Social Media Matters for Writers

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio

The Literary Agent Matchmaker™

www.yourbookisyourhook.com

As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences.  Today let’s talk about why social media matters for writers in all genres.

In today’s world, finding an audience of readers for your book can feel like a daunting task. Picking them up through social media may feel like an even bigger one!

Although it may seem on the surface as a questionable use of your time and resources, in today’s publishing world it is an absolute must.

Agents, publishers, booksellers, speaking bureaus and readers want to know that you have a social media presence before they partner with you – whether you are writing fiction, nonfiction or a children’s book. The more people you are connected with, the more potential you have to push your book out to them and those they know.

Never underestimate the power of a network. It is a surefire way to attract interest in your platform and project.

In fact, some publishers have mandated that they will no longer publish writers who haven’t made the effort to establish and build up their social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook. Another fact: Aaron Patterson, the Publisher at Stone House Ink who was my guest on the show last week, has a policy for turning away writers unless they have a solid social media platform in place.

In a recent post last week on the digital blog FuturEbook from Europe in association with The Bookseller, Steve Emecz of MX Publishing in the UK stated that unless an author will have a blog, Twitter account and a fully fledged eCommerce site, they won’t be considering their manuscript.

Emecz says, “Well, it’s simple risk management for us in a very fast changing and risky industry. If we look at our authors that have blogs they sell more books. The ones that provide content for Twitter – sell more books. The ones that are active on Facebook – sell more books. See a pattern here? Yes, of course we have one or two inactive authors whose books are so good they sell well anyway, but that’s less than one in ten – and how on earth do you tell that up front…..” (Read more of his article on FuturEbook HERE).

In today’s publishing world with so many facets of the industry now going digital, when you have a social media presence, you have built-in communities to market your books to. They find you electronically and they can instantly purchase what you’ve written and read it electronically.

Social media matters to a bookseller too. If you’re going to do an event, who will come? How will you let them know you’ll be doing an event at their store? When you post the event, it’s a great opportunity for you to support the bookseller through your tweets and posts to your followers. When you write about it on your blog and post pictures from the event, you create links back to the bookseller to help them get the word out about their store.

For readers, social media sites are a means of connecting with the author, no matter where you may be. Readers follow authors on Twitter and read their wall posts on Facebook to keep up to date with their latest releases, book tours, blog tours, media appearances and other opportunities they may have to connect. They also read their blogs for upcoming releases, insights and other related information about their favorite characters and writer.

For speaker bureaus, it’s important for you to have a full blown platform online so that when you appear offline you can be promoted by those in the audience who may choose to tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook about your speech. When you have an account on these sites, it’s easy to tag you in their messages to further push you and your speaking platform out to their followers When you have a blog, you can further support events you’ll be speaking at by featuring videos and other posts about your appearances for your fans and followers to see. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase what you can do as a speaker at an event.

For all of these businesses, your ability to partner with them from a marketing perspective is incredibly important. The greater the presence you have in the mind of those they want to reach with their businesses, the more attractive you become as a business partner for them.

You see, your book really is your hook to so much more than just a place on the bookshelf. It has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of your readers and create a place to connect with them – virtually. It also provides wonderful opportunities to find so many ways to expand your writing career with the publishing houses who are only interested in those writers who are extending their platforms into new media to support the ever-changing book industry and the readers in the marketplace.

If you’re on the fence about whether social media should be a vital part of the marketing platform for your career, jump on the bandwagon and set up your social media stream today. You can’t start too early in your writing career and it’s never too late to start!

Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.

For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.

5 Mythbusters That Writers Really Need to Know About Social Media

TwitterPicBy Guest Blogger Lori Randall Stradtman, Social Media Design

http://www.social-media-design.com

Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 28th, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

1.  Social Media guarantees you a huge audience. – There are no guarantees, but great content and strategy go a long way! Begin by reaching out to your target audiences and having open discussions with them about your subject matter. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel involving werewolves, find or start communities that are interested in werewolves. Cultivate relationships with the most influential and interesting people there as you engage.  Not only will it contribute to your research, but it will make them sure to want to buy your book when it’s ready because they’ve indirectly contributed to your content. They will feel like they’re a part of your book and will want to spread the word for you like wildfire.

2.  YouTube is only for celebrities, conspiracy theorists, and 12 year olds – It’s true, these folks do congregate around YouTube, but only because it gives them a powerful voice in their communities. You have a community on YouTube that would love to see you and hear more about what you’re writing. They want to know why you’ve chosen your subject matter and how you do it. Tag your videos with keywords, such as “werewolves” to let them know you’re there.

3.  Twitter is too crowded for newcomers to get noticed. – You may have created a fresh Twitter account, full of hope and enthusiasm, only to discover that only 3 bots and your Mother-in-law found you there. She wants her good china back. The trick is to discover or to create a Twitter chat of your own. Some great ones are #blogchat and #writers. Search for something really specific with Twilert. You can set a keyword like “werewolves” and it sends you a daily email list of tweets containing that term. Follow up. You can also go to twittgroups and discover or create a Twitter group that appeals to your audience. Searching for correct Twitter phraseology? Try the Twittonary.

4.  Blogs don’t get attention anymore. – A well designed blog that truly represents your brand is a powerful way to create a virtual “rabbit hole” (a la Alice in Wonderland) for you and your audience to explore. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your target audience wants to know more about your subject and would love to find a rich resource full of links and ideas. Give them a place to talk about what they love: your subject. Listen and engage with them. When your book comes out they will be your best sales people as they tell all their friends online.

Aaron Patterson pic15.  Publishers don’t look at Facebook involvement. – Aaron Patterson, Publisher at Stone House Ink and Stone Gate Ink shared last week in his Your Book Is Your Hook radio interview that they’ve “turned down really amazing books because the author was not on Facebook, had no desire to blog… no Social Media reach.” He went on to say that “it takes about a year for somebody to build a platform that can support a book and that without it you’re kinda dead in the water.” I agree.

Connect with Lori through social media on Facebook & Twitter

“Your Book Is Your Hook” Show – Social Media Design & Kate Douglas of “Wolf Tales”

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio

www.yourbookisyourhook.com


Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 28th, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

Lori Randall, founder of Social Media Design, and Kate Douglas, the lead author for Kensington Publishing’s erotic romance imprint, Aphrodisia, for her popular Wolf Tales series, will appear as guests on the Your Book Is Your Hook! Show on WomensRadio.com.

Ms. Randall will discuss the role of social media in the author’s platform and the top 3 mistakes writers making when they approach social media sites and networks. Ms. Douglas will talk about her latest and last book in the Wolf Tales series among her twelve books about werewolves and shapeshifters. She’ll also discuss how she writes about the explicit sex in her books and how she’s using her books as her hook. She’ll also share advice for writers who want to write and publish books about werewolves in today’s publishing world.

TwitterPicNEW YORK, NY (June 28th – July 4th, 2011): Lori Randall, the founder of Social Media Design, will talk with radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov about the role of social media in the author’s platform. She’ll also discuss each social media network separately to distinguish how SMDScriptTwitterto use them effectively.

Ms. Randall will also discuss the mistakes writers make when using social media and some do’s and don’ts. She’ll also provide advice specifically for writers about how to take their next steps with social media and the benefits they’ll reap when they do.

WOLF TALES 12 (Medium)Kate Douglas, the lead author for Kensington Publishing’s erotic romance imprint, Aphrodisia, which was developed around her popular Wolf Tales series, will discuss with radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov how and why she wrote her latest and last book among her series of books about werewolves and shapeshifters. She’ll also talk about how she got published and how she’s using her books as her hook. Ms. Douglas will also reveal how her publisher handles the explicit sex in her books and share advice for writers who want to write their own books about werewolves in today’s publishing world.

Host Jennifer S. Wilkov will discuss why social media matters for writers in all genres and categories during her Education Corner segment during the show.

Click Here to Listen Now: http://bit.ly/lnzYjz

If you have questions about any of these interviews or the education corner topic included in the show, please put them here in this discussion thread and I’d be happy to answer them.

“Your Book Is Your Hook” Show – #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller Aaron Patterson & Stone House Ink

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
www.yourbookisyourhook.com

Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 21st, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

Aaron Patterson pic1Aaron Patterson, #1 Amazon Kindle best-selling author and the Publisher of Stone House Ink and StoneGate Ink publishing houses, will appear as a guest on the Your Book Is Your Hook! Show on WomensRadio.com. Mr. Patterson will discuss why he created his two publishing houses, why he publishes “clean fiction,” and what he’s looking for in the writers he chooses to publish. He’ll also share his perspectives on the importance of social media for writers and the future of the book publishing industry.

Mr. Patterson will also talk about his best-selling WJA Series as well as his new teen thriller, his first, entitled AIREL. Patterson will reveal how he’s using his books as his hook and share advice about what makes new writers successful in today’s writing and publishing marketplace.

NewSHLogoNEW YORK, NY (June 21st – June 27th, 2011): Aaron Patterson, the Publisher of Stone House Ink and StoneGate Ink publishing houses, will talk with radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov about why and when he decided to create his publishing houses and the distinct qualifications he looks for when choosing the authors he’s willing to publish. He’ll also discuss why he publishes “clean fiction” and the difference between the processes for how writers can submit to the two publishing houses.

He’ll also talk about why a marketing platform is essential for fiction writers, not just nonfiction writers, and the important role social media plays in book sales. He’ll also share his perspective of the future of the publishing industry.

9780982607862.jpgIn his second interview on the show, Aaron Patterson, a #1 Amazon Kindle best-selling author, will talk about his best-selling WJA series and his new teen thriller, his first, entitled AIREL. Mr. Patterson will also discuss his passion for writing and why you don’t have to be a master at grammar and spelling to write a bestseller. He’ll also share advice for new writers about what it takes to create a successful thriller book and writing career.

Host Jennifer S. Wilkov will discuss the importance of knowing the personality and purpose of a publisher during her Education Corner segment during the show.

Click Here to Listen Now: http://bit.ly/il8jvp

If you have questions about any of these interviews or the education corner topic included in the show, please put them here in this discussion thread and I’d be happy to answer them.

Where Oh Where Have All The Books Gone?

Aaron Patterson pic1By Guest Blogger Aaron Patterson
#1 Amazon Kindle Best-Selling Author & the Publisher at Stone House Ink & StoneGate Ink

Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 21st, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

Books. eBooks. Audio Books.

I love books, or shall I say I love stories. I used to read three books a day when I was a kid. I love the stories, the danger, the exciting places I can go in a book. But what of the paper, the sound, the smell of a book? What is going to happen to books with the digital revolution?

I ask this with a smile and a heavy heart. I know where it is going and part of me is sad and the other part is excited. The sad part is because I like a book. I grew up reading them, and they are going away. Paper and ink are giving away to the eBook.

Are we really losing them? No, it is just changing. The excited part of me sees the cool ways we can now read stories. How we can have links and video and cram 3,000 books in a small device. How I can listen to an audio book on the same reader I can read a novel on. It all comes down to content. A story is a story no matter how it is consumed. I love story, so give me my story. I don’t care how it comes to me, in a sound over the radio or on an eReader or in a paper form.

With eBooks, I as an author can reach so many more people so much faster. I can build a fan base and make a living as an author, where even five years ago this would have been a crazy thought. I do not have to go to a book signing or travel across the country to sell books. I can do it all from my laptop. Through social media like Twitter and Facebook.

What does this mean for a bookstore?

They will shrink and turn into small specialty shops. The first editions, the signed copies, and the cream of the crop.  The really good books, the classics, will be in bookstores. The price will go up and most of the new books will be published only as eBooks or print on demand publishing houses.

Is this a good thing?

Think of how many trees we will save. Think of the books that are pulped every year. If the average reader knew how many books are burned or thrown away each year, it would start a riot. Think of the cost savings. eBooks are forever, do not get old or tear, do not yellow or get lost. Is this good or the end of books? Who knows? All I know is, no matter what, the real story will never die.

Aaron Patterson

Blog: www.TheWorstBookEver.blogspot.com
Twitter: Mstersmith
Facebook: Aaron Patterson
Website: www.StoneHouseInk.net

Books:
Sweet Dreams
Dream On
Airel
19 (Digital Short)
The Craigslist Killer (Digital Short)
The eBook on eBooks (Digital Short)

Important Insight For Every Writer – The Personality & Purpose of a Publisher

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
The Literary Agent Matchmaker™
www.yourbookisyourhook.com

As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences.  Today let’s talk about the personality and purpose of a publisher.

Similar to literary agencies, each publisher has particular books and genres they prefer to produce and publish. Some may have several imprints under which they publish a variety of books and others may only have one publishing company.

Each publisher and editor of a publishing house or imprint chooses which books they will publish. Similar to literary agents, this is a business decision – one in which the publisher or editor is scrutinizing the project for a viable return on their significant investment of manpower and money required to produce and distribute the book.

Some publishers may publish hundreds of books a year; others may publish ten or less. Either way, what they choose to publish and their mandate for projects may stay the same or it may change. They may add imprints that are dedicated to particular genres of books to brand that imprint by its particular title selections and expand their publishing portfolio.

If you are interested in the larger publishing houses, do some research and find out which imprints represent your book’s genre in the Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Harper Collins, Harlequin and other large publishers. The more you know about the industry, the better your experience will be as an author and as a partner with your literary agent.

If you are interested in ebook publishing, get to know the options you have with each company that produces ebooks and understand what distribution they support for your book as well as the other services they provide.

If you are going to independently publish or self-publish your book, determine which company you want to work with or if you want to create a publishing company or imprint of your own.

Aaron Patterson picThis week’s guest, Aaron Patterson, built his own publishing companies, Stone House Ink and StoneGate Ink, to not only publish his books but to also publish those of other writers. With his two companies, he offers two opportunities for writers to be published by him. Stone House Ink is open to the public and writers and literary agents can submit projects for consideration. He also cleverly created a separate company, StoneGate Ink, that requires a referral from either an author who has been published by of one of his companies or a literary agent referral. No other writers are considered for publication by that company.

Book Cover - DYMWhen I published my first book, Dating Your Money: How to Build a Long-Lasting Relationship with Your Money in 8 Easy Steps, I also built my own publishing house called E.S.P. Press Corp. I published four books of mine including those in the Dating Your Money series and then other people started asking me to publish their books. I made a conscious decision not to publish other people’s books and I also decided after publishing four books that I wanted someone else to publish my books too.

Being a publisher requires a keen eye for quality, attention to detail and a good business sense. It can be all-encompassing, leaving very little room for much of anything else. A high percentage of the books that are published, even by the big houses, fail to sell enough copies to recoup the initial investment made by the publisher. Making a decision to be at the helm of a ship that requires you to keep up with the industry changes and practices and also take on a great deal of risk may not be right for you. For others, it may make perfect sense.

In this day and age of consolidation and also expansion in the field of book publishing, writers have many choices about which ways they want to be published. Whether you choose to pursue a literary agent and the larger publishing companies or whether you decide that a small press or that self-publishing is better for your project, understand that whoever publishes your book will become a business partner. Get to know more about the company you publish with and read their contract completely. Discuss the contract with an intellectual property attorney and ask him or her to read the publishing contract with you. You also can use the resources to do this that may be provided by your membership in the National Writers Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and several other writers’ organizations who may offer a contract review service.

Nowadays, there are plenty of stories about publishers who have gone bankrupt and others who have promised to publish books that never make it to the shelf. Some of my past guests on my show have talked about the repercussions of experiences like these during their interviews and shared what they had to do to resurrect and reclaim their books.

Do your homework first and learn all that you can about a publisher before you work with them. Big or small, search the Internet and look up their catalog of books published. See if there are any industry news stories you’d want to be aware of regarding that publisher so you can discuss these with your agent or with the publisher directly.

Because your book is your hook, you want to protect your project and partner with the right publisher for it. In the end, whether you have a literary agent or not, it is you who partners with the publishing house and editor with your work. So be a wise business professional and understand the fine print, purpose and industry position of prospective partners before you sign away your project to just any publisher.

Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.

For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.

John Kilcullen & The 20th Anniversary of the …For Dummies Books on “Your Book Is Your Hook!”

“Your Book Is Your Hook” Show – John Kilcullen & The 20th Anniversary of the …For Dummies Books

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
www.yourbookisyourhook.com

Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 14th, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

John Kilcullen picJohn Kilcullen, best known as the creator and publisher of the … For Dummies brand of how to books, the Executive Chairman of Fast Pencil and the CEO of Brand Revolution LLC, will appear as a guest on the Your Book Is Your Hook! Show on WomensRadio.com. Mr. Kilcullen will discuss his journey from the conception of the …For Dummies books, brand and structure to the criteria for the writers of the books along with why he thinks the books have been so popular. He’ll also share advice for writers and publishers about branding their books and careers and his perspective of the future of the publishing industry.

Mr. Kilcullen will also pull back the curtain and take listeners behind the scenes of the publishing process for one of the books, Golf For Dummies. He’ll talk about each phase of the writing and publishing process and how he and the writers use these books as their hook. He’ll also share advice about what independent publishers and writers who want to self-publish need to do to succeed in today’s rapidly changing publishing marketplace.

NEW YORK, NY (June 14th – June 20th, 2011): John Kilcullen, best known as the creator and publisher of the …For Dummies brand of how to books, the Executive Chairman of Fast Pencil, the CEO of Brand Revolution LLC and a member of the board of directors for the Copyright Clearance Center, will talk with radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov about why and when he decided to create the …For Dummies books twenty years ago and how he devised the distinct branding and format for them. He’ll also discuss how he and his team selected the writers for the books.

He’ll also talk about why books like the …For Dummies books have been so popular with readers and the 20th anniversary of this brand that has sold more than 200 million copies in over 30 languages. He’ll also share advice for writers and publishers about creating a recognizable brand of their own and his perspective of the future of the publishing industry.

Golf For Dummies Book Cover Image picIn his second interview on the show, John Kilcullen will take listeners behind the scenes of the writing and publishing process for one of these popular books, Golf For Dummies. He’ll discuss why he created and introduced this book in the series, how he chose the writer for it, how he published it and how he and the writer use this book as their hook. He’ll also reveal how this book got tied into a well-known movie about golf as a resource for the cast. Mr. Kilcullen will also share advice for writers to properly prepare themselves to write a successful how-to book like a …For Dummies book and talk about what writers who want to self-publish and independent publishers need to do to succeed in today’s rapidly changing publishing marketplace.

Host Jennifer S. Wilkov will discuss why book covers are a key component of the writer’s and publisher’s brand identity during her Education Corner segment during the show.

Click Here to Listen Now: http://bit.ly/iqtW9P

If you have questions about any of these interviews or the education corner topic included in the show, please put them here in this discussion thread and I’d be happy to answer them.

If You Can’t Predict the Future, Invent It!

John Kilcullen picBy Guest Blogger John Kilcullen
Creator & Original Publisher of the …For Dummies Books, Executive Chairman of Fast Pencil & CEO of Brand Revolution LLC

Click Here to listen this interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 14th, 2011 on the WomensRadio Network

I enjoy talking about the book biz.  Over the course of 17 summers I shared a ton of stories and publishing strategies in my lectures at the Stanford Professional Publishing Course. I got as much out of it as I put into it.

Part of the fun was to intellectually challenge participants:  Why not dare to be different? Why not lead instead of follow?

The questions (for publishers and authors) continued:  Do you have a carpe diem culture or an analysis-paralysis operating philosophy? Do you follow a “done is better than perfect” credo? Are you constantly experimenting and tinkering? Are you spending enough time living inside the hearts and heads of your customers and qualified prospects?

Winding down:  Are you in the products business or in the service business? Is customer service an obsession or a necessary evil? Are you converting nameless, faceless book buyers into customers you know a lot about? Is the publication of the book the celebratory end of the process or the beginning of a lifelong relationship with customers?

At times, there was radio silence. Often, we engaged in a spirited discussion about this crazy business we call publishing.

Today, I feel like I did when I was at the Frankfurt Book Fair when the wall was coming down …. Some people were clinging to the past as if they were holding on to the railings of the Titanic. Others bravely supported the winds of change. Those same feelings were evident last month when I walked the aisles of Book Expo America.

John Kilcullen pic 2My advice to today’s aspiring authors and to publishing professionals alike:  If you can’t predict the future, invent it! Embrace ambiguity. Make change your friend. Build your digital/mobile/social DNA. Be open to new partnerships. Build a direct to consumer customer data base. Mine it regularly.

Apple’s famous advertising campaign summed it up best:  ”Think Different.” I would add … “Act Differently, too!”

Almost 20 years ago I defied conventional wisdom and published the first For Dummies book. Time and time again, we would sign, launch and market another bestselling title by first time authors, great “explainers” and sometimes even celebrities. Together, for 10 consecutive years, we created a dominant, how-to brand supported by a great authorial-editorial-marketing services team. I understand – and implemented – a consistent brand architecture driving brand preference (measured in repeat foot traffic and recurring revenue streams). Those early branding and publishing decisions continue to deliver value to this day.

Most importantly, we understood that our best brand ambassadors (now numbering 250 million) were our customers. Treat them right and they will reward you with their purchases and their evangelism … a powerful combination.

Let me know of your branding and serial success stories. Ping me at johnkilcullen@yahoo.com.  If you are an aspiring author with any question, don’t hesitate to ping me as well.

Carpe diem!

Book Covers and Brand Identity

Jennifer S Wilkov - Your Book Is Your Hook Speaker, Author v3 - smallBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
The Literary Agent Matchmaker™
www.yourbookisyourhook.com

As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences.  Today let’s talk about book covers and brand identity.

Even though the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover, when you establish a unique look for your book’s cover it can actually become your hook!

For years, designers and publishers have gone for looks that will be consistent with the book’s content and encourage interest in the book itself.

There’s a whole lot of “real estate” on a book cover so think twice about how you’lll use this asset wisely.

A book cover is comprised of the front cover, the back cover and the spine. You may be thinking, “Jennifer, this is elementary!” And you’d be right, but these components deserve careful consideration, especially in the current day and age of publishing.

For hardcovers and paperbacks, the attraction starts with the front cover OR spine. If a book is put on the shelf with its spine facing out, you are limited to this itsy, bitsy amount of space to make a first impression on the buyer and reader. If you are fortunate to have your book face out on the shelf, then the front cover is your ticket to attracting the reader’s eye.

For the same book, if it is an ebook or if it is included in an online booksellers’ inventory, the front cover is your key to success since this is what the browsing reader who is looking for a great book will see.

The back cover, while effective in the physical bookseller where the consumer can pick up the book and turn it over, loses its value when it comes to the electronic world we live in.
Now I’m not saying that the back cover of your book is worthless. Hardly! The copy that you would use on your back cover – the text – is very valuable indeed. This is where you may include a synopsis, praise or bullet points about the contents of the book and story inside.

Book covers tend to house the brand identity of a writer’s work. Book brands that have multiple authors use book cover design to distinguish their books from others while keeping their presentation consistent to the consumer.

John Kilcullen picToday’s guest, John Kilcullen, was one of the key people behind the effective branding strategy of the …For Dummies books. While these books have different authors, the book brand itself is easily identifiable by its bright yellow color and its title on the chalkboard cover image. The icon of the Dummies guy is also just that – a recognizable icon that conjures up the brand identity of the …For Dummies books.

Golf For Dummies Book Cover Image picOther books like the …For Dummies books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to… books which use orange, white and blue colors on their covers and which are published by Alpha and the …An Hour A Day social media  and Internet-oriented books published by Sybex which have all developed a consistent, repeated design for their books that is recognizable to the purchaser as a reliable resource.

The funny thing about consistency in the look of your books is that this subtly conveys to the reader that if they enjoyed reading a previous book in the same series, they can be assured that the next one they buy will be just as good and provide a similar structure.

Now if you’re thinking this type of book cover and brand identity is only for nonfiction how-to books like these – think again.

1) james patterson pic.jpg; (2) david baldacci pic.jpg; (3) patricia cornwell pic.jpg; (4) clivecussler bookpic.jpg; (5) john grisham picFiction books in a series and that are by a particular author have clear brand identities too. Oftentimes, the book covers will include a font type for the name of the author and the book title in certain positions so that each cover reflects the “brand” for that author. Take authors like James Patterson, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, Clive Cussler and John Grisham. While the pictures on their book covers differ from book to book to reflect the image relevant to the story inside, the position of the book title and their names as authors of the books appear in the same places so as to provide a brand identity.

(1) debbie macomber pic.jpg; (2) nora roberts pic.jpg; (3) robyn carr pic.jpg; (4) jude deveraux pic.jpg; (5) linda howard pic.jpg (6) julie garwood picThis also occurs in romance novels and their popular authors like Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Jude Deveraux, Linda Howard and Julie Garwood. In Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, the pictures and the colors of each book may be different; however, it’s easy to distinguish these books and the series by Debbie’s name which appears prominently and in the same font on each book.

dr seuss picFor you children’s authors, keep this strategy in mind for your books too! Dr. Seuss had his name prominently appear in the same font type and branding on all of his books that were produced with bright book covers and characters of all shapes and sizes. When his name appears on the book, parents know they can rely on a great reading experience for their young ones.

When you think about your books and how and where they will appear to a reader – whether it’s on the shelf of a physical bookseller, online at an Internet website or in an ereader catalogue, or at the library in your local city – be cognizant that your book cover can also be an important hook for your book!

Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.

For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.

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This blog is dedicated to continually keeping you informed so you can enjoy the success of being a published Author & an accomplished Writer. Good fortune with your project and remember: “Your Book Is Your Hook!”