Alexemi Publishing

Publishing & Speaking Assistance for the Indie Author

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How To Sell Books By The Truckload on Amazon

Book Review:

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon Power Pack2Would you like to sell more books on Amazon? In her latest book, “How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon”, book-marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri, provides the road map to how to do exactly that.

Smartly divided in to two small volumes, the book’s first section focuses on getting more sales while the second half focuses on getting more reviews. It grabbed my attention right away and held it through the entire quick read. Though short in length, this book is certainly not short on content. Chock full of quick tips and step-by-step how to’s you can implement right away to see results fast.

The biggest eye-opener for me in the first half of the book was to stop thinking of Amazon as a retailer and start thinking of it as search engine. Penny explains the importance of keywords and how to find the right ones to get your title noticed. She goes on explain how to expand your virtual shelf space through multiple book formats and book bundling. In the second half of the book, Penny demonstrates how to find reviewers both inside and outside of Amazon and explains how to properly pitch them for the best results. She then explains how to best utilize Goodreads for the biggest impact.

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon would be most helpful to independent authors with access to the back end of their publishing dashboards. This is critical to manipulate the metadata as Penny suggests. The second half of the book would appeal to all authors in need of more reviews regardless of how they published their books. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and picked up some very useful strategies.

1-iRead Button smallWant to learn more? Read about Penny and her new book below and follow along on her blog tour for interviews, giveaways and more: Tour Schedule for How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon

About the Book:

Amazon wants you to sell a lot of books. And How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload teaches you exactly how to do it. Internationally renowned Amazon book marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri, has created the ultimate guide for mastering the Amazon marketing system.

And in moments it can be right at your fingertips! The savings in time you’ll gain is enormous—when compared to painstakingly researching this information yourself.

When you follow Penny’s time-tested proven formulas you’ll instantly skyrocket the exposure you receive and kick your book promotion campaign into overdrive!

Plus, you can bypass all of the misinformation out there about how Amazon works. That’s because every secret you need to know to understand the Amazon marketing system inside and out is right here. Penny Sanseveri takes you step-by-step through simple and dynamic processes that show you how to:

  • Get top visibility for your book on Amazon
  • Increase sales through perfectly-timed pre-order campaigns
  • Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews
  • Use Kindle Unlimited to your greatest advantage
  • Boost sales by knowing when to give away your e-book – it really works!
  • Use keywords and book descriptions that puts your book in front of tons of buyers
  • Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales

Get your booked ranked #1 in your category!

About the Author:

Penny C. SansevieriPenny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.

Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the “leading guide to everything Internet.”

AME was the first book marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically harnesses social networking sites, Twitter, blogs, book videos, and relevant sites in order to push an author’s message into the online community. AME has had over eleven books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.

To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.

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News Release:

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New Historical Fiction in Production

I always get excited when I have a new book in production, but it’s rare that I have two fabulous books within the same genre in the works at the same time. This summer I’m working on the third installment of Elizabeth Wilder‘s “Maine at Heart” trilogy (The Spruce Gum Box and Granite Hearts), Beneath Mackerel Skies, and the follow-up novel to Summer Rose by Caroline Hartman titled, Sacred Ponies.

While completely different stories, these two novels have a lot in common. They both take place shortly after the American Civil War, both feature strong female leads who pull from inner strength to protect their loved ones, both highlight the Native American culture and tribulations of the time, and both take place in beautiful settings from the unsettled frontier to the wilds of coastal Maine.

Another commonality of these two books are the authors. Both are “senior” ladies who happen to be friends who support each others’ writing endeavors.

Elizabeth Wilder and Caroline Hartman

Elizabeth Wilder and Caroline Hartman

The release of Beneath Mackerel Skies and Sacred Ponies is scheduled for September. Plenty of time for you read the authors’ previous tales to get ready for the latest installments 🙂

Novels by Elizabeth E. Wilder

Novels by Elizabeth E. Wilder

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Choosing Your Path to Publishing Success

You wrote a book—a really good book—and you feel strongly it should be published. You read about self-publishing and wonder if it’s right for you and if so, where to start. Or is traditional publishing best? The publishing industry is evolving into a very different business than it once was and technological advances over the last few years have created expanded opportunities for new writers. Before you take the plunge into the publishing world, however, you need to thoroughly understand your options in order to choose the best path to publishing success. You need to understand what the goals and objectives are for your particular book, and who your target audience is and how to reach them. Why did you write your book? Where should your book be sold? How should your book be marketed? Understanding the answers to these questions as well as what different publishing options have to offer will factor in as you make the choice between traditional and self-publishing.

