Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have you noticed the tabs?

Hi All!

After waiting the past several months for the official author site to pop up on, I thought (duh!) why not just start posting the info for new authors HERE.

Yeah... sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. But if you look at the top you'll see tabs now, that display information new authors should find very, very helpful.

Some of it is common sense, other parts can be very illuminating.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Million-Dollar Challenge

First off, when I say a million dollars, we’re really talking about a million dollars.

When I say “challenge” things start opening up more to interpretation, but this, in a nutshell, is the challenge:

Lyle Mortimer, President and CEO of Cedar Fort, has an author on the table for all Cedar Fort authors: Present a plan that illustrates how for every $2 spent on advertising you can sell one book. If it looks like it might work, CFI will test it out. If it DOES work, CFI will spend a million dollars advertising your book—or until the model is exhausted.

“What does that mean?” you ask. “What approach is CFI looking for? Radio? Print? Online? WHAT?!?!”

That is where things become open to interpretation. Do you think that radio is the right place for your book and can you show why? Do it! If you think billboards, FB ads, newspapers, mailers, or something else works better for you, lay that out!

Show us! If we’re sold, we’ll implement a test campaign to give it a shot. If it hits its target, we’ll start pumping serious money into it.

Hint: Authors who are going to come ahead on this challenge are authors who have tested mini-campaigns of their own, refining buckshot into lasers (for those of you who took my class). It is also important that you can define your audience very specifically and why they will be especially in tune to your marketing plan.

Another hint: don’t present a plan without having a ballpark figure of whether or not the advertising rates for your medium truly reflect reality. Poke around a look up the rates you would likely be paying.

One more hint: There is a 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999% radio is not the right model for your book. It’s fun to hear a commercial on the radio, but unless you have a model where you would sell more than 5,000 books a week, this likely isn’t worth looking into.

Remember, this is open to all. No book is too big or too small! Nor is any budget too big or too small! Maybe you have a plan that sells 50 books per week by spending $100. Submit it and we'll consider it! If it works, we'll do it all day long :)

When you have a plan, send it my way. I’ll offer feedback or submit it for consideration.

Good luck!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Author Question: Listing

From Author: Just wanted you to know that my website is ready to be published and I want to have links to sites that will sell the novel. Borders and Amazon already list it as a presale book. But when I search at Cedar Fort, nothing comes up. Some of my friends and family may want to purchase direct from Cedar Fort - so maybe you can have a "coming soon" or presale access point too.

Answer: This is a great request and one we've been working on getting up on the site for a few months.

Right now the practice is to put the book up for sale on a week before we have the book in warehouse. This is done because currently is not set up to accept pre-orders. This issue is being addressed, and I'll let you know as soon as pre-orders are available at Two other notes to consider:

#1- When you spend $35 on your purchase ships for free!!
#2- If you're looking to have sales show up on a national radar amazon, B&N, Borders and other national retailers are a great place to send sales, since these will be reported to the NY Times.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bestselling Authors of 2009

Hi All!

Last night I had the honor of announcing the bestselling Cedar Fort titles of 2009, as well as awarding the an award for best marketing by an author.

The awards were as follows:

Bestselling Title of 2009
Shattered Silence, by Melissa G. Moore & M. Bridget Cook

Bestselling Non-Fiction of 2009
Agent Bishop, by Mike McPheters

Bestselling Fiction of 2009
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters, by Frank Cole

Best Marketing Award of 2009
101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes, by Wendy Paul

Each of these authors receive a $200 gift card to Cedar Fort toward the purchase of the product of their choice.

Additionally, Terri Ferran received a $20 gift card to the Cedar Fort Warehouse for correctly deducing what all our award-winning authors have in common: they are all first-time authors who beat out the veterans!

Congratulations everyone and let's make 2010 even better!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Tips for Authors!

A panel of seven successful book authors and publishers presented their top tips for wannabe writers at two days of seminars held in conjunction with the Spring Book Show in Atlanta.

The presenters at the March 26-27 Authorship 101 and 201 seminars told the prospective authors about the realities of book publishing. They covered the life cycle of books from conception to writing, editing, and successful marketing through the last retail sales before the book is remaindered or repulped.

Among the top tips of the published professionals to fledgling authors:

· Remember that books are a product with a short shelf life.

· The author must play a major role in marketing the book.

· Prepare to speak in a variety of forums about your book topics.

· Test-market a sample of your book’s content and fix the problems found.

· You should punctuate for power and meaning.

· Remember that rejection letters are not your enemy.

· It’s unlikely that you can successfully, thoroughly, and accurately edit your own writing.

· There are ways you can get through the publisher’s gatekeepers.

· You should appeal to all five of the reader’s senses.

· You should write in the appropriate “voice,” and understand how voice is different from style.

The faculty for the two days of seminars included Peter Bowerman (mastering marketing), Ahmad Meradji (controlling manufacturing costs), David Fulmer (project funding ideas), Angela K. Durden (don’t aggravate your readers - hire an editor), Chris Roerden (secrets of surviving the manuscript submission process), Tony Burton (using conflict to keep readers interested) and Dr. David Ryback (publishing success in six steps).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Women's Conference Signing Schedule

Congratulations to all the authors chosen to sign at this year's Women's Conference, this April 29th & 30th. The signing schedule is as follows:

On Thursday 4/29

1:30 to 3:30 – Jill Lash
4:00 to 6:00 - Joe Evans
4:00 to 6:00 - Chris & Julia Deaver

On Friday 4/30
11:00 to 1:00 – Jane Still
11:00 to 1:00 - Wendy Paul
11:00 to 1:00 - Kerstin Daynes
1:30 to 3:30 – Terri Ferran
1:30 to 3:30 – Rachelle Christensen

Signings will take place at the BYU Bookstore, and all books provided. It is suggested that you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before your signing time as parking can less than ideal.

