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Best Selling Author TV Video

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Memories, Your Videos and Making Some Moolah



 

Memories lead to memories lead to, yeah, something I'd like to remind you about. In this case, I was answering questions for an online interview to promote the SouthernUtah Book Expo and I mentioned my high school newspaper and yearbook and recalled that getting sponsorship ads for those things was as vital to their being as the photos, writing, and layout of those parts of high school life we all value.

That reminded me that authors can do the same kind of thing with their Web sites, their marketing materials and, yes, even their books. I am a sometimes actor and occasionally I notice how carefully a director will place a picture on a wall or a can of Coke on the table in the shot he's taking. That's placement advertising and we—as consumers of both the Coke and the ad itself—hardly notice. It's subliminal. It's natural to see them there. And besides, this country lauds capitalism and monetary independence. In fact, many metaphorically wave the flags of commerce in our politics (though some suddenly become shy about doing so for their own books!)

Just as I'm thinking about that, I ran across a related article in the business section of the LA Times. Of course! It's about product placement in videos and how it's growing. And how it's making some smart video companies and producers some really big dollars. Why am I not surprised? Here's why. The Love Boat, the TV series from several decades ago, was one giant product placement sitcom! This kind of marketing is not new—nor is it unacceptable.

For any author to do it and make large quantities of money requires an audience (we authors call it a platform). But it can be done on a small scale—perhaps out of the goodness of your heart or perhaps in trade with other authors who are out there making videos and otherwise promoting and building their platforms like crazy.

The video entrepreneurs featured in that article remind others that audience is "more important than any brand deal." They say that if they love a product it feels good to do something with it commercially.

Some advice for successful product inclusion:

  1. Don't interrupt the story (the arc or thread) with an "unrelated product message." I'd extend that and say at its best it should never feel like an interruption at all.
  2. A product or its logo might work best if it doesn't appear until half way through the video. If you should decide to use an actual ad, put it at the end of the video (or end of a book) because if a person has hung in long enough to see that final frame, they probably will be more open to a product than if it's flashed up front where it might discourage a person from watching at all.
  3. Try a title card. Entrepreneurs McLaughlin and Link Neal use product placement well into their cat video and then a brand name "title card" at the end. I'm thinking even the title card could add something more than just an ad. Perhaps it could look like a cross-stitched "Kitty Snoozing" sign hanging from a doorknob. It could be designed with Friskies colors, a logo, and little kitty-food-can tassels hanging from the corners. The question now is, what would the title card on your video look like—beyond just your bookcover image and a Web site address.
In past articles for this newsletter, I've also mentioned that when the ad is both pertinent to the story being told and also offers something special—something that will help with a career, project, or pocketbook—that can only make it more satisfying for everyone.

So what are the guidelines for success—whether it is a paid-for project, a bartered one, or from the goodness of your heart?

  1. Passion
  2. Appropriateness
  3. Perceived Benefit
  4. A Promotion Partner so you can share both real expenses and the time it takes to promote it.

On that latter point, one of my subscribers, Reno Lovison, once made a slide-show video for me without even asking. He sent it to me as a gift with suggestions of how I might promote it. It was an interesting turn around because his own promotional materials and video business were the product placements within the ad he made for me. Talk about partnerships! His Web site is http://authorsbroadcast.com/ and if you look at the books on his Web site, you'll also see the cover of one of my retail books for which he made a more traditional sales video several years ago (and which I still use in multiple spots on my Web site).

If you'd like to read more check the LA Times story by Madeline O'Leary, Tuesday, July 29, Business Section (B3).

Happy Writing, Editing, and Promoting,

Carolyn
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  Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Friday, October 03, 2014

Two New Amazon-ish Aids for Your Publishing Career

In an effort to keep you updated on what happening in Amazon territory, here are a couple of notes from the last issue of my SharinwithWriters newsletter. To subscribe send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE + FREE Wordtrippers Booklet in your subject line to HoJoNews@aol.com.
  
 Easier Kindle Publishing for Children’s Authors
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people at Amazon say,
“Starting today, you can use Kindle Kids' Book Creator to create illustrated children's books for Kindle, taking advantage of features like text pop-ups. Here's how to get started:
  1. Download the tool, and you can convert individual illustrations into interactive books for both Kindle devices and free reading apps.
  2. Once your book is ready, export the file and upload it to KDP.
  3. Set the book category, age range, and grade range to help customers find the right books for their kids.
Want to learn how to prepare, publish, and promote illustrated and chapter books for children? Check out the new KDP Kids for more information.


  Amazon List Network Now Free with Bonus for Your Book
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Spread the word for AmazonList.net ,  the brainchild of Gene Cartwright. 
  •  ALN Elite Author Group now includes a (1) free 3 dimensional image for a more exciting visual presentation of one of your books. (Others may be purchased at a nominal charge.) 
If you are already an ALN member, send Gene a (1) large 2D image of one of your books, and he'll create a 3D image for you. (send to 3d@amazonlist.net)
 Join Gene and ALN on Twitter, too
He tries to follow back asap, and not more than 24 hours.

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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet the Authors Book Fair Guru Shares HowTos for Successful Book Fair Promotion

I love hosting blog guests who are real experts on the topic they are sharing. Who better than someone who has planned and run successful book fairs for several years running to tell you how to make it worth your while. And now is the time to make one of these fairs--especially Meet the Authors Book Fair--work for you. Inexpensively.
Successful Selling at Author Events

by

Valerie Allen
Author and Director of Meet the Authors Book Fair

People do business with people they know. This is why networking is essential for authors while at a book fairs, doing back-of-the-room sales, having a book launch, giving a book talk, or making a presentation.

Successful selling authors consistently engage in these activities during book events:
  1. Collect business cards for future contact and to create an email list.
  1. Give out business cards to every person with whom they speak.
  1. Stand, make eye contact when approached, and smile.
  1. Engage in conversation with a positive comment about the event, facility, food, etc.
  1. Listen actively for what is important to the other person.
  1. Inquire about their reading habits and interests.
  1. Talk books, ebooks, audio books, large print books.
  1. Ask about their favorite book or author; tell about yours.
  1. Talk about your books. Use your 25 word pitch.
  1. Be a volunteer at the event to meet and engage with more people.
  1. Be a matchmaker and introduce those with common interests.
  1. Follow up with an email after the event about something of interest to them.
If you stay comfortably seated at your book display table, head down, reading or eating, with no eye contact, it is like putting out a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign. Passerbys will feel they are an intrusion on your time. They will keep on walking and you will have few, if any, book sales. Think Perpetual Promotion when given a networking opportunity. You must Tell to Sell!
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER. 

Valerie Allen writes fiction and nonfiction, including: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged. She is co-founder of AuthorsForAuthors.com, which sponsors two book fairs each year in Melbourne, Florida. On November 22 & 24, 2014 is the Meet the Authors Book Fair.  Vendor space is open to authors to sign and sell their books. For those who cannot attend in person, they also have a option for Display Books Only.  Your book, business cards, and fliers will on display for two days, face out on book easels. Your book and materials will be returned if you enclose a SASE. For more information and the registration form go to:  www.AuthorsForAuthors.com



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SharingwithWriterblogger is Carolyn Howard-Johnson. She is the author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, September 13, 2014

iFOGO Guru Adds to His Networking Concept for Authors

Amazon List Network is the brainchild of Gene Cartwright. Associated with iFOGO Village it is a free networking service.  

Gene says, "The goal of Amazon List is to break down the wall that exists between the author and their buyers whose identities are closely held by the bookseller. Amazon List Author-Buyer network is a community where buyer and seller directly connect." On the Amazon List Network, the "Welcome Page" is quite detailed. It also has items with bullet points. Here's the link:

Members of iFOGo will not have to transfer any items from iFOGO Village to the Amazon List Network. To subscribe simply go to amazonlist.net/subscribe.  Learn more about it at http://AmazonList.Net/about  . 

I've been associated with iFOGO for a long time and think I'll like Amazon List Network even better. 

Amazon List Author-Buyer Network makes it possible for buyers to directly connect with authors on the Amazon List Network (ALN). ALN is not a part of Amazon.com or the Amazon, Inc. family of companies.

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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Amazon Announce Preorder Launch Program for E-Books

Most questions I get asked revolve around launching a book appropriately  (and how getting reviews plays into that!). New authors seldom understand the benefits Amazon offers authors for getting exposure and how to utilize them. I often cover topics like these in my SharingwithWriters newsletter--often as brief tips like this one from the August letter:
 
E-Book Publishing Tip: Amazon just announced that they have instituted a pre-order program to help you promote the launch of your e-book on Amazon just as the big publishers do for their hardcovers and their paperbacks. Learn more about the program on Amazon's page and more about setting your launch date ahead in The Frugal Book Promoter. You'll learn how this tactic helps you take advantage of both pre-order time and also allows you to apply for reviews with big review journals like Publishers Weekly that require up to 16 weeks of pre-pub notice for your book to qualify for a review. There is still more on that process at this page in the Writers Resources section of my HowToDoItFrugally Web site: http://howtodoitfrugally.com/reviews_and_review_journals.htm.
 
To subscribe to SharingwithWriters, send an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject window to HoJoNews@aol.com. Your welcome letter will include a few additional free benefits you can use to promote your book.  
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .