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Monthly Archives: October 2019

What is a Cover Information Sheet?

What Is A Cover Information Sheet?

Every reader has had a book cover catch their eye from the shelves of a bookstore, or even from a long list of Amazon search results. Sometimes all it takes is one glance. But how do you go from twinkle in your eye idea to reader grabbing cover design? Tim McConnehey, founder of Izzard Ink explains how the cover information sheet is central to taking your concept to completed commission.

What is a Cover Information Sheet?

Tim McConnehey founder of Izzard Ink

There’s something magical about seeing your cover design for the first time. But I’m sure some of you are left wondering how it happened? What goes on behind the scenes to create those covers at major publishing houses? And how can independent authors align their design process with the major publishers?

Would you be surprised to learn that most of it comes down to research?

A book cover is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign. It is also a key opportunity for an author to showcase that they’ve given the same level of care to every detail in the publishing process, produced a quality book, earned praise from trusted reviewers, and at a glance, to stand out from the millions of books already on the market.

So how should authors and publishers accomplish those goals? What separates a top-notch design process from the do-it-yourself approach? What separates a general designer from a cover designer with bestseller experience, who could cost thousands? It is the research. A winning cover should be designed in the context of not only the author’s ideas, but the rest of the book’s marketing plan. That’s where a cover information sheet comes in.

The Cover Information Sheet

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One Thing Authors Can Do to Set Up a Successful Book Launch

I know the entire book marketing process can feel overwhelming and oftentimes confusing – especially when it comes to launching your book.

And with the avalanche of opinions coming your way, I know it can be hard to narrow things down as you try to focus on how to best set up your launch.

In my experience, there is one strategy that I encourage every author to use when getting ready to launch their book. That is creating a pre-order incentive, which is a limited time, exclusive gift that an author offers readers for pre-ordering their book ahead of its release.

Offering a compelling pre-order incentive can help you in several ways:

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Selling to Non-Bookstore Retailers

non-bookstore retailers

Creating a distribution channel through non-bookstore retailers is a good way to start your special-sales efforts because it is much like selling through bookstores.

There are many non-bookstore brick-and-mortar retailers through which you can sell your books. These include airport stores, supermarkets, gift shops, and discount stores. Your current distributor may already be selling to them, so check with them before pursuing retailers on your own.

Otherwise, creating a retail-distribution channel is a good way to start your special-sales efforts because it is much like selling through bookstores. You work through distribution partners, the discount structure is similar, and books are displayed on shelves. Fiction usually outsells nonfiction in the retail setting.

On the other hand, unsold books are returned, so you eat the cost, and you are paid in 90-120 days. Here are some things you can do to profit from selling through these retailers.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Holiday Book Sales

holiday book sales

Ready to get your book sales cranking this holiday? Your book cover, storefront, metadata, and marketing plan should all work together to make your holidays bright.

It’s time to shape up your books for the upcoming holiday season. We’re going to be ho-ho-ho-ing before you know it, and I’ve got four ideas to help you take full advantage of your sales opportunities.

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How to Launch a Book with More Pre-Orders

Reading Time: 4 minutesKnowing how to launch a book the right way is something every author is looking to figure out, even those of us who have a solid backlist of titles because the market changes, industries change, news and popular culture play an important role, and what works in marketing and promotion definitely changes.

So I want authors to know that there isn’t always going to be one secret to success every single time, but I’m dedicated to sharing strategies that I’ve tested and that have worked well for me and the authors I collaborate with.

The Latest Trick for How to Launch a Book

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Authors: Give A Purpose To Your Writing & Marketing

They say content is king but context is everything.

Putting out lots of rich content – for sale or branding – is fine.  We post on social media and give content away in the hopes it will lead to book sales, more followers or a favor that we can trade in.  Content is currency.  Words are money.  But none of it means anything without context.

Okay, here’s what I’m talking about.  Anything that you write and share with others should have a purpose.  You write a book to sell a product.  You post on Facebook to get people to go to your site to buy the book.  You share on Twitter to get more followers.  And on and on.  You are always generating a collection of words and images with a purpose.

Give everting you do a proper context.  Show how your messages, views and persona are interlocked.  Everything supports something in this media ecosystem. A tweet is not just a tweet.  It’s a piece of your brand and a chance to connect with others and to influence others to take one or more action steps.

At times this seems like a sport or giant game.  We craft a blog post. Then we share it through our social media channels.  Then we respond to people who react to us, creating responses from them. Our footprints all over the Internet, spanning texts, emails, tweets, blogs, FB posts, videos, books, and media appearances.  But it should all be a cohesive, purposeful platform that you  push out there.  It should be one, unified message.

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How to Convert Book Readers into Email Subscribers

Image: hand offering a small cupcake

Photo on Visualhunt

Today’s guest post is by Dave Chesson (@DaveChesson) of Kindlepreneur.

Obtaining readers for your book is hard enough. It takes intentional marketing strategies, review management, and other techniques to build an audience. But how do you take a stranger who bought your book on Amazon or received a copy from a friend and get that person on an email list where you can stay in touch with them?

This is a question that plagues all writers, but one proven way to do this is through reader magnets.

What’s a Reader Magnet?

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How to Effectively Use Live Video (Even If You Fear the Camera) to Reach Readers

Today’s guest post is an excerpt from The Bestselling Author by Amy Collins, Daniel Hall and John Rhodes, partners in Best Seller Builders(@NewShelvesBooks).

I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you have within 6 feet of you right now either a smartphone or a tablet with the capability of broadcasting video (also known as livestreaming). Not only that, but chances are very good that also installed on your device is an app like Facebook, YouTube, or some other platform that would allow you to livestream.

And even if you don’t have a device, I’d wager that you own some sort of laptop or computer with a built-in webcam and microphone, which you can use to broadcast live video. The problem is, even though most of the world has this technology, very few use it and an even smaller percentage of people will use it to build their business— their platform.

But doing live video broadcasts are an effective way to engage with your target demographic, get them to know and like you, become your fan, and eventually buy from you. As I write this, the big players in broadcasting live video are the aforementioned Facebook and YouTube. However, by the time you read this that may well have changed. Platforms come and go. That is why I am somewhat platform agnostic because I know that there will be a platform where you can broadcast and where a large segment of your target demographic hangs out.

Before we go further, I want to address the topic of fear of appearing on camera. Actually, fear is quite natural, but here’s the thing: Like everything else, you’ll get better by doing it. And people watching are not expecting broadcast television quality. The fact is, if you’re real and not slick you are much more relatable.

Also, keep in mind that if you do a livestream and mess up royally that you can always end the broadcast and delete the video. So really there is very little risk and you are in control.

But the reason you want to livestream is to give people in your audience a chance to fall in love with you and your message. So honestly, if you approach doing live video from the standpoint of being of service to your audience, they will see it and appreciate it regardless if the presentation has a few warts.

Be that as it may, it is still a good idea to prepare for and have a plan for each of your broadcasts.

Preparing to Livestream

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How to Improve Your Amazon Book Descriptions

Photo credit: tiny_tear on / CC BY-NC-SA

Today’s guest post is an excerpt from How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Updated Edition by Penny Sansevieri (@Bookgal).

Whether we’re talking about Amazon, or any other online retailer, book descriptions are more important than most authors realize. Too many times I see blocks of text pulled from the back of the book. In theory, it’s not the worst idea. However, it may not be the greatest idea if your book description isn’t strong to begin with, or if the book details are just slapped up on Amazon without any attention to spacing, bulleting, short paragraphs, and bold face.

We’ll discuss some ideas about book descriptions specifically, and then how to enhance your own book description for maximum effectiveness on Amazon.

Is Your Book Description Memorable Even If Scanned?

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How To Find A Book Distributor

What You Need To Look For In A Distributor

·         Are they reputable and well-established?
·         Offers fair terms for sales, warehousing, and shipping costs.
·         Has a decent track record for selling similar books in your genre.

·         Will represent one-book authors and not just small publishers of several titles.

When you work with a distributor, follow their timeline of when they plan to launch the sale of your book. They may need several months to get your  book in their system and to allow time for their sales reps to pre-sell it. Many distributors have various fee-based marketing programs, where they will charge you for any number of services, including telemarketing stores, mailing galleys to stores, advertising, or scheduling book signings. They will do other things for free, such as include you in their catalog, create a sales sheet for their sales reps, or list you in various databases and online commerce sites, such as
If you are published by a traditional publisher, your success will depend, in part, on how big the publisher is and how active they will be in marketing your book. University presses and small publishers have very limited budgets to promote, so don’t assume they will do much for you. Mid-size and larger publishers may do some basic things for you, such as sending out a few dozen advance copies to select reviewers. If you are lucky and your title is seen as one the publisher wants to support they may assign an in-house publicist to work on your book for six to eight weeks — along with a zillion other titles.