Monday, November 15, 2010

Is A Web Site Really That Important?

It's hard to believe I still hear people ask that question. In this day and age you better believe it's important. This is the way people do business. They want to know what your web address is so they can check you out, see what you are about and what you have to offer. They want to do it on their time. We get busier every day. Time is precious. Being able to check out your web site any time day or night is a must. It also lends credibility to you and your work. My suggestion, if you don't have a web site, have one created for you. It should look professional and be easy to use. Make sure if you have a site built they understand your business. That will allow them to add the proper pages and information to your web site. Remember, a web site doesn't have to be EXPENSIVE to build. Just because it costs a lot doesn't mean it's better. That I learned from experience:)

Happy Writing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Marketing and Social Networks

You know when I think about all of the social networks that are available my mind just spins. So many places to let people know about your books. Blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, the list just goes on. It's really amazing and you know what else it is... Time consuming! By the time you update, check in, and post your day is half gone and you haven't even checked your email. My advise. Get HELP! That's the only way you will be able to stay on top of everything that needs to be done in a day. Even a little bit of help is better than nothing. It's important to remember, you are the author, people want you to write. Leave the busy work to someone else so you can do what you need to do. Staying on the first few pages of search engines is great but if you spend all of your time staying there you won't have anything new to share.

Happy Writing,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So Exciting! Blog Stop November 8th

Hi Everyone,
Guess what... I am a blog tour host.I am so excited! The author is Nikita Lynnette Nichols author of A Man's Worth, Amaryllis, A Woman's Worth and coming soon Crossroads. Be sure to stop by my blog November 8, 2010. I will have the interview posted and Ms. Nichols will be available throughout that week to answer questions and respond to comments. And as a bonus by leaving a comment so we know you stopped by you will be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of A Woman's Worth. If you aren't familiar with Nikita's work stop by her web site and check out "What Readers Have To Say" page. WOW!!!!!
Let the fun begin!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Million New Ways To Market Your Book!

Everyday I find several new ways to market and promote books. So many that sometimes my head spins. It spins in a good way but spins none the less. Social networking is so exciting and unlimited in terms of what you can do and who you can reach. I must say it is time consuming and it does take a bit of time to build up speed but once you do it takes on a life of its own. And it is exciting!
Put in the time. You won't be sorry. If you are able, get someone to help you. A publicist already has a good list of sites and will know how to get things done quickly, giving you the time to keep writing.

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What Form Of Marketing Works Best For You???

We travel this maze of book marketing trying to find what works best for each of us. Different approaches work for different authors and genres. A marketing plan that works great for one author crashes and burns for another. As a self published author, what has worked best for you? How much time to do you spend marketing yourself or do you have help with your marketing efforts?

I look forward to trading marketing information with you!

Happy Writing!

Remember book marketing and publishing doesn't have to be stressful or costly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Article Marketing... Does It Work?

Immediate gratification, you have to love it. I know I do.
But when it comes to book marketing it’s more of a hurry up and wait type of business.
You have to wait while the book is being edited, and while it’s being formatted, while it gets printed and delivered. Well you get the idea anyway.
Article marketing offers some immediate gratification because once you have posted your article and it is approved you can track it to find out how many people have looked at your article. Boy does that feel good. People read your article then they go back to your web site. That’s the goal, to get them interested enough in what you have to say to get them back to your site. Then it becomes a numbers game. The more people that visit your site, the better the chance that you will sell books. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
It isn’t just people back to your site but you will become the leader of the pack when it comes to a Google and Yahoo search.
You also will have your article picked up by other web sites that are interested in what you have to say. That introduces you to that persons following.
Article marketing is kind of like that old shampoo commercial. You know the one tell two people and they tell two people and so on and so on. I know I dated myself but you get the picture.
So should you partake in article marketing? Yes. Will it pay off? You’d better believe it!
Remember, book marketing is a marathon not a race.

Happy Writing!
Progressive Book Marketing, LLC
Book publishing and marketing doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twitter and Facebook and Blogging…Oh My!

Do you know how many times I hear, “I don’t have time to blog, or post on Twitter or Facebook.
Too many times to mention!
The fact is, being an author is a business and this is part of the business. I tell my clients all the time that they have to make time. We never say we don’t have time to do our day job. Well sometimes we do but we go and do our job anyway. Your book business is no different. You will get out of it what you put into it. You have to make time.
Let’s think about it a minute. The exposure is amazing. You are now able to reach people you were never able to reach before.
That being said, isn’t it worth it to spend a little time updating your blog?
Let your publicist know every time you update your blog. They will know how to get the word out to others and it takes a bit of the pressure off of you.
I believe that to be successful in the book business, you can’t throw money at it. Spend some time and it will grow.

Happy Writing!
Progressive Book Marketing, LLC
Remember book publishing and marketing doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting Published... Too Good To Be True?

Finally, a dream come true. Your book, your baby was picked up by a publisher. That's great! Or is it? I have heard one too many horror stories and I just feel sick. Author's with a great following. No scratch that, not great... Amazing! Authors in high demand. So much so that it's hard to keep up with their demanding schedule. These author's that are selling books faster than they can be printed getting no royalty checks from their publisher. I could be wrong, but I think that's crazy! These publishers give the industry a BAD name. When I think about the poor authors out there that are pounding the pavement, shaking hands and kissing babies and not making a dime on their wonderful work. Well all I can say is WOW!

You know you don't have to be picked up by a publisher in order to sell books. You can still have your book listed on,,, and books a million just to name a few without having a "publisher". There are distributors and publicists and cover designers and editors that work with authors that publish on their own.

You are not alone. Book publishing and promoting doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. It can be fun and you can actually make money. You just have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take the plunge. Mark Twain did...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take Constructive Criticism and Make it a Positive Thing!

We work in an industry where we need and want people to give us feedback on our book. On occasion we receive feedback that we don’t like to hear. The book could have used a good editor or this is a lot of fluff and lacks substance.
Ouch! Those comments hurt. They hurt because your book is like your baby. No one wants to hear they have an ugly baby and odds are you don’t have an ugly baby.
Instead of getting mad, let’s take a step back, and a deep breath and look at the big picture. Maybe we are in need of a good editor. Editing is never a place to cut corners when you are publishing a book. You need a professional editor. They see things in a different way. It’s not enough to have someone really good at grammar. Maybe we do need a bit more substance, things to think about for your next project.
The bottom line is we asked for this feedback so now we have to learn from it, the good, the bad, the ugly. You will have plenty that love you and your work but for those that wanted a bit more and told us so. We need to say thank you because their comments only make us better authors.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Should I Do A Newsletter?

Let’s talk newsletters… I think newsletters are a great way to keep you in front of your audience. The goal should be a newsletter that provides information the reader will find useful. I like a monthly newsletter unless you have some great info that you can’t wait to pass along.
The body of your newsletter should be something new from you. Let the reader know what you have been up to. Talk about your family if you want. We feel closer to you if we know about you. We are more interested in staying in touch.
You will also want to list your events and invite your readers to join you if they are in the neighborhood. You may want to introduce a fellow author. That provides some filler for you and helps the featured author. We all know that every now and then coming up with content on a regular basis can be a bit of a challenge.
If you can, it’s always great to offer something like a giveaway. That will give you some insight as to how many are actually reading the newsletter.
That in mind I also recommend utilizing a newsletter service. By using a service you are able to track how many addresses were sent the newsletter, how many were opened, how many bounced, how many clicked through to your web site and how many unsubscribed.
I provide a newsletter service for my clients so they do nothing but provide the content. I provide some of the filler for them and track progress and let them know. The idea is to keep you writing not doing a bunch of busy work. Leave that to someone else.
Newsletters are a great and inexpensive way to keep your followers informed and keep your name out there.
Remember… Out of Sight Out of Mind, not a good thing.
Happy Writing and Reading!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paying Your Dues

I have been on several sides of this business. I began my journey working in an independent bookstore as a manager where one of my many duties was scheduling book signing events with New York Times bestselling authors and making sure everything went off without a hitch. From there I worked for a publishing company and then on to my own business.
During my time at the bookstore I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful authors but one that sticks in my memory is Steve Hamilton, NYT bestselling author many times over. He has an extensive list of titles under his belt. Now here is someone that could have been full of himself, but instead he was down to earth and a really great person. The size of the audience was not the deciding factor on how he addresses his audience. He made each and every person that came to get a book signed feel special and appreciated. Now here is a guy that wrote great books, traveled around on his own to book signings and kept his day job, even though he didn’t need to. This is an author that has paid his dues yet continues to promote his books in the same manner as when he was not well known.
In my line of work I meet with and speak to many first time authors that don’t know what to expect from this business. When I sit down with a potential client to discuss a marketing plan that works for them there are a few things I hear over and over.
I want to be on Oprah. I only want to do book signings near my home and only if they will pay me and or guarantee sales. How do I get stores to buy my book by the case?
Everyone has a wish list and we should always strive to be our best and take our work to the next level.
You may never get on Oprah but you don’t need Oprah to be successful. Bookstores won’t pay you and they can’t guarantee an audience nor do they buy books by the case under normal circumstances. This is a one at a time kind of business but that’s okay what fun would it be if we could predict every step of our success.
So in closing please, never think you are too big to get out there and talk to people about your work. Promote your 10th book with the same excitement you had with your 1st. It’s not the size of the audience it’s the quality of the company. If someone is there to see you then you have touched them with your work and that is very special. In closing never stop “paying your dues” and you will always have success.

Progressive Book Marketing

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog Tour Stop This Wednesday!!!

Hi Everyone, Just wanted to send a quick note. Sherryle Kiser Jackson author of The Manual is making a blog stop on author Cecelia Dowdy's blog. The blog stop will start on Wednesday April 28, 2010. Stop by and check it out. Sherryle will be responding to comments for 1 week after the initial post.

See you there!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Work As A Team With The Bookstore That Is Hosting Your Signing

When you or your publicist schedule a book signing,work as a team with the venue by providing marketing material well in advance of the event so they can start promoting you. Many bookstores are understaffed so hosting a book signing is a lot of extra work. If they know they are getting your help they will be more inclined to add you to their list of events. Send them bookmarks unique to the event, fliers that they can post around the store. Send out an email blast letting everyone know where you will be and utilize your social networks. Many bookstores want to know that you will invite your family and friends to the signing. The truth is your friends and family already have your book. You want new readers that haven't had the pleasure of curling up with your great book and getting lost in the pages. So spread the word. It's great way to meet new people and promote new readers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Check out this page turner A Woman's Worth

Nikita Lynnette Nichols is an author to keep an eye on. She can spin a tale like no other.You won't be able to put her books down. In A Woman's Worth, Monique Morrison had made a huge mistake when she moved into a home to play house with Boris Cortland. With on again off again wedding plans and a woman who had already signed on to play the role of his wife, Boris was in no hurry to seal the deal. In his mind, Monique wasn’t going anywhere so why not continue to play the field? Though she was in church, Sunday after Sunday, praying for God to touch Boris’ heart and turn him from his wicked ways, it seemed Monique’s pleas were constantly unanswered. Suffering from neglect, rejection and verbal abuse, Monique had all but given up on her dream of having a relationship that represented true unconditional love until Adonis Cortland moves in and does for Monique all of the things that Boris wouldn’t do. Could Boris’ cousin be the man that Monique had been praying for?
Nikita writes about topics we not only relate to but have dealt with or are dealing with.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Virtual Book Tours

The internet is an amazing tool. I remember it wasn't that long ago that there was no surfing the web. An email address, a ning network, tweeting, IM.They didn't exist. Now you can travel the world and never leave your house. That brings me to my topic. Virtual Book Tours or Blog Tours. What a wonderful way to touch base with readers all over the world and share your work. This is something you could never do with traditional signings. It's just too costly, not to mention exhausting. VBT's allow you to reach new readers, gain new followers and sell more books. They take some time to set up but well worth the time. And boy are they fun. Oh the places you will go. I recently scheduled blog stops in Israel and Turks and Caicos. I still shake my head when I think about it. Marketing books is so much fun. The opportunities are endless. I look forward to talking with you about VBT's and sharing marketing ideas.
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Curl Up With Your Favorite Blanket, A Cup Of Tea and This Book!

I will be the first to say if a mystery doesn't grab my attention right away I put the book down. I could NOT put down What Did You Do Before Dying? and Why Did You Die In The Park? by Patricia K. Batta. Both with the same protagonist Marge Christensen finds her husband dead in their garage. The police say it's suicide but Marge knows different. She knows her husband would never commit suicide. Marge decides to take matters into her own hands so she can find out what really happened. This is a fun read! Batta keeps you turning the pages.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Be An Informed Consumer

Let me start by saying, If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is.”

Now let me explain my statement. I can’t tell you how many authors I have talked to and work with that published their book with one of the online publishers that offer services for a minimal fee. What a great deal! NO! Many of these publishers rely on the first time author to keep them in business. In most cases the author ends up with a book that is not accepted in the marketplace.

Bookstores typically don’t work with Print On Demand Companies (POD). More often than not the book is also missing valuable information that should be included.

Once you get past that there is the issue with the book price. That is the amount the author must pay to have each book printed. I have seen case after case where the author loses money by selling books. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

This is one of the areas that the online publisher makes their money. They have the author charge an unreasonable amount for the book, and then charge half of the retail for each book printed. We won’t even talk about the shipping.

So now the author’s publicist has scheduled a book signing at an independent bookstore where the author can bring their books. Let’s say for arguments sake the book retails for $20 which is overpriced for the marketplace. The author paid $10 for the book plus shipping. Let’s assume shipping is $3 per book. So the author has $13 invested in each book which means for every book that sells the author makes $7, right? NO!

The bookstore expects their cut which typically is 40% of the retail. So now we take $8 and give that to the bookstore which leaves us with $12. Remember the author has $13 into each book which means for every book sold the author must pay $1. I’m no math expert but I don’t think this is how it should work. We won’t even talk about the time, gas, marketing tools etc…

How do you get around this? Be an informed consumer and remember, “If It Sounds To Good To Be True, It Probably Is!"


Progressive Book Marketing, LLC

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Monday, April 5, 2010

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