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"Helpful Tips for Authors"
byline: Janice Woods Windle

Following are some tips I feel have helped me become a best-selling author:

o Personalize the process of writing the book. Make it your own. The publishing industry is tough right now, so stick to your guns!

o The book is an art form while it's written and a product when finished--market it as a product. The marketing of books is very competitive.

o Overall, you must have a willingness to travel and spend time with readers. Keep in touch with your readers. They are your fans and advocates. You must travel for a book tour and be willing to do those 5 a.m. interviews.

o Don't hesitate to ask for help from relatives and friends. Ask them to buy books and tell everyone they know about your book. Develop a network from these friendships. This creates your team of people talk up the book. Buddy emails are always a good form of "word of mouth" promotion, too.

o Visit book clubs and other organizations to do readings.

o Tailor the readings to the audience. Junior high girls would want to hear about the stories of strong frontier women, whereas the philosophic society would want to hear about the research process.

o Ask for adequate time to be effective when you are invited to speak. Many organizations do their business up front and try to rush the speaker. Make sure there's a clear understanding of how much time you need.

o Promote each speaking event as a book/author event. 

o CRC's at bookstores should send out flyers and hang posters. You can anticipate an audience for the first 30 minutes. Make the signing no more than an hour. Try to get local media the day of the signing. And newsletter coverage, of any sort, is helpful.

o Bookstore customers have become very jaded. They are accustomed to seeing a book signing each time they walk in the door. Make yours unique in some way.

o Always inform the event coordinator that you want a microphone. Many book events attract senior citizens who need to be able to hear the author.

o Make yourself accessible to your readers and then be prepare for an onslaught of emails. If they care enough to come to an event, you owe it to them.

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