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Are you guilty of these author press kit blunders?

author press kit

What’s in your online author press kit and how is it presented?

If you’re looking for book publicity — free media exposure — you have to:

  • Have an author press kit on your website
  • Include the right elements with the right information
  • Present it in a format that’s easy for all journalists to use

Are you making any of these common author press kit mistakes that are interfering with your ability to effectively promote your book? Don’t worry if you are — all of these can be fixed easily:

Write, read, repeat

Ray Bradbury quote about writing

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have pleasant careers.”  ~ Ray Bradbury

Write!

The best writers I know do two things daily: They write and they read.

They also get feedback on their writing from people who can evaluate it objectively and provide honest input — “This part confused me,” or “I found the unusual character names distracting.”

Growing and improving as a writer involves soliciting and incorporating feedback you can trust.

But it also takes practice. That comes from writing daily.

5 things I thought you knew (but I guess you don’t)

5 things I thought you knew

What did you learn recently about the book publishing industry that made you say, “I had no idea! I wish I had learned that sooner!“?

I’ve seen a lot of those types of observations in online book marketing groups recently. More often than not, they’re commenting on facts that I take for granted to the point where it doesn’t even occur to me that you might not know that.

That’s partly because I’ve been connected to book publishing for a looooong time — my first tour around what is now Book Expo America happened in the 1980s, and my first book was published by Kensington in 1995.

So many of today’s authors are new to book publishing, though — and they’re new to both traditional publishing and self publishing. There’s a lot they don’t know yet, but there’s also a lot the veterans don’t realize, too, because the industry is constantly evolving now.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve paid more attention to “I didn’t know that!” observations that have surprised me because I thought everybody knew that.

Of course they don’t! How could they?

With that in mind, here are five things you want to know now. They’re things I thought you knew, but I’ve discovered you probably don’t.

Amazon’s buy box change and you

Amazon's buy box change

You might have heard about Amazon’s buy box change by now.

If you haven’t, here’s the summary: The default purchase option in what is known as the “buy box” used to be the book’s publisher (either the publishing company or you, the author, if you’re self-published). That’s no longer guaranteed.

With the change, a third-party vendor, not the publisher, might “own” the buy box. This is how Amazon sells other products; it’s now applying that process to print books.

There are several articles about this online, but I found this one from Vox.com, “Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified,” especially helpful.

Why authors shouldn’t obsess over one-star reviews

one-star reviews

Authors, prepare yourself for the inevitable one-star review. In the publishing industry, one-star reviews are practically a rite of passage.

And no one is immune. Whether you’ve got 10 best-sellers to your credit or it’s your first book, you can expect at least a single one-star review.

There are the one-star Amazon reviews that make you roll your eyes.

“If possible, I’d give this pile of garbage zero stars.”

“Not really of much use for me. Seems like just a lot of useless information to fill up a book.”

“The best part of this book is the cover photo.”

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