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How to Get Started Marketing a Book

By: Marsha Friedman

It’s understandable, really. People who have the passion necessary to write a book usually have just one thing on their minds: writing a book. Not marketing a book. Some may think ahead to getting it published, but, tragically, that’s where the planning often ends.

I’m not exaggerating when I say “tragically”! I talk to many people who’ve poured years of effort, money and sacrifice into their books, which wind up sitting in boxes in their garage. They never thought about how they might market their books themselves or budgeted for book promotion services.

When’s the best time to start thinking about marketing a book? Ideally, before you even sit down to begin writing. Because — and I speak from experience here — the first step will help in your writing.

Step 1: Ask yourself, “Who is my audience?”

The answer is the first piece of any marketing plan and it can also help you define what you’ll write. When I decided to write a book about public relations, I had planned to write it for businesses in general. Then I thought, “That’s too broad. Who will my audience really be?”

I decided to write for individual professionals such as doctors, lawyers and financial planners. Not only would that put a face to the people I was writing for, it would also give me the first piece of my marketing plan.

If you want to write a book and you’re a financial planner working for baby boomers chugging toward 65, you might write about planning for retirement after age 50. Another audience might be the boomers’ kids – adults who may be helping their parents. Depending on the expertise you put in the book, you might find other audiences you can target as well.

Here are the next steps to consider in planning your promotional campaign:

• What’s the best way to reach that audience? Where will you find the people you expect will be interested in your book? Will you buy advertising, look for speaking engagements, try to whip up interest from the media? You might hire a publicist or contract with your publisher to handle PR, or put together a promotional tour. You’ll definitely need a website. Will you build one yourself or hire a pro? Research the options that appeal to you and find out how effective they are in terms of meeting your goals. If you’re considering contracting with professionals to help you, get references from people who’ve had successful marketing experiences.

• How much will it cost? Some options are less expensive, others more. Look into the ones that interest you and get an idea of their price. Decide how much you can afford to spend and budget for it. Is there an organization or business that would benefit from sponsoring you? A landscape designer, for instance, might get financial help from a plant nursery or a tools manufacturer in exchange for standing behind a business or product. A chef might find an ally in a food manufacturer.

• Develop a following online. Do you have a database of people already interested in what you have to say? If not, turn to social media and start building it now. The more of a following you have, the more potential audience you’ve created for your marketing message. Big numbers will also turn heads when you try to get speaking engagements or guest spots on radio and TV talk shows. Having a following is everything. The organizations and media that book you for an interview are also hoping all those followers will either buy tickets or stop by their website.

Marketing is too important to be an afterthought, so think about it long before it’s time to get started. Yes, I understand the effort that goes into writing a book. I know it’s hard to think about anything else! But if you have invested your dreams in that baby, you probably want to share it with the world. And that takes planning.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST.

 

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Get ‘Er Done: Stop Procrastination

Procrastination is at the center of every college student’s life.  Let’s face it, if you didn’t procrastinate every now and then, you wouldn’t have any life at all.  Of course, if you want to continue attending college, at some point you are going to have to do some work.  When you’ve been having a great time it can be hard to trick yourself into really wanting to get back to work, but it can be done.  As with everything else, there are a few tricks that you can use to get yourself back into work mode.

Reward Yourself For Working

While the eventual goal of a good grade and graduation is lofty and appealing, it really isn’t a great in-the-moment motivator.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t be motivated – you are just going to have to find something that does work.  Try to reward yourself after a certain amount of work with M&M’s, movies that you like, or just a break to walk outside.  Of course, you have to stick with your plan.  If you struggle for control, ask a roommate or friend for help policing it.

Start With The Easy Stuff

Staring down a problem that you don’t understand is only going to make your legs give way and you flee from the room.  That doesn’t mean that the problem can’t be solved, it is just easier to do it once you have your momentum.  Try to find aspects of the work that are easy and start there – whether it is formatting your page for the essay, or writing a section you understand really well.

End With The Easy Stuff

Just like the beginning, the ending of a huge project is murderous.  You stare at the remaining space to be filled, or the problems left to be done, and they loom huge and intimidating.  If you are prone to giving up at the end, save yourself a little something for the end as well.  Maybe it is just reviewing the work or re-formatting the paper, but there is bound to be something light that you can use to keep yourself going at the end.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes we get so caught up in procrastination that we forget that we have real commitments going on in our lives.  Unfortunately, those commitments only ever seem to rear their head just when you need to get work done.  Take into consideration future events and move your deadline up accordingly, so that you don’t wind up writing your thesis during your cousin’s wedding.

Remove Distractions

Even when you have the best rhythm going, it can all be shattered in a single instant through the sound of a good friend calling, or just the friendly ‘bing’ of Facebook.   Life is going to do it’s best to keep you from getting work done.  When you sit down to work, eliminate those temptations – turn off your phone and log out of Facebook so that you can focus on the task at hand.

About the Author

Pan B. is a writer for Mycriminaljusticecareers.com. Becoming a police officer can be a challenge. But if you visit this website, it can help you stay informed with this great career.

 

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Writing Style Tips for Marketers

Writing is the most influential tactic you can employ as a marketer. You can have pretty graphics, but the words you write are what will inform, educate and entice your customers to take action.
Before you can write effectively, though, you need to decide what type of writing style you want to incorporate. Your style needs to remain consistent throughout all of your collateral, as this will help create brand recognition among your customers. If you continue to change voices and styles on every new marketing collateral you generate, it will leave your customers confused.
The following are writing style tips for marketers.

Choose your style.

Take a good look at your company and what you have to offer. Then, take a good look at your target market. When you decide which type of style to use, you need to consider your audience first, as these are the people who will be reading your marketing collateral. Determine what type of writing style is most effective to your target audience. Do they prefer persuasive pieces, informative pieces or maybe even narrative pieces? Once you know what your readers want, you can start writing to this desired style.
Keep a consistent voice.

Determining your writing style is only a part of the battle. You also need to pick a voice. Do you want to be informative, or do you maybe want to be more lighthearted and funny? Again, you need to look at who your audience is and what they are most likely to relate to.
Be clear and concise.

Your audience doesn’t have all day to read your collateral, so you need to grab their attention, inform them and get them to take action in as little sentences as possible. Don’t talk around your topic, and don’t say the same thing in multiple ways.
You also need to make sure that your sentences make complete sense. If you use fragments or run on sentences, or if you mess up the subject/verb agreement, it’s going to make your writing harder to follow. The more work your audience has to put into understanding your collateral, the less likely they will be to read more.
Know your topic.

If you don’t have a good handle on the topic you’re writing about, your message is not going to be effective. Before you can offer advice or inform your readers about a topic, you need to know a good deal about it. The purpose of your writing is to come off as an expert. If your content only includes the basics, your readers aren’t going to take action.
Having a good grasp on your writing style will help your messaging become more consistent while reaching your target audience. Having a consistent writing style will also help give you some brand recognition. If you don’t have a consistent style, you will not effectively reach your audience, and you run the risk of losing some business. Using these writing tips will help you achieve a writing style and start reaping the benefits.

Andrew Malak is a business student at the Univeristy of Texas. He is obsessive about his grammar usage and refuses to submit any writing or homework without first proofing it with a grammar checker. Most of the time he has no problem remembering grammar rules but he likes to use the software to double-check.

 

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Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Writer

When you need a quality writer that will do exactly what you’re asking for, you may think it’s a simple task. But in reality, there are millions of writers around the world, and choosing the right one for your project could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The job can certainly be made easier if you’re using a freelance site to find writers, as these types of sites offer much in the way of tools you can use to communicate with prospective writers. But there are still several important questions to ask your would-be freelancer that can help make which writer to choose a much less stressful experience.

Ask Yourself First

The most important question to ask is what you need your writer to do for you. Does the project require design in addition to writing, or technical skills that not all writers possess? If so, these are important items to list in your project description. If not listed, much confusion on both sides could result if expectations aren’t clearly outlined prior to project start.

