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We Want Your Pet Stories! Official Story Call-Out

January 18, 2021- We’re looking for YOUR pet stories! We’re doing another collaborative book with authors who want to tell us how their pet has made a difference in their life. This book will come out in July/August 2021 and the proceeds will be donated to animals in need. All you have to do to participate is:

  1. Write your story. Please keep it to 1200 words or less.
  2. Send it to pandapublishing8@gmail.com and in the subject line write Pet Story Submission.
  3.  We will contact you to let you know if your story has been chosen.

You will receive a free copy of the book, with the opportunity to purchase additional copies at a discounted rate, and the proceeds will be donated to animals in need. Here’s your chance to become a published author and see your name in print! Submissions will be closed on June 1st. 

Possible topics include: 

-Service/guide animals
-Fostering animals
-How your pet has made a difference in your life
-Therapy animals
-Animal Heroes
-A funny story about your pet (make us laugh out loud!)
-A heartwarming story about your pet
-The joy your pet brings you
-Pet Bereavement and keeping their memory/signs from above that they still watch over us
-Quirky personality traits or habits that your pet has

All pets are welcome! Tell us your story, we can’t wait to read it.

 

 

 

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What Makes a Great Book

January 18, 2021-You can’t have a best seller if you don’t have a great book. I know, I know, there are people yelling at their laptops right now saying, “What about 50 Shades of Grey?” “What about Twilight?” It’s hard to tell what readers will like, but here are a few tips. There is one thing that is a common thread throughout that makes a great story no matter the genre; get the readers to invest in the characters, make the reader care about the character and what happens to them.

What makes a great children’s book?  Children’s books should be colourful, fun, and have a great story with larger than life characters. The illustrations should help tell the story and should also be representative of what real children look like. Different abilities, ethnicities, sizes, traits, and characteristics should be present. Kids can’t bee what they can’t see! Have a theme/message, but be careful not to come across as preachy. It’s not your job as an author to preach to kids, it’s their parent’s responsibility. The cover art should be eye catching and include an excellent title. Alliteration is great for kid’s book titles, but rhyming prose is a no-no unless it’s perfection (which is extremely rare and hard to do).

What makes a great novel? The recipe for a great novel, no matter the genre, is like baking a cake; your recipe should include a few characters (3-4) that are flawed and go through multiple challenges, a climax with a ton of action, and a sprinkling of mystery and romance. Please remember to resolve all conflict by the end of your book and wrap up all loose ends with a bow. By the end of your book, the reader should have all their questions answered!

What makes a great YA novel? Young adult novels are in a league of their own. They’re usually written with readers ages 12-18 in mind. The older reader appreciates more mature themes, but themes that are real and relatable are best for all readers. Things to include are veritable issues that young adults are experiencing such as family matters, divorce, blended families, body changes and challenges, bullying, school  dynamics, and finding themselves. It’s important to write about these things in this genre because it allows the reader to know that they are not alone. Interestingly enough, a lot of adults read and enjoy YA novels.

Whatever you’re writing, ensure that you’re doing the best for your readers. Give them what they want and you’ll no doubt have a best-seller on your hands! To join our Best Seller Bootcamp, click here for more info: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/

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Publisher vs. Author Role

January 15, 2021– We are officially half-way through our Best-Seller Bootcamp!  Today we’ll be talking about the Publisher vs. Author role when it comes to marketing a best seller. For my self-published friends, guess what? You’re both! You are the Publisher AND Author, so you especially will get a lot from this post. The publishing industry has changed in the fact the publisher is no longer solely responsible for the marketing of your book. The author and publisher together are responsible for collaborative efforts to get the book to the top of the best-seller list! So let’s break it down to see what the expectations are; that way we find clarity, and there are no miscommunications between either party.

