The Book Connector

Helping Readers Find the Right Book

The Power in Book Comparison

usedBehind every writer is a critic and an admirer. By combining these two characters and giving them a platform to write on, their written piece is what we term as a book review. Book reviews provide people the avenue to air out their thoughts on someone else’s written work. Through them, people gain insight on whether they would like to read the reviewed work or not. However, the important role that was played by reviews is today being taken over by book comparisons. This new trend is quickly gaining an increasingly larger audience all around the world. Book comparisons are seen as more informative and impactful to the mind of a reader. A good comparison will place readers in a better place to decide whether a book is worth their time and money.

Today’s average reader has become more demanding. The world is fast moving, and no one has any time to waste on endless unproductive reading. For instance, most web users skim through articles before deciding which ones they will entirely read. The same is reflected when it comes to books. People are expecting to be told more with less. Comparisons have proved very useful as they eliminate the need to conduct endless research on the various books that have grabbed your interest. All the research needed has already been conducted, and you are provided with only the essentials.

Have you ever bought a book and wondered whether the other book that served as the opportunity cost would have been a better buy? Well, many people have discovered how to avoid this feeling of self-doubt. Through book comparisons, readers are presented with a bit of both worlds. The reviewer looks at the facts and provides you with a comparison and contrast between two or more books. This helps individuals to make the decision on what to read.

CNA Study Guide Example

A good example of how book comparisons have positively affected our reading nature comes from the website http://CNAExamCram.com.  In this case, the CNA Exam Cram took a look at different certified nursing assistant books and helped their readers figure out which one was best.  While there are numerous CNA practice tests and study guides out there, experts in the field of nursing have compared them and recommended only the best to learners. According to www.cnaexamcram.com, their expert analysis concluded that the must-have books are the Official CNA Study Guide, CNA Exam Cram, and CNA Exam Prep.

Their research was based on the books’ authenticity, accuracy and price. They weighed the merits and demerits of each print to come to a conclusion. To further show the credibility of book comparison, the site openly invites recommendation or comments from anyone on any textbooks they wish to be analyzed. If the book has already been compared, the site offers an explanation of why it was never included in the list of the three best CNA study guides. Many people have opted for these three books due to the useful insight provided by the site.

It is clear that book comparison has become an essential driving force for guiding readers to purchase books. The technique is very useful. By weighing what each book has to offer, users can make a well-informed decision on which book to buy.

Are you really ready to self-publish now?

Self-publishing is not a joke. It’s a real business that needs real effort even from the very start. Now, I have one simple question for you, are you really ready to self-publish now?

Well, of course it depends on you! It could be a YES or a NO answer.

Now let’s look at some signs that could prove that self-publishing is not for you TODAY.

You believe that you can publish and get rich tomorrow

As I have said earlier, self-publishing is a serious business that needs serious and long way effort. If you think that you can easily make money with self-publishing after your book goes live then your idea with self-publishing is still very raw.

Lack of detailed research and planning

Everything we do for business started with research and planning. You need to research the important elements of a good and salable book. If you just write and write without properly looking and researching on what’s going to be marketable in the world of publishing and literature, then it would only become a waste of time and effort.

Little or NO patience

Patience is a virtue and when it comes to self-publishing, it is greatly needed. Considering that you are entirely responsible of almost all the procedure of your work from writing to publishing to marketing, it’s just good enough to have patience so that you can survive the different challenges of self-publishing process. A good self-publishing author is a hardworking and patient individual who just enjoys what he is doing. He doesn’t rush into becoming a best-selling author but rather accepts the beautiful journey of writing and values the simple rewards.

You haven’t identified your expertise in writing

When you plan to self-publish make sure you have your own expertise. An author who is expert on something he is writing has greater possibility of achieving success than those who are not. If you’re an expert on what you write, then you’re confident to share it with your readers, right?

