Selling Books on Etsy

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Today’s guest post come from Fantasy Fiction author Melissa Herold, whose new series is launching this fall. She is an expert on all things Etsy with her business, Nightblooming, so we asked her to share with all she knows about selling books on that platform. We are totally inspired to use Etsy more, thanks to her!

And in case you’re interested in her fiction, don’t miss her incredible book trailer, here!

Etsy is a fantastic marketplace where its customers believe in supporting independent artists--this makes it a great fit for self and indie published authors. The key thing to keep in mind when selling books on Etsy is that it is not a book marketplace, it is a gift-purchasing and self-indulgence marketplace, which means that you can reach buyers you never might have otherwise, but it also means you need to come to market differently.

Optimizing your Listing

This, more than anything, means killer photos because when an Etsy buyer is scrolling through search results, that’s what’s going to get them to stop on your book. Look at pictures of books on Etsy and Pinterest, evaluate which ones you stop on, and try to recreate what is effective.

Etsy gives you up to 10 photos, so once you get a few good ones of your book, use the remaining ones to promote your brand and your story as an independent author.

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Tags and Categories

Etsy SEO is its own monster, but the easiest way to get started is to think of search phrases that you can use for your book. “Coworker gift” “Mother’s Day Gift” “Retro Hardcover Book” “Geek gift” These phrases become your tags, and you should repeat the most important ones in the body text of your listing.

Using Ads Strategically

There are three ad types you can utilize right from Etsy: Facebook ads, Google Shopping ads, and Promoted listings. By far, I see the best returns from Promoted Listings.

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Promoted listings are the first line of returned search results on Etsy. You can set a daily promotional limit and a CPC (cost per click) limit and, in turn, get to make sure that your book is seen at the top of Etsy’s search results.

Package like Etsy Buyers Expect

Focus on the idea that your book is a gift, even if the person bought it for themselves. Etsy buyers appreciate (and some expect) their book to be packaged in a thoughtful, artistic way.

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Consider inexpensive, beautiful elements to make your buyer smile when they open their package, and don’t pass up on this opportunity to include printed inserts further promoting your books and your brand!

Save Your Sanity on Logistics

The great news is that Etsy makes dealing with order fulfillment super-simple. Box up a sample of your book and weigh it, and Etsy will use this to automatically both bill the customer for shipping AND generate a printable shipping label for you.

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But don’t rush to fill every order as it comes in. Batch-processing all your orders once a day, or a couple times a week, will reduce the overall time you spend on it.

Pricing Your Products Well

The great news is that you’ll likely make more per book on Etsy than on other marketplaces, but make sure you’re rolling the cost of all those pretty packaging extra, Etsy fees, etc. into your pricing. Some authors may choose to keep their pricing consistent across all sites, while others may keep the same profit margin per book, and adjust their prices based on what that means in each marketplace.

That’s a pretty good start! The cost of giving Etsy a spin is really low (just 20 cents for one listing that lasts 4 months), so it’s worth exploring to see if it’s a good marketplace for your book!

5 Dos and Don'ts For Your Book's Crowdfunding Campaign

Today’s blog post comes from Wise Ink author Erin Twamley, who’s latest book Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers, came out this past spring and is a result of an outstanding Kickstarter campaign! We asked her to share some of her tips for how to hold a great crowdfunding campaign with our Wise Ink audience, and she did not disappoint. For more about Erin and her amazing vision, visit

As an author and educator I have used Kickstarter to support other projects, but this was my first time creating my own Kickstarter to help offset some of the book creation costs. The hidden secret of authorship and publishers is that creating a book is a large investment! Not just all of our time and energy, but a monetary one to ensure we have the best team and final printed copy of our new book! Here are some tips about our successful Kickstarter for Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers that we launched in March 2019 that earned $8,087 of our $6,500 goal!

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Don’t overspend on your video, but it is important!

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A video is important and is less than 90 seconds, but don’t overspend. Think of it like an interactive tool to use even after your Kickstarter ends. There are tools like PowToons to create your own or tons of video animators on places like Fiverr and 99Designs. But our success came from our community, a family member of a college friend! He not only was detailed and diligent but because he supported the cause gave us a huge discount and great video.

Besides a video animator, your script is SO important. Our children’s book, Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers, is non-fiction! We are explicitly trying to tackle a problem (stereotypes in STEM) that is well documented! We wanted to connect the research to our book. We also had numerous people review and edit our script, including ourselves! We had teachers, friends, librarians and marketing gurus take a look! Don’t forget to use the awesome Wise Ink team! Your video is key -- in fact we had nearly every pledge supporter watch our video and at least double that number watch it.

Do use social media advertisements strategically

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Most of our sales were from our 1st network -- AKA people we know. We made a list of over 1,000+ from family, friends, business contacts and education contacts. A little bit of spend on Twitter, Facebook or GoFundMe Ads is not going to get you pledges! What we saw is a large number of clicks, we went from 1,000 to 8,000 clicks, but our pledges didn’t really move at all. If you want to spend the funds on advertisements, make sure you identify where most of your traffic is coming from. We found most of our traffic was through Facebook so we capitalized on posts and ads there -- our biggest advice -- now, in the middle of the KS campaign, is not the time to learn a new social media.

It’s all about your 1st network sharing with their communities

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I have a co-author, Joshua Sneideman and together we have both large communities that are interconnected and separated. What we learned is that it is important to use BOTH communities and make sure that the Kickstarter project is clear that you are CO-AUTHORS! Because Kickstarter has usually 1 project creator, my name appeared first (I am also first author of the book). What this meant was if you looked at a snapshot of our Kickstarter project or page, you saw my name and his was a little more challenging to find. This in the end worked against us, because some contacts of his weren’t clear on his role in the project and we lost a few backers this way! (They told us so, upon meeting in person).

We did discover the following best strategies for expanding from your 1st network:

  • Our families, although often our number one supporters can make all the difference and sometimes forget to do the basics like fund our project or share it on social media. Make sure you send a personal note to family members asking for their initial pre-order of the book from your Kickstarter. They might not know that this is a critical step.

  • Use your book reviewers, your initial number one fans, to share the Kickstarter project with their communities. Get specific, ask them to forward an email or share a link to the Kickstarter project on their social media!

  • LinkedIn Posts may not gain initial attraction, but over time posting your project in a relevant group like “STEM Education Resources” will reach others in your like minded communities.

Go for a bigger goal or a stretch goal!

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Everyone, from our WiseInk team to people who have used KS to run a book launch before advised us to go big! That meant be ambitious for our funding goal. We were nervous! Kickstarter requires that you meet your goal to get ANY funding. We talked with successful book KS project creators to help figure out how to calculate costs, expenses and funding needs. What we underestimated was the compilation of the following:

  • Marketing Material Creation Expenses for the Kickstarter

  • Advertising Expenses for the Kickstarter

  • Kickstarter Fee

Bottom line for a book, it seems your KS creation and launch expenses + kickstarter fees means you lose about $2K right out of the gate!

To ensure you get your calculations right here are some tips:

  • Calculate your book creation costs vs. book printing costs separately.

    • You have to print your book, this is an investment. If you use the Kickstarter to “pay back” your book creation costs you will feel successful! No matter what you have to print and store books (unless you do Print on Demand) so this is an inevitable cost that KS probably won’t touch, you will have to wait for your massive book sales.

  • Identify the MSRP price for after Kickstarter.

  • The Kickstarter book price should be your MSRP + the value you are adding, like a signature or a bookmark.

  • For shipping, don’t forget packaging costs. We estimated our shipping just about right, but forgot all about that packaging cost!

  • Have a stretch goal AHEAD of time. If we would have been ready to say Our Print Books are funded, now fund our ebook -- I think we could have kept our momentum! We didn’t think of this until the middle of the campaign and by that time we were honestly well, tired.

In the end, because we EXCEEDED our goal, we were able to take our initial goal home which nearly covered our book creation costs! The challenge with exceeding your goal is that potential new backers may not back because you made your goal! We made our goal with nearly 10 days left -- had we had a higher goal we could have used that last 10 days for a big push. Once your goal is met, it is hard to get backers -- at least in our experience. We have seen and heard with other products this is not the case!

Is it worth it? YES!

To be honest, I was always hesitant of running a Kickstarter. I had read so much about the time and effort to creating a Kickstarter, yes it is intensive! People had shared stories about losing more money or the expenses of shipping. Let’s get real, in shipping books they are heavy and can have weird dimensions! All in all, it took about 3 weeks to package up all the Rewards and products, we spent time creating labels and doing an assembly line, but we actually also got to touch each book with an inscription and signature. In the end, I think our KS was worth it. We learned a lot about marketing the book, what works and doesn’t work that we have continued to apply to our marketing today! In the end, we got paid back nearly all the book creation expenses, identified new great partners and found that our message of Tackling the Stereotypes in STEM resonates.

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5 Books (Not About Writing) That Every Author Should Read

Writers often begin their relationship with storytelling as readers and then graduate into producing their own literary works. While writing, it can often be beneficial to step back into your role as a reader to remind yourself of what initially drew your attention to the craft. Apart from being an entertaining pastime, reading can also teach authors important tools of the trade. We’ve compiled a list of five general interest books that are enjoyable reads and whose writing also offers valuable examples of good writing craft.

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1. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore is a fun genre-bending read that acknowledges and then subverts genre tropes. The novel follows a young girl named Jane who is making good on a promise to her recently deceased aunt by exploring the island of an eccentric, rich family. Within her first day on the island, abundant mysteries emerge, and Jane endeavors to track down answers to her many questions. As the reader selects which question they want answered, the are also selecting between five different genres, ranging from fantasy to thriller to sci-fi. Besides from being a quick read full of quirky, memorable characters, this book is a study in knowing the craft. Cashore demonstrates her masterful skill as she moves her characters between genres and storylines. She gives authors a great example of what it means to use the traditional writing tools in a way that ultimately creates something entirely new.

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2. the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur is a collection of poetry and art that took the world by storm. The autobiographical collection speaks to Kaur’s experiences with immigration, family, self-love, body positivity, and love. The poems are elegant and powerful and are paired with line drawings done by the poet herself. These poems are significant because Kaur writes for a broad audience in a way that still speaks an honest, personal truth. Kaur found an audience in a global market that doesn’t always honor poetry, and she did this because of her skill of making often-marginalized groups’ voices universally relatable.

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3. Rez Life by David Treuer is a complex examination of Native American life on the reservation. Weaving together historical documents, legislation, tradition, and personal anecdotes, this novel constructs a complex narrative that challenges assumptions about a culture. This book is significant in its storytelling. Treuer tells a story that’s been part of our cultural consciousness for centuries but does it in a way that provides a new angle to the story and encourages readers to come at the subject from a new angle. This book is a good reminder that no story has been told too often and that there are always new voices to bring to the table.

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4. What Editors Do by Peter Ginna is a collection of essays written by various people in the publishing industry. The collection works its way through the entire publishing process (from agents, to acquisitions, through copyediting and marketing). The essays are written by a powerhouse collective of industry professionals and give a real, honest glimpse into the profession. This is a great read for authors who are seeking a peak behind the curtain. It will help you understand the details of the entire publishing process, and hopefully add clarity and understanding to your future interactions with others who are part of the publishing process.

