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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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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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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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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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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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Starting On Monday, January 4!

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!