An Interview with Brian Jud, Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales

This month’s Featured Author interview is with Brian Jud, an incredibly resourceful author who is extremely active in the publishing world. As an industry expert, he conducts monthly Book Marketing 201® webinars for the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, an organization that he is the Executive Director of, as well as conducting the Book Marketing Monthly® webinars for CreateSpace. He also is co-owner of the Premium Book Company and owner of Book Marketing Works.

Brian Jud - Association of Publishers for Special SalesSuffice it to say, Brian eats, sleeps and breathes publishing and book marketing. I have often been amazed when in conversation with him at how his mind works, and all of the valuable insights and resources he has at his disposal.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian in a social setting a couple of years ago, where we enjoyed talking about books, writing and the publishing industry in general. At that time, he was still very active in an organization that he’d started, the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. As a newbie in the midst of writing my first book, I aspired to be at that level someday and Brian was gracious with his knowledge and advice.

That’s no less true today. Brian regularly speaks at writers’ conferences and other industry events, as well as providing consulting services, and focusing his efforts on more lucrative and “out of the box” sales activities related to book marketing and promotion. [Read more…]

Researching Killer Topics Using KindleSpy

KindleSpyEarlier this week, I came across to the new tool that quickly has become my favorite new toy. It’s called KindleSpy.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, KindleSpy allows you to research book ideas and competing titles on Amazon.

Consider this, perhaps you’ve got a few different ideas for the next book you want to write. But where should you spend your time and effort? KindleSpy can help you answer that question quickly and easily.

This tool comes as a Google Chrome extension. When you use it to access Amazon, you can research any category or author page to learn vital information about the books that are selling there.

Not only that, KindleSpy can gather information about the best-selling titles in a category and show you the top five words used in those best-selling titles. With a little wordplay, you can use those five words to create a potentially best-selling title of your own.

With the information the KindleSpy shows you, you can research your various book ideas and determine which ones are most likely to earn you money. [Read more…]

An Interview with Renée Cabourne, the Money Savvy Woman

Renee Cabourne - The Money Savvy WomanToday’s guest in Aleweb’s Featured Author series is Renée Cabourne, founder of Money Savvy Woman.

Renée and I met at a workshop last fall that had a profound effect on both of us. I attended the workshop because it was being given by a friend and I wanted to support her.

I’ve often joked since then that if I’d known what it was all about, I would never have gone! So, meeting Renée was a fortuitous event because if I’d had any idea what I was getting into that week, I wouldn’t have been there.

Given the depth of what we were experiencing in the workshop, close bonds were created among all of the small group attendees, and it’s been a pleasure to see Renée step into her calling over the past ten months.

So, just who is this Money Savvy Woman? She is someone who uses her passion and expertise to help her clients, students, and readers transform their financial confusion and struggle into a clear purpose and relationship with money.

Her Savvy HarMONEY™ Process gives people the ability to manage their money effectively, resulting in freedom, improved money dynamics in their relationships, and the ability to get out of the “lack & consumer” mentalities and into living lives abundantly. In the last 12 months, many of her clients have moved from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having a savings cushion and making monthly investment contributions. [Read more…]

An Interview with Chris Westfall, the National Elevator Pitch Champion

Chris Westfall, author of BulletProof BrandingThis month’s Featured Author is Chris Westfall. To most folks, he’s known as a speaker who is the National Elevator Pitch Champion, the owner of Westfall Online, and the author of The NEW Elevator Speech and BulletProof Branding.

People turn to him when they have a very specific problem that needs addressing. You know the one… It’s that feeling when you are so close, but not quite there yet? Yeah… That one…

Well, Chris helps people move beyond that so that their business and brand can flourish.

And while I appreciate all of those things about Chris, to me he is also a great friend, colleague, inspiration and client. He’s just one of the sweetest guys I know. Every conversation I have with him leaves me smiling, and I’m pleased to be able to introduce you to him today.

So without further ado, here are Chris’ answers to my Featured Author interview questions… [Read more…]

My Long-Awaited Story Cartel Results

Story Cartel logoEarlier this year, I wrote about my experiences using Story Cartel, a service that connects willing reviewers with authors in need of honest reviews for their books.

I discussed my reasons for giving away my book for free and how I got more book reviews using Story Cartel.

Since the first of those posts covered my thoughts prior to trying the service, and the latter was my perspective of things as the experience was drawing to an end, I promised that I would post one final wrap-up post for those who wanted to hear the final outcome.

Unfortunately, I got busy with other subjects and never came back to pull together all the numbers that you might be interested in.

Hoping you’ll feel that it’s better late than never, I’m finally pulling that information together for you. [Read more…]

An Interview with Shep Hyken, One Amazing Author

I met March’s Featured Author in a mastermind group we shared. As first, it was a little intimidating, since I’d known him from Twitter for some time, and considered him to “above” where I was in business. “Networking up,” as it’s called, can often be an unsettling experience.

Shep Hyken - One Amazing AuthorHowever, Shep Hyken quickly put me at ease with his easy-going nature, his genuine interest in people, and his teasing. At one particular mastermind meeting, I was meeting a friend afterward back at my hotel and Shep insisted on coming along to make sure “this guy was alright,” even though I assured him there was nothing going on between us.

But Shep’s a good guy and I appreciated him looking out for me, however misplaced the concern was.

I’m really pleased that he accepted my invitation to be a Featured Author this month, and think you’re in for a treat as he shares his experiences as a successful author and businessman.

Shep is a New York Times and WSJ best-selling author, and his latest book is called Amaze Every Customer Every Time. His field of expertise is in customer service, and he’s definitely been a pleasure to learn from both online and in person. [Read more…]

An Interview with Jim Stovall, An Extraordinary Man

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Jim Stovall’s. I read his book recently, The Millionaire Map, and it became my inspiration for this Featured Author series, among other things I’m planning for 2014.

Front Cover_Millionaire Map_Jim StovallI’ve already reviewed his book on this blog, and I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of your own to consume. (If you’re interested in possibly winning a copy, read to the end!)

Now I figured it’s time to introduce you to the man himself too so that you can see just how incredibly extraordinary he is. I think you’ll agree that the map Jim is able provide is one many of us would like to follow in one regard or another!

Despite being blind, Jim Stovall has been a National Olympic weightlifting champion, a successful investment broker, the President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. He is the author of 25 books, including the bestseller, The Ultimate Gift, which is now a major motion picture from 20th Century Fox starring James Garner and Abigail Breslin. Four of Mr. Stovall’s other novels have also been made into major motion pictures.

Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes magazine, says, “Jim Stovall is one of the most extraordinary men of our era.” [Read more…]

Self-Publishing: Here for the Long Haul or a Passing Trend?

Just as the Internet sent the music industry reeling and gave talented, but unknown, bands the ability to produce, create and promote their own music, the Age of Information has transformed the publishing industry as well.

As soon as authors found the ability to begin creating and marketing self-published books, the publishing industry was shocked to find it had realized too late that it was operating in the Age of Self-Publishing.

Self-publishing - here to stay?As a result, the publishing industry as we knew it is in a downward spiral and will need to find ways to adapt quickly if it’s going to ultimately survive at all.

The Digital Death of Print

Almost immediately following the mainstreaming of the Internet in the late ’90s, the newspaper industry saw steep and rapid declines from which it still has not recovered. Online news aggregators ushered in an era of dramatically lower advertising revenues for news dailies, having a significant impact on their bottom lines.

In the same way, the book publishing industry also felt the immediate and irreversible crush of digital readers, eBooks and the extraordinary ability for authors to take control of their own books.

While YouTube allowed savvy comedians and video producers to reach their audiences without any middleman, authors can now make their own way in the world with the right guidance and know-how. [Read more…]