Guerilla Marketing – Goodreads.com

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My book, Angel Academy, has been popular on many platforms since last November when it launched. One of the best little secrets out there is Goodreads.com. I decided to share some of the magic of pay per click.

Stats for All Time

Status running
Start at 2015-06-22
End at when credit runs out
Remaining credit $50.00
Daily cap $50.00
total credit purchased $100.00
Total views 134,340
Total clicks 25
CTR for all time 0.02%
CPC for all time $2.00
Auto renew off
Daily email reports enabled 
What I want you to notice is the number of total views and the number of clicks. As you can see, my book was seen by a lot of people for very little amount of money. My add keeps running on the side of the website (Goodreads) on specific authors that I targeted. Below you can see whom those authors are.

I just added additional funds to the campaign. Facebook is great to establish a platform but perhaps is not the best targeted due to the nature of the website. People don’t go to Facebook to buy books. They may like a book page, but they read and add books to read on Goodreads.

Stats for February

Spent $24.00
Views 49,721
Clicks 12
CTR 0.02%
CPC $2.00

 

Create a New Ad in This Campaign

Ads in This Campaign

 

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Interview Questions for Authors

InterviewsThere will come a time when you, as an author, will be asked to speak in public or in private. Your journey as a writer and soon published author, has been an incredible journey and people really do want to hear how it happened and what it entailed for you. I have been interviewed on the radio once, newspaper once and television once. As an author I highly suggest you seek out these vehicles and see if you can get some exposure. There are lots of internet radio shows as well as local radio stations that may be interested in what you have to say.
 
Here are some questions that will aid in creating an intriguing conversation.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?
Do you have a specific writing style?
How did you come up with the title?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
How much of the book is realistic?
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books have most influenced your life most?
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What book are you reading now?
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Do you see writing as a career?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Who designed the covers?
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

 

Think about some of these questions and actually take the time to write out the answers, and then practice doing a talk with these questions as your foundation. The worst thing you can do for your book is to “wing it”. Go unprepared and make a fool of yourself. Don’t do it. Work hard and reap the rewards. Use your smartphone and record yourself. Watch your video. Listen to how you sound. Practice until you are perfect.

 

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The Entrepreneur Boot Camp

With more and more millennials leaving the nest later in life, society and the workplace has seen some dramatic impact on the job market. Many economists have analyzed the baby boomers and for many companies, they have focused their marketing efforts at this large group of buyers. What probably is shocking for a lot of people is the overwhelming number of baby boomers who are leaving the workforce, now able to retire.
 
As I predicted a decade ago, the job market would eventually shift and those upper level management jobs are now being filled by their younger counterparts, the Generation “X”. What they leave behind are many middle management and specialist position that remain open. I did some research in the Denver market on what employers are hiring, which jobs and where there is a huge gap in talent. For anyone to say that there are no job, then they are not looking hard enough. Are more companies moving to Colorado? Are new jobs being created? Yes and yes. Are there a lot of people who have the luxury to retire early, leaving more career advancements for others? Yes.
There are also millions of inspired individuals who have an idea for a small business. Some create it by ingenuity and intelligence, others take what they learned from a master and branch off as a specialist or a generalist. I myself am one of those people. I have a formal education and I still found things challenging. Back in the day I did not know that entrepreneur, self-employed, and sole proprietor were all the same thing. Funny right? A majority of the things I learned to be successful I learned by asking questions of people who failed and people who did not fail. I watch. I learn. I observe. I have an uncanny talent for processing large amounts of data and putting it into valuable data.
What I have noticed, is despite the large number of business schools, there really isn’t a lot for everyone else.  There are some things that need to be taken into consideration when starting a new business, and right now, there is not one book or manual that can guide you through all of the things that you need. As more and more aspiring artists and authors spread their wings they are going to need some help. I still have not looked or read Darren Hardy’s new book. Yes it has a bunch of 5 star reviews but we all know that they were by friends and employees. Whether or not it would meet my expectations for a great small business owner start up book is still to be seen.
So right now, I am in the process of putting together the marketing plan for my book so I can share that with a client. What I have found is my spreadsheet of all the things to check off, are the blueprints of what anyone would need to do. It will take some explaining on the how, why and when of each. After analyzing each portion and what is involved with learning each new item, I decided that I really should put together a boot camp. It could be a few days or even up to a week, depending on how much information I am going to compile and include. Ideally I would start the camp with training trainers, who would then work for me presenting the material for me. The first few camps of course I would conduct and do the training. Many people would find value learning from my expertise and experience.
My bootcamp would literally educate leaders on all the aspects of a new business and what they will need to continue to be successful. This could be in addition to a formal education, but chances are the things you will learn will be much more valuable. For instance, there is not a class that teaches you how to advertise on Facebook and how to maximize your marketing dollars. Sure there are lots of blogs and articles out there on the internet, but everyone’s experience is different. Or as I like to say, your mileage may vary. YMMV.
I have run the idea by a few small business owners and already the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The future is in small business to medium businesses. Many people were deterred to go work for themselves due to the fact there was no insurance options that were affordable. Now with Obamacare that removes that barrier. Be prepared as a new revolution of entrepreneurs explode. You can be prepared and cater to those new businesses. They are all going to need my book, workbook, and or bootcamp. Everyone needs a website.  What are you doing to maximize your talents on this emerging market?
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Book Marketing Plan?

Are you an author or contemplating being an author?

Okay, if the answer is no, then perhaps you have a book inside of you? Is your journey so amazing that other people would want to hear it also? If so, that is your autobiography or your memoir. A lot of people “think” their story is interesting. It’s not. That is the reason there are literary agents in the world. Their job is to prevent bad writing from making it into the mainstream literary world. I don’t have to tell you that the world is full of struggling authors.

Think of being a writer just like any other skill. Typing for example is a skill. The first time you touched a keyboard or an actual typewriter, you had NO idea how these letters ever made any sense. The A was by the S? Everyone knows that A goes next to B. The thought of using this machine and knowing where all the letters were was pretty overwhelming. I learned on an IBM Selectric. That shows how old I am, right? WRONG. You are only as old or young as you choose.

So on to today’s lesson, the book marketing plan. If you were not aware my background is marketing, my bachelor’s degree is in marketing and I was a product manager and marketing manager for a good portion of my professional career. Amazingly it has come in handy. My point is, I am experienced in this arena. You, just like your book, need a marketing plan. Hopefully before your book has ever launched you have spent some time and energy on your personal branding and now your book branding.

Your book needs a S.W.O.T. analysis with detailed marketing data. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. How you look at your book and who will partner with it is monumental if you want massive success. I have a client who asked me to develop a marketing execution plan for her book. Basically my success of my book and platform put into an easy to follow workbook, marketing plan. I have a pretty good idea of what it is going to include, specifics to marketing strategies, which routes I chose.

Why did I self publish versus going with a literary agent and traditional publisher? What were some of the financial pitfalls I hit and missed? How did I amass such a large following and what were some of the specifics? I would like to say that someone took me by the hand and said, “First you are going to do this. When you complete that you will move to phase 2, which is this …” but it wasn’t anything like that. I spent hundreds of hours doing research, reading other authors blogs, and investigating anything and everything I could find online.

There is a hidden world of eBooks. There are so many eBook retailers that do not exist to the average American. Most of the United States is focused on printed book sales. Getting their books in stores, at Walmart or Costco. Anything to get the marketing and exposure that they desperately want so bad.

You and your I.S.B.N. is also important as is the “imprint” of your book. Whomever owns the imprint is the owner, bottom line. That is who gets paid. If it is not your name, then you have to wait until that entity decides to pay you your percentage. If you go the traditional route with an agent, keep in mind that you will probably be paid just a little better than your agent. 15% of the sale price. If your book retails paper for $19.99, it may sell for $9.99 and you 15% of that.  Bookstores get 60% off of list price, that is why Amazon and B&N can discount books so heavily.

Distribution is also very key in your book marketing plan. Newsflash — not everyone shops at Amazon. Some people HATE Amazon. Some people only shop local, some only shop at Barnes & Noble, some only shop at airport bookstores. Some people only read books from their public library. Did you know that your electronic book can easily be listed in your local library? Yep, it is true.

Your power partners are also important in your success. Who are power partners? They are the group(s) or individuals who are helping your cause. Your partners are also part of your tribe. Your tribe is your 1000 true fans. This is a theory I have talked about before so I won’t rehash it. You can research the details, but basically you need to have 1000 people who will buy your product or service.

Regardless if you self publish or go traditional you will be told by many people you need to build a platform of readers. It is a huge gamble for a publisher to print books that won’t sell. You have to prove that you have readers who are willing to fork over their hard-earned cash. Your power partners or tribe will be a large majority of your sales initially.

I have already been approached by many professionals who want this same marketing plan. Why? Because what I have done has worked quite nicely for me. It’s a proven fact that there are millions of people who are successful simply by following the actions of those who have demonstrated success.

I haven’t decided how I am going to pursue this endeavor. Do I write another book for the world to read? Do I have a full day workshop? A Friday, Saturday and Sunday event where people all over the nation fly to Denver and sit in my energy and learn all the things they need to know? How much would people pay for such knowledge? I could easily put that together. I could very easily incorporate small business know how that would be valuable. Finances, sponsorships, investors, things along those lines. Maybe someone believes in you and wants a cut of the profits?

I think I would definitely devote a large portion to training professionals, how to use their website, make the most of “out of the box” marketing tactics. I bet that portion would be very popular. Right now I am thinking $5000 for 3 days, and I share all my wealth of knowledge. You pay for your own way to get here and stay. You can bring a second person, like a business partner for half price. During that time, we build your website, develop your marketing plan, strategize your book, and partner with other authors to build your social media.  As an added bonus, I read some manuscripts and give some feedback. It could be a lot of fun.

I know for a fact that some authors have spent tens of thousands of dollars and never achieved the results that I have. If you think you might be one of the few that will be interested in this workshop feel free to let me know. I am thinking of keeping it to a low number of participants so I can work closely with everyone.

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Stealth Infomercial Books

How often have you gone to a website, or a blog because you were promised something for free? Such as a free book, a free article, a top ten listing, free training course materials, videos, mediations, … the list goes on. I don’t do that. I have never asked for an email address. I do give you the reader the option to stay updated.

When you give someone your email address you are giving them permission into your life anytime they feel like it. Your email probably goes to your smartphone, and you are attached to the internet and your computer or tablet almost non-stop. Chances are that person that asked for your email in return for something free secretly wants you to pay them even more money. Usually it is something like “Go to my weekend seminar” or “subscribe to my class”.  Ultimately it is usually that they want to make money off of you. Now this is not always the case. However if you do your own research you will find the “experts” telling you to build an email list and that is the way to do it.

So onto the topic of today’s article. Infomercials. You either love them or you hate them. I sort of like watching the Shark vacuum on television. I don’t like reading an entire book to find out I wasted my time and money to learn I have to go buy the seminar. I won’t name any names, but I think we all know someone who has used this tactic before. It seems to work for them. Maybe some people are just so awesome and their fans love them so much, they would LOVE to be in that person’s energy/workshop.

Keep in mind that this usually only happens in the non-fiction market and typically in the self-help arena. Let me also say that many people use this book arena in lieu of a formal education. That is fine when the author is credible. Did you know that the majority of self-help authors use their own personal experience for their book, neglecting many other sources. Most colleges require a master’s degree in that subject field with thousands documented work experience hours to teach a student. There are no requirements to sit at a computer and start typing.

I earned my master’s degree in business administration in human resources. It took me several years to complete and gave me a very good foundation for business. I chose human resources as my emphasis as I already had experience in that arena. I also taught at Westwood College for 9 years. I left teaching formal education and focused working with CEO’s and small business owners.

Thousands of my followers/fans are former students who have reconnected with me. Although many don’t know me, many feel like they know me because they have spent hundreds of hours reading my blogs. It’s true. Many have spent time in my classroom, and all of them have had to interview with me before graduation. People tell me all the time how much they enjoy reading my writing. My personal blog, which you can access on the menu, is another fun reading afternoon adventure. It is much more of a motivational website. I like that one because it is easy on the eyes visually with all the graphics.

Another thing I am annoyed with by some websites is the constant overkill on advertising. Don’t you like how my website doesn’t do that? I actually have been contacted by advertisers who would LOVE to be using my blank, white space on the sides of my blogs. As you can see, I have declined to annoy my readers. Seriously, it’s annoying. How often do you REALLY click on the thing that is blinking or flashing at you on the side of the site? Like almost never. Trust me. I have designed hundreds of sites and banner/side advertising only is brand awareness. Your click-through rate is almost non-existent. Don’t do it on your website.

So if you don’t advertise, trick people for email addresses, or use pop up windows, how do you get people to buy your product? There are several ways. One, let them get to know you. Use your writing in your consistent writing schedule to share with your readers. Two, be likeable. Three, be trustworthy. While those things may sound simple, they are not simple. If if was so simple then everyone would do it.

Trust, for me, is something that is earned. It is a privilege, not a right. Your readers will learn to trust you when you give them reasons. If you are a fiction writer, did your book have a happy ending? Was it so satisfying someone would be willing to recommend it? If you are a non-fiction writer, did you teach someone something that would be of benefit or value? Was it something that they would not have learned searching the internet on their own? Do you bring something to the table that no one else has? Your personality, or unique perspective might be something you bring to the table. A well-known television personality is Ellen Degeneres. Sure she can act, but it is her dynamic fun personality that she is known for by most people.

Many times you can definitely get a “feel” for the author’s writing style. There are a lot of my fans who read my writing and tell me that it “sounds” like a friend that they know. Nope, the work is always original, it’s always mine. Sure the angels interject their two cents. Pennies from heaven? Did you know that angels usually are always working in pairs? If your writing style is conversational and your personality deems it, you can also throw in some humor into your writing style. This can sometimes be challenging if your personality is not well-known. Wanda Sykes making a statement may have a different meaning or tone coming from you. You may think you are being funny, but you may indirectly offend someone.

Writers rule the world. Every movie was once a book. Our laws were written by writers. Our favorite children’s story was written by one person, and read by millions. Writers. Give thanks if you are one of them.

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Angel Geeks

Get Your Geek On

When I was growing up as a kid, being called a geek was not a term of endearment. In fact it sort of had a negative connotation to it. Today I think we agree that the term has taken on new meaning.

What does it mean to me?

Being a “geek” means you are a guru at that topic or subject. Or as closely as possible. No one knows everything, even about one subject. Most of us know a little about a little.  Who knows, maybe people will like the term “Angel Geek”. I sort of do. I like people talking about angels. Truth be told, even though I wrote a book about angels, I don’t know that much about them. I don’t even know the divine hierarchy of domains. If I had to take a test, I would fail.

I truly believe that we are all spiritual magnets, either attracting or repelling those who enter into our awareness. So should I be surprised when other angel fanatics show up and love my book? Not really. I was actually wondering what took them so long to manifest into my reality. My new angel friends aren’t going to make me take a test. They just use their psychic powers on me.

So why the blog on angels today? You got me. I guess angels felt they needed some showcasing. I actually don’t write about angels that much, other than when they get in my face and tell me to do something. Seriously. I was telling a friend how I really wasn’t into angels before the book. I was into websites. Someone out there in my big domain of followers needed some sort of validation. Like “show up in my life angels” and they are doing it in the form of this blog. Lucky you. I don’t ask. I just do. You should too.

Your guardian angel has been with you since the day you were born. He or she was assigned to you. According to my book, that angel made an agreement to be your protector until the day you die, and at that point will relinquish you to your angel of death who will take you to your next destination. That guardian will also serve a minimum of 5 earth lives before moving onto a new assignment. Your guardian is with your for at least 5 lives on earth, so they know you better than you know yourself.

There is an entire collection of small stories about angels that will become one of the books in the series. I have been thinking about what could I write about for 20 more books? Unlike other people, I actually got answers. My advanced writing skills will really be put to the test as I will continue to dazzle readers with exciting adventurous escapes. Not all angels are good and you will get to see sides of the story from an angel point of view.
Some people have been fascinated with death and the afterlife, ghosts and demons. I get it. You are very naive if you do not believe in some of these things. There is evil in this world. Few can articulate it well. I plan on being one of those individuals. Stephanie Meyer had a great idea. Change the perspective of the main character. So, I write some pretty scary or horrific stories and show the reader what the angels are doing in the background.
One of the coolest things I did in the book was give you the angel perspective. What happens when millions are about to die, and they all stop and pray to God? Well normally, you sit back, hear nothing and hope you don’t die. In my book, you see the angels and God respond, with very imaginable results. I think it is just awesome. Yes, there is a God.
This weekend my book will be proudly for sale and on display at the psychic fair at the Denver Merchandise Mart. I have a feeling that my book will go over very well and it is just the momentum it needs. Angels tell me frequently “We got this.”  If you happen to be in the Denver area, it goes Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My book will be there Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 10-7 Saturday, 10-6 on Sunday. Here is their website.
If you are reading this article chance are you are relatively computer literate. Heck, you might have a tablet, smartphone and a computer. I have a Kindle. I also have the app to use on my iPhone.

Seriously, what would it hurt to say you believe in your angels and you want their help? Ask. Believe. Receive.

 

Angels have a message for you. You will find it here.

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Goodreads Part 2

Server Traffic

It really is amazing how often the Aaron blogs are read. If you weren’t aware of it, this blog is getting tremendous traffic and depending on how many are on the site, it may be a little sluggish. My servers are located in eastern Europe so should not be affected by internet traffic. Sometimes it is at the local level. People send me messages asking if the site is slow, but it’s not. I check it and it is fine. Just a fyi for everyone.

Requests

I have received a lot of feedback on the Goodreads international contest that I ran awhile back and evidently people would like a little more details. For starters, the contest to run, as an author, was free. I just had to incur the cost of mailing a paper version of the book and pay for postage. The first contest I ran, was in the United States, Canada, and a couple of other countries. It was a total of 10 books that I autographed and mailed out. 7 books went in the US, 1 to Canada, 1 United Kingdom and 1 to Australia. The contest was advertised on Goodreads as well as my own platforms. Thousands of people entered and I felt it was highly successful for a marketing/advertising campaign. It was exposed to thousands upon thousands on Goodreads. With my own platform hundreds of thousands knew about the contest. In return, hundreds of Goodreads users put my book in their “to read” after they entered the contest. In addition to the contest I also started a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign that would run on the right hand side of the website targeted to people who had indicated a liking for certain authors. So for instance, Doreen Virtue writes a lot of angel books. My ad now shows on her page.

Second Contest

I have a huge following of fans & friends in southeast Asia, the middle east, Egypt, and lots of fans in Algeria. So for my friends in those countries who could not participate in the first contest I ran a second contest after the first one completed. Goodreads only allows you to do one at a time. I opened it to the rest of the world, and only picked one winner. It cost me more than the value of the book to mail it. Goodreads picked the winner for me and notified me of her mailing address. There was no promise that a review would come from the free book, but most of the people who entered had an understanding. I also put a note in the book asking for a review when I mailed it out with signed bookmark.

Israel

The winner came from Israel. It’s kind of a cool story of how I picked up that country for fans. I think it was through Twitter that one of my tweets about the book was retweeted to someone in Israel. That someone happened to be a journalist from the Huffington Post, who like a lot of reporters, checked out AaronMstephens.com, liked what he saw and came back for more.

Word of Mouth

I have talked about word of mouth marketing a little bit in my prior articles. We all know how important and valuable it is. If you didn’t know, a recommendation from a trusted source is extremely valuable in this day and age. You trust that whomever told you, is going to give you good information. Don’t waste your money on that movie, restaurant, book, or whatever. That is what the recommendation or “willing to recommend” is all about these days.

Fortunately for me, there are a lot of people who are willing to recommend (WTR) me. In fact, daily people are telling their friends and coworkers to come check out my blog. Keep in mind that I do have a pretty big following of fans due to my extensive, consistent writing routine. Why? Because I write often, a lot, and I don’t disappoint. Goodreads and Facebook both indirectly provide the WTR. By choosing to enter the contest (after you read the overview of the book) already demonstrates an interest. If you are interested, and your friends see you are interested, guess what … they are interested too. After people started reading the book, they gave it a four or five-star review or a thumbs up on Facebook. There are a lot of people who found out about me because Facebook said their friend liked me.

Facebook “Book” Page

Using the Facebook “book” page, dedicated just to the book, was extremely important in the marketing of the book. Initially I started with that page and later created another page. My new book, Platform MBA, actually goes over in great detail what I did, how I did it, what my strategy was, and still is, the budget, timing, audience, images and so much more.

 

Angel Academy received record likes. Faster than any other book in history. Trust me when I tell you this. As of today it has over 96 thousand likes and it was created in June. Do you know that some books and authors never get that many likes? I used to analyze Facebook business pages day and night, who had the most likes, how old was their page, what did they do to get likes. After I built that page I realized I needed a page just for me. I was getting too many messages daily on the Angel Academy page that I didn’t feel were relevant to the book or angels.

Shazam, AaronMstephens, author page was born a month or two later. What was most interesting is that page actually got likes faster than Angel Academy. Today that page has over 102 thousand likes. Both pages increase with likes daily. They are totally different audiences from different countries. I also have to confess that I lose followers also. It happens to everyone. After you get to a certain level you don’t take it so personally. When you first start out and have less than 100 likes, you certainly know when the number drops. Chin up. Pouting won’t change things. That is what my mom would tell me as a kid.

If you were go and look at the Angel page on Facebook from the very beginning, you will see I did a lot of very creative things to engage with my audience. When you first start getting followers it is natural to see who they are. So I would spend time looking at profiles, pictures, see what they posted and put on their wall. It was fun. I even would randomly pick a profile and highlight it and give a shout out. People really liked it and I learned a lot about my new friends.  The book page was really important BEFORE the book launched. I don’t update that page as often as I do my public figure page. In the new book I will probably go into a lot of detail in my marketing executions.

Public Figure

I have had some people ask me what is the difference with being an author and a public figure. Good question. Think of your favorite author, that you have no idea what he/she looks like. Okay. Got it? Why don’t you know what they look like? Many authors, believe it or not, do not want to be in the public eye. In fact, there are thousands of authors who NEVER show their face. They are just a name. Some even go further and change their name, or just use initials. J.K. for example. Why? Well for some women, fear they will not sell books because they are a woman. It’s true.

For myself I am in the public eye. Writing is only one of the things that I do. I also perform. I’m a singer and a dancer. My website shows me smiling at you. Go to Facebook and I am branded with a big picture. Personally I felt if you want to be a celebrity, a well-known personality, then people need to see your smiling face and they need to see it on a regular basis. I actually do get people who recognize me in public every now and then. I share with my fans on Facebook when I am singing in the choir. For now I am using their platform, literally, so my fans can see me. I’m not a big YouTube kind of guy right now. I am starting to use SnapChat here and there.

Chances are you might have a book in you and need some help. If you want exposure and to be successful, having a book page to start as your platform is a good place. Don’t share it with anyone until you have 30 minutes of worthy reading content. You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

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Psychic Circle of Friends

Today was very interesting as I met a new set of friends; they are all psychics. They are all very powerful psychics and it is by invite only. The really cool thing, is these new friends are all angel GEEKS! Oh. My. Angels. These peeps are the real thing, like helping police and FBI on missing people cases. Needless to say, they loved me and welcomed me to their secret club. I love talking about my book and angels and they do too.

Not only did we talk about angels, we did a meditation and channeled a few. It was very different from what I experience myself. It was awkward having an angel get in my face and ask me direct questions. I confessed that I feared book 2 would never live up to book 1. I was told to set that aside, and know that this book series will publish 21-22 books. My jaw was dropped and my eyes were as big as Asian eyes can get. Everything that I have been guided was validated. Naturally I inquired about my NYC endeavors and I was told that NYC is only one of many places that I need to be. I AM international and I should be prepared … to perform.

So needless to say, today was the best day of my life. It’s not every day you meet 6 new people who are going to champion your angelic cause. Just the other day I was thinking, “Where are MY earth angels? Shouldn’t they be surfacing by now?” Wish granted. The thing that is just so amazing, is I don’t know anything about angels. I still stand that I was channeled to write the book and I had no idea what I was writing. However, what I “did” write, magically falls in line with what the angel geeks believe.

I told my new friends my book originally was written for adults, but the when the message is too complicated, you dumb it down to a six grade reading level, which is what I did. Religion can be complicated, … when you are a human, simple when you are a new-born angel.

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Pressbooks vs. Scrivener

A lot of people ask me what software or type of computer I use when drafting my manuscript. I personally use Pressbooks. It is a WordPress open source platform that was coded and designed by an actual writer. Since I am a webmaster I spend 90% of my working day in WordPress in one fashion or another.

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Many people wonder if I use Microsoft Word to compose. The answer is no. I compose online on the fly in Pressbooks, and then I copy each chapter and paste it into Microsoft Word and then save it to my Dropbox.com cloud folder. I personally do not like Microsoft’s little helpers telling me that my sentence or dialogue is incorrect. When I create there are no distractions.

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My editor is also a writer and she is using Scrivener, which is a computer based software for a Windows or Mac for about $40. It is really nice, has a lot of great features, but does require the software and the one computer it was installed. She wrote a review on Scrivener where you can find here.  It has the ability to export your file as an ePub, Mobi or pdf, which are the 3 standards you need to publish.  If you are handing it over to an editor they may want it in Microsoft Word. If you are self publishing you can create in whichever method you choose. Costwise it is more to use Pressbooks as your final product has a one time fee of $99 per manuscript to remove the watermarks. Of course if you don’t care if people know how you created it, you can leave it on there. I would not recommend it as it quickly identifies you as a new author.
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For myself I don’t use just one computer. In fact, I have a Mac Mini and half a dozen laptop computers and netbooks, and tablets that I can use. They are spread out throughout my house and home office. All I need is to connect to wifi or internet on any type of computer on any browser. So if I am at a friend’s house, a hotel, or a car I can always write and not have to carry my laptop with me. So it really is a matter of personal preference.
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I also am working on several manuscripts at once. Yes really. When I open up Google Chrome about a dozen tabs open to the various websites I administer and update daily. One of those is Pressbooks.com. The cool thing is Chrome remembers these settings, regardless what computer I am using. It makes things handy for me to remember what I am focused on and not to forget anything. Just like WordPress for website presentation, Pressbooks incorporates several themes to give your book whatever look and feel you choose. Fonts, page numbering, things like that.
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One cool thing with Pressbooks is each chapter is actually a page/post that can be exported and imported into another website. Angel.Academy also holds every page of the original manuscript in electronic form, locked and backed up nightly by my server. There was an instance I went to go work on the manuscript for Angel Academy and the website was GONE. All I had was the hardcopy, which was thousands of words. So it is always a good idea to back up your work. I also was then able to use those chapters for parts of my marketing and released chapters in advance to readers who signed up on my website for notifications.

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While I was writing Angel Academy I formed a beta group of 50 readers of all different ages and demographics as young as 6 and as old as 91. After I identified my target audience, I narrowed down the group and gave them access to the chapters through Pressbooks. It is as simple as clicking a button from public to private. I am not sure if Scrivener can do that. Many authors do not want their work “out there” before it is published. Not many authors use a beta group. I did it because of marketing background and hundreds of focus groups I have participated.
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One of the biggest fears in the publishing industry is a new author is not going to sell any books. I totally get that. That is a huge reason that publisher and agents now require new authors to have their own platform. Angel Academy and my public figure page on Facebook did an excellent job at demonstrating I have a platform of fans/readers/friends. I feel that probably one of the biggest reasons books do not do well is the lack of marketing, distribution and identifying the correct audience to market your book/product. You may think you have a great product, your mom certainly does and your best friend has nothing but accolades to say about you; but what about the rest of the world?
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Did you know that “most” authors write books for people that are just like themselves? So I am a 40ish aged author and typically I am writing for people who are of the same age range who will relate to me. I read a book that the author felt was for every single or divorced woman out there. Well, turns out the book wasn’t for all those people. It was written for divorced women baby boomers who were left by their husband. Are there a lot of those people out there? Sure. Is it smart to market just to that audience so you maximize your sales? Of course. Will other people buy it? Of course they will, but anticipate some not so glowing reviews.
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When I took my book to bookstores the first question is, “What age range is this book?” You really need to know this or you will not be taken seriously. Use your data to back up your claims. In reality my book is for 9 years old – 24, primarily girls 70%. That is a pretty specific age range. If you say “Oh my book is for everyone.” Good luck. I do say, “My book is for anyone who believes in angels or needs to believe in angels.” Fortunately for me I do have private sales figures I can share that give me credibility.

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Many people rely on internet statistics of what publishers choose to release and it appears that print is still very much alive. I have data figures for eBooks that most are unwilling to share, and I totally get it. My point is, is you are contemplating publishing a book, you should seriously consider your eBook options and your different channels of distribution.

 

There is no reason for the pretty picture other than I really like it, and I thought you might like it too. Have a fantastic weekend! Your energy is contagious. Let it be known!
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Live Streaming (coming soon)

I can’t help that I am naturally friendly and talk to everyone. I just have this way of connecting with people and making new friends/likes. I still carry bookmarks with me and use them instead of business cards. My catch phrase, “Read me before you write me.” People love it. #promotedaily

 

My favorite, “Hi, do you believe in angels? Yes? Great here is a bookmark just for you. No? That’s okay, they believe in you. Do you like to read? Great, here use this instead of a receipt.”

 

A few people have asked me if I really plan on moving to NYC. I’m kind of a go with the flow, live life by the seat of my pants kind of guy, moment to moment, yeah that’s me. Five years ago I was a college professor. Ten years ago I was a marketing manager. Twenty years ago I was in sales. Now I am a website guy and published author. It is very difficult for me to say where or what I will be doing in my near future, other than websites. I actually could see me as a writer for a television series. Ya never know what the angels have in store for me. If you look at all the “jobs” I held, all of them were monumental to get me where I am today.

 

Angels came to me once again preparing me with more technology that I will need to be successful. Last night I hosted a live streaming event for my abc Family Pretty Little Liars group (1300+). I introduced the group to our international members and it really was preparing me for when I am going to talk to my own fans doing a live video. I used my iPad, photography lighting and background and it was sweet. Yep, chapter 1 reading and a short interview coming up very soon.

 

If you made it this far of my post, here is a little marketing insight for anyone wanting to gain a following. The NUMBER 1 reason people like me (my pages): I post consistently and interesting information. People will always continue to read. I’m like a daily newspaper (for free). I really don’t do a lot of reposting of other material, but mostly create my own. Being a writer, and a good writer is very key in building a following of fans and friends. I can get lost in my thoughts/writings, I know other have lost days because of me. My Twitter feed @aaronmstephens captures all of my blogs, Facebook pages and tweets. If you tweet, favorite me and follow me so you can find me easily.

 

A lot of published authors neglect their free blogs once they become successful. I am not really sure why that is. Some authors want you to join their paid subscription membership. I won’t do that to my readers. Many of “my” readers are actually the angels’ readers. They are happy to give me credit, but we really know who is working behind the scenes making things always happen for the greater good in my life, God/Allah.

 

 

I live a life full of love and a heart filled with thanks. It really does make a difference when you give thanks/gratitude daily. You are a powerful spiritual energetic vibrational force. Use it for goodness, joy and happiness. Your energy is contagious. Let it be known.

 

 

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