Blogging is an Art

This eye-opening memoir from a Vietnam POW was written by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee. It was published by the Graham Publishing Group.

This eye-opening memoir from a Vietnam POW was written by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee. It was published by the Graham Publishing Group.

Blogging is not for everyone. But then, no art form is.  Even the best authors have to develop the skill, but when you do, blogging can be an effective way to promote yourself and market your book (or books).

Blogging works as a marketing tool, but there are rules that need to be followed.  Blogging is, first and foremost, a long-term proposition.  One or two blogs is not worth your time. One or two blogs a week makes more sense, so you have to be up to the commitment.  Lots of authors find a 300-400 word blog a huge effort.  Others find it a pleasant distraction from the work they put in on their primary job: authoring books.

Some authors enjoy winging a blog on whatever subject catches their fancy. Other authors like to dig into the research of a subject and let the information drive their blog. At Graham Publishing Group, we have found that both can be effective as long as you take the writing seriously.  If you come at your blog writing determined to produce something well-written, creative, and accessible to your audience, then you’re on the right track.

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Book Sales and the Importance of Proper E-Book Conversion

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This exciting story of a woman kidnapped by vampires and werewolves was written by Jennifer Byars and published by Graham Publishing Group

If you want your e-book to sell, converting it properly is absolutely essential.

You can attempt to do it yourself, or you can hire a book designer whose one job is to make sure your e-book looks fantastic no matter where your reader is buying it.

The process begins with professional copy editing or proofreading.  As a writer, you cannot effective proofread your own work. I know. I’ve tried. It is not expensive and well worth the investment. At Graham Publishing Group, our team includes professionals who do nothing but copy edit and proof read books before they go into production. Readers do not want to see mistakes in your book any more than you do.

The next phase of the book design process is creating the best possible book cover, one that represents you, your book, and your message.  Many writers rely on friends or acquaintances to design their book cover.  It sounds romantic, but make sure it is in the best interest of your book and really contributes to its appeal and thus its sales. Of course, we are going to recommend hiring a professional book cover designer, because that is one of our specialties at Graham Publishing Group. The process we use is not overly expensive, gives you a number of options to choose from, and is highly respectful of your view of what the cover should look like.

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Designing the Interior of Your Book and E-Book

A Gift Like Zoe's

This book, about a rebellious teen following near-death experience was written by C. C. Holmes and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Now that you’ve successfully finished your book, one of the things that most people forget about is the importance of the design of the interior of your book; in other words, an attractive formatting of the words that the reader will see page to page, chapter to chapter.  What is the font you’re book designer chooses?  What size of font?  What does the chapter-heading look like?  It may sound simple, but this interior layout of your book is critical.

This interior layout will be affected based upon the genre of your book. Whether it is a work of fiction, a business book, biography, or self-help book, how the reader’s eye is drawn down the page is important.  You want your book to look as professional as possible. This is usually the job of a professional. You might buy some software and try it yourself, but it may make more sense to seek out someone who does this for a living.  It is not that expensive, and the final product is worth it.

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Tips on Creating an Audio Book

Rings of Value was written Timothy M. Beglin, with book design and marketing Graham Publishing

Rings of Value was written Timothy M. Beglin, with book design and marketing Graham Publishing

As writers, we are hearing more people sound the praises of listening to an audio book rather than reading the print or e-book version. “I can listen while I’m driving.” “An audio book is great while I’m exercising.”  “I listen to audio books now instead of watching television.”

This trend is only going to grow, so let’s talk about how you can bring your story to life with an audio book.

Point One: Audio books are not just for novels. People are also listening to biographies and memoirs, self-help and how-to books, and diet and health books. At Graham Publishing Group, we are even helping people convert their business books.

Point Two: Creating an audio book takes time. It needs to be done correctly. For starters, the way we read silently is not the same as reading out loud. You have to decide up front whether you will read your own book or hire a specialist to do it for you.

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Facebook Advertising for Authors Just like You

#5 Samaritan Court

This moving and powerful biography was written by Maria Mai-Thuy Swenka and published by Graham Publishing Group.

If you’re a writer, you should strongly consider creating an Advertising Campaign on Facebook. At Graham Publishing Group, it is one of the very first things that we do for our authors.

Let’s be honest.  Facebook advertising begins with research.  Don’t just throw up an ad.  Facebook has it all laid out for you with their Audience Insights function. It is a priceless tool.  But it has to be used wisely.  Don’t flinch at the word “research.” Research is at the heart of all advertising, and Facebook is no different.  At Graham Publishing Group, we start every promotion campaign for our authors at Facebook Audience Insights.

It’s simple. You will find Audience Insights under the Tools function in your Ads Manager.  This will then give access to just about everyone on Facebook.  In fact, there is a link called exactly that: Everyone on Facebook. Continue reading

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Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing – Pros and Cons

This motivational book was written by Dinavia Serro and published by Graham Publishing Group.

This motivational book was written by Dinavia Serro and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Traditional Publishing refers to the longstanding “tradition” of creating a relationship with a mainstream publishing house, either big or small, who buys the rights to your book in exchange for an advance and the hope of royalties. The publishing house markets and distributes your book to the reading public via bookstores and, of course, the Internet.

When you self-publish, you are the publisher. You control everything from the book cover design and the interior layout to the marketing and distribution of your book. You will sell most of your printed books and ebooks via the Internet, but you can also work with a printer who will fulfill your books to anyone who buys them.

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Self-Publishing Essentials for Every Author

Kodiak Island

This intriguing mystery was a collaboration between Edward W. Wilson and Graham Publishing Group.

As company that provides self-publishing guidance and assistance to authors from Florida to New York, from North Carolina to Texas, from Colorado to California, we have come to recognize five essentials that we want all of our clients to be aware of.  We are assuming that you’ve written that special novel, biography, business book, or self-help guide, or that you’ve hired a talented ghostwriter to assist you.  If you’ve gotten that far and are ready to put your book out into the world of expectant readers, choose a publishing group that satisfies these five essentials.

Essential One: You are in control.  There are lots of vanity presses out there who want your money first and your involvement not at all.  This is not the way it is supposed to be. Your publishing team is just that: a team. And you are the key member of this team.  You should have approval of every important step in the process, from copy editing to book cover design, from the interior layout of your book to the choice of font. You should approve of the printer, the distribution they offer, and the fulfillment process they use.

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The Business of Self-Publishing

This intriguing page-turner was written by Ken Langwell and published by Graham Publishing Group

This intriguing page-turner was written by Ken Langwell and published by Graham Publishing Group

If you are going to self-publish, do it because it is in your best interest, not because there are no other avenues open to you. Do it because the book you’ve written deserves every ounce of your energy in seeing it into the hands of the reading public.

Those people who criticize self-publishing are the very people who fear it. The stigma that mainstream publishing has tried to cast of self-publishing no longer exists. For one thing, mainstream publishers are now keenly aware of self-published books that are selling well, and very often target those books as potential partners.

Self-publishing no longer suggests a poorly written book. It no longer suggests a place where less talented authors go with their material.  On the contrary. Many of the very best books on the market are self-published by men and women who are not only talented writers but savvy business people.  You can make more money. You can control your own marketing. You can choose your own book cover. You can decide what is in your best interest.   You can reach thousands of readers without the need for a contract with a mainstream publisher who may only see you as a number.

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Marketing Your Book: Online Marketing vs. Traditional Media

This award winning biography was written by Paul Wayne and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You’ve written a book. A novel, biography, business book, self-help book. The genre doesn’t matter.  Whatever type of book you’ve written, it has to be well marketed. You have two choices: Traditional vs. Online Marketing. Which way are you going to go?

Both traditional marketing and Internet marketing have their merits.  Let’s lay them out.

Traditional marketing usually comes under these headings: Print media includes newspapers, magazines, brochures, and newsletters; Broadcast media translates into TV and radio (or maybe a guy driving through town with a megaphone on the roof of his car); Direct Mail comes under the heading of fliers, postcards, and catalogues; finally, you have telemarketing. These have all withstood the test of time, and you can measure their success fairly easily.

Digital marketing includes websites, social media networking, video marketing, and things like Google ads and banner ads. These are cost effective. If they are used correctly, they have unprecedented audience reach. They also allow for a direct response from your audience.

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Self-Publishing and the Importance of Blogging

This book, written by Simon John Lee and published by Graham Publishing, explores 18 techniques that rely on the law of thirds to communicate, problem solve and manage people.

This book, written by Simon John Lee and published by Graham Publishing, explores 18 techniques that rely on the law of thirds to communicate, problem solve and manage people.

If you are an author or writer, and if you ever heard someone suggest that blogging is no longer relevant to your social media experience or in generating exposure for your book, please turn a deaf ear. It is as straightforward as this: blogging needs to be an important part of your online marketing.

The minute you chose to write your biography, a business book, a self-help book, or a novel, you became a brand, and promoting that brand is essential. Write what you know about.  Post articles about topics relevant to you and your book. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your knowledge, but do it in a reader friendly manner.  Let people know who you are as a person and an author; let people know about your book. These are the interweaving of your brand. Don’t shy away from it.

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