The Importance of Editors

Believe it or not, the editor is the author’s best friend. They are invested in making your book the best possible version of itself, and you the best possible author you can be. So, while we don’t officially require a work to be edited before running a PR campaign for it, hiring an editor is HIGHLY recommended for the betterment of your campaign. Many reviewers will flat out refuse to read a book that hasn’t been professionally edited, and we can’t really blame them. A raw manuscript can be riddled with unseen typos that knock the reader out the world you’ve built. And that can ruin the entire experience!
Before hiring an editor, however, make sure you do your research and find one that will best suit your book and its needs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about editors out there.
This article from the Huffington Post reveals 7 myths about editors that authors should most definitely remember are just that, myths.
Now, we highly recommend reading the full article, but here are some of the tips we found the most important to remember.
1. Editors are NOT out to get you, defame your book, or humiliate you.
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If you and your book do well, it looks good for your editor and their own credibility, so there is no reason that they would actively seek to put that in jeopardy. Try to keep that in mind when receiving criticism. These are merely suggestions from a trained eye who is not as attached to the book as you are (and that’s a good thing!). It’s always better to have a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective, so keep calm, discuss the issues, and make your way towards an even better book.
2. ALL writers need editors.
edit quote, stephen king
This kind of goes back to the issue of attachment. It is only natural that you think your book is perfect just the way it is from the get-go. It’s your baby and it’s definitely an accomplishment, but you’ve spent so much time working on it, dreaming about it, and forming an intimate relationship with your characters that some bias is inevitable. An editor acts as both spell-check and springboard, and is more likely to notice grammatical, spelling, or content kinks that you may have just been too close to the work to have seen. From the self-published pamphlet writer, to bestselling and prolific writer, Stephen King, everyone needs an editor.
3. An editor should be researched and talked to, not just randomly hired.
Charles Dickens
We all take more of an interest in books that appeal to our tastes. Personally, I’m a sucker for historical fiction. So when hiring an editor, make sure that they are trained, experienced, and have a genuine interest in the type of book that you’re offering. As I said, an editor can be a springboard for ideas, and that leads to all kinds of potential both for your work and your personal life. Take the two figures pictured above, from Flavorwire’s article on 8 Famous Author/Editor relationships.
These two gentlemen are the renowned Charles Dickens and his editor, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. After much deliberation, Dickens eventually allowed Pip and Estella to be together by the end of Great Expectations based on the argument made by his editor and friend, Bulwer-Lytton, that the original ending was much too sad. In fact, Bulwer-Lytton was such a good friend and important part of Dickens’s life that Dickens named his youngest son Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens for him.
Finding an editor is both a necessity and important step in the publishing process. It can be painful to hear their opinions sometimes, but they really are just trying to make you the best author you can be, and your book a success. Take the time, do the research, and really get to know your editor. That could be the person you name your future child after!

Increase Your Amazon Sales by Using Kindle Unlimited

kindle unlimitedAmazon’s Kindle newest addition, Kindle Unlimited, is a subscription service that allows customers to read as many Kindle books as they’d like for a monthly fee of $9.99, instead of paying for each book individually. This allows readers more freedom to branch out and try different authors and genres that they might not have before.
When enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, authors are paid royalties based on the number of pages read/e-books downloaded by customers. Even if it takes months for an individual customer to read pages in your book, you will still collect royalties when it does happen.
We spoke with one author about her experiences with Kindle Unlimited so far. After one month of having her e-book on Kindle Unlimited, she received $200 from Amazon.  She is currently making a steady $1000 a month and is on Kindle Unlimited’s Top 100 list with very little effort.  There aren’t any secret tips or tricks to getting there, but it is important to have an eye-catching cover, well written synopsis, and praise from your adoring fans.
To start the Kindle Unlimited program, you must first be enrolled in KDP Select (click here for more information on KDP Select). Once you are enrolled in KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited, a badge will appear by your book(s) in the Kindle Library indicating to Kindle Unlimted customers that they can read your book(s) without buying it individually.
Kindle Unlimited is marketed to readers as a great way to discover new authors and genres, and therefore can help authors gain readership and sales. Customers who are unfamiliar with your work might not have spent money on your book individually, but may be more willing to try it with the Kindle Unlimited program. Because you can choose which of your books are enrolled in the program, customers who read one of your books with Kindle Unlimited and enjoy it might also be more willing to purchase your other books. Author Hugh Howey blogged about his success with Kindle Unlimited:
“Right now, the best experience for readers, and the way to reach more of them, is through Kindle Unlimited. This isn’t a commercial for the service; this is professional advice from someone who has tried both routes with a keen eye on the data. Try it for yourself and see. If you ask me, KU is a KO.”
To learn more about the Kindle Unlimited program, visit the Amazon Kindle page here.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and, most likely, your Kindle Unlimited success won’t happen overnight, so give it some time; but try uploading your book to Kindle Unlimited and give it the old Centurion try!

A Budding Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing Your Book

Publishing CompaniesAn author’s origin story can be a pretty personal thing. Maybe you’ve been a great writer your whole life and you finally wrote that book your friends and family have been encouraging you to write for years.  Maybe you’ve just been through something life-changing and know that others would benefit from your experience.  Whatever led you here, here you are, you’ve breathed life into a story and it’s time to share it with the world.
Unfortunately, the publishing club is a fairly exclusive one these days and the demand for traditional publishing is so high that actually being published is near impossible if you head to one of the bigger houses.   But fear not! We have had the good fortune of working with authors from independent publishing houses who are more open to new members in the author club. Here are just a few that we’ve worked with in the past:
Xlibris Publishing provides a variety of services including black-and-white, full color, and specialty publishing.  Their specialty publishing covers formats for various genres of publication.  For example, they have specific formats for poetry and children’s books that wouldn’t be the same type used for sci-fi, literary fiction, etc. They also provide editorial and marketing services as part of their packages.  If you would like to add your book to the Library of Congress, publish a leatherback version, or expedite the publication process (just to name a few), Xlibris has add-on services available for additional costs.  Xlibris has over 40,000 authors signed with them. You can read about some of their experiences here.
Smashwords exclusively publishes e-books, which is something important to know going in.  They have access to publication through major vendors including iBooks and Barnes & Noble, and thousands of libraries all over the world through companies such as OverDrive, Gardners, and Odilo.  Other services include Smashwords Coupon Manager, Pricing Manager, and Daily Sales Reporting so you can see how your campaign is progressing on a regular basis. By signing with Smashwords you can earn 60% of your books’ sales from retailers and 80% of the list price from books purchased on the Smashwords store.   Here’s an in-depth review of Smashwords from The Independent Publishing Magazine.
CreateSpace is a hub of independent publishing, offering its services to authors, musicians, and filmmakers.  They claim some of the best royalties offered in the business, but you can decide for yourself using their royalty calculator.  Their publishing package includes design, editing, and marketing services and access to free tools like a cover creator, interior reviewer, and preview – where you can allow reviewers to see an early edition of your book, give feedback, and make your changes before final publication. CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, so you are also ensured a listing of your title on both Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, and Kindle in addition to your own website. Here’s an in-depth look at CreateSpace from TopTenReviews.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each of the available self-publishing services, but only you can determine which one’s services are the best fit for you and your work. It could be that none of the above companies work for you and that’s fine too! These are only a few of the ones that our authors have used, but there are plenty more out there.  We’ve provided some other possibilities in the graphic above so feel free to explore, do some research, and find your perfect publishing service!

Minneapolis Authors Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss Announce Several Upcoming Local Events

B.S., IncorporatedAuthors Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss announced today that they will be holding several upcoming signing and discussion events in the Minneapolis area for their new book, B.S., Incorporated.
B.S., Incorporated is a funny, insightful, and heartfelt story that captures the humor and humanity of the 9-to-5 grind. It has been compared to The Office, The Devil Wears Prada, and Office Space.
Although it is a work of fiction, B.S., Incorporated draws from the authors’ real-life experiences. Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss have had the good fortune to work for and with companies that spanned industries and impact – from privately held start-ups to Fortune 50 powerhouses. One day, after yet another mind-numbing, daylong meeting about a project, they fled to a bar patio in the shadow of their company’s office building.  There, they drank to excess and swapped hilarious and heartbreaking tales about life in corporate America. At that point they realized they had a story—actually, many stories—worth telling, and they pinky swore that after sobering up, they’d write a book about their experiences.  In 2013, the Minneapolis-area natives struck out on their own to form the communication agency ROCKdotVOSS and write their debut novel B.S., Incorporated.
“Funny as hell, with sharp observations and cunning insights. It reads like the best happy-hour story you’ve ever heard.” – Matt Kramer, CEO, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer and Michael will be at Eat My Words Bookstore on July 14, 2016 at 7:00pm. At 7:00pm on July 20, 2016, they will be at SubText Books.  Finally, they will be hosting an interactive event at Magers & Quinn Booksellers on August 4, 2016 at 7:00pm.  For more information and the locations of each of these stores, please visit their websites.
“Stop by any or all of these events, especially if you’ve had a long day at the office! We will read a little from our book, share some of the back stories that went into writing it, and encourage attendees to share their own hilarious and heartbreaking tales,” said Michael Voss. “We like to think of our book events as part entertainment, part workplace support group.”
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or kelsey@bookpublicityservices.com.
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Book Publicity Services Helps Authors Increase Their Amazon Reviews to Encourage Book Sales

