Monday, November 20, 2017

My Number One Tip for Selling Your Book, Blog Your Book

Blog Post from BruceTheBookGuy.com with a sell block at the bottom

I had a question recently from a member of my How to Publish Your Book Facebook group for my one tip. It went like this.

The Question:Hey Bruce! Hope you’re doing well! I feel like I hit a wall. I’m averaging about a book a day...not sure if that’s what I should expect? Anyway, I have about a billion ideas running through my head but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to execute them all with my full-time job. I guess I’m looking for one thing to really focus on to push sales...blog...press release.... social media...would you suggest one over the other?

My Answer On the One Thing I Would Do to Market and Sell My Book: Hi I am a fan of creating content for platforms that hangs around for a long time. Like a blog posts or web pages, YouTube videos, Linkedin post and Pinterest. Things that can be done once and shared to many places over and over, like blog posts and videos can. I like to use my book content as my blog content and then add ads on the blog for my own stuff wrapped around my own stuff.
I would take your entire book and break it up into small chunks and blog it bit by bit adding really good titles for each post. At the bottom of each post I would add a sell/bio line about the you and your book and where you can get it. Key is to have be short and have a live link to the book’s sales page on Amazon.
Google will index your book and bring you traffic. If your reader likes it they might decide to purchase a copy. You job is to give them a clear path to purchase. Use your book's content to bring in traffic about your book and wrap ads for your book around it. You can also mix in videos and other content between the posts. Be sure to also add a thumbnail image of your book cover in the sidebar area with a clear Buy at Amazon button on it or below it.
This does several things, it spreads your content out, it gets Google to index your content, and gives you info which you can see in your blog stats what people are interested in. This also gives you lots of posts to market other products like a journal or related Amazon products. The goal here is to get lots of people to see your stuff. From my own experience, you need to get 100-200 visitors to your site to make a sale. This is 1-.05%, which is about the same as direct mail marketing. If you can get 200 people to visit your site from searching for your content you will get a sale if you give them an easy way to know you are selling something and an easy way to buy.
I am also a huge fan of YouTube videos and post on Pinterest. Both of these platforms get a lot of traffic and the content hangs around forever. Videos can be shared all over the web and Pinterest just gets a ton of traffic. Video descriptions and Pinterest posts can have live links, be sure to include them
An advantage of blogging is that the content will stay visible for years. You can also easily share it across many other social media platforms. I know Facebook and Twitter is all the rage but the problem is that everything is so temporary. It just keeps rolling down out of view.
A couple of other tips for your blog. Add a resource page around your topic. You can build this out over time but I have found this to be one of the highest traffic pages on my book blogs. Find something new, just keep adding it. Google loves pages like this. Be sure to include the links.
Another tip; your content may not lend itself to this but if you are able to write about costs of things or how much money you make or something around money, you will get a lot of traffic. People just want to know about money and costs.
Another tip; put up a sample pdf chapter that people can sign up for and download. In the pdf have a book sales page with live links to Amazon. This builds your email list and gets your content in people’s hands.
If you are going to be promoting your book in social media be sure you are where your readers are. Where they hang out is where you hang out. Is it Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc?
On the second question: selling book a day isn't bad. For me a nice medium seller is 15-20 books a month, in reality that is pretty good. 200+books a year. I will be writing about repurposing your content further in this book. But adding a journal or workbook to your book and selling it on your blog can be a great idea to increase your sales.

J. Bruce Jones is the author of over 40 books. He is currently working on a new book called How I Sell 4,000 Books a Year. Sign up over on the right to get the latest pdf version. It isn't fully edited but has all my ideas. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Running an Amazon Giveaway Test on My Book Marketing Checklist Book

Here is how the Amazon Giveaway looks on Facebook
I found out yesterday about the Amazon Giveaway program and was like, wow. The program runs on pretty much any product on Amazon, yours and any other, there are a few restrictions but it is pretty broad. You can run a contest for people to win that product by clicking on a link. When they click the link the product gets reposted on their twitter feed or they have to watch a video or some other stuff.

Once you have the Amazon link you pretty much just have to spread the link around the web on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc so people can see it and click on it. For mine I am using my Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing book. I have spread the link to Facebook, Twitter, and my blog.

The program works with you going to the bottom of pretty much any Amazon product page and seeing the Giveaway button and then just filling out the form. You have to pre-pay for the product that you are giving away plus shipping. When someone clicks you send them to a Twitter page, or a video or couple of other things. Basically Amazon sends you a link and you spread it around.

The Amazon Giveaway button at the bottom of a product page

The program runs for 7 days and/or a number of clicks that Amazon determines fits for your book. You also have a number of options that you can select on how the prize is awarded. I am sending people to the intro video for my Publishing Mastery 101 member site. Here is the video I sent people to



Here is the Giveaway link for the Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers Giveaway, active until Nov 23, 2017 or until I get 500 clicks.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

What are the Image License and Trademark Requirements for Creating Photo Picture Books



There are thousands of ideas and topics that you can use to create photo picture books. From fall foliage to sandy beach dunes, road trips and old farm equipment. Children's illustrations and stories also fall under the picture book realm. There are a couple of areas of caution that you should be aware of and these center around rights and trademarks. I am not a lawyer but have worked on a lot of productions and broadcasts. It is always best to check with a Intellectual Property or rights attorney if you have questions.


People's Rights: 
People's rights need to be respected and you need to have a release if you can identify the person. People off in the distance walking around is probably fine. You can't get releases of everyone in a beach picture. I wouldn't worry to much about people walking away and all you see are their backs. But if you can identify them or they are the focus of your photo then you need to have a release. This is called an Appearance or People Release.

Kids Rights:
Kids, Kids always need a Parent or Guardian Release, no questions. Many kids also have security concerns with custody issues. Again, some walking away down the street is probably ok but if you can see the kid you need to get permission before taking a picture.

Property Rights:
Property Release. This is a tricky one. Many buildings are under trademark or copyright with their owners or architects. My understanding is skylines and cityscapes and streets are fine. There is a collection of buildings but individual buildings, some government buildings, buildings on the historical register, collections of museum and recreated villages like Old Sturbridge Village or Greenfield Village are under trademarks. You just have to check with the owners or on their websites. If you are doing a travel picture book and wanted to show the outside of Mystic Seaport as one of 25 places you are showing to go in Mystic CT you are probably fine. But if you start walking around taking pictures without permission you might have an issue. This is called a Property Release. Common sense plays a lot here and I would stay away from any property owned by a big corporation like Disney or Universal. Get permission.

Materials, Photos, Jewelry:
Materials Release, these are all the things that get photographed in the shot. The rooms and offices are covered by Property Releases but the box of photos, the paintings on the walls, the box of jewelry, all that stuff. If it is owned by someone and you are taking pictures of it then you need a Material Release.

Trademarks and Logos:
Trademarks and Logos. This can get people into a lot of trouble. the Nike logo on the person's t-shirt in the shot is under the license of Nike Corporation. You don't have rights for it. That is why you see them blurred out on TV. The Budweiser logo on the back of the bar wall, the Mustang logo on the close up of the car.

Personally, I find this a grey area. If you are doing a book of old gas stations across the west you are going to get Texaco logos. If you are doing Boston's Back Bay you will end up showing the famous Citgo sign. On a t-shirt, yes that is an issue, in a city scape I think not so much, it might fall under editorial but you might check. Doing a history of Texaco signs then probably yes.

This may sound like a pain in the neck and a lot of work to chase down. Sometimes you just have to shift your camera a little to the left or right or crop a little and the issue goes away. Or, just do a book on something else. As I said above there are endless topics.

Also, we are not talking about creating stock images that are going to be resold. We are talking about art and editorial usage. It is a little looser. Stock imagery has a lot of rules on photos that will be resold. Books are a little looser, but you need to be aware.

So, the important message here is to check if you are venturing into an area that has people, buildings and trademarks. Everywhere is different, usually you just have to ask and always carry your releases (yes it gets awkward but easier after a while).  

If you are interested in learning more about creating your own photo picture book check out my Publishing Mastery Academy

Here are some of the other things protected with trademark rules saying that you can't take a picture of them. Intellectual Property Wiki, with Getty Images

If you want to see a good example of the rules and requirements for taking pictures at a museum site take a look at the Photography at Mystic Seaport page on their website. Mystic Seaport is a recreation of a 19th century ship building community and museum.

A good phrase to search on is "Photography Usage and Permissions for XYZ" on their website or on Google.

Stock image from Pixabay.com 15968

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creating a New Photo Book and a How to Make a Picture Book Course

Started a new project today of creating a photo book around my local community. I walked all over the town taking pictures of boats, old buildings, the bridge, waterfronts, stores and streets. Beautiful weather and a great day. Being very conscience of not taking pictures of people directly or kids or anything that might have copyright or trademarks tied to it. Keep the pictures general.

In my product planning cycle I have plans to develop courses on How to Make and Sell Picture Books and thought, why not use this project as the example for building the cocurse. So here we go, the beginning of How to Make and Sell Picture Books the course. What I thought I would do is document the process here and on my Facebook publishing groups.



For the photography I am using my iPad, perfect for this project. Easy to carry and use. I am trying to keep it easy and non-complicated. This isn't a fine art project, it is a project to make a book and use it to create the course around.


As things happen a question came up in my How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group about picture rights of people, stores, etc that would end up in the book

QUESTION: Great idea Bruce! Do you need to get permission from the stores, people, etc to put their pictures in your book?

MY ANSWER:
Great question Keith
It is going to be very general and I try to stay very general. I never photo any specific person or especially any children from the front. It is always the backs or they are in the distance. You could never get rights for all these people anyways. I wouldn't highlight any one particular new building but make sure it is always general. New buildings have copyright issues but groups of buildings don't. So no modern buildings built by an identifiable architect featured on the cover that kind of thing. I use to run into this doing corporate brochures. Architects own the rights to buildings. So don't features it or get the approve image, or shoot something else.

But older buildings and houses and historical houses are fine. Skylines of buildings are fine. If you are featuring a person then yes you need the photo rights but just some people off in the distance is fine. I try to keep things general and I usually wait until people have walked past me to take the picture, I get their backs. With our social media crazy world people are being photographed all the time now. Watch out for featuring popular logos or brands, license plates, really identifiable things or anything that can hurt someone. If you feel funny about shoot something else. This is art more than anything.

What I like about most community stuff is that it is in the public. Public buildings, general skylines, parks, doors, trees all that kind of stuff. Keep the general stuff general, a street, a skyline, a waterfront. And the specific stuff very specific, a fence post, a antique light, a cool old fashion sign, things that give the neighborhood character but stay out of rights issues. You aren't reselling specific images of a famous building. It is a book on a town or city.

I did ask a guy if I could photograph his cool scooter/motorbike and talked to him for a while. Looking through my images I have churches, streets, general storefronts and some windows, boats, anchors (I am in a seaport), old houses, docks, more old churches, the old bridge and lots of metal stuff, marinas. So I think fine.

I am sure there is a line here but I am trying to fall in the art/photography world. But there are so many subjects where you just slide the camera to the left or right and avoid the stuff that might have an issue. I am also operating under the ask forgiveness instead of permission. I know enough about rights to know what not to shoot and if it feels funny, just don't do it. If you were going to make a real community book that you sell everywhere in the community then I might go ask each store owner if they are ok with being in the book. That could be a cool community project. But stay away from any big chains like CVS or Subway or Disney

Excellent question

Another member weighed in from my How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group taking pictures of public buildings and how some of them are sometimes off limits especially if you are reselling the images as stock images. Which I am not.

She shared an article on DYIPhotography.net which you can read more about here
10 FAMOUS LANDMARKS YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO PHOTOGRAPH FOR COMMERCIAL USE

If you are interested in learning more about the course you can check out my Publishing Mastery Academy

Here are some of the other things protected with trademark rules saying that you can't take a picture of them. Intellectual Property Wiki, with Getty Images

Friday, October 27, 2017

TRAINING SESSION: Learn How to Make a Journal Book Using PowerPoint


PowerPoint is a powerful program with a lot of capabilities. Most of us it for creating presentations, but it can also be used as a graphic design page layout program. Like a poor man's InDesign. It is really quite amazing. In today's presentation I will be using it to create a Journal Notebook that we can sell on Amazon through CreateSpace.

This training covers creating your journal from beginning to end. Creating the page template, adding lines, art and finishing the print ready PDF. We then move to creating the cover spread, which includes the back, spine and front plus bleeds.

Click here to watch the PowerPoint training: How to Make a Journal Book Using PowerPoint

For the training session I developed a full 6" x 9" x 120 page PowerPoint template that you can use to build your own journal note book. Both the 120 page inside and the full cover spread are included in as part of the Easy Journal Books course.

This training is part of the Easy Journal Book online course that I also offer in my Publishing Mastery Academy. Along with the PowerPoint training is included the InDesign training and the page and cover templates.

Click here to watch the InDesign training: How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign

120 Page PowerPoint Journal Template, Included in Easy Journal Book Course
Cover Template for a 120 Page PowerPoint Journal Book. Included in Easy Journal Book Course


Both the 120 page book and cover templates are included in the Easy Journal Book Course.




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Learn to Create, Publish, Market and Sell Your Book with Publshing Mastery 101 Membership Site

 Publishing Mastery 101 membership site launches today!!


I am announcing today the launch of my new Publishing Mastery 101 membership site for creating, designing, marketing, selling and re-purposing your book. I am bringing together all of my trainings, courses, and experience in one central place. This member site will support what we are doing here and in the How to Publish Your Book FB site but gives me more abilities to tie it all together and go deeper. Hope you check it out and will come over and join. You will see lots more about it and what I have planned as we move forward. Thank you everyone for all the great support, questions and all your books. We have great group here.

We will conduct training, classes, building books and answering your book publishing questions.

Benefits:
• Monthly Q & A Book Publishing Calls
• Free Access to all Publishing Mastery Academy Courses
• Design, Publishing, Marketing and Selling Training Sessions
• Publishing Mastery 101 Facebook Group, Community

 Courses Included:
• Easy Journal Books
• How to Market Your Book
• How to Publish your Book in 7 Steps
• Easy Kindle Books
• How to Make Children's Picture Books for Kindle
• How to Make an Author/Book Blog

Click here to visit Publishing Mastery 101, https://bruce-the-book-guy.usefedora.com/p/publishingmastery101

Friday, October 20, 2017

TRAINING SESSION, Learn How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign,

I will be live today in the How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group teaching how to make a Journal Book using InDesign. The training session is today at 3:00pm EST October 20, 2017. Come over and join the group and check out the session. Journal Books are fun and easy to make


To know more about the full training course check out EasyJournalBooks.com

You can check out the training session video by Clicking Here, How to Make a Journal Book Using InDesign

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How to Layout Out a 2 Page Photo Spread in PowerPoint and Adobe Indesign



Training Video on How to Layout Out a 2 Page Photo Spread in PowerPoint and Adobe Indesign. J. Bruce Jones takes you through the steps to properly layout a photo that goes across two pages in your book. The training covers laying out the page in PowerPoint, setting up the page and creating margins, and how to crop and place your photo correctly so that it will go across two pages. We then go into Adobe InDesign and repeat the training.

