Book Marketing and Publishing Tips for Authors–

Issue #02  Jan. 17, 2018
Publisher: Judith Briles

Practical Publishing Advice and Guidance for Authors

In This Issue

1.   How to Create a Stratospheric eBook Launch webinar Thursday
2.   Is Your Book Lost at Publishing Sea? … Get Found, It’s a NEW Year!
3.   Why Short Books Are the New Black
4.   Hot Spit! The AuthorYOU Extravaganza is in Breckenridge in August
5.   March Could Be the Savior of Limping Book Sales! Don’t Miss Out
6.   Book Shepherd "Fun" of the Week …

This Week Under The Book Shepherd’s® Roof:
This is a tick-tock month for lot’s happening. The webinar on how to create and build momentum for max book sales and snagging #1 for eBooks happens; we start to build steam for the summer’s AuthorYOU Extravaganza; my deep discount for Speaking Unplugged ends; 40 Publishing at Seas will wave bon voyage this weekend; and I’m going to finish up my next book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Next year’s dates are January 13-20. Plus, vamping up for next month’s American Library Associate event in Denver. I look forward to representing many of our authors to thousands of librarians.

So many books that I’ve been working on will go to print—always exciting for me. This week delivers a whirlwind of author excitement—"babies" are birthing. I’m so impressed with the power of several. Susan Miller’s, My Life Rearranged, is stunning in the journey she exposes of the discovery and caregiving of her Alzheimer husband. Delivered in text and poetry, the author and her book reveal the shock, pain, anger, fear, guilt, and yearning that caregivers experience. It’s the book I think every adult should read.

How to Create a Stratospheric eBook Launch

NOTE … even if you can’t attend "live", you need to register to get the REPLAY.

Wow! Wouldn't you love to grab the top spot on Amazon's bestseller list and keep the momentum going? Not just for an hour ... for days and weeks?

-  How would you like to sell hundreds of eBooks in just a few hours? And do it day after day?

- How would you like to be able to create a strategy to get buyers names and emails?

- How would you like to do all this with less than one day's work?

If you’re thinking, "Yes, I would," you're serious ... and you want to learn Ellen Violette's secrets in our all-new Webinar slated for Wednesday, January 18th.

Our Expert to show you the way: Ellen Violette is an award-winning self-publishing and business coach, 8-time #1 bestselling author, and soon-to-be podcaster at Books Business and Abundance. She's also a Grammy-nominated songwriter.

Ellen creates books for busy consultants, coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs, makes them #1 bestsellers and turns them into 10K+ clients as well as passive income to create the business and lifestyle of their dreams. She's helped author/entrepreneurs all over the world since 2004 and through working with others she feels she's making the world a better place.

Join us for a webinar on Jan 18, 2018, at 5:00 PM MST: Author Success: Create a #1 Bestselling eBook for the New Year

#eBookMarketing #AuthorSuccess #Bestseller #eBook         

Is Your Book Lost at Publishing Sea?

One thing that we authors can all plan upon: Amazon will continue to change the publishing field. And, that’s a good thing, even though it may not feel like it. The level of book pollution has gone beyond the stratosphere. That’s why the self and indie authors and publishers need to step up their game.

Anyone and almost everyone can vomit out words and dump them into Amazon’s CreateSpace or get in bed with the growing number of vanity-type presses and in days, literally, days, have a book in hand. Is it a quality book or a great looking book? Most likely, not. Too many launches with little to no editing. Ditto with interior and cover design.
Which means that finding buyers—the potential SuperFans—has become fierce. And for authors—all authors—getting found has become the 8th Wonder of the World.

Has your book become a sardine in the sea of books available … is it lost … can it be found? Can it become a whale so your buying public can’t miss it? Here are two essential questions you need to ASK and ANSWER, starting now:

1.  Start with a reality check. Is your book a good product … really? Does it look self-published? Is it riddled with typos and/or errors? I know the DIYers are going to squawk claiming that theirs’ is "OK enough—I got a graphics guy on Fivrr to do the cover and used the template to drop my Word document into—it’s OK."

My eyeballs hurt from looking at the "good enoughs" and I’ve stopped as soon as I spot multiple typos, sentences that make no sense and/or the book looks like it came off a gluing session at the kitchen table. Truthiness: you must care enough about the reader that he or she will care about you and your words.

If you have primary text and/or a book that doesn’t entail a lot of art and budget is an issue, discover Joel Friedlander’s array of templates for interior design—you have plenty to choose from for minimal dollars that will gussy up your DIY image pronto. You can get them on or via

2.  Is your book in the right genre? Yes, you are doing the Happy Dance—you have a book and are ready to start selling it. Amazon will most likely be your primary selling point. Amazon gives you a couple of choices … you need to deep dive to make sure yours lands where it should be. Get registered on Amazon’s Advantage account or through its Marketplace. Then create an Author Central account—this opens the portal to talk to a live person within seconds—a feat that all marvel at when it happens with Amazon.

Interestingly, Amazon’s KDP, eBook categories are more expansive that the print book. In either case, you need to see where your competitors are posted and determine what other options you have. The truth is that your romance or mystery will land in an expansive sea and disappear.

One of the easiest actions to take to help book sales is to change the genre and category. Having a book lost in the sea of genres is frustrating for any author. For fiction, Romance and Mystery or the biggies—you become the mini-sardine in the swim with the hundreds of thousands of titles already in place plus more coming on every day.

Here’s another tip: make your own specific category and reduce the competition. What? Yup, you can in the Kindle arena. There are plenty of "tricks" in dealing with Amazon and its robots.

How do you get into these categories if you can’t select them from the Amazon’s dashboard? Good question. First, you must select Non-Classifiable as one of your categories, and then you email KDP through the dashboard with the full path of the category you want to appear in. For example: Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Series.

David Gaughran wrote an excellent article on deep-diving into categories (and even making your own)—it’s worth a read HERE:

It’s time to get found … are you ready?

Why Short Books Are the New Black

h my—data shows that a goldfish has a greater attention span than a human. That's a huge gulp. For we authors, what it means is this: Your Shrinking Reader Attention Span is shrinking.

The standard how-to and business book tomes of yesterday have become dinosaurian. Blame it on TV … the way we take in information … blame it on the Internet. The fact is, attention spans are shrinking. As a writer and author, the probability that your words need to shrink between the covers of your book is high.

In my office, I’ve now posted a new Keeper—one of my reminders to not side-step as I go through the day. I’m a non-fiction author—the majority of my published books have been in the business area with Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace weighing in at 400 pages. Its follow-up and sister book, Sabotage-How to Deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions and Slugs in the Health Care Workplace dieted down to 194 pages. Most readers bought the two books together.

When I stepped away from writing and speaking in the healthcare field in mid-2000 exclusively dedicating my time to authors and publishing, two truths bubbled up.

First the need to write visually; and second, to write short … or at least, shorter.

My published books now contained fewer words. Books that a decade ago I would have thought, said, questioned, this is a book? When the run-away bestseller popped up, Who Moved My Cheese? and I counted the 16,000 words, noted the big type and cartoons and I said out loud, "You’ve got be kidding me—this is a freakin article, a long one, but still, it’s an article."

No longer. My latest book will be available in May: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors and Writers. It weighs in at an un-massive 10,000 words … in color, with cartoons.  And yes, I said out loud, "You’ve got to be freakin kidding me!" Maybe my 10 years as a columnist for the Business Journals paved the way—I learned to write punchier and to love the one sentence paragraph; the one word sentence. I mean, how many of you have said or thought, "Shit," and knew that it was complete in every way?

Paragraph perpetuity is out. Short sentences are in. Snappy. Sassy. And sometimes salty.

There’s a trend here … this isn’t a fad. Short is the new black, a necessity in your writing closet. Your reader’s attention spans have shrunk—the average professional gets over 300 emails/text messages a day and spends over 20 hours a week responding to them. Attention spans have shrunk by almost one-third according to Joseph McCormack, the author of BRIEF: Making a Bigger Impact by Saying Less.

In 2000, the average attention span in an office environment was 12 minutes; now it’s less than 8 minutes. If a lengthy email comes in, it’s abandoned in 30 seconds and if someone is long-winded, over one-third of listeners mentally check out at the 15 second mark. Book cover designers understand the goldfish factor—less that seven seconds … that’s it … to grab and hook the potential buyer to pick up the book.

I know, I know. Your words are morsels to be deliciously chewed on, even regurgitated. But … if you want them read in the first place, be on alert. For authors and writers, less is more.

For the non-fiction author, the need to practice the art of creating a bigger impact with words by using less of them will be cherished by your readers. Fiction authors get more leeway. Your readers want to be entertained and you get more space to do it within. But never undervalue the delete button—you may love every word that flows out through your fingers, but will your reader?

And for all authors, the mere nudge that one-third of listeners space out within 15 seconds has got to be the magic goose to be able to say clearly what you and your book are about in 15 seconds or less.

Practice you book pitch. Short is the new black … your book sales will thank you.

Hold these dates: August 23-26, 2018 … It’s an Author and Publishing Retreat in Breckenridge, CO.

Oh my, the two-day AuthorYOU Extravaganza is sandwiched between a few "hot" events that are add-ons. On the afternoon of the 23rd, the Advanced Book Marketing Breakthroughs will be held along with the Author BOOK PitchFest. On the 26th, a special writing and editing workshop in the AM. Beautiful and quaint Breckenridge is calling to you. Come early, stay a few extra days. Chill out—the mountains are beautiful. Watch for details … all popping soon on our website.

March Could Be the Savior of Limping Book Sales! Don’t Miss Out on the Speaking Unplugged Early Bird Opportunity

You want to be at Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Boot Camp March 17-18 event if you want to know how to structure a speech; create the stories to enhance your presentation; create an opening or closing that hooks the audience; know how to engage meeting planners; learn how to market yourself … in other words, be a speaking success around your expertise and your book.
Attendance is very, very limited because of the nature of what I do with each person. You will fill out a questionnaire prior to the event so I know you and your book and your goal. ALL Attendees will land in the HOT SEAT so I can work directly with you and the group watches.

This is deep learning.
This is author changing.
This is book sales to come galore.

Early bird ends this month. Details here.

#Speaking #AuthorSuccess #Book

6 Book Shepherd "Funny" of the Week …

As a kid, I loved growing up with my special friends—my cats. I loved watching their antics … and who doesn’t love silly kittens? These little guys made me smile.

Here is the link:
About Judith Briles
The Book Shepherd

Book Publishing expert Judith Briles, aka The Book Shepherd
® has shepherded more than 1,000 authors and created 500 best-sellers and award-winning books. She knows publishing inside and out from both the traditional and independent sides. Judith is an advocate for authors within her blogs, podcasts and speaking engagements. What’s her pet peeve? Two words: publishing predators.

She hosts the podcast AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing that generates over 100,000 downloads a month. Her website is www.TheBookShepherd, email: and phone: 303-885-2207. Judith is The Book Shepherd.

The Book Shepherd ® is a registered trademark


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