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Ten Must-Dos to Make your Book Successful

Posted By on July 17, 2012

You thought that all the effort and hours you put into writing your book was half the battle. You may have a terrific book on your hands, but you were wrong. Writing the book was only the beginning. What most writers don’t take into account is that if the right people don’t hear about your book, no one will buy it.
For starters, four factors are extremely important in drawing people to your book: the cover design, the hook paragraph on the back cover, book reviews, and word of mouth.

1) Months before your book is published, you must send out galleys to book reviewers. Find them on the internet. You can also send out galleys to well-known individuals, experts in your field, people you respect, even friends and relatives if you can’t find anyone else. You can put the positive reviews on the back cover of your book, on the first few pages inside the front cover, on fliers or post cards you send out, even on blogs and emails.
2) Invest the time to think of the perfect title and invest the money to acquire a custom-designed book cover. Experts say that the book title and cover design sells a book 80% of the time. Also, work hard on your back cover blurb about the book. It needs to hook the potential reader and make him or her really want to read it!
3) You now need to create a buzz about your book. This is easier said than done, but other authors have done it and you can too. People telling people is a huge secret to selling lots of books. Even the huge commercial publishers will only promote a book for a couple of months before they move on. If that first push doesn’t create some serious word of mouth sales, the writer is in trouble.
4) Study the internet. Find all the magazines, websites, and ezines that reach your target audience. Then begin publicizing your book to them. Send galley copies to them and ask them for a review or a plug.
5) If you’re a public speaker, you’ve got a huge advantage over the person who doesn’t speak to groups. But your book basically has to relate somehow to your audiences. In other words, you may be a fine speaker, but if you’ve written a literary novel, it’s harder to grab an audience than if you wrote a book about “turning your part-time job into a profitable enterprise.”
6) The sad truth in the book market is that if you don’t write about something people really want to read, you may not earn much. But, if you can, write books that have a long shelf life. In other words, a cookbook will have a much longer shelf life than a book about Obama’s Afghanistan policies. Also, if you write a series of books, you can build a readership.
7) It really helps if your publisher gets your book listed on, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Then participate in methods on these sites of letting readers know that your book exists. (Check a book like Brent Sampson’s Sell Your Book on Amazon).
8) Explore the possibility of offering your book as an e-book. Find e-bookstores that will offer your book, and then put out key chapters of your book as ezine articles to attract potential readers. Again, you will have more success with this if your book is a how-to title as opposed to a romance novel.
9) Think big. If you can create enough of a buzz and several thousand copies of your book sell, you may get a larger commercial publisher interested in acquiring the rights to sell your book. Then they will help promote the book and it could really take off.
10) Choose the right publisher. You are on my publisher comparison website at www.see yourself in and it can really help. And don’t give in to discouragement. Let’s say your book only sells 100 copies. Don’t worry about it. That’s at least 100 people in this world who cared enough about your book to devote precious hours, days, even weeks, to reading a piece of your heart and soul on paper. And that makes you pretty remarkable. Believe it.

If you need a publisher for your manuscript and you don’t know where to turn, go ahead and click on You will not be sorry.

To the Average Joe Article Writer

Posted By on July 3, 2012

By Steve Fortosis

I’m a professional writer and have seven books published and distributed. When I learned that one crucial way a marketer can succeed online is by writing, I thought I had it made. I figured if I could write a 60,000-word book, it would be a snap to write 40-50 articles. Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. I found out that article writing is a lot different from book writing. How, you ask?

1) When it comes to articles online, briefer is usually better. While the typical mag article might be 1000-1200 words, the ideal web article is probably 500-700 words. Longer articles may not keep readers’ attention unless the content is absolutely riveting.

2) Article titles should be catchy enough to grab the attention of “non-readers”-that is, individuals who don’t even like to read. How tos…, numbered pointers, secrets to learn, invaluable tips, routes to success, etc. These are the sort of article themes that tend to draw lots of readers.

3) Breezier is usually better. Magazine readers are sometimes content to hunker down in the sofa and read a heavy, rather complex article, but online readers tend to look for something light, maybe a little amusing, and with a very casual tone.

4) The reader should see some reward for reading the article. It may simply be the secrets, answers, solutions, or plans the author presents. Or, it may be a free e-book, a piece of software, a website that will help the reader. Maybe online readers are spoiled a bit, but they expect something in the article or in the resource box after the article that will really help them practically.

