Tag Archives: book publishing

Wide for the Win: Strategies to Sell Globally Via Multiple Platforms and Forge Your Own Path to Success (Stark Publishing Solutions Book 4) by Mark Leslie Lefebvre Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Mark Leslie Lefebvre shares inspirations and strategies to expand an author’s reach and install longterm success in the book “Wide for the Win: Strategies to Sell Globally Via Multiple Platforms and Forge Your Own Path to Success”. 

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The Synopsis

Are you looking for ways to stop being dependent upon only Amazon for your author earnings income?

Are you hoping to expand and grow your sales on multiple platforms in global territories?

Do you need strategies to help you get started NOW in terms of creating a successful “publish wide” author plan?

Would you like to increase and optimize your sales on Apple Books, Kobo, Nook, Google Play and more?

Then WIDE FOR THE WIN is the book for you.

Based on knowledge derived from decades of working within the publishing and bookselling landscape, Mark Leslie Lefebvre has compiled those learnings and in depth discussions, interviews, and insights shared from represenatives from the major publishing platforms along with tips, strategies, and pathways to success from hundreds of authors who have already discovered the thrill of forging their own unique pathways to success.

If you’re looking for a magic bullet, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you’re looking for ideas, inspiration, and strategies for planning out your own long terms success as an author selling globally on multiple platforms, then you’re in luck.

WIDE FOR THE WIN prepares you not only with a fundamental understanding of the mindset required for long-term writing and publishing success, but also insights and proven processes that allow you to take full control of your intellectual property’s earning potential and reach more of the right readers for your work than ever before.

The Review

This was such a well-written and engaging read. The perfect reference and guide for any aspiring authors out there who are hoping to get a handle on the new directions that self-publishing and the electronic book era have brought, the author does an excellent job of balancing conversational tones that make up the majority of this book and the research that is evident in every chapter. 

The thing that stood out to me immediately was the way the author delved into so many different facets of publishing in today’s market. From the exclusivity benefits and negative effects of Kindle exclusive releases to the discoverability of box sets for those who are seeking to release a series of books at once, this book has something for everyone. What is perfect about this book is that authors who have specific questions or concerns about their work and publishing can find something to help in here, with each chapter and section marked carefully to help pinpoint and allow the reader to find each detail carefully.

The Verdict

A remarkable, educational, and thought-provoking non-fiction read for readers and aspiring authors alike, author Mark Leslie Lefebvre’s “Wide for the Win” is a must-read book of 2021. The perfect tool and reference book for those who are hoping to crack into the complex world of self-publishing and marketing their work, this book will allow readers to weave their way through this complex market with finesse and knowledge that few are able to grasp within their first year or two in the market. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mark Leslie Lefebvre has been writing since he was thirteen years old and discovered his mother’s Underwood typewriter collecting dust in a closet. He started submitting his work for publication at the age of fifteen and had his first story published in 1992, the same year he graduated from university.

Under the name Mark Leslie, he has published more than a dozen full length books. He pens a series of non-fiction paranormal explorations for Dundurn, Canada’s largest independent publisher. He also writes fiction (typically thrillers and horror) and has edits fiction anthologies, most recently as a regular editor for the WMG Publishing Fiction River anthology series.

The very same year, Mark saw his first short story in print he started working in to book industry as a part-time bookseller, and was bitten by the book-selling bug. He has worked in virtually every type of bookstore (independent, chain, large-format, online, academic and digital). He has thrived on innovation, particularly related to digital publishing, and enjoys interacting with the various people who make the book industry so dynamic.

Between 2011 and 2017, Mark worked at the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations for Kobo where he was the driving force behind the creation of Kobo Writing Life, a free and easy to use author/small-publisher friendly platform designed to publish directly to Kobo’s global catalog in 190 countries. By the end of 2016, Kobo Writing Life established itself as the #1 single source of weekly global unit sales for Kobo and, in primarily English language territories, responsible for 1 in every 4 eBooks sold.

Mark has spoken professionally in the United States and Canada, in the UK and across Europe, specializing in advances in digital publishing and the vast and incredible opportunities that exist for writers and publishers. 

http://markleslie.ca/

The Blurb Factor: 3 Crucial Steps to Optimize Your Book Description | Guest Post

I am honored to be able to share this next guest blog post with you all. Writer Greg Josselyn from Reedsy has reached out with a brand new post on the Blurb Factor to share with aspiring authors and writers out there. Enjoy and be sure to follow Greg’s work on Reedsy.


From botched to bestselling

When romance writer Alessandra Torre uploaded her first book on Amazon eight years ago, she only sold three on the first day. And for the next few months, she averaged a still-disappointing 15 – until one night, she looked at her book description and said: “I’m going to re-write this.” 

That re-write sparked a renaissance. First, it was 100 books sold in one day. Then 300. Then 2,000. That’s when she started ranking as a top seller in the Romance category, and offers from agents and publishers came flooding in. Now, Torre is an Amazon International bestselling novelist, with over a dozen books to her name. 

We can’t pin Torre’s success entirely on a book blurb – she is a good writer, after all! But we would be remiss not to poke around the subject, especially since this is a great Amazon self-publishing success story. The fact is, without the social credit and marketing budget of a big publishing house, the seemingly small things we usually save for last – like book descriptions – will make or break you. 

If you’re a writer who’s planning to self-publish, this post will help improve your book description (or back cover text) and grow your profitability on Amazon. But even if you aren’t quite at that stage yet, you can apply these techniques to query letters and pitches for your book. After all, it’s never too early to start selling people on your ideas.

Step 1: Get a hook and bait

Hook, hook, hook. That seems to be all writers and editors ever talk about, and yet, most of us still wonder what it really means. When we say “hook”, we mean like a fish hook, with – you you guessed it – bait. This is particularly important in the sea of distractions that is Amazon.com. But what are the raw materials that will make up your hook and bait? You’ll require: 

  1. A brief – we cannot stress this enough – summary of the story (no spoilers, please!) 
  2. A question that the story poses (which, of course, makes the reader want to find the answer so much that they’re willing to pay $9.99 for it). What’s going to compel Suzie So-And-So to forgo her mocha lattes this week for your book? 
  3. A little typography dress-up. You don’t have to go to coding boot camp to try on bolds, italics, and colors when setting up your product page. For example, on Amazon, you can:
    • Make things bold: <b>Be Bold My Friend, Be Bold</b>
    • Italicize Things <i>don’t go overboard though here because sometimes readers breeze over italics </i> 
    • Headline: <h1>This is a classier way to do all caps</h1>
    • Amazon Colors: <h2>Jeff Bezos will approve.</h2>
    • Indent: <blockquote>for anyone who likes a good old indent, you’re welcome. </blockquote>

Step 2: Blurb it out

Try to think of your book description in the most succinct terms possible. This isn’t a school book report; it’s like more like an elevator pitch. In other words, don’t blurt it out – blurb it out!

And when it comes to blurbs, our friend Torre is the master. If she didn’t revise the blurb for her first book, she may have switched careers instead of rising to the New York Times best seller list, which is why we always refer aspiring writers to her video tips on the subject. But in brief, she stresses these two essential facts: 

  1. The first three sentences of the blurb matter most. It’s like a teaser trailer – after those three sentences, users are going to have to click “Read More” to well, read more. To keep them scrolling, or get them to move onto the “full trailer,” as it were, those three sentences should stand out by utilizing the problem/question structure mentioned above.

One strong way to do that is to employ the classic proposition “but.” For example: “Will Byers lived a normal life in a boring suburban town. But when a mysterious alien creature shows up, his life turns upside down. Will it ever turn right side up again?” (Read More…)

  1. Leave out unnecessary details. All too often, authors use their blurbs to share irrelevant details like character surnames, where they live, their professions, or other excess exposition to no end. Cut all of that out – just set up the problem and the stakes of the story. You can always go full-on Charles Dickens in the actual book. But don’t make your blurb into Bleak House, or you’ll send readers running for the hills. 

Step 3: Demonstrate (and prove!) a social benefit

You’ve done it all so far: The blurb is short enough for a social media share. Your first three sentences set up a key question and further dilemma. You’ve omitted unnecessary details, like your character’s middle name or their township’s population.

And yet, potential readers are still scrolling to click on other book titles in your category. Yes, it could be other factors like book cover design and reviews, but still – there’s one last ingredient needed to seal the deal on your blurb. This is, of course, why the book matters to the potential buyer. What does your book provide for them? How will it make an impact on their life? Advertisements do it all the time, so why not utilize this technique to sell your book?  

For example, if your book is self-help, be sure to mention that they’ll never think the same way about X problem ever again. Or if it’s fiction, show how your main character is relatable to readers, and how they overcome problems that many of us experience in our own lives.

If you have reviews or testimonials to prove this, even better: up the social proof to the max. And if you’re new to self-publishing, drawing comparisons to pre-existing works is one great way to do it (e.g. “This Gender Bending Historial Fantasy is Games of Thrones meets Queer Eye), or just stress how it’ll change the reader’s way of looking at the world (“fantasy fans and fashionistas will never be the same again…”). 

Takeways

In order to make a successful book blurb, be sure to include:

  1. An enticing lead to grab readers
  2. A question that a reader can only answer by actually reading your book
  3. Proof that the story will benefit the reader’s life – this might be pure entertainment, or genuine self-improvement

There are endless ways to play around with these elements. Try out different options – at least three – and test them with friends and family, as well as pro beta readers. Ask: which description pulls you in? Which one doesn’t do it for you? And why? Or, do an A/B test in Amazon: swap out the different descriptions and see which one performs the best.

Still no sales? Keep re-writing and testing until you do, like Alessandra Torre. Otherwise, accept that the marketplace just may not be ready for this particular book, and start re-examining your content from the ground up.  

Greg Josselyn is a writer for Reedsy, a curated marketplace dedicated to empowering authors. When he’s not covering KDP Select, he writes short fiction and makes podcasts.

Twitter / Instagram.

My 2018 Goals

It’s a new year. 2018. The time to make changes, set goals and decide what you want your life to be. While some things are out of our control, there are so many things we as people are capable of doing to make positive changes in our lives. As an author, a blogger, a writer and a YouTuber, I have made a decision to make 2018 the year of Anthony Avina. In other words, I plan to better myself in all aspects of my career, and make this the year my goals become somewhat of a reality. I also want to improve my own personal life, including being more open about the life I’m leading with you guys, the readers. With that in mind, I thought it was time to write about my 2018 goals.

No, this isn’t a New Year’s Resolution kind of thing. Instead, I’m going to be focusing on setting goals for myself to work towards with no commitment that they will definitely happen, but with the hope that maybe, just maybe, I can accomplish these goals. So here are my 2018 goals!

Personal:

I plan to get healthier. Those of you who don’t know need to know that I am never going to be 100% healthy. I have several disabilities that hinder me and my daily life, including Dercum’s Disease (look it up), Fibermyalgia, Hashimodo’s Disease and probable Rheumatoid Arthritis (test pending). These diseases have no cure and have made it impossible to get a 9-5 standing job, to be able to run, hike, or work out normally. It’s also lead to weight gain. If I’m being honest with myself, part of it is due to depression and eating food I shouldn’t. However a lot of it is due to the diseases themselves, which some lead to weight gain you can’t control. Before all of these illnesses, I was working out. I was loosing weight and getting fit. That life of a skinny or athletic person is never going to happen for me, but I’m OK with it. I have accepted this is my life and I am striving to make 2018 the year that I at least improve my health. Already I have been doing well on a new diet, cutting out most of the carbs I used to eat in my life. I am also starting to walk with my little dog Sammy and will be working to improve the amount of walking I can do. No matter my size, I’m determined to be happy in my body and still get healthier.

I also plan to push myself to get out more. As I mentioned with the disabilities I also have depression, anxiety and social anxiety. I have a hard time conceiving a situation in which I could approach someone and strike up a conversation without any lead up. Talking with people in real life is a lot more difficult than emailing them or live chatting them. When I got sick, I had a lot of friends that suddenly stopped talking to me. It was high school, so I tell myself that they were kids who had their own lives and moved on like any other teenager and young adult would have. However it was difficult to make friends after that. This year I plan to change that. I want to converse more and talk with the online friends I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in the last couple years. I also want to travel more and meet new people, befriending them or possibly starting a relationship with a woman I meet in the world. Overall I want to push myself to be a more social person.

Professionally:

2018 is going to be the year I move forward with my career. This year, I plan to make my blog here and my YouTube channel prosper. I am dedicating myself to writing more on this blog and growing both my subscriber base and newsletter following. I want to entertain, educate and start a conversation in multiple areas on both my blog and channel. I am going to be doing way more book related posts and videos. I have gotten over 150 book review requests and that number continues to grow. I am hopeful I can build both my blog and channel into a thriving community where we can discuss books, pop culture and the world at large in a positive and happy arena.

Finally, this is the year my writing takes center stage. Towards the end of last year I was fortunate enough to get a new job working for the online publication TheGamer, a popular entertainment magazine where my articles have garnered over seven million views thus far. I want to grow my presence on the website and make that a big priority for my work, bringing the most entertaining articles possible. I have some exciting Nintendo related articles coming to the site soon. I also plan to self-publish and traditionally publish books. I have several self-published books in the works right now, and will be working to write and edit/publish more this year. Most exciting of all, I have a publisher I’m working with on my first publishing deal right now. I can’t reveal the book or the publisher yet, but I just finished the editing phase of the process and my book is now in the hands of a proofreader, so needless to say I am so thrilled that my writing career seems to be hitting an all-time high and I feel this is the start of a wonderful new phase of my life. This is where my dreams of becoming a writer begin to take shape, and I will work to make that a reality in the months to come.

Those are my main goals of 2018 guys. I hope you’ll follow along as I go on this journey to make myself and my career shine in 2018. If you guys want to watch my latest YouTube video where I talk about these goals, be sure to check out the link here! What are some of your goals of 2018? Leave them in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to my blog and sign up for my free newsletter! You get a free short story when you do and it’s free to sign up. Thanks for listening guys and I look forward to hearing from you guys!

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