What Do People Want To Read?

How Do I Know What Type of Book Reader’s Are Interested in?

Writing Tips For Finding Inspiration

Not long ago I found a wonderful book – “The Top 10 of Everything 2002” – which listed the world’s best selling books of all time. Want to know what they were?

The top five were the Bible, followed by Quotations from Chairman Mao, The American Spelling Book, Guinness Book of World Records, and The World Almanac.

The next five were a reading book, a child care guide, two inspirational titles, and one fiction book.

Did you notice that the top nine titles offer (a) inspiration, (b) information, or (c) instruction? Let’s face it…life’s pathway is full of rocks, and many of us need all the navigational help we can get!

If you need more evidence for this, just gather a few recent magazines. In the last couple weeks, I’ve found new ways to flatten my stomach, enlarge my brain, recycle my trash, and enhance my hair.

Here’s something else: Lots of us 21st century folks want shortcuts so we can be more efficient, so we’ll have more free time to improve our personal and family lives.

If you’re an expert on saving time, saving money, teaching life skills or improving life quality, this could be the best time to share your knowledge.

Here are five ways to do that:

1. Offer to write a “how-to” article on your specialty for your local newspaper or your industry’s trade magazine.
2. In your article, offer an alternative solution to a common problem.
3. Present new evidence of how your skill can benefit readers.                             Rix Quinn’s awesome book “Words That Stick” offers writing alternatives and ideas. It’s an amazing little book packed with tons of info that should help you out of tons of writing jams. You can order it from http://www.amazon.com/Words-That-Stick-Writing-Impact/dp/1580085768
For consultation, Rix can be e-mailed directly at mailto: rixquinn (at) charter.net
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rix_Quinn
4. Offer new hope – Example: Baby boomers are getting older. Can you offer some skill or technique that could improve their lives?
5. Ask “why,” then supply the answer. Example: “I always wondered why I could remember where I left my keys, but couldn’t remember where I left my car.”

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Are You A Spammer?

A couple of days ago I received a friend request on Facebook.

Innocent enough you’d think.

But this person really taught me a couple of things NOT to do as your trying to build out your author platform.

About two minutes after I accepted their request I got a personal email from them.
Not saying anything like, “Hi there. I love your work. Thanks so much for the connection. If there’s anything I can help you with just let me know.”

I would have loved that!

Not only would it have stroked my ego but it would have really gotten me curious as to what this person was all about.

Nope is was nothing like that though. She immediately went into a pitch, asking me to join her Facebook group, and to check out her website.


Who are you? Why would I want to? What makes you think that I’d be interested in anything that you’re up to?

So just to mess with her I sent her an email back telling her about my sites, a contest I had going on, and if she could give me some conversion rate stats on a campaign she had going on with her site.


She thanked me for my info but she never did answer my question about the stats.

This isn’t the worst part though.

About two days later I receive an email to confirm my subscription to her mailing list.

Now the thing to understand is that where I received this confirmation email was at my hotmail account. The one I have listed on my facebook profile.

So this lady went to my profile, manually inputted my email address into her mailing list software, and then sent me a message to confirm my subscription.


Actually I’m wrong. It’s not that unbelievable.
I can see how she thought that this was an acceptable method of marketing.

Because she was desperate. Because she didn’t respect me. And most of all, she was blind to how all this could tarnish my image of her and what she’s doing in the world.

The Take Away

– Know your audience
– Respect your connections
– And build your email list with a killer report or something else of value

Don’t be a spammer.

Take a moment before you send something out and think to yourself, “How would I feel if I received this?”

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Are You Abusing Your Facebook Power

A Note For Facebook Group/Page Administrators

Don’t Abuse Your Power

There seems to be a really awful trend happening on Facebook.

Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to start a fan page or group. Maybe it’s just because people don’t know any better.

It doesn’t really matter what the reasons are, I’m fed up and motivated to do my part to help my Facebook friends make some positive changes to their online campaigning and social media marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. It gave me my friends back and has helped me to connect to people all over the world. It helped me to start global movements like the Hour of Positive Power and the World Peace Prayer and Meditation. And it lets me share pictures of the little ones with the Grandparents.

But I’m afraid that people don’t really understand their roles when they become Facebook group and page administrators.
I’m sorry to say that a lot of people really abuse their power.
So with that being said I created the:

Facebook Administrators Rules To Live By
My membership is sacred. Treat it as such.

When you message me more than once in a day that’s called spamming.
I don’t care how fast the group is growing so don’t message me about it.
Don’t ask me to invite all my friends. Inspire me to do so.
Stop by the group once a week and maybe weed out all the useless posts.

Is there any rules that I missed? I know I must have.

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Dan Brown and What A Writer Can Learn From Him

Dan Brown’s Direct Link To The Depths Of Our Minds

It seems to me that Dan Brown truly has a deep understanding of the hidden currents that are floating around within the collective consciousness.
Take for instance his latest book the Lost Symbol (I haven’t read it yet) in which he explores the power of thought to create our world. Even going further to explore the boundaries of mass thought.

No matter what you say about his writing he has an awesome ability to create stories that intertwine the underground themes floating around on the web and within the matrix of our minds.

Katherine Solomon one of the main characters had this to say about thought,
We have scientifically proven that the power of human thought grows exponentially with the number of minds that share that thought, ” she says.
“This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison, and worshiping en mass. The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It’s a hard-core scientific reality. . .”

The book draws heavily from Lynne McTaggart’s work with intention experiments. You can check out what she has to say about it on her blog. I’m a big fan of her work and participate in her Intention Experiments.
Is there something that writer’s can learn from this? I have to say yes. He has sold a ton of books and of course they’ve been made into movies.

What we can learn from Dan Brown:

  • Discover what’s percolating within the collective consciousness
  • Figure out which topics are the hot ones
  • Draft your books outline around them
  • Make sure the themes are current and interest in them is growing
  • Research the topic yourself

People may hack on Dan Brown often but he seems to know what he’s doing.
I remember talking to a guy who was picking up Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons. As he reached down and took the book off the shelf he looked at me and said, “Dan Brown really is a bad writer.”

Well if he’s so bad why was this guy picking up the book still?
Because Dan can write a page turner based around concepts that people are secretly interested in.

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5 Things Coca-Cola Can Teach You About Effective Online Marketing

It seems that Coca-Cola, in all it’s bubbly wisdom, focuses on the fundamentals when it comes down to online marketing.

They use five key foundations for the online marketing efforts. Add value. Be transparent. Be consistent and follow through. Be receptive to change. Surprise and delight your customers.

That’s what Linda Cronin, director of media and interactive integrated communications, Sparkling BBU, Coca-Cola North America(now that’s a mouthful), revealed at the sold-out IAB Social Media Marketplace.

Five Foundations For Online Marketing From Coca-Cola

  1. Add value. Bring value into every interaction.
  2. Be transparent. Listen to what your brand owners are saying. You are not your brand owner. You are the steward of your brand.
  3. Be consistent and follow through. Stay on brand strategy and stay true to who you are. Make human connections, which we all share, better and more meaningful.
  4. Be receptive to change. Mix things up to keep it fresh.
  5. Surprise and delight your customers.

Again, keep things interesting and fresh.
Surprise and delight your customers, is pretty heavy corporate speak. In the last management job I had, the company was big on this. But when it came down to it, the customers we’re surprised and delighted if the business could just deliver on its promises. Which is a major problem with today’s companies. Publishers and authors included.

And I’m not sure how much this applies to the actual product for Coca-Cola. Because if I cracked open a can and didn’t get what I expected I’m pretty sure I’d be jumping ship pretty fast. So maybe this applies more for their marketing creatives.

Blaze Your Book!

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Book Title Tips

What a Pizza Company and Seth Godin Can Teach You About Your Book Cover.

“What’s the title of that book again?”

You know how many times I’ve heard this?

As a professional bookseller you hear some weird questions but this is tops.
The thing I hear most is usually some variation of, “I’m looking for a book. I can’t remember the book’s title or the name of the author.”
No really it is.

So what can you do as a writer or publisher to avoid this problem?

Choose a book title that gets lodged deep into people brains.
Sort of like a little jingle that they use for Pizza Pizza, Toronto Ontario’s biggest pizza chain, and probably one of our most recognized brands.

Anyone who lives in this province has this little diddy rattling around their brains somewhere, “Nine six seven eleven eleven. Phone pizza pizza hey hey hey.”
It’s burned in there and it’ll never come out.
And when your choosing your book title be sure to try and do the same.

Choose something that sticks in your readers minds. Something that they’ll never forget.
I’ve noticed two major trends in for book titles over the last little while.

Book Title Trends:

  • A single word or two words that pop followed by a descriptive subtitle.
  • A catchy long title that is followed by a descriptive subtitle.
  • Single Word Book Titles That Work

Three of my favorite single word book titles are:
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers To Persuasion and Captivation
by Sally Hogshead……

I love this books title.
And the cover made me reach out and grab it.
It’s on my list of must reads and will soon be on my book shelf.
Great captivating single word choice for the books title.
The subtitle explains what the books about.

Color of the cover and cover art just grips you.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
by Seth Godin

I have to admit that at first I wasn’t really sold on the book cover.
But now I think it’s one of the most iconic book covers of the last couple years.
And even though the books title and sub-title are a little vague, they work.

Curiosity is peaked.
People want to know more.

And somewhere floating around in our sub-conscious minds has to be the need to be indispensable. Especially in these times.
Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans & Sometimes Change History
by Steve Cone
This books subtitle IMO is the best I’ve ever seen.
When I started to think up the idea for this post this book was first on my mind.
I couldn’t remember the actual subtitle but I definitely remembered the books title.
And now looking at the subtitle again I can see how it hits you on so many levels.
Sell brands: Everyone wants to sell more of their stuff.
Grip fans: Everyone’s looking for a way to engage and captivate our tribe.

Sometimes change history: Admit it, you WANT to change the world. You do don’t you?

Book Title Creation The Take Away
If you’re working on a book’s title then commit to work on it. I mean really work on it.

In this industry it’s make or break. So do everything in your power to give your book an edge over the rest.

Keep a running list of titles you love.

What do you love about them?

How could you slant your own book title like they did?

What kind of book titles are the norm for your audience?

And test your books title!

Not on family and friends.

But do a poll on your website.

Or have a mastermind session with a few people who’s opinion you respect.
Make sure that your book title rocks and you will notice a definite spike in your books sales. And people will actually remember your books title and leave with it in their hands.

Blaze Your Book!

p.s. What are some of your fav. book titles? And how do you brainstorm to come up with a kick-butt book title?


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Book Cover Trends – Orange(ish)

The Conspiracy Of The Orange(ish) Book Cover Trend

First and foremost I’m a little bit color blind.
Which is interesting when you take into account that I was a graphic designer for a little while.
Maybe that’s why it was such a short lived career.

Now back to the conspiracy.

The orange(ish) book cover.

Book Cover – The 4 Hour Work Week

I was waiting for the second edition of Timothy Ferris’s book the Four Hour Work Week to come out. So when I checked the release date I saw that they updated the cover. Which is pretty much standard pracitise within the book trade business.
But what I didn’t expect to see was the dramatic and bold splash of color that really made this book stand out from the rest. And when I looked around the business section there was no other book that had a cover similar to it.
Well, not for long.

Book Cover – Linchpin

Seth Godin’s new book, Linchpin, came out about a month or so later.
The cover really stood out from all the other books in the section. (Aside from Timothy’s of course).
First it’s iconic symbol was really different from the rest of the business books.
And secondly it’s color made it easy to spot from across the store.

Book Cover – The Little Big Things

When I found out that Tom Peter’s just released a new book I lost my breath.
No really I did.
But when I saw the cover I was like, “Hold up a ’sec. Now that’s interesting. Haven’t I seen this color before?”
Tom’s book cover was a bright, eye burning orange.

Now all of these books are categorized for the business section. So if you’re a business author take note. But a general take-away from these book covers for authors, book cover designers, and publishers everywhere can be:

Stand out from the crowd

Do what you can to catch people’s attention FAST
You don’t have to have an orange(ish) book cover for your book. Look at the other covers in your genre and see if you can spot an accepted theme. But once spotted, do what you can to ensure that your book is practically jumping off the shelves.

Blaze Your Book Sales

Book Marketing Related Posts:
Book Title Tips
Seth Godin’s Advice For Writers & Authors

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Book Marketing Insider Secrets – Pro Bash Programming

Book Marketing Case Study

With Chris F.A. Johson author of Pro Bash Programming: Scripting the GNU/Linux Shell.

What’s your book about?

Programming the Unix shell. The shell is a programming language that is used at the command line as well as in scripts. The same commands that you use at the prompt can be put into a file and used to automate tasks.

When did you start to market and promote your book?

As soon as they were published.

What online methods have you used to market your book?

First, I set up pages on my web site for the books.
Then I included the URL to the pages in my signature on all e-mails and Usenet postings I made.
For the first book, I posted a sample chapter on my site.

Which online methods have you found to be the most effective and the least effective?

It’s impossible to say.

What offline methods have you used to market your book?

I have given talks to the local Linux Users’ Group.

Which offline methods have you found to be the most effective and least effective?

I don’t know.

What will you do differently when you market your next book?

I am thinking of publishing my next book as an e-book, so I will sell books at such outlets as smashwords and kindle. If there is enough call for it, I might consider using a print-on-demand service.

Buy Pro Bash Programming: Scripting the GNU/Linux Shell!

You can pick up a copy of Pro Bash Programming: Scripting the GNU/Linux Shell at Amazon and Chapters.

Author Bio:
Chris F.A. Johnson, is the author of Pro Bash Programming: Scripting the GNU/Linux Shell (2009, Apress) Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)

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SEO for Writers

(SEO) Search Engine Optimization Guide For Writers

SEO for writers is extremely important. (SEO) Search Engine Optimization can drive tons of free traffic to your site.

You write once and then have a steady stream of people arriving at your door eagerly looking for whatever it is you’ve just optimized for.

To make learning Search Engine Optimization a little bit easier for writers I think an handy visual SEO Guide should really drive home a complete picture of the process of SEO for writers.

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Book Marketing Insider Secrets – Evolve

Book Marketing Case Study

With Nancy Kilpatrick, editor of Evolve: 23 Vampire Stories of the New Undead.

What’s your book about?

Evolve is an anthology of vampire stories, edited by me. One that differs from what readers have seen before.

My mandate was to have the authors who wrote the stories get a sense of the vampire in older literature to the present, and also familiarize themselves with what’s on TV and in movies right now.

Then to speculate, “What type of vampire will we see in the future?”

They more than met my vision. It’s an innovative book in the genre.
When did you start to market and promote your book?
We began about last January with a variety of interviews for print, internet, radio.                                                                                                                                                      Our aim was to launch the book at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, UK in March, 2010 so we targeted that event.
We also have done Canadian launches/signings in April in various cities, Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, and I think one is being set up for Vancouver.
It’s been a vigorous marketing campaign.

The book will be distributed in the US in Barnes & Noble stores in August, so we are gearing some promotion that way, with people doing signings, and a panel in August at Festival of Fear in Toronto, which draws a lot of US readers.

One of the most interesting aspects of the marketing has been one of the special editions. The publisher did 50 hardcover copies, signed by all contributors, wrapped in silk and packaged in a wooden coffin with a cross bookmark. There is also a nice faceplate on the front. It’s special and draws a lot of attention.

What online methods have you used to market your book?

We’ve done a website with a video–the video is also on Youtube. We set up a Facebook page and I joined FB with my personal wall to promote the book. We’ve done a lot of blog and interviews news interviews as well as podcasts. The publisher came up with some limited editions which are sold on the website (the regular trade paperback is only in stores).

Which online methods have you found to be the most effective?

It’s really hard to tell at this time, as it’s just April and we’ve just launched the book. Some people think that small blogs don’t make much sense and one should go for the major newspapers. But I tend to feel that every effort is worthwhile because one thing usually leads to another.
Which online methods have you found to be the least effective?
Same answer. We just don’t know. But I will say that the Youtube video isn’t identified correctly, which means it has a low viewership. That’s something we will correct for the next book.

What offline methods have you used to market your book?

Edge Publishing has a PR person who has a big list and she is the one who contacted a lot of the genre-specific publications and media, so it all came through her. Edge has provided a lot of books as give-aways in contests, and for interviewers.

At the World Horror Convention launch, we gave away little gift bags of candy which included a little bat. We also had door prizes: a (candy) blood bag; bottles of vampire wine contributed by the vintner, and a special edition in the coffin packaging. There was an invitation to the launch in the convention bags which had an enclosure of a one million dollar Vampire Money bill. None of this was expensive and it’s a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to attention.

Which offline methods have you found to be the most effective?

Again, we don’t quite know yet what’s effective. There have been reviews done and interviews over the phone for publications not online. We’ve got bookmarks that are lovely and terrific postcards–the larger size. It really remains to be seen what leads to what. The book has had nothing but praise so far, with reviews and from readers, and I think all the promotion is worthwhile.

What will you do differently when you market your next book?

I’d say we’ll take a similar approach; so far, this one is working well. But the publisher is always open to new ideas, as am I.

Buy Evolve Now!

You can pick-up your own copy of Evolve on the Evolve site. Or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Chapters.

About the Editor/Author
Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick has published 18 novels, 1 non-fiction book, over 200 short stories, 5 collections of stories, and has edited 10 anthologies. Much of her body of work involves vampires. Nancy writes dark fantasy, horror, mysteries and erotic horror, under her own name, her nom de plume Amarantha Knight, and her newest pen name Desirée Knight (Amarantha’s younger sister!) Besides writing novels and short stories, and editing anthologies, she has scripted 4 issues of VampErotic comics. As well, she’s penned a couple of radio scripts, a stage play, and much non-fiction, including the book The goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined (St. Martin’s Press).

Book Marketing Related Posts:                                                                                            Book Marketing Insider Secrets – One Week Job Project
Book Marketing Insider Secrets – Pro Bash Programming
Book Marketing Insider Secrets
Book Marketing Insider Secrets – Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness

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