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Big Bad Weekly Tip: Amazon Announces New Video Feature on Author Pages

December 22, 2009

Weekly-Tip-2103We often hear from authors who would like to add video—book trailers, interviews, etc.—to their Amazon product pages. While Amazon currently does not allow most publishers to add video content to product pages, they announced last week that authors may now upload video directly to their Amazon Author Page.

If you don’t have an Author Page already, now is a great time to get one by signing up at Author Central. Author Pages gives customers a summary of you and your work, and the new video content makes the pages an even richer way to make yourself visible to readers. If you already have an Author Page, uploading video is simple—just sign in, click the new “Videos” tab at the top of the screen, and upload the file. Videos must be less than 10 minutes and under 500 MB. See additional video content guidelines here.

Along with video, Amazon announced an updated Events section, which you can use to post upcoming signings and other appearances (like this author); they also announced more links to Author Pages, which will now be linked in search results. Read more about what you can do with Author Central here.

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Two Greenleaf Authors Recognized in 2009 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards!

December 16, 2009

9781929774692We're excited to announce that A Seat at the Table: How Top Salespeople Connect and Drive Decisions at the Executive Level, a business book that Marc Miller published with Greenleaf Book Group in May of this year, has won Best in Category in Sales in 800-CEO-READ's 2009 Business Book Awards. Miller's book gives salespeople critical tools for connecting with decision makers to make more and bigger sales. Salespeople who become experts in their customers' businesses and help them generate better results earn a "seat at the table"—the place reserved for those select people who guide the strategic direction of an enterprise.

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9781608320110Another Greenleaf author, Allan Weis, who wrote The Business of Changing Lives: How One Company Took the Information Superhighway to the Inner City, was a runner-up in the "Innovation & Creativity" category of the awards. Congratulations to Marc and Allan!

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Big Bad Weekly Tip: Do You Know When Your (Holiday) Book Deadlines Are?

December 14, 2009

Weekly-Tip-2103Everyone has a lot on their minds during the holiday season. When it comes to writing a book, you may be just beginning your outline or putting the finishing touches on your umpteenth (and hopefully final) draft. Regardless of the stage, it is important to consider how the holidays can affect your book's deadlines. This holds especially true for books that center around a holiday theme—love and relationships for Valentine's Day, Santa and the joy of giving for Christmas, super-spooky and horror for Halloween are a few examples. Consider this:

  • According to literary agent Nathan Bransford, the weeks around major holidays are a time to avoid sending out query letters.
  • A certain percentage of book buyers' budgets are allocated specifically toward holiday-related books, often children books. The largest amount of that percentage goes to established authors, titles, and series.
  • Most winter holiday book purchases by bookstores take place between July and September.
  • If your book has been accepted by a publisher, they will aim for the best release date. For holiday books, this may mean the holiday next year.
  • The time between a book being accepted by a publisher and being distributed and in stores can be anywhere from 6 months to a year. Know what holiday season you are aiming for!

The holidays are a busy time for agents, publishers, distributors and bookstores—and, of course, for authors. Enjoy the season, and make sure you know how it may affect your project. Happy Holidays!

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Establishing Your Platform, 140 Characters at a Time: Why Twitter Matters to Authors and Experts

December 8, 2009

Picture 2For author and experts in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, participation in social networking is a must. Lucky for us, the technology to help us build meaningful professional relationships now exists. So authors/experts: if you aren’t already tapping into the power of social media, we have one question for you. Why not?

How does social media play into the overall promotion of you and your book? Here’s how it boils down. While your publicist works to make connections for you with the media, you ought to be working on your online visibility; once we generate interest with a reporter, guess where that reporter is headed next? Your blog. Your Facebook page. Your Twitter account. Your LinkedIn page.

That’s right. Your name will likely be Googled, and if the results don’t reveal your expert knowledge and your well-honed message, that interview just might go to the next person on the journalist’s list.

Whether your first book is still months away from pub date or you’ve already published three, the time to get started is now. The options are numerous, but the road to establishing yourself as a credible expert source through your online presence doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming.

Before you log on, read up. We’ve compiled a quick guide to one social networking platform you can’t afford to miss: Twitter. Learn the basics and you’ll be on your way to streamlining your personal brand, boosting your credibility, maximizing your exposure, and broadening your fan base, too.

Start with Twitter

Called “micro-blogging,” Twitter allows you to post short, bite-sized updates about your life to a community of followers. The updates are 140 characters (or less) and bring you closer to people who share things in common with you. Twitter has quickly become the most essential online networking tool for authors.

Why Twitter?

First, reporters use Twitter. Journalists often post questions as a time-saving tool to help develop angles and gather targeted feedback for their stories. Some outlets go straight to the Twitter-verse during news meetings. Following media who you want to reach with your message will help you not only stay “on the radar” and interface directly with the media you aim to reach, but you’ll be up on the trends and know what’s happening in the news before it reaches the paper. You’ll be educated on a reporter’s news beat, making you a more relevant, newsworthy source when the time is right.

How to tweet?

Sign up for a free account at Twitter.com. To help build your personal brand, use your real name along with a headshot, rather than a more elusive, creative handle. Regular, frequent updates are the key to using Twitter. Chime in with your thoughts on breaking news item, post details on your upcoming book events, host a book giveaway, join “Tweet-Ups,” or discussion groups on topics in your area of expertise. Get the most out of Twitter by interacting with your community of followers. Use the Direct Message feature to send a brief note to compliment or congratulate someone on a big announcement, or even to make an introduction with someone you might not know personally.

Download applications like OpenBeak, TinyTwitter, Tweetie, or TwitterFon and post virtually from anywhere!

Who should I follow?

Clicking the follow button will likely cause that user to follow you in return, as long as you prove to be a legitimate Twitter-er (with a track record of regular, frequent posts). Here are a few places to start.

  • Follow your publicist: twitter.com/prbythebook!
  • Follow the newsmakers you want to feature you in turn (for example, the book editor at the Dallas Morning News: twitter.com/mmerschel).
  • Follow the radio host who just interviewed you and you’ll show them you respect and appreciate their work enough to keep in touch.
  • Follow your fans! Use the search box to find mentions of your book or your name and see who is Tweeting about you.
  • Follow industry trendsetters and bloggers who cover your area of expertise.

Note: Aim to keep your follow/follower ratio close. In other words, Twitter is a two-way discussion; no one wants to follow someone who won’t follow them back.

Resources:

Contributed by PR by the Book, LLC., an Austin-based literary publicity firm. Contact Marika Flatt at (512) 560-6787 or marika@prbythebook.com. Learn more at www.prbythebook.com.

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Decorate Your Email Signature with Holiday "Give Books" Tags

December 1, 2009

Our friends over at Ingram Book Company are getting in the holiday spirit; they designed these cute little "Buy Books" and "Give Books" images you can drop right into your email signature. What a great way to remind all your friends that books are the perfect gift for pretty much anyone. Seriously, there are books that appeal to pretty much every taste and affinity (as Auburn points out in the previous post). And don't hesitate to buy them for the non-readers in your life: they need to be given great books most of all!

Give books this season and you'll be giving lasting enjoyment, promoting literacy, and, if you've written a book of your own, earning some book-sales karma. Selling books is, of course, what keeps publishers, booksellers, and authors going! Here for you to download and drop into your email signature are the images Ingram created:

Give books_winter-

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Buy books_poinsettia-

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-Buy books_fall

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-Give books_holiday

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BONUS: The Austin Chronicle's book blog has compiled a great list of gift ideas for the book lover in your life, including jokey literary baseball shirts and accessories for Kindle owners.

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