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When Am I Ready?

March 4, 2021- Today’s question from an author is something that I get asked a lot. Follow us all this month as I dig into reader’s questions and answer them from the perspective of fellow author and publisher. You can send us your questions to pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Let’s dig in!

Q:“I’ve always wanted to write a mystery novel because I love to read them! But I don’t think that I’ve got what it takes yet. There’s still a ton I need to do before I could ever think of sitting down to write my own book. When will I know when I’m ready?”

A: Thanks for your question. When would be a good time to write your mystery novel? Now. Now. Now. Do it, get started, who cares if you don’t have all the details or your ducks in a row, get going! Let me ask you this, have you always been an expert in everything you’ve ever tried to do? What about the first time you learned to ride a bike? Did you pick it up instantly and flawlessly? Probably not. But you tried, and practiced, and fell off, and got back on, until eventually, you were successful! You didn’t know the mechanics of bike riding or what muscles needed to be activated for balance and forward motion, but you did it anyway, so what in the world is stopping you now? I’ll tell you what it is. Fear. Because as soon as you write anything for publication, you’re immediately vulnerable. You’ll have some people that won’t like your work, but who cares? The point is that you’re about to do something that you’ve always wanted to do and that’s pretty special! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got all the details yet, beginning anything even when we aren’t ready, gives us momentum to move forward. Think of it this way, have you ever driven at night? The headlights on your truck only allow you to see a couple hundred feet in front of you, but as soon as you start moving, the light reveals another few hundred feet, and another few hundred feet until you finally arrive at your destination. You don’t have to see the whole road, just turn on the truck and start driving! The same goes for writing, starting is always the hardest part, but as soon as we commit to it, we’ll never turn back; it’s an addiction, a calling, an obsession. The fact is, no one is ever ready. But wouldn’t you rather see what happens than never try at all and spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been? If you need help, bring in the experts, but you don’t need to do that to begin; all you need is to put your fingers on the keyboard or pen to paper. Start writing now.

If you need help with your writing, check out some of our classes here: Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House,  Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Reaching Best Seller Status

January 29, 2021– Thank you to everyone who enrolled in our Best Seller Bootcamp! I had such a fantastic time teaching all of you and I can’t wait to see your books at the top of  the best seller lists!  Thank you for the outstanding reviews and for all the positive texts, emails, and notes. You’ve all been so amazing and I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed the course. Let’s dig into the final day of Best Seller Bootcamp.

What does it mean for your writing career when you finally reach best-seller status? It means that you get to use that status in your marketing and then perform the entire process all over again to reach best seller status for your next book! You can add it to your writing credits and writing resume, plus the status of best seller can never be taken away from you.

Becoming a best selling author is something that you should be proud of. Take the time to enjoy all of the hard work you’ve put in to reach your goal! But then, get back to work:)

Here are some of the reviews from Our Best Seller Bootcamp students:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the class material and Lacey was one of the best teacher’s I’ve had. I learned more from this one course than I have in any other course I’ve taken to date. A fabulous formula for best seller status.” -Maggie K.

“This course was so much fun! I had a blast and learned a ton. I’m confident that I have the winning recipe to reach best seller status. Five stars, I highly recommend Lacey and her courses! She’s a hoot!”– Joseph R.

“A ton of well thought out information from one of the best.”– Rachael M.

“Listen to Lacey. She knows what she’s talking about! She’s a fantastic teacher, speaker, and educator. The best in the business.”-Stephanie C.

“Best seller bootcamp was awesome! I learned so much and enjoyed how we explored each section in depth. Lacey answered all of my questions in detail and was so fantastic to work with. I would follow her off the edge of a cliff.” -Taryn W.

Thank you so much! It’s so humbling to help others and have them succeed. Wishing each one of you the very best now and always. X LLB  (Join us in February for Taking Risks!)

 

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Enemies

January 25, 2021-This week we’ll be wrapping up Best Seller Bootcamp! It’s been a total blast and I’m so thankful to everyone who signed up. We can’t talk about success without challenges, so today we’ll be talking about the enemies that will derail your chances at becoming a best selling author. They’re what I like to call the 4 p’s. No, not the 4 p’s of marketing, and if you’re still using marketing in that manner, you need to brush up on your skills! But that’s another blog post for another day. The four p’s that make up your best-seller enemies are as follows:

1) Procrastination-Not sitting down to write, not taking the time to do your marketing plan, not showing up to do the work. How can you have a best-seller if you haven’t written the book? You can’t.
2)Perfection-Too many rewrites or edits, redoing things and end up making a huge mess. Yes, there needs to be around 4 edits of the final draft, but the truth is, when our book is published, most authors go back and say, hmmm I should have changed that or I could have added that. Perfection doesn’t exist so stop looking for it and stop using it as an excuse not to finish your book! You can’t become a best seller if you don’t finish the book.
3)Pollution-Noise from outside sources, people telling you that you can’t  possibly become a best seller because your work isn’t good enough, friends saying that you should change this or add that or take this away, people telling you that you shouldn’t try because you’ll never make it. Stay away from those people. And ensure that you have a handle on your own noise pollution, the voice in your head that is negative and tells you that you should quit. Tell it to shut up, and keep writing. Believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goals.
4)Procedure-You didn’t tag your work or categorize it properly. You didn’t take the time to brainstorm all of the proper categories where your book could fit. You didn’t format your book properly or convert it into an e-book. You ignored all of the proper procedures that go into writing and selling your work. You didn’t ask for help where you needed it. Procedures matter and building a best-seller is like baking a cake; one ingredient missing or out of order will bake up a disaster!

There are a lot more enemies that stand between you and best-seller status. Don’t let them distract you from your goal! Send us an email pandapublishing8@gmail.com for more info on how to overcome all of your writing challenges.

 

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Reviews (They Matter)

January 20, 2021-All this month we’re dishing out tips during our Best Seller Bootcamp, and today, we’ll be talking about reviews. Let’s find out why they matter, how to get them, and how they contribute to your Best Seller Success!

You know how much I LOVE statistics, so here are a couple that you should know. 1) 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends. 2) 91% of people regularly read online reviews before making a purchase. Readers trust what others are saying about your book! So, what does this mean for you? It means you need to get as many reviews as possible BEFORE your book hits the marketplace.

Reviews can be done before your book officially launches by getting pre-release copies to reviewers. They receive a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review and reviewers will disclose this. I am not a fan of paying for reviews and that’s something that we’ve never done at Pandamonium Publishing House. We believe that reviews should be honest, organic, and from real readers.

Reviews give you credibility, plain and simple. They let readers know what others thought of your book, and why they should take a chance on buying themselves a copy!

You can get reviews by doing the following things:

  1. Ask your beta readers to review your book. These are the people who you’ve been asking for feedback during the entire writing process. They will tell you the truth about what works and what doesn’t while you’re working on your drafts and tweaking your manuscript and they’ll also be honest about their reviews.
  2. Give out 10 free pre-release copies in exchange for a review.  You can post this offer on social media, at your book club, your local library, on Goodreads, on your website, press releases, and in your newsletter.

Also, you need to ensure that you’re getting authentic reviews from readers in your genre. Romance readers may not enjoy your supernatural crime thriller or mystery lovers may not enjoy your historical romance novel, so be sure to match the right reader with your book. Remember that reviews matter, but also that art is subjective and not everyone is going to love what you write. That’s ok! If your book is for everyone, it’s for no one.

The entire point of getting reviews is allowing your readers to find out what other readers thought about your book and what they liked about it/didn’t like about it so that they can make an informed decision in purchasing your work.

To dig deeper into this subject, and many others, consider joining our Best Seller Bootcamp here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/

 

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Failure to Launch

January 19, 2021-Do you know how to launch your book? There are a number of factors that go into a successful book launch, but not having a plan is a recipe for disaster and will completely ruin your best seller chances. You will never have a best selling book if people don’t know about it. Here’s how you can have a successful launch.

  1. Start early. About 6 weeks before the launch of your book, start inviting people! Create an event on Facebook, send out invites in the mail, and put the event details in your newsletter that goes out to your readers. Keep in contact and send out reminders 2 more times (6 weeks before, 3 weeks before, and the week before). This gives your guests enough time to put your event on their calendar. Remember to post the details on your social media and also think about having an online book launch event.
  2. Use your resources. Marketing materials such as postcards, save the date, business cards, brochures, and whatever other forms of print media you’re using should be in supply and ready to hand out.
  3. Find a high-traffic venue. You want as many people to come to your event as possible. We suggest a high traffic area so that people can see you and walk in. Think outside of the box, your venue shouldn’t be a book store if possible, there are high commission fees and percentages of sales taken off the top for a book store to host you in their brick and mortar. We’ve had book launches at indoor playgrounds, fabric stores, pubs, and parks and have had much success with chatting to people who were just passing through.
  4. Get help. Hire someone if you have the means to organize your event or to help you hand out literature/marketing materials. There is a lot to do and you’re only one person, so delegate tasks to someone you trust. You can also look for volunteers or students who may need community hours to graduate that would be willing to help out.
  5.  Enjoy yourself. Your book launch should be fun! It’s an event to remember and celebrate your success. Have a good time and be sure to genuinely connect with your readers.

There are many, many more steps to have a successful book launch and while we can’t possibly cover all of them in this post, we would love to have you sign up for our Best Seller Bootcamp where we dive in to all of the topics we’ve covered in depth. Check it out here: 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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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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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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Walk the Platform

January 7, 2020– Do you know what an author platform is? It’s essential to your success if you want to become a best-selling author. Most authors have the same problem, OBSCURITY. How can people buy your book if they don’t know about it or if they’ve never heard of you or your work? Short answer-they can’t and they won’t.

An author platform put very simply-*the tools you use as an author to reach a potential audience. We usually talk about author platform in the context of social media and connecting with your readers. Author platform should include the following things:

  1. Instagram
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn
  5. YouTube
  6. Blog/website
  7. Amazon author page

And whatever other forms of social media that you are comfortable using to share your work. Content should be fresh, and you should be genuinely interested in connecting with your readers. It takes years to build an author platform, and the importance of being authentic and engaged, cannot be understated! This is why author platform building is ESSENTIAL to have in place BEFORE your book is released.

In our Best-Seller Bootcamp course, we teach you how to build your author platform, best practices, the importance of hashtags and how to effectively use them, and so much more! Click here for more info on the course: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

Be authentic, build your platform, and engage with readers!