Archive for Online Publishing

A Small Publisher Can Be a Good Springboard To A Big Publishing Contract

The book publishing industry today is going through something of an upheaval. The big six book publishers are wary of ebooks, and more likely to buy into a sure thing than a good thing, and even less likely to jump to sign a book or author that’s off the beaten track.

But self-publishing and micro publishing have been booming because of this. Many authors are choosing to publish themselves in digital and print on demand formats and then trust in their own promotional and marketing skills to find readers, reviewers and customers.

For those that are not keen on working out the intricacies of formatting a book for Epub and Kindle, or figuring out whether they need and ISBN, and how and where to submit their books, there are a large number of micro-publishers springing up that will take care of that. Some even will offer a small advance.

If, between you and your publisher, you can generate enough sales to stand out in your genre, it should be possible to approach larger publishers with your book and its sales history. If your sales are strong enough, the big publishers won’t wait for you to approach them, they’ll come and find you.

How to turn ANY web page into a WordPress Page

I’ve noticed a lot of people wondering how to use WordPress as a sales page. Now, I wouldn’t recommend using it for this if all you’re going to have is a sales page, but if you’re planning a blog in the back end, or some other pages that you want to easily edit, then maybe it’s not overkill.

Anyway, to make life easy for those folks looking to integrate their existing sales page into a WordPress install, here’s the secret…. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A PARTICULAR THEME, OR EVEN INTEGRATE THE PAGE INTO THE SITE….

Here’s the quick and dirty way to add your page to your blog:

  1. Open your sales page in note pad or a text editor
  2. Add the following code at the top of the page:
    <?php
    /*
    Template Name: Sales Page
    */
    ?>
  3. Rename the page to something like mysalespage.php
  4. Upload your new page to your theme folder in your WordPress installation

salespage1
And that’s the hard part.

Now, go to your WordPress admin area and create a new page.
salespage2

Make the title Buy It Now or something like that, just in case you have the page listed in your blog section in the future. Leave the body of the page blank.

In the righthand sidebar, in the new Attributes area, choose your newly created page from the Template dropdown box.

salespage3

You’re done. Save the page.

If you preview the page now, you’ll see your sales letter. All that’s left to do is make your sales page the front page of your site.

You can do that by clicking the Settings item in the left sidebar, then choosing the Reading settings.
salespage4

Select “A Static Page” for your front page display, and choose your Buy It Now page from the drop down list.
salespage5

And that’s it.

Now when you go to your front page, you’ll see your sales letter. If you want to change your sales letter, just change mysalespage.php or whatever you named the template page, and reupload it. It’s not elegant, but it is better than paying someone to make a new page template for you.

IF YOUR NEW PAGE DOESN’T SHOW UP IN THE TEMPLATE LIST

Someone told me their newly created page didn’t show up when the followed the directions above. The best thing to do then, is grab a copy of page.php from your template folder. Rename it mysalespage.php and change the code at the top to
<?php
/*
Template Name: Sales Page
*/
?>

Follow the rest of the directions, and at the very end of the process, replace the faked sales page template with your real sales page.

Offering event registration from WordPress

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’m working on a local business networking site in WordPress.

To handle event registration, I checked out a few different plugins, and finally decided on Events Manager 2.0. It’s a very slick plugin that not only allows people to RSVP for events, but also ensures only the right number of seats are available, it sends confirmation emails, and produces a nice printable report of who has bought tickets.

Configure Emails

It isn’t exactly what I need, but it’s a solid place to start hacking.

My first job was to turn the single field “seats” into “member tickets” and “non-member” tickets, make sure that the new fields show up in all the right places, and recode a few things to make sure they get added up in the calculations to determine how many tickets are left to be sold.

Hacked Registration Form

I also added two new admin and database fields for the prices of member and non-member tickets for each event.

Today I’m working on a Paypal integration for the registration process. Once the user has decided how many member/non member tickets to buy, I want to send them to a page where they can either print off the invoice and pay by cheque, or click a link to connect to Paypal.

Once I’m done hacking this plugin, it’s on to user registrations on the site, which looks like it could be a beast!

[evening edit]

And by golly I’ve done it. It ain’t pretty so far, and I need to make the paypal and addresses and such customizable, but the hack was successful….

invoice