Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MindStir Media gives a list of 5 self-publishing mistakes to avoid

I wrote an article for the MindStir Media blog entitled "5 Rarely Discussed Self-Publishing Mistakes: What NOT To Do". The post has become very popular, having been shared/liked on Facebook over 1,500 times and re-tweeted nearly 200 times. The post covers topics such as book pricing; brick-and-mortar book sales; online marketing; editing and more...

Not to toot my own horn, but I really believe the post is a must-read for anyone who plans to enter the world of self-publishing. For most, the post will be refreshing and offer new info not seen before. For some others, especially those who have been around self-publishing for a while, the points in the article might not be new but can simply act as reinforcement. Hey, everyone needs a reminder every now and again, right?

Without further adieu, click here to see the full article.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

MindStir Media presents a helpful self-publishing checklist

I recently wrote a really helpful self-publishing checklist and published it on the MindStir Media blog site. The checklist offers twenty important items you'll need when self-publishing your book. Some of those twenty checklist items include:

  • Information on how to handle editing
  • Info and helpful advice for book cover design
  • Copyright registration guidance
  • A link to a very valuable book marketing guide that supplies authors with 75 marketing strategies and tips
To read and study the entire self-publishing checklist that I published via MindStir Media, please go to: http://www.mindstirmedia.com/2015/06/14/self-publishing-checklist/

Friday, February 13, 2015

MindStir Media Provides 75 Book Marketing Tips & Strategies

I wrote a really helpful blog post entitled "75 Book Marketing Tips for Authors". The post is highly actionable and contains a TON of info. I cover social media, email marketing, SEO and more in the post and hope that authors (and aspiring authors) find it useful.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MindStir Media Offers 50+ Writing Resources & 10 Self-Publishing Tips

MindStir Media, the publishing company I own, is currently offering some valuable resources: 50+ writing resources and 10 self-publishing tips. You can get free access to those resources and tips by clicking here. I personally created the self-publishing tips and also curated the writing resources, organizing and updating them.

The 50+ writing resources include:
  • Articles on writing
  • Videos from famous authors
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Books
  • And more
The self-publishing tips focus on:
  • The definition of success in self-publishing
  • The importance of editing
  • Cover design
  • And more

Monday, October 27, 2014

MindStir Media Books

Today a prospective client asked where he could find some of the books MindStir Media has published. This reminded me that perhaps it's time to publish a post on this subject... We've published many, many books in numerous genres and, if you're interested, you can see some of those books at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. Now, those sites won't show all of our published books because we do help some authors and other companies publish under their own names, but a simple search at Amazon for "Mindstir Media" will return plenty of results. To make it easy, I'm adding a couple links below:

--MindStir Media books at Amazon
--MindStir Media books at B&N

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What To Look For In Self-Publishing Packages

There are many self-publishing companies out there and most of them include self-publishing packages of some sort. Unfortunately, some packages are really low-quality. Authors think they're getting a great deal with those cheap packages but those packages will actually harm a book's chance at success in the long run because they're using cheap template-based cover and interior designs, making the book look amateurish. If you don't have at least $1000 to $1500, you probably shouldn't be self-publishing in the first place. I know that might sound radical but the truth is this: It takes money to produce a high-quality book.

So here's what you should look for in self-publishing packages -- the packages that could actually help you produce a high-quality book that people want to buy:

  • The best self-publishing package will most definitely include a custom book cover design. This means no templates are used in the design. The design is unique and eye-catching. 
  • A great package will also include a custom interior layout. Basically, the interior will be hand-formatted, focusing on hyphenation, chapter headers, scene breaks, etc. The interior's font should also match the font(s) used on the cover design. 
  • Editing is an essential too! I've never seen a manuscript that doesn't require some level of editing. Even the most seasoned writers (e.g. J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Stephen King) rely on professional editors to polish their manuscripts. The public should never see a first draft!
  • Your book publishing package must have distribution as well, and not just availability on Amazon.com. Sure, Amazon is the #1 online retailer in the world, but there are thousands of other retailers and booksellers in the world. Purchase a self-publishing package that offers worldwide distribution, preferably through a legit wholesale distributor such as Ingram.
  • Ongoing support needs to be provided. You should be able to pick up the phone and get through to an actual living, breathing person. And that person should understand publishing and be able to answer your questions throughout the publishing process. Make sure you don't end up working with a self-publishing company that only works through email. There aren't many things more frustrating than working with a company that hides behind generic email messages when you're simply trying to get clear answers to your questions.
  • Marketing assistance ought to be included. The best self-publishing companies will at least market your book through social media and their own bookstore. 
  • Fair and affordable book printing prices are key. Do your research before buying a package. Try your best to understand how much you'll be paying for each copy of your book when you buy direct from the publisher.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Your Author Website Needs Proper SEO

If you want your author website to be a book-selling machine, you have a couple options. You can pay for website traffic via pay-per-click methods (expensive) such as Adwords, BingAds, Facebook Ads, etc or you can optimize your website so that it attracts organic traffic (less expensive). Or you can utilize both paid and organic traffic options. Here's what you don't want to do, though: sit back and wait for people to find your website. That just doesn't happen. You need to be proactive. Here are five very basic search engine optimization tips for your author website, sponsored by PAGE SEO COMPANY, a premier NH SEO company:
  1. Perform keyword research. Find keywords that relate to your book(s). For instance, maybe your book is Christian Fiction. You would want to add the term "Christian Fiction" in your website's homepage title tag. It would read "Your Name - Christian Fiction Author". The title of your website is probably the single most important onsite SEO factor. Search engines see the title of your website and use that info to help determine the topic of your website.
  2. Once you've decided on your keywords and sprinkled them in the website's title, it's time to update the meta description. This too should include your keywords. Also update your meta keywords. 
  3. Next, you should include content -- text and images -- on your website that contain your keywords. It's important that you use your keywords in the text sparingly. Don't go overboard and "stuff" as many keywords in your text as possible. "Keyword stuffing" isn't appreciated by Google and your site could get penalized.... How in the world do you add keywords to an image? Easy. You add alt tags
  4. Each page on your website will have its own URL. A URL is basically the address of a page. So you might create a URL for your about page as follows: www.yourauthorwebsite.com/about. That isn't a very search engine friendly URL. Instead, consider creating URLs that contain the keywords and possibly match the title. For example, www.yourauthorwebsite.com/about-christian-fiction-author. 
  5. You should also focus on quality link building. Google counts backlinks as votes of popularity, so quantity matters but quality is much more important these days. You should only pursue high-quality backlinks. With enough high-quality backlinks your website should start appearing in Google search engine results pages for your keywords. 
Obviously, this is an incredibly basic primer on SEO. There are actually around 200 Google ranking factors to keep in mind for your author website. Search engine optimization is an extremely effective method of promoting your website, but it can also be annoyingly complicated and time-consuming. If you'd rather spend more time on writing than doing SEO, I highly recommend you hire a professional SEO services company.  As the #1 NH SEO agency, Page SEO Company can handle all of the onsite and offsite SEO for you, so you can get back to writing.