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Posts Tagged ‘Ultimate Blog Challenge’

12 independent publishing facts for Independence Day

  1. According to a USA Today poll, 82 percent of Americans want to publish a book, while The New York Times reports that 81 percent of people believe they have a book in them.
  2. Almost 900,000 books were self published in 2011.
  3. According to R.R. Bowker, there are presently some 73,000 “small” publishers in America. “Small” means having one to 10 active books in print.
  4. Males make up 54% of small independent publishers, while 42 percent are female and 3 percent won’t say.
  5. On average it takes 475 hours to write a fiction book and 725 hours to write a nonfiction book.
  6. It takes an average of 10 to 15 hours to design a book cover.
  7. On average, the editing process takes 61 hours to complete.
  8. Fiction is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies. A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it sells 7,500 copies.
  9. Most authors never sell more than 150 copiesof their book.
  10. According to Self Publishing Resources, nonfiction books outsell fiction by two to one, but at least 20 percent more fiction is being published via the Internet and POD.
  11. Juvenile and poetry are the most popular self-published fiction genres, while self-help, how-to and business lead in the nonfiction genres.
  12. The largest advance ever paid for a self-published book was the spectacular $4.125 million Simon & Schuster paid for Richard Paul Evans’s The Christmas Box.

Laura

RESOURCES:

http://www.mypublishinguniverse.com/a-few-facts-about-self-publishing-283.php

http://makemarketpublishyourbook.blogspot.com/2012/03/us-publishing-facts-and-exciting-time.html

http://chilawoychik.com/2012/05/15/publishing-facts-fancy-with-a-few-surprises

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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There’s still time to get in on our 10-week program: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS. It starts July 18 and goes for 10 consecutive weeks. Sign up for single classes or pay for all 10 and receive a 25 percent discount. Week 1: Facebook Fan Pages (7/18/12); Week 2: Twitter (7/25/12); Week 3: LinkedIn (8/1/12); Week 4: Pinterest (8/8/12); Week 5: SlideShare (8/15/12); Week 6: YouTube (8/22/12); Week 7: StumbleUpon (8/29/12); Week 8: Ning (9/5/12); Week 9: Blogging 1 (9/12/12); Blogging 2 (9/19/12).

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7 tips for getting back on track after a diversion

I have a friend who recently returned from a month-long spiritual retreat in New Zealand. We met a few days after her return, and she apologized on several occasions for being a bit spacey and disconnected in her conversation. The retreat was an incredible experience for her, but returning to her busy entrepreneurial life in Phoenix was taking some adjustment. “There’s definitely a transition process – time needed to readjust and recondition myself to being here,” she explained.

Diversions are an inevitable part of life. We may have a goal (like publishing or marketing our book) and be moving along toward it quite swimmingly. Then something happens – either through our choosing or otherwise, we find ourselves going in another direction (like a 28-day blog challenge). So how do we get back on track?

Here are seven ideas that may help you refocus and get back in alignment with your original path.

  1. Reassess your goals. Perhaps in the diversion, you’ve found that you want to realign your goals. Maybe on reviewing them, you see that a few need reprioritizing. Just as it’s hard to get where you’re going without a map (or GPS), you won’t meet any of your goals if you don’t know what they are. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with changing them!
  2. Take it slowly. Don’t expect to be back up to full speed in an instant. Give yourself some time to get back into the swing of things.
  3. Give yourself a break. It’s really easy to become our own worst enemy by setting unreasonable expectations and then dumping on ourselves when we don’t achieve them. Yes – there’s a difference between stumbling a little to get back on track and simply avoiding the track altogether. As long as you’re making an effort, give yourself the credit you deserve.
  4. Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating properly, sleeping enough, and getting regular exercise. It’s unreasonable to demand superior performance from a body that’s receiving shoddy treatment, so make sure you do the things your body needs to stay healthy.
  5. Create – or review – your vision board and affirmations. Images help anchor your goals and make them immediately real. If you’ve already got a vision board, take some time to look it over and let it reenergize you. Review your affirmations. All those dreams are still waiting – they just need you to reconnect with them to get the energy flowing again.
  6. Ask for support. Accountability is one of the best ways to see your goals through to completion. First set realistic deadlines for them. Then find someone who will check in with you periodically to make sure you’re staying on track. Whether that’s a life coach, a fellow author, or your best friend – knowing they’ll be asking about your progress is sometimes all it takes to reignite the success fire.
  7. Celebrate the victories. As you begin to cross things off your to-do list or make progress with your micromovements, celebrate each one! Little victories pave the way for bigger, better things to come.

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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There’s still time to get in on our 10-week program: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS. It starts July 18 and goes for 10 consecutive weeks. Sign up for single classes or pay for all 10 and receive a 25 percent discount. Week 1: Facebook Fan Pages (7/18/12); Week 2: Twitter (7/25/12); Week 3: LinkedIn (8/1/12); Week 4: Pinterest (8/8/12); Week 5: SlideShare (8/15/12); Week 6: YouTube (8/22/12); Week 7: StumbleUpon (8/29/12); Week 8: Ning (9/5/12); Week 9: Blogging 1 (9/12/12); Blogging 2 (9/19/12).

