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I’m Thomas Umstattd Jr. Today we are going to talk about BookBub, chances are you have heard of authors using this service to sell tens of thousands of books. Today we are going to learn how and why this platform is so powerful, and to help us with that we will be talking with David Gaughran “Gochrun”. David has helped thousands of authors self-publish through his workshops, blog, and writers’ books Let’s Get Digital, Strangers to Superfans, and Amazon Decoded . He is also the author of the historical adventures Liberty Boy (affiliate links). David, welcome to the Novel Marketing

Questions:

  • What is BookBub?
  • How do authors use BookBub to sell more books?
  • How do you get your book accepted?
  • What mistakes do authors use when trying to use BookBub?
  • When should authors use BookBub and when should they avoid it?
  • What is a BookBub Ad?
  • How do we get those cheaper clicks?
  • How do we make BookBub ads more effective?
  • Tell us about your book BookBub Ads Expert (affiliate link)

Links:

Featured Patron

You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

In 1928, small-town woman Marjorie Corrigan travels to Chicago and thinks she sees her first love–believed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a Chicago train station. Suddenly everything in her life is up for grabs.

Sponsor:

5 Year Plan to Become a Bestselling Author

This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at NovelMarketing.com/courses.

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In this episode we are going to talk about elevator pitches. This is not just for traditional authors, it’s for any writer who wants to talk about their book in a way that makes people want to pull out their phones and buy it right there on the spot.

Why you should listen to this episode Show Notes Talking Points: What is an elevator pitch?
  • Sentence – High concept, the hook, 26 words max …
  • Paragraph – Radio Pitch / Back cover copy …
  • Page – Short Synopsis
    • Emphasis on short
  • The Ultra short elevator pitch. What if you don’t have three floors to give your pitch?
    • The theme pitch
      • “It’s about a woman who stands up for herself for the first time in her life.” (The Pages of Her Life)
Why do you need one prepared ahead of time?
  • Talking about your book briefly does not come naturally.
  • You use it to pitch potential purchasers
  • Pitching to influencers (taste makers, editors, agents)
  • You’ll use your elevator pitch forever
  • When you prep it you can test it on others BECAUSE you want to make sure nothing is lost in translation. Is it easy to understand? And most important, will the person you tell it to be able to repeat it somewhat accurately?
Some Questions to Ask Yourself While Crafting Your Pitch
  • What makes my book different from other similar books?
  • What makes my book special?
  • What makes me weird? Unique? Appealing?
    • Stock photo pretty vs unusually pretty.
  • What makes my book weird?
  • Who is my book for?
    • Can change based on the audience
      • Example: Twilight
  • What is the number one most interesting thing about my book?
  • And let us repeat ourselves and remind you to ask if your pitch is EASY to understand and easily repeatable
The Subway pitch
  • An example, James’ first novel, Rooms:
    • “It’s about a young Seattle software tycoon who inherits a home on the Oregon coast that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.”
    • “It’s about a man who inherits a home that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.”
    • “It’s about a man who walks into the rooms of his own soul.”
Pitch Points
  • Don’t put every worm on the hook
  • Use different bait for different fish. It is ok to have multiple pitches. Adapt your pitch for your listener. (How to sell a refrigerator to someone living in an igloo)
  • This is SHOW BUSINESS! Leave the audience wanting more!
  • Practice. Then practice more. Then practice more.
The #1 Mistake to Avoid:
  • Being boring
The #2 Mistake to Avoid:
  • Being boring
Pitch Templates
  • Auto Publicist
  • Using the “What if?” motif works well for many writers:
    • What if you were given a chair and told it was made by Jesus Christ and had supernatural healing powers? (The Chair)
    • What if you could have a conversation with your 23 year old self? (The Five Times I Met Myself)
    • What if you found a legendary lost corridor at the end of a lake, that if you got through, would give you what you want most in the world? (The Long Journey to Jake Palmer)
    • What if you could find God’s Book of Days on earth, that tells the past, present and future of every soul? (Book of Days)
    • What if you woke up one morning and the darkest parts of you had vanished? (The Man He Never Was)
  • Problem Cause Solution
    • Courtship in Crisis explains why the marriage rate in America has plummeted and how you can avoid becoming part of that statistic by finding and marrying the love of your life.
  • The Theme Pitch (When your elevator is only going one floor up)
    • “It’s about a woman who stands up for herself for the first time in her life.” (The Pages of Her Life)

Post your elevator pitches as a comment to this episode in the Facebook Group (not as a separate post).

Featured Patron

The Land Without Color    by Benjamin Ellefson

What If You Were Transported to a Land Without Color? And the Only One Who Could Restore it Was You?

Sponsor:

Novel Marketing Patreon Page

Patrons Receive:

  • Warm satisfaction of helping keep the show on the air
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Access to the patrons only Q & A episode each month and the ability to get feedback on your pitch from Thomas and Jim.
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In this episode we are going to talk about how one author applied a lot of the things we talk about on Novel Marketing and used them to launch her career.

That author is Melissa Ferguson.

Melissa writes heartwarming romantic comedy for Thomas Nelson publishers and is an adjunct professor of the New Testament so she’s smart … her debut novel, The Dating Charade, releases on December 3rd 2019.

Questions
  • Tell us your story … a quick intro of why and when you started writing, and how you got to where you are now.
  • Tell us about taking that discarded manuscript and using it to get a three book deal.
  • Of all the things you did to market yourself and make yourself stand out, what are the two or three you think made the most difference?
  • Talk to us about rejection. How did you handle it? How did you keep promoting yourself and your work in the face of that?
  • Talk to us about confidence
  • You went the traditional path. What do you see as the pros and cons of that path?
  • Give us the elevator pitch for your upcoming novel …
  • Any final thoughts for writers early on in their journey?
  • Where can people pre-order your novel?
  • Where can people find out more about you?
Featured Patron

188    The Embers Series    A hurricane and a series of unexplained fires hits too close to home. What will it cost inspector Cassandra McCarthy do to protect the citizens of Silver Heights? ”

Sponsor:

5 Year Plan to Become a Bestselling Author

This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at NovelMarketing.com/courses.

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In this episode we are going to talk about how to get a publishing board to buy your book. Or better said, how do you get a pub board to choose your book over the other ten proposals they’ll be pursuing at the same time they’re looking at yours?

Show Notes

Talking Points:

What is Pub Board?

  • The committee of decision makers at a publisher that decide on which books to publish.

Who is there?

What are their roles?

  • Your editor/your champion
  • Other editors
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • The publisher

How does the meeting go?

  • You’re just one of a number of books being considered
  • Your editor might or might not be good at pitching your book
  • Odds are HIGH that no one at the table other than your editor has read the proposal thoroughly.
  • The voting process

The crucial elements of your pitch if people are only going to skim it

  • Your hook
  • Your elevator pitch
    • Make it crisp and quick
  • What will impress sales?
  • What will impress marketing?
  • What is going to impress accounting?
  • What will impress the publisher?
  • Give the editor a special video.

Why you need to start watching Shark Tank if you want to be trad pubbbed

  • Idea
  • Numbers
  • Platform
  • Passion
Featured Patron

Lucia’s Renaissance by CL Peterson

“A Novel of 16th-century Italy, by C.L.R. Peterson. “Heresy is fatal in late Renaissance Italy, so only a suicidal zealot would so much as whisper the name of Martin Luther. But after Luther’s ideas ignite a young girl’s faith, she must choose–abandon her beliefs or risk her life in the turbulent world of late sixteenth-century Italy.”

Sponsor:

5 Year Plan to Become a Bestselling Author

This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at NovelMarketing.com/courses.

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In this episode we are going to talk about WordPress plugins! Which ones that will make your site awesome and which ones will make you scream in pain and agony.

Show Notes Why WordPress is the Most Popular Website Platform for Authors
  1. Plugins!
  2. Power
  3. Price
  4. Popularity
What is a WordPress Plugin?

An app for your website.

How to Add Plugins to Your Website
  • You need either WordPress.org (Bluehost, WP Engine, etc.) OR the $25/mo version of WordPress.com.
  • Install from your dashboard (free plugins).
  • Upload a zip to your dashboard (paid plugins).
The 5 Best Free WordPress Plugins for Authors #1 YOAST SEO What it Does

It helps your site rank better on Google by helping you with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Why it is the Best

Yoast does what often takes two or three other plugins to do. It also teaches you about SEO as you use it.

Why this is Important

If you don’t rank for your name and your book titles, someone else will rank for you. Best case scenario you miss out on money, worst case scenario it makes your fans mad.

Repository Link

#2 Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) What it Does

It integrates your website with Google Analytics to collect detailed statistics. It also puts a Google Analytics dashboard in WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to log into Google Analytics to see your stats.

Why it is the Best

You don’t need this plugin to use Google Analytics, but it makes it easier. Also, in my experience authors never log in to Google Analytics to do anything other than prep a book proposal. This makes the analytics nearly useless.

Why this is Important  

Analytics can teach you about your readers and about yourself. But only if you use them regularly.

Repository Link

#3 Jetpack What it Does

Jetpack is the Swiss Army Knife of plugins. It protects your site from spam, improves the speed, provides a contact form, related posts and a lot more.

Why this is Important  

Jetpack replaces the need for at least half a dozen other plugins. Spam will ruin your comments without some kind of filter, readers will get frustrated without some kind of contact form, and the slower your site loads the less time people will spend on it.

Why it is the Best

Jetpack is made by Automattic the company behind WordPress. They have the best developers and the most money. If you get the other plugins we recommend in this episode, the free version is all you need.

Repository Link

#4 MyBookProgress What it Does

It puts a progress bar on your website to show your readers the status of your WIP. It also integrates with MailChimp and with your blog.

Why this is Important  

WIP status is the number two reason people visit author websites. If you keep this up to date, you will have more traffic and a lot more repeat traffic. You will also have a bigger email list and more successful launches.

Why it is the Best

This is one of the only (if not the only) progress bar designed specifically with authors in mind. It has a dashboard that not only keeps your readers up to date, but it helps keep you on track as well.

Repository Link

#5 MyBookTable What is Does

It creates a bookstore for your website where the buy buttons go to Amazon, BN.com and dozens of other stores. It helps you organize your books by author, series, genre and more.

Why this is Important  

The more books you have the more work it is to keep them organized on your website. While only somewhat helpful if you have a single book, where MyBookTable really shines is in helping you organize many books across multiple series, genres and co-authors. This is the kind of plugin you can grow into as an author.

Why it is the Best

This is by far the most powerful bookstore plugin for WordPress. It is also the most popular.

Repository Link

Plugins to Avoid
  • WooCommerce – Massive overkill for what authors need. Don’t use unless you plan to ship dozens of books directly to authors every month.
  • MySpeakingPage – Nearing the end of its life
  • MySpeakingEvents – Nearing the end of its life
Featured Patron

7 Deadly Friendships by Mary Demuth

Do you have a friendship where there’s there’s something wrong but you can’t put your finger on it? Toxic friendships happen to everyone, but we seldom identify the underlying issues. The Seven Deadly Friendships helps you identity those issues and

Mary’s website: https://www.marydemuth.com/

Sponsor:

5 Year Plan to Become a Bestselling Author

This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at NovelMarketing.com/courses.

Novel Marketing Patrons save 50%

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In this episode we’re going to talk about overcoming the fear of your writing being wrong.

Intro

A listener named Paul wrote to us and said, “I’ve attempted to write truth; that which you call Non-Fiction, and I’m afraid I’ll be found in error, and be put to shame by well-known, more educated minds, than mine!”

Jim- I can relate! This fear held me back for years.

Talking Points

  • Do you believe all the same things you believed 10 years ago? So were you wrong then, or are you wrong now?
  • Text books from 50 years ago
  • Everyone is wrong
  • Flat Earth (Netflix)
  • Factfulness

Ideas for Overcoming This Fear

  1. Accept the fact that you might be wrong
  2. Have the mindset of presenting what you believe, not what you know
  3. Become an expert (read!)
  4. Workshop your material
  5. Use Beta Readers (Research Team)
  6. Ultimately you’re sharing an opinion
  7. When people say, “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” realize they’re just giving their opinion.
  8. You’re interested in this subject, and by being challenged, you’ll learn more and be able to offer more on the subject
  9. You’re not truly dealing with fear, but with anxiety. You’re dealing with the future which has not happened yet. You’re allowing thoughts in that could be completely false. You’ve imagined what MIGHT happen, what if you were to imagine what MIGHT happen in the opposite direction? That your book becomes the landmark writing on your subject?
  10. There’s a verse in the bible that applies to life whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not, “Beware when all speak well of you.” Luke 6:26

Links:


Featured Patron: LAUREN LYNCH

Lauren is the author of, the TimeDrifter fantasy series where readers can explore ancient civilizations from a Christian worldview. Lauren says her stories happen where the real world collides with the fantastic.

http://www.laurenlynch.com/

Thank you, Lauren!

Sponsor:

MyBookTable is a way to quickly and easily build an online bookstore on your WordPress website. Use it to rank #1 on Google for your book and to boost your book sales on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Get it free at MyBookTable.com. Novel Marketing Patrons save 25% on MyBookTable Pro. www.mybooktable.com.

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In this episode we’re going to talk about how to maximize your relationship with your editor.

And yes, you already know who it is from the intro, Erin Healy.

If you don’t know Erin, let me give you a quick rundown.

  • My editor.
  • Four of my five Christy wins came from books Erin edited.
  • Ted Dekker’s long-time editor.
  • AND … is a bestselling author for her own books.
  • So she’s one of those rare folks who truly understands publishing from both sides, as an editor, but also as an author.
  • Freelance editor who works with indie authors and trad authors.
  • Seventeen years ago … put up her website, has never had time … she’s that good.
  • And has become a dear friend

Erin, welcome to the show.

  • Which do you like better? Writing or editing?
  • We always say the absolute best piece of marketing material authors can develop is an excellent book … because that sells the next book and the back list. And creating an excellent book depends to a great extent on the relationship between the editor and the writer. So talk to us a bit about how to make that relationship sing. What are some must-dos when you start working with a new editor?
    • Don’t have to be best friends, but do have to have mutual respect
    • A good editors job is to:   
      • Catch the vision for the book
      • Match that up with readers
      • Ask the hard questions
  • What do you want to make sure you DON’T do?
    • Don’t rush the process. It takes time.  Both macro/line edit take time!
    • Ask the editor how long it will take on your specific book
  • What are some things you’re seen done, or have been done to you that were shocking or horrifying or just plain stupid?
  • How can authors make things easier for their editors?
  • Do you end up having authors you like working with more than others? Why?
  • How do you find a great editor?
  • How much do personalities clicking play into putting together a great story?
  • You’ve worked with a lot of best-selling, award winning authors. Have any of them done something innovative with regards to marketing that you admired?
  • Are you able to take on any new clients currently?
  • Where can people find out more about you and/or get in touch?

Links:


Featured Patron: David L. Winters

Driver Confessional

A Christian ride-share driver lands in hot water with the Russian mob. Antonio and his cop brother must solve a murder before it’s too late.

www.sabbaticalofthemind.net

Thank you, David!

Sponsor:

MyBookTable is a way to quickly and easily build an online bookstore on your WordPress website. Use it to rank #1 on Google for your book and to boost your book sales on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Get it free at MyBookTable.com. Novel Marketing Patrons save 25% on MyBookTable Pro. www.mybooktable.com.

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In this episode we have a special treat for you. This is a re-run of one of the most influential episodes we have ever aired. Influential because of how much it influenced Thomas & I.

Also we almost got arrested recording it.

Wait what?

The story.

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In this episode we’re going to talk about how to use the last few pages of your book to supercharge your marketing.

Why you should listen to this episode

Show Notes

What is Backmatter?

  • It’s everything that comes after the “the end”

This episode is not just for indies!

  • Trad authors have not because they ask not. There are often blank pages at the end of trad books and all the authors had to do was ask for something to be put on those pages.
    • Example: Jim’s new novel coming out in May.
  • The difference is that indie authors can make more frequent changes to the back matter.
  • Trad authors have a longer lead time. Figure out your back matter 6 months ahead of time.

Why backmatter is so powerful:

  • If your book is well written, the reader has just had a powerful emotional experience. (Thanks, Randy Ingermanson!)
  • The iron is hot. Downright sizzling if they’d loved your book. There’s no better time to ask them to take the next step in their relationship with you.
  • Don’t waste this opportunity!
  • Readers want help finding your next book.

How to Edit Your Back Matter

  • Vellum is best but Mac only. Some authors buy a mac just so they can use Vellum.
  • Draft to Digital will convert a Word docs into ebook formats.
  • Calibre is free and multi platform, but clunky.
  • Contractor Fiverr.com (Affiliate Link + 20% discount)

Edit Your Back Matter Frequently

  • Your old books should promote your new books, so every time you have a new book come out .. time to update
  • Updates will be pushed out to all ebook readers and to all new POD readers.

What to include in your back matter

  • Ask for a Review
    • Link to the store they bought the book from. Amazon for Kindle, iBooks for iBooks, Kobo for Kobo, etc.
    • Perhaps also a link to GoodReads
  • Promote the next book in the series.
    • Book Cover
    • Blurb
    • Link to buy (Amazon for Kindle, iBooks for iBooks, Kobo for Kobo, etc.)
    • Link to your books landing page URL (Ex: CourtshipInCrisis.com)
    • Buy the URL for your book if you can
      • Name Cheap
  • First chapter of your next book.
    • End on a cliffhanger!
  • Goodies
    • Photos that inspired the book
    • Photos where the book is set
    • Links to a splash page where have have deleted scenes (if they sign up for your newsletter, so this acts as a lead magnet)
    • Soundtracks you think are perfect to listen to your books to
    • Maps! Multiple … the world, the city, etc.
  • Credits
    • Editors Yes you want multiple editors see (Episode 71)
    • Proofreaders
    • Cover designers
    • Launch team members
    • Alpha readers
    • Beta readers
    • Page designer
  • Acknowledgments
    • Also good to put before chapter 1
    • The difference between acknowledgements and credits.
    • Credits are people who worked on the book, acknowledgements are people who helped you.
    • It is ok to list people in both places.
    • Thomas acknowledged the coffee shop he wrote at and put the launch team in the credits.
  • Letter to the Reader
    • Introduce the back matter.
    • Where to find you online.
    • Help me advance the cause online!
    • Let me know what you think.
    • How to reach me (email, phone number)
  • Lead Magnet
    • Fiction: Prequel or Short Story following the “The End” of this book. Deleted scenes, additional scene, Jim’ song idea, etc.
    • Nonfiction: Discussion Guide or Worksheet
  • Reading Group Resources
    • Mention where readers can find book club resources on your website.
    • For more about reaching out to book groups listen to Episode 165)
    • A link to you talking (video) about the book  
  • Social Media Links
    • Also consider making a book hashtag.
  • Author Bio & Photo
    • Endnotes & Appendix

    What Order to put your Backmatter in

    • Priority order. What is the #1 thing you want someone to do after reading your book? Have that be first.
    • Thomas recommends ask for reviews first. This will let Amazon know they liked your book.
    • Jim says newsletter/lead magnet first.
    • Promo the next book in series second.
    • Misc back matter
    • Sample chapter last.
    Featured Patron

    Peter DeHann and his book, “95 Tweets: Celebrating Martin Luther in the 21st Century” where Peter asks, “What would it look like if Martin Luther lived today, and TWEETED his 95 theses about the church? … And we can learn from a fresh look at them.

    Thanks so much, Peter!

    Sponsor:

    The Tax and Business Guide for Authors

    In this course you will learn how to qualify for tax deductions for your writing-related expenses (not all writers qualify) and about 19 tax deductions authors can take advantage of. You will also learn how to start making a writing income even before your first book comes out. You will also learn business fundamentals like when and how to form an LLC, how to create a business plan and how to reduce your chances of being audited by the IRS. The course is taught by Tom Umstattd a CPA with over 35 years of experience working with authors.

    Learn more at AuthorTaxTips.com.

    Patrons save 50%


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    In this episode we are going to talk about how you can use bookmarks and business cards to sell more books. Many authors have no idea they are using these promotion pieces poorly. But don’t worry, we will teach you how and when to get the most out of bookmarks and business cards.

    Show Notes

    Bookmarks vs. Business Cards

    • Bookmarks are for Readers
    • Business cards are for influencers

    What is the purpose of business cards?

    • Make follow up with you easy.
    • Help connect you with influencers.
    • To sell books? Not really. That is what bookmarks are for.

    Format

    • Fancy Front (Glossy Color or Fuzzy Matte)
    • Matte Back (So people can write notes)
    • Leave room for white space on the back.
    • Standard size and shape, this is not the time to shock brocca.
    • Thick cardstock

    What to put on the business card:

    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone Number
    • Website
      • No HTTP
      • CamelCase
      • Dubs are optional.
    • Face?
    • Book Cover?
    • Social Media Links?

    Why Bookmarks?

    • Bookmarks creates a chance to sell your book and other books in the series.
    • Readers love bookmarks
    • Readers always need more bookmarks
    • Creates a small sense of reciprocity. A bookmark feels like a small gift.
    • A chance to promote your book inside someone else’s book
    • Less likely to be thrown away than a business card.

    Bookmark Design Principles

    • Less is more
    • You want people to enjoy looking at the bookmark.
    • Avoid Design By Committee (Episode 19)
    • Keep your bookmark focused. A bookmark is not a catalogue. That is what your website is for.
    • Like a coin with a heads and tails (or a Dollar Bill with a face and back.)
    • The higher quality the bookmark, the longer people are likely to keep it. But remember, bookmarks tend to disappear into unfinished books.

    Front Bookmark Elements

    • Book Cover OR Book Over Elements
      • Title
      • Author
      • Image
    • Short Blurb or High Concept
    • Landing Page at BookTitle.com (Example: CourtshipInCrisis.com)

    Back Bookmark Elements

    • Series Book Covers  
    • Series Blurbs  
    • Website
    • Author Photo & Bio  
    • QR Code? Probably not.

    What to do with bookmarks

    • Go to local bookstores to see if they will give them away for free at the counter.
    • Hand them out at events you speak at or attend.
    • Include them in SWAG bags when possible (and not too expensive)
    • Include them with signed copies you mail out.
    • Take them to local libraries to see if librarians will give them away for free. Some libraries have a table for these sorts of giveaways so you don’t even need to ask.
    • Put them in your books if you’re in the library
    • Give them anywhere there is a waiting room. Your dentist’s office may be happy to have a stack of bookmarks at check in especially if you give the receptionist a free copy of your book.
    • Mail several to each person on your launch team along with a hand written note

    Where to get a professional business card & bookmark designs.

    • Your cover designer, especially for the bookmark.
    • 99Designs.com $149 for Business Card, $299 for Bookmark. If you are getting your cover in 99d you can pay a little more to make the project a “custom project” at that point you can ask the designers give you both a book cover AND a book mark.
    • Fiverr.com (Affiliate Link + 20% discount) $5 – $50

    Where to get your Bookmarks Printed

    • Moo.com – Has a Luxe Paper stock option. (Wow factor)
    • VistaPrint.com – Lots of free templates for DIY design.  
    • PrintRunner.com
    • Post your favorite printer in the Facebook group

    Final Tips

    • Print half as many as you think you need. Authors tend to overprint card and marks to bring the cost per unit down.
    • Think long term, you want what you print to not go out of date right away.
    Featured Patron

    Pathway of Peace: Living in a Growing Relationship with Christ by Cheryl Elton Goes in depth how to figure out when it’s time to press into a friendship and fix it …  or let it go.                   

    Sponsor:

    The Tax and Business Guide for Authors

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