Having been an editor for seven years, I like to share tips and findings on my two blogs with all the new book authors. But I never realised that there was a need for fast-start author training days. When there was the 48-hour Author weekend workshop for planning your book, I poo-poohed the idea that anyone can successfully plan and write a book this quick. Now I know more of the barriers to people writing their first book, I get it. If support is needed, I still think it best to spend the money on writing coaching over 3-6 months and learn writing techniques and marketing tips every day, but I understand. People want to deep dive, and avoid their own procrastination, deliberation…
Do you ever feel like it takes you for-ever to write a book, finish a course, or set up your videos? Then read on.
Tip 1 – Assess your actions
The first tip we’ve got for you is to align your actions with your intentions. In practical terms, this means self-assessing:(more…)
Novice writers, pro authors and business owners alike need to focus on their marketing plan, particularly with limited time available. But, which elements do we need to work on—and why?
Ironically, you should first work on your Why: your reason for writing.
Coming from a ‘why’ perspective, it gives any author a strong motive to move past their comfort zones. I lived my fear-of-being-seen for ten years, so I know first-hand how this inhibits sales. Therefore, identifying a good reason to spread your message is imperative.
As you undertake self-publishing lessons, you will be learning about author brand, reader benefit writing, landing pages, keywords, and teaser lines. These may be outside your comfort zone as well, but are all helpful for attracting the right people to any book.
Besides, planning your writing from an audience perspective has three other benefits.(more…)
A lot of people right now want an escape from reality. The stop-gap income of Federal government support is finishing, the economy is not so grand, and many are looking for a new job. Writing a book which fulfils several goals and triggers our own creative genius… is the best escape ever invented! So let’s focus on how to turn some spare time into a book.(more…)
It’s a common question, with the number of book launches today: is advertising a good option. Moreover, should I use Amazon Ads?
In AuthorU, a LinkedIn group, I posed this question to expert in book publicity, Sandra Beckwith. Here’s what she replied to whether a newbie should use Amazon Ads:
“Nobody — regardless of whether it’s their 1st or 10th book — should be buying ads until they have a lot of positive reader reviews. If it’s the former (authors doing it themselves), authors can manage their own advertising, but should learn how it works first. There are a lot of courses available that will help with that. Just as authors shouldn’t self-publish until they spend time learning how to do that, they shouldn’t spend on ads until they truly know what they’re doing.
Many people in business want to write a simple ebook, but when they sit down to write it, all that comes out is fluff… They may think, ‘I haven’t got a single original idea!’
Others fall into the endless loop of writing and re-writing. The real problem with both these writerly types is that they have not planned. They have not spent any real time organising their thoughts and ideas around a central theme.(more…)
Previously I wrote about the steps of outlining and planning, but here I want to discuss my favourite book outlining methods, among other tips.
If new to book writing, you may be unaware that structuring an outline can help you step through the writing process without so much stress and strain.
I admit to being ‘seat of my pants’ style writer, as I had lots of time to let ideas bubble to the surface. But for most business-oriented writers, a timeline and deadline is needed—and so an outline can help you keep on track… and unscramble your brain.
Writing an outline is super-important for ambitious projects with many moving parts. The simple making of a table of contents is a good start, but we are talking more about WRITING TO A MAP.
Mind Mapping (bubble chart or the original one-word-per-strand map) is the start of a writing outline process. We may also use AnswerthePublic.com to find reader questions (the faster way to survey) if you have no idea what they want.
Then, we can move on to answering the questions and sub-topics that popped up. This doesn’t work with fiction; only with factual topics.
On the new book Outline document, fill out the case study ideas, the general points, perhaps the comparisons, in a paragraph underneath the topical chapter headings. Some will come to you later, so don’t worry, fill that in then.(more…)
Even though I’ve been writing books for 12 years, a distinct lack of planning has held me back. What about you? Can you discipline yourself to research, plan and write a nonfiction book series?
I’m a non-expert who writes—and self-publishes—how-to books on money, freelancing, and marketing. So, if I can have a minor success in these varying topics, you experts out there can definitely write on your key topics and achieve a lifelong ambition.
When planning, don’t stop at just one book. Plan for example a trio on varied angles FOR THE SAME AUDIENCE. The titles don’t have to be set in stone, but it’s good if they follow the same vein… like:
How to Start… or Create your… or
XXX Marketing for XXXX Business or Savvy Secrets for…..
Always research thoroughly (using Amazon and Goodreads) on the preferred book title. You don’t want to compete with a bestseller of the same title (but don’t worry about a nondescript one).
Sometimes you learn from the first book that, say, the practical approach doesn’t work and you need to get to the emotional side and write a self-help book. No problem, you can still change tack, as long as you are uncovering your readers’ needs and desires and writing for that.
When you enter the book publishing world as a tiny pebble called an indie author, you cannot fathom the magnitude of the industry. Through experience, one finds that retail Book Distribution deals in Australia go to publishers with a consistency of mass market titles – e.g. 5 a year. (This is sort of by way of osmosis rather than anyone ‘saying’ it).
People like my past client The Simple Doctor (indie author) end up getting rorted. In 2019, a large ‘indie’ book distributor went out of business and all his 2017 book stock was trashed or lost in the process.
Lightning Source’s website say that it deals with 30+ titles publishers, and IngramSpark deal with publishers who have less than 30. (Many have one or two books).
What is TitlePage?
TitlePage is the Australian book industry’s online price data and availability service. Information that is entered into Thorpe’s MyIdentifiers shows up in the TitlePage database, which is then accessed by 3000+ booksellers, suppliers or library buyers a week.
Naturally, book buyers who see the completed and fleshed out listings on there (from TP members) will take more notice and the book has a better a chance of getting ordered.
Bricks and mortar Booksellers always advise Indie self-publishing authors and micro-publishers that if their titles are not on TitlePage their books won’t sell. Whilst not completely accurate, it is none the less sound advice since TitlePage is the preferred service by Resellers to look-up titles for price and availability.— Australian Publishing Association
To ‘enhance’ your books’ metadata in listings in TitlePage, if you DON’T have a distributor, your indie publishing outfit needs to first join the Australian Publisher Association. This will set you back about $88 – $220 inclusive for a micro publisher, depending on royalty revenue. Then you can register on TitlePage. But wait, there’s more.
Say you have found the wondrous thing of an Indie Distributor. For a Distributor to ‘batch list’ your titles on TitlePage, they need to purchase a minimum listing of 10 for $330. They will pass that cost on to you at whatever rate the distributor decides is fair. (There will be administrative burdens as well).
As micro publisher or self-publisher, you must earn less than $100,000/annum from gross publishing revenue for your distributor to access batch listings on TitlePage. There are some benefits as you can then access sales force help and promotional activities through a distributor–which is why you want one.
This doesn’t get you banner advertising. That is an extra $210 or so.
There are several problems with taking your expertise to market. The largest one is not dedicating time to it. While writing a book or program is unwieldy and time-consuming up front, if you've got a big PURPOSE for writing a book for business, boom, motivation problem solved. This could be helping a charity close to your heart or shining the light on a problem that's been a past source of agony for you. Problem: One Offer, Low Revenue Base Independent consultants and coaches need to grow income from more than just services, to diversify some away from their TIME. When someone is sick, their billings stop—and so does their income. Also, it's really hard to sell the business or spin-off assets left and right…
The first thing a new book writer does within my world is lean heavily on my editing skills. But unless I have explanatory comments, this is not helpful to their progress because learning key writing techniques must come from other places too.
Some learning may come from reading great writing. Some books hit you like a brick with the emotion, while others leave you cold. What are the differences? Read on and find out.(more…)