Communication

Working virtually means that more communication may be needed than if you were working with your writer in person. So ask your writer how they plan to communicate with you, and how often. If the writer’s plan is to only communicate once or twice per week and you don’t feel this is enough, ask them if they would be able to communicate with you more often. If they refuse to do so, this writer may not be the right one for your project.

In addition to the frequency of communication, enquire about how many modes of communication are available to the writer. For example, in addition to email, a writer may have access to voice or web cam chat. Knowing all of the types of communication they have available can allow for more productive conversation in the event you find one type isn’t getting your message across in the manner you desire.

Who Is The Real Writer?

While this question may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to be aware that there are teams of freelance writers who may work on one project together, and then split the payment between them. This could mean that your project contains different writing styles, something that may not be desirable to you. If you prefer the style of one writer, then knowing beforehand who will be doing the work can help you avoid mistakenly hiring a team of writers.

Payment

Find out how your prospective writer expects to be paid. Freelance writers often have their own payment terms. If you find a writer whose style you like, but whose payment terms could be better, ask them if they would be willing to alter their terms slightly for your project. And don’t be surprised if you get asked by your prospective writer to slightly alter your terms. Being able to come to an agreement in a logical and civil way is crucial if you plan to hire a writer long-term.

Track Record

If your writer is an experienced one, they will have a portfolio of their previous writing projects. Looking at these will not only allow you to assess the industries they have written for in the past, but you may also be able to get information about what their other clients thought of their work. Some freelance sites offer statistics about each writer, including comments from their other clients and ratings for their work. All of this information can give you a good overall picture of what your writer may be able to accomplish for you.

Citations:

Guest author Ruth Suelemente is a seasoned freelancer, and has hired several for her company.  They generally focus on technology topics such as who the best internet providers are available in Houston.

 

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Building a Professional Portfolio

Many professions require a portfolio of previous work in order to get the position. When you send a portfolio to an employer, you are basically packaging yourself up in a binder and sending yourself to analyzed and judged. If your potential employer doesn’t like the packaged up version of you, they aren’t going to be likely to give you a chance in the interviewing office. Applicants can talk and talk about how good they think they are, but it takes a portfolio to back up words with evidence.

Here are a few ideas for making yourself more appealing to your dream employer.

Have a backup copy

You never know when you’re going to get your portfolio back. Never send out your only copy of all of your work. Have at least one (if not several) backups just in case the worst case scenario becomes reality.

Go digital

Make sure that you have digital copies of everything that you hope to use in your resume. This goes to the backup copy policy. This may mean scanning documents into your computer. Our world is experiencing a dramatic digital trend. Some people predict that within 10 years we will have become a virtually paperless society. Keeping your portfolio up-to-date is a good way of ensuring that you yourself stay up-to-date with current trends.

Keep a copy of everything

Make sure that you make a copy of everything you produce for college and each of your jobs. This is especially important in college. You never know when that article you write for your sophomore English class will turn into a portfolio piece. Don’t be afraid to keep editing and improving upon projects that you’ve already completed.

Get permission

The work that you do as a paid employee of a company or other organization legally belongs to them. Be sure that you get permission (preferably in writing) prior to using any materials that may contain sensitive information.

Clearly identify portfolio pieces

Make sure that with each portfolio piece, you explain the context within which it was used. Your role in each piece should also be clear. For example, in a brochure, you should explain who you made it for, the need that it was addressing, and your part in its creation—did you take the pictures, write the text, design the layout or do it all?

Proofread

Very little is more embarrassing than a typo in a portfolio. If you can’t get your spelling right in the piece upon which your employment hinges, then how can an employer expect you to get your job right several months into the job after it becomes a boring routine?

About the Writer

Stephen Sharpe has worked as a web writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com for almost a year. My Colleges and Careers is a career and college database with information about the best online colleges.

 

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How to Remain in High Demmand as a Ghost-Writer

Many more books than you might realize are written using ghost writers. While sacrificing cover credits may be a blow to some writer’s egos, many find ghost writing to be a lucrative and rewarding career. Ghost writers can often make tens of thousands of dollars per project. It is not the same as any book writing, though, and there are some things to keep in mind if you want to become an effective ghost writer.

-        Work Well With Others

  • As a ghost writer, it is essential that you collaborate with the author in a positive and successful way. Ghost writing requires a lot of teamwork, because it is your job to satisfy the author’s vision. Take as much time as you need to understand the project, and be sure to include the author in the process of writing. You may want to have your work reviewed chapter by chapter to make sure you are on track, rather than write an entire book that later needs major revision. Do your best to communicate with the author throughout the project.

-        Find Their Voice

  • Since you are writing for someone else, you will want to do your best to capture his or her voice. Pay close attention to the way they speak or the style in which they have written parts of the book. You will want to emulate their voice and remain consistent throughout. This is especially important for memoirs.

-         Agree on Conditions

  • Before you begin the project, you want to make sure both parties agree on conditions. You want to divide up the labor of the book and ascertain exactly what you are responsible for completing as the ghost writer from the very start. Who will do the research? When will the author review the material you complete? Who will pay for expenses? When is the deadline? Is a confidentiality agreement required? You will want to sign a contract.

-        Market Yourself

  • Use Web sites to locate potential ghost writing jobs, and advertise your services on them, too. Web sites like journalismjobs.com and freelancedaily.net advertise ghost writing gigs. If you have an expertise, you may find ghostwriting opportunities in your field.  Network with other writers, editors and agents to find potential clients. Make sure everyone knows you are willing to ghostwrite.

-        Have a Diverse Portfolio

  • Make sure you have a portfolio to offer to potential clients, and make sure it will appeal to authors that are looking for a ghostwriter. Have a variety of different writing samples that show your range and versatility as a writer. Authors want to find a ghostwriter that will be able to adapt well to their needs, not someone with a very distinct, original style.

-        Be Polished

  • As a ghostwriter, you should do a lot of your own editing and proofreading before offering a finished product to your author. Whether you submit work chapter-by-chapter or as a whole, make sure you use a spell and grammar checker to go over your work. It isn’t appealing when your book contains simple spelling or grammar mistakes. You want to make sure to present the best product possible if you hope to get referrals or be hired again.

Provided by the grammar professionals at Grammarly. Join us in learning English Grammar Rules

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2011 in All, Business

 

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Five Tips to Improve Your Small Business Blog

Small businesses launch a blog in an effort for them to connect with their customers. But without a well-thought out strategy, it is very easy for these corporate blogs to become lost and be left undiscovered in the vastness of the cyberspace. This is because the mail goal of these business blogs is to interact with consumers, often their efforts fall flat and posts become boring instead of engaging. These blogs are also often difficult to locate on search engines. Sometimes also, these blogs have posts which are written in the correct tone but these blogs are still difficult to locate because the right keywords are not being used.

1. Keyword Glossary

Regardless of who your audience is, all of them will be relying on search engines to find the information which they need. For this reason, you need to have a reliable keyword research tool which will help you come up with a list of keywords for topics which are in demand. And during the process of creating blog posts, make sure to refer to that glossary when writing articles.

2. Content Plan

It’s very easy to launch a business blog. What’s difficult though is sustaining that blog so that it lasts years. In order for small business owners to effectively steer the direction of their blogs, a structured but flexible content plan has to be made. Include wildcards so as to keep your blog from being predictable and boring. Assign topics to articles that you plan to publish.

3. Use Keywords

When it comes to optimizing blogs, people will tell you time and time again to incorporate keywords in your posts. However, this advice can backfire especially when people become overly enthusiastic with the use of keywords and the quality of the write-up suffers. Try to strike a balance between writing to please search engines and writing to provide helpful content to readers.

4. Be Helpful

Content is useless unless your readers find value in your posts. For this reason, you need to make sure that your articles are truly helpful. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers and think hard about the issues which are most confusing to your readers. Once you’ve isolated these topics then start writing.

5. Be Descriptive

Just like little children, readers need to feel like they are being told an interesting story. So be descriptive when writing articles. Do not skimp on information or use of imagery and you’ll get your readers hooked.

Your author Chris likes to write about local search engine marketing and provides lead generation services to small businesses with his company Surefire Social

 

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