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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/
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:
- 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.
- Contact info. Your name, phone number, email, where your books can be purchased.
- 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.
- Intro paragraph. Answer the 5 W’s. Start with the most important things first! Who, What, Where, When, Why.
- 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!
- 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
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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Your social media handles. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your website, YouTube Channel, and everywhere else your readers and potential readers can find you.
- Links to your work. Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, your webstore, independent bookstores, and wherever else your books are available.
- 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 email@example.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
January 8, 2020– I know that we’ve covered Metadata before in a previous blog post, but I wanted to reiterate the importance of it in the process of becoming a best selling author. Let’s start from the beginning; what is Metadata and why does it matter?
Metadata is everything connected with your book including the description, the title, if it’s a series, keywords, categories, and more. Metadata matters because this allows readers and prospective readers to find your book and ultimately purchase it. There are hundreds of thousands of works being uploaded PER DAY around the world! This is why properly organizing your Metadata is CRUCIAL to your success if you want to be heard amongst all of that noise.
Online consumers unknowingly access book metadata when searching online, making your book easier to discover including the readers who already know about you and the readers who are just discovering your book. Metadata also tells librarians and booksellers where to shelve your book! The ISBN assigns categories that are standard in the publishing industry and also allows digital stores like Amazon to locate it online.
Here are some tips to help:
- Pick the right keywords and phrases that apply to your book. What would readers type into the search bar if they were looking for a book like yours? Use keywords that can easily be included in your description, title website etc.
- Write an excellent book description. Make sure it’s intriguing and grabs your audience. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your book. The description of your book is the MOST important aspect of conversion (turning discovery into a sale).
- Be consistent. Spell your name exactly the way it is on your book cover. If you use a middle initial or hyphenate your name, this must be done consistently with each book for as long as you’re an author. Being consistent allows more links to you and your work and this will allow you and your books to be easily searched.
You want as many qualified (reading your genre) readers as possible to find your book. Excellent metadata, along with great book marketing, and captivating writing, will help with the rest. Your book’s metadata is vital to your success and has a MASSIVE impact on your book sales. Quality metadata is the difference between achieving bestseller status or missing out on an opportunity to reach a reader.
This post is the TIP of the iceberg when it comes to Metadata and how to use it! There is so much more to it.
If you’ve decided that becoming a best selling author is one of your writing goals for 2021, then let us help! Join our best seller bootcamp here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
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:
- 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!
January 6, 2020– Becoming a best seller means you need a mentor who has been there before. Rule number 1 is that you should never take advice from someone who isn’t doing better than you and who hasn’t accomplished what you’ve set out to do! If you could have any author mentors on the planet, who would your top five consist of? Put together your dream team of mentors! Here’s what you should look for when making your selection:
- They align with your goals. If you wanted to be a great swimmer, you’d probably want to swim with Jimmy down the street who has a pool, passed swimming classes, and maybe has even completed lifeguard training. But if you wanted to be an Olympic Gold Medal Winning swimmer, Michael Phelps is probably your best bet! If you want to be a successful, best-selling author whose books have been turned into movies, you’d want to have John Grisham or Nicholas Sparks on your team.
- They inspire you to do better and dream bigger. Some famous authors have faced impossible odds that include poverty, homelessness, and family drama, but they have succeeded in the face of adversity. One of my writing heroes is Charles Dickens who is considered to be one of the greatest authors of all time. Dickens, who grew up desperately poor, was forced to work ten-hour days in a shoe blacking warehouse to help his parents pay the bills. The conditions were harsh and unfair. Luckily, with help from his father (who was later imprisoned for unpaid bills) and education, Dickens was able to get a job as a reporter. By the age of 20, he was beginning to make decent money writing about Parliament. By the time he turned 25, his writing allowed him to be a full-time writer. Dickens was dedicated to shining a light on the unfair conditions of the poor. Much of his work focuses on the destitute and their hardships.
- They provide clues to success. The great thing about mentors is that by having someone who’s done what you want to do, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Success leaves clues! What are your mentors doing that you can repeat? How do best-selling authors act? How do they engage with their readers? And so on.
So, what do you do if your dream team of mentors are unreachable? Maybe they aren’t even living anymore! What do you do now?
- Read their work, biographies, and anything else you can get your hands on.
- Think in terms of WWMMD? What Would My Mentor Do? And follow their clues to success.
If your mentor is alive, but you think they’re untouchable because they’re famous, do yourself a favour and ASK! There is no harm in asking and the worst-case scenario is they say no. Imagine if they say YES!
To join our Best-Seller Bootcamp during the month of January, click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
January 5, 2020-So, you want to be a best-selling author…well, start acting like it. What do I mean? I mean start acting like a best-selling author would! How would you dress? What is your routine? Persona? Work habits? Are you confident? What does your self-discipline look like? What is your social media like? How do you interact with readers? What continuing education do you have? Are you continuing to hone your craft?
We can never become what we set out to be without first becoming that way in our minds. Mindset comes first which will lead to inspired action, which leads to putting in the work, which leads to eventual success if you repeat this process over and over for years. Success is never overnight and success rarely happens to those who have a negative inner voice. We all have an inner critic, but it’s what we do about it that makes a difference. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you lies! You can be, do, and have anything you want if you’re willing to do what it takes to get there. Let’s look at some of my favourite, best-selling authors and see what they’ve done to accomplish this feat:
- Stephen King-Key trait: Discipline. According to reports, the King writes 10 pages EVERY SINGLE DAY, Christmas included. His manuscript for Carrie was rejected 30 times, but he kept writing. King rarely misses a day of writing and has written MORE than THIRTY (30) best-sellers and is considered one of the most influential writers of the past four decades.
- Louisa May Alcott-Key trait: Tenacity. ‘Stick to your teaching, Miss Alcott. You can’t write.’ Those were the words of one publisher who passed over the manuscript for Little Women. Thankfully, she ignored his advice and the book went on to be well received with one reviewer stating it was ‘the very best of books to reach the hearts of the young of any age from six to sixty’. It is still a classic 150 years later and a number 1 best seller.
- Beatrix Potter-Key trait: Self-Belief. Initially, she attempted to go the traditional route and sent the book to six publishers, each of whom rejected it because Potter was insistent that the book be small enough for a child to hold while the publishers wanted something bigger (so that they could charge more money for it). It wasn’t a compromise that Beatrix was willing to make, so she took the matter into her own hands. On December 16, 1901, a 35-year-old Potter used her personal savings to privately print 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The book turned out to be a hit—so much so that, within a year, one of the publishers that had originally rejected the book, signed on to get into the Peter Rabbit business. In October 1902, they published their own version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, complete with Potter’s illustrations, and by Christmas, it had sold 20,000 copies. It has since been translated into nearly 40 different languages and sold more than 45 million copies.
The list goes on and on, but the main thing that all best-selling authors have in common is the belief in themselves and in their work. Keep going, never give up, and get your mind right! If you’d like to join our Best-Seller Bootcamp, click here for more info: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
January 1, 2020-Happy New Year, friends! I hope that this year brings your dreams to fruition, much happiness, health, and wealth and that you’re ready to get to work! This month we’ll be doing a Best-Seller Bootcamp which starts on Monday, January 4th right here at http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com. We’ll be talking about all things best-seller-related including how to use data analysis to improve your marketing efforts, what makes a best-seller, how keywords and categories are used, and the mechanics behind writing a best-seller! We hope that you’ll take this opportunity to invest in yourself with our *additional* Best-Seller Bootcamp course (which complements what we’ll learn here) where you’ll get a ton of bonus info, a downloadable workbook, and access to yours truly as your personal mentor each week of January! Is 2021 the year that you become a best-seller? To enroll in our limited class-size Best Seller Bootcamp click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
Here’s to you and reaching your writing goals in 2021 and beyond!