LOVE YOUR BOOKS!—Jackson

Jackson’s letter is why authors and illustrators should not only create books, but visit with readers.

“Dear Mark Wayne Adams,

Thank you for coming to Julington Creek Elementary School, I am glad that I got to sit next to you while the 5th Graders were performing their story. I was wearing a blue Under Armor long sleeve shirt with a white stripe going down the shirt. My friend, a girl with a long sleeve pink shirt and you signed her notebook and drew a picture in it.

I love your books, especially “Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous!” I would like to order the “Best Sketchbook.” But I would not like to order “Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous!” because we read it at the assembly.

In the notebook (on the first page) I would like you to draw a baseball player because I am a baseball player. And if you could please give me an autograph.

Your friend,

Jackson

P.S. You are a really nice and funny man. I loved your “stories” that you told us at the assembly. LOVE YOUR BOOKS! Write back if you get the chance. You are my favorite author now!”

February 18, 2015

Jackson, thank you for being a fan. You’re an inspiring friend! —Mark Wayne Adams

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1—2—3 Publish: Professionalism Book Test

Invest in five sample copies to test consumer appeal.  This Professionalism Book Test is fairly inexpensive by using a POD (Print On Demand) company.

Test 1:  Place your book with books of similar content at the public library. Lay three books including yours on a table or face out on a book shelf. Sit far enough away to observe and not look like a stalker. Take notes. Do library patrons overlook, preview, read, or check out your book? Feel honored if your book reach the circulation desk.

Test 2:  Visit your local book retailer. Ask for the top three books in your genre. Find a comfortable corner and critique your book. Don’t mark in the bookseller’s books, only your own. Is your writing professional (typos, misspellings, etc.)? Does your layout follow industry standards (margins, text flow, etc.)?  Do your illustrations/photos match or exceed the professionals? Place your book on a bookshelf next to the competitors. Which book is most easily read from twelve feet away? If your book is week in any area, make adjustments now!

Test 3:  Give three beta readers your POD book and the competitor’s book. Ask readers to rate and compare the two books. Access the comments and make adjustments before publishing.