Traditional Publishing

In traditional publishing with a mainstream publishing house, the author completes a manuscript, writes a query letter or book proposal, and submits these documents to the publisher or literary agent (to submit on the author’s behalf). An editor reads it, considers whether it is right for the house, and decides either to reject it or to publish it. If the publishing house decides to produce the book, the publisher buys the rights from the author and pays an advance against future royalties. The house puts up the money to design and produce the book, prints as many copies of the book as it thinks will sell, markets the book, and finally distributes the finished book to the reader. Because the publisher is making an investment in the book, it can be more difficult for new authors to be accepted as the publisher is looking for titles and authors with strong platforms and proven marketing plans. An author’s platform is basically the visibility and authority of the author demonstrating proven reach to a target audience. For example, experts and celebrity authors have built-in marketable platforms because of their fans and followers. The publisher wants a certain confidence level that books will sell, their investment will be recouped, and profits generated.

Self-Publishing

The process to bring a book to market through self-publishing is somewhat different. An author who decides to self-publish essentially becomes the publisher. While writing is an art, publishing is a business and the author has to think of the book as a product. The author must provide the funds required to complete the book, create the final artwork, and publish it. They need to contract with an editor, book designer and sometimes indexer or other specialist to do so. The author is then responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders if needed, and running advertising and marketing campaigns. In the past, the author also had to decide on the number of copies to print, sometimes resulting in cases of unsold books gathering dust in the garage. Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by most self-publishing companies allows authors to print copies as needed instead of managing a large inventory. If the author is not comfortable taking on all of the production and publishing requirements, he may choose to work with an outside publishing service provider that will publish for a fee, or work with a trained author’s assistant to oversee the process.

Simply put, with traditional publishing an author is PAID to publish a book while in self-publishing, the author PAYS to publish a book. The fundamental differences between traditional and self-publishing can be explained in terms of time, money and control.

Time

With traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. Considering that the bigger houses can take up to six months just to work through the “slush pile” of proposals and queries on editors’ desks to get to your manuscript, and that you will likely have to try several publishing houses before you get one to show interest, the wait can be extremely long (assuming your manuscript ever gets selected at all). That’s a lot of waiting. Then, if a house does decide to take your book, the actual process of producing the book can typically takes at least another year. Some nonfiction books that are topical and relevant to current world events might be pushed through more quickly for an author with a strong platform, but in most cases it’s a waiting game.

With self-publishing, depending on the condition of the manuscript at the beginning of the production process and the publishing service (if any) used, an author can literally have a finished book in hand within six months of beginning production. And, with e-books, this can be reduced to weeks, or even days. Time to market can be particularly important if your book has a timely topic or you are using it to build credibility for your business and you don’t have years to wait for the book. Of course, unless you have the expertise to manage this process, authors must pay for this service, which raises the issue of money. One of the biggest mistakes a self-published author can make is to cut corners and try to do everything himself. The end product will likely reflect this with poor design and/or editorial flaws. The book will “look” self-published and may not be taken seriously.

Money

Money is the next element in the publishing mix to consider. With self-publishing, the author often pays thousands of dollars, depending on the service company chosen or resources needed. In contrast, with traditional publishing, the author is paid an advance, ranging from small sums to seven-digit figures depending on the author. In traditional publishing, the publishing house, with its huge resources, experience, knowledge, and contacts, vigorously promotes the book. Today, however, even traditional houses require that the author be out there actively marketing the book in addition to the marketing tools they provide. Unless you are well-known author, the marketing budgets for new titles can be very small.

When you self-publish, you pay for everything—design, editing, printing, advertising, and distribution—to get your book into stores and ultimately into people’s hands. You’re all by yourself; which is why self-publishing works best for people who are good at self-marketing, have a good understanding of the printing and distribution process, or the funds available to contract for these services. The benefit of self-publishing is that you retain all the rights and profits of your book depending on the service provider you use. The biggest payoff for all of your payout as a self-publisher, though, is control.

Control

Often an author’s excitement at selling a manuscript to a publisher turns into heartache when an over-zealous editor rips that manuscript into unrecognizable shreds. The story may be altered, characters re-worked, and even the title changed. Since the author sells the rights of the work to the publishing house, he or she has very little input into the finished product. With self-publishing, the author has much greater control over the contents, design, and appearance, as well as where the book is marketed and distributed. The author controls when the book hits the market and how it is priced and sold.

Making the Choice

Having looked at traditional publishing versus self-publishing, you need to ask yourself some tough questions about what is best for you, your intentions, and your manuscript. You need to understand what your goals are for your book before you choose a publishing option. Different books have different requirements. Should the book be available through online retailers or brick and mortar stores (or both)? Will the book be used as a giveaway to business prospects, or sold at speaking events? Do you have a strong platform and are willing to play the waiting game in order to potentially earn a large advance from a traditional publisher? Or is control of your manuscript, retention of rights, and a quick turnaround more important?

The good news is that the available tools—POD, the Internet, and online booksellers—are leveling the playing field between traditionally published and self-published books. Authors now have more options than ever before. The key is to become educated on the options, and do the homework needed to select the best path to your publishing success.

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Meet the Author, Caroline Hartman on Sat. 5/10 in Exton PA!

Caroline Hartman

Caroline Hartman

On Saturday, May 10th, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM Caroline Hartman, author of Historical Romance will be signing copies of “Summer Rose” at: Wellington Square Bookshop in Exton PA. Please stop by to see her and experience the sounds, smells, and cozy atmosphere of Wellington Square Bookshop , Gift Shop, and Emporium are worth the trip. Both the Children and The Rare Books Section are terrific. Shop for Mother’s Day Gifts! Hope to see you there 🙂

 

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Announcing New Historical Fiction Novel, Summer Rose by Caroline Hartman

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eBook Offered FREE to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of Civil War Battle at Little Round Top

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Why Editing is the Best Marketing Tool

This article resonated so much with me I felt it was more than worthwhile to re-post it here. Unfortunately, there are some self-publishing authors out there who feel good editing is a waste of money as long as they have a friend or family member read over their work. Wrong!! If you want to ahcieve credibility as an author, self-published or not, editing is the MOST important investment you need to make! This article by Penny C. Sansevieri and reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com sums this up so well! Please read on …

Why Editing is the Best Marketing Tool

With all of the options out there to publish, it’s pretty tempting to just point and click your way to a completed book. When print-on-demand first came on the scene around 1999, we saw a glut of books being pushed through the system, unedited, unvetted. When someone said “garbage in, garbage out,” they were often referring to self-publishing. Hence the stigma. If you’re new to indie publishing and you think that the stigma is the “us against them” idea, you’re only partially right. The history, albeit a somewhat negative one, started many years ago when authors thought their book was “good enough” to publish.

Cycle forward to 2013: We now have some 300,000 books published a year, the competition is fierce and the stakes are high. That number, by the way, comes from Bowker, which produces these statistics and readily admits that this number doesn’t include eBooks or books that are published without an ISBN. You can imagine how high that number really is.

People ask me all the time, “How can I be successful?” Well, aside from the usual stuff, like show up and keep promoting, the one key to success is to publish a book so good, your reader can’t put it down. But to take it a step beyond that, I would say publish something that has been edited often, and by someone who knows how to edit a book and isn’t afraid to tell you the things you may not want to hear. It’s amazing how, over the years, I’ve heard time and time again that, “Well, my neighbor/mother/wife/husband edited my book.” You should never, ever have your book edited by someone who is a family member, friend, etc. Why? Because if the book is really horrible, they may not feel they can tell you. Also, are they really professionals? Do they have a business?

Let me say this, if you publish a book that’s subpar, no matter how much money you throw at it, it will never succeed. Some critics might say that the Celestine Prophecy succeeded despite a poor editing job. Well, that may be true, but can you think of another book that reached bestseller status where people said, “Good story, but it needed an editor?” I didn’t think so.
Let’s look at this from another perspective: book reviews.

Marlene, who is a blogger at Book Lover and Procrastinator, says: “I think the self-published author either doesn’t have the finances to get a good editor or is unaware of the need. It is very frustrating to read a book that could be great – if the bad editing didn’t take you out of the story. Not all self-published books are poorly edited. I’ve read some great self-published books. I get about 10-15 requests for review a month. I usually review 4 or 5 books a month. After I get a submission, I read the excerpt and a little of the book. If the book doesn’t strike my fancy, I don’t review it. Bad editing and author’s voice go into this decision.”

Your book is your resume. Ask yourself how many book reviews you might be losing because of poor editing. I asked Lauren Hidden of The Hidden Helpers, to weigh in with her views on editing.

Why is editing so important?

 You had phenomenal ideas for your book; many of them, in fact. Maybe it was a section of super-helpful information in your business book or a fascinating, quirky character that popped up every few chapters in your novel – you certainly have a personal investment in what made the “final” cut from your head onto paper. You know your topic or your story inside and out, but sometimes what you’re thinking doesn’t successfully translate to paper. That’s where an editor steps in – clarifying a confusing scene, tightening up a repetitive or wordy section, correcting a word you consistently misspell, or fixing a problem with shifting tenses. Readers can tell if your book isn’t edited. The idea is for readers to love your book and tell all their friends about it. Don’t give them a reason to put your book down after the first five pages.
Who should get their book edited?

Everyone. Wise authors know that they have to put their best foot forward. Period. This applies equally if you are seeking a traditional publishing contract or if you are planning to self-publish your book. Why would you let a reader or agent/publisher read anything but your best work? Competition is fierce. A poorly edited book will score bad reviews from readers or end up in the circular file in an acquisitions editor’s office. Too many authors say they can’t “afford” to get their book edited, but you shouldn’t start writing a book without incorporating editing into your budget. Think of the hundreds of hours you put into your book writing and revising, and the money you earmarked for layout, cover design, and promotion. If your book isn’t polished, you’ve just thrown away all that time and money – not to mention future revenues you were eagerly anticipating from book sales. An investment in editing can pay off for years to come.

What mistakes do people make when choosing an editor?

 The biggest mistake people make is not finding the best fit for them and their specific book. Ask for editor recommendations from other authors and industry professionals. You should choose an editor who is experienced in working in your genre. You should also be sure to ask how long the project will take them to complete, as well as how they charge for their services. Also, make sure you and the editor agree on the amount and type of the editing to be performed. Some editors may perform more of a proofread looking for blatant errors and some may try to rewrite your book. You likely don’t want either of these extremes. Another big mistake people make is looking for the cheapest possible editor. Do your homework and make sure the editor’s expertise and experience is a good fit for you – as well as the fee. The last thing your wallet or timeline needs is to have to hire a second editor because the first one didn’t do your book justice.

What’s the difference between copyediting and content editing and do people often need both?

 Simplified, copy editing is polishing the words on the page. This can be correcting subject/verb agreement, eliminating repetition, fixing spelling errors, cleaning up awkward phrasing, correcting homonyms, and the like. Content editing is addressing the “bigger picture” of the book. In fiction, this most often means addressing inconsistencies with character and plot points, recommending the author eliminates or expands scenes, and ensuring the book flows well. In nonfiction, content editing most often addresses the clarity, completeness, consistency, and organization of the information being presented. And yes, every author should have content and copy editing performed. Sometimes authors don’t think they need content editing, but they’re also not an impartial party. Of course, everything makes sense to the author who wrote the manuscript, but will it make sense to the reader? Content editing answers this question.

How many times should a book be edited? Is there such a thing as over-editing?

 A book should certainly be self-edited by the author before a professional editor ever lays eyes on it. When it reaches an editor’s hands, the editor and the author will discuss the number of rounds the editor typically performs. Then you may want an independent proofread for a second set of eyes. But after that, and after the author’s final review, the book should be finished. I’ve seen some authors run into problems when they’ve self edited their book, then hired a trusted, high-quality editor, and finally asked for feedback from their friends who all suggested other changes to the book. At some point you have to let your book go. Don’t keep second guessing yourself. If you passed your book around to 10 different industry friends, you’d get 10 different opinions what to change. If you feel that you took all the necessary steps to produce a great book, had it professionally edited, and are happy with how it turned out, then it’s time to release it to the world.

Finally, here are a few more things you should know about editing:
If you’re just submitting a book proposal to agents and publishers or you are submitting the entire manuscript, you should have the book fully edited. Why? Publishers and agents often don’t have the time to ferret through unedited or rough manuscripts. You’ll increase your chances of getting noticed if your book and package are polished.

If your editor loves everything you write, there’s something wrong. The truth is that while you should like your editor, they should push you. One reason I love working with my editor (Lauren) is that she pushes me very hard on my work and won’t let me slide or slack off on anything. While sometimes I really just want to be done with it, in the end it makes for a much better book.

Don’t skimp on editing. Ever. I know Lauren addressed this above but really, it’s such an important part of your book and, as I mentioned early on, the single biggest marketing tool. Consider this: you have spent years writing this book, why would you pour marketing dollars and marketing effort into something that wasn’t your best work? The world won’t love your book simply because you wrote it, it must be the best work you could have produced and if you’re not ready to meet this criterion, then you may want to wait until you are. There’s a lot of time and money wasted on books that aren’t great. In fact, some years ago I worked with iUniverse.com, and the then CEO told me that only 1% of the books submitted to them are, in fact, readable. One percent. That’s a frightening number. Here’s another scary stat. There are approximately a billion eBook titles and three million print titles on Amazon.com. Staggering, no?

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Book Review: What’s Yours is Mine – When a Realist Marries an Idealist

In my role as a Virtual Author’s Assistant (VAA) I have the opportunity to work with a number of talented indie authors and sample works I may not have otherwise read. Not that they don’t deserve to be read, but because they may fall outside of a genre I typically gravitate toward.

This was the case when author Stacy Willoughby contacted me about the possibility of us working together to bring her newly published book to market. She told me that she had written a nonfiction piece focused on helping new couples successfully discuss and merge finances. Since I have been married for over 22 years and don’t have much of an interest in reading about finance, I didn’t fit her targeted reader profile. Still, I agreed to take a look at What’s Yours is Mine – When a Realist Marries and Idealist in an effort to get to know her and her book better to see if we may be a good fit working together. I was pleasantly surprised!

What’s Yours is Mine — When a Realist Marries an Idealist is a fun-to-read, self-help book that is more of a relatable  memoir than financial game plan for new couples. While Stacy does offer sound financial wisdom, her focus is on communication and conversation starters to help couples talk about money — something that doesn’t come easy to most of us. She uses examples from her own life and lessons learned when she married her husband, Rick, and found herself in a blended family situation. It’s honest and straightforward. She airs her dirty laundry to help others find the courage to have those difficult conversations with their partner, overcome their insecurities and figure out a way to work together to achieve their dreams. I think this book would make a wonderful engagement or wedding gift for any couple!

Highlights:

  • Objective insight from an author in the financial industry
  • Conversation starters with specific ideas that really work
  • Checklists and exercises to complete
  • Real-life anecdotes illustrating the do’s and don’ts of talking with your partner about money

You can learn more about Stacy and her book at www.stacywilloughby.com. Please check it out and help Stacy spread the word to others about her book!

 

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Did you know there is a Fort Knox in Maine?

Usually when you hear about “Fort Knox” you think about the well-known fort in Kentucky or Fort Knox Bullion Depository where the majority of U.S. gold is kept. What many don’t realize is that there is actually “another” Fort Knox that was built in Maine along the Penobscot River from 1844-1869. It was the first fort in Maine built of granite (instead of wood). Named after Henry Knox, the first US Secretary of War, who at the end of his life lived not far away in Thomaston, Maine, the fort was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

Fort Knox in Maine today

Why do I mention it? Well for one thing I own an awesome black and white photo taken in the tunnels of the fort by Neal Parent titled “Where Soldiers Stood”. For another, this fort was the inspiration of the setting in Elizabeth Wilder’s novel, Granite Hearts. Meticulously researched, Wilder provides us with a snapshot of the fort’s creation through the wonderful tale of the Ryan family (first introduced in The Spruce Gum Box), as they survive and thrive along the emerging 1800s Maine waterfront. The photo? @eewilder snapped while vacationing in Maine this summer. She spent some time with the historians there and I think taught them a thing or two about the fort 🙂