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Blog Life

September 28, 2021– In a couple of days, we’ll wrap up our theme for this month, continuing education for authors. Today we’re going to chat about why every author should have a blog and some key tips to educate you on the importance of blogging for authors.

Businesses use blogs as marketing tools to share tips, industry news, updates on products, how to use the products, etc. They have become an excellent place for offering readers multi-media experiences through audio/visual options. People love reading blogs because of the conversational tone and the engagement with the author.

Here are 5 reasons why you should have a blog:

  • Search Engines: Interesting content and consistency are the two key ingredients search engines use to find you and your business. Having a blog with the correct keywords, content, and frequency can put you on the first page of Google and other search engines, making it easy for your audience to find your books.
  • Shareable: When folks find things they like online, they tend to share them via social networks or email. Your website should have social sharing buttons so that readers can share things from your blog posts that they find interesting. Perhaps you wrote about, e.g., anxiety in children and 3 easy exercises you can do anywhere, parents will want to share valuable information like this. Make it easy for them!
  • Expertise: You’re seen as an expert in your field when you regularly share relevant, valuable information. People buy from companies and businesses that show they are experts in their industry. You’ve got a great opportunity here with blog posts showing your expertise in whatever area you choose relevant to your skills.
  • Cross-Promote: Blogs are great networking tools. You can widen your net by inviting experts to guest post on your blog/podcast and talk about things that your readers care about. This is the ultimate in adding value. Plus, when you invite experts into your space as a guest, chances are, they will invite you to post on their blog and chat about your book series in reciprocity. This is a great way to reach a larger/untapped audience that otherwise you may not have been able to reach on your own.

So, as you can see, if you’re an author who is blogless, you’re missing out! Another key bonus to blogging is that it will force you to write and keep your skills sharp. What are you waiting for? Get started today!

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LinkedIn Best Practices for Authors

September 24, 2021– I hope that you’ve been enjoying our theme this month, continuing education for authors! Today we’re talking about best practices for LinkedIn, let’s dig in.

LinkedIn helps people establish themselves as an expert in their field. They can interact with their community on branded pages and groups and can connect via LinkedIn messaging.

Quick tip: LinkedIn has a right way and a wrong way to use it. It’s not Facebook, yet most people treat it the same which has undesirable consequences such as loss of connections, ignoring messages because the person is seen as unprofessional, and unable to connect to their target audience.

Why you need to be on LinkedIn as an Author

Endorsements and Testimonials: Your peers can endorse your skills and write recommendations, and this goes a long way with people who are looking for an expert in the field that you’re in. If you can get a professional to endorse your series, you’ll have a ton of potential business based on just their recommendation.

Connections: You never know who will accept your invitation to connect so dream big. Get noticed by other authors, publishers, distributors, and professionals who can open new doors for you and your books.

Groups: There are thousands of online groups that you can connect with that are within your niche of writing. Join the ones that are right for you!

News:  Your LinkedIn connections post news, tips, and updates and you can link your book to trends in the industry. E.g., Skyrocketing mental health concerns for students heading back to class after COVID.

Research: This is excellent for finding out who you can cross-promote with. Do your research on which people and businesses you’d like to partner with and connect with them.

Introductions: Your profile has spots for books, academic papers, links to your blog, website, and online content. This drives traffic and sales to your books!

Top Tip: Focus on your first-degree connections and building a strong relationship with them. They are the ones who are most likely do business with you and recommend/endorse your skills and products.

Remember to treat LinkedIn as the professional site that it is. Update your followers regularly and link your book to things happening in the industry.  Here is my LinkedIn page if you want to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lacey-l-bakker-743599120/

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5 Free Ways to Continue Your Author Education

September 23, 2021– We’re almost done with our theme this month: continuing education for authors! We’ve covered topics such as how to launch your book, travel writing sub-genres, how to stand out from the crowd, and everything in between. Be sure to subscribe to our blog (on the right-hand side of your screen) so that you never miss a post!

Today we’re talking about 5 free things you can do to continue your education as an author:

  1. Read books. There are so many books out there on a number of topics! You can find subjects on marketing, social media, how to write for your specific genre, and more. There is an endless array of things that you can study to improve your craft and your business acumen. By using your public library or participating in a book swap/little free library, you can get loads of fabulously free information.
  2. Library classes. The library is another great resource for classes, workshops, and free seminars! I’ve done free talks on self-publishing, traditional publishing, and marketing for authors over the years and have also attended some classes at the library as a student. Check your local listings to see what’s up and coming, and most libraries offer a course catalogue online. Use the resources available to you and take classes in what you’re interested in!
  3. Free online seminars. I can’t even begin to tell you how many free online seminars I’ve taken over the years, and some of them have been absolutely vital to my growth as a publisher. Use Google to search free seminars for whatever topic you want to learn about. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Keep in mind that free online seminars are usually tidbits of info presented so that you’ll enroll in their course, but some of that free info is invaluable!
  4. Blogs.  As you know, this blog is free! There are many great blogs that are also free of charge and contain tons of valuable information, tips, tricks, best practices, and insight. Blogs are great because usually they’re written in a conversational, easy-to-understand tone for even the most difficult fields of study.
  5. Podcasts. Podcasts offer a well of free information that is uniquely portable. You can learn about pretty much anything you want from a podcast, and I especially love them because I pop in my Airpods and go about my day. You can listen to podcasts on the road, while cleaning, while working out, and past episodes are easy to access if you can’t write something down that you want to remember later. Our podcast is available here, and we constantly give away free, valuable information for authors: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-hfi92-10dfda6

Lack of funds is a weak excuse for not continuing your education; there are free resources available to you; you just have to find them and, most importantly, put them into practice! Happy Learning!

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Book Launch Quick Tips (Continuing Education)

September 14, 2021-We’re talking about continuing education for authors during September, and today I’ve got some tips to share with you about book launches. Be sure to listen to our podcast on Podbean every Tuesday and Thursday for additional content and tips; the app is always free to download and listen along.

The goal of a book launch is to celebrate the release of your book with your readers, customers, and target audience. You’ve made it, and your book has finally hit the market, but the real work is about to begin!

Your launch sets the tone for your series and will show your readers how awesome/fun/educational your books are. It’s essential to prepare thoroughly! Here are some tips to help with your book launch.

  • Choose a date and time asap: Knowing when you’ll launch and working backward is the best way to get organized. You’ll need no more than 2 weeks before the date you’ve chosen to build buzz about your book launch. Anything sooner than that is too soon (and won’t allow people to save the date), and anything longer than that is too much time in between the buzz building and the actual event-this means that most people will have time to forget and book something else that day if you leave too many weeks from announcement to event.
  • Over-invite: A huge key to a successful launch is to have as many attendees as possible. According to statistics, a third of those invited will attend. Use your Facebook friend list, social media contacts, and people you know to create your guest list and invite people to your event.
  • Create buzz: Social media is an excellent way to create buzz for your book launch. Announce to your family, friends, acquaintances, and target market that you’ve got a brand-new book out and that they have the opportunity to celebrate with you. Direct people to your Facebook business page, where you share information about your series and post lots of photos, blog posts, status updates, and videos well before your official launch date. Let them know when and how they can attend, whether virtually or in person.
  • Offer bonuses: Bonuses plain and simple draw people to your table. People love free stuff, whether it’s colouring sheets, word games, activities for kids, or stickers! Offering bonuses shows your customer that you care about them and that you’re invested in connecting with them. People often feel a need to reciprocate when they are given something for free, so this simple act of offering a bonus (without purchase) can have a massive impact on your sales. Plus, if you can draw kids to your table and engage them, chances are the parents will take a closer look at what you’re offering.
  • Marketing is Queen: If cash is King, marketing is Queen! Be sure to bring things to hand out to people at your book launches, such as catalogues, business cards, bookmarks, brochures, infographics, and feature sheets. Sometimes people will go home and order your books online if they’re in a rush and just popping into the bookstore for a quick second, or they’ll want to do more research to see if your book is right for their child. Either way, they need to be able to find you and order your books. Your marketing should include where they can purchase your book, your social media, and how to contact you.

A huge pet peeve of mine is barriers to payment. It drives me crazy when vendors at shows only accept cash! The world is almost cashless, and you will miss out on a ton of sales if this is the only form of payment that you accept. Invest in a square reader or other type of payment processor. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your customers!

We’re coming out with new courses all the time, so be sure to stay in the know by hitting the subscribe button on the right-hand side of this page. Check out our courses and classes at http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

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Do Your Homework

August 12, 2021– We’re talking about what publishers want this month, and we’ve been dishing out our most helpful tips for authors! Hit the subscribe button on our blog on the right-hand side of your screen so that you never miss a post and remember to follow us on our podcast here: https://feed.podbean.com/jidwkx/feed.xml

Publishers want to see that authors have done their homework; what does this mean? Before submitting your manuscript to us for consideration, we want you to do (or at least know about) the following things.

  1. Word Count. We want you to know the word count for your specific genre and abide by the parameters set out by the publishing industry. I see this all the time with kid’s books submissions; I’ll get a manuscript that is 400 words or the polar opposite at 1000 words; it’s quite apparent that the author hasn’t a clue that the industry standard for children’s books is 800-850 words. It’s important to know the basics and to ensure that your manuscript meets the specific word count. Anything too short or too long will disqualify you.
  2. Unpublished. Did you know that if you’re looking to get traditionally published, none of the manuscripts you’re submitting to us should show up online? It’s considered published at that point, and we won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. Yes, fanfiction is included in this, and E.L. James (author of Fifty Shades of Grey that started as writing Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) fanfiction) is the exception to the rule. We want to ensure that our books and publications are fresh, new, and unique. Also, don’t submit anything that has been previously published.
  3. Only One. Most publishers will not accept simultaneous submissions. That means that submitting to multiple publishers at the same time is frowned upon. Why? It’s an etiquette thing. Picture this; you’ve sent your work out to various publishers without telling any of them about the others. We all decide that we like your manuscript and want to do a deal. Now, I know what you’re thinking-great! Let’s turn this into a bidding war, let them fight over me, and I’ll go with the one who offers me the highest royalty. Well, you’re in for a big surprise if this is your train of thought because not only is it totally unprofessional on your part, but none of us will be fighting, we’ll simply all decline, and instead of a bidding war, you’ll have zero chance of being published with any of us. Submit to one publisher at a time and wait for a response. Don’t jump the gun, or you could be shooting yourself in the foot.

For more advice on what publishers want, check out my number 1 best-selling book here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca