Tag Archives: Writing Contest

Book Sales Plateau – 13 Tips What You Can Do!



First-time writers are often puzzled when after a very successful book launch and many book sales, their ranking on Amazon drops and their sales numbers dwindle over time – which is a totally normal process, even for bestseller authors. So what can you do as a writer – besides writing your next manuscript:
Your book has been launched months ago or even last year and you had great sales numbers. NOW readers need to see something NEW from you. It doesn’t need to be a whole new book:
The three main assets you have already

  • your writing skills
  • the content you already wrote
  • the research you have done for your book(s) can be used to write at least 20 – 30 articles or blog posts – and if regularly posted on Google+ it is raising your Search Engine Ranking on Google tremendously.

1. Use the manuscript text from your “old” book to split it into tiny portions and write lots of short blogs / articles from the content – along with a two sentence bio and a link to your webpage or Amazon author / sales page. Make use of your assets! Which means not only your book, but using all the research notes and text, you have compiled to write it. Make it a habit to post/publish content at least two – three times a week!

More benefits of writing content:
– it is a subtle way to promote your book
– you receive valuable back links to your website or blog
– you will have lots of possibilities to post on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook….
– include links to your articles in email newsletter (that you hopefully send out regularly to your readers)
Post these articles on your blog or contribute guest blogs to other sites that are focused on the same topics as your book.

Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers, it will link to your book sales page or your website and it helps a lot to build a platform. Last but not least it gives you a lot of material to post and to tweet. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence: you will achieve success with your writing – and in many cases, even get paid for it.

Read more here:

2. Rewrite these articles a bit, add more material and offer them to magazines, newspapers etc., starting with Airline Inflight Magazines, Huffington Post and etc., even The Atlantic could be interested if it is a longer article with great content. Focus more on discoverability rather than selling. Your work is important, so help readers to find it.

World-famous bestseller writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tom Chiarella, Gloria Steinem and Stephen King did it: Writing occasionally short stories and magazine articles – before blogs became fashionable. In several former posts I explained in detail how easy it is for writers to create content, such as blog articles and sell them to magazines and newspapers or write guest blogs. Read more about brilliant book marketing and content writing, check out the links below.

3. You Need More Potential Readers
Are you really adding at least 25 new followers per day to your Social Media networks? You often can add more, 25 is the restriction on Goodreads, but Google+ for example allows you to follow up to 5,000 people. However, don’t choose just anyone: type into the search function: booklover, avid reader, reviewer, book blogger… you get the point? These are the folks who might be interested in your book – and tell other about it. Make it a habit to add EVERY DAY new followers to each one of your Social Media sites. Future book campaigns will only be successful if you have enough fans!

4. Post and Tweet more about borrowing your book for Prime Members.  After all you earn money with each lending (approx. $2 per book).  Every day new customers sign up for Amazon’s Prime membership program.

What’s More:

5. Post something new on your website at least once or twice a week

6. Plan and create an email campaign to potential readers

7. Book Signings end Readings bookstores, museums or literary cafes

8. Readings at libraries & book clubs or Meetup Groups

9. Participate in Writing Contests (national and international)

10. Write a prequel for your next book and add a link to the first one

11. Join HARO (Help a Reporter out) to make yourself a name as an expert in your field

12. As soon as your next book is written, contact the library distributors, read the useful blog article from with lots of tips and links how to sell your book to libraries.

13. You Might Need More Distribution:
Use BookBaby or .eBookpartnership for example, to place your book on all Amazon’s Kindle Stores: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Brazil, Japan, India etc .  In North America: Apple, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Ingram. In Europe to: Askews & Holts, Blackwell’s, BlioBook, Depository,, Waterstones, Whitcoulls, WH Smith. Their yearly fee is less than $100 and you can save LOTS of hours for uploading your book, for accounting with these retailers and if you work on Windows, to use a Mac computer (for upload to Apple).  Best of all, they do not take commissions, such as with Smashword for example. You keep 100% of the revenue from online retail. However, you should buy your own ISBN’s, preferably a block of ten, and don’t forget to register your book worldwide with Bowker’s database, which goes to all bookstores and libraries in the world.

Don’t forget:
If you have only one book there is nothing that readers can actually buy from you, after they have read your book! The only benefit is the lending program for Prime Members that gives you some revenue – but only if you have priced it higher than $2.99, as readers usually prefer to borrow higher-priced books. And: marketing means not only sales campaigns … so do everything to show your potential readers a bit of content that leads to your book. The key to success is confidence in yourself, persistence, and also knowing what you want!

Your first book will very often increase in sales as a result of a successful launch of your second book. Every time you launch a new book, it has an impact on past titles, if they are written for the same audience.



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:  Or visit
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,010 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash



Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Book Sales, e-Books, Marketing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Wishes for 2014


It’s this time of the year … where most of us think about improvements in our daily lives, including professional ambitions.  Whatever resolutions might be for the new year: If you are an author, and want to publish professionally and to have eventually bestselling books, it would be smart to learn everything you can about publishing possibilities and professional book marketing.

How Can You Learn All About Publishing?  
Most of it online. There are so many helpful blogs and articles for writers out there, where you can learn everything about writing and publishing, for example from:

John Kremer
Jonathan Gunson
David Gaughran
Dean Wesley Smith
Rachel Gardener


More Writing & Publishing Resources
They are right in front of you!, where we give tons of advice from our 30+ years of publishing and book marketing experience – for FREE in almost one thousand! articles, including several thousand links to detailed information. Just sign up and you will get them regularly to your mailbox.

With many years of coaching and consulting authors in seminars and over the internet / phone about e-publishing and book marketing we can help you to build your author brand and platform and advice you about any question you might have as writer and self-publisher.

Another option is to sign up for free to our valuable – monthly – newsletter. In the first week of every month you will get lots of book marketing and publishing tips. Just go to any of our websites where you find the opt-in form:

Our Online Seminars
Learn more about the changing world of publishing and the promotional part for your books – as nowadays literary agents and publishers first question to a potential author is: “what is your platform” or “what are your plans to market your book?” Traditional publishers no longer provide the marketing for authors, who must promote themselves and market their books.

Learn how to take advantage of all the available opportunities and resources to promote your work and yourself as an author to publishers and to your readers.
Ask yourself
Are you as well known as you could be?
Are your books selling as well as they should do?
Do you know the difference between the top 3% of authors and everyone else?
Find out how to navigate the modern publishing world, get hundreds of valuable marketing tips during our Weekend Seminars or the one-on-one Online Seminars – and learn how to promote your book without even spending money for it.
Get practical hands-on tips to market your book:

  • Identify your target readers and their demographic
  • Find out how to reach these readers online and off-line
  • Create your own brand and your author platform
  • Choose the type of publishing that is right for you
  • Navigate the pre-publishing process
  • Market and publicize your book successfully on a budget
  • Leverage your books’ content into other markets
  • Prepare your next bestseller
  • find free book publishing funding sources,
  • Government grants and tax deductions

Helpful Publishing Guide Books
The grand-daddy of independent publishing, Dan Poynter started decades ago to write about self-publishing print books and wrote in detail about the process, including distribution. His many books on this topic include e-publishing as well.
Aaron Shepard is an authority in “Aiming at Amazon” and “POD for Profit” and how to prepare your books for e-book formatting and print.

Writing Contests
Being short-listed or winning a writing contest is a fantastic promotional tool for your book.  Find the latest writing contests for all genres. This invaluable free blog provides news & guides to literary magazines and other resources for authors.

And now:  Don’t forget to look in the rear mirror and pad yourself on the shoulder! Recognize where you have been successful and what you already achieved during the last twelve months!




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help:
Or visit
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 More Writing Contests

Stamp Polar Bear


Monthly TWITTER Writing Contest is hosting a writing contest. The first day of every
month at 11 AM, we will announce the topic. Entrants must write a
140-character-or-less tweet, mention @Scribendi_Inc, and summarize the
topic. The contest closes the last day of the month at 11 AM.
Summarize This! promotes concise and precise writing skills in a
fresh, fun way

Prizes range from free editing to swap

Neil Postman Award
Rolling Deadline. Although primarily known as an educationist and a media critic,
Neil Postman was, at his core, a “noticer”—and he particularly noticed what we do
with metaphor and how metaphor shapes and creates our cognitive world.

Postman maintained that words (and words, in truth, are metaphors) are
as much the driver of reality as they are the vehicle. Consequently,
metaphor was not a subject to be relegated and limited to high school
poetry units wherein a teacher drones on about the difference between
“like” and “as” and considers the job finished. For Postman, the study
of metaphor was unending and metaphors were as crucial as they were
omnipresent; they served to give form to and dictate experience. In
honor and remembrance of Neil Postman, who died on Oct 5, 2003, we
have established the Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. The motivation
for the award is simple and two-fold: To reward a given writer for his
or her use of metaphor, and to celebrate (and hopefully propagate)
Postman’s work and the typographical mind. Each spring the editors
will choose one poem from all of the submissions received by Rattle
during the previous year.

The author of the chosen poem will receive $ 500.

There are no entry fees or special submission guidelines. Send
up to 5 unpublished poems plus a self-addressed & stamped envelope
(SASE) to: Rattle, 12411 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604.
To browse previous winners, and for information on how to submit
electronically, visit:





Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Writing Contest by Family Circle Magazine

Beautiful Duck

Limit 2,500 words of short fiction for this Family Circle Magazine Writing Contest.

Deadline September 7, 2012.  No Entry Fee!

Must be unpublished and never have won a prize. Limit two entries per person. Must be 21 or older and a legal resident of the US. Grand prize may be published in Family Circle.

  • One Grand Prize winner will receive a prize package including $750, a gift certificate to one course of his or her choice, one year AvantGuild membership valued at $55, and a one year How-to Video membership valued at $99.
  • One Second Place winner will receive $250, a one year AvantGuild membership, and a one year How-to Video membership.
  • One Third Place winner will receive $250 and a one year AvantGuild membership.


Hyper Smash


Tags: , ,

Upcoming Writings Contests: Essay, Short Story, Fiction & Poetry

Contests are a great way to get your name out and upon receiving a prize to add this to your books blurbs. However, always contact the organization (in writing) to find out about the rights you would give away when submitting in case they don’t describe it in their submission guidelines.

Short Grain Writing Contest

Deadline April 1, 2012.
Three prizes will be awarded in each category:
1st Prize: $1,000
2nd Prize: $750
3rd Prize: $500

Poetry: (to a max of 100 lines) Poetry of any style including Prose Poem up to 100 lines.
Fiction: (to a max of 2,500 words) Short fiction in any form including Post Card Story, to a maximum of 2,500 words. The basic fee for Canadian entrants is $35 for a maximum of two entries in one category. The fee for US and International entrants is $40, payable in US funds.

Tiferet Annual Writing Contest

Deadline June 1, 2012.
$400 for the best poetry submission
$400 for the best short story
$400 for the best essay or interview

We look for high-quality creative work that expresses spiritual experiences and/or promotes tolerance. Our mission is to help raise individual and global consciousness, and we publish writing from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions. One poem per page. Limit 20 pages for prose. $20 Entry fee


Hyper Smash


Tags: , , , , ,

Great American Short Fiction Contest

In its nearly three centuries of existence, The Saturday Evening Post has published short fiction by a who’s who of American authors including:  F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Louis L’Amour, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Now you have the opportunity to join that illustrious line-up by taking part in the 1st Annual Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest.

The winning writer will receive a payment of $500 and published  in the Jan/Feb 2013 edition of the magazine and on their website.
Five runners-up will be on the Saturday Evening Post website. and receive payment of $100 each.

Entries must be character- or plot-driven stories in any genre of fiction that falls within the Post’s broad range of interest—one guided by the publication’s mission: Celebrating America, Past, Present, and Future. “We are looking for stories with universal appeal touching on shared experiences and themes that will resonate with readers from diverse backgrounds and experience,” says Joan SerVaas, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post.

Stories must be submitted by the author, previously unpublished (excluding personal websites and blogs), and 1,500-5,000 words in length. All stories must be submitted via the following form and should be in Microsoft Word format with the author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address on the first page. There is a $10 entry fee, which you can pay via credit card below. Deadline for entry is July 1, 2012.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writing Contests: Read the Fine Print


Is it really worth to participate in Writing Contests?  For every offer I read, hear or get in person I always ask myself “who benefits?” and so I study always the “fine print”.  Here is an essay contest as example:

“An Essay Contest, 6 Winners Get Manuscript Critiques:
Pick one of the following stories from Book Wish Foundation’s new book, What You Wish For, and write an essay of no more than 500 words about how the wishes in the story relate to the Darfur refugees in eastern Chad. The stories were contributed for free by their authors so we could use the book’s proceeds to develop libraries in Darfur refugee camps. Essays will be judged on style, creativity, understanding of the story, and understanding of the refugees. (1)

If you win, either the story’s author or the author’s literary agent will provide a one-page critique of the first 50 pages of a middle grade or young adult manuscript of your choosing. You will have six months to submit your manuscript and the agent or author will have six months from submission to provide the critique. Stories you may write about:

  • “The Protectionist,” by Meg Cabot.
  • “Pearl’s Fateful Wish,” by Jeanne DuPrau.
  • “Nell,” by Karen Hesse.
  • “The Lost Art of Letter Writing,” by Ann M. Martin.
  • “The Rules for Wishing,” by Francisco X. Stork..
  • “The Stepsister,” by Cynthia Voigt.

You may submit essays about more than one story for a chance to win more than one critique (2). Essays and winners’ manuscripts must be written in English.  To Enter:
Essays must be emailed to contest at …. no later than February 1, 2012, either pasted into the body of the email or attached as a Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or PDF file. Essays must include the name and email address of the entrant. Book Wish Foundation staff will judge the initial round of the contest and recommend finalists to the agents or authors, who will select the winners. Winners will be notified by email and announced on on or about March 1, 2012. Winners’ manuscripts must be received by September 1, 2012. Manuscript critiques will be sent to winners within six months of receipt.

Essays may be published on (3). By submitting an essay, you grant to Book Wish Foundation the right to edit, publish, copy, display, and otherwise use your essay, and to further use your name, likeness, and biographical information in advertising and promotional materials, without further compensation or permission (4), except where prohibited by law. The preceding applies to the contest essays, not winners’ manuscripts. Winners retain all rights to the manuscripts they submit for critique.(5)”

My conclusions when reading this “offer”:
To understand the story and to understand refugee camps you will have to BUY the book, it is not easily available in libraries or bookstores.

(2)     If you really want a good chance to win, you might have to write several essays – this way “donating” all your essays that will not be considered a winner.

(3)     Essays may be published on You can look at it as a donation or a way to get your name out (also is not a popular website per se) but it is not given that you have a link to your authors website.

(4)     You give them permission to alter, publish, copy the essay and use your name in ads and PR WITHOUT COMPENSATION.

(5)     Only winners retain all rights to their manuscript – also it does not specify if they are compensated in any way other then the critique.

A really clever roguish PR trick to get free content – for the agency – not for the authors.  What is really in for you as an author?  Or am I too critical?  Do you partizipate in writing contests, no matter how benefitial it is for the other party and no matter if they profit from your writing without compensatingyou?



Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: