Copyright Protection for Books

Good news, author. Your work is under copyright protection from virtually the moment it is created. From the moment you put your words to word processor automatic copyright is applied.

So if protection is automatic, then why would you want to file and pay money for an official copyright certificate?

Here are three reasons why you might want to file a copyright certificate in the US:

Number one, filing is required for a copyright infringement case.

If registration occurs within five years of publication, it’s considered a prima facie. In less legal terms, it means that it’s accepted as true unless concretely proven otherwise.

Also, there are 20 countries in the world that require you to file copyright because they don’t recognize automatic copyrights. Which means, in those countries, someone could republish your work and you have no defense in their courts unless you file for copyrights.

Number two, if you want your book considered for inclusion in the library of Congress, part of the process for submission is to file official copyrights.

I covered that topic in this right here:

Number three, you may just wish to have the facts of your copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration.

It makes the whole thing very official. If you file for copyright, timeline and ownership become very clear.

Registration is voluntary but could be useful. It’s totally up to you. Your work is protected by copyright but your ideas are not.

In the Unites States, the United States copyright office accepts registrations.

Copyright for Canadian Authors:

For Canadian authors, basically it’s the same for you. It’s totally voluntary and only really necessary in an infringement case. If you want to file, it’s through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for a fee.

You may also like to read ‘Should you use a pen name when you write a book?‘.

7 Keys to Creating Your Amazon Book Page

If you’re self publishing a book, Amazon matters a lot. 69% of adult nonfiction books are bought online. Amazon isn’t the only place readers look for books, but it’s probably the most important.

That makes the most crucial sales page for your book … your Amazon book page!

Here are the 7 essential elements you need for creating your Amazon book page:

Number one, your book title and subtitle are essential to the success on Amazon.

I’ve talked about what makes a great non-fiction book title here.

But one thing we didn’t cover there is the importance of your subtitle. Ideally your subtitle includes one or two of your keywords and hooks your readers by answering this simple question:

What’s in it for me?

Always be thinking about how will your reader benefit. Will your book make them more beautiful? Richer? Fitter? More successful? And bonus points if you tell them how long it will take to alleviate their biggest concerns en route to the thing they want.

A couple of my favorite subtitles:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape nine to five, live anywhere and join the new rich.
  • The Perennial Seller: The art of making and marketing work that lasts.
  • The Dip: a little book that teaches you when to quit and when to stick.

Those are great titles with fantastic subtitles

Number two is your cover.

Think in thumbnails. Of course you want a cover that looks good in print, but the most important thing for selling your book is a cover that  creates visual curiosity in a small image. You also need to be able to read the title when it’s in the thumbnail version too.

It’s the number one reason templates for book covers are a terrible idea. You must stand out. To do that, you can’t look like other people’s books. We are visual creatures so a colorful, explosive, and in your face cover is a perfect way to capture your reader’s visual curiosity.

Number three, make your book available in more than one format.

In an informal survey on my Facebook page I asked whether people felt a hard cover book was more professional than a soft cover book.

The answer was interesting. Many people said that it was the number of formats, not hard cover vs soft cover that mattered.

When people see a book is available in an eBook, a softcover, a hardcover and an audiobook, it looks professional produced.

This is a really important thing if you’re self-publishing. You want it to look professional. And if it’s only available in Kindle, you could be losing readers because they will not think it’s professional.

Number four, keywords.

What do your competitor’s books have for keywords? What keywords do you know people are using to search for solutions you help solve? Figure out which keywords are important for your book and write a fantastic description that will utilize those keywords. Amazon does give you some good guidance on keywords in its catalog.

What’s in its catalog is all it’s going to search for. And it’s going to personalize that to each person. So the best way to get seen is by keeping your words generic and broad, but specific to your book category.

Number five, description.

Your book description has one job … to sell your book.Kick the description off with your hook. Entice the reader with what is in it for them. Include proof of what you’re saying and why you were the only one who could write this book. This is a great opportunity to use those keywords again, by the way.

Number six, endorsements and reviews.

They’re not the same thing, but they’re equally important. Endorsements are those quotes from well-known people, media and other authors. Those should be in your book description area.

Then you need reviews for your book. The most important thing is the stars, then the content. If you can get video reviews that is awesome because those will show up at the top. The most liked review and most recent will be the most important because those will be shown first. So make sure you have recent reviews and that the average overall stars is four to five or better. If they aren’t, take a look at what reviewers are criticizing and see if you can fix it.

Number seven, categories.

This is a big subject. First, you only have a little bit of control over this, but the strategy is to start in the smallest category possible, and then have Amazon keep moving you up within that overall category. You get moved up by selling well. But here’s the thing that many authors may not realize. Canadian categories aren’t the same as American categories. Amazon print categories are not equal to Kindle. So it takes research and setting yourself up in different categories for different accounts.

Ugh, right? It is a lot of work! That’s what Book Launchers is for. We do a lot of that hard ground work for you. If you want to find out how we help, you can visit this page. If you want to set up a time to speak with us about your book, tell us more about your book idea here.

Like this article? Check out the following posts:

Mastering Media Interviews for Authors

Media interviews are an ideal way to boost visibility and credibility. As an entrepreneur or professional media coverage is incredibly valuable in business and book sales. The good news is that when you’re a book author it’s substantially easier to get media coverage than when you’re not!

It’s just another reason to stop procrastinating and write your book now!

But, the reality is that media interviews are easy to mess up. And, authors make mistakes all the time.

You only have one opportunity to shine in that interview, so here’s 10 tips to master those media interviews .

If you’ve written a nonfiction book, chances are, the media is going to want to talk to you. They’re always looking for content and they’re looking for experts to talk about different things on their show. When the media comes calling, you want to make sure that you are prepared. And these ten tips will help you master the media and make the most of it for your book and your business.

Number one, is to show up for your interview.

It seems obvious, but here’s why it’s included in this list.

If you’re doing podcast interviews or radio interviews, it’s really easy to get time zones mixed up. Double-confirm the time, and make sure you’re showing up for the interview at the right time.

If you’re on a TV show, and you have to start really early in the morning, give yourself extra time. Some of my media interviews required me to be in the the greenroom at six A.M. If you’re driving around at 5:30 in the morning trying to find the location of the TV studio, and you get lost, guess what? You’re going to miss your interview. And on live TV, it’s going to run without you.

Make sure you know where you’re going and leave extra time so you don’t miss that interview.

Number two, is prepare in advance.

If it’s a TV show, watch it before you go on it. If it’s a radio or podcast interview, listen to a few shows, make some notes about what they like to talk about. Most importantly make a note of the host’s name and the show name and have it on a cue card. It’s easy when you’re under pressure to forget important details, like who you’re talking to. So, have it on a cheat sheet, and then you’ll always know.

Number three is have water handy.

It seems obvious again, but you can get rushed onto a set and you suddenly get this dry cotton mouth that happens when you’re nervous. Have water handy so you can take a quick sip and carry on. Don’t worry about bringing it onto the TV set with you. They will tell you where you can put it, or ask you to pour it into one of their sponsor mugs to drink from.

Number four, read your book as a refresher.

Sounds funny, ’cause you wrote the book, right? But by the time media interviews are happening, it may be three to nine months after you’ve been deep in the trenches of your book and you forget what you wrote.

Picture this … you’re live on TV and the host of the show is opening up to page 123 and saying, “Now here you say … Tell me what you were thinking when you wrote that.”

Do you remember your book well enough to be able to explain a random passage from your book? If not, refresh yourself fast!

While most hosts do not read your book and will use the questions you submit to the show producer, the odd one will pull from your book. Avoid any awkwardness or missed opportunities by knowing your material.

Number five, stay up to date on the news, especially news specific in your industry.

Knowing what is happening in your industry is critical for creating relevant pitches for your media outreach. It also gives you something trending and topical to talk about when you’re on the show, which the show will always appreciate. If you do this well, you could become a regular guest of your local show.

Number six, think of this as a speed date.

Typically you only have a couple of minutes and they go fast, so you want to have quick tips. No long stories. Prepare short antidotes and little soundbites. Hit ’em fast and hit ’em hard. The time will be gone before you know it.

Number seven, prep your talking points in advance.

Every show producer will ask you for questions or talking points. Create questions that lead into the answers that you most want to talk about. And write those questions word for word, because a lot of hosts will actually ask them word for word.

But, here’s the trick. You don’t have one question and one answer. Have multiple ways to answer each of those questions, so not only will you keep your interviews fresh, but you could go a slightly different direction if that show needs it. You want to be prepared so you can be flexible.

Number eight, invest in the right equipment to do home interviews.

I’ve been on shows where you Skype in, so you don’t have to travel. Here’s one example here:

It’s great because you don’t have to travel. However, you will not look like a pro if you don’t have good lighting, great audio, and a good backdrop.

I’ve seen shows where you can see people’s closet and see the clothes in them. It’s even worse when you see their messy office! It decreases the credibility of the guest. It’s really distracting as an audience viewer. And the show won’t like it either. If you were a great guest, a lot of times these shows will have you back again and again and again. So, spend a few hundred dollars and get great equipment and you’ll look like a pro and probably get invited back. The above interview was in my office. But, I’ve done them at home in my messy bedroom. I just put up a bluescreen background. It’s not as nice as my office but it works too!

Number nine, send people to a specific page with a specific offer.

You can have them go to your website but you’re more likely to get a response to a specific offer.  Go to BookLaunchers.com/sellbooks where you’re going to find a fantastic resource on eight ways to sell a thousand books for under a hundred dollars.

