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7 ways to promote your books with video

7 ways to promote your books with video

video promotion for authorsReading can be an immersive experience, but that also means it often takes us time to “get into” a good book. Once we’re there, we’re hooked. At quick glance, though, the first page of your novel looks exactly like everyone else’s: black type on white paper.

That’s why video can be so helpful in creating interest in your writing, in your career as an author, and in your creative process. Short videos feel more immediate — so they’re far more digestible and sharable than, say, a sample chapter from your novel. 

Here are a handful of ways to use video to promote your books and writing career:

1. Create a compelling book trailer.

2. Shoot an on-camera interview.

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eBook pricing strategies for authors

eBook pricing strategies for authors

eBook PricingOne of the most common questions we hear at BookBaby is some variation of “how much should I charge for my eBook? $9.99? $4.99? $2.99? Less?”

Like most good questions, this one doesn’t have one simple answer. In fact, we usually have to ask the author a few questions ourselves in order to get some context:

  • What is your goal with this book?
  • How much do you want to make from each sale?
  • What is the size of your existing readership?

eBook pricing, just like promotion and the writing of the book itself, doesn’t work the same for everyone.

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Proofreading software to save you time

Proofreading software to save you time

Book Editing[This guest post was written by Amy Cowen, a writer who learned a lot about online proofreading tools while editing her own articles. Today Amy is happy to share a few tips with you.]

Proofreading software saves you time in two ways. Firstly, it picks up on the easy mistakes. That is why most people run a spelling and grammar check as soon as they finish their work. The second time you use it, you do so to double check your changes near the end of the final draft. You check for places where you may have repeated yourself or cut a line short without realizing. Here are three proofreading programs and services that you can access online to save yourself a little time when proofreading.

Proofread By GrammarBase

This highly-rated tool helps you manually proofread your own work. It’s a web-based tool, which means there is no downloading and the computation is done on their server. It will work with most of the popular web browsers and you may either copy and paste the text onto the screen, or you can upload the file to Proofread and have it checked that way. (Depending on length, you may be required to upload the document).

Proofread will tell  you how many critical mistakes you have made. These are mistakes that could potentially make your work appear of lower quality. As you know, a simple grammatical mistake may change the point of what you are saying entirely. It will then give you suggestions for things you can change within the text. Like any spelling and grammar program, you do not have to accept any of the suggestions.

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Nine things every book proposal needs

Nine things every book proposal needs

Finding Literary AgentsYou’ve written a book you think could be a best-seller. Now there’s only one thing standing between you and a big publishing deal: a literary agent.

On the Ploughshares Blog, Steph Auteri offers some great advice on how to make your book proposal stand out from the dozens or hundreds of other pitches the agent of your dreams received that week.

Take a look at her Checklist of Book Proposal Essentials to Go Through Before You Start Schmoozing Agents for the full details, or read my quick summary below.

A compelling book proposal should have:

1. A catchy title and subtitle. Though the publisher could always change the name of the book later on, you want to give them the sense right from the start that this book is a finished product.

2. An irresistible book description. You’re a writer — so take time writing your book description too. Make it shine from the very first sentence. Convey what is both unique and universal about your book. If you don’t, the agent will most certainly move on to the next proposal in the pile.

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The writers’ retreat

The writers’ retreat

Last week I posted an article on this blog called “What is a writing residency and how can I get one?

Well, around that same time, the Sunday Book Review published Grant Snider‘s comic illustration of the quintessential writing retreat — showing us the highs, the lows, and the… commercial success fallout shelter.

Check it out below:

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Haven’t heard back on your writing submissions? Here’s what NOT to do

Haven’t heard back on your writing submissions? Here’s what NOT to do

One of my favorite literary journals, Rattle, just posted this picture on their Facebook page of a Better Business Bureau complaint form filed by some writer who’d submitted to Rattle but had not yet gotten a response:

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OK. I get it. It’s frustrating to wait a long time for a response to a submission. But filing a BBB complaint?

Some publications (like Beloit Poetry Journal) have great systems in place…

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Finding the right publicist for your next book

Finding the right publicist for your next book

Book publicists: how to find the right oneEffective book publicity is a team effort. You and your publicist need to work well together. But with so many professional PR people out there, how do you know which one will be the right fit for your goals, budget, genre, personality, and more?

Here’s a list of things to consider when you’re looking for a publicist for your next book

1. Budget — Here’s an obvious place to start: can you pay them the fee they’re asking? Even if you only hire a publicist for 3 months or so, it’s probably going to cost you thousands, so think about your finances first; then find the publicist that fits your budget.

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BookBaby distributing the first Salinger eBook

BookBaby distributing the first Salinger eBook

J.D. Salinger's "Three Early Stories"The Devault-Graves Agency has acquired the rights to three of J.D. Salinger’s early stories published in 1940s, years before he’d written Catcher in the Rye. 

The stories have been collected into a book which is, according to the publisher, the first book by Salinger to be lawfully published in 50 years, as well as the first of Salinger’s writing lawfully available as an eBook.

BookBaby is happy to be handling the digital distribution for J.D. Salinger’s Three Early Stories

To read about the “exhaustive” intellectual property search that took place in order to locate and purchase the rights to these early works by the iconic author, check out THIS ARTICLE from Publishers Weekly.

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Bad advice for writers: how to suck at social media

Bad advice for writers: how to suck at social media

Conan-the-Conquerer-1-247x300[Sarcasm warning!!!!]

When it comes to building your author platform, Social Media is a zero-sum game. Your readers should only like one writer: YOU! There’s simply not enough social media to go around. As an author, you must either conquer social media outright or leave nothing behind but scorched earth.

Luckily for you, I caught a panel discussion at this year’s BEA called “The Worst Social Media Advice Ever” — and I’ve summarized some of their intentionally terrible advice, added a few of my own tips, and offer it all here for your edification.

Some important things to remember if you want to win at social media

1. It’s all about you — Duh. They’re your “followers,” after all. Treat them as such. Your readers’ only social media medicine should be a daily injection of 100% maximum YOU. And make it clear you’d prefer your monologue to run without interruption.

2. Be a brand, not a person — Don’t let your fans forget the reasons why they followed you in the first place: your corporate sponsorships, your clean website fonts, your newest signature perfume. Don’t draw attention to your art or your humanity,… that’s just weakness. Embody the brand and the brand will embody you, making you all-powerful. For extra impact, be sure to use terms like “direct-to-fan” and “value-added” whenever you post on social media.

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Famous writers’ advice to college graduates

Famous writers’ advice to college graduates

Neil Gaiman graduation speechI can’t even remember who gave the commencement address at my college graduation. Must’ve made quite the impression, huh?

If it’d been an author or poet up there — one whose work I really loved — I’d have been all ears, of course.

Now, thanks to this Flavorwire article, I can imagine I’m back there, sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair, baking in the May sun, dressed in cap and gown, and listening to a cavalcade of respected writers dispense their best nuggets of wisdom.

Here’s just a few inspiring excerpts:

“Lots of people, when they first start writing, write about themselves. But I’m going to be blunt: You’re not as interesting as you think you are. And even if you’ve had an unusual life, a difficult life, a shocking life, it’s not easy to write about it well. We seem to have little perspective on ourselves and what will be appealing to others. That’s partly why I moved into writing historical novels — it takes me away from my self, so that you don’t have to read about me. Writing about places and times I know nothing about has gotten me interested in all kinds of strange things. In the name of research I’ve gone fossil hunting, given tours in a Victorian cemetery, learned to quilt. I’ve handled priceless medieval tapestries and held the original notebook William Blake drafted Songs of Innocence and of Experience in.”

Tracy Chevalier, Oberlin College, 2013

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