Consultant and Author D. K. Christi

A Bakers's Dozen Tips for Authors

So, your labor of love is complete and your final manuscript is in your hand. Look at the baker's dozen hints below to start you sailing along. These tips may make your initial adventure into publishing easier and more productive.  Follow up with a formal business plan and marketing plan.

Be sure that a professional editor has reviewed every single line of the manuscript for grammar and spelling errors. Are all proper names spelled correctly and consistently the same?  Read the book out loud to someone or to a tape recorder and catch your own errors.  Read it backwards!

If there is any resemblance to real life and the work is fiction, be certain all real people and events are sufficiently disguised to prevent litigation. If this is, in fact, a memoir, everything must be accurate. No fiction here (same concern about litigation).

Many of the most respected reviewers want your galley print three to four months BEFORE publication. Make copies of the final manuscript, preferably pdf (to prevent changes) to send for those galley previews. Keep a spreadsheet with dates, mailings and responses.

Go to a legitimate domain sales site and hosting service and purchase your domain. In the end, it will give you better recognition everywhere. Hire someone to build your initial site: It may cost from $100 to $300 for a basic site with minimum bells and whistles. If you wish, build your own www.freewebs.com site that is quite user friendly.  If you choose to join Authors Guild (takes a while) they have a great site builder and access to domains and web hosting at reasonable cost.  Beware - there are scammers in the air.

Some people choose to use a blog instead of a web site.  I recommend both. If you blog, though, make sure it's linked everywhere and contains info people want to read.  A pretty blog is a pretty blog.

Print business cards immediately upon manuscript completion with your book name and your contact information. Vista Print has promotions for 250 free cards for shipping cost (about $5), and they arrive quickly. There are many online and local printers.  You may print them yourself.

Prepare a marketing plan and media kit. Take a calendar and tentatively schedule events every month to give media exposure: book signings, press releases, book readings at libraries and schools, volunteer events, book clubs, guest talks at community organizations. Get out and get known!

Media Kit: Book cover and product information. Author bio. Reviews. News Release. Business card. Bookmarks. Sample chapter. Sample author interview. Book Synopsis. Other information to give news media and booksellers the desire to promote your book. Make hundreds of these kits to hand out to media, booksellers and others who may arrange book signings and book sales outlets.  B & W except for book cover and bio photo is fine.

Once you have a cover design: add it to business cards, bookmarks (about 20 cents per marker with local printing) and a large poster for book signing events. Make LOTS of bookmarks and throw them everywhere! (cheaper by the thousands) MSWord has a template to design your own bookmarks. Other templates are found free online.

Join writers' forums and message boards. Post a blog. Exchange links with other authors. Start gathering information that makes your site enticing for others to visit.  Join organizations related to your writing genre and get on their conference agendas, panels, etc.

Keep the media kit, books, bookmarks, business cards and handouts with you at all times.  Put cards and/or bookmarks in your payment envelopes when paying bills. Hand them to the clerk at the P.O., the waitress at the restaurant, the person sitting next to you at the airport. Never miss an opportunity to promote your book.

Memorize a synopsis to describe your book in five sentences or less. Have a quote for yourself by which you wish to be known. (Elevator speech)

Above all, have fun!

Vetting at Barnes & Noble Small Press Department, 122 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011 212-633-3300

 Follow the BN  instructions for in store placement found through their web site bn.com for easier book signings and shelf placement.

Retail Store Placement
If you would like your title to be considered for placement in Barnes & Noble stores, please submit a copy of the book (no manuscripts, please), along with marketing and promotion plans, trade reviews, and a note describing what makes the book unique, to:

The Small Press Department
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
122 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10011
Need More Help?
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page. For help with shipping books and other products to be sold in our stores and online, please review our Vendor Shipping Guidelines. If you still need to contact us, please email PublisherAuthorInquiry@BN.com or call our Publisher Services Information line at (732) 656-7285.

If you want more than local stores, your marketing plan needs to include a national plan or at least a regional one that convinces the buyers to purchase copies for each store in your marketing region.  Once their buyer orders copies for stores (usually 1 per store, maybe a few more) it's smooth sailing for book signings. A few stores may still have local policies. You just take your approval letter to the BN store where you wish to do a signing and they will order sufficient books. 

My experience after the signing was that the store then asked me to sign the remainders not sold,  put "signed by author" stickers on them and set them on a special table for a couple weeks following the signing - THEN THEY SENT THEM BACK TO THE DISTRIBUTOR AS RETURNS - SIGNED RETURNS WITH STICKERS ON THEM.  Some small presses charge the authors full wholesale for those returns that the printer may discard, so it pays to suggest how many books the store needs to order for the signing.  Give plenty of advance time for the order to arrive.  My experience is the BN stores continue to shelf and reorder a few books as long as they continue to sell them.  Once sales from the shelf stop, their shelf life is done (unlike major sellers and classics).  Reality:  most books are going to be sold online where Amazon discounts them and they are available as eBooks.  Trade paperbacks from small presses are too expensive from the shelf.

