How to Write a (Compelling) Book Endorsement

Thumbs UpWhether you are writing an endorsement because the author selected you as someone with credibility in your field or simply because you love a book and want to recommend it to others – here are some tips on writing a great endorsement that stands out and supports the author (and helps to sell more books too)!

First things first – keep is short, sweet, and simple. The more concise and succinct an endorsement is, the easier it will be for the author to use your words on marketing materials, on the book cover, and/or their website. Longer endorsements aren’t geared for the everyday browser of books. To write a lengthy endorsement, consider creating a blog post about your thoughts on the book, or post your review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other book selling sites.

Next, use colorful and creative language. One of my favorite endorsements that came in for our book Speaking Your Truth was written by author Sharon Lippincott who said “Speaking Your Truth sizzles with brave energy!” We ended up using those lines in a lot of our copy for the launch. Her well written endorsement, plus her name and book title appeared all over our site and marketing materials. (Aka – more exposure to her – the author of the endorsement).  Think about adjectives that can describe the books essence. If you can write a one line, powerful endorsement, it’s sure to be used and will get your name out there.

Check out other endorsements. Reading other endorsements before writing your own can only improve what you have to say. Take a peek at a few books on your shelf. Review the words that make up others endorsements. When looking at intriguing language, you should find some inspirational mojo to use.  Notice what words you like, what jumps out at you, and how a well written endorsement creates curiosity for the reader.

Don’t be afraid to personalize your endorsement. It’s okay to include more about yourself and your experience reading the book. For example, if after reading a book on writing I wrote “As a freelance writer, this is a must read.  ‘Book Name’ will be my go-to-guide for many years to come. In just a few weeks my writing has improved and my clients have noticed the difference. A brilliant piece of work! The author was able to take an everyday subject and turn it into a compelling read that I have recommended to all of my colleagues.”  – You can see in this example, I state what I do, another way to drive interest back to me, but I also put it into practical use in regards to my work. I even provided a few brief sentences that can be used in part such as “This is a must read!”  or “A brilliant piece of work!”

Include your title. An endorsement is a great way to create interest in who you are and what you do. Writing a good endorsement will entice the reader to inquire about your book, business, or services. Be sure to include your book title , if you have one.

To find out more on writing a good endorsement, check out this article on eHow by Christina Hamlett.

What’s in a Book – a Forward or a Foreword?

Mistakes in writingYou may have wondered, or perhaps not even noticed, the difference between the two words forward and foreword?

One of my writing professors in college told us that your book isn’t being moved forward, but this is for a word before the content.  Unfortunately, that didn’t stick for me during the eight or so years it took me to finally write a book after that moment.

Naturally, when putting together Speaking Your Truth, I’d used the most common spelling for the word, or what sounds like the right word – forward.

I mistakenly added it into our manuscript, and embarrassingly it stuck around through the first printing – however, small that was. Luckily, we caught it and made an immediate change – but the story goes without saying – know the difference between a foreword and a forward.

A FOREWORD – defined online as a short introduction to a book, written by another author (remember, the words before, hence a foreword)

Whereas

FORWARD – toward the front. (Which a foreword is.)

Yeah, I can see how that can be confusing.

Either way, just note that when you are asking someone to write a foreword for your book, that you will put it in the front, but you won’t call it a forward.

I only repeat myself as to ingrain these subtle differences into your brain, so that the next time you go to write a foreword for someone, you don’t get ahead of yourself and forward a foreword with the wrong forward.

Taking the Last Turn – Keeping the Momentum When You Are Almost Done Writing Your Book

BooksMost authors talk about the trouble they have getting their book started, but they seldom mention the difficulties finishing their book. After getting to a point where your manuscript is just about complete, we often want to hit the save button and walk away. The writing itself was difficult enough, but when we have to return to it for edits, rewrites, and all of the other little pieces that make up the book (like the author bio, acknowledgements, resources, or other sections), your book can often lose momentum.

It’s similar to that last mile in a marathon, at the point where you are almost finished and are just ready to be done with it.  It becomes exhausting and cumbersome.

Wrapping up your book with peer reviews, editors, and all the finishing touches can often become the most daunting process. Here are a few tips to get you through that last leg of book production. Just know that this often happens to even the most passionate authors. It doesn’t mean anything about your book and whether or not you should complete it, it’s simply a phase in which we must persevere.

When you are feeling this way, start by remembering your big vision. Think about how fabulous it will be when your book is in print, when you can hold it in your hands, and when you can start autographing copies for all of your raving fans. Perhaps even take your mock book cover or a printed version of your cover to a local bookstore and put it up on the shelf next to the other books. Snap a photo and print it out so you can look at it daily.

It’s critical to surround yourself with supportive people. Perhaps you have a colleague who has already published a book, or maybe it’s a group of people who just love you and your work. Being around others who believe in you and who support your vision will give you the strength to hold on and to keep moving forward. Don’t bare the storm alone, grab a life vest and let others pull you up when needed.

When you just can’t do it anymore, enlist the help of others. It’s what Lisa and I are here for and others out in the world. Hand over your manuscript to some key players who will help get it done and guarantee that your book will get out into the world. Possibly with a whole lot less effort too! This is a very important step if you find yourself stagnant for too long. The longer you wait in finishing your book, the easier it will become for you to talk yourself out of it completely. Don’t let yourself get to this point. There’s nothing worse than a finished manuscript sitting in your desk drawer (or your My Docs folder).

Take a break if needed. It’s perfectly okay to take a break. But set an end date to that break ahead of time. Don’t let the break go on for three months, six months, or even a year. Give yourself a week or two, more if needed, and then commit to a time to restart, no matter what!

If you’d like to know more about book support services, visit our services page. I’m amazed at how quickly a book can come together with a helping hand.

If You Love a Book Author and Want to Help Them

Book with heart18 Ways to Help a Book Author You Love

Eileen Flanagan, author of The Wisdom to Know the Difference, wrote a blog post about a year ago telling friends of book authors how they could help the author sell more books. You can read her blog post here: http://bit.ly/9v5TgA.

I thought I’d include some of the highlights of her help list, add my own comments, and provide a few more ways that friends can help book authors to sell more books.

If you have a friend who is a book author, please use these suggestions to help them out. If you are a book author, please share this page with your friends (so they can help you out).

1. Buy your friend’s book. Encourage other friends to buy the book. Go to your local library or bookstore and encourage them to buy the book. Buy books as gifts.

2. Don’t put off buying the book. Don’t wait for the holidays to buy the book as a gift. First, the sooner you buy, the more confidence you’ll inspire in your friend. Second, media and other decision makers pick up on a book based on the momentum the book inspires. The more sales at the beginning of the book’s life, the more attention it will get from key decision makers, the media, and consumers.

3. Where should you buy the book? First choice: the indie bookstore nearest you (that will help your friend get her book into that store on a regular basis). Second choice: a chain bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble (if they start selling the book locally, they might buy books for more stores in the chain). Third choice: the author’s website (the author makes the most money when selling direct). Fourth choice: buy direct from the author. Fifth choice: Buy from Amazon.com (preferably from the link on the author’s website).

4. Recommend your friend’s book. If you like the book, recommend it to friends. Blog about it. Tweet a review or mention. Share a note on Facebook. Recommend the book to your book group. Review her book on Amazon.com, BN.com, GoodReads, Library Thing, and other reader social networks.

5. Tell your friend what you like about the book. Provide your friend with support by telling him something you like about his book. Was it a good read? Did it move you to tears or laughter? Did you learn something new?

6. Help your friend get speaking engagements. If your friend is comfortable speaking, recommend your friend to your Rotary Club, Jaycees, church, Friends of the Library, bookseller, garden club, school, etc.

7. Recommend your friend’s website. Link to it from your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. Tweet about it. When your friend writes a blog post, link to it. If your friend tweets something great, retweet it. Feature a quote from your friend’s book on your website. Or tweet the quote.

8. Create a Wikipedia page for your friend. While authors can’t create their own Wikipedia page, other people can. Every book author deserves a Wikipedia page, since a published book grants the author at least a modicum of fame. On the Wikipedia page, feature a short bio, a bibliography, a link to the author’s website.

9. Help your friend with the media. If you know of any newspaper editors or reporters, magazine editors, radio producers or hosts, TV show hosts or producers, columnists, bloggers, etc., send them a copy of the book or a note about the author. Or tell your friend about your connection, and introduce her to your contact.

10. Pray. Prayer always helps. Pray for your friend and his book. If you’re not into prayer, ask your favorite tree to help.

11. Ask. Ask your friend how you can help her. You may have some talent, connection, specialized knowledge, etc. that might be just the thing she needs. Or they might just need some of your time to help pack and ship some books or make a few phone calls.

12. Do a video review of the book and post it on YouTube and other video sharing websites.

13. Help your friend make some videos for the book. Every author needs a cameraperson, a scriptwriter, a producer. Again, share on YouTube and other video sharing websites.

14. Look for specialty retailers. As you drive around your own hometown or a nearby larger city, keep on the lookout for specialty retailers that might be interested in selling your friend’s books. Cookbooks in gourmet shows, do-it-yourself books in hardware stores, children’s books in toy stores, art or history books at museum shops. Make the contacts yourself or pass them on to your friend to follow up.

15. Look for other sales venues. If your friend’s book is about retirement, check out accountants, tax lawyers, etc. who might be interested in buying copies to give to their clients. Health books, children’s books, and cookbooks might interest doctor and dentist offices. Health clubs might be interested in exercise or diet books. Again, make the contacts yourself or pass them on to your friend to follow up.

16. Suggest catalogs, associations, and other special sales opportunities. If you receive mail order catalogs that feature books like your friend’s book, tell her abour the catalog. The same with associations, groups, corporations, etc. that might be interested in buying bulk copies of your friend’s book.

17. Help them sell rights. If your friend’s novel would make a great movie and you have a connection to an A-list actor or producer who might be interested in making the movie, introduce your friend to your connection. The same with TV producers, audio publishers, agents, etc.

18. Buy your friend a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Okay, this is a little selfish on my part, but your friend will love the gift and gain incredible value from reading the book and acting on all the ideas in the book.

If you liked these tips, please comment and share below.

Pretty in Print: Is it Ever Okay to Compromise on Quality?

Book QualityShould you settle for my motto of “good is good enough” or is dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s the better long term solution to see your book in print?

Lately, I’ve been working with a handful of authors who are in the very final stages of their book. They are up against deadlines, timelines, and most of all – personal goals. It’s a tough time in the book process, especially when the author gets a little tired of reading their manuscript over and over again. (Who can blame them?!)

In a time when the author wants to wrap things and share their work with the world, individuals often struggle with the question – when/where is the stopping point?

While each author will need to make that call individually, I want to encourage, that unlike many other tasks you do in your daily life – don’t compromise quality when it comes to your book.

Often, looming deadlines and personal pressure can make an author say “ah, forget it!”  And if you’ve been through edits and rewrites a handful of times, you’re probably at that point. Recognize the difference between perfectionism (which is senseless editing because you see mistakes in everything you do) over editing that is necessary for a book that will look pretty in print.

I’ll share with you from personal experience, – there is absolutely nothing worse in the world for an author than to see typos, errors, and mistakes in their printed book. For some reason, they literally POP off the page in print.  And for me to say this is pretty big, because I’m generally all about the speed of things – pushing myself and others to just get their work out there. But NOT in a printed book.

In the end, you want a book that looks pretty in print and that you can feel proud to share with others. You don’t want to hide behind some silly mistakes and oversights because you rushed things along. Granted, almost every book carries a few errors here and there. But do your part in publishing a quality book, you’ll be happier in the long run and you won’t be scared to send Aunt Sally, the English teacher in the family, a copy of your newly printed baby!

Besides, readers are finicky, if they see too many errors and mistakes they’ll toss your book to the side and you’ll instantly lose credibility. You don’t want to scare away fans from you fantastic message just because you skipped a few steps at the end.

When in doubt, hire a professional and experienced editor. It’s the one place you don’t want to skimp or skip in your book.

Which Is Better? Ebooks Or Hardcover Books

Which Is Better? Ebooks Or Hardcover Books

This Infographic is produced by Coupon Audit and Self Publishing Experts

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Marketing Your Book through Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth MarketingWord of mouth book marketing is one of the greatest, easiest, and fastest ways to get more books into the hands of your people.
Wait, did I say easiest?

Okay, perhaps it isn’t the easiest but they are some things you can do to increase your word of mouth marketing.

First, I want to reiterate the importance of word of mouth marketing when it comes to books. Think about the last 5-10 books that you purchased. How many of them were purchased because someone else recommended them?

It’s amazing that this simply technique, is still a main reason that books today spread like wildfire throughout communities.

Oprah alone can make a book a bestseller. Think of what happened when she recommended Eckhart Tolle’s The New Earth. Or what about some other recent books like Twilight, Harry Potter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Help. All are books people have been talking about.

What makes a book spread through word of mouth marketing?

1. It needs to be a good book, scratch that, it needs to be an awesome book.

2. It needs to stand out from the crowd, talk about something in a different way, offer a new insight or perspective, or simply change the way people think.

3. It needs to be targeted. Think about Harry Potter and the Twilight following – definitely a targeted group of people. The Help, the audience is primarily adult females.

But what can YOU do as the author to help this phenomenon? Here are few things to get you started:

1. Meet your peeps. Get yourself out there speaking, talking, greeting, and interacting.

2. Engage your readers and followers through a blog, and/or social media.

3. Ask them to pass the word along to their friends.

4. Treat your reader’s right, give them the good stuff – whatever it is you got! (Free stuff, your best writing, you name it!)

Share what you have done to increase your word of mouth marketing?

Should You Write an Endorsement for Another Author?

Writng EndorsementsWorking with authors to finish their books and get them into print, the topic of writing endorsements comes up frequently. The question is whether you, as an author (or an aspiring one), should write an endorsement.

Personally, I believe in the old adage “what goes around comes around,” and while I don’t write endorsements to see what comes back around, I do know that an endorsement can have an impact on an author’s book and marketing materials.

“A well written endorsement can be placed on the cover of the book, on the author’s website, bookmarks, marketing materials, and even used in their presentations.”

If you are given the opportunity or asked to review another person’s work, I would recommend you go for it. However, if you find that you don’t agree with their messages or don’t particularly resonate with their writing, you don’t have to write an endorsement.

But if you do find nuggets of wisdom, inspiration, or even become entertained – do indeed share praise with the author.

Doing this is a gift that you can give the writer at any time, even after the book has been published. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that someone else has enjoyed your work and took a few minutes out of their day to write some kind words about it.

Think about the books you’ve read recently, is there anyone whom you could write an endorsement for?

When it’s time to publish your book, you’ll be thankful that indeed – what goes around does come around!

Creating Multiple Income Streams for Authors

Book MarketingWhen I first started writing and selling books a colleague said to me “You aren’t thinking you are just going to make a-living selling books –do you?”

Luckily, I’ve read and learned enough about the topic to know that won’t be the case.  In a dream world I would sit back and write books and allow the royalties to roll in, but in reality I know there are many ways in which an author can and should earn additional revenue streams  – here are just a few!

  • Speaking engagements
  • Products related to the book (workbooks, cod’s, music)
  • Workshops
  • Retreats
  • Services on the book topic (Web design, book completion support)
  • Coaching or consulting on the book topic
  • Tele-seminars
  • Blogging (ads on blogs, affiliate commissions)
  • Games or card decks on your book topic
  • Stationary or other fun usable items
  • E-books
  • E-courses

All of these can be expanded on, but it’s important to think about the other opportunities having a book will bring into your life and business. There are many ways to generate revenue, the key is to be creative and look for the opportunities!

Did I miss an opportunity that you are utilizing? If so, please share here.

Celebrate Your Story

Celebrating StoriesAs human beings we experience many events over the course of our lives, yet we seldom get to share them in a way that leads to change and transformation for others who may be experiencing something similar.

Stories have the power to cross boundaries of culture, language and age. Concepts conveyed in a story imprint themselves into the human mind. It is the stories we remember more than the idea or concept that might have been presented at the time.

Stories define us and give us a sense of identity. We may tell ourselves certain stories or believe or dismiss stories. The stories may not be accurate, yet if we believe them, they become our reality.

Stories have the ability to build and preserve a sense of community. Stories can align and motivate with vivid imagery and build emotional connections often providing a shared sense of purpose.

To be human is to have a story, and we think of our lives as a story. A story is the structure that gives meaning and order to our lives.

Stories are how we convey our deepest emotions and talk about those things that we value the most. It is through the stories we tell that we are most able to portray the fullest array of human emotion.

At their best, stories are incredibly persuasive because they ‘speak to us’ at a very meaningful, emotional, and often-unconscious level. When a story makes the hair on the back of our necks tingle it is because that particular story has touched a very deep nerve in our personal or collective psyches.

As children we were naturally good at telling stories about events or topics that mattered and learning from others via their stories, but as we became older we were taught that serious people relied only on presenting information and “the facts.” Accurate information, sound logic, and the facts are necessary, of course, but truly effective leaders in any field know how to tell “the story” behind their success.

Women process their present day problems, their past history, and their dreams of their futures with stories. Often they express themselves more openly in the company of other women. They often feel that another woman will be able to relate to their story and telling it allows them to process what happened and make decisions about how to move forward.

Sharing a personal story with another person can be deeply bonding and create a lasting connection. Sometimes people hesitate to share their most personal stories, but when they speak from their hearts with courage, they often feel a catharsis and relief. Keeping their story private may seem safer, but when we keep our story tucked away from others, we may not be able to achieve a relatable connection with those around us.

Our stories have the power to release us from being stuck as well as inspire others simultaneously.  Hiding our stories may also seem like we are forgiving and forgetting, but actually sharing them can further us in our journey of healing.

I encourage you to celebrate your life and the stories within it. Those stories shaped you into who you are today. We all have the power to create a lasting legacy of our story. Begin to share your stories and then let them go free while you move on to create even more. The best is yet to come!