Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Google Instant Preview: How Does Your Website Look?

Does Your Website Look Good in Google Instant Preview?

By Susan Kendrick

If you've ever been tempted to pack a lot onto your web pages, this is your wake-up call.
Size is everything now. I talk a lot about how important it is for your book cover and other branding elements to command attention and respect even on increasingly smaller online formats like smart phones. But, now the same thing applies to your websites and blogs as well.

Here's What's Happening
Google Instant Preview is a way to evaluate whether or not a web page has information you are interested in without you having to go to the particular site. You can also quickly compare the basic look and feel of each website to others that come up in your search. You simply preview "thumbnails" of these sites right on the Google search results page.

YouTube Tour of How Google Instant Preview Works

Click on the image below to watch:


See Your Website the Way Your Prospects Do

Search your company name in Google and see how your home page looks on Google Instant Preview.

- Is it appealing, professional, clean, free of clutter?
- Does a main headline and/or a single powerful graphic pop out at you?
- Is the page broken into chunks of copy that make it look easy to read?
- Does it make you want to know more, or look like much work to figure out?
- How does it compare with the preview pages of other websites?

Now, search a key word or phase you know will bring up a particular page on your website.

See how the place on the page that contains that search term stands out as a text call-out. Is this what you want your prospects to see? Does it help "sell" them on your website, expertise, quality of information you provide? 

I talk a lot about thumbnail versions of your book and eBook covers and how they have to work just as hard for you as the full-size versions--sometimes harder. Now with "thumbnail" browsing, your website has to compete in a smaller format as well.

We judge books by their covers. And, now your prospects are judging your website by its thumbnail. Make sure yours stands out as inviting, low on clutter, and high in content.

Website Graphic Tips: Choose fewer, larger, bolder images for your web pages.

Website Content Tips: Write website copy for how it looks in addition to what it says. Less-is-more has always been a cornerstone of great website copywriting. Now it is more important that ever. Get to the point and make your visitors want to know more.

If you have questions or want feedback on your website content and how you can condense it for more appeal, contact us at info@writetoyourmarket.com.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Editing: 5 Writing Tips for Authors

Book Editing: 5 Writing Tips for Authors

By Susan Kendrick

Barbara McNichol - Book Editor
Whether you are writing a brilliant message inside your book, or packaging your book to sell on the cover, the same basic writing principles apply. Be clear and vivid. Talk to your readers, not at them. Be conversational yet concise. And, above all--use good grammar to make it all work.

In my last post I showed how a recent client of ours worked with us and the rest of his team to create his book cover. Now meet another member of your book-publishing team, your book editor. For both long and short copy--inside your book and out—flow, organization, and grammar combine to make your message shine and give you maximum credibility as an expert in your field.

Check out Barbara McNichol's five guidelines below to instantly improve the way you write the inside of your book by thinking like an editor.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Authors: How Can You Think Like an Editor?
By Guest Blogger -- Barbara McNichol

As an author, you take your observations and experiences, draw insightful conclusions, and translate them into messages on paper (or computer screens). You don your writer’s hat to express your messages in the written word.

But don’t stop there. You then need to put on your editor’s glasses and focus on fine-tuning those words to make sure they communicate with your intended audience. That requires you to read your piece as if you have never seen it before and think like an editor.

A skilled editor examines every phrase and asks:

·       Is it necessary?
·       Is it clear?
·       Is it concise?

When you review your own writing, you likely won’t answer “yes” to all these questions. So take off your writer’s hat and look through your editor’s glasses. Then make changes based on these five common writing problems.

1. Use the active voice. (WHO does WHAT to WHOM.)

Passive: It was decided that everyone would take the class.

Active: The principal decided everyone would take the class.

2. Make subjects and verbs agree. (No mixing singular and plural.)

Incorrect: A group of writers were in town. ("Group" is singular while "were" is plural.)
Correct: A group of writers was in town. ("Group" is the subject here, not "writers.")

