Archive for Lynn Serafinn

Another Fresh NEW Book from One of Our Valued Clients

Lynn Serafinn interviews Chris Scott on using imaging a colour book, working with a photographer, and how crossover authors can communicate their message.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 7 of Chris Scott’s Virtual Blog Tour. Chris’ book Face With a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty MakeUp is celebrating its big Amazon launch TODAY, June 2nd, 2015.

NEWS UPDATE June 2nd:
This afternoon, Chris’ book Face With a Heart hit #1 bestseller in “Cosmetics” on Amazon US.

CHRIS SCOTT, M.A. is the creator of San Francisco-based Makeup Gourmet®. Over his nearly 30-year career, in addition to doing makeup for top models from every corner of the planet, he has also had the honor of working for legends like Paul McCartney, US Vice President Al Gore, Shirley Temple Black, Maya Angelou and Olympic Gold medalists Oksana Baiul and Kristi Yamaguchi. He was the creator and host of the TV show Makeup Gourmet from 2008 to 2010, he was a leading Chanel Beauté national artist for over two decades, and is also the creator and guest teacher of Fashion Makeup at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He created his unique Makeup Gourmet line to ensure his clients and the public have access to high-quality, ethically produced, ‘green’ makeup and skincare with a low-carbon footprint. Chris is also the author of the wonderfully visual ‘how to’ book Face with a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Makeup (2014), as well as Cosmetic Counter Survival Guide: How to Buy the Right Skin Care and Makeup (2003).

Yesterday, Chris visited Mali Apple and Joe Dunn at http://bit.ly/1JJYsPI where they talked about tapping into our own beauty, and why authentic beauty is unrelated to our age.

Today, I’d like to share a recent interview I had with Chris when I got to ask him some questions on how to choose visual images for a full-colour book, working with a photographer, and how ‘crossover’ authors can communicate their message to their audience. I hope you enjoy it.

*** INTERVIEW ***

Lynn: As a makeup artist, your challenges as an author are different from many of us, as your work depends upon having excellent images/visuals in your book. What tips would you give other authors about planning and selecting the right images for their books, and about choosing and working with a photographer?

Chris Scott of Makeup Gourmet, author of 'Face with a Heart'

Author Chris Scott

CHRIS: For original images, commit as much time to the image production and selection process as to the writing process. Be annoyingly picky. Do not waste your time with a ‘bargain’ photographer. Get a pro. Shoot it right.

I also suggest tapping into the vast online stock image libraries. Pay the royalty fee and the image is yours to use without any copyright infringement. This is a real time/money saver if appropriate for your title.

Something I also did before I released the book to the public, I made some prototype copies and handed the books to selected individuals, observing how they responded to each image as they skimmed the book.

I spent an equal amount of time working with an illustrator for this book. There is no substitute for this. If you need to illustrate a point, illustrate it to your exact specifications. Specificity and meticulousness will pay off in rewarding dividends.

Lynn: I see your book as a ‘crossover’ in the market. It’s not just about ‘how to put on makeup’ but it’s also about self-image, confidence and inner beauty. How easy or difficult was it to communicate this combination message when you were writing your book?

CHRIS: The process is about embracing my authentic message and lending it a visual and textual voice. I love to deconstruct to clarify each element. It is the breaking down and then the rebuilding that helps me (and others) grasp the authentic beauty message. This is how I teach so this is how I write.

Lynn:  How easy or difficult has it been to bring this crossover message in your marketing or when you are telling other people about your book? How do you make sure people ‘get it’ and get what you are all about?

CHRIS: I do it through open-ended sound bites and questions that inspire conversation. As this is a layered philosophy, it is important to present the layers individually and then expand from where people first engage with the conversation. Here are two strong examples. For some it is all about the makeup, for others it is about wanting to stay true to themselves and not put out an air of falseness.

To be 100% corny, this is the easiest thing I have ever marketed because I have tested it so much and believe so devoutly in my message. I know it works and love finding ways to turn peoples head in my direction to see the new alternative to traditional beauty makeup.

Lynn:  What advice would you give other authors who want to bring a ‘mind body spirit’ slant to something not usually associated with it, like you have done with makeup?

CHRIS: First, believe it. Second, test it.

I employed the why/how technique with this book. I first tell people why I am doing something and then tell them how. The ‘why’ informs the ‘how’ and gives it context and meaning.

By the way, two of my favorite examples of authors ‘spiritualizing’ their passions are Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig and Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity by John Kao.

My advice to mind-body-spirit authors is this: Be fearless and say exactly what you mean. People will hear you. We all find solace in something in which we excel. Deconstruct that solace and share it along with sharing your expertise. They are inseparable, so write from your heart as I did with Face with a Heart.

*** END OF INTERVIEW ***

 

BOOK: 'Face With a Heart' by Chris ScottI hope you enjoyed this interview with Chris Scott and that you’ll check out his book Face With a Heart: Mastering Authentic Beauty Make-Up during his big Amazon launch TODAY, June 2nd. When you buy the book during the launch, you’ll receive dozens of free gifts from Chris, and his friends and colleagues. You can CLICK HERE to find out more about the book and these free gifts.

One of the gifts when you buy the book is the MP3 downloads to Chris’ 3-Day Telesummit ‘The Keys to Feeling Authentically Beautiful’, with fabulous panel of 11 internationally renowned image experts.

To get the book and receive all the authentic beauty bonus gifts, go to
http://makeupgourmet.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.php

*** FOLLOW CHRIS ON HIS BLOG TOUR ***

If you’d like to catch more of Chris’ Virtual Blog tour, ‘visit’ him at these dates and places:

WEDNESDAY MAY 27th: Andrew Mondia’s Pear-Shaped View Blog at http://bit.ly/1Go22vZ where they will talk about how beauty is for everyone, inner beauty, and seeing yourself through the eyes of others.

THURSDAY MAY 28th: Tina Games’ Moonlight Musings blog at http://bit.ly/1nJGkuY where they will talk about authentic beauty, believing you are beautiful, and the difference between ‘classic’ and ‘authentic’ beauty makeup.

FRIDAY MAY 29th: Callie Carling’s Cancer Goddess blog at http://bit.ly/1Jv46Zf where they will talk about how light affects the way we look, and regaining confidence through authentic beauty.

SATURDAY MAY 30TH: Dana Taylor’s Supernal Living blog at http://wp.me/p1yTXR-AL where they will discuss authentic beauty for the older generation, and the keys to maintaining healthy skin as we age.

SUNDAY MAY 31ST: Michelle Galatoire’s Nourish and Bloom blog at http://bit.ly/1DBQWCI where they will talk about being seen authentically in public, and how to see ourselves the way other people see us.

MONDAY JUNE 1ST: Mali Apple’s and Joe Dunn’s The Soulmate Experience at http://bit.ly/1JJYsPI where they will talk about tapping into our own beauty, and why authentic beauty is unrelated to our age.

TUESDAY JUNE 2nd: Lynn Serafinn’s Spirit Authors blog at http://wp.me/p3cvXN-Tf where they’ll be talking about how to choose visual images for a full-colour book, working with a photographer, and how ‘crossover’ authors can communicate their message to their audience.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Lynn Serafinn


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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, 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:

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Another Fresh NEW Book from One of Our Valued Clients

Spirit Authors clients Drs. Joy & Roy Martina launch their book ‘Sleep Your Fat Away’ on Amazon today. Find out how to buy it and get some great bonus gifts.

APRIL 21st 2015: Today at Spirit Authors, we have been busy with the book launch of our clients, Drs Joy and Roy Martina. Their book is called Sleep Your Fat Away: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight Effortlessly. Published by Morgan James Publishers, the book teaches a novel approach to losing weight.

You can buy the book AND receive some very special bonus gifts at:
http://sleepyourfataway.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.php

The book launch started just after midnight Pacific Time this morning. Within hours, it shot up to become the #1 ‘Hot New Release’ in the Eating Disorders category on Amazon US. As of this writing at 1pm Pacific, the paperback AND the Kindle are #1 and #4, respectively, of all New Releases in Eating Disorder Self-Help. The paperback is also currently #13 of ALL books (not just new ones) in eating disorders, and #16 in Britain. I’m sure it will keep on going up over the next few hours.

Sleep Your Fat Away - number 1 and 4 new release

Co-authors Drs. JOY AND ROY MARTINA are a husband and wife duo who, between them, have published more than 70 books on healing and self-improvement, and have trained over a quarter of a million people around the world. In Sleep Your Fat Away, Joy and Roy share decades of experience as hypnotherapists to teach what they believe is missing in nearly every popular approach to weight loss: the crucial connection between losing weight and the unconscious mind. Instead of talking about willpower, diets or long hours in the gym, the authors show how to retrain your brain to overcome addictions and change your lifestyle habits so you can attain your optimum weight and become the healthiest you possible.

When you buy the book during our Amazon launch celebration, you’ll receive a generous collection of bonus gifts from Joy and Roy’s friends and colleagues (including one from me). PLUS, as a special bonus gift from Joy and Roy, when you buy the book you’ll also receive:

  • The MP3 audio downloads from the ‘BUSTING THE MYTHS ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS’ Telesummit’ with over 4 hours of information-packed insight from Joy, Roy and a panel of nine other world-class wellness experts.

If you’re a regular follower of Spirit Authors, you might remember that we launched Roy’s book Emotional Balance (Hay House) a few years ago, and it became an international #1 bestseller. I am sure they will repeat that success today with Sleep Your Fat Away.

I’ve had such a good time working these many months with Joy and Roy Martina, and I wish them every success.

I do hope you’ll check out their book at:
http://sleepyourfataway.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.php

Sleep Your Fat Away - launch banner

 


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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, 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)

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Another Fresh NEW Book from One of Our Valued ClientsLynn Serafinn interviews Joy & Roy Martina on the challenges of writing a book on wellness, working with a publisher and co-authoring a book with your spouse.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 3 of Dr Joy and Roy Martina’s Virtual Blog Tour. Their new book Sleep your Fat Away: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight Effortlessly is celebrating its official launch on Tuesday April 21st, 2015.

Drs. JOY AND ROY MARTINA are amongst the world’s leaders in helping people get back into their power. Between them, they have published over 70 books (translated into more than 10 languages) and have trained hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Their passion for natural approaches to health, longevity and fitness has led them to write their book Sleep Your Fat Away.

Yesterday, Joy and Roy visited Callie Carlings’ blog at ‘Cancer Goddess’ at http://www.cancergoddess.co.uk/2015/04/sleeping-your-way-to-wellness-and.html where they discussed emotional eating disorders and the effects of yo-yo dieting.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Joy and Roy on the challenges of writing a book on wellness, the experience of working with a publisher and what it’s like to write a book with your spouse!

***INTERVIEW***

 Joy and Roy MartinaLYNN: I know you use these weight loss strategies with your clients. What were some of the major challenges you faced when trying to translate practical work into written lessons? Many of our readers are authors writing their own ‘how to’ and ‘self-help’ books, and I’m sure they’d appreciate your advice.

The biggest challenge is to keep it simple and easy to understand. As experts we are so used to doing what we do that we sometimes forget to keep it simple and that a novice might have a hard time understanding our instructions if we get too much “in our heads”. I like using my friends or kids as guinea pigs and see if they are able to follow what I am saying. If they get it, I know I am on the right track.

LYNN: Like you, many of our readers are also in holistic health and wellness professions. Are there specific things you have to look out for when writing a book on wellness? I mean, how do we avoid promising our readers ‘too much’ while also encouraging them to be the best they can be?

By keeping to real life examples and telling stories about successful interventions and clients’ experiences.

LYNN: What are you most proud of about Sleep Your Fat Away? What do you think you really communicated perfectly? What do you like most about the way it was written, laid out, illustrated, etc.? 

We like to think that our book is easy to understand and an entertaining read; we like the down to earth and “real” life approach we took also by using many examples from our own lives – making it authentic and helpful at the same time.

What did we communicate well? That you don’t need willpower or diets to lose weight. That real change can only come from the inside – by understanding how we are wired in our brains and subconscious mind and so being able to become aware of limiting beliefs and destructive patterns – which can then lead to real life style changes.

LYNN: Many of our readers are self-published. Tell us about your experience working with a publisher. How easy was it to ‘land the deal’? How have they been supporting you throughout your publishing journey?

It was easy to land the deal as they approached us. We are grateful for the actual experience of working with the publisher was interesting but it is not one we want to necessarily repeat. We did not feel supported by our publisher at all.

We found that the extra team we hired (Lynn’s team and the Wasabi PR team) were far more helpful and supportive than the publisher themselves. In our eyes marketing is one of the most important keys to a successful launch and this you need to take care of yourself as the publisher will not do it for you.

LYNN: And finally, to close, I’d love to know what it was like writing a book with your SPOUSE! What made it easy/not easy? What tips can you give to others who are co-authoring a book (especially those who are co-authoring with someone close to them).

JOY AND ROY: We love writing together – we are used to working together anyway and are lucky to really complement each other in many ways. -So we thoroughly enjoyed the process and found that we got the writing done in an extremely efficient and speedy way as we kept each other accountable and were able to motivate and inspire each other along the way.

*** END OF INTERVIEW ***

I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with co-authors Drs Joy and Roy Martina. This week, I am delighted to be HOSTING a special FREE 3-Day Telesummit with Joy, Roy and their friends and colleagues:

“Busting the MYTHS about Weight Loss”

Busting the MYTHS about Weight Loss TelesummitRegister FREE at
http://sleepyourfataway.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

Here is Joy and Roy’s line up of guest panellists for this event (in order of appearance):

  • JOY and ROY MARTINA – #1 Holistic Thought Leaders, authors of Sleep Your Fat Away
  • LYNN SERAFINN – Marketing strategist for authors & ethical entrepreneurs, bestselling author (and someone who has recently lost 70 pounds herself)
  • ELLEN W. CUTLER – chiropractor, author, natural healing expert, creator of BioSET
  • LORI SHEMEK, PhD – bestselling author, international leader in health and weight loss
  • DOREEN POLIZZI – Health, wellness and lifestyle coach
  • DONI WILSON, N.D. – Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, nutritionist, midwife, bestselling author
  • AMBER ROMANIUK – holistic nutritionist, speaker, healthy eating expert
  • MATTHEW B. JAMES, Ph.D, – Doctor of Psychology, NLP master trainer, author of The Foundation of Huna
  • ERAM SAEED – Producer of “From Heartache to Joy”; founder of Journey to Joy Foundation
  • MAL DUANE – life recovery coach; transformational guide for women, bestselling author of Alpha Chick
  • ADAM HILL – Triathlete; Ironman triathlon All World Athlete

Again, you can register FREE at
http://sleepyourfataway.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

If you cannot make the live broadcast, register anyway so you can listen to audio replays.

THEN, when you buy Sleep your Fat Away: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight Effortlessly during its official Amazon launch on April 21st, you’ll receive dozens of free gifts from Joy and Roy, and their friends and colleagues. You can CLICK HERE to find out more about the book, and these free gifts.

If you’d like to catch more of Joy and Roy’s Virtual Blog tour, “visit” them at these dates and places:

MONDAY April 13th: Tina Games’ Moonlight Musings’ blog at http://moonligtmusepress.com/blog/, where they will discuss how emotions affect our eating patterns and how to maintain a healthy weight.

TUESDAY APRIL 14th: Callie Carlings’ “Cancer Goddess” blog at http://www.cancergoddess.co.uk/2015/04/sleeping-your-way-to-wellness-and.html where they will talk about emotional eating disorders and the effects of yo-yo dieting.

THURSDAY APRIL 16th: Krystalya Marie’s Empowered Spirit blog at http://EmpoweredSpirit.com, where they will discuss childhood obesity and how we can keep weight off permanently.

FRIDAY APRIL 17th: Naturopathic Doctor Donielle Wilson ND’s blog at http://doctordoni.com/ where they will be discussing how visualisation can help with weight loss and the connection with mind and weight.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Lynn Serafinn


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 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, 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)

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BOOK: Sleep Your Fat Away

Hi everyone. Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors here. I would like to invite our Spirit Authors readers to consider being a promotional partner on our next book launch: 

BOOK: Sleep Your Fat Away: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight Effortlessly

AUTHORS: Drs. Joy and Roy Martina

LAUNCH DATE: Tues, April 21st, 2015

PROMOTIONS RUN: Mon March 16th – Tues April 21st, 2015

Many of you may remember Dr. Roy Martina when we launched his tremendously successful book
Emotional Balance, which was an international #1 bestseller in US, UK, Canada and several European countries.

WHO SHOULD JOIN THIS CAMPAIGN?
Anyone whose audience is interested in:

  • health and fitness
  • holistic health and lifestyle
  • weight loss; finding alternatives to the ‘diet industry’
  • positive life changes; self-empowerment; self-esteem
  • mind-over-matter; working from the ‘inside out’
  • escaping addictions or addictive behaviour
  • releasing past traumas

HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
There are FOUR activities for this launch:

1) A joint venture partner (JVP) campaign, where you can offer a bonus gift for the launch. This means anyone who buys the book on launch day will have the opportunity to opt into YOUR list and get your free offer.

2) A Virtual Blog Tour, where you can feature a written interview with the author on your blog, and have dozens of people promoting your blog on your ‘stop’ on the tour.

3) A Radio Tour, where you can book the authors on your radio show or podcast.

JUST SO YOU KNOW: We are also organising a 3-Day Telesummit called ‘Busting the MYTHS About Weight Loss’, with a panel of world-renowned experts (with many names I’m sure you’ll recognise). Our Spirit Authors telesummits can attract thousands of registrations, and a high percentage of them will go on to buy the book AND download YOUR bonus gift. That’s a great win-win for everyone involved in the campaign.

HOW CAN YOU JOIN THIS CAMPAIGN?
Just fill in the form at
http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/be-a-partner-on-the-book-launch-of-sleep-your-fat-away-by-drs-joy-and-roy-martina/
BY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13th, 2015
(the earlier the better!).

Thanks for considering becoming one of our network of promotional partners. I do hope you will join us for this book launch.

MORE LAUNCHES COMING: Please stay in touch, as we will soon begin registering partners for Makeup Gourmet Chris Scott’s book Face With a Heart.

Drop me a line via the contact form on this page if you have any questions.

With gratitude,
Lynn Serafinn
7 Graces Project, CIC
Spirit Authors Book Promotions

 


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)

 

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Another Fresh NEW Book from One of Our Valued ClientsLynn Serafinn interviews Vrinda Pendred from Conditional Publications on the challenges of writing a personal life story that is accessible to a wider audience. 

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on DAY 7 of the Virtual Blog Tour for Richard David Price, author of the brand new book Beating the Adversary: A True Story of Schizoaffective Disorder, officially released on 1st December, 2014. On its debut, it became Amazon’s #1 best-selling new release in ‘schizophrenia’.

Yesterday, Richard visited Christine Miller’s Growing Edge Blog at http://christinemiller.co/category/christine-miller-growing-edge-blog/, where they discussed about hallucinations, therapies and other elements he encounters in dealing with his condition.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with the editor of the book, Vrinda Pendred, as I thought it would be of particular interest to authors who write transformational books, especially those that incorporate personal memoire.

VRINDA PENDRED is the Editor and Founder of independent publishing house Conditional Publications, which is devoted to giving a ‘voice’ to people diagnosed with neurological conditions such as Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder and much more. She is also a writer and a prolific novelist.

Beating the Adversary is the third book released by Conditional Publications. It is the autobiographical account of author Richard David Price, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a teenager, as a result of a childhood accident.

(And…not to be biased or anything…Vrinda is also my amazingly talented daughter).

Vrinda Pendred - Founder of Conditional Publications

Vrinda Pendred – Founder of Conditional Publications

 ***INTERVIEW***

LYNN: What were the challenges for you as an editor, in making a book of this kind accessible to a wider audience?

VRINDA: One of the features of schizoaffective disorder is disorganized thought. That in itself wasn’t a challenge, so much as trying to get the balance right between making the book ‘readable’ and maintaining the author’s voice. What’s the point of publishing a book with the intention of allowing your audience insight into what it’s like to suffer with such a condition, if you remove everything that demonstrates that condition?

This meant editing the book perhaps fifteen times (I lost count) before we felt it was not only accessible, but authentic. It was vital that the author still feel like it represented his struggle in an honest way, even if he understood we had to make changes to ensure the general audience would make the effort to hear his story.

The original draft also left out the whole missionary section of the book. I’m not Mormon myself, but I asked Richard to add that in. I was interested. He was concerned about coming across as ‘preachy’, but I assured him we would edit it so it didn’t feel that way. I think we managed this. The point of including it was to show how he had overcome his challenges. When I spoke to him about it over the phone, he told me his faith was what got him through it. When that wasn’t in the book, I felt we were cheating the audience.

Keats said, ‘Truth is beauty,’ and I wanted this book to be as truthful as possible. I didn’t care whether the audience was Mormon or not. I think the most fantastic thing about people is that we all come from different walks of life, yet something deeper connects us. I don’t think the reader needs to be Mormon to appreciate Richard’s transformative experience. As a non-Mormon, when Richard finally delivered to me his first complete draft, including every gritty and profound moment, I cried – because he’d finally expressed his truth, and Keats was right: it was beautiful.

LYNN: What do you think is the value of people writing about and publishing their own transformational journey / personal challenges?

VRINDA: Writing is therapy; I would hope most people in this day and age know that. Writing about your journey is some of the best medicine you will ever find, and it’s free without side effects – because it’s important to remember (and I say this from experience) that even if you have an incurable disability, there is more to that than the physical. These things have an emotional effect, and can often be traumatic. Writing may not change your circumstances, but it helps you exorcise the frustration or pain. That alone can be enough to get you through each day.

In terms of taking the time to publish that journey, that’s more about the reader. To take myself, as an example, I have Tourette’s Syndrome and one of the most important moments in my life was when I started talking to others with the same condition – when I realised I wasn’t alone. I stopped regarding myself as a ‘freak’ and started to understand I am one of a very large population of people who face the same sorts of challenges. It helped me accept myself. That’s why I founded Conditional Publications; I want to give a voice to people suffering in silence and help others realise they are not alone. In this way, I think there is great value in publishing your memoirs, whether they go on to be best-sellers or not. Even if they make a difference in just one person’s life, your work has served a purpose.

LYNN: What were some of the challenges you faced in getting this book ready for publication?

VRINDA: I think the trickiest part was trying to get everyone on the same page at the same time. I work at a distance, via email and social networking, with some long-distance telephone calls. We’re all in different time zones, so you can’t always get the immediate response you’d like, which means you have to plan ahead with everything. Once you find people you can rely on, hold onto them!!! They’re more precious than gold dust, and they will help you build something unexpected.

LYNN: Can you give tips to other authors in this category, with regard to marketing?

VRINDA: Read Lynn Serafinn’s book Tweep-e-licious! I’m following it like the Bible.

(Lynn blushes).

LYNN: What words of encouragement would you give other authors writing about their personal journey / challenges? What’s the message to authors about beating their own adversary?

VRINDA: I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was 3. When I was 20, I told someone about this dream. They were older and wiser and asked, ‘Is this really what you want to do? Is it what you feel in your heart you’re meant to do?’ I said yes, absolutely. They said, ‘Then you will do it. All you need is to want it enough. That’s all it takes to succeed.’

I’ve always born this in mind, and the older I get, the more I see it’s true. Everything comes down to motivation and energy. If you really want to get your story out – no matter what it is – just do it.

If you get writer’s block, don’t worry. Don’t push it. If the ideas aren’t flowing, whatever you write will ring false. Just relax, do something else, and wait until inspiration strikes again. And it will; it grips you when you least expect it, and suddenly you find you can’t do anything without words flying through your head. You have no choice but to write them down, so they don’t drive you nuts. That’s when it will sound sincere. Keep at it, and trust those moments will come; they always do.

***END OF INTERVIEW***

Beating the Adversary - a true story of schizoaffective disorder - by Richard D PriceI hope you enjoyed this brief interview with author Richard Price and that you’ll check out his new book Beating the Adversary: A True Story of Schizoaffective Disorder.

When you buy Beating the Adversary during its official Amazon launch, you’ll also receive a free novel entitled The Ladder by Vrinda Pendred, founder of Conditional Publications – an independent publisher dedicated to writers with neurological conditions.

To buy Beating the Adversary and get your free novel, go to:

http://www.conditionalpublications.com/pages/beating-the-adversary.html

Thanks for reading! Please do share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Be sure to follow Richard tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Pippa Moye’s Silver Ray Healing Therapies blog at http://www.silver-ray.co.uk, where they’ll be talking about how spiritual beliefs can help counter depression and other topics.

Lynn Serafinn


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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

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Another Fresh NEW Book from One of Our Valued ClientsLynn Serafinn interviews naturopathic doctor Doni Wilson ND about how therapists (and patients) can benefit from their writing a book on alternative medicine.

Our team at Spirit Authors have been supporting authors since 2009. Over that time, the vast majority of our clients have been what I would call ‘holistic service’ professionals, i.e. coaches, consultants, therapists, alternative medical doctors, etc. Most of them are working on a book (or have already published one) in which they share a specific area of their professional expertise.

One example is our client Dr. Doni Wilson, ND – a naturopathic doctor. Known on Twitter as @GlutenFreeDoc, Doni has written extensively about the advantages of a gluten-free diet. But Dr. Doni’s primary passion is to educate the public about the damaging effects of STRESS in our modern world, and how it is responsible for a plethora of chronic health issues.

For that reason, in 2013 Doni published a definitive 340-page manual on the subject called The Stress Remedy: Master Your Body’s Synergy and Optimize Your Health. This month, Doni also released a short eBook called Stress Remedies: How to Reduce Stress and Boost Your Health in Just 15 Minutes a Day, which she says is a ‘practical companion’ to her larger book. She’s selling it on Amazon for only 99 cents.

As so many of our readers at Spirit Authors are what I would call ‘practitioner authors’ (or are aspiring to be one), I thought I would share part of a recent conversation I had with Doni on Skype, when I asked her about why she wrote her books, and her thoughts on the value of practitioners putting their expertise into words.

LYNN: Why do you think it’s important for alternative therapists to write books?

DONI: Alternative practitioners have a unique voice and knowledge. However, busy practitioners are often so caught up in serving their patients that they don’t have time to spend writing. But unless they make the time, there is no way to bring the collective voice and knowledge of alternative medicine to the rest of the world. I believe it’s important to bring their voice into the written form, so it can help more people than they can reach through their individual professional practice.

 

LYNN: Apart from the difficulty of finding time to write a book, what other challenges did you face when writing your books? What encouragement can you give other practitioners?

DONI: Well, when I started, I didn’t know anything about putting a book together – writing, publishing, promoting, etc. It was all a big, daunting mystery to me. I had to find people to help me, and TRAIN myself in how to make it happen.

It’s understandable that a practitioner might feel mind-boggled at the prospect of writing a book, and thus not entertain the idea seriously. But the more alternative practitioners who publish books, the more people can access naturopathic medicine. This will give more people the tools for preventative medicine instead of one that simply focuses on treating symptoms of disease.

 

Dr  Doni Wilson, ND.

Dr Doni Wilson, ND

LYNN: How has writing books helped you professionally?

DONI: First of all, I want to say that some practitioners mistakenly think writing a book will result in people not needing them anymore, and patients won’t bother to come to them because it’s all explained in their book. But actually, the opposite is true. I get more patients since being an author than before I wrote my books.

And it’s not just numbers. The quality of my patients has improved because they are more educated before they even pick up the phone to book an appointment with me. Potential patients know my philosophy and professional approach before they meet with me. They come to their appointment with much more clarity about what they need and what they want. This makes communication between us easier when we start to work together, as they already understand the language and the rationale behind what we will be working on together. That makes my job so much easier.

It also helps attract the ‘right’ kind of patient to me, as it establishes a link between us. Let’s say someone reads the book and they feel it validates their intuition about their health AND it backs it up with science and informed advice. Well, that person will already be pre-disposed towards my professional approach. They will be more likely to reap the benefits of treatment, as they will be more committed to it at a personal level.

Finally, having a book makes it easier for the practitioner to speak with patients without having to explain every little thing. If a patient reads my book, it means I won’t have to say the same thing over and over again!

 

LYNN: Why did you write this shorter eBook Stress Remedies? Didn’t you cover it all already in your larger book The Stress Remedy?

DONI: I see the two books as complementing each other. They are both about stress, but they approach the subject from different angles.

The Stress Remedy goes into great detail on topics such as diet, supplements, cortisol testing, etc. But what I didn’t cover in much depth were ‘daily stress remedies’, which are part of what I call my ‘Stress Remedy Master Plan’.

Rather than make The Stress Remedy longer than it already was, I thought it would be a great idea to write a short (and hopefully ‘stress-free’) practical, activity-based guide to balancing stress that didn’t involve changes in diet or supplements. So, in Stress Remedies, I help people understand the health benefits from specific activities, so they can choose the ones that work best for them and optimise the natural rhythms of their own healthy body and mind.

Some people might wonder what having a 99-cent eBook could possibly bring a practitioner from a business perspective. They might wonder why they should bother to put effort into something that has little promise of high profit. Well, I believe a small eBook is more likely to encourage those who do not know me or my work to read what I have to say on the topic. They will be more willing to take a chance on me, as spending 99 cents to read a short eBook is a much smaller commitment of time and money than buying (and reading) a 340-page book. Hopefully, if they like what they read, they might visit my website or check out my book The Stress Remedy. If they continue to follow my work, perhaps one day they will also contact me as a patient or make another purchase on our website.

Basically, the Stress Remedies eBook is another doorway to meeting and greeting new people, and sharing my passion for the naturopathic lifestyle. I strongly recommend other practitioners to build their own doorways by sharing their wisdom in a book.

eBook - 'Stress Remedies' by Dr. Doni Wilson

Dr. Doni’s eBook Stress Remedies
is available on Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents at
http://doctordoni.com/dr-donis-new-kindle-ebook-stress-remedies-just-99-cents

If you’re a practitioner who has a book (or you’re hoping to write or publish one in the near future), feel free to contact our team here on Spirit Authors to see how our platform building packages, business mentoring and other packages might suit your needs. Just drop us a line via the contact form on this site and request a free 30-minute consultation.

 9 Dec 2014
Lynn Serafinn


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Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC

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

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Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors announces the launch of the new spiritual, psychological novel ‘Island of Souls’ by author Milan Ljubincic.

TODAY on Amazon, an inspiring new novel is making its debut. It’s called Island of Souls: light within the dark by internationally renowned psychologist and speaker, Milan Ljubincic.

I’m pleased to be the campaign manager for the launch of this refreshing and illuminating book.

Written much in the tradition of other metaphysical authors like Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) and James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy), author Milan Ljubincic uses the powerful vehicle of fiction to weave a rich, allegorical story that illustrates how every one of us can find harmony and joy when we learn the language of our own hearts, and reawaken the wondrous spirit that already lies within us.

To buy the book AND receive dozens of free bonus gifts, go to:
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/launch.php

Many of us have a library of self-help books on our shelves that ‘tell’ us how to transform our lives. But in Island of Souls, we simply step into the story of lead character, Lucas, and experience that transformation along with him. Set on a mysterious, uninhabited island, Island of Souls is a modern-day parable that blends real-life events with depth psychology, metaphors, archetypical figures and mythical symbolism to convey the underlying message of connection, aliveness and meaning. As much a guide as it is a story, Island of Souls is an invitation for you to reflect on your own life journey, its teachings, and the meaning it holds for you.

 Island of Souls: light within the dark is celebrating its big Amazon launch TODAY Tuesday May 13th, 2014. When you buy the book during the launch, you’ll receive DOZENS of beautiful bonus gifts from Milan’s friends and colleagues.

To buy the book AND receive these bonus gifts, go to:
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/launch.php

And as a special gift from Milan, when you buy the book you’ll also receive:

  • The MP3 audio downloads from the ‘Soul Awakening Telesummit’ with over 4 hours of inspiration and information from Milan and 10 other world-class speakers including Dr. Eric Pearl, Chloe Taylor Brown, Gregg Levoy, Lynn Serafinn, Karen Erlichman, Emmanuel Dagher, Cari Murphy, Frederika Roberts, Wendy Kennedy, and Anna Sienicka.
  • A FREE 1-hour online class with Milan, where he will share the fascinating ‘story-behind-the-story’ along with an in-depth discussion on the underlying insights and lessons within Island of Souls.

I’m sure all those gifts will make you feel pretty illuminated even before you read the book! I do hope you’ll check it out on Tuesday May 13th, 2014.

Lynn Serafinn


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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

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Author Daniel Parmeggiani

Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors interviews author Daniel Parmeggiani about how and why he wrote his book The Magnificent Truths of our Existence.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 11 of Daniel Parmeggiani’s Virtual Blog Tour, whose new book new book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence, is currently celebrating its official launch.

Daniel Parmeggiani is a modern-day spiritual teacher whose approach is unaligned with any particular religion or tradition. Driven by intense psychological turmoil when he was younger, Daniel discovered within himself a deeper reality that he says not only saved his life, but also showed him the way to permanent happiness and inner peace. Those revelations became the foundation of his book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence.

Yesterday, Daniel visited Jennifer Lyall’s ‘Your Soul Connection’ blog at http://yoursoulconnection.ca/topics/articles/ where she asked about the one thing that everyone in the world wants, and the importance of community on our spiritual path. Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Daniel when I got to ask him to share a bit about the process he used to write his book, and the advice he would give to other authors who may be thinking about writing a book on spirituality.

***INTERVIEW***

LYNN: What were your original reasons for writing a book about your spiritual experiences? What was happening in your life that made you want to share them in this way?

DANIEL: Ever since I had my first spiritual breakthrough at age 17, I’ve felt a deep sense of responsibility to share the simple, clear vision of our true innocent nature that I was blessed with. The recognition of my own absolute innocence rescued me from a seemingly hopeless state of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and self-loathing, and brought me self-forgiveness and peace within myself. I’ve always known that my perspective is unique in its clear logic and rationality, and I have no doubt that this book will greatly benefit all those who read it with a positive, receptive attitude.

LYNN: Why do you think it took you 8 years to finish your book The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence?

DANIEL: I quickly found out that writing an ordinary book is easy, but writing an extraordinary book is very hard. When I set out to write this book in 2006, I was determined to create something extraordinary, something different and practical that would really help people. I was willing to take all the time that was necessary for this to happen, and that turned out to be 8 years!

LYNN: How did you finally manage to get focused to get the book done? What kinds of things did you have to do or change to move the process forward?

DANIEL: After my breakthrough at age 17 that started it all, it took me almost 20 years to finally feel ready to begin putting my ideas down on paper. I knew I needed to help myself first before I could effectively help others. I also wanted to be sure that I fully represented my own spiritual teachings in my personal life. Then when the writing process began, I only wrote when I felt inspired to do so. I didn’t want to force any of it, because I wanted everything to be as genuine as possible. This meant that sometimes there were long periods of inactivity. But the importance of my mission always kept bringing me back to the desk.

LYNN: What advice you can give other authors who are thinking about writing a book on spirituality? What things should they watch out for? What tips can you give them?

DANIEL: I once heard Dr Wayne Dyer say, “Don’t die with your song still in you.” I think those words were the ones that finally got me started on this journey. Writing your first book can be very frustrating at times. It is a marathon that takes great endurance and perseverance. It is a trial and error, learning experience that requires lots of patience and the willingness to grow and change. There will be dry periods when the task will seem unsurmountable. But through it all, just keep plugging away. Try to do a little bit each day. And when you feel like you just want to say, “The hell with it!” and quit, remember the words of Dr Dyer. The payoff is great in the end, and worth every sacrifice.

*** END OF INTERVIEW***

Book - The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence by Daniel ParmeggianiI hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Daniel Parmeggiani, author of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence.

In Daniel’s words, “this book provides deep spiritual insight about who we really are, the cause of our suffering, and how to transform our lives.” If you are intrigued to find out more about Daniel’s approach to achieving the highest spiritual aspirations of happiness, love and inner peace, pick up a copy of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence at:

http://www.MagnificentTruths.com/order

AND…when you buy the book now during the official launch, you’ll receive dozens of beautiful free gifts from Daniel and his friends and colleagues. It’s their way of saying ‘thank you’ for supporting Daniel in this important spiritual work.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Be sure to follow Daniel tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Ana M. Bruckner and Antonia Daniek’s ‘Inspired Planet’ Blog at http://blog.inspiredplanet.co/where they ask about the 5 existential needs of life, and the logic against guilt.

Lynn Serafinn
10 May 2014


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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

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Island of Souls by Milan LjubinicLynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors talks about Milan Ljubincic, author of the spiritual novel ‘Island of Souls’, and about the FREE 3-Day ‘Soul Awakening Telesummit’. 

The secrets to achieving happiness and inner peace are highly sought after. But this desirable state can sometimes seem impossible to achieve in a world that turns faster with each passing day. In this digital information era, we often find ourselves getting confused about what we should listen to, and the right path to take. In such a world, things can sometimes seem very black and white: they are this or that, one way or another. The secret, however, lies not only in the beauty of the light, but also the depths of our shadow.

My client, psychologist and author Milan Ljubincic, understands that it is within the shades of grey that the richness of life unfolds. While many people put the study of psychology and the mind in one box, and the world of soul and spiritual experience in another, Milan sees them as working together, as one integrated whole. His work in the field of spiritual psychology can be seen as a return to the ancient origins of the ‘psyche’ where psychology interfaces with spirituality, to reawaken the spirit within each one of us. He has come to understand that true happiness and inner peace is attained when our mind and our spirit cease tugging in opposite directions, and when the two begin to dance harmoniously together. For that to happen, we must listen to the voice of our heart, and recognize that our emotions carry our teachings. When we tap into this new way of hearing, we begin to heal and rediscover the joy in all those wonderful shades of grey – as we embrace the light as well as the shadow within.

The desire to share this simple but profound truth is what led Milan to write his illuminating new novel Island of Souls: light within the dark, which is launching on Amazon on Tuesday May 13th. Much in the tradition of metaphysical authors like Paulo Coelho and James Redfield, Milan uses the powerful vehicle of fiction to weave a rich, metaphoric story that illustrates how every one of us can find joy when we embrace our whole-self – light, dark and all shades in between.

To share these insights with you, and to celebrate the launch of his book,
Milan is hosting a panel of 11 world-renowned spiritual speakers on his

FREE 3-Day ‘SOUL AWAKENING’ Telesummit
Tuesday May 6th to Thursday May 8th, 2014

Guest Speakers on the Soul Awakening Telesummit

Soul Awakening Telesummit

I am delighted to tell you that Milan has asked me
to co-host this beautiful event,
which will feature
11 international guest speakers..

To join us, you can book your place FR*EE at
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

Over these 3 days, we will explore:

  • CONNECTION: How to find deep, intimate connection with Self, Life-Force and other people
  • ALIVENESS: How to feel fully alive; how to manifest miracles in everyday life
  • MEANING: How to align to the soul; how “going with the flow” unlocks our purpose in life

When you register, you’ll have access to 3 days of LIVE round-table discussions from these dynamic speakers (in order of appearance):

  • MILAN LJUBINCIC (host) – Psychologist, speaker and author of Island of Souls: light within the dark
  • LYNN SERAFINN (co-host) – Coach; marketer; author of The 7 Graces of Marketing, Tweep-e-licious and The Garden of the Soul
  • WENDY KENNEDY – Channeler, public speaker, media personality.
  • ANNA SIENICKA – Homeopathic medicine and kinesiology expert; certified personal trainer with mind-body connection.
  • KAREN ERLICHMAN – Faculty, teacher, mentor at Sofia University, et. al., social worker, psychotherapist, spiritual author
  • DR. ERIC PEARL – The Reconnection® founder; top media speaker, author international bestseller The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself.
  • GREGG LEVOY – Human Potential expert, keynote speaker, author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, featured in upcoming film, Openings.
  • FREDERIKA ROBERTS – “The Happiness Speaker”, presenter, coach, author of Recipe for Happiness: 9 essential ingredients for a happy life.
  • EMMANUEL DAGHER – Personal growth catalyst, transformation specialist, speaker, host of ‘The Miracle Cafe’ radio show
  • CARI MURPHY – Soul success coach, speaker, bestselling author of Treasures of Heaven, Create Change Now and others, host of “The Cari Murphy Show: Straight Talk for the Soul”.
  • CHLOE TAYLOR BROWN – Transformation & Lifestyle enhancement expert, author, speaker, radio host, entrepreneur.

Attend the Soul Awakening Telesummit
at absolutely no cost by registering at

http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

If you cannot attend the live broadcasts, register anyway, so you can access the audio replay.

I’m delighted to be participating in the SOUL AWAKENING Telesummit on May 6th, 7th and 8th. I do hope you’ll join us. I know you’ll find it to be an uplifting, informative and enlivening experience.

See you there!

Lynn Serafinn

2 May 2014


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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

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How Many Followers Do You Need before Doing a Book Launch?

Spirit Authors is well-known for its ‘bestseller’ book launches. So why is book marketer Lynn Serafinn advising an alternative plan for marketing your book?

A couple of weeks ago, a new client sent me an email asking, ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

My reply to her was that there was no simple answer to this, as there were so many variables. As I was explaining these variables in some detail in my email, it occurred to me that my readers here on Spirit Authors would probably also like to know the answer to this question. So today, I’ll be looking at the factors that I believe contribute to a successful book launch, as well as an alternative to the big ‘bestseller launch’, which I believe is a viable, economical and more sustainable book marketing option for many new authors.

The Golden Era of Launches

My first exposure to ‘bestseller book launches’ (also called ‘Amazon launches’) was in 2008 when I attended a seminar in London with Janet Switzer, one of the marketing brains behind the book Chicken Soup for the Soul. That was the first time I had ever heard of ‘joint venture partners’ and the idea of collaborative Internet marketing campaigns. It was clear that the key to success was in the strength of your network. One person even naively asked Janet if she would share her partner mailing list with us (!). Of course, she gracefully declined, explaining that this was not only a breach of confidentiality, but that she had spent years cultivating and nurturing the relationships with these partners. The people on that list would have no relationship with the new person. Thus, without relationships, the list would be of no value whatsoever – even though, for Janet, it was THE most valuable asset she had.

(As an aside, in hindsight I realise that what Janet did NOT talk about was the fact that the ‘Chicken Soup books themselves are collaborative projects, as they are comprised of dozens of different authors. That’s a whole different subject I won’t delve into here, but it is a major defining factor in the success of these books.)

I had attended the seminar because I was just about to self-publish my book The Garden of the Soul, and wanted to get ideas for how to give it a good ‘birth’. While the seminar opened my eyes, it also raised more questions than it answered, and I embarked on a quest to research everything I could find on the subject. I incorporated ideas I liked, and discarded those I didn’t. But the one thing I could see would be the biggest determining factor in my success would be my network. I started a radio show. I created free Garden of the Soul audio meditations. I made Garden of the Soul video poems for YouTube. I started blogging on a special site just for the book. But the most effective thing I did was set up a Garden of the Soul network on Ning. Sadly, no longer a very popular social media platform, many of my closest network partners today originally came from my Ning network. It was a lovely ‘micro-universe’ where I made close connections with a few hundred people who were 100% committed to helping me when my book came out a few months later. As a result, I was able to get the book to #18 in the spirituality category on Amazon, which wasn’t bad for a one-person act who had never done a book launch before. I was able to return the favour by having many of these people as guests on my radio show. Dozens of them continue to be my book launch partners today, and a few even became book marketing clients.

Since then, I’ve coordinated dozens of book launches for clients. I have a superb team who know exactly what to do and when. It’s become ‘systematised’ to such a degree that I can pretty much guarantee a client will hit #1 (or at least #2) in one or more category on Amazon. With each launch, my network of partners grows, and our relationships become stronger. Now my own circle of partners (along with my team) has become my most valuable business asset.

To Launch or Not to Launch?

So far, you might be thinking, ‘Great. All I need to do is find a person like Lynn or Janet who has a strong partner list and I can do a bestseller book launch.’

Well, when I was just starting out doing these launches as a business, I also made that assumption, thinking my clients could ‘ride on my coat-tails’ so to speak. But let me tell you from experience, this assumption is completely WRONG.

After a year or so of doing book launches, I started to see some patterns:

  • CLIENT A: Those clients who depended primarily upon my partner network might get to #1, but it was harder to get them there and it didn’t necessarily result in big sales. Furthermore, once the launch was over, it was sort of like, ‘Ok, I’ve spent all this time and money. Now what do I do with myself and my book?’
  • CLIENT B: Those clients who had strong partner networks of their own (which were then combined with my network) would rise to the top of the charts more quickly, and stay there longer, resulting in more book sales overall. However, as books are cheap, it was only on rare occasions that their profits from these sales would cover the expenses they had laid out to do the launch. Thus, they’d write it off as a business expense, and just return to ‘business as usual’ after the launch, meaning the launch made no significant change to their business.
  • CLIENT C: Those clients who had strong partner networks AND who had ‘spin off’ products and follow-up offers for their customers not only made better book sales, but they also made residual income after the launch. This was the only group who actually profited financially from doing a book launch.

As I saw these patterns emerging, I decided I would no longer offer book launches as an option to clients in the ‘A’ category. I felt it was unethical to ask them to commit so much time and money for something that would give them ’15 minutes of fame’ and then a big crash and burn (if not a credit card debt) at the end of the tunnel. Instead, I worked with them to build their marketing platforms and their networks – sometimes for as long as a year. Some would go on to do a book launch, but many didn’t feel the need, seeing the platform building as a steady and sustainable alternative to business growth and book sales.

Clients in Category C, obviously, had the greatest potential to benefit from doing a book launch, and I am happy to do a launch project with them.

Clients in Category B are ‘borderline’. What I tend to do with these clients is work with them for a while to create their follow-up offers so they can ‘ascend’ to Category C before their launch.

Back to the Question of the Day

OK. Now, taking all that context into consideration, let’s get back to my client’s question: ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

What you might notice is that, so far, I haven’t even MENTIONED social media followers. When I referred earlier to ‘strong partner networks’, I was NOT talking about big mailing lists or large numbers of followers on Twitter or Facebook.

That’s not to say that large social networks are not important. The fact is that your partners will appear from these networks. Of course, it’s up to you to recognise potential partners and cultivate your relationship with them (I talk a lot about this in my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious).  

Numbers have to be looked at in context. For one thing, the number of ‘followers’ that is considered substantial will vary from one social media network to another. While 2,000 Facebook friends is a lot, it’s not particularly exceptional on Twitter. Also, low numbers in one network can be offset by exceptionally high numbers elsewhere. For example, one of my clients has a minimal presence on Twitter, but has over 60,000 fans on his Facebook fan page.

But most of all, it’s not just about quantity, but about quality. Things I would assess before considering someone for a book launch are:

  • The level of engagement they have in their social networks (quantity and quality)
  • The amount and quality of informational content they have created and shared online
  • The degree to which that content reinforces their overall brand message
  • The amount and consistency of traffic they are driving to their website every day
  • Their mailing list size AND the consistency/relevance of their communication with that list
  • And, as already mentioned, the level of connection they have to potential PARTNERS who have equally solid platforms as them

Closing Thoughts

I hope you can see that making the decision to embark on a book launch cannot be reduced to a numeric equation. The decision comes from looking at a combination of factors, including your marketing platform, your partner network and your business/brand development. Think of a finely crafted watch. The only way it works is: 1) for all the parts to be of good quality; 2) for them to be assembled and working together as a unit correctly and; 3) for them to be maintained regularly.

Frankly, I think the ‘golden era of book launches’ is dying out. I believe building a solid platform and making a plan for how your book marketing will support your business growth is far more important that the ephemeral ‘rush’ you’ll get from being #1 for a day. It’s like winning the X-Factor and then not being able to make a career out of singing.

This is why we at Spirit Authors (now a branch of the 7 Graces Project CIC) have been focusing more and more deeply on developing a range of platform-building packages for our clients. We feel, for the majority of clients, these options give greater long-term value and are more sustainable than a book launch.

If you’re writing a value-rich book, you run an independent ethical business, or you’re planning to launch a new product in 2014, have a look at our platform-building packages and then drop us a line via the contact form on this site to set up a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
11th December 2013


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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

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Book marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her tips for making a professional-looking book layout that creates an enjoyable experience for your readers. Part 5 of a 5-part series on self-publishing.

In the previous four blog posts, I’ve been sharing my 10-part checklist for self-publishing. So far we’ve covered ‘must do’ items 1-9:

We’ve finally reached the end of our checklist! Here’s what we’ll be looking at today:

Must-Do #10: Formatting, Uploading and Ordering Your Proof

So let’s get started.

Why It’s CRUCIAL to Give Attention to the Interior Layout of Your Book

One of the most common criticisms self-published books receive is that the formatting looks shoddy and unprofessional. Nonetheless, when new self-publishing clients come to me, I often find that formatting is frequently the last thing on their mind. Typically, they’re far more concerned with the message of the book and about getting a good cover than they are about the aesthetic experience their readers will have as they turn the pages.

While a beautiful cover is an invitation to your readers to pick it up and check it out, a poor interior layout will cause these same readers to close the book and STOP reading. Even if your content is the definitive revelation of the mysteries of the Universe, poor attention to font styles, sizes and line spacing contribute greatly to the physiological impact of a person’s reading experience. Lack of attention to ‘pause points’ where you break up the text with sub-headers (for non-fiction) or little glyphs/images, can deprive your readers of breathing space and make it difficult for them to absorb and locate relevant information.

About 5 years ago, I created a basic ‘house style’ for my own books. I know this style works because I have received dozens of letters from readers who have told me things like:

  • ‘Wow, I’ve never read a 400 page book so quickly’ or
  • ‘I literally couldn’t stop reading’ or
  • ‘I found your book so easy to read’.

While you might think these kinds of statements are reflections on the content or writing style of the books, I believe they are equally reflective of the layout. A clear, clean and ‘spacious’ layout that delivers an aesthetically pleasing visual experience can keep your readers reading. A bad layout can make readers fatigued, unfocussed and just plain bored, even if they are interested in the topic. Ask any skilled designer and they will confirm this.

The bottom line is this: even if a million people buy your book, unless they enjoy the experience of reading (hopefully to the end), they won’t remember it or talk about it to others.

DIY or Hire Someone?

Knowing how important your interior layout is, it’s crucial you make the right decision about who is going to format your book—you or a professional. This decision really depends upon two things:

  • Whether or not you have the technical skills and software to do it
  • Whether you have the time, patience and interest to learn how to do it right

At this point, it’s also important to add that formatting for paperback is entirely different from formatting for eBook formats. Furthermore, formatting for Kindle is significantly different from formatting for Smashwords. Below, we’ll look at a few considerations for all of these scenarios.

Preparing for Paperback

Most professionals who do interior book layout use InDesign or similar programmes. Back in the ‘old days’ (10 years ago) I used to use Adobe PageMaker. These kinds of programmes are generally necessary if you intend to use offset printing.

However, for digital printing, such as those used in POD (print-on-demand) services like Lightning Source, you can actually format your paperback book in Word and convert it to high-resolution PDF. If you’ve done it correctly, the print book will look exactly as it does in the PDF.

Using Word doesn’t necessarily mean your book will look less professional than if you used InDesign IF you know what you’re doing. I’ve formatted at least a half-dozen books using Word (for myself and my clients), and I’ve had several major publishers tell me that they looked really professional.  None of them guessed I had used Word for my layout (which is when you know you’ve done a good job).

It’s beyond the scope of this article to write a detailed ‘how to’ for formatting your book in Word, but here are some basics:

  • Plan ahead. For non-fiction books, be sure to organise your book into clear sections, chapters and sub-headings within the chapters.
  • Define and use formatting styles in Word. Most people who use Word will format every word or paragraph individually. Word has the capability of defining styles (similar to the idea of CSS style sheets on websites).  Spend some time getting to know how to use these styles and plan out the styles for your book. It makes formatting much easier and more consistent,
  • Define headers, footers and page numbers carefully.  Ensuring there are different styles for odd/even pages and first pages of sections can make your book look much more professional.
  • Use section breaks and page breaks. Putting section breaks for each chapter can help you organise your headers and footers, and ensure all your chapters start on an odd numbered page (on the right side as you’re looking at the book). Again, be SURE you understand how to use these properly because you can end up making a mess of your headers and footers if you don’t.
  • Use branded glyphs/graphics as dividers. It’s always a nice touch to use some sort of graphic to put at the beginning and/or end of chapters. This should be something ‘branded’, i.e., something that relates to the cover of your book. For example, for my book Tweep-e-licious, I used the image of the Twitter bird that appears on the cover of the book.
  • Use high-res (300 dpi) images. For print, images should be 300 dots per inch or they’ll look blurry or fuzzy. Images you got from the Internet are typically 72-96 dpi.
  • PRINT your finished layout and check it MULTIPLE times. NEVER send your final layout to the printer until you’ve seen it in a hard-copy. Print out your entire book and check everything including headers and footers, section breaks, consistency of where chapters start, etc. And don’t forget to check that your Table of Contents (TOC) has the right pages listed. Circle in RED any mistakes you find and meticulously correct them in your manuscript, checking them off as you go along. Then, after it’s all fixed, print the whole book out AGAIN and check it one more time.
  • Use a commercial quality PDF converter. For digital printing, you need to convert your book to a 300dpi version PDF. Be sure to embed all fonts. Word 2013 has this capability. If your version of Word cannot do this, you might need to buy a PDF converter or ask someone else to do it for you.

Ebook Formatting

I spoke a bit about the different eBook formats (and also their royalties, etc) in my previous article EEEEEE-Books!! 5 Top Questions – A Short Intro to Digital Media for Authors Who Haven’t Got a Clue.

Once again, you can do it yourself, but if you haven’t done it before, or you don’t have time to learn how to do it, I strongly recommend hiring a highly recommended professional for this. You might start by asking other authors, or by checking Smashwords’ list of Independent Smashwords Formatters and Cover Designers.

If you decide to do it yourself, be sure you read the style guides for your chosen eBook distributors.

I’ve done all the formatting for my Kindle eBooks as well as those of many of my clients. Amazon says you can upload a plain Word Doc, but really it’s not so straightforward. The first few times I did it, I had to upload my book several times before I got it right. In the end, I opted to create an HTML file, as I feel comfortable with HTML code, and I can troubleshoot most issues more easily in it than in the messy code of MS Word. Using a good HTML editor (I use Dreamweaver) has many advantages over Word when you’re making sure your images are placed properly, your font styles are displaying correctly and your hyperlinks within the document are working right.

Just as you did with your print layout formatting, it’s important to think carefully about the experience you want your eBook readers to have when they read your book. For example, if the print version of your book has a lot of footnotes or references, you’ll need to hyperlink directly to these references from the body text. That way, the reader can move quickly to the reference without having to scroll through your entire book.

You should also hyperlink from your TOC to your chapter headings. I did this for my books the 7 Graces of Marketing and Tweep-e-licious. The latter presented an even bigger challenge because it’s a reference book, containing 158 Twitter Tips. For someone who is reading the paperback, they can easily flip back and forth between the TOC and the relevant page number of the tip they want to view. I did my best to replicate this experience by listing EVERY tip in the TOC, and hyperlinking directly to where it appeared in the book. Then, at the end of every tip, I put a hyperlink that said ‘Back to Table of Contents’ so people could jump back to the list. This took me a LONG time to do, but it really paid out in the end product because it allowed my eBook readers to use the book as it had been intended—for reference.

Lightening Source (LSI) also has eBook distribution services, but their formats are very limited. I think if you stick with the two distributors above you should be able to cover all the bases.

NOTE: You cannot use the same ISBN for your eBooks as you did for your print book. Also, each of the above eBook formats will need a UNIQUE ISBN.  Smashwords also requires you say ‘Smashwords version’ on your front pages, so as to distinguish it from other versions. Please read more information about this in their free Smashwords Style Guide.

Uploading Your Materials and Getting Your Proof

Each of the above self-publishing formats has different requirements for uploading. I won’t go into uploading your materials to Kindle or Smashwords, because they have all that information on their websites, but here are a few key points for Lightning Source.

For Lightning Source (LSI)

For your print version at LSI, you’ll need to submit:

  • The Interior of your book as high-res PDF
  • The Cover/spine/back of your book as PDF

My experience is that some browsers get ‘hung up’ when trying to upload materials to LSI. I recommend uploading via Google Chrome, as I have had the best luck with it.

At the time of uploading, be SURE you request a proof copy of your book. The last time I checked, this was about $40 USD.  You should receive it within a week. Go through this proof CAREFULLY. Look for obvious errors like unplanned blank pages, missing images or weird characters. If there are errors, you’ll have to go back to your layout and make corrections and re-upload and request another proof.

NEVER, EVER, EVER approve a title until you are holding a finished copy in your hands that is free of errors. If you rush the proofing process, all your good effort will have gone to waste. Take your time. Breathe. The world can wait one more day for your book to come out.

Once your proof is approved, your title will be fed/distributed to wholesalers (Amazon) for sale. The book will automatically appear on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. within a couple of weeks. It will say it’s ‘out of stock’ but don’t worry. This is normal. See my article, How to Kick Start Your Book Sales – Part 2 for information on how to get your book to appear ‘in stock’.

And that’s it! You are now a (self) published author! Congratulations.

Now, all you need to know about is how to market your book. And for that, I hope you’ll take a look around this blog and subscribe so you can receive all our future info articles.

And lastly, if you need one-to-one personal help with your self-publishing or book marketing journey, drop us a line via the contact form on this website.

Lynn Serafinn
24th July 2013

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Take a 14-day free trial at:

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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:

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Lynn Serafinn shares a template for writing good marketing copy for your wholesalers, and discusses what to put on the back cover and back pages of your book. Part 4 of a 5-part series on self-publishing.

Over the past month, I’ve been sharing my 10 ‘Must Do’s’ of self-publishing. So far we’ve covered:

The problem is, I keep thinking of more things to say! First it was going to be a single article. Then, 2 parts… 3 parts… 4 parts. Today I finally decided it needed to be a 5-part series. Today is Part 4. In this article, we’ll be looking at:

Must-Do #9: Blurbs, back cover and back pages

So here we go!

How Your Book is an INVITATION

Your book is not just a book. It is an invitation. First, you are inviting your reader into a new space, where you make them a promise to deliver something they want. Secondly, it is an invitation for them to become more deeply connected with you beyond the pages of your book.

To ensure your book is an effective invitation, you need three vital components:

  • A powerful book description (‘blurb’) for wholesalers
  • An equally powerful back cover blurb (if publishing a printed version)
  • Attractive ‘back pages’ that attract the reader to explore more

Let’s look at each of these, respectively.

Your Wholesalers’ Blurb – technical considerations

The wholesalers’ ‘blurb’ is the words that are fed automatically from your distributor (for example, Lightning Source) to wholesalers and online retailers about your book. In Lightning Source, they also refer to this as the ‘meta’.

Different distributors have different ‘rules’ and specifications for their blurbs:

  • Most have a character limit. For example, Lightning Source has a limit of 4000 characters (including spaces) for their ‘meta’.
  • Some (like Lightning Source) require you to input HTML code for the blurb to read properly. If you don’t, when it appears on Amazon or other websites all the paragraphs in your blurb will be run together into one long block of text. This looks unreadable (and unprofessional) on people’s computer screens, so it’s vital to prepare your HTML properly before submitting your blurb.
  • Note that any character limits INCLUDE your html coding. So if your limit is 4000 characters, try to stick to around 2500 characters of text/spaces when you’re writing the blurb. That way the extra characters from your HTML code won’t take it over the limit.
  • Some companies will accept Word docs and your formatting will (or should) carry over to the online version.

Before starting to write your blurb, be sure you address these details with your distributor or subsidiary publisher, so you don’t end up disappointed.

TRICK: I discovered that the HTML tags <h2></h2> will translate into a lovely header on Amazon that uses its ‘house style’ orange colour.

Your Wholesalers’ Blurb – writing your copy

It’s important that your blurb is constructed properly so that you will attract the attention of the right customers when they read it online. Think of your book as a journey. People will ‘embark’ on the journey when they start to read it. However, you have to remember that they’ve been on their own journey long before they found your book, and something has led them to find you.

Any copy for a non-fiction book must address and acknowledge where your readers have come from, where they are now, and where you are going to take them. Here’s a rough template of how your blurb should go. Be sure to make each section SHORT with 2-3 sentences maximum in each:

  1. HEADLINE/BIG IDEA: Start with a headline that addresses the ‘big idea’ of the book. Make it short and to the point. Some people recommend putting keywords in your headline. That can be a very useful idea to help get your book to appear in searches, but be sensible about this, and don’t just ‘stuff’ your headline with keywords if they don’t actually convey the ‘big idea’.
  2. THE DESIRE: In your first paragraph, talk to your reader. What’s the journey they’ve been on? What are they looking for? What are the challenges they have faced?
  3. THE PROMISE: In the next paragraph, give a broad view of how THIS book addresses what the reader is looking for.
  4. EVIDENCE: In the next paragraph, give specific examples of how the book delivers on the promise. You might say something like, ‘You’ll learn X, Y, Z, etc.’ This is a good place to use a bullet-pointed list to make it easier for people to absorb.
  5. CREDIBILITY:  Somewhere in your text (it could come in the ‘evidence’ part) bring in your credibility. For example: ‘Mary Smith draws upon more than 20 years in the holistic wellness field to give you…’
  6. USP: This stands for ‘unique selling point’. After you’ve given the ‘evidence’, people are going to start asking ‘Yeah…so what?’ There are countless other books on the market in your niche. Why is THIS BOOK different? What’s the angle? What does it do that no other book does?
  7. BONUS MATERIALS: If your book contains a link to any bonus materials, such as a downloadable MP3, worksheets, etc., here’s the place to mention them.
  8. END RESULT: Close your blurb with a simple, one-sentence rewording of ‘the promise’, reminding them of what they will gain from reading the book, and assure them that if they’re looking for X (‘the desire’) they’ll find it here.

ADVICE: Avoid schmoozy hype and over-blown descriptors in your copy. Don’t use words like ‘amazing’, ‘life-changing’, ‘incredible’ etc. Just tell people about the book. Remember: it’s an invitation, not a demand.

Making a good blurb for your wholesalers’ description requires skill and practice. It’s not something you should do flippantly or hurriedly. Get other people to read it and make sure it’s proofread. AND, if you’ve never done one before, you might have to do it a few times before it actually looks right on Amazon and has the right effect.

Your Back Cover Blurb

Your back cover copy is also an invitation. This time, it’s an invitation to readers who may be physically picking up your book in a book shop or at a book event.

Essentially, your back cover blurb should be a (significantly) reduced version of your wholesalers’ blurb. For it to fit, you’ll probably have to cut it down by as much as two-thirds, depending upon your layout. Make sure you have at least one line from each of the 8 parts of the template above, but strip it WAY back.

Leave room on your cover for other elements:

  • A short (50-75 word) author bio and headshot
  • 2-3 endorsements (see Part 3 of this series)
  • Your bar code and price

Your Back Pages

While the above ‘blurbs’ are invitations for your readers to step into your book, the back pages of your book must be an invitation for your readers to step into a deeper connection with you. These should not be big blasting sales pages but information that can help the reader do any (or all) of the following:

  • Read more about you (i.e. your ‘about the author’ page)
  • Find/buy more of your books
  • Sign up to receive a free offer of some kind
  • Join an online community you lead
  • Listen to a radio show you host
  • Get involved in a project you are doing
  • Find out more about courses you deliver
  • Contact you for a private consultation
  • Connect with you on social media

TIPS:

  • For long links, use a shortener like http://bit.ly and then customise the link (example: http://bit.ly/TweepKindleUS is a custom link to buy the Kindle version of my book Tweep-e-licious on Amazon US).
  • While providing your readers with links is important, for print books (not eBooks) you might consider using QR codes as well.
  • Don’t just use words; show pictures of your books or logos of your show, etc.

NEED HELP?

While many self-published authors feel confident with writing book blurbs, many others find it challenging to distil the thoughts and language of their book into marketing copy. Others don’t know how to use HTML or how to ‘chunk’ the information visually so it becomes easily digestible on a computer screen.

Writing blurbs is something I do all the time for my clients, and some even hire me solely for this purpose. I spend a long private session interviewing you so I can extract the real ‘promise’ of your book and your work, and to get a real feel for the ‘desire’ of your ideal audience. I’ve repeatedly been told my copy writing really captures the essence of my clients’ work in an authentic way. On the technical side, I’m also great with HTML. I’ve been using it every day in my work for years. My MA is in distance education, and about 10 years ago, and as part of my degree I had to create a pretty complex educational web directory using only HTML code).

So if you’re in need of a help in these areas, give me a shout and we can set up an appointment to chat about it. Just drop me a line via the contact form on this site: http://spiritauthors.com/contact

And, of course, if you’d like to discuss building a marketing platform for your book, an Amazon book launch or any other marketing help, give me a shout too.

I do hope you’ve found this article useful. Let me know what you thought about it (or ask me any questions you might have) in the comments below.

AND…subscribe to this blog if you want to be sure to get Part 5 (finally) of this series, where we’ll be looking at:

Must-Do #10: Formatting, Uploading and Ordering Your Proof

Lynn Serafinn
17th July 2013

Happy birthday to my mother, Margaret, who would have been 90 years old today if she were still alive. Thanks for teaching me all about grammar, Mom.

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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.

 

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Author consultant Lynn Serafinn looks at the artistic rewards of self-publishing, how to work with an editor, and how to approach endorsers for your book.

I believe our digital era—digital printing, digital distribution and digital (online) marketing—has liberated independent authors from ‘needing’ to have publishers or subsidiary presses to publish their books. No longer must we feel at the mercy of big business to share our words, ideas and imagination.

I’m sure part of my passion for self-publishing comes from my many years as an indie musician, when I preferred to publish via my own record label than to be taken seriously by major record companies. Ironically, after years of thinking a record deal was my ‘goal’ in music, when our electro-trance band was offered a record deal in 1994 with one of the biggest labels on the planet (along with all the trappings like MTV videos and going on tour with big name acts), I suddenly realised I didn’t want it. The A&R guy (the person who signs the acts) was already trying to seize too much artistic control. I feared we would turn into something we were not and end up appealing to no one, only to be dumped by them a year later because we didn’t sell enough records. It happens all the time in the music industry.

I believe Madonna (whether you like her as an artist or not) took a sensible and fruitful approach to working with record labels. She started out as a pro-active, ambitious independent artist, highly focused on building her following. By the time record labels started to approach her, her identity (i.e., her ‘brand’) AND her fan base were so defined, record labels didn’t TRY to change her. Her clarity about who she was as an artist (even though it changed every year) and who her fans were meant that she gained a reputation as someone who was able to maintain artistic control even within a corporate environment. Later, she had enough clout (and money!) to break free from corporate influence altogether, and created her own record label. In a way, she went BACK to being an independent artist, the master of her own artistic destiny.

I believe Madonna’s career serves as a great lesson for authors in the digital era. Committing to being self-published, possibly for several years, while you put your attention into building your ‘brand’ and your fan base IS a highly sensible route. Then, you wait until you reach a ‘tipping point’ where a publisher might be able to take your sales to the next level AND you are a ready-made asset for a specific publisher (or niche of publishers). Only then is it the time to approach a major publisher. When you can show you have a clear market, a clear identity, a strong fan base and some marketing know-how, the ‘right’ publisher will sit up and take notice when you approach them (typically through a literary agent; but that’s another story).

Then again, maybe you don’t WANT a publisher after all. Maybe you’ll decide that self-publishing is actually better for you. Maybe you’ll develop a love for the entrepreneurial spirit and freedom of self-publishing. Maybe you’ll be so good at marketing and distribution (or you’ve outsourced great people to manage it for you) that you’ll start building a small empire with your books. Maybe you’ll even publish other authors.

Anyway…

That’s enough of the pep talk. I just wanted to take a moment to get you into the right state of mind before we get back to work.

Back to Our Checklist…

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been sharing my Top-10 ‘must do’ items for self-published authors. Here’s a quick review of what we’ve looked at so far. You can click the links below to read more about them.

In Part 1, we explored:

In Part 2, we took a detailed look at:

Today, in Part 3, we’ll be looking at the next two items on our ‘must do’ checklist:

So here we go!

Must-Do #7: Working Through Your Edits and Proofs

Many new authors think that once they finish their draft, their editor will ‘fix’ everything for them and that when they get their edit back from the editor, everything will be ready to publish.  This is a big misunderstanding of the role an editor plays in the publishing process.

While many new authors think editing is just a matter of correcting errors in grammar and spelling, it’s far more than that. A good editor will typically make suggestions for changes that will make your book tighter and more cohesive. They might recommend re-writing certain sections, changing the order of your ideas (or whole chapters). They might recommend that you elaborate on an idea, trim something down, or even delete parts that are redundant. They might point out inconsistencies in point-of-view, verb tense or continuity, and make suggestions for how to fix them.

An editor might notice certain idiosyncrasies in your writing that they ask you to address personally. For example, my editor told me to search through my ENTIRE manuscript to find every instance of certain adverbs I tended to overuse (like ‘really’, ‘quite’, ‘actually’ and similar fillers), and then delete as many of them as possible. This part of the process can be a real emotional journey for an author, especially if they have never worked with a good editor before. You might wonder why the editor didn’t do this herself. I’m glad she asked me to do it because a) it gave me the chance to decide which instances of these words should stay or go and b) it helped me improve as a writer. I notice that I am much more mindful of my ‘filler’ words since being challenged by my editor to address this issue.

Learn to relish the challenges your editor gives you as a valuable learning experience. Do not see his/her suggestions as criticisms but as tools to make you a better, more professional writer. This is why choosing the right editor is so important. A great editor is not only a master of words, but is also unafraid to ‘give it to you straight’.

Of course, you have to be prepared for this—emotionally AND in terms of time. BLOCK OUT a month of your time to go through your editors edits. Treat them with as much care and delight as you did when you wrote the first two drafts of your book.

After you make the changes your editor suggested, I strongly recommend sending the edited draft back to your editor (or to a proofreader, if you are using someone different) so they can go over it with a fine eye for typos, spelling and punctuation errors. Again, they will probably send the proofed draft to you using ‘track changes’ so you can approve the changes manually. That means you’ll need to block out another week of your time for this. Do NOT rush this process or do this when you’re tired. That’s when mistakes happen. Going through the corrections yourself manually (rather than trusting the proofreader to make the final call) is important in case they misinterpreted what a misspelled word was intended to be. Only you will be able to evaluate whether the corrections are actually ‘correct’.

Must-Do #8: Obtaining Endorsements for Your Book

Obtaining endorsements for your book before it comes out is an important part of your publishing process. The time to seek them actively is AFTER you’ve completed reworking the edits your editor gave you, but BEFORE the manuscript goes for final proofreading. Most endorsers are happy to read through an unproofed and semi-formatted PDF version of your book.

Your endorsers should be experts in the same or similar field as the subject of your book. Preferably, they should be other authors or other well-known personalities in the field. They could also be leaders within well-known and widely respected organisations related to your field. Some obvious candidates for endorsers would be people you cite or mention within your book. Others could be colleagues in your business networks (including your social networks).

Many new authors choke at the idea of asking for endorsements for their book. They worry about being rejected, or they worry they’ll look silly. But there really is no need to be shy about asking for an endorsement, as there is an incentive for people to give you one. After all, their name, book title and (possibly) website will go either inside your book or maybe even on the front or back cover. That’s free ‘advertising’ for them to their target audience.

Think of it this way: You want their endorsement because if their readers see them endorsing your book, they’ll think it might be of interest to them. But conversely, if your readers see your endorsers’ names mentioned in your book, they might think to check their books out too. You are happy, your endorsers are happy, and your readers are happy. It’s a win-win-win.

When you contact people asking for an endorsement, try to be mindful of the following details:

  • If you already know the person, all you really need to do is ask them if they’ll let you send them a copy of your new book, so they can write a short endorsement. At this point, just tell them the title of the book and the date you expect to be able to send it to them for review.
  • If you DON’T know the person, make the initial letter only slightly longer. Open by telling them who you are and why you are writing to them, specifically, i.e. you cited them in your book; you admire their work in their field and it is closely aligned with the topic of your book, etc. Then, ask permission to send the manuscript to them.
  • Give your potential endorsers a brief (one or two sentences) description of the book. Never, EVER use ‘sales language’ or hyped up words like ‘life-changing’, ‘amazing’, etc. Just tell them what the book is about.
  • Always assure your potential endorsers that they do NOT have to read the entire book.
  • Assure them that 1 or 2 lines of ‘blurb’ is perfectly fine. We are not asking them to write a review.
  • Assure them that their name, (one) book title and link to their website will be guaranteed to go into the front pages of your print book (I tend not to include them in eBooks)
  • Let them know that 3 of the most compelling endorsements will go on the back cover, and the most compelling will go on the front cover. Of course, you and your cover designer have to be ok with doing this before making that promise.
  • Assure them you will include these endorsements in promo materials you will be sending to radio shows, etc. (you never know; their book titles might catch someone’s attention).
  • Assure them you will post their endorsements WITH their web link on the book page of your website. This gives them a back link and more free promo.
  • Assure them you will give them a month to look at your book and get their blurb back to you.
  • Assure them that it’s ok to say no.

Below is some advice from author Erica Tucci, who has been very successful at getting many relevant and well-known endorsers for her books, including her upcoming book Radiant Survivor. I thought you might enjoy reading what she had to share. Erica suggests sending a sample chapter to people on first contact. That’s not normally something I recommend, but it seems to have worked for her:

To obtain endorsements for your book, find people who have a shared interest in its subject matter. For example, do you quote a potential endorser in your book? Or have they experienced a similar situation as your own? I quoted several passages from Dr. Nancy Qualls Corbett’s (a Jungian psychotherapist) book in my novel Anything is Possible, and thus she gave me a wonderful endorsement.

Most recently for my book Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences, I was able to obtain agreements to endorse my book from Kevin Sorbo (aka Hercules) and Dr. Bernie Siegel, an internationally renowned physician. Kevin had several strokes in his late 30s so he understood my story since he had “been there, done that.” Bernie, as Dr. Siegel prefers to be called, has authored many books on healing and is an expert in complementary and holistic medicine, so perhaps he felt that my book fell in the same category as his, at some level.

When you contact potential endorsers, send them the intro and a chapter or two of your book for their perusal. Then send the complete manuscript if they request it. Ask them politely to please return their endorsement within a certain time frame.  Also, it’s important to make them feel like they want to give you their endorsement. Tell them that you love the work that they do. Maybe you have quoted them. Appeal to their altruistic side. That you have had a similar experience as they have had, or that you have read their books, and that you would love to have their endorsement as a testament to the benefits of reading your book. If they too are authors, as Kevin and Bernie both are, they will understand how important endorsements are…Although I feel that it was more their graciousness that led them to agree to giving me endorsements. And I am very grateful for them being willing to do so!

ENDORSEMENT TIP: Sometimes very ‘busy’ endorsers will ask YOU to write the endorsement for them. That might seem a bit disingenuous, but it happens all the time. If fact, it’s probably more common than uncommon when you are requesting endorsements from bigger names. If one of your endorsers asks you to do this, don’t panic or be offended. Think about who THEY are and what their message is. Then, in two sentences, try to think what they would say about your book from their perspective. Try to include the ‘money shot’ in it, where there are two or three words that can be extracted and used on their own.

Then, send this suggested ‘blurb’ to your endorser and ask them to tweak it to make it their own. If they’re truly the right endorsers for your book, you will get back something personalised and genuine that can also be promotional gold-dust for you.

That’s it for today…

We’ve covered a lot of ground today. Hopefully you gained some useful information from it. Next time in Part 4, we’ll be looking at:

  • Must-Do #9: Creating effective back cover, back pages and META copy for your book
  • Must-Do #10: Final stages: formatting, uploading and ordering your proof

Closing Thoughts

I hope these articles are helping you get more excited and more confident about self-publishing. I’d really like to know what you’ve most gained from the information I’ve shared, so PLEASE share your feedback (or questions) in the comments box below.

And be sure to subscribe to this blog to make sure you receive Part 4 of this series, plus all our Spirit Authors articles.

AND LASTLY, if you’re looking for personal help in your self-publishing and book marketing journey, have a look at our Hire Us page to read about our services. Then, if you’re interested in speaking about working together, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a 30-minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn

10th July 2013

 

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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:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

Print-on-demand has made self-publishing affordable, but many authors find the process overwhelming. Lynn Serafinn explains how to get your book set up properly. Part 2 of a 4-part series ‘Self-Publishing – a 10-Point Must-Do Checklist for Authors’.

Last week in Part 1 of this 4-part series, we looked at the first five items on our 10-point self-publishing checklist. We talked about the importance of choosing the right title and subtitle, finding a professional editor and proofreader and finding a highly recommended book cover designer. We also talked about creating a publishing company and how to get your ISBNs for your book.

If you haven’t had a chance to read that article yet, you can do so by clicking HERE.

As I wanted to go into detail, I’ve decided to break the next five points into three separate articles (a total of four altogether). So today, in Part 2, we’re going to be looking at the nitty-gritty of getting your book ready for publication, as we go through the next item on our checklist, which is:

Setting up your title, prices and categories with your print-on-demand company

So, if you’re ready, let’s get started.

Must-Do #6: Setting Up Your Title, Prices and Categories with a POD Company

OVERVIEW

Back in the old days, if you wanted to publish your own book, you had to get a large quantity printed in advance. This was because the price to set up the printing plates was expensive, and unless you bought around 2000 copies of the book, the price per unit would never absorb the set-up charges. Of course, this is perfectly fine if you have the distribution channels or enough live speaking engagements to ensure you can sell 2000 copies of your book before they get dusty, faded, old-looking or out-of-date. But if you’re like most new authors, you don’t have the capability of shifting 2000 units quickly, and you are likely to end up with boxes of unmovable stock. Thus, what looked like a good deal at the time ends up being a big financial loss. It’s also not exactly environmentally friendly to print thousands of books that will only end up being recycled into pulp in a few years’ time.

But now, with the dawn of digital printing, the cost of set-up is radically reduced, and we also have the ability to order our books on a ‘print on demand’ basis (POD). POD means exactly what it says: your printer can now print ONE book at a time for you, meaning there is no surplus to deal with (unless you happen to over order) and no need to run yourself into debt by having to order massive quantities.

The company I use and recommend to my clients is Lightning Source (http://lightningsource.com), which I’ll abbreviate as LSI. LSI is a print-on-demand company that has global distribution. When you set up an account with them, your book goes into all the major distribution channels, including all the Amazon sites, Barnes & Noble, Ingram and Baker & Taylor. What this means is, all you need to do is publish your book through LSI’s distribution channel and they take care of telling retailers and distributors about your book, and fulfilling any orders that come through. You, as the publisher, are able to place your own orders if you want, paying only for printing and shipping costs. Unlike subsidiary presses (see Part 1 of this article series), LSI do not take ANY publisher compensation (i.e., royalties) from you. Apart from very nominal set-up charges in the beginning (I think it’s around $40 per title) they will only charge you for printing and shipping.

Some people shy away from LSI for two reasons: 1) they can’t navigate through their (admittedly) confusing website and 2) they’ve heard horror stories about their books being labelled as ‘out of stock’ on Amazon when they go through LSI. Please trust me when I tell you that both of these fears are down to people not understanding how the system works:

  • Yes, LSI’s website IS confusing when you first see it, but if you have a good Client Services Rep, he or she should be able to help you through it. They also have a live chat help desk open during business hours. Also, once your account is set up and you get used to the idiosyncrasies of their website, it’s really simple to use. Besides, my rep tells me they are well aware of the unwieldiness of their website, and they have plans to revamp it and make it more user friendly.
  • The whole issue with ‘being listed as out of stock’ on Amazon is a NON-issue. If your book is ‘print on demand,’ it WON’T be ‘in stock’ until Amazon orders some books. The way to get around this is to order one or two yourself. Within two weeks this listing will go away, as Amazon will have made an order for your book. After that, if they run out, it will say ‘temporarily out of stock; more on the way’ just the same as they would for any other book. See my earlier article ‘How to Kick-Start Your Book Sales – Part 2’ for more information about this.

SETTING UP YOUR ACCOUNT

LSI is a business-to-business company. They assume you are a publisher, not an author. Therefore, LSI assume you already have ISBN numbers associated with your publishing company, and they will ask you for a sample of one of your ISBNs when you register. So, make sure you have already received your ISBNs (see Part 1 of this article series) before you try to set up your LSI account.

When setting up, be sure you select ‘POD Direct Distribution’ rather than the ‘print to publisher’ option. This gives LSI permission to distribute your titles to anyone in their distribution chain. You will need to sign several documents that give them permission for this. There will be a different contract for each country in which you give them permission to distribute: US, UK, Australia and Europe. LSI can also do eBook distribution for you, but bear in mind that this does NOT include Kindle, as this is a proprietary format that you can only arrange directly with Amazon (we’ll look at this in Part 3 of this article series).

SETTING UP YOUR TITLE

Once your account has been set up, you can set up your first title. You CAN (and should) do this before your book is ready to be published because you’ll probably want to go back in and change things before you finally submit it to LSI’s system. Set up the title of your first book, along with its ISBN, and set a date in the future as its publication date (LSI will ask you whether you’re sure this ‘future’ date is what you intended; just say it’s ok and continue).

After setting up your title, you’ll need to define several details:

  • Retail price of your book
  • The wholesale discount
  • Your book’s categories
  • Your book’s description, also called the ‘Meta’

The ‘meta’ is something we’ll look at in Part 4. Right now, let’s just look at price, discount and categories.

SETTING YOUR RETAIL PRICE

(this section discusses pricing for your PRINT book; pricing for eBooks and Kindle will be addressed in Part 4).

Setting your price is partially down to the length of your book, as well as whether it is fiction or non-fiction. The general opinion amongst publishers is that non-fiction books can be priced slightly higher than fiction. My area of expertise is in non-fiction books, so what I will share here is based mainly upon the assumption you are a non-fiction author.

Let’s say your book is 80,000 words in length. At roughly 300 words per page, and allowing for front and back pages (which we’ll talk about in the next article), that would end up being about 275 pages long in a typical 5’ X 8’ or 6’ X 9’ book. Your printing charge from LSI would be $4.47 USD per unit ($0.013 per page plus $1 for cover/assembly). Typically I recommend setting a retail price of approximately four times the cost of your printing, which in this case would be $17.95. You could set the price slightly higher, of course, but you have to think of the average price point for the customer. Setting a price of $19.95 might make you more money per unit, but if it ‘feels’ too high to customers, they might opt for a different book. Of course, if your book is a book about business (where people how to profit from it), paying a few dollars more is not always the deal breaker if the content is unique and highly recommended by other readers.

UK readers: LSI’s printing costs in GBP are 1p per page plus 70p for cover/assembly. Thus the above book would cost you £3.45 per unit to print. Using the same logic, your suggested retail price would be about £14.95.

PRICING FOR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

You will need to set up your prices for EVERY country in which you have signed a contract to sell through LSI. To do this, use an online currency converter to calculate the current exchange rate, and then round it UP to the nearest unit to allow for market fluctuation. One converter I use frequently is located at http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/. After you do your conversion, be sure to make the price something like £14.95 rather than £15.

SETTING YOUR WHOLESALE DISCOUNT

Sticking with our suggested retail price of $17.95, we now have to set up our ‘wholesale discount’. Our wholesale discount is a percentage OFF the retail price we agree to give to wholesalers and distributors. A wholesaler who buys the book at this discount would then sell the book to retail shops for a small mark-up, and then the retailers will sell the book at or near the retail price you have set.

I typically suggest self-publishers set their discount to either 45% or 50% (some big publishers will even offer a 55% discount). This means that if your book retails at $17.95, a wholesaler will buy it for $8.98 (if you set a 50% discount) or $9.87 (if you set a 45% discount). You will receive this amount MINUS the cost of printing. The final figure is the ‘publisher compensation’ (or ‘royalties’) you will receive.

If we do the math, this means that you, the publisher, will make the following royalty/compensation per each book sold:

USD: 275 page book at $17.95 retail sold at 45% discount = $5.40 royalty per unit sold

USD: 275 page book at $17.95 retail sold at 50% discount = $4.51 royalty per unit sold

GBP: 275 page book at £14.95 retail sold at 45% discount = £4.77 royalty per unit sold

GBP: 275 page book at £14.95 retail sold at 50% discount = £4.02 royalty per unit sold

ABOUT AMAZON

Amazon, although technically a retailer, purchases your books at your wholesale rate. This gives them a tremendous competitive advantage in that they can discount the price of your book significantly, to make it look more attractive to customers. Be assured that if Amazon or any other company that sells your book for LESS than the retail price, it does NOT impact your royalties in any way. They could choose to sell it for 1 cent more than what they bought it for, and you would STILL get the publisher compensation as above.

DON’T GET GREEDY

Some book marketers will tell you to set your wholesale compensation to 20% discount, giving you maximum publisher compensation per unit. But I believe this is foolhardy advice. You have to consider the motivation of the retailer. I was a retailer for over 20 years, and I can assure you if an item did not have a good mark-up I simply wouldn’t buy it. A mark-up of 20% is not enough of an incentive for me to stock an item because a) it forces me to sell it at full retail price, which puts off my customers and b) it means I can’t mark it down to sell it quickly if it’s unpopular.

Try to understand the whole distribution chain and offer your retailers and wholesalers a mark-up that is attractive both to them and to their customers. Never set your wholesale discount to less than a 45%.

SETTING YOUR CATEGORIES

The last thing you’ll need to do at this point is decide in which three categories your book should be placed. LSI uses ‘BIC’ categories (‘Book Industry Communication’). These are standard throughout the industry. Your BIC category placement is vital. Don’t go for broad, general, top level categories. For example, ‘Business & Economics’ is a top level category. There are thousands of business books on the market, and placing your book in this category doesn’t tell the retailer or the customer enough about your book. It will also put you in competition with blockbuster titles, which gives you no advantage at all.

You can choose three BIC classifications for your book. Choose subcategories that best define your book to both retailers and customers. You even might think of having two of your subcategories under one top level category, and one subcategory under a different top level.

One word of warning: For some mad reason, although BIC is supposed to be standard, most retailers have their OWN categories that are not the same as BIC categories. Let’s take a brief look at how this impacts your listing on Amazon.

AMAZON CATEGORIES

Amazon sets your categories based upon the BIC categories you set in LSI. However, sometimes they get it ‘wrong’ and interpret your categories weirdly. If you feel you’ve got the BIC categories ‘right’ but Amazon gets your category placement very ‘wrong’, you can always contact Author Central on Amazon and ask them to fix it. However, as Amazon will not allow you to set up an Author Central account until you actually have a book PUBLISHED with them, it means you might need to go through a month or so of ironing out the ‘kinks’ if this is your first book. This is another good reason to ‘Kick-Start Your Book Sales’ (click the link to read my previous article on this).

Also bear in mind also that EVERY Amazon site (US, UK, Canada, etc.) has different categories and subcategories. This can be terribly frustrating for an author/publisher. I’m really not sure why they don’t standardise it, but that’s the way it is. So be mindful that while you might be appearing on the perfect categories on one site, you might not on another. If that’s the case, contact them through Author Central.

Lastly (and to make things even more confusing), your categories for the Kindle edition of your book will be DIFFERENT yet again, and will need to be set via Kindle Direct Publishing, which is something we’ll discuss in Part 4 of this series.

Ok, that’s it for Part 2. Next time, in Part 3, we’ll be looking at:

Then finally, in Part 4, we’ll be looking at:

  • Must-Do #9: Creating effective back cover, back pages and META copy for your book
  • Must-Do #10: Final stages: formatting, uploading and ordering your proof

Closing Thoughts

I hope this information has been useful to you. I know navigating through the quagmire of self-publishing ‘must-do’s’ can be extremely daunting when you’re a first-time self-publisher, but please believe me when I say it gets easier. I could have made this article shorter and less detailed, but I get asked these same questions SO many times, I thought I’d put it all in writing for you.

Please do let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. And don’t leave without subscribing to this blog if you’re keen to receive the rest of this series, plus all our Spirit Authors articles.

AND, of course, if you’re looking for personal help in your self-publishing and book marketing journey, have a look at our Hire Us page to read about our services. Then, if you’re interested in speaking about working together, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a 30-minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
4 July 2013


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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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Part 1 in a 4-part series of top tips on how to make your self-published book look like it’s been published with a major publisher. From book coach and marketer, Lynn Serafinn.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I’m a huge believer in self-publishing. Far from making an author a ‘second-class citizen’, I believe self-publishing has many advantages over going with a publisher or a subsidiary press like Create Space, Balboa Press or iUniverse. The three main advantages of self-publishing over these other options are:

  1. You make far more money on each unit sold when you go 100% self-published. Most publishers pay between 7%-12% of retail in royalties. Subsidiary presses typically pay 50% of net. With self-publishing, you earn 100% of net. For example, if you had a 250-page book that retailed at $20, you would make about $2 from a publisher, $2.50 from a subsidiary press and $5.50 (or more) if you went the self-publishing route. Of course, the actual figures would depend upon the cost of printing (I have estimated $4.50 per unit) and the wholesale discount at which you offered the book to retailers (I have used a typical rate of 50%).
  2. Self-publishing gives you 100% artistic freedom. While subsidiary presses don’t generally interfere with your artistic process, they also don’t tend to offer a whole lot either. Publishers can provide a lot of artistic input, but they can also take control of it. If you go self-published and hire the right designers and editors (or maybe even a self-publishing adviser) for your production team, you can produce something you feel is truly ‘yours’.  It also permits you to be in complete control of the dates for your book launch and to drive the image/brand behind it.
  3. Self-publishing also gives you the potential for growth. Your publishing enterprise could turn into an actual business with time. You will have the flexibility of negotiating wholesale deals with shops, entering publisher contests and maybe even bringing other authors into your company. While that’s not something that may be on your mind when you are publishing your first book, it at least leaves the door open to possibilities.

While that all might sound great, many authors face three major obstacles when attempting to self-publish:

  1. They don’t know how to self-publish a book AND
  2. Because they don’t know how to do it, they tend to do it badly AND
  3. Even if they do it ‘right’ they don’t know how to market their book

As I focus a lot of my blog posts on the art of book marketing, I thought it would good to devote some time looking at the first of these two obstacles. So, over the next two articles, I’ll be walking you through some of the basic ‘must do’ items on your self-publishing checklist, along with tips on how to do it right so your book doesn’t end up looking self-published.

As there’s so much to cover, I’m breaking this 10-point list into four articles (links to the others are at the end of this article). Today, we’ll be looking at points 1 – 5 on the checklist, as these are the ones you will need to address earliest in the process.

NOTE: While most of my articles address the specific needs of non-fiction authors, most of this information is equally applicable for writers of fiction books.

Must-Do #1: Choose Your Title and Subtitle METICULOUSLY

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a great title for your book. In the case of non-fiction authors, the subtitle is equally (and sometimes even more) important as the title. Your title is the ‘hook’ that will make people remember your book in the plethora of others on the market. Your subtitle is the ‘promise’ you will bring to the reader.

I routinely help my clients craft winning titles and subtitles for their non-fiction books. I shared some of my tips in a recent article called ‘How to Choose the Perfect Title for Your Non-Fiction Book’. Rather than repeat the information here, I recommend giving it a read.

When to do this: If your title just isn’t working for you, try to work with someone who can help you craft it. Your title and sub-title can be a great asset to you during the WRITING process as it can help you find focus. At the very least, you should ensure you have your title finalised a good 5 months before your projected publication date, so you can begin pre-publication marketing.

Must-Do #2: Find a Highly-Recommended Professional Editor and Proofreader

Too many authors neglect this crucial step in their publishing. No matter how good a writer you are, a good editor and proofreader is vital to keeping your book from looking and reading like a typical ‘self-published’ book. In fact, it’s the lack of good editing that has often given self-publishing a bad rap.

My tips on finding and working with an editor/proofreader are:

  • Don’t say you can’t afford one. The truth is you can’t afford NOT to have one.
  • Never leave it to the last minute. Good editors have a full roster of clients. Book your time with one well in advance. Make sure they are free during the time you need them.
  • Choose an editor who comes highly recommended by an author you trust. Please make sure to choose someone who edits whole BOOKS and not just short copy (web copy, articles, etc). Book editors are experienced in looking for continuity and flow, which is what you need.
  • Be sure to allot enough time for edits to turn around. Many authors underestimate how long the editing process will take. You should allow about one month for an editor to send you their initial edits. Then, you will need to incorporate those edits and suggested changes into the manuscript, which might take you up to a month depending upon how complex the edits are and how much time you have in your daily schedule to work on them. Finally, you’ll need to send this editing manuscript back to your editor (or a separate proofreader) for a final edit and proofread. This might take another month. So, altogether, you should be SURE to allot a good 3 months for the whole process. (I’ll be talking more about this in part 2).

When to do this: Find your editor while you are still writing your first draft, hopefully a good two months BEFORE you need them to do their first edit. Then, be sure to send them your manuscript for the first edit at least 5-6 months before your projected publication date.

Must-Do #3: Find a Highly-Recommended Cover Designer

Again, many self-published authors tend to skimp on this step, saying they cannot ‘afford’ a professional designer for their book. Some succumb to marketing pressure from their subsidiary press, and they use in-house designers. In my experience, these designers produce really sub-standard work that does NOT express the heart and soul of your book, primarily because they don’t know you and are working from a brief. If you really want to have a self-published book that looks professional, you WILL need to spend some money on a professional designer.

My tips on finding and working with a designer are:

  • The same as the above tips for finding and working with an editor. Please don’t find a designer on eLance or any other budget site. Ask around on social networks for referrals to find designers who come recommended by people you trust.
  • Don’t be tempted to go DIY. Do not do the cover yourself or ask a friend to do it UNLESS you/they are skilled designers.
  • Don’t use a generic designer. By ‘generic’ I mean those who work in-house for subsidiary presses. Hire an independent designer who will meet with you, discuss your brief, and be willing to work closely with you to create something unique.
  • Don’t allow your designer to use stock images. Stock images might be ok if you’re making a small (under 20,000 word) Kindle eBook, but not if you’re publishing a full-length book. Hire someone who can make original artwork.
  • Don’t put your own photo on the front cover. Unless you are a famous author, speaker or celebrity, your photo does NOT belong on the front cover. Save it for the back cover in the author bio.
  • Ask to see examples of their work. Like any artist, every designer has a different style. They might be the best designer in the world, but they might not be right for your book. Ask to look at examples of other book covers your designer has made and choose the one that most closely matches the feel of your book.
  • Have a CLEAR idea of what you want. Designers aren’t mind-readers. Don’t assume they’ll know what is perfect for your book without you giving them some idea about what you want. Come up with some concepts and colour schemes that you think match your book. If you can make a mock up in Photoshop or a rough sketch to give the designer an idea, that’s even better.
  • Get a fixed price on the project. I recommend negotiating a fixed price in advance with your designer rather than agreeing to pay by the hour. Hourly rates put pressure on both you and the designer. Agree on a fixed price AND make sure that this covers a specific number of drafts/edits as well as the back cover design (if you are doing a print version of your book).
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t like it. A lot of authors I meet hold back from giving feedback to their designers. They don’t like their cover, but they also don’t like ‘conflict’ AND they’re afraid of spending more money (especially if they’re paying by the hour). By not speaking up, you’re going to end up with a cover you really can’t stand, but feel you are ‘stuck’ with. Don’t let this happen.

When to do this: Try to get your FRONT cover made 5-6 months before your projected publication date. The sooner you have your front cover finalised, the sooner you can start creating the ‘buzz’ for your book so people know it will be coming out soon. The back cover can come later, about 3 months before projected publication date. In fact, I recommend LEAVING the back cover until you have the final draft of your book done, so you know your back cover copy matches what’s inside the book.

Must-Do #4: Create a Publishing Company

Depending upon where you live, starting a publishing company is often as easy as making up a name for your publishing house. If you are already self-employed, this can just be another enterprise under your personal name. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘officially’ registered as a company.

In choosing a name for your publishing company, choose one that goes beyond the message of your current book, and expresses the message of potential future books. What is the theme of your over-arching message? Where do you see yourself going as an author?

You DON’T necessarily have to come up with a logo for your company, but it’s a nice touch if you do. You may or may not use the same designer you use for your cover. Crafting good logos is a separate skill set. Again, unless you are a graphic designer with logo experience, please don’t attempt to do this on your own.

When to do this: As all of the above, set up your company 5-6 months before your projected publication date. You can make your logo later (if you intend to create one) but make sure it is complete before your designer makes the back cover/spine of your print book (as this is where the logo typically goes) or your layout designer does the layout for the interior (covered in the next article)

Must-Do #5: Get Your ISBN Numbers

Once you have established your publishing company, it’s time to get a batch of ISBN numbers.  ISBN stands for ‘International Standard Book Number’. An ISBN is a thirteen-digit number assigned to every book before publication. Furthermore, you are REQUIRED to use a different ISBN for every format of the book you publish. In other words, if you intend to print a paperback, a hardback and ONE version of eBook of the same book, you’ll need 3 different ISBNs. Many authors don’t realise that you will require a different ISBN for each format in which you publish your eBook (i.e., Smashwords, Kobe, PDF, Kindle, etc). While Smashwords and Kindle can assign you an ISBN, remember that technically they’re the ‘publisher’ if they do so. This doesn’t matter so much on Amazon, as Kindle is a proprietary format, but I do recommend using your own ISBN for other eBook publishing formats.

If you publish a new edition of your book, you will also need a new ISBN. This is not necessary if you are simply making minor changes/edits to your book (you can call that a ‘2nd printing’ rather than a ‘2nd edition’) but if a book has been changed substantially enough to be considered a different edition, you will need to use a new ISBN to distinguish it from the old one.

ISBNs are always associated with the publishing company. Something you might not realise is that if you go with a subsidiary press and have them assign your ISBN, THEY are technically the publisher, not you. This does not infringe on your copyright as an author, but it does limit your ability as a publisher.

The organisations that assign ISBNs are different for each country. Below are the agencies for the US and the UK. If you are in a different country, you can find your ISBN agency by doing a Google search for “ISBN in [name of your country]”.

Some ISBN providers require that you purchase a minimum of 10 ISBNs at a time. I recommend doing this because you’ll go through them more quickly than you might think, especially if you are a prolific writer and you are publishing in multiple formats.

When to do this: Again, do this 5-6 months before your projected publication date. If you are a first-time author who is just setting up your publishing company, you might have some paperwork to fill in, so allow a few hours for this. After you request your first batch of ISBNs, it can take up to 10 working days for you to receive them (although one of my clients received hers within 2 days).

NEXT TIME…

In Part 2 of this 4-part series, we’ll look at:

  • Must-Do #6: Setting up your title with your print-on-demand company (including setting your price & book categories)

Then, in  in Part 3 and Part 4, we’ll be looking at:

Do be sure to subscribe to this blog so you’ll receive that article, plus all our future articles on writing, publishing and book marketing.

I hope you found this article useful. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback below.

AND, of course, if you’re looking for personal help in your self-publishing and book marketing journey, have a look at our Hire Us page to read about our services. Then, if you’re interested in speaking about working together, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a 30-minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
26th May 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)

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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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

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In this 3-part series, Lynn Serafinn shares a few strategies from her book Tweep-e-licious to help authors get the most out of Twitter when promoting their books. In Part 1 she discusses the importance of giving value to your audience by tweeting ideas FROM your book and how using quotes from your best reviews can be an effective strategy. 

I’m an online marketing consultant for non-fiction authors who have a powerful message to share. As such, it’s my job to create marketing strategies that use social media to help build my clients’ reading audience and promote their books.

One of my favourite marketing tools is Twitter. However, most of my new clients tell me that they don’t understand how to use Twitter for marketing. They often feel daunted by it because there is so much information flying by them at a rapid rate. They also don’t know WHAT to Tweet, how to reach their ideal audience or how to interact with people to build relationships.

All of those questions (and more) are addressed in my book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. For those of you who may not have read it (or as a quick refresher course for those who have), I’d like to share 5 of the easiest and most fundamental strategies for using Twitter to promote your book. In today’s article, we’ll look at Twitter book marketing strategies 1 and 2.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 1: Tweet Ideas FROM Your Book

So many authors on Twitter shout ABOUT their book, saying things like “You can buy my book on Amazon”. A Tweet like this nearly always fails what I call the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. People read a Tweet like this and say to themselves (you guessed it), ‘Yeah…so what?!’

If people are saying ‘Yeah…so what?’ when they read your Tweets, it means you have failed to pique their interest or arouse their curiosity. Your Tweet is just the doorway to your book, and it’s your goal to inspire people to open the door. The best way for a non-fiction author to do this is not to Tweet about your book so much as to Tweet great ideas FROM the book. Share some lines of insight, quotes, etc. that stand up on their own. In other words, make the Tweets themselves interesting. Then, include a link either to your sales page or a blog post (I’ll talk more about blog posts in part 2).

Sharing great ideas from your book should be easy for a non-fiction author. Start by making a Tweet for each of your chapters, and then break these into sub-ideas. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself making hundreds of Tweets from a single book. Make sure the Tweets are short and only contain a single idea. That way, people will be more apt to absorb their meaning as they fly by on their Twitter stream.

Here are few examples of ‘Idea Tweets’ I have used:

#Tweepelicious Tip 58: Simplicity is King. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

#Tweepelicious Tip 59: Always ask ‘Yeah…So What?’ before posting your Tweet. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

Tip for authors: Don’t Tweet ABOUT your book; Tweet ideas FROM your book instead. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Twitter Tip 64: the best Tweets are those that arouse curiosity. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. You’ll notice I’m NOT taking people to an ordinary sales page for my book. If people don’t know you, they are not likely to buy your book the first time they visit your site. That’s why these Tweets take readers to landing page where they can download a free 90-minute audio class that gives them a taster of the tips and strategies they’ll learn in the book. This gives people a chance to know more about me before spending any money. It also helps grow my mailing list.
  2. For those who are motivated, they CAN also purchase the book from that page as well.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious. The art of making good hashtags and using them for marketing is a subject I cover in detail in the chapter “Using Hashtags” in Tweep-e-licious.
  4. The Tweets THEMSELVES have value, even if people don’t click your link. When you write your Tweets, think about what your audience most wants to know, and put that into a Tweet. Allow them to get value from you without the ‘commitment’ of clicking your link. This builds the ‘relevance bridge’ between you and your Twitter followers. They start to see what you know, what you stand for and what you have to offer them. The stronger your relevance bridge, the more your ‘target audience’ can recognise you as someone of influence.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 2: Tweet Lines From Your Best Reviews

All authors know the value of a great review. However, I only recently discovered that making Tweets from some of my best reviews resulted in a lot of clicks and ReTweets. Frankly, I wouldn’t have suspected this, as I thought they would fail the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. But if you choose the content carefully and construct the Tweet correctly, it actually does work.

Here are a few examples of ‘Review Tweets’ I’ve used that usually get a good response:

“Don’t tuck this on your shelf of ‘just another how-to book about social media marketing’. It’s not.” http://amzn.to/10JVDw8 via @JacobNordby

“A smorgasbord of much needed information for today’s marketer.” http://amzn.to/10JXUHL via @intuneparenting #Tweepelicious

“This book helped me discover how using Twitter at its full potential can make a big impact.” http://amzn.to/10JZ3yU via @Argancel

“A technicolour ride around the Twitterverse in 158 Twips!” http://amzn.to/ZPhtwm via @KatieRoseWindow #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. I include the reviewer’s Twitter ID (if I know it). This is so the reviewer will see it in their ‘mentions’, which encourages them to ReTweet it to their followers
  2. I link directly to the permalink of the review on Amazon. This way they see the review in context and they can buy the book right away if they wish.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious.
  4. The Tweets are not just about the book, but they refer to subject matter of interest to the reader, i.e. marketing, social media, Twitter, etc. Make sure your Review Tweets speak to the interests of the audience, and are not just ‘bragging’ about your book.

Your Challenge for the Week

Get started using these two tips over the next week:

  1. Compose a selection of ‘Idea Tweets’ and ‘Review Tweets’.
  2. Send them out a few times a day. Vary them. Try not to send the same one out within the same week.
  3. Pay attention to which Tweets get attention. Watch your Twitter interactions to see which ones are marked as favourites, commented upon or ReTweeted.
  4. If you shorten your links with ow.ly, bit.ly or a similar service, monitor your clicks. See which ones get the most and least attention.
  5. See what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your Tweets accordingly. Note that lack of attention doesn’t always mean the Tweet itself is ineffective. It could be that you don’t have the right kinds of followers, or you are Tweeting at the wrong time of day. Again, all these subtleties are covered in detail in Tweep-e-licious.

Next Time

In Part 2, we’ll look at the next Twitter tip, where I tell you how to use Twitter to drive traffic to grow your reading audience through blogging. Be sure to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog so you’ll receive this article, as well as all our future author-focused information articles.

AND…if you want to dive deeply into Twitter and learn all my marketing strategies, I invite you to check out the book Tweep-e-licious at http://tweepelicious.com. You can also get free access to my 90-minute Twitter audio class from that page.

Please share your comments and questions below. I love reading your feedback.

Lynn Serafinn
8 May 2013

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

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

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

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

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


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 was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist 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)

 

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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)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Is there a right and wrong time to hire a marketing consultant? Author and ethical marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn believes so. Today Lynn shares 10 criteria that can help you avoid making a disastrous business decision. 


Recently I’ve been getting a lot of requests for consultations from potential clients, and I have to admit I’ve turned away more clients than I’ve taken on. You might find it surprising to hear that I’m the one doing the turning away considering people are hiring me. After all, aren’t they the ones doing the hiring? Isn’t the client the one who makes the decision of whether or not to hire me?

Well, back when I first started my business…when I was clueless and desperate…that might have been the case. I wanted clients—any clients—so I could pay my bills. But over time, I learned that this open policy worked neither for me nor my client.

These days I have certain criteria that determine whether or not I am willing to take on a client. I’ve found them to be extremely useful in helping me avoid months of frustration on ineffective collaborations. In looking at them, I thought these criteria would be just as useful to anyone who might be considering hiring a marketing consultant, PR or business coach. So I decided I’d share them with you today.

WRONG TIME #1: When you’re just starting out
Since the start of the so-called recession in 2008, more and more of us are entering the world of self-employment. The trouble is, many people who are just starting out may be good at what they do, but have no idea what is involved in planning and running a business. The tendency is to want to run out and hire help in the form of a business coach and/or marketing consultant. In my experience, this is the WRONG time to do this. If your brand and niche are ill-defined, you are apt to choose the wrong consultant, who will lead you in a direction that may not be where you actually want to go. Furthermore, you’ll spend a heck of a lot of money on them that should be spent on other essential start up expenses.

WRONG TIME #2: When you’re clueless
Most new authors are a bit clueless as to what is needed for their business or project. While I don’t mind authors coming to me with little idea about what is involved in a book launch (which is my specialty), I do mind them coming to me clueless about the value of what I offer them. If I have to spend all my time validating my strategies to a client during our sessions together, it holds both of us back.

Clueless people have “UNconscious incompetence”, meaning they don’t know anything but they have no idea what it is that they don’t know. Before you even ask for a consultation from a consultant, take some responsibility and do a little homework. Do some research; attend some webinars; read some books. Become what I call a “conscious incompetent”: someone who KNOWS what it is that they don’t know. Then, you’ll not only be able to choose the right consultant, but you’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about. But most of all, you’ll be able to ask the right questions during your initial meeting.

WRONG TIME #3: When you don’t know what you want
Never enter a client-consultant relationship if you don’t know what you want from it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never know if you’ve gained it. The first thing I ask clients when they call me for a consultation is what they WANT from the service they’re asking about. You’d be amazed how many authors who call about a book launch have no idea why they want one, except that it sounds glamorous. Glamour is not measurable. I want to give my clients measurable results. It’s up to you, the client, to know what you want to gain before you enter into that relationship.

WRONG TIME #4: When you have no game plan
It’s equally vital to have a bigger picture in mind before you call a consultant. Where do you see your business going AFTER you end your contract with the consultant? If you’re hiring a marketing consultant for a particular project or product launch, how will this help the business? Where will you take customers after the launch? My MOST successful clients are those who took our work together and created a bigger game plan from it. My least successful clients are those who jumped into a book or product launch and then stopped short, without a clue of their next business step. I try to help my clients with this as much as I can as we work together, but ultimately it is up to them to see this through.

WRONG TIME #5: When you’re desperate
I hate, hate, hate it when a client comes to me and says, “My business was doing great until this year. Now I’m in trouble. I’m hiring you to help me get out of this situation in the next 3 months or I’ll go out of business.” I’ve received such calls on more than one occasion. Some were from long-established companies that had global reputations. I can’t speak for other consultants, but I feel stressed if someone wants me to be their “saviour” or last resort to bring them out of a crisis. There are so many factors that can take a company to breaking point, and pumping up the marketing may NOT be the best solution. Besides, marketing is a long-term process. It’s about relationship building and brand identity. Furthermore, if your company’s really in crisis, you’re going to be panicking (and cursing your consultant) if your marketing campaign doesn’t work. You’d do better to sit down and do some market research with your audience to see what’s going wrong.

WRONG TIME #6: When you’re broke or living on credit
For many of the same reasons as #5, it’s the wrong time to hire a consultant if you’re having serious money problems. And if you’re thinking it’s OK to max out your credit cards to pay your consultant but your current income is barely enabling you to pay off the minimum monthly payments—well, that’s just plain dangerous. While your consultant SHOULD be able to help you increase your revenue in the long-term that does not mean the return on investment will happen before your bills are due. Do not even think of hiring a consultant unless you have some positive cash-flow in your life.

WRONG TIME #7: When you’re not ready to put in the effort
My most successful clients are those who “did their homework” in between sessions. My least successful clients are those who sent their assistants in to do all the work, and they didn’t even dip in to discuss and design strategies with me. A consultant is NOT another “hire”. They are there to help you build strategies for your business, brand or project. If you are not willing to put in the effort, you will not reap the rewards.

WRONG TIME #8: When you lack entrepreneurial spirit
If you’ve only just recently come out of employment and you still have a “regular salary” mentality, you are unlikely to be very comfortable with the financial ups and downs of entrepreneurship. A true entrepreneur understands the value of good, sensible business expenses, whereas a novice just sees everything as costing money. If you lack entrepreneurial spirit, and you do not enjoy the roller coaster ride, you will bring a fearful, restrictive energy into the client-consultant relationship, and hamper the results you get.

WRONG TIME #9: When the consultant doesn’t work within your niche
Make sure your consultant understands your audience AND has connections within your niche. So, it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that YOU need to understand your audience and that you are already established in your niche before you hire a consultant. Some clients come to me to help them crystallise their niche and branding, and that’s OK as long as we are clear that is the task at hand. But if you launch into a marketing project together and there is a mismatch or misunderstanding about what your brand or niche is, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money (not to mention finding it a frustrating and stressful experience).

WRONG TIME #10: When no one else works for your company
If you are a small or sole-proprietor business consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) or other support staff before you hire a consultant. Most of these kinds of hires are outsourced. Create systems with them that make your business into an actual business. Then, if and when you do hire a marketing consultant, you’ll have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll also have a team of people to help implement the work the consultant recommends.

I consider myself to be an ethical marketer. If someone comes to me and I believe it is the “wrong time” to call me, I tell them. I don’t want any old client—I want the RIGHT clients. Some of these probably carry more weight than others, but if a client ticks more than one of these boxes, they are probably not ready to work with me yet.

And you, the client, should also want the right consultant. I hope these “10 wrong times” were useful to you as you shop for one…at the right time. When you do get it right, the relationship between client and consultant can be a dynamic, creative and fulfilling one for both parties.

If you think you’re ready take that step and work actively and strategically with a marketing consultant, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can have a chat. If you’re NOT ready, I recommend you check out my books:

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your comments and experiences below.

~ Lynn Serafinn

27 February 2013 


If you’re an author needing help with marketing your book, give Lynn Serafinn at Spirit Authors a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

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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. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling 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.

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