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Why You Should Love One-Star Book Reviews

Why You Should Love One-Star Book Reviews

Guest Blog Post by Norm Schriever

Norm Schriever

Norm Schriever, Author of Pushups in the Prayer Room and South of Normal

Has your book ever received a one-star review?  Ouch, that hurts.

It’s hard enough being an author these days without bad reviews to stunt our sales.  Already we’re shunned for being self-published authors, like it’s some sort of contagious venereal disease that you can get from water fountains, toilet seats, or writers who make less than $8,700 a year.

“I prefer the term Indie author,” I tell people at parties, as I wrap a dozen bacon-wrapped scallops in a napkin and put them in my coat pocket for later consumption.

“Sure you do, sweetie.”  They say, a look of pity on their faces like they just ran over a baby raccoon, and are considering whether to throw it in reverse to put it out of its misery.  “Oh please excuse me, I think I see the lovely IRS agent who audited us last spring and I want to go say hi,” and they make their retreat.

Yup, it’s par for the course – sometimes we have to deal with less-than-favorable reviews on tiny, inconsequential websites like…oh, I don’t know… AMAZON.COM!

But I’m here to tell you that a one-star review is actually a good thing – a great thing, even, and I’m saying that with a straight face.

I used to stress about bad reviews, my ego throbbing like a bee sting, but then I read something by Indie author John Locke (who set the record for eBook sales and is starting to turn “traditional publishing” into a bad word) that completely changed the game:

One-star reviews only mean that you’ve successfully found someone who is NOT in your target market.  Hell, that makes sense.  Congratulations, you’ve done an AWESOME job of finding someone who is not your ideal reader, and therefore are that much closer to finding out who is.

A one-star review doesn’t mean your work is awful, it just means someone disliked it an awful lot, and any passion you can incite is good passion (as long as they spell your name right).  There’s no accounting for taste, and if books like “50 Shades of Sloppy Writing” can reach iconic status and make a gazillion dollars, then popularity is by no means a measure of quality.

When my first book was released (I feel like such a pompous ass every time I say that, but I still sort of enjoy it) most of the reviews were favorable, even glowing.  But there were a couple of angry outliers, people who DESPISED the book and wished they could come to my house and demand their 99 cents back and then slash my tires when I wouldn’t give it to them.

I can clearly recall my one-star review:  “Sadly lacking…annoying frat boys abroad…carouse, drink, and try to get laid in every country…immature…embarrassing behavior…” it said.

My initial reaction was:  “Mom?!  Is that you?  MOM!!!  Get off the internet!  I’m using it!”

But then I checked the user name of the Amazon offender/reviewer, and it wasn’t my mom, or even an angry ex-girlfriend, but someone named Julie from Chicago.

I couldn’t believe it.  I wanted to email Julie and ask how she could do that to me?  After all, she admitted that the book contained carousing, drinking, and trying to get laid… so what’s not to like?

I reread it to see if she was just kidding, but alas, Julie really, REALLY disliked the book.  But that’s cool.  I realize now that she didn’t give me a one star review, just my book.  She wouldn’t care for my genre of book, my brand of entertainment, no matter who had written it.  She probably didn’t read I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell or Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, either, but maybe more sophisticated works like Jayne Eyre sit on her kitchen table next to the Grey Poupon.  People who are thrilled with the Hangover franchise are not necessarily standing in line for tickets to Les Misérables, but both are successful art.

So I can just cordially thank Julie for her honest input and take careful note that she is definitely not within my target market, and move on to find those who are.

I’ve been in this business a very short time (but sometimes it feels like a century) and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you want to find your target market as efficiently as possible, and engage them.  Trying to please everyone, or writing the best “General Interest” best-seller means you will be wallowing in mediocrity, and probably eating squirrel under a bridge, very quickly.

Screw ‘em.  Write from your heart.  Write what you would be thrilled to read.  Write to one person who really gets you, and don’t apologize for it.  And then go out there and find 2 of those strange beings, and then 3 and 4 and 500.  They are out there, I promise you.  Just not at the parties that serve good hors d’oeuvres like bacon-wrapped scallops.

I hope that helps.  Now get out there and write your heart out and earn a few one-star reviews.  And one more thing….”Okay, mom!  You can use the internet again!”

P.S. In all seriousness, Stephanie Chandler has a fantastic book on finding your target market, called Own Your Niche.  She did not ask me to say that, nor would she ever, and in fact me even mentioning her book will make her squirm, and she’ll probably ask me to take it out, and threaten to not post this article unless I stop saying nice things about her but TOO BAD Steph!  I won’t be bullied by you!  Hahaha.  It’s the truth – I learned a great deal about targeted marketing from Stephanie, and I also recommend John Locke’s book for writers, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months.
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Norm Schriever is an author, humorist, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone.  Dissatisfied with a conventional existence, Norm sold or donated all of his possessions and moved down to Costs Rica, with only a laptop and surfboard, to pursue his passion of writing.  He sees his words as a way to unite people, and thereby hopes to leave this planet a little better than how he found it.

His first book, Pushups in the Prayer Room, is available here. To preview his next book, South of Normal: My Year in Paradise, go to www.NormSchriever.com or follow him on Twitter @NormSchriever.

Both of Norm’s books are published by Authority Publishing!

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Social Media for Authors: 12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotion

Social Media for Authors: 12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotion

Of all the social media networks, LinkedIn is the most business-oriented. The vast majority of LinkedIn users are involved in business of Social Media for Authors: 12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotionsome kind, and therefore can make great connections for authors who want to sell books in bulk to companies, speak at events, or otherwise connect with influential business leaders.

Following are some ways you can make the most out of your efforts on LinkedIn.

1. Choose a Descriptive Title – One of the first items in your LinkedIn profile is your title, which appears alongside comments that you post in LinkedIn groups, and easily helps others understand what it is that you do. Take full advantage of this by providing a descriptive title, which can include your book title and even your website link. Mine reads: Author, Speaker, Forbes Blogger, Publisher, Social Media Strategist | New book: Own Your Niche, AuthorityPublishing.com.

2. Complete Your Profile – LinkedIn users often use the search feature to find resources, and in order to get found, your profile should be loaded with keyword-rich content. Fill out as much information as possible, including your current and past work history, honors and awards, and projects.

2. Feature Your Book – In the “Publications” section, you can list details about books you’ve written or contributed to, including a synopsis of each and a link to learn more about the book. Note that you can link to your book’s page on Amazon or another online retailer, though I personally prefer to link visitors to the book page on my own website.

4. Import Your Contacts – LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with the people you already know by allowing you to import your contacts into the system. Best of all, you can rest assured that your entire contact list will not be spammed by LinkedIn. Instead, you will see your contacts listed, and it will show you who already has an account on LinkedIn. You can then choose to send those people a LinkedIn connection request.

Note that if you have trouble following the automated email connection options on LinkedIn, you can also choose to export your contacts into a spreadsheet and then import them manually. You’ll find this option under Contacts > Add Connections > Any Email.

5. Participate in Groups – Groups on LinkedIn are typically quite active. You can find all kinds of business-related topics here, and can choose to join many groups if you like. Realistically, you will only be able to dedicate time to one or two groups so choose the ones you want to focus on wisely. Get involved by answering and asking questions and engaging with members. Top contributors in a group receive extra exposure. Over time, members of the group can get to know what you’re about based on your contributions so be sure to deliver value. You can also subscribe to daily or weekly email digests from the groups that you belong to, which makes it easy to quickly scan new discussion topics and decide if you want to click through to contribute.

6. Start a Group – Consider starting your own group on LinkedIn, which is free and can provide excellent visibility. The best way to get started is to choose a niche topic that isn’t yet being covered. If you launch a topic that already exists, make sure you present your group with a unique perspective on the topic. I run the Nonfiction Authors Network on LinkedIn, which grew very quickly in a short amount of time. You are welcome to join us!

7. Use Advanced Search – The advanced search feature on LinkedIn makes it easy to locate key contacts. For example, if you wanted to find the person in charge of the Back to School campaign at one of the large office supply companies, you could type in the company name, campaign name as a keyword phrase, and even the job title. You might be surprised by how it easy it is to locate the people you want to reach.

Note that you cannot send LinkedIn mail to someone you aren’t connected to unless you subscribe to LinkedIn premium access. However, you can still go back to Google to do further research and dig up an email address for the person you want to reach.

8. Get Recommendations – The recommendations feature on LinkedIn is meant to help users with the job search process (the original purpose behind LinkedIn). However, you can solicit recommendations for your book, for you as a speaker, and for your business. Recommendations are prominently displayed on your profile and add an element of credibility. Reach out to your contacts and ask for recommendations. In return, you should plan to give some recommendations as well.

9. Use Endorsements – Recently LinkedIn added a feature called Endorsements, which allows people to easily click a button and “endorse” your skills and expertise. You can indicate the skills that you want to be known for by adding these when editing your profile. LinkedIn will automatically begin to ask your connections to endorse you. In return, you can also take time to pass along endorsements to those in your network. This takes very little effort, though these endorsements can add up and can help demonstrate your authority in your subject matter.

10. Share Content – Though the news feed on LinkedIn isn’t nearly as active as the news feed on Facebook, people do pay attention. Many LinkedIn users subscribe to daily emails that summarize the activity from people in their networks. With this in mind, be sure to share content on LinkedIn several times each week, or even daily. This can include your new blog posts, event announcements, quick tips, and other content that your audience would find valuable.

11. Accept New Connection Requests – Be sure to check your LinkedIn invitations at least once each week to accept new requests from people who want to connect with you. Use your best judgment, but also be willing to accept new people into your network. Often you will receive requests from readers, people who attended a presentation you gave, or people who are fellow members of a group you belong to. LinkedIn is a business network, so be willing to expand your horizons and accept most invitations readily.

12. Participate – For the best results on LinkedIn, and all of the social media networks, you should commit to participating on a regular basis. If you only login to Linkedin once a month, you will miss out on building your networks and staying active. If you want to reach a more professional audience, LinkedIn is a great place to devote some of your time and energy.

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Social Media for Authors: How to Get Great Results with a Minimal Time Commitment

Social Media for Authors: How to Get Great Results with a Minimal Time Commitment

If you’re still struggling to find your footing with social media and trying to decide whether it’s worth your time, I have news for Social Media for Authors: How to Get Great Results with a Minimal Time Commitmentyou: Social media is IDEAL for authors. In fact, if the rest of the world wasn’t already using it too, I’d argue that social media was created specifically FOR authors.

As an author, your number one priority should be to get your book in front of readers. And one of the easiest ways to do that is with social media, which allows you to attract and build an audience of potential readers. The social media networks give you plenty of opportunities to reach your audience and engage them with interesting content.

I’ll be expanding on social media strategies for authors in the coming weeks, but here are some basics you should know:

1. Start with a blog. Add new posts at least twice per week, and then share them with all of your social networks (blog post title plus link).

2. Write compelling blog post titles. The title is almost more important than the post itself since it helps potential readers decide to click and read more.

3. Maintain a presence across the top five social media networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

4. Manage your time by pre-scheduling your blog posts to publish on specific days and times to your social media networks using http://Hootsuite.com.

5. Check in on your networks several times throughout the day when you have a few minutes to spare. This doesn’t have to require a huge time commitment. Take a moment to respond to comments and to share content by other people. Yes, share other people’s content too! Your goal should be to serve your audience, and that means finding great content for them to enjoy.

6. Use http://tweetdeck.com to monitor and manage Twitter. And by the way, Twitter should be the primary social media focus for most authors (more on this in a future blog post).

7. Monitor your site traffic by installing Google Analytics (it’s free!). Social media should drive traffic to your site and if you follow the above strategy, your traffic will begin to increase each month.

8. Embrace social media. It’s not a trend that’s going away, though it is evolving. If you can find a way to enjoy it, that will come across with your audience. It should take you less than 30 minutes per day to manage your social media presence. And if you simply don’t have time, hire some help! (We offer social media management services for authors here at Authority Publishing!)

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Authors: Why Your Books Are Listed for Sale in Amazon’s Used Booksellers Marketplace

Authors: Why Your Books Are Listed for Sale in Amazon’s Used Booksellers Marketplace

Authors often ask me why their books appear on Amazon under the Used Books category, especially if their book has only recently been Authors: Why Your Books Are Listed for Sale in Amazon’s Used Booksellers Marketplacereleased. Not to worry! There are legitimate reasons for this.

Most books are distributed through Ingram, the world’s largest supplier of books to bookstores. When new titles are released and available through Ingram, independent booksellers can offer them for sale, and purchase them at the wholesale discount set up for your book (usually between 40% to 55% off of retail price).

So when your book becomes available, you will likely find it listed with many independent booksellers—across Amazon and even on independent bookseller websites. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the booksellers have actually purchased your book—yet. When they make a sale, they then purchase the book through Ingram. So they can list your book for sale without actually having a single copy in inventory.

Many of these indie booksellers will list your book for sale with Amazon and often will attempt to beat Amazon’s available retail price in hopes of capturing the sale. Regardless of who ends up selling your book, you are still compensated based on sales through the distributor (Ingram).

There are also used book dealers who may list used copies of your book for sale, and there’s really nothing you can do about that. They may acquire them from donations, pick them up at thrift stores, or they may be review copies that you’ve sent out. For this reason, when you send out a review copy, be sure to stamp it as a “Review Copy – Not for Resale.” That is meant to prevent the book from being resold, and a simple rubber stamp can make this process easy (stamp the inside cover and title page). Most booksellers will honor this and will not attempt to resell a review copy.

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Authors: How to Handle Marketing When You Write for Multiple Genres

Authors: How to Handle Marketing When You Write for Multiple Genres

I just returned from speaking at the San Francisco Writers Conference, one of my favorite events each year. And this year there was a Authors: How to Handle Marketing When You Write for Multiple Genresclear theme among the aspiring authors I spoke with. Many were writing books in different genres, and they weren’t sure how to go about building an audience.

One of the wonderful perks of being a writer is that it’s a creative field. You get to “play” by doing what you love. But when you’re writing on diverse topics, you have to take extra care to develop your marketing plan and reach your target audience.

Because I believe that every author needs a blog, many asked if they needed two blogs to cover two genres. In most cases the answer is yes. If you’re writing about science and gardening, or cooking and a mystery novel, you quite likely need two different marketing plans, and two different blogs. I know it stinks, but you’re not alone.

It’s important to identify your target audience for each genre. You need to define who they are, and learn about what they care about, what their challenges are, and how you can serve them. If you write for multiple genres, the audience for each will be very different—and you need to understand those differences.

There are a couple of ways you can approach this:

1. Master one genre first. Once you’ve built an audience for your primary genre, you can then invite your readers along to check out books from your other genre. Just don’t expect all of them to join the ride. At this point, you will still need to build audience #2. But many authors have successfully crossed multiple genres. Anne Lamott comes to mind. Famous for Bird By Bird, an essential guide for writers, Lamott has also written several memoirs and religious books. She successfully crossed over into other genres after establishing her core audience first.

If you aren’t sure which genre to start with, pick the one you are most passionate about or that you’re most likely to want to own for the long-haul. Also, for entrepreneurial-authors, you might choose the genre that best compliments your business so that you can use your book as a tool to also grow your business.

2. Build both genres concurrently. If you’re truly passionate about more than one genre and want to launch both concurrently, then build separate websites and identities for each. You might even use a pen name if the genres are vastly different. Stephen King also writes as Richard Bachman. Nora Roberts writes as J.D. Robb. It’s not that uncommon. Without a pen name, if you try to establish yourself in two genres at once, you risk confusing people. If readers search for your name on Google or Amazon, will they find books on knitting and politics? That could get confusing so you need a plan.

3. See if your genres converge. I struggled with this multi-genre situation early on. I began by establishing myself with a small business audience, but then also began writing books for nonfiction authors. Eventually I realized that these two audiences often converge and cross over. So my approach is to maintain two different blogs (one for each genre), but to consolidate my social media efforts under one Twitter account, one Facebook page, etc. For me, this works because the two audiences are closely related, but unfortunately it won’t work for everyone.

The bottom line is that you need to develop a strategy, whether you use one of the above suggestions or create a hybrid solution all your own. Just be careful not to confuse people or to send out mixed messages.

How are you handling this issue? Please share in the comments below.

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How to Give Away Copies of Your Kindle Ebook on Amazon, and Why it’s a Good Idea

How to Give Away Copies of Your Kindle Ebook on Amazon, and Why it’s a Good Idea

Amazon has a handy featured called “Give as a Gift” which you can use to send someone a Kindle book via email. For authors, this can be how to give away kindle ebooksquite handy for book promotion purposes. If you can drive more sales to your Kindle edition by getting others to give it as a gift, the rank for your book’s sales page will improve and will ultimately lead to more visibility on Amazon, thus increasing your overall sales.

For example, let’s say you agree to speak at an event or conference and then ask the event host if they would be willing to give attendees a copy of your book in Kindle format. They agree to give a copy to all 100 attendees. The host would then go to Amazon and use the Give as a Gift feature, which will allow them to email a redemption code to each attendee, one at a time. Their attendees get a bonus, while you gain new readers, increase your sales, and improve your overall sales rank on Amazon!

Yep, it really is that simple. And we are using this feature to give away bonus books to the first 50 who register for the Nonfiction Writers Conference! Check it out here!

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How to Write Sales Copy for the Back of Your Nonfiction Book

How to Write Sales Copy for the Back of Your Nonfiction Book

If you’re working on your first book, you will inevitably have to sit down and write the sales copy that appears on the back of your book 16470910(also known as “jacket” copy). For authors who haven’t had to do this before, it can feel like a bit of a challenge.

You have a very limited amount of space on the back of your book so every word counts. The ultimate goal is to entice your target audience—potential readers—and convince them to purchase your book. With this in mind, here are some guidelines:

Research Other Books – Start by reading the jacket copy on other books, especially from books in the same genre as yours. Find out how other authors position their books and what benefits they mention. This will help you get a better understanding of what sales copy should look like, and can also help you identify ways that your book is different than your competitors (which you’ll want to focus on when writing your copy). You can also do much of this research on Amazon since most book listings feature the back cover copy, or an expanded version of the back cover copy.

Get Started – Write a compelling, and brief, opening paragraph. Draw readers in by identifying who they are and helping them relate to the solutions offered by your book. Here are some example statements:

“Have you ever felt like you were running your business alone?”

“If you’re one of the millions who struggle with weight in your middle section, you’ll find the answers inside…”

“Studies show that 8 out of 10 working mothers wish they had more hours in a day. If you’re a mom with an over-extended schedule, I’ve got good news for you…”

Focus on Benefits – For most nonfiction books, you should highlight benefits that the reader will enjoy, ideally in a bulleted list following the introductory paragraph. To uncover the benefits in your book, figure out what problems your book solves for readers. If you wrote a time management book, your benefits might look like this:

In The Acme Guide to Time Management, you will learn how to:

  • Reclaim two hours back from each and every day (without getting up earlier!)
  • Empty that inbox once and for all—and keep it under control forever
  • Improve your productivity by 500% with this simple change…
  • Reduce your stress by starting this daily habit…

End with a Call to Action – After your list of benefits, wrap up the copy with a strong call to action. That means that you are going to ask the reader for the sale (the gentle art of persuasion). Here are some examples:

  • If you’re ready to take back control of your life, you need this book!
  • Never before has anyone revealed so many inside secrets to the industry. Can you afford not to buy this book?
  • This book will show you exactly what it takes to lose 10 pounds in 30 days—so don’t waste another moment!

Other Back Cover Details

The back of your book cover should also include high-profile endorsements from one or more authors in your field. While it’s great if your client or your sister’s best friend enjoyed your book, the only endorsements that really deserve to be put on a cover should come from recognizable authors in the same genre. In some cases, executives from large companies or nonprofits can provide endorsements if it fits in with your target audience, but author endorsements are preferred. If you don’t have any big name endorsements, then it is better to leave them off than to put endorsements from people nobody has heard of (you can list those in the first pages of the book instead). Here’s a previous post on how to solicit endorsements for your book.

Lastly, the bottom of your back cover should include a brief author bio, and this should cover the top highlights from your career. This is not the place to mention pets or hobbies (unless you’re being humorous and that’s part of your sales strategy). Instead, focus on your biggest accomplishments including the number of years of work history you have in the field related to your book, major media outlets where you have been featured, awards you’ve won, and anything else that demonstrates your authority in your field. Don’t forget to include your website link and a professional head shot of you.

If this is your first time writing sales copy, find a copywriter or an experienced editor and ask them to review it and offer you suggestions for improvement. The back cover can have a big effect on a potential reader’s decision to buy your book or put it back on the shelf. Make sure your cover reflects the best your book has to offer.

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How Authors Can Participate in Blog Carnivals

How Authors Can Participate in Blog Carnivals

A blog carnival is a blog post that features a round-up of interesting blog posts from other websites. For example, a weight loss blog might How to participate in blog carnivalsfeature a round-up of recent blog posts from various weight loss experts, personal trainers, and other industry blogs. The round-up (carnival) usually includes between 10 to 50 blog posts, including article title and link for each, and sometimes a bit of commentary about what readers will learn from reading each post in the carnival. See a sample blog carnival from Joel Frielander’s blog here.

When one of your blog posts is featured in a carnival on a popular website, it can attract some great exposure and traffic. You can use Google to search for industry blogs that run “blog carnivals,” or you can utilize the top blog carnival website and search for opportunities to contribute: http://blogcarnival.com/bc/alist.html.

Conversely, you can also host blog carnivals on your own blog. To do this, create a regular feature on your blog, once a week or once per month, where you list compelling industry blog posts. You can find content from the industry blogs that you follow, use Google search to find resources, and you can also allow others to submit their posts for consideration (create a submission form on your site). You can also register your carnival for free and solicit contributions via  http://blogcarnival.com/bc/.

Once the carnival post is published live, notify contributors and ask them to promote the link to your carnival. If you are successful at locating the best of the best in your industry on a regular basis, you can attract lots of traffic from repeat visitors who want to discover interesting industry blog posts.

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How Authors Can Get Found by Media Professionals

How Authors Can Get Found by Media Professionals

At least half of the media interviews I’ve given over the years have come to me without any effort on my part. Why? Because I have How Authors Can Get Found by Media Professionalspositioned myself as an authority and have consistently promoted my work online.

Many interviews have come from reporters who found my blog. When the recession was just starting, I wrote a lot of blog posts about how I was going to do business in the recession (a timely topic that every news outlet was frantically covering). That’s when I learned that reporters, editors, and producers use Google to find sources. They would locate my blog, discover that I was also an author, and that led to numerous interviews with print, radio and television. I even ended up giving a live interview to Sunrise 7, Australia’s version of the today show. They featured me as the U.S. representative for what was happening in the small business economy. It was crazy!

Just last week I gave an interview to a reporter who found my books on Amazon. My books have attracted many interviews like this one. Reporters absolutely search Amazon to find sources to interview.

I’ve also been interviewed by reporters who found me on Twitter. One way to boost your chances of getting found by reporters is to follow them on Twitter first! You can search Google and Twitter to find many media professionals. Another great place to locate media pros on Twitter is via http://muckrack.com. By following them, the hope is that they will follow you back and pay attention to your activity. You can also tweet them directly to compliment a story or offer additional thoughts on a story.

To position yourself as an authority who gets found for media interviews, begin by updating the Media page on your website. Demonstrate that you are an experienced and reliable source. Then proceed to build your online platform. Update your blog two or more times each week, participate in Twitter and the other social media networks, and make sure everything you do positions you as an authority in your field. When you consistently promote your work online, you will begin to attract all kinds of opportunities.

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The 4 People Every Author Should Hire

The 4 People Every Author Should Hire

Professional Editor – If you’re self-publishing your book, and most people are these days, nothing is more important than having your 4 People Every Author Should Hirebook professionally edited. It’s fine to have it reviewed by a friend or relative, or by teachers and people with English degrees (I hear this a lot), but you still need a professional editor to put the finishing touches on your work. And I can guarantee that even though your highly credentialed friend reviewed your manuscript, the editor will still find errors. Professional editors follow industry guidelines (style guides) to make sure your work is consistent and clean. They review every sentence carefully. Someone doing you a favor isn’t likely to look that closely. Professional editing is one of the best investments you can make in producing your book.

Graphic Designer – Homemade book covers, postcards, flyers and other marketing collateral always look homemade. If you want to be taken seriously as an author and business professional, find a good graphic designer for your professional design needs.

Website Designer – A template site is fine if that is all you can afford, but it will never compare to a site designed by a pro. More importantly, having access to a graphic designer you can call when you want to change something on your site, or when something goes wrong, can make a big difference.

Virtual Assistant – Very few authors have a lot of spare time to focus on marketing their books, because most of us also have jobs! That’s where a good virtual assistant comes in handy. You can hire someone to help with some of the workload, and manage tasks like research, contacting bloggers, mailing out your books, and other administrative tasks. You can find virtual assistants through AuthorsAssistants.com and the International Virtual Assistants Association.

Additional Hires to Consider:

Marketing Support – If you’re struggling with marketing your books, consider hiring the help you need. There are many types of marketing services available for authors to help you with marketing planning, online campaigns, social media, and more.

Publicist – Publicity services is one of the most expensive options for authors so you have to weigh this choice carefully. Publicists typically expect a monthly retainer fee of $2,500 or more. However, an experienced publicist already has relationships with many media professionals, and can help you get the exposure you need. If you want to go big with your book marketing campaigns, hiring a publicist can help you do that.

Bookkeeper – Depending on the volume of sales you manage, hiring a professional bookkeeper can help you not only stay sane, but to comply with tax laws that you may not even know about. I recommend hiring a bookkeeper who is also a certified tax planner.