Tag Archives: Linked In and Blogging to Grab Headlines and Get Clients by Gail Z. Martin

Six Ways to Make Your Book A Reality This Year

By Gail Z. Martin

So you want to write a book?  Congratulations.  Now it’s up to you to bridge the gap between “wanting” and “doing.”

The hardest part of writing a book is making the commitment to set aside the time to do what needs to be done.  That’s not just the writing; it’s also making sure that it’s proof read and as well-edited as possible.  If you decide to go the traditional publishing route, you’ll need to research and pitch your proposal to agents, and once you sign on with an agent, he/she will then pitch your proposal to publishers.  It can be a lengthy process.

If you decide to self-publish, you’ll need to format the book properly, determine things like cover art, and decide whether you’re going to do a paper book print-on-demand or just create an e-book (and handle the conversion, either or both ways).  There will be plenty of research and decisions involved.  And once your book is complete, you’ll need to plan for promotion, even if you have a traditional publisher.  Writing the book is only the beginning!

Still want to do it?  Good.  Here are six things you’ll need to do to make your book a reality this year:

  • Set aside time each week to write, and set a weekly goal of how many pages you want to write.  You may not always reach your goal (or you may even exceed it sometimes), but the goal keeps you on track.  You can always do more, but try not to do less.
  • Start researching now.  Start learning about what agents and editors do, what types of ebook formats are out there, how print-on-demand works and who the major players are.
  • Think about how the book fits into your business, and whether you’re willing to change your business model to take full advantage of the book (for example, adding speaking engagements to your calendar, making time to create and send press releases, write articles, be a guest blogger or pitch yourself as a radio guest.
  • Make connections with other authors and ask plenty of questions to see how they got published, what they would do over, and what they’ve learned the hard way.
  • Consider using a “book shepherd”, someone knowledgeable about the publishing industry who can help you finalize your book, determine your publishing options, and even pitch it to agents if that’s the route you want to go.
  • Take a hard look at the time and effort you’re willing to put into this project, as well as the money you can invest.  The price of book publishing has come way down with print-on-demand and ebooks, but it still requires some investment to hire a book shepherd, get an editor (if you self-publish or need help with the fine points of grammar and punctuation), format your book and create a cover (if you self-publish), and promote your book.

Writing a book is a fantastic step toward achieving your dreams, promoting your business and exploring your creativity.  Make this the year that you make your dream come true!

“Like” my Thrifty Author page on Facebook and enter for a chance to win a prize package of author resources: The Thrifty Author – https://on.fb.me/srVa13

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First, Show Me the Money

By Gail Z. Martin

Before you commit to any shopping cart program, think about what you need from your cart. How will you accept payment?

First, determine whether your volume of transactions justifies having a merchant account. A merchant account enables you to take credit cards directly over the Web. Without a merchant account or an intermediary service, you won’t be able to do business over the Internet, since you can’t accept cash or checks.

You can create a merchant account through your bank or though one of the many services that specialize in credit card sales. Merchant accounts usually enable subscribers to rent/purchase a wireless credit card reader. This makes it possible for you to accept credit cards during in- person events as well as through your online shopping cart. On the down side, traditional merchant accounts are expensive, charging a monthly fee and a per-transaction surcharge that may exceed the sales of a beginning retailer.

Square is an alternative to the traditional merchant account. Square is free to join (www.Squareup.com). As of the writing of this book, the Square credit card reader is also free. Square provides a small card reader that’s the size of a postage stamp with a plug to connect to a smart phone through the headphones jack. The Square app can be downloaded for free from iTunes or from the Square Web site. Instead of a monthly fee, Square charges a low per-transaction fee. It also provides the ability to accept a credit card number without swiping the card through the card reader. Square charges a slightly higher per-transaction fee for cards that are keyed in instead of swiped through. Square provides a very viable alternative for companies that have a relatively low transaction volume or that may not use a card reader every month. It’s easy to use, secure, and at the time of this writing, works anywhere within the continental U.S. (Square says they are working to make Canadian and other international transactions available soon.) To use Square, the merchant have either a smart phone or a tablet PC (like an iPad) and have access to secure WiFi.

If you are new to online commerce, you may want to begin with PayPal. PayPal is an online service that allows you to accept credit card payments without requiring you to have a merchant account. Instead, PayPal creates a buffer between the merchant and the buyer, safeguarding the purchaser’s card information. The buyer creates an account that stores his/her card information. Using the PayPal interface, a buyer can purchase by using the email address linked to the account.

However, buyers can only pay with PayPal if the merchant is also signed up with the service. And, merchants can only get paid if their intended buyer is a PayPal user. It is also possible for a PayPal user to pay directly from a bank account, and payments can be direct deposited into the merchant’s bank account. PayPal is free to buyers but charges a transaction fee for sellers.

(Excerpted from the brand new book 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success: The 30 Day Results Guide to Making the Most of Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Blogging to Grab Headlines and Get Clients by Gail Z. Martin)

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Filed under Business Planning, Gail Z. Martin