authorIn the world of public relations, adding credibility to actions and announcements can make or break a campaign.  This is no less true in the realm of literary publicity.  One of the best ways to determine a book’s credibility is through the unbiased opinions of readers.
Book Publicity Services provides book reviewers with the opportunity to receive a free copy of their clients’ books in exchange for honest reviews.  Many of these reviewers write regularly on their own blogs or for larger outlets.  Regardless of their affiliations, Book Publicity Services asks each of these reviewers to not only publish their thoughts to their own websites, but on the books’ Amazon pages as well.
“An incredible number of people are ordering books from Amazon nowadays,” says CEO and Publicist, Kelsey McBride, “Our main goal is to generate as many book reviews on Amazon for our clients as possible. We have found that the more reviews you have, the more sales you’ll see.”
Social Media Manager and Publicity Assistant, Taylor Ytuarte, states, “Much of our daily lives and interests have become undeniably intertwined with online culture.  We receive world and national news, contact friends, and read reviews through the internet.  The best way to garner interest in these books and their amazing authors is to make information about them available through that medium.”
When booklovers seek out the newest and best in the book world, they often turn to the internet for guidance.  By utilizing Amazon, Book Publicity Services allows their authors books to be rated, ordered, and discounted all in the same place, making for a trustworthy and convenient vendor where authors can promote and offer their books to bibliophiles of all tastes in interests.
“As a first time author, I was very fortunate to be introduced to Kelsey McBride by an associate. With Kelsey’s great contacts and connections, she has gotten Moon Hoax into newspapers and magazines. For any author, getting reviews is the name of the game. Kelsey has put Moon Hoax into the right hands of quality reviewers who have taken the time to read the book and give an honest review. Not only have these reviews helped to spread the word on the book, they have also helped to increase sales. Kelsey also has set up multiple interviews, both in print and on radio. You cannot go wrong having Kelsey McBride on your team!” – Paul Gillebaard, author of Moon Hoax
“I highly recommend Kelsey and her team for your PR needs.  Kelsey secured many book reviews, blog opportunities, and promo spots for my book.   To my relief, Kelsey and her team also provided consistent social media management which gave me time back in my day to focus on my next book.  I will continue to use her services for my next books.” – Corine Dehghanpisheh, author of #BabyLove: My Social Life
About Book Publicity Services
Book Publicity Services specializes in coordinating book reviews, generating media exposure, distributing press releases, promoting through social media, and organizing speaking engagements. The public relations campaigns are designed for authors trying to break through and get noticed by consumers and the media. For more information, go to http://bookpublicityservices.com/.
For more information, please contact Kelsey McBride at (805) 807-9027 or info@bookpublicityservices.com.

Amazon Advertising – An Author’s Advantage

AmazonWith all of the advertising opportunities out there, it was only a matter of time until a retail website like Amazon got themselves a piece of the action.  Amazon currently offers a series of advertising opportunities to vendors of all kinds, but it’s their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Ads that we’re particularly interested in today – and you should be too if you have a book that needs some TLC.
The process is actually very simple and similar to Facebook advertising if you’re at all familiar with that process. They do have one stipulation. During the period in which you’ll be running your ad, you must be registered as a KDP Select author. What this entails is a contract with Kindle ensuring them that you will distribute your book exclusively through them for the duration of your membership.  Basically, you can’t sell your e-book anywhere else other than Amazon. Not on your website, not through Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc.  This sounds a bit limiting, but it’s not forever and you would be able to take full advantage of the KDP Ad program, which many authors have attributed to their increase in book sales. For more information on the benefits of being a KDP Select author, see our article at: http://www.kelseymcbridepr.com/the-benefits-of-kindle-unlimited/.
Should you choose to become a KDP Select author, a whole new range of possibilities open to you.  You can set up your ad with a $100 minimum and start promoting your book using targeted audiences by genre or product.  Let’s use that Grasshopper Tea Party example again. So you’ve written The Grasshopper’s Tea Party and are ready to advertise. You could select genres like picture books, nature, parenting, bugs, and/or specific products that are similar like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rainbow Fish, and Miss Spider’s Tea Party. People who have bought these items, anything like them, or have shown an interest by clicking on them would be targeted for an ad about The Grasshopper’s Tea Party.   The ad could show up in a few different places including the sidebar of a desktop on Amazon.com or on readers’ Kindles themselves either as a banner along the bottom, or as a screensaver.
Amazon provides you with a detailed report of your ad’s performance at the end of your campaign so you can decide from there if you could widen your audience, target it to a smaller group, or try something completely new! For more information about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Ads, visit: https://advertising.amazon.com/kindle-select-ads?ref_=gw-dt.  We’ve given you a lot to think about, I know, so take a moment, consider the options, and put those feelers out there!

Get More Reviews for Your Book via YouTube

One way you can get more reviews for your book is via YouTube.
YouTube. You know it, you love it, you spend hours of your time watching new music videos, movie trailers, and tutorials on it.  But did you know that YouTube is also the hub to which many an avid reader flocks?  Enter the BookTuber.
There is a huge community of BookTubers on YouTube that regularly post videos sharing their thoughts on new books that they’ve read. Most BookTuber’s have a devoted following.  People who closely follow the world of YouTube – which is a lot – subscribe to their videos and watch them regularly, the same as if they were tuning in to their favorite TV show.
booktubers
For this reason, BookTubers are a fantastic source of exposure for your book!  Not only do they get the word out about your book, they provide great feedback and entertaining commentary.  Not to mention they’re generally super friendly and helpful!
Take a stab at reaching out to some BookTuber’s, you may be surprised at how many of them are willing to review your book! 
We’ve put together a list of some of the BookTubers we’ve worked with in the past and have found to be open to checking out the latest in the book world.  As with any other reviewer, be sure to read their About page and make sure that your book falls into their accepted genres and that they are accepting review requests.  Most BookTubers have their contact information listed on their YouTube account. When reaching out to BookTubers that you feel would be a good fit for your book, offer to send them a complimentary copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. The more BookTuber’s you can get to agree to review your book, the better!
Now that we’ve observed the niceties, it’s time to get out there and meet your friendly neighborhood BookTuber! Here are a few of our favorite BookTubers to get you started:

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the reading bud

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3

BookGeekMovieFreak

NayaReadsandSmiles

MagicOfBooks

LittleBookAddict

Lectura con Lentes

Amante Literaria

Kitkatscanread

My life with books

TheReadingCave

MissSassyKassie

Pantapuff

Irish Reader

Cherrie Walker

Angie's Epic Reads

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5 Ways To Promote Your Self-Published Book

booksYou could write a beautiful novel that’s destined to be a classic of our time, but if you don’t have the right PR strategy, no one’s going to ever read it. Most of that work will come after the book is written and in the form of consistent, high quality public relations. Here are 5 ways to get your book into the hands of more readers:
1. Start your social media strategy long before your book’s release
The day your book comes out is the not the day you should be creating Twitter and Facebook accounts. Start early, create a separate Twitter account for yourself as an author, mention your upcoming book in your profile and start participating in genre discussions, writer topics and book groups (yes, there are book groups that happen in less than 140 characters). This same idea applies to Facebook.
2. Connect with other successful authors
Find other self-published authors in your genre who write a blog and start commenting. Always include a link to your profile or website and always be engaging. If you’re just posting to get a link up, people will know, so try to keep your comments on topic and interesting. Basically, be sincere.
Follow other authors on Twitter, introduce yourself and start making connections. Yes, you want to connect with readers, not authors, but the right mention from a popular writer means you might get access to their fans.
3. Contact your local bookstore about purchasing or promoting your book
Most local bookstores and libraries are enthusiastic about supporting local authors, even the self-published ones. Get in touch with the purchasing department to see if they’d like to buy the book or if you can donate a copy, but also get in touch with the special events coordinator. Many libraries and bookstores run regular author talks, spotlights on local writers or workshops. Getting your face on to these panels means getting your book into readers’ hands.
4. Have a sale
A benefit to being your own publisher is that you can set your own prices. If you’re delivering your book digitally, this can be as simple as a few clicks. Either giving away your book for free for a few days or drastically reducing the price can lead to a surge in downloads – the idea being that these people read your book, love it, review it and boost your self-published book’s rankings.
5. Hire a PR professional
If you don’t have the time to do your own PR, your best option is to hire a public relations professional that has experience promoting self-published books. It can be costly, but with the right PR efforts you will see the return on your investment. Before you hire anyone, make sure you understand exactly what they’ll be doing for you, what you can expect and for how long they’ll continue working for you.
Publicity for a self-published book isn’t something you can cross off your list in a day. It’s a continuous effort. Working on your PR for 30 minutes every day for a month is going to be a lot more fruitful than whittling away a Saturday trying to squeeze in your publicity quota. Expect your PR strategy to start well before your book’s release date and continue for as long as you can maintain your momentum.