Promoting Your Kirkus Review

You’ve just picked up your rave review from Kirkus. You now have a credible review to share with the world… but… what do you do next? How do you effectively promote your review? Just having the review isn’t going to increase sales… but promoting it may… Let’s look at some ways to make use of a Kirkus review.

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Email it to Your Followers:

If you’ve got an email list of readers, and you’re promoting sale on a republished or new work, use your review as a way to entice these people to buy your book.

On Your Book Listing:

When book buyers look at your reviews, they’re already intrigued by your premise, title, writing style or book cover. Now they’re simply looking something to tell them to click buy. Placing your review on your Amazon book listing may be that final reason to click buy.

On The Back of your Book:

Consider using at least one review blurb on your book cover, as well as several on the back cover of your book. This extra motivation may be the key to convincing your readers to press the buy button.

Social Media: 

A tweet with a blurb review, like, “One of the great stories of this year” – attributed to a credible source like Kirkus is infinitely more sellable than virtually any other. Remember to place a link to the page where your book is actually sold, not your website.

Add it to Your Website:

Readers often visit author websites to find out more about them prior to making a purchase. This is especially true for writers authoring a series, since taking on a series is potentially a major time investment. Credible book reviews on those sites can go a long way toward convincing readers to spend more time with your characters. So, put blurbs front and center, where they can’t be missed. If you’re confident in the entire review, you can add a link to a page where the entire review is posted.

Use As Needed:

It’s common to find yourself right up against a publication deadline, with little time to wait for book reviews as you race to get the book out to your readers. In this case, it’s okay to use previous reviews so long as you do it ethically and accurately. If you have prior praise for your craft in general, you can curate this list under the title “Praise For….” Just make sure you don’t misrepresent the facts, or make it seem as if reviewers of past stories are validating this particular story.

A Look At A Completed Kirkus Review

Last week I said we would take a look at what the end result of a Kirkus review looks like. The below review is for a book called “Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir” by Julia Cameron. You can see the original here.

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New Age writing guru Cameron (The Dark Room, 1998, etc.) tells of her frenetic, peripatetic life as screenwriter, playwright, novelist, columnist and poet.

The author breezily describes her Catholic education, her early addiction to alcohol and her promising start as a magazine writer before a brief marriage to Martin Scorsese took her to Hollywood. There she discovered cocaine, and her life spiraled downward. On the advice of “sober alcoholics” (a term she uses to describe herself), the desperate Cameron quit drinking, gave up drugs and began writing under a new regimen, which called for a quota of just three pages a day. In time, she began teaching her writing technique to others, putting together a course on unblocking creativity and connecting it with spirituality. Spiritual guidance has evidently played a major role in Cameron’s life decisions since then. She repeatedly moved—back and forth across the United States, to and from England—often at the impetus of guiding voices. She ricocheted from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago, Taos, London, Dublin, never finding a comfortable home or compatible working environment. All the while, she sought out astrologers, psychics and other guiding spirits. In a career that combined prolific writing with running a program designed to teach others how to tap into their own creativity, she bounced back from near disasters again and again, even recovering from a nervous breakdown that landed her in the hospital with a diagnosis of manic depression. Throughout, the author never stopped exploring new genres, tackling big projects and discovering new talent in unexpected areas. She is a “floor sample of my own tool kit,” and devotees of her creativity classes may well be inspired by this enthusiastic outpouring.

An absorbing narrative revealing a woman of extraordinary energy, drive and confidence.

This is what you can expect your Kirkus review to look like once completed. How much impact does a review like this have on the market? We’ll take a look at that next week!

 

 

Looking At Professional Review Services…

It’s common for authors to look for reviews. We all want to know how our book is perceived by readers. Over the next few weeks I’d like for us to look at some of the common review services. This first article is about Kirkus—one of the most popular, and prestigious review services. Let’s take a look at how this service works.

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First Request a review…

Click the “Get Started” link above, select your review option and pay for your review. When you submit your order, you’ll get an email from Kirkus confirming receipt of your request.

Then submit your manuscript…

You’ll have the option of mailing two copies of your book to Kirkus or uploading a PDF of your manuscript.

Wait for your review…

Upon receipt of your book or manuscript, Kirkus will assign the book to a reviewer who will read the complete book and write a full review. Reviewers include librarians, business executives, journalists from national publications, PhDs in religion and literature, creative executives in entertainment and publishing industries as well as other professional reviewers.

Collect your review…

Kirkus Indie will email you a link to your author dashboard when your review is ready. Simply click the link and download your review directly their site.

Choose what to do with your review…

You may choose to make your review visible by publishing it where it can be discovered by industry influencers, agents, publishers and consumers. If it is a negative review, you can request that it never see the light of day by simply not publishing it on their site.

