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Have you ever thought about how the words “published author” after an expert’s name increases their perceived credibility?

Think about it…

Look for it as you’re browsing Facebook, visiting websites, or reading emails…

Those two little words instantly raise the person in our mind to the level of EXPERT. For a lot of people “published author” means the expert status is right up there with Doctor (PhD or MD).

This is true inside the expert industry of coaches and mentors and it is even more impressive in other industries. Imagine two professionals, doctors, lawyers, etc., who each have the same amount of education, same degrees, same training. But Doctor A is a published author and Doctor B isn’t.

In the eyes of a perspective client, this makes a huge difference!

Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always an overt difference. It’s not like somebody wakes up and says, “I’m only going to hire a CPA who’s written a book. Anyone who hasn’t isn’t an expert.”

But the power of “published author” can and does make a subtle difference in the minds of clients and prospects. Published author = credibility. After all, you wrote the book on it, you must me an expert!

What about anthologies? Do they have the same impact?

Great question!

They do and they don’t…

For the ability to say “published author” after your name, it works the same. Most prospects are interested in the fact that you’re a published author – not exactly the details of your book or inclusion in an anthology.

However, if you’re working in the expert industry of coaches, consultants, and mentors – there are a lot of anthologies out there! It’s a great place to start, and is an easier road to publication for most people since you only have to produce a chapter, but many people know the difference between the two.

To completely maximize your credibility, impact, and reach, you need to publish a book with ONLY your name on the cover! This means that you not only have enough knowledge to fill a book, but also that you have the inspiration to stick through it for a whole book.

As an independently published author, MOST of your book sales will come from the mega-online retailer of Amazon. Let’s face it, nobody can compete with Amazon’s sheer VOLUME of users!

And that’s a good thing! It’s fantastic to sell where the eyeballs are!

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But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a number of your books on hand at all times. The question is:

How many?

A year ago, I got invited to present at an Outdoors Expo – fitting because that’s what most of my books are written about, outdoor recreation. They were expecting 2,000 people a day for a two-day event.

I figured I’d be safe with 25 copies of each of my books…

And I’ll be you’re thinking I’m going to say, “I was sold out within the first three hours! I wish I’d ordered more!”

Um… yeah… not so much. Unfortunately the event only had about a eight hundred people walk through the gates during the two days. And with a $10 per PERSON gate fee… Not a lot of folks were interested in buying anything!

Here’s the moral of the story though: I wasn’t READY for this event! I didn’t have ANY books on hand which meant not only did I have to order them (outlay of cash – no problem!) but I had to have them rushed shipped! I paid nearly as much in shipping as I did for the books!

BIG PROBLEM!

After I publish a title, I promptly order 5 copies:

  • 1 for my permanent collection
  • 3 for gifts to anybody who helped me
  • 1 as a “sample” of the book that I can take to meet with clients

After that, I make sure to keep 10-15 titles on hand at all times. Now remember, MOST of my titles are about outdoor recreation! But this number covers me if a friend wants to buy a copy from me, last-minute book signings, if a local bookstore wants to carry a few titles, to give as a last-minute gift…

It also means that when I need to re-charge my inventory, I’m only ever ordering about 5 at a time. As a business owner it’s not that I have a challenge paying to get the books, but it’s that I don’t want to have them tied up as inventory in my garage!

There’s a line between buying a ton of books to FORCE yourself to get out there and promote them and buying a ton of books that keep you in the book promotion world (can’t have your money sitting on a shelf as inventory!) instead of doing whatever the MAIN business activity is. Only you can know for certain which is the best course of action for your business.

But the moral of the story:

Keep books on hand!

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As a follow up to my super popular 2014 post, I’ve dusted off some of my favorites and added some new treasures to find.

If you’re anything like me, I always get the best shopping ideas from the gift buying lists! Here’s a list of gifts for writers that that are sure to thrill any writer on your list. Or maybe you’ll pick up a gift or two for yourself!

With the exception of my HIGHLY recommended leather journal, all items on this list are $25 or less!

And to make your shopping for the perfect writer’s gift a bit easier, just click on the name of the item to be taken directly to where you can purchase it!

 

D’Vyne Wrytes Leather Journal

120914-dvynwrytesI thought long and hard about suggesting a blank journal for the writer in your life. Frankly, we all have something that is “the perfect journal” and I always get a little cranky when I get a journal that doesn’t match that ideal. But Leslie’s stuff is just fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough. I have three or four of her journals!

This isn’t under $25 BUT it is 100% worth the investment!

 

Stephen King’s On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

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I have a much loved, much dog eared version of the original. Even if you don’t like King’s terrifying stories, he offers fantastic insights into writing novels that can be applied to any type of writing.

 

Writer’s Block Mug

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Writer’s Block: when your imaginary friends stop talking to you
Because writers drink copious amounts of booze! (I mean coffee!)

 

Liquor

Offer up your writer her favorite brand of liquid brains and watch her eyes light up! Suggestions include:

  • Baileys (any flavor!)
  • Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
  • Fat Tire Beer
  • Hard apple cider (my 2014 drink of choice!)

Writer’s Unwinding Cocktail, aka Caramel Apple Tinis

Ingredients
– Green apple vodka
– Baileys® Caramel
– Green apple slice (garnish)

You know how a shot measuring cup has a big side and a little side? You’ll use both sides for this recipe. 1 “big” shot (1 ounce) Baileys® Caramel. 1 “little” shot (0.5 ounce) green apple vodka. Stir gently.

If you are using a traditional shot glass without a measure marks, the ratio is 1 to 0.5 Baileys® to vodka.

Garnish with a green apple slice if you have it.

I mix up a batch of this and keep it chilled until I’m ready to drink it. I even have tiny plastic bottles that each hold two drink’s worth. As long as the 1 to 0.5 ratio of Baileys® to vodka, everything tastes wonderful.

My only dislike of this recipe is that it’s too yummy! It’s really easy to go overboard on it!

From Camp Cooking 101: 101 Fun & Easy Recipes from The Outdoor Princess

Magnetic Poetry Kit

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Do me a favor, buy several different word kits! A great gift is to include these with a cookie sheet (double check the magnets stick) so your fav writer doesn’t even have to leave the desk!

 

Paper Clip Earrings

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Hey, it’s better than putting REAL paper clips in your ears! Plus, these just look classy!

 

Pencil & Sharpener Earrings

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These are also available in green! They’re funny and so perfect for the writer in your life!

 

Scrabble

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Okay, okay MOST authors will probably already own Scrabble! Except for me. I use my parent’s board which is older than I am. Soooooo, if you’re looking for a gift for me, get me Scrabble! Or travel Scrabble. But not ‘Words with Friends’ — that’s cheating. (Speaking of cheating, I cheat at Scrabble. shhhhh – don’t tell!)

 

William Shakespeare Air Freshener

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An air freshener by any other name would not smell as sweet as one decorated with the image of the immortal bard.

 

Writer’s Block

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You know I’m always saying that I don’t believe in writer’s block… Well THIS is proof it exists!

 

Pencil Eraser Hats

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I love the idea of “stocking stuffers.” Pair these with some #2 pencils and a nice sharpener and you’ve got it made!

 

A gift card for a massage

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After spending hours at the computer, a massage is great! But don’t get a $25 gift card. Go whole hog and spring for a gift card worth a few massages.

By the way, I’d recommend your writer’s favorite masseuse rather than a “big box” massage place. But this is the image I could get. And if it were ME — I’d love a massage even if it was a home made coupon good for a shoulder rub from my honey!

 

Edgar Allan Poe Action Figure

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Never more would you get stumped writing an article or scene. Just ask Mr. Allan what the Raven would say and you’re on your way! And, let’s face it, he’d look cool on your desk!

 

Novelty Flash Drive

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These are food but there are HUNDREDS of possibilities out there! My favorite is my Angry Birds flash drive. Makes me giggle with every file transfer!

 

Pencil Socks

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Keep your toes warm and keep the ideas flowing! Frankly I’d love to wear these to my next conference and watch the giggles roll in. Only for SERIOUS writers who can handle all the #2 fun!

 

Fancy Paper Clips

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We all have a deep love of office supplies. But we probably won’t buy for ourselves. I just love going down the office supply aisle and breathing in all the organized, idea-filled air!

Jane Austin Temporary Tattoos

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Not interested in temporary tattoos? You can also get bandages! I’m not a huge fan of Ms. Austin myself (don’t get me wrong, she’s okay) but the idea of sporting a Jane Austin tattoo (or bandage on my paper cut) is just beyond cool!

 

Writer Pendant

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A way to subtly announce who you are! I also love how it just reaffirms that YES, I am a writer! Frankly, if I opened a little box under the tree with this in it, I’d put it on and never take it off!

 

The Complete Book of Baby Names

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I got my book of baby names in high school. THEN I had to explain why I had it! For characters, people! But a lot of writers won’t invest in this themselves and it’s a great resource!

 

Subscription to Writer’s Digest

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There are only a few magazines for writers out there. Hand’s DOWN this is my favorite! When I was in high school and college, my aunt renewed my subscription every year for Christmas!

And Lucky #21!

Buy Their Book!

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As an author, most of the time my sales do not come from my friends and family. Be a peach and buy their book and then leave a positive review. If the book isn’t your cup of tea, buy it anyway and give it to someone or donate it to your local library. Actually PURCHASING their book is a huge show of support — even if you never read it!

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for products that I personally use and believe have value to my readers. When you make a purchase using my affiliate link, I earn a small commission. High-five for your support!

I’d say that the TOP question I get asked by people looking to publish a book is:

“Should I publish an eBook or a paperback?”

That’s a great question! Here’s the quick and easy answer:

YES!

I’m a firm believer that you should publish your book in BOTH versions! And here’s why:

eBooks:

  • Lower cost to buy – People who are price resistant are more likely to buy it
  • Instantly available – If your book solves a pain, people don’t want to wait for their solution
  • Available anywhere – Print books though Amazon aren’t available in all countries (or its cost prohibitive to ship!) so an eBook solves that problem
  • Wave of the future – Just like postal mail, printed books are never going away but eBooks are the current technology
  • Highly portable – Big or small, your book weighs exactly the same as the eReader used to read it

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Printed Books:

  • They’re “real” – It’s hard to argue with the feeling of credibility that comes from holding a “real” book in your hands!
  • Offer an additional level of credibility – For the general reading population, a title offered in physical book can seem more credible than just an eBook
  • Physical product to sell or give away – Sure you can sell digital products from stage, but nothing beats being able to go to the back of the room, buy a book, watch it being signed and walk away with a THING in your hands!
  • Media opportunities – It’s hard to have a book signing without a book to sign! Retail locations still love having authors in for book signings
  • Write in it – Call me old-school but I still like to highlight, write in the margins, dog-ear pages, and use sticky notes in my business, reference, or non-fiction books

 

There are very few books that I publish in only one or the other versions. A few examples are:

eBook Only:
Pamphlet-type books: If it’s really small sometimes it is better to do this as an eBook only

Print Only:
Workbooks: There’s just no easy way to translate these to an eBook-only platform
Lots of tables or charts: You CAN do these as eBooks but sometimes
Some reference books: There are some that just CAN’T be used as an eBook. An example is when I tried to buy an eBook version of a “501 Italian Verbs” book – it just didn’t’ work!

Leave me a comment below and let me know how you’ll be publishing your next book! And if you have questions about the publishing process, I’d love to chat with you!

 

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I’m always teaching that you don’t have to start from square one to create the content for your book – you can and should start from within your own materials to create the book.

What I hear from a lot of people is using transcripts to write their book.

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Great idea!

Except…

Have you ever actually READ a transcript? Like a word-for-word transcription of a lecture or interview?

It’s NOT easy reading! I have a client who leaves me audio recordings to use as the materials for her articles – and she’s used to “writing” this way and they’re STILL hard to read as a word-for-word transcription.

Which means that a transcription is a great place to start at for materials for your book, but it isn’t a book.

Let me say that again: don’t think you can just slap a cover on a transcription and call it a book!

[Tweet “You can’t just slap a cover on a transcript & call it a #book!”]

Here’s a word-for-word transcription from this client:

All of that sounds nice on the outside and like I said I’m not going to waste either of our time and energy talking about whether or not it should or should not be that way but here’s the important thing to remember, regardless of the criteria and regardless of the regulations, promotions really come down to a couple of things and most of us already know that at the end of the day promotions have very little to do with job performance.

Wow! And that’s just ONE sentence of a transcription!

  • Is it easy to read? – No.
  • Is the point she’s driving at immediately clear? – Nope.
  • Is there really juicy stuff in there? – Yes!
  • Is it easy to pick out and put into practice in your life? – Not so much.

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A question I get asked all the time is:

“How do I price my eBook?

(And just to be 100% clear – this is an eBook available on Amazon.com – NOT a .pdf download on your website.)

Excellent question!

First off, know that to maximize your eBook commission on Amazon you need to price your eBook between $2.99 and $9.99. When your book is priced in this range, you’ll receive up to 70% commission per sale.

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And of course, it’s not exactly as simple as that since there are additional factors that go into how much commission you’ll receive. But for the sake of this article on pricing your eBook, that’s the price range we’re looking at.

You can read the Kindle eBook Pricing Page.

There are 4 factors you need to take into consideration.

1. What will your genre bear?
Every genre has a different price point. If you compare romance to self-help, you’ll see a HUGE difference in what price the market with bear for your eBook.

2. How much do you want to make?
Yes, you CAN make money selling eBooks! (I do. My clients do. I know lots of authors who do!) So when you’re pricing your eBook, you need to keep your target sales goal in mind.

3. Are you interested in dollars per book OR selling more books?
If you’re more interested in getting the highest commission per book, you’ll price your book at the upper end of what your genre will bear. If you’re looking to sell more books… Don’t assume that selling for a higher cost-per-unit is mutually exclusive with selling lots of books!

But the answer to this question WILL help you with your pricing.

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