1stNews from 1stBooks, September 4, 2002
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "10 Ways to Use the Internet to Support Your
Book, Part 1"
* 1stBooks Success Profiles: Leslee Breene Joins Celebrities
to Boost Literacy Programs
* Article: "Just Plain Folks" or "Best Selling Author?"
* 1stBooks News: Fran Capo Holds a Guinness Record
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
A few months back, I had an article about websites all set
to go, and at the last minute, there was an administrative
decision to pull it. The decision was made so late that we
didn't notice the Table of Contents hadn't been changed.
Many of you wrote to say "where is it?" that I knew I'd
better slot one in soon!
This month, we'll make it up to you with a much better
article about websites, which is in two parts. They're
authored by Roger C. Parker, who happens to be one of the
foremost experts on book design in the world. His "Looking
Good In Print" and "The Makeover Book" have been mainstays
on my bookshelf for fifteen years now.
I know that many of you already have your own websites, but
that lots of you haven't gotten around to setting one up.
Let me tell you that in most cases, it's probably the single
most important, most cost-effective sales tool you have for
your book. Of course, you have your page on the 1stBooks
site, but you also want your own domain and your own site.
There are dozens of reasons why. In fact, I currently own
and operate three websites of my own, and am planning to set
up a fourth.
The writing article is an inspirational piece by Lou Nitti,
pointing out that even superstar writers started as
unknowns. It dovetails very nicely with issue's Success
Finally, if any of you attend the Dan Poynter seminar in
Massachusetts, please come up to me and introduce yourself
as a 1stNews reader. I'll be the one introducing Dan.
"10 Ways to Use the Internet to Support Your Book"
by Roger C. Parker
A great deal of your book's success depends on your ability
to promote it yourself. Publishers are likely to be too busy
to be able to devote sufficient resources to your book's
Help is at hand. If you've written a book, you can easily
and inexpensively use email and your website to promote it.
Here are 10 proven ways you can successfully promote your
book on the Internet.
1. Create a separate website for your book
Books tend to get "lost" when grafted onto existing
websites. For best results, create a website specifically
intended to promote and support your book. This permits you
to focus all of the site's resources on promoting your book
and leveraging off of its success.
Choose a website address based on your book's title, rather
than your name. If you have done a good job of choosing your
title, your title will be easier to remember than your name.
You can easily cross-link your existing website to your
book's highly-focused website.
2. Distribute sample chapters
One of the best ways you can promote your book is by
allowing readers to download a table of contents plus one,
or more, sample chapters from your website. Sample chapters
"tease" readers into wanting more. To the extent that your
sample chapter communicates competence and easy reading
style, readers will be motivated to buy your book.
Remember that uncertainty is the biggest obstacle you must
overcome when making a sale to a stranger. In a bookstore,
prospective buyers can thumb through your book. Online,
readers can't thumb-through your book, so they must depend
on sample chapters. Use a desktop publishing software
program to format your sample chapters for easy reading. Use
Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files that will be sent to
readers as email attachments.
3. Build your website address into your book
When writing your book, include as many reasons as possible
for visitors to visit your website. Success requires more
than simply listing your website address in your biography
or on the last page of the book.
Give readers valid reasons to visit your website. Offer
downloadable versions of reader engagement tools like
checklists and worksheets. Promise updated content and new
information, such as ideas and topics that occurred to you
after you completed your book. If your book is in black and
white, but includes photographs or charts, post color
versions of the visuals on your website.
Don't view your website as a strictly promotional tool.
Instead, view it as a "service" or resource intended to help
readers make the most of your book.
4. Encourage reader comments and questions
Use your website to create an interactive relationship with
your readers. Solicit their comments and questions. Offer a
prize for the best question of the month and answer the
question on your website's home page. Respond to reader
email as quickly as possible. If their comments are
critical, create a dialog and try to understand the
criticism from your reader's point of view. You'll likely
gain new information and ideas that you would otherwise
5. Include testimonials and reader reviews
Whenever a reader writes a particularly favorable comment,
immediately ask them for permission to quote the comment and
either their name, or their initials and their city. Many
readers will welcome the opportunity to share their
enthusiasm for your book with others. Most people like
seeing their words and their names in print.
This is part 1 of a two-part series. The article continues
in the next issue. Roger C. Parker is the author of more
than 30 books that have generated more than $32,000,000 in
sales--and have been translated into 37 languages. You can
preview his new book, "How to Profit from the Author Inside
You" at http://www.roibot.com/paiy.cgi?R50335_campaign
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: LESLEE BREENE JOINS CELEBRITIES TO
BOOST LITERACY PROGRAMS
1stBooks author Leslee Breene joined Nora Roberts, Julie
Garwood, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz and
other superstars to raise $47,618 for literacy programs in a
2-1/2 hour event. The 12th annual Romance Writers of America
"Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing took place in
Denver on Wednesday, July 17, and attracted more than 300
participants. Good work, Leslee! We trust you sent out a
press release highlighting not only the fundraising
accomplishment but your status as a peer among these leading
Preview Breene's western historical romance novel,
*Foxfire*, at http://www.1stBooks.com/bookview/5827
If you'd like to participate in next year's program, write
to Charis Calhoon: mailto:ccalhoon&rwanational.org
ATTENTION 1STBOOKS AUTHORS IN/NEAR NEW ENGLAND
Dan Poynter, author of "The Self Publishing Manual" and one
of America's top experts on self-publishing, will give a
four-hour seminar for authors, self-publishers, and small
publishers in Marshfield, MA, Sunday, September 22.
