Four upcoming marketing events reveal top author secrets

From the movie You’ve Got Mail:
Kathleen:”I love daisies…”
Joe:”You told me…”
Kathleen:”They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”
Joe:”I do.”
[Photo by CEVidean 2011]

So, you want to learn insider tips about book marketing…

Here are four events where I will help ideas sprout and bloom like daisies, so you can pluck and gather them into your book-marketing bouquet.

Tucson Festival of Books 2015

Want to see how books are sold in real life? Attend the huge and amazing TFOB this weekend. I’ll be touting my own book Song of the Ocarina, so come by and pick my brain about book-event marketing. Here’s where/when you can find me:

The Dreams Convention, Booth #106
[Buildin’ the Dream (writers) and Arizona Dreamin’ (readers)]

Sun., March 15, 2015
1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tempe Public Library marketing workshops

These two interactive workshops will help you identify unique aspects of your book,  generate ideas to capitalize on those chat-worthy aspects, and to compel readers to spread the word about your writing. Each marketing-brainstorm session is limited to 15 people, so register early.

Sat., April 11, 2015
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
and
Sat., May 9, 2015 (potential, if first session sells out)
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

If you are interested in attending, please email me or comment below.

Learn more.

Desert Foothills Library
“27 Steps from Book Idea to Published”

If you are new to the idea of writing a book, or are not sure how to publish one, this two-hour workshop will accelerate your learning curve into immediate action. I’ll share book-creation best practices developed through years of interaction with hundreds of authors, editors and publishers. You will learn about each of the twenty-seven steps needed to manifest a book, from conception and design to ISBN numbers and publishing options.

Fri., June 5, 201
1 to 3 p.m.

If you are interested in attending, please email me or comment below.

Learn more.


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan, Author and Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

How to become a best-selling Amazon author, and other secrets — ALWAYS

Twenty, established, Phoenix-area writers met for lunch at the Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering on March 12, 2015, in Phoenix. Here’s what happened.


At our tribe meeting, Deborah Brown, co-owner of Peters & Brown Multimedia Marketing & Publishing, shared five “amazing” book marketing tactics to reach Amazon best-seller status and build a book platform. Here they are:

ALWAYS members absorb Deborah's valuable marketing tips.

ALWAYS members absorb Deborah’s valuable marketing tips. (Photo by Eduardo Cervino.)

1. Start with the end in mind, to sell at least 1,000 ebooks in your category at a discount.

Her ideas included tips like:

  • Make sure your ebook tile and subtitle include your keywords.
  • Sell the book for $.99.
  • Use all four category designations available: two for print, two for Kindle.

2. Build your platform first

  • Start blogging about your book before it’s written.
  • Create lead pages to separate raving fans from others.
  • Follow Debbie Macomber and John Locke as great role models.
  • Use Pinterest for authors, linking to your blog.
  • Offer a multi-author box set.

3. Nurture your FLASH mob, perhaps starting with a campaign for crowd funding. Your mob includes:

  • Friends and family
  • Loyal clients and customers
  • Able and willing well-wishers
  • Selected partners
  • Hand-picked ambassadors

4. Capture leads on launch day.

  • Amazon does not identify who buys your book, so pre-market the launch date on a separate book-deal Web page, where you can capture contact info.

5. Keep marketing after your launch.

  • Do talk shows like Deborah’s “Boomer and the Babe” podcast.
  • Do something every day.

You can’t possibly get the scope of all of Deborah’s good ideas just from these highlights, so I encourage you to find the full version of her handout under the Files link on the ALWAYS Facebook page, or to contact her.

Watch our ALWAYS Facebook page for details on our next gathering on April 9, 2015 (we meet on the second Thursday of the month).

Do you have an idea for a topic or speaker? Maybe some information you need to help you move forward? Perhaps you or someone you know has some great author-related info to relate? Recommend away!

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Share your experience with author TV and radio interviews – ALWAYS

Snapped this shot of Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles (https://www.facebook.com/authorkevin?ref=br_tf) at his *Shattered* book signing in Colorado. He's so at ease with an audience... I'm assuming he's great with the media, too. Are you? Come find out how you can succeed with broadcast media at our January ALWAYS gathering.

Snapped this shot of Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles at his *Shattered* book signing in Colorado. He’s so at ease with an audience… I’m assuming he’s great with the media, too. Are you?
Come find out how you can succeed with broadcast media at our January ALWAYS gathering.

Gather with the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) on Jan. 15, 2015.