5) The more articles you place on the web, the more you should begin to appear to readers as the expert in a particular field in which they’re interested. If you repeat the same message or give them information they could have found in twelve other places, then they’re not necessarily going to respect your articles or seek more of your stuff. Also, if you choose a niche, ideally you should attempt to saturate that niche. This means that whenever surfers are looking for info about that topic, there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to come across one of your articles.

6) Preferably, go after niches that are quite narrow. If you write some articles on best dog food brands, I can guarantee that you’re going to have unbelievable competition on the net. Literally millions of articles will be ahead of yours on the search engines. However, though you may feel there isn’t enough interest, you might just find that most healthful foods/nutrients for German Shepherd puppies will give you a high position in Google and gain you more readers.

7) If you wish, when you’ve got a bevy of, say, about 20-30 solid articles with gold info, it’s not a bad idea to consider putting it all together in an e-book and either give it free as a good will premium or sell it for a small sum to people looking for invaluable info all in one convenient pdf file.

So I’m no longer the cocky professional writer strutting across the internet. I’m just another average Joe trying to succeed in online promotion. I’m just another guy attempting to grab people’s attention so I can give them something I have researched and I genuinely feel may help them in some area that’s important in their lives. And, God help me, I’m going to try to push value with articles that don’t have people snoring in the first 20 seconds.

Steve Fortosis has a Ph.D. and is professional writer and free lance editor. He is also involved in internet marketing. Knowing the unlimited potential of the internet, he desires to assist others to publicize what they have to offer to as many individuals as possible. And, if they wish to earn an extra income in this manner, he wants them to have the know-how to do so.

By the way, if you have a manuscript that needs editing or publishing, check out my editing website at: If you want to get published now, click on this link:

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Why Your Book Needs Editing

Posted By on July 3, 2012

The Top Six Reasons Why Your Stuff Needs Editing

By Steve Fortosis

Article Word Count:

1) Words Aren’t Speled Right

I know, I know. I misspelled a word and you noticed it. I can’t tell you how many books, magazines, and websites I’ve seen with spelling errors. Websites seem worst of all, maybe because they’re created faster and people figure no one will notice the errors. One website owner even whined that he thought a few errors were okay because they showed he was human. He had to be kidding. I’ve known individuals who tossed aside a perfectly good book because they noticed a few errors.

2) Punctuation: Is’nt in the Right Places

Punctuation is all those tricky little marks like commas, colons, periods, apostrophes, dashes and such. They’re a little like traffic signs: they can indicate contractions, lists, emphasis, pauses, full stops. The writing becomes very confusing and jumbled if the punctuation is wrong or perhaps missing entirely. Imagine what would happen if there were no warning or stop lights on our highways. You get the idea.

3) Sentences Awkwardly Are Written

Do you see how even one word in the wrong place can make a sentence klunky and awkward? The order of words in a sentence really matters. If a story or a book doesn’t read smoothly, people often reject it for easier fare. Writers should even consider whether certain phrases should be placed at the beginning or the end of a sentence. If you want to draw attention to a phrase, place it at the beginning of the sentence: “Because he was the scrawniest in a family of eight, Sam always got stuck with the dirtiest and most disgusting chores.” See what I mean, you want to emphasize that Sam is weak and scrawny so you put it first.

4) There Grammar are Atrocious

Grammar includes things like capitalization, using the correct tense, and the correct use of pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Subjects and verbs must agree, pronouns must be used with care, and watch the gross overuse of adjectives and adverbs. Probably the most common grammar problem I see is the misuse of there, their, and they’re (and your, you’re, and yore). Grammar matters.

5) People Sometimes Like to Tell you Their Complete, Unabridged Life Story With all the Trimmings – Know What I Mean?

As a free lance editor, very rarely do I have to tell a writer that they’ve got to add 15- or 20,000 words. Usually people overwrite. And it’s awfully easy to become attached to one’s own words. One descriptor for such stuff in the writing world is “purple prose.” More often than not, when I edit a beginner’s novel, I have to cut large portions of boring, extraneous detail from the text. And the beginners are often so in love with their words that, when I’m done, they reinsert the content right back into the manuscript. Sad, but true.

