Steven Manchester is one of Authors Without Borders Associate Member. He has won the 2018 New York Book Festival award for his new book, “Three Shoeboxes.”
Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect―or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything―most importantly his family.
One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.
The Write Practice!
What does it take to sell your book?
Put another way, what does it take to not just write a book, not just publish it, but actually sell copies — preferably, lots of copies?
Our writers have spent the last month gathering their best book marketing tips, and I wanted to share their wisdom with you.
How to Write and Publish Your Book for Free
1. Capture the Idea
2. Write the Book
3. Edit the Book
4. Ask the Readers to Read it
5. Decide on the Format
6. Get a Cover
7. Format the Book
8. Upload Your Published Book
9. Tell Everyone
How to Write a Book Description That Will Captivate Readers (And Sell Books!): Your book description is your chance to communicate to your readers why they’ll love your book. This article will show you exactly what it should say.
1. Keep it Short
2. Write in Third Person
3. Don’t Overdo the Language
4. Write a Hook
5. Use Keywords
1. Be Clear About the Genre
2. Hint at the Climax; Don’t Tell
How to Sell Books Without a Publisher: Self publishing can be a fantastic choice — as long as you’re willing to put in the work to produce and sell your book yourself. Here’s how to reach your readers even without the support of a publisher.
1. Build Your Reader Base
2. Repeatedly Connect with Your Readers
3. Finish Your Book
4. Choose Your Distribution Channel
5. Let Your Reader Know and Market Your Book
6. Write Your Next Book
7. Time to Sell Books
How to Sell Books for Free: The Thrifty Author’s Guide: What’s better than selling books? Selling them without spending thousands of dollars on services you don’t need. Find out exactly what it takes to sell your book for free — and where it’s worth investing money.
While Docs is less powerful than Microsoft Word (or Apple Pages, custom on Mac computers), Docs gets the job done and includes customizable styles so you can keep your work organized. You can download your Doc files in a variety of types, including Word (.docx), PDF, Rich Text (rtf), and EPUB for Ebook formatting.
Another option is to get discounted access to Microsoft Office through an employer, or to install old versions of the suite that no longer require a license. I use the 2010 version of Office and it works perfectly. It takes some patience, but I’m glad I’m not paying Microsoft’s exorbitant prices!
Publish Your eBook for Free
The household name in e-Publishing is, of course, Amazon. Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, is the first place many aspiring authors go when they want to become “published.” Other popular places to upload your eBook for free include Nook (Barnes & Noble) and Smashwords.
Publish Your Book in Print for Free
There’s nothing quite like holding your published book in print. When I first held The Bean of Life it was a surreal experience.
When it comes to free print-on-demand services, it really comes down to CreateSpace and the newer Amazon KDP for Print-on-Demand. Both programs walk you through the setup process and provide instructions on how to format your book for print, which is very different from Kindle/Ebook!
Index Your Book With a Free ISBN
You’re probably familiar with the barcode at the bottom of every printed book you’ve ever seen. That’s the ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, which indexes the book and identifies it wherever it is sold or catalogued.
The only legitimate provider of ISBN numbers is Bowker, and the only way to get them at a good price is to buy a bunch of them at once. I purchased ten ISBNs for $250, to give you an idea.
Design Your Book’s Cover for Free
If there’s an area where you might want to save up the cash and pay someone, it’s probably here. Learning the basics of graphic design, and artful cover design, requires all the patience and perseverance you can muster.
But there is a way for you to start tinkering with cover design for absolutely free and discover if this is something you can do on your own. It’s extremely rewarding to design you own book covers and marketing materials! Plus there are a ton of YouTube tutorial videos out there that will help you, and after lots of trial and error, you’ll start producing work that is respectable!
The secret is in the free, open-source program called the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, or G.I.M.P.
Build Your Audience for Free
While it’s not free, I recommend using WordPress.org and purchasing hosting through Bluehost. Simply decline all the add-ons they try to sell (your site will be protected, don’t worry) and your hosting will cost roughly $30–40 a year. You can still go the free route, but it severely limits what you can do to build your audience and eventually sell to it.
Connect With (and Sell to) Your Readers for Free
A great email client to start with, mostly because it’s free (if you have less than 2,000 subscribers), is MailChimp. While it lacks some of the power of other clients (like Convertkit, AWeber, or Constant Contact), it provides a great foundation to begin practicing the art of email marketing at no cost to you.
How to Sell Books in Your Local Community: Your local community is full of readers! Here’s how to connect with the readers all around you and sell your book.
1. Set up an Event at Your Local Bookstore
2. Create Promotional Material
3. Go to Events in Your Community
4. Write and Elevator Pitch
How to Sell Books in Person
Selling books locally is a lot different from networking online, but it comes with several advantages. People are more likely to buy your product if they feel like they have connected with you on a personal level. Plus, getting to know your readers (or potential readers) is such an important part of being an author.
And remember, it isn’t a big deal if you don’t make a sale right away. Sometimes you make a friend first, and maybe later that friend will become a customer, and a long-time fan.
How to Sell Books Using Email Marketing: The best way to sell books online is using email marketing. This article will give you a crash course in boosting your book sales with a few well-chosen emails.
Notes for Email Marketing Mastery
Make sure your emails are professional and edited. You’re supposed to be selling books and no one is going to buy them if you have typos in your emails.
You’ll also want to focus on staying “on brand” when you email. In other words, make sure the look and tone of every email matches what you’ve sent so far. If you want to get fancy with the design of your emails, I recommend designing an email header that will be used in each email, taking time to write a compelling signature, and making sure your colors, fonts, etc. always match. You want consistency so people will recognize you.
Finally, find some other writers and hop on their email lists! Not only does this open up a line of communication in the writing community, but you can also get ideas for your own emails from what others are putting out there. Remember, though: As with anything, turn old ideas into new ones. Don’t steal outright.
How to Sell Books on Twitter: The Twitter Starter Pack for Writers: Social media can be an amazing tool to spread the word about your book. Here’s how to leverage Twitter to reach your readers and even make sales.
You may already know what a hashtag is from them being shoved down our throats at every turn for the past decade, but I’m going to explain them anyway for those of us who’ve retreated from Twitter like a vampire from sunlight.
A hashtag is simply # followed by some words. You’ve probably seen them everywhere already. On social media profiles, in the corner of your TV screen, in ads.
Hashtags help people find your tweets. It’s like an indexing system. There are a million established hashtags for writers already. Here’s a partial list of some of the more popular ones:
Twitter has become a necessary tool in a writer’s book marketing arsenal, so make an author account and get to building your platform!
How Do You Sell 100 Million Copies of a Book?:
1. Write in English
2. Write for Children or Young Adults
3. Write in the Bildungsroman genre: Bildungsroman is a literary genre that basically means “coming of age” story. They are almost always stories about a hero going from innocence to experience.
4. Bring meaning to the lives of your readers.
5. Sex doesn’t sell.
If you’ve published a book, or if you’re thinking of publishing one, I hope these articles will give you a boost on your book selling journey.
Another Google News discussion with David Bain is just around the corner! Search Marketing Scoop podcast is the compass that navigates you through the rough, digital waters. And David Bain, along with his guest experts, Steve Wildeman, President of Wildeman Consulting Group, and Michelle Morgan, Director of Client services at Clix Marketing, will shed a light on what’s new with paid and organic search, and how to deal with all these changes on the latest podcast episode on Youtube Live.
August 8th – Save the Date:
Stay updated on all updates and changes Google rolls out daily
Get real insights on Google news from industry experts who know a thing or two about the digital landscape, and what to expect
Get answers to your most pressing questions in real-time
Looking forward to seeing you there!
All the best,
Head of Video Content at SEMrush