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If you're an aspiring author, get ready to hear the following question approximately 10 billion times:

 

"What's your book about?"

 

As you already know if you've already written a book, pretty much everyone and anyone in your life will ask you that question, from people you know well to people you just met in the waiting room at your dentist's office. So it's really important to be able to answer it quickly.


Short and sweet.


Make it count.


Pique their interest.


You get the point.


If you start describing your book as, "Well, it's kind of hard to explain, but...there's a good chance that you've already lost the interest of whoever is on the other side of the conversation. If your pitch grabs someone';s attention, however, he or she might whip out a smartphone right there and then to order your book on Amazon. That's happened to me many times, so I'm not just saying that in a "you never know" kind of way. Trust me; I know! Every interaction you have is a potential sale.

 

While it's critical to have a concise, compelling description of your book when it's available for purchase, having one as you're writing it is also important. Why? Because it ensures that you have an interesting plot. Trust me, I know this too, because I recently spent way too many months struggling to write a novel for which I never had a clear vision. I should have realized that I was in trouble early on because anytime someone asked me what I was working on, I found myself uttering the dreaded "Um...well it's hard to explain, but..."


You know what happened to that manuscript? Nothing! Once I (finally) realized I didn't have an interesting story, I pulled the plug on it. It was a painful lesson to learn, and I wish I'd read a blog post like this one to save me a lot of time and effort. So please, learn from my mistake!


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Marketing Tip: Know When to Be Concise

How to Craft a Compelling Book Description

1,321 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, author, indie, pitch, descriptions, elevator_pitch
4

The Author Press Kit

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 10, 2015

The media - that entity that exists to bring the public news and information has grown in scope and membership over the years. It's no surprise that technology has drastically changed what we consider to be media. The term used to be reserved for an elite few that dominated the airwaves and print domain. Now, anyone with a computer and access to the internet has a chance to be a major voice in the media.

 

As much as things have changed, things have remained relatively unchanged in one aspect. When you're an author looking for media coverage, you need to eliminate the leg work for members of the media, and direct them to a ready-made press kit that gives them all the information they need. Here is a list of five plus one items for your online press kit. I call it a five plus one because five of the items are essential, while the plus one is a bonus item that is bound to capture the media's attention, if done right.

 

 

  1. Press release for the book: There are a number of tutorials online that show you how to write a press release, but if it's something you don't want to take on yourself, you can always find a press release writing service.
  2. Sample chapter: It doesn't have to be your first chapter. It should be your strongest bit of writing.
  3. One-sentence pitch: If you can sum up your book in one concise sentence, I think you'll find that it will be your strongest selling tool.
  4. Author bio: Make it relevant to your role as a writer. If you don't have a lot of writing experience, demonstrate your writing talent by coming up with a unique and clever bio that will put a smile on the reader's face. My first bio simply said, "R.W. Ridley lives in Charleston, SC with his beautiful wife, a hyperactive dog, three arrogant cats, and one ugly mortgage." I got a lot of great responses to that particular bio.
  5. Author Photo & Book Cover Image: Make sure that both your author photo and your book cover are professional-grade in quality. The media will judge you by the appearance of both.

 

 

Plus One - Video Pitch: Today's online media craves video content. If you are comfortable in front of the camera, clean yourself up and record a media pitch. Talk about the book and yourself, and show them that you've got personality. If you're not comfortable in front of the camera, practice, practice, practice until you are. It will make your life that much easier in an online world increasingly driven by video content.

 

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

 

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Build Your Brand with Video Readings

Lights, Camera, Smile!

9,225 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, self-publishing, promotion, video, writers, publishing, writing, pitch, press_release, promotions, social_media, marketing_ideas, marketing_strategy
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I recently stumbled across an eight-minute video in which a young book reviewer named Liz ranted, for lack of a better word, about self-published authors. Liz has nothing against indie books; it's the way some authors approach her that drives her nuts.

 

Full disclosure: Liz is not a professional book reviewer. She's a college student who loves to read and enjoys sharing her opinions online, and as a result, she's garnered quite a following. Her witty video reviews average about 800 views, and she has more than 1100 Twitter followers.

 

I thought the points she made in her video were excellent, and I also thought she was hilarious, so I dropped her a note asking if she'd be up for chatting with me. She kindly agreed.

 

In her words, here are her top pet peeves about getting pitched by indie authors:

 

  1. They really don't tell you who they are. No sort of introduction other than, "I'm the author of this book." That seems quite shady to me.
  2. They use the same message to email you, send to you on Goodreads, and more. It's annoying and I really don't want to read your book.
  3. The lack of attention to detail. I mean, thanks for emailing me and telling me how your book is like (Insert NYT Best Selling Author's Name Here), but I don't read that author's novels! You would know if you actually looked at my blog or YouTube channel.
  4. The lack of editing. They'll cite some sort of editor, but there are hundreds of typos and/or grammar mistakes. You may not have been an English major in college, but there are many books on writing, grammar, and more at your local bookstore. Also, reviewers aren't editors. We only review finished works.
  5. Get the hint! If I don't respond to your emails or other messages, I don't want to read your book. So stop it!

 

There are a lot of influential book lovers like Liz in cyberspace, and you want them rooting for you, not deleting your emails. As you implement your own book marketing campaign, you'll be less likely to land on the wrong side of their good graces if you take the above grievances to heart.

 

For those of you who are curious, you can view Liz's video here.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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What Is a Book Proposal?

Online Book Reviews for Independent Authors

5,704 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, reviews, reviews, reviews, reviews, author, author, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch
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What to Do with a Deceased Author's Unfinished Manuscript?

 

Stieg Larsson, author of international mega-selling Millennium novels (The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest), may be dead, but that doesn't mean he won't publish again. It seems that Larsson was working on a fourth book in the series when he passed away at the age of 50. His girlfriend of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, has the unfinished, 200-page manuscript in her possession, and she's determined to finish the book.

 

Larsson's partner has refused to reveal details of the partially completed novel's plot, but promised that its charismatic but damaged protagonist Lisbeth Salander "little by little frees herself from her ghosts and her enemies." And, she said, she will only finish the book when she gets undisputed rights to Larsson's work from his family, who inherited the author's assets when he died intestate.

 

You can see the entire story on The Guardian's website: Stieg Larsson's partner plans to complete final Millennium novel

 

The Art of the Pitch

 

Turns out some filmmakers aren't attending festivals just for the films. They're attending to participate in pitch sessions sponsored by festival organizers. It's a rising trend in industry conferences, as well. It can be a daunting task to sit down with someone who has the power and money to make your dreams come true, but it is an age old song-and-dance that every filmmaker needs to hone.

 

"Sometimes people get funded at the paper stage, before anything has been shot," said (Lesley) Norman. "Each pitch is different. A well-researched pitch, regardless of where they are in the process, can be the best pitch. Or a good trailer can make it or break it. It can also depend on the filmmaker's track record. Although I've seen a first time filmmaker bring an audience to their knees. A filmmaker must be good on his feet and speak with passion [to win]."

 

You can read the entire article on The Independent's website: Are Pitch Sessions the New Black?

 

And One Time, at Rock 'n' Roll Band Camp?

 

So, you're middle-aged, and you're well on your way to two-and-a-half kids, a three-bedroom walk-up with a white picket fence, and two-car garage. Your youthful days of kicking around in a band are way behind you. The days of dreaming of playing a gig in front of a screaming audience are long gone. You don't have time to do something like that, right? Well, you do if you have a week to devote to Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp.

 

The Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp is the creation of David Fishof, a former sports agent who expanded into the tour promotion business when he began handling artists like the former Beatle Ringo Starr. He organized the first camp in Miami in 1997, more than a decade after baseball fantasy camps began proliferating, thinking of it, he said, "as a one-off." That venture, he said, "lost a lot of money," but he tried again in 2002 and found that a market had developed.

 

You can read the entire article on the New York Times' website: Rock Stars for a Night, and for a Price

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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1,662 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, book, book, music, music, pitch, pitch, festival, festival, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers


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