5 Promotional “Quickies” for Your Next Book

books for siteThis is one of the most talked about (and often misunderstood) features of publishing a book. Most people carry dread regarding book promotions.

However, it you apply the eat-an-elephant analogy (you know, one bite at a time) it makes it an approachable subject.

Here is an excerpt from the forthcoming series, “Book-Possible.” The first book in the series is entitled, “Stop Waiting – Publish NOW!” Here’s a preview taken from the “What to Do Next” section:

  1. Compile a list of the top five ways you plan to promote your book. Determine if you’ll need assistance with any of these tactics. Who will help you? If you can’t get volunteer help, who can you afford to hire? Consider a VA (Virtual Assistant) for some of the promotional tasks.

  2. Make a list of 5-7 basic promotions. List them in order of monetary costs, from lowest to highest. This will give you a healthy sense of the costs you’ll need to invest. You can also use this information to schedule certain promotions.

  3. Regarding social media, start with the forum you’re most familiar with. You’ll find it easier to post in venues where you’re already comfortable. Be sure to ask your audience to share whatever you post.

  4. Increase your activity for all online sites where you have a presence. Be sure to post screenshots of your book cover. If possible, indicate when your book will launch. If unsure, give a month rather than a specific date.

  5. Start promoting as soon as you can. Whether you self-publish or go traditionally, YOU are responsible for promoting your book. If possible, build and team and get input from other authors who have passed the first-time publishing mark.

Watch for the series debut later this month. And you’ll find other publishing tidbits on the blog (Publish.NOW) at sandeehemphill.com.

Top 10 Self-Editing Tactics to Make Your Writing Shine

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Self-publishers are often self-editors. Here are a few quick tips to help you get the job done:

10. Take frequent breaks, as needed.

9. Don’t rush the process. If possible, reserve editing for a day other than a writing day.

8. Read your work out loud and listen for its rhythm.

7. Whenever possible, eliminate the word “that.”

6. Edit your work from print rather than on a computer screen.

5. Break down compound sentences; single sentences read better.

4. Look for sentence clarity, then paragraph clarity.

3. Be consistent with details.

2. Avoid passive verbs.

1. (Drumroll, please) Use simple grammar.

A Quick-Start Blueprint for Writing Success

writing
You’re ready to start your next writing project, or at least you think you are. One of the major resources you need to get started isn’t tangible. It’s your mindset. A great mindset will do much to set the stage for your writing success.

Listed below are several easy ways to get your next writing project started and managed:

♦  A simple outline. This one’s obvious, right? Perhaps, but it doesn’t hurt to cover all of the bases. A simple outline on paper or a board (either index cards or sticky notes) can be the beginning of a great book. If you’re a visual person, this format may work better for you than an electronic choice.

Start with an alphabet for your headings. Then use a conventional numbering system your subheadings. Use bullet points for the main ideas under each number. Continue with this system until you’ve covered the content of the book. It’s not unusual to  rearrange one or two points.

♦  Freestyle writing. Freestyle writing is the free flow of thoughts on a particular subject. Instead, it’s an open and creative outlet for jumpstarting your writing. It’s a no-holds- barred form of writing.Your goal is to just get the information out of your head and onto your paper.

Use this strategy to activate the Freestyle method. Set a timer for 10 minutes and begin to write on the topic of your book. Freestyle is broad enough to thoroughly cover your topic without restricting the details. Write whatever comes to mind; you can edit it later.       Once you complete the Freestyle exercise, go back and apply the “simple outline” or “a mind mapping tactic (see below).

♦  Mind mapping. This is another visual way to structure and classify ideas. If you don’t have the software (there are free downloads available online), use the SmartArt section of Microsoft Word or any other graphing program.

Draft a general outline of your project. When you think you’re finished with your outline, look at it again. Can you think of anything else to support your structure? If not, let the writing begin.

Here are some additional tactics to keep in mind for your writing project:

♦  Establish a deadline. This motivates some people to get started and stay on track with their projects. For them, a deadline helps to organize their thoughts and corresponding actions. Instead of giving their project a sense of urgency, their deadline gives them a sense of completion. They are better able to enjoy the writing process because they know when it will come to an end. While this doesn’t work for everyone, some people find it quite useful.

♦ A timer is helpful for some people. After creating their outline, they commit to writing for a pre-determined period of time. It may be 45 minutes or an hour. They don’t stop to edit – they simply write. When the alarm goes off, they end that writing session. They don’t necessarily write in the order of an outline. They may be drawn to a chapter or two, or they may write in the order of their outline. Either way, you’ll get the job done.

♦  Another easy writing management technique is setting mini-goals. Let’s say you have an outline for an e-book and it has eight chapters to it. You can easily structure your project with mini-deadlines. Depending on whether or not you need to research the topic, you could set a daily goal of completing a chapter a day. In less than two weeks your project will be completed.

Mini-goals are great for reducing large projects to bite-sized pieces. As the saying goes, you eat an elephant one piece at a time. Try using mini-goals for your next large project. It could be the key to your success.

♦  Take Ten (or Fifteen or Twenty). When all else fails, take a break! Set a timer and allow your thoughts to totally move away from your project. Let yourself fully enjoy giving your brain a rest. When you’re done, get back to the task at hand. You’ll find it much easier to get through that pesky paragraph after a break.

These tactics are easy, aren’t they? In just a few minutes you can organize your writing project. You have several starting points from which to begin. And success won’t be far behind.

First-Time Authors’ Lament

Stress

Publishing can be a tiresome journey, especially if you’re doing it alone. There are generally too many tasks and too little time to dedicate to the writing and publishing process.

Any number of activities and tasks are required prior to completing your book. From the outline to the blank page (even on a computer screen) to the finished product, it pays to have a partner to collaborate with.

This partner can be a single individual with whom you share concerns, offer guidance and provide support. Or it can be a group you join in your community or online. It doesn’t matter which group you join – what matters is that you aren’t in this by yourself.

In a recent “Pub Hub” call (a quarterly conversation between subscribers and myself), a profound question was asked by one of the callers. “What stumbling blocks did you encounter with your first book?” It didn’t take long for the responses to begin. Everyone who spoke said they hit several roadblocks along the road. Most were disheartened at the time it took to solve. They said the answers were simple yet costly in terms of time.

Here are a few of the issues which delayed their journeys:

  • When I began I didn’t have an outline for my book
  • I didn’t know where to get my book cover
  • I didn’t know hot to get reviews, nor did I know if they’d even make a difference
  • I wrestled with word count
  • I didn’t know how to price my book
  • I had no idea how to sell my book
  • I signed a contract with a subsidy publisher but I didn’t read the fine print

And on and on and on. These are all great comments which should be answered PRIOR to embarking upon a writing project. The problem they found was there was no single place to get all of the answers they needed. Or, at least they hadn’t found one.

The conversation ended in applause. They were grateful to have a chance to share and found comfort (in a strange way) in knowing others had shared in some their struggle. Without any prodding, they shared momentarily in a cooperative venture. Many acknowledged they were reluctant to share their dilemma prior to the call but learned the value of “the group.”

What about you? What resources have you discovered?

  • Do you have a writing buddy or group you can discuss concerns with?
  • Is there a writer’s group in your neighborhood you can join?
  • Have you discovered an online support group?
  • Have you considered launching a group yourself?

If not, consider subscribing to PUBLISH.NOW. It’s a community of writers and publishers who receive notices of blog posts, publishing resources, new product discounts, and much more. It’s only a click away and the relationship begins with a special report, “7 Mistakes First-Time Authors Make (But You Can Easily Avoid.)” Let’s connect at Book-Possible

By the way, what experiences can you add to our list? Post them here and check with us for responses from the group.