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Grab your flag, sparklers, and bunting – July 4th book marketing ideas!

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Well, Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year. That means you either get a gloriously long weekend – or you get an extra day off in the middle of the week. Either way, it’s a perfect opportunity to market your book, regardless of the topic! Freedom, history, and patriotism are just a few of the themes of this holiday. Your job is to find the natural tie-ins and leverage them as best you can.

If these it”s too late to use thes ideas THIS year, keep them on hand for next year and/or decide NOW how you can apply some of them to the NEXT HOLIDAY or seasonal event. We’ve got a few coming up between now and the end of the year:

  • Back to School (August/September)
  • Labor Day (September 3)
  • Halloween (October 31)
  • Election Day (November 6)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving (November 22)
  • Hanukkah (December 8-16)
  • Christmas (December 25)

Remember, the ideas here are just suggestions. Your goal should be to try them out and see what works for YOU. Even better, though, would be to use this list as a jumping off point, getting really creative and coming up with your own unique book marketing strategies!

Have a wonderful July 4th holiday!

  1. Get out that digital camera for your own holiday celebration. Your readers want to CONNECT with you. You don’t have to take them on a detailed tour of your home or interview every relative at the family picnic … but giving them a glimpse of your life so they can feel closer to you will go a long way toward building rapport and a lifelong fan.
  2. Purchase or dust off your banner, head to the dollar store for an Uncle Sam hat, and get yourself a spot in your local Independence Day parade. If vendor booths are available, you may be the only author there!
  3. Host your own Independence Day event. Sponsor a pancake breakfast at a local restaurant or do a holiday book signing at the flag shop.
  4. Drape your car with red,white, and blue bunting and a big sign with your book cover and website on it. Don’t be afraid to BE memorable!
  5. Make sure to carry business cards and/or postcards with you at all times so that you can hand them out when you meet new people. Leave them behind at coffeehouses and shops that allow it.
  6. Give away free flags at your book signings. This tip doesn’t have to be limited to July 4th. Find flags for all the holidays – or that match the theme of your book. Put your website on them somewhere so they serve as ongoing reminders of how to find you.
  7. Use www.GotPrint.com to send holiday postcards to those on your list for whom you have mailing addresses.
  8. Use your blog or social media sites to give away a couple free copies of your book to celebrate the holiday. Throw in a couple 4th of July bookmarks with your website and contact info.
  9. Write an article for your community newspaper, tying your book to local Independence Day traditions. You may have put on your creative thinking cap, but as an SBM, I know you can do it! (Note – most small monthly papers have about a 2-month lead time, meaning that’s how far in advance of publishing they need to receive the article.)
  10. The 4th of July is all about picnics and comfort food. Come up with a dozen of your favorite recipes (if they’re related to your book, all the better) and put together a little pamphlet or eBook to give away for free via your website, blog, or social media platforms. Write a media release about the recipe book giveaway.

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

There’s still time to get in on our 10-week program: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS. It starts July 18 and goes for 10 consecutive weeks. Sign up for single classes or pay for all 10 and receive a 25 percent discount. Week 1: Facebook Fan Pages (7/18/12); Week 2: Twitter (7/25/12); Week 3: LinkedIn (8/1/12); Week 4: Pinterest (8/8/12); Week 5: SlideShare (8/15/12); Week 6: YouTube (8/22/12); Week 7: StumbleUpon (8/29/12); Week 8: Ning (9/5/12); Week 9: Blogging 1 (9/12/12); Blogging 2 (9/19/12).

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5 tips for a greater blog challenge experience

As I mentioned in my final post of the inaugural Author Bog Challenge, I had several goals in hosting the challenge:

  • Bring a group of interesting authors together and give them fodder to grow their blogs, improve their SEO, and enhance their Web presence.
  • Help establish myself as a leader in the “book marketing for self-publishing authors” industry.
  • Meet new people.
  • Have some fun.

I feel I accomplished all those goals, and then some. I also noticed some things in reading the participants’ posts that prompted the following – 5 tips that might be helpful to bloggers participating in just about any blog challenge, including the Ultimate Blog Challenge, a quarterly challenge that begins today.

  1. Trust the process. If there are prompts, the host probably had a reason for selecting them. If you choose to follow the prompts, trust the process. If you allow yourself to go with the flow and follow the prompts to their organic conclusion, you might be surprised with your results.
  2. Put dates on your blog posts. I don’t for any reason understand not dating  one’s posts. You might also consider creating a specific category for posts written for the challenge.
  3. Use good keywords in your blog post titles. Allowing the blog service to generate a random code for your post title works against your SEO. Write creative, inviting headlines that include your keywords for best results.
  4. Use your imagination and be playful. A prompt is just an idea to trigger your imagination. It needn’t be followed literally or to the letter. Your readers might love to see your playful side if you give yourself a chance to let your creativity run riot.
  5. If you’re in it, be in it. Focus beyond just posting your own stuff. Also read the rest of the participants’ posts and comment/contribute (other than complaints) via the Facebook group or whatever post-sharing mechanism the host has in place.