 J. Bruce Jones "Bruce The Book Guy," author of over 40 books teaches self-publishers how to design, layout, publish, market and sell their book. If you want to know more please visit the Courses page here on the website.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Making and Selling Products Quickly for Your Website on the Monetize U Show, Interview with J. Bruce Jones



What a fun afternoon on Tuesday with Gail Turner Brown and RL Chance and the Monetize U Show. They interviewed me on making and selling products for your website in 15 minutes. We had a great conversation on all aspects of making a quick pdf product and selling it on your website. How to create the content. The tools you need. How to format it the document. Where to host if on the web and how to price it. Gail and Chance are real take action kind of people. We ended up have a fantastic after show conversation that went on for over an hour.

You can check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/monetizeu/
and on-line at TheMonetizeUShow.com

Here is the show




Check out the course.
If you want to know more about building products quickly for your website I have put together a short course called Make and Sell a Product for Your Website in 15 Minutes, click this link to learn more.

Included in the Course:
Quick Version Video of how to Make a product and Sell it on Gumroad.com and your website, plus a companion book.

5 Part Video Training Series on making and selling a product, we dive into more detail. Hosted by Diane K. Bell, Bruce Jones walks you through the essential steps from coming up with an idea for a product, building it and then selling your new creation on your website. Includes:
1. Product Idea
2. Creating the Product
3. Hosting Your Product
4. Marketing Your Product
5. Selling Your Product

Includes a Bonus Video Case Study on how to create a quick pdf product and a video version of what you just created. For the product I create a quick guide on how to launch a book to an Amazon Bestseller.

Bonus PDF, Write a Book_Top Ten Tips Book Technique, included in the course. This book tells you how to quickly create a book from what you already know in ten steps.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Make and Sell a Product for Your Website in 15 Minutes and the PrintfulChallenge

I have been participating in the PrintfulChallenge from Printful.com. This challenge is about 30 different ways to market your products and grow your store. They are wrapping it around their tshirts, hats and mugs but really it can be applied to any product or presence online. I am taking part in it and showing my progress in my How to Publish Your Book Facebook group. Be sure to come over and check it out.

Check it out the Printful Challenge here, Grow Your Store with Printful's eCommerce Challenge




Day 3 in the [PrintfulChallenge] is Product Description. The task to review and rewrite the description of one of your products. I took it as a opportunity to update a product that I put together a while back on How to Make and Sell a Product for Your Website in 15 Minutes. On Tuesday, September 12th, I will be a guest on the Monetize Show with Gail Turner Brown and RL Chance talking about product creation. I love having a deadline to get things done. Below is my new text. I will share the link for the show as soon as I have it. You can check out the updated product.



Welcome to the How to Make and Sell a Product for Your Website in 15 Minutes, a mini course on how to make a simple digital product based on what is already sitting in your computer and sell it on your website. There are so many ways now to create and sell products on-line that there is no reason to not get started. This course is about getting that thrill of making your first dollar. Once you know how you can make lots more.

Included in the Course:
Quick Version of how to Make a product and Sell it on Gumroad.com and your website

5 Part Video Series on making and selling a product, we dive into more detail. Hosted by Diane Belle, Bruce Jones walks you through the essential steps from coming up with an idea for a product, building it and then selling your new creation on your website.

Includes a Bonus Video on how to create a quick pdf product and a video version of what you just created. For the product I create a quick guide on how to launch a book to an Amazon Bestseller.
Bruce Jones is the creator of over 50 on-line products from a very successful clip-art map collection, over 40 books, pdf collections, posters, on-line courses, t-shirt, mugs and many more. Bruce has been creating products for over 25 years.

Bruce Jones is the creator of over 50 on-line products from a very successful clip-art map collection, over 40 books, pdf collections, posters, on-line courses, t-shirt, mugs and many more. Bruce has been creating products for over 25 years.

Buy Make and Sell Products