1stNews from 1stBooks, June 19, 2002
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "Creative Ways to Sell Your POD Book to Libraries"
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Joe Vitale, Amazon.com #1
* Article: "Fishing for Reader Interest: The Hook, Line, &
* 1stBooks News: Five 1stBooks Authors Place in Writers
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
In this issue's Success Story, you'll discover how Joe
Vitale became the first ever print-on-demand author to hit
#1 at Amazon.com. BIG WOW!
For marketing, this issue: a look at some effective and
useful tools POD authors can use to get noticed, one library
at a time. The writing article is a back-to-basics piece
aimed at beginners, but useful as a refresher course for any
Quick survey: For those who are already 1stBooks authors,
what did you do between the time you finished your
manuscript and the time you submitted it to 1stBooks? Were
you editing? Finding a traditional publisher? Saving money?
Let us know (by the way, it obviously doesn't have to be one
of these three reasons). Email your reason to
Two miscellaneous notes: (1) Last issue, we asked why you
published with 1stBooks. The overwhelming response was that
it was "an economical way to get published" followed closely
by "a fast way to get published." Thanks to those who
responded! (2) For July and August, we'll be on a summer
schedule--just one issue per month instead of the usual two,
while your happy editor tracks down travel stories in exotic
locales <big grin>.
CREATIVE WAYS TO SELL YOUR POD BOOK TO LIBRARIES
by Lenore Wright, mailto:LWright665&aol.com
Libraries buy millions of books each year. Why not yours?
WHY DO LIBRARIANS BUY A SPECIFIC BOOK?
1. Favorable reviews. Librarians find most new books through
a major book review publications like Library Journal,
Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly or the Journal of
Scholarly Publishing. Persistent authors can get legitimate
reviews. Even Web reviews can help.
2. Local appeal. Librarians want to please their patrons.
Demonstrate that your book appeals to a specific local
interest or highlights a local area, and you will command
their attention. If you set your novel in Boston, target
libraries in Massachusetts. If you've written a travel book,
contact libraries in resort areas.
3. Library patrons love local authors. Target libraries with
a personal connection to you. Start with your hometown
library or your college library. Volunteer at events for
local writers or alumni authors.
4. Libraries seek to be current. All librarians aim to keep
their circulation library updated. Demonstrate that your POD
book presents a new slant or fresh information, and your
book will be noticed.
5. Patron requests. Librarians like to purchase books that
their patrons want. Ask friends, relatives and school chums
to request your book from their local libraries. Remind them
to include the order information. Many libraries accept book
requests by email.
6. School reading lists. You don't have to be Mark Twain or
even Beverly Cleary to get your book recommended for a
school summer reading list. If your book appeals to
students, target appropriate schools, suggest your book for
their reading list and offer a sample copy.
HOW DO YOU CONTACT LIBRARIANS?
These two online directories provide excellent library
http://www.libdex.com (libraries worldwide)
directories by state)
Now, some budget-conscious ways to get noticed:
=> Use email
Email is an inexpensive way to contact librarians
personally. Don't send reviews as attachments. Instead, cut
and paste them into your email message.
=> Send color postcards
Mail out colorful postcards featuring the cover of your book
and a short synopsis or recommendation, and, of course, full
ordering info and your website URL. 1stBooks offers these
cards as part of its marketing services.
=> Send press packets
If your budget allows, send out press packets to the
libraries you want to target. Devise a cover letter that
emphasizes the qualities librarians consider when choosing
=> Send sample books
Though expensive, this option can be effective. Most
librarians can't resist opening a book once they're holding
it in their hands.
=> By phone
Some extroverted authors call librarians directly. One
librarian I interviewed received a call from an author who
was promoting his third novel. The author was a graduate of
the local high school, but he wrote under a pen name. If the
author hadn't made personal contact, the librarian would not
have realized the writer was a hometown boy.
As a result of his resourcefulness, the author not only sold
books to his hometown library but also to schools and
libraries throughout the area. He now makes regular
appearances at local literary events--an ideal way to
promote and sell books.
Once you have successfully placed your book in a few
libraries, use those sales as a stepping stone to pursue
others. Librarians are book lovers; offer them the
opportunity to fall in love with your book.
Lenore Wright has 15 years experience as a freelance writer
in Hollywood. For tutorials on selling your book or story to
the movies visit her website, http://www.breakingin.net or
SUBSCRIBE to her free newsletter SCRIPT MARKET NEWS by
sending an email to newsletter&breakingin.net
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: JOE VITALE, AMAZON.COM #1
On Tuesday, June 4, "Spiritual Marketing: A Proven 5-Step
Formula for Easily Creating Wealth from the Inside Out," by
Joe Vitale became the first-ever print-on-demand (POD) book
to land the #1 overall spot on Amazon.com.
Vitale, author of numerous books on marketing, used a clever
marketing trick to achieve his #1 ranking. He offered a
series of bonuses, worth about three hundred dollars all
together, to those who could prove they ordered his title on
*one particular day.* (Customers had to email him their
receipt from Amazon.com as proof.) His letter asked even
those who already owned the book to buy it again, to get the
bonuses and to help Joe out.
See what a bit of imagination combined with a few hours of
hard work can do! Congratulations, Joe, for making
Want to know more about Joe's book? Visit
Want to read the email that Joe wrote to get to #1? Visit
FISHING FOR READER INTEREST: THE HOOK, LINE, & SINKER
(c) 2002 By Jamie Karklin, mailto:jlswriteco&hotmail.com
Writing is designed to communicate; the purpose is to convey
information, a story, thought and/or emotion. Still, you do
not want your reader to read merely for information. You
should work hard to cause your reader to *experience,*
rather than simply acquire knowledge.
After years of writing and editing, I realized that a
successful writing piece contains three crucial elements:
The Hook, Line, & Sinker.
The Hook: The Hook immediately pulls the reader into your
writing. You want the reader eager to find out what's next.
Hooks are all about advertising. But, in writing, you need
more than a flashy cover or catchy title. Advertisers know
that you have only a few seconds to get a person's
attention. Therefore, The Hook must be placed within the
first paragraph, best within the first few sentences.
Here are three great ways to create The Hook:
1. Ask a question. This automatically causes the reader to
ask, "what's next"?
2. Start off with action. This provides a visual and compels
your reader to find out where the action will lead and how
will it end.
3. Make strong statements to indicate that an explanation
will follow and/or the reader will gain knowledge. These
statements pose a question with an answer.
A writer's first mistake is to expect the reader to
naturally be interested in his or her writing. Often, the
reader must read the entire piece before understanding the
message--so, to maintain interest, you need indicate why the
material is worth the effort. Especially in the beginning,
too much detail or irrelevant information cause the reader
to feel like he or she is digging with no end in sight!
Instead of eagerly asking what happens next, the reader will
wonder if finding out is worth the effort.
The Line: The line continually holds the reader's attention.
You must maintain a degree of suspense. A well-written Line
keeps the reader feeling pulled by an invisible force. Give
just enough information so the reader knows he or she is
getting somewhere. But, don't give too much or too soon. The
Line should be tight and continue to hook the reader.
Generally, in each part (paragraph, chapter, etc.) try to
expand on the idea expressed in your Hook.
Many writers feel the beginning and end are most important.
But, remember, the middle is the bulk of your writing. This
is where you will explain the who, what, where, why, when
and how. It serves a greater purpose than to get the reader
from Point A: The Beginning to Point B: The End. The Line
consists of Points B, C, D, and so on.
The Sinker: The Sinker is most important because it leaves
the reader feeling either fulfilled or disappointed. If you
blow it, there is no later opportunity to redeem your
writing. You met the challenge and have pulled your reader
up to this point--a terrific accomplishment! You worked
hard; now, go out with a BANG! You want to leave a great
impression and make an impact.
The Sinker usually resides at the end. It's also "The Point,
" the meaning behind your writing. It is more than a
conclusion or solution (since most stories are about a
character's struggle to solve a problem). The Sinker imparts
profound understanding and/or knowledge--it is a revelation.
Believe it or not, your writing has the potential to change
people--to become a part of them: something they will
remember, which will affect them the rest of their life. You
can help them see or understand something they never could
or never even knew before. It is this powerful ability that
makes writing an art.
It's an awesome responsibility, and, when you succeed, it's
a treasured moment. Good luck!
Jamie Karklin is the owner of JLS Write Company, dedicated
to assisting people in achieving the dream of becoming a
published writer. She says, "Patience, persistence, and a
positive attitude are all it really takes to make it!"
1STBOOKS NEWS: FIVE 1STBOOKS AUTHORS PLACE IN WRITERS DIGEST
Competing against over 1900 books, five 1stBooks authors
took home Honorable Mention in this prestigious and long-
established self-publishing contest:
Children's Honorable Mentions
M. Rachel Plummer, "The Painting in the Attic"
Charmaine L. Ciardi and Juliet C. Raines, "Some Things Never
Mainstream Fiction Honorable Mention
Jesse Giacomo, "Nono Silences"
Genre Fiction Honorable Mentions
Eric B. Olsen, "Proximal To Murder"
C. D. Webb, "Jake and Jasmine"
Congratulations to the winners and to all 1stBooks authors
who entered. We're proud of all of you!
ABOUT 1STBOOKS LIBRARY
Since 1997, 1stBooks has helped thousands of authors become
published. We offer you complete control over every aspect
of the publishing process, and work with you to produce your
book in the formats right for you: paperback, hardcover,
and/or electronic (eBook). Because we use print- on-demand
(POD) technology, we produce books as they are needed. This
means neither you nor we has to invest lots of cash in
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