Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Importance of Book Distribution when Publishing a Book

When an author decides to publish a book, oftentimes book distribution is an afterthought (or ignored altogether). I've seen independent authors go out and find an offset book printer only to realize later that they have to then sell every single copy on their own. This usually means the author gets hundreds or thousands of copies printed upfront and then has to store them and ultimately -- if copies are sold -- get the copies delivered to the end customers in some way. This process is extremely time-consuming and unnecessary for an author. Can you seriously imagine handling all of this on your own?

At MindStir Media, we offer book distribution. Not only do we provide book distribution through Ingram, the largest wholesale distributor of books in the world, but all our books are also listed at,,, and thousands of other retailers and booksellers worldwide. All the order fulfillment is also handled for you as the author. For instance, when a copy of your MindStir book is ordered through, a copy is printed on-demand and then shipped to the end customer on your behalf. This saves you countess hours so you can continue focusing on writing instead of tracking every order, packing and shipping, etc.

On top of saving you a lot of time, distribution also gives potential readers more buying options. More buying options can sometimes mean more sales. It's important to have your published book available in as many online bookstores as possible. is a must, along with,, and Generally speaking those are the websites where most copies will be sold.

Ignoring book distribution is like a car ignoring tires. The car will never reach its full potential and neither will your book...

MindStir Media Teams Up With #1 Christian Writers Website "" to Publish Compilation Book

I'm happy to announce that MindStir Media, the sponsor for the Christian "Testimony" Writing Contest, will be publishing the winning submissions as a 6x9" paperback. For those of you who don't know, is the #1 site for Christian writers on the web, with over 63,000 members across the globe. It has been helping Christian writers and spreading the Gospel for around 10 years. It's known as an "encouraging community of Christian writers ... A great place to learn and grow in a safe, caring environment..."

I'm more than thrilled to be partnering with FaithWriters to produce this wonderful book. There were many submissions for the Testimony contest (in several categories), but we only had room for 40 winners -- recently announced right here. The book is tentatively scheduled to be released in early 2014. The authors included will benefit from an ongoing portion of royalties. Christian book publishing is one of MindStir's specialties, and I'm really happy to be a part of this Christian book publication. Stay tuned!

Update 3/25/14: The book is now available. Check out the MindStir Media press release.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Should You Use a Local Book Publisher?

I come across a few authors here and there who want to work with a local book publisher. While MindStir Media does work with many authors throughout the nation, the company also attracts authors looking for a book publisher in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. MindStir is located in NH and it borders ME and MA. It probably surprises authors when I tell them that, in my opinion, there's no real reason in 2013 and beyond to select a book publisher based on its location. Years ago, authors felt they had to be published by a NY book publisher in order to be successful. The Internet has changed everything. Email has knocked down the barriers. As a NH publishing company, I can easily communicate with an author located in CA and publish their book successfully. I've done it many times. Location is honestly becoming more and more irrelevant. There really aren't any limitations in working with a book publisher located outside your state. If you're an author, you're better off focusing on a book publishing company's reputation and success stories rather than its location.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

MindStir Media President to Writers: Book Publishing Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

Today, during one of my book publishing consultations, a thought crossed my mind that I knew I wanted to cover on this blog: book publishing doesn't have to be difficult. I've found that many new writers tend to over-complicate publishing. Is that you? Authors get in their own way by allowing the "mysteries" and "myths" of book publishing to overpower the truths of publishing. Usually this happens because the author is trying to do everything on his/her own without much prior knowledge. And then, of course, publishing seems very difficult indeed....

For a rookie writer, especially one who has never published anything, the whole process can seem mysterious. These mysteries sometimes morph into fear. You know, fear of the unknown. Sound familiar? But there's really no reason to fear book publishing. There are book publishing professionals (like me) out there who can help you find the answers and simplify the publishing process for you. I do this for authors on a daily basis and it helps make publishing easy. Then there's all these publishing myths -- for example, your manuscript needs to be a certain number of pages to be acceptable, etc. You don't need to be preoccupied with these mysteries and myths. They're a waste of your time and they only add difficulty to publishing.

First and foremost, your focus should be on writing the best manuscript possible. Then, once you've done that, it's time to reach out to a book publisher that specializes in working with new authors, i.e. MindStir Media. A reputable publisher can help you sift through the mysteries and myths of publishing and move you toward the end goal without difficulty: publishing your book.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MindStir Media Author Shares "Writing Lessons from Downton Abbey"

Bestselling author Paula Wiseman guest blogged at the MindStir Media blog earlier today, sharing with authors "Writing Lessons from Downton Abbey". The writing lessons focus on creating strong characters, memorable dialogue, and more... I don't know of any book publishers that wouldn't agree with Paula's advice. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Importance of High Quality Children's Book Illustrations

My book publishing company MindStir Media offers children's book illustrations and I can tell you first-hand that children's picture books illustrated by professional children's book illustrators outsell the picture books illustrated by amateur illustrators. I think the reason for this is that it's usually very easy to tell the difference between a professionally illustrated kids book versus a book illustrated by the author or the author's friend or relative -- unless, of course, that friend or relative or author is also a professional illustrator. Potential readers will notice poor quality illustrations on the cover alone and probably won't buy the book...

My advice to children's book writers looking to get into children's book publishing is to make sure to hire a pro illustrator just as you'd hire a pro editor. Remember, your children's picture book will be up against picture books published traditionally -- and traditionally published children's books almost always present illustrations of the highest quality. Nearly all reputable book publishers can hook you up with a professional illustrator to ensure your book appeals to potential readers. Don't skip this step!

(Follow MindStir Media on Google+ and Facebook)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Top 5 People You Should Ban From Your Facebook Page

I often encourage the authors at my book publishing company to use Facebook to promote their books. Facebook has around a billion users worldwide. Like Google+, Facebook shouldn't be ignored! Once in a while, though, authors encounter Facebook users who (frankly) should be banned immediately. Banning a person from your page is actually quite easy. Facebook has the instructions right here. In my experience, there are many types of people you shouldn't hesitate to ban from your page. Here are the top 5 in my opinion...

1. The attacker. This person decided to join your page and goes on to attack you and/or your other fans. This person is obviously some sort of hater and will never contribute anything positive to your community. Ban this person immediately!

2. The I'm-hijacking-your-page-to-promote-my-stuff jerk. This person jumps onto your page and attempts to hijack it by promoting his/her product(s). This jerk usually posts product links on your timeline or in the comments. This is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated. You've spent hours and hours building up your Facebook fan page so you can connect with your fans and ultimately promote your stuff. Ban the jerk!

3. The potty-mouthed person. This guy or gal thinks that dropping f-bombs all over your page is appropriate. It isn't. You wouldn't allow a person to come into your brick-and-mortar store and start screaming obscenities around your other customers (especially kids), would you? Of course not. It makes a scene -- a very ugly scene -- and you should ban this f-bombing user right away.

4. The look-at-me-and-add-me person. You've probably seen this before: There's a huge amount of commenting taking place on a certain post and then look-at-me-and-add-me person decides to reply to nearly every commenter with "add me please." This person is using your fan page to try to build his/her own friends list. Ban!

5. The scammer/hacker. This unethical person (might be a "bot," actually) posts random hazardous links to your page in an attempt to get clicks and possibly scam or hack accounts. The "See Who Viewed Your Profile" link is a big one. The last thing you want is for a legit fan to pick up a virus, get scammed or hacked because of a link found on your page. Ban the scammer/hacker ASAP!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Authors, Stop Worrying So Much About Book Length

I can't tell you how many times MindStir Media authors have asked me, "How long should my book be?" There are some "rules" proposed by traditional book publishers, editors and literary agents -- for instance, an adult novel should be between 70k - 100k words -- but those rules seem to change from one expert to another. Here's the danger: An author's obsession over book length can sometimes become a huge hindrance. I've seen confused authors give up altogether because they couldn't reach the 70k word mark for a "novel." Authors should never give book length so much control!

If the author's manuscript, fully told, comes out to 50k words or even 30k words, there's no reason for the author to think that the book is somehow inadequate. The author should call it a novella, short story, whatever -- but should never give up! If the story is great it'll probably sell regardless of book length. That's true whether the author is writing for adults or children. Quality should be the focus, not length. I define "quality writing" as writing that tells the complete story as succinctly as possible.

So, go and focus on quality writing, and stop worrying so much about book length.

 (If you're looking to publish your book and keep full control, you might want to consider a non-traditional book publisher such as MindStir Media) Top Self Publishing Company

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why Authors and Business Owners Can't Afford to Ignore Google+

I work with authors every day via MindStir Media. Most of my authors use social media on a daily or weekly basis to promote their books. I know authors find it difficult to keep track of all the social media opportunities out there. It seems like a new social network pops up every month. Admittedly, I find that frustrating as well. At the moment I mainly focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, Wordpress, YouTube, LinkedIn ... and most recently -- Google+.

Don't get me wrong, I've been on Google+ for a while -- maybe a month or two after it was made available to the general public -- but until recently I didn't see much value there. Facebook seemed much more active and let's face it: It's hard to keep up with another social network. But Google+ is now the second largest social network according to Wikipedia, making it a force that you as an author or business owner simply cannot ignore. Not only is Google+ a place where you can network with other authors (and potential readers or clients/customers), it's also a great tool for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I won't get into all the details here because there are other articles on the Internet that do a great job explaining (in great detail) Google+ and its impact on SEO (including charts), but essentially Google treats +1's as a "social signal." Social signals -- including +1's, Google+ shares, Facebook likes and comments, etc. -- are treated by Google as "votes," indicating popularity to the search engine. Research shows that the more votes a page has the higher ranking the page will receive...

Google+, a Google product, apparently has a greater impact on SEO than Facebook likes and comments and Twitter retweets and other social signals. This is really good to know especially if you're an author or business with a blog/website. Not only should you be active on your own Google+ account, you should also add Google +1 buttons on your blog/website so readers can +1 each individual post/page. If one of your posts/pages is a huge hit and attracts lots of +1's there's a chance Google search will give that content more visibility (i.e. higher ranking), which should result in more traffic to your blog/website and potentially more sales!

(Follow MindStir Media on Google+)
This post is sponsored by Page SEO Company, a top NH SEO agency.

MindStir Media Author Joy Stinson on Cable TV

Joy Stinson contacted me earlier this year about her manuscript, Out of the Darkness. I was thoroughly impressed by her story and I decided to help her publish the book through MindStir Media back in June. The book shows the (true) long battle Joy and her family experienced with demonic forces that she had attracted during a stay at a haunted plantation. It's a frightening story and certainly not for the faint of heart. Destination America (A Discovery network) was so excited by her book that they decided to include her story in their upcoming TV series "When Ghosts Attack." Joy's account will appear on the 10pm October 27 episode entitled "Deliver Us from Evil Spirits." This is a great example of a book opening up opportunities for publicity. I'm so very proud of Joy! Her powerful story deserves to be shared with the world!

(First announced at the MindStir Media blogspot)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

MindStir Media's Paula Wiseman Talks About Defining Success As A Writer

MindStir Media author Paula Wiseman guest blogged at the MindStir Media blog earlier today. She discussed how important it is to define success as a writer, that "a target is a lot easier to hit once it’s been identified, so it makes a lot of sense for you as a writer to spend a few moments and nail down a personal, specific measure of success." Read the full article at the MindStir Media blog