That’s how this review process works. Next week we will take a look at how the reviews look.

 

Promoting Your Translated Book Effectively

So… your audiobook has been completed… now how do you advertise it? I thought I’d put together five ideas for you to use as you start to think about promoting your translated novel. Let’s take a look!

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Guest post frequently and strategically.

Guest blogging is one the best ways to increase visibility, gain influence in your genre or topic and draw targeted readers to your online ‘bookstore’ or author site. Try finding sites that will put you in front of your foreign language audience.

Design or a book cover that sells in that Country.

Commission a professional to design a cover that is not only striking, but clear and readable even as a small thumbnail. Make sure your title and blurb are in the right language!

A Foreign Language Book trailer.

Show your creativity, humour and personality. Try to avoid the jacket-flap blurb over a photo montage, and consider incorporating your overall message and brand. If you don’t feel you have the skills to create a book trailer that steals the show, you can hire a company to make one for you–just do a little cost analysis first to see if the marketing benefits outweigh the price tag. Just make sure that any audio clips are in the right language too!

Old Fashioned Advertising

Set up a Google Adwords account, or try Facebook or blog ads. Other advertising options include sites like BookBub or EReader News Today.

 Identify Your Audience

This is a vital step in the promotion and marketing of your book, and–if done right–will make the rest of the process infinitely easier. Find out who your book appeals to, get to know those people well, and be where they are, both online and off. Remember to target your book to the country it was translated for.

 

How A Translation Looks On Babelcube

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We were talking about royalty share book translation site Babelcube last week and I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the work being done on that site. The following excerpt is from a book originally written in English and transcribed into Spanish. It took about two months to complete a 72,000-word manuscript and it’s pretty close.

Below you will find a sample of the original book followed by the Spanish translation. Keep in mind that this is just one of the many language experts on that site—but it will give you an idea of the quality you can expect from the site.

The English Sample:

Rebeccah Johnson met Leon Samuels her junior year when they were both in college. They were at a big party and were very much attracted to each other, which soon led to a steady dating relationship. One fateful summer night as the young couple celebrated Rebeccah’s 21st birthday, too much wine temporarily clouded their judgment. Three weeks later, a home pregnancy test confirmed what Rebeccah suspected; she was pregnant.

Leon and Rebeccah were both Christians. So, not having the baby was never considered. However, as far as Rebeccah was concerned, the timing could not have been worse.

A Sample of the Spanish:

Rebeccah Johnson se reunió con Leon Samuel en su tercer año, cuando ambos estaban en la universidad. Estaban en una gran fiesta y se atrajeron inmediatamente, lo que pronto llevó a una relación estable. Una noche de verano fatídica, cuando la joven pareja celebraba el cumpleaños número 21 de Rebeccah, demasiado vino temporalmente nubló su juicio. Tres semanas después, una prueba de embarazo casera confirmó lo que sospechaba, estaba embarazada.

Leon y Rebeca eran cristianos. Por lo tanto, no tener al bebé nunca fue considerado. Sin embargo, en lo que respectaba a Rebeccah, el momento no podría haber sido peor.

So….

What do you think? If you are a natural, or learned, Spanish speaker then you may be able to tell the quality of the translation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Next week we will take a look at marketing ideas for a foreign language book. I can’t wait to tell you about it!

 

A Closer Look At Babelcube

Last week we discussed Babelcube, the book translation service, that a lot of authors are using to have their books translated from English into other languages for publication. The company provides a way for authors to tap into other language markets without any upfront cost. There is certainly a need for a service like this for authors—but what are the pros and cons of this service?

The Pros:

Distribution as both an eBook and as a paperback.

Babelcube auto-distribute your book to many online retailers.

The customer service is very good, and quick to resolve issues.

Narrators work for a royalty share.

The Cons:

The reliability of some of the translators is questionable. There have been several instances of a translator agreeing to a project—only to disappear into thin air.

They do not have distribution to an audiobook service like ACX.

Royalty payments are confusing and often paid at random.

You are responsible for creating a new cover with a foreign language title.

Next week we will take a look at the finished product and see how a completed translation looks.

How Babelcube Works For Authors Who Want Their Books Translated

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How would you like to have your book translated into German, or French? How about Japanese or Spanish? It’s a tempting idea. Having your book translated into another language and making it available for sale in that country is now an option for authors without a budget. Some books seem to be a perfect fit for this treatment. One of the major companies offering a royalty share translation service is Babelcube. With Babelcube they will translate your book and place it on the market for a cut of the royalty.

But how does it actually work? How do you actually get your book on Babelcube? Let’s take a look…

  1. Visit babelcube.com and open an account.
  2. Upload a sample of your book for their translators to audition with.
  3. Check the auditions and choose the translator you like
  4. Send them an offer and wait for them to accept.
  5. Upload the manuscript and wait for them to finish.
  6. Check the translated manuscript and approve.

Babelcube will then send the book to market after you’ve uploaded the cover and blurb.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? Well… it’s one of the most popular ways to get your book translated, and has its fair share of flaws. Next week we will look at the pros and cons of using Babelcube. I’m looking forward to it.

Have You Tried These Audiobook Promotion Ideas?

Okay… your audiobook is finished. You have a completed audiobook on Amazon waiting for people to buy. A few days go by… nobody has purchased your audiobook… why? Maybe you should try a few promotional ideas to make people aware of your book. Let’s take a look at a few…

Have you tried listing your audiobook on:

 

Your Website

Goodreads

Shelfari

LibraryThing

 

Make use of the free download codes ACX provides:

 

Host a giveaway

Share a code with your #1 fan on social media.

Share codes with audiobook reviewers.

 

Try Some of the Facebook Groups:

 

FREE Audiobook Giveaways!

Everything Audiobooks E.A.R.S Audiobook Promos – For Authors & Readers of All Genres Facebook Group

 

Some other ideas…

 

Tap into social media.

Use your blog to share your audiobook journey.

Host your narrator on your blog for an interview.

If your narrator has a blog, ask if they will interview you.

Do a video interview or author video.

Guest on podcasts related to writing, your genre, or area of interest.

Inform your mailing list about your audiobook release and consider giving away a copy to your subscribers only.

Have a blog tour. Ask your blog tour coordinator to offer your audiobook version for review during your tour.

Are You Thinking About Using ACX?

Image result for audiobooksMany authors want to make their books available as audiobooks. The most popular way for authors to turn their books into audiobooks is by using a service called ACX. This blog post is all about the process of turning your book into an audiobook through ACX. Let’s take a look at the steps to success…

Confirm:

Confirm you have audio rights for your book by checking your print book contract. If you have the audio rights, then for purposes of ACX, you are a Rights Holder.

Create a Profile:

Create a Title Profile by describing your book and the type of narrator best suited for it. You’ll also post a excerpt from your book to serve as the Audition Script for potential narrators.

Find a Producer:

Post your book so Producers can audition. You can listen to sample narrations and invite a handful of producers to audition for your book.

Review Auditions:

Review auditions from interested Producers.

Make a Deal:

You can make an Offer to a Producer to produce your audiobook by sending the Producer a Production Offer Page. If the Producer accepts the Offer, you have a deal on ACX.

Get Started:

Your producer will record and upload a fifteen-minute checkpoint of the audiobook, which you can approve or provide feedback. When the sample is approved, the producer will record the full project.

Approve the Final Product:

You can ask the Producer to make up to two rounds of corrections to your finished audiobook. When you’re happy, you pay your producer directly, unless you agreed to a Royalty Share deal.

Distribute:

ACX distributes your audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes under both the exclusive and non-exclusive contracts. If you grant non-exclusive distribution rights, then you can distribute through additional channels.

A Question of Publishing: Questions To Ask Before Publishing A Book

Before you start to publish a book, you should consider all the available options. For example, do you really know where you want to publish your book? What platforms do you want to sell your book through? Many authors choose KDP—but is it really the best way? Let’s ask a few questions before committing to a place of publishing.

 

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Is the service exclusive or nonexclusive?

E-publishing services marketed directly to authors almost always operate on a nonexclusive basis. That means you can use their service to sell your e-book while also selling your e-book anywhere else you like (or using any other service).

Are there hidden fees or charges?

You can end up paying more than standard rates for conversion/formatting if your book runs very long, if you have an inconvenient file format that needs extra work, if you have a lot of chart/table/image formatting, and so on. If your work has any kind of “special needs,” expect a service to charge you more.

Do you control the price?

While some services may have reasonable pricing restrictions standard practice is to give the author complete control over pricing.

Who owns the e-book files after they are created?

It is ideal if you own the e-book files, and that is usually the case when you pay out of pocket for conversion and formatting services. In the case of some free services, such as Smashwords, you do not. Why so? When you upload your Word document to Smashwords—the only format accepted—it goes through their “meatgrinder” conversion process to create a variety of e-book files. You then have access to those e-book files, but you’re not supposed to turn around and sell them through other services.

Where is your e-book distributed?

If you’re using a service like Amazon KPD, or Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, the answer is pretty simple: Your e-book is distributed only through those specific retailers. When you use a multiple-channel e-book distribution service, then the mix of retailers they reach will vary. At minimum, you want to reach Kindle & Nook, since they currently make up about 70–80% of all e-book sales, followed by Apple iBookstore, Kobo, and Google Play.