Leverage Every Book Event’s Booth Impact

Our established Phoenix-area ALWAYS authors met in Sept. 2022 to discuss how to make the most of book booth exposure. Here are valuable tips gleaned from the discussion, including additional marketing advice.

Ann Narcisian Videan’s booth at Phoenix Comicon in 2018 offering other objects for sale (faerie doors), an opportunity to contribute to a charity book, and a progressive story on the easel.

Proven tips for attracting readers to your booth

•           Pre-publicize your booth and why people should come by. When you let readers know before the festival, you increase your chance of traffic and sales, especially if you offer them something they can only receive by coming to the booth.

•           Stand beside or in front of the table instead of behind it, when possible.

•           Entice passersby to step up to you by commenting on their clothing, asking a question, or offering an interesting activity:

–          “What do you like to read?” (Then refer to authors in that genre near you, and ask them to do the same.)

–          IDEA: Our group is going to try handing out other author’s postcards (with booth number printed in a stick-on dot ) to readers looking for a specific genre.

•           Offer an interesting activity, even for adults: a progressive story to which they can add writing or art, non-messy food tasting, trivia questions, etc. 

•           Giveaways:

–          For kids: stickers or buttons for them to wear; candy; coloring pages

•           Sell other items, colored pencils, trinkets, swag (screen cleaner with your book cover imprinted on it, pop sockets, or other useful items)

Other brilliance

•           Support a charity by giving away your book for a donation, which will be directed to the charity. Or give part of your proceeds to a charity.

•           Supermarket table: Some indie authors are setting up tables in supermarkets

•           Connect readers with your book via online communities:

–          Sign up on the Book Movement site, where you give books away for reviews from book clubs

–          Get your book in front of 600,000 readers via The Fussy Librarian site

–          Post your writing at Booksie.comproviding tools for writers to publish their work and connect with readers from across the world.

•           Make purchasing your book easy: Have a info readily available for quick online, PaypalVenmo, or Zellepayments. Have a Square, for credit card swiping. You can obtain one for free or inexpensively and will pay 3% or less in credit card fees to use one.

Wisdom

•           After you set a book up and have a few reviews that are good, only read your five-star reviews. You can’t please everyone, and you need not suffer from low reviews.

•           Don’t use bookmarks, which often are thrown away. Hand out postcards on demand only, or a Top 10 list, a recipe, food lists, trivia, or other book-content-related handouts.

•           Keep accurate sales numbers. They can help you get into bookstores and all major distributors.

•           Hire an actor to read your most emotional chapter and post the video online.

•           Purchase a $5 ad on Amazon or FB, and look at the search term used by those responding. If they searched for the title of the book, rather than general search terms, they likely saw your ad.

Recommended Arizona book expos, fairs, and other events

•           Desert Foothills Book Festival, second annual currently in planning phase.

–          Images Arizona interviewed several participating authors in 2022 and covered them in the magazine.

•           Payson Book Festival, in Payson, AZ, in planning for July 2023

•           Thumb Butte Book Fest, in Prescott, AZ (Nov. 4, 2022? I couldn’t verify online.)

………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian VideanBook Shepherd
Write • Edit • Publish

P.S. Learn more about my novels on my Amazon Author Central page.

Find me elsewhere online.

Author Newsletter/Social Media Topics to Entice Readers

At the 8/11/22, Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering, our established authors brainstormed an inspired list of topics for author newsletters and social media posts.

Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com

If you have any to add, please comment below!

Compelling topic ideas to entice readers to follow you and your books:

  • Record milestones both for you personally, and for your books
  • Share resources, like writing sites online, Wikimedia Commons for free photos, or Canva’s design tools +
  • Interview your character
  • Share recipes
  • Post book excerpts
  • Give tips/Top 10 lists on your book theme, or based on research +
  • Create trivia questions
  • Reveal your character or cover, perhaps a part at a time to make several posts
  • Connect your book to timely events/ideas: holidays, history, national day celebrations +
  • Show your process behind the scenes: successes and foibles, storyboarding +
  • Share puns
  • Give away swag items based on the book: sticker, bookplate, character art +
  • Further describe your fictional world: qualities of magical gemstones, cultural details about clothing, religion, etc.
  • Announce merchandising items: character art on cups, posters, actual jewelry described in the book +
  • Create memes based on character quotes with an image (like the ones on Brainy Quote)
  • Contrast fantasy vs. reality
  • Describe book genres and subcategories
  • Ask “What are you reading?” and other questions readers can respond to
  • Ask for reader feedback on artwork and titles
  • Discuss themes
  • Reveal timing of releases
  • Create how-to videos re: something in your book
  • Explain how to write a review

Practical ideas for creating your posts:

  • Plan and schedule posts once a week or month
  • Always ask questions to involve readers
  • Create original photos and art in square format so it can be used on any social media platform

What else, authors?

………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian VideanBook Shepherd
Write • Edit • Publish

P.S. Learn more about my novels on my Amazon Author Central page.

Find me elsewhere online.

SAVVY AUTHORS LEVERAGE ISBNs AND LCCNs

I, Ezra Katz, CC BY-SA 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s start with definitions, shall we?

An International Standard Book Number ( ISBN), per isbn-international.org, is “a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.”

A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), says the Library of Congress, is “a unique identification number the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from commercial suppliers.”

But where do I obtain an ISBN?

Quick answer: Your print-on-demand publisher (e.g. KDP/Amazon, etc.) or through Bowker’s MyIdentifiers.com, depending on what you want to do…

Anyone who uses the free ISBN from KDP wants to only sell books and buy author copies through KDP/Amazon. It allows you to be in Amazon’s expanded distribution system, which puts you in the computer system of Barnes & Noble and other select bookstores and libraries. Not on the shelves, but in their systems in case readers want to order your book .

Anyone who purchases their own ISBNs through Bowker typically wants to:

• Buy books locally (faster, with more quality control). These days, it’s taking weeks to get printed books through KDP. I’ve always been personally satisfied with KDP printing, but some of my authors have had issues.

• Sell ebooks on other e-reader platforms like Smashwords, Apple Books, Kobo…

• Publish through IngramSpark (IS) to have their books listed in their distribution catalog. This is a pretty good reason to get an ISBN specific to IS.

Bowker ISBNs cost $125 for one and $295 for ten. Since every format of a books needs a uniques ISBN, I always suggest buying the package.

[Side note: I’ve done both KDP and Bowker ISBNs in the past, but am leaning toward definitely buying a Bowker ISBN to use with IS in the future.]

And how about that LCCN?

Formerly called a Preassigned Control Number (PCN), the LCCN allows your book to be purchased by and/or donated to a library, because the Library of Congress (LOC) can easily catalog it.

It takes less than five days to obtain a LCCN, often the next-day. You first need to set up an account at the LOC, then fill out an application for a single book’s LCCN.

My thought is, why not? It can only help, and doesn’t cost anything or take much effort to secure. 

………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan, Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Publish

P.S. Learn more about my novels on my Amazon Author Central page.

Find me elsewhere online.

Super, short-writing secrets re: magazine publishing

Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS)

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My first foray into short story writing involves writing Faeries’ Tales to accompany hand-sculpted faerie portals. I  can see my tales published in sci-fi/fantasy publications such as Faerie Magazine. Where can you see your short pieces published?

Established writers, would you like to see your short stories, essays, poems, or articles published in magazines? Windy Lynn Harris, founder of Market Coaching for Creative Writers, will give us tips on how to make it happen. At our next gathering, ask her how to categorize your work, write a stand-out letter, format your MS and find hundreds of editors looking for writers like you.

Next gathering:
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS typically meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Old Spaghetti Factory
1418 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ

Cost:
A writing tip, and your own lunch.

RSVP:
PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Join” link on our Facebook Event page
or
• Contacting Ann Videan, avidean@videanunlimited.com

If you’ve RSVP’d, please show up. If you run into a conflict, please let me know before the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!
…………………………………………………………….

ABOUT ALWAYS

Are you an established writer who:
• Needs contacts to help your writing?
• Wants advice about your writing?
• Likes to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

Free writers’ workshops equal “magic elixir” to induce better writing

In one day, you can “magically” gain a wide spectrum of knowledge about writing more vibrantly in any genre.

Twelve local, multi-published authors will discuss everything from managing writer’s block and crafting romance to writing Native American characters and managing outrageous marketing. (That latter topic, I’m thrilled to say, will be covered by “yours truly.”) I will also contribute to the keynote panel discussion at the end of the day: “Communities, Conferences and Critique Groups.”

Where and when can you find all this “magic elixir?”

The Desert Rose Chapter of the Romance Writers of America sponsors its…

11th annual Free Writers’ Workshops
Scottsdale Civic Center Library
Sat. Nov. 5, 2016
10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Learn a bunch, rub elbows with authors, buy books, and have fun with us!

Have questions? Contact Valen Cox at valencox3@gmail.com.

2016 Scottsdale Workshops Brochure (1).jpg

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“You cannot miss this!” your future book screams.

write on flier

Write on! Ann Narcisian Videan, Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

Three events to pique writing interests

Writers, looking for some support to hone your skills? These three affordable April events offer a wide variety of book-related information, and an opportunity to rub elbows with a slew of excellent local authors. I’m involved, too, and would love to see you at all three.

PAWWVCC Speaker MKG Ann Videan FPOSTPONED TO SAT., May 7, 2016

Phoenix Area Writers Workshops at Vesuvius Conference Center (PAWWVCC)

In my workshop #1 of four, “27 Steps from Book Idea to Published,” I will cover every single item you need to know about creating a book. Perfect for new authors of fiction/nonfiction, with either traditional or self-publishing goals.

9 a.m.-3 p.m
Vesuvius Conference Center
4806 S. 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040
#PAWWVCC

 

SAT., APRIL 16, 2016

Tempe Book Festival
“A Celebration of Books”

I’ll be exhibiting at this local author book fair with a sign on my table that says, “Ask me anything about writing.” Come pick my brain! As a Book Shepherd, I have written/self-published two of my own novels, and assisted hundreds of other authors with everything from writing and editing, to independent publishing and word-of-mouth marketing.

10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tempe Public Library
3500 S. Rural Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85282

write on flier
SAT., APRIL 30, 2016

Write On! Workshop
Scottsdale Society of Women Writers

I will join a handful of other SSWW authors at this free all-day workshop in Scottsdale. This workshop, #2 in my series of four covers “12 Editing Tips to Wow and Publisher.” I will share with you how to avoid the 12 things I change the most when editing other authors’ manuscripts. Fix these few things, and you’ll hand a potential publisher a manuscript with vibrant writing that connects your reader emotionally to the story.

10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Scottsdale Civic Center Library
3839 N Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

 

Solid reasons behind rapid publishing, a la Hugh Howey and Liliana Hart

KevinHearneBookshelf.gif

Traditionally-published author Kevin Hearne—whose books line my bookshelf in this snapshot—reached NY Times Bestseller status within a year by launching the first three books in his Iron Druid Chronicles series over three months. Coincidence or strategic?

Would you like to know how wildly successful self-publisher Hugh Howey earned 1,200 reader reviews on Amazon? He danced as a reward for milestone numbers of reviews. Really. Check out the video.

Howey, known for Wool, sold more than two million copies of his dystopian “Silo Series” worldwide. He’s writing his Beacon 23 series of short stories in stand-alone story arcs, which he relates to a season of TV with each episode telling a story. He’s quoted in The Writer Files blog as saying, “People are eating them up at 99 cents each.”

This process for his short stories may have a foundation in his belief in the Liliana Hart method of marketing a book series. The best-selling author of mystery and romance uses a process that boils down to writing five books before releasing one of them a month. Howey’s The Wayfinder blog post describes why he thinks she may be genius.

He also points to another author’s take on the Liliana method, in which Rosalind James uses Kindle Select and Kindle Countdown marketing programs as the focus of her “Rolling Countdown” book launch campaign. A very interesting read.

Have Howey and Hart  found the “silver bullet” of successful self-publishing? What do you think?

P.S. Learn more about how Howey achieved his writing success on The Writer’s Dig blog.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Indie publishing • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.
avidean@videanunlimited.com

 

Today’s key book marketing tips

writers fon't only hang out in writing groups. One of their natural habitat is a coffee shop. That's why I write a blog about them. Check out BuzzBerry on my Coffee CommuniTea blog.

Writers don’t only hang out at writing groups or libraries. One of their natural habitats is a coffee shop. That’s why I write a blog about those little hot spots. Check out my latest find on my Coffee CommuniTea blog: BuzzBerry Bistro

I love hanging out with authors. They’re interesting, smart, and — at least in my circles — extremely generous with helpful ideas. Every time I go to a place where writers hang out, I learn something.

So, what fun is it to keep all that great information to myself? I want you to benefit, too. So here are three great ideas heard in the last couple of weeks:

  1. I’ve mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating. Use the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer tool to check the emotional value of your blog/e-newsletter subject lines and headlines. (The emotional connection makes them want to read your stuff.)
  2. Slip a postcard in the back of every book you put into a reader’s hand. On the card, ask for comments about the book, and leave a space for the recipient’s email. That way you can acknowledge his or her comment. Brilliant!
  3. If you have the opportunity to give something away in a raffle, why not give away a few dollars in an envelope with a link to your ebook. This allows you to buy the book for your recipient, and all you ask for in return is his or her review on Amazon. Sweet!

What book marketing tips can you share?

Key book-organization tools: Secret Writers’ Society (ALWAYS)

We look a lot more vibrant than this in person! Wendy, Patricia, Ann, Mallary, Marsha, Karen, and Alana.

We look a lot more vibrant than this in person!
Wendy, Patricia, Ann, Mallary, Marsha, Karen, and Alana

The Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) —  a tribe of established, Phoenix-area writers — gather once a month for lunch and a chat about writing. It’s rather like a Secret Writer’s Society, except the tips we share are not so secret, since we share them with you. 🙂


Key Book-Organization Tools

Many authors I’ve encountered in the past several weeks brought up the topic of how to organize a book. ALWAYS members shared a handful of fun and worthwhile suggestions:

1. Use a large sketch pad for writing notes; and to draw, map, or paste visual ideas that pertain to the story. You can also use it to develop a portable storyboard for your plot.

2. Write character notes or actions, important plot point, or scene ideas on colored 3×5 cards. Use a different color for characters, plot points, etc.

3. Post a visual timeline or cards or Post-It notes on a cork board in the room where you write.

4. Use software to help organize all your thoughts and ideas:

What other ideas can you share?

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.
avidean@videanunlimited.com