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Friday, September 27, 2013

TGIF: Specialties

Thank God its Friday! Do you have a special promotion for Friday? Well even if not for Fridays, special offers are fun and they keep your audience tuned in to what you may be doing on a regular basis.
 
The goal is to keep people's attention on you. Even a crazy person who is consistently crazy will draw the attention of spectators when its time to act out. So act out!
 
Offer a daily, weekly or monthly challenge or give away. Celebrate your birthday with a gift for your audience or find a book of holidays like Chase's Calendar of Events which gives world wide holidays. Just put some thought into the gift.
 
Happy selling and we'll chat next week!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sell Your Book, THEN Get Published


I believe that authors need to sell their books before they get published. That means that you should be marketing, promoting, discussing, pitching, and preaching your book long before it comes out. In other words, in the publishing game, the end game is first consideration. Before your book is published, you should have established a blog discussing the topic of your book. You should be speaking at group meetings, non-profit organizations, meet-up groups about the topic of your concern.
You should be writing columns for newspapers and magazines, and you should be consulting with experts on your topic. The average author fails by believing the publishing of a book will make them an authority. Quite to the contrary, a successful author should establish himself or herself as an authority before the book. The crowd should be requesting your book as a result of your presold content. When you sell your book first, and then get published, the door is wide open for your success.

Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

(This blog excerpted from The Author's Success Manual)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meeting your Manuscript Timeline


This will be short and sweet; I promise.

Sometimes, we complicate our dreams. They are so wonderful, they can't be easy, right? It must be more complicated than it seems. So to those of you wanting to write a book but feeling like you don't have the time, I want to show you how easy it is to meet any timeline you set.

Simply choose 30 minutes to 1 hour per day or even per week to write no less than 500 words. Try choosing a time and a place that is most productive. If you're a morning person, wake up and sit down in front of  your computer. If you're a night hawk like me, wait until 10:00 p.m. to start writing. Wait until the kids have gone to sleep, wait until the phone calls stop, wait until all of your favorite television shows have ended. Or, maybe you write best under pressure. Give yourself a weekly deadline to write a specific quantity of words; 1500 words within 5 days for example. Make a game of it. Do whatever you have to do to create a daily habit of writing.

The point is to write consistently.

Do NOT: Edit your work
Do NOT: worry about structure
Do NOT: worry about punctuation
Do NOT: worry about trying to lay the book out in the actual book size.

Your only job is to write until your heart is content or your alarm rings.
Just to let you know how simple it truly is. I wrote this in 5 minutes, and you are reading 264 words! How many words could you write in 30 minutes to 1 hour?

Happy WRITING!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Monday, September 23, 2013

How Much Are You Worth?

 

Whenever I speak to individuals seeking to go full-time as a writer, I ask them one specific question: "How much is your time worth?" This is an important question because it sets the standard of what you do every day. However, most people don't know what their time is worth and therefore can't decide how much money they can logically make. Projecting your income also keeps you on track concerning your sales goals and managing your commitment of time and energy.
Assuming you want to make $5,000 within the first 3 months, you can set your sales goals. If you're selling your book for $15, you'll need to sell 334 books in three months, which equates to 111 books per month, 28 books per week, 4 books per day.
Also take into consideration what your time is worth. If you want to make $50,000 per year from your book endeavor, then your time is worth $23.58 per hour (based on an 8 hour work day/ 5 day work week). Thus, your every endeavor should render you a minimum of $23.58 per hour. If you host a book signing, your net should profit you a minimum of $23.58 per hour. You should make a minimum of $47.16 for a 2 hour signing.  If you're asked how much you would charge to speak to a group for 2 hours, base it on a bare minimum of $23.58.
There it is in a nutshell. The math is easy.
Need advice on how to make those 4 sales per day, or any other advice? Feel free to write me @ timothybpublishes@gmail.com
Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Most Effective Bookselling Method

 
There is only one form of bookselling that has the highest success rate. You may think social media is the wave of the future concerning book sales. Not so. You may think virtual book signings is the way to go. Not so. When it comes down to it, the old, tried and true method to sell more books than not is direct sales -- even for eBooks!

Many people will support your smiling face quicker than your flashing website. To the advantage of the average salesman or saleswoman, one of the toughest words for many people to say is "No". Now of course you don't want to take people for granted, but it doesn't hurt your chances of making sales to play on a person discomfort to say no.