3. Use parallel construction. (Give your writing rhythm.)

Weak: We’ve learned to read, write, and we’re making sure information is shared.
Stronger: We’ve learned to read, write, and share information.

4. Make the subject obvious. (Don’t let your participles dangle!)

Yucky: Driving down the highway, the new stadium came into view. (Who was driving down the highway? The stadium?)

Better: We could see the progress on the new stadium as we drove by it on the highway.
5. Use specific, vivid verbs and nouns. (And don’t overuse adverbs and adjectives.)

Dull: I saw some really pretty yellow daffodils.
Interesting: I reveled in a riot of daffodils.

When you wear your editor’s glasses, make sure every word counts. What are your favorite writing/editing tips that will enhance someone’s writing? Please share them on this blog.

Barbara McNichol is passionately committed to helping authors achieve accuracy and artistry, clarity and creativity through the written word. She delivers expert editing that puts your book on the pedestal it deserves. Since founding Barbara McNichol Editorial in 1994, Barbara has worked with 200+ amazing authors. She says, “Enjoy the credibility authorship brings you with a well-edited book you can market with pride.”

To further support authors, Barbara has created a word choice guide called Word Trippers (www.wordtrippers.com) and produces Add Power to Your Pen, a valuable ezine for improving your writing. Contact: www.BarbaraMcNichol.com, email editor@barbaramcnichol.com or visit her blog www.nonfictionbookeditor.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Cover Coaching: Why to Build a Book Cover Team

Featured Client:
Dr. Brad Case

How to Use the Team
Approach to Create an
Award-Winning Book Cover

By Susan Kendrick

* Download our Free Book Cover Timeline--an easy, one-page checklist of
   what to do, when to do it, and how to work with your book cover team.

Dr. Brad Case stays in touch ... a lot.
That's because he's always announcing some new award he's received or project he's involved in as a result of his book Thugs, Drugs, and the War on Bugs. My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, worked with Dr. Case to create the marketing concepts and language for his book cover copy. We also work with a select handful of book cover designers and book interior designers, like the ones listed below, as well as book editors. See how a team approach to your book cover can get your book seen and sold, and give you expert status.

We started by asking Dr. Case a simple question.

Q. "Given the success of your book to-date, what stands out for you about the role or contribution of your cover?"

A. "In my experience, by the time a book is written, the author is too close to the project to be able to see how others will see their book and to know how to sell it. You really need some objective eyes to help you formulate a great selling cover, which is the basis of all your marketing efforts. Though you should be involved, don’t try to do it all on your own. This entire dust jacket was really a group project. I turned to Graham and Susan’s expertise because they really know how to sell books." 

Awards, Exposure, and Business Leads

Here's just a sample of what's been happening.
  • Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards contest for the Health/Medicine/Nutrition category. Over 3,000 books were entered in the overall contest. "I don’t know exactly how many books mine was up against," says Case, "but it apparently beat them all!"
  • Thugs was also a Finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year contest, and it was awarded the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award last year.
  • Dr. Case was also recently interviewed by Wisdom Magazine. Its May/June issue included a lengthy, four-page interview. They also posted the entire first chapter of Thugs on their website
  • This interview led to Case being invited by an East Coast filmmaker to be in a documentary on the healing power of foods. 

Book Covers From Mars ...

"I’ve received so many complements on my book cover," says Case. "The only thing that’s gotten more comments is my title. In fact, when I spoke to John Gray, author of the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and told him the title of my book, he literally laughed out loud, asked me to repeat it, then laughed again. I’m sure the title made an impression on him and eventually led to him endorsing the book. His endorsement led to others endorsing it." 

Who to Include on Your Book Cover Team:

Since any book should be marketed well before the actual release date, your cover is essential for that marketing to begin. Here are the three main functions you will need help with to produce a professional, "buy-me-now!" book cover. And, here is Dr. Case's take on how that team approach worked for him:

Book Cover Marketing Copy

"The back cover sales copy gets potential buyers’ attention with a hard-hitting headline and bullet points. The rest of the back cover copy expands on those benefits. The inside flap copy continues that conversation, with a more detailed synopsis, reasons to read the book, and what the reader will get out of it.

"I came up with the title. Graham came up with the much-needed subtitle. He did a great job capturing my dry humor in a subtle way. For the rest of the book cover copy, the credit goes to Graham. I basically gave him a bunch of my information and ideas. He got a feel for the overall tone and content of the book, then formulated all my disjointed ideas into a cohesive book cover that sells the book. Graham and I also played off of each other to build bullet points and the About the Author section.

"I use all the book cover language he developed as the branding and sales copy in my other marketing efforts for the book as well, such
as my book website and my main website, as well as my page on Amazon. Graham also came up with the domain name for my website: HealthIsNatural.com.

"All of this came together to make a great cover, which led to my getting more endorsements and receiving awards—more selling points that have also found their way onto the cover." 
Book Cover Design

"George Foster was the cover designer. Not only is he a great designer, he’s a great guy with a great sense of humor. The front cover is a bit provocative, but so is the title and the rest of the book, so they all fit together. If my title and subject had been less in-your-face, the cover would have had to reflect that tone, but with a title like Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs, we needed a cover like this. It also makes a great poster that really draws the eye in. It catches your attention and raises curiosity in potential readers."

Book Interior Design

I also had my book internal designer, Shannon Bodie, create a great logo for me. My publishing company is called “New Renaissance Books.” Shannon created a professional looking logo that resembles a book morphing into an aloe plant or a lotus, which, depending on what you see, fit the themes of either natural healing or awakening, both of which I resonate with. It perfectly reflects the blending of reading a New Renaissance book and the Natural Healthcare Revolution—all in one logo. 

For an easy, one-page checklist of what to do, when to do it, and how to work with a book cover team, download our free Book Cover Timeline.

Get more "Book Cover Coaching ..."

Subscribe to this blog and get more tips about what goes into developing a great book cover. For our help developing your book cover, book website, personal or business brand, and more, email us about an initial consultation at info@WriteToYourMarket.com or give us a call at 1-888-634-4120.

2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Creating Ebook Covers - How to Choose and Use Testimonials

Profile #3
What's Great About this Ebook Cover?

By Susan Kendrick

My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, and I are judges for the Ebook Cover Award category in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards program. To give these authors and experts more visibility for their ebooks, and to use these covers to share the strategies we teach and use in our own work creating book covers, we're featuring many cover entries right here on our Book Cover Coaching blog.

State of Mind
Sven Michael Davison

Visit Sven Michael Davison's website. The Kindle edition 
and print version are also available on Amazon.

There are two primary components of the State of Mind ebook we want to emphasize. One is obviously Sven's powerful front cover. The second is his use of back cover testimonials.

Ebook Title

We love Sven's title, in part because. It is a great use of a book title strategy we use and recommend often. Sven does a great job with it: 

Use a Twist on a Familiar Phrase*
This strategy works so well because it combines something already familiar to people--a well-known phrase--with a fresh twist that makes it unique, memorable, and best of all, something that people now associate with you and your ebook.
* Excerpted from our "10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" - see below.

In this case, the familiar phrase is "state of mind," which in this novel can refer both the psychological state of an individual and what happens when you risk coming under control of the state or the powers that be. Both meanings work for this techno-thriller. This book title strategy adds a level of complexity that immediately sets the pace for the novel itself.

Ebook Cover Design

Sven nails it with his front cover design. This one image hits you in the gut ... or somewhere. It is arresting and even slightly off-putting. With a cover like this you may risk driving a few people away, but you will surely draw in your target audience. In Sven's case he makes a major shout-out to people looking for the best in bold techno-thriller fiction. And, that takes us to an important point about the back cover. 

Ebook "Back Cover" Sales Copy

gain, even if your ebook does not have a physical back cover, you still develop that marketing message for use on your website and anywhere else you market and sell your ebook.

