Step 4 - On this myspace page you want to including your mailing address of where people can send money to buy books. You want to include your email address. Compelling info on yourself that would make them want to buy and a synopsis that would make them want to buy.
Keep the graphics down to a bare minimum because you don't want it to take forever to load up. The picture you use as your main picture should be the cover of your book.
Spend 1 full day or spare time and add at least 100 friends. Go to myspace page for BrownPride.com or SoyChicano.com or someone else that has the same demographic.
Once you get your first 100 usually more will trickle in. You want to make a brief comment on each of your 100 friends, something you can cut & paste but is personally (don't ever advertise your book it'll turn people off) talk to the friend about THEM and what they're interested. By making a comment on their page other people will see it and go to your page.
Step 5 - Genaro, create a publishing name that is separate from your author name because you want the APPEARANCE of a big company. The company should end in the name BOOKS or PUBLISHING not LLC or INC. whatever. For example Flower House Books, or Bum Fuck Publishing, whatever.
You want to get a mailing address separate from your house (cause people WILL show up at your house and you don't want that.) If you can afford a mail box etc. get it because you'll have a street address otherwise for about $20 or less every six months get a P.O. Box. Make it a positive thing on your site, not available in bookstores! can only purchase through this website or direct mail.
Step 6 - Sign up for paypal it's free so that you can sell your book directly online. Go to PayPal.com to sign up.
Step 7 - Go to Bravenet.com and sign up for their opt-in mailing list program, it's free and you'll need it to build your list of emails. You can cut and paste the code and add it to your myspace page.
You can do a giveaway contest in which people must enter their email addresses in order to enter to win whatever you need to do in order to get people to enter their email addresses. You'll need these later for this book and your future books.
Step 8 - You're going to drive everyone to your website page. In a nutshell here are a few things that you can do:
1) Create an email that is something like XXXXX@yahoo.com. If you have Yahoo email, go to the Option Page and click on Signature and type in a signature something to the effect of "XXXXX, Author of SILLY KITTENS: A Adventures and then a link to your website" Keep it simple.
If you have your cover you can past that cover in the signature too, which is even better. It has it's drawbacks though cause some people cannot receive or see emails with HTML graphics on it but most people can. Now every email you send out whether it's related to the book or not people will see that on the bottom of the email. No reason to mention your book though people WILL notice it and they WILL click on the link to go to your page.
2) Whenever you post on message boards create a similar signature with a link to your site. NEVER mention your writing just comment as many times as you can in different posts and people will notice and they will click. Of course if they specifically ask you about it then you can tell them, direct them to your website which will have your mailing address so they can send you money to buy the book.
You're not set up yet to do bookstores and won't be until you sell the first 100 or so books so that you have enough money to do what you'll need to do. In the case of myspace you might want to also add your myspace link in your signature even though they're the exact same page. Make sure you change your graphic avantar to the cover of your book too.
3) Articles, write as many short articles as you can. At least 10 about 200-300 words long (probably about 1/2 page to page long) on things related to your book. At the bottom of the article will be a link to your site. (these will be posted in message boards, forums, article submitting and places like AmericanChronicle.com which I suggest you sign up for as a regular contributor because it posts it on Google News and tons of reporters go there to check on stories) They could be articles or general opinion articles about the top stories of the day.
You're considered an expert because you're a former corrections officer so you can comment on any stories related to crime or prisoners or any angle no matter how far it is. For example if you go to Google News and see there's lots of stories on IPods you can write a short article on how as a corrections officer an IPod can be used to stop crime or whatever. Lots of opportunities there. The more your name is out there with your signature and live link the more people will go to your site and buy your book).
Those are the top ways to get your name out ther and most of them don't cost you a penny, just your time.
Step 9 - By now you've raised about $400 which you can use to do guess what? Buy more books! With that money you'll be able to buy at least $200 books and you'll probably get a reduction in price if you buy over 100 books at a time through NetPub. (email@example.com) Notice: NEVER give out free books not even to your own mother, they should support you.
You're not in the position to give out free books yet until you have at least 100 books printed and even then you'll only give away 5-10 to people who promise to lead to more sales (owners of forums, book club leaders, etc.) At this point this is when you're going to go full force promoting on online through your message board postings, articles, etc. And you're going to begin going on the road.
Step 10 - You'll need to go to the Bowker website and get an ISBN number. 1 number will be about $130. You'll need this in order to get on Amazon.com. Once you have the number you'll need to sign up for the Amazon.com marketplace, the vendor and the referral program.
You'll have people referred to your marketplace page where you can send books to them directly and you'll make more money this way than the normal way in which Amazon will ask you to send 2-3 books to them to start and as they sell they'll ask you to send more. However, they take about 40-50% of the money right off the top.
Through the marketplace you'll make most the money plus you'll get about $4 a book in shipping & handling costs. To save money on costs always mail your book MEDIA RATE when you go to the post office. It's much cheaper than 1st Class, although it can take a few days longer to arrive, it's worth it.
Note: One of the reason you don't want to sign up for any program like iUniverse or even Netpub's program NetSource is because when you start to deal with book companies they'll list you as "Pay on Demand" you don't want that because they won't often stock the book in their stores, they'll only order it as people order it.
Step 11 - Once you have your ISBN number you'll have no problem getting your book in your local stores. Don't try to get it in the national chains quite yet, prove yourself locally. You might be able to get your book in a local Barnes & Noble or Borders but more than likely you'll want to sell your book at the independent bookstores, barber shops, beauty salons, kiosks at malls and record stores to start.
You just bring a copy of your book to the owner/general manager, tell them you're a local author, what the books about and that you'd like to send customers to their store. Often times they'll take you on consignment which means they'll put the book in their stores and pay you when they get paid.
They'll often get 40% of the retail price and you'll keep 60% of it. You can start to see why people often prefer to sell the book directly but at least it'll be in stores and that's impressive to people.
Step 12 - The real way to make money is to speak and sell the book afterward. Remember you target market. Do they have associations or clubs call them up and offer to speak for free about being an author or about your expertise as a former corrections officer, it really doesn't matter what you speak about the point is afterward you'll make your book available for sale.
In my experience if you really inspire people and rile them up at least 80% of the people in the room will buy a book but park your table in front of the door so that they cannot leave without passing by you first and they'll feel obligated to buy.
Another selling point to tell them at the end of your speech is that you'll autograph copies for them. And if you're trying to raise money to help a particular charity they're very interested in helping with that especially if it has to do with children. Try also reaching local Rotary Clubs, Elks Clubs, Optimists Clubs, youth organizations, even churches. Try local high schools and colleges as well. Those are great outlets.
Lucky Step 13 - Contact your local media to let them know that you're speaking at these places. They love carrying local author stories. As you get more and more press locally you can bundle this together in a press kit and approach an even larger TV station or newspaper, until you've reached the national level.
Your goal should be to sell 10,000 books. And you'll do it one book at a time, it's a numbers game. Once you've done this in your local area meaning not only your city, but your county and your state, then you can approach an agent/editor tell them the stats and you bet your bottom dollar you can get it picked up by a publisher.
Jeff Rivera: If you need help with your book promotion contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll find a way to help you within your budget.