Now how does that work. The best example I can think of is a book signing I attended with my client Councilman-at-Large Jerry L. Maynard at the Southern Festival of Books (How to Lead when No One Follows) . A passerby walked up looking at other books. Councilman Maynard told the person who wasn't even from Nashville about his book and then told the person to look in the book. The person politely declined. Councilman Maynard proceeded, "It's a great book, go ahead and take a look at a few pages." The person conceded to look in the book. The person went to put the book down, but Councilman Maynard went on, "go ahead and get the book. I'm telling you, you'll get a lot from it."

You guessed, the person purchased the book. I doubt the person had any interest in the book, but people don't like the discomfort of saying no. Maynard didn't bully the person. He just gave a few extra nudges to keep the person engaged.

The high tech, fancy-smancy marketing tricks are great, don't get me wrong. Social media, radio, television, blogs are all great, but to the core they are passive. You can only HOPE your message will inspire immediate action, but you have no influence on that person's response. You've got to get in peoples faces and give those extra nudges of encouragement sell those books.


Happy Selling and Happy Friday! We'll chat next week.
www.TrueVinePublishing.org



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Should you Self Publish or Seek Traditional Publishing?

So the average author approaches publishing wanting a major publisher to accept their work. Why not, right? They have written a work that they believe is the next American classic and a major publisher buying the work is affirmation that their work is worthy; I get it.
 
However, let's review your options.
 
Traditional Publisher: If you're lucky you'll get an advance on your royalties of $5,000 or less. The publisher will not promote the work aggressively, so you will have to burn the candle on both ends to sell the books in order to recoup the publisher because otherwise, you'll have to pay the $5, 000 advance back.
 
So question: If you had to work 50 hours a week selling books, wouldn't you want to keep all of the money instead of receiving a 3-5% royalty check 6-12 months later?
 
Self-publishing: The majority of great American writers were self published. I strongly advocate self publishing, not because my company produces books for self-publishing authors  but because I understand the true power in the process.
 
1. When you become an author, you become a business. Who starts a business and immediately sells it off for little to nothing? Build your business--your sales record and major publishers will knock down your door with 6-figure offers.
 
2. More control: Control your message, your brand, your price, your marketing, and retain control of your income.
 
3. Make more money: If a traditional publisher charges $29.99 for your book and you get 3% royalties, that means you'll make $0.89 per book. If you self publish and sell that same book for $29.99 you'll keep $29.99. Let's imagine you paid $5 per book  on production, then you netted $24.99 per book. I'm sure you can live with that.
 
Happy selling!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Execution is EVERYTHING!


Execution is everything. Some people feel that you shouldn't do anything if you can't do it right. I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe 99% of success is found in completing the task. It may not be perfect, but when you perform the task you will learn as you go.
When you call your first radio station and ask the receptionist, "who should I speak to about being interviewed on one of your talk radio shows," he/she will tell you, "Oh, let me patch you over to our program manager." At that moment, you have learned the contact person for all radio stations. Now you know who to seek out, email, or call.
Don't procrastinate for fear of not doing things right or perfect. Don't overwhelm your mind with the idea that you have to be able to know the jargon and sound like an expert. Be okay with the vulnerability of asking for direction. In most cases, those who know will be happy to redirect you if you're headed in the wrong direction. That is why they are working.

10 Tips to executing a successful plan of Action:
Tip # 1: Be specific about your plans and once developed don't entertain plan B.
Tip # 2: Set realistic goals while still pushing your boundaries and comfort zones.
Tip # 3: Write down your goals and Tape them to a door, wall, or mirror that you will see every day.
Tip# 4: Verbally repeat your goals daily as a prayer or affirmation.
Tip # 5: Surround yourself with individuals who are likeminded and with resources that lead to your goal.
Tip # 6: Spend at least 30 minutes per day quietly molding your goals in your mind.
Tip #7: Don't procrastinate on any sound idea.
Tip #8: Take at least 1 step per day toward the attainment of your goal, no matter how small.
Tip #9: Don't waste time.
Tip # 10: Never give up.

Happy Selling!
Add Timothy O. Bond to your circle and get a FREE copy of the abbreviated eBook The Author's Success Manual!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

6 Steps Before You Write Your Book

If you're a beginner at book writing, this blog is for you. Don't write another word until you:

1. Study the industry: I'm not asking you to become a scholar on publishing, but at least learn the basics, the pricing, the best and worst publishers, and in particular, the publishers who publish your genre.

2. Learn your Market and be an authority in it: Who are the players in your market? Who are the consumers in your market? What do your consumers need? Find out!

3. Create your plan: no one can stop a man with a plan because no one has a plan to stop him. Plan how you are going to sell your book, where you will go for the entire year.

4. Build your team: No man is an island to himself. Your team should consist of a coach, your publisher, an assistant, financial consultant, and legal aid

5. Create your budget: I can always tell which authors will not succeed when they have no financial commitment to their project, and even worse are looking for ways to get everything for free. No company grows without financial investment.

6 Realize you are fully responsible for your success: This is YOUR baby. You are responsible for its growth. No one will push your book like you.

Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Friday, September 13, 2013

How To Sell Books Before They Exist!

Ok, I love telling this tip! So many people want to write a book but don't know how they will finance it. Let me tell you how I made $3,000 selling books that didn't exist.

In 2008, I had a master plan to publish my second book Fall In Love with the Struggle and to have a grand book release party. I didn't have a dime to my name for this extra project, but I paid 100% debt free for the production of the book and the release party before I had printed one book. I did it and you can too by:
  1. Announcing a book release party of your up and coming book.
    • I set a 3-month period to succeed.
  2. Set a party budget.
    • Remember that you're not Stephen King. Don't try to have a $10,000 party. Because you are also financing the production of your book with your sales, you need to keep in mind that you'll be splitting your proceeds. Also, in a 3 month period, you'll probably sell between 200-300 copies.
  3. Procure a venue for your release party.
    • If you have an artsy coffee house in your area that would appreciate a full house, you'll probably get your location for free. An expensive venue is not an indication of a good book.
  4. Design and print tickets to your book release party.
    • People love to party and people love to support friends and family. So, if you ask people to pre-order your book and offer them a party, they will respond. However, they will need a proof of purchase. Although you may not have a book, people will happily purchase a ticket that promises they will receive your book, even if that party is 90 days away.
  5. Sell your tickets.
    • By offering entrance to a party with book, you can easily charge $20- $30 for tickets. Purchase offers pre-ordered copy of the book, entrance into the party which will include entertainment and food.
    • Create a list of at least 150 people who will purchase a ticket and pursue them aggressively. I used Facebook, cold calling, Callingpost.com to send mass calls, and face-to-face direct sales to garner $3,000 before the event. I sold nearly $1,000 at the door.  
If you sell 200 tickets, you can make up to $6,000; more than enough to finance the production of your book, the costs of the party, and leave with profit.

Viola! You've financed your book with no money of your own.

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Worst Thing to Happen to an Author

As I lay in bed this thought came to mind and seeing that it's midnight, it's right on time for my Thursday blog:

The Worst thing that could happen to an author is not a bad book review or bad press. The worst thing that could happen to an author is not even to have a book with errors, typos, or misspelled words.

The worst thing that can happen to an author is....TO BE IGNORED OR FOGOTTEN!

Don't allow yourself to fade into oblivion by going silent or not doing everything you can to make your book known. If you've lost momentum, start giving some books away; start blogging, start tweeting, start a meet up group, send out postcards, read an excerpt of your book on Youtube.. DO SOMETHING!!

Don't be ignored.

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

4 Myths of Becoming an Author


MYTH #1: My book is sooo good, it's going to be a best-seller!
TRUTH: The best book in the world will sit unnoticed for all eternity unless the AUTHOR gets out and makes a name for it through tireless effort. Best-sellers have nothing to do with content, rather, it has all to do with marketing. If the book is not properly marketed which takes MONEY, TIME, TRAVEL, ENERGY, STUDY, AND MORE MONEY, it will not be a best seller.
 
MYTH #2: My publishing company will make my book a success!
TRUTH: Publishing companies no longer invest bundles of money in authors. It is the author's responsibility to promote the book. The days of publishing companies producing a book and paying to send authors on national book signing tours are long gone. Now, publishers require a marketing plan from the author and wants the author to have a platform with thousands of followers. The publisher wants to know how YOU plan to sell your book.
 
MYTH #3: My books will sell if they are in a book store!
TRUTH: The fact is bookstores do not promote books. Your marketing space in a bookstore is a quarter inch. Take a look at the background of this blog. Which book spine sticks out the most to you? Neither, they're all a mesh of colors. That's the marketing strength the bookstore will offer your book. Remember this: Dave Ramsey sold the first 300,000 copies of his book out of his trunk. His books sell millions, but while he was building his name, he was the only seller of his books. Retain full control of your inventory as long as you can efficiently supply the demand for that book.
 
MYTH #4: I don't have to be a public speaker to have a best-selling book.
TRUTH: If you don't want to be a public speaker, then don't consider writing books for financial gain. Feel free to write books for your family and close friends. But even then, they will ask you about why you wrote your book. You must be ready to inspire, instruct, or entertain people through public speaking.

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Monday, September 9, 2013

Think Outside the Bookstore

9.5 out of every 10 authors want to know how they can get their books into the national distribution of chain bookstores like Barnes and Nobel and Borders. Although this is a great ambition, it is proven to be the least effective means of succesful bookselling.

Overlooking the fact that the average independent author does not have the inventory to advance a national distribution, the market advantage is obliterated. Of the millions of books being sold by these chains, what advantage will an unknown author have to highlight his/her book spine from the bookshelf?

Instead, a better approach to the bookstore option is seeking out specialty stores that cater to your audience. If you've written a romantic novel with a sports setting, why not solicit sporting good stores to carry your book. Or a how-to book on cooking, solicit local bakeries or deli. Reject conventional book-selling norms. Think outside the bookstore.

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Friday, September 6, 2013

What's In It For Me?

Remember WIFM? : WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? Readers don't care about your childhood ambition to write a book. Readers don't care about your life story, and readers don't care if you're giving all of your book proceeds to charity. Readers care about 1 thing: "What's in it for me?".

When someone asks you what your book is about, they are really asking, "What's in your book that will benefit me?" So when discussing your book, reject the urge to give a 30 second book report. Reject the urge to tell people your life story. Instead, open the potential readers eyes to how your book fixes their problems or brings value to their lives. Even if you're a fiction writer, your book provides entertainment. ...

Oh yeah, you have 30 seconds to keep their attention. Work on your elevator speech. 


Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Rule of 5

Some people believe there is a secret combination to publishing success. In this short and sweet blog I want to assure you that success is not a mystical dimension, but simply a measurable destination that all people can reach.

If success was 100 feet away, how long would it take you to reach it? Well, that depends on how many steps you want to take. If you decide to walk 1 foot per day,  it will take you 100 days. The more steps you take the quicker you'll reach success.

Using the Rule of 5, you choose your steps toward progress.  Do a minimum of five maketing activities five days a week. It's that simple:

Send 5 review copies
Send 5 press releases to 5 radio stations, 5 television stations,  5 newspapers, 5 magazines, 5 blogers
Call 5 potential speaking opportunities
Research 5 conferences
Work social media for 5 hours
Find 5 strangers to tell about your book..

If you do the work,  the results will come.

Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Six Keys to Marketable Books

Six Keys to Marketable Books

Choose wisely your approach to writing your book and make sure your book does the following or can in some way do the following:
1. Has a topic that is relevant to the majority of people: Your book can't focus on issues or topics that people of today are not dealing with. Your passion for old fashion typewriters will NOT make a good book because no one uses typewriters anymore. When considering your book topic, research how the topic is impacting the world around you. 
2. Solves a problem: People have problems that they want solved, point blank. The more resourceful your book is, the more marketable it will be. As I stated before, remember the "what's in it for me?" factor.
3. Ties to a major National event or activity: A book connected to a major local, national, or world event or activity is guaranteed to have readers. Strike while the iron is hot. Your book may be only remotely connected to a National event, but that's not a problem. You can still connect the dots and utilize that connection to your advantage.
4. Ties in with news stories both local and national: Find every connection you can with your topic and what's going on in the world. As events happen, let everyone know that your book addresses that topic. It may only be one paragraph in the book, but that one paragraph opens the door to promote your book to a broader audience seeking more insight into that issue. 
5. Raises controversial questions and makes bold statements: Why are radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh so popular? It is because they make statements that people find to be shocking and offensive. Like it or not, controversy gets more attention than peacefulness, and in the world of selling books, attention is everything.
6. Ties in with celebrities and/or high profile individuals: The mere mention of a celebrity draws immediate attention from that celebrities fan base. Those individuals who want to know every bit of information about that celebrity will gravitate to your product to discover its relation.
 
This blog is an abbreviated excerpt from The Author's Success Manual.
 
If you have any questions you'd like addressed, feel free to add me to your group and send me an email.
Happy selling!
 
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Join a Tribe!

So you've put your book on the market and now you're wandering from person to person, door to door, bookstore to bookstore trying to find individuals who want your product. Or, maybe you're hoping those Facebook posts and tweets will draw in readers. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're on a dead end road.

No man is an island unto himself. If you are going to be successful in bookselling, you need to get connected with a community or a "tribe". A tribe is a group of people who share your beliefs and ambitions. People who will promote your product because it promulgates their overall message. For example, if your book is about overcoming drug abuse, you will find a great tribe of supporters in AA or local Community Development programs and church groups.

You have to get connected with a greater community of people. Social media and networking websites have made this an easy process.

  • www.Meetup.com is a great site for finding groups of people meeting for any reason
  • LinkedIn is great for finding industry groups
Find your tribe!

Happy Selling
www.TrueVinePublishing.org