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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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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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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

 

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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!

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Mentors Matter

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

  1. Read their work, biographies, and anything else you can get your hands on.
  2. 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

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Act Like It

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

 

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Best-Seller Status

January 4, 2020– Today we kick off our month-long exploration of How to Become a Best-Selling Author! As a side note, Best-Seller Bootcamp starts today: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

The first thing you need to do is define your goals for becoming a best-selling author. I like to use the rule of 7 Whys. The process looks like this and it’s imperative that you see the exercise through even though it can be difficult at times. Here’s a sample for you so that you can fully understand the psychology and reason behind your goal.

Start with the question, Why do I want to be a Best-Selling author?

  1. Because I want the status of best-seller on my resume. Why? 
  2. I want the status of best-seller on my resume because it will give me credibility as an author. Why? 
  3. I want credibility as an author because I want respect from my peers. Why? 
  4. I want respect from my peers because it will make me proud of myself and my work. Why? 
  5. I want to be proud of myself and my work because this will make my family proud of me too! Why?
  6. I want my family to be proud of me because I was raised by a single mom and I don’t want to let her down. Why?
  7. I want to make my mom proud because she gave up everything for me. I want to show her that I can be a success and that all of her hard work wasn’t all for naught.

Boom. There’s the reason and the psychology behind WHY that particular person wants to be a best-selling author.

By this point, you get the picture. Continue the 7 Whys exercise until you boil it down to one final answer of WHY you want to become a best-selling author. Only YOU know why you want to do this, your answer is very personal; if we set goals for ourselves with no idea of why we want to achieve them, we’re only setting ourselves up for failure. Everything we strive for has an underlying reason as to why we want to do something. Sometimes we lie to ourselves and say that we want to do it for reasons that are superficial such as status, money, or fame, but at the end of the day, that stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is the WHY behind all of that because, during the tough times, you’ll be able to draw on your WHY to keep going, stay focused, and see your goal through to completion.

I hope that you’ll join me this month as we dive into best-seller status! For additional information, in-depth exercises, and access to Lacey as your mentor for the month, check out the Best-Seller Bootcamp here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House 

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2021 The Year You Become a Bestseller

December 28, 2020– It’s only a few more sleeps until we usher in 2021! Here’s to happiness, adventure, and realizing our writing potential in the new year! Is 2021 the year that YOU become a best selling author? I hope so; we’re here to help with a variety of options to get you to your goals. Imagine what it would be like to sign copies of your book at major bookstores, to be interviewed about your work, to have your book reach number 1 on Amazon, and to have people tell you that you’re their favourite author!

By writing your story, you can make a difference in the lives of others; stories are used to educate, entertain, and provide an escape. What are you writing about? Whatever it is, we can help you make your dreams come true. Whether you’re looking for editing or ghostwriting services, crafting the perfect query, or interested in getting your book noticed and increasing your sales, we’re the experts that can guide you!

We’ve helped writers become number 1 bestsellers, hone their craft, get publishing deals, and have shown them how to get paid for their writing, plus we’ve coached them to sell more books, how to market their work, and how to connect with their readers. For more information on our services send us an email pandapublishing8@gmail.com for a price quote. 

Do you have a list of writing goals? Where do you want to be next year? Are you ready for success? Do you dream of seeing your book on shelves? What are you waiting for? Let’s make 2021 your best year yet! 

Check out some of our valuable services here: 

Novel Editing 56,000 to 79,999 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Novel Editing 80,000 to 89,999 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Novel Editing 90,000 to 100,00 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Mini-Course Crafting the Perfect Query – Pandamonium Publishing House
Picture Book Manuscript Consultation – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Fact vs. Fiction

November 16, 2020-Reading and stories can be an escape from real life, a window into another world — but have you ever considered how new fictional experiences might change your perspective on real, everyday life? From Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter, learn how popular fiction can spark public dialogue and shape culture. Lesson by Jessica Wise, narration by Emilie Soffe, animation by Augenblick Studios. Check out this video below!

 

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An Exclusive Offer for Self-Published Authors

October 26, 2020– Today I’d like to speak specifically to the self-published authors out there. Self-publishing your work can be a monumental task, but congratulations if you’ve succeeded. I hope your book sales are going well and that you’re able to make a good income from your work. If you have a book that’s been self-published, but things aren’t going as planned in terms of sales, marketing, discoverability, or reviews, I’m here to help! I’m offering a very special course for a limited time only. The course is titled, Get Your Book Noticed and Increase Your Sales  and here’s what it covers:

  1. Why your book isn’t selling and ten things you can do about it.
  2. Sprinkler or Waterfall? The best approach to marketing your book.
  3. Amazon Best Seller List. What you need to know and the dos and don’ts of hitting the top.
  4. Why your display matters even though you think it doesn’t.
  5. Data Analysis and Implementation. What numbers you should be looking at daily. Metadata matters!
  6. Reviews and word of mouth. How to get both.
  7. How to capture leads and convert them into sales.
  8. Newsletters, what works and what doesn’t.
  9. Navigating Goodreads to get the best publicity possible and the cardinal rule that you should NEVER break.
  10. Facebook, Instagram ads, what works and what doesn’t. The importance of writing great copy that sells.

I’ve taken the most relevant pieces of information that I’ve learned through my courses at Wharton and Copenhagen business school to combine ideas from Consumer Neuromarketing and Neuroscience and Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content. Each section has modules and printable downloads to help you craft an effective campaign for your book. For more information send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com or click on the link below to purchase:  https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/course-get-your-book-noticed-and-increase-your-sales/