So you can read my books

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SURE FIRE WAYS TO A BESTSELLER! Online Marketing Symposium

What Works – Online Marketing Symposium

Be very careful ...

     It is Indie Author Season. 

Just listen to these two offers!


For just 99 DOLLARS,

you can enter Writer’s Digest's 22nd annual self-published competition!

The Annual Self-Published Book Awards.
The prizes:
  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • National exposure for your work
  • The attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
Or better yet!

Create Your Writer Platform | Join Chuck Sambuchino January 21!

Just $79.99 for 90 minutes of wonderful ideas you already know.  The ghost of Mark Twain is wiping the tears of laughter away.

Save your money, my friends, and FOR FREE gain ideas from this wonderful bloghop:

Online Marketing Symposium – Monday, January 20

Hosts –

Jeremy Hawkins -

Alex J. Cavanaugh -
We all want there to be a secret formula to produce a bestseller, to become the next JK Rowling.
We all know the conventional wisdom -
1.) Market ourselves on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram'
     Sadly, the waters are more crowded than a public swimming pool in Hell.  You're just one of a million bobbing heads in the cyber-waters.
2.) Craft a Hook of a Title -
     Want to know how many copies of those I've sold?  Don't ask. 
But that doesn't mean you just toss in the towel.  Be creative with your title:
a.) Pick your title BEFORE you begin (you'll be with your novel for weeks so have a title that inspires you!

      b.) It's a marriage - LOVE YOUR TITLE

      I. What a great title does:

            1.) Captures your audience’s attention
            2.) It communicates what your e-book is about
            3,) If it’s your style, it should include a little bit of a “What the Heck?” factor:
Titles tell your audience a little something about you.
Look at these three sets of words:
  • Epic; Awesome.
  • Remarkable; Brilliant.
  • Elegant; Erudite
Each pair of words has a unique flavor. You can almost begin to see the people that would use them in a title or a headline.

Which means that the words in your e-book title need to reflect your style.

       II.) WHO'S AN OXYMORON?~!

           i.) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE was a great title to an older book because it linked two opposites.

           ii.) Startle your reader and snare his attention.

3.) Have a killer cover -
     Leonora Roy has done riveting covers one after another for me.  According to Amazon, I have sold only one copy of DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE.  Ouch!
     But that doesn't have to apply to you.  Think the "why" of a great cover:
You can choose a proper image for the book cover that will draw attention to your eBook.

     a.) You need to choose the proper thumbnail with a theme that reflects the contents of your eBook.

     b.) Many readers will be drawn to the book cover long before
          reading the description and the reviews.

     c.) It helps if you have a book cover that instantly draws attention.
4.) Write a riveting novel
     Sandra, my most caustic reader, says DEATH held her spellbound. But still no sales.
     But anyone can give up!  They say sex sells.  But not so much anymore.
Be creative in the take on your novel.  Put a cliche on its ear.  And add laughter, for there is not enough of it these days.
Or give the audience what they think they want PLUS insightful prose as in:

{In Whip Smart, Melissa Febos
chronicles five years in her early twenties
when she was a dominatrix and heroin user.
But the book is about so much more than those details.
It’s about living a lie:
sometimes many lies at once.
It’s about lying to yourself.
And it’s about discovering truths about yourself in places you never expected.}

So what do we do to write a bestseller?
Yes, we have to have polished formatting, professional editing, and a storyline that catches the reader and will not let her go.
And we have to have the all important WORD OF MOUTH ...
     But to have that, first we must have a string of mouths singing our novel's praises.  In other words ...
I don't mean use the right keywords in the title and subtitle of your book.  That's an old trick. 
And do you know how many books out there have ZOMBIE, VAMPIRE, and LUST in their titles?
So many people abused Tags, Amazon, I believe, has removed them.
1. Identify your audience.

This is a vital step in the promotion and marketing of your book, and–if done right–will make the rest of the process infinitely easier.

Find out who your book appeals to, get to know those people well, and be where they are, both online and off.

2. Establish a budget.

How much money are you able and willing to spend marketing and promoting your book?

Include everything from paid advertising to travel costs.  If you're broke like me, you will have to be very creative.

3. Create a marketing plan.

How much time can you devote to establishing and maintaining your book promotion strategies?

What marketing tactics do you intend on implementing first? What are your goals and how will you measure them?

4. Get creative.

Use your book’s theme, location, or time period for inspiration and making marketing connections. A character’s hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, values and interests can be jumping off points for developing promotional strategies.

Brainstorm (with Google), companies, experts, businesses, organizations or groups that you can approach for joint marketing ventures.

5. Tell your author brand story. 

Write an author biography that briefly defines your reason for being; keep it to two or three short but memorable paragraphs that will resonate with your readers.

Better yet: make it one paragraph. Show some personality and give your readers a reason to care.

6. Create your hook

Make it short as in mine for DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE

Before Indiana Jones.  Before Allan Quartermain.  There was Samuel McCord
             ... and his doomed love for She Who Devours.

7. Write a series.

Obviously this won’t work for every author or book, but when possible, creating a series is a very powerful and effective way to develop a presence,

gain reader loyalty and boost sales of earlier works with subsequent novels.

8. Advertise your previous works in each book you publish.

 One of the best places to advertise your previous work is at the end of your current book, where you’ve got a happy reader, eager for more.

9. Tempt your readers with more.

Insert sample chapters from the next book in a series at the end of your current book to pull your readers in.

Now, save your $99 and go on to the other bloggers in the Online Marketing Symposium this coming Monday!


  1. I'll lurk on the edges of the Online Marketing Symposium on Monday, I can always learn something more about the 'indie' mode of publishing.

  2. I wonder who JK Rowling aspired to become when she faced knock back after knock back?
    And, good luck to all the writers out there. Readers like myself need you. And love you.

  3. As a young star I like to read such kind of book and I've a passion to write a book on this topics.  Hopefully, helps me a lot to write more and get more response in my writing career.

  4. That's right - save your money. I didn't spend anything for mine to become hits.
    Series do seem to sell better. Which makes me nervous now that I am not writing one.
    Thanks for contributing to the symposium!

  5. Aw, man, you mean I WON'T win that contest? Sheesh!

    I used to be a subscriber to WD, and then I began to see a pattern each year for YOU WILL PUBLISH YOUR BOOK IN 20**. Riiiight. Or get that agent when you used their tried and true steps. Yada yada...
    Good points to ponder. I haven't sold 1 copy of my true story about feral cats, so don't feel bad, Roland, things might pick up.
    I am sticking with my series, but I need to get this other book out, my detective/vampire story. Wondering if the title "Dhampire Legacy" is gonna work. I'm a little hesitant on using it, but don't want to use "Vampire Legacy" since my series uses "vampire" in the titles too. I don't want people to be confused.
    Flummoxed in Illinois.

  6. D.G.:
    Lurking on the edges is good ... and informative. See patterns, make new friends, and reflect. :-)

    JK Rowling:
    Perhaps she wanted to write the modern WRINKLE IN TIME? We all have our literary heroes. I imagine becoming self-supporting was the height of her dreams then with a child to raise! Thanks for being my friend. :-)

    Thanks for visiting!

    And beware of those who would SELL you success! Your next book will do fine because you have a huuuge fan base. :-)

    Nor the Publishers' Clearing House Contest either!!

    Usually our inner voice is trying to tell us something we would rather not hear. If you have misgivings about your title, then the wise move would be to change it. How about BLOOD LEGACY or BAD BLOOD or BLOOD WORK something like that?

    Sorry about your feral cat book. But all it takes is one person, the right person to talk of it, and then the momentum will build.

    I'll cross my fingers for you!!

  7. What a great and I'm sure helpful post to writers out there on the blogs. I too am spellbound by Death in the House of Life, your creativity and wordcrafting is beyond spellbinding, if there's such a thing. All the best to the writers who just read this post.

  8. i get emails from different groups claiming to be part of some internet book that i need to confirm my information. yet they claim i am part of this book all ready, i am like the info hasn't changed... because i don't know who the heck you are...

    thank you for this post, learned plenty. the chance to be part of a contest, is like winning a poop fight with a monkey... never going to win...

    wow this is the weirdest response, but there is meaning?

  9. Yes! High five. Save your money indeed. Love this!

  10. I signed up for this Marketing thing, but really all I have to offer is the buyer's perspective. Perhaps that will do :)

  11. excellent tips and hilarious post, as usual!
    thanks, man! ha!

  12. WOW! Thank you for that wonderful introduction! Great advice. There are so many just waiting to take our dollars - but our greatest tool is perseverance.

    Thank you so much for participating!

    I want to read Trisha's post - a buyers perspective is a great one to have!

  13. Roland, yes, you've shared some awesome tips here and I got them all for free. :)

  14. As I'm inclined to hold onto my $99, I think I will follow your advice. ;)

    Great stuff.

  15. Book covers draw you in, but it's what's between the pages that keeps you there and gets you coming back for more. You've definitely filled this post with lots of helpful advice!

  16. Wonderful tips! Having a great title and cover really does attract readers. Advertising previous work at the end of every book you publish is a great idea.

  17. You've opened the gates here and flooded your readers with ideas. I love the idea of sequels, but I came late to loving it. I'm also late in establishing my goals and measuring the effectiveness of my marketing. I was naively sure my publisher would handle that while I huddled in my garret, writing. I can hear the laughter.

  18. I laughed and laughed at your intro (but had $99 handy, just in case...)

  19. Inger:
    Your words about HOUSE OF LIFE means a lot. Thank you. :-)

    There is always meaning in what you write. :-)

    We learn through practice and error not by paying experts who've have never written a string of bestsellers. Glad to see you here.

    We authors already know the sellers' perspective -- your post will eagerly read!

    The best post is one that helps yet makes you laugh along the way, right?

    You have the greatest secret: perseverance! I hope you are having high sales.

    Free is the greatest price there is. I try to help my friends.

    You can use that $99 in much more enjoyable ways!

    M J:
    Yes, covers are great bait, but you hook the reader with great prose and a riveting story.

    I just thought of that end of book advertising. I need to put it at the end of all my books. Glad you liked that idea.

    None of us enter the publishing world knowing what we should know. We learn by the bruises along the way. May you have great sales! :-)

  20. Cathy:
    I'm glad you enjoyed my intro. Writers' Digest I think is not so amused at me. :-)

  21. This free marketing symposium is really fun and helpful. :-) Haven't done a series yet. Will do soon. Thanks!

    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

  22. Sittie:
    In series there is an opportunity for your secondary characters to undergo growth and character arcs of their own -- quite fun. :-)

  23. Brutal honesty is effective and you've done a great job here. This is a lot of excellent information to take to heart. I hope your sales pick up, but it's a big world of books out there in a tight economy. The takeaway in your piece is not to give up. So true in everything. At least don't give up until you're absolutely sure all is lost and you don't love your product anymore, and then just move on.

    Great post. Thanks for contributing this.

    Tossing It Out

  24. Arlee:
    I tried not to be brutal just honest. So many sugar-coat Indie Publishing. The Publishing World is undergoing changes, and there are too many authors out there for us to stand out easily.

    I stil love writing. I may become the Emily Dickinson of Indie Publishing and publish my books even though no one reads them. :-)

  25. These are some very good tips! If you produce a quality product, word will get out, and you'll see increased sales.

  26. $99 = 990 rands my side of the globe! Yikes!
    Thanks for the free marketing tips!
    I especially liked your "How To Get Noticed Tip Number#4... Get Creative...

  27. Good suggestions! I agree that a good title and cover are super critical.

  28. By far, one of the best post in the Online Marketing Symposium I've read! You may have to consider branching into marketing. Loved how you don't take yourself so seriously. Hilarious. Kudos and thanks! Buck Inspire