TOPIC: What can you bring to the table concerning broadcast marketing for books? How can you prepare? Where are the best broadcast outlets to tout your book? Had some luck? Suffered a bad experience? Know someone who has? Please come and share your experiences, and invite anyone else who you know who might have something to contribute to the group. (We’ll meet a week later than usual, this month.)

Next gathering:
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2014
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS typically meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Romeo’s Euro Café
(downtown GIlbert, AZ)
207 N. Gilbert Rd. #105
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 962-4224

Back-up location:
Joe’s BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

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

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

• Need contacts to help your writing?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. ALWAYS is an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area. Connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or meet with us in person at a monthly lunch meeting.

We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting to discuss our craft and businesses … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

27 publishing secrets shared, to help you create your book

Song of the Ocarina novel cover, Ann Narcisian Videan

This is my new cover spread. Can you picture yourself revealing yours soon?

At this moment, I am forty pages from finishing the final edit of my second novel, Song of the Ocarina: the first book in a new-adult fantasy adventure series. Once I format it and upload it to Amazon’s CreateSpace I will have a self-published print-on-demand book. Woo hoo!

Would you like to know how to get to this point with your book?

My first foray into self-publishing happened in in 2011 with the self-publishing of my first women’s fiction novel Rhythms & Muse. Since then, I’ve helped dozens of other authors write, edit, self-publish and market their books. During all the years in this work, I’ve interviewed and worked with a wide array of literary experts who shared their secrets when it comes to book creation. Now, I’m sharing all those secrets with you in a series of three workshops at the Tempe Public Library.

The topics we’ll cover include: book creation steps, editing, and marketing.

* Sept. 6: “27 Steps from Idea to Published”
People new to the idea of writing a book, or who aren’t sure how to get a written book published will learn how to navigate the process.

* Sept. 13: “11 Editing Tips to Wow a Publisher”
Learn the key editing techniques to polish your book to impress publishers.

* Sept. 20: “Market Outside the Books: Outrageous Ideas to Entice Readers to Talk You Up”
Have you already written your book? I will share unique book marketing ideas to spark buzz by leveraging your book’s compelling content.

Each Saturday workshop runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I hope to see you there!

Learn more at the Tempe Public Library site.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

The right tools to publish, inexpensively and efficiently. Savvy?

Photo: @2104 ANVidean

My bookshelf represents books published in all three areas: traditional, indie and self-published.

You already developed marketing content for your business. It may take the form of articles, blog posts, Web content, Twitter tips, Top 10 lists, white papers, or tools you’ve created for clients. You can leverage that valuable information by compiling it into a print or e-book. With today’s accessible publishing tools, it’s also easy, inexpensive, and valuable, too:

  • Books position you as an expert in your field.
  • Books can create a form of passive income.

So, do you know what tools are available to you? Do you know the effective shortcuts that keep you from cutting off an arm and a leg to pay for it? Here are some starting points.

Traditional publishers

Of course you can always pursue publishing with one of the Big 6 traditional publishers—Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette—but you lose time and control there. It’s typically a two- to three-year process of finding an agent, working through editing to the house specs and the design, and the actual production of the book. You also will need to, for the most part, go with their editing suggestions and cover design. Marketing is still on you, except for a short initial push, and that valuable shelf space in book stores.

Independent publishing

Indie publishers, a segment of which is considered vanity press, offer an option in between traditional publishers and self-publishing. They hold your hand through the book creation process and charge you for various steps, including printing. You often will need to store your own inventory and manage your own distribution with these companies.

Almost all the publishing folk I’ve run into like Lightning Source. Many say their printing quality is excellent, but their best benefit is their association with Ingram, the book distributor. They’ve recently added a print-on-demand service, as well, which stops the need for inventory.

LuLu offers many of these same benefits, but one of its differentiators is that it prints  hardcover books as well as the softcovers typically published by other providers.

Here’s a Live Hacked article comparing Lightning Source with some of the other publisher options to be covered below.

A note of caution: There’s quite a bit of speculation about the integrity of a group of indie houses, including Author House, iUniverse, and Abbot Press (Writer’s Digest). Do your research.

More and more boutique e-publishers are entering the market no, too. I happen to edit for one very reliable e-book, and now print, publisher—Desert Breeze Publishing—out of California.

Again, I urge you to do your research before using or, especially, giving any book rights to an indie or e-book publisher. Search online for ratings and comments, or talk to a publishing consultant. Find the great ones, amidst the chaff.

Self-publishing

My favorite publishing option, and the resource most accepted in the publishing world to-date is the Amazon platform including CreateSpace (for print books, CDs, and videos), Kindle Direct Publishing (e-books), and ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange).

This on-line portal allows you to do everything yourself or, for a fee, can help you with various publishing steps from book creation through marketing. To use CreateSpace for a print book, here are the basic steps:

  • Open an online account
  • Fill out their online form, to get an ISBN, pick book size, paper color, pick distribution options. You may opt to pay a minimal fee for extended distribution, which gets you into the computer systems of the larger book store chains.
  • In the online form you’ll also upload a book blurb and author bio.
  • The site provides access to design tools and templates to help you create your cover spread and interior layout.
  • Once the materials are completed to your satisfaction, you upload PDF files.
  • You review an online proof once CreateSpace approves your materials (usually within 48 hours)
  • When everything’s perfect in the proof, you click a button to publish.
  • CreateSpace will automatically generate an Amazon book page for you (typically within 48 hours)
  • Then, your book is available and CreateSpace will print up any books as they are ordered (print-on-demand)

Ebooks:

You manage Kindle e-book creation through CreateSpace.

Another author favorite is Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of indie e-books. The beauty of this platform is its ability to publish e-books in all reader formats: for Apple, computer, Kindle, Nook, etc. Its upload process is very similar to CreateSpace, but may take some additional formatting.

Resources:

I often tell authors to budget at least $5,000 to create a quality book… your biggest investments will include editing, design and layout, and the base cost of books you plan to sell yourself.

If you already invested time in creating  quality blog entries, for example, you should be close to having finished documents to compile into a book. This means you could get away with a medium-priced editor and a design contest—through Mycroburst.com for example, upload everything yourself and spend only a few hundred dollars.

You can save a ton, if do almost everything yourself, but you a solid skill set in design, writing/editing, and marketing to be able to do this effectively. Your best bet is to hire professionals, especially for editing and design.

I challenge you to build your credibility and generate passive income. Simply look at your marketing materials to see what you might already have on deck to compile into a book.

Tell us about your book publishing experience or tools…

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Key insider tips on formatting a readable book interior – ALWAYS author roundtable

interior book formatting on Rhythms & Muse. Photo: @2014 ANVidean

I did my own interior book formatting on Rhythms & Muse using MS Word, and can’t wait to gain some additional tips from Caren Cantrell, founder and CEO of 102nd Place, at our next ALWAYS meeting, May 8. Photo: @2014 ANVidean

Do you want a resource to help you with your book’s layout? Caren Cantrell, founder and CEO of 102nd Place, who formats book interiors using MS Word for clients self-publishing through Createspace or Kindle. She joins us at our ALWAYS roundtable discussion in May to share her insider tips.

Phoenix, AZ-area established authors, feel free to join us! Please RSVP.

Next gathering:
THURSDAY, May 8, 2014
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of each month.)

Where:
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION
Romeo’s Euro Café
(downtown Gilbert, AZ)
207 N. Gilbert Rd. #105
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 962-4224

Back-up location:
Joe’s BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

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 ALWAYS Facebook Event page or contacting Ann Videan.
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!

So, what’s your best tip for creating an excellent interior book layout?

ABOUT ALWAYS

  • Need contacts to help your writing?
  • Want advice about your writing?
  • Like 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

Top Design Resources to Create Compelling Books

#14 Writing Tip:  Top design resources to create compelling books—Step 2 Interior page layout

Interior page layout of Rhythms & Muse. ©2014 ANVidean

Interior page layout of Rhythms & Muse.
©2014 ANVidean

So, you completed writing your manuscript, and created a cover design with images to compel readers to pick up your book. The next step involves the production of its interior page layout.

You may think of this as a slam-dunk exercise, but it can require quite a bit of knowledge about word-processing or design programs. It takes into consideration the size of the book pages, width of margins, size of fonts, page number location, graphic images, and more. Making all these elements work well together requires quite a bit of skill with specific software programs.

Attention to detail can make a book more compelling. Like using a treble clef ampersand to tie in my book's music theme.  ©2014 ANVidean

Attention to detail can make a book more compelling. Like using a treble clef ampersand to tie in my book’s music theme.
©2014 ANVidean

I suggest hiring a knowledgeable designer to handle interior layout for you. Higher-cost options may involve independent designers or services provided by vanity presses and print-on-demand companies. Low-cost alternatives range from independent formatting and production experts, to do-it-yourself software such as:

  • Word processors like Microsoft Word, and Scrivener
  • Layout programs like Adobe InDesign and Quark Express
  • Hybrid software like Microsoft Publisher and Apple Pages

A very helpful entry at The Book Designer blog describes all these options in-depth.

You’re welcome to contact me to discuss what tools and resources worked for me, and what I recommend to clients.

P.S. Do you have a secret to share about managing a book’s interior page layout ? Feel free to comment below.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Authors, understand the legality behind your books, ALWAYS

TOPIC:
Do you know the legal ins and outs regarding your book? Let’s get together with Megan D. Scott with The Kleinman Law Firm, to learn more about keeping our content legal and protecting our work.

Josh Groban, Phoenix 2013

In your book, can you use photos of celebrities like the one my daughter took at the Josh Groban concert?
Can you even use their names? Can you use music lyrics and quotes?
Should you officially copyright your writing?
Find out by attending the Dec. 12 ALWAYS writers gathering in Tempe, AZ.

[In case you’re wondering, Josh is the guy in the shadows just to the right of the violinist
and behind the guy with his knee up.]
Photo: 2013 CEVidean

Next gathering:
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of each month.)

Where:
DAVE & BUSTERS
(private board room)
Tempe Marketplace
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe , AZ – 85281
480-281-8456

back-up location:
Tea Infusion
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy # 1064
Tempe, AZ 85281-4927
(480) 967-1141

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

• Need contacts to help your writing?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like 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.

Follow established authors’ tips to earn visibility online

ALWAYS authors:
Using Goodreads and other online resources

Do your social media work now. Find your book later in a library like UC San Diego's Geisel Library. This crazy cool facility in La Jolla, CA -- named in honor of long-time La Jolla residents Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) -- houses more than 3.5 million books! Photo: 2013 CEVIdean

Do your social media work now. Find your book later in a library like UC San Diego’s Geisel Library. This crazy cool facility in La Jolla, CA — named in honor of long-time La Jolla residents Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) — houses more than 3.5 million books!
Photo of Ann: 2013 CEVIdean

Topic for our gathering:

What is your favorite online tool for authors? Goodreads? Facebook? Pinterest? Blogs? Let’s get together and share what we know about making the best use of our time online for our books.

Next gathering:
THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2013
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of each month.)

Where:
DAVE & BUSTERS
(private room)
Tempe Marketplace
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe , AZ – 85281
480-281-8456

Back-up location:
Tea Infusion
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy # 1064
Tempe, AZ 85281-4927
(480) 967-1141

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
• Need contacts to help your writing?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like to hang with other cool writers?
The Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) is an informal group of established fiction and nonfiction writers in the Phoenix area who want to support each other’s work, share ideas and best practices, and just discuss writing topics. I’ve led this group since 2006.
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.

Create a book readers want to read, through design

#13 Writing Tip: Create a book readers want to read, through design—Step 1

You walk through a book store. Shelf upon shelf of books surround you. Something on a cover makes you stop and pick up a volume.
Or…
You search online for a book to read. You click through to a genre you like and scroll down the listings. Something catches your eye, and you click to learn more.

What made you stop and look? The book cover design, of course. So, would your book meet the reader-catching test? The next few blogs entries will deal with this topic, starting today with cover design.

I created my own back cover for Rhythms & Muse using Photoshop and a photo editing software.

I created my own back cover for Rhythms & Muse using Photoshop and a photo editing software.

For my front cover, I did my research and asked contest-site designers for a specific look including certain elements. I chose this one from among more than 25 designs.

For Rhythms & Muse, I did my research and asked contest-site designers for a specific look with certain elements. I chose this one from among 25+ front-cover designs.

Book cover art involves both art and science. Not all designers—let alone authors—know the secrets to what draws a buyer’s attention. If you want an enticing design, you must do your research, considering:

  • Image elements
  • Mood
  • Color
  • Impact of photos vs. illustration
  • Font choice
  • Composition
  • Much more

Are you clear on these areas, and how your choices can influence your book design’s success? If not, you need to hire a designer. Now, I’m not saying you have to pay the big bucks for a graphic designer who specializes in book design, although that may just be the ideal solution. Today’s accessible information and technology provide a number of options:

  • Hire a professional book designer ($$$)
  • Pay for support services from print-on-demand publisher, like CreateSpace ($$)
  • Research book design online, learn the ins-and-outs, and ask for on-spec designs from a contest site like ($)
  • Research online, learn the ins-and-outs, and do it yourself using design software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or even Word, although the latter has limitations (minimal cost)

Your first step for eye-catching book design involves choosing one of the above options.

If you would like additional resources, tried and true, per my own experience, please contact me.

P.S. Can you recommend an additional resource for other writers? Do you have a book design secret to share? Feel free to comment below.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com