It was all book marketing, all day Sunday, on our first at-sea day, during the fourth annual Publishing at Sea cruise for authors.
Here are the three best take-aways from each of our our five speakers.
Judith Briles — Your “About Me”
Always enhance your 15-second pitch with numbers. Don’t just say you’ve coached “hundreds” of clients. Pick a number and estimate as closely as possible. Say how many book awards you’ve won.
Create an author or speaker one-sheet. It’s a four-color marketing piece, one side, with your photo, program topics, testimonials, a paragraph on who you are and what you do, and full contact information. But don’t publish it without letting at least three other people review it. They’ll make suggestions for ways to strengthen it.
Don’t stress your academic degrees in the short summary of what you’ve accomplished. Most people won’t care. Instead, mention something that’s uniquely you. What have you done or who have you helped that no one else has? What are your talents and achievements?
Joan Stewart — How to Become the Go-to Expert in Your Topic
Expertise isn’t only about what you know. It’s also about what you do. Think of expertise not only as a noun but as a verb.
Fiction authors can become experts by lobbying for a law they want changed, campaigning for a cause they want to support or teaching classes or workshops on a topic that ties into their book.
Experts promote their expertise on all their marketing materials, like the 6-foot banner I created for trade shows, speaking engagements and other events. See 9 Other Ways to Use a Trade Show Banner for Marketing.
Daniel Hall — How to Create Public Domain Sourced Kindle Books
Many people believe that Amazon does not allow the use of public domain information to be published as Kindle books. According to Amazon, “Selling content that is in the public domain is permissible through our program.”
You can provide critiques and detailed historical context. In other words, your book can include your comments about the content that’s in the public domain. But consider interviewing and transcribing an interview with an expert.
Amy Collins — How to Pitch Your Book to the Market
The smart indie author or publisher focuses not only on bookstores, but in independent retailers everywhere such as spas, yoga studios, salons, pet stores, gift shops and hardware stores.
Bookstores and readers would prefer, in many cases, to spend less money on the paperback instead of more expensive hard cover books. Book buyers cannot afford, nor do they want expensive books by unknown authors.
Stores and libraries will buy print on demand and digitally printed books.
Nick Zellinger — Your Book Covers Need to ROCK…Not ROLL into Oblivion
Your cover has less to do with what you think you want. It’s all about your target audience.
You’ve hooked a buyer with the front cover. The back cover needs to close the deal. You’ve got space for about 200-250 words if you include one or two testimonials, a headline, your photo, a bar code, and your publishing logo. Make those choice words count.
Many trim sizes are available but research your genre to make sure you are with the current sizing trends.
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I slipped out of classes in the afternoon to watch the Atlanta Falcons melt the Green Bay Packers into an ugly puddle of cheese fondue mess. Aboard ships, they usually show major sporting events on a big-screen TV in a bar or at the pool. I couldn’t bear to watch it and left just before the end of the third quarter. It felt as though I had been sitting there for six weeks.
We’re in port in Labadee, Haiti and the entire day is free. I’m not going on any of the excursions but I’m planning to visit a shop near the ship and scoop up some gorgeous handcrafted items made by the island women. Our authors are super-excited about the book signing we have planned on the Promenade on Friday and Saturday.