Karl Palachuk to Speak at California Writers Club Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Press Release:

Karl Palachuk, Author of Publish Your First Book, to Speak at California Writers Club Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Sacramento, CA October 18, 2013 – Karl Palachuk, author of Publish Your First Book and nine  other books, will be a featured speaker at the California Writers Club’s Self-Publishing Boot Camp on Saturday, November 2. His topic is How to Run Your Publishing Business Like a Business and Not a Hobby.

Palachuk’s books include technical manuals, business coaching, and a self-help book entitled Relax Focus Succeed – Balance Your Personal and Professional Lives and Be More Successful in Both.

While technology has made self-publishing easier than ever, very few authors are making a living publishing their own books. Palachuk has a series of online stores that generate more than $5,000 per month in revenue. “This is not easy,” says Palachuk, “But it is certainly possible. The first step is to begin taking your self-publishing seriously and stop treating it like a hobby.”

“Too many authors have a romantic vision of success,” he says. “They think that they’ll print their book and suddenly start making money. You have to sell your book. You have to have a business plan and a marketing plan. You have to have a web site, a blog, and a shopping cart. You’re never going to make a living selling books out of the trunk of your car.”

The Self-Publishing Boot Camp is run by author and entrepreneur Carla King, and sponsored by the California Writer’s Club of Sacramento. She has worked to build a lineup of experts to show you every step of the process to prepare, publish and promote your work. This seminar will arm you with all the information you need to get your book into readers’ and customers’ hands whether you write fiction or non-fiction, business, political, poetry, children’s books, technical books, or any kind of book.

Walk away with the business, formatting, and marketing knowledge to really make it happen.

PRESENTATIONS

Choose Your Self-Publishing Path: Learn about the best, most cost-effective products and services to produce, promote, and sell your ebooks, print books, and multimedia books.
- Carla King, Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Ebook Formatting and Distribution: Understand the different ebook formats, how to get it done, and which formats you need for Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Kobo. Sort out the many distribution options to get them in the stores and get paid.
- John McAlester, PigeonLab

Your Blog and Beyond: Become a blogpreneur! Learn how to make blogging a successful part of your social media marketing strategy, how to create a book from your blog, and other ways to “productize” your posts.
- Nina Amir, Inspiration to Creation Coach

Create Multimedia for Publication and Promotion: Let your creative side go wild and make picture and multimedia books to sell in ebook and app stores. Also create book trailers and teasers with content to market your book or business.
- Ron Martinez, Aerbook Maker

Run Your Publishing Business Like a Business and Not a Hobby: How to create a business plan and social media marketing strategy to make money as a publisher. Or make your book biz part of an existing business strategy.
- Karl Palachuk, Small Biz Thoughts

Karl Palachuk of Small Biz Thoughts is a popular Sacramento-based presenter and prolific marketer. He shares his experience as an IT Consultant who added book publishing to educate his clients and increase his reach. He shows participants how to make authorship and publishing a successful business.

Self-Publishing Boot Camp is an educational program of books and workshops founded in 2010 in response to a growing cry from authors as the traditional publishing empire collapsed. Seminars are held in various California locations, attracting participants from all corners of the USA.

The non-profit California Writers Club, founded in 1989, is one of the nation’s oldest professional clubs for writers.

For more information, visit http://www.selfpubbootcamp.com/workshops/.
Sign up on the CWC website at http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/workshops/

###

About Great Little Book:
Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc. produces and carries a range of educational materials for small business owners and managed service providers. The company has a training and content division, known as Small Biz Thoughts, which has become a trusted advisor to fans around the world. For more information, visit greatlittlebook.com and smallbizthoughts.com.

Media Contact:
Monica Caraway, Marketing Manager
monicac@greatlittlebook.com

 

Biz Author Stephanie Chandler Launches Non Fiction Authors Association

My friend Stephanie Chandler has written several great books for small business owners. She owns Authority Publishing (http://authoritypublishing.com/), a custom publishing house dedicated to Non Fiction. Now Stephanie has launched a great new association to help Non Fiction authors. I have joined and would love to have you check it out, too.

nfaa500Here’s the note I received from Stephanie:

The Nonfiction Authors Association is a community for authors to connect, learn, and exchange ideas. Our primary mission is to help members by providing educational resources and community support for marketing nonfiction books. Book publishing and marketing can be a lonely journey. We aim to make that journey a bit easier by connecting members with industry experts and fellow authors in a supportive environment.