Now they’ve got a reason to go to that page, sign up for your newsletter, and you can build a relationship with them.

Number ten, don’t be freakin’ boring!

Let your personality come out. Have some fun with it. The shows are really looking for character and personality. They want great interviews. And that only happens if your character comes out and you have a little fun with it. If you’re too nervous or you try too hard to be perfect you won’t shine!

Alright, when you’re a book author the media is going to call you. These ten tips will have you so much more prepared!

Should You Use a Pen Name to Write Your Non-Fiction Book?

Writing under a pen name is tricky business. There are good reasons to do it, but more and more, I think it’s better to write under your real name. Let me explain …

Do you have a favorite thought leader or writer? You know, that person whose content you consume hungrily no matter what they are talking about?

Before I quit my job and joined the ranks of entrepreneurship, my go to author and virtual mentor was a man named Michael Masterson. I read everything he wrote online and bought all his books. When he his company hosted a conference in Florida, I put money I was planning to use for a vacation into a ticket, got on a plane and attended that conference.

I wanted to learn everything he had to teach. And, I owe a lot of my early business-building success to what I learned from him.

But, when I had the opportunity to meet him, I got a bit of a shock.

His name wasn’t Michael Masterson. That was his pen name.

Now there was this awkward thing. Do I call him Michael, or do I call him Mark? I didn’t know what to call him anymore.

And even though I was deeply grateful for all I’d learned from him, there was this thing in my head now:

Why couldn’t he use his own name? What is he hiding? What else isn’t true?

Again, I’m super grateful for all I learned from him. But the fact that he had a pen name made things uncomfortable and weird for me, a fan and a client.

So with that in mind, let’s talk about whether it makes sense for you.

Good Reasons to Use a Pen Name

Number one, your privacy is important. Let’s say that you have insider information for your industry, and you don’t want people to know it’s coming from you. Or perhaps you’re well-respected in a Corporate America job, and you wanna write about erotica and you don’t want all your colleagues to know about your S&M fetish.

Those are solid reasons.

Perhaps you have a famous parent, or perhaps you’re famous for something else that’s unrelated, and you want to chart your own course without the burden or benefit of that name.

Perhaps you really need to have different brands. This is happening a lot in the traditionally published world. Some agents and book publishers are recommending authors with middle-of-the-road sales, come in and publish under a new name. Traditional publishing houses are looking for that breakout author, or their bread and butter that always sells really well. If you’re in the middle it can be difficult to land a deal.

For most nonfiction authors, I think this doesn’t really apply, and we’ll talk about that in a second. But, if you’re a fiction writer, it’s definitely an issue for some authors.

Finally, you may choose to use a pen name because you want a cooler or more marketable name. If you have a really long name, or it’s hard to pronounce those could be good reasons to use a pen name.

All that said, here’s the three reasons why almost all non-fiction authors should not use a pen name:

Number one is trust and credibility.

You are writing this book to grow your business or build your brand in most cases. That’s very difficult to do if people find out it’s not actually you.

So use your own name to establish that trust, build the credibility, and showcase who you are and what you know.

Number two is confusion.

When somebody knows you as your pen name, but they also know you personally as your real name, who do they introduce you as? What do they call you? It might seem small until you have the problem, but when you go to a conference, what do you put on your name tag? And, who do your friend’s introduce you as to others? They won’t know what to call you, or who to refer people to. It can be really tricky business. You’ll definitely miss out on some readers because some people will opt not to introduce you at all just to avoid the hassle.

Number three is marketability.

Even if you’re writing in different categories, there’s cross-promotion, and there are people who are going to read everything you write, no matter what category it falls into. In fact, here’s a fun fact for you. I am well known in Canada as a real estate investing expert. When I opened Book Launchers, and started helping people write, publish and sell a brand-boosting book, my first ten authors were people who knew me as a real estate expert. Why would they write and publish a book with me when they know me as a real estate expert? Because they know me, they trust me, they believe in me, Julie Broad. As a result, it creates massive credibility and trust, which you’ll lose if you go by a fake name.

It’s fun to be someone else for a minute, but when it comes to writing and publishing a brand-building and business-boosting book, you probably don’t want any confusion over whether somebody’s talking to Julie or Jane. You want them to know who they’re talking to, trust you, have credibility, and of course, be able to tell their friends about their friend, Julie.

Book Pricing Warning: Don’t Sell Your Book Too Cheap

There’s a lot of bad advice in the book publishing market. As I’ve shared before, there are also a lot of self-publishing scams to watch out for. One of the areas where I think there’s a lot of misguided advice is in the area of book pricing.

As a part of our book publishing and support services at Book Launchers, we do in depth research to help you determine the best price points for your book. Even with research, it’s not that straightforward.

Many people suggest that you price your book for .99 cents to $9.99. Generally, that’s being driven by the advantages of being in the KDP Select program (watch this video on the KDP select program and going exclusive with Amazon).

Generally, I don’t like to go exclusive with Amazon unless you have a really good reason. And, I’m certainly not going to give it away for free on Amazon when Amazon’s not telling you who’s ‘buying’ your book. If you’re giving it away for free (or really cheap), you need to be benefiting in some other way. To me, that’s in the form of an opt-in at a minimum.

You may think more downloads is better, but if you need people to read that download to then become a customer, you’re putting a lot of faith in your audience to read your book.

Have you ever downloaded a free book you didn’t read?

Yea, me too! All the time.

Even if you pay a lot for a book, it’s still not a guarantee you’ll read it. But if you download a free book, you’re even less motivated to read it unless there’s an amazing hook or a really killer promise.

When it comes to book pricing, that’s just one of the reasons I won’t sell my books really cheap. Here’s the three main reasons:

Number one is value.

You are putting years of expertise, education and experience into this book. It probably took you tens of thousands of dollars to gain that expertise. You likely invested thousands of hours to learn what you’ve learned.

You invested in something that your reader is going to use to save time or money. So there’s a lot of value in those pages. So why sell them for 99 cents and make nothing?

Number two is perceived value.

Depending on your industry, your clients probably spend a lot of money to work with you. Do you want your services to be perceived as cheap?

If you price a book at 99 cents, what do you think your clients are going to think not only about the book but potentially about your services?

Number three, book stores and wholesale opportunities.

If you want to do a lot more than break even on your book sales, this is really important.

You can move hundreds or thousands of copies of your books with the right kind of deal. If your book is too cheap those deals won’t be there.

For example, if you write a book on fitness, you may be able to strike deals with the distributors of equipment you recommend. This kinda deal can move thousands of copies of books. But, this is contingent on your book having true value to their clients and the people they give copies too.

There are plenty of reasons to price your book appropriately for your goals and your market, the challenge of course, is how to figure that price out.

So now, you might be wondering … how exactly do I price my book? You can find our one part science and one part art approach right here.

 

 

Are Print Books Dead?

“I won’t do print books. Everyone’s just buying the e-book versions anyway, right?”

I was chatting with a potential author client. He was trying to save money on book publishing. Unaware that there are little cost savings, he figured it was cheaper to only do an e-book version of his book. He also figured nobody would buy the print book.

In some fiction genres, you can get away with only doing a digital version of your book. When it comes to non-fiction print books are a must.

Here’s Seven Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead and You Need Multiple Versions:

Number One: Marketing.

Your print book is the best marketing material you’ll ever create.

Whether you’re selling your services as a speaker, selling a product, or offer some other service, your book should be the most polished version of your message. It should look amazing. It should explain who you are and why they need you. And, most importantly, it should be so amazing that it lives for a really long time.

Number Two: Print Book Longevity

People don’t throw good books out. They’ll toss out your business cards before you leave the room. You’re brochure hits the bin before it’s read.

But, your book sits on someone’s desk, shelf, or coffee table for months. It will rarely be thrown out. It might be given away, but that’s kind of amazing because now somebody is going to learn about you or your product or your service that didn’t know about it before.

Number Three: A physical book has value

If you speak, you can sell copies to the event manager to give to everyone in the room or you can sell them at the back of the room. They may even promote your book as a value-add. Used smartly, a book can be used as currency. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to learn more about how to do just that!

Number Four: You can use it for a thank-you gifts and client gifts

PDFs get forgotten and they get lost. A book is a tangible item and, again, it has value. Even if it only cost you six dollars to print, it still has more value than a digital version.

Number five: Readers still want print books.

According to Author Earnings 2016 sales report, 76 percent of non-fiction book sales are in print. 24 percent to audio and e-book. Non-fiction book-buyers want that printed version.

Number Six: You can’t sign a digital book

Sure, there are services like authorgraph where you can request a signed digital copy of your book, but it’s just not the same for the author or the book holder.

Number seven: Try taking pictures with the Kindle-only version of a book

That’s gonna be awkward. Digital is still important. Links are live. You can send people to view your YouTube video, link to your website, and add resources that aren’t suitable for the print version, so there are great reasons to do a digital version of your book. It’s also pretty cool what you can do from a marketing perspective with an e-book, especially with Whispersync, which will connect your audiobook to your e-book, allowing someone to seamlessly switch from your e-book to your audio book.

That’s a pretty cool feature that can’t do with print books. And, audio is where the real growth is. Audiobooks are blowing up and if you’re a non-fiction author creating credibility, trying to build that know, like, and trust kind of feeling with your readers, there’s nothing better than getting your voice in someone’s head through audio.

Bottom line, digital is wonderful, but print books are still alive and well, especially in non-fiction.