Friday, July 29, 2011

Self-Publishing A Book For Your Family: No Book Marketing Necessary

Some writers--maybe you included--would love to create your own book of family history for your family to read and hold. Perhaps you don't care if anyone but your family actually reads the book. You just want to ensure that your grandmother(s), grandfather(s), mother, father, aunt(s), uncle(s), every--single--family--member gets a copy. Self-publishing a book will preserve your family story... If you've been reading this blog for long, I'm sure you've noticed all the talk about book marketing, its importance. This scenario is the exception. You won't hear me say this ever again: You don't need to market your book. That's right, I said it. If you only want your family (and/or friends) to read your book, you don't need to bother with book marketing. It's a waste of your time and energy.

Wait, you didn't write your book solely for your family's enjoyment? You want the world to read it and enjoy it? Ah hah! Caught ya! How will the world know of your book if you're not aggressively involved in book marketing (I've mentioned it before--free book marketing)? You could have the cure for Cancer, but if you don't tell anyone about it, no one will know it exists. It's that simple. Same with your self-published book... You cannot self-publish your book, sit back and expect the world to know about it. Period.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Google Plus

I'm finally on Google+. Here's a shortened link to my profile: I see Google+ as sort of a Facebook/Twitter combo. Instead of the "like" on Facebook, you have the +1 on Google+. Google+ and Twitter both have a "follow" option. Facebook has friends and lists and Google+ has "friends" as a circle and other default circles--with the option to create custom circles. Confused yet? There's the friends, family, acquaintances, and following circles. The idea here is separation and privacy. Each category has its own circle. You can choose to which circle you'll share information and posts. Each circle acts as a list too. Each user has his/her own profile, kind of like the Facebook wall, only no one seems to be able to post on a person's profile unless commenting or +1-ing something.

How does this post relate to self-publishing and book marketing and the overall topic of this blog ... how to publish books? Google+ matters because it's a new form of free online book marketing, and self-publishing a book should always include lots of social media for book marketing. Technically Google+ is a new "social network," but for you, Mr. or Miss Author, it's a way to put your book in front of some new faces. Go sign up at or I can send you a Google+ invite if you're unable to get in. It might be in invite-only stage right now (still). Not sure. Comment with your email if you want in.

On a side note, MindStir Media's website was recently updated with the +1 button for sharing purposes. I believe it's important to give folks sharing options. Some instructions if you want to add the button to your website:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Self-Publish?

Aspiring authors email me all the time, and one of the most common questions is why self-publish (in addition to how do I self-publish?)? My answer has been placed on the MindStir Media website and I plan to direct folks to it in the future. Thought you might want to take a look:

Why Self-Publish?

Self-publishing will allow you to publish quickly, usually within 90 days. Average turnaround time for publishing with a traditional publishing company is around 1-2 years.


Traditional publishing offers royalty rates somewhere around 10%. Self-publish with MindStir Media and you’ll earn royalties up to 100%.


You keep all rights to your book.  You wrote your manuscript and you’re financially investing in your work, so it only makes sense that you retain all rights! Since you own your material, you also control your book design, content, and much more.

Prove Marketability

Many writers choose to self-publish to prove that there’s a market for their books. Literary agents and major publishing houses may be more willing to publish a title after it has sold well as a self-published book.


Your self-published book will be a long-lasting part of you that future generations can treasure.

How To Publish Books:

I acquired the other day and assigned it to this blog for $10. So, you can access the blog via that URL from now on. Since the phrase how to publish books receives about 74,000 global monthly searches on Google, I figured buying the domain (e.g. .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us) could only help with SEO (i.e. Search Engine Optimization). Plus, the domain matches this blog's content quite well. If you don't know what Search Engine Optimization is and you're an author with a Web site, it's time for you to do some research... I suggest you buy and read this book. Understanding and implementing SEO tactics can convert into many book sales! Studying it is worth your time, trust me. Or if you'd rather hire a search engine optimization company, I highly recommend that you select Page SEO Company. They're the #1 Portsmouth NH SEO agency and experts in gaining massive organic traffic from major search engines.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Top 5 Online Marketing Tools For Authors

Many authors ask me: When and how should I start promoting my book? The first part of the answer ("when") is yesterday. As with any product--and yes, a book is a product!--it's unwise to start promoting/marketing after the product releases. Here's the second part of the answer ("how"): Prior to publication, I'd say about 3-6 months before the release date (maybe even a year if you're really serious), you should already be actively utilizing these TOP 5 Online Marketing Tools For Authors (notice how I said "should." There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and some authors can certainly find success even if they begin promoting/marketing after the release, although it'll be more difficult):
  1. Author website/blog - I remember launching my website/blog back in 2007, two years before the release of my bestselling novel Unconventional. This gave me plenty of time to get acquainted with my site and learn the ins and outs. Ultimately, you want to use all of your other online tools to drive traffic to your site/blog.
  2. Facebook - Read this post--Facebook For Authors by Cindy Ratzlaff--to understand the personal profile, the fan page, and the benefits of using the leading social network as an author. Over 600 million people use Facebook nowadays, so it's not a tool you can ignore! Facebook ads are also highly effective for recruiting fans/selling your titles. FB ads allow you to target just about anyone based on interests, age, gender, location, etc.
  3. - I'm a huge advocate for this, the #1 social networking site for book lovers. This site, from an author's perspective, is all about targeted marketing and networking. You can network with tons of fans from your genre; include your book in Goodreads' giveaway program (which they promote to their members for you!); customize your author profile after signing up for the free Goodreads Author Program; launch a targeted ad campaign with self-serve advertising; and more!
  4. LibraryThing - Much like Goodreads, you can run a giveaway on (LT), but I feel the LT giveaway program is superior. Here's why: You can give away e-book downloads, which cost you absolutely nothing but help you gain readers and reviews.
  5. Twitter - Technically a microblogging site, Twitter limits each post (i.e. tweet) to 140 characters, thus encouraging short bursts of info. This is an ideal place to quickly network and form relationships with other like-minded individuals, help them and they'll help you (through "retweets," etc.), share the behind the scenes moments of your life (not so "behind the scenes" anymore), spread some of your links, etc. Amazingly, you can do all of this on the go. Just install a Twitter app on your cell phone. Twitter does offer a Twitter 101 "course" at their site. Check it out if you're trying to figure out how to get started.
Remember, you're only going to find success in publishing if you self-promote like all the other successful, entrepreneurial self-published authors out there. You can't expect the book to sell itself. That won't happen.