Have a great event!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ForeWord Magazine Wants Your Trailers

ForeWord Magazine is looking for the best book trailers around, and giving an iPad to the one they like the best. More than that, they're letting the public decide, which means whether your book wins or not, it still might be seen by thousands of people! That, of course, is great exposure for you!

The deadline is May 15th and the contest details are located here:

You can submit your trailer by following this link:

Have fun and best luck to all of you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seagull/DB/Costco Reminder

Today's post is dedicated to reminding authors of something that is outlined documents and conversations. And yet, all it takes is one or two authors acting innocently or inquisitively to stoke a fire that makes the subject need to be addressed repeatedly.

That subject is this: DB, Seagull, and Costco want all signing requests from Cedar Fort authors to come from me, and me alone. This means, if you are wanting to sign at a Seagull, Seagull doesn't want you going to or calling the store to request the privilege with the manager. If you want to sign at a Seagull, they want you to contact corporate and get approval before bringing the subject up in the store.

This is true even if you want to hold a great, fun event there that you think the manager should be in on approving. Even in that case, Seagull corporate would like me to ask them if it is okay before the idea is brought to the store.

Additionally, remember that Seagull will only be interested in a signing if your book is featured in their current catalog. Doing this is actually a favor to you, because it means that loyal customers who come in will have already had an exposure to your book.

Similarly, Costco's current business model is to invite strong-selling authors to do signings as they place orders for books. Of course, Cedar Fort encourages them to both carry your book and host you for signings, but both decisions are made on a corporate level, not by store managers. Contacting stores directly to request signings is not appropriate, whether they are carrying your book or not.

The short message here: Do NOT contact a DB or Seagull about a signing unless you've spoken to me about it first. And do not contact Costco at all.

Conversely, B&N, Borders, and other stores are happy to work with you on a store-by-store basis! For those of you who haven't seen it yet, B&N even took the time to make an instructional video for you on what they're looking for from a signing:

Thanks for all your hard work. Learning the ropes in a new industry can take time, but the Cedar Fort team is working hard on your behalf to make each book as successful as possible.

All the best!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cedar Fort's 2009 Releases

January 2009

Faith Among Shadows
Living For Tomorrow
So, You're a Bishop
Walking Into A Hug
The Mystic Cypher
Previously Engaged
Sacred Hymns of the Book of Mormon
Come, Come Ye Saints


Confessions of a Completely (In)Sane Mother
Life it Tough: I Doubt I'll Make It Out Alive
It's All About Him
A Circle of Souls
Simply Sane
The Faith to Heal and be Healed
Torn Apart
The Divine Principles of Mothering
Wealth Will Follow
Having Hope


But If Not
Deadly Treasure
Keeping Love Alive
Brigham's Boys
That's Faith!
My Fairy Grandmother
Compare Isaiah
Pearls from the Plates
Be Not Afraid


By Love, or By Sea
So, You're a Primary Teacher
Abish, Faith Among the Lamanites
Unlocking the Idioms
Women of Virtue
Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest
On Your Own
Conceiving in the Heart
Learning to Prosper
Bone Warriors


Pick-Up Games
Losing Weight for Life
Agent in Old Lace
New Frontiers of Dutch Oven Cooking
10 Secrets of a Happy Marriage
Opening the Seventh Seal


A Circle of Souls
Am I Ready to Die?
Altared Plans
Starting with a Quart of Tomatoes
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters
Experiencing Christ
The Pearl of Great Price, Made Easier


The Sister Pact
Hiking Boots and Gospel Truths
How to Lengthen Your Stride Without Getting a Hernia
Discipline Me Right
To Teach as Jesus Taught
Spice Up Your Life
Achieving Your Life's Mission
Scientific Discoveries that Build Testimonies and Strengthen Faith


Shadows of Eden
Famous Family Nights
Your Endowment
Unlikely Truths of Motherhood
Agent Bishop
Second Chances
Celebrate Dinner
Cyber Safety
101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes


The Legend of the Star
The Apology
Honoring Christmas in My Heart
Santa Maybe
12 Days of Christmas, Encore!
Shattered Silence
The Shell Game
Hannah's Reach
The Modern Magi


Simply Singing Time
I Know My Savior Lives
Tiny Talks
The Old Testament Puzzle Book
The Ball's in Her Court
65 Signs of the Times
Stand as an Example
Nephi in the Promised Land


Ready Resource for Relief Society
How to Survive You Child's Mission
Family Home Evening Adventures
The Dragon War Relic
They Walk with God
Monday Nights in Jerusalem
Isaiah Made Easier
Breakfast in a Cookie Jar


Temple Worship Simplified
Primarily for Cub Scouts
Mormon Mishaps and Mischief
Fearless Dating
Where the Sun Rises
Divinely Designed
Secrets of the Prophets
Centsible Meals