Archive for Authors

Author Pat Honiotes

Author Pat Honiotes

Author Pat Honiotes’ (pictured left) has written an empowering book called The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out. Today we share an audio interview of how Spirit Authors helped her behind the scenes to get her book published. 

Recently, my good friend Shelagh Jones of Spiritus Spiritual Marketing Directory contacted me saying she was working with a client to self-publish and launch her self-help book, and she needed some help from me to fill in the gaps. The client was a delightful woman named Patricia J. Honiotes, M.S. and her book is entitled The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out – How to Go From Stuck to Star of Your Life.

PAT HONIOTES, M.S. is an internationally renowned personal empowerment coach, therapist, educator, and Reiki Master Teacher and healer. Formerly a special education teacher, Pat has a Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and is also a Board Certified Medical Hypnoanalyst. Since 1982, she has helped thousands of clients take ownership of their lives through private sessions, seminars, workshops and classes. Her down-to-earth honesty and non-judgmental outlook create a relaxed, safe environment for all who work with her. A firm believer in “walking the talk”, Pat’s book The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out is the culmination of her personal life journey combined with over three decades of work devoted to helping clients reclaim their self-worth and experience the joy and richness of life itself.

As you can see from her bio, Pat is tremendously experienced in the personal development field, but what she had never really done before was think like a marketer. The subsidiary press she was using to publish her book asked her for a ‘book blurb’ and some copy for the back cover of her book. While Pat was an expert in her subject matter, she really didn’t have a clue where to begin with these challenges. She asked Shelagh for help, who in turn contacted me (thank-you, Shelagh!). So, I wrote both the book blurb and the back cover copy. I also wrote Pat’s bio (which you see above) AND made a 1-page media kit for her.

Pat’s book, The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out, comes out this week on Friday November 8th, 2013. Shelagh has organized a Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) for Pat to help promote the launch, and because I was involved in the publishing process, she asked me if I would be a ‘stop’ on the tour. Today I am delighted to be the host on the 3rd day of Pat’s VBT. Yesterday, Pat H. visited Pat Thompson’s ‘Cultivating Balance’ blog at http://work-life-balance.blogspot.co.uk, where they explored a fascinating perspective on ‘figuring ourselves out’.

Because the purpose of Spirit Authors is to offer self-publishing and marketing advice to authors, Shelagh came up with a brilliant idea that, instead of me interviewing Pat about her book, Shelagh would do an audio interview with me about the process of creating the book blurb and back cover copy. That way, we could take you ‘behind the scenes’ of the book launch, while we also told you about Pat’s book.

Click the audio player to listen to the interview:
Shelagh Jones Interviews Lynn Serafinn about writing blurbs for your book

If you cannot see the audio player on your screen, click here to open or download the MP3.

In our 13 1/2 minute interview together, Shelagh and I touched upon these topics:

  1. What is a book blurb and who is it for?
  2. Why is a book blurb so important?
  3. Why do authors think they can do it themselves?
  4. What happens when we think TOO outside the box when writing our blurb?
  5. Why is it important for someone other than the author to write the blurb?
  6. Where do you need to start when writing a book blurb?
  7. What do readers need to see in your blurb before they buy your book?
  8. How does your book blurb differ from a sales letter?
  9. What is the single most important thing you need to ‘zero in’ on before writing your blurb?
  10. What are the 4 steps that go into a book blurb?
  11. How do you make your back cover copy from your blurb?
  12. How do you submit your book blurb so it gets distributed to Amazon, etc.?
  13. What are the technical considerations for your book blurb and back cover copy?
  14. What is the difference between a POD (print-on-demand) company and a subsidiary press (self-publishing) company?
  15. What are the different levels of help these companies will give you?
  16. Why is it worth budgeting the money to get your blurb and back cover copy written for you?

BOOK - The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out by Pat Honiotes

So that you see what we’ve been talking about, here’s the ‘back cover blurb’ I made for Pat’s book (you can see the complete wholesaler blurb when you check out the book on Amazon). This should also give you a feel for how all the elements we discussed in the interview come together when you write your back cover copy. I’ve put it in blue to make it easier to see where it begins and ends.

### BEGIN BACK COVER COPY ###

“Why Do I Feel So STUCK?”

You’ve played life by the “rules”. You’re a responsible person. You’re educated. You work hard. You have friends and family. But something isn’t quite right. Life is good, but not great. Things are stable, but not exciting. You like your job, but you don’t feel stretched or challenged. You’re making money, but you don’t feel abundant. You’re reasonably healthy, but not truly vibrant. Your relationships are OK, but deep inside, you crave more connection and intimacy with those you love.

The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out is a book for people who feel like they’ve been ‘doing’ life instead of living it. In this book, author Pat Honiotes MS has amalgamated over three decades of professional experience in medical hypnoanalysis and personal empowerment coaching to bring you a one-of-a-kind, step-by-step handbook of techniques and practices that can help you figure out where, why and how you’re stuck in life, and create a unique, personalized action plan for change.

In this book, you’ll discover:

  • How to achieve greater connection in your personal and professional relationships
  • How to attain career goals you always felt were beyond your reach
  • How to communicate in a more mature and empowered way
  • How to detect your own ‘symptoms’ before they become major issues
  • And much more

If you’re ready to get UNSTUCK now, read
The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out

### END COPY ###

I hope you found this interview useful, and that you also check out Pat’s book. You can get the book at http://www.figuringyourselfout.com.

Lynn Serafinn
6 November 2013

P.S.: If you’d like to read more about writing blurbs for your book, you might find my article ‘How to Write Good Blurbs and Back Pages for Your Book‘ to be helpful.

P.P.S.: If you’d like to discuss hiring us to make a blurb, back cover copy, bio and/or media kit for YOUR book, drop us a line via the contact form on this site.


 

LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn   @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

Erica Tucci, Stroke Survivor and Author of Radiant SurvivorPictured left: author and stroke survivor Erica Tucci. Erica’s beautiful book Radiant Survivor is coming to Amazon on November 19th. To celebrate this launch, Erica and I are co-hosting an uplifting 3-day telesummit featuring world-renowned author and medical doctor Bernie Siegel MD. Find out how to attend (fr*ee) below.

One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to work with wonderful people. As I only work with authors in the self-help, mind-body-spirit and social reform genres, they tend to share some very special qualities. They have a devotion to personal and social transformation. They want to help people. They want to create a better world.

Another thing many (if not all) of them have in common is that they have experienced some sort of major transformation in their own lives – often a traumatic one that turned their lives upside down – which gave them insight and wisdom that would not have been accessible to them otherwise.

That’s what happened to Fortune 500 business manager Erica Tucci in 2011 when she collapsed to the floor on her way to work one day. Erica had a profound stroke that totally paralysed the right side of her body.

But something remarkable happened to Erica as she went through her 2-year process of rehabilitation and recovery. She discovered the trauma she had experienced was actually the BEST thing that had ever happened to her, and the wisdom and life-lessons she was learning were completely transforming her life for the better.

That revelation prompted Erica to write her powerful book, Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. The book includes Erica’s story and the stories of 14 other survivors and caregivers, along with exercises for healing and a wealth of wisdom and life-lessons.


Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences
 is a book about healing. It is a wellspring of hope, inspiration and encouragement to anyone facing trauma in their life.

BOOK: Radiant Survivor by Erica Tucci

 

The book contains stories from author Erica Tucci along with 14 other everyday heroes who, against all odds, survived and thrived after tragedy shook their lives to the core. It also contains a wealth of life lessons and practical exercises that will show you how to:

  • Believe in yourself and never give up
  • Understand the limiting beliefs that hold you back
  • Be grateful and have the right attitude
  • Surrender and let go
  • Establish your support system
  • See recovery as a transformative process
  • Get “real” about the possibility of not recovering
  • Understand the impact of trauma on families, friends and caregivers

But most of all, Radiant Survivor will help you understand how your experience is part of your sacred contract with the Divine, and how trauma can help you find out what is really important in life.

I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Erica for the better part of a year now, and I’ve been continually amazed at how she really does shine and thrive, even on days when she struggles with her physical recovery. Her devotion to her work has resulted in her becoming an official Online Ambassador for the American Stroke Association. She has also received these endorsements from some names you will undoubtedly recognise:

“Erica Tucci touches on a subject I am all too well aware of. Her story is mine. She brings the reader through the realities and frustrations of suffering a life threatening illness but adds that ray of light at the end of that dark tunnel as hope is always there if you believe and find your own true strength.”

KEVIN SORBO (aka Hercules on TV series)
Actor, stroke survivor, author of True Strength

Survivors have common qualities and are an excellent resource for all of us. They become our life coaches and help us to learn from our experiences and be guided by them. Erica’s experience can help us all to learn about survivor behavior and thriving in difficult times.”

– DR. BERNIE SIEGEL, MD
Medical Doctor, author of Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing

Radiant Survivor is having its big Amazon launch on Tuesday November 19th, 2013. To celebrate the arrival of this special book, Erica and I are co-hosting a special FR*EE 3-day telesummit…

11 Guest Speakers on the Radiant Survivor Telesummit

Radiant Survivor Telesummit

Radiant Survivor Telesummit
Nov 12th, 13th and 14th, 2013
3pm EST, 12noon PST, 8pm UK
with a panel of 11 international speakers
exploring what it takes to shine, thrive and grow
when trauma effects our lives

Book Your Place at
http://bit.ly/1edsUmy

Here’s the complete line-up:

  • Erica Tucci – Life coach; Reiki Master; stroke survivor; author of Radiant Survivor
  • Lynn Serafinn – marketer; domestic violence survivor; author of The 7 Graces of Marketing
  • Bernie Siegel MD – World-renowned surgeon; author of A Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing
  • Allison Maslan – Entrepreneur; near-death trauma survivor; author of Blast-Off!
  • Mal Duane – Alcoholism survivor; certified Life Recovery Coach; author of Alpha Chick
  • Sue Frederick – Author of Bridges to Heaven, I See Your Dream Job, and I See Your Soul Mate
  • Deb Scott – Author of The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue; host of “The Best People We Know Show”
  • Delanie Stephenson – Stroke survivor; author The Calm before the Storm; Online Ambassador for the American Stroke Association
  • Suzanne Rose Lubkowski – Energy healer; intuitive life coach; her care-giver story appears in the book Radiant Survivor
  • Callie Carling – Cancer survivor; Laughter Yoga teacher; creativity coach; contributing author for Radiant Survivor
  • Barbara Techel – Speaker; author of Through Frankie’s Eyes; her care-giver story appears in the book Radiant Survivor

I do hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a truly rich, uplifting and revitalising event. As I said earlier, it’s completely free to attend.

If you can’t make the live broadcast, register anyway because you’ll be able to listen to the replay anytime until the launch on November 19th.

PLUS when you buy Radiant Survivor on the day of the launch, you’ll receive the MP3 downloads from the event, plus dozens of other bonus gifts, as a special ‘thank-you’ from Erica and her friends.

Book Your Place on the
Radiant Survivor Telesummit at
http://bit.ly/1edsUmy


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Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

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Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn   @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

Categories : Blog, Books and Authors, News
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Book marketer Lynn Serafinn has managed Amazon launches for dozens of #1 bestselling authors. Today she tells why doing a launch is NOT always the best choice.

I’m an independent marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. I started specialising in this area in 2009 because authors were asking me to develop ‘Amazon Bestseller Launches’ for their books, having seen the success I’d had launching my own publications. Over time, this developed into my company Spirit Authors. I no longer work alone, but have the pleasure of working with an experienced and organised team. Together, we have delivered full-service book launches to dozens of clients, the majority of whom attained #1 bestseller status. Our team have fine-tuned our launches into a system we could probably do in our sleep by now (and, yes, I do sometimes dream about launches).

A successful book launch can rapidly inject a business with a zing of energy not easily attainable by other kinds of marketing strategies. For example, one of my recent launch clients, Morgana Rae, says that the launch of her book Financial Alchemy, which became a #1 bestseller in 4 countries on Amazon, bringing her ‘3000 new mailing list subscribers, over 6,000 new Twitter followers’ and made her ‘a quick $30,000 in sales.’ When Morgana says ‘quick’ she means it; these benefits came to her over the course of 48 hours.

These kinds of statistics make bestseller book launches look like candy in the candy shop to authors. BUT (and there is always a ‘but’), it’s important to put it into context: such results can only come at the end of an intense 6 months of planning, organising and promotion. To the outsider the launch might look fast, exciting and glamorous, but behind the scenes it’s a lot of hard work and long work weeks for both the author and the marketing team. And, of course, employing an experienced team of 6 or more people to work hard for you over the course of half a year incurs a significant financial investment.

When I started Spirit Authors, I used to offer our book launch services to anyone who asked for them. Not any more. The more I do book launches, the more I have become a firm believer that they are NOT appropriate for everyone. While it is true that hitting #1 can be the ‘ultimate high’ for an author, if you and your business are not ready to take on the time, expense AND the follow up after a launch, you are unlikely to reap the benefits. I’ve seen some authors (not my clients!) feeling lost, depressed, broke, resentful and even ashamed after their book launch—even apparently ‘successful’ ones.

For that reason, it’s vital for authors to know whether or not this is the ‘right’ time for them to do a launch. To that end, I’d like to share what are, in my experience, the 5 most important criteria for deciding whether to go down the bestseller launch route, or to invest in a different approach to marketing your book.

Criterion #1: You must have the freedom and willingness to block out the TIME

Even ‘full service’ launches require a significant time investment from the author. There are things only the author can do such as show up to radio interviews, write or record virtual blog tour interviews, interact with fans and followers, engage with their audience through regular blog posts/newsletters and meet with the project manager to do the planning. Also, if the author is still in the throes of preparing their book for publication, there might also be many other creative or mechanical things they need to attend to, such as working with their editor or designers.

If you are employed in a full-time job or have many family obligations, trying to ‘squeeze’ in the time for all these things is going to be extremely challenging for you (and you risk serious burn-out).

Even if you are self-employed and you notionally have the flexibility to give time to the project, if you routinely have dozens of plates spinning in the air at a time, as so many creative people do, you might find it challenging to GIVE UP some of your business activities to the project. If you are used to having a chock-a-block daily calendar, you will only be able to manage a book launch if you are willing to let go of some of your obligations. A good consultant should be able to pick up on this habit and help you address it, but ultimately you have to create the time you need for the project; there’s no such thing as ‘finding’ time.

Criterion #2: You must have an established online PLATFORM

An Amazon bestseller book launch is an online marketing activity. Therefore, if you don’t have a good online presence, there is really little point in doing an online launch (unless you happen to have some sort of fame/celebrity in mainstream media). By ‘established’ online platform, I mean:

  • You are blogging at least once a week or can get started doing this right away
  • You are set up on all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly YouTube or other niche networks)
  • You are regularly using social networks to promote your business
  • You are ‘influential’ on at least one of these networks (i.e., have several thousand followers/contacts)
  • You have a current and targeted mailing list of at least 1000 subscribers
  • Your web traffic and page rank are healthy (a complex subject that I cannot go into here)
  • That all of the above is speaking to the SAME audience as the readers of your upcoming book. For example, if you’re known widely as a business coach and you’ve decided you want to write a young-adult sci-fi novel, you’re going to have to start working on a new platform!

If you cannot tick ‘yes’ to most of these criteria, you really should spend a minimum of 6 months to bring yourself up to this level before considering doing a book launch.

Criterion #3: You must have an established BRAND

Some people ask me whether or not being a first-time author is an important consideration in deciding whether or not to do a launch. In my opinion, being a first-time author is not an issue if the client has a well-established brand. For example, Financial Alchemy was Morgana Rae’s first book, but her brand had already been around for 10 years. People already knew who she was and what made her approach unique. But what’s more, SHE understood her ‘USP’—her unique selling point—the quality that made her brand different from others.

Having an established brand is possibly the biggest distinguishing factor between authors who fizzle out after the temporary euphoria of reaching #1 and those who truly benefit from attaining this status. A bestselling book makes a strong brand stronger. Conversely, if you have a weak, generalised or newly formed brand, your book is likely to reflect its lack of clarity, and a launch will do little if anything to make it clearer.

Those who do best with their launches are those who relate to their brand as something beyond themselves—as an entity in its own right, with its own character, personality and life-force. When your relationship with your business is clear and well-defined, and your book will be a clear, outward expression of that relationship. This is the perfect time for a book launch, even if some ‘gaps’ in your platform need to be filled before kicking off the launch planning.

Criterion #4: You must be a seasoned and spirited entrepreneur

Doing a bestseller book launch is an entrepreneurial venture. You MUST see it as part of your business and marketing budget, and know that the ‘return’ you receive from it may not be immediate, and may not even be financial (at least at first). A true entrepreneur knows this, and is prepared emotionally and financially for it.

Being an entrepreneur is something of the ‘middle way’:

  • You cannot be too rigid, always looking at the balance sheet, unwilling to invest what might seem to be a disproportionate amount of money in something that won’t necessarily pan out quickly, if at all. Panicking over every penny spent during your launch will shut you down. It will limit your creativity and deprive you of your joy, even if you DO hit #1. I’ve seen this happen many times.
  • Conversely, you cannot be too reckless, TOO willing to drive yourself into debt, spending more money than you are able to repay on something that won’t necessarily yield quick results, if any. When authors get swept away by the elusive ‘high’ they imagine they will feel by becoming a bestselling author, they can easily convince themselves that maxing out their (personal) credit cards is justifiable. This can ruin you unless you have an income stream to pay this debt back. Please don’t imagine your book sales will do this for you. Only a few #1 bestsellers make enough in royalties to cover the expense of a launch. And even if they do, it takes a good 6 months to receive your first royalty cheque.

The only way to enter into a book launch is to understand the risks, and use the influence you curry from your launch to help grow overall business. And that brings us to the fifth and final criterion…

Criterion #5: You must have a plan for building upon your success

A successful launch can result in a surge of business growth and increased media presence. But this can ONLY happen if you ‘spin it’ and make it happen. My very first launch client, Allison Maslan, took her #1 status and ran like crazy with it. Four years down the line, the woman has multiple multi-million-dollar companies and her own TV show. The expression ‘Ya gotta work it, baby!’ is an essential post-launch mantra.

Have a plan for what you want this launch to DO for you. When I wrote The 7 Graces of Marketing, I already knew I wanted to host a conference and build a community, training programme and certification programme upon it. I didn’t exactly know how that would look, but I knew that ultimate purpose of my bestseller book launch would be to set the wheels in motion for my bigger business vision.

Closing Thoughts

These days, if I feel an author is not ready for a bestseller launch, I tell them. But unfortunately, not all companies are as transparent. Many authors have written to me over the years, sharing their stories of how they were disappointed by the level of guidance, care and service they received by companies that were only out to make money from them. Use these 5 criteria to assess yourself before you call a marketing company about a book launch. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses; understand your brand and your business goals. But most of all: understand that a big book launch is NOT the only way to promote and sell your book, and that maybe your time for a big launch is when you publish your NEXT book.

Take the time to create space in your diary, build your platform and establish your brand. Get to know what kind of entrepreneur you are and who your audience is, and how you can ‘spin’ and develop your message into something bigger.

Then, when you’re ready for a book launch, drop us a line at http://spiritauthors.com/contact, at least 6 months before your proposed launch date. And if you’re NOT ready for a launch, contact us too. We can help you prepare for self-publishing and have a number of platform-building and branding packages that can help you get ready.

I hope you found this article to be helpful, and I wish you the very best of luck in your publishing adventures!

Lynn Serafinn
12th June 2013


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

 Book coach and marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn shares her top tips for creating a book title that invites your ideal audience to check out what’s inside. 


We think of authors as masters of words. Yet dozens of authors have told me that they feel at a loss for words when it comes to nailing a great title and subtitle for their non-fiction book.

Coming up with a great title and subtitle for a non-fiction book is a real art. Personally, I love it and it’s one of my favourite activities during my clients’ sessions. It’s not uncommon to spend an entire 2-hour session helping to ‘tease’ the title and subtitle out into the open. The perfect words almost always come from something they say randomly and spontaneously. I listen very carefully, taking lots of notes, and then play around with the rhythm and sound of the words until something just ‘hits’. When I get it right, the response from the client is truly rewarding. Most say they ‘feel chills’ or say that their eyes are welling up. That’s when you know the title is a winner.

A great title is not only for your audience; it’s also for YOU, the author. I believe it’s important to get your title right as early as possible in the writing process because a great title isn’t just something for the cover of the book; it can often GIVE you the shape of the book and bring cohesion to the subject. I worked somewhat aimlessly for 6 months on what was later to become The 7 Graces of Marketing. As soon as the ‘hook’ of the ‘7 Graces’ came to me, the shape, structure and focus of the book became immediately apparent, and gave power and impact to my writing.

An effective non-fiction title has two equally important components: the title and the subtitle. Let’s look at each of them in turn.

The Title of Your Book Should be the ‘HOOK’

  • It should contain the ‘brand’, the gimmick, the USP (unique selling point) or the paradigm of the book.
  • It should be able to ‘hook’ the mind of the reader so they cannot confuse it with other book titles.
  • It should not contain words that are too vague or too common or whose meaning could just as easily refer to something completely different.

In pop music, the ‘hook’ refers to the part of the song that people can’t forget. It could be a single line, an instrumental riff or the chorus that they go away humming or hearing in their heads. Similarly, your book title has to have that ‘stickiness’ so it stays with the reader and identifies this book as unique amongst all other books.

I get frustrated when clients come to me and have already become ‘attached’ to what is actually a very weak title for their book. Weak titles are those that are so vague or common that they don’t really identify the book as a unique entity. Your title needs to be memorable to the potential reader. If they don’t remember it, they won’t be able to find it in order to buy it.

The Subtitle of Your Book Should be the ‘PROMISE’

  • It should tell the reader exactly WHAT your book is about.
  • If possible, it should tell the reader WHO the book is for.
  • It should contain KEYWORDS that will appear in searches if people are looking for a particular topic.

In choosing your subtitle, avoid clichés, over-used jargon, and fluffy language. The subtitle needs to be substantive and clear, and should contain all the information the reader needs in order to decide whether or not they want to look inside your book. Notice I said ‘look inside’ not ‘buy’. ‘Looking inside’ could include actually leafing through the book (remember, Amazon has its ‘look inside’ feature), downloading a sample chapter, reading reviews, product description or perhaps even your author biography. A great subtitle is an invitation for readers to step in and check out ‘the promise’ of what they will find inside.

Listening to the Sound and Rhythm of Your Title

Maybe it’s because I come from a musician’s background, but to me, choosing a title and subtitle is not only about getting the right words, but also getting the right sound and rhythm of the words.

The ‘sound’ of a title has to do with the words themselves. Sometimes words say exactly what you mean them to say, but they’re damnably difficult to pronounce when you put them next to each other. I wrote an article recently called ‘Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers’. It’s a great article (and I love the title), but I noticed when I mentioned it in an online broadcast recently, it was like a tongue-twister (try it for yourself). It’s a great title for a blog post, but it could prove awkward for a book title.

The ‘rhythm’ of a title has to do with rise and fall of the words, the number of syllables and the strong/weak accents within them. How does your subtitle ‘feel’ when you say it aloud? Does it feel too long? Too short? Is there a musical quality to it that makes it pleasant to say? Does it feel like it should have ended a few syllables earlier?

If you’re not sure why sound and rhythm are important, think about being on the radio or TV. It does no good at all if the title of your book is likely to get you or your host all tongue-tied or stumbling over extra syllables. Besides, even when we read words on a page without speaking them aloud, we tend to ‘say’ them in our heads. If a title is hard to say out loud, it will also be hard for people to remember.

Examples of Non-Fiction Titles That Work

Below are a few examples of non-fiction titles that I think work nicely. Of course, I’m partial to some of them because I thought them up! Have a look at them and examine them for the ‘hook’, the ‘promise’, the ‘sound’ and the ‘rhythm’ of each one. I’ve intentionally NOT included the covers of the books, so you don’t ‘judge the title by the cover’.

EXAMPLE 1

Here’s the title of the latest book from former director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper. To me, it’s one of the best non-fiction titles of the year (and one of the best non-fiction books of the year too). Notice how both the title and subtitle are plays upon common expressions, but with a twist that would immediately invite anyone interested in ecology, environmentalism or sustainability to pick up the book for a closer look.

TITLE (HOOK):
What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How Money Really Does Grow on Trees

If you’re enticed by this title, you can find it on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.to/ZJJdxh

EXAMPLE 2

Here’s the title of one of my own books. Note how the title gives the paradigm (which is now a brand), and how the subtitle shows the promise and explanation of what the book is about. Say it aloud; I think you’ll feel there’s a musical rhythm to the title.

TITLE (HOOK):
The 7 Graces of Marketing

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell

Find this book at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/book

EXAMPLE 3

Here’s another one of my book titles. In this case, I’ve made up my own word for the title that is a play on the slang word ‘Tweep’ (meaning someone who uses Twitter) and the word ‘delicious’. It’s a playful, brandable word that enabled me to create a playful feel to the book cover and all the branding associated with the book. A more ‘functional’ title like ‘How to Use Twitter’ would have given it no life of its own, and would not have been a ‘hook’. The subtitle tells exactly what the book is about and who the book is for. While the subtitle is longer than I would normally recommend, part of its length was due to me wanting to get the title and subtitle to be exactly 140 characters, like a Tweet.

TITLE (HOOK):
Tweep-e-licious!

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Find this book at http://tweepelicious.com

EXAMPLE 4

Here’s a title I came up with for my client Erica Tucci, whose book is coming out in November 2013. Again, the title itself conveys the ‘USP’ and brand of the book, where ‘Radiant Survivors’ pertain not only to the storytellers within the book, but the readers. Notice how the subtitle not only contains the ‘promise’, but is loaded with appropriate keywords for this book.

TITLE (HOOK):
Radiant Survivor

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences.

By the way, as she is still in recovery herself and still living on disability benefits, Erica is running a crowd-funding campaign to help her raise funds to publish this book. I encourage you to check it out and support her if you can at http://radiantsurvivor.com.

Closing Thoughts

The title of your non-fiction book contributes greatly to its success or failure. A great title can become the foundation of a long-term brand that underpins everything you do, speak about or represent.

Never rush through the process or ‘settle’ on a title just because you cannot come up with anything better. Just as you wouldn’t dream of giving your newborn child some throw-away name, don’t be nonchalant about choosing your title.

As I said at the beginning of this article, although gifted with words, many authors I meet find it difficult to tease out a great title on their own. Often they are too immersed in the subject matter to be able to take a ‘meta view’ of what they are creating. They also jump directly into their left-brain by ‘trying’ to think of a title, rather than allowing one to reveal itself from the cosmic soup of Creation. They also may not understand the impact their title or subtitle has upon their reading audience (or they may not know enough about who that audience is).

The bottom line about book titles is this:

Your title is the MOST important ‘marketing tool’ for your book.
Get it wrong, and everything else will suffer.
Get it right, and everything else will become easy.

Gaining clarity about your USP, your brand, your ‘promise’, your audience and your key message is absolutely essential before the ‘perfect’ title will emerge. This clarity already lies within you, whether you are aware of it or not. If you find it difficult to tap into that clarity on your own, working with a good book coach can often help.

I hope you found the information in this article helpful. Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

And, of course, if you’d like to speak with me about working together to fine-tune your title, brand, audience, marketing platform or book promotion strategy, drop me a line via the contact form on this site at http://spiritauthors.com/contact and we can set up a (free) 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
30th May 2013

 


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Take a 14-day free trial at:
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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

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Erica’s fast-paced life as a Fortune 500 corporate manager suddenly came to a halt when she collapsed from a stroke. But little did she know, her journey to recovery would lead her to a profound personal transformation.


As most of you know, most of my marketing clients are non-fiction authors. I’m pretty choosey about my clients, as I only want to work with authors who write books that bring real value to people and planet.

One such client is an inspiring woman named Erica Tucci. Today I’d like to share her story with you.

Erica is a stroke survivor. She was struck down suddenly on her way to work nearly 2 years ago. Her stroke left her unable to walk for many months and she couldn’t even lift a finger on her paralysed side. She spent nearly two years in recovery at the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas.

Prior to her stroke, Erica was a real go-getter. She was a corporate manager of a Fortune 500 company. She was also a Reiki master, massage therapist, life coach, and author of three books. She told me she would push herself to work often 80 hours a week. She moved fast, spoke fast and never took time to stop.

But then, life stopped her in her tracks when she collapsed onto the floor, unable to move.

Throughout her two-year rehabilitation, Erica took her situation as a message from the Universe that it was time to reassess the way she had been living her life. She realized that her stroke, while a traumatic, frightening and painful life-altering experience, was also a gift. It gave her the time and space to change: her thinking, her outlook, her priorities and her lifestyle.

The result of Erica’s inner and outer transformation is remarkable. Even though still in recovery and living on disability benefits, she calls herself a ‘Radiant Survivor’. She uses this term because she feels she has not only survived the devastation of the stroke, but she has become a better person. She has tapped into inner resources she never knew she had:

  • not just strength but softness
  • not just courage but vulnerability
  • not just determination but the ability to trust and surrender

Now Erica has written a book called Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. It is a collection of inspiring stories from Erica and 14 other ‘radiant survivors’, along with many practical exercises she hopes will inspire anyone facing their own life-altering experience. Her hope is that this book will help thousands of people around the world who may be facing a serious life trauma.

The book will be coming out on November 19th, 2013.

There’s a reason why I’m telling you Erica’s story so many months in advance.

To edit, publish and launch any book costs money. Because she is still living on disability benefits with very limited funds, Erica is running a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money she needs for this project, so she can bring this book to those in need.

I’m reaching out to ask you to help Erica with her fundraiser. Between now and Friday June 15th, we are on a mission to help Erica raise $15,000 to cover the costs of editing, cover design, printing, marketing, distribution, etc. All the professionals being hired (including my own team of 7) are offering their services at discounted rates because they believe in the good this book can do for others in recovery.

To help us with the Radiant Survivor project, go to
www.radiantsurvivor.com

Everyone who makes a donation will receive a nice thank you gift for their contribution. Some of the ‘perks’ on offer include a signed copy of the book, a framed copy of the Radiant Survivor poem, and many other gifts. You could even get a donation of books made in your name to an organization of your choice, or have Erica come speak at a local event.

ALSO, if she exceeds the target amount of $15,000, Erica will donate the surplus to the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas, where Erica spent nearly two years in recovery (that’s Erica in the picture at right, taken a couple of months ago). It’s her way of ‘paying it forward’ for all they have done for her and others.

I hope you’ll help Erica and the 14 other contributing authors bring this book to the public. Whether you give $15 or $1000, your contribution will make a big difference to someone you may never meet, but who is in real need of hope.

To watch Erica’s video message and to find out more about the book, the ‘perks’ and the Radiant Survivor project, go to www.radiantsurvivor.com

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

 

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

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Today we’re delighted to invite guest blogger Karen Rowe to Spirit Authors. Karen is a ghostwriter and editor who works with non-fiction authors. Today she “tells it like it is” about the many ways authors deceive themselves. 


It takes an average of about 400 hours to write a book. That’s a lot of time and effort. I’ve had many authors approach me who have poured blood, sweat and tears into a manuscript without the first clue how to get their book edited and published properly and out to the masses. Others have published their book without one ounce of marketing. And it has flopped. When I asked them about this, I find that they’ve been making assumptions based on myths they believe about the publishing industry.

Here are a few of the biggest mistakes writers make before they publish, and the lies they tell themselves:

LIE #1: “I can write about whatever I want.”
I’m always interested to hear what people are writing about. I’m often surprised to discover, though, that a lot of authors haven’t done any research or taken the time to familiarize themselves with what’s selling in their industry. You need to know who else is writing about your topic. Have you bought or read their books? What’s hot in your market, what’s selling and what isn’t? Reading other people’s work is important because you really want to know what’s being said about your topic, and how it’s being addressed. Not only that, these people will become an important part of your network.

LIE #2: “If I write a great book, it will sell itself.”
I’ve had many clients who are unknowingly under the impression that if they write a really fabulous book, people will somehow intuitively and magically just “know” and their book will become a bestseller. Hey, you wrote the book and that should be enough, right? Quality isn’t a guarantee of success. Two things make a successful book: strong, solid content and a great platform. You need to be your own biggest advocate, and you are going to be the greatest asset to getting the word out about your work. And if you’re terrible at it, then hire a professional to do it for you. 

LIE #3: “I’m going to get famous.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are you’re not going to get famous. What a lot of people don’t realize with best-selling authors such as Charmaine Hammond  — whose book is getting turned into a movie — and others, who have started with nothing and become success stories, is that fame is always preceded by hard work, and a lot of it.  It’s wonderful to have a goal of ‘making it big’, but it’s not always realistic. Most authors who have attained great success didn’t just show up at the fame-party ready to sign autographs. They spent months working tirelessly to get the word out about their book and building a strong and solid platform, both before the book was released and for many months after. Could fame happen? Anything is possible. But first focus on the work.

LIE #4: “I’m going to get rich.”
I’m always saying to keep the end in mind when writing, but trust me when I tell you that money is not the end game. You can’t guarantee book sales. Ever. You can build a strong campaign, and enroll many launch partners. What you can’t do is predict how many copies of a book will sell. Create other goals or other milestones. Yes, we all want to sell books and with a strong platform, you can, and as my previous point, this is always preceded by a lot of hard work.

LIE #5: “I can market my book after I’m done writing it.”
I often have clients approach me when they have completed their book and ask, ‘now what?’ They’re in trouble. Why? Because there were 300,000 books published in 2012, and the time to start marketing your book was about 3 months ago. If you want to break through you’ll need a minimum of 6 months to get a solid campaign up and running. And the time when traditional publishers did that for you is gone. Publishers are now looking to sign authors who make it easy for them. They want great reads from authors who already have a following and are willing to promote their own work.

LIE #6: “I don’t need a marketing plan.”
Since publishers are looking for authors who understand the game, you should have an idea of what you’re going to do to market your book. It doesn’t have to be formal, but some kind of guideline that gives a structure to your plans, your goals, and your marketing efforts is essential.

LIE #7: “My mom can edit my book.”
Oh, please don’t do this. Writing a book is the fun part; editing is where the real work takes place. You need to hire a professional. Authors often overlook this extremely important step. It’s easy to find someone to edit a book, right? My mom/sister/cousin’s dog is good at English. Wrong. Editing is a pretty specialized skill set; someone who can find “typos” isn’t a good editor. You want someone to help you raise the bar on your work and create a final product that is something you can really be proud of. An editor will give you critical feedback (especially if you’ve hired a content editor, which I highly recommend), and often improve your work beyond what you might have been able to do on your own.

It’s good to remember that publishing isn’t just about finding the right place to print and publish your book. It’s about a lot more than that: publishing is a business; if you treat it as a business model you will always succeed.

 

ABOUT KAREN ROWE
A two-time published author, Karen is the owner of Front Rowe Seat, a training company for writers and business owners. She is an expert in non-fiction and can help you position yourself as a Leading Authority in your niche. Karen develops professionally written and designed books, done-for-you in 90 days. She has ghostwritten books for some of the most fascinating people in the world but, as a ghostwriter, she can’t tell you who any of them are! The key to a successful ghostwriter is absolute discretion. What she CAN tell you is that her clients include an actor, and a gold-medal Olympian and some of the top self-help leaders in the industry. Read more of Karen’s content-rich blog posts at http://www.KarenRowe.com/category/blog

 

Later this week, we’ll return with Part 2 of our Tutorial on “How to Make a Video Book Trailer for $77 or Less”

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

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Marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn explains why authors need a video book trailer on YouTube, and shows 10 steps to make one that can get on page 1 of Google. 


These days, it’s pretty much a given that every author needs a video book trailer on YouTube. What’s funny, though, is that just about every client who comes to me for a book launch—even those with major publishers—have no book trailer.

Back in 2008 I made my first book trailer for my book The Garden of the Soul. It wasn’t really a proper trailer, but a “video poem” with me reciting one of my poems from the book against music and images. Being very respectful of copyright issues, I got the music with permission from some former music tech students of mine, and I got the images from a photographer friend I had met on a Ning network I had set up. Here’s how it looked when it was finished:

Video Poem – Song of the Rose

The video was nice (and got nice responses from viewers) but it’s technically pretty basic. Still, it was impressive enough for my clients to start asking me to help them make their own book trailers. Since then, I’ve made quite a few of them, and I’ve fine-tuned the process down to a system now, which makes it easier for me to make them.

Given the popularity and strategic importance of videos today, I thought you might find it useful if I wrote an article series that could serve as a tutorial on how to make your own book trailer. The series will have 6 parts (or maybe 7…I’m still working on it!), spread of the next few weeks.

What We will Cover

In this article series, we’ll be looking at:

  • The many reasons WHY you need a video trailer
  • A step-by-step tutorial of the 10 steps for putting one together
  • Marketing strategies to make your video trailer work for you

Some of the information I’ll be covering will be a bit technical to some of you, while others will “get it” very quickly. I’ll try to explain technical things as simply and as clearly I can, and will include screen shots as we go along.

As you read through this series, I invite you to look at the videos I have in my book trailer playlist on YouTube. Hopefully these will give you ideas for your own videos. For the purpose of providing an example we can examine in detail, I’m going to focus on how I made my most recent trailer for my book Tweep-e-licious:

Tweep-e-licious Video Trailer

My strengths and limitations

Before we begin, I feel it’s important to tell you that I’m NOT a videographer. I don’t know how to use any of the slick video editing software on the market like Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, Camtasia Suite or whatever else is popular these days. I use dirt-cheap resources for my videos.

In a way, that’s a good thing because I’m assuming the majority of you reading this are also not videographers, and you probably don’t have any fancy video editing software either. I’m also assuming you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on equipment OR on hiring a professional to do this for you…which is why I’m aiming to keep your budget down to $77 or less.

What I DO have is a background in audio production. I’ve been working with multimedia technologies in one form or another for almost 30 years, both in the music industry and the educational world. I also know a thing or two about how SEO works with YouTube videos.

This tutorial will NOT teach you how to make a slick, glossy video production, but it WILL help you create a nice, attractive, fit-for-purpose book trailer that could show up on page 1 of Google searches for your selected keywords.

PART 1: Why You NEED a Video Book Trailer

I’m a big believer in the power of video for two reasons:

REASON 1:

Multimedia platforms (images plus sound plus voice) have long been known to capture people’s attention and communicate ideas better than single-media methods, such as the written word or audio alone. When I did my Masters in Adult Education and eLearning, we learned that creating rich, multimedia content is one of the fundamental elements in effective online leaning materials. Marketers know this too, which is why television and video are such powerful marketing media tools. Multimedia definitely is the most effective communication medium, and the Internet is the easiest and most accessible medium through which to broadcast.

REASON 2:

It’s WAY easier to get your YouTube video than your website onto the first page of Google. This is because YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and has a page rank of 9 (out of 10). It is the 3rd most popular site on the Internet, outranked only by Google and Facebook. This means YouTube will ALWAYS appear ahead of other sites returning searches on the same keywords. If people do a search and see your video on page 1 of Google, they are likely to click on the link to view it on YouTube.

Of course, for this to happen, you need to have the right title, description and keywords so Google brings your video up in the search. And once people are on your YouTube page, they need to WATCH your video. And finally, once they watch your video, they need to go to your blog or website. For that final piece to happen, you need to have a well-made, engaging video that answers the answers people were asking when they did their Google search in the first place.

Mastering this process is not an exact science or a guaranteed method, but if your content is of good quality and relevant to your audience and you promote your video effectively, your video could be a great traffic generator for your site.

PART 2: The 10 Steps for Making Your Own Book Trailer Video

Below are the 10 steps you’ll need to take to make prepare, create and publish your video book trailer:

  1. Write video script
  2. Record voiceover
  3. Locate Music
  4. Edit voiceover, mix down and export audio
  5. Search for images
  6. Construct video
  7. Export video
  8. Upload to YouTube
  9. Write SEO friendly YouTube info
  10. Embed on your website

In the next article, we’ll look at steps 1 and 2. I’ll be showing you a script template I use with my clients to construct a video script, and give you tips on how to “perform” and record your voiceover. Even if you’ve never used audio editing software before, my tips will help you make a fine recording that is video-worthy.

Please subscribe to this blog to receive the rest of the tutorial as it comes out.

Please leave a comment below to let me know whether or not this article series will be useful to you.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone do your book trailer video for you, just drop me a line via the contact form on this site.

~ Lynn Serafinn

7 March 2013 


AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

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Your book is magic! Bestselling author and book marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn shares her top reasons why an outline can help you get your book written.

If you are in the middle of a book project and you keep getting stuck, or it seems to take on a life of its own and go ‘all over the place’, it’s probably because you have no outline OR you did at one time and you have since abandoned it. Because I have seen that so many new authors writing their first book do not make an outline before beginning their project, I thought I’d share with you the TOP 10 reasons (plus 1) why defining a structure and creating an outline for your book is so important:

  1. It makes writing easier. When you go to sit down to work, you know exactly what parts of your book need to get done. And remember, just because you have an ordered outline, you are NOT committed to writing it in order. You can start anywhere.
  2. It makes reading easier. Books that have a structure are easier for readers to comprehend.
  3. It makes your message memorable. Readers can remember your message when there is a structure attached to it. It makes abstract concepts more memorable, and enables readers to feel they have gained something they can take away from the book, after they have finished it.
  4. It helps ensure you are thorough. If you have an outline, you won’t accidentally omit something vital to your message or storyline.
  5. It helps limit continuity errors. While thoroughness refers to ensuring that all important thoughts and details are included in your text, continuity refers to ensuring your thoughts and events following a logical sequence. An outline can help you see the continuity of your book before writing it.
  6. It helps ensure your book has symmetry. Symmetry means that all the assembled parts of your book have a “shape” when pieced all together.
  7. It helps ensure your book has balance. A good outline can help you see if some parts of your book are less substantial than others. A well-balanced book is organised in such a way that the ideas are balanced both in quantity and in quality against each other.
  8. It helps keep you focussed. When you have an outline (and stick to it) you won’t be as tempted to go off on a tangent. This doesn’t mean you will NEVER deviate or come up with great new ideas. But if the outline is there, you can see how these new ideas fit into your original intention.
  9. It helps to motivate you. When you have an outline, you see yourself making progress and ticking off the “boxes”, so to speak. This helps keep you motivated as you move closer and closer to your goal of finishing your book.
  10. It helps you develop a regular writing practice. If you have an outline to depend upon, you are far more likely to sit down at your desk (or wherever you happen to write) and START WRITING rather than waiting for the “muse” to shoot arrows at you.

And here’s the +1 bonus reason…

It keeps your READERS engaged. When you are writing a book, you are like a tour guide taking your readers on a journey from point A to point B. If you don’t know where your readers are starting from, you won’t be able to ‘meet them’ and get them on board at the beginning of the book. And if you don’t know where you’re taking them, a lot of them will hop of the bus (i.e., put down your book) before they get to the destination…if you manage to take them there at all.

Case in point: did you notice how I used structure to create cohesion in this article? FIRST decided I would find 10 top reasons, and then wrote down the reasons. Then, I started writing. Because I organised my ideas through a structure, the article seemed to write itself. And for you as a reader, isn’t it a lot easier to remember them than if I simply talked about the topic without a structure?

‘When you are writing a book, you are like a tour guide taking your readers on a journey from point A to point B.’

When I first started writing my book The 7 Graces of Marketing in 2010, I didn’t have a structure. I wrote a lot, but I ‘waffled’ a heck of a lot too. I kept moving things around and couldn’t see where I was going. I found myself saying the same thing over and over without realising it, and there was no real over-arching point or direction for what I was writing. Then, one day, about an hour before I was going to deliver a talk on ‘spiritual marketing’ to a group of business owners at the One World Festival here in the UK, I felt really stuck in knowing how to communicate the ideas I felt intuitive, but couldn’t quite put my fingers on.  I ‘called out to the heavens’ in sheer frustration asking (out loud), ‘What IS it? What IS it?’ I needed to know the ‘hook’, the outline, the structure of what I was trying to say because without this ‘map’ even I was lost! Amazingly, the 7 Graces (and 7 Deadly Sins) of marketing almost magically appeared in an instant. After that, the book took me another year to write, but I knew my direction every step of the way.

Don’t ‘fear’ the parameters of your outline or turn it into ‘gospel’. Just because you decide upon a structure doesn’t mean it can’t (or shouldn’t) bend flexibly as you go along. In fact, if you don’t allow your book to flow where it wants to go within the essence of your structure, you will not be honouring your creative spontaneity, and you might limit the impact of your book. You might first come up with a single outline structure, and they you find more structures within that structure as you write.

For example, when I sat down to write my new Twitter book Tweep-e-Licious (coming out Oct 2012) I challenged myself to write 100 Twitter ‘tips’, which I did. Then, when I looked at them, I saw they could be broken into 14 categories, which helped me organise them even more. Then, as I started writing, I found I needed to merge some tips, split some tips into two or three separate tips, and add others I hadn’t thought of when I first started. Eventually, I ended up with 160 tips. Then, I also found the book ‘wanted’ to draw upon the 7 Graces to bring more relevance to the book. Then, the book ‘wanted’ to go beyond practical tips and get into strategies and issues around ethics. The end result was something that was VERY different from my original concept of a ‘quick little eBook on Twitter’. But what I got from it was a substantial, meaningful book with which I’m much happier and I think will bring more value to readers. And the amazing thing is that I wrote this book in less than two months, compared to the two years I took to write my previous books. It all started by creating a structure early in the process, and then allowing the structure to bend and flow. It kept me extremely motivated, and I wrote just about every day because I was genuinely excited about how I felt when writing.

And THAT is probably the best reason of all to have
an outline, structure or ‘hook’ to your book.
It makes you love writing.

If you’ve got a book, or a project in you, or a BRAND in you, having a structure to ‘hang it on’ can really clarify your direction and purpose. But many times creative individuals find it difficult to define the ‘hook’ needed to take a book, business or speaking platform forward. While most people know me as a marketing consulting, helping to clarify structures and brands is another way I help authors, speakers, business owners and social entrepreneurs. If you’ve been struggling to find your structure or your unique ‘hook’, please drop me a line via the CONTACT FORM on this site, and we can set up a free 30 minute consultation.

So what do YOU think? Are outlines necessary? Are they liberating, doorways to creativity or just plain restrictive strangle-holds? Please share your own book and outline writing journeys with our Spirit Authors readers by leaving a comment below.

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise. Join their community on Facebook at http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden.

Watch for Lynn’s new book Tweep-e-Licious: 160 Twitter Tips and Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Businesses Ethically (coming October 2012).

Categories : News, Writing & Editing
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Author, publisher, educator, Barbara Techel speaks with Lynn Serafinn about a lucrative avenue for public speaking and book sales that is not always explored by authors.

Authors are always looking for new ways to promote their books. While I specialise in online promotions, there is certainly a need for authors to know how to promote and sell their books “in person” to their potential readers. In the past, many authors have depended upon book signings at book shops, but in this day and age, with millions of new books coming onto the market every year (Google estimates there are 130 million unique titles currently in publication, and others say even this figure it’s far too low), it’s getting harder and harder for authors to get their books into bookshops.

So are there any unexplored avenues for book sales authors many not yet be exploring?

Author, publisher, educator, Barbara Techel thinks so. Barbara is the author of several children’s books including the award-winning Frankie, the Walk and Roll Dog, which is based upon the life of her dog, Frankie, who moves about in a doggie wheelchair owing to having contracted disc disease that caused paralysis. Since 2007 Barbara and Frankie (who is in a doggie wheelchair) have shared their positive and inspiring messages with thousands of children and adults at schools and libraries around the United States.

Having had wonderful success with this, Barbara wrote a book called Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances, with the aim of inspiring other authors to connect directly with their audiences and experience the enriching rewards of speaking at libraries and schools.

I recently interviewed Barbara on my radio show The Garden of the Soul, and was mightily impressed with the wealth of information she shared with my audience. In fact, the show ran much more like a teaching webinar than a radio broadcast. I was so impressed with her information, I wanted to make sure my Spirit Authors audience listened to the broadcast. You can hear it (or even download it) by the podcast player below:

If you cannot see the player on your screen, CLICK HERE to listen to it on the BlogTalkRadio website.

During the interview, Barbara shares:

  • how to find, pitch and book appearances at schools and libraries
  • how much to charge for your talk
  • how to promote your event
  • how to plan and prepare your most effective speaking approach
  • what to include in your presentation and tweak it to appeal to various audiences
  • how to arrange and fulfill book orders that result from your talks
  • how to use the modern technology of Skype to reach classrooms everywhere (a really novel idea, no pun intended)

While Barbara’s experience is mainly in the area of children’s non-fiction books, and her audience is primarily school children, I do believe all you authors out there whose books are not specifically in the children’s market can equally gain a lot of valuable ideas from this interview, so do give it a listen. After all, you are creative! Tweak Barbara’s ideas and make a brand new marketing campaign for yourself. :-)

AND… if you’d like to check out Barbara’s book, here are the links to it on Amazon US:

Paperback on Amazon US:
Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances

Kindle on Amazon US:
Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances

I’d love to hear your comments about this info after you’ve listened to the show, so please DO share them below.

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring.

Passionate about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, Lynn also supports the work of the Transition Town Network in her hometown of Bedford, England.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Global Conference, or 7GGC, a meeting of minds taking place in various cities around the world and via worldwide live stream. The aim of 7GGC is to bring together business owners, marketers, media professionals, journalists, conscious consumers and eco-focused community groups, who will create a Tipping Point for change towards greater awareness of and responsibility for the impact our work has upon our health, happiness, economy and natural environment. Come BE the change at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/7GGC

Other the past few months, many authors have been writing to me all in a fluster over a controversy that apparently has arisen between Amazon and Lightning Source. I wanted to address this controversy because, frankly, I think a lot of people are having a knee-jerk reaction to what I think is basically an ethical issue, and I would like to show what I think might be a more ‘holistic’ response to it.

First of all, you need to know a bit about the parties involved and what is going on. Before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the flow that is involved in the production of any product, including your book:

1) It starts with the creator
2) It goes to the publisher
3) Then it goes to the manufacturer
4) Then to the distributor
5) Then to the retailer
6) Then to the consumer

STEPS 1 & 2: When you are truly self-publishing a book, YOU are also the publisher (so steps 1 and 2 are combined). But if you are going through a subsidiary press (such as iUniverse, Balboa Press or Create Space), you are not 100% ‘self published.’ On the one hand, you ARE self-published in that you don’t need a publishing deal and you retain all rights to your work. On the other hand, you are NOT self-published in that your subsidiary publisher is entitled to (usually) around 50% of your royalties as long as you print through them.

STEP 3: In printing, the ‘manufacturer’ is the printer. The publisher (even if that means you) then sends the book to the printer. Either we get a quantity of books printed in advance, or we use a “print on demand” (POD) service. Back when I first started out in the published world (and also when I ran a record company), you typically have to order 1000-2000 copies of your book (or record/CD) in order to get a decent price. Then, you always ran the risk of your publication sitting around collecting dust because you couldn’t move 2000 copies. Since the rise of POD in the publishing industry, that risk and investment has been removed for self-publishing authors. Lightning Source is one such POD service, certainly the most known in the world, and the one I use and recommend to my clients. Instead of having to buy 2000 copies of your book and the ship them to distributors, they print them ONLY when you have a customer for them (whether wholesale or retail), so you only pay for what you know you are going to sell.

STEP 4: The next step is to send the books to a distributor who then sells the books to retail shops. Of course, this saves the publisher a heck of a lot of time and energy, so the distributor is one of the most important pieces of the sales puzzle. Distributors typically buy your product between 50-60% off the retail price (55% is the most common), so they can sell it on to retails shops, and the retail shops can make a profit. That means if your book is selling for $10, they will pay around $4.50 for your book. From that price, you deduct your printing costs (I spoke about this in another article – Click HERE if you’d like to read it), and that is your profit.

Now what is so cool about Lightning Source is that they will also distribute your book for you via Ingram Book Company. Mind you, that does NOT mean that retail shops will necessarily BUY your book. It just means that they can supply them with your book if they order it.

STEP 5: The next step is the retailer. The retailer is the ‘shop’, whether online or on the ground, that sells your book to the customer. Typically, in my experience, retailers in the book and record industry buy your product for between 35-45% off the retail price. That means they will pay about $6.00 for a $10 book, which means the distributor makes about $1.50 per book sold, and the retailer makes about $4.00. However, as we all know, retailers like to be able to have a good profit margin so they can LOWER the price, to be able to entice customers to buy your product OR to get RID of a product that isn’t selling (let’s hope that doesn’t happen to OUR books!). Back when I was a retailer, I often had to sell “dead stock” at cost or even BELOW the price I paid for it. It’s the only way to keep cash flow going. So retailers take a risk every time they buy something. They want to know they can sell it.

STEP 6: The last step, of course, is the customer. The customer likes to get a good deal on a product. That’s why, if you give your distributor a good discount in the first place, the retailer will have the freedom to lower his price and get more people to buy your book.

SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

The thing that confuses me is how Amazon fits into this picture. Now I have a close connection to Amazon in that much of my business depends upon it, as I work with authors. And as a customer, I have also found them to be both reliable and convenient. Authors love to see their books on Amazon because they can reach a wider audience much more quickly than they could by going only through traditional distribution routes to retail shops. All in all, Amazon is a great asset for us authors.

But here’s where things are a bit hazy. According to their entry on Wikipedia, they are it is often called the world’s largest online retailer. Most of us associate Amazon with books, but they have really expanded and now sell just about everything.

So Amazon is a ‘retailer’ (Step 5 in the model above) BUT for some strange reason, when it comes to purchasing power, they are not paying the same price for the books they sell as other retailers. In fact, they are paying the price that wholesalers/distributors pay for your book (Step 4). That means they are buying books at an average of 15% LESS than other retailers. This means they have a tremendous advantage in that they can seriously undercut your High Street book shop.

But wait… there’s more…

As many of you know, Amazon also now has a subsidiary press called Create Space. This means they are also now operating at Step 2 of the model above (I’m not sure who their printer is). This means they are now getting that extra 50% of your end profits when you publish through them. Now, fair enough, I can fully understand that Amazon saw the opportunity to profit from the self-publishing boon. It’s called free enterprise. I have no argument with that, as it totally makes sense.

However, here’s the problem…

Recently, word on the street is that Amazon is started a new policy of listing books that come from Lightning Source and other POD suppliers as being “Out of Stock” with sometimes an estimated 1-3 week delivery status! Lightning Source are aware of this, and say that they are ‘continuing to look into the issue and are evaluation our options to address it.”

Of course, this makes no sense whatsoever because when you use a POD service there’s no such THING as being ‘out of stock’. Your digital file is always ready to be printed and is in fact printed as soon as the POD service gets the order.

Some authors have been writing to me in a panic over this, and asking my opinion if I think they should switch from being 100% self-published to going with Create Space, because then they would be assured to be listed as “in stock” (as Amazon will ONLY guarantee this status for their own subsidiary press).

Here’s my answer:

Absolutely NOT!

Why? Partially from a practical level, and partially from an ethical one.

The practical argument: First of all, in my experience, authors who publish through Create Space appear ONLY on the US Amazon site (Amazon dot com) until they reach a certain sales status. I learned this the HARD way when a client of mine launched last year with me, and a couple of weeks before launch we realised she did not appear on the Canadian or UK sites. Now let me assure you, the Canadian and UK mind-body-spirit markets are nothing to ignore! Many of my clients sell as many books in Canada as they do in America, taking them rapidly up to #1 in Canada as Canada has 10% of the population of the US. These are very important markets for spiritual and self-help authors.

The ethical argument: Secondly, I have major issues about the ethics of this situation. Amazon is trying to wear 3 different ‘hats’ here: the publisher (Step 2), the distributor (Step 4) and the retailer (Step 5) in the sales chain. Each of these ‘steps’ has ethical obligation to be equitable to their customers, whoever they may be. And the break in this system is the conflict of interest they have between Step 2 and Step 4, which gives them an unfair advantage at Step 5. First of all, I have no idea how Amazon managed to gain the status of a distributor in the first place when they are not distributing to anyone; they are retailing directly to the public. But that aside, if Amazon are playing the role of a distributor to other publishers, it seems incredible that they would treat these publishers—who are their customers—any differently from their OWN publishing company. The two hats have to remain separate; otherwise, what we are verging on is a violation of anti-monopoly trade laws. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we hear about a litigation in the near future.

So what do we do?

One blogger’s suggestion was to go with BOTH Create Space and Lightning Source, so as to ensure your book is shown as ‘in stock’ on Amazon all the time. Well, I’m sorry, but I refuse to succumb to the bullying.

My personal solution is two-fold:

1) Use your power of the pen to write about this in as many places as you can so Amazon starts to feel the heat and
2) Education your audience about the situation. In other words, when you do a launch or publicise your book TELL your readers that it might say ‘out of stock’ on Amazon, and that it is simply not true.

Authors should be able to set up their own publishing companies and be treated like any other company. I am a believer in FREE enterprise, which means that big businesses must not be allowed to bully the small business owner out of their own enterprise. Small business owners are the life-blood of the world, and nearly all of our current economy AND environmental problems are due to our current dependency upon big businesses in general.

I love Amazon and I have no desire to ‘take them down’. But as consumers, and self-publishers, let’s at least hold them accountable for their behaviour by not reacting to such unethical bullying strategies.

All power to the self-published author!


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach and teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and bestselling author. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is also the creator of Spirit Authors, which offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Passionate about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, she supports the work of the Transition Town network in her hometown of Bedford, England.

Lynn’s Books

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self (2009)

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell Coming December 2011.

To contact Lynn for coaching, campaign management or media appearances, please fill in the form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Sign up for Lynn’s 2x monthly newsletter “Creative Spirit”, exclusively for AND about mind-body-spirit authors, and receive two free audios on personal transformation

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Book promotion expert Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors shares her tips on what every first-time author should know about royalties, retail price and printing costs before they self-publish a book.


Recently, in one of my LinkedIn Groups, a new author asked, “Does anybody have experience with self-publishing companies and the way they pay royalty fees?” I thought the answer to this question was something many new authors would like to know, so I thought I would share my response with my Spirit Authors readers. Below is a copy of the post I made on December 15th, 2010.

Hi there LinkedIn,

Here’s a breakdown of how most self-publishing royalties work:

By self-publishing companies, I assume you mean “publishers” such as iUniverse (probably the most known, but really only one of many) who set up your book to be distributed via print-on-demand (POD). The company I used for my first book is a small company called Authors Online – http://authorsonline.co.uk. I chose them because they are a small friends-and-family run company who take good care of their clients.

The POD press most often used is a company called Lightning Source. There are 2 major Lightning Source plants (when I last checked), one in Kentucky and one over here in England in Milton Keynes.

These kinds of companies don’t generally get your books into shops, but rather focus on Amazon, B&N, etc. The self-publishing publisher sets up your ISBN and arranges for your book to appear on all these online retailers. But be SURE you read the fine print. I had a scenario not very long ago when one of my clients went with Create Space (Amazon’s own print-on-demand publishing company) and they did NOT place the book on all 6 (now 7) Amazon sites throughout the world, cutting down SIGNIFICANTLY on my client’s sales. So be sure you ask if the company GUARANTEES you will be on all Amazon sites… but (if your book is in English), most especially Amazon US, Canada and UK.

Ok, so here are 7 facts about self-publishing and typical royalty structures:

1) Amazon buys your book for 45% of the retail price. That means, if you book retails for $10, Amazon pays your publisher $4.50 (not you… unless you actually START a publishing company and are selling the books directly to Amazon).

2) From that $4.50, your publisher subtracts their printing costs. Not sure of what they are in the US, but here in the UK, the costs are typically 1p (let’s say 2 cents) per page, plus 70p (let’s say $1.25) for the cover. So a 100 page book would cost $3.25 to print (don’t quote me on the exact figures; these were current as of 18 months ago in the UK. DO ask your publisher these questions).

3) If the book costs $3.25 to print, and you have received $4.50 from Amazon, it means your NET is $1.25.

4) Most self-publishers do a 50/50 split of the net, or in that ball park. That would mean your royalty per book sold is a whopping $0.67. Most payouts are quarterly, starting 4-6 months after publication.

5) Of course, you could also set the retail price higher to ensure you get a higher royalty. The best thing to do is to go online and check out similar books in the same niche, and check out their page count, and see how much their retail price is. Bear in mind, that Amazon will normally sell you book for LESS than retail, but you will still receive 45% of retail unless you tell them you are willing to take less in order to drive up sales (not recommended for first-time author, frankly!).

6) If you go FULLY self-published (i.e., set up your own ISBN, deal with Lightning Press, etc), then your royalty is 45% of retail. Subtract your printing costs from that, and that is your net profit per book. That is what I am doing with my next book.

7) Last option: getting the books printed in bulk (most do this overseas) can drive the cost per book WAY down, but you have a massive front-loaded investment at high risk because the minimum run is usually 1000 books or more to get a good price. PLUS you have the set-up costs, as it is not the same as digital POD. Any time I have seen new authors do this, they end up with a house full of hundreds of unsold books, and feel very discouraged. I don’t recommend it unless you have a solid promotional platform and good distribution set up. ALSO, bear in mind that if you go this route, book distributors tend to take the books on consignment and they don’t pay anything if the books don’t sell. And who do you think is responsible for the marketing? You guessed it – you. Furthermore, they might take 300 books from you when they first come out, but they can RETURN every book that hasn’t sold (or worse–been returned to the retail shops!) after a certain period of time.

BTW, I help self-published mind-body-spirit authors via my site Spirit Authors at http://spiritauthors.com. I’m re-opening Module 3 on self-publishing in February 2011. The course for writing your book (Module 1) and building your online platform (Module 2) are already available. You can take a 7-day test drive of those courses for only $1.

I also do full-service Amazon book launches at http://spiritauthorscoach.com. Drop me a line if you would like to chat.

Warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

Her upcoming book, The 7 Graces of Marketing, is coming in June 2011.

She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


[mlb/]

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

Today is stop number 3 on the Virtual Blog Tour for Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday April 20. Yesterday, Patrick stopped at Schall Adam’s Girlfriend Mentors Site. For more awakened wisdom, be sure you check out Schall’s interview at http://www.mygirlfriendmentors.com/blog


“As students, we see our teachers come and go. After we leave, rarely do we get the chance to come back to tell them how they have impacted our lives. It is difficult to explain how the act of telling a teacher he changed your life can make you feel complete. What greater privilege can there be than to be able to tell someone, ‘You are the person who awakened my soul from its slumber; you were the vessel whence I found my voice.’”

This is a passage from my book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self wherein I describe the feeling I had when I was reunited with a particularly influential teacher from my past after 33 years. It is a wonderful thing to be able to glorify and give back something to our teachers and mentors, no matter how old we are. That is why, with great delight, I wish to share with you the highlights of a recent interview I conducted with one of my personal mentors, Patrick Ryan.

Patrick Ryan is an executive coach, leadership trainer, spiritual teacher and author. He was one of two leaders (the other is the wonderful Mary Butler) who trained, held and watched me evolve when I was on the 10-month Co-Active Leadership programme in 2007-2008 in Spain. Patrick and Mary’s expert training transformed my life in the most profound way and I can say without reservation that I seriously doubt I would be doing what I am doing today had I not crossed paths with them. After the course was over, I also had the great pleasure of talking Patrick’s workshop Awakened Wisdom when he delivered it in London (a rare treat). It was on that 3-day course that I stood up in front of a room of people and declared boldly that I was finally stepping into the (somewhat scary) call to become an internationally known author and spiritual teacher, no longer hiding from my own Essence. And the rest, as they say, is history… and the future is still unfolding, minute by minute.

Awakened Wisdom BookSo of course, when Patrick asked me to be the manager for the launch of his book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance, which was the long awaited book version of the teaching he had been transmitting through his workshop for many years, it was a no-brainer. What an opportunity to be able to give something back to one of the people who shaped my life so profoundly. In a nutshell, I simply want other people to enjoy and bask in the simple wisdom of his teachings. I also want Patrick to enjoy what he deserves by seeing his book reach thousands—perhaps millions—of people.

As part of the promotion for his book release, I had the great pleasure to interview Patrick on my radio show Lynn Serafinn’s Garden of the Soul on March 24th. It was a wonderful interview, and I thought as part of the Virtual Blog Tour, it would be perfect to share the highlights from that interview with you. You can hear or download the complete interview in the player below:

If the player does not appear correctly on your screen, you can grab it online at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lynn-serafinn/2010/03/24/ep-58-living-an-awakened-life

Here are some of the highlights of that interview:

Wisdom Gained From a Near-Death Experience

When Patrick was in his late teens, he “died”, his body being kept alive only from CPR. During that time, he “met the Divine,” which he describes as “that wisdom that is of this Universe and that this Universe is of”. He said this meeting, “Woke me up in a most profound way to the mystery and the ultimate nature of this world we are living in.”

He said, “That experience allowed me to see that there is a profound Wisdom holding this Universe. It enabled me to trust that that Wisdom ‘just is’, but at the same time it provided me no answers. So, I still had to go and figure it out. And that really is the journey all of us are on: ‘figuring it out’. And I think the thing we’re figuring out, at the core of it, is ‘who is the one that is walking the walk of this life?’ And, at the end of the path, when you keep dropping the veils, and move further and further into the Essence of that answer, you find there is no distinction between you and your neighbours, no distinction between you and the animals and the forest, or even the organisation you work for, and that we are just this one entity, this one Being that reflects back and forth who we are to each other.”

Reflections on Hearing and Answering Our “Call”

Patrick was leading a life on an entrepreneur, but was always interested in what makes people behave the way they do. He said he woke up one day curious about what else was “out there.” He felt “called”.

“But like with any call,” he says, “you usually cannot see the path ahead with much clarity. So it requires you to take a leap and just enter onto that path.”

I asked him, “What are some clues that people are hearing ‘a call’ in their life?”

He said, “For me, and also for a lot of people I was spoken with, some of the common factors include a ‘stirring within’, a sense of dissatisfaction with life as it is today, and a desire to touch into a deeper meaning or purpose. There’s a wanting to get more fulfilment or more congruency between our moving through every day and the higher levels of values we know exist, even if we don’t understand what they are.”

“I had always dreamed about going on a walkabout,” he continued. “That dream had never left me. And that’s something people should pay attention to. What’s the recurring, nagging, dream that won’t leave you alone? First it knocks gently, and then it shakes you harder, and at some point, if it’s important enough, it’s probably going to create something in your life much more dramatic until you ‘get it’.”

Experience as a Monk in Burma

Patrick told his story of how he became a monk in a monastery in Burma in the mid 90s, even though he had no such prior intention, nor did the monastery have a policy of taking on western disciples (he goes into this story in greater detail in his first book The Eagle’s Call).

He gave us a little taste about the essence of the teachings he received during his time as a monk, as well as a student of many shamans and other masters around the world. He said, “At the end of the day, I’m a very practical guy, and as much is it is easy to become seduced by the mysticism and big words around spirituality, it’s very important to me to be able to ground it to my daily life in such a way that makes sense. That’s why I created the ‘Eight States of an Awakened Life’ that my book Awakened Wisdom is based upon.”

Distorted Self, Divine Essence and the Observer

Patrick went on to explain the three-part aspects of our nature: the “Observer”, the “Distorted self” and our “Divine Essence”. He said it’s important to know “who’s in your shoes” at any particular moment in life.

He describes the “Distorted self” and the voice in us that “wants to take us out of the game” and “hold us in a zone of safety and comfort” and “whispers messages to us like ‘you’re not ready for that yet, if you do that people won’t like you, etc.” He said that it is interesting how the body will so often respond to this by getting ill on the very day you are meant to do something you fear, etc. He said, the more the “Distorted self” takes over the decision making in our lives, the more isolated we become and the more ‘self’ there is in us.

“On the other side, we have that part of us that is infinitely wise, that moves with the wisdom of what we acquired in this life, and also that goes beyond what can be explained by what we received in this life. This is the one in us that does not get caught in fear—the one that is about creating beauty in the world, about bringing life-giving energy into the world and transmitting it outward. It’s the one that can go into an organisation and sit in a meeting and speak the truth about what’s really going on, in a way that makes everyone go ‘Wow, you just nailed it. That’s exactly what we needed to hear.’ That aspect of us, I call the ‘Divine Essence’ because the more connect you get to this aspect, the less ‘self” there is in it.”

He said that our “Observer” is that other part of ourselves that is able to report the facts in life clearly and without judgment. Both Divine Essence and Distorted self are receiving the report from the Observer and “we get to choose who we’re going to put in charge.”

The Eight States of an Awakened Life

In the last part of our interview, Patrick named and described his “Eight States of an Awakened Life”.

1. A Good State of Intention
2. A Good State of Words
3. A Good State of Being
4. A Good State of Purpose
5. A Good State of Effort
6. A Good State of Practice
7. A Good State of Doing
8. A Good State of Understanding

He then offered a few REALLY simple and very profound practical example of how to apply the principles. If you wish to hear more, please listen to the audio.

Book coming to Amazon Tuesday April 20, 2010

I also strongly encourage you to buy Patrick’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance. Dozens of leaders in the mind-body-spirit field have joined together to support Patrick in celebration of the coming of this book, and are offering over 40 free gifts to everyone who purchases it on the day of its Amazon launch on Tuesday April 20th.

I myself am offering four audio meditations from my transformation workshop The Garden of the Soul, to cultivate the four spiritual principles of Giving, Receiving, Becoming and Being. To be sure you receive this gift, along with all the others, just go to http://www.awakenedwisdom.com/Public/Amazon/BookLaunch/index.cfm and sign up for launch reminder so you remember to buy the book on April 20th.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Patrick Ryan, which was stop number 3 on the Virtual Blog Tour for Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance.

Tomorrow, Thursday April 8, Patrick stops at Caron Goode’s “Intuitive Parenting” site. It should be really interesting. Check it out at http://intuitiveparenting.wordpress.com

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