Kindle Ebook Cover Creator: Fast and Elegant

Judging by my writing students, sourcing Kindle ebook covers cause more angst that writing a book does. Yes, covers are important. However, you can create them yourself very easily. Perhaps you’ve heard of Canva, the graphics editor? It’s also the easiest ever Kindle ebook cover creator.

Canva does the hard work for you of ebook cover creation for you

Kindle Ebook Cover Creator: Fast and Elegant

In the image above, you can see one of the many images Canva provides for book covers. If you don’t like the image, just upload your own. It takes just minutes to develop your own ecover for your latest Kindle book.

A tip: if you’re writing a series of books, create several ecovers at the same time. Tie the series together with similar images, and use the same fonts. Add all the information which you’ll use for each ebook in the series. Later, when an ebook is ready to publish, just add the title.

As you may know, I have a busy ghostwriting practice. I create cover images in Canvas as a service for my clients. I don’t charge for them; clients are free to hire their own designer. However, it’s so easy to do, I do it so that if they wish, clients can publish to Kindle immediately, then change the cover later.

Canva for Work: coming soon

Canva is becoming the graphic design program of choice for authors, marketers, and others. And Canva for Work is coming soon; I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

If you’d like to receive early notification of the new program, enter your email address.

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits

Want to turn your writing into a creative business? Over the past few months, we’ve had many queries asking when the Your Creative Business coaching program would return, and we’re happy to announce that it’s back. Get started today: put your creativity to work.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Writing a Book for Your Business: Hooks

A reader asked me about writing a book, and getting it published. Her goal is to promote her coaching business; she hopes that her book will give her visibility. It can certainly do that, but if you’re writing a book for your business, you need to ensure that your goals match those of your publisher.

Your goal: to promote your business.

Your publisher’s goal: to sell lots of books.

The bigger the publisher, the more books the company aims to sell. This means that you’ll need a good hook to gain a publisher’s interest. Celebrity books sell (some of them) because they have a built-in hook: the celebrity’s name. The publisher hopes that the celebrity’s fans will buy the book.

The Independent reports in Zoella: Zoe Sugg’s book Girl Online becomes fastest-selling debut novel ever:

The 24-year-old has become an online sensation after creating video blogs with beauty advice, helping her gain more than 9 million subscribers to her two YouTube channels since 2009.

For the publisher, the hook was… 9 million subscribers. They gambled that some of Zoella’s subscribers would buy the book, and the gamble paid off.

You need a hook: find it, before you start writing

What’s a “hook”? Something which gets attention. Check out Amazon’s top nonfiction books of the month. They’ve all got hooks; it’s in the title. Currently, a book called “Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End” is this month’s top seller. That’s not surprising, because we’re all either worried about our own health, or the health of someone close.

Consider this book, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”: a brilliant hook, right? And so it was. The hook sold the book, until it was exposed as a fake.

When I’m ghostwriting nonfiction, my first step is always to find the hook. It should be your first step too, if you’re writing a book to promote your business, and want to find a publisher. Good luck — it’s an essential first step, and it’s well worth bending your brain to find it. :-)

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Write An Ebook In 8 Hours Or Less

Write An Ebook In 8 Hours Or Less

Want to write an ebook in a day? You can. As you may know, I write a lot of books, usually for clients. I’ve got a process that I share with you in my Words into Cash: Write and Sell Your Ebook in Just 8 Hours program.

If you’re interested in writing fast and well, I encourage you to check out this program, because we’re withdrawing it on September 7. We’ve got many more programs scheduled for this year and next.

Why write a fast ebook?

Money’s one reason. Would you believe that an ebook on attracting hummingbirds to your home made $500,000 in a single year? People want information on many different kinds of topics.

I love watching birds on my daily walks, and if I had the time and inclination, I could write an ebook on attracting native birds to your garden.

Would it sell? Who knows? If you write a quick ebook, and spend just eight hours on it, it scarcely matters. Some ebooks can be sleepers. You can write an ebook, forget all about it, and months later discover that it’s taken off.

However, important as money is, it’s not the only, or even the primary reason for my clients to write ebooks. They may write an ebook to educate their audience, for the credibility it gives them, or just because a competitor has an ebook and they want one too.

Ebook marketing is hard, right?

Authors can get tied in knots over marketing. They think that “marketing” is a mysterious process, which takes a long time, and is embarrassing into the bargain. No one wants to beg people to read their book.

If you shudder at the idea of marketing, and think it’s hard, let’s look at a simple process for setting your goal for marketing, and your goalposts.

  • Decide on your goal for ebook marketing. Do you want lots of sales, to become known as an author, to sell a coaching program, to sell a product…?
  • Set your goalposts. How will you know when you’ve scored a win? Your goalposts might be getting your ebook into the top thousand ebooks in its category on Amazon. Or they might be getting ten speaking engagements. Or getting your new product into stores across the nation. When you set your goalposts, you define what “success” looks like for you.

