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An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond (and Christine Keleny) 

“The most interesting marketing opportunities are those that are unconventional.” That is how author-illustrator Lori Richmond sums up the case study we are about to present here. In to…


This is the beginning of an interview Dan Blank had with author and illustrator Lori Richmond about an innovative marketing opportunity she saw and followed through on. I wholly agree with Dan – this marketing effort Richmond made has paid off in many small and cumulative ways for her.

I think that is how most of the best marketing works for most authors. It’s not that one post or that one event you go to or that one person you meet, but over time, it’s all those posts, all those events, all those people you meet who add up to opportunities to share yourself and your stories with others.

Everyone is looking for a quick fix related to marketing their book(s). Think about it – if it existed, don’t you think someone would have found it by now. It takes time and effort, lots of efforts, actually, and missteps (lets not call it failure – it’s a learning process, right?), but there will be targets hit along the way and lots of fun experiences, too!

Here’s my example: I recently was invited by a librarian that I met at a art and craft sale to present at an evening talk event her library has a few times a year. Now this library is probably smaller than 1000 square feet and this town has a population so small that they can’t get a grocery store to move in where the old one stood for years. But this innovative librarian has partnered with a small pizza/ice creams shop (Central 52) in town (a big deal for this town) to host evening speakers a few times a year on all kinds of topics.

I showed up early, met the owner (a woman), and had an ice cream while I set up my books for display. Six people came out on a cold, wet spring evening to hear me talk about writing and publishing. It was a interactive, intimate group and I made some new acquaintances, had my picture taken with the librarian and her friend, which was posted on the shop website (which I then reposted, of course), and I was connected to the daughter of one of the participants who does editing (I’m always looking for proofing help for my clients), and I sold 5 books!

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I’m also going to go back for pizza with my husband. It smelled really good and we’re always looking for new pizza places to try. Who would have thought about all these connections and possibilities from a library that is no bigger than 1000 square feet in a town that isn’t large enough to have a grocery store.

Maybe that will be the end of it, but maybe it won’t. One never knows.

So keep, keepin’ on!  Get out there! Meet people! Keep your eyes and ears open. Over time you can’t predict how it will pay off, but it will.

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Source: An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond – WeGrowMedia – Dan Blank

Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees? 

I’ve shared this information before, but it’s always good to review. Here’s a great post on the topic from Valerie Biel.

Thanks Valerie!

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We all want a shiny gold sticker for our cover! With more and more writing contests popping up every day, it’s important to determine which ones are reputable, whether entry fees are acceptable, and how to spot dangerous terms that infringe on your copyright. To watch a video version of this blog click below:

Source: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees? | Valerie Biel

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

I was surprised by the information that you don’t have to purchase the book on Amazon to get it reviewed. Probably true but I bet verified reviews (purchased books from Amazon) don’t get looked at as hard.

I also can’t imagine that I would go so far as to copy my reviews and keep track of the ones that get taken down, then contact the reviewer and ask them to protest to Amazon? REALLY?! Who has time for that? And who wants to hound a reviewer. That’s a sure fire way to not get them to leave a review again!

I’d be okay with checking a review I left for someone else – a good friend and fellow author – and contesting if they took my own review down, however. Though I’m not sure I’d take the time to go back and check on my reviews, either.

But anyway, good information on the much needed Amazon review process.

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By Judith Briles Amazon: Love it … or hate it … but, you gotta deal with it.”Why are my reviews being removed?” is an ongoing question that authors ask. There isn’t a live program that I do t

Source: As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Submissions | Midwest Review

Do you have a short piece of fiction or non-fiction (up to 6,500 words), poetry (1-5 poems) or black and white photography (1-5 images) that “examines, interprets, and redefines the full spectrum of life, past and present, in the Midwest” then the new Midwest Review writing contest might be for you. Entry fee is a tolerable $15, with a $500 cash price in each category possible and publication in Midwest Review.

Deadline is December 1.

Thought you might like to know.

Happy Turkey Day!

Wishing you many blessing to be thankful for
(including having fun dancing with your bird :))

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Midwest Review seeks writing and visual art that examines, interprets, and redefines the full spectrum of life, past and present, in the Midwest.

Source: Submissions | Midwest Review

NetGalley Test – Book Reviews

So I’m dipping my big toe in the NetGalley waters.

NetGalley

What is NetGalley?

This is what they say on their website:

NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.

NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

Their description says they take ARCs, but they accept already published books as well. I’m putting my book “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” on their site – see the Netgalley page here.

Here is another post I ran about NetGalley in 2017. The link is probably still worth reading but I don’t know if the cost figures would still be accurate for today.

I am using NetGalley through BooksgoSocial (BGS). They currently charge $74 for putting your book in NetGalley for a month, $139 for 2 months and $199 for 3 months. I got a cheaper deal so watch their site for the occasional deal.

Here is a link to a youtube video of BGS telling you what NetGalley is all about.

After a month, BGS will send me the reviews. I’ll let you know how it goes and if the reviews seem to translate into sales.

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately

Who doesn’t need more book reviews? No author I know of. Dave Chesson and Jordon Ring have put together a very helpful post sharing tips and 3 steps to asking for reviews and building relationships with your readers. Even though this is written for folks who have reader email list, I think some of the tips can be helpful in any interaction with a reader – email or in person.

Remember – any time you send or sell a book, politely and sincerely ask for a review. If you’re mailing it, put in a hand written request. I use colored paper to help it stand out a bit more. If I am asking in person, I look the person in the eye just before they are about to leave me and as for an online review,  letting them know how helpful it is to me. I don’t tell them where to leave the review, I just leave that up to them. My name and my book title anywhere on the web is helpful, so it really doesn’t matter.

Asking for a review will up your chances of actually getting your reader to leave one!

Thanks for the helpful post, guys!

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One of the most difficult parts of book marketing (if not the most difficult) is getting reviews for your book, particularly quality reviews that exceed one sentence. Why is this? Because each potential reviewer is a busy person with a lot on their plate, so their time is valuable. Besides, remember back when you weren’t an author?  It wasn’t evident to you how important reviews were, so you didn’t think to go out of your way to leave a review. It just sometimes…happened. So, as you can see, readers and fans need a little nudge and some simple tactics to get

Source: How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately


Had to share a picture of the kids in my summer school writing and publishing class at New Glarus Elementary in Wisconsin.

ss class 2018

It was elementary and middle school grade kids who spent a week with me learning about what goes into publishing a book, some basics about writing a story and then writing their  own story.

I’m always impressed with the creativity of these kids. It’s a fun time with budding writers. Now I am in the process of putting their stories together into a book that they can s

hare with family and friends. Pretty exciting!

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

10 Tips on Amazon Ads for Authors

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Laurence O’Bryan’s of Books Go Social post on Amazon ads has some helpful information. Most notably the link to kindlepreneur and a free book description tool. A good book description is very important!

Laurence mentions that it’s important to have some good reviews – I’d suggest at least 10, but more is better.  If you’re going to spend money on advertising, having reviews will help you spend your money more wisely. Remember, all reviews don’t need to be 4 or 5 stars. In fact, I think the reviews look more legitimate if there are a few 3 star reviews, not that you have any control over this. I just mention it because not everyone who reads your book will LOVE it and potential readers know this, so don’t worry when you get a few 3 star reviews. Hopefully your average is 4/5 or above.

I also agree that you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford. Pay attention to the ads – what they are charging and what money are you making. Keep in mind, the money they say you are making doesn’t take into account the discount – the 70% or 30% that Laurence mentions (item #5).

Note: I am not endorsing Books Go Social or the things they want to sell you in this post, but I know they are a good company and I do think they have author’s interests at heart – just below staying solvent (as all companies). I have not tried their free AMS ad course, so I can’t speak on that, but I think your keyword choice and your ad copy are two things that are very important with AMS ads. Those that can use computer-generated ad key words have an advantage. Unfortunately, that is not most of us, so we have to do our best.

Anyone who tries BGS free course, please share what you think. If I eek out some time to do it myself. I’ll also share what think.

Keep on Keeping on!

https://services4authors.com/2018/07/27/10-critical-things-to-know-before-you-spend-big-on-your-amazon-ads/