Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year & A New ROMANCING THE SOUL Book Trailer!

To all my subscribers and readers, I'd like to wish every one of you the happiest new year! Although it's not officially 2007 for another hour, let's take the time to reflect on what we have accomplished in the past year. Did we meet our goals? Did we try to be the best we can be?

I hope every one of you found your dreams; and if not, let's work even harder at finding what we are looking for and becoming who we want to be in the upcoming year. But, no matter what kind of resolutions you have lined up, the main key is to be happy.

With that in mind, I wish you a Happy New Year and may all your dreams and writing aspirations come true!

Also, I'd like to show you a new video I made for a book that is very dear to me called ROMANCING THE SOUL. You can see the trailer at www.dorothythompson.net.

Pump Up Your Online Book Promotion Workshop - Coming in March!


Create Your Own

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dan Poynter - How To Write Your First Non-Fiction Book

Marketing guru and self-promoter Dan Poynter gives us the lowdown on self-publishing. Watch!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hook Us With Your First Page # 4

Hook Us With Your First Page is back!

This first page comes from Rachel Newstead, and is the first page of her WIP titled "Orphan Toons: Relics of Animation's Forgotten Past Non-Fiction."

So, what do you think?

Does she hook YOU with her first page?

Please leave comments in the comment box below.

CHAPTER ONE

I'm a member of a lost generation.

"Tweeners", I guess you could call us. Not quite baby boomer, not quite Xer, a curious mix of wonder and cynicism. Too young to remember Howdy Doody, but too old to truly appreciate the gripping plotline of a "Scooby-Doo" episode (which, all too often, was the same plotline).
More media-savvy than our parents had been, but not wired to the world like the generations that followed us.

We were, I suppose one could say, the most blessed--and cursed--generation ever born. We came into the world just in time to catch a glimpse of what our parents once loved, only to gaze in horror as it slowly faded away.

For us, "classic animation" did not begin with "The Smurfs" and end with "Beavis and Butt-head." We didn't know the word "anime"--Japanese animation to us meant Speed Racer. Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Bullwinkle and Underdog were our best friends. We'd laugh our heads off at Yogi Bear on weekday afternoons, then scratch our heads on Saturday morning as we watched some emasculated Yogi impersonator battling villians like Mr. Smog.

We were the first kids to be subjected to the stringent decrees of folks whose self-appointed mission was to drain every bit of violence (and therefore fun) out of every cartoon we saw. Yet we were the last to see the classic cartoons of the '30s, '40s and '50s in all their noisy, anarchistic, uncensored glory. They were faded, they had a reddish tinge (done, I later learned, in the fifties to make them more visible on black and white TV sets) and often had the opening titles cruelly amputated, but God, were they wonderful!

And if we caught them at the right time on the right station, we might see things that today would send more sensitive souls running for the smelling salts--slow-talking black characters with huge lips and goggle eyes, bucktoothed Orientals, even Daffy Duck whacking a cartoon
Hitler's head like a gong. The seedier and more low-wattage the station, the more likely these animated oddities would appear--in broad daylight, right past the ubquitous eyes of the moral watchdogs. Strangely enough, the earth didn't stop rotating and civilization didn't crumble. We saw those old images for what they were, products of a different time, and a special few of us--including me, in case you were wondering--found something worth watching in even the most blatantly insulting of them. However, that fleeting supernova of animated programing,, in which one could see animation's real past, with no apologies or disclaimers, quickly collapsed into a black hole filled by "Galaxy Goof-Ups." An ever-broadening list of cartoons now deemed "unacceptable" faced certain anihlation by those who would re-write our history. In an era in which "film preservation" is the catchphrase of the moment, cartoons like COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS, GOLDILOCKS AND THE JIVIN' BEARS, and BUGS BUNNY NIPS THE NIPS are still awaiting rediscovery and restoration. And they shouldn't be.

Why, you might ask, would I want to rescue such questionable artifacts of film history from oblivion? Interesting story, that. One that involves a couple of landmark books on animation, a blind toon geek, and most importantly, a skinny crippled kid with delusions of being a
cartoonist. But more on that later.

Back in the seventies, when dinosaurs roamed the earth (in rhinestone studded white disco pants, no less) there were something called "independent TV stations" which produced something even more remarkable called "local programming." This local programming, aired mostly in the afternoons and geared mainly toward kids, would often be hosted by some
adult in a silly outfit, sitting in the middle of an even sillier studio set. He'd do some mildly funny skit or other, then on would come a Bugs Bunny cartoon. (Or Felix the Cat, Heckle and Jeckle or whatever else they could dig out of the vault). I saw more than my share of such curiosities, for two reasons--first, I led the nomadic life of an Army brat (who could recite the call letters of TV stations in two dozen different cities) and was one of that rare few who got the first look
at something called "cable TV."

Sierra Vista, Arizona in 1973 didn't have much to brag about, being a little desert town whose only reason for existence was the nearby Fort Huachuca army post, which had been there since the days of Wyatt Earp. A routine shopping trip often required a drive to Tucson, seventy miles north. Isolated and surrounded by mountains, TV reception in that tiny community of 10,000 was next to impossible.. The mountains blocked any signal, so those who opted out of the local cable service had two choices--a gargantuan antenna the size of the Eiffel Tower, or snow.
Fortunately, when fate and the US Army dropped me and my family in Sierra Vista that year, my parents decided on cable. They didn't know it, but that one decision saved my childhood and sealed my future.

Having come from three years in Germany, where we had no TV--in English, anyway--I stared in pop-eyed amazement at stations in Phoenix, Tucson, and even Los Angeles. On all twelve channels on the dial, yet. From nothing, I found myself glutted by cartoons of all kinds, at
practically any hour--I felt at times like a bullimic in a donut shop. If I missed Bugs in Phoenix, I could catch him in L.A. an hour or so later--or vice versa. Before long, I had seen the same cartoons so many times I could identify when a cartoon was made--and by whom--just by listening to it. I began to scan the credits and even the copyright dates for scraps of data I might have missed. My education as a toon historian had begun.

Copyright 2006 Rachel Newstead

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Top Ten Things to Think About Before You Go With Print on Demand

Top Ten Things to Think About Before you Go With Print on Demand

by Judy Cullins

Is Print on Demand all you think it is?

You, like many other authors who don't want to go the long hard road with traditional publishing, and who like the low cost and seemingly easiest and best way to publish a book, Print on Demand Publishing looks good. They print one book at a time when it's ordered. But, think again.

After many years of authors coming to me saying they did not make money going with a POD, and my research noticing the poor payoffs from Print on Demand, as an author's advocate, I say, think again.

Top Ten Things to Think About Before you Go With Print on Demand

1. Notice how many other authors and books are listed on the POD web site.

Like a brick and mortar bookstore, your audience won't go to the Print on Demand site looking for your specific book. In fact, the people who go are other authors like you. They don't want to buy your book, they visit because they think this is a simple way to be on a web site where one can sell books. So who will buy?

2. Notice that when you do get listed you get only a few hundred words to describe reasons people should buy your book.

That's not enough to compel your visitor to buy your book. Without a doubt, the authors that make real money are the ones who put up an book web site. Talk about simple. You can create a three-page book sales letter site that when marketed, will bring only the prime prospects to it. The ones who are already your targeted market. These kind of sites cost less than $550. That's a low investment for a big pay off.

3. Print on Demand Publishing Means Printing

These companies aren't really publishers just because they take your book and create digital copies for you. They are printers.

If they are printers, then they are really charging too much. And, they have control of your book and can charge you 40-50% commission before you get copies of you book. If you go Print on Demand, it's much better to go with a POD printer such as Deharts.com where you maintain full control of the book. You or your fulfillment person takes delivery of the books and distributes as you need. Your coach advises to print only the number you can sell in three to four months. Now, you have more cash flow to spend on promotion, publicity, and marketing.

4. Research the POD company well.

Has it been in business for years and has a solid track record?
If they go out of business, your book goes out too. The list of Print on Demand sins is long. An example: One popular POD company may be cheap, but you cannot talk to a real person for customer service. Automatic or email service is no service. Recently, one really fine author researched 10 of them and was totally confused. I asked him what were the prices and service promised? Over $3000 for some. He wasn't sure what he got for that. Many companies charge little to publish, but require extra money for editing, proofs, art work, and marketing kits.
These marketing kits will not payoff for the author.

Beware of what you spend because like other publishers, POD people will not market your book well enough for you to make big money.. I advised this quality author to create a small web site or add a sales letter to his branding web site. Then, check out the internet and use free article writing and submitting to high-traffic web sites (advanced article marketing) to bring people to his web site.

5. Check the quality offered by the POD company.

If your cover is amateur, your book won't sell. Be sure to have a cover designer help you. If you didn't get feedback on all the parts that go into a quality book, don't expect the POD company to fix it. Be sure you include an order page, a testimonial page, a copywrite page. Get help from a book designer for this. Although it seems like a lot of steps, when you choose a pro to assist along the way, you will save thousands of dollars in mistakes as well as a lot of wasted time.

6. Open yourself up to learning more about internet marketing.

Did you know not everyone out there will want to distribute or sell your book? Bookstores don't like POD books because they are higher priced than traditionally published, mass-produced books and if they don't sell, can't be returned.

It's natural to fear something you don't know much about. Yet, the only way to take a so so success to outstanding is to market your book on the web. It's a learn by doing thing. You can take a teleclass, get a mentor, hire a coach, or just copycat other pros who are doing well.

After the traditional route not working, and the POD route with too little payoff, like me, you can find a new path that will work for your quality book.

Your coach was a newbie six years ago, and kicking and screaming, she bumbled her way to learn how to put up a quality web site that sells books. Mentored by pros and her computer/technical assistant, she learned a natural, organic way to market books. Writing and submitting articles. This article marketing has paid off, and today she still maintains thousands of daily visitors and book sales to match.

7. Think about problems that will come up with this technology.

Complaints from others reign huge. Problems with submitting your document--your system and the POD system aren't compatible. Problems with the rights of the book. Remember, this book will be with thousands of others listed on the site. That's not good odds yours will sell well there. Email service will make you tear your hair out sometimes. Get advice before you go this route from a reliable source before you jump.


8. Study the contract. Make sure you retain the rights. Check the length of the contract. Make sure you can get out of it if you need to. Many authors simply give up after a year from frustration, and let their book die.

9. Think about editing, proofing and what you will get for your money. Most POD companies do not edit. They merely print your book as is. These flaws when printed point to you as an amateur. If you do pay $100 or so to get 25 corrections, remember, you will probably pay a lot more after that because more corrections are needed. It's best to use a professional editor and even a book designer ahead so your book showcases its quality. You'll save money in the long run and raise your confidence you are on the right path.

10. Be sure you can sell this book before you spend time and money with Print on Demand.

Hind site is expensive. Most authors charge into the Light Brigade writing a book they want to write. Too bad, because they needed to make sure a ready audience needed and wanted the book first. When an author writes a book for a preferred audience, the book will be well organized, engage its readers each paragraph of each chapter, and will be well recommended by their 24/7 sales team--the ones who finish the book and love it.

Avoid disappointment and heartache of low book sales. Most authors want someone else to promote the book. They don't know which way to turn to get reliable but reasonable services and books to help them on their journey.

Before you leap, ask yourself,"What will I really do to market this book?" If you won't do anything, then keep your book as an eBook that doesn't cost to share.

Now that you know what to check before you choose Print on Demand, you'll be better armed to make the right choices.

Judy Cullins c.2007

===Web Bio/Signature File

Book and Internet Marketing Coach, Judy Cullins, can help you build credibility and clients, sell a lot of books, and make maximum profits. Author of 13 books including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast and The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic Get her free eBook "20 High Octane Book Writing and Marketing Tips" and two free monthly ezines at http://www.bookcoaching.com

===============
Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small businesses who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Judy is author of 11 eBooks including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast, Ten Non-Techie Ways to Market Your Book Online, The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Your Targeted Web Traffic, and Advanced Article Marketing - Nine Mistakes and How to Solve Them. She offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The BookCoach Says...," "Business Tip of the Month," at www.bookcoaching.com and over 226 free articles.
===============
Email her at judy@bookcoaching.com or
Phone: 619/466-0622 -- Info & Orders: 866/200-9743

Monday, December 04, 2006

Authors Chat Lounge 2 Tonight! - Correction # 2

Okay. I give up. The right url is:

http://museonlineconference.tripod.com/id13.html

Jeez Louise Sam.

They don't call me an over the hill boomer chick for nothing.

Authors Chat Lounge 2 Tonight! - Correction

Sorry, gang, had the url wrong. If you'd like to come to the chat tonight where I'll be discussing ways to make money online by publishing your own eBooks, click here. So sorry!

Authors Chat Lounge 2 Tonight!

Hi guys, just want to let you know that I'll be a guest at Lea Schizas' online conference chat room at the Authors Chat Lounge 2 tonight at 7 p.m. eastern time. Come on out and find out all about my new eBook, "A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook," and how you, too, can write, publish and promote your own eBook. To get into the chatroom, click here and sign in!

Friday, December 01, 2006

FREE CHRISTMAS EBOOK!!!

Hi everyone,

On behalf of my writing group and myself, I am pleased to announce the release of our holiday ebook, "Season's Greetings from The Writersville Gang"! This 70-page downloadable ebook is absolutely free with no strings attached. This is our way of showing gratitude to the writing community. To get your free e-copy, visit http://www.writersville.homestead.com/seasonsgreetings.html.

Happy holidays to all of you!