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Building Your Business with a Book

Are you working hard at building your business? Every couple of years, we survey small business owners and entrepreneurs to discover what their worst business problems are. Out of a list of ten common problems we often hear about, there are three that always place at the top of the list. The order they appear in may change from year to year, but these three are always among the Top 3 Worst Business Problems people face. I need more leads. I need to improve my cash flow. I need better brand visibility. It’s common for two of those to tie in the survey results as they all vie for the #1 slot. This means that a fourth issue regularly makes it into the Top 3 as well: There aren’t enough hours in the day! Do any of these sound familiar to you? More startling Facts The scary thing about those results is that almost half … Continue Reading

Don’t Feel Bad About Your Publishing Decision

When I self-published my first five books, I kept running up against what my mentor calls “unconscious incompetence.” Essentially, you don’t know what you don’t know. After helping a number of friends through the maze of self-publishing with their books, I ultimately started my own publishing company, Emerald Lake Books. The way I see it, not everyone enjoys or has the skills to clean their own homes, balance their own checkbook, grow their own food, or repair their own cars. And so that’s why house cleaners, bookkeepers, accountants, farmers, garages and mechanics became viable professions. That’s why I started my own hybrid publishing company. I was willing to dig into how to publish books successfully. It was a topic that interested me, but I realized it wasn’t something that everyone would want to dive into to the same extent I was willing to do. With publishing, there’s a middle ground between having a traditional publisher … Continue Reading

Understanding Publishing Models

I belong to quite a few different social media groups that relate to writing and publishing. And every once in a while, a savvy new author will share information about a publishing deal they have been offered and ask the group’s feedback. Oftentimes, these offers come from hybrid publishers. Upon hearing that, many people will start chiming in with things like, “If you have to pay your publisher, it’s a scam!” and “Publishers pay authors, not the other way around!” I cringe every time I read those responses… But it’s clear by their vehemence that there’s little I can say that will change their minds. To me, the question is no different than whether an entrepreneur should do their own bookkeeping and taxes rather than spend time working in their own area of genius. If you’re not doing what you’re best at, you’re not going far fast. And just as there are bookkeepers and accountants … Continue Reading

How is a list price set for a book?

I was recently asked the question, “How do you set a list price for a book?” Sometimes our authors want their books to sell at a certain price, mostly because they want to make the book affordable for readers. And that’s definitely an important goal to keep in mind. But a list price isn’t something you can just pull out of thin air. There’s actually a formula you need to keep in mind to make sure you can financially justify the price that’s set. That’s why it’s typically the publisher setting the list price rather than the author. The publisher has key information about production costs that need to be factored into the final price. Understand the Market At Emerald Lake Books, we start by looking at the prices of other books in the genre. From a reader standpoint, if two books on the same topic or of similar interest are both of good quality … Continue Reading

We Book Like a Boss, and You Can Too!

Building a business often involves a few growing pains, whether you’re a writer or you sell some other product or service. Demands on your time begin to outstrip the time you actually have available to give, and it becomes necessary to find solutions that help you manage your business better. As a tech lover, I get excited each time I come across a product, service or tool that I believe can help reduce my workload. So, for awhile there, I became a real AppSumo junkie. As soon as I turned the alarm off on my phone in the morning, I’d check out what the latest AppSumo deal was. If you’re not familiar with AppSumo, it’s a platform where you can buy lifetime deals to neat new products, tools and services. And I was definitely addicted. I’m not complaining, though. (Although my business partner might grumble a bit about how much I spent during that phase … Continue Reading

What’s In Your Writer’s File?

Perhaps you’re familiar with Samuel L. Jackson’s punch line in his commercials for Capital One. After he tells you everything that the card is not, he tells you what it is and asks the viewers, “What’s in your wallet?” I’m going to ask you a variation on the question, though, and it has nothing to do with your credit cards or your wallet. I’m going to ask instead, “What’s in your writer’s file?” “What’s a writer’s file?” you might inquire in return. While its form may vary from one writer to another, its purpose remains the same.  A writer’s file is a repository of thoughts and ideas too good to risk losing, but that don’t have a place to call their own yet. Sometimes, they are things that strike us funny throughout the day. Other times, they’re thoughts or emotions that we know will fly away if we don’t capture them before they flee. My … Continue Reading

Is writing a book right for you?

Way back in 2010, I started a small struggling business called “Aleweb Social Marketing.” It had started out as a consulting firm teaching small businesses how to get ahead by using social marketing. The problem was, many small businesses were still trying to figure out whether they even needed to incorporate social media into their businesses. (Can you believe it?) But one segment of my client base was growing organically: speakers who were authors. It took me a year and a half to clue into the fact that working with small businesses wasn’t getting me anywhere, fast! But when I finally did, the focus of my company shifted to figuring out the best ways to help authors and speakers market their books and presentations. Knowing that I needed a unique way to reach this target market and convince them that I was the best resource for them, I decided to write a book. Within three months, I … Continue Reading

How to Use Your Book as a Powerful Marketing Tool

Books can be a powerful marketing tool for a business. A well-written, designed and positioned book can demonstrate your expertise, clarify your message, qualify your prospects, build your mailing list, be part of your sales funnel, and so much more…

Join Tara R. Alemany of Emerald Lake Books and host Robert Imbriale as they discuss how a book can be used to solve some of your worst business problems. This video was originally recorded for the 2018 Marketing Thunder conference, hosted by Marketing Motivation author Robert Imbriale, and aired on September 18, 2018.

We help positive people create effective books, using our experience to get your message across, establish your expertise and build your business!

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How to Write a Good Review on Amazon

Let’s say that you just finished reading a book that you loved. Perhaps it was even one of Emerald Lake Books’ latest titles. Whatever it was, following it up with a review is a good habit to get into. Reviews provide encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism for authors, which is something we all stand to benefit from. But reviews also serve to help future buyers and prospective readers decide whether a title is right for them or not. Your honest review can help them decide whether to invest their time and money in a book. So let’s take a few minutes to understand how to write a compelling review for Amazon. Every review consists of three parts: a star rating, the review itself and a headline or title for the review. Understanding Star Ratings Every item on Amazon can be quickly critiqued by selecting a star rating from 1 to 5. So as you’re thinking about … Continue Reading

What Should I Say in My Acknowledgments?

Some authors struggle with what to write in their Acknowledgments. Others know exactly what they want to say and how. If you find yourself in the former group and want a quick starting point for writing yours, here’s a brief summary for you. Essentially, you want to create a list of those “without whom this book would not have come into existence.” It’s common to acknowledge friends who encouraged your research and writing, clients who inspired your specific subject, mentors and idols who set your thoughts aflight, beta readers who helped to improve the book with their feedback, and individuals specifically involved in the production of the book (namely editors, designers and publishers). The simplest way to do that is to group people together based on the role they played in relation to the book and allow those specific individuals who played a more significant role to have a line or two of their own. … Continue Reading

Using Author-Supplied Cover Designs

Occasionally, we are asked if we will accept a cover designed by someone else. The short answer is, “yes!” But it requires a bit of explanation… While our preference is to design the covers we use, as long as the covers provided meet our criteria, we’re happy to use them. Per our publishing agreement, as the publisher, we hold all final approvals of the designs and images used. But your input and approval are significant to us. Since the cover is a critical element of the book’s marketing efforts, we don’t begin its design until we’re sure of that direction. Therefore, we would ask that your designer coordinates with us regarding the appropriate time to start the design. If you have a specific designer, illustrator or photographer you’d like to use, please send us relevant samples of their work or a link to their website. We will arrange a conversation to discuss concepts, direction and deadlines … Continue Reading