You don’t know what to do on your marketing

Marketing is a continues activity that will help the business be noticed by the customers and clients. That is the reason why even the most successful business and brands have never stopped marketing their products/services. And because we are living in a very competitive world, it’s a big NO NO to neglect marketing. As an author, it’s really important that you have plans for your marketing and you exactly know what are the needed marketing activities that drives more readers and sales to your self-published book.

Now let me ask you again, are you really ready to self-publish now?
Let’s hear your thoughts on the comments below.

Responsive Web Design – A Necessity to All Author’s Website

Website is one of the most important components that business owners should have when running a business. Whether your are selling a t-shirt, plumbing supplies, or offering a carpet cleaning service, or even if you’re an author, a website or should I say a ‘responsive’ website is a necessity in this recent time.

Why it has to be responsive?

Some of you may not really know the difference between having a typical website or a responsive type. Here’s a definition of responsive website/web design according to wikipedia:

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experienceeasy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrollingacross a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)

Just like this:

responsive web design
Why it has to be responsive? Simple! This is to make sure that your readers, clients/customers can easily view or navigate through your pages whatever device they are using. Considering that most people now have various mobile devices and uses them when they shop, read books, researching, emailing or whatever it is, it is very important as an author to make that experience as efficient as possible for them. And if you have a website that is responsive, they will likely visit your site not just once or twice but many times. As a matter of fact, responsive web design can also help increase your conversion rate.

To check whether your site is responsive or not, you may view your site directly on your mobile browser or if you’re currently using a desktop, simply use these free tools Responsinator.com or Google Mobile Friendly Tool Checker and put in there the site that you wanted to check.

So if you’re an author and you wish to increase your exposure see to it that you have a decent responsive website that your readers can visit.

eBook Cover Design – Where Can You Find an eBook Cover Designer

Several authors are not aware of the importance of having a well-made eBook cover. Usually, they will think that it’s the least important part of the book development. Well, we cannot blame them if that’s what they thought. Financial factor could be the underlying reason why they ignore the importance of having a good and professionally made eBook cover design.

Don’t attempt to make your DIY ebook cover design IF you don’t have a good background in designing and marketing. Professional eBook designers don’t just do designing but they also have ample of ideas when it comes to marketing. A real skilled eBook cover designer exactly know the ins and outs of eBook cover designs. They exactly know and understand what sort of book covers that could certainly catch the reader’s attention.

Where can you find these great eBook cover designers?

You can simply just do your search online or you can check on other authors if they can recommend someone they know. But here are some sites where you can find good designers for your eBook cover:

If money is not your problem, you can choose the following sites into finding an eBook cover designers from afferent regions of the world.

99designs
UpWork (formerly known as Odesk)
eLance
Guru

Fiverr – I have included this as the last option to help those authors who are on a tight budget for hiring a design professional. Although this option may not be that advisable, yet there are still a number of designers at Fiverr who do good work at a very affordable price. You can check on their customer’s review and their portfolio to see which of these designers can offer you high quality designs.

You may also check e-Book Cover Design Awards by The Book Designer, to see what an award winning book cover looks like and what’s not.

Always remember even if it cost you a lot of money to get a high quality eBook cover design, yet that investment will really give you positive results in the long run. So don’t ever hesitate to hire someone to do that work. And don’t ever neglect the power of having a well-designed eBook cover.

Book Promotion – Physical and Virtual Book Tours

In the previous post about book promotion, we have set a schedule for promotional activities and planning right before a book’s publication date. This is a very important phase in your book promotion strategy.

Your goal here is to let people know that you exist, that your book exist. The importance of popularity can never be neglected in the industry of eBook and book selling. Even in other industries, they consider popularity as the major aspect of business that needs a great deal of effort.

In making a book promotion schedule, some authors will consider book tours as part of their promotional strategy. It could be physical or virtual book tour.

But what’s the difference between physical book tour and virtual book tour?
Let’s find out below.

Physical book tour

Actual book tours or physical book tours are quite expensive and it is really hard to make it a cost-effective book tour because of the fact that you will actually make a tour from one place to another. Not to mention the various circumstances that may affect the actual book tour, like weather condition, expenses or even the level of convenience. For these reasons, many authors – newbies and the famous ones, are no longer spending much time and effort into actual book tours. In other words, physical book tour is now dead!

Virtual book tour

To some typical individuals, the term virtual book tour may seem confusing.
Generally, they have no idea what is this about and how it works.

To give you an idea, here are the possible methods for authors to make a virtual book tour:

  • Social media event (Twitterchat or Facebook party/event)

  • Getting interviewed (through podcost, online/actual radio, Google hangout, by bloggers)

  • Guest post writing

  • Have an excerpt of your book featured on various blogs

  • Have your book reviewed by bloggers

Virtual book tour is very advantageous in many aspects and one of the advantages it gives is the convenience it offers to both authors and readers. As an author, to make your virtual tour more effective, make sure you do some more research on how you can make this campaign be more solid. Use your creativity and be more open to many possibilities that could contribute to the success of your book. Although your main goal here is to sell your books, don’t forget to think that you’re an author and not a salesman. Being an author is what you really are.

Book Cover Design – Should You Hire a Book Cover Designer or Not?

To some authors, book cover design may be their least priority when it comes to their publication works. They might think that, their story alone will appeal to all readers without having any good book cover design. They never know that book cover design is an important element in the book development. The cover design is the first factor that will work on attracting readers and book buyers. The book or eBook cover design alone will act as a promoter or an invitation to readers that says “Come, come closer to me and read me”.

The way it looks like, the way it is being designed will give a big impact on a reader’s purchasing decision.

Should you hire a professional book cover designer or not?

It could be a YES answer or it could be No answer! It depends on your decision and your budget.
Hiring a professional book cover designer is actually a very nice investment to have. In fact, most authors have considered hiring one even if they already have a natural talent for it. Why? Because these authors believed that a professionally designed cover will give them more confidence to show to readers that their book is worth a read.

You may never consider hiring a design professional if you really have very good graphic designing skills and can work really well with various graphic designing tools. In other words, you yourself is an author/professional graphic artist.

In terms of budget, not all authors have the budget for hiring a design professional. In fact, this is one of the factors that’s holding them back from getting a designer. However, if you really are good in terms of researching and you have good number of author-friends out there, why not use research skills in finding not-so-expensive-but-great-designers or ask your author-friends if they can recommend someone who is good at designing book covers without costing you much.

If you don’t mind spending 50 dollars, 1,000 dollars or more just for the cover then, never hesitate in getting a professional designer.

Having a well-crafted book cover design can really make a difference. Remember that the success of your book doesn’t just depend on how well you develop your content or story but also matters on how you initially make an impression to readers. Take note that once your book is published, the results will all start there.

Book Promotion Schedule

Being an author or a self-published author is quite a daunting task. After you have finished your book for publication, the next thing that you will do is the marketing part. The success of every book will vary on different factors and marketing is one of those factors involved.

 

Traditional publishers have their own publicity and promotional campaigns after they publish a book. However, the marketing campaigns they do in every book they publish are limited. For this reason, authors will also do book promotions on their own in order to solidify their promotional campaigns.

 

In doing promotional activities for your book, you have to carefully schedule each campaign in order to achieve great success.

6 – 12 Months Before the Publication Date

  • Have a to-do list of all your book-promotion campaigns based on your book genre.
  • Find and hire a skilled book promotion publicist.
  • Find out any local events that will happen during the release date of your book.
  • Inquire with your publisher the list of reviewers and ask where will they send the books for the reviews.
  • Set up Google alerts for you as an author and for your book title.

 

4 – 6 Months Before the Publication Date

  • Have a final plan of all your promotional campaign, these includes the following: release date, book signing schedules, speaking engagements, blog schedule, website launch.
  • Prepare a press release to send with galleys.
  • Send out manuscripts for more endorsement quotes.
  • Have announcements to be send out to various magazines or newspapers to show up in their “up-coming publications” section.
  • Finalize cover endorsements, text, and author details including author photo.
  • Have all your flyers, postcards, bookmarks, stationery, business cards designed and printed.
  • Follow up with you publisher if galleys are sent out for reviews.
  • Begin mapping out book tour – physical/virtual, and have a partial schedule for it. (if you want one).
  • Prepare some questionnaires or tips for interview sessions or media kits, preferably 10-15 questions/tips.

