Category: Infoproduct

 
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Submitting Your Manuscript: Getting Started

I am often asked “Do you know of a publisher who would be interested in my book?” There’s no easy way to answer this question. You see, according to the PMA Newsletter, there are over 86,000 publishers in existence (https://parapub.com/statistics). It would be impossible to know what each one is looking for at any given time. However you do know that you’re not going to submit your manuscript or book proposal to 86,000 publishers. It would be a waste of your time and money. To improve your chances in the submission process, you have to do your homework. Here are a few tips so your research will be most effective:

Publishing Houses: Get the Facts

Can you submit your manuscript to more than one place at a time? Depends on where you’re sending it. Unfortunately, each publishing house has its own set of rules for reviewing a manuscript that will have multiple submissions. You have to find out what those rules are. You can check out the 2006 Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest. It’s an excellent source for publisher’s guidelines. So is the website, Literary Marketplace.

While reviewing these resources you should also note what kind of material the company publishes and what kinds of manuscripts and proposals they would like to see. Another way to get more specific information on this topic is to go to your local bookstore and look at books similar to yours. Note the publisher as well as the agent and editor who handled the book (they’re usually mentioned in the acknowledgments). Granted, a publisher might turn your manuscript down if they feel they’ve “been there, done that”, but on the other hand if the company has had success with the subject matter they may be scouring the landscape to find more of the same!

Looking for an Agent

Your research may tell you that the publishers who seem right for you don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. That means you’ll need an agent so you’ll have to start your submission process with literary agencies. If that’s the case, the 2006 Guide to Literary Agents is a great place to begin your search. Writer’s Digest publishes this hefty tome listing more than 600 non-fee charging agents.

All of the agents listed in the guide adhere to the ethical guides established by the Association of Author’s Representatives (AAR). Members of AAR are forbidden from charging fees. So in one book you get the security of knowing the agent you’re dealing with is on the level, plus you get a full understanding of what material the agent represents. That means you won’t be sending your manuscript out on a fruitless–and costly mission.

Manuscript Mechanics

Don’t get too caught up in the specifics of what your manuscript should look like. Your research will tell you if the agent or publisher wants your manuscript a certain way, but for the most part as long as it’s double-spaced and printed with a clear, easy-to-read 12-point font such as Courier or Arial you should be fine. Put your name, book title and page numbers on each page and–this is key–don’t staple anything. Leaving the pages loose make it easy for the recipient to make copies. This is necessary because usually more than one person will be reading your work.

One note: These days more and more agencies and publishing houses are accepting electronic submissions. Find out if this is the case for your targets. You can save yourself some money and a trip to the post office!

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Banish all fear. I know that’s easier said than done, but look at it this way. If writing is something you really want to do, then manuscript submissions will become a regular part of your life. You don’t want to go through your days and nights in a constant state of submission angst! It makes me feel tired just to think of what that would be like!

Instead put yourself in the mindset of being a writer and a businessperson. Your writing is your product. You will put out the best product possible. Know that the bulk of your rejections will have nothing to do with the quality of your product so don’t take it personally. You move on to the next prospect with the same positive attitude that the next one may be the right one. Know that writing is part of your work. Being afraid isn’t.

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Super Bowl Advertising And Marketing For Perfection

With Super Bowl ads running at almost $3 million for 30 seconds, you need to be perfect.

The game kicks off in about one hour and we have already seen some of the high-priced ads. Here are my comments on how the big guys do it.

#1. Pepsi. Pepsi has an outside-the-box ad. The ad is done by two deaf guys trying to find out where Bob’s house is. It is done completely in sign with sub-titles. This is a first. We will see if this is labeled “offensive” even if the National Association of the Deaf approved it.

#2. Budweiser. A perennial mainstay. Wouldnít be a Super Bowl without Bud and all of their commercials.

#3. Miller Lite. Bud’s main competition that seems to always be poking fun at Bud.

#4. GoDaddy. GoDaddy is always controversial which gets them the most publicity. You may see racier ads at their web site.

#5. P&G. Proctor and Gamble will air its first ever Super Bowl commercial featuring Tide.

#6. Vitoria’s Secret. Marketing lingerie with hot chicks to guys makes sense to me.

There are more and I will post another article after the game.

Some comments in general.

Sex, humor, and music still sell. Well, it sells to a primarily male audience.

More companies are linking their TV ads to their web site.

Companies can get away with more on their web site. FCC rules donít apply.

If it worked before, use it again.

Stars give credibility (to an extent).

Market to your audience (in this case, mainly males).

This is the only show that people actually wait in anticipation for the commercials.

Pepsi has coined a new term ñ different abilities ñ as opposed to disabled or challenged.

30 seconds cost almost three million, but these ads will be all over the Internet forever for free. Some ads are already at YouTube before the game started.

Marketing to 90 million people would be considered by most to be the greatest opportunity to get your product noticed. We will see who makes it big with the best Super Bowl ads.

OK. It is almost game time. I’ve got my sandwich, chips and dip, cold beer, and some cashews. I will be cheering for the New York Football Giants since I love an underdog.

Use the power of Super Bowl advertising to get some ideas on how to market your web site. Hopefully, for a lot less than 3 million dollars for Ω minute.

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The Best Ways to Increasing Your Search Engine Ranking

The methods employed to increase your search engine
rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have
probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell
you – the time has come to face your website! A high search
engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you
have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your
business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this
issue.

At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on
the Internet find websites through search engines such as
Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages
for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted
customers to your site who will be more than likely to make
a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine
results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your
website. That’s what search engine optimization is about.

You can immerse yourself in all the technical information
available online to figure out how to optimize your web
pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few
simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments,
and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The
first item you should examine is the title bar on your
homepage.

The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page.
Look at the words that appear there when you access your
home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on
your homepage’s title bar should include the most important
keywords or phrases, one of which would include your
company name.

Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on
the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page
of your site should contain the most important keywords and
phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very
long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or
less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title
bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to
each other.

The next item to put under your microscope is your website
content. Search engines generally list sites that contain
quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The
text on your site must contain the most important keywords
– the words that potential customers will be typing into
search engines to find your site.

Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is
not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100
carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high
ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However,
the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning
that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.

To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your
cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able
to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not
highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case,
ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in
order to increase your search engine rankings.

Next we come to what is called meta tags. I know this
sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is
really just simple code. Many people believe that meta tags
are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality,
they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding
them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags
in their ranking formula.

To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must
access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the
browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a
window revealing the underlying code that created the page.
If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of
the window. For example, a meta tag would read: meta
name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that
reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This
may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any
little boost helps.

Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a
factor that is extremely important in terms of search
engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link
popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based
on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your
links page.

If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular
search engine, the search engine will then show you what
sites are linked to your site. In the case that there
aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites
that are linked up have low search engine rankings,
consider launching a link popularity campaign. Essentially,
this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that
they exchange links with your site. Of course, this
requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want
to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only
boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more
quality traffic to your website.

Search engine rankings are extremely important for a
successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out
and hire a search engine optimization company, try taking
some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t
boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this
all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the
higher your search engine ranking, the more quality
customers will be directed your way.

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The Business of Publishing

The truth about publishing is really stranger than fiction and the truth is: getting published is only half the battle. The other half is to keep your reality check in balance so it doesn’t bounce.

Congratulations, you’re published! But what exactly does it mean to be “published”? Besides the fact that your work is finally in print and your college alumni has asked to interview you for their newsletter it also means fame and fortune, right? Well, ok, maybe not on the level of J. K. Rowling, but at the very least you can expect a call from Oprah, right? I hate to be the one to break it to you but you’re probably not even on her radar screen. The truth about publishing is really stranger than fiction and the truth is: getting published is only half the battle. The other half is to keep your reality check in balance so it doesn’t bounce.

While publishing is all about creative expression, it’s also about business and it’s those business savvy authors who will succeed in the end. Now you don’t have to be an MBA to be a keen business person, you simply have to understand that the choices you make relative to your books future should be based on strategies that will enhance sales not just drain your pocketbook. So, how do you do this? First, take a long, hard look at your reader.

At Author Marketing Experts, we always create a reader profile for each book we promote. This reader profile will tell us where to find buyers for the books we represent. Taking this first step helps us sort through our choices when it comes to book promotion and make decisions on behalf of our authors that are sound and will help leverage sales.
There are times when it’s a waste of resources to do a nationwide radio or TV promotion. In fact, some of our programs don’t include any outreach to broadcast media. Why? Because as alluring as it might seem to appear on the Today Show, what’s the point if your audience doesn’t watch morning TV? And, if your audience isn’t watching this show, the chances are slim they’ll even consider you anyway. What? More rejection? Who needs it!

As you embark on or continue your campaign, ask yourself a few tough questions. First, what’s your ultimate goal for this book? If it’s just to give away at family reunions, that’s great! But then you’ll probably want to nix any marketing. If your book is an arm of your business and you have speaking engagements lined up through the end of the year. You probably don’t need to spend a lot on marketing since most of your sales will come from your speaking engagements (i.e. back of the room sales). On the other hand, if you wrote this book to grow your business or to leverage your credibility then you will probably want to dial yourself into your industry through enhanced media exposure.

For fiction authors this area becomes a little tricky. First, you need to determine your long term goals. By long term we mean: do you want to stay in this business or was this book just “something you wanted to do.” If it’s a hobby, then treat it as such but if this is going to be your career, then you need to keep your message out there on a continual basis, through venues such as author events, talks, signings, print and broadcast media.

Make sure the choices you make, make sense for your book and aren’t just made because you’ve always dreamt of being on Oprah. I’ve known authors lured into inappropriate marketing plans by big, flashy names and promises of stardom, wasting thousands of valuable marketing dollars and heading in a direction that wasn’t right for them. If you’re serious about your work, ready to let go of your muse and face the task at hand with some business savvy, then you’re really ready to get published. Below are some guidelines that will help further your success!

1) Reader profile: create one of these at the beginning of your marketing campaign and keep refining it as you move through the process. Refine and redefine who and where your audience is and how to get to them.

2) Time commitment: determine what you can and can’t reasonably do. If you have a full time job it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to commit yourself to forty hours of marketing a week unless your boss is on vacation.

3) Investment: how much are you willing to invest in your future? Are you willing to invest money without seeing much in return knowing that you are building a foundation or do you want to see immediate monetary results? Most authors don’t see a return on their investment for a year or more. Are you committed enough to yourself or your project to keep this investment going?

4) Reality check: what’s realistic for the industry you’re in? Are you latching onto a fad or something with more longevity? Are you getting into a brand new market that will require lots of reader education? Or are you trying to go mainstream with a non-mainstream topic? While this is an admirable goal, it can be like swimming upstream.

5) Budget: while we encourage authors to invest in their future, we’ve also seen a number of people go into heavy debt, quit their jobs and even sell their homes just to promote their book. While that kind of dedication is certainly admirable, remember that although you have the potential to make a great deal of money it’s not going to be overnight. The lure here is of course that “If I stick with it, this next sale will make me famous.” Well, maybe or maybe not. If you’ve been plugging away for a while without any significant success get a professional to give you some honest, constructive feedback about your plan, your market, and your book. It might be that a poorly designed cover is the reason you’re not making sales, or a topic that’s fallen off of the public’s radar screen. In the meantime as you’re waiting to hit the big time you’ll still need a place to sleep and Uncle Vinnie’s couch will get old real quick.

6) Burnout: we hear this term often, even to the point of being overused. What we’re really talking about here is author burnout. We’ve found that the average author only markets their book for ninety days. That means ninety days of day and night marketing, radio interviews at 3am and a book signing every weekend. On day ninety-one they are so tired, so discouraged and so broke they quit. You can avoid this by giving yourself realistic goals and a realistic timeframe in which to complete them. There’s nothing in the world like seeing your book in print. If approached realistically, objectively and with sound business sense, it can be one of the most exciting times in your life.

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Weakness in Safe List and using Free Reports

Would you like to send your commercial emails to people you do not know, but are expecting to receive such mail from you? That does not sound right. How can this be?

It is simple, if you know what is really going on. Everybody who is on these lists, also known as safe lists, knows that they will be receiving mail from other members. This is possible because that is one of the conditions of their ìsafe listî membership.

And those who join these lists are willing to agree to this condition because they themselves would want to send out their own commercial emails to the others on the list.

The result: everyone is sending emails to each other but no one is reading them!

It gets worse when some savvy members sign up for the membership using a free or less-frequently-used account to store the useless emails they will never bother to open and read.

Having said that, it is always wiser to start your own mailing list and build it with opt-in subscribers, no matter how tempting safe lists can be or how many members there are in a safe list.

Using Free Reports to Build Your List. Aside from pre-selling your products and affiliated offers, the other purpose of your free viral report should be to build your mailing list.

This is because if you are unable to pre-sell, let alone sell, the products and services featured in your free report, the last ditch effort should be to collect leads. In short, if you cannot convert the reader into a ready buyer, you should then attempt to convert him or her into your subscriber.

In that manner, you can still follow up with your reader on future offers and have a chance at converting him or her into your customer, preferably lifetime.

You can do so by offering a lifetime update to your report or a unique notification list your reader will be interested in subscribing to, which leads to having him or her subscribed to your mailing list.

One of the few success factors in viral marketing of your free report is quality. If your readers find your information worth sharing, and you encourage them to do so by giving them the right to give your report away for free, you will be able to have your name, status and links within the report passed around without any effort on your part ñ simply because others are willing to do so for you!

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Will I make money online?

This is the number one question people ask when they are looking for profits on the internet. Will I make money online? 95% of the people who start to look for ways to make money online fail eventually. The classic story is – start looking for information then a flood of misleading information hits you and you drown. You will try this then try that but fail at all of them and soon you will quit. Just to find yourself in that old crumpy day job you wanted to run away from to begin with. Today I will try to stop this and do a little mind arranging and show you one door to success.

I am not intending to prattle here and waist your time, lets get directly to the point. Making money online is actually based on one simple very basic formula:

Find a hungry crowd-> Find what they want -> Give it to them

Thatís it there you have it, in a nut shell the whole internet marketing big philosophy purified in one short sentence.

OK, you think to yourself this is real nice but how do I manage all this? I will give you one way, among endless ways, to your success today. But before that you must remember the most important thing in internet marketing: What ever it is you choose to do, keep doing it and doing it and doing it. Do not jump from one program to another program, failing them all. Choose one path and keep moving forward, for this is the only way you will ever, manage to make money online.

Now letís break the formula into few basic steps you can start performing today.

Find a hungry crowed

You must find what people are searching for to be able to supply it. This is the ìWhat should I sell online?î question everyone asks. Technically you can use search engines and find popular search terms ñ but remember to look for something people want but not too popular. Another way is using any free keyword suggestion tool, simply look for these exact words, to find what people are looking for online.

Find what they want

Now you now what people are looking for but what will you give them? Letís say that you have found that people are looking for solution to some medical problem, you can give them information on how to solve their problem or products: pills, instruments, etc.
One more sample: if they are looking for ways to keep their dog from barking, give them a book which tells them exactly how they should train their dog. Finding what they want is all about finding specific solution to a certain problem.

Give it to them

Now you think: I have to look for what people need, find out what can solve their problem and then give it to them. But how will I find it? I donít have it at home, or at my car. Should I start create solutions? Writing a book? Build a real sophisticated machine? No you donít!!! This part is actually taken care for you, along with the entire customer handling.
The answer is Affiliates programs. They are free to join. And you will find almost any thing you can think of. They take care of creating, shipping, and customer support for you. All you need is to bring home the hungry crowd in because dinner is already served!

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