1stNews from 1stBooks, April 3, 2002
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "Easy, Free, and Cheap Ways to Promote Your
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Kathy Austin Has a Joyous
Experience with Her First Published Book
* Article: "Catching the Elusive Muse"
* 1stBooks News: 10,000 titles and Growing
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
Welcome to our fourth issue. If you're one of our new
subscribers, you'll find back issues at
We accidentally left out the authors' email addresses in
the last issue. Lenore Wright, who wrote "Boost Book Sales
With Do-It-Yourself Syndication," can be reached at
mailto:lwright665&aol.com; Jim Donovan, who told how to
write a book a page at a time, is at
This issue's feature article is from none other than Dan
"Mr. Self-Publishing" Poynter. If you don't own his "Self-
Publishing Manual," your competition probably does. You can
purchase it at http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/1827
EASY, FREE, AND CHEAP WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK
By Dan Poynter, mailto:DanPoynter&ParaPublishing.com;
Promoting books is easy and fun. There are numerous places
to sell your books and many ways to promote them. This
article only scratches the surface, but all of the ideas
are easy, free, and cheap.
Who will buy your book?
The secret to sales success is to write for an identifiable
and locatable reader. Make a list of the groups or types of
people who need and should want your book.
Everyone should read your book? Yeah, right! I write books
on skydiving. For me, writing books is not just a profit
center, it is a passion center. I want everyone to jump out
of airplanes and I want them to enjoy themselves. But I am
realistic--everyone is not interested in skydiving. Who is
interested in your book?
For example, Marilyn Grams, MD, told new mothers how to
breast-feed and return to work. She wanted to sell her book
to every new mother. But there are lots of breastfeeding
books! When we discovered that over 55% of the women who
give birth return to work within one year, we suggested she
title her book "Breastfeeding for Working Mothers." If new
mothers see eight books on breastfeeding on a bookstore
shelf, and one is specifically for working mothers, guess
which one 55% will identify with and buy? The other seven
generalized books share the remaining 45% of the customers.
Don't aim for the whole pie--you won't get it. Target 100%
of a large slice!
How will you promote your book?
* Book reviews and news releases. For lists of appropriate
media, visit the reference desk of a large public library
and ask to see the periodical directories. For most
nonfiction books, there are more than 500 appropriate
review outlets! First, send your book and media kit.
Follow the review copies with news releases every 30 days
to the very same magazines, newsletters and newspapers. Why
every 30 days? Because most periodicals are monthlies--and
you want to appear in as many as possible. Let these
opinion-molding editors know what you are doing and why
your book has the information their readers need.
* Radio/TV interviews. Everyday, more than 10,200 guests
appear on some 4,250 local news, interview and talk shows
across the U.S. About 95 percent of the guests are not
Radio and television talk shows need interesting guests to
attract listeners and viewers. Most people feel that
authors are experts and celebrities, so most of the guests
booked on these shows are authors. Your book is actually
your entree to the airwaves. Interviews are more effective
than advertising and they are free. They can be an
inexpensive way to sell books.
* Autograph parties or book signings are a form of product
promotion not open to producers of other goods or services.
But you should never do just an "autographing." Instead,
offer a mini seminar. An autograph party says "Come and
appreciate me and buy a book." A seminar says "Come and you
will receive a benefit (information)." Always think of the
benefit to the potential customers. How can you lure them
out of the house and into the store? Provide a content-
filled, entertaining event.
These mini seminars often lead to more seminars or even a
series of them for other groups at other locations. So
autographings sell books and are an investment in future
Once your book is published, you will be invited to speak
to groups. Do not accept invitations to speak or host a
class until your book is available. Ideally, you will be
paid to speak--and you must insist ahead of time that you
be able to sell your book in the back of the room (BOR).
Dan Poynter, author of 114 books including "The Self-
Publishing Manual," offers hundreds of resources on book
marketing and publishing at http://www.parapub.com
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: KATHY AUSTIN
"I recently sent a manuscript of my poetry to 1stBooks
Library for publication. Before choosing 1stBooks, I had
researched many publishing companies, and was overwhelmed
by the number of them, and how complicated it seemed to be,
for me to make a life long dream come true. After sending
out numerous letters of inquiry, and sorting through the
replies, I felt that I should investigate 1stBooks Library
further. So, I wrote yet another letter, and it was then
that I met Dan Heise.
"Dan was very timely in replying to my mail, and has
willingly and honestly answered every question that I could
possibly have. Not being very computer savvy, I needed to
enlist the help of my daughter-in-law to place my work on
diskettes. I put Dan in touch with my daughter-in-law, and
they teamed up to help me finish my book of poetry! How
many publishing companies would go that far for you?
Especially, since I am a complete unknown. I have no
'bestsellers' in my court, (not yet anyway).
"I also wish to thank 1stBooks for publishing this
wonderful newsletter! I have just begun receiving it, and
what a help it has been to me to read articles such as:
'Three Simple Steps To Writing Your Book,' by Jim Donovan!
It has always been a dream of mine to write a chapter book,
but I am a poet, and this to me, is just the easiest way
for me to publish. After reading the above article, in
1stNews from 1stBooks, I have begun my book! I am using
what Mr. Donovan has shared, and I know that within a year,
I will once again be knocking at Dan's door, with
manuscript in hand.
"Thank you one and all, for your wonderful company, your
excellent staff, and your love of helping 'us little guys.'
It means the world to me. I would recommend 1stBooks, to
anyone, anywhere, anytime! As a matter of fact, I have
already, three times this week. Keep up the fantastic work!
"Sincerely, Kathy Austin."
If you're currently a 1stBooks author and have a success
story of your own, please email it to us at
the subject "success story."
Do you know how to make $60,000 writing?
Peter Bowerman does, and his new book reveals not only how
to do it, but how to do it fast. Using his methods, you'll
be a "Well-Fed Writer" in six months or less.
Visit http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/7899 to buy this
Writers Digest's Book-of-the-Month selection.
CATCHING THE ELUSIVE MUSE
By Ken Celestine Obi, mailto:kencel72&excite.com;
Are you a writer? Or intending to be one? Then you should
be interested in writing ideas--and catching any that come
The commencement of every writing endeavor is the product
of an idea (either yours or someone else's). Something must
first come into your mind from inspiration, making you want
to write. Just about anything could be your source of
inspiration. Speaking personally, some of my works have
been inspired by trees, bushes, my radio, the atmosphere,
just to mention a few--and the inspirations arise just
about anywhere. Can you believe that the inspiration for my
first play came during a heated argument with a friend?
When such ideas come up, you will be doing yourself and
humanity a whole lot of good by putting them down. It
doesn't have to be on paper or on a computer. Put your
ideas down on anything available at the time they come up.
Get them down (on paper, on a computer, on a cassette tape)
no matter how crazy and unrealistic they seem at first.
Then settle down later to review them. Have you ever
experienced a pain that comes with the loss of a valuable
idea, as I did in 1998? That was during my final year at
the University of Nigeria. I had finished taking my lunch
and was alone in my room, relaxing on my bed, thinking
about what to do to next. I am not very gregarious;
otherwise, I might have chosen to visit friends in the next
Then the idea came. I can only remember that it was for an
African play, with a theme on discouraging the practice of
female genital mutilation. I had the plot immediately.
I decided that I should first take a nap and then write
down my idea before going back to my school assignment on
plant pathology. Nothing in this whole wide world would
have made me believe that after taking the nap, I would not
remember my play idea! Maybe it was an idea that could
shape the world in a most positive way, for an idea is
power. The loss of that idea is excruciatingly painful!
I recall vividly times I had to hastily borrow a pen from a
fellow commuter on a bus to put down ideas for my plays.
Asking for a pen is bad of me anyway, because as a writer,
I should always be armed with a pen, no matter where I am.
Do you know that, at times, the idea you write down may not
be of immediate use to you? Then what do you do at that
time? An idea you keep today may be a springboard for a
book you will write in ten years time. Keep on keeping it.
Don't discard it. Keep looking through it. Your success as
a writer could very well depend on it.
Ken Celestine Obi is a Nigerian born in Lagos-Nigeria and
currently resides there. He holds a bachelor's degree in
Crop Science of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He has
written over fifteen books covering all genres of
* 10,000 Individual Titles Now Available Through 1stBooks
In the first four years of 1stBooks' existence we created
books from some 5,000 manuscripts. And in the last year,
another 5,000 manuscripts have been submitted! So now, in
total, more than 10,000 manuscripts have been submitted for
5,000 titles in one year means that we are publishing more
different books than almost every publishing house in the
world. The majority of publishers do no more than a few
hundred per year.
We'd like to thank you, the authors, and book buyers that
made this remarkable achievement possible.
ABOUT 1STBOOKS LIBRARY
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