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5. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien weaves stories of a Vietnam veteran through his experiences during the war and his life decades later while he’s trying to acclimate to civilian life in the U.S. Blurring the line between being a novel and a collection of short stories, between being fiction and nonfiction, this work tasks the reader and the author both with holding the weight of collective trauma. It challenges the idea of truth in storytelling, asking us to balance our regard for emotional truth and factual truth.O’Brien broaches a heavy subject in a way that feels authentic to his topic. He’s an example of breaking convention when the convention doesn’t suit your topic, and using convention when it does.

Celebrating our 2019 Award Winning Authors!

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Wise Ink authors took the award season by storm this past year, with nearly a dozen titles winning medals or landing as finalists in some of the top independent book award ceremonies of 2019. Wise Ink published many amazing books this past year and we are thrilled to highlight the accomplishments of some of the projects below. Coming from a large pool of diverse and thematically-varied writers, these stories run the subject gamut, spanning from topics like true crime and small-town mystery to journeys of self-discovery and healing.

Three primary award ceremonies took center stage in Wise Ink’s book awards: the IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards for short), and the Midwest Book Awards.

The Ben Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers, include over fifty categories that recognize excellence in editorial quality and design.

The IPPY Awards were the first awards that were open exclusively to independents, and winners are chosen from around the world. Winners are featured in articles on the Independent Publisher website and promoted in press releases, among other rewards.

And with a local focus, the Midwest Book Awards recognize exceptional quality from independent Midwest writers – a demographic that the Midwest Independent Publishing Association strives to serve through education, networking, and peer recognition.

Without further ado, here are the details about the awardees!

Amy Pendino’s debut novel The Witness Tree, a thrilling mystery that takes place in rural Iowa and centers around the removal of an ominous double-headed tree, was a Silver Winner in The Ben Franklin Awards’ Best New Voice: Fiction category. The Witness Tree also won the gold medal for the IPPY Awards’ Midwest - Best Regional Fiction category and was a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards’ Fiction - Literary/Contemporary/Historical category.

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In a similar vein, Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann’s true crime page-turner The Girls Are Gone covers the real-life events of 2013 that surrounded the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, two sisters who vanished in the midst of their parents’ divorce. The Girls Are Gone took home the gold medal in the IPPY Awards’ True Crime category.

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Another title that nabbed the gold medal was Running to Graceland by John Slayton, a contemplative novel about a group of freshly-graduated friends who go on a road trip filled with choice, consequence, and self-discovery; it won in IPPY Awards’ Popular Fiction category.

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Turning to the introspective side of things, Susan Hannifin-MacNab’s A to Z Healing Toolbox, which guides readers through active and intentional healing after experiencing trauma, was the Gold Winner of The Ben Franklin Awards’ Psychology category.

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German Awakening, a skillfully-woven story about author Amy Hallberg’s retreat from a small town in the U.S. to West Germany through an exchange program, received the bronze medal in the IPPY Awards’ Midwest – Best Regional Nonfiction category.

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Author Jenney Egertson’s Before I Leave is the culmination of a fifteen-year-long journey to recount the stories and wisdom of a diverse group of women over the age of 80. Filled with lessons about integrity, resilience, and forgiveness, Before I Leave took the silver medal in the IPPY Awards’ Aging/Death & Dying category.

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Humorist Kim Kane tackles the “taboo” topic of the female aging process in Sparkle On: Women Aging in Gratitude, a witty book that covers every imaginable base as it encourages women of “a certain age” to continue living with grace and gratitude. Sparkle On was the bronze medalist in the IPPY Awards’ Women’s Issues category.

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To round it all off, there were also several winners with stunning visuals that accompanied the writing. With a beautiful collection of accompanying photography, Charles R. Stinson’s Connections explores his architectural process and the stories of the people behind his designs; the book was a Silver Winner in the Ben Franklin Awards’ Coffee Table Book category.

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And last but not least, When I Fly With Papa was the gold medal awardee for the Midwest Book Awards’ Religion/Philosophy category. When I Fly With Papa is Dr. Claudia May’s three-movement poem brought to life in the richly-illustrated pages of a children’s book, which explores how the reader’s relationship with Papa as God can be experienced in a variety of different ways.

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Congratulations again to these authors - it is incredibly exciting to see such talent being recognized and awarded. Wise Ink looks forward to this next publishing year and the bountiful stories it will bring.

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5 Things You Get From a Writer's Retreat

We are so lucky to have a guest post written by Wise Ink author Kim Hruba, founder of Red Shoes Writing Solutions and coordinator of the Lake of the Woods Artists’ Retreat to talk about all the wonderful benefits of taking the time out to focus on your writing! Prepare to be inspired!


Life is crazy busy. Believe me, I know.

I have five kids ranging in age from 3 to 17 years old. With the crazy of our home life come all the activities associated with each stage of childhood: play groups, piano lessons, swimming lessons, summer camps, children’s theater, church school, 4-H, volleyball, cross-country, and track, Speech Team, Knowledge Bowl, Robotics, Driver’s Ed., impending graduation, college visits, scholarship applications, and – dating.

That laundry list alone is enough to exhaust anybody. I won’t even talk about work. (You know, that stuff you do outside of writing your book?)

It’s easy to let life get in the way of your passion and publishing. That’s why I created a writer’s retreat to help, not only me, but others escape the crazy in order to spend time reconnecting with that other love of your life. (Writing that book, remember?)


Focus – Do you even know what silence sounds like anymore? At the end of the day, how long does it take to quiet your mind? Quieting your mind benefits both your general health and productivity. It gives you focus.

Inspiration – Why do people go on vacation in Hawaii? Or in the Rockies? Because it’s beautiful! Nature inspires us! The best writing getaways get you outdoors and rejuvenate the creative spirit.

Rest – How often do you get 8 hours of sleep? Many retreats provide all the meals and take care of all the housekeeping so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy writing.

Support – Everybody needs a tribe. Enjoy spending time with people who “get you.”

Time – What’s the one thing that people want when they’re on their death beds? Not money. Not things. Time. Why wait ‘til you’re dead? Take the time now to reconnect and rediscover how much you love your book (and really, really want to finish it.)

Whether you choose to take the time for a writing retreat this year, next year, or in five years – there will always be one constant: The crazy busy of life never stops.

"In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn't creak." - Tom Robbins

Don’t wait for your calendar to fill up. Schedule the time to put your book “first” and, most importantly, make time for you.

After four years of hosting writing and artist retreats, I guarantee you will come away inspired, refreshed, excited and ready to finish that manuscript when you get home.

Good luck!


Kim Hruba is a novelist and content creator through her business, Red Shoes Writing Solutions. She published her novel, Etiquette Girl, with Wise Ink in 2014. She has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota and certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Hamline University. She is a member of the Teaching Artist Roster Program (TARP) for northwestern Minnesota and hosts her own annual writing retreat on Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. To learn more about Kim’s retreat, visit Register and pay in full by May 1st and save $50!

Four Momentum-Killing Mistakes Authors Should Avoid

There’s nothing more exciting than finally being at the point where you can launch your incredibly amazing, brand-spanking-new book. You’ve put so much time and effort into this project, and now you’re going to see things really take off.


The truth is, launching your book isn’t a cakewalk - in fact, the work you put in after your launch is every bit as important as the work that came before. And the last thing you want to do is stop the momentum before it even gets going. Here are a few mistakes that might be killing your progress, and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: You have an unclear target audience

Of course, it’s natural to want to spread the word about your product to every single person you can reach. The more awareness, the more sales, right? But a lot of times, this just ends up wasting time and money. If you’ve written a self-help book for young entrepreneurs and you’re advertising on platforms that cater primarily to middle-aged parents, you won’t be seeing as many sales as you might hope. By spreading your resources and your time too thin, the audience that is most interested in what you’re selling might not hear about you until it’s too late.

A good way to avoid this mistake is to plan ahead and determine a) who your target audience is, b) where they spend their time (i.e. what online platforms they visit, places they might hear about your book, if word-of-mouth will influence their choices, etc.) and c) the most effective way for you to reach them.

For example, if you’ve written a cookbook filled with healthy recipes that are easy to prepare, you probably want to focus your advertising efforts on stay-at-home parents, since they are a very large audience and are always looking for ways to help their families eat well in the midst of a busy lifestyle. Stay-at-home parents often visit blogs, Pinterest, and the grocery store, so look into options for getting your name spread in these places. Don’t try to cover too many bases at once - just make sure the bases you are covering are relevant and accessible to your target audience.

Mistake #2: You’re over-saturating your social media platforms with launch content

It’s tempting to post every single day about your new book once it’s time to launch. The cover is gorgeous, the blurbs are winsome, and you want to show the world what you’ve got to offer. However, we all know how annoying it is when someone overshares on Facebook; who wants to see 38 individual posts about what your coworker had for breakfast?

It’s the same with books (although, books are decidedly more interesting than breakfast choices). Seeing a few posts throughout the week will keep people interested and will ensure that your audience is aware of your launch - seeing 4 posts a day, on the other hand, will eventually start to annoy your followers, and might have the opposite of the desired effect.

Keep it simple: don’t post more than you need to. Does your audience really need to see a multi-paragraph Instagram post about the title font of your book? Probably not. Think about what things your audience would actually want to know about your project, and favor fewer, better-quality posts over excessive, low-quality posts.

Mistake #3: You’re prioritizing ads over people

While it’s true that a good chunk of marketing happens through ads and the “website algorithm beast”, sometimes authors get caught up in the online formula and forget the importance of real people. Word-of-mouth is one of your best friends when it comes to selling people on your book - and yes, the difference between selling people your book and selling people on your book matters. Any vendor can sell a book, but it takes an author who forms and nurtures relationships with their friends and buyers to really make them believe in the book.

One person who read and enjoyed your book can be more effective than a dozen costly online ads, if they decide to share their love for it with their friends and family. Given time, you might find yourself with a whole network of people who recommend your writing to others for free, simply because you took the time to reach out and connect with them personally about your project.

In other words, don’t fall down the algorithm hole and then wonder why you’re only receiving a handful of reviews or comments about your work. Remember that books are bought by people, and people are who you want to impact most, during all stages of the launching process.

Mistake #4: You’re taking shortcuts

Ah, shortcuts. Those ever-enticing sirens who sing of “cheap” and “easy” ways to sell your book. Some shortcuts are worthwhile, but most of them will only serve to stab you in the back.

Some of the more notorious shortcuts are skimping on the editing, spamming your email subscribers instead of taking the time to plan and schedule your emails, and not serving refreshments at book launches. These might save you time or money in the moment, but in the long run they’re going to hurt your success more than bolster it. Slow and steady wins the race, after all.

Making mistakes is inevitable, and it can be scary to go all in without knowing how things will turn out. But book publishing is a learning process, and as long as you keep moving forward and being thorough in your endeavors, you’ll become more and more skilled at launching your books, and the effort will pay off!

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How to Market Your Book in the Summer: A Quick Guide

Summer might seem like it would pose challenges in the book marketing process, but if you get creative, it can be an incredibly fruitful season. Here are some “hot” tips and tricks for marketing your book during those warm summer months.

Marketing to Vacationers

Everyone loves a good beach book! And everyone going on vacation during the summer wants to find that perfect story to keep them entertained while they sit back, relax, and soak up the sun. Focus on using pitches to highlight how your book is this perfect story.

Phrases like “steamy romance novel,” “thrilling mystery,” and “feel-good story” all conjure images of enjoyment for readers, and will make them more inclined to bring your book along if they want to be engaged while reading on the beach. Figure out what makes your book stand out from others in the captivation department and watch your sales jump!

Marketing for Holidays

Another way to fit your book into the summer season is to connect it to summer holidays, primarily the Fourth of July. Got an in-depth investigation of Washington’s time at Valley Forge? Sell the Independence Day side of the story. Does your main character have an affinity for pyrotechnics? Emphasize how much they would love to see fireworks during the holiday.

You can also look at how your book might connect to popular events during summer months, such as Pride Week in June, or the Summer Olympics. If you’ve got any control over the publication date, try to have your book launch line up with the timing of relatable holidays or events.

Marketing for the Climate

Certain activities are much more accessible during the summertime, such as gardening, swimming, and cookouts. There are a lot of ways you can market your book by showcasing its relevance to these activities. Cookbooks for the outdoors, stories about mermaids or ocean life, guidebooks on urban agriculture, memoirs that reflect on the beauty and joy of camping -- the options are endless.

One last note - don’t be afraid to promote your book wherever you are! Bring along a copy of it to the restaurant you’re eating at; someone might ask about it. If you’re traveling, be sure to bring some promotional materials along, just in case someone asks what you do. You never know who might be interested.

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4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Author Bio

Bios - where to start? Literally and figuratively, author bios can be difficult to figure out. To help you out, we’ve laid down four straightforward steps you can take on your personal journey to craft the perfect author bio.

Tell a story

Your author bio is essentially an elevator pitch about your life; in order to be effective, it needs to get the relevant information across in an engaging way. So don’t start listing facts and expect readers to care for very long!

Look up examples of author bios, keeping in mind which ones inspire you and which ones have you falling asleep after three words. Think about what you’ve accomplished, and figure out how much you want to include in your “story.” Chances are, you’ve done some pretty amazing things already, and if you incorporate them as a good writer would, you’ll have readers coming back for more before they’ve even read your book.

For example, try starting with a strong intro sentence, then tell the reader what you do, why you’re qualified to do it, and then add a personal touch that makes you stand out from the rest. If you want, you can include a call to action at the end to give readers a way to continue learning more about you and your work.

Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your readers

This may seem counter-intuitive. It is your bio, after all, right? Well, yes, but you already know all this information about yourself -- you’re not writing this bio for you. You’re writing it to address what your readers want to know.

Understanding that your bio is for your readers will keep you from putting in those little details that no one really cares about, like where you went to middle school or how many states you’ve visited. Of course, if you can find a way to make those facts interesting or humorous, by all means put them in. But try to approach your book and your bio from the reader’s perspective and ask yourself, “what would I want to know about the author after reading their book?”

Find the line between over-selling and under-selling

While it’s important to brag about yourself in your bio, you don’t want to make wide, sweeping generalizations that make it look like you’ve got a puffed-up ego. On the flip side, you don’t want to undersell yourself either! This is the space where you get to show off everything you’ve got, and you should take advantage of it. So the question is then, how do you find the balance?

Naturally, dancing this fine line can be a little difficult. One way to make it easier is to change the names and pretend you’re reading someone else’s bio. How does it come across to you? Another way is to get a second or third opinion from an unbiased party. What do they think? Imagine you met someone at a cafe and told them your bio out loud - how does it sound? Typically, writers are quite good at picking up on these kinds of things, so as long as you’re the one crafting your bio, chances are you’ll avoid over- or under-selling yourself.

Keep it short and sweet

One good tip is to treat your bio like a business card; use it to impress readers, to show off what you can do, and to keep your name in people’s minds long after they’ve tucked the card (or in this case, book) into a drawer or briefcase. You can’t do these things if you’ve written five paragraphs and a postscript for your bio. As awesome as you are, and as wonderful as your accomplishments look in writing, your bio isn’t supposed to be a full-length memoir.

So keep it short, and keep it sweet -- well, as sweet as you want. Everyone loves when a writer throws in a funny tidbit at the end of a bio, so don’t be afraid to spice things up with humor! There are a lot of creative ways to put one final spin on your bio, so put your pencil to your brain and start cracking some eggs.

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