Getting Close to the Awards Finalists Announcement!

The last few weeks at Reader Views have been busy to say the least! As we receive the last batches of first-line judge’s scores and reviews, there are many things the 2016-2017 participants should be considering:

·         For winners and finalists–it is a given that winning an honorable status will provide a strong promotional tool. But a tool is only good if put to use! This is why having a plan is imperative, and all participants should be thinking, even before the announcement, about what comes next.

·         For the participants that do not make the finals, making the most of the awards also requires a plan. Not receiving an awards seal doesn’t mean authors can’t use a quote from the awards judge to promote their book!

·         The award seal and review are both tools, and the Awards name is what gives the tools credibility. But, it is up to the authors to find creative ways of using these tools when promoting their books.

For more information on how we can help Authors visit us at www.readerviews.com.

Create Community and Support Your Books

By now most, if not all, authors know they need to create a platform even before they become published if they want to sell their books, articles, or any writing at all. But not many have heard of creating a community around them to support their writing. Currently, the publishing Industry is not only flooded with books of all formats, it is also becoming congested with all kinds of platforms. Many of those focus on readers, book promotion, and Indie publishing services. This makes it very difficult for new authors to navigate and decide which services they need, and where to get them. But, it also creates a diversity of vendors for the author that might not be beneficial at all. Yes, sometimes things go wrong with a vendor and a new one must be found, but not creating a stable community around them can, in the long run get an author stuck in internet limbo. Below, are some tips on how forging a sense of community can benefit the relationship of Author–Vendor–Audience:

•    Having a support community generates an environment of collaboration between the author and vendor. This not only creates loyalty between them, it also provides costs breaks, infinite resources, and even promoting help within the vendors’ platforms.
•    Vendors not only know many readers, they are also readers!
•    An author community can not only help expand their platform quicker through the credibility of a community; through the long term relationships it provides friends, and collaborators who want to see the author succeed, instead of just seeing an author as someone who provides business.

Having a supportive community of collaborators allows authors to rely on them and spend more time producing new books, as well as touring their current ones. For more information on how our community can help authors visit us at www.readerviews.com.

 

What Readers Can Expect from Authors in 2017

As the audience becomes more tech savvy, and discover the benefits of carrying books in a tablet and purchasing them without having to leave the comfort of their homes, preference patterns will definitely be in a continuous evolving state. Readers will no longer settle for what is available; they will determine what will be available. So, what can they expect from the publishing industry this year? Here are some of my own thoughts based on what I have seen over the past year:

·         As the driving force of the publishing industry, readers will be able to claim their place and be aware of the trends that they will be establishing. No longer will they be expecting the book seller to serve a menu for them to choose from. They will be requesting what they want to the bookseller as informed consumers. Because of the newfound awareness of their influence, booksellers will not be able to limit what they sell based on who pays more for their shelves. They will also create shelves for what their audience requests the most, whether digital, by order or Indie books in stock.

·         Readers will take initiative to connect with their authors more and more, whether famous, or unknown locals, and sponsor opportunities for them via blogs, book clubs, and social media.

·         Authors will listen to readers, as reviews keep weighing in on their books. Because of that, Indies will improve their product, finally erasing the bad rap Indie book quality received in their beginnings. 

By now everyone, authors and readers alike, are used to a live, forever evolving publishing industry, instead of the static dinosaur that used to rule. The beauty of this is that now writers will have to be creative, not only when writing their book, but also on how they will present their story and market it in order to be noticed. I believe that readers will become the authors’ muse, to help improve in their craft and product quality, while letting an infinite amount of stories inspire them and help them grow. To learn more on how we can help readers find awesome books visit www.readerviews.com.

2017 Marketing Tips for Indie Authors

I recently read a few articles on the internet with 2017 trend predictions in the publishing industry. Some said eBook sales would be predominant this year, others spoke about the growth of Indie publishing and overload of the market. In all honesty, these predictions aren’t anything new. Since digital technology ventured into the publishing industry, we have seen the number of eBooks and Indie publishers grow. Yet, printed books and magazines are still around! In my opinion, I think the trend will be that of just giving the audience more choices, not just on topics and stories available to readers, but also on formatting preferences. Having said that, as formatting choices and authors multiply for readers, marketing strategies and marketers offering services for authors are also on the rise; this can be confusing making it very difficult for Indies to figure out. Below are some tips on how to navigate all the marketing choices out there to decide a strategy.

·         Do not focus in the differences of today vs. yesterday. Before, we had the basic paperback and hardcover. Now there are audio books, epub, mobi, pdf, and many other digital formats on top of the printed books. Yet, they are just formats, which mean that you will make your book available to all preferences readers might have…that’s all. What this really means is that the marketing strategy will have to be expanded to include the different options the author’s audience might prefer.

·         Do your homework on marketing services and companies. Authors many times just delegate the marketing before learning the basics, and this is a mistake. No one is as interested as the author is in selling their book, so why delegate the promotion and marketing to someone else? It is imperative that whoever markets the book is on the same page with the author and publishing company. Marketing is based on teamwork, and the author should be involved, as he is the one who determined the audience he wrote the book for.

·         In an era of infinite possibilities and choices for the audience, target marketing is a must, but this does not mean that all other markets should be ignored!

An authors’ job used to be to write, and the traditional publishers would market and sell their book. But, make no mistake they were also promoters as they also sold themselves during book signings and other events and appearances. The difference today is that the events now happen on the internet also, and as an Indie author, they decide how their book will be promoted. For more information on how we can help Authors visit us at www.readerviews.com.

Mapping is the Key for Everything!

As the first editorial of the year, this topic felt awesome to explore. The truth is that if we need to get from point A to point B geographically speaking, we need directions. So why wouldn’t it be the same when publishing and marketing a book? Here are some tips on mapping.

·         Start by drafting bullet points. Just like a to-do list, we need to spit the ideas out of our brain and write them down to visualize what needs to be done.

·         Then tackle each point as a mini-goal. Note which one needs to be obtained first, in order for the next one to be possible, and then organize them in sequence.

·         Break down each mini-goal into tasks and organize those in sequence.

·         Under each task, list any information needed to get it done. (If we are talking about promotion, it could be a list of websites to post an ad, for example. If we are talking about a story map, it could be characters to be introduced in the first chapter or important events in the chapter, if developing the plot).

·         Once a global map has been developed, it can be used to establish deadlines for each goal. Make sure these deadlines are realistic by including other involved parties’ guidelines, timing, and real-time needed to accomplish tasks. It is better to give yourself space and finish early rather than the other way around.

·         Keep focused on the task on hand but don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal.

In the end always remember that mapping is a tool to visualize the road to a goal. However, there are always hidden shortcuts and detours on the way, so don’t set your map in stone, just keep updating it according to what you find on your road trip! For more information on how we can help authors in all aspects of their publishing and publicity journey, visit us at www.readerviews.com and www.ihavesomethingtosaypress.com.

New Year, New Services, New Magazine, New Brand!

2016 was an awesome year. It was filled with learning moments, and “Eureka” ones! It was not an easy one, yet a memorable one for all the new things we learned. We look forward to 2017 as we apply all of our new knowledge to our old and new Authors’ Publicity Campaigns. Below are some things you will see coming in 2017:

·         A makeover on our publicity packages. We have been able to keep change away for a while in an effort to keep affordable prices. This year we realized that was no longer possible, so we’ve updated our packages to keep the prices still as affordable, yet more effective.

·         A makeover to our librarian catalog. This year also taught us that we sometimes need to shake things up to find a new and fresh angle. 2017 will bring a transformation to our catalog as it evolves into our First Chapter Plus Magazine, bringing new feature opportunities to Indie authors.

·         Finally, we will be finally launching our complete brand, which will include a publishing division, writing classes, and an experts’ platform that can serve as a resource for media.

In the meantime enjoy the holidays, keep writing, plan your book’s PR, and keep getting exposure. To help you with this last one, check out www.BloggingAuthors.com and send us your articles for posting to admin@readerviews.com! For more information on how we help authors visit www.readerviews.com.

Planning for Next Year

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It’s that time of the year again when we find ourselves rushing to finish all of our projects before the holidays so that we can focus on shopping, get-togethers, gift exchanges, and yes, enjoying ourselves! But before we get to all that we must also take time to come up with some marketing plans for our books for next year–if we want to have a strategic plan that will better the chances of accomplishing our goals.

It was in this frame of mind that I attended a webinar about content strategizing and marketing. I must admit my intentions were to get marketing inspiration for my own goals as Managing Editor for Reader Views, but the insight I got went even further as ideas came flowing for book publicity as well! So much for finishing projects so I can relax! I know what I will be doing over the next couples of weeks and can’t wait to begin coming up with ideas of how to apply what I’ve learned! In the meantime, here are a few tips to take into account when thinking about your marketing goals for next year:

·         Figure out as much as you can about your audience by creating open conversations through blog commenting.

·         Find out what social networks or platforms your audience uses.

·         Check out other authors’ webpage designs and blog contents and compare them with what you’ve been doing.

·         Once you check out your audience and other author pages, consider the following: 

   When was the last time you revamped your website?
   What does your promoting budget look like for the next year?
   Will your target market be the same or are there other types of books coming out?
   Are you happy with your brand design or do you need to rebrand yourself?

All of these answers are necessary to plan your year, so you might as well get started. A little planning over the next few weeks can make for a smooth entry into the coming year! For more information on how Reader Views helps authors visit www.readerviews.com.

2016-2017 Reader Views Literary Awards Contest is Closed!

Susan Violante Managing Editor

It is that time of the year again when Reader Views reviewers go into their dens to hibernate and read, and read - and score and score! This is a favorite time of the year as we look forward to time off during the holidays to enjoy the last books that came in, as the weather gets cooler and our hearts get warmer. But for authors, the excitement of the holidays mixes with the anticipation of the results, so to help reduce the anxiety, below is what to expect in the coming few months:

  1. A lot of reviews will be posted through the month of December and January as they come in and the first scores get logged. That happens for the most part in the order that they are received by reviewers.
     
  2. We do close during the week between Christmas and New Years to make the most of our reviewing time but will check emails once in a while during that week.
     
  3. We do not tabulate scores until all the reviews and score sheets are in, so we really don’t have any idea about which books are doing better in the contest until the finalists are announced.
     
  4. All participants should subscribe to our newsletter as we do send out announcements through it. To subscribe click here.
     
  5. If you have any questions about the process and timing, you can also check the guidelines of the awards at http://readerviews.com/literaryawards.

In reality, all books have something to offer to readers and writing them is a huge accomplishment. Our awards program celebrates all books as we truly enjoy reading them. Our judging is based on the book itself as a product, cover art, inside design, and of course, the content. It is our wish that all of the participants could win; but since this is impossible, please know that we are proud of all of you for daring to share a piece of you with an audience-this is something most people won’t dare to do. Good luck to all!