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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nailing the Author Marketing Section of Your Book Proposal

The author marketing section of a book proposal is where you demonstrate to an agent or publisher that you will hustle to sell books.

And it's really important.

Keep reading and you'll get to see an awesome example of an excellent author marketing section.

For starters, here are a few tips:

1. Demonstrate What You Will Do

Don't tell a publisher what you're willing to do to promote your book. Don't assure them that you'll go on the 20-city book tour that they'll plan and fund. Cuz that ain't happening. Publishers want to see what kinds of promotional strategies you will create and implement. Give them names of 10 bloggers who've already agreed to let you guest-blog when your book releases. Tell them the name of the TV anchorman from your church who's promised to interview you on air. List the names of the 5 women's conferences where you've already been invited to speak 18 months from now.

2. Demonstrate What You Are Doing

Even better than showing a publisher what you will do is showing them what you're already doing! Don't promise a publisher that you'll grow your mailing list or social media followers. Instead, show that publisher that your numbers have increased by 30% in the last month or that you've hired a publicist who's growing your list. 

3. Be Creative

You may not have access to Oprah to help you promote this book, but with some creativity, you can come up with some innovative strategies to prove to a publisher that you're going to partner with them to sell a lot of books. Do some research online. Buy a book like Michael Hyatt's Platform. Brainstorm with your tribe. What are the networks and resources to which you already have access that you can leverage to sell books?

A few years ago, an author with whom I work wrote a killer author marketing section of a book proposal, and he gave me permission to share it with you here. You're welcome. Even though he has access to some unique networks, I'm convinced that if you put in the effort, you can also craft an impressive author marketing section in your own proposal.

Find this killer author marketing section on my page of resources for authors!

Best of luck you as you write a winning proposal!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

1 Great Way to Build Your Subscriber List

A lot of writers are trying to figure out the best way to increase followers, gather a tribe, build an email list, etc. So when I see something that's working, I want to share it with you!

The savvy Jen Wise shared this post with our writers group this morning--about a smart way to build your email subscriber list--and I think it's so useful that I asked her permission to share it with you!

You're welcome.

Jen writes,

"This is a new resource I'm giving away--I wanted to share because there's always a lot of discussion about building engagement and followers and email lists.

She continues,

"The easiest way for me to build my email list has always been by creating free resources/devotionals/journals. I never charge for them, because the email list is way more valuable than the small amount of money I cold make on each journal. So, I throw them all into a resource library which requires an email address to enter.

Each time I create a new resource it is with the expressed purpose of gaining new email subscribers, and also retaining the ones I have. (And, of course, I just enjoy creating them.) It's worked really well for me. These are the posts I push the absolute hardest on social media and will always pony up the money to promote.

Sharing this, as some of you are trying to build email lists, and this has been absolutely essential for me in the process--and the most effective."

Smart, right?

It's possible that this approach isn't one that has your name on it, but I love that it's working for Jen!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Q & A: "Do I need a literary agent to sell my book?"

Q: Do I need a literary agent to sell my book?

A:  In my experience, publishers take submissions from agents more seriously because they know the writer/project has already been vetted. Agents don't want to ruin their rep with publishers by sending them bad stuff. (That’s pretty sophisticated industry insider lingo: “bad stuff.” Now you know.)

Publishers and literary agents are looking for exactly the same thing: a project with a unique slant—that meets a readers’ felt need—from a talented author who’s reaching audiences and building her/his platform.

Possible exceptions—that might preclude you needing an agent in order to sell your book—include but are not limited to:

1.    A publisher has contacted you because they’re interested in you or your work. (They may have read your article at Christianity Today that went viral or seen you as a featured guest on Good Morning America.)

2.    A person of influence—possibly a best-selling author or CEO of an international organization—introduces you, enthusiastically, to the publisher, offering her/his unflagging support to promote your work.

3.    You are affiliated with a reputable organization or institution that commits to purchase 50,000 books as gifts for their donors.

4.    A smaller publisher is willing to represent you as a new author if an editor there connects with you and what you’re about. It never hurts to have the support of a reputable organization or institution.

Note: although these kinds of opps might lead to getting a book contract, it is always beneficial to have an agent as your advocate with a publisher.

Here are a few ways that agents serve publishers and benefit authors

·      On the front end: Agents ensure that your contract is fair and they can advocate to increase the value of your contract: advance monies, royalties, deadlines, free books, etc. (They’re not magicians, but they will go to bat for you.)

·      During the writing of the book: Agents are your advocate if you run into any personal or professional bumps during the process of writing the book.

·      On the back end: Agents communicate with the publisher if there are ever any additional questions or issues pertaining to your book.

If you're a Christian writer who is interested in finding an agent, explore agency’s websites to find the one that will be the best fit for you. Questions to ask as you peruse their sites:

·      Does the agency seem to represent only bestselling authors, or do they represent some newbies like me?

·      Does the selection of books the agency represents indicate that they’d champion a book like mine? (subject matter, theological perspective, etc.)

·      What types of books is this agency looking for right now? (Dig around the site, and the agency will often post the kinds of projects they do and don’t want to receive—because that information benefits them and you.)

Note: If an agent doesn’t accept poetry or sci-fi, do the agent and yourself a favor by not sending them your poetry or sci-fi. (Do not, under any circumstance, promise that yours is amazing and different and sure to be a bestseller.)

The best listing of literary agents I know is available for download at:

To write a killer cover letter to your dream agent, I highly recommend this little e-book: Writing Pitch, Query, and Cover Letters That Shine. It’s a gem not because I wrote it, but because It’s filled with tips from agents and publishers about what they do and do not want to see in pitch letters!

More questions? Leave them as comments below...

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