Testimonials are an important part of that message and your credibility. 

Having the right people endorse your ebook adds valuable credibility to it. Aim high: What a testimonial says is less important that who says it. Potential buyers look at the endorser's name, title, company, affiliation, etc. 
* Excerpted from our "10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" - see below.

Think a few steps ahead

What do you want your book or ebook to do for you? Whose attention do you want to get and who do you want to influence, besides your potential reader? Your testimonials influence potential readers, yes, but they also influence potential partners who will also judge you by who else has already aligned themselves with you and your work. This is true in any field.

In Sven's case, his high-tech thriller seems to have all the makings of a movie. Sven already has extensive experience in the movie industry and consults for entertainment technology companies. You can see that the sources for two of his quotes are well-known in the movie and digital movie business. His trailer, or "P-Chip infomercial," is also much more than a typical book or ebook trailer. It crosses over into more of a movie short. 

By getting his particular endorsers involved with his book, he continues to gain credibility with people who look to these experts for their take on this kind of story or content--in books, movies, digital movies on the web, and other media.
Think very strategically about what testimonials you want for your book and from whom. Too often we see authors and experts start this process too late to get the endorsements they want, or they simply are unaware of how much a well-chosen endorsement can do for them and their books.
  * * *

Get Your Free Copy
"10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" includes three sets of 10-step checklists creating book title and subtitles, back cover sales copy, and book cover design. It also serves as the judging criteria for the Ebook Cover Award. Request a complimentary copy by emailing us at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

* * *

Subscribe to this blog and learn more about what goes into developing a great book cover. See examples, including those we develop for our clients, and get tips you can use throughout all your book marketing. For help developing your book cover, book website, personal or business brand, and more, contact us at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Creating Ebook Covers - The Power of Back Cover Sales Copy

Profile #2:
"What's Great About This Ebook Cover?"

By Susan Kendrick 

My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, and I are judges for the Ebook Cover Award category in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards program. To give these authors and experts more visibility for their ebooks, and to use these covers to share the strategies we teach and use in our own work creating book covers, we're featuring many cover entries right here on our blog.

The Pathway to Love

Julie Orlov

Visit Julie Orlov's website. Her, ebook, book, Kindle edition, workbook, and audio guide are available on her Products Page. The Kindle edition is also available on Amazon.

Ebook "Back Cover" Sales Copy

I'm going to focus on Julie Orlov's back cover copy because she did such a good job on the cover itself and the way she uses this book marketing copy throughout her website. That is the great benefit of back cover sales copy, even for an ebook--it creates a powerful, brand consistent, at-a-glance marketing message that promotes your book or ebook wherever you use it. Here's what makes this ebook cover special:

Know What Your Audience Needs and Wants

If your book or ebook is a solution to a problem, you need to understand that problem. Julie Orlov handles this beautifully. The first paragraph of Julie's back cover starts with, "Discover the secrets to creating more understanding, acceptance, and love in your relationships."  She gets right to the point. She doesn't waste any time connecting with her reader and what they're looking for. You have about 10-15 seconds to get someone's attention and get them to see the value of what you book. Make every second count.

Show What's Unique About Your Solution

Julie then moves right into the second sentence, which shows exactly how her approach to relationships is unique: "Through the art of storytelling Julie Orlov reveals how relationships grow from fantasy to love in four phases." She uses storytelling and she reveals four phases.  ... What are those phases? Am I in one of those phases? Which one? ... This is the possible response from someone reading this copy. It does two things. It draws them in and gets them to keep reading.

Create a Sense of Abundance About What the Reader Gets From the Book

Next, Julie uses the "Not Only" copywriting technique to show the range of help available from her book. The third sentence reads, "The book not only empowers you to create the relationships you want but demonstrates how your relationships mirror what you need to see, thereby providing the perfect conditions to heal, grow, and transform."

Here is a simple but important point. Notice in the back cover copy the use of "you" and "your." Notice, too, how you can create energy and momentum with phrases ranging from "not only empowers you to create" to "providing the perfect conditions." This kind of language gets your prospective buyer excited about the possibilities in this book. And, that is exactly the role of the back cover, to get prospects interested enough to read the book and to buy it.
Use a Few Powerful Bullet Points to Seal the Deal

Great book covers use visual chunks of copy to draw in the reader. Bullets are the place to highlight the most compelling benefits of your book in an at-a-glance format. See the bullet points on The Pathway to Love when you click the image (right) from the softcover print version of The Pathway to Love.

On Julie's website home page, those three back cover bullets take center stage. As Julie has also done, you can then tweak your back cover copy to suit the needs of an individual website page-
-whether you are promoting your ebook, book, or overall brand and expertise. In this case, Julie added a fourth bullet that mentions "relationships at work," a significant part of her expertise and the kind of consulting and speaking she wants to attract more of. As you look at other pages on Julie's website, you will continue to see other parts of her back cover copy.

On a tactical note, bullet points should each start with an active verb to further continue the energy and momentum of your marketing message. Julie's bullets start with "Distinguish," "Understand," and "Transform,"  and on the website, "Enhance."

Get High-Profile Testimonials

The impact of testimonials is more about who is saying something about your book than what they are saying. Again, you want to create your back cover in various, high-visibility chunks. Testimonials do not need to be long to support your book, but they have to be by experts your audience recognizes, trusts, and respects. Julie has just two, but one of them is by Bernie Siegel, MD, and the other is from a highly credentialed expert in her field, an MD, PhD from UCLA and company president. See more in our article on how to get and select book cover testimonials.

Ebook Cover Design

There are many good things to say about Julie Orlov's ebook cover design. The main point is that from the color--the soft green, clean white, and bright spot of red in that heart--to the simple image of the orchid, and font style, it has been designed with Julie's core audience in mind. Women buy the vast majority of books. Even for books that are written for men, it is women that buy the books for the men in their lives--husbands, sons, fathers, partners, etc. 

As you can see in Julie's YouTube videos, men attended and spoke very highly about her  book launch event. But for books on relationships especially, women are the core audience of readers and buyers, and this cover reaches out to them on this topic with a sense of beauty, lightness, and promise. The marketing copy is fresh and authoritative. The overall effect is that Julie's book cover positions her as a trustworthy authority on her topic with a lot to offer her readers.

  * * *

Get Your Free Copy
"10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" includes tips for creating book title and subtitles, back cover sales copy, and book cover design. It also serves as the judging criteria for the Ebook Cover Award. Request a complimentary copy by emailing us at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

* * *

Think about entering your ebook in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards. There are dozens of award categories. Check out 10 Reasons to Enter on YouTube.

Subscribe to this blog and learn more about what goes into developing a great book cover. See examples, including those we develop for our clients, and get tips you can use throughout all your book marketing. For help developing your book cover, book website, personal or business brand, and more, contact us at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Creating Ebook Covers: Less is More

Profile #1:
"What's Great About This Ebook Cover?"

By Susan Kendrick

My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, and I are two of the judges for the Ebook Cover Award category in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards competition. In addition to picking the best covers from those submitted--and being on the team that decides the ultimate winner--we will be featuring many covers right here on this blog with a brief "What's Great About This Ebook Cover?" write-up. We will use each ebook cover we feature to point out important ebook cover components and strategies. Think about entering your ebook. There are dozens of award categories. Check out 10 Reasons to Enter on YouTube.

Request a Copy

Participants in the Book Cover Award category receive our "10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell." It contains checklists for creating ebook/book titles and subtitles, back cover sales copy, and book cover design. Request a complimentary copy at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

Selene of Alexandria 
A Novel by 
Faith L. Justice

There are many reasons we chose to feature Selene of Alexandria as an example of a successful ebook cover. Overall it has a highly professional look and feel, which seems simple but is often difficult to achieve. Here's what makes this cover special:

Visit author Faith L. Justice's website. The ebook is also available on Amazon.

Ebook Title

Short and Clear
Many book titles try to be clever at the expense of clarity, but there is power in simplicity. Selene of Alexandria also suggests a certain stature, that this is a story worth knowing.

There are no other books or ebooks on Amazon with the same title. This ebook cannot be confused with any other book, old or new, or in any way be diminished by sharing its name with other books, music, etc.

Search Engine Key Words
Selene of Alexandria is about a fictional character in a real place and time--the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt, during the fifth century. For historical fiction, which has a large following, using the key word "Alexandria" helps lead readers to this period piece. A search for "Selene of Alexandia ebook" currently shows up as #3 in Google.

Ebook "Back Cover" Sales Copy
Click on the cover above to see larger images. 

The question comes up, "Does an ebook need a back cover?" The short answer is, yes. Ebooks should take advantage of all the book marketing opportunities available to print books, including buy-me-now, 10-second sales copy. Request the PDF above and see the introduction to the "Back Cover Sales Copy" section. See why your back cover text is the most important ad copy you will draft for your ebook and where you will use it.

Selene of Alexandria had already been published as a softcover in November 2009, so it had its back cover sales copy ready for use in marketing the ebook version. 

A headline can take many forms, one of which is a high-profile testimonial. In this case, praise comes from an award-winning author. This gives the book immediate credibility--we're willing to trust that an expert in the field thinks this is a great read. 

Clean, Crisp, Inviting Copy
Right away we get a feel for the setting and the conflicts in this story. The copy is energized by colorful language that reaches out in subtle ways to a wide reading audience.

Author Bio
Faith L. Justice's author bio is a refreshing counterpoint to the setting of her 5th century story. It starts with "a self-styled science geek and history junkie ..." It wraps up with her significant accomplishments and a call to action to engage prospective buyers in her other offerings, "Visit her website to read her award-winning short fiction, articles, interviews, and sample chapters of upcoming novels."

Ebook Cover Design

Available on Amazon
Here is where Faith L. Justice's Selene of Alexandria shines. Here are just a few of the ebook cover design criteria that this book embodies so well.

Make One Strong Visual Statement
She uses one powerful graphic image with a color and lighting that stands out against the black background. This cover looks good in any size, even as a thumbnail image, from iPads to smart phones.

Avoid Clutter
Imagine for a minute what could have happened to this cover. In addition to the sculpture it could have had a cityscape in the background to play up the Alexandria part of the title, or the added real image of a young woman. The classic sculpture all by itself gives this book the feeling of, well, a classic.

Title Is Easy to Read
It's big and easily readable. And, with a longer word like "Alexandria" in the mix, emphasizing "Selene" in larger type is a smart move. Trying to put the whole title in the same size font might have looked cramped or just made the whole title illegible. Again, this strategy will ensure the title stands out even in smaller viewing formats.

Author Name Is Big Enough to Read
Again, no fancy fonts, no special effects. Just the author's easily identifiable name.

Easy-To-Read Font
Interestingly, even with straightforward font choices, the name Selene is big, bold, and contemporary like a living, breathing character. By contrast, just like in the story, "Of Alexandria" evokes the time and place of the ancient setting.

A Few Strong Colors
Black, gold, and white create a strong, authoritative feel. This is a book you pay attention to and an author you take seriously. The quality of the cover image--color, lighting, resolution--all play a part in the high-quality feel of the entire cover. Choose any cover graphic and colors with great care.

* * *

Subscribe to this blog to see all the ebook cover entries and comments we post as judges in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Award. For one-on-one feedback on your project, contact Graham and me, Susan, at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Listen for Great Book Titles

Book Titles are Seen and Heard--Listen
for Ones That Catch Your Ear, and Why 

By Susan Kendrick

This past week I was listening to public radio while driving and captivated by the very energetic introduction to the next program, "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders" hosted by Jean Feraca. The guest was an expert on grains, but not in the eat-these-they're-good-for-you way. Somewhere in her early adulthood as a journalist living on frozen pizza, she had rediscovered a moment in childhood when a small bag of sweetened Greek dessert had delighted and transported her during a very sad time.  And now this writer, journalist, and cook has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, and Gastronomica, as well as Marie Claire, and Elle.

In the introduction to this guest and her celebration of grains as comfort food, desserts, and more, I heard phrases like "gorgeous grains" and "ancient grains for modern meals." Feraca spun a web of words so rich, I couldn't wait to hear if the guest had a book and which of these delicacies was the title.

The guest, of course, did not disappoint. Maria Speck was passionate, personal, joyful, and highly articulate about every nuance of her topic. And, yes, she is the author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More.

Take-Aways You Can Use

The Reason I am posting this book title and radio interview here is because there are a couple of good take-aways. First, a good book title needs to clearly communicate your topic, but a great book title "sounds" good doing it. It rings. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals is a great example of three good book title strategies that make this title sound good:

(1) Rhyming--Ancient Grains

(2) Alliteration--Modern Meals

(3) Parallel Construction-- Ancient Grains is a simple,
     two-word descriptor that sets up another simple,
     but contrasting two word descriptor, Modern Meals

Now, granted, authors and publishers do not always and do not need to create book titles on such a dissected level. These types of book titles are usually equal parts intent and serendipity. So listen. Listen to how you talk about your topic. Get your friends and collegues involved. See what rises to the surface in conversation. A great book title is easy to say, hear, and remember. It says what is new and different about you and your book.

Listen to this broadcast for a good example of how great a book title can sound.

One More Thing That Works

The other thing I noticed while listening to the introduction to this interview was all of the other descriptors that came up and initially had me wondering which one was the title. Was it "Gorgeous Grains"? Was is "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals"? This is a good time to point out that any phrase that does not make the final cut as title, can still be used to great effect as a headline or sound bite about your book. In this case, I imagine that "Gorgeous Grains" could have been on the table at some point as a possible title.

So, as the saying goes, listen and learn.

Happy Publishing!

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market™. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 Reasons to Enter Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards 

Click Here for  Details -- Enter by June 30, 2011
"A major challenge with ebooks is a lack of visibility," says Dan Poynter, world-renowned self-publishing expert and bestselling author of The Self-Publishing Manual.

Why? Because at first glance, an ebook looks like a simple, streamlined alternative to a print book. But, many ebook authors and publishers just don't get their ebooks in front of enough people to make a difference. If you want to get your wisdom out into the world and start reaping the rewards now, an ebook is the way to go. Be an early player in the move by more and more people to ebook readers. Reach new audiences eager to download all the ways you can help them in business, life, leadership, parenting, relationships, nutrition, fitness, and more. But first, get it out there!

Eliminate "Post and Pray" -- Dan Poynter

Most ebook authors and publishers do not even know where to start,
so they don’t. This is how Dan describes the process:

They upload their ebook to a website
and sit back.
This is called “Post and Pray.”

We are longtime fans of Dan and his self-publishing education and techniques. When we heard about his new Global Ebook Awards, we were excited to learn that it is not just about putting your ebook in a competition. The submission and award process itself has a built-in ebook promotion program. See the 10 Reasons to Enter, below, and all the ways your ebook can get seen and sold through this competition.

                     Watch this video

Plus, We May Feature Your Ebook Cover on This Blog

My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, and I will be the judges for a special ebook cover category in the Global Ebook Awards competition. In addition to picking the best covers from those submitted, we will be featuring many covers right here on this blog over the next two months with a brief "What's Great About This Ebook Cover?" write-up. We will use your ebook cover to point out a key book cover strategy--always something positive--so you and your ebook look good. This gives you even more marketing visibility!

Get All the Details

Go to Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards website. You'll find entry rules, dates, ebook categories, and answers to any questions. The website is also designed as a complete resource for all things ebook.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market™. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Break Into New Markets With Your Book

One of the Most Profitable Relationships
You Can Develop ... And 6 Ways to
Get Started Now

By Susan Kendrick

(First, it's good to be back! I've had a busy year. Lots to talk about.
Here's to May 2011 and getting reconnected. Warm Regards, Susan.)

What’s easier, a cold call or having someone personally introduce you to a new prospect? What’s a quicker way to build trust—jump through all the hoops of proving that you’re as good as you say you are, or have somebody your prospect already knows and trusts back you up as a great resource? In each case, either way works, but a third-party introduction and endorsement is definitely less labor-intensive. You move on much more quickly to building relationships instead of just trying to get them started.

That’s the way it is when you want to introduce yourself, your book, and your services to a new market. One of the best ways to do this in consulting or any industry is to become a part of that market and for someone already known in that market to make the introductions. Rather than creating relationships one at a time, this is the way to gain access to many prospects at once. 

Who Should You Approach?

Take a look at these three criteria. It should be an individual or organization that:
• Continually offers their followers quality information, perspectives, and resources
  that will help them be better at what they do

• Has a list of followers with whom they regularly communicate and who are used to
  signing up for educational programs and purchasing resources

• Reaches out to their followers in a variety of ways: enewsletters, magazine, webinars,
  blogs, podcasts, speakers, annual events, expos, conventions, and more

Who Does All That? Professional Associations
Professional associations exist on many levels—nationally as well as by state, region, and even by sub-industry. Approach each of them like you would approach a media outlet. In other words, offer to do things that help them achieve their goals. Be a good partner, an information hub, a source for quality perspectives, insights, and educational content.  In return, you get introduced as a go-to expert to potentially throusands of new prospects.

6 Ways to Get Started

1. You can start by offering to do something as simple as contributing articles to the association newsletter and magazine. They get great content--which they associations always need. You get your message across to a group of prospects eager to get them most from their membership through access to expert guidance.

2. Associations face a major challenge on a daily basis that you can help them solve--membership. Associations of all kinds are continually trying to acquire new members and keep existing members. Offer your book to the association at a volume discount as part of a new-member incentive package or as a renewal incentive for existing members.

3. Become a champion for one of the association's causes and post regular blog features about it. You attract those interested in that cause to you as a reputable source of information. The association gets exposure to your followers. And, you position yourself as someone valued by this organization and the team that runs it. You are part of a vital mission in this new market you are penetrating. It is a win-win for both you and the association--again, the key to a profitable partnership.

4. Interview the executive director of the association in a way that enhances their visibility and credibility. Make this interview available as a podcast, downloadable transcript, and video if possible for use by you, the director, and the association.

5. Offer to give the association a sample of your speaking abilities by doing a free breakout session at their next big event. Even if you don’t get paid for the engagement the first time, that live exposure to decision-makers in this new market is a huge opportunity. Use this session to give away a free gift (your book, related product, consulting package) at the end of your presentation, through a drawing of business cards you collect from participants.

6. Go through the vetting process. Most associations have some kind of process in place to help them select sources that will be a true value to their members. Your book—or even your forthcoming book—mark you as a recognized authority in your field. Use it, your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter following, testimonials, and other components of your existing platform to demonstrate your credibility and how you can add value to the association and its membership.

The idea is to enter a new market that you have identified as a good source of potential clients and revenue. Partner with an association in that market that meets the three criteria listed above. Then, do everything you can to add value to what the association is doing for its members in a way that introduces you, your book, and your services to those members.

What Does This Have to Do With Your Book Cover?

Planning for how you want your book to open doors in multiple markets—or at least give you the flexibility to do that over time—will directly influence what you include in your front and especially your back cover sales copy. It will even influence who you approach—and don’t approach--for endorsements.

I have seen partnerships with professional associations work successfully time and time again—both for myself, my clients, and my colleagues. If you have any questions about the finer points of putting this approach to work, or for more ideas that will help you break into a new market with your book or write and design your book cover so that it will open more doors for you, please feel free to contact me or my partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, at info@writetoyourmarket.com.

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market. All Rights Reserved.