To never miss a blog follow via email:

Monday, June 5, 2017

How to build nerves of steel



Feel you might need nerves like steel ropes?

Maybe?
Yes!
More than ever !
I don’t know how to develop them…
? What type of nerves ?

From the dictionary:

nerves of steel
Fig. very steady nerves; great patience and courage.

(author’s annotation: a person with nerves of steel must have a deep-rooted belief in his cause or at least have hope that s/he will succeed)

According to a report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) about 27 million working-age Americans--nearly 14 percent--started or run new businesses, in 2015. These 27 million Americans are going out on their own; some of them deeply believing that they will succeed and others hoping that they will.

So, what if they don't really believe in themselves, if hope is their biggest asset?

Anybody who has ever been in real trouble knows how mere hope can stimulate us to keep going.

Hope isn’t just hope. There are different kind of hopes like ‘last hope’, ‘mere hope’ and also ‘well-founded hope’. The latter is particularly interesting, because we may know for sure that a certain deal will happen, finances can be raised, or some other important step will take place, and it may only be a matter of time.

Very often, our problem is that we cannot control the speed at which others proceed. We can ask, plead, remind, push… but inevitably, we have to wait till others are as ready as we are.

The savviest of us work so many options at the same time that they have reason for well-founded hope, any day. While a savvy person’s options A, B, C may be on hold, options D, H, and M could materialize that very day.

Have you ever looked closely at a steel rope?



A steel rope is comprised out of many thin steel threads, which are bundled into groups, which form thin steel ropes. These thin steel ropes are woven into the final product.

Of course, the obvious analogy is that the thin steel ropes represent the many opportunities we create for ourselves.

By developing lots of chances and opportunities, we simultaneously create nerves like steel ropes. They come from knowing that indeed we have reason for ‘well-founded hope’, that sooner or later one or another option will materialize.

Additional strength comes from knowing that even if a few of the thin steel ropes break, others or at least one of them will hold up.

This is how we build nerves of steel.

~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is an email evangelist, a PR expert and an author. Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and in other fine publications. 

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina

Subscribe here for updates and blog summaries.


RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2015 and 2017 by Gisela Hausmann


Friday, June 2, 2017

The Main Problem with Amazon's Third Party Book Sellers and What I Do About It




It’s never boring in the world of indie publishing. Most recently, Amazon began allowing third-party-book sellers to win the “Add to Cart” Buy Box.

This means that customers who want to buy a new book and click “Add to Cart” may never see Amazon’s price but instead buy from a third-party-vendor, with many customers believing that they are buying from Amazon.

Various independent authors’ and publishers’ organizations are protesting Amazon’s move, stating that it disadvantages authors and publishers. Bloggers are chiming in and offering ideas how indie authors and publishers should deal with the issue.

*

Reminder: Third-party sellers have always sold books on Amazon.

Amazon’s Marketplace, which allows third-party-vendors to sell merchandise side-by-side with Amazon, started in 2000 selling used books! During the company’s early days it helped Amazon to become the “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.”

Even today, in the days of print-on-demand the Marketplace can be extremely helpful in building indie authors’ reputations.

For instance, in 2005 I discontinued selling my alphabet book obvious LETTERS on Amazon. Before the development of educational computer games the book was quite popular and sold around the world. Much to my delight, even today a Japanese third-party vendor offers one copy on Amazon.

To be precise, this vendor offers a used copy of my book for more than double the original sales price.

Though I won't be making a single penny from his sales I am not jealous. His offering my book in Japan shows that my book sold around the world.





The fact that Amazon keeps out-of-print books “alive” is a huge advantage for authors.


So, why are indie authors and publishers complaining? 

Amazon’s latest change affects the selling of new books; often books that are printed on demand.
Some bloggers speculate that at least a few third-party-sellers are selling used copies as new copies.


Where are the new books coming from? 

In her latest monthly newsletter, Bethany Cox, Managing Editor of The Midwest Book Review, explains what many authors know anyway:
Some #FREE independent book review services ask authors to submit paperback review copies. These books are being sold to help fund the review service’s expenses.

Considering that other noted review services charge hundreds of dollars per book review hopefully no author or publisher will question this business concept.

My personal $2.00 catastrophe

That being said I know exactly how indie authors and publishers feel about this third-party-vendor issue because I have already walked that path, inadvertently.

Months ago, long before this new change was enacted, I noticed a third party vendor selling a copy of one of my books for $1.99. I almost fainted when I saw this offer.

Who are these people?
Do they want to ruin me?
Why are they offering my book priced below production costs?
Where did this book come from?

Eventually, I calmed down enough to guess where the book came from. Three weeks earlier I myself had given away half a dozen of these books.

I am a nonfiction author who writes useful books which I update whenever needed. Most of my books have been updated at least once.

Example:



Like most indie authors I buy paperback copies to

  • give them to reviewers and bloggers, 
  • hand them out to media people to introduce my work, 
  • enter them in award competitions,
  • and similar activities. 

Occasionally, I publish a revised and updated edition or change the cover of a book even though I still have copies of the “old book (condition: new).” Personally, I find it immoral for me to sell outdated copies on Amazon or Ebay. After all, I knows that a newer version is available because I wrote and published it.

My romantic vision

Therefore, I used to donate any left-over copies to charitable organizations’ thrift stores where they will be sold for a guaranteed low price, typically $1.00 for paperbacks, $2.00 for hard-cover copies.

In my romantic vision doing this helped everybody: people who lived on a tight budget, the charitable organizations, and even me who didn’t want to throw away my “book-babies.”


view of one of nine book shelves in a thrift store in my region

However, my romantic vision fell apart in less than one second when I saw my book being offered on Amazon – for only $1.99, like a cheap, thrown out book.

This scenario looks only slightly better if the third-party-vendor is offering a “new” book.
Bestsellers too are affected. Buyers who look at the below scenario must wonder if the offered book is “stolen goods”?

(Rumor has it that some Amazon third-party-vendors will offer items dirt-cheap if they are eager to build a record quickly. )



*

Getting plunged into this unpleasant scenario a few months ago led me to change my habits – I now destroy my outdated books.

I throw them into the local recycle dumpster.

Only other authors will understand how I feel about these developments.





I also tear my books apart, just in case a dumpster diver happens to come by.

Personally, I don’t have any issues with people hunting down valuable items.

In fact, I would love to hug everybody who will jump into a dumpster to retrieve one my books.
Is there any greater love for books?
(I am not even sure that I would do that.)

I also don’t have a problem with people making a really sweet profit like the Japanese third-party-vendor.

BUT:

I just cannot allow that savvy vendors pick up my book for next to nothing and resell it on Amazon, next to regular priced copies.

Until Amazon does something to control the third-party-book-seller situation better, I cannot donate outdated books anymore.

What are your thoughts?

Please comment in the comment section below.


~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is an email evangelist, a PR expert and an author. Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and in other fine publications. 

RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Opening up about death –What I learned from losing my husband, brother, aunt, and BFF, who all died within 5 1/2 years



Lately, the topics grief and death receive a lot of attention, largely due to Mrs. Sandberg's PR campaign for her book "Option B." In a way, it is a sad thing that it takes a celebrity's efforts to shine light on a topic that touches all of us.

All of us are living "Option B," every day; all of us lost somebody.

I lost four loved ones within only five-and-a-half years: my husband (2000), my brother (2003), one of my two aunts (2004), and my BFF (2005). 

Occasionally, I have been asked silly questions like “And, there wasn’t anything that could be done?” and more often than not people just didn’t know what to say or ask.   

Here is one of my four stories:

Growing up in Austria, my brother Michael and I were inseparable. As the older sister and tomboy, I once beat up the hometown bully to defend Michael, a soft-spoken, smart child who detested physical violence.



In 1981, the two of us took a legendary bus trip to Istanbul. By chance, I was able to purchase last minute tickets for only sixty bucks each; the trip turned out to become an awesome adventure.



Strange little signs

A few years later, I got married, had two children, and moved to the United States. Traveling back and forth with the little ones was difficult, so I relied on the phone to stay in contact with my family in Europe. 

