Ten Things I now know as a Newbie E-Book Writer.

I still consider myself to be a certified newbie.
Before I started writing in earnest, there would always be some sort of drama and dialogue going on inside my head. Now, some might say, I have a problem and need to visit the brainy peeps in white coats. But, really it’s just my imagination at play.
Transforming the scenario’s inside my head into stories, and ultimately publishing them as e-books requires more than the “ten things I now know” written below (hello that’s an unintentional rhyme). They are however, ten steps in the right direction.
Please note – if you are looking for a meaty how-to-e-publish post, I’m afraid this post will disappoint. It’s my intention to blog more on this, and e-book marketing in the near future. 
1.  Commit
Make a commitment to write with the intention of publishing an e-book. Commit to wearing more than a writer’s hat. At some stage, and sometimes all at once, you’ll be wearing a marketing, publishing, and a therapy hat. 
2.  Show Up
If you don’t show up to write, not a single word will get written. All you’ll have is a blank screen, or page. Time, focus, and words strung together into creative sentences, are a few of the necessary ingredients of writing. Make, and schedule time to write.
3.  Go with the Flow
As a runner, for me writing is a lot like pounding the pavement. Not one day is the same. Some days I feel like I can run for miles, while the next…my legs feel like I’m lugging around blocks of of concrete. With writing, one day you’re on a creative roll, the next your river of words has dried up to a mere trickle….Frustrating? Definitely. I’m learning, to go with the flow. If you’ll pardon the pun.
4.  Be a Sponge
Soak up as much information from others about writing, and the world of e-book publishing. Follow related blogs, befriend google and ask questions, join forums and groups – Amazon and Goodreads, a great place to start. Take webinars – online seminars cover a load of subjects from publishing on blogging, Kindle, e-book marketing and PR, success stories…they’re free, and jam-packed with juicy relevant information.
5.  Don’t be Afraid
Whether your brazen, über confident, or super shy, you’re going to need bucket loads of courage. To write, e-publish, read reviews, find your readers, navigate your way around the marketing, and dealing with angst and uncertainty. All require a badge of courage, and a willingness to venture into the soon-to-be-known territory
6.  Establish your name
As a newbie author you probably count your Mum, and a couple of good friends as die-hard loyal readers. I know I do. Expanding your reach beyond that precious three, requires a plan to find readers who, over time will like, love, and trust you enough to buy your books, and share the book love with their friends and family. Establishing your writing name/brand is an essential part of the marketing plan.   
7.  Marketing

Writing with the intention of selling requires at the very least, the backbone of a marketing plan. Step one, know from the onset who you perceive your readers are. Step two, know where to find your readers. A healthy mix of digital, with a little traditional marketing is needed to get your name established, readers, and sales. Without going into too much detail – to build a marketing foundation the must do/have basics are:

  • Blog. Create a blog relevant to establish your identity and what it is you want to be known and recognized for. Whatever you do, have a contact me page.
  • Website. At this risk of sounding like an old fashioned fuddy duddy – in this day and age if you’re not online, well let’s just say you risk extinction. Having a digital presence is crucial if you want to have a ounce of e-publishing success. For the budget conscious, like me, my free wordpress blog site doubles up as my website. And I love it.
  • Social Media. Its social, and its media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr connects you with like minded people who are interested in what you do. It’s a platform to interact.
  • PR. Public Relations interacts with social media, your blog, and or website. In fact, they all interact. But, a good old fashioned press release to announce your book, what it’s about, who the market is, how and where readers can buy it from, the price and why people should buy your book is like a one stop shop of information for media, and potential readers.
  • Elevator Pitch. A long lost friend stops you in the street and asks you, ‘so, what are you doing now?’ What’s your 15, ok maybe stretch it out to 30 seconds summary of what you do? By the time it takes you to ride the elevator from the ground to the penthouse suite, is all the time you need to sell yourself, and your book.
  • Be Consistent. Just like you show up for writing, be regular and consistent with your marketing. The key is consistency with relevant and engaging content. It’s not all about sales, don’t be afraid to mix a little sales with social. People want to get to know, like, love and trust you.

8. Accept Not all Reviews will be 5*****
Develop a thick skin. No matter what, getting and reading a review is a daunting task. One, I’ll never quite get used to. The way I survive reading a review and minimizing the possibility of a bad one completely ruining my day, is to allow myself only a couple of hours to think about it. Tops. Then, I have to let it go.
My policy. Focus on the positive, and respect your reviewer’s opinion. If you don’t like what you read, don’t even think about stepping into the boxing ring and going glove to glove with the reviewer. Sure, it’s tempting, but I believe, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Same applies if you get a great review. If you turn around and laud the reviewer with adulation, and praise, you no longer have an honest review.
Whether the review is good, or just plain ugly and brutal, try taking something positive from it. It’s easier said than done. One reader gave my book a 1* rating, and didn’t back it up with a review. Where’s the positive in that I asked? Well, after digging around, I found out the reader wasn’t in my target age group, and more than likely was never going to enjoy my story.
As hard as it is sometimes, I always appreciate the time and effort it has taken the reviewer to read your book, and write and post a review.
9.  Believe
For many self belief is the biggest hurdle. At times I’m plagued with self doubt, and throughout my day I can be heard muttering sound bites of encouragement. ‘Back Yourself’ has become a personal favorite. As Jack Canfield once said “tell people you’re a writer when you think you are.” I now tell peeps I’m a writer. And yes, I believe it too.
10.  Reality Check and Luck
This is a goodie. How do you measure success? By achieving your own goals? Showing up? Sales? Or….is it the little things you achieve, and learning from and surviving the failures, disappointments, dark days, mistakes, crankiness, writers block…that ultimately point us in the direction of “being successful.”
Writing with the intention of selling your book is a magic combo of content, marketing, luck, and giving people what they want at the right time.
Timing is everything. Whether it’s an overnight runaway #1 best seller, or it takes you a few months, or years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your writing career. Either way…believe, believe, believe in you.

Magdalena has recently written a contemporary romance e-book, Love in the Vines. Food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, love begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.
Her first e-book was an mage to her cat, Minnie Moo….Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat.
Both e-books are available to buy on Amazon.
Having successfully completed NANOWRIMO writing 50,000 words in 30 days (the month of November), Magdalena is currently working on the sequel to Love in the Vines – Love Entwined.
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The Power of Sharing Knowledge.

I didn’t have the gumption to title this blog “TEN KEYS TO CREATE A BEST SELLER” I’ll leave that glory to the two people who have generously shared their insight and knowledge.

I’ve been upfront about my love of webinars. Always timely and relevant they never fail to point me in the right direction, help solve a problem muddling around inside my head or kick-start me into action.

Without a shadow of doubt, these virtual education sessions have proved a gold mine of blogging, e-book publishing and marketing information. Hosted by experts and, with guest speakers who just like many of us started off with an idea or dream, prove that with time, patience, learning and smarts anything is truly possible.

Perhaps most compelling is their collective desire to want to help you succeed. Positively charged with motivation and practical how-to-do-it hints I always log-off zinging with new found knowledge and, an improved approach to my thinking.

Recently on one cold winter’s morning, I joined a value-packed writing webinar. About half-way through the speakers, Steve Harrison and Jack Canfield, shared 7 magical words, “TEN KEYS TO CREATE A BEST SELLER” that caused my ears and brain to engage in high alert ready to absorb the onslaught of juicy must-have information. With pen poised I wrote down the ten bite size chunks that have become a staple in e-book and self publishing diet.

We all know these ten points are NOT going to pave the pathway with instant overnight success. However, they will bring a different approach, cause you to think differently, be more strategic and will come to serve as a useful foundation go-to reference point. Either way, they’re too tasty not too share:

“TEN KEYS TO CREATE A BEST SELLER”

  1. Compelling concept
    • Simple one sentence book proposition including how it will help the reader.
  2. Catchy Title
  3. Find your Choir to sing your books praises.
    1. Commitment and Daily Discipline
    • Show up! Everyday commit to action steps
    • Step by step plan what to do when
    • My personal fave: Learn the art of effective message sharing
    • Be honest and authentic
  4. Chapter Hooks
    Containing 120 characters
    Great to use as publicity hooks and for Social Media.
    I had a ton of fun with this and promise to write a blog on my Minnie Moo Chapter Hooks like, “If life gives you the wobbles. Make Jelly.”
  5. Connective Writing
    Make an emotional connection with your reader.
  6. Counter a Myth
    Dispel a myth. Minnie Moo is a cat and a hero!
  7. Celebrities/Publicity
    Write forwards and make it easy for media to understand your book.
    Tell them how your book will serve or entertain their audience.
    Outline what you can talk about that is related to them, their audience and show.
  8. Online Community
    Engage with your online community. Use Social Media intelligently.
    Interact and have fun. Celebrate and acknowledge others; retweet, reply, comment, post photo’s, video, repin, repost, share, don’t always shout your sales message but be strategic with it, become virtual friends, treat others as you like to be treated.
  9. Commit and Show Up. Step by step plan what to do when.
  10. Find Promotional Partners
    Leaders
    Companies who may wish to publish or buy bulk copies of your book
    Influencer’s. People who love to share and talk. They understand the “world of mouth”
    Media
    Be savvy, give your book  media va-va-voom.
    Make make it easy for media to understand your book.
    Persuade them how it will really grab their audience

Interested in doing a webinar?
Follow and join mailing lists of bloggers and people who are of interest to you. I’m on the mailing list of numerous bloggers, writers, marketers and influencers. Some come with a sales pitch, tune in or out, it’s up to you, others don’t. Once you’re on the mailing list your inbox will grow in popularity, and, if it all gets too much, simply opt out and unsubscribe.

