Monday, October 26, 2009

The Top 10 this Week at Cedar Fort

Welcome to the Top 10 List of last week’s book sales. This list looks a little more like what you’d expect to see during the Christmas-selling season, but you’ll notice that “Agent Bishop” is still right up there at the top... resting comfortably. Just underneath him is David Ridges, who has 4 titles on the top 10 list!!! Impressive!

After a quick glance, it looks like people are going for non-fiction for gift giving with autobiography, doctrinal and seasonal dominating the list. Not shown is that “Soul Searching—a 3-year-old fiction title—is still in the top 15! Who says fiction doesn’t have shelf life?

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Shattered Silence
#4- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#5- Forever Santa
#6- Donkey's Tale, A
#7- Shepherd's Night
#8- Twelve Days of Christmas Encore!
#9- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 2
#10- Book of Mormon Made Easier Pt.1

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let the Training Begin!!!

Hopefully you're here because you got my email announcing the exciting changes! These will start rolling out next week and largely be in full effect 11/1/09.

This blog is dedicated to authors interested in our 1st Online Marketing Training! This will be a training for all levels of the technologically inclined, showing how to effectively use online tools to market your book. The training will be held online at from 12:00-1:00, starting Wednesday October 28, 2009 and the 4 Wednesdays following. The time was chosen because evening really doesn't work for anyone and those who work can watch on a lunch break if they choose. Everyone who watches live can interact with me live, while those who tune in later can re-watch what happened without interacting.

If you're not familiar with blogTV yet, I think you will fall in love with it... and be shocked that it is FREE!

So, if you wish to join the first online training (meaning you fit the single qualification that you have a CFI book released/releasing before March 2010), please:

-Go to and create an account. Note: create a username that is the same as all your usernames on Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites. Make it easy for fans to find you on ANY site by using the same username on every site so they know when they've found the REAL you. For example, my username is SheralynPratt. Find me before you sign off.

- Return to this blog and post your username and your real name, so I know who I'm looking for in the chat room when I broadcast.

That's it. It's that simple.

Have questions? PLEASE leave them as a comment on this post. If you have the question, chances are other people do to and it would be best to have answers easily viewable to all.

Look forward to working with you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Top 10 List for 10/19/09

Welcome to the first Cedar Fort Top 10 List. This list (which will be updated weekly) represents the orders from stores, not consumer sales, and are representative of the level of demand authors are creating for their books.

Interestingly, only 3 of the books on the list were released this month. The rest are older, the oldest being---wait for it-- 3 YEARS OLD and FICTION on top of that! Hat's off to Shannon Guymon!

All that said, here's the list:

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Twelve Days of Christmas Encore!
#4- Adventures of Hashbrown Winters
#5- Shattered Silence
#6- Book of Mormon Made Easier Pt.1
#7- Twelve Days of Christmas
#8- Old Testament Puzzle Book
#9- Soul Searching
#10- Alvor

CONGRATS to this week's top 10! And remember, the numbers change dramatically each week, so check in next Monday to see if your marketing efforts are moving books from storage to store fronts!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Can You Learn from Mike McPheters?

Mike McPheters started out like most first-time authors: with ZERO experience in the publishing industry. His skills lie more in law enforcement, SWAT skills and spiritual counseling. So Mike did what most first-time authors did; he asked his PR rep what he should do. Mike was told his book was a great fit for firesides and he should share his faith-promoting life story with others. After all, Cedar Fort thought his life story was worth printing and, as a former bishop (4X over), Mike knew that his fireside need to stand on its own with spiritual counsel, not be a 60-minute ad for his book people were foced to watch in their Sunday clothes.

As with many of you, Cedar Fort asked Mike to create a fireside and schedule signings adjacent to them so wherever he travelled he had both an event and a signing. Shortly after, he replied with this schedule:

Agent Bishop Book Tour (Mike McPheters)

August 26 (Wed.) Boise, ID Costco (4:30 PM)

August 27 (Thurs.) Salem, UT Annie Freeman Residence-Fireside

August 28 (Fri.) St. George, UT MCWILLIS

August 29 (Sat.) Saint George Costco (10:30 AM) MCWILLIS

August 31 (Mon.) Victorville, CA Costco (5:30 PM) MARTINEZ
14555 Valley Center Drive

September 1 (Tues.) Fireside @ Mike Martinez location/church MARTINEZ
@ Valley Center, CA

September 2 (Wed.) San Bernardino Costco signing (10:30 AM)MARTINEZ
1099 E. Hospitality Lane

Marietta Stake Presentation (Evening)

September 3 (Thurs.) Temecula Costco (4:30 PM)
26610 Ynez Road

September 5 (Sat.) Henderson, NV Costco (10:30 AM) CANNERY
791 Marks St.

September 7 (Mon.) Las Vegas Costco (10:30 AM) CANNERY
222 So. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Summerlin, NV Costco (4:30 PM)
801 South Pavilion DR
Las Vegas (702-352-2050)

September 8 (Tues.) Travel to Twin Falls, ID

September 9 (Wed.) Twin Falls, ID Costco (10:30 AM)

September 10 (Thurs.) BYU Alumni presentation @ Moses Lake, WA
Stake Center @ 7 PM

September 11 (Fri.) Signing at Fae’s Book Store @ Moses Lake (Morning)

Wenatchee Costco (12-5 PM)

September 15 (Tues.) Multi-Ward Single Adult presentation @ Boise, ID @ 7

September 16 (Wed.) Boise, ID Costco (10:30 AM) WALLY
Drive to Rexburg, ID

September 17 (Thurs.) Pocatello, ID Costco (10:30 AM) BERT

September 18 (Fri.) Pocatello, ID Costco (4:30 PM)
305 W. Quinn Rd. (208) 238-4040

September 19 (Sat.) Sugarhouse B & N signing (2-4 PM)
(Time will be readjusted
(801) 463-2610.

McIntyre Center, 1104 East 2100 So. SLC, UT

September 21 (Mon.) West Valley City Costco (SLC, UT) (10:30 AM)
3747 So. 2700 West (801) 996-9008

Murray Costco (SLC, UT) (4:30 PM)
5201 So. Intermountain Dr. (801) 290-4200

September 22 (Tues.) SLC Costco (10:30 AM)
1818 So. 300 W. (801) 485-9715

West Bountiful Costco (SLC, UT) (4:30 PM)
573 W. 100 N. (801) 299-3940

September 23 (Wed.) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)
198 No. 1200 East (801) 653-2710

Orem Costco (4:30 PM) (Sold 66 there 8/17)
648 E. 800 S. (801) 851-5003

September 24 (Thurs.) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

September 25 (Fri.) Sandy Costco (10:30 AM) PARK CITY
11100 So. Auto Mall Dr. (801) 790-0003 (Brent/Larry)
(Sold 49 there on 8/17)

Murray Costco (4:30 PM)

September 26 (Sat.) Day off. PARK CITY

September 28 (Mon.) West Valley City Costco (4:30 PM) PARK CITY

West Bountiful Costco (10:30 AM) PARK CITY

September 29 (Tues.) SLC Costco @ 1818 So. 300 W. (10:30 AM) PARK CIT

B & N Signing @ Gateway @ 6 No. Rio Grande St.
SLC, UT (801) 456-0100 (4-6 PM)

September 30 (Wed.) No Meetings. Family Party PARK CITY

October 1 (Thurs.) Sandy Costco (4:30 AM) PARK CITY
Murray Costco (10:30 PM)

October 2 (Friday) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)

B & N signing: 10180 So. State, Sandy, UT (4-6 PM)
(801) 233-0203 Michelle TYLEE

October 3 (Sat.) Orem Costco (4:30-8:30 PM ) M

October 5 (Mon.) Return to Moses Lake, WA

October 10 (Sat.) Wenatchee, WA Costco (10:30 AM)

October 12 (Mon.) Spokane, WA Costco (11 AM)

October 16 (Fri.) Kennewick, WA Costco (10:30 AM)

October 19 (Mon.) Drive to Ketchum, ID

October 20 (Tuesday) Will set up signing @ Chapter One Bookstore
Ketchum, ID

October 21 (Wed.) Orem Costco (4:30 PM) SHAYNA

October 22 (Thurs.) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)

October 23 (Fri.) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

October 24 (Sat) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

October 25 (Sun) Drive to Moses Lake, WA

His schedule continues through Christmas, but I think you get the point. Mike literally put life on hold and put every effort imaginable into making his book a success. The first couple of weeks Mike went through a definite learning curve as he became familiar with how to make signings a success, but at this point he could pretty much teach a course on handselling a book since he is now inching towards the mark of selling 1,000 books per week. And yes, you read that right. PER WEEK. Come Christmas time I believe he will easily be doing just that.

Some of you may be thinking, Well, that's because you got him into Costco! I would be selling more books if I were in Costco, too.

Notice, however, how Mike supports Costco sales and gives them high incentive to carry him. Those of you who have shopped at Costco know that Costco likes to carry the currently bestselling books at highly discounted prices. This means that at this time of year they want a book to sell 200 copies per week, per store for them to carry it. But even though Mike isn't quite reaching that benchmark, Costco sees his schedule and is willing to bend over backwards a little bit for him. They know that he sells out every Costco he walks into so they try to have 50-100 books in each store he's scheduled to sign in. Add that to word-of-mouth sales he's starting to generate and you can see why--months after his book's release--his sales climb higher each week.

Mike is a great case study of an author who chose a marketing plan, stuck to it and is finding publishing success. Cedar Fort literally can't print books fast enough to fill the orders, which means Mike is on the top of our list for Christmas advertising in radio and print. His efforts will be more than matched by Cedar Fort's investment in radio ads, large catalog placements, media mentions and more, which means his first royalty check should be a happy day indeed.

The thing Mike did right was treating his book like an investment. In the beginning he put more into than he was getting out of it, but soon that coin will flip to create an income while he works on his next book.

Mike's business model certainly isn't for everyone, but his example is worth emulation. Plus, he embodies one of my top rules for authors: NOTHING takes the place of face-to-face time with consumers. Nothing.

So get out there and meet your audience today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tweet Much?

Okay, all... things are about to get very fun at Cedar Fort and to be in the know you HAVE to be active online. EVERY Cedar Fort author should have read the Author Kit primer I made. (If you haven't, go to and click on the Author Kit tab.)

Every author should have a Facebook and Twitter account at minimum. If you're on Twitter, please take a moment and follow me now. I have signed up under my name, SheralynPratt, and will be using Twitter to announce reviews, news, free classes, free author resources and more!!!

If you don't have Twitter you WILL be out of the loop. It is free, it is easy and all you'll need to do is log in once a day.

To repeat: EVERY author should have access to the internet and Twitter. Don't worry, this will make things fun, easy, simple and easy to track.

Look forward to seeing you on Twitter!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whitney Award Submissions

Cedar Fort would like to congratulate the following novels that have already been nominated for the Whitney Awards:

Deadly Treasure, Jillayne Clements
The Sister Pact, Cami Checketts
Abish, Faith Among the Lamanites, Brenda Anderson
By Love or By Sea, Rachel Rager
Pickup Games, Marcia Mickelson
Previously Engaged, Elodia Strain
Bone Warriors, Bron Bahlmann
Alvor, Laura Bingham

If you are one of the listed authors, your book is in the hands of the Whitney Committee and all you need to do is patiently wait for further information.

If your book has not been nominated so far and you think it should be, please visit: for guidelines.

Best of luck to you all!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marketing Tool Straight from Google

For all of you who missed the marketing conference today, take a look at this link if you are looking for aditional ways to market your book (if you're not looking for more to do and this would just overwhelm you, then don't worry about it). This link was created just for Cedar Fort by google. Feel free to poke around!