6) Writers don’t Keep it Lucid and Intelligible (Simple)

Somewhere along the way many writers embraced the idea that the bigger the words, the more complex the language, the more impressive the writing. False! The best writing is simple, written at about a seventh grade level. And, believe it or not, writing at a seventh grade reading level can be profound and eloquent. The point is, you don’t impress anyone searching your thesaurus for a bigger or more confusing word to throw into that sentence. Now, of course, there’s always the rare exception—some famous writer you’ve read who has a massive vocabulary. Well, don’t forget, that writer has probably been writing for so many years that he or she has built up a loyal audience—an audience accustomed to the vocabulary. It doesn’t mean you should do it.

I know what you’re thinking. If you’re just skimming this article, you may be thinking that I’m a die hard English teacher writing a piece for high school students. No way. This article is for anyone of any age or station in life who takes out a pad and pen or sits down at a computer to type. As a professional writer, I’m constantly aware that I can write better. And you should feel the same way. Everyone who writes can use an editor. But, if there’s no editor handy, read your pages through five or six times, looking for any of the weaknesses I’ve mentioned. Then go about your business for a day or two and come back and edit it again. It’ll surprise you how many mistakes you missed. I’m not asking you to become a best-selling author. I’m just challenging you to become a more readable writer.

Steve Fortosis has a Ph.D. and is professional writer and free lance editor. He is also involved in internet marketing. Knowing the unlimited potential of the internet, he desires to assist others to publicize what they have to offer to as many individuals as possible. And, if they wish to earn an extra income in this manner, he wants them to have the know-how to do so.

I’ll be more than happy to edit your manuscript and make it a true masterpiece.  Check out:

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Self Publishing is Becoming State-of-the-Art

Posted By on July 29, 2011

Years ago, people used to pay a few thousand dollars for five hundred copies of their book. The publisher would usually do a lousy job at production, then send you your five hundred copies. Nothing was done to help advertise or make the book accessible to the public. So in most cases, the books molded away in the garage for years.

Now there are myriad choices for publishing and publishers can immediately produce and drop ship copies of your book to you or customers. Your books is also distributed and is available on huge sites like and Barnes& The product is great quality and you can pay extra for marketing assistance to publicize the book. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some hard work getting the word out about the book. But it does mean that, if you can sell a thousand copies or two, you will usually earn a lot higher percentage than if you went with a traditional publisher.

Check out the publishers on my site and take time to compare them. My personal favorite is Outskirts Press, but you will see that I’ve also given some other publishers high grades. Here’s to hoping this website sends you on your way to self publishing success! Click on the following link to check out a bunch of great publishing features:

Three Primary Ways to Self-Publish your Book

Posted By on April 16, 2010

You’re not a best selling writer—in fact, maybe you’re a beginner with your first book manuscript and you want it published so bad you can taste it. Okay, here’s the real deal on publishing.

If you have the talent and sheer determination, you might wish to try first getting published by traditional, commercial publishers. They’re the ones that charge you zero for publishing your book, offer you an advance on your royalties, agree to spend $5000 or $500,000 on promoting your book, etc. But you’d better have talent and a fine literary agent or else skin thicker than an elderly elephant and the iron determination to possibly weather multitudes of rejections for years before you (hopefully) get a contract. If you choose this route, more power to you.

A nickname referring to a publisher who will issue you a contract regardless of the quality and marketability of your work is vanity publishing. They have that reputation because they’ll appeal to your vanity—your deepest yearning to become a published author. They charge a lot and make the majority of their money from fees rather than from sales. Vanity presses may call themselves joint venture or subsidy presses, but in a vanity press arrangement, the author pays all of the cost of publication and undertakes all of the risk, and the publisher does no promotion whatsoever. Many authors end up with one or two thousand books molding in their garage.

A publisher that distributes books under its own imprint is usually termed a subsidy or “joint venture” publisher, and is therefore a little more selective in deciding which books to publish. Subsidy publishers, like vanity publishers, take payment from the author to print and bind a book, but contribute a small portion of the cost as well as adjunct minor services such as editing, distribution, warehousing, and some degree of marketing. Often, the adjunct services provided are minimal. As with commercial publishers, the books are owned by the publisher and remain in the publisher’s possession, with authors receiving royalties for any copies that are sold. Most subsidy publishers also keep a portion of the rights from any book that they publish. And, generally, authors have little control over production aspects such as cover design.

True self-publishing involves a ton of work for the writers and it probably involves procuring things that you have no idea how to do. It means authors choose a printer, get an ISBN number from Bowker, get copyright forms and register with the Library of Congress, get a bar code for the cover (for scanning price, etc., in bookstores), make sure all the right pages are in the right place and order (copyright page, preface, etc.), arrange for the book’s cover design (one of your most important investments), arrange for endorsements and testimonials to go on that cover, develop a marketing plan, arrange for publicity (free coverage as opposed to paid-for advertisements, which are seldom worth the investment), arrange for radio and TV appearances, book signings and other public appearances, make sure you’re listed in all the right online places, and so on. So what I’m saying is, you must undertake the entire cost of publication yourself, and handle all marketing, distribution, storage, etc. All rights then remain with the author, the completed books are the writer’s property, and the writer gets all the proceeds of sales.

Print-on-Demand has gotten some bad press, but it has come a long way and has become a quite competent and successful means of publishing for many writers. Technically Print-on-demand is a technology: a way to print books. Print-on-demand (POD) is also called short run printing or Print Quantity Needed (PQN). But many think of POD as a type of publishing because POD publishers have build an entire industry around the technique. Some POD publishers are not terribly picky about what manuscripts they will publish. However, most of them will not publish soft or hard porno, gratuitous violence, racist, or extremely profane manuscripts. PODs are sometimes web-based and, thus, use a digital form of printing that is cheaper and faster than the traditional press form. Most often, print-on-demand companies say that they print only the books you need.Instead of purchasing several hundred or thousand books beforehand, you order books as you need them. For example, if your book is listed on, they will print only when a customer buys your book. You will be paid a royalty on your books, or a percentage of each sale. Many print-on-demand companies now function on the model of leaving all book rights with you, the author. This means, for example, that if your books sold exceedingly well and a commercial publisher wanted to give you a contract, you could accept at any time without being under obligation to the POD publisher.

Writers can then select from a selection of publishing packages or design a unique one for themselves. Most POD publishers include ISBN number, bar code, typesetting, inclusion of your book with online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and other details as part of every package. However, you may pay additional fees if you need extensive editing, custom book cover design, and an active marketing program for your book.

Subsidy or Self Publishing (Offset press)

High quality from a good printer
Low unit cost if printing in large quantity – F.O.B.
Tremendous flexibility in cut size, paper weight and color
High storage cost
High distribution cost
High initial investment
High prepress cost, errors extremely expensive

Print on Demand

Lower quality relative to offset printing
Uniform unit cost at all quantities
Limited flexibility in cut size and paper
No storage cost
No distribution cost with Lightning Source, Replica or BookSurge
Low initial investment
Low prepress cost, errors easily corrected

I want to give you the straight truth about what’s best for you. If you want total artistic and production control, then self publish. If your topic is too controversial or obscene to be accepted by POD or traditional publishers, you may choose to self publish. If you are printing a memoir or something you just want for family and friends, then self publish. If you want to publish at an overall lower cost, then self publish (do not subsidy publish). If you have a ready-made publicity platform such as being a celebrity, being a public speaker, being a well known musician, etc., then you may want to either self publish or subsidy publish. Self publish if you don’t mind taking the time and effort to do everything listed above yourself; subsidy publish if you just want a whole pile of your books produced in a hurry.

There is also definitely an ideal situation for using print-on-demand. If you’re short on time or don’t possess the know-how to do all those details involved in producing your own bona fide book, then you may want to consider Print-on-demand. If you don’t want thousands of books in your garage you may want to go POD. If you want ideas for things like book cover design that you can just pick and have implemented immediately then choose POD. If you don’t mind taking a smaller profit per book, then POD might be right for you. If you like the idea of having marketing methods available right now for the choosing and you’re willing to pay for them, then go POD. If you want your book automatically listed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers, go POD. If you want your book distributed by one or two of the giant book distributors, then go POD.

Print-on-demand publishers are sharpening and expanding their efficiency and their publishing packages more every year. Just be careful and shop around very astutely and thoroughly before you select one. I know of one POD that can provide a complete publishing package as well as a seriously crucial marketing program to kick off your promotion for about $2000. But I also know PODs that charge upwards of $10,000 for the same services. So do your homework! And let me know if I can help.

A POD that I think stand out a bit from the crowd is found at the following link. Check them out and I believe you’ll find that they really work hard with you to make your book the very best it can be: