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Self-Published Authors: Technology Tips and Tools to Increase Your Visibility

Image from canstockphotoSelf-published authors,  have you uttered this sad tale: I have a garage full of books. How do I sell them?

If so, you made the mistake similar to planning a party, but forgetting to send out the invitations.

Potential readers must know you exist before they can buy your book.

Too many authors groan that they didn’t sign on to be salesmen, but without making yourself and your book visible, you stand almost no chance of selling any books.

Help is on the way.

Here are 6 articles and one free webinar to help you come out of hiding so you can enjoy the book sales you deserve.

Free Webinar on March 12, 2015:  Joan Stewart with Ben De Reinzo
Start Selling Books and Building an Audience in Minutes with Book Sales Pages
Register here.

This is for authors who are launching a book but don’t have the time, money or patience to build a website. It’s also for anyone who can’t rely on Amazon alone to sell their books.

On Thursday, March 12, Joan Stewart is hosting a free webinar with Ben De Reinzo from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. He’ll introduce you to a powerful new technology that gives authors more control over the sale of their books, even if they can’t afford a webmaster and have zero techie skills.

Drew Hendricks on Website Magazine
4 Critical Steps to Make Your Website Responsive

As of last year, more people are using their smart devices to browse the Web instead of computers. Due to the change in information medium, it’s important for businesses to create a responsive website that meets the needs of its consumers through a page that can be displayed fully and comfortably no matter what screen size is accessing it. By making your website responsive, you make your business’s information more convenient and therefore more accessible to anyone searching for it.

Mal Darwen on Wordtracker
An Introduction to Long Tail Keywords

The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success. That’s really important, so I’ll say it again. The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success.

I’ll tell you how to work with long tail keywords on your site to benefit your customers, improve conversions, and boost your visibility in search results.

Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land
Google Search Algorithm Adds Mobile-Friendly Factors & App Indexing To Ranking

Google announced it is making two significant changes to its search algorithm for ranking the mobile search results.

Google will be using mobile-friendly factors in its mobile search results starting on April 21, 2015, and it will rank mobile apps participating in App Indexing for signed-in users better in the mobile search results starting today.

Caitlin Muir on Author Media
Why You Need a Hashtag for Your Next Book

Twitter isn’t going anywhere. The sad thing is, most authors are ignoring it.

They can’t afford to.

Janice Clark on BizmSolutions
11 Tools for Those Suffering Social Media Overwhelm

For a busy entrepreneur, the days can often fly by, with a workload so overwhelming that it seems impossible to get it all done.  Manage clients, market the business, stay on top of the latest trends and don’t forget to be authentic, creative and take some time to chat up your target audience on at least three different social platforms!  Whew! Sound familiar?
. . .
Here are eleven tools you can use to help you pull it all together and get more done in less time.

Aubre Andrus on Mashable
10 Quick and Easy Marketing Tools for Authors

Regardless of whether you’re self-published or have a Big 5 publisher behind your book, all authors are doing the same thing: promoting themselves and their book. While marketing takes away time from what we authors do best — writing — it’s a necessary evil.

 


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Article by Flora Brown

Flora Brown is an author, blogger, speaker, and book coach. She's the creator of "Rockin' Your Book" an eCourse delivered to your emailbox.

If you like this post, you can keep up with the latest information from Color Your Life Published by subscribing to updates at the top of this site. When you do, you'll be able to download a free copy of the eBook, "It's Time to Write Your Book."

The New Print on Demand: Want a Book with that Coffee?

bookwithcoffee copyPrint on demand ushered in an era of speed and changed our expectations forever. You can upload a manuscript and book cover to a publisher’s or printer’s website and within days get the print copy.

The Espresso Book Machine has stepped it up to another level. Now you can get a full book printed while you wait, before you finish your latte. It’s the only digital-to-print-to-retail process available so far.

Major publishers and printers are already using this machine to service their clients, but now you can print your own self-published book and take out another middleman.

This amazing machine is available in a few university bookstores, libraries and coffee shops in the USA and other countries.

Watch the video to see it at work. Then check to find the location near you so you can dash over with your manuscript to see the Espresso Book Machine firsthand.

Below the video, you’ll see the buzz this machine is creating on Twitter.

Leave your comments telling me what you think the Espresso Book Machine means for the future of publishing.



[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/ThomasNelson/status/299548492412645376″] [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/thecreativepenn/status/300945845455577088″] [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/EdieMelson/status/299216805623365633″] [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/jonathansalem/status/251343995437985792″]

Before you can print your book, you must write it, of course. If you need a companion to get you started on your publishing journey, discover how I can help you here.

It Takes a Village to Self-Publish a Book to Avoid Losing Your Shirt or Your Mind

If you want to self-publish a book without losing your shirt or your mind, you need help.

Self-publishing is not a solo act.

Yes, you may write your rough draft alone in your room or closet for months with only quick breaks to refuel your stomach and sleep.

But to publish a book that stands any chance of being read, much less being profitable, you need to gather others who can help you with the less-glamorous, but essential parts of getting your book to market.

It takes a village to publish a book to avoid losing your shirt or your mind. ←Click to tweet

Who must be in your village and what is the role of each?

1. You

You must be an eager participant not just in the writing, but in the marketing of your book.

There is no “set-it-and-forget-it” in book marketing.  ←Click to tweet

No publicist, agent or company will care about your book more than you do.  Think of yourself as the contractor and the other folks in your village as subcontractors. You will select them and oversee the work they do for you.

2. Publishing coach or accountability partner

A coach or accountability partner plays an important role. You know that you could get your book written without any prodding, but if you’re like most humans you accomplish more when you have someone nudging you along.

You could build muscles and lose weight on your own too. Chances are, however, that you won’t stick to any fitness plan if you don’t have someone tracking and encouraging you on.

A publishing coach serves an even more important function when you are self-publishing.  She will help you evaluate your options in selecting the other members of your village so you aren’t scammed into overpaying for services or being lured into worthless package deals from  unscrupulous companies.

3. Editor

Did you let out a loud sigh of relief when you finished your rough draft? Perhaps you thought the hard part was over. Depending on who to you talk to, that may be true.

But I pity the fool who publishes a book without having a professional editor go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

Without a skilled editor, your book will be screaming “amateur” and will become the victim of ruthless reviews on Amazon and other online retailers. Today’s readers are not very patient with books that are riddled with errors or sound like 5th grade compositions.

Once the editor returns your manuscript you still have work to do, refining and polishing.

James Michener was not kidding when he said,
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

4. Proofreader

While the editor was digging into content, ensuring flow, structure and consistency of style, the proofreader is looking for mistakes in spelling and grammar that can mar, alter or skew your meaning.

Proofreaders know that they can’t count on spell checkers, so they use many other means.

5. Book cover designer

Since the cover is the first thing prospective buyers see, it plays an important role. The front cover captures attention, and if it garners enough curiosity the reader goes to the back cover where the details convince the reader to plunk down his credit card.

Even though ebooks typically show only a front cover, it is nonetheless important.

Consult your coach,  fellow authors and colleagues to help you find book cover designers who can work with you to create the cover that best represents your book.

6. Interior book/layout designer

Self-publishing a book can be easy, but self-publishing a “professional” book requires skill. Chances are you don’t have all the skills required. That’s why I urge you to gather the experts you need to have in your village.

Up until this stage you may have been working with your manuscript in Microsoft Word.  When getting it properly formatting, Microsoft Word is no longer your friend.

No matter how well polished your manuscript is, you can fall into a big pothole if it is not laid out properly.  While some of the Print on Demand companies may give you instructions on doing this yourself, it’s still possible to make amateur mistakes that will diminish all the work you’ve done up to this point

 7. Printer, Fulfillment and Distribution

Once your book has received the blessings of the first six folks in your village, you’re ready to share it with the world.

Your coach or anyone of the other experts can be helpful in selecting the company that will print your book. Print on demand companies often have an option for getting your book into the hands of buyers. While you may enjoy selling your book at book signings and book release parties, chances are you don’t want to tackle the task of shipping every copy purchased online from popular retailers.

8. Marketing department

Most self-published authors have little experience with marketing.

 

A word of caution:

Beware of companies selling packages that include all of these services in one. They are too often motivated more by profits than by helping you get a professional book.

For newcomers to publishing, gathering your village will seem like a daunting task. You can count on your coach and groups of self-publishers and independent publishers to steer you toward the ethical and affordable experts. Local, national, and online groups are dedicated to helping you succeed with your book writing, publishing and marketing goals. A few of them are

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If you’re ready to gather your village or learn more about starting your book, I’ll be happy to be your traveling companion. Here are your coaching options.