One Lovely Blog Award

one-lovely-blog-awardLast week, this blog was awarded the “One Lovely Blog Award” which I gratefully accepted. This award is a moving blog award, meaning that each recipient who accepts the award passes it on to other blogs.

The rules of this award are that if the blog recipient accepts the awards she posts the One Lovely Blog Award image on her blog, includes a link back to the giver of the award’s blog, and passes the award on to other blogs.

So, now it is my turn to pass this award on. I have chosen five blogs to give this award to. Here they are:

  1. Christian Children’s Book Reviews is a great source of reviews for Christian children’s books. This group of reviewers does a fantastic job of covering a wide variety of children’s books. They also feature free children’s book give aways on their site. They recently gave Baby Bible Board Books a glowing review.
  2. I met Lynn Mosher on Twitter. She is a wonderful Christian lady with very encouraging blog posts. She has graciously offered to list Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace on her blog under suggested readings in the near future.
  3. Donna Schillinger, publisher at the Quilldriver and author of On my Own Now hosts a blog on miracles. She invites her readers to add their own miracle. Let Donna know about your miracle and bring encouragement to all the readers of her blog.
  4. Penny Sansevieri, author of Red Hot Internet Publicity, has a great blog for authors and publishers. Check out her “Creating a Roadmap for Marketing” post.
  5. You Can Sell More Books is a blog by Lisa Copen. She is requesting authors to submit their best book marketing tip to her. If she uses your tip in her ebook, you will get a free copy of the ebook. Lisa’s blog includes some good marketing information, however, I am disappointed that she does not list Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) on her blog under “Organizations” or “Christian Resources.”

Is there a blog that you find helpful in your Christian book marketing journey? I invite you to share it with me.

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Authors Take Note

one-lovely-blog-awardLynnette Bonner will have her first fiction novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, published later this year. In anticipation of having her first book published and to begin to build a platform for marketing, Lynnette has created a blog.

Lynnette is way ahead of many new authors when it comes to marketing. Her book has not even reached print and she has started marketing. Way to go Lynnette!

Lynnette is working on gathering a loyal readership for her blog. Generating traffic for her blog allows Lynnette to build the number of potential readers for her upcoming book and increases her circle of influence.

To increase her blog following, Lynnette has been actively reading blogs by other Christian writers. She frequently comments on these blogs, creating exposure for her own blog.

One strategy some bloggers use to increase awareness and new readers for a blog is to give a moving blog award. Here is how it works. One blogger gives the award to a few blogs she follows. First, the blogger highlights the blogs in a blog post, and then she notifies the bloggers of the award through posting a comment on each blog that she has chosen to present the award to. Each award-winning blog is then asked to pass the award on to other blogs; keeping the award moving around the web.

This blog, Marketing Christian Books, was a grateful recipient of Lynnette’s “One Lovely Blog Award” last week. So, now I can say that I have an award-winning blog. Thank you Lynnette!

Each blog Lynnette has presented the award to will at least mention her blog on their blog when they pass on the award. This nets Lynnette further coverage on the blogosphere. As for this blog, not only have I mentioned Lynnette’s blog, I have also told you about her upcoming book.

Way to seize a great marketing opportunity Lynnette! Authors take note!

Stay tuned, I will pass the One Lovely Blog Award on.

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Are You Regular?

Most experts in marketing will tell you that, at a minimum, you should be doing five things a day to promote your book. Sometimes book promotion is like reading your Bible. You know you should do it every day, but often you fall short. Life just gets in the way.

Fortunately God’s grace is greater than our failings. That’s true in our relationship with him as well in our book promotion. God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make the grade. Simply resolve to do better.

The best way to ensure that your book marketing efforts are regular and continual is to create a marketing plan. From your marketing plan draft goals for yourself about what you will do each day. Then set out to fulfill those goals.

Your daily five promotional efforts can include a blog post, commenting on someone else’s blog that reaches your target audience, sending off queries for acquiring book reviews, seeking speaking engagements, seeking guest blog appearances, writing articles about your topic that help promote your book, seeking radio or television interviews, setting up book signing appearances, targeted mailings, writing a newsletter for your fans, and sending thank you notes for book coverage received; to name just  a few.

Promoting a book is not a sprint. It is a marathon and something that you must do on a regular and continual basis. Regular, continual book promotion will keep your book selling for years. Baby Bible Board Books: Stories of Jesus (www.babybibleboardbooks.com), the set of children’s books that I co-authored with my husband, are still selling six years after they were published; all because we continue to engage in regular promotional efforts.yg2-front

If you are having trouble coming up with a marketing plan and specific resources to use in promoting your book, then I suggest you read a book on marketing books. Books such as John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book and my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, are filled with specific resources and contacts for you to use in making a plan.

If that approach overwhelms you, then consider hiring a marketing coach to help you. I provide book marketing coaching for Christian books. My service includes a marketing plan with specific resources. You can learn more about this service at www.marketingchristianbooksinc.com.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then five promotional efforts a day sells your book.


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The New Author

Technology is rapidly changing the landscape for marketing books. A few years ago, authors were encouraged to have a website and develop a mailing list (email and snail mail) for their fan base to maintain contact and market their current and upcoming titles to. However, the new interactive Web 2.0 has changed how authors are expected to market their books.

The number of Web 2.0 user-created content websites that authors can use to promote their books is increasing on a daily basis. Keeping up and learning how to use each of these time-consuming activities to promote books can be confusing and overwhelming.

Dennis Cass, an author with HarperCollins, recently created a very funny video with his take on what is expected of authors from their publishers in marketing their books. I think Dennis has done a great job of encapsulating many authors’ feelings in his video that is posted on YouTube.

Do you feel like Dennis?

Word Made Art

Let me share with you a new website I was recently introduced to. The site is called Wordle. You can find it at www.wordle.net. This great little site allows you to create art with words, or, as Wordle puts it, “word clouds.”

So what does word art have to do with marketing?

First of all, creating Wordles is just plain fun. The word clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Creators can tweak their word clouds to feature different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

Second of all, it’s great art for your promotional materials, your website, your blog, or even your profile picture for your social networks. The images you create on Wordle can be used however you like. Just save the images you create in jpeg format onto your computer.

One neat feature of Wordle is the ability to use an RSS feed to fetch the text for an art picture. You can enter any website that has an RSS feed and Wordle turns that website’s recent text into art. Here is this blog (www.marketingchristianbooks.wordpress.com) as a Wordle. mcb12

Another idea for using a Wordle in your promotional materials would be if you have a theme Bible verse for one of your books, your blog, or your website, you can turn that verse into a Wordle and post it online. Here is an example of a Bible-verse-turned-Wordle using John 1:1-3. mcb2

The best part is that using the Wordle website is free. The creator of Wordle is a part of IBM Research’s Visual Communication Lab. They are currently trying to understand how and why people are using Wordle. In exchange for using the site, I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete their short anonymous survey as a way to say thank you.

The creators of Wordle call it a toy. It truly is. One can get lost happily creating Wordles for hours. Happy Wordling!

Did you create a Wordle you want to share? I encourage you to post a link to your Wordle in the comments.

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