Showing posts with label create an e-book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label create an e-book. Show all posts

Monday, July 4, 2016

Conflating Promotion, Children's Lit and Promotion

Article Children’s Promo

Formula for a Long-Lasting Promotion

E-Book + E-Gift + Cross Promotion = Great FREE Promotion for Children’s Books

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers

The 4th of July seems like a good time to talk about children’s books, to celebrate children's book, to give author of children's literature a little support. In a discussion I had with one of the longtime subscribers to my SharingwithWriters newsletter, Wanda Luthmam, author of The Lilac Princess, she said, “Of course the thing that is different for children's authors is that the product is for children yet the purchaser is an adult.”

Because Wanda is absolutely right, one of the best kinds of promotion is one where children’s authors cross promote.  That means partnering with other others, sharing lists. Forming groups where you cross-tweet one another’s tweets that point out benefits of each children’s book to the parents cause kids won’t be on Twitter, not yet at least.  

One of my favorite promotions—the one that lasted longer and was more “keepable” than any other I’ve done—utilized cross promotion. Here is a case study of that promotion straight from  my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter. I have adapted it slightly to be more meaningful for children’s authors.

The anatomy of a free e-book might be just what you need to make one work for you. The free e-book I published as a cross promotion with other authors was one of best, most long-lasting promotions I’ve done. Let’s call it the new math for free publicity. It is: E-book + E-gift = Promotion. Oops. Error. Make the answer FREE promotion. However, it would be better if we slotted in another element: + Cross Promotion.

I met Kathleen Walls in an online group. She asked more than two dozen authors from several countries to contribute to an e-book that would be given away. Her idea, Cooking by the Book could be used as a gift of appreciation to the support teams it takes to edit and market a book and to the legions of readers who cook but had never read any of our other books. Children’s authors could use exactly the same idea (or adapt the basic steps to another theme). Here’s why. 

Authors who had at least one kitchen scene in their books (children’s authors might have a household cooking scene or just something foody going on in the plot like lollipops, ice cream cones—even apple trees!) were invited to contribute to Cooking. Each author’s segment begins with an excerpt from that scene. The recipe comes next, and then a short blurb about the author with links so the reader can learn more about the authors and their books. When children’s authors adapt the them, they might adapt the recipe segment to something else that would appeal to parents like the psychological benefit their child will get from reading the book. 

This e-tool was a cross-pollinator. Contributing authors publicized it any way they chose as long as they gave it away. Here are some of the ways we used to distribute Cooking by the Book
  • Some offered a free e-book as part of a promotion and let people e-mail them for a copy. This is the least techy approach and it allows personal contact with readers. It also allowed us to collect and categorize our readers’ e-mails to use in later promotions.
  • Some set up an autoresponder that sent our e-book directly to our readers’ e-mail boxes when they sent requests to an address we provided. This automated approach requires little but promotion from you after you’ve once set up the responder. I sent the first chapter of my novel using SendFree.com, but it could as easily been a full e-book.
  • Some contributors sent readers to their Web sites where they found a link to download a .pdf file of our free e-book. E-books distributed like this are more effective if they include an offer or call-to-action—perhaps a discount on a series of your books—within its pages. If I did a promotion like this again, I’d include a contributor page in the backmatter that listed each contributor, her book’s title, and a direct link to an Amazon Kindle edition. The side-benefit for this is that traffic to your site soars and that helps your search engine optimization (SEO). 
  • ome contributors let others distribute our e-book as a gift to their clients, subscribers, or Web site visitors—either with a purchase or as an outright gift. When you use this method, you get to set the guidelines for its distribution because you provide the free e-book.
  • If we were doing this promotion today, we could offer our free e-book through Smashwords.com. To make free e-book editions work for you, your book must include ads, links in the text, or both to entice readers to your Web site or to buy your other books.
  • You may find other ways to distribute your e-book or alter these processes to meet your needs. You could even give out business cards or bookmarks at children’s bookfairs that give the links to the free e-book you are offering.
Contributors to our Cooking by the Book benefited from their efforts and from contacts with other authors. It turned out that we had some superior promoters among us:
  • Most of us set up a promotional page for the cookbook on our Web sites. 
  • One promoted it in her newsletter. 
  • Mary Emma Allen writes novels, but she also featured the cookbook in the columns she writes for New Hampshire dailies The Citizen and The Union Leader.
  • David Leonhardt incorporated the cookbook into a Happiness Game Show speech he delivered over a dozen times.
  • We all gave away coupons offering this gift at book signings. Because e-books cost nothing to produce, they can be given to everyone, not just those who purchase a book. Some made bookmarks featuring this offer.
  • I put an “e-gift” offer for Cookbook on the back of my business cards.
  • If we were doing this promotion today, we’d all blog about it and use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks.
  • We treated the promotional book like a real book. We got blurbs and reviews. Reviewer JayCe Crawford said, “For a foodie-cum-fiction-freak like me, this cookbook is a dream come true.” That review popped up in places we didn’t know existed. 
  • We used them as e-gifts to thank editors, producers, or others online.

Our most startling successes came from sources we had no connection to at all. The idea for using a promotional e-book like this was featured in Joan Stewart’s The Publicity Hound, in Writer’s Weekly, in the iUniverse newsletter and more. They probably found it especially newsworthy because it worked so well for writers of fiction. Your book themed for the parents of children might appeal to popular psychology Web sites or others—depending on the theme.

When I queried radio stations for interviews with angles related to this cookbook, I had the highest rate of response I’d ever had, and that was in competition with a pitch for my novel This Is the Place just before the Salt Lake City 2002 games and an intolerance angle on the same novel right after 9/11.

Each year Mother’s Day beckons us to repeat our publicity blitzes, because, if you haven’t noticed, mothers tend to do lots of cooking. Almost any e-book that appeals to mothers of young children could also benefit from Mother’s Day promotions.

Hint: I love services like Createspace.com and Bookbaby.com for publishing both e-books and paperbacks, whether or not they are to be used as promotions. You can probably do everything yourself and absolutely free except for the copies you buy and the extra services, if you prefer to have that help. I also like that you can put your own publishing company’s name on the book—in other words, develop your own imprint. There are even templates for covers there. If this feels kind of publishing feels scary at first, I can coach you through the first one and you’ll be set forever more. Contact me through the contact page on my Web site.

Special E-Book Offer: I offer a free e-book for subscribing to my Sharing with Writers newsletter. Find the offer on most pages of my HowToDoItFrugally Web site, upper right corner. Everyone is your cross-promotion pool could do the same thing.

Here’s another idea from Wanda. She says “At my events, I invite children to my table to make a free craft that is book-theme related. While they are working, I talk to the parent about the benefits of the book and reading.”

-----

Today's blogger, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, will soon have a children's picture book ready to submit to her agent. It's about the feisty squirrel who is bent stealing tangerines from her tree. 

Carolyn is not known for writing children's literature. She brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 


The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com 








Saturday, January 19, 2013

Write on... don't give up the dream!


Do you dream of being a writer?

If you want to be a writer, the only thing required is to put your butt in a chair, place your hands on a keyboard, pen, pencil or whatever you use to write, and write, write, write.

Consider writing as your job. If your dream is to publish, remember writing is a business, and treat it as if you’re an entrepreneur, because you are.

It doesn’t make any difference if you are young, old, or in between.

Don’t let anyone; including yourself talk you out of your dream of writing. Just write what subject you want to write about.

It doesn’t make any difference who you are, what sex you are, or anything else. Determination and persistence is will make you a writer.

Every writer can come up with myriad excuses not to write. The writer doesn’t use them, but writes in spite of them.

One major excuse is not having the time. This is a cop-out  If you want to be a writer, you’ll make time by going to bed later, get up earlier, or turn the Television off instead of watching some inane program. If a movie or some show is important to you, record it for a later time.

For the novice writer, the internal editor is a major problem. Overcome this by just writing, and then edit it.
It’s simple, writers write and that’s it, period.

If you want to be a writer, sit down and write the darn book; it won’t write itself.

Now is the time to organize your thoughts, notes, research, or outline and begin telling your story as only you can.

Today is the day you become a writer.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, and Marketer
Find me on the Web http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Write for Money - You Can Do It

Write for Money - You Can Do It

It’s amazing how the road to ‘making money’ for writers has opened. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it, or maybe you’ve even tried your hand at writing to earn an income or simply to supplement your income, but just haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

Well, take a step back, look around, and take a new stab at it, because now’s the time to write for money.

You might be wondering what it means to ‘write for money.’ The answer to that is simple: any form of writing that provides payment is writing for money. You may ghostwrite articles or books, maybe you write your own articles and books and submit them to publishers, or maybe you write white papers, e-books, newsletters, landing pages, greeting cards, or other content, if you get paid for writing it, it’s writing for money.

Write for Money – Create Content

But, it does go a bit beyond that simple answer. Along with actually being paid for the content you produce, you can also write a 300 - 400 word post for your monetized blogsite or website. While you’re not actually paid for the post content itself, the content will bring you traffic from which you have the potential to earn money. The relevancy of the content to the product you’re offering is an important factor for conversion, as is the quality of the content, so keep that in mind. Another important factor is to post your content on a regular basis.

Conversion is when a visitor to your site actually buys what you’re offering, so you will need to create a webpage that motivates visitors to click on the BUY button.

But, back to how you can write for money.

Write for Money – Create an eBook

One content format that is taking off is writing and self-publishing e-books. Due to the ease of creation and easy access to self-publishing services such as Amazon’s Kindle, and other sites such as Smashwords.com and Lulu.com, writers now have a platform to publish e-books with absolutely NO out-of-pocket costs.

No more endless submissions and rejections, now you can just write and self-publish in e-book format. And, most of the selling price goes to you - the self-publishing services do take a small percentage of your sales.

While being able to self-publish with ease and no cost is great for writers, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make money. If your intent is to write to make money you will want to produce informational e-books. Information is the most effective type of content for earning money.

Informational content can be in the form of a simple three - five page report or a 100+ page e-book. Whatever the word or page count is you will need to make sure the information you provide is something online searchers are looking for, and it needs to be valuable and polished.

How do you determine what people are looking for?

To find what online searchers are looking for you will need to do keyword searches.

For example: I wrote an e-book on marketing books. I came up with a few titles and then did a keyword search using http://googlekeywordtool.com. I found that adding “How to” at the beginning of one of my titles was within my target number of searches, so I titled it How to Attract Customers With Informational Marketing.

You should be cautioned though that marketing information is an ever-changing topic. What’s relevant and savvy today maybe useless six months from now – marketing technology is constantly evolving and therefore marketing strategies are often changing. While some basic marketing information is steadfast, it may be wiser to go with an evergreen topic, like writing, health and fitness, gardening, etc.

Whichever write for money strategy you use be sure your content is polished. This means self-editing and proofing your work before you publish it. Just because self-publishing is easy to do and no one is monitoring your writing, your content is still a reflection of your writing ability and your professionalism.

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Articles:

How to Create an Ebook: 5 Simple Steps
Outsourcing Articles: Is it Right for You?
Selling eBooks – Reach Your Market Through Free Services

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Until next time,


Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer

http://KarenCioffi.com
http://DKVWriting4U.com
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenCV
Facebook: http://facebook.com/kcioffiventrice

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Create and eBook – 5 Simple Steps

E-books are an amazing product that has multiple uses. And, it can be created for FREE, or for a very minimal amount. What else can you create that costs only your time and effort, and sells for whatever the market is willing to pay?

1. Create content

The first step is to create your content; this can be done as a simple word document. The content can be anything you think your readers or target market will want or need. In addition, it can be any length you decide upon. You can create a simple 10 page e-book, or a 100+ page e-book.

You can also create a compilation of articles you’ve already written on a particular topic and organize them into an easy to read product that includes a content page.

Note: It’s wise to include a disclaimer explaining that you, the author, strived for accuracy, but cannot guarantee it due to the ever-changing nature of the internet. And, it’s advisable to include an “All Rights Reserved” with a copyright reference.

TIP: If you’re offering the e-book as a freebie on your site you can allow others to pay-it-forward, emphasizing that all information must remain intact. This will help increase your visibility and lead readers back to your site/s.

2. Organize Your Content

Whether your product is a few pages or 100 pages, having it organized is important. The e-book needs to offer easy reading and clarity, along with value. If you are creating a longer product, divide the content or articles into sections or parts, and provide a Content Page.

Be sure to use a large and bold font for section headings and it’s advisable to include page breaks for each section.

Finally, be sure to add a brief bio including promotional material on an About the Author page.

TIP:  have plenty of white space. If you notice, this article has very short paragraphs, making it easy to read.

3. Include Images and Tweak Your Content

Once you have the content in place, add images. You can add an image at the beginning of each section, or where ever you see fit. This is another trick to make the e-book more interesting to read.


The images will help break up the monotony of straight content.

TIP: You will also want to include your own head shot on your About the Author page. Readers connect more with a face, rather than just a name.

TIP2: Be sure you are using royalty free images. You don't want to get caught infringing on someone's copyright.

4. Create a Cover

Every book needs a cover, so you will need to create one. Again, you can use clipart, or other source of free images. You can also use the Word Draw Toolbar. I’m not sure if all versions are the same, but mine is located at the bottom of my document.

TIP: After you create a cover, be sure to click on Page Break.

5. Turning Your Word Doc into a PDF

Okay, you’ve created a great word document, now it’s time to magically turn it into an e-book. There are a number of free PDF creator software applications to do this.

For those wondering, PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. A PDF creator is an application that converts documents into PDFs by creating a virtual printer that prints to PDF files.
If you don’t already have a PDF converter, it’s time to do an online search for “free pdf creator.” Just be sure the one you choose is Adobe compatible.

My experience is with PDF995. You can check it out at: http://www.pdf995.com/

But you can just do a Google search for one you like.

The new versions of Microsoft Word has a PDF printer build in.

It’s that simple.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out the e-classes she offers through WOW:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/

MORE ON WRITING AND BOOK MARKETING

Why Purchase Your Own ISBN?
Writing, Submissions, and Working with Editors
4 Realities New Writers Need to Face

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Shares How to Make Reviews into Marketing Workhorses

  July 5, 2022, #1 How to Make Reviews into Marketing Workhorses By Carolyn Howard-Johnson This is the first of a series of guest posts for ...