Article by Michael Schacht
As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. But since most people still make preconceived notions of what something is based on what they initially see, judging a book by its cover isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.
As a self-publishing author, you’ll find yourself worrying about what people who might come across your book would think about its cover even more than making a profit out of your book’s sales. If those people find out that your book cover looks almost exactly like that of an author who sells more than you do, your career as a self-publishing author would surely go down the drain faster than having sold even just a single copy of your book.
To prevent that scenario from happening, you should start looking into taking an amazing photo for your book cover with these tips you’re about to read below.
Why Should You Not Buy and Use a Stock Photo for Your Book Cover?
You might have resorted to just searching online for a stock photo that very closely matches the content of your book.
While undoubtedly cheaper than hiring a professional photographer, who might charge a steep fee for their services, buying and using a stock photo for your book cover is very much looked down upon for a couple of reasons:
1. Using a stock photo for your book cover doesn’t make your book stand out at all. No matter how well-written your book may be, coming out with a book cover that makes use of a stock photo is sure to get you unnoticed.
2. Using a stock photo for your book cover confuses anyone who would come across your book. Since the stock photo you picked for your book cover might have already been used before by other authors who are writing in the same genre as you are, you may unintentionally drive sales away from your book.
How Can You Take an Amazing Photo for Your Book Cover?
As digital photography is now within reach by just about everyone, it has become more convenient for the average person to take photos that are almost in the same level as those shot by professional photographers.
If you’re looking to save money that you can use instead to finance the publication of your book, you can start following these tips on how you can take an amazing photo for your book cover at a fraction of the price you would have paid for either a stock photo or a professional photographer.
1. Choose the subject of your book cover photo based on what most prominently appears in your book itself. As another saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words, so you would want the photo you’ll be using for the cover of your book to quickly tell what your book is all about even without the buyer having opened a single page of it just yet.
2. Take more than just one photo while trying out different angles. Now that you’ve identified the subject you want to use for your book cover photo, you should experiment with taking different shots of it until you get your desired result.
3. Frame the photo you’ll be taking for your book cover such that there will be enough space for both the title of your book and the name you’re using as its author. It’s not enough to just take any photo of the subject you’ll be using for your book cover as you’ll have to make sure that there’s enough space in there for your book title and whatever name you’re using to write it.
The cover of your book is the very first thing anyone who comes across it begins to see, and whatever photo you’ve decided to use for it can either make or break your book’s sales. However, hiring a separate professional photographer to take a photo for your book cover can be expensive, but it does have its advantages. What you can do instead to is to use these tips on taking an amazing photo that you can proudly claim as yours to use for your book cover. So, grab your camera or smartphone and start taking your book’s cover photo right away. We hope you like this article from 312 Elements.
Michael Schacht is a portrait photographer and photography educator based in Chicago Illinois. As owner/operator of 312 Elements Headshot Photography located in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, Michael oversees the day to day operations and has had the opportunity to photograph thousands of corporate professionals over the last decade. Through his direction, attention to detail, and people skills, he's helped these clients to craft a narrative around their personal brand. It's his belief that the headshot is the modern dad business card and that a better headshot is essential for a better career.
Michael, his wife Meghan and his two daughters reside in Tinley Park Illinois where he is a community leader and active participant in the local business sector. Michael studied business at Ball State university and photography with world renown headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. It was Hurley that trained Michael in the art of human expression. Michael is now a Headshot Crew certified Mentor and active member of the Headshot Crew community where he was named one of the top 20 headshot photographers in the world.
Guest Post by Duke Vukadinovic
Succeeding on the digital market as a traditional writer can seem like an impossible thing to do. All those websites, forums, social media platforms and electronic media formats can cause a confusion for anyone with a pen and paper mindset.
But what if I told you that it is possible to do it with a lot less effort than you thought would be required? Here are the actions you should take to find success in the digital age as a pen and paper author.
Make a Website
I know what you are thinking: ”I don't have any technical skills, there is no way I could do this!” Yeah, 25 years ago that would have been a completely viable excuse. But today, you can get your website up and running in a matter of minutes. And all you would need to know is how to follow simple instructions and use a computer mouse.
Once you get your website up, you are ready to start making it as an author online. Next stop, your blog.
Start a Blog
Starting a blog and posting on it via your website is as easy as creating it was. A blog is an excellent place for you to put your writing skills on display. If you would like to extend your digital footprint, you should start writing on topics that you have personal experience with.
Trust me when I tell you that the online world is filled with content writers, and only a handful of them are authors in the full sense of that word. Since you are one, your odds of succeeding are quite good.
Sharing your opinions and providing valuable content is something that the online audience appreciates. Besides, it will make it easier for them to relate to you and to start coming back to read your new posts. Once you have filled your blog with some content, it is time to promote it.
Step Up Your Social Media Game
Get ready to be blown off. There are 2.46 billion social media users, and this number is going to be 3 billion by the year 2021. The time has come for you to become social media savvy. Don't worry, it involves a lot of writing.
The best way to start building your professional image on the social media is to use your own or pen name for your social media accounts. This will make it a lot easier for people to find you and to follow you. Once you’ve set your profiles up, feel free to share some of the content you’ve written on your blog.
The key is to make a perfect balance between promotion and engagement. People will not click on your links if they don't look promising. Engage them in conversations, like their statuses, make sure to share different things in order to keep them interested.
Start Building Your Personal Brand
In the online world, it became hard to make the audience relate to you and to remember you. This is why personal branding experts advise that you start promoting yourself by interacting with people and letting them in on who you are, what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Get an eye-catching logo for your website, incorporate it on your social media accounts and develop your unique personal branding strategy. If you are clueless about personal branding, here is a quicksprout article that will clear things up for you. It all boils down to one thing – building long-lasting relationships with your audience, the kind that will make them eager to hear from you and read your latest work.
Get some Gifts Going
Publishing an ebook is very easy and it can help you generate the initial attention, which is more than needed when you are just begging to build your online presence. Pick some of the most interesting content that you have written, format it properly and save it as a PDF ebook.
Don't worry, if you don't have any content that you can use, you can always just sit down and write something new, free ebooks are not that long anyway.
Announce it on your website, tell your audience what it is about and why people should download it. Use this opportunity to generate an email list of the people who download it. You can either create a landing page for this purpose or use a pop up window on your website.
Go over the list, follow the tips, rinse and repeat. Every time you go through this list, make sure to improve your game. For instance, you can learn a few things about the best SEO practices, learn how to efficiently use paid social media marketing, write engaging headlines for your posts, etc.
Duke Vukadinovic works for FirstSiteGuide.com. He is passionate about the Internet world and can be of great help to web newbies looking to build many successful blogs in various niches.
Guest post by Alyssa Johnson
How long does it take to engage a reader with a book? Statistics state that 15 seconds is enough to determine whether to buy a book or not, and there is just as much time for the writer to prove that his work is worth reading!
Record the time and start reading your novel or story, and after 15 seconds, tell honestly - whether you were able to attract the reader that he made his choice in your favor, and did not close your work for centuries.
It can be tricky to target market these days. It goes without saying, there are a lot of interactive substitutes for a regular book. Why should a reader pay attention to you? There are few effective tips on how to properly address your audience through books.
1. Forget about the weather, and do not touch the nature
A lot of writings begin with a description of the weather. Forget about it. If you do not work in a weather forecasting and your target group is not the pensioners - do not write of the weather.
2. Start with an alarming statistic
Many people become excited by the facts they are interested in to keep reading and to learn more about them.
3. Do not disclose the banality
Do not tell again that time is running out, life does not stand still, fall leaves fall, and in winter it snows. Describe what everyone already knows is to bore the reader with boredom. Leave all known truths alone, or at least keep them for other pages of your book.
4. Avoid cliches
If you have met the same beginning in at least two publications, you can confidently say that you will meet it in the top ten. The reader is bored to read the same thing. Try to make your start as original as possible.
5. The Art of the Hook
When something when something catches your attention it's difficult to divert your attention elsewhere. In most of the occasions, the reason is a WoW-topic - the exciting piece of information which absorbs us totally. Capturing the attention of someone has nothing to do with what you write - this is due to the way you write something. You know your audience better than anybody and realize how to make anything sound thrilling.
6. Grab attention to your book
Check the idea in social networks or blog. Create a post on the topic of the future book or its announcement and see how the audience will react. In the end, promise your audience in writing to download an easy-to-read PDF file. Of course, no one will get money from this, but the experiment will be quite successful.
7. Do not be afraid to take risks and experiment
The reaction of people is always extremely unpredictable. Carry out small experiments and look at the audience's reaction. By the way, you can throw out the entire novel, chapter by chapter, on the blog, but the paper book will still later buy. For some reason, almost all people have some sublime attitude toward the book. A person will prefer to buy it, even if he has already read the electronic version.
8. Engage the audience even when the book is buying
You have already got acquainted with your people. You have to learn everything about them because the audience is a fussy girlfriend of yourself. Invite her for a dates (the books presentations), learn everything she is interested in (the most common topics for writing), and the most important is to do everything possible to continue communication. You are writing for your audience, so ken how to please it.
9. Match the book
Do not start up completely unnecessary characters or descriptions that you will never use in the book again. In an ideal beginning, you must touch everything that will be after in your book, but do not tell the story. The introductory lines are a reflection of your entire creation. But keep in mind that the opening is not an abstract. You can not retell everything that will happen later.
10. Learn something from other authors, but be yourself
Walk through the bookstore. Look at publications of a similar theme or genre. Do not blindly copy the option you like. But it's worth remembering that if you read a hundred pages, you can create something of your own on this basis, something yours.
Alyssa Johnson is a content writer for payforessays.blogspot.com, providing guidance on a wide range of topics. She has written 10 books and has regularly contributed articles to The New York Times. Mrs. Johnson enjoys collecting rare books on British exploration of Central Asia and reading travelogues on Central Asia and the Middle East by Eugene Schuyler and Lord George Curzon. She has also authored photo exhibitions about her trips.
Guest Article by Adam Ferraresi
There is so much we can do today thanks to technology without ever leaving our home – shopping groceries, ordering clothes and all kinds of products online; practically whatever comes to your mind can be ordered on the internet, as long as you know where to look. Buying online versions of your popular books is definitely one of the favorite perks of all passionate readers, but we have fractions when it comes to this commodity, seeing that many people argue whether it’s better to buy ebooks or hard copies of your favorite authors.
To each its own, and while printed books do have their own unique appeal that can’t and shouldn’t be diminished, the new age has come and with it the new way of reading. Reading ebooks instead of printed ones is much easier, not to mention that they’re affordable and customization-friendly. And while something being good or bad is usually a perspective point, we’re here today to talk about advantages of ebooks compared to printed ones. This is not a persuasion tactic, and anyone can read whatever they want, but we’ve got some reasons why digital is better than printed books and we’ll share them with you gladly.
Space Is No Issue With Digital Books
Don’t get us wrong, we love a beautiful library packed with books up to the ceiling as much as the next person, but not all of us have room for it. With digital books, things are much simpler – you can have a whole library one click away and no extra space is required.
This is probably one of the biggest advantages when it comes to digital books – you don’t have to worry where to store them or drag them around whenever you change your place of residence. It’s true that nothing can quite replace the feeling of opening your favorite book and sitting comfortably reading it while it’s snowing outside, but if you’re traveling a lot, you don’t want to carry around hard copies that take up so much space (and luggage weight). Whether you’re in favor of Kindle, or any other form of digital editions, you can wholeheartedly agree that it is much easier to nurture your love of reading when you’ve got the whole of World Wide Web as your library.
You Can Buy Any Book Any Time
Times of waiting in lines to buy the latest book of a certain author are long gone since digital books entered center stage. Digital book publishers are doing their best to have a digital copy of a certain book in stock as soon as it appears on bookstore shelves and it has made our waiting easier.
But, beside the fact that you’ll avoid waiting in line for the latest sequel of your favorite book, there are other perks to be considered. If you want a particular edition of some book or that book is simply more difficult to come by, you don’t have to run around bookstores anymore, you can simply purchase it online. Another very useful thing is that you can actually preorder a certain book before it’s even been published, so that you don’t have to worry about someone snatching the last copy right under your nose.
Your Book Choices Stay Your Own
It’s in human nature not wanting to look vulnerable or exposed to others and even when it comes to reading books, we all have our little secrets about that one novel you liked and nobody else among your friends did. Sometimes we’re struggling with what to do with our life and we reach for self-help books, but we don’t have to endure sympathy look that the sales’ lady gives on the cash register.
It’s much easier to stay anonymous on the internet (or so they claim) than when browsing through bookshops and there are various methods for doing so. There are several more secure and anonymous ways of paying, so that you don’t have to leave your credit card details (aka there’s no way of identification), and the most secure option is Bitcoin. In case you want to be extra sure that no one is following your transactions, you can hide your IP address by using a convenient VPN, so that even your location on the planet is unknown. This seems like going to great lengths just to purchase a book, but there are people who take their privacy very seriously, which is why this asset of digital books mustn’t be overlooked.
Digital Books Come Cheaper
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to all those who have already joined the front of digital readers, but many people still believe that buying digital books is just as, if not even more expensive than hard-cover books. Actually, it’s completely the opposite.
If you take a closer look into price statistic, you’ll see that it is much more affordable to opt out for digital books, simply because they can cost up to 40% less than any hard copy. This makes sense, because you’re not getting a pound of paper in posh covers, but a simple PDF that you can then read on any device, be it your PC, tablet, Kindle or even smartphone. This is one of the main reasons why so many of the printed book aficionados have converted to digital world – with so much money saved up you can either buy new books or you can simply save it for some other occasion.
Fonts, Fonts Everywhere
How many times have you wanted to buy a book but gave up once you’ve seen that the font it’s printed in is too small or almost illegible? If you’ve got special sight requirements or you simply don’t want to strain your eyes with a font that makes the book more difficult to read, then ebooks are the way to go for you.
Good news when it comes to digital books is that they can be tweaked and altered to suit your requirements better, different fonts included. You can choose the size of it, as well as the style, in case you’re bored with good old Times New Roman. Some would argue that you can buy printed books with larger font, which is completely on point, but they will definitely be more expensive than its digital antipode, which you can alter to your liking with a few clicks.
All The Explanations You Need Are Right There
One of our personal favorite perks when it comes to reading digital books is the fact that you don’t need to figure out on your own every new term you come across, as most of the unfamiliar terms will probably be linked to an explanation or will take you directly to the reference that will help you understand better what’s it all about. Even if you’re reading a book in a foreign language, you don’t have to scramble through a dictionary to find out what something means, you can in a heartbeat consult online translator, learn a new word or an expression and keep reading.
As we mentioned in the beginning, this article isn’t about changing your mind to switch to digital books, but rather a reminder of what ebooks have to offer. We can all agree that printed books are irreplaceable and that their worth is bigger from digital ones, but for those who prefer comfort and ease of access, ebooks are the way to go.
About Adam Ferraresi
Adam loves his job in web development and it shows from his articulate and informing articles published on wefollowtech.com. He lives in Dallas, loves his job, his friends and all the food in the world. Adam is 23, but still loves to play basketball like when he was 16.
Article by Caroline Black @ Culture Coverage
Social media is undoubtedly a fantastic tool for online marketing and one that only looks set to grow in the near future. The potential it has to increase your reach worldwide and create genuine, long-lasting relationships with potential customers is infinite. However, it isn't enough to log on and just start posting.
What many businesses fail to understand is that social media only gives out and much as you put in. To properly promote your products and services, you need to be tactical and stay active. These five pointers are a great place to start in creating a successful social media campaign.
1. Think Visual
It’s been shown countless times in marketing that people respond best to visual stimulus, and this translates directly to social media. While short text updates do still have their place, it’s becoming common knowledge that posts with images get much more engagement.
It’s also important to consider the overall aesthetic of your page. Some platforms allow you to customize color schemes and backgrounds, and getting these just right to support your brand and goals is essential to engage the right kinds of customers.
Similarly, creating a featured image to share with every post is also an extremely useful tool to help build familiarity with your company. The more people see and recognize the logo, the more likely they'll be to think of you when they require the services you provide.
2. Run Competitions
One of the strongest promotional features of social media platforms is the ability for users to like and share posts. Not only does this increase your visibility on the primary website, but it also has a direct effect on your ranking in Google. Because of this, encouraging customers and fans of your page to share your posts as often as possible is the key to success.
One way to do this is to run a competition. You've probably seen campaigns of this nature before, particularly on Facebook, and they most definitely work. Simply share a picture offering a prize—it could be a free consultation, merchandise, concert ticket or use of your services, depending on the business—for a winner who will be chosen at random from those who have liked and shared the picture.
Not only does doing this create an immediate buzz and draw many potential new fans to your page, but it also allows you to interact directly with users and create an active online personality, to which people are far more likely to return than a page that lays dormant for most of the time.
3. Re-post Content
Visibility and activity are both keywords to remember when marketing on social media. In other words, you want as many people to see you post as many times as possible. Due to the algorithms used on networks such as Facebook, more often than not, your promotional posts will only be shown to a handful of followers.
Because of this, there is no shame in posting the same thing more than once. This can be a literally share or re-tweet of previous material, or you can switch it up by changing the image and headlines, so fans don’t know you’re recycling content!
4. Keep Your Page Clean
Just like your parents wouldn’t let you play with the kid down the street with the criminal record, potential customers will never trust a page that has been obviously compromised in some way. Due to the intimate nature of social media and the many calls for a greater focus on privacy, people need to know they’re interacting with a page they can trust, so keeping a clean online reputation is an essential practice.
This is a two-fold step. First, it's about appropriately vetting what your post yourself. Second, it's about protecting yourself from hackers. While the first is self-explanatory and boils down to not posting when angry and not making personal comments or digs at rival companies, the second is a little more complicated.
In short, it’s easy to contract malware on your page via sloppy security practices, particularly when updating on-the-go. These simple code injections may seem harmless, but could end up sending spammy links to all your followers and infecting them with similar viruses. As these infections are most commonly picked up from unsecure public WiFi networks, it’s worth using a Virtual Private Network, such as the well-reviewed IPVanish, whenever you update to encrypt your data and protect you and your followers from disaster.
5. Make An Investment
Finally, most social media platforms allow you to pay to increase your visibility. This could be in the form of creating an advert that will target users interested in similar topics to your business; it could also simply increase the number of followers that can see your posts. It's becoming an essential step for all businesses that are serious about their social media promotion, and therefore is important for anyone who doesn’t want to be left behind.
A recent survey investigated just which platforms experienced marketers were most likely to invest their money in, and an astounding 90 percent agreed that Facebook adverts were the most worthwhile, with Twitter and LinkedIn next on the list, at a much less impressive 17 percent and 20 percent respectively.
These tips are just a few ways that you can transform your social media marketing campaign. However, they're no replacement for professional advice. If you're serious about promoting yourself in social media, then hire an expert today and make the most out of working on these sorts of platforms!
About the Author: Caroline is a successful blogger and expert in internet marketing. She loves sharing everything she's learned with fellow companies and hopes these tips will improve your marketing campaigns.
Article and Infographic courtesy of:
As Seen on Forbes, Entrepreneur & The Huffington Post
As a writer, you have a skill that’s always in demand. Being able to craft articles, books, posts, and status updates is easier said than done. Doubly so if you’re trying to convince someone to buy something. Like any profitable skill, it needs to be marketed so people can find you.
Today I’ll show you a few quick tips for marketing your writing online before we look at an infographic packed with information that will help you become a superstar writer.
Marketing Your Writing Skills and Finding Success (Infographic)
Marketing yourself online starts by establishing a presence within the World Wide Web. While creating a website, you should also create profiles for yourself on social media platforms so you can connect with agents and readers alike.
For writers, we need to form an image of the ideal reader. Once we have this, we know who to market our books to. Even if you’re the greatest writer on Earth, not everyone is going to like what you work on. Once you’ve honed in on your readers, you’ll know how and where to market to them.
In the meantime, you’ll need to start making money so you can quit that day job and work from home. This is where today’s infographic comes in. With the knowledge contained here, you’ll be able to find paying jobs while you forge a career for yourself.
You’ll be on your own book tour before you know it! Let us know how this infographic helped you pursue your dreams in the comments!
Credit: On Blast Blog
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That is the question book bloggers get asked time and again by authors. Initially, when I first began my book blog eight years ago, that question got me excited at the prospect of being offered a free book to read and review. Now, not so much.
Some of the books I get offered are not even the genres I like to read. So why am I being asked to review them? Simply because the author or publicist did not do his or her homework. You need to target the right book blogs for your book. I can’t stress how important this is. Finding the right blogs for your book can make the difference between getting your book discovered by your target audience or lost in a sea of other books.
If you want to make good use of your marketing time, then take the extra few hours to do this. But how do you know which blogs to target? Let’s say you wrote a sci-fi novel. The first thing you need to do is look for book bloggers who love to read this genre. A quick search on Google using “sci-fi book bloggers” will get you links to where you can find them. You can also search directories such as The Book Blogger List.
What should you look for in a blog? Here is a quick checklist:
I can tell you that we book bloggers do have our pet peeves about how we are approached and we openly talk about it on our blogs. How do you avoid getting ignored or having your email request deleted within seconds of being opened? The secret is in the introduction. Do NOT send out mass emails containing the intro “Hi there”, followed by a book description and an ebook attachment. That is spamming and will get an automatic deletion. And it won’t do anything good for your reputation.
Instead, address the blogger by name or the pseudonym found on their blog or social media sites. Your first sentence should indicate that you know something about them, which is why you are contacting them in particular about a possible review of your book. That first sentence should make a book blogger feel like they have been personally selected by you to review your book. Because...that is what you did right?
So how do you write a good pitch? I will address that is my next article. Don't miss out on any of them by signing up through email subscription on my right sidebar. You work so hard to write your book, but it shouldn't end there. Be prepared to get it out and into the hands of your readers. Be prepared to become a successful author.
Article by Laura Fabiani
Do you have a manuscript ready for submission? Are you a self-published author? Do you own the rights to your novel? Then you qualify to enter in the World's Best Story contest, of which we are a proud sponsor. Enter today!
Every author wants and needs good media attention. With over 4,500 books published every day, how will your book get noticed? Today both publishers and indie authors are pitching book bloggers for book reviews. But with so many people requesting reviews, how do you get those influential (but overwhelmed and sleep-deprived) bloggers to even consider reading your book, let alone reviewing it?
I started book blogging in 2008, shortly after I published my first novel, when I created my blog Library of Clean Reads. I quickly became immersed into the world of advance review copies, author interviews and book tours. My mailbox was soon stuffed with bright yellow book packages— much to my heart's delight—and my inbox with hundreds of requests from publicists, publishers, tour companies and authors. I became adept at recognizing good quality self-published books from poor ones. In time, I developed the ability to scan a review pitch and within a few seconds knew if I wanted to review the book offered. Most of my blogger friends who've been doing this for as long as I have can do the same.
Having been through the arduous task of marketing my own self-published novel (yeah, it's not easy) and having worked with novice authors throughout my years as a book blogger, I've decided to share my blogging knowledge and insider secrets with you to help you avoid common mistakes made by new authors. First though, it's helpful to understand the role of book bloggers in publicity and marketing.
Article by Laura Fabiani
The explosion of book blogs on the Web has led to the formation of virtual book tour companies, a business that was non-existent ten years ago. When publishers got on the bandwagon by getting their titles on tour with these companies, the reputation of book bloggers transformed from the simple diary of a book lover to a book marketing platform for authors and publishers.
So how do authors get their books on these savvy book blogs? It’s not as easy as it used to be as more and more book bloggers get inundated (and I do not use that word lightly) with book review requests. To bypass having your pitch ignored or even deleted, you can buy the services of a virtual book tour company who has access to these experienced bloggers. Which one is the right tour company for your book? Here are some pointers to steer you in the right direction:
Laura Fabiani is an author and book blogger who shares her love of books on Library of Clean Reads. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours, and Italy Book Tours and also the proud sponsor of World's Best Story. Fabiani offers virtual book tour packages and promotional services for authors and publishers.
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