eBook Selling

Getting Others to Promote You

When someone brags about their own abilities, we generally take it with a grain of salt; but when we hear someone else extoll someone’s expertise, we take notice and give it more weight.  And when that someone else is a commentator for a TV or radio program or a newspaper reporter, we are even more likely to believe it. So if we want to build our reputation, a good way to do that is to get media interviews.

How do you do that?  Maura Sweeney, this month’s guest on the SkillBites Show, shared a number of resources and tips for getting media interviews.  Maura is an internationally acclaimed speaker, having traveled to over 60 countries, speaking on such topics as influence, leadership and emotional intelligence.  She is also a published author of 6 books, a podcaster and a frequent media guest.

Maura advised that pursuing media exposure does take a lot of work, patience, commitment and getting out of your comfort zone, but it is well worth it.  Each time you land a media interview, you get better at honing your message, and then you get more interviews. When you direct your energies toward getting media exposure, then you are more likely to get media opportunities.  

Maura shared some stories of how this worked for her.  One such story involved her getting on BBC Radio. She was in Liverpool, England on vacation, and decided to do some research on the Beatles for her own personal interest.  While there, she noticed the BBC Studio building, and thought there might be someone there who could tell her what the Beatles were like before they became stars. It turned out that the person who might have been able to help her was not available, but a BBC reporter asked to talk with her. He took her out for tea and invited her to be a guest on a BBC Show.  Not long after that, she got a second opportunity to be a guest on the BBC.

Maura recommended starting small – seek interviews with podcasters and local radio shows on your topic, or who have audiences who would benefit from hearing about your topic.  A good source for finding appropriate radio shows and podcasts is radioguestlist.com.

Another source is newspaper interviews.  There’s a free resource for this called HARO.com (Help A Reporter Out).  It’s an email that gets sent to subscribers a few times every day with a list of all the topics that reporters are seeking experts on.  It is time consuming to go through the emails, and the response has to be quick; but if you land an interview, you’ll get your name in an article that will go to thousands of people.  It’ll take your profile to a whole different level; and again, the more times you get selected, the more likely that you’ll get selected again.

Another resource Maura shared is InterviewGuestDirectory.com.  This is a paid directory that media personnel use to find experts they want to interview, so if your profile is in the directory, they’ll find you if your expertise is what they are looking for.

Before you proceed down the path of seeking guest interviews, however, you should prepare a message that you want to share.  Then, after you land an interview, you need to find out who the audience is and how long the interview is. Prepare some questions that you can send to the interviewer and practice answering them in the time that is allotted for your interview.  The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be in the interview and the better you will come across.

Maura offers consulting services to help people hone their message and prepare for media interviews.  She generously offered to the listeners in the SkillBites community a 30 minute complimentary consultation.  To take advantage of this opportunity, email her at maura@maura4u.com, with the subject “SkillBites”.

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The Power of Audio Books

Did you know that audio books outsell eBooks by 3 to 1? According to Tina Dietz, world class audiobook publisher, sales of audio books have experienced a meteoric rise in the past several years, with over 20% growth year over year. People are listening to audio books while driving, flying or working out at the gym, when reading isn’t convenient. At the same time, the cost of producing an audio book has dropped by 50%. It’s also a different audience than readers of print books and eBooks, so if an author does not get their book made into an audio book, they are missing out on a sizeable audience.

Tina shared a number of issues to think about when considering whether to have a book made into an audio book. First, she suggested that every author read their book out loud prior to publishing the book. The more conversational the book, the more the book will build an intimate relationship with the reader and the greater likelihood that the reader will enjoy the book. Reading the book out loud will provide a very different sense of the book than reading it silently. It will also give the author a sense as to whether there are portions of the book that could be problematic for narration, such as exercises for the reader.

Another consideration is how the audio book fits in with the business. Interestingly, when an author has an audio book, the author can do 2 launches, using basically the same marketing material, thus doubling the bang for the buck. Also, if the author has plans to do the audio book as well as the print book and eBook, the author can include a link to a sample from the audio book in the print and eBook versions, which can drive more traffic to the author’s website.

Audio books do not require much equipment to produce. The most important equipment to have is a good microphone, and that runs less than $100. Tina recommended either the Blue Yeti or the Audio Technica 2100. The software can be downloaded for free, such as GarageBand or Audacity. It is essential to record the audio in a room that will be absent of any road noises or echo. The author can narrate the book herself, but it is strongly recommended that she take the time to learn good vocal and breathing techniques that are central to audiobook narration.

From a timing perspective, Tina advised that a professional narrator spends about 5 to 6 hours recording one hour of audio, which is about 10,000 words; so for a typical 100 page book, or 30,000 words, it’s about 20 hours for a professional to complete the narration. For an amateur, it would take considerably longer.

Tina has developed a 12 step Audiobook Production & Best Practices guide for authors interested in producing an audio book, and has offered that guide to the SkillBites community. You can download it by going to launchyouraudiobook.com. For more information about Tina Dietz, visit her website, StartSomethingCreativeBizSolutions.com.

SkillBites has partnered with Tina Dietz and StartSomething Creative Business Solutions to offer special audiobook production packages. If you are interested in getting your book turned into an audio book, click here for details or contact us.

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Protect Your Interest in Your Book

Angela Megasko, founder of MarketViewpoint, author of Ultimate Mystery Shopping and SkillBites customer, forwarded to me a blog post that was very disturbing. It concerned a woman who was about to launch her book when she discovered that it had been stolen! Someone from Nigeria had taken her book, put his own name on the cover and was selling it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online sites. Click here to read the full story. While she ultimately got the online sites to take down the stolen book, it took her considerable time and effort to do so.

What can be done about this? For one, you need to be vigilant. At a minimum, do a quick search every now and then to make sure your book hasn’t been stolen. For another, register your copyright. You own a copyright in the content you create without registering it; but when you do register it, you declare your ownership as a matter of public record, and if you need to sue someone to prevent them from infringing on your copyright interest, you would have broader remedies if you win. You can register the copyright yourself for $35, or you can hire SkillBites to do it for you. It won’t prevent the book from being stolen, but it may reduce the risk of theft and make it easier for you to pursue your claim to get your book back.

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Thinking of Writing a Book? One recently published author says DO IT NOW!

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Sara Canuso, President of Women That Influence, had been thinking about writing a book for over 4 years. Yet the thought of writing a book was overwhelming to her – how would she find the time to write it? How does one even start to write a book? So she kept putting it off. Then she realized how much opportunity she was missing by NOT having a published book. She spoke at a conference with over 8000 women, and was told she could promote her book; but she didn’t have one. She spoke at another conference, where the host offered to purchase 365 copies of her book for the attendees, but again, she didn’t have one. Every time she spoke, she had people asking her if she had a book, because they wanted more information than she was able to share in her presentation; but she didn’t have one.

Recognizing that she needed to publish a book pushed Sara to seek help from SkillBites. She took the SkillBites book writing workshop, which came with the workbook, Writing Made Easy. “That workbook was a huge game changer for me, as it provided the roadmap I needed to write my book,” explained Sara. Shortly after the workshop, Sara took a trip to Italy, and completed the workbook on the flight over. By the time she returned, she had a draft of her book written. Four months later, the book was published.

Within one week of the book’s publication, Sara got 2 speaking opportunities from organizations that contacted her as a result of seeing her book. The revenues from just those two opportunities more than paid for the cost of getting her book published. Since publishing her book, Sara has also gotten a TV interview, a radio interview and more speaking opportunities. She has been sending her book to her major contacts as a calling card. She is planning a workshop for readers of her book who want to take a deeper dive into the material in her book, with ongoing group coaching services as well.

Not only has the book greatly elevated her credibility and visibility, it has given Sara tremendous personal value. Sara explained that she never anticipated the impact on her personally. Completing the book was so liberating, and gave her such a huge feeling of accomplishment, that even if she didn’t get any business from it, she felt the book was worth doing.

Sara offered the following advice to prospective authors:

  1. If you are thinking of writing a book, do it, and do it now! It’s not as hard as you think, and is a very rewarding experience.
  2. Make sure you know what message you want to convey; what you want your reader to feel.
  3. Secure help. It’s important to know what you don’t know, and get help in those areas you don’t know. SkillBites provided the skills, support and encouragement she needed to get her book written, and made the process so much easier for her.
  4. Keep in mind why you are writing the book.

Sara offered to talk with anyone who is thinking of using SkillBites services. She can be reached via email at sara@womenthatinfluence.com.

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Are You Leveraging Your Book?

This month I had the opportunity to interview Bob Schiers, founder and CEO of RAS Associates, an award winning Marketing and PR firm, on the need for authors to plan how they will leverage their book.  Bob explained the difference between marketing and PR, as the two are often confused.  Marketing consists of making the target market aware of your service or product.  PR is one component of marketing, and consists of promoting a product or service through a third party, such as a newspaper review of a book, or a radio station interviewing an author.  PR is NOT advertising, which is paid placement, and accordingly has much less credibility.

Bob advised authors to start planning their marketing and PR efforts well before they finish their book.  Think about issues such as:

  • How will you get the word out about your book?
  • Who will you seek to provide endorsements or testimonials?
  • What makes your book unique or special?
  • Why should your target market read your book?  What will they get out of it?
  • What are your goals for your book and how will you achieve those goals?

While writing a book is a terrific tool for business owners to build their business, the book by itself won’t help much.  You need to leverage the book, and for that you should develop a plan detailing what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and what you expect the results to be.  Then you need to implement the plan and frequently assess whether you are on track.

To help our authors leverage their books effectively, SkillBites has teamed with RAS Associates to create a group marketing program designed to help authors develop a marketing plan for their books at a fraction of the cost of individually hiring a marketing professional.  For more information on this program and to sign up, click here.  We are running a special half off promotion for the group starting February 17, 2015; however, we have only a few slots left.  If you want to take advantage of the promotion, you’ll need to sign up quickly before the remaining slots are taken.

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