1stNews from 1stBooks, February 20, 2002

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* Editor's Message
* Article: 10 Ways to Increase Your 2002 Book Sales
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Dan Baldyga
* Article: Learning To Write
* 1stBooks News
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information



Welcome to the first issue of 1stNews from 1stBooks--the
newsletter that helps you build skills in writing,
publishing, and book marketing. You're probably receiving
this because you corresponded with 1st Books Library about
a publishing project--or because you specifically requested
a subscription. If you'd rather not get this informative
newsletter, you'll find easy unsubscribe instructions at
the bottom.

Of course, we hope you stay with us! We'll be featuring
brief, useful articles by some of the smartest people in
the publishing industry--some you've probably heard of,
like Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing
Manual...Mary Westheimer, CEO of Bookzone.com...Jim Cox,
Editor-In-Chief of Midwest Book Review--and others whose
names will be new to you, but whose insights and writing
skills make them worthy companions for a few minutes of
your time. You'll also find profiles of ordinary people who
are succeeding as published authors.

If you have a comment to make, or an article to submit,
you'll find a contact address at the bottom. And now, relax
and enjoy.


By Patricia L. Fry, PLFry&aol.com

The success of your book depends on your willingness to
promote it. Following are ten ideas that will surely get
the customers' attention.

1. Market By the Season.
You probably intensify your promotional efforts during the
Christmas/Hanukah holidays. But do you give any thought to
the other seasons? Push gardening and travel books for
summer reading and novels during winter when people like to
curl up with a good book. I market my Hawaiian luau book
for Father's Day in June and my grandparenting book for
Grandparent's Day in September. For more seasonal marketing
ideas go to: http://www.dailyglobe.com/day2day.html

2. Email Press Releases to Newspaper Column Editors.
Find newspapers listed online at
http://www.zuzu.com/helpful/news-add.htm or
http://www.newspapers.com. Locate the appropriate editors
for your category: cooking and foods, outdoor living,
fitness and health, the arts, family or spiritual, for
example. Write a brief press release about your book and
include your phone number and e-mail so they can contact
you for an interview.

3. Make News.
Go out and do something newsworthy. If your book is on dog
training, offer to teach volunteers at a local animal
shelter to work with the dogs that are waiting for
adoption. If your novel features the homeless community,
spearhead a program for the homeless. And be sure to tell
the press about it.

4. Target the Right Audience.
This sounds elementary, but sometimes the best laid
plans... I planned to market my book, Write On! Journal-
keeping for Teens, through public schools and youth
organizations. I discovered after publication, however,
that it's too spiritually oriented for mainstream
educational and youth organizations. My new audiences to
focus on for that book are Christian schools and church
youth leaders.

5. Publish an Online Newsletter.
If you have several books in the same genre, a business or
advocacy group relating to your book, and/or an endless
supply of information on the topic, consider publishing an
online newsletter. Most online newsletters are free and
many of them have subscribers numbering into the thousands.
Karen Stevens advertises her book, All For Animals, in her
monthly newsletter, which is designed to educate and inform
readers on cruelty-free living for animals. Azriela Jaffe
is the author of several books. She writes two free monthly
email newsletters: one for entrepreneurial couples and the
other on creating your own luck. Of course, she mentions
her books in each of her very informative and entertaining

6. Create a Line of Books.
Producing a series of books gives you more credibility in
your field. And it's easier to market several books on the
same topic. Instead of writing another full-blown book,
offer customers additional or related material in the form
of pamphlets. Publish a small collection of poetry or short
stories to accompany your book on writing. Produce booklets
featuring various types of crafts and activities for kids
to enhance a book on parenting.

7. Talk About Your Book Everywhere You Go.
I've sold books at the baseball field, in line at the
grocery store, at my class reunion, while waiting at the
doctor's office, and even in church. It's not necessary to
make a pest of yourself. Just be prepared to talk about
your book should the opportunity arise. Just this morning,
while at my hairdresser's, I asked if anyone needed
autographed copies of my local history book for Christmas
gifts this year. I sold four. Contact
http://www.toastmasters.org to sharpen your communication

8. Give Incentives to Buy.
Offer a free chapter or two on your website or nicely bound
as a handout. Give away advertising bookmarks. Package your
book with an interactive CD or some other item. I've
thought about packaging my Hawaiian luau book with a lei-
making kit or uli-ulis (feather gourds). I could include a
journal and a pen with my journaling book.

9. Give Seminars, Workshops and Demonstrations.
Teddy Colbert, the author of The Living Wreath, often
demonstrates how to make wreaths from live plants. Debbie
Puente is the author of Elegantly Easy Creme Brulee and
Other Custard Desserts; she frequently gives dessert
demonstrations. Do these authors sell books through these
events? Absolutely.

10. Ask For the Sale.
Raven West is the author of two novels, Red Wine for
Breakfast and First Class Male. When I heard her speak
recently, she told the audience that she sells more books
when she asks for the sale than when she just sits back and
waits for it. Be bold. Say, "Please buy my book." Or "How
many copies would you like?" You might be surprised at the
Patricia Fry is the author of 11 books including Over 75
Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book and A Writer's Guide to
Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit.



"Over the past several decades, I've had books in print
which were produced by the so-called "traditional"
publishers. In every instance, decisions regarding various
crucial aspects of my books' creation and/or presentation
were executed without my even being asked for an opinion.
Not so with 1stBooks Library! They allowed me to
participate in each phase of my book's development and I've
been euphoric with our arrangement-every step of the way.

"Right from the very beginning of our association, the
people of 1stBooks Library were extraordinary. As my book
worked its way through their production system, I was
thrilled with the reception and respect each competent and
highly responsible individual afforded me. I know, as a
result of my personal experience with "traditional"
publishers, that this phenomenon of "working together" is
absolutely unheard of!

"The beneficial aspects of my association with 1stBooks
Library are too many to mention. Suffice it to say that I,
as an already accomplished author, have, through 1stBooks
Library, been able to glimpse the future of the publishing

Dan Baldyga, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Author, Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim: How
To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss,


Copyright by Charles D. Hayes, autpress&alaska.net

If you have always wanted to write, but have been
procrastinating for so long you think it's too late, you
might be encouraged to know that I was 44 years old before
I sat down to write my first book. Since then, I've learned
some interesting things about writing. First, once you've
written a book, you will be approached by all kinds of
people--total strangers and people you've known for years--
who will announce their own intentions to write a book
someday. The sad reality is, most of them will never write
a word. Sadder still: most of them are very capable of
writing a book--perhaps, many books--yet, for lack of know-
how, they will never try.

A former colleague used to insist at every opportunity that
he needed a panoramic setting on which to build a cabin--so
he could sit in front of a picture window and mystically
receive the inspiration to write. Nothing I said could
convince him that if you're going to write, you don't need
any windows.

This brings me to the second lesson: You need to have
something to say. And, if you're like most writers, to have
something to say, you need to read often. Lots of reading
can be an expensive investment, not because books are
expensive, but because reading them requires a lot of free
time. This is a problem each of us has to solve on our own.

I find it useful to think of the mind (at least the part
that's responsible for writing) as a cerebral sphere of
tectonic gray matter which is constantly reorganizing
itself, much as the mantle of our planet moves about.
Reading provides the energy necessary to get the plates of
surface material moving. The more you read, the more quakes
and aftershocks you will have. If I write six hours per day,
I'll also need to read at least two hours per day,
preferably four. The really strange thing is that my
reading doesn't even have to be on the subject of my
written work (although it helps). The critical factor is
that at some time I did read enough about the subject to
produce a lot of strong conviction. In fact, if I read
voraciously on a subject for a long stretch of time, say a
couple of weeks, without writing about it, I can be assured
of enough tectonic pressure building up that I begin to
feel I must write when that sense of urgency peaks, I can
then write for several days without looking at notes.

This is what I mean by having something to say. You work up
conviction by reading contrasting opinions about a subject
you are deeply interested in. Then your personal experience
works with your subconscious to build the pressure of
conviction. When the pressure is great enough, ideas will
flash onto the front page of your consciousness, even as
you are engaged in conversation about a completely
different subject, having a shower, taking a walk, or
cooking dinner. Most people who feel strongly that they
would like to write probably have the talent to do so.
Unfortunately, they're waiting for inspiration that will
never come unless they work at it, which literally means
getting worked up about it. It's comparable to getting mad.
Once you're angry, you will have little trouble speaking
your mind.

A useful way to look at the process of writing is to think
about how you go about other projects. Take painting a
house, for example. When you paint a house, you have to do
a lot of prep work: cleaning, sanding, taping, and
caulking. Why would you expect to start writing without
doing the prep work? The need for preparation applies
equally to fiction and non-fiction. If you've never lived
on a farm, you can't very well write about farm life
without doing some careful research.

One roadblock that often prevents people from beginning to
write is confusion about how much subject knowledge they
need. Writing about a subject is a great way to learn about
it. Prior knowledge is not nearly as important as
passionate interest. Nothing could be more boring than
reading the words of an author who had no interest in the
subject of her book. So, if you've always wanted to write,
don't keep putting it off. Choose a subject you care about
enough to want to learn more. Follow your interest and
create some cerebral stress.

[Editor's Note: The second part of this essay, "Writing to
learn," will appear in a future issue.]
Charles D. Hayes, a high school dropout and winner of a Ben
Franklin award for publishing excellence, is one of the
world's leading writers about self-education. His work has
been featured in USA Today, Library Journal, the UTNE
Reader, and many other media. His books, including the
award-winning "Beyond the American Dream," are available at


* Half A Million Books In Print!
1stBooks Library has now printed more than half a million
individual books--and 375,000 of those were during 2001!
Last year's production was more than twice the company's
output from its founding in 1997 through December, 2000. In
all, 1stBooks currently has almost 10,000 separate titles
by more than 8,000 authors.

* All 1stBooks Titles Now Available For UK Distribution
Great news for authors, readers, and bookstores in the UK
and other parts of Europe: Through an agreement with
LightningSource Ltd., any 1stBooks title is now available
for printing and distribution in Great Britain.

* Be part of the Publishing Revolution! Get your book
published quickly, inexpensively, ad professionally--and
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Since 1997, 1stBooks has helped thousands of authors become
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