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 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 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: That isn't a very search engine friendly URL. Instead, consider creating URLs that contain the keywords and possibly match the title. For example, 
  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.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Get Reviews for Your Book

As the president and owner of self-publishing company MindStir Media, book reviews is a topic that comes up often when speaking with my authors. To get MindStir Media books reviewed I usually recommend the following options to my clients (this is a partial yet powerful list):

  • NetGalley: This site puts a digital version of your book in front of 145,000+ reviewers, who can download the PDF. Whenever a reviewer downloads your book, he/she MUST review the book before downloading any other books from the website. MindStir Media authors have the option to get reviewed via this service.
  • GoodReads: Use this website to give away copies of your book in exchange for honest reviews. MindStir authors are encouraged to signup for a Goodreads account and then use the Author Program to participate in the giveaway program. Here's a link that I usually give out to MindStir Media authors:
  • LibraryThing: This site is a lot like Goodreads in that you can give away print copies of your book. On LibraryThing, though, you can give away copies of your ebook in exchange for reviews as well. MindStir Media authors have found this very beneficial. 
  • Contact reviewers directly: Sites like The Indie View show lists of book reviewers. Look through the list of reviewers and follow their submission guidelines, etc. Also perform a search on any of the major search engines for something along the lines of "book blog reviewer list" or "book blog directory" and you'll find a wide array of book reviewers for you to contact.
  • Turn fan mail into reviews: You might receive fan mail from time to time. Instead of sending back a dull response, why not send a genuine "thank you" and then ask them if they'd kindly post a book review on Tell the fan that you appreciate their kind note and would really appreciate their continued support by posting an honest review. You'll be surprised by the response!
  • Run a "Free Book Promo" for your Kindle book: As part of their Select program, Amazon allows authors and publishers to offer their Kindle books for free for up to 5 days during each 90-day period. Readers worldwide will download your ebook for free during that period and many of them will review the book on Amazon. MindStir Media authors have seen great success with this book review tactic. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Self Publish A Book: The Best Way

MindStir Media is a full-service self publishing company, and I'm the owner of MindStir Media, so keep that in mind while reading... There are numerous articles out there that discuss how to self publish a book but many of them talk about self publishing as if you have to "go it alone." The truth is simple: You do not have to handle self publishing alone, and some -- including myself -- would argue that you should not handle it alone...

There are exceptions, of course, but the best way to tackle self publishing is to hire a team of professionals around you. This means hiring a book designer, an editor, printer, self-publishing coach, publicist, etc. You can try to assemble this team yourself, as some self publishing authors do, but that will take a lot of time and patience on your part. The easiest and most convenient way to self publish, in my opinion, is to simply team up with a self publishing company like MindStir Media. MindStir has everything in place for you to self publish a book, including professional editors and book designers, coaching, etc.

Regardless of how you decide to self publish, here's a partial list of things you should look for in your team and/or preliminary questions you should ask:

  • Book designer: A professional book designer should have a portfolio available for you to view. For instance, at MindStir Media we have an entire online bookstore filled with books we've designed. Authors can quickly see the work done and decide whether or not MindStir's designers are a good fit. 
  • Editor: What books has she/he edited? Are they published? How did they do in the marketplace? What kind of background does she/he have? 
  • Printer: You should always inquire about pricing. How much will it cost to print your book? Is the printer equipped to handle large volume? The printer MindStir Media uses is actually the largest print-on-demand printer in the world, printing millions of books for publishers worldwide. 
  • Coach: There are many self publishing coaches out there but many of them are not qualified to be giving advice. A good self publishing coach has experienced strong book sales and understands the ins and outs of self publishing, including marketing. 
You'll also need to look into book distribution and order fulfillment. Ingram is the leader in wholesale book distribution and there are many book fulfillment companies throughout the world but, again, the easiest way to handle these items is to partner with a self publishing company like MindStir Media...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Turn a Book Into a Movie

Photo by MD4Group, Flickr
Throughout the years many authors have approached me and asked how to turn a book into a movie. The starting point is almost always getting a screenplay and/or treatment written. But there are, of course, right and wrong ways to handle the treatment and screenplay. You shouldn't try to handle this alone. You should definitely seek the help of professionals, since you may only get one shot at selling your story to a movie production company. So I highly recommend finding a screenplay writing service, or even more specifically a book to film adaptation service. Because in order to turn a book or novel into a movie you really should generally have both the treatment and screenplay in hand to shop around to the major movie and television production companies. This is so much better than trying to simply pitch an "idea." Imagine how many "ideas" present themselves to those Hollywood studios! You need to stand out and you do that by having both a treatment and full screenplay in hand -- ready to go.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NH Book Publisher

All you have to do is Google NH book publisher and you'll notice that MindStir Media is a leader among NH book publishers. MindStir has been seen in many New Hampshire publications such as The Portsmouth Herald and Spotlight Magazine. So, naturally, every week I hear from NH authors looking for a book publisher in NH. Although it's not absolutely necessary to work with a local publisher nowadays, many authors in New Hampshire insist on dealing with a local publisher. I do help authors nationwide -- and I do so over the phone and by email -- but for authors in NH I'm able to meet up with them from time to time and consult in person...

For instance, about a month ago I met up with a MindStir author located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and helped her with marketing, specifically book marketing via Facebook. I was able to take her non-targeted Facebook page and help her target pet lovers -- the topic of her upcoming book. She went from very little engagement to receiving a healthy number of likes (and comments) per post. She also attracted many new targeted Facebook fans... There aren't many book publishers in NH other than MindStir Media (if any) that will sit down with you and share marketing knowledge. That's one of the things that makes MindStir so "Mind-Stirring" and different from the rest of the NH book publishers: personal one-on-one support.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Biggest Self Publishing Companies Not Necessarily the Best

It's no secret that MindStir Media is widely considered a medium-sized self publishing company. I discuss self publishing with authors nearly every day and I can tell you that there seems to be an obsession among some authors -- an obsession over the size of self publishing companies. Some authors believe -- or they've been told -- that bigger is always best. They compare self publishing companies, trying to compare apples to apples, but the truth is that MindStir, for instance, is very different from the rest of the companies. For starters, MindStir includes ongoing mentoring from best selling author J.J. Hebert. So MindStir doesn't just offer self publishing services; it offers mentoring as well. No other medium-sized self publishing company offers this level of personalized support. MindStir is small enough to still remain highly personalized and big enough to offer its authors many unique publishing opportunities.

Why not go with a large self publishing company? Based on everything we've heard from other authors, the largest self publishing companies tend to treat their authors like numbers. I don't know about you, but as an author myself I wouldn't want to work with an impersonal publisher. Writing is a very personal journey for the most part, so the best self publishing companies are the ones that will take the time to get to know your book and offer solid ongoing advice. The latter is MindStir in a nutshell. Yes, it's true that many times the largest publishing companies will not give your book the attention it deserves. How can they when they are in the process of publishing hundreds or thousands of other books at once?

Be careful in assuming that biggest is best in the self publishing industry. If you want the most attention with many great opportunities I highly suggest going with a medium-sized self publishing company like MindStir Media. Good luck!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

MindStir Media Review - Sheila Bittick

Children book publishers MINDSTIR MEDIA recently received an overwhelmingly positive review from children's book author Sheila Bittick. Here at MindStir, we strive to make childrens book publishing easy and affordable. We start by assigning each children's book author their very own illustrator. In this case, we assigned Justin (illustrator) to Sheila's children's picture book project. As a leader among childrens book publishers, MindStir was able to deliver to Sheila a finished, high-quality picture book in just a few months. The book, Jeremy's Great Escape, will be available to the public in a couple weeks.

MindStir children's book publishers author SHEILA BITTICK
Here's the review for MindStir Media children's book publishers:

"Thank you, Mindstir Media, for taking such excellent care of me. J.J. was always there when I needed him! Wow, Justin, your illustrations were awesome! You brought Jeremy's Great Escape to life for me. Thank you, Miranda, for taking the time to promptly return my Emails and answering all my questions no matter how small they were. I am so proud to be involved with such a great organization. I look forward to working with you in the future!"

Check out more MindStir Media reviews...

Top 5 Lessons Writers can Learn from The Shawshank Redemption (Film)

Photo by quiddle from Flickr
If you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption (film), you're missing out on one of the most successful prison movies of all time. The movie centers on Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker accused of killing his wife and her lover. Andy is sentenced to life in prison and during his time there he meets Red (Morgan Freeman), along with a whole cast of unforgettable characters. Andy focuses on something that the other inmates do not dare touch: hope. He hopes to one day see "the outside," but his prison mates see things differently. I think that's a decent brief synopsis. You should know there are SPOILERS below, so go watch the movie (if you haven't already) before continuing to read...


OK, now I'm assuming if you're reading this far you've watched the movie. Here are the top 5 lessons writers can learn from The Shawshank Redemption movie.

1. Hope is universal. Yes, the film is primarily set in a male prison, but this is not a movie for men. Everyone on the planet can relate to the movie because everyone on the planet either secretly hopes or openly hopes for something. In this case, Andy hopes to remove himself from his situation. Whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, hope is a universal topic that you shouldn't hesitate to tackle. The same is true for love and death, among others.

2. Everyone has felt trapped in some sense. Again, they're all male inmates but women can relate to this message in the movie. The men are literally incarcerated but don't we all build figurative prisons around us? Some of us work jobs that we hate, spend time with people we don't necessary like, etc. I bet you can think of a few ways you build bars around you... You'd do well as a writer to tap into the natural human feeling of being trapped. I believe it's a terrible feeling that everyone experiences at some point.

3. Each person reacts uniquely. There's nothing worse (okay, maybe that's not true) than watching a film or reading a book in which the characters seem to act or react the same way to a certain set of circumstances. In the The Shawshank Redemption, every single inmate (that we get to know) reacts uniquely to their prison stay. As I noted earlier, Andy hopes to get out. Red has become the "guy who can get things." Brooks, the elderly inmate, has embraced the prison walls and doesn't want to leave. Those are three major examples I can think of.  As a writer, make sure to use conflict to show how dissimilar each character really is. Just like in real life, each person tends to react differently to conflict and dire circumstances.

4. In fiction, the setting isn't as important as the characters. I have to be honest and tell you that I've watched Shawshank probably about a hundred times and each time I discover something new. But one thing that always sticks out to me: The prison itself isn't nearly as intriguing or memorable as the characters. Sure, the prison plays a role but the characters make this film! Fiction, in my opinion, should be character-driven. The characters should move the story along. This means that your characters should evolve and change and move toward a goal or goals, prompting the story to evolve and change. The characters should generally be well-rounded, three dimensional characters. They should have flaws. I can't name any flawless characters in Shawshank. Even Andy (the main character who is innocent, as we know!) admits that he was a bad husband and feels somewhat responsible for pushing his wife into the arms of another man. He also admits that he's a hard man to get to know...

5. Bad guys should be complicated. It's safe to say that Warden Norton is the major antagonist in this film. The Warden is a Bible-thumping and Bible-quoting bad guy who, in his position, should be a good guy (to the right people, he looks and acts like a good guy...but it's an act). He's there to oversee the prison and to be THE authority figure, but he's incredible corrupt. He shows flashes of goodness, by protecting Andy and allowing him to build the library but he only does these things to keep Andy just content enough to continue doing Norton's dirty work (i.e. cooking his books). Norton, as you know, allows Andy to tutor a young inmate, Tommy, but then Norton ultimately has Tommy shot and killed. Norton also does everything in his power to keep Andy in prison despite the fact that Andy has discovered proof that could exonerate him.

Whether you choose self-publishing as your route to publication or traditional publishing, I believe the above writing lessons will be beneficial. They might even possibly improve your writing skills. Good luck!

(Interested in self-publishing? You might want to consider MindStir Media, rated by many as the best among self publishing companies)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Self Publishing Companies

Today I was asked a rather complicated question: "What are the best self publishing companies?" Now, of course I'm the owner of self publishing company MindStir Media, so my advice on this matter is definitely biased. She knew that and I didn't want to just come out and say, "Hey, MindStir is the best, of course!" Instead I answered with: "Let's instead discuss the traits of a top self-publishing company in my opinion. There are many self publishing companies on the Internet, but not all of them are created equal..." I then explained the traits she should look for in a self publishing company and also explained that it'll ultimately be up to her to determine which company is the best based on that information. She thanked me for the valuable information and we scheduled another call for the future.

My point with all of this is that "best" is subjective. You must first have a clear set of criteria in place in order to eventually be able to ascertain who is the "best" (my compare self-publishing companies chart kind of does a nice job of this). I think it's important for people to first be educated about the self-publishing industry and then make up their own minds about all the companies out there... What's that old adage? Knowledge is power? I'd have to agree!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Children Book Publishers

It's been my experience that reputable children book publishers all provide these three crucial children's book publishing offerings:

1. Illustration services via professional childrens book illustrators. I've blogged before on the importance of high quality children's book illustrations and my opinion hasn't changed: Your children's book must have professional high quality illustrations if you want to have any chance in the highly competitive children's book market.

2. Reputable childrens book publishers also offer different book format options. Essentially you should be able to choose hardcover, softcover and/or ebook formats. My internal sales figures show that print is still dominant in the children's book market, so make sure not to skip print. My advice is usually to publish childrens books in multiple book formats if possible.

