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From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach



Archive for the ‘Independent Publishing’ Category

February 26th, 2017 | By: Karen Saunders

Professional Book Design: How to carry a graphic theme throughout the book

One of the hallmarks of a professionally published book is the attention to the details. When my team designer Kerrie Lian designed the interior of my client’s book, she used several elements related to airplane pilots to carry a graphic theme throughout the book. The title of the book was: If the Customer’s the Copilot, You’re in the Wrong Seat. My client, Brian Dennis used a pilot metaphor when he wrote and self-published this book on customer service. Marty Petersen, our team illustrator created the stunning cover illustration of the interior of an airplane cockpit. Here is the front cover: This is the first chapter’s title page….

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November 29th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Branding and Publishing for Speaker Launching His Business

Our team recently provided branding and publishing for speaker Brian Dennis. We guided Brian through the process of self-publishing his second book while at the same time created his brand, built his website and designed his marketing toolkit within a 4 month period. The expedited schedule was precipitated on an important upcoming speaking opportunity for Brian. My publishing team members edited his book, designed the book interior, finished the cover, converted it into an ebook and uploaded the files to Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Apple within 3 months. Meanwhile, other members of my team created his brand and marketing toolkit with a new…

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July 28th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

Why Use Active Verbs Instead of Passive?

Why Use Active Verbs Instead of Passive? This is part 3 of a 3-part series by my team editor Barbara McNichol on communicating clearly and writing like a pro. During the summer months of June, July and August, I’ll post a 3-part series on helpful writing tips by Barbara.  You’ve probably been urged to use active verbs when you write but do you know why? Because sentences written with active verbs: Clearly spell out the action being performed and who is doing it. Convey the ideas more quickly and directly than passive sentences. Frequently require fewer words than passive sentences when space is limited. Two clues help you identify “passive” use…

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April 25th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

How to Sell More Books: 3 Steps to Make Your Readers Love You

Team member and social media marketing expert Mary Walewski contributed this month’s article on how authors can sell more books: When it comes to authors selling books, I think the problem is this: People confuse marketing with having to be sale-sy all the time. I can certainly understand wanting to get sales. But when your only message to potential readers is “Buy my book!” people will tune you out very quickly. People buy from you when they know and trust you. If you are struggling to connect with potential readers on social media, take a good look at what you’re posting!…

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March 28th, 2016 | By: Karen Saunders

How to Create Book Titles That Sizzle and Sell

This month my friend, client and colleague Joe Sabah graciously contributed this article on how to create book titles. Sometimes independent and self-publishers struggle with this process, and Joe has offered some helpful tips. Even though this article was written in 2006, it is very applicable today. Why does one book become a best seller while another flops? Consider this title: Inside the Ropes. A coffee table book priced at $40 with hardly any sales. Before we go on, what do you think Inside the Ropes is about? First answer from many people would be Boxing. When the author was asked “What’s it about?”…

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August 27th, 2015 | By: Karen Saunders

Add Value to Your Self-Published Book with a CD or DVD!

Self-publishers: If you’ve written a book, you may want to consider creating a CD or DVD with audio, video or e-media content to add value to your self-published book. Then you can leverage your content and double your price AND your profits on Amazon! First, you will need to open an Amazon Advantage account. This is a consignment program where Amazon requests copies of your product based on current and anticipated customer demand. It works like this: you mail copies of your product to Amazon; when a customer makes a purchase, Amazon’s fulfillment department  ships it out directly to the…

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July 16th, 2015 | By: Karen Saunders

For Speakers: How to Design a Book Cover that Sells

Successful sought-after speakers usually have a book to back their brand, expertise and credibility in their chosen fields. A book provides an additional revenue stream, increased publicity, and can be used as a hook for invitations to media events and speaking gigs. In this day and age of Amazon and POD printing, most speakers will self-publish. But if you self-publish, it is crucial to produce a quality product from the inside out, because your image, brand and book sales depend on it. So, how do you design a book cover that sells? Savvy speakers will seek out experts to guide…

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June 28th, 2015 | By: Karen Saunders

When to Use Contractions in a Book Manuscript

I recently received a query from a subscriber who asked me to weigh in on a contraction conundrum. This author wanted to know if it was acceptable to use contractions in a book manuscript. I asked my teammate and award-winning book editor Barbara McNichol for her take on this issue. Here’s the definition of a contraction: Two words that have been contracted (pulled together) into one word. E.g., let’s (let us), he’d (he had), we’re (we are), etc. This author wrote: My latest (4th) book is coming out in September. I just got the edits back from my publisher. I…

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November 10th, 2014 | By: Karen Saunders

The Top 10 Self-Publishing Bloopers

I attended the CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) meeting last month and their topic was “self-publishing bloopers.” I took some notes, added my own items and compiled a list for you. The number one mistake is not having your book professionally edited. There are different levels of editing: content editing, copy editing and proofreading. In my August 2014 post I describe in detail these three types of editing services. Missing the bar code. If you don’t have a bar code on the back cover of your book you won’t be able to sell your book in bookstores or on Amazon. Bad cover design. Your…

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September 23rd, 2014 | By: Karen Saunders

Creative Ways to Sell Your Self-Published Books

Book marketing guru Brian Jud spoke at the September CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) meeting about ways to sell books to other markets besides bookstores. He published the book Beyond the Bookstore back in 2009, and has a new updated edition, How to Make Real Money Selling Books. These books show you how to reach unique retail and non-retail market segments, where you can sell mass quantities of self-published books at a time. Many independent publishers have realized the unfortunate impact of returns when working with bookstores. Returns are shipped back to the publisher at the publisher’s expense and often arrived…

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