Sometimes, I could not reach Michael for many weeks. He said that he traveled a lot. 

When in 1998, I visited Austria, I was surprised that Michael declined meeting at a nice restaurant but wanted me to visit him at his cozy but rather small apartment. There, I also noticed that he never got out of his chair but didn’t want to mention it. It took another year till the alarm bells went off.

A cry for help in disguise

In the past I had given Michael two books about movies he liked. In 1999, he suddenly sent them back by mail, without any comment.

HI was urt and furious, I vented to my Austrian BFF Miki,
“I can’t believe that he did this! What did I do to deserve this kind of passive aggressive behavior?  If Michael didn’t want the books, he could have thrown them away. Sending them back practically screams, ‘I want you to know that I don’t want these books’.”  

That’s when Miki broke down and told me that Michael had Multiple Sclerosis. The doctors thought he had severe MS; he probably had only five to seven years to live.  Knowing that I was far away, Michael made the whole family promise that they would not tell me. There was nothing I could do.

Tragedy wasn’t done with me, yet

Then, in September 2000, my husband died unexpectedly. Reclaiming my life to the point where at least some things became easier took two years.

By Summer 2003, I was checking flights to Europe on a weekly basis. Though Michael’s condition was stable, the disease had progressed to a point where he had to live in a long-term hospice facility with 24-hour care. Finally, I got lucky and could buy three plane tickets to Europe for $350 each. The downside was, we had to wait and fly in November, usually defined as the “low season.”

The day before the kids and I started our 12 hour flight, I called mom and said, “Please call the nurses and ask them to tell Michael that I’ll be at his bedside the day after tomorrow.”

The next day I awoke to the news that Michael had died during the night, unexpectedly.

What-ifs and maybes

Instinctively, I knew that Michael died so I would never see him looking like skin and bones and being in pain all day long. He wanted me to remember him as the boy, the teenager, and the young man he had been; the cool, fun guy.

It was the only explanation. Michael had held on to life for so long, his health status had not changed in months, yet he died within hours of learning that I was about to board a plane.  If I would have been able to fly sooner, he probably would have died sooner.

The following year (2004) my Aunt Annemie died and a year later my BFF Miki who had let me in on Michael's tragic secret. 

During these years I thought a lot about life and death and tried to examine how my loved ones had lived their lives.

Without a doubt, all four, including Michael, had lived full lives.

Dealing with Grief

In her book “Option B,” Sheryl Sandberg writes how communicating on Facebook helped her in dealing with grief. Then again, isn’t the fact that everybody is glued to their Smartphone instead of talking to the person next to them, a major societal problem?

Sandberg also quotes writer Tim Lawrence, “When you’re faced with tragedy, you usually find that you’re no longer surrounded by people—you’re surrounded by platitudes.”  Again, I believe that social media is part of this problem. On Facebook, people see how others post “I am so sorry for your loss (sticker of crying kitten or puppy).” 

This shows proper etiquette, but: Is it Personal? Or Is it Platitude?

My grandparents and great-grandparents who survived World War I and II saw many dozens of their family and friends die or disappear. Still, even without grief counseling, all of them stayed pretty sane. What did they do to ease the trauma?

They told and re-told each other the good stories until they became legendary!

“The Stories”

Here are a few tales from my family:
  • During World War I, my great-grandfather and his best friend escaped from a Russian prison camp and walked home, a distance of about 1,000 miles.
  • My grandmother on mother’s side solved and sent in the church magazine’s crossword puzzle  every month for more than 40 years. She won the main prize, a paid trip to Rome, five times.
  • During the early Fifties, my father took a train trip to Paris. While there, he saved money by eating mostly bananas. In Paris, two pounds of bananas imported from the French colonies cost only 1 penny, then. Returning from that trip, dad never ate bananas for the rest of his life. 
  • During my sister’s 25th birthday party, my brother Michael predicted the Fall of the Berlin Wall–four years before it happened. Having visited Berlin and crossed Checkpoint Charlie in 1980, I bet Michael ten bucks that the wall would not come down during our lifetime. Of course, I lost this bet.
  • And, my late husband? He did it all—drop out of school, immigrate to different countries, amateur box, and fly planes...