3. If you're looking to publish a childrens book you should also be sure to align yourself with a children's book publisher that prints in full-color. Believe it or not, I've seen publishers only offer black and white printing (for the interior). That sort of publisher would obviously not be a good fit for your children's book containing beautiful, colorful illustrations.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Self-Publishing: A Brief Overview

self publishing

One of the biggest aspects of self publishing that sets it apart from traditional book publishing is the fact that with self-publishing you remain in control. The best self publishing companies -- like MindStir Media, for instance -- allow you to have creative control over your final product. This means you call the shots with respect to your book cover design as well as your interior book design. It also means that the content of your book, the actual text, will remain intact and unchanged. Many traditionally published authors will tell you that they dislike how traditional publishers, particularly the editors, ultimately decide which text will stay and which text will go. As an author myself I can tell you that I would never want to be overruled by an editor. It's one thing to receive professional suggestions from an editor; it's another thing entirely to be controlled by an editor. With professional editing via self publishing services the author will usually see track changes and get to approve or reject the editor's changes. The control is still with you the author!

Another huge difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing is the speed to market. Even if you land a deal with a traditional publisher you'll probably have to wait 1-2 years for your book to be released. Self-publishing, on the other hand, can be done in as quickly as a few weeks -- or if you're really serious and want to take advantage of professional self-publishing services you're looking at about 30-90 days to the launch.

One more fact that originally attracted me to self-publishing is that you get to keep your publishing rights. With a traditional contract, you essentially give away your publishing rights by signing an exclusive contract with the publisher. For the duration of your contract you won't be in control and you won't be able to publish anywhere else. If the book doesn't do well in the market you'll basically need to wait for the contract to expire before you're able to seek publishing alternatives.

The final example of self-publishing superiority is in the profits. You might see 10% royalties from a traditional book publisher, while self-publishing, depending on the scheme you choose, could put 100% royalties in your pocket.

So that's self-publishing in a nutshell -- not everything there is to know about self-publishing but instead a brief overview that should prove helpful.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Best Christian Book Publishers

best christian book publishers

The best Christian book publishers in the USA all have several things in common:
  • Top Christian book publishers focus on being God-centered and ethical in their business practices. 
  • The best Christian book publishing companies also specialize in publishing Christian books that glorify God and grow the Kingdom of God.
  • Leading Christian book publishers in the USA also ensure that their Christian books are readily available through popular retail outlets such as and Barnes & Noble. 
If you're a Christian author searching for a Christian book publisher, I encourage you to keep the aforementioned info in mind during your search!

top self publishing company

Ebook Formatting Services

ebook formatting services
Photo by Maria Elena, Flickr
On a daily basis I hear from authors who want to publish ebooks. Like most people, those authors realize that ebooks are growing more and more popular. And even though we still live in a predominantly print world (in terms of books), the ebook format should still receive a lot of attention from authors trying to find success. But as an author you should be diligent in choosing the right ebook formatting services company...

There are plenty of ebook publishing services out there that will throw your ebook together using automated software, kind of like putting your book through a meat grinder, but is that really the type of attention your book deserves? Of course the answer is no! Each book is different and professional ebook conversion services do not use automated software. Ebook formatting, just like print book formatting, needs plenty of actual human attention and intervention. Particularly professional human attention.

Do not skimp on your ebook design. Readers will notice and put your book down. Invest in professional ebook formatting services to ensure that you leave a strong first impression with readers!

top self publishing company

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Compare Self-Publishing Companies

A couple days ago I focused on the different traits to look for in a self-publishing company. The MindStir Media website now includes a chart that helps compare self-publishing companies with MindStir. The chart reveals that MindStir is the clear winner when comparing MindStir's self-publishing packages against the packages of other self-publishing companies. Not only is MindStir's most popular package less expensive than the competition, but the MindStir Gold package also includes something that all the other self-publishing companies do not: ongoing mentoring from a bestselling author. This clearly separates MindStir from all the rest and makes MindStir a top self-publishing company!

top self publishing company

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Traits of a Top Self-Publishing Company

top self publishing company
I'm biased, of course, because I own self-publishing company MindStir Media -- but, nevertheless, I believe there are several important traits to look for when selecting a top self-publishing company to work on your book...

  • Custom book design: Your cover design is crucial to the success of your book. Books are judged by their covers, so don't skimp on the design of your book. Make sure you choose a self-publishing company that can commit to creating a professional custom cover design for your book. 
  • Control: Only work with a self-publishing company that allows you to call the shots. This means the company should take your book design vision into account and ensure that you're happy with the final product. Some self-publishing companies, like MindStir Media, even allow unlimited book design revisions. Control is also supremely important with respect to the editing of your book. It's ideal to receive feedback from a professional editor, but you as the author should be able to overrule the editor. It's your book after all. A self-publishing company shouldn't be allowed to change even one word of your manuscript without your being able to accept or reject each change.
  • Keep all rights: A top self-publishing company will allow you to retain all publishing rights and copyright. 
  • Worldwide book distribution: Some of the cheap, less reputable self-publishing companies either offer no distribution at all or very little distribution. It's important to have your book widely available to the public. Online retail outlets should include,, at the very least. At MindStir Media, we distribute books to around 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries.
top self publishing company

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Top 5 Most Influential Authors on Social Media 2014

Photo by Jason A. Howie, Flickr
In my humble opinion, these authors rank as the top 5 most influential authors on social media. Other authors should model their social media efforts after the folks on this list. They all have incredibly popular blogs as well as impressive presences on the top social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Most importantly, all of them have also successfully leveraged social media to sell thousands (or millions) of copies of their books, making them bestsellers. Without further ado, here they are!

1. Guy Kawasaki - Twitter: 1.4 million | Facebook: 237k | Google+: 5.7 million 

Guy's impressive following on Twitter and Google+, along with other social media sites, is comprised of over 7 million people. He's probably one of the biggest social media influencers on the planet. He's written twelve books, with his latest three -- Ape, Enchantment, and What the Plus! -- all enjoying great success due to strong social media campaigns.

2. Gary Vaynerchuk - Twitter: 1 million | Facebook: 153k | Google+: 1.9 million

Gary has arguably more experience in social media than any other author on this list. He started his video podcast, Wine Library TV, back in 2006. Crush It!, The Thank You Economy, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook all focus on the power of social media in business, and Gary used social media to catapult those titles on to numerous bestseller lists. He's also the owner of the highly successful social media brand consulting agency, VaynerMedia.

3. Tim Ferriss - Twitter: 475k | Facebook: 210k | Blog: 25,000+ subscribers

The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef have sold millions of copies worldwide. He aggressively uses his blog and other social media sites to sell copies of his books as well as garner reviews. Not only are his book marketing techniques quite intriguing and helpful, but his work less and live more lifestyle has transformed many lives.

4. Seth Godin - Twitter: 352k | Facebook: 239k | Google+: 123k

Seth has authored fifteen books, twelve of which are bestsellers. His blog is highly trafficked and his loyal followers connect with him there on the blog as well as other major social media sites.

5. Michael Hyatt - Twitter: 213k | Facebook: 35k | Blog: 381k subscribers

Michael's blog "helps leaders leverage influence" and with over 381,000 subscribers, it's one of the most renowned blogs in the world. His most successful book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, is a step-by-step guide to building a successful online platform through the power of social media. The book spawned his Platform University where he uses specialized classes, tutorials and actionable lessons to teach members how to grow their platform. Michael also runs a highly popular weekly podcast, This Is Your Life.

This list has been compiled by J.J. Hebert, bestselling author & president of Mindstir Media book publishing and is accurate as of 2-16-2014. None of the above authors are affiliated with MindStir Media book publishing company or author J.J. Hebert.

Top Self Publishing Company

Friday, January 3, 2014

Self-Publishing Shouldn't Mean Cheap Publishing

There are a lot of self-publishing providers out there nowadays. Many of those companies offer "low-cost" or "cheap" publishing services. As an author myself, I know how tempting it can be to choose a cheap service instead of a premium service. I struggled with this early on when I was putting together my own book, Unconventional (this was before I started offering services through MindStir Media). One company said it could publish my book for $1000 (including the cover design) and someone else offered to design the book cover for the $1000. $1000 for only a book cover is a little steep, but this professional's work was far superior to the cover design samples from the other company. I decided to go with the premium book cover design. It set me back $1000 but I wanted quality and I was willing to pay for it. I wasn't writing or publishing as a hobby; I wanted to make a living from it. I honestly believe the book cover for Unconventional has helped attract sales. I've sold over 100,000 copies of Unconventional to date, so I'm very pleased with the outcome...

If you're serious about your writing career and you want others to take you seriously, you absolutely need to focus on quality. Premium self-publishing services usually command premium prices but the money is well worth it in the long-run. If you use a cheap book designer, for instance (or a cheap printer, etc. etc.), and aren't willing to invest in your book, why would anyone be willing to invest the $10 to $15 it takes to purchase your book? Your cheap-looking book will scare away potential customers and you'll be very disappointed with the outcome. The old adage stands true for self-publishing: You have to spend money to make money.

Top Self Publishing Company