery Book Award


RCarter-EventRochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, a company with three publishing imprints and a bookstore. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To AuthorpreneurshipWrite Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Market Your Book in Ten Minutes: Create an Amazon “So You’d Like to…” Guide

Uncovering new ways to use Amazon to market and sell books is a hobby of mine.  The Amazon “So You’d Like to…Guides” are an incredible find for an author looking to go the extra mile to market their book.  Yes, it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.  Would you like to learn how to use this cool Amazon gizmo to help to market and promote your book?

What in the world is a “So You’d Like to…Guide” on Amazon?

I have yet to find one author who even knows anything about this Amazon feature, let alone that it exists at all.  As far as I’m concerned it is a little piece of paradise.  “So You’d Like to…Guides” are pages that you can build that are completely focused on topics of your own interest.  If you’re passionate about it…you can build a guide.

Why is this so cool for an author?

You control your own destiny with an online guide.  Are you chef that specializes in French cuisine?  Why not build a “So You’d Like to Know about French Cuisine on a Budget Guide.”  You name it.  You can design the guide around your book topic, genre or specialty.

You get to write your own content about your subject matter and within that content, mention the products (i.e. your book) for sale on Amazon.  Does it get any better than that?

If we’re sticking with our example subject of French cooking, your approach would be to pull together a list of the best books, DVDs and kitchen products that Amazon has for sale that are tied to French cooking.  You build your guide with your book and subject matter in mind.  It’s as simple as entering in the products 10-digit Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) or 13-digit International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for books.  Amazon’s online technology will do the rest to build the page and then you publish it.  One final thing, you do need to write some engaging marketing copy about your subject and drizzle it with mentions of your products.  You’re an expert on your topic so this should be a breeze.

How to create a super-fabulous guide that will help to promote your book…

  1. Pick your subject topic.  This is your starting point and it should be tied to your book.  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction you can create a guide that focuses on your niche.  Think outside the box and keep in mind what people will be looking for and why they would be coming to Amazon to find content that will drive them to find your book and supporting products.
  2. Research other guides to ensure you’re not duplicating what is already published.  Do I need to say more? J  Okay, I will.  If there are other guides on your subject that is fine, clearly there is an audience for topic.  Focus on a different angle and make your guide better than what is already out there. Fill in the gaps that the other guides are not addressing.
  3. Use a catchy title.  Be direct and to the point, with a twist of marketing genius.  Your title will draw your readers in.  Get them in the door.
  4. Focus on the subject and then market your book.  Let the subject of the guide be the belle of the ball.  Your book is the supporting feature.  You’re also the author and the expert on the subject…that is a huge benefit.
  5. Have fun with it!  This is an opportunity to be creative.  The success of your guide will be a success if you use your expertise and let your passion shine through.

To get started on your “So You’d Like to…Guide” on Amazon, click here to go directly to Amazon.

Please post the link to your “So You’d Like to…Guide” on Amazon below.  I would love to see what you have designed.  Is this is the first you’ve heard about this Amazon feature?  Just curious…


Authorpreneurs: Attract Business and Book Sales with Bylined Articles

If your goal is to sell books, attract new business or raise your profile as an expert in your field, then bylined articles are a great way to reach your target audience with a controlled message showcasing your expertise.

First, what is a bylined article? It is an article, written by you, and published in a magazine, newspaper, or online outlet. Full credit is given to you as the author, with a blurb about you, your book, and your business–ideally with a photo, an image of your book cover, and links to your website and book’s Amazon page.

Placement of your article gives you credibility, continues to establish you as a leader and expert in your field, differentiates you from your competitors, and sparks book sales. Articles may also open new opportunities for you, including regular article submissions, expert commentary, consulting projects, speaking engagements, and new business opportunities. All of these have happened for our clients, including one business author who shared that he received more than $500,000 in new business and drove his book to the bestseller list as a direct result of just a few months of this type of media exposure, primarily in targeted industry trade publications. Another author had his bylined article featured as a full page article in TIME Magazine, which opened many doors for him, his book, and his consulting business.

Here are some tips for writing a bylined article to increase your chance for placement:

1. Pick a topic offering valuable information to your target audience. The article cannot be about how great you are or how wonderful your book is. Although that might be the case, you need to select a topic related to your book and expertise that will inform, educate, or inspire readers. Giving solid content that addresses your audience’s concerns is key. The goal is to give readers meaningful information through your insights, experience, and advice and to entice them to want to learn more about you and your book.

Here are examples:

  • Business relationship author wrote an article on tips to remember people’s names. Target audience—sales managers.
  • TIME Magazine featured an author who wrote this article: Don’t Become Irreplaceable—have a plan to successfully sell your business. Target audience—small business owners.
  • A successful female CEO and author wrote this article: Women You’re Unique. You Lead Differently from Men, and that’s a Good Thing—Especially in the World of Business! Target audience—women starting their careers.

2. Include lessons learned/case studies. Showcase your expertise by including case studies where there was a real-life challenge and how your advice resulted in a positive solution. Readers will learn from the lesson and you will shine as an authority. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at the chapters in your book and isolate one point to write about. Again, the goal is to entice people to learn more about you.

3. Know your media outlet. If you have a particular magazine, blog, or online site in mind, read the type and style of bylined articles they publish. If your relationship self-help book can be useful to teens, women, and newly divorced women, write an article specific to one audience. Don’t make it generic. If your entrepreneurial book can be of use to a specific industry, write an article just for them—the family restaurant, a graphic design freelancer, a financial planner, etc.

4. Choosing the right article headline. Again, look through your favorite magazine or online sites for article headlines that grab your attention. Use active, not passive words. Highlight benefits, not features. Examples of weak and strong headlines:
Fabulous Diet Tip that Makes a Difference!
or better ….
5 Ways to Visibly Reduce Body Fat in 30 Days

Use Back Up Storage Drive With 1TB of Memory
or better …
Never Lose Another Computer File Again

Investing Your Money For the Future
or better …
10 Painless Ways to Save NOW for Your Preschooler’s College Education
5. Know the length of an article. A good rule of thumb for the length of an article is between 700 and 1,200 words. If you have a specific outlet in mind, check submission guidelines for the outlet.

6. Contacting the right media and determining exclusivity. First, while national media exposure and big name media features are always welcomed, many authors find more value with coverage in small, trade publications that reach their exact target audience. Some outlets want exclusivity–to be the only place featuring your article–and will ask if your content has been published elsewhere. Therefore, contact (emailing the editor is the best place to start) your “home run” outlets first with your article and your bio. Some media outlets will still accept an article if has already been published as long as it’s a good fit for their readers. Offer to write an exclusive article (especially on your high-priority outlets) and brainstorm ideas that fit their needs and editorial calendar. Often you don’t have to rewrite an entire article to make it exclusive or fitting for the target audience. Once you have one article placed, contact the publication again offering more topics for new articles.
7. Using your published article. Once published, showcase your articles as part of your resume, in your brochures, as handouts in your presentations, on your website, etc. Published articles give you credibility—be sure to include tag lines such as “featured on,” or “as featured in TIME Magazine.” Plus, online articles never go away and will turn up when people search for you online.

Although bylined articles take care and thought in creating, the benefits of showcasing your book and expertise are priceless.

Sandra Poirier-Diaz is president of Smith Publicity, one of the premier book publicity and book marketing firms in the industry. Since 1997, Smith Publicity has implemented more than 1,600 promotional campaigns. For more information please or


Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: