Building A Strong Reputation For Your First Book

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There are few moments more exciting in the writer’s life than just after you have published your first book. It is also a nerve-wracking time, however, as you are never quite sure just how it is going to go. Sales are not guaranteed, and it can be a challenge to figure out exactly how you are meant to sell it.

Fortunately, there are positive steps that are always available for you to take. As long as you are following these basic guidelines, it is much more likely that your book will get into more readers’ hands. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the best things you can do for the reputation of your book.

Build An Audience First

In many ways, one of the most important aspects of the whole experience is the timing. As long as you get the timing right, you can be sure that your book will at least sell some copies. But what do we mean by correct timing? Most of all, you want to make sure that you as a writer have some kind of audience, even before you publish your book. If you do not have anything in the way of publicized interest, then it is much less likely that people will buy your book.

In order to develop an audience, you can do a number of things. If you are not already active on Twitter and Facebook, make sure you sign up and start interacting. You might also want to gain interest in your local areas by giving readings at local events and the like.

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Design A Stand-out Cover

The old saying about not judging a book by its cover is not really fair – after all, who doesn’t do exactly that when they are scanning the bookshelves? The cover does make a huge difference to whether or not people pick up your book, so you may as well put a lot of effort into getting it just right.

Cover design is a whole art in itself, and a great cover is one which takes both the contents of the book and your personal branding into account. You might also find that using an online service like this Wattpad book cover maker helps to get the cover design for your book just right.

Branding

Personal branding is vital if you want to be taken seriously as an author. This much is clear, and your brand should be reflected in your book in some way. But the book itself should also have a distinct kind of branding attached to it. This simply means that wherever you promote it, you follow the same set of stylistic concerns.

This massively increases your chances of the book being considered as a viable option for purchase. If you are unsure on how exactly to market your book in this way, then you might want to consider getting some help on that part of the process. It really does make a world of difference.

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Can SEO Help You Sell More Books?

As a publisher or book author, the thought of search engine optimization – SEO – is likely to send chills down your spine. After all, creativity is what you are good at, and the technical aspect of SEO can be daunting, to say the least.

But the truth is somewhat different. Using SEO to sell more books is more straightforward than you might think. And, failure to invest some time and money into being more visible online could stymie your chances of success.

With this in mind, this post will outline what you need to get started in SEO. Let’s get started with some of the basics.

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Answering a Question

The first step in understanding how to approach SEO for books is knowing how people use search engines. While your book is likely to rank highly when people search for its title and your author name, not many will. After all, nobody is going to know your name or your book’s name when you are just starting out.

So, the idea is to think about keywords – the phrases and questions people enter into search engines to find what they are looking for. Brainstorm everything you can think of that touches on your book’s subject matter.

Also, use tools like Google’s Adwords Keyword tool to help you identify popular words and phrases. Once you are done, you should have an extensive set of keywords that you can use on your website, or in your book’s description.

Optimize for all Search Engines

Don’t forget that Google isn’t the only search engine in existence. Sure, it’s vital that you optimize for Google, but you should also consider the likes of Bing and other search engines. Knowing about the latest Google update will be crucial to keep your book ranking high – but other platforms have search engines, too.

If you have an account selling books through Amazon, for example, it is imperative to understand how to rank well for your subject. Lots of self-publishing authors fail to do this, and they are missing out on a lot of potential.

Spreading the Word

Search engines follow links and place a good deal of importance on them. It is vital to get your book out there and in the hands of industry authority figures. Doing so will work in a couple of ways. First of all, if an industry thought leader reviews your book and recommends it to their followers, you will increase your sales.

Secondly, search engines place a high value on getting links from reputable websites. The higher quality of website that is linking to you, the better your rankings will be. Some of the most powerful links are from educational establishments or government websites. While it’s hard to get these links, it is not impossible – and it can have a significant impact on your search rankings.

Investing in SEO

Finally, investing in hiring a reputable SEO firm will pay off in the long-term. They can ensure that your site or sales page is optimized to perfection, while you can focus on your relationships with your audience. SEO is not magic, and anyone can learn how to do it – but it is time-consuming. Choosing the right firm to work with should bring you a good return on your investment. Good luck!

Are You A New Author? Please Don’t Make These Silly Mistakes!

There is no denying that writing provides a creative outlet for many a person. Authoring books is a fantastic way to tell a story and share it with limitless amounts of individuals. As you know, one can read books on almost any subject. From crime thrillers to romance novels, and from autobiographies to travel guides, there is a book out there that will interest everyone.

The process of writing a book is often a long and arduous journey. Apart from dedicating time to the cause, what you write has to offer compelling reading. Many authors promote their books and get dismayed when there’s little interest in them. If you’re a new author, make sure you don’t make any of the following silly mistakes:

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Poor spelling and grammar

 

Let’s face it. Every author has their own style of writing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what can irk many people is coming across spelling and grammar mistakes. It might not sound like a big deal to you. However, I’m here to tell you that it should!

If your first book is full of typos, your audience will find it hard to follow your story. These days, spelling and grammar checks are built into word processing software. And, there are online services like Grammarly that can help you. Make sure you use them.

 

Unappealing book cover

 

When a person walks into a bookstore, the design of a book cover will capture their attention. We process visual imagery first before written words. As a new author, your readers won’t be people who already know about you.

Your new entry into a particular niche topic can captivate them with stunning visuals. If you’re not a good graphic designer, pay a professional to do your artwork. After all, you wouldn’t build a house if you weren’t an expert bricklayer!

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Forgetting to create a website

 

Thanks to the digital world we live in, many of us buy the books that interest us online. We might head over to sites like Amazon to browse and buy what we want. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website dedicated to you and your books!

You can use your site as a springboard to launch new books in the future. And let’s not forget what a brilliant marketing tool your website can be. Again, it pays to use an expert web design agency for your new site. Don’t go down the DIY route if your best work looks like a website built in 1995.

Not having another person edit your work

 

You might be a brilliant proofreader. Your spelling and grammar skills may be exceptional. But, you should still get someone else to edit your work. Why?

First of all, your editing will be biased. Of course it will—you wrote the book! A fresh pair of eyes will help you to refine and improve your work until it’s ready for publication.

Second, you might not be thorough with your proofreading. That’s probably because you think your writing is okay. And, third, it will take up a lot of time. Just get someone else to do it for you.

Follow the above suggestions and you’ll have a higher chance of success. Thanks for reading my blog post today.

[post contributed for tamarhela.com]

Self-Publishing: What Makes A Book Successful?

When it comes to getting your writing out there in the public, there are many ways to go about it. One method which is gaining particular popularity in the past few years is self-publishing. In self-publishing, you have a genuine and viable way of publishing your work. What’s more, the lines are being increasingly blurred between traditional publishing and self-publishing. It is now not necessarily a more lucrative venture to go the traditional route. If you are keen to self-publish your book, then you probably want to know how exactly you can ensure that it sells. This is the main fear that many self-published authors face. After all, you of course want it to be as successful as possible. In this post, we will go through some of the main components of what makes a self-published book more likely to sell.

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Captivating Cover

 

Let’s be honest: most of the marketing here is done at the actual point of sale. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover doesn’t actually apply when it comes to books themselves. After all, we all do it – you pick it up, check the cover and decide based on that. To that end, you need to ensure that your book has a cover which captivates and fascinates immediately. To achieve that, you might want to consider brushing up on your graphic design skills. Then, using software like Photoshop Illustrator, you can really work on designing a cover which sells. For training in Illustrator, see https://www.trainingconnection.com/illustrator-training.php.

 

Original Concept

Of course, it would be cynical to say that the actual work had nothing to do with the book’s success. It does, of course. For your self-published book to be successful, you need to ensure that the actual concept is original and fascinating. After all, originality is usually what sells the best. The trick here is to learn how to draw the line. You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, because you will get lost in it all. However, if you go out on a limb too much, then you might suffer from being misunderstood. If you can find the balance between the two, your book will probably do pretty well. For more on developing a good concept, see http://jillcorcoranliteraryagency.com/what-makes-a-book-sell/.

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Strong Writing

This one should go without saying, but it needs repeating as it is so vital. To sell your self-published book, you need to make sure that the actual writing is as polished and strong as possible. Too many authors rush into publishing before they have even properly proofread their writing. It is far preferable to spend a good amount of time on ensuring your writing is as good as can be. Only then should you even consider publishing it, in any form. Remember that when you go down this route, you don’t have an editor. You need to be your own editor, so make sure that you are strict with yourself. Otherwise, your work might just not cut it. Get these three elements right, however, and all should go to plan.

[post contributed for tamarhela.com]

Book Release: Palindrome 656 by CF Waller

Happy 2016, all! This is my first post of the new year, and I find it appropriate that it’s spotlighting not only a new book release, but one of my favorite authors as well. ANDDDDDDDD I happen to be the editor for this new edition of: Palindrome 656. 😉 

If you don’t recall, or if you’re new here, I hosted C.F. Waller, author of Free Dive, in this previous post. I am a huge fan of his work and had the privilege of editing Free Dive when Cosby Media Productions acquired it. You can grab a copy of Free Dive by clicking HERE. I actually bought a copy for my grandma for Christmas (she reads cool books, obvi).

But I digress. Today’s post is about the latest and greatest release from Waller: Palindrome 656. Below is everything you need to know about this book.

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Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Thriller/Dystopian

Publisher: Cosby Media Productions

Editor: Tamar Hela

Publication date: 1/12/16

Age recommendation: 17+

Blurb: SECRETS TELL LIES
When a ghost ship turns up in orbit after a half decade of silence, the powers that be are going to want answers. And when you are the only person still breathing, you can expect an interrogation. Hannah, the Empire’s leading lady of counter-intelligence, is about to go head to head with the Union’s best interrogators in a life or death battle to find the answers to some seemingly simple questions. As she decides what to answer and what to leave out, none of the stories she is about to share will paint her in a positive light, but in her case, they rarely do. It’s said that the “winners” write the history books, and while the Union continues to demand answers, it seems Hannah, whose greatest victory is managing to stay alive, is the only one holding a pen.

Grab your copy from Amazon by clicking HERE.

 Where can you connect with C.F. Waller?

Stalk him on Google (click this link for a laugh)

Website: Cfwaller.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wallercf

Twitter: @wallercf

Amazon (book links/author page): Click HERE

 Goodreads: Click HERE

About C.F. Waller

Charles published his first science fiction novel at age forty-seven, after a flight on an ill-fated commercial airliner over the Atlantic Ocean, that nearly became an episode of Why Planes Crash. This experience illustrated for him firsthand that writing about exotic or dangerous locales was safer than traveling to them. Since then, he likes to think his meticulous research and storytelling gives readers a clear sense of their grandeur, without the inherent risk of flying.

After narrowly escaping the academic death-grip of several universities, Charles worked in nightclubs, took a turn as a new car salesman, and also as a hurricane shutter engineer. His favorite authors include Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Michael Crichton. The latter being especially close to his heart, as Crichton epitomizes the techno-thriller genre and and the failure of humans to interact with technology.

Though he will forever be a Midwestern boy at heart, he now lives on the gulf coast of Florida with his wife, Tina, and one fuzzy feline companion. If he’s not working on a new novel, you can find him volunteering at church, playing overly competitive Yahtzee with his spouse, or indulging in an unhealthy addiction to competitive cooking shows on television.