Posts tagged ‘authors’

Book Review: Marketing Your Small Business For Big Profits By David Mason

I have no idea how many books are crammed onto bookshelves all about the subject of marketing, there must be many millions. It is a subject well understood, how do you make someone buy your Widget as opposed to the other guys Widget? Marketing is the answer, but, marketing comes at a price. How much can you afford?

I have a friend who is a retired BBDO exec, and in his mind, marketing that widget should cost the same as the national debt of a small country. Most small businesses can hardly manage to pay the rent and other expenses, never mind a TV spot on The Superbowl.

David Mason has done a very fine job of encapsulating the important aspects of marketing into a very short read. While I am not sure that he has introduced anything new, he has put it on paper that even the most book ‘resistant’ company owner could manage, at a scant 121 pages this should not scare even the skittish book reader.

Of course there is a downside with using such a short format, in a word ‘lists.’ My wife knows me very well, and she always has stuff for me to do. But she also knows that giving me a long ‘To Do’ list makes my eyes glaze over. If the list has less than than 5 items, the chances are good that I will at least attempt a few of them. David Mason prefers longer lists, I believe one was 16 items long! That I found a little of a turn-off, my wife knows better than to try a list that long on me!

On the plus side, he makes very convincing arguments. Arguments that make sense. It is important that every business has a ‘slogan,’ David Mason calls it the USP (Unique Selling Proposition), but slogan or banner is what we are talking about.

How do you attract customers? You have your slogan, but if it only exists on your computer or in your head, who is going to hear the message? Many people have small companies, some sell niche products, some sell niche services, how do you sell your idea? Newspaper Ads might work, but only for the day, a Magazine might work for a month, radio and TV spots last for seconds! How about the internet?

David Mason explores all of the potentials, all of the advertising mediums have their up’s and down’s, cost, effectiveness, even the number of eyeballs that you get your message in front of are important considerations.

The last part of the book I found really helpful, he has included some samples of headlines and opening lines that the small business owner could use in his advertising campaign, and some simple worksheets to assist in customizing the slogans to your own specific needs.

Marketing You Small Business For Big Profits is small enough to be a quick and easy read, but large enough to contain the vital elements important to run an effective advertising program. The author also takes a very down to earth approach in offering advice on implementing the strategies. ‘You don’t have to do them all, just start with one and see what happens.’ In other words you don’t have to do everything, just do something.

Book Review: Alex Webster And The Gods By David Dent

What’s a major deity to do when he finds himself washed up on Mt Olympus? Jupiter, once mighty Roman God has spent two millennia sulking about his defeat at the hands of Yahweh and the loss of the great Roman Empire. Jupiter and his motley assortment of gods have become complacent, even the eternal fountains have mildew on them and are in need of a good clean.

Shedding his robes in favor of an expensive Brooks Bros pin stripe three piece suit and Harvard Business School MBA in hand, the reinvented J. J. Jones is ready to reclaim his throne, the world is ripe for the picking, he rationalizes “…All the old religions are fighting each other, especially the Christians and Muslims. We can come up the middle and be everybody’s second choice.”

He does however realize that the path to glory is not an easy one, the world is a considerably different place in the 21st century than ancient Rome. Also his fellow Gods are going to need a makeover, not only in their appearances but in their attitudes as well, if they are going to fit in.

J. J. realizes that what he needs is a management consultant! Enter Alex Webster. Alex and his sometime girlfriend Victoria take on the daunting task of removing 2000 years of stagnation, of course there are some bumps along the road. Old habits die hard, and it is not long before Carmen Cupido (Cupid) gets the nickname of Dr. Love in a local night club where he has been practicing the art of matchmaking, and coming to the attention of the local police as the likely purveyor of date rape drugs.

J. J’s scheme for ‘world domination’ is to ease into it slowly by becoming the CEO of a global company. To facilitate this he engineers a scheme to merge two companies and become the head. What he doesn’t realize is how much resistance he is going to encounter from a mere mortal. Gerry Shilling CEO of Pharmaglobe has no intentions of stepping aside gently, and sees this merger as a stepping stone for himself!

I found Alex Webster And The Gods to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp. David Dent’s style of writing reminded me a lot of the late Douglas Adams, another master of putting characters in the most unlikely and bizarre situations. The humor is mostly dark and very well executed. Juno for example likens her marriage to Jupiter, to that of Bill and Hillary, and because Jupiter is off chasing every bit of skirt in the universe, “we only have sex every hundred years”.

Every chapter starts with a little quote, some words of wisdom, from Carl Sagen, to Yoda, everyone gets their say, but my personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that it is too short. The ending is very cute, and certainly paves the way for a second book, and I’ll bet J.J.’s Brooks Bros suit that David Dent is typing away as you read this. All in all, I give this book very high marks, it is a fabulously crafted concept and one that would transition well into the big screen, or a TV series. The characters are larger than life, the plotlines outrageous, this is what I class as great entertainment.

Although it is officially classified as Science Fiction, it should appeal to everyone that enjoys a light and funny read.

Review by Simon Barrett
http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

Book Review: Alex Webster And The Gods By David Dent

What’s a major deity to do when he finds himself washed up on Mt Olympus? Jupiter, once mighty Roman God has spent two millennia sulking about his defeat at the hands of Yahweh and the loss of the great Roman Empire. Jupiter and his motley assortment of gods have become complacent, even the eternal fountains have mildew on them and are in need of a good clean.

Shedding his robes in favor of an expensive Brooks Bros pin stripe three piece suit and Harvard Business School MBA in hand, the reinvented J. J. Jones is ready to reclaim his throne, the world is ripe for the picking, he rationalizes “…All the old religions are fighting each other, especially the Christians and Muslims. We can come up the middle and be everybody’s second choice.”

He does however realize that the path to glory is not an easy one, the world is a considerably different place in the 21st century than ancient Rome. Also his fellow Gods are going to need a makeover, not only in their appearances but in their attitudes as well, if they are going to fit in.

J. J. realizes that what he needs is a management consultant! Enter Alex Webster. Alex and his sometime girlfriend Victoria take on the daunting task of removing 2000 years of stagnation, of course there are some bumps along the road. Old habits die hard, and it is not long before Carmen Cupido (Cupid) gets the nickname of Dr. Love in a local night club where he has been practicing the art of matchmaking, and coming to the attention of the local police as the likely purveyor of date rape drugs.

J. J’s scheme for ‘world domination’ is to ease into it slowly by becoming the CEO of a global company. To facilitate this he engineers a scheme to merge two companies and become the head. What he doesn’t realize is how much resistance he is going to encounter from a mere mortal. Gerry Shilling CEO of Pharmaglobe has no intentions of stepping aside gently, and sees this merger as a stepping stone for himself!

I found Alex Webster And The Gods to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp. David Dent’s style of writing reminded me a lot of the late Douglas Adams, another master of putting characters in the most unlikely and bizarre situations. The humor is mostly dark and very well executed. Juno for example likens her marriage to Jupiter, to that of Bill and Hillary, and because Jupiter is off chasing every bit of skirt in the universe, “we only have sex every hundred years”.

Every chapter starts with a little quote, some words of wisdom, from Carl Sagen, to Yoda, everyone gets their say, but my personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that it is too short. The ending is very cute, and certainly paves the way for a second book, and I’ll bet J.J.’s Brooks Bros suit that David Dent is typing away as you read this. All in all, I give this book very high marks, it is a fabulously crafted concept and one that would transition well into the big screen, or a TV series. The characters are larger than life, the plotlines outrageous, this is what I class as great entertainment.

Although it is officially classified as Science Fiction, it should appeal to everyone that enjoys a light and funny read.

Review by Simon Barrett
http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

5 Tips To Start Selling Your Self-Published Book

You’ve spent hours researching, writing and self-publishing your book. Now, you want to reap the benefits of selling it yourself, but where do you begin?

Here are five simple tips to help you get started.

1. Figure out your market.

“Bookstores are lousy places to sell books,” says self-publishing guru Dan Poynter in USA Weekend . “Find the places where your audience gathers and sell directly to them. If your book is about cats, go to pet stores.”

To start selling your book, take the time to research your target audience. Who will be interested in purchasing your book and sharing it with their friends?

Once you know your target market, look at the places they shop and spend their leisure time. What media venues do they watch, read and listen to on a regular basis?

Create a list of all potential organizations, business and groups. This will give you a good understanding of the online sites and brick-and-mortar locations where you need to focus your marketing efforts.

2. Spread the word.

When you are ready to start selling, don’t be shy. Talk about your book, carry a copy around with you and look for every opportunity to mention it. Also be ready to give copies away to influential people who will build buzz about your business.

If you are a good speaker, try to give presentations to groups catering to your target audience. You can partner with various organizations to promote your appearance and build word-of-mouth. This may include issuing a press release, giving books away during radio or television interviews or getting involved with charitable activities.

“Speaking to local, target audiences is a great way to start building buzz about your products and services,” says Melanie Rembrandt, small business PR expert and owner of Rembrandt Communications, http://www.rembrandtwrites.com. “But in order to build credibility, you need to offer valuable information pertinent to your book’s subject without being sales-oriented. You can always have a book-signing after your presentation to sell your books and meet potential customers.”

Another trick is to leave a copy of your book at your local bookstore or library. If visitors pick up the book and read it, they will ask for a copy of it. Then, the person at the counter may contact you to purchase additional copies.

3. Venture outside your target market.

After you’ve pursued all venues focusing on your specific audience, start marketing your book to other groups outside your target market.

Look for secondary sources that may be interested in purchasing your book as a gift for a friend, co-worker or family member. Perhaps you can partner with a business, charitable organization or hobby-group related to your book-topic?

Think “outside of the box” and try to let as many people know about your book as possible. You can issue a press release, offer special discounts and create newsworthy events to draw attention to your book. And these activities don’t need to cost a lot of money. You just need to think of some ways to stress the unique benefits of your book and take the extra time and effort to plan, coordinate and follow-through with your ideas.

4. Take advantage of business relationships.

If you used an online publisher in developing your book, advertise on their site. If you used a local printer, ask if you can leave a couple copies at their front desk.

Visit all of your local establishments and leave some kind of information about your book. If you are a regular customer, most of these businesses will be happy to help you and the local economy.

And when preparing these “leave-behinds,” think about the benefits for the business and customers. Perhaps you can print up small calendars, checklists, quick tips, bookmarks and other items that advertise your book while offering something of value to potential readers.

You may even be able to partner with various businesses to offer special joint coupons and discounts. Use your imagination, but always keep the benefits for the customer in mind.

5. List your book online.

This may be obvious, but you really need to list your book online to reach the broadest possible market and increase “buzz.” Review your target audience and try to get information about your book posted on all of the pertinent sites they visit.

Also create a simple website. And don’t worry. Today, there are many services that offer cost-effective or free websites to self-published authors. You don’t need to be a technical genius or have a lot of money to take advantage of these services and create an online presence.

However, in your online copy, be sure to stress the unique benefits of your book and provide customer testimonials (for credibility). Also include some information about your background to help you stand apart from others in your genre.

Once your site is up and running, research free, press-release posting sites. Also look for online organizations that may be willing to post reciprocal links to your site to help build search-engine optimization.

These are just a few, simple tips. There are many ways to sell your self-published books. But you can start by focusing on your target audience, work the business relationships you already have and be creative. And soon, you’ll be well on your way to being a top-selling author!

Consider Self Publishing in Ebook Format

Today, more than every before authors are presented with publishing opportunities that have never existed before. This is not to understate the hard work that authors have to go through to get recognition, write great books, and make a full time living from their passion of expression. However, it is to say that today, due to advances in communications technology, authors can now get their books distributed much easier than they could a decade ago. One very popular way that authors are distributing their work is digitally through ebooks. Digital books are gaining so much popularity that even some of the most popular authors in the world have used it to distribute their books. Stephen King for example published “Riding the Bullet” exclusively in ebook format. When this ebook began distribution over Barns and Nobel and Amazon.com there was so much demand for the download that the servers of these two book giants slowed down almost to a halt. People that wanted to download the ebook were put in a large queue with the hundreds of thousands of other who downloaded the ebook as well.

It’s not only big name authors that are finding success in ebooks. We at Ebook Architect have been helping authors create, market and sell their ebooks online for years now with great success. Many of these people are first time authors and are often amazed with the success of their ebook sales. Below are some of their ebook writing tips.

Don’t underestimate the power of the Ebook

Ebooks are still looked upon as unpopular by many authors who have not yet taken the time to learn about the success within this industry. For example, while the traditional publishing industry growing at the sluggish rate of 5% a year the digital publishing industry is growing at rates between 30% -50%. This means that the opportunities within the publishing industry are growing at a fraction of the rate that opportunities within the digital publishing industry are growing.

To set up an ebook you don’t need to be a tech wizard

Setting up your ebook from the idea conceptualization stage to the selling stage can’t be completed overnight but it is definitely something that can be done by anyone regardless of your technological background. If you can use a word processor then you can create and sell an ebook online. While it is recommended you set up your own website, it is not necessary. There are outlets such as amazon.com, EBay and Lulu.com to name only a few sites that allow you to post your ebook on their servers.

Setting up an Ebook site is virtually costless and you keep 100% of the profits

With traditional publishers you’ll be lucky to see 10% of the profits from your book. With ebooks however, you keep 100% of the profits minus the fees required to set up the site which are minimal. Here is the fee breakdown for ebooks vs traditional books

Ebook vs Book cost
Ebook = Free to create an unlimited number of copies
Book = Approximately $1500 for 200 copies of a 200 page soft cover book

Rights and profit
Ebook = You keep 100% of the profits and rights to your ebooks
Book = You get 10-40% royalty (usually about $2-$5/ book)

With the above examples it is easy to see that for first time authors ebooks make a lot of sense. The risk associated with publishing an ebook is much lower than it is with distributing a soft or hard cover book. Likewise, as an ebook author you’ll keep virtually all of your own profits.

If nothing else, it is something worth consideration. Ebooks may not replace traditional paperback books, but they certainly are gaining popularity at a rate that should make all authors stop to think about how they could use ebooks to their advantage.

6 Red Hot Tips To Get Your Articles Read

There are many people who dread having to write papers or articles. Many just feel like it seems to be too much work and it all just goes to waste when no one reads the. To some people, reading articles seems like work to, especially if the article is boring and very bland. Well, articles are supposed to be read, that’s their purpose to impart your message and information. If it is not read then it is a waste of time and effort.

But all the same, articles have to be written to be read. It’s just a matter of making them good. Making a good article doesn’t have to be strenuous and straining. There are just some points needed to be reminded of, and some guides to follow. Once you get the hang of it, writing articles could be fun, as well as profitable for you and your site.

Of course, writing articles must be about something you know about, that’s why if you own a site, you probably is knowledgeable about that certain topic and theme. When you write about it, you won’t have a hard time because you already know what it is and what it’s about. It’s just a matter of making your articles creative and interesting.

To make sure that your articles get read and enjoyed, here are six red hot tips to get your articles read. These tips will make your articles readable and interesting.

1) Use short paragraphs. When the paragraph are very long, the words get jumbled in the mind of the reader just looking at it It can get quite confusing and too much of a hard work to read. The reader will just quickly disregard the paragraph and move on to much easier reading articles that are good to look at as well as read. Paragraphs can be a single sentence, sometimes even a single word!

2) Make use of numbers or bullets. As each point is stressed out, numbers and bullets can quickly make the point easy to remember and digest. As each point, tip, guide or method is started with a bullet or point, readers will know that this is where the tips start and getting stressed. Format you bullets and numbers with indentations so that your4 article won’t look like a single block of square paragraphs. Add a little bit of flair and pizzazz to your articles shape.

3) Use Sub-headings to sub-divide your paragraphs in the page. Doing this will break each point into sections but still would be incorporated into one whole article. It would also be easy for the reader to move on from one point to another; the transition would be smooth and easy. You will never lose your readers attention as well as the point and direction to where the article is pointing.

4) Provide a good attention-grabbing title or header. If your title can entice a person’s curiosity you’re already halfway in getting a person to read your article. Use statements and questions that utilize keywords that people are looking for. Provide titles or headers that describe your articles content but should also be short and concise.

Use titles like, “Tips on making her want you more”, or “How to make her swoon and blush” .You could also use titles that can command people, for example, “Make her yours in six easy Ways”. These types of titles reach out to a persons’ emotions and makes them interested.

5) Keep them interested from the start to the finish. From your opening paragraph, use real life situations that can be adopted by the reader. Use good descriptions and metaphors to drive in your point, just don’t over do it. Driving your examples with graphic metaphors and similes would make it easy for them to imagine what you are talking about. Making the experience pleasurable and enjoyable for them.

6) Utilize figures when necessary and not just ordinary and insipid statements. Using specific facts and figures can heighten your article because it makes it authoritative. But do not make it too formal, it should be light and easy in them and flow. Like a friendly teac her having a little chat with an eager student.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The author has a FREE CONTENT ARTICLE DIRECTORY located at http://authorarticles.com where you can get free content for your web site, newsletter or ezine. Additionally, If you have your own original articles you can submit them at this site. You are allowed to place an authors resource box at the end of your article containing a link pointing back to your web site. This is a proven way to add more in-bound links to your web site and improve your site’s popularity.