 

3 Months Before the Publication Date

  • Create a book trailer for your book. You may put that on the website you’ve created, your social media profiles or any of your online avenues.
  • Go to local bookstores and introduce yourself to them.
  • Set up a schedule for your launch party and get all the invitations ready.
  • Write your press release.
  • Start mailing out postcards, bookmarks and some of your promotional stuff to booksellers.
  • Take time to engage with other authors just like visiting their blogs and leaving some good comments and participating in their discussions.

 

1- 2 Months Before the Publication Date

  • Schedule a time to arrange the displays in the local book store for your speaking sessions.
  • Prepare and practice yourself for your speaking events.
  • Send out media kits to radio, TV and newspapers where the book signing is scheduled.

 

1 Week Before the Publication Date

  • Confirm all your schedules and details of your appearances, book signing events etc.
  • Make updates on your website and all your social media profiles regarding the release date, book info, links etc.

 

Publication DateFinally!

  • Make updates on your website, and other online avenues including your social media profiles on where they can buy your book. In your website, you can now put a ‘Buy Now’ button on the book.
  • Go to your book tours.
  • Put a buy link on your email signature.
  • Celebrate!!!
  • At the end of the day, don’t forget to say ‘Thank You’ to all people involved in the successful event.

 

After Publication

  • Continue endorsing your book (offline and online) to gain more exposure.
  • Take time to review your schedules and prepare yourself to some of your other obligations.
  • Continue with book signing sessions, speaking engagements and workshops.
  • Continue to get engaged with other authors and participate on their discussion.

Book Design and Typesetting

Publishing a book can be daunting task since you need to check a lot of things on your contents such as margins, typos, spellings, grammars and a lot more. Not to mention the interior book design such as laying out a manuscript and looking at the target readers. You have to remember that you have to work perfectly on these aspects so that you can ensure a well-written and presentable book.

The layout and design of a book must go well with the content material. Let’s say for instance a business book, would you use Comic Sans fonts on your contents? Of course not! Times New Romans, Calibri and Verdana are few of the ideal fonts to use in these type of books. Another thing is, children’s books – these type of books should use larger fonts and colorful designs to entice the children into reading it. Picture books, cookbooks, travel guides are other types of books that will require good design to entice readers to go over each page and check on the contents and enjoy them. We know that a well-designed book is pleasing to the reader’s eye. Aside from a good title, the reader will primarily look into the book cover. If you have a good and well-designed book cover, the greater the chance your book will be picked up.

Listed below are a few of the components that an interior book designer looks at when working on a book design:

  1. looking at the page and margin size
  2. type of font style to use
  3. line spacing and paragraph
  4. title page
  5. table of contents
  6. headers, footers and page numbers
  7. section titles or section headings
  8. graphics placement and its design
  9. special material layouting
  10. white space usage
  11. hyphenation control
  12. orphan and widow control
  13. adding special details in the book design

Some publications consist of text boxes that should be noticeable like adding some appropriate border thickness or a background shade. All components has to be thoroughly positioned in the structure. Oftentimes, the main body of text has to cover all over the graphics or a paragraph must have a drop cap.

Then we have this method of typesetting. Typesetting is carried out soon after the design and style is completed. It is the application of the design and style to your publication in general. This will consist of tweaking the space in between characters, in between wordings, in between lines, along with orphan, hyphenation and widow control. Remember, an excellent typesetting can help make a publication to look at its best.

Overcoming Writer’s Block – 5 Straightforward Tips to Help You Out

Having a writer’s block is pretty normal to anybody even if you’re a professional or a skilled writer or a simple hobbyist who just wanted to write some journal in his blog.  If it strikes you, then it will really strike you regardless of who you are. Although it’s not a temporary malady for writers, yet being into this state of mind is kind of irritating especially if you’re in a hurry of writing something, such as project or a report.

Anyway, what are some causes of writer’s blocks?

  • Over fatigue
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Scrambled ideas
  • Past failures

If you have experienced one or a few or all of these things above, then that’s probably the reason/s why you’re experiencing writer’s block at this point.

Overcoming writer’s block

If writer’s block is blocking your way and not letting write even a single thing, then try these easy tips to help you overcome it.

Relax. If you feel really exhausted and your eyes, mind and entire body are not in the mood for anything, then try to unwind for a bit or take a nap. Remember that if you force yourself to write something even if your body doesn’t want to will only result into bad outcome. It won’t help you produce good wordings and will only make you feel more exhausted.

Don’t hurry. Hurrying can sometimes be helpful but when it comes to writing, hurrying can sometimes ruin your work. As what we have said earlier, relax. Don’t rush into things and try to think deeply. Take deep breaths, try to walk for a couple of minutes and wander around a certain area that is peaceful.

Read other’s work. You need to be inspired even if you’re not in love. So try to read other people’s work. It can be a blog, a magazine, a book, newspaper or anything that you like. You’ll never know, when you read any of them, you’ll be able to think of nice writing project.

Visit your Social Media profile. Login to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of your social media accounts and try to look what’s the latest, what’s cool, what people are talking right now. Engage and free your mind from any of your work related things. This is one way of rebooting your mind from all those chaos that brought you writer’s block.

Focus. Sometimes, what you need is only to focus. You’re inspired and you’ve got something into your mind that you wanted to write but you’re too distracted with things. So try to focus.  Go into a place where no one will distract you. Find a peaceful place that will surely help you outline your brilliant thoughts and your imagination.

These tips are pretty straightforward and if you try any of these when you’re currently in the state of writer’s block, it will surely help you overcome it. Just remember what your goals are and it will surely help you do something have these goals be realized.

Profitable Books You Can Sell on Amazon

There are many ways to become profitable at Amazon Marketplace, and one of your best options is to sell books on Amazon. Understanding on what publications to sell on Amazon oftentimes will make the difference in your life resulting to good income.

The reader’s interest level is an important factor that you should consider when you decide on selling books. Selling books may only be your past time hobby but this could be a serious business that could offer you high returns.

If you have passion on searching deals and yard sales, then you may consider selling used books on Amazon. Most bargain shops and yard sales have plenty of great books that are worth reselling.

Don’t Sell These Books!

Bestselling books are not the type of books that would generate great bucks. Why because there are already thousands of individuals who are selling copies of it for only $1.00 or less and if you’re going to sell the same book for higher or the same amount, then that item would hardly get sold because it’s widely available. However, if you find a signed first edition book from a well-known author, then it will keep the value or perhaps worth more that the published cost.

Other books that you should not sell:
Biographies
Cookbooks
Dictionaries
Encyclopedias,
Old library books
Political books

Books to Sell
If there are books that are not worth selling, then there are also books that will surely give you high returns.

Go with specific nonfiction books!

Specific nonfiction books that are NOT bestsellers such as books about boats, cars, traditional healing, business, real estate, interior designs, home gardening are only few of the great books you can sell on Amazon. These books can be sold on higher price compared to bestsellers since these books are very limited and can hardly be found on any other stores.

used

When selling used books, make sure they still look good physically, the contents are still readable, no unnecessary writings or drawings on the pages, the spine is still in good condition. Overall, it should be in perfect condition and should not look worn out.

Finding Used books for sale!

When finding used books, make sure you get them at a very low cost. If you can find used books worth 1 dollar or less, the better.

Spots to find used books for sale:
Libraries
Thrift Stores
Flea Markets
Yard Sales
Estate sales
Auctions

Aside from earning pocketful of money through selling books, it can also be fun and may relieve your everyday stress. You may do this part time of full time. As long as you put some dedications on hunting old but good condition books, then it will surely give you success.

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