In honor of the holidays, this column is devoted to favorite food scenes in great literature. Books can evoke such great memories. When reading a book by a good author, you can practically smell and taste the food described. Many authors are even including recipes in their books!
Many websites have tips on becoming a better writer. Here are a few of the frequently suggested tips:
1. Start writing! The more you write the better writer you will become. Write at least 30 minutes a day. Creating a writing ritual – a time of day when you can write without interruption – will get you in the habit of writing.
2. Read great writers and learn from them. Pay close attention to their style and mechanics, in addition to their content. Emulate them. Experiment with their style, voice, mechanics. See what works for you. This will help you find your voice.
3. Plan your writing. Keep pen and paper handy to write down thoughts and ideas as they come to you. As you are exercising or cleaning house or sitting in traffic, think about what you want to write. By the time you sit down to write, you can just crank it out - the thinking will have been done.
An article in the Book Marketing Expert newsletter talks about discovery – how do you get your book discovered when there are thousands published each month? Here are some suggestions gleaned from the article and adapted to writing books on maternal/child health.
1. Publish - a lot. The most successful authors are pushing out a lot of books.
2. Bundle. Many romance authors partner with other authors to bundle short books into one book. This can work for nonfiction authors, also. Do you have a friend or colleague with information to share? Consider combining your books.
3. Reader book reviews. Do you check out what other people have to say about a book or product before you buy? If so, you are like a lot of readers. So how do you get your readers to write a review? Engage your readers and encourage them to review your book.
If you are thinking of writing a book or have published a book, it’s time to think about a website to promote the book. A book website is a great tool for marketing your book and building an online following.
Here are some things to include on a book website:
· The book cover, a summary of what the book covers if nonfiction or a catchy overview if fiction, the Table of Contents for nonfiction books, and an excerpt from the book to engage the reader and encourage them to buy a copy.
· Any other books or articles you have written, or any products related to your book.
· A way to order your book and other items. You can either sell the items directly or link to sites that sell them.
You’ve written your book and it has been published. Now you are just waiting for those royalty checks. What? Your royalty checks are pretty skimpy? Your book is not flying off the bookshelves like you expected?
It takes a lot of time and effort to write a book and go through the editing and publishing process. Afterwards, you are ready for a break. But if you want your book to sell, you’ve got to help market it. Beyond making sure conference coordinators include your book in the conference bookstores where you speak, are there other things you can do to market your book? Absolutely, here are some ideas:
Last month in the Writer’s Corner, we discussed some of the reasons a book proposal may not be accepted by a publisher. One of the areas we mentioned was the author’s failure to share a marketing plan for the book.
A proposal that doesn’t share the author’s marketing plan for the book misses an opportunity to impress the publisher with the author’s enthusiasm for the book and commitment to promoting it.
Think about the reasons people will buy your book and how you will let them know it’s available. Share this insight with the prospective publisher in your book proposal.
Explain Your Platform
Chances are if you have written a book or are feeling a strong urge to write a book, you are an expert in your field of interest. If so, you have a professional network or what is commonly called a “platform” that you can work from to sell your book.
A common mistake aspiring authors make is to dash off a book proposal to a publishing house as soon as an idea comes to mind, without taking time to prepare a solid proposal. Take time to avoid these common mistakes.
Sending the Proposal to the Wrong Publisher
Many authors find their proposals are rejected because they send a proposal to the wrong publisher. Most publishers have a target market; some are more specific than others. Check to see who is publishing books on topics similar to your book. If you think your book may appeal to a certain publisher, check to see what books have come from your prospective publisher recently. Does your book seem to fit the publisher’s niche?
Consider marketing your book to a corporation, foundation, or association to use as a gift, marketing incentive, education tool, or resource for their members, employees, or customers. Have you ever been offered a free book for subscribing to a magazine or joining a book club, saved UPC symbols from a cereal box to send in for a free children’s book, or received a free book from an association? Large corporations and organizations buy thousands of books for promotions, and they seldom produce the books themselves.
Is your blog ready to birth a book? Some writers start blogging with the intention of turning their blog in to a book eventually. Others start a blog because they have something to say or reflect upon. If you have been blogging or writing a column for weeks, months, or maybe even years, you may be surprised to find you have produced plenty of material for a book.
Consider These Ideas
Analyze your past blogs or columns for common themes. Do recurring themes emerge that could be combined in chapters? Or, do you have so much information you need to create a book on each theme?
If columns seem unrelated they can still be tied together in a book with a title like “Thoughts on Your Subject by Your Name” or “Your Name Examines the Mysteries of Your Subject .” Or, take advantage of the popularity of your column by using the column name in the title of the book.