Publishers are responsible for: 

  1. Formatting, publishing, editing, and designing your book. We know what’s saleable and we know what the market is looking for in terms of genre, look, voice, and story. We work with teams of people to bring your book to the marketplace and to put it into the hands of readers.
  2. Marketing materials/digital advertising. Signage, postcards, brochures, business cards, press releases, and displays. We craft the messages and deliver the materials to publicists, the media, book sellers, our social media, and to the public. We create specific, targeted marketing plans for our individual authors and their works and then we execute those plans.
  3. Book signings/ events. The publisher is responsible for booking events and signings on your behalf. We make sure that you’re in the spaces that you need to be such as book stores, community events, digital events, and special events such as Comicon etc. We pay for you to be there to chat with your readers and sell copies of your books.
  4. Getting your book into distribution channels. Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Booksellers, independent and local bookstores, online stores, and different countries around the world are where we send your books! As publishers, we work hard to ensure that your book gets exposure by being available to readers everywhere and in as many places as possible.
  5. Digital copies. We ensure that your work is formatted as an e-book so that readers can enjoy it as a digital download. We don’t want any barriers to getting your book to the masses.
  6. Sales. We are responsible for sales (not solely) and royalty payments to the author. Why in the world would we put in all the work above and behind the scenes if we didn’t care about sales? Publishing is a business!

Author responsibilities: 

  1. Writing and edits. Write a great book, this is just the *beginning*of your job as an author. Once you’ve written the book, the real work begins. The editor will make notes and suggested corrections and you are required to fulfil them.
  2. Social media. You are responsible for your author platform. You need to be engaging with your audience, you need to be consistently posting your work and behind the scenes stuff that your readers care about. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon author page etc. are all places to start if you already haven’t. Your author platform should be built BEFORE your book hits the shelves.
  3. Availability. You need to let your publisher know your schedule so that you can be available for upcoming events including in-person and virtual. Commit to doing your part in making your book as successful as it can be. If you put in the work and do it consistently, your book will be a huge success.
  4. Code of conduct. You represent your publisher and are a DIRECT representative of the company. We do not tolerate racism, hate speech, inequality, or anything else that is a violation of the way that we interact with our readers and the public. We expect you to treat others the way you want to be treated and to treat them with kindness, respect, and authenticity. Don’t be rude, check your attitude at the door, and realize that you have an opportunity that most people never get.
  5. Sales. Yep, you read that right. You’re responsible for part of your sales. You are not the only author that the publisher is responsible for, so you had better get to work. If you want that nice, juicy royalty cheque, then take initiative by helping sell your work. You do this by all of the things listed above and by having the right work ethic and attitude. You can tell by your royalty cheque each month how much effort you’re putting in. Don’t like the numbers? Then put the work in and they’ll start to change.

If you’re leaving it up to your publisher to do the work that you need to be doing, you need to re-evaluate your role and contemplate if you should even be writing at all. If you decide that your work ends when you finish writing the book, you will be sadly disappointed. Your publisher has published your book, completed the behind the scenes things such as metadata, marketing, online events, press releases and more, but now the public wants to meet YOU. Have you ever looked at the inside of the book for the publisher name? Probably not. Why? Because we don’t matter, the author matters and the illustrator/graphic designer. The AUTHOR is who people want to meet.

Don’t disappoint your publisher either by doing a half-assed job on your part. Pull your weight, do the things that you’re responsible for because if you don’t, why should we invest SO much time, energy and MONEY into someone who doesn’t care. Plus, if you let us know that you’re not willing to put the work in and do your part, or if you flake out on commitments, or make excuses for not doing your share,  we probably (me ESPECIALLY) won’t invest another CENT into publishing your work or any future works. If you’re not committed, why should we be? That’s the hard truth and I’m not the only publisher who abides by this code of conduct. You want to be a professional author? Then act like it. If you show me that you don’t care, I’ll double down. Those are the rules if you want to play on my team. And if you think that’s harsh, find another publisher, because I won’t lower my standards. DO. YOUR. JOB. because I always do mine.

We want you to succeed! We want you to be a best-seller, but if you don’t do your part, it won’t happen. It’s a lot of work, but worth it! Check out our Best-Seller Bootcamp here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/

 

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A Special Greeting!

January 15, 2021-Today we have our very own Paul A. Moscarella joining us with a personalized greeting for our Pandamonium Publishing House International Book Club! This month we are reading his debut novel, Machinia. Join us every Friday morning at 11 am on Facebook Live as we chat about his new science fiction book. http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/machinia

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Press Here

January 14, 2021-Press releases and publicity are keys to becoming a best selling author. If people don’t know who you are or what you do, how can they find you and your work? I know I’ve said this a hundred times over the course of this program, but it cannot be understated! Press releases are just another tool in your arsenal that can help build your Best Seller status.

A press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement. Here’s some math to keep in mind when sending out your press releases: For every 100 press releases sent out you’ll have 1 person interested in what you have to say. That’s 100:1 ratio. To some, this may seem like a numbers game, but where the fortune lies, is in the follow-up.  Press releases need to be well crafted in order to properly get your message across and there should always be a call to action. Your press release should include:

  1. Headline. This should grab the media’s attention and give a brief overview of why the following story is newsworthy. It’s especially helpful if you can link your press release to current events.
  2. Contact info. Your name, phone number, email, where your books can be purchased.
  3. Dateline. Not the epic tv show, but the release date of your book, the city, and province/state. It’s essential for the media to know that they’re getting the most current info.
  4. Intro paragraph. Answer the 5 W’s. Start with the most important things first! Who, What, Where, When, Why.
  5. Body. In this section, include all the important info about your book; you can include an excerpt, reviews, and the back cover information. Why should anyone read your book? This is where you sell your work to the reader!
  6. The cover. Include the front cover of your book so that it’s a visual reminder for the person reading your release. Also include your website, and a call to action (where to purchase, where to get additional details).

The point is to keep your press release clean, simple, informative, and interesting. Your press release should entice the reader to take action. Remember to follow up on every press release you send out!

To get more information about press releases and our Best Seller Bootcamp, click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

 

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The Guerilla in the Room

January 13, 2021-As we continue our Best Seller Bootcamp this month, we’ll focus on a number of topics. Today we’ll be chatting about Guerilla Marketing and what it is, how to use it, and why it matters to your best-seller success.

What it is: Guerilla Marketing is defined as innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product. So, if that’s the definition, how do we use this as authors to promote our books? And to top it off, there is so much noise online right now, how do we cut through it so that our stuff gets noticed?

How to use it: Imagination is more important than budget. The purpose of Guerilla Marketing is to generate buzz-worthy word-of-mouth that is repeatable. You want to get people talking about your book. A word to the wise, ensure that your message is clear because mysterious, muddled messages will get people talking about the wrong thing. Some great examples of Guerilla marketing for authors include things like:

  1. Dress up as a character from your book and hand out samples, press releases, and promotional items that are clearly branded with the cover of your work and where people can find your books!
  2. Think outside the bookstore. Years ago, when Neal Pollack released his first book, “The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature,” he did a reading in the bathroom of a train station; 15 people showed up to the reading, but the story of an author doing a reading in a bathroom went viral and helped sell more books.
  3. Make it fun and interactive. If your book is a mystery or a middle-grade adventure novel, why not create something fun like a treasure hunt in different parts of your city! Get people to send in photos of the treasures you’ve hidden in order to be entered into a draw for a grand prize.

Why it matters: 

  1. It gets people talking. Your biggest problem as an author right now is people not knowing who you are. Guerilla marketing tactics, when deployed correctly, get people talking about you and your books.  And most importantly, they’ll tell others!
  2. It builds your brand. You, and everything you do, are part of your brand. Guerilla marketing allows you to connect with your readers and audience in a meaningful way. ONLY when people like you and trust you, they’ll buy from you. If you create your Guerilla marketing campaign with your readers in mind, you’ll make an unforgettable impression.

Take a chance on Guerilla marketing, you’ll be glad you did! And for more in-depth info on this subject, please click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Newsflash

January 12, 2020– This month as we focus on Best Seller Bootcamp, we’re talking about all of the moving parts that contribute to the success of becoming best-sellers. I’ve personally used each one of these tools over the years because they work! Today we’ll be talking about newsletters, how they help sell your book and what they should include. For the full, in-depth plan included in our course, visit: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

Let’s start with the basics:  A newsletter is a piece of consistent, digital media that helps keep our readers up to date. It should be informative and entertaining, but what else should it include?

  1. New releases. Your newsletter should include any new releases and their complementary titles. For example, If you liked Obsessed with Her, you should read the prequel Becoming James Cass. This allows your readers to stay in the loop with other books they may enjoy.
  2. Updates.  What are you working on? What books are coming next? Will you be attending any events? Can you post a digital schedule of your events? Perhaps you could share a progress report with your readers or a new character sketch?
  3. Excerpts. Put in a sample of your book, a teaser, something to give your readers a taste of your work. Don’t make it too long, and remember to start where the action is.
  4. Your social media handles. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your website, YouTube Channel, and everywhere else your readers and potential readers can find you.
  5. Links to your work. Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, your webstore, independent bookstores, and wherever else your books are available.
  6. Interesting information. Little known facts about your books or links to current news stories that talk about things relative to what’s going on in your book eg. New tech updates, political stances, new developments etc.

The most important thing you should provide your readers through your newsletter is value. Whether it’s sharing author tips, how to’s, or new tech gadgets that make your writing life easier, valuable information is what your readers want!

To subscribe to our newsletter, send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com and we’ll happily add you to our list. In the meantime, check out our Best-Seller Bootcamp here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Technology Helps Grow Your Brand

January 11, 2020– A few days ago we spoke about the importance of author platform and how it connects us with our audience. As an author, you are essentially a brand; how you dress, speak, engage with your readers, the way your website looks, how your table is set up for shows, your social media posts and presence, etc. are all tiny pieces that fit together to make up your author brand. Just a reminder that you cannot become a best-selling author if you don’t have an audience!

Long ago, before the internet, we only had a certain amount of reach. If you wanted to promote your books, you hopped into some mode of transportation with a briefcase full of books and went from town to town talking about your newest novel. Perhaps you scheduled some library talks, some school visits, and maybe a local writers group chapter. There were only so many hours in a day. But, with the advancement of technology, bringing your books and brand to readers en masse, is no longer an exhausting feat.

So, if we are a brand, how do we get more customers? The more people can connect with us and our books, the more likely they are to purchase from us. Here are some great ways to get your global audience excited and spread the word about your work around the world!

  1. Virtual visits. With the global pandemic happening right now, thank goodness for technology that keeps us in touch with friends and family. But why not use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facetime to connect with classrooms and boardrooms? I’ve used Zoom to read my books to kids in classrooms and answer their questions (virtual author visits), and I’ve used it to run marketing lectures for entrepreneurs and business folks. Virtual visits get your face out there and let people know who you are and what you do. Last year I did a Virtual Author Visit for a grade 1 class located in London, England and a lecture on Metadata for Self-Published Authors for a writer’s group in Florida.
  2. Facebook Live. Every Friday at 11 am, we have Pandamonium Publishing House International Book Club. In this weekly session, we discuss the book of the month that we’re reading. We talk about characters, themes, and take questions from readers. Facebook also lets you connect your online store to your author business page making it easy for readers to find what they’re looking for! Facebook Live is a wonderful tool to spread the word about your books because it lets you interact with readers in real-time.
  3. YouTube. Record excerpts from your book, respond to comments on previous videos, teach a class, run a tutorial on how to do something, put up trailers for your latest books, etc. YouTube is a great tool to help you get in front of readers and share your skills.
  4. Instagram Live. IGTV is Instagram Television where you can do live videos. It’s similar to Facebook Live as it lets you interact with participants in real-time. Do a raffle or draw,  quiz readers on characters based on your book, read an excerpt of your work, host a contest, hold a weekly chat or book club. The possibilities are endless.

The list goes on, but in short, the more places readers can find you and interact with you, the better! Think globally!

To join our Best Seller Bootcamp, where we explore topics like this in-depth, click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House