There are two membership options: Basic (free) and Authority ($19/month). All members receive a free online profile, a member badge to feature on your website, and live access to our monthly teleseminars (two events per month featuring publishing industry experts and authors with success stories to share). Authority members receive event recordings, private forum access, marketing homework sent via email each week, and special member discounts.

While most writers’ groups focus on strategies for fiction authors, the Nonfiction Authors Association is tailor made for authors of business, self-development, health, memoir, how-to, and other nonfiction books. The strategies needed for marketing nonfiction are very different from those used to market fiction, children’s books or poetry. Join us to discover the many ways that you can grow your audience and sell more books!

Register and claim your free profile at www.NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com.

Stephanie Chandler
Author | Speaker | Publisher

I really looking forward to this group and the monthly calls that Stephanie has scheduled. Check it out!

:-)

 

Fast Content Can Boost Your Blog Traffic

Newsjacking for Your Blog

These days the Internet is filled with people who want to take your money and improve you SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For the most part, these strategies are a rip-off. They essentially consist of tricking the search engines into improving your ranking. But strategies based on tricking the system just can’t be consistently successful.

Newscaster in Television StudioFor long-term success with SEO, there are only a few strategies that really work. And there are very few tricks that will do your any good. Here three strategies that can make a real difference.

First, Content is King. More than anything else, your web site or blog needs to provide good, useful information that people want to consume. More than anything else you do, having good content will get you found and keep you visible to the search engines.

The reason most people turn to SEO tricks is that they don’t have much content. Maybe their web site is just a classic 5-page “brochure” web site. Why would anyone seek that out? They wouldn’t. Content can be anything useful. For some, it’s good advice and information. Others have success by creating a resource center. If you compile great info on a topic, your site will become an authority – and that brings traffic.

Your Action Step: Decide what content you can provide that brings true value to visitors. The information should appeal to the people you want to attract, so don’t create a great site about your favorite hobby just to get visitors. If your hobby’s not related to your business, then the people you attract won’t buy what you’re selling.

Second, you need a lot of (legitimate) Inbound Links. Search engines use links as a way to tell what others think of your site. Inbound links are a good way to determine whether you are an authority on a topic. If a lot of web sites point to your blog posts – and those links get decent traffic – then the search engines increase your grade for authority on that topic.

Here’s the real juicy goodness about inbound links: The longer they’re out there, the more they get clicked on; and the more they get clicked on, the higher your status as an authority. A few good posts that get a lot of steady traffic from other sites can really make a difference.

Your Action Step: Be generous in linking to other bloggers. It shows them that your read their stuff. And it makes them feel good, so they are more likely to read your stuff and link to you.

Third, try Newsjacking: Get a good blog post out as fast as you can when a big topic emerges in the area of interest you cover. This is an extension of the two earlier strategies. But it works best if you’ve already built enough reputation that people trust that a link to your blog will be a valuable addition to their site.

While content is king, fast content becomes king must faster. Here’s how it works.

Early in the news cycle, there is no news about the “headline” topic because it just happened. A few bloggers will be the first ones to grab the story and post up information. Ideally, this will be good, solid information with a bit of your own opinion or some controversy. You need a spin or a hook so that people want to read your post.

Great titles are also important. For example, when Microsoft announced the “End of Life” for their Small Business Server product, I posted an article entitled “Microsoft Announced the End of SBS, Surprising Absolutely No One.” Because it came out early, had a strong title, and had a bit of a twist, many people linked to that blog post.

Many other people might have posted better articles (better reporting, more solid facts, less opinion), but if their articles were posted AFTER a bunch of other articles come out, then it’s harder for them to catch up to the number of inbound links I achieved early in the news cycle.

In this example, the article I posted got so much traffic that it became my most popular post of all time (after seven years of blogging). Over time, the number of inbound links grows a tiny bit, but the traffic is still there from the places that linked to me. And the longer my post is out there, the higher it’s ranked. When people follow the link from Google search to my blog post, that increases my authority even more.

Your Action Step: Be prepared for some fast blogging the next time there’s breaking news in your industry. If you get a good article out really fast, it can dramatically improve your search engine performance.

Good Luck.

 

The 3rd Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference Returns May 8 – 10

The Nonfiction Writers Conference is Back!

Early Bird Registration is Now Available!

I’m excited to announce that the Nonfiction Writers Conference is back, and it’s better than ever! This conference includes 15 expert speakers over three days and best of all, it’s completely virtual! All you need to participate is a phone or Skype. Check out our amazing line-up of speakers:

  • Dan Poynter – Book Promotion 2013
  • Guy Kawasaki – Self-Publishing for APES: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur
  • Mark Coker – The Ebook Revolution
  • Carla King – The Writing Process for Nonfiction Books
  • Michael Larsen – A Literary Agent’s Perspective on How to Get a Book Deal
  • Dana Lynn Smith – How to Sell More Books on Amazon
  • Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Keynote Mastery: Break in to Professional Speaking
  • Joanna Penn – Turn Your Ideas into Cash: How to Create and Sell Multi-Media Information Products
  • Maryanna Young – Corporate Sponsors: How to Attract Endorsement Deals
  • Sandra Beckwith – DIY Public Relations (PR) for Authors
  • Brad Phillips – Media Training for Authors
  • Melinda Emerson – How to Be a Social Media Ninja
  • John Rizzo – Search Engine Optimization and Video Marketing
  • David Garland – How to Build a Passionate Fan Base with Your Own Web Show or Podcast Series
  • Stephanie Chandler – Own Your Niche Online: Build Your Platform and Sell More Books

 

Register early and receive the following:

 

The first 50 people to register will receive a Kindle edition of Guy Kawasaki’s new bookAuthor Publisher Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book

 

Take 50% off registration fees with this code: NFWC50 (expires Feb 28th).

 

Additional digital downloads are also delivered immediately upon registration.  

Join us for our best event yet! 

Register at: NonfictionWritersConference.com

 

Get Dan Poynter’s New Ebook FREE on Wednesday and Thursday, May 23-24

I blogged a few days ago about Dan Poynter’s new book. Apparently there was a minor issue with Amazon. So . . . You Win!

Got this memo today. You can get Dan’s new EBook free for two days . . . today and tomorrow only. Here are the deets:

- – - – -

Get Dan Poynter’s New Ebook FREE on Wednesday and Thursday, May 23-24

BOOKS:
Tips, Stories, & Advice on Writing, Publishing, & Promoting.

Valuable tips, inspiring stories and fabulous advice on book research, writing, publishing, and promoting.
Essential guidance for fiction, non fiction, ebooks and printed books.
You can get the Kindle edition FREE.

Don’t have a Kindle?
Read books on your computer or other mobile devices with Amazon’s FREE Kindle Reading Apps.
Kindle Apps

Download the book free:
Wednesday, May 23 & Thursday, May 24 from midnight to midnight, Pacific time.
Log on to the Amazon page for this book and you will note that your price on these two days is $0.00

Any time on May 23-24, log on to
Free Kindle Book
or Copy>Paste
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VXL7M4

AND, please forward this announcement to your colleagues who have a book inside them.

DESCRIPTION (Back Cover)

Reference/Writing
Self-development/Inspiration

Here is a Gift for the Writer Within
or The Writer in Your Life

Scores of successful, published authors reveal the inside secrets to their achievement.

You will discover:
• 38 Tips on how to write
• 11 Tips on why you should write
• 4 Tips on why your writing project should be a book
• 21 Tips on what to write
• 7 Tips on doing research
• 9 Tips for building your book
• 3 Tips on Copyright
• 10 Tips for finding the right agent or publisher
• 6 Tips on book promotion
• And much, much more.

“We recommend this book to all who submit their stories to Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.”
—Bud Gardner, Chicken Soup series co-author.

“Dan Poynter is the top coach for writing, publishing and, most important, promoting.”
—John Tullius, Director, Maui Writers Conference.

“Dan Poynter has generously guided thousands to authorship. Their books make this a better world.”
—Dr. Robert Müller,
Past Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.

Dan Poynter has turned thousands of professionals and writers into authors; his shelves are overflowing with their books. He is the author of more than 125 books and hundreds of other information products. The media come to Dan because he is the leading authority on how to write, publish, and promote books.

The demand for books is increasing but the market is changing.
These tips from successful authors will show you how to get your work into print.

ISBN ebook Edition: 978-1-56860-155-7

BTW, I am testing KDP Select Freebie Day on, May23-24.
You can help me gain experience, figures, and even some money, by downloading the free book on books.
The above is the pitch I am testing

GET YOUR FREE COPY ON MAY 23 & 24 (only)

- – - -

:-)

Dan Poynter’s New Book – Free Today

My friend Dan Poynter is the king of self-publishing. Really. Google him or put his name into Amazon and you’ll see.

Well, his latest book is free – Today Only. Click on this link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VP66Z0

and you will see the book at $0.00 for your Kindle device.

This offer is good through Midnight Pacific time today only.

The book is Writing Your Book: Cashing in on Publishing Faster, Easier, and Cheaper. The Kindle edition is 58 pages.

Check it out. And don’t for get to thank him by writing a positive review if you like it!

By the way . . . Dan is the kick-off speaker for the Non-Fiction Writers Conference. The conference starts Wednesday and you can still register at http://www.nonfictionwritersconference.com/nonfictionwriters/2012-conference-agenda.html.

:-)

 

When is the Book Done, Done, Done?

It is no coincidence that people use the analogy of giving birth to describe the process of writing a book. In my most recent case, it was like birthing an elephant and took almost two years. Lots of slow, gradual process. Then a massive concerted effort of actually birthing the final product once it’s done maturing.

Writing can be a very rewarding – and frustrating – business. I’m just completing the major re-write of one of my books. In all, about 25% of the “2nd edition” is new material. I’m just getting ready to send it off to the printers and I’m thinking, “Yeah, I’m done.”

But that chorus is getting old.

When I finished writing the new material, I said Yeah, I’m done.

Then I got a best-guess estimate of page count and sent that to the printer.

Then we had to have a major sub-section of the book re-indexed. Done. Yeah.

Then we had to get the foreword back from the guy who agreed to write it. Got it. Yeah.

Now we have 100% of the content. Yeah. Done.

My brother found an inconsistency in the use of one word/phrase through out the book. Had to make some minor editoral corrections. Okay. Done.

Then we bundled it all together into “The Book.” The Book is now together. All editorial content where it needs to be. Yeah. Done?

Then one final page-check and renumber the Table of Contents. Then, of course, re-format the TOC. Okay, already! Done. Yeah.

Next, we got the final cover back from the designer. Sent that around for approvals. Yeah.

And then we uploaded the innards and the cover to the printer. Yeah! Done!

Now we’re waiting for two printed copies so we can verify that everything is absolutely perfect. Yah, then it will be done. Assuming there are no changes.

Let me give you another analogy. I hate moving. I can see myself simply giving away all my possessions and moving into a new house with just a box of pictures. That way, I don’t have to moving anything.

Whenever I move (about every 7 years, on average), there’s one big truckload that gets 90% of the stuff to the new house. Then I start taking carloads. Then there’s cleaning. Then there’s the closet I forgot. More cleaning. More carloads. As the sun sets each day, I feel like I’m 90% closer to being done . . . but I don’t seem to ever reach the end.

But eventually the move is over. It has to end sometime.

The same is true with the new book. Details, details, details. Last minute changes. An oops or two. Fix-up. Move on. Eventually it really is done.

The good news about this long process is that you get to enjoy the “Yeah I’m done” moment again and again. :-) The bad part is that your friends will tire of asking you why you’re in such a good mood and have the answer always be, “I just finished my book.” They say they thought you finished it last week. Well, you did. And the week before! But don’t let them get you down.

I’ve written nine books, edited two, and published a total of thirteen. So now I have this re-write. Do you think it’s any different? No. It’s always the same. I work for months and then the final, final, final moment seems to drag on forever.

But it WILL be done. Done, done. Really. Absolutely done. So done that I can move on to the next project. That’s done!

Just remember: When you get to the end, focus on the “yeah” part and don’t get frustrated with all the details. Eventually you’ll be done, too.

:-)

 

What is Successful Marketing?

I have a quick question: What is successful marketing?

My answer would be . . . Whatever gets people to take the action you want.

I like to tell people that the most successful seminar I ever promoting is one that I never held. It was in 1999. I was marketing Y2K seminars in order to help businesses get ready for Y2K and not have to panic.

I promoted that seminar again and again.

People called me said, “I don’t want to attend your seminar. I just need you to come in and make sure we’re okay. How much is that?”

In other words, they bought my services because I was the expert putting on the seminar. I did probably $50,000 worth of consulting based on phone calls like that.

No one ever signed up for the seminar. I never analyzed this, so I don’t know why. My guess is that they didn’t want to understand it, they just wanted to be safe from it.

My ultimate goal was to sell a $99 seminar and get people to hire me. I never got the $99, but I did get the consulting gigs. So it was successful.

As my friend Stephanie Chandler points out in her new book, positioning yourself as the expert in your field is the key to success. (See Own Your Niche at http://www.stephaniechandler.com/books.) This is particularly true with service businesses. It is your expertise and knowledge that makes you valuable.

Promote it!

:-)

 

Marketing Ideas for Authors

I have a couple different companies and many, many products. Do I do a lot of marketing. Some works and some doesn’t. More importantly, some works some of the time. Almost nothing works all the time.

That’s why I do lots of different things.

Because of some networking circles I’m in, I meet a lot of authors. When I see their marketing, or talk to them about marketing, many of them are trying the same things. I guess that’s because they talk to each other.

I am a rare breed among authors: I make decent money selling my books and related products online, directly to my audience. Now, to do that I have have invested twenty-plus years into my profession and seven years building the book/seminar business. I mention that to keep expectations in line.

Every once in awhile, circumstances and timing allow someone to come from nowhere, try a simple-looking marketing plan, and sell millions of dollars worth of books. But that almost never happens, and there aren’t many useful lessons to be learned. Most of the time, you need to figure out some basic marketing strategies and make the most of them.

Note, also, that marketing is not sales. The goal of marketing is to get people into your sales funnel. These functions touch each other, but don’t overlap very much. Keep that in mind when evaluating marketing ideas. Ask yourself, for each marketing endeavor, “What is the goal of this marketing?”

I see four categories of marketing activity: Required, high value, medium value, and low value. “Value” refers to how effective each activity is at getting people into your sales funnel. Alternatively, if you have a different specific goal, it refers to the effectiveness of meeting that goal.

Here are some marketing ideas and my thoughts on them. Your mileage may vary.

Required Marketing Activities

I consider these required – and there are only a few of them – because they are absolutely required. You must do these if you want to make money selling books. Period. There are lots of things that people describe as “must do” activities, but there are lots of authors who don’t do those things.

- Web site – You need an author site. In my opinion, you need a book-specific site. I have dozens of web sites because I have dozens of products.

- Shopping Cart. This is tied to your web site(s) and allows you to collect money.

- Ebook versions. Whether it’s Kindle, Smashwords, or just a PDF you distribute from your web site. Ebooks are necessary because some people only want to order in that format. Give them what they want!

- Mailing list. This is the ultimate marketing tool. It is a direct line of communication between you and people who want to hear from you. This is a list of people who do not consider themselves strangers. Most of the rest of your marketing efforts will consist of adding people to this list.

High Value Marketing Activities

While not required, there are a few high value activities that I recommend all authors do. Most of these cost a small amount of money and take little bursts of time commitment. The exception is the production of an audio book, which can be significant. But the result is an additional format for selling your book!

- Articles. Submit articles to web sites, blogs, magazines, newspapers, and anywhere else you can think of. In some cases, you will get paid for this. But even if you don’t get paid, you’ll get publicity and links back to your web site.

- Audio Books. People LOVE audio books. If you have the experience or money to produce one, you will probably find people who would love to listen!

- Blog. If you really are an author, then writing an article (blog post) each month should not be difficult. You can use your blog to promote yourself and others, gather in new followers, and increase that mailing list!

- Domain Names (custom domains for your name and your book titles). Under “Required” activities, I mentioned a web site. That means any web site. Here I refer to a site name that is specific to you or your book. For example, publishyourfirstbook.com.

- Personal Assistant. If you have the ability to hire an assistant, you will be amazed at how much marketing work they can do for you. This includes virtual assistants and part time employees.

- Radio Interviews. What’s better for an author than being interviewed on the radio? Just make sure you have a snappy, easy-to-hear domain name.

Medium Value Marketing Activities

Some people might think some of these activities are high value. I put them in the medium category because, in my experience, they are good, solid, steady, slow marketing. Every author should have some videos. But unless one goes viral, it’s not going to have a dramatic effect on your mailing list.

- Author Video. Go to You-Tube and create videos for your books and other products. Here’s an example from one of my books:

- Freebies related to your book. Normally, these will be downloads. Ideally, you will trade an email address for the freebie. Hot tips, audio programs, book chapters, etc. Think about items related to your book and helpful to your audience.

- Book Reviews. Ask everyone you know to write reviews of your book on Amazon and other sites. Make sure you thank them!

- Email Newsletter. Once you have a mailing list, put out a newsletter at least once a month. Make it useful and valuable. You’ll keep current followers and draw new ones to you. Every newsletter should include drip marketing for your books and seminars.

- Marketing materials (handouts) for when you speak. With luck, you have small, medium, and even large speaking gigs. Always have a handout. Make it nice. Draw people to your web site, your blog, and your mailing list. Don’t expect many on site sales.

- Press Kit. Create a standard press kit to send out about your book. It doesn’t have to be big. Include information on yourself and how you can be reached.

- Press Releases. At least once a month, put out some kind of press release. Announce future project, speaking gigs, special events, etc. You can building a mailing list of media people by scouring their web site. Or pay for a “professional” press release distribution.

- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is an odd one. One one hand, everyone agrees that this is important. On the other hand, you should never someone to Search Engine “Optimize” your web site. The best you can hope for is that you get a high ranking for a short period of time. The way to kill with SEO is to write lots of good, valuable content. The search engines will find you.

- Social Media Services. IF – and it’s a huge if – you will jump into social media with both feet, create a marketing plan, and execute it month after month, then social media makes sense. And paying a service to give you a professional look and get you started is a great investment. If you won’t do anything after it’s all set up, then move this item down to the Low category.

Low Value Marketing Activities

While some of these activities might bring returns, for the most part they are a waste of time and money.

- Author Displays and Kiosks. Unless you’re on a major, sponsored roadshow and have a marketing plan that requires this extravagance, don’t even be tempted.

- Book Shows / Book Fairs. Most of the book fair offers are in the range of $500 to $2,500. I have never heard of any author that has ever attributed the sale of even one book to these events. They seem to exist so that brokers can sell packages to authors.

- Book Signings. Unless you’re just throwing a party and having a good time, don’t expect a good turnout or a lot of sales. My favorite video on this is: http://youtu.be/_ZoJ5OKmEJY

- Contests. Contest can be fun. But don’t pay a lot and don’t take them too seriously. I enter most of my books in some kind of contest each year just to say they’re “award winning” books. I almost put this in the medium category, but I don’t know if it has ever done me any good.

- Facebook Fan Page. Figure out how to create a page for your book. Post up information from time to time. Don’t expect a lot of traffic. But if you DO get traffic, be sure to engage people in conversations!

- Postcards, book cards, book marks, and business card-size ads for your book. It’s nice to have handouts (see handouts, above). But spending money on professionally printed bookmarks, etc. just seems like a waste to me. There’s no call to action on most. They don’t sell books or get people on a mailing list. With luck, someone will go to your blog. I think a useful freebie handout is better.

And don’t forget . . .

Your marketing doesn’t have to be perfect.

You just need to do it!

:-)