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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 Toolnet.us 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.

 

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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!

RCarter-Event

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.

 

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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?

SUBMIT YOUR BOOK (OR MANUSCRIPT) FOR AWARDS!

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 http://www.axiomawards.com/
  2. Living Now Book Awards http://www.livingnowawards.com/about.php
  3. Independent Publisher Book Awards http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php
  4. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards http://www.acfw.com/carol
  5. ACFW Genesis Awards (Unpublished Manuscripts Only) http://www.acfw.com/genesis
  6. ACFW First Impressions Award (Based on 1st 5 Pages of Unpublished Manuscripts) http://www.acfw.com/first_impressions
  7. Indie Book Awards http://www.indiebookawards.com/
  8. Oregon Book Awards (Check your state for their literary arts book award, I won’t list every state!) http://www.literary-arts.org/oba-home/
  9. Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association http://www.pnba.org/awards.htm
  10. Midwest Book Awards http://www.mipa.org/midwest-book-awards/call-for-entries
  11. ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/
  12. ECPA Christian Book Award http://www.ecpa.org/?page=cba_1_overview
  13. Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards http://www.moonbeamawards.com
  14. Eric Hoffer Book Award http://www.hofferaward.com/
  15. Southern California Independent Booksellers Association SCIBA Book Awards http://www.scibabooks.org/book_awards/
  16. eLit Awards http://elitawards.com/
  17. PEN Open Book Awards (For Authors of Color who are NOT self-published AND have not received wide media coverage) http://www.pen.org/content/pen-open-book-award-5000
  18. Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) Book Awards http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
  19. IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Awards http://www.ibpa-bfda.org/articles/
  20. Late Night Library Debut-Litzer Award http://latenightlibrary.org/2014-debut-litzer-prizes/
  21. Readers’ Favorite Annual Book Award http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm
  22. Ellechor Publishing House Avant-Garde Manuscript Award (Unpublished Manuscripts Only) http://ellechorpublishinghouse.com/contests.cfm
  23. Writer’s Digest Writing Competition http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writers-digest-annual-competition
  24. Grace Awards (Reader Nominations Only) http://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/then-go-here-to-nomination-2013-finalists/
  25. INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature http://inspys.com/?page_id=1183
  26. Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards http://globalebookawards.com/
  27. EPIC eBook Contest http://epicorg.org/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html
  28. International Book Award http://www.internationalbookawards.com/home.html
  29. Nautilus Book Award http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
  30. New England Book Festival http://www.newenglandbookfestival.com/index.asp
  31. Digital Book Awards http://www.digitalbookworld.com/the-digital-book-awards/
  32. Reader Views Literary Awards http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/
  33. Shelf Unbound Writing Award http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html
  34. USA Best Book Award http://www.usabooknews.com/2014usabestbookawards.html

Self-Published Book Awards

  1. Bookworks Best Book of the Year http://www.bookworks.com/bookworks-awards
  2. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
  3. National Indie Excellence Award http://indieexcellence.com/
  4. Indie Reader Discovery Award http://indiereader.com/irda/?page_id=137
  5. Shirley You Jest! Book Award http://www.shirley-you-jest.net/#!
  6. International Rubery Book Award http://www.ruberybookaward.com/enter-the-book-awards.html

 

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.

 

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