Note:  Take a supply of books with you ready to consign just in case the order is late.  I've had it arrive the day of the signing.

Good news.  The vetting process for B & N requires the same info needed to join many author organizations with a vetting requirement and the info needed by libraries to order books.  It's also a good process for the author.

Note:  If the book is not perfect, don't submit it for vetting.  It is the imperfect small press, vanity press and self-published books that make it difficult for authors with well-written, professional books to get theirs on the shelves and recognized for their worth.

 

           

Book Signings

 

Baker's Dozen Author Tips for Book Signings

  1. Schedule a series of book signings several weeks in advance.
  2. Make arrangements in person where possible, holding the book.
  3. Provide product page, reviews/news articles, book cover and bio in folder
  4. Connect with more than book stores
    1. Restaurants
    2. Pubs
    3. Libraries
    4. Flee markets
    5. Writers' Conferences
    6. Art Shows
    7. School related mall events
    8. Charity Events
  5. Contact news media in person and prepare flyers well in advance of the event.
  6. Give the host an incentive
    1. A 60/40 profit split
    2. Free, autographed book
    3. Publicity generated by author
  7. Bring the following to the event:
    1. A poster of the book cover
    2. A poster of the author, short bio, and one line reviews
    3. Bookmarks by the l00's
    4. Reviews laminated to pass around
    5. A fishbowl to collect business cards or fill out cards for a free book drawing
    6. A related give-away 

                                                               i.      I give bamboo cocktail parasols

                                                             ii.      Another author brings coloring books of the book characters

  1. Position book signing table where it is clearly visible
  2. Bring a formal guest book for customers to sign
  3. Price book for even dollars, including sales tax (back it out later)
  4. Be prepared with a standard autograph that can be written quickly
    1. The Best is Yet to Come
    2. Believe in Miracles
    3. You are the miracle
    4. Enjoy the adventure
    5. Take the journey to success
  5. Greet people and give everyone a bookmark; hand books out to preview. Only sit to sign books.
  6. Write a thank-you letter to the host site

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Thanks for visiting www.dkchristi.com -

Would you like a book trailer? The Ghost Orchid book trailer was produced by a friend of the environment and award-winning filmmaker, Darryl Saffer, info@studiorayproductions.com

Click here for more information

 

Don't miss the easy-listening review of Ghost Orchid by National Public Radio, a wonderful intro to the story itself.

Short stories cover the gamut of human emotion, often laced with life's most compelling emotion: love. You may find yourself in some of these stories and smile.

 

Find more photos like this on The Book Marketing Network

Killer Recipes is a special book of retitled favorites to recognize the "spooky season" and credit writers of mystery, murder and mayhem who collaborated on this book to provide the royalties to The American Cancer Society.

 

Check out the blog and respond to those that touch your interest. Feel free to register at the site for a little promotion of your own.

 

Words are my photographs and my paint, novels and short stories my canvas. Thank you for taking this journey with me. May all your journeys be filled with wonder and joy. D. K. Christi

 

Preview Ghost Orchid


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D. K. Christi as Consultant::

D. K . Christi is a professional, platform speaker who informs and entertains small to large groups as a keynote presentation or in workshops that are interactive and exciting adventures for all participants.

Author Related Topics:

From Inspiration to Publication - How to avoid the pits

My art; my business - How to approach writing as a business

Journals - The 365 day writing plan

Topics created to meet custom customer needs

Communications Related Topics:

Embracing Change - Better than the alternative

Negotiating with People You Don't Like

Finding Your Best Self

Creating a Winning Workplace

Crossover Topic: The Future is Here. Where are You?


 

Sex, Myths and Magic

The Rare and Endangered

Ghost Orchid

Presented by:

D. K. Christi, author, journalist and lecturer

 

D. K. Christi shares her obsession with the “Super Ghost” of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and why it’s a “matter of consequence.”

D. K. Christi lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Her stories and novels capture the multi-cultural experiences and the beauty, fear and excitement of foreign lands. Three years of blue water sailing in the Caribbean add tropical spice. A polished and professional platform speaker who includes the audience.

 

Christi spent her U.S. years in Michigan, California and Florida with stops in Idaho and Washington, D.C. Today she contributes feature articles to the Bonita Springs Southwest Spotlight, and is available for freelance writing, editing and grant proposals between novels. Favorite local haunts are Bonita Beach, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Koreshan State Park, and all outdoor places to kayak and ride her bicycle.