Once you’ve set a goal, and the goalposts, marketing starts to look a lot less intimidating.

Setting your goalposts is vital. When I’m coaching business people and authors, I encourage them to look beyond sales, or the number of downloads they get if they’re offering their ebooks for free. Your goalposts – that is, the measure of your success, may not involve large numbers of readers at all.

Here’s an example. One of my clients, a management consultant, published his ebook on Amazon, and had 100 Createspace copies printed. He sends a printed copy of his book to prospects, and leaves several copies behind after he pitches prospects. He’s tripled his client list in the past year.

Would you spend eight hours writing an ebook if you knew it would triple your business? Our Words into Cash: Write and Sell Your Ebook in Just 8 Hours program is available until September 7.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: cindiann via photopin cc

Your Book Proposal: Make It Sell

Your Book Proposal: Make It Sell

Authors tend to panic when writing a book proposal, but it’s a straightforward process. Here’s how to look at it: you’re making a publisher a proposition for a partnership.

Your book proposal is a plan for this partnership, and has two basic elements: an appealing description of your book with some sample chapters, and a plan for marketing your book. The “marketing” aspect is more important than your description of the book, because book ideas are everywhere.

In this article, we’re discussing nonfiction book proposals. If you’re writing fiction, you need to write your novel first. You can then shop it around to literary agents with a query letter, offering a synopsis and chapters.  Alternatively, self publish. If your novel hits the Amazon bestseller lists, you’ll get offers from agents.

Tip: DO NOT write your nonfiction book before you create your book proposal and get a contract

Sadly, you can’t get out of writing a proposal for your book if you hope to get a publishing contract. No one will read your book. Literary agents and publishers read query letters. If they’re interested in your enquiry, they’ll ask you for a proposal.

You need to do your research, then write your proposal. Once the proposal is done, you can send query letters to agents and publishers. You’ll know to whom to send your query, because you researched possible homes for your book before you wrote the proposal.

Which brings us to the most important element in book proposal creation: research.

Research: it’s essential, and exciting

You’ve got an idea for a nonfiction book. You think the book will sell.

Here’s how to proceed:

  • Write a short description of your book, and give it a working title;
  • Research similar books to yours online, and offline;
  • Research the audience for your book;
  • Consider how you’ll market the book.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a dog groomer. You run a grooming salon and boarding kennels. You get an idea for a book “dog grooming the easy way.” Describe the book, and then research, as above.

Here’s why you do all this research up-front, before you start writing. It’s because agents and publishers ask WHY when you send a query letter to them: WHY this book, and WHY now?

Publishers look for bestsellers, because a bestseller keeps them out of the red. They don’t have a crystal ball, so they don’t know where the next bestseller will come from.

At first blush, the dog grooming book looks like an evergreen title, rather than a bestseller. Some publishers like these kinds of titles, because they have the potential to sell for years. These are bread and butter titles, but many fewer of them are being published these days. The exception? Branded series, like the “For Dummies” series of books.

(I’ve just browsed the For Dummies book website. They publish dog-grooming books, so the topic itself is viable. However, to be appealing to a publisher, it needs more.)

If I were writing a book proposal for the dog grooming book, I’d encourage the author to come up with a element which would make the book timely.

 Your book’s competition: know what’s selling

Your publisher will want to know what competition your book faces. There is always competition, so don’t be worried about this, because competition is a good thing — when there’s competition, you know that your subject area is selling. 

Make notes on which books are your own book’s primary competitors. Look at their rankings on Amazon. If you wish, you can check to see how many copies they’re selling each day. The kdp sales rank calculator gives you a rough guide.

In the image below, I checked the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, which is currently ranked at 1,630 Paid in the Kindle store. The calculator estimates that it’s selling at 55 to 100 copies a day.

amazon rank calculator

Make a note of all competing titles, with their current sales rank on Amazon.

The competition: how is your book different?

In your book proposal, list the competing titles, and write a sentence or two for each book about the kind of readers the book is targeting.

Aim for five to 10 titles. Now think about how your book could appeal to readers. You’re looking for an angle, a slant, to take with your book, which will target a similar audience to current top-selling titles, but will offer something they don’t.

This is the most challenging part of writing your book proposal, so don’t be surprised if it takes time.

While you’re waiting for inspiration, write the book proposal. Here’s a template you can use from the Ted Weinstein literary agency. The template includes everything you need to cover in your proposal.

You’ll notice that the audience, competing titles, and your marketing plans are prominent. This material is what counts, and it will make the difference in whether or not your book attracts a publisher.

Agents and publishers look at many book proposals each week. Make yours shine: show that you know that publishing is a business, and you take writing and marketing your book seriously. Your book proposal will then stand out in the crowd.

I wish you all success with your book. :-)

Here’s a slide deck covering the concepts in this article


How to Write a Book Proposal That Sells – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

 

If you need help with your book proposal

I create book proposals for clients. Contact me if you need help with yours. If you wish, I can also help you to get literary representation for your new book.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.