New Resources for Authors and Self-Publishers

I learned a lot and got many ideas for book publishing, writing, and marketing self-published books at the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) conference. It was great getting to network with hundreds of other authors and self publishers and vendors who offer some useful services to help in the publishing process.

Two useful resources for authors and self-publishers that I found at the expo are http://hummingbirddm.com/ and www.bookgrabbr.com. Both have potential as revenue generation vehicles for authors ad publishers.

Hummingbird allows authors, self publishers, independent bookstores and others to increase revenue by selling their audiobooks and eBooks by using a branded storefront and app, and appearing in the company’s catalog. Unlike Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Apple’s iBooks, with lower profit margins, this company suggests profits up to 23%. Sounds like it is worth checking out, so I have added this to my to-do list.

A second interesting company representative that I spoke with at the vendor exposition explained their revolutionary system for generating more contacts through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can accomplish that by offering free eBook chapter downloads through your social media accounts. You start by setting up an account and uploading your book file to Bookgrabbr. You then designate how much of the publication to share with readers. If someone on your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages grabs (accepts) your offer of a free download and then shares with his or her network, the offer spreads freely around the Internet. This seems to have more value that Facebook ads that I have been using because I can promote a book as an author for $25.00 per month.

What useful tools have your discovered recently to help in writing and publishing your books?

For more useful ideas related to book development and marketing, check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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6 Nonfiction Book Writing Tips for Authors

Writing a nonfiction book differs from creating fiction books. Nonfiction authors are typically subject matter experts and spend a good deal of time researching to find or validate information that they plan to address in their books. On the other hand, fiction authors have more flexibility and have more latitude to use their imagination as they create dialogue, characters, settings and other pertinent aspects of their books. The following are six specific nonfiction writing tips or strategies to consider when you write your next non-fiction book.

Build Your Author Platform. Before you even decide to write your book, spend time identifying potential readers. One you have done so; spend time developing a known personal reputation. As a nonfiction writer, people will expect you to be a subject matter expert (SME) on your topic. They will buy more books if you are a known entity. Here are several ways to help build your author platform in advance:

  • Write articles and/or blog.
  • Develop a website.
  • Create an online social media presence (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest).
  • Give presentations or deliver training programs to various groups.
  • Write white papers.
  • Conduct research and publish your findings.
  • Get customer testimonials.

Identify Your Subject Matter. If you are a subject matter expert who has  experience and knowledge, you likely have a lot of material and content already developed in articles, reports, blogs, training materials, or other materials that you have created. Capitalize on these, reword and organize the content for your book.

Research Your Topic. Before you start writing, spend time reading articles on your topic, visit websites that focus on your subject matter, and visit libraries and bookstores to identify competing books. Determine what is already in existence and decide how your content will differ and appeal to your readers. Taking this time up front to identify other content can assist in helping you decide the approach you will take with your writing and ensure that you write in an original voice. Just remember that if you decide to reference existing material written by someone else, copyright law requires that you follow legal guidelines and appropriately reference the owner of the material.

Create An Outline. To help organize your thoughts, spend some time drafting out potential chapter topics and a sentence or two about what might go into each. Use this as a guide to keep you focused as you move forward and remind you what you want to include. As an alternative to this approach, some authors will write chapter ideas or topic titles on sticky notes that they paste in order onto a dry erase board or wall, along with individual concepts or subtopics that they might include in each chapter. This allows them to adjust content insertion as they move forward with their first draft of the book. For example, they might discover as they get into the flow of writing that a specific sub-concept makes more sense in a different location or chapter. They simply move that sticky note to the new chapter heading area and then start writing. A nice aspect of this approach is that if you do not feel like addressing a specific topic one day when you sit down to write; you can simply skip is and move to another chapter topic that you have thoughts on or prefer.

Develop a Writing Schedule. Unless you are under a contract to write content for someone else (e.g. ghost writing or agreement with a publisher) you can usually create a writing schedule that matches your lifestyle and personal preferences. This is especially true if you plan to self-publish your masterpiece. Even so, it is wise to be consistent in planning time on a regular basis that you dedicate to writing. Otherwise, you may end up with an unfinished work sitting in your computer or on a desk for lengthy periods of time and in some case may never get it completed. While it is not necessary to write every day for hours on end, you should probably still plan a specific length time of day based on your personal circadian rhythm (your internal clock) so that you can maximize your periods of productivity.

Get Expert Help. At some point, once you have completed your manuscript and believe that you have checked it adequately for content, syntax, grammar and punctuation, call in experts to assist you. One big mistake that many authors make is to believe they are capable of doing it all themselves. Even if you have a degree in your primary language, seek out a professional editor to go through the document to make corrections and point out possible problem areas. This is a good investment and failure to heed this advice often leads to an unprofessional final product that readers may ultimately ignore or give negative feedback on.

Thanks for reading.

For additional book ideas for nonfiction authors and strategies on how to build an author platform, generate revenue and be more successful as a nonfiction writer, check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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Independent Book Publishers Association Annual Conference 2016

With only four more days before the 2016 Independent Book Publishers Association Publishing University, you still have time to register if you are an independent publisher or an author wanting to learn more about the publishing industry. There is always great networking, educational sessions by industry experts, and a vendor exposition where publishers printers and other companies offering associated services display their products and provide information. The winners of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards are also honored at a formal banquet on Friday night.

This year’s event is in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah, so if you’ve always wanted to visit the area, now is your opportunity. The conference hotel is close by many historic landmarks.

For more information about the event, check out IBPA Publishing University. To learn more about IBPA and the products and services it offers, go to the website for the Independent Book Publishers Association.


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Book Writing as a Profession

Book Writing as a ProfessionMost people have active thoughts daily about various processes, interests, passions, people, places, things and other facets of their life that would make interesting content for a book. What they often lack is the knowledge or skills necessary to turn their thoughts into words that could be included in a book. Gaining the expertise to fashion a readable document that appeals to potential readers takes time and an investment of effort on the writer’s part. Even so, the return on investment that comes from learning new skills, such as, grammar, punctuation, researching, and how to use of a word processor can be exhilarating and satisfying for any writer. Creating a book that will stimulate the writer mentally and potentially live on entertaining or educating readers for years to come can be very gratifying. It is an adrenaline rush seeing your book(s) on the shelf of a major book chain, in a library, or online on websites like Amazon.

Becoming an author can be a big help if your goal is to write books that will generate revenue or provide an entrée to other professional opportunities. If you craft a publication that becomes extremely popular with readers, the potential residual income stream can be unlimited. Think of authors like J.K Rowling (Harry Potter series), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul series), or classic writers like Ernest Hemingway. Their books generate revenue while residual products or items (e.g. amusement park settings, calendars, mugs, t-shirts or museums) make money for them or their estate for years. In the case of Hemingway, books and products based on his life, books, or quotes continue to sell after his death decades ago and his home is a living tribute museum to him.

An important point to remember about book writing is that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. After you educate yourself about the book writing, publishing, and distribution processes, then hone your writing skills, you will ultimately be responsible for marketing your books. All of this takes initiative, energy, money and a true desire to achieve. You might be the best author alive, but if you do not put all the right pieces of the process into place and expend effort to get the word out about you book it could be short-lived.

There are many publications, such as, Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors, available that can provide information on creating an author platform, aid in developing a personal brand and help guide your marketing initiatives. An important step in your journey to be a successful author is to start out with a plan in mind before you begin writing. This includes factors such as, what the book will address, how it will differ from similar competing books, who might want to buy it and book marketing strategies.

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known, award-winning author of thirty-seven books and regularly speaks to writers and authors on the business of writing. For more information about Bob, his books, and services that he provides, please visit www.robertwlucas.com.

 


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4 Things To Know About the Best Nonfiction Books

4 Things To Know About the Best Nonfiction BooksThe best nonfiction books, and the ones that are memorable, are written with a goal in mind. Many authors dream of fame and glory when they write a nonfiction book. Others just have a message that they want to share with people. Whatever your reason for writing a nonfiction book, you might want to do what successful writers do…have a plan. Ideally, you should start developing a book marketing strategy before you even start working on your book. This gives you a template of sorts to stay on tasks.

To help improve your chances of success, you would be wise to ensure that the following factors exist before you even begin to put your words into a computer or on paper.

Have Personal Interest in the Topic. As a writer, passion for what you do is crucial. Too many people just go through life doing things they feel they have to do (e.g. a job) without having a burning desire to be successful and make a difference. As a nonfiction writer, such complacency will hinder any chances of success that you might have. If you are not truly passionate about your topic or subject matter, you will likely procrastinate when writing and producing your book. Later, you will probably postpone or ignore important marketing initiatives once the book is in print or in eBook format. All of this will undoubtedly lead to failure of the project.

Be An Expert on the Topic. Like anything else in life, those who succeed invest time and effort gaining knowledge and expertise in their chosen venture.  It is no different as an author. Good nonfiction books are written by authors who have a depth of subject knowledge and expertise in their topic. As a nonfiction writer, you will need to demonstrate how what you know and are capable of is superior to all the other writers on the topic. An important way to demonstrate expertise is to continually do things that will help build your author platform and expand your personal brand.

Offer Something of Value to Readers. You will have to show potential readers that what you have to say will be beneficial to them and either improve their lives or provide knowledge or resources that they can use to help them in some way. Your words and ideas must add value for them if you expect them to part with money to buy your book.

Identify Your Target Market.  One of the biggest mistakes that many non-fiction authors make is to fail to do a marketing analysis before they write. Take some time to visit libraries and peruse Amazon and other book sites for similar titles and topics. Also, check out the Internet for articles and blogs on related topic areas.  Look for similar books that have already been written. If you find a topic underserved with content, you may have some unique opportunities to fill a gap. If you are writing on a crowded topic with a lot of competition, your chances for success potentially decrease.

By studying what else is available, you can research what has already been said and the approach that others have taken. There is no need to repeat the same thing that others have already said. You need to have a unique approach to the topic. This is especially crucial if you are going to approach an agent or publisher with your manuscript. Two things they will ask you are, “What competition exists?” and “How does your product differ from what is already available?”

With a bit of preplanning and some thoughtful application of your knowledge, there is no reason that you cannot be successful in your writing efforts.

For more ideas on improving your success as a nonfiction author, take a look at other topic postings on this blog and check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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2016 Book Fairs and Writers Conferences

2016 Book Fairs and Writers ConferencesIn my presentations to authors and publishers on how to capitalize on their books and generate revenue, one of the points that I stress relates to authors and publishers attending book fairs and author and writer conferences regularly. By getting and staying in front of people and networking, any author improves his or her chances of making valuable contacts, identifying useful resources and selling more books.

The following is a list of some potential events that you might want to consider in order to learn more about the book writing and publishing trade and get more exposure:

Attending professional events is just one way to build your author platform and promote your books. For more ideas and strategies on how to better position yourself and books to generate primary and residual revenue streams, check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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Robert W. Lucas to Present Capitalizing on Your Writing Session

Robert W. Lucas, author of thirty-seven book and hundreds of articles, will be presenting another one of his free author events titled, Capitalizing on Your Writing: Strategies for Recognition and Making Money, at the Alafaya Branch of the Orange County (Florida) Public Library in Orlando, Florida this Saturday (March 26) at 3:00 pm.Robert W. Lucas to Present Capitalizing on Your Writing SessionRobert W. Lucas to Present Capitalizing on Your Writing Session

The program is for established and aspiring authors who want to learn more about personal branding, getting exposure for themselves and their books/products, and identifying a variety of book marketing strategies.  Space is somewhat limited, so plan to come early to get a seat.

Attendees will learn how to expand their author platform, identify key sources for getting the word out about their publications and prepare a strategy that can help them generate revenue.

For ideas and information on projecting a positive personal brand, gaining exposure for your books and products and identifying ways to sell more books, check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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2016 Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival Summary

2016 Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival SummaryMy first trip to the Venice, Florida Book Fair on Saturday was a good experience. Like other authors, I am always looking for new ways and venues to facilitate personal branding, share information with potential readers, do some book marketing and sell books. There were 46 people registered at this year’s authors event, which is held adjacent to the Venice Farmers Market. Overall, there was a steady flow of foot traffic with good interest from passersby. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The scheduled event was to run from 10:00am-3:00 pm but by 12:10 there were darkening clouds and thunder. Within 30 minutes, the skies opened up. As I am others tried in vain to get everything packed and safely into dry cars, the torrents fell. That led to some water damaged boxes and totally drenched people. Even so, the day was a good learning experience. The lesson I learned was that for writers such as me who focus on predominantly business related, non-fiction books, they are not a match for this venue. Most people coming by were retirees no longer in the workforce. Not surprisingly, the books of most interest from my offerings were Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors and 231 Ways to Say I Love You…and Mean It.

 


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4 Ways to Write Nonfiction Books and Articles More Effectively

4 Ways to Write Nonfiction Books and Articles More Effectively Too often, writers want to share everything they know about a topic when writing a non-fiction book or article. This can sometimes lead to boring or useless information being added. It can also cause an otherwise useful book or valuable content to be ignored.

The following are four simple nonfiction writing tips that can help ensure that you are creating  your nonfiction books and articles in a manner which appeals to your readers and gets them to promote you, the book and content to others through positive reviews.

  1. When in doubt, leave it out. If you are unsure of a source or the usefulness of content, do not include it in your text.
  2. Ask yourself, “Will someone from another culture get your references and language usage?” You should typically avoid contractions, references to cultural examples (e.g. sports, politics, religion, or other specific areas that are not universal).
  3. Remember that the attention span of adults is getting shorter all the time due to exposure to modern technology and other environmental factors. Limit the number of bullet points used to describe or define something.
  4. Alternate your sentence length in order to hold reader attention and increase readability. Writers tools such as My Word Count software can help determine sentence length, as well as, repetitive words, phrases, adverb usage and more.

For additional tips for authors and ideas on how to create and market successful nonfiction books, check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.


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Robert W. Lucas – Exhibiting at the Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival March 18-19, 2016

Robert W. Lucas Exhibit at the Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival March 18-19, 2016Robert W. Lucas, internationally-known author and contributor of 37 books, will have his books on display and be available for signings on Saturday March 19 at the Venice Beach Book Fair and Writers Festival.

For over three decades, Bob has written business skills books for a variety of publishers, including: McGraw -Hill, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, American Management Association, Association for Talent Development, Mirror Press, and Irwin Publishing. He published his last two books through his own publishing company, Success Skills Press. The titles for those books are Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors and 231 Ways to Say I Love You…and Mean It.

Bob regularly speaks to authors and employee groups on strategies for self and professional improvement and has been a training and consulting professional for over four decades.

Come out to say hello to Bob this weekend and let him share some of his thoughts on the topics on which his books are based. He’ll also be sharing ideas on book publishing and writing for current and aspiring authors at his booth.

For additional information about Robert W. Lucas, visit www.robertwlucas.com.


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