*
Nobody ever asked for these stories but I have the choice to tell them.

Even my grandmother comes off like a super hero. Winning five trips to Rome by solving crossword puzzles is no small feat. Under different circumstances, my grandmother who researched the needed clues in dictionaries and encyclopedias could have been a code breaker or an FBI agent.

*

It is my proposition to help alleviate grief by asking for and talking about the stories that make each life unique.

Sharing stories also forms a bond between the storyteller and the listener because the storyteller can let the listener in on something special, maybe even a secret. Storytelling is the oldest form of encouraging others and ourselves to move on and forward. Long before our ancestors could read, that’s how tribe leaders motivated their people.

Personally, I believe in the power of storytelling so much that in 2012, I penned a life-skills book which features 41 true stories. These and all good stories transport messages that teach how to get to the next level while also valuing the past.


*
Do you believe that storytelling can help ease the pain and moving forward?

~ ~*~ ~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of NAKED DETERMINATION 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear and NAKED EYE-OPENER: To Reach the Dream You Must Forget About It." 

She tweets @Naked_Determina


To receive a summary of my blogs every two months please subscribe here. 

RYX6ZF8QT9YW

If you liked this blog, please share. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Indie authors ― 180 Factual Numbers from Twitter Promotions You Don't Want to Miss

About two weeks ago, an author friend and I debated Twitter book promotions. I shared my opinion that for the past 15 months the news cycle is so fast that book promotions on Twitter can't be as effective as they used to be. At the same time I also decided to run "my test" to get some factual numbers.

The following method to determine the effectiveness of any book marketing campaign is published in my book Naked News for Indie Authors How NOT to Invest Your Marketing $$$:

First, I picked the following target group:
  • 12 books
  • genre: Romance
  • all books on sale but NOT free
  • 4 different promoters
  • books to be monitored for 5 days
In order to be objective I picked the genre 'romance.' Since I don't read romance novels, I can't possibly be biased.

My only criteria was to select books with beautiful covers, thereby simulating how a potential buyer/reader might choose to buy a book.

Over the course of five days I recorded the books' rankings three times throughout the day (morning, noon, and evening).

The improvements of rankings (sale of book(s)) are highlighted in green.



To see the correlation between number of book reviews and sales I re-sorted the chart according to the number of reviews each book had.

Not surprisingly books with many reviews did better, but one book with 20 reviews did not sell a single copy.

Book K with 45 reviews seemed to show "false positives."
[During the five days Book K fluctuated between sales ranks #507,103 and #513,043. I believe that this book used to sell very well in the past, hence, even though at times hourly sales of other books made it drop in rank, previous sales kept it from dropping any more than it did (5,940 ranks in 5 days).]




SUMMARY
  • 4 of 12 books did not record a single sale
  • the 2 books with the most reviews recorded the most sales
  • not all books with many reviews sold well
  • Book G with only 8 reviews outscored Book H with 18 reviews.
  • Book J with 20 reviews did not record a single sale. 
  • Overall, books with fewer reviews scored fewer sales

ROI (Return on Investment)

It looks to me as if only the two top ranked books may have sold enough copies to cover the costs of the book promotions.

***

While admittedly the week before Easter is not a perfect time to do this evaluation, I believe that other factors may have a much bigger impact.

Twitter is a news-driven platform. Because President Trump likes to tweet, journalists, pundits and bloggers have "set up camp" on Twitter, which allows them to react to the president's and his team's tweets quickly and also to spread their own contents quickly.

"Breaking the Internet"

All of us remember when Kim Kardashian wanted to "break the Internet." Since last summer "the Internet gets broken," almost daily.

These days, major newspapers even provide summaries of the president's tweets.


[Please click the charts to see them enlarged.]

Though it may be only a coincidence, in the hours after First Lady Melania Trump tweeted about the annual Easter Egg Roll which prompted the media, Trump fans and opponents to pick up that topic – again – not one copy of these 12 books got sold.

More note(tweet)worthy events during these five days:
  • On April 12, Press Secretary Spicer's statement about Hitler's concentration camps from 4/11/17 still made headlines, 
  • On April 15, North Korea attempted to launch a Musudan missile,
  • On April 16, Trump supporters and protesters clashed in Berkeley, California.
  • Additionally, social media sites were still buzzing about the United Air incident from April 9, 2017.
***

Whether we like it or we don't, this is what Twitter is all about. In the words of its co-founder Jack Dorsey:
“Expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, be the unexpected.” 
I believe that the only way how authors can conquer this hurdle is to get featured in the media themselves.
“If you can't beat them. Join them.” ― Jim Henson, American puppeteer, creator of the Muppets

Even the most famous authors do it this way. If you check you'll notice that all famous authors list their media appearances on their websites.


The ROI of getting featured in the media is just incredible. It:

  • adds instant credibility
  • can be re-used and recycled again when the timing is right (obviously, if your book was featured in a reputable publication in the past this fact will still be true in ten years from now) and
  • you and your book are the news, instead of you trying to shout over others' news. 

Does it take work?

Of course, it does.

Doing anything that's noteworthy takes work. But, if you work on reaching this goal you can also influence the outcome.

If unfortunately North Korea decides to do a failed missile launch on the day when your book is featured on an international podcast you simply re-tweet the news later on, when "the air has cleared."

Not only can you retweet newsworthy news, the podcast host will even help you and re-tweet the news for you because their podcast tweet's effectiveness was influenced too. The same goes for every mass media.

Got interviewed on local TV? Retweet your happiness until they put you on, again.

Got featured in Publishers Weekly? It will still be true and noteworthy  in a decade from now.

Best of all, getting featured in the media is a source of pride. You did not pay them to feature you, you explained to them that you had news their viewers and listeners care about and that makes you a star.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” ― Albert Schweitzer

~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches" and "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews." 

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and in other fine publications. Gisela is a mass media expert who worked in the industry for six years.

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina
Subscribe here for updates 


RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

What does Jell-O have to do with your success as an indie author?

la-fontaine via PixaBay

Over the last six months I’ve noticed hundreds of blogs cropping up, telling aspiring indie authors that Americans read “more ebooks than ever.” Hence, it’s time to publish that manuscript!

Most of these blogs refer to Pew Research Center’s September 2016 study, which announced that the number of people who read ebooks has increased by 11% since 2011. Unfortunately, most of the blogs fail to mention the study’s claim that during the same time period the number of people who read at least one book—in any format—declined by 6%.

Though the Pew Research Center’s study does not offer any explanations why 6% of people have stopped reading books, I am guessing that this number includes people who may have read one or more nonfiction books to learn important professional skills; now they’ve switched to blogs.

Blogging is not only a respected art form, it is also a content marketing tool. Blogging at least once per week helps content marketers to stay in touch with their existing clients, win new clients, and sell product or services.

But it’s only effective when the blogger cares enough about the reader to research the topic and provide valuable information.

Example: The Jell-O campaign benefited both American housewives and the company.

Blogging is new, but content marketing has been around for more than 100 years; one of the early examples is the Jell-O marketing campaign of 1904.

Even though Jell-O has been sold since 1899, it didn’t sell well in stores. American housewives didn’t know what to do with it. Finally, the Genesee Food Company who owned and distributed Jell-O placed an ad in Ladies’ Home Journal offering free “best-seller” recipes. The campaign was an instant hit. The fact that housewives didn’t have to figure out how to prepare delicious Jell-O desserts did the trick.


Public domain, the first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.


More recently, content marketing is being used by experts like lawyers, cover designers, and editors to explain to potential customers how they will benefit from using their more expensive services.

For instance, though most authors have at least some working knowledge about the copyright, very few know how to proceed if their copyright is being infringed. The blog of a lawyer who has handled actual copyright infringement cases will deliver helpful information.

Content marketing should be beneficial for both the blogger and the reader. The problem begins when bloggers choose topics they don’t know too much about and also have no vested interest in.

What this means for indie authors and author-bloggers.

Whereas a copyright lawyer’s blog is being written by the lawyer or a law student who interns at their firm and the Jell-O recipes were created by cooks employed at the  Genesee Food Company, there are hundreds of non-experts blogging about indie author topics.

Most recently, I saw an indie author’s blog about how to get book reviews from Amazon top reviewers. The blog contained two traps that will most likely lead to all top reviewers ignoring their request.

The author-blogger suggested to begin the request email by stating something like “I found your name on the list of Amazon top reviewers.”

Problem #1: These are useless filler words.

How do I know? I really am an Amazon top reviewer. Since it takes at least two to three years of steady reviewing to become a top reviewer, it is wasted words telling a top reviewer how indie authors find us. We know.

Problem #2: Too many authors don’t edit their emails for personal appeal.

Many emails seem to suggest between the lines, “I don’t really care what books you like. Since you are a top reviewer I hope you will read and review my book.” Making this error is detrimental to authors’ efforts. Top reviewers read books because they enjoy reading and reviewing books, not because they want  be used as unpaid marketers.   

Obviously, this second problem only arises because the blogger suggests mentioning the top reviewer’s status. It is difficult to mention somebody’s special status and then pretend that this status has nothing to do with why one person contacted the other. As a result, too many emails sound like bad flattery. If, in this case, the indie author would focus only on presenting their book to a person who is known to enjoy reading this particular genre the problem would not even come up.

Hence, following this blog’s advice hinders indie authors in succeeding instead of helping them. Since this blog was shared more than 1,000 times I don’t even want to speculate how many indie authors wasted hours and hours writing and sending emails that won’t lead to positive results. 

The rise of false information.

During the outgoing 19th century no hobby cook who used Jell-O would have published a book or an article about Jell-O recipes; today, even people who have no insider knowledge about a certain topic write blogs about it.

The hundreds of bloggers who advise to use hollow phrases and silly templates have no idea how annoying these emails are—especially when one receives dozens of emails like that every month.

The simple truth is that to write good content the blogger has to be invested in a positive outcome for the reader and for themselves.

The cook who created the Jell-O recipes in 1904 had a vested interest that their recipes come out perfect every time.

A lawyer who blogs about their field of expertise has a vested interest that they present arguments which help potential clients to make the best decisions.

In contrast, author-bloggers who just want clicks couldn’t care less if their blogs prompt thousands of other authors to send emails to top reviewers; since they themselves aren’t top reviewers, they won’t receive this flood of annoying emails.

Equally, the bloggers who encourage others to write a book because Americans read “more ebooks than ever” without mentioning that the number of people who read at least one book—in any format—declined by 6% don’t have to face the consequences because they are not publishing the books. They just want to hook aspiring writers.

Don’t be that blogger. Don’t be that blog reader.

How to find great blogs.

Though at this point it may not be obvious, I really love blogs—great blogs that is. As an author I am aware that books cannot be updated every six months to include interesting new information. Writing a blog gives indie authors the opportunity to present additional information whenever an opportunity arises.

The fact that I love blogs is also the reason why I call out bloggers who write wishy-washy blogs just to make sales, instead of writing blogs that create value.

So, what can blog readers do to avoid acting upon incorrect information?

1) Remember the First Amendment

When reading a blog always remember that in the United States the First Amendment guarantees people the right to write, even about things they know nothing about or can’t prove to be true. Therefore:

2) Check the blogger’s background!

Every blogger features a short resume at the beginning or the end of their blog. Always study it; if need be—verify it. Don’t hesitate to ask poignant questions. If anybody asks me why I give advice on how to contact top reviewers, I will be happy to provide them with a link to my top reviewer profile.

3) Check the date!

If a blog is older than six months, chances are at least some parts may be outdated. Things change quickly these days.

4) Do the math!

Add the number of shares the blog received on all social media platforms. Because not everybody shares blogs, multiply that number by 30. Since probably no more than half of the blog readers acted on the blog’s recommendation divide that number again by 2. Then, evaluate if the presented concept will work if this number of people do what is being suggested or recommended.

