Get a Literature-Inspired Tattoo

The Guardian reports that in the US, book-lovers open to tattoos are doing just that: getting quotes and other references etched on their person.

Publisher Black Ocean will give away a copy of every book it produces – forever – to fans of Zachory Schomburg’s The Man Suit.

How? Get a black-and-white telephone tattooed somewhere on your body.

To be eligible, you need to provide pictures of you during the tattooing process to show your tattoo isn’t just drawn on.

This trend hasn’t taken off in other countries. According to a British tattooist, Biblical passages are popular, literary references are not.

List of Literary Agents tattooHave you completed your book and are ready to submit to literary agents? You need to get yourself the list of literary agents, a compiled list of every literary agent in the US.

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Introducing the Vook

We all know that digital books are called “e-books,” right? Let me introduce you to a new idea and a new word: Vook.

Produced by Vook Inc. of California, Vooks bring together text, video, photos and social sharing.

Let’s talk about the Sherlock Holmes Vook. Included are The Man with the Twisted Lip and The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conal Doyle. The Vook experience adds video that connects us to the history and legend of Sherlock Holmes.

Vook Inc. founder and CEO, Brad Inman, says he has found the future of publishing. The company released 150 titles last year and has over 1,000 scheduled for 2011. Vook Inc. expects to sell them for around $7, but some are priced at $16.

The Vook is truly multi-platform with apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and mobile sites for browers. You can expect between 10 and 20 chapters in each Vook plus 20 or so videos which spice things up a bit.

While the startup only has 23 employees, they have managed to ink deals with top publishers and literary agents. Seth Godin, Anne Rice, Stephen Covey, Deepak Chopra and Tom Peters are just some of the top-name authors who are on the Vook system.

JFK: 50 Days (available on Vook for iPad) is a best-seller Vook featuring content from NBC Universal and Perseus Books.

Vook Inc. also runs its own e-book imprint and over 500 in ‘how-to’ and educational titles will be available in 2011. The company publishes many genres, including lifestyle, cooking, business, entertainment, fiction and sports.

About half of the content is produced by the team at Vook Inc. via remote workers and outsourcers around the world.

According to Inman, each Vook costs about $2,500 to produce.

List of Literary Agents VookHave you completed your book and are ready to submit to literary agents? You need to get yourself the list of literary agents, a compiled list of every literary agent in the US.

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Biographies Are Hot Right Now

In this era where digital virtual reality is taking over, readers are going crazy for biographies and memoirs. The reality of inspiring people is something that we all strive to relate to.

Writers today are hooked into more research tools via the Internet and writers are being pushed into it – To quote the old adage, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Who wants to read fiction?

Details and facts are only one part of a successful biography. The real key when writing a life story is to showcase facts and information about your subject not previously known by the reader.

But that’s not all: You need to take fiction devices and apply them to your story.

The fact is that less than 10% of autobiographies are written without ghostwriters. Is this a bad thing? Why should we expect someone who’s lived a successful and interesting life to also be a prolific author?

Ghostwriting is a legitimate skill: being about to live in someone else’s skin, view the world with their eyes and speak with their voice so nobody even expects the ghostwriter.

List of Literary Agents Biography

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Speaking Gigs as Extra Income

Do you want to increase your income and boost your writing profile as you do it?

If so, then you need to sign up with a speaker’s agency.

The education market is a great opportunity for young adult and children’s book authors. Are you a non-fiction author? No problem, because the corporate market loves you.

Writers with an existing profile are of course the most sought-after as speakers, but it’s a good idea to work on their presence before approaching an agency.

