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Posts Tagged ‘high-quality book’

Is YOUR book newsworthy?

Continuing our PR theme…

Virtually every author thinks his or her book is fantastic. The reality is that most aren’t – especially (and unfortunately) most self-published books. Authors have great intentions, but they often lack skill and fail to recruit others to fill their gaps. Things like poor spelling, ridiculous grammar mistakes, meandering storylines, absent editing, and amateur cover designs are a handful of the most egregious sins that first-time self-publishing authors commit.

Person read newspaper

That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part is that they so often let their egos get in the way, refusing to even ask for input or advice until they’ve spent boatloads of money and effort, only to find they’ve created a mediocre book. I am a publishing consultant by trade, but I make it a practice not to offer advice unless asked. Many a self-published author has proudly given or shown me a book that I would never recommend, let alone purchase.

This may challenge you a bit, but I’m not willing to sugar-coat things just to make you feel better. That won’t do you any good. Here’s the straight scoop: newsworthy books are good books — usually REALLY good books. Newsworthy books give people — the media, in particular — reasons to talk about them. Newsworthy books won’t sell themselves, but they will lend themselves to word-of-mouth and interviews and retweets.

Here are some questions that may help you discover whether you’ve written a newsworthy book:

NONFICTION BOOKS

  • Is your book the first to point out a trend or raise an issue?
  • Do you have a unique approach for a well-covered subject?
  • Does your book raise thought-provoking questions on an important topic?
  • Does your book offer a behind-the-scenes look at a specific industry, celebrity, organization, or company that would interest the general public?
  • Is your book controversial, extreme, avant-garde, politically incorrect, and/or scandalous?
  • Does your book offer step-by-step instructions to solve a vexing problem?
  • Does your book inspire its readers to make sweeping life changes?
  • Does your book offer commentary on
    and/or a tie-in to an­other popular book/ movie/ TV show?

FICTION BOOKS

  • Is yours just another dog story, or is it about a family of ferrets?
  • Are the main characters rich and powerful, or people everyone can relate to, like a school teacher and a truck driver?
  • Do your characters follow traditional gender roles, or is the school teacher male and the truck driver female?
  • Is your book set in present-day America, or is it set in 1950s Havana, Cuba?
  • Do you write about real places, companies, universities, and religions — or go the safe route and fictionalize everything?
  • Is your book overburdened with lots of explanations, or do you use active verbs and descriptive nouns?
  • Are your characters ones bloggers or journalists will relate to?
  • Does your book inspire its readers to make sweeping life changes?
  • Does your book offer commentary on and/or a tie-in to another popular book/movie/TV show?

If you’re starting to realize that your book is less newsworthy than it could be, maybe it’s time for a rewrite.

Here’s to making your book newsworthy!

Laura (AKA Marcie Brock)

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Book your complimentary 20-minute consultation (phone or Skype). Or get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

602.518.5376 or phxazlaura on Skype

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Marketing involves making the best-quality book you possibly can

We’ve touched on it before, but it always bears repeating that the first part of marketing your book is creating a book people will want to read. This means, first and foremost, good content that is edited by a professional. But there’s more to it than that. As Charles Orlando, self-published author of The Problem With Women… Is Men: The Evolution of a Man’s Man to a Man of Higher Consciousness, says in this February 2012 interview with Fast Company magazine:

I didn’t just need the book printed. I could do that at Kinko’s in a three-ring binder. I needed the finished product to look like a professionally published book–professional look/cover, professional illustrations, perfect binding, back cover quotes, etc. This was an effort to build the right perception and position in the marketplace, and I couldn’t afford to have it looking like someone just ran a ditto copy off a 1979 thermofax machine.

The keywords here arebuild the right perception and position in the marketplace.” You won’t build a very strong position in the marketplace with a schlocky book.

So create a plan, devise a strategy, develop a budget, and begin taking the necessary steps to create a high-quality book that you will be proud to market.

  • Write the book
  • Have it edited
  • Create a cover (front, back, spine)
  • Design the interior layout (front matter, chapters, back matter)
  • Get endorsements
  • Submit it for reviews (3 to 4 months in ADVANCE of your publication date)
  • Print the book
  • Format for ePublishing (ePub and mobi are the crucial formats)
  • Distribute the both the ebook and print versions

My one piece of advice: if you’re not an expert in these areas, you needn’t necessarily spend a lot of money on each of the above-mentioned segments if you’re teachable and have a good instructor.  Work with someone who’s been down the path before. Consult with professionals – or spend time in a the best-seller department of your local bookstore. What do the covers have in common? What’s similar about the titles? How do the insides look? Notice the table of contents, index, page numbers, and chapter header pages.

You can do this! And if you need more specific guidance, we’re happy to answer any questions!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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