Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When in Rome...

Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of opportunities there are online for free or cheap marketing? These sites are free in the sense that they don't cost money, but they can zap your time. I believe that many of the social networking sites are useful --when used correctly and for the right reasons. It's just like when every company thought they had to have their product on television to get anyone to notice it. Not true. If you are just jumping on the bandwagon because everyone else seems to be and you don't want to get left in the dust, take a step back and think about whether or not the people you are trying to reach can even be found on a site like Facebook or Twitter. Maybe they are on MySpace -- people have preferences and prejudices regarding these sites.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong advocate for online networking, but it seems like everyone is everywhere, with no real strategy. Maybe you're trying to get the attention of the 20-something crowd to come into your new salon -- Google AdWords might be the best. Or maybe you should be going with an old-school newsletter -- on actual "paper" if you want to tell local businesses about a sale you're having at the end of the week or a new service you're offering. Figure out where your time and money is best spent, and go from there.

Erin Pankowski
Marketing Manager
Concierge Marketing
and Publishing Services

Friday, May 8, 2009

Self Publishing Resources -- From Those Who Practice What They Preach

Purchase and READ these books while you are writing yours:

John Kremer – 1001 Ways to Market Your Books
Dan Poynter – The Self Publishing Manual
Judith Applebaum – How to Get Happily Published
Brian Jud – Beyond the Bookstore
Susan Friedman – Riches in Niches

If you are using a “Self Publishing” or “Print on Demand” company such as Author Solutions, LuLu, BookHouse, or any number of others, purchase this book:
Mark Levine – The Fine Print of Self Publishing for an unbiased comparison of all of these companies and how to choose one.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One Small Step for Self Publishers, One Giant Step for the Industry

Readers are not biased against self published books just because they are self published, but most will be turned off if your book looks amateurish. Self published books have had their ups and downs as far as consumer perception. Most of this is due to some authors not paying attention to details such as editing, design, and quality printing. The entire industry hinges on all books that are self published being of a quality that consumers will value so as not to diminish the entire lot.

How do you help the entire industry enhance their image?
- Write a good book (well researched and relevant -- and do you have credentials?)
- Hire a qualified editor and/or indexer (not your mom)
- Hire a trained and talented book designer (not your cousin Vinny)
- Make sure your book meets with publishing standards (ISBN, Library of Congress, etc.)

You will look more credible, and your book will, too. But you'll also be helping everyone else in the independent and self publishing industry. We all need that!

Lisa Pelto, President
Concierge Marketing
and Publishing Services