My E-Book Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat is out now. Available for most e-book formats. Click here to buy – many thanks!

My life my way takeaway for The Power of Sharing Knowledge; Listen and Learn. Share and Grow.”

Do a Webinar.

Webinars have helped my ideas to grow. Fact.

Having recently completed my first semester at the E-Book University with the writing and publishing of Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat – it’s time to share the love. Credit needs to be given to the sources who inspired and motivated me into a state of self belief – I too could become a writer and even better, a published author.

Now a fully fledged choir member I’m going to sing the praises of webinars. Costing nothing more than your time, I’ve now done at least ten online web seminars. Every single one of them has provided motivation, inspiration and practical know-how to help me achieve my writing goals.

In this early stage of my life my way, my participation in webinars has been one of the most critical and valuable tools to help me achieve my goals.

The last time I opened my marketing/training/on-going education budget wallet, a cloud of moths flew out. By doing selected and free webinars I have definitely accelerated my writing, content, the importance of marketing planning and how-to education. Not forgetting too, the motivation gained from listening to people share their success stories. Plus, they’ve helped me sort through the clutter of what-to-do breaking down the process into bite size chunks.

Webinars are the one thing I can afford and can’t afford not to do. Sure, some come attached with a sales pitch, others don’t. At the end of the day this doesn’t bother me. It’s up to me as to whether I take up the offer or not.

Rewind back half a year or so I didn’t even know what a webinar was. At that time I was interested in learning more about the world of blogging. A friend recommended Darren Rowse from Problogger and his highly regarded resource –  Build a Better Blog in 31 Days. With my copy downloaded I got to work studying. His practical useful information helped me build an understanding on what it takes to build, maintain and work at having a blog. Along the way I joined his mailing list.

From there I was invited to join a number of webinars. Going beyond blogging his webinars showcased ordinary people turning their ideas and passions into successful online enterprises.

Fascinating and inspirational they all gave me a little more faith and confidence in my own vision.

If they could do it. I could do it too.

Webinars have encouraged and given me practical how-to-do-it tips on writing, e-publishing vs traditional publishing and marketing. Now having completed a few I noticed a thread of common touch points worth sharing. After trawling through my notes and, as a starting point I’ve whittled the pages down to:

Ten common themes from digital marketing/e-book webinars:

  1. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
  2. Build it and they will come. Find your community and influencers
  3. Be authentic. It’s much easier to write something you’re passionate about.
  4. The power of writing a good marketing plan.
  5. Judge content on quality not quality. Engage a great editor.
  6. Measure content by what’s promised in the title.
  7. Think big and go for it. Best Seller Mindset, not mediocre.
  8. Engage reader straight away. Connective writing = emotional connection.
  9. Don’t tell the reader what to think. Let them come to their own conclusions.
  10. Chapters can be great PR hooks. Think twitter 140 characters.

Four Webinar Legends who changed my way of thinking:

Darren Rowse
Brilliant, international, down-to-earth webinars featuring real people achieving extraordinary online success. He’s upfront. If there’s going to be a sales pitch he’ll let you know.

Daniel Hall
His how-to-publish a Kindle e-book webinar was the first to give me a practical step by step guide. After his webinar my mindset changed from maybe to, I’m going to do this. Daniel gives you plenty of warning about his sales pitch.

Steve Harrison
The marketing publicity PR guru of the Best Seller Blue Print fame associated with Chicken Soup for the Soul best selling author, Jack Canfield. His knowledge shared was invaluable. You can’t help but come away feeling like a winner! Leaving his webinar I’m more than convinced I’m on the successful writer with a plan expressway!  Sure there’s a sales pitch. The product is top notch.

Lewis Howes
His social media and digital marketing webinars are educational often featuring people who excel in their chosen area and command the big bucks when presenting at industry related conferences. I always come away from his webinars wearing a different thinking cap. His Facebook marketing webinar was genius. Definitely dynamic he always has a sales pitch.

My Life My Way take away for Do A Webinar “Listen, learn, do and share.”

Click here to view Minnie Moo. Only $US4.99 – available for most e-book formats. Thanks!   Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat