Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Books, and More Work Than can be Handled

It has been quite a few months (almost 6!) since I last updated this blog. Since then there have been quite a few changes in my life, most of them for the better... but they have meant that I have been crazy busy.

I am back to doing mad things with computers... sysadmin, installations, testing and building. That's creating lot of useful things for me to play with, which is why I've started a new blog: Bioinformatics Adventures in Unix.

Artistic installation of a book with pages folded and fanned out
Rather than being a blog, this is more like a live journal where I can write down and document things that I learn about unix systems and software installs in the area of Bioinformatics. This brings in a few dollars per month from advertising and visitors... but it also acts as a place where I can store ideas and methods that, later, I want to turn into a book.

I've also restarted writing for my recipes blog and my main recipes website. These have languished a little and I need to increase my earnings from them again. What this really means is that both sites need a complete overhaul of their underlying code to make them faster, more responsive, and more standards compliant for today's web. As always, there is more work to do than I can handle.

In addition I've persuaded my wife to start working on a book of African recipes. She does most of the cookery whilst I take the photographs and write down the recipes. Then I handle recipes from those regions of Africa that my wife does not know about yet. I'm also trying to persuade her to write her own blog on African cookery and our move to South Africa...

The African Recipes book is a long-term project and involves travel and plenty of work. We reckon that a first draft of the book will be ready in about two years' time (I never realized just how much work the photography and presentation is for a book like this). So we have plenty of work set out for us.

I'm also taking the recipes and text I have for the Forme of Cury, along with my new translation and I'm editing this into a book which I hope to have ready about August next year. A lot of work has gone into the website for my translation and redaction of this book, including a novel font. This is an important book, the first cookery book in the English language and no-one has tackled it properly since the 1790s! So it's time a modern version of the book came out, particularly as I now have a font to represent the original text in a facsimile form.

If that were not enough, I'm also back into academic writing and getting plenty of work writing up technical reports and custom research.

As always, work is where you find it... and, thankfully, I'm getting more than enough work to keep me busy!

With Halloween just around the corner, I do have a free gift for you. Simply go over to the Free Celtnet Recipes page and you can grab your FREE (no strings attached) Halloween Recipes eBook. (Yes, the book is completely free for you to download, I don't even ask for your email address!)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Don't Forget to Advertise your Other Books!

Today we have just a little tip for all you eBook authors out there. You have sweated over your book, checked and re-checked your copy and everything looks good.
ebook marketing channels

You've already informed your potential readership that your new volume is coming out, you have press releases and initial marketing ready to go.

The eBook has been produced to the highest possible standards...

But have you forgotten something?

Have you advertised your other books in the book you are about to publish?

Many authors forget this, and it's a very easy thing to do. When you publish your first books, you do not have any others to remind your readers about.

But when you are on your third, or maybe your tenth book, then it's high time that you reminder your avid readers about the other works you have on offer.

Since my last eBook, I now always include a section something like the one below in each and every one of my eBooks:


Dyfed is an Author and you can find his other works on Amazon:

The Big Book of Curry Recipes contains almost 1000 recipes for curries both traditional and modern. Find out about the history of curries and how they evolved. Also covers restaurant curries and curries from every corner of the world. This is one of the most comprehensive eBooks of curry recipes available today.
Buy now on or

The Big Book of Christmas Recipes contains over 800 classic Christmas recipes from around the globe. Find traditional Christmas recipes for every one of your Christmas meals. Also recipes for Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations and treats for Kids. All the recipes you need for a fantastic Christmas.
Buy now on or
The Guide to Spices and Their Uses takes you through the history of the spice trade and why spices from the four corners of the earth became so commonplace. 85 spices are described in detail, some common, some rare. Each spice is illustrated with a host of recipes so you can find out how to use that spice properly in your own cookery. This is the biggest guide to spices avialable today.
Buy now on or
The Big Book of Soup Recipes takes you through the whole world of soups. With over 1000 soup recipes, this is one of the most comprehensive soup-based eBooks ever published. Covers all the classic soups, but you also get a chapter on the history of soup and soup making as well as chapters on soups from around the globe as well as modern soups for the microwave, crockpot and poressure cooker. Also covered are Asian soups and African soups. Find all your favourites as well as soups you will never have seed before.
Buy now on or
The Big Book of Barbecue Recipes takes you through everything you need for your barbecue. In almost 1000 recipes, all the dishes for a berbecue party are covered from the starters to the drinks and desserts. All types of dishes cooked on a barbecue (grill), including sections on vegetarian barbecue dishes.
Buy now on or
Classic Scottish Recipes takes you through over 500 classic Scottish recipes. These are traditional Scottish recipes taken through Scottish history. Here you will find classic recipes for every meal, as well as suggestions for traditional and modern dishes for Hogmanay and Burns night. All the recipes you need for traditional Scottish meals.
Buy now on or
Classic Cornish Recipes takes you through over 300 classic Cornish recipes. These are traditional Cornish recipes taken through Cornish history. Here you will find classic recipes for every meal, as well as a comparison of that Cornish classic, the pasty, as it’s made around the world. Everything from Cornish pasty, through Stargazy pie to splits, clotted cream and tea cakes. But as well as the traditional there are also modern Cornish recipes from the new wave of Cornish cookery.
Buy now on or

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery. Eliza Acton was the premier cook of the early 19th Century. Her recipes were used by all other period authors, including Mrs Beeton. This is the full text of her book (with all the images), including all the additions to the American addition. Also presented are classic modern versions of her recipes, like Christmas pudding. Learn why modern cookery writers rate Eliza Acton so highly.
Buy now on or

Charles Elmé Francatelli’s The Cook’s Guide. Charles Francatelli was the premier chef of the mid 19th Century. He is the chef that those who re-construct Victorian recipes turn to first. Here the complete text of his 1860 book, the Cook’s Guide is presented in its entirety in digital form. As well as the book you get an introduction to Francatelli and modern versions of a number of his recipes that you can cook at home, and which help show you how to adapt Francatelli’s recipes to your own cooking. Francatelli is the forgotten celebrity chef... discover why he was so famous in his own time and why he should be re-discovered today.
Buy now on or

The Recipes of Africa is a collection of recipes from each and every region and country on the continent of Africa. With well over 1000 recipes it represents one of the largest collections of African recipes brought together in one place.
Buy now on Google.


Apologies if that looked like a bit of an advertisement, but I wanted to show you exactly the type of thing I include at the end of my books, as this can be a very powerful advertising technique to get the information 'out there' about your books. And it works just as well for pdfs, .mobi and other book formats.

There is an image of the eBook, a brief description and links to its Amazon sales pages (or SmashWords if you sell on SmashWords, or wherever your sales outlets are). Every six months or so I also go through my old catalog and update or extend my eBooks. This keeps the content fresh and corrects an mistakes introduced by the typo gremlins during the publishing process.

Now, as I'm amending a book I also add a final chapter on 'other books by the same author' that includes the information given above.

Then I write a press release about the book, maybe I discount it for a few weeks to go with the press release. Anything to induce a buzz and to get people buying.

I've also made book excerpts or combinations and published those in various places and in various formats. Each time I include the 'other books by...' chapter at the end and add the information you see above.

A little self publicity never hurt and more sales always means more money in your pocket.

I'm currently working on my latest recipe book on Cupcakes, Muffins and Fairy Cakes, which I hope to get published next week. Once that book is done I will be taking you all the way through the eBook publishing process using that book as a guide.

The text is all written and I am just adding the images and the cross-references for the index now, so look out for the new book announcement next week!

Over the past year I have learnt quite a bit more about eBook publishing and getting sales, so it's time I began sharing that information.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Press Releases for Book Marketing

Yes, you read the title correctly: 'Press Releases for Book Marketing'. I've been on-line with my own website and products for over 10 years now and during that time I have come to respect press releases as one of the most powerful marketing tools out there.

Press Releases for Internet Marketing:

Today, with the internet, press releases are not only a means of getting the information about newsworthy events into the hands of journalists. They are also a means of disseminating information over the internet and of providing links to the sites and products that you want to promote.

Also, because they are structured, a press release is an effective and proven form of communication. If you structure and write your press release properly then it's recipients (most notably reporters and bloggers) know that it will contain all the information that they need to evaluate the news value of the story and then to cover it.

A properly-written press release tells the reader about what you're announcing and why they should care about it. It also provides links so that they can learn more information, if interested.

Because Google and other online search engines aggregate and re-publish press releases, this means that your news releases are not just read by the media (journalists and bloggers), but also by your target readers (ie everyone else). In essence it's a free (or at least potentially cheap) form of advertising.

Press hat for press releases
Press releases also help build links back to your content (your profile page, website and book pages). The more links you have on the web, the more likely it is that your content will be found and the more popular (in search engine terms) your content will be. Anything that helps people find your books is good, as it's this that ultimately drives sales.

How do you get a press release published? Well, for this you need a press release wire service. There are several free ones (just perform a web search for 'free press release'). I've used personally.

If, however, you want an industrial-strength wire service, then PRNewswire ( is definitely one to consider. Now, they are large and have a long reach, but they can be expensive (some of the paid services can cost $300 or more), but they do offer a free service that you can experiment with first. They also have what they call 'circuits'. These are essentially distribution areas which can be local, national or international. Now, in my experience, for most press releases the local circuit gives you 80% of the benefit as your press release is still published to the major on-line databases.

Of course, just by submitting a press release does not mean that you will automatically get press coverage. Rather, you have to be proactive and follow-up to ensure that this is the case. Sometimes I will submit a press release to get more links out on the web, and in which case I will not follow up. But, if you want more coverage then you will have to follow up on your press release.

To do this, you will have to follow up with journalists and writers in your area of expertise. For example, say I just wrote a book: 'Caveman Recipes: Stone-age Diets for Weight Loss'. Now there are probably hundreds of health reporters and even cookery writers who would like to learn from your wisdom. You can find them by searching on google or you can use the print version of Bacon's Media Directories ( This will list the health and lifestyle reporters at the major daily newspapers (but it costs a hefty $650). You could, of course, always call your local library to see if they have a copy in stock!

So, what should go into your press release? Basically anything that's newsworthy... If you have just published your book, that is newsworthy, or if your book is currently on promotion, then that is newsworthy too. Maybe you have a website and that's hit a particular milestone or you have a new section. All these things are newsworthy and merit a press release. It's even better if you can tie your book into a news story of the moment.

Extra! Extra! Newspaper for press releases
Take for example the current horse-meat scandal affecting Europe. Now, personally, I have no problem with eating horses, the problem comes in that horse meat has been sold as beef. Horse meat is much cheaper than beef, as there is no real market for it. It's one of the ironies in Britain at least, that people have found that horse meat is much cheaper than other meats, so for the first time people are actually buying it. Say, for example, I produced a book: '1001 way to prepare horse meat'. Now this would be newsworthy for the publication of the book, but it also ties in with a major news event. So I might have a press release title: 'Cookery Writer Shares Best Recipes for Horse Meat'. The remainder of the press release would then have to include information that would make it valuable to receive press coverage. In this instance I would probably make it a little humorous as the lighter side of the story is likely to be most successful.

The other factor to note is that a press release is very stylized with a definite format. Because journalists are used to looking at press releases with this style, you MUST adhere to it. Below are the typical sections of a standard press release.

How to Write a Press Release:

HEADLINE: This summarizes the high-level message that you are announcing in your press release. This must be compelling to get people to read the whole press release. Headline words are typically written either in ALL CAPS or in Initial Caps.

SUBHEAD: This is the subheading of your press release. It provides, in a single sentence, additional information that will help convince readers about why the story is important. It is typically written in Initial Caps. For the horse-meat story above, the subhead might read: 'The Horse Meat Scandal Means That You Have Probably Been Eating Horse Meat For Years: Renowned Cookery Writer Tells You Straight, How to Prepare and Dress This Cheap and Tasty Meat'.

DATELINE: This is essentially the time of publication of the press release and follows the format: City, State — Date. The Dateline immediately precedes the body of the first paragraph of your press release.

FIRST PARAGRAPH: This usually follows a common phraseology. (Typically something along the lines of: 'XYZ announced today...'). A well-written first paragraph tells the reader what the announcement is about, why it's important and who should care.

SECOND PARAGRAPH: This provides more detail, or in some circumstances can be a personal quote. If using a personal quote, then this should follow a strict format: 'First sentence' said [your first and last name], author of [booktitle]. 'Second sentence. Third sentence.'

THIRD PARAGRAPH: Provide more detail, if needed. For non-fiction works, this is where you summarize any valuable knowledge and inform the reader about what they'll learn from your book. If writing fiction, this is where you provide some of the juicy details about your storyline and any challenges faced by your characters.

BOILERPLATE: This is where the author biography, goes and you summarize where your readers can purchase the book. Here your should add links to your author profile page (whether on Amazon or Smashwords), your book pages and your personal website or blog. Also provide information about which major retailers are carrying your ebook. Also provide contact information like your email address (but obfuscate this to prevent spam).

CONTACT INFORMATION: Even if you add your contact information in the boilerplate, ensure that the press release also contains a separate section for contact information (an email address is fine). Make sure you obfuscate the email though, to prevent it from being picked up by spam spiders.

Below is an example of a press release that I have just submitted myself.



With Over 1000 Recipes Author Dyfed Lloyd Evans Has Brought Together Soup Recipes From Across the Globe, Starting from the Soups of Our Stone-Age Ancestors to the Most Modern Fusion Soups.

Manchester, UK. March 8, 2013
Manchester author Dyfed Lloyd Evans has published The Big Book of Soup Recipes that brings together over 1000 soup recipes from across the globe, starting with the earliest soups and outlining the history of soups and soup making. Along with all the soup classics you also get soup recipes from around the globe. A mix of the familiar and the totally new.

For a limited time (Friday, March 15 through Sunday, April 21) an electronic book version of The Big Book of Soup Recipes, normally priced at $9.95, will be available to the public for only $3.99 at (visit:

While many recipe books have been published about soups, that most nutritious of dishes, none have given soups in their historical or global context and this book does both. This book keeps traditional soup recipes alive, but also gives an insight (with recipes) into the history of soups from the stone age to the modern day.

Originally from North Wales, Dyfed Lloyd Evans has travelled extensively in Africa and Asia and has cooked all over the world. Since 2002 he has been running the Celtnet Recipes ( website and since 2010 he has been writing and publishing recipe and cookery books.

Dyfed Lloyd Evans
dyfed at celtnet dot org dot uk

(the three hashes above is the standard symbol for 'end of release' and this should be centred)


As an adjunct to writing press releases, I also recommend that you joint HARO (Help-a-Reporter-Online). This is an on-line community of experts that journalists can contact for information and advice about stories. The journos get a free expert to talk to, but in return you get a plug for your book (free publicity!).

Authors can also use HARO for research purposes. Because it's a community of experts, you can find out who to contact if researching a particular topic. To find experts you can even post a query to the HARO list. This is an amazing resource that you really should make use of.

Just remember, though I have used an eBook as the example, the same strategy will work for physical books as well, or any product in fact... as long as they are sold online.

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