You need to do your research before signing up with an agency – specifically looking at the engagement terms. Run though this checklist before committing yourself:

  • How is the agency’s commission worked out? Percentage? Set fee?
  • How much did the agency bill the customer?
  • Who pays for insurance, and what is required? Professional indemnity? Public liability?
  • If your state requires a police clearance, who pays?
  • How is sales tax (or other local taxes) charged?
  • When does the agency pay the speaker? On the day, or only after the customer has paid?
  • Is the agency slow when paying speakers? You probably have to ask other speakers, not the agency itself!
  • If the agency hasn’t been paid, how will it collect from customers?
  • Does the agency charge per event or per head? What if attendance is lower than the customer expected?
  • What’s their cancellation policy?
  • Is the agreement exclusive or can you have multiple agents in different niches or states?
  • How does the agency choose its speakers? Do they require a trial event, and does the customer pay?
  • What’s their travel and accommodation policy? Who pays?

Remember that writers are only a small percentage of speakers of an agency roster. Writing and presenting are completely different skills but because both writers and speakers are usually articulate, there’s more overlap between the two industries than most other niches.

Writing a relevant, punchy speech is very important. If you’re looking to do speaking gigs on a regular basis, you should write a new speech for each event.

If you’re going to focus on the corporate market, some of the most popular topics include business, the economy/finance and sports.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to give a free talk, and that’s okay – but you need to know when these events will actually cost you money (either in travel, accommodation or lost income).

Doing free work also doesn’t guarantee that you’ll sell loads of books, but it can mean diluting your brand as a writer and it keeps you from actually writing.

Tips for public speaking

  • During a speaking event, have a camera set up so you know what your ‘performance mode’ looks like. Get a friend to watch it and offer honest criticism.
  • Eye contact is very important and you need to learn techniques to maintain it, especially since your audience can be 200 plus people.
  • Understand that depending on the audience size you need to vary your voice and how you use it.
  • Understand how and where to stand – Practice makes perfect!
  • Learn to control arm and body gestures
  • Get used to the technology you might be using (overhead projector, laptop, etc.)
  • Practice! After committing your speech to paper, you need to practice delivering it as a presentation. Do it a couple of times by yourself then do it for a friend (a professional coach is even better).
  • You need to evolve: Keep improving your speech so it doesn’t get stale and keep recording it. Talk to your audience after to see what can be improved.

Suggested public speaking rates

Speaking and teaching (such as at literary festivals, residencies, writers’ centers and other public events which aren’t schools)

  • Whole day (max. 6 hours): $800
  • Half day (max. 3 hours): $500
  • Per session (max. 1 hour): $300
  • Keynotes: $1,000 (print and online publications to be negotiated separately)
  • Weekly rate (max. 5 days – average 6 hours a day): $3,600

Schools:

  • Whole school day (max. 3 sessions): $600
  • Half school day (max. 2 sessions): $450
  • Per school session (max. 1 session): $300
  • Weekly school date (max. 4 days – average  sessions per day): $2,500

Public speaking can be competitive but it’s also exciting for writers to get out there and generate some momentum.

List of Literary Agents PodiumHave you completed your book and are ready to submit to literary agents? You need to get yourself the list of literary agents, a compiled list of every literary agent in the US.

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Give Your Book Away to Generate Interest

Most authors believe that as soon as they have finished their masterpiece and “get the word” out, millions of people will be queuing up to buy. It doesn’t quite work that way!

Success as a writer is a three step process: Write the book, print the book then sell the book. It’s that last step that authors often pay the least attention to – Even though it’s the key to success.

You need to identify your readers early on. Not everyone is going to buy your book and you need to be okay with that fact. Ask yourself how you can get in front of the kind of people who will convert into buyers. Take very specific actions every day and work toward a goal. Continually working is half the battle.

You will want to give up. Everyone wants to give up at some stage. Powering through the difficult times is what separates successful authors from those doomed to be “aspiring” forever. It will take perseverance and stick-to-itiveness, but eventually opportunities with present themselves, whether with publishers, literary agents or publicists.

If every author sat down and clearly defined the market for their book, almost every book would sell. Stick to working every day – whether you feel like it or not. There isn’t even a “worst case scenario” as there are millions of other marketplaces to sell your book other than the big bookstores.