As a practical example: A blog suggests that authors should contact all reviewers who read their book’s genre with an email that begins with the words, “Hi, I saw that you reviewed (title of book). I just recently published a book that is similar...” The blog was shared 450 times on all social media platforms.

450 x 30 = 13,500 : 2 = 6,750. Of the 6,750 indie authors who may have contacted reviewers and bloggers, about 30% may write romance novels. That means that a reviewer who reviews this popular genre might have received already between 750 and 1,500 emails stating the same silly sentence.

Do you believe that if you do the same, the reviewer will reply, “Sure, please send your book”?

5) Get some Jell-O

Then—sit down in your favorite chair and ponder the blog you read while slowly eating the Jell-O dessert.

Kids will tell you that the best thing about Jell-O is that you can see through it.

It’s the same for blogs. A great blog has a see-through concept. The blogger explains why their idea will work and list facts and sources. A great blog can be sliced and diced and each part will be good. A great blog will be revelatory even without any decor.


If you evaluate all blogs by this standard, you won’t waste time and you’ll achieve much better, sweeter results.


~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches" and "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews."

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and in other fine publications.

Gisela is a mass media expert who graduated from the University of Vienna, which, founded in 1365, is the 22nd oldest university in the world. She also worked in the industry for six years.

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina


To receive a summary of Gisela's blogs every two months please subscribe here. 

RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

10 Quotes that help indie authors to succeed




Quotes are meant to inspire us and to help us focus on our goals. Indie authors are no exception. Considering the stiff competition, we need to focus on our goals more than others. Here are 10 quotes that impressed my author friends. I am also inviting you to share your favorite quote in the comments. 


"Be yourself. Avoid self-censorship. Love your failures."  Clive Barker


I can't think of any better advice to people starting their career in writing. Certainly, worrying about what others may think or fear of failure is a specter that haunts many an author, but to impose your own morality on your characters will do them (and your readers) a disservice.

Ed Ryder, author of 'In Vitro Lottery'  @Ed_Ryder7




“Any work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art, should carry its justification in every line.”  – Joseph Conrad  


Conrad was talking about writing. If every line carries a striking image, a key phrase, an important kernel of meaning, and each line links well to the next, then strong paragraphs form. Paragraphs become pages, chapters, stories – then memories in the reader’s mind. To place those memories there, is why we write.

Paul Toolan, author of ‘A January Killing’ – @ptoolan1




“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come yet. We have only today. Let us begin.”   Mother Teresa


Past is past, learn what you have to with it and let it go, otherwise you’re not going to enjoy the beautiful things that are happening right in front of you. Live is too short for you to get stuck in your past. 

Don’t let what you want to do or what you want to say to someone for tomorrow, do it now. Live today as if there isn’t tomorrow. We never know what is going to happen.

Marcia Weber Martins, author of “Perfect Match” – @marcia_w_m 




“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” Elmore Leonard


I admit it. I skip sections even in best selling novels. I love fast-paced reads: mystery, adventure, espionage, and action. If there’s too much ‘filler’ I skip paragraphs. I write what I want to read. This quote reminds me to be ruthless when editing my own works of fiction ultimately creating a better experience for the reader. 

Lynda Filler, author of 'TARGET in the SUN' - @LyndaMFiller 




'It's not about who I'm like, it's about who I am.' - Francis Cabrel


Discovering your own voice as a writer is often talked about but not so easy to do. This quote inspires me to develop my own style and my own genres. I want readers to say, ‘That’s a Jean Gill original’, not feel they’ve bought a cheap copy.

Jean Gill, author of 'Song at Dawn: 1150 in Provence (The Troubadours Quartet)' @writerjeangill





Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass - Anton Chekhov

I treasure this quote - in epic fantasy immersing the reader in the setting you create is paramount. It illustrates how to “show, don’t tell” in writing - don’t tell the reader what is happening, use words to show them the scene and leave their imagination to render it in their mind.

Adrian G Hilder, author of 'The General’s Legacy' - @AdrianGHilder





Shut up, he explained. - Ring Lardner

It’s an astonishing use of language for the word juxtaposition and meanings--a wild use of rudeness and consideration for the reader’s intelligence.
It reminds me to write judiciously but not overlook the improbable and perhaps weird. It is also unforgettable and startlingly funny!

Frank Daley, author of 'WHAT's YOUR PROBLEM? No Really, What IS Your Problem?' - @TheFrankDaley




“We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.” Tim Robbins


This has been one of my favorite quotes since I began publishing a few years ago. It sums up the entire journey to success for anyone. We are our own worst enemies and our harshest critics, and we must learn to love ourselves, accept ourselves, and believe in ourselves in order to find true success and happiness.

Traci Sanders, author of - "Living The Write Life" @tmsanders2014





"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Maya Angelou


Angelou confirms my belief in the power of stories. Whether we are fiction or nonfiction authors or family members recalling memories for reminiscences or ethical wills, each of our stories enlightens the reader and gives new meaning to life and empowers the storyteller.


Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D., author of "Color Your Life Happy:Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve" - @florabrown




"Don't wait. The time will never be just right."-Napoleon Hill


The quote reminds me to take action every day. When J. Canfield promoted his first Chicken Soup book, he pitched five radio stations per day; even after it was a bestseller. Eventually, he had seven books on the NYT bestseller list at the same time.  


Gisela Hausmann, author of 'BOOK MARKETING The Funnel Factor - @Naked_Determina




Please share your own favorite quote in the comments section. 
Inspire us! Then, share with others!

To receive a summary of Gisela's blogs every two months please subscribe here. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The time to get read is NOW – Students, are you looking for an internship?



In South Carolina the trees are starting to flower, Spring is on its way.

Soon, students will think about: learning for standardized tests, researching and visiting colleges; and, seniors will be filling out college admissions applications and financial aid forms. Parents will advise and guide them and hope that their child will make best decisions for a successful career, which will also make them happy.

There are two more actions that will have a major impact on students' success; luckily, they are relatively easy to do.

1) Set up a Linkedin profile 

Opposite to setting up other social media profiles, creating a Linkedin profile will take some time. Also, if possible, students should try to get recommendations, which again will take time. Having a Linkedin profile demonstrates a professional attitude; additionally, the profile can serve as an extended resume.

2) Learn how to write effective emails with personal appeal

Never mind how popular texting is among teenagers, nobody can text their way to a job. Since unfortunately, email writing skills are not taught in most schools, and not even in most colleges, learning how to write effective emails with personal appeal will help any student get noticed. Here is why.
***

Students will need to write emails to apply for internships (and jobs) 

Studies show that 7 out of 10 internships turn into full-time employment. Internships are the fastest way to college credits, work experience, and making money.  Plus, internships are cool. Even Malia Obama interned last summer on the set of HBO’s “Girls.”

Excellent planners may be able to shortcut their way to earnings

Students who plan ahead and make contacts on Linkedin, for instance in Linkedin groups, will be able to contact influencers directly, via email. This may enable them to get their foot through the door of a company before a certain position is even advertised.

Eventually, everyone who works in an office needs to write emails

A 2014 survey about the role of digital technology in online adults' work lives by Pew Research showed that the target group, online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity, considered email their most important tool.

This skill is even more important if a student wants to start his/her own business or a start-up for additional income.

One-in-ten U.S. workers is self-employed and this number may be rising very quickly. Millennials are embracing entrepreneurism. Then again, three -in-four of all self-employed workers don't have any employees. That implies that they personally handle all business tasks, including writing business and marketing emails.

The need for best communication skills won't go away

If we have learned anything over the last decade then it is that we don't know what is going to happen. The two things we do know is that the need for best communication skills as well as for expressing who we are and what we represent won't go away.

Students, who set up their Linkedin profile and work on their email writing skills right now, may be able to score an internship for summer 2017.

The time to act is now.

~*~

Gisela Hausmann is an award-winning email evangelist, the winner of the 2016 Sparky Award "Best Subject Line,"  and the author of "NAKED TEXT: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers" and "NAKED WORDS 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email."

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and other publications.


Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina

To receive a summary of Gisela's blogs every two months please subscribe here. 

RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann