Publishing Advice

Book Marketing Q&A with Kelsye – Free Online Event

book_marketing_Q&ADo you have questions about book marketing? Join me for a live, half-hour book marketing Q&A session.

Book Marketing Q&A

Wednesday 12/17 at noon PST. Hosted via G+ On Air broadcast.

Get immediate answers to your book marketing questions. Ask about free promotions, does paid advertising really work, selling on social media, or whatever you wish.

This event is free and will be recorded. 

RSVP Here

 


Kelsye_in_cafeAbout Kelsye: I’m an author, publishing consultant and Digital Publishing instructor at the University of Washington. I help authors across genres publish their books, including helping with launch strategy, interior layout, cover design, publishing on various platforms, marketing and author platform building. I have worked with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, Google Play, Blurb and many other publishing tools. I have publishing industry knowledge, publishing experience with emerging technologies, technical expertise, and business and teaching experience. Learn more here.

How K.M. Weiland’s Workbooks Might Just Save Your Writing Life

KMweilandDo yourself a favor. Get copies of K. M. Weiland’s new workbooks (Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel) and save yourself a lot of writing grief.

My first novel took me ten years to complete. I wrote vivid scenes and character musings until I had amassed a grand collection of literary excellence – also known as a vicious, confusing mess with no cohesive plot arc, obscure motivations and ice burg pacing. Ahem.

Unable to keep all those scenes organized in my head through magical willpower, I realized I had to make an outline, perhaps even write a synopsis. Plugging the work I had already completed into a new structure caused a great deal of stress and frustration. Not fun at all. However, If didn’t try an outline, all that heart-felt work would still be sitting in a sad stockpile of neglected word files instead of a nicely edited manuscript ready for my agent to send it its way. Better late than never.

My second time around, I implemented a tip I learned from Elizabeth George. I started with a three page synopsis, used that to craft an outline, then built the structure into Scrivener so that I simply needed to write my way through each scene card. World of difference. I wrote my second book in a MONTH. (Thank you NaNoWriMo.) My story arc is strong, my character motivations gut-wrenchingly clear and my plot wicked fast. I am now singing the outlining, structuring gospel!

Outlining Your Novel WorkbookSo,Structuring Your Novel Workbook imagine my delight this week when an email landed in my inbox from K. M. Weiland announcing her new novel outlining and structuring workbooks. She puts out an enormous amount of free writing and editing resources on her site Helping Writers Become Authors. For years, I’ve had her blogs bookmarked in my Feedly reader so I could scroll through her brilliant articles as I please and need.

K. M. Weiland has generously agreed to share an excerpt from her structuring novel with us. Yes, she’s one of those authors will share parts of her books for free while at the same time selling them to make a living. You can see why I like her.

So, for your writing pleasure and betterment, I present K. M. Weiland chapter on foreshadowing from Structuring Your Novel Workbook.


Excerpt From the Structuring Your Novel Workbook

Foreshadowing

 

The first quarter of the book is the place to compile all the necessary components of your story. Anton Chekhov’s famous comment that “if in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired” is just as important in reverse: if you’re going to have a character fire a gun later in the book, that gun should be introduced in the First Act. The story you create in the following acts can only be assembled from the parts you’ve shown readers in this First Act.

Foreshadowing comes in two varieties: heavy and light.

Heavy foreshadowing plants a solid clue of what’s to come later on. This kind of foreshadowing needs to happen early in the book. Your First Major Plot Point needs to be foreshadowed in your first chapter. Optimally, your Climax will also get a dab of foreshadowing early on. All the other major plot points need to be foreshadowed in the first half of the book—and preferably the first quarter.

Examples:

  • In the first chapter, Ender’s brutal, do-whatever-it-takes mentality in fighting off the school bully foreshadows his reactions to further bullies at the First Plot Point and Third Plot Point—and his final battle with the Formic aliens in the Climax. (Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)
  • The opening line stating, “Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that…. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate,” foreshadows Marley’s ghostly return at the First Plot Point. (A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)

Light foreshadowing is where you remind readers of the previous heavy foreshadowing. It happens just prior to the foreshadowed event itself. This foreshadowing will almost always be applied with a much lighter touch. A little tension or foreboding or a glimpse of a symbolic motif may be all you need to poke your readers wide awake and warn them that the something big they’ve been waiting for is about to happen.

Examples:

  • Ender’s clash with the bully Bonzo at the Third Plot Point is foreshadowed through tone, pacing, and the inevitable progression of Bonzo’s attitude throughout the story.
  • Just before Marley’s appearance, Scrooge sees Marley’s face in the door knocker.

Whether you plan your foreshadowing ahead of time, allow it to emerge organically as you write, or return to reinforce it during revisions, a solid understanding of story structure will help you plan it to its full advantage.

In the first column below, list all important characters, settings, activities, props, or events that will occur later in the story. In the second column, write ideas for foreshadowing these elements in the First Act. As you continue to fill out your structure, return to this section to note elements that should or can be foreshadowed in the first draft.


K.M. WeilandK.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

 

Three Things I Wish First Time Indie Authors Knew

first-time-indieI’ve been fortunate to work with many indie authors during the publishing of their first book. Self-publishing your first book is a thrilling, empowering process, but may also overwhelm or intimidate the unprepared. Once you’re through it the first time, you learn many valuable lessons that make the next one even easier.

Here are three things I wish first time indie authors knew about self-publishing.


 

Exact publication dates are very difficult to meet.

Publishing is a long and complex process. A great many opportunities for things to go wrong exist between all the editing, cover design and formatting that must be completely perfect before your book is live. Even if all goes well, you could hit the approve and publish button the night before your publication day only to find it will take 5 days for your book to actually appear on Amazon.

First time authors can get themselves in tricky situations when they pre-pay for advertising to run on launch day or make public promises about a specific day. This is easy to avoid.

Take a tip from startups, be very specific with yourself and your publishing team about your date. Manage the process tight to make sure everything stays on track. However, be more vague publicly. Instead of saying your book will be out “December 20th”, you can say it will be available “late December”. Small difference, but a huge impact on stress levels.


 

Your book will not sell thousands of copies simply because it’s on Amazon.

Do not tell me about the exceptions because you are not one of them.* Once you hit publish and post the link to your book on your Facebook page, your work is far from over. Your friends and family may buy 20 copies of the book, but then what?

In July of this year, there were over 30 million titles on Amazon (across all sites). Traditional publishers add another 300,000 new titles each year. On top of that, you must account for the legions of your self-publishing peers using Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. Your book desperately needs your direct help to stand out above the rest.

I encourage my author clients to ask themselves how many people did they reach today. Your “reach” is how many people heard about your book. Scale matters when it comes to sales. Facebook is a great start. If you build an author platform, that will increase your reach. You can purchase ads to increase your reach. You can look for reviews, blog appearances and media coverage to increase your reach. If you aren’t working to market your book, no one else is either. It’s up to you to get the word out. You can’t rely on your book’s mere existence on Amazon to bring you sales.

*If you are a celebrity, you are an exception as you already have a great reach and an audience that will buy your book. In fact, you should probably share this blog right now with your loyal followers. Thanks!


 

 A stranger will read your book and it will feel GOOD.

2012 survey of indie authors found that only half make more than $500 on their books. However, only 5% considered themselves unsuccessful. Even the most artistically, altruistically-driven among us agree that it would be very nice to earn money from our creative pursuits. However, turns out that we’re not all that upset if that doesn’t happen. Why is that?

Imagine you’ve come home late on a Monday evening from the job you tolerate to pay your bills. You log in to check your sales and find you’ve only sold three books this month. Crushing bummer. But then, what’s this? A new five-star review from someone named MaryGold12 from Toledo says the story in your heartfelt novel was not only deeply moving and cleverly captured in beautiful prose, but also gave her the courage she needed to tell her own story. You sit back as the warm glow of meaningful human connection triggers all your dopamine transmitters and floods your body with pleasing chemicals. The joy of making a real impact on another soul, or even of having your art recognized by one person, is a better high than all the red wine and shiny new things can bring you.

Indie publishing presents an excellent learning opportunity. You may have great fun and find the experience wholly satisfying. I hope that the first book you publish will not be your last. Onward!

If you need help building your author platform, I’m leading a course called Small Town Writer, Big World Audience on Gutsy Creatives. If you enter the discount code BLOGGISH you’ll get $25 off the cost of the full course. Click here to register.

You can even preview a sample lesson here!

Best of luck on your publishing journey!

Three Programs for Formatting an eBook

formatting_an_ebookPreparing to publish a book? While it’s handy-dandy that Amazon’s KDP program let’s you simply upload a word document to the site, the auto-formatting leaves much to be desired. To create a professional book, format it on your own before uploading to Amazon or any other platform.

Here are three tools for formatting an eBook that I have used and can personally recommend. These vary greatly in skill level with Vellum being the easiest and InDesign the most complex. Scrivener may be the most economical option, but InDesign is a most for design professionals.

All of the formatting software I recommend below offer free trial options. Test drive them all and let me know which you prefer for your publishing adventures!


vellum-pubcamp-badgeVellum

It’s true, I’m biased. I list Vellum first because the creators live near me and are wonderful, fabulous people who go out to writing events and support writers every way that they can. That aside, they also offer a tool to create the prettiest eBooks I’ve ever seen. I recommend Vellum for authors that do not want to spend a lot of time learning formatting software or tweaking their files to get them just right, yet still want books lovely enough to rival the top designers out there.

To use Vellum: Download the software for free. (For macs only.) Open your manuscript in Vellum and you’ll see it instantly organized into chapters. Auto-magical! Play with the settings and preferences to suit your taste. Export for iBooks, Nook or Kindle. You’re done!

Cost: Free software. Flat fee per book produced. Bulk discounts offered. They happen to be running a deal at the moment. Full pricing info here.


imgresScrivener

I have great, epic love for Scrivener because the organizing tools helped me transform my random collection of scenes and musings into an actual novel with plotting, story arcs and cohesion – oh my! However, Scrivener also offers robust eBook compiling features for just about every platform you can think of. I love the minute control and advanced features. The first few times I exported (“compiled”) my books in Scrivener, I had to do it again and again to get the final product just right. Now that I understand all the obscure settings, I only have to do it once. Sure, there is are plenty of tutorials that can help you avoid trial and error overkill if you’re into instructions and those kind of things. I recommend Scrivener for authors who need to export in a wide variety of formats and require detailed control.

To use Scrivener: Download the software. Compose your book in the program (WAY better than Word) or import your manuscript. Manually structure your book (they do offer some shortcuts). Compile for your desired eBook format using their vast array of options.

Cost: Buy the Software for $45. Export to your heart’s content at no extra cost. Try it out first with the free trial.

Tip: Run a google search for “Scrivener promo code” and you’ll almost always find a discount you can use to buy the software.


imgres-1Adobe InDesign

For years, I have used InDesign to create print interiors. However, new plugins make it possible to export eBooks directly from InDesign. I’m not as impressed with the export process and options compared to Scrivener, but the ease of exporting an eBook without having to rebuild the book in another program makes it my new favorite for eBook formatting. InDesign is a professional-level program. While I believe anyone with the desire may pick it up, don’t expect to sit down and figure it all out in an hour. I learned InDesign as a core part of my Graphic Design degree. However, there are wonderful tutorials on Lynda.com  and Udemy that can teach you all you need to know.

I recommend InDesign to authors with technical ability that also need a solution for laying out professional print interiors.

To use InDesign: Download the software. Install the eBook plugin. Build your book within the program. Export using the Kindle for InDesign plugin.

Cost: InDesign is included in Adobe’s Creative Cloud software bundles. Purchase a subscription to InDesign only for $9.99/month. Discounts offered to students and teachers. Create as many books as you please. Here’s a free trial to start.


While I have used the three programs above and may personally recommend them, there are more options out there. I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried Storyist, Ulysses, or Bookow and have an opinion to share.

Of course, if you don’t want to do this yourself, you can always hire a pro to do it for you on Writer.ly.


self_publish_your_book_webinarWant more guidance self-publishing your book? I’m running a new class starting January 2015 called Self-Publish Your Book in 30 Days. You’ll learn all the essentials in progressing from rough manuscript to published book. We cover choosing your platform, preparing your manuscript for editing, print and eBook formatting and book launch marketing.  View class details here.

Tips for Submitting Your Book Proposal

tip_for_submitting_book_proposalGuest post by Kerry Colburn and Jen Worick from The Business of Books. Originally published here.

In our experience, burgeoning authors spend a lot of time developing their manuscript. They may even create a strong book proposal that covers the business and creative aspects of their project. Then they freeze. They feel as if they make one misstep and don’t follow all the (often invisible) rules, their project will be dismissed, rejected.

We’re here to reassure you. If you’ve put together a solid proposal about a compelling concept with great writing, you will get serious consideration from an agent or publisher. Your book proposal won’t be kicked to the curb because you stapled it rather than used a binder clip.

Your submission packet should include your cover letter, your book proposal, and any additional materials (if applicable). And for additional tips, here’s a handy checklist to make sure you’ve crossed your “T”s and dotted your “I”s.

  • Include a footer on every page of your book proposal that includes your name and page number.
  • Staple or binder clip the pages together.
  • Use your best judgment when it comes to presentation (double-spaced, easy-to-read 12-point type is always a good way to go).
  • Spell check, proofread, be consistent in formatting (bullets, headlines), and enlist a second set of eyes to do a final read.
  • While it’s not necessary, you can use letterhead/heavier stock for your cover letter.
  • Be as specific as you can when addressing your packet. If you have a particular editor or agent to send your proposal to, great. If not, it’s fine; it will be reviewed by an appropriate person (it can be addressed to “Children’s Editor,” for example).
  • Do not give a publisher or agent more sample text than outlined in their submission guidelines. Giving them more than they ask for in terms of other components of the book proposal (marketing and competing titles, for example) is always okay.
  • Unless otherwise specified in the submission guidelines, send your proposal via snail mail and be patient regarding a response. If there is an e-mail posted, contact the publisher or agent when the allotted time has passed.

While it’s good to heed the differences of submission guidelines (length of sample text, for example), don’t freak out about over-customizing your book proposal. Most book proposals can go as-is to multiple publishers and literary agents, as long as you have a complete, robust presentation. What’s most important is whether the CONCEPT is the right fit for that publisher or agent.

 

Book Proposals: 7 Tips For Picking Great Sample Text

book-proposals-tipsGuest post by Kerry Colburn and Jen Worick from The Business of Books. Originally published here.

We’ve reviewed dozens of proposals and it’s always surprising to see what sample text our clients choose to include. Sometimes we’re happily surprised. But frequently, we find that the manuscript excerpt, while well-written, is off base for a compelling submission. Here, a few do’s and don’ts to consider when selecting sample text for your book proposal.

1. Do pick your most representative sample.
This is the most important thing to consider when selecting sample text. Your text should convey the tone and voice of your book, the pace, the information, etc. If you are writing a how-to book, include a chapter that covers all the types of projects or instruction that would be in the book. If you are writing a novel, pick a selection that captures the essence of the book. Don’t worry about giving away the climax; this is the chance to wow, and whatever part of your manuscript is going to do that is what you should use.

2. Do include examples of all your extra elements.
Along the lines of representative copy, think about all the various elements you envision in your book and include as many of them as possible. If you plan on having sidebars or charts, include at least one of them in your sample. If you plan on featuring your own photography, insert a sample (no originals, though) into your manuscript.

3. Don’t just include the beginning of your book.
Most writers gravitate toward including the first chapter or two of their book in their proposal. It’s usually the most polished and thought-out text. However, you may not be putting your best foot forward. If you are writing a novel, the first chapter might start out with a bang, but it can often include a lot of set-up and exposition that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter or the action. If you are pitching a romance, your excerpt better have some juicy bits. If you’re writing a travel memoir, there should probably be some travel going on.

4. Do use several excerpts, if it makes sense.
You don’t have to send complete chapters. If it makes sense to give a sampling of your book through several excerpts, go for it. If it’s a novel or memoir, set the scene with a few sentences to explain where each excerpt falls in the plot.

5. Do polish it. And polish it again.
You’ve probably looked at your manuscript a million times. That doesn’t mean that it’s perfect; in fact, it can mean that your eyes are glossing over typos at this point. Read your text over and over again. And enlist someone else you trust to read your proposal and sample text. Give them specific direction: do they understand the plot from the sample text? Do the instructions or recipes make sense? Do they have any questions after reading it?

6. Don’t get too attached to one piece of writing.
It may be the most lyrical, polished, gorgeous bit of prose you’ve ever written. But does it convey what the book is about, does it advance the plot? Step away from your manuscript and look at it with a critical eye, maybe even put yourself in the shoes of the acquiring editor. Ask yourself the hard questions and if this isn’t the sample that’s going to both impress and inform an inquiring editor, choose another excerpt.

7. Do read the publisher’s or agent’s submission guidelines.
We know it’s hard to choose just a few pages to include but be mindful of what an agent or publishing house asks for. If you send 50 pages when they’ve asked for 15, you’re in jeopardy of having your entire submission dismissed. Only send the amount of text requested.


 

score_a_book-deal-webinar Want to get your book published? Join Jen and Kerry’s upcoming class: How to Score a Book Deal.

You’ve got a book idea, but how do you get it out of your head—and onto the shelves? We’ll show you how to hone your idea, assess the competition, bulk up your author bio, choose the right sample text, strategically research publishers and agents, and develop a complete proposal, giving you all the tools you need to create a savvy, on-point submission.

Register here. (Tip: Use the code booksample for $49 off!)

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction: Less structure does not mean fewer hours

fictionvsnonfictionGuest post by Seattle-based mystery author Tom Kelly. Originally published here.

I’m often asked about the difference between fiction and non-fiction writing. Both require dedication and preparation, yet a different mindset.

Both also involve a ton of time. Less structure does not mean fewer hours.

Forty years in the newspaper business teaches you all about deadlines, importance of accurate facts and writing to a definite space. There are hours spent on developing sources, research and interviews. In my case, it led to books with major publishers (McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Dearborn-Kaplan).

The business did not encourage exploring a creative imagination or wondering what could be. Get it done, get it right, get it in the paper.

For example, I loved covering college football. I’d start the day by submitting a first half play-by-play from the press box, add the second half action, and then sprint the locker room for quotes. Returning to the press box, I’d file a game story, locker room sidebar and then sub both pieces for the next edition. Action happened in front of me. People spoke with me. I recorded both in a logical way and sent it to the newsroom.

When I began focusing on fiction, nothing happened in front of me at a specific time that I needed to document and record. There was no finite space to fill. Much of my research became remembering the thoughts and emotions, smells and colors of places I’d been. Observations and reflections needed to be stowed in a memory bank or an entirely different kind of notebook. Sure, facts needed to be checked and dates confirmed, but there was no library to visit to find what could be.

What I underestimated was the time and discipline required to enhance personal imagination. What are the variety of things possible? The results proved to be more rewarding—and the preparation more time consuming. Fiction may be more casual, but it’s not easier.


 

smallcoverTom’s debut mystery novel Cold Crossover is free today on Amazon. Get it here!

Cold Crossover is a riveting mystery based on the drama of small-town high school basketball, complete with the missed shot no local will ever forget. Along the way, Tom Kelly takes the reader from the Northwest’s wild frontier days to its equally crazy present as a real-estate mecca. Kelly weaves the ferries, crabbers, and timber-men of his region into a timeless and page-turning tale.”
Jim Ragsdale, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

Who’s on YOUR Publishing Wish List? Picking the Right Publisher

picking-the-right-publisherGuest post by Kerry Colburn and Jen Worick from The Business of Books. Originally published here.

When you are developing your manuscript and your book proposal, start developing your wish list, those dream publishers or agents with whom you’d love to sign. As you peruse the shelves or search competitive titles online, pay particular notice to who’s publishing each title. Notice if certain publishers keep coming up again and again, which might indicate that they publish regularly into that category or genre. For instance, if you are researching spiritual books, you might find that Hay House or Thomas Nelson crop up again and again. Write them down; they might be the first publishing houses you add to your wish list.

Now, the fun part. Investigate those publishers! Hop online and look at each publisher individually. Note what books they are promoting on their home page, and then search by genre. See if they offer a mission statement or an explanation of their different imprints. Do you like what you see? Will your book feel at home here? This is an easy exercise that you can do in your pajamas or while watching TV.

If you think the publisher may be a good fit for your book, check out their Submission Guidelines. Virtually all publishers offer them online. Here, you’ll find out if they take unsolicited proposals or if you’ll need to work with an agent. They may also indicate how to send the proposal (e-mail vs. snail mail), how many pages it can be, response time, and other pertinent details.

Some other fun ways to compile your publishing wish list:

  • Look through your own bookshelf and make a list of the publishers of your favorite books. Jot down any names that may be on the acknowledgements pages.
  • Write down the sections of the bookstore where your book idea could possibly live, aside from the obvious.
  • Make a separate wish list of the qualities you’d like in your publisher (lots of hands-on interaction with editor, big book advance, prestige, etc.). Now rank them in order of importance. When looking over your list, take into account these priorities.

masterclass square Did you know that building your author platform in advance can GREATLY improve the possibility of a publisher taking you on? Get expert help growing your audience with the masterclass. Class details here.

Masterclass Registration

Free Day Book Promotion Checklist

free-day-book-promotion-checklilstA limited-time “free” promotion of an ebook is an effective way for authors to build awareness, grow their audience, earn online reviews and climb bestseller charts. Often, a free day will positively impact actual sales in the weeks following the promotion. If an author can promote a second book at the end of the free book, sales may increase dramatically. This promotion works for authors who have pricing control of their books. If you are traditionally published, you must work with a publisher to make this happen. This page contains a sample promotion process flow for a free day promotion.

Download a PDF version of the Free Day Book Promotion Checklist here.


One Month Prior to Promotion Day

Schedule free day advertisements

  • BookBub (MOST impactful. If they reject your book, tweak and try again.)
  • Kindle Books and Tips
  • Blogads.com
  • Digital Book Today
  • FreeBooksy
  • Free Books Daily

The channels above are ones I have used and can personally recommend. You may view a sampling of other options here: Book Advertising Channels Spreadsheet

Update your ebook file to include a conversion page after last page of story

Ideally, this would be a teaser for your next book with a lick to click and buy right then. If you don’t have another book out yet, the teaser could be an offering for a free short story or non-fiction article. This should click-through to a page where readers must first enter their email address before downloading the free content.

Schedule your free day (or days) on your Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard

If you are a member of KDP Select, this is remarkably easy. If a publisher controls your book rights, or if you publish your ebook on other platforms that make you ineligible for KDP select, you will have to contact your publisher or research solutions to figure out how to offer a free download day.

Prime your platform

Keep building your audience! Use your best practices to grow your social media accounts, collect email addresses, publish quality content and engage with your audience.

Partner with bloggers and authors

Reach out to other bloggers and authors to coordinate reviews and promotions to go live the day of your free day promotion. You may use a blog tour service to organize much of this for a fee.

Store up community karma

Join online communities on various platforms and offer purely help content that doesn’t self-promote in any way. Retweet and re-post other author’s promotions and reviews. Give, give, give so that when it’s time to make your ask, folks are ready.


One Week Before Promotion Day

Confirm scheduled advertisements

Sign up for Amazon Associates and create an affiliate link to your book

Use this link in all of your promotion posts and messages. You might be surprised by how much you can earn in affiliate sales when your readers add a couple for things to their cart when shopping on Amazon.

Send content in advance to bloggers and authors to post

The most compelling content is not that which screams “DOWNLOAD MY FREE BOOK”. Clever content marketers offer a more subtle approach. Provide incredibly compelling content your readership would love and then end with a note about your free day promotion and easy link to click. For example, if you are publishing a historical fiction novel set in New Orleans, you could offer a post about “Most Notorious Bars in the French Quarter.” If you are publishing a memoir about your solo hike along the Appalachian Trail, you could offer a post about “Five Things I Learned About Love After Three Months Alone in The Wild”. Tangential, yet relevant content will get you the most clicks.

Prepare your graphics and promotion posts

You’re going to be busy posting and sharing on promotion day. Make it easy on yourself by creating content ahead of time you can copy and paste.

Create an email to send to your general list

Create an email to send to your friends and family list

Make this one a little more personal and include social media posts they can easily copy and paste on their own networks to help you out.

Keep building your social media karma


Promotion Day – Hooray!

Post immediately on your personal networks.

Include a request to pass the news on. They’re your friends and followers for a reason. They love you. They want to know about your promotion and many will help spread it around. Get that ball rolling right away. Tip: Remember to use your Amazon Associate link to collect affiliate fees!

Schedule addition posts throughout the day.

At least three on twitter and one on each of your other networks. Make sure you schedule enough “give” content to balance out. Sick to a ratio of at least three “give” posts to every self promotion post. One twitter, use hashtags such as: #freeebook, #ebook, #kindle, #bookpromo, #amreading, #free, #freekindle, #indiepub, #selfpub, #amwriting

Send out email blast to general list and friends and family

Add “free” to your book tag on Amazon.

Pin a picture of your lovely book cover on Pinterest with a message and link to the download.

Post your book link on the kboard free book link thread.

First time on kboard? You’re in for a treat! However, get in and get out quick today. You have a book to promote!

Post in book promotion groups on Facebook and Google+

Many of these are linked in this very helpful article: 10 Last-Minute Free Book Day Promotions


Would you like this in a printable form? Click here to download a PDF of the Free Day Book Promotion Checklist.

Author_PlatformStill want more help? This worksheet was featured as one of the lessons in my class How To Build Your Author Platform in 30 Days.  If you are just starting out as an author and have no idea where to begin, this program will walk through the steps you need to take to establish your author platform. If you have already started building your author platform and establishing your identity as a professional author, you will learn how to grow your audience, optimize your platform to reach readers, and craft strategies to help you meet your publishing goals. You can purchase the on-demand version of this class here.

Two-part webinar series: Score a Book Deal

score_a_book-deal-webinarI am so pleased to announce a new webinar series to my publishing class line up…

How to Score a Book Deal: Tips and Tools from the Publishing Pros

With this one-two punch from industry insiders Jen Worick and Kerry Colburn of The Business of Books, you’ll be ready to land a traditional publishing contract no matter your genre.

All classes are pre-recorded. You’ll be able to move along at your own pace, plus ask the instructors questions via email.

Webinar One: Prepare to Get Published

You’ve got a book idea, but how do you get it out of your head—and onto the shelves? We’ll show you how to hone your idea, assess the competition, bulk up your author bio, choose the right sample text, strategically research publishers and agents, and develop a complete proposal, giving you all the tools you need to create a savvy, on-point submission.

Webinar Two: Learn What Every Publisher Wants You to Know

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall during acquisitions meetings with publishers and agents, so you could find out what they really want—and don’t want? We’ll cover the proposal components that are most crucial to landing a publishing deal, rookie mistakes to avoid during the submission process, the aspects of an author platform that matter most, and how to fine-tune your proposal to address today’s publishing climate.

The registration for the series is $249.

Class details and registration.


Jen&KerryJennifer Worick and Kerry Colburn are the dynamic duo behind The Business of Books (www.bizofbooks.com), a successful publishing consulting company based in Seattle. With nearly forty years of publishing experience and forty published books between them, they are in the unique position of having been “on both sides of the desk”— as both acquisitions editors and as authors.

Kerry is the former executive editor of Chronicle Books and the author of a variety of titles, including How to Have Your Second Child First, Good Drinks for Bad Days,and Mama’s Big Book of Little Lifesavers.

Jennifer, previously editorial director of Running Press, has co-authored or written more than 25 books, including Things I Want to Punch in the Face and the New York Timesbest-selling Worst Case Scenario Handbook: Dating and Sex. During their publishing careers, they have reviewed countless proposals and shepherded many successful titles to market.

Any questions? Please feel free to contact the class host, Kelsye Nelson, anytime. Ready to register? Just click here.