Poynter's seminar, which he has given all over the country
and has NOT previously given in New England, provides
crucial advice for would-be publishers, in three separate
* How to turn your raw material into a book
* Printed and electronic book technologies, including
traditional printing, the revolutionary short-run/digital
(Print Quantity Needed/Print On Demand) that 1stBooks uses,
and eBook publishing--how these technologies make self-
publishing affordable to almost anyone
* Promotion and sales: making your book stand out in the
fiercely competitive world of publishing.
All participants will receive a detailed handout of
resources. Seating is limited. For registration or more
information, please visit http://www.ipneonline.com/poynter,
send an email to Mary Frakes,
mailto:mfrakes&att.net?subject=DanPoynter, or call 617-576-
2546. (DO NOT respond to the newsletter staff--we cannot
forward or answer replies to this notice.)
"Just Plain Folks" or "Best Selling Author?"
by Prof. Lou Nitti Jr., mailto:DctrLouis&aol.com
Many of you writers may have fantasies about becoming a
"best selling" author. Are these only pipe dreams? Not at
all! Read these stories of very ordinary folks whose dreams
became reality--because they wrote a book.
This fellow was just an average guy, an insurance salesman
with bad eyesight. He had never been in military service,
but he got interested in a Russian submarine commander, who
wanted to defect to the U.S. So TOM CLANCY wrote a novel
about it called "The Hunt for Red October." Many of you saw
the hit movie starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. He
took 10 years to write it. Now, Clancy writes bestsellers
all the time, including "Clear and Present Danger," which
was made into another film featuring Harrison Ford. His
dream came true!
OLIVIA GOLDSMITH was a top-level executive secretary working
for corporations. She understood how men rule the corporate
world and dump their first wives for thinner, prettier young
ones. She got some valuable stock options, traded them in
and took time to write "The First Wives Club." She not only
sold the book, but it was made into a hit movie starring
Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn. It sold well
over a million copies. Her fantasy became reality!
"This book is a failure," a small town Mississippi lawyer
thought when he finally got his book "A Time to Kill,"
published after many rejections. The first printing run was
10,000 and he himself bought 5,000. He kept some of them in
his trunk and many became wet and mildewed. Today, a copy of
JOHN GRISHAM'S first book fetches $5,000 as a collector's
item! He kept nagging his agent about movie rights until the
agent told him to shut up and write another book! He didn't
have time, but he wrote it anyway. This time the agent sold
"The Firm" directly to the movies. Tom Cruise starred in
this clever legal thriller, which has grossed over $350,000,
000 worldwide. Eventually, "A Time to Kill" was also made
into a film.
A retired Merchant Marine clerk was barely able to survive
on money he made from freelance writing. However, ALEX HALEY
had a dream to write the history of his people and trace his
"Roots" back to their beginnings in Africa. It was a
formidable journey, and often, he thought he would fail. His
novel became a TV mini-series that had the largest audience
of any television show ever. The book not only made Haley
rich, but one of the most admired authors of his time. Until
his death in 1992, he kept framed in his office two tins of
sardines and 18 cents in change. That was all he had left
when he got his big break.
No one can know exactly who will write that next bestseller.
It could be you, or me! It is all a matter of commitment,
persistence and trying to do the very best job of writing we
can. Is it worth it? The personal satisfaction, of course,
cannot be matched, and the boost to the ego feels good also,
but then again, getting a $4,000,000 advance on your book,
as some of these authors do, seems to sweeten the pot quite
Prof. Lou Nitti has a BA in English and MA in Psychology and
a Dr. of Divinity. He teaches Psychology at community
colleges and founded an Alternative Education center in
Fontana, CA, where he teaches the writing course:
1STBOOKS NEWS: FRAN CAPO, GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER
Meet 1stBooks author Fran Capo, of New York City. She holds
the Guinness World's Record as the World's Fastest Talking
Female (603.32 words per minute!). Her novel, "Almost a
Wise Guy," the story of a young man who can't decide which
of his brothers to emulate, the mobster or the cop, has been
getting some very prominent endorsements.
Based on her father's life, the book has been praised by Sal
Petraccione (George PiCosta on The Sopranos), Vincent M.
Gogliormella (Creator of the Broadway comedy hit, "Six
Goumbas and a Wannabe"), and Emmy-winning producer Heidi
Adam, among others.
Fran is also a successful stand-up comic, voiceover artist,
motivational speaker, freelance writer and mom. The New York
City native and five time author is also a constant
adventure-seeker who has bungee jumped, walked on hot coals,
and dived with sharks.
We're proud to welcome her to the 1stBooks family.
See Fran's book at http://www.1stBooks.com/bookview/10296
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