As for the next Author Blog Challenge, I think I may be somewhat stricter about the rules:

  • Minimum 250 words. An image with a description does not qualify as a post.
  • No reposts; to qualify, each post has to be new content.
  • No reblogs; to qualify, you must write the content yourself.

A blog challenge offers all kinds of opportunities, including growing your readership and improving your SEO. Here’s to making the most of it!

Have a great Challenge!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

There’s still time to get in on our 10-week program: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS. It starts July 18 and goes for 10 consecutive weeks. Sign up for single classes or pay for all 10 and receive a 25 percent discount. Week 1: Facebook Fan Pages (7/18/12); Week 2: Twitter (7/25/12); Week 3: LinkedIn (8/1/12); Week 4: Pinterest (8/8/12); Week 5: SlideShare (8/15/12); Week 6: YouTube (8/22/12); Week 7: StumbleUpon (8/29/12); Week 8: Ning (9/5/12); Week 9: Blogging 1 (9/12/12); Blogging 2 (9/19/12).

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Guess who’s participating in an Ultimate Blog Challenge?!!

[Updated Friday, April 6.]

Funny thing about Ultimate Blog Challenges – there seem to be quite a few of them. I could say something snarky about the meaning of “ultimate” – but it’s a cool word, so who can blame multiple people for using it as the moniker for their blog challenges?

The one we signed up for is created and hosted by Michele Scism, a business strategist best known as “The Results Lady,” and Michelle Shaeffer, a work-at-home mom who loves to share the tips and strategies she’s learned to help other home based business owners.

This all came about because I was inspired by my friend Michelle Hawkins. She wrote yesterday on her Wirequeen blog: “Today’s theme for the Ultimate Blog Challenge is ‘Rainbows.’ When I got the email I thought, ‘What the heck?’ Smile. So I closed the email and let the idea percolate.” This is how I first realized there are many UBCs. (No, I didn’t really read through all the Google results – just signed up for the first one. Another reason to rank well with your SEO!) Unfortunately, I only signed up yesterday, so I cannot find the prior days’ themes anywhere, but based on the posts, the theme clearly was something other than rainbows. 🙂 [I stand corrected. There was Michelle Hawkins on this UBC’s Facebook page this morning! I guess people just wrote around the rainbows on Wednesday. That’s a nice thing about this challenge – the hosts provide writing prompts, but you’re free to write on any topic.]

The rules for this UBC are to post 30 times in April – not necessarily 30 days in a row, because you can do two posts in a day, as long as your total by April 30th is 30 posts. There’s an unspecific rule that says, “Each post must have text (so don’t just grab a video–you have to add your own pithy thoughts).” They do not indicate how much text qualifies as “having text.” All posts must be PG (not a problem for us), and each participant is encouraged to use their social networks to promote their posts and also those of other participants.

We’re already doing a fairly kickass job with our blog (if I do say so), so why would we go and sign up for something like the UBC? Here are a few reasons:

  • We like to put our money where our mouths are. If we’d encourage you to do it, we feel we should act on our own advice. We encourage you to find a UBC and get going!
  • While we don’t really need motivation to blog, we’re taking this for the kick in the pants it is to do something we’ve never done – post 30 days in a row, so we’re altering the rules for ourselves just a bit. We actually have to begin with yesterday’s post, since a frightful cold has left us 2 days behind already. And we will hit adhere to the UBC rules as well with 30 April posts – so look for a couple days of double-up in the future.
  • We never pass up an opportunity for greater exposure! Each participant is featured on the UBC site, and all posts are shared with the UBC Facebook group. You should see the variety!
  • We’re thinking about creating our own version of a UBC for Authors, so we thought we’d try one out first to see how we want to set ours up.
  • There are lots of tips and advice for anyone still a little wobbly about getting their blog off the ground.
  • Again, we don’t necessarily face challenges for topics, but when you sign up to take the UBC, you receive a daily e-mail with an idea for that day’s blog post.

Today’s UBC theme:

Today for inspiration, go browse an interesting online retailer and see what pops into your head.  Here are some to try if you aren’t sure where to start:

Bonus theme, contributed by a participant:

Share a story or a list of social media pet peeves. I know we’ve all got some. I personally hate when people use social media for personal arguments or feuds. No need to air out in social networks.

Guess I’ll write a separate post on today’s theme to help kick in my 30 posts by the end of April!

In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Find a UBC that works for you, sign up, and get posting! Then come tell us about your experience here.

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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