What kind of business card should a writer give to prospects? Their book, of course!

If you don’t believe me, try it. Send fifty copies of your book to execs at direct sales companies. You’re not trying to get a response from all 50 sends, but you might get one or two. They might then place an order for 500 books! You never know unless you try.

Coaches and professional speakers (specifically look at the personal development industry) use their book as a loss-leader to promote themselves and get customers worth hundreds of times more than the cost of printing a $12 paperback. Such a plan may even open the door to high-paid consulting gigs.
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Preparing Your Manuscript for Agent Submission

The best publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts but they probably receive thousands of them every month anyway – only to send them to the “round file” (bin).

That means you need a literary agent. Your first step should be to get the list of literary agents, which includes every US literary agent in Excel, CSV and PDF formats. You also get a Microsoft Word mail merge template to make sending a query letter easy.

The literary agents listed are the industry’s best-performers and don’t charge fees – Plus, there won’t be any costly surprises!

Fixing Up Your Manuscript

Don’t stress too much about what your manuscript looks like.

The universal guide is:

  • Double-spaced
  • Simple, professional font, like Arial, Courier or Times New Roman
  • Page numbers on each page
  • Loose sheets (no staples)

The List of Literary Agents includes email addresses for most agents, s o you could send them an email along with the posted copy.

You Are an Entrepreneur

Stop being afraid. If you want to be a successful writer, you will need to do manuscript submissions. You don’t want to stress each time you’re getting ready to submit because you’ll be stressing for the rest of your life!

You need to reset your thinking. You are a writer, but also a salesperson. The product that you’re selling is your book. You have the power to produce the best product you can.

Remember: Most of the rejections you’ll receive (and you’ll get a few!) have nothing to do with the quality of your book, so don’t take it personally.

Just start work on the next lead (agent) on your list. This one might be the winner!

Selling your book is an important component in your work, something you can’t afford to ignore.

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Writing a Book That Sells

Writing a saleable, marketable and viable book is hard. Even major publishers aren’t able to guarantee how well a book will sell. Buyer preferences are affected by so many variables – including flash trends and world events.

 

I’m going to show you how to leverage the sales-factor in your favor.

 

1. You need to know your readers

 

Get specific. Important details include:

 

  • Age range
  • Marital status
  • Geography
  • Occupation
  • Other books they’ve read

 

Put together a profile including where they shop, whether they’re apart of any club or organization, etc.

 

Having this data means you can incorporate these aspects into your book plus you could find new marketing opportunities.

 

2. You need to know your market

 

Use some detective work to figure out what the market’s like for your book.

 

How many publications are related to your book’s topic? Are you reading ALL of them? Could you fill some “holes” in your niche?

 

3. Books which are similar to yours

 

How many other books have been published on your topic? If you haven’t already, you need to read all of the books in your niche.

 

A successful author knows every detail about similar books and what potential readers think of them.

 

It’s not bad if there are already books out on your topic, you just need to angle yours differently.

 

4. Stay up-to-date with your industry

 

Do you know what’s hot in your industry? Do you know what people are wanting today and what might be next?

 

Talk to lots of people and ask them to take a quick 5 to 10 minute survey. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.

 

5. What’s going on in the media

 

What’s the media talking about? Take note what other books they’re promoting. Read everything – not just the first page!

 

You could check out what the media in other states (or in other countries) is interested in easily via the Internet.

 

Identify any trends in their coverage. Even the smallest thing might be the key you’re looking for.

 

6. You need to do speaking gigs

 

The best way to engage with a relevant audience is via speaking gigs. Being in direct contact with your audience will have a positive influence on your finished product and it will create buzz.

 

Get them to sign up to a mailing list so you can keep them informed of any developments, such as when your book is coming out.

 

7. Take advantage of upcoming events

 

Think carefully about options when you plan to release your book. Good tie-ins include regional events and holidays – Check your calendar!

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Re-energize Your Book Marketing

Marketing a book is definitely a process, but sometimes it takes a lot longer than we’d expected. That’s why first-time authors need to step back and look at the promotional work you’ve been doing. This will reveal areas that might be getting neglected or opportunities that haven’t been considered yet.

 

You need to get yourself a white board or something as big. Now write up what you’ve accomplished so far – Don’t leave anything out! Add everything from when your first book proof arrived.

 

Hopefully this process will offer some new perspective on what you’ve been working on when promoting your book. It’ll identify areas which you’ve been spending way too much time on plus what’s working and what’s not.

 

Keep in mind that goals like “bulk sales” and “international media” are long-term and will take more time.

 

For example, if you’ve been doing lots of radio, maybe it isn’t working. Now is the time to look at another promotional avenue, i.e. speaking engagements. Have you kept up with your speaking gigs? Find out what isn’t working, then cut it – Work on something else.

 

You should have a pretty good idea about your promotional progress. Put together a to-do list to help boost your campaign.

 

Staying “in the trenches” often means we don’t have a clear overview of the big picture and this causes us to work on items which aren’t very effective and neglecting things which could be huge.

 

Taking a step back for a minute gives us vital breathing room to regroup and re-energise ourselves.

 

Remember: You need to be in control of your marketing. Only you have the passion and determination to get your message across. Don’t leave it to someone else then wonder why nothing seems to work!

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How to Do Your Own Book Marketing

Building a base of people to market to is a goldmine for selling your book once you get published or even to get noticed by a publisher. If you bring value from the start, a big advance should follow. The key question is, how do I do it?

 

1. You already know people – Start with them first

 

I’m sure you have some form of list, in your email address book or a holiday card list. Whether it’s small (10-39) or large (300-500), send out an initial message letting everyone know that you plan on sending them regular notes, newsletters or whatever you’re planning to send. You need to give them the chance to opt-out if they aren’t interested. I’m sure most will stick around as they’re friends and family and interested in hearing what you’re up to.

 

2. When you meet someone new, add them to your list

 

If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to be out there and meeting new people at least once a month. Useful venues include networking events, writing classes and speaking engagements. If you’re a non-fiction author, you need to do speaking gigs. This will establish yourself as an expert in the field and allow you to get the attendees’ contact details to add them to your list.

 

Signing people up is important – just ask any successful author. E. Lynn Harris had a trick at his book signing events: He would sign your book if you signed his. Since they didn’t feel they were being directly marketed to (although they were!) they were happy to be on the list.

 

Remember: Before adding someone to your list, get their permission and let them know how often you will be mailing them. If they want to opt-out, let them.

 

3. Use a list management service

 

Your email account may not allow you to send mass-messages – but this depends on your email provider and your Internet service provider.

 

There are a number of online list management services which not only maintain the list itself but help you send out beautiful HTML formatted messages.

 

Most services provide a link which you can add to your web site and it adds the person to your list and keeps track of how people have signed up.

 

4. Send to your list regularly

 

Have a regular schedule to send to your list, this means they won’t forget about you.

 

Options include notes, cards, daily inspirational quotes, whatever: It’s up to you.

 

E-mail newsletters let you share news about you and any recent activities plus useful content for your readers (and potential book buyers).

 

Giving free tips, for example real estate deals, marketing ideas or cooking recipes, you’re showing your list that you’re an expert in your field. It’s also a good reason for staying on your list – they’re getting a lot out of it!

 

Remember to include your book details and any reviews it has received.

 

5. Create buzz from your list

 

Send out an email blast when your book is nearing publication. Let your readers know it’s coming!

 

This will generate pre-sales and you can share reviews as they come out. Don’t forget to send date and times of when you’re at an event.

 

Often people list their book on Amazon.com months before its actual publication date. Pre-orders generated from your list will boost it up the ranking: Bookstores will know you have an audience in buy mode and it looks great to have statistics.

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