How to Promote and Sell Your Self-Published Book

Introduction

The Internet has given writers the opportunity to publish their books without waiting to make a publisher’s acceptance list. This could be considered an advantage for today’s writers. However, they are also at a disadvantage. Now, the author must do their own marketing, taking on the task of selling themselves and their work to get as much exposure as possible for their book. Who knew that while we were sharpening our skills with English and creative writing classes that we should have signed up for some business and communications classes too? Here are some tips that I have learned while marketing my own books.
Source
Create A Professional-Looking Product

Utilize self-publishing websites like CreateSpace (www.createspace.com) to format your book. CreateSpace will develop both print and electronic versions of your books and format them into professional-looking products.

Also, give your books a decent cover. If you’re not an artist or don’t have the tools, I suggest: www.fiverr.com . Here, you will find freelance writers, artists, etc. who will create a cover for you for as little as $5.00. This site can also be utilized to find editors and reviewers as well.

My books have gone through multiple covers over the years. Most of them were drawn and designed by me, and I rushed through the process in my eagerness to get the books out to the public. Children’s books especially have to grab their readers with a fun, colorful cover, and I’m only now satisfied with the finished products. Given the chance, I would have held off on self-publishing until the covers were just right. They’re not just a place holder for the pages. They’re the difference between a reader opening a book or passing it over on the shelf for one that looks more interesting.
Source
Set Up Free Promos and Giveaways

Sign up for Amazon’s KDP select program (https://kdp.amazon.com/). This will allow readers to download your book for free on their Kindles for up to five days of your choosing. The exposure will help get exposure for your book. It may be painful at first to not make a dime from all of those downloads, but readers who enjoy your book will be looking out for more titles by you, and they will help boost the sales of future books.

That being said, you’ll need to promote your free days before your free days launch. Choose a date at least six weeks in advance and begin to spread the word. Visit the following sites for email inquiry templates and websites that will promote your free days:

76+ Places to Submit Your Free KDP Select Promotion for Your Kindle eBook

Free and Perma Free Book Submission

Goodreads is also a great place to give away your books. Create an author profile on your site. Link your books to the profile. Then, start a giveaway. Goodreads giveaways are free to create and enter. However, you must give away hard copies of your books. Set it up for at least five winners, and let it run for at least one month (they recommend three). You must get approval from the Goodreads moderators in advance so make sure to set up your giveaway at least one week before the intended start date. Then, have your copies ready to mail out right away.

During the contest, participants will be given the option to add the book to their to-read list. This will give you great exposure and possibly even sales. The list of winners will be sent to you by Goodreads right after your promotion ends, and then it’s up to you to mail the books to them. Postage is the only expense that you will incur, and with any luck, an increase in sales will follow.

Inside every giveaway book, I write a note to the reader congratulating them on winning the contest. I encourage them to lend the book to other young readers and ask that they write a review on Amazon and Goodreads, explaining how that helps independent authors a tremendous amount. I then, sign the book and include links to my social media pages and website. As a result, I have had winners write reviews of my books, and hopefully, my target audience is reading my work.

link: www.goodreads.com

Source
Create A Website or Blog

There are plenty of places you can go to create a free website or blog. I am currently using Wix (www.wix.com). There, I post published pieces (including poetry, books and articles I have written, reviews, screenshots of websites where my work has been featured, artwork, blog posts and links to other authors’ work. Promote your blog or webpage on your social media accounts, and include it in your signature on all review and promotion requests. Keep it up-to-date, and add to it often. Refer it to people who are interested in what you do or other professionals that you meet while you network. Having a place to store all of your work and writing accomplishments is better than scanning through your computer for samples of your work to show others.

Source
Send out Requests for Reviews

Send out as many review requests as you can before you publish your book. I sent out over 100 review inquires for each book I have written and received only a handful of responses. Most reviewers do their reviewing on the side and don’t charge fees so their review schedule fills up fast. Many will need several weeks, if not months, to review your book. Give them time and be prepared to hand out free copies to them (mostly electronic but some require hard copies).

Encourage your reviewers to post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book-friendly sites. Even bad reviews are helpful in getting your book exposure, and despite the eye sore that they may look like to you, they help to make your book’s rating look more legitimate. If all of your reviews have five star ratings, people may question the validity of the reviewers (are they all friends and relatives trying to help you out)? A bad review may even generate curiosity about your book. A reader may want to find out for themselves why a reviewer rated the book so low, especially when it’s surrounded by positive reviews. If nothing else, just remember that you can’t please everybody.

Source
Participate In and Conduct Author Interviews

In your inquiries, mention that you would be willing to participate in an author interview if you notice that a reviewer or blogger offers them. Some sites have a form with standard questions that you can answer which they then post regularly on their site. Here are a few sites that offer this service:

Book Goodies: http://bookgoodies.com/
Awesome Gang: http://awesomegang.com/
Between the Pages: http://betweenthelinesandmore.blogspot.com/
LitPick (children’s books): https://litpick.com/

Another technique that has worked for me has been interviewing other inde authors about their books. This type of networking has helped me to gain followers on my social media sites. Authors have to help each other out. So, I posted on the Goodreads and Library Thing forums that I was looking for self-published authors to interview. Then, I started to post the interviews, pictures, and links to my social media sites once a week. While requests have slowed down, I have interviewed over 50 authors and even been asked to be interviewed back. I ask the same 10 questions in every interview so the format never changes, just the answers. Authors are grateful for the exposure, and I’m grateful for the new views that I get on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

Here are a few author networking sites:

Addicted to Ebooks – www.addictedtoebooks.com
Online Book Club – http://forums.onlinebookclub.org
World Literary Café – http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/user
KBoards – http://www.kboards.com/

4 Crucial Ways to Professionalize your Kindle or Self-Published Book Without Spending a Dime

Most readers can pick up a book and tell whether it was self-published or professionally published mainly by looking for what’s missing. The more “professional” items that are missing from a book, the less inclined many readers are to read it. If you make your self-published or Kindle books look like any other traditionally published book out there, readers will more likely hold onto them and give them a chance. Here are four crucial ways to professionalize your Kindle or self-published books without spending any money.
#1: The cover

Eye candy is important. A good book cover will sell a bad book more often than an average cover will sell a good book. You may have written the greatest novel for all time, but if you don’t catch readers’ eyes with the cover, they will never know it.

When designing your cover, remember the 60% rule: the focal point should be 6/10th the way up your cover. If you’re self-publishing a physical book, make sure you put your title, author’s name, and a mini-cover on the spine as well.

For the cover graphic, you have many options, and you don’t have to go broke. Borrow that artist or photographer friend of yours and pay them with compliments or a meal. I commissioned an artist to paint and design a poster for a book event, and it turned out nice. All he wanted was the exposure, and he had plenty of work after the event. You can also get or borrow a decent digital camera and take your own pictures. You know what you want on the cover, so who better to take it? Take the shot and save it at the highest resolution you can. Then open that graphic in Paint to make your cover. Paint? Really? Paint doesn’t take a degree in nuclear physics to use, it’s usually already on your computer anyway, and it won’t cost you a thing. Because Paint is easy to use, it also won’t take you long to make your cover, and if you screw up, you can easily make another.

If you don’t have a decent camera or photographer, download free high-resolution graphics from Dreamstime.com, morgueFile.com, or the Library of Congress (loc.gov/pictures). Open the graphic in Paint, edit it by resizing or cropping, and add text for your title and name. I use Paint to make my Kindle covers, and I borrow public domain black and white photographs from the Library of Congress for my graphics. The covers aren’t flashy, but they get the job done. In using black and white photographs exclusively, I have “branded” my novels, too. Readers know that “H. M. Mann” books have black and white covers.

If you’re truly adventurous and don’t mind many hours of stress (and making a myriad of mistakes), download thirty-day trial versions of Fireworks or Adobe PageMaker. These programs aren’t easy to use, but thirty days is long enough to create a decent cover. It took me all thirty days to use Fireworks to create two covers for my self-published titles, and they came out fine … in my humble opinion. My sons provided the pictures, and I paid them with McDonald’s.
A sample page–notice the justified margins, page number, and heading.
A sample page–notice the justified margins, page number, and heading.
#2: The pages

Too often self-published and Kindle pages look like high school essays. Pick up a traditionally published book and study how the page looks. It is clean looking, neat, and organized.

If you are producing a physical book, include page numbers that alternate with your title and your name at the top of each page. Microsoft Word makes this easy to do—learn how. It takes only minutes to learn. Because the Kindle is “reflowable” (Amazon’s word, not mine), you don’t need to include page numbers for Kindle books.

Use normal sizes (10-12) and normal fonts like Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman Old Style, or Book Antiqua. Yes, fonts like Colonna MT and Papyrus are cool, but try reading anything in these fonts for half an hour. They’re hard on the eyes. When it comes to the Kindle, however, Amazon limits fonts to Serif—unless you know how to hack your Kindle and change the font. Stick to one or two fonts for the entire novel, as well. I used to spice up my chapters with handwritten or script fonts like Lucida Handwriting, but my copy editor at Kensington had issues with them.

Use a minimum one-inch margin all the way around your page for ease of reading, and justify your margins! Your pages should be flush right and flush left with no cascading “ledges” like your Hubs. Again, pick up a published book, and you will see what your page should look like.
#3: The title page inside

Many readers skip this page in their rush to get to chapter one, but you still must mimic what’s out there. Include title, author’s byline, copyright, and Library of Congress number if you have it.

Also include your publisher. That’s right. Create your own publishing company. I “own” two publishing companies, both of which live inside my laptop: James Crowe Press and Kinfolk Books. When readers ask me about them, I tell them, “They are small Mid-Atlantic presses.” I’m not lying. They are small. They “exist” inside a laptop. A friend of mine used “Carter-Krall” because it sounded professional and old to him. It has worked for him. “J. J.’s Books,” “Great Virginia Author L.L.C.,” and “My Awesome Novel Company” are wrong and obviously portray you as self-published.

You can also include a publisher’s note along the lines of: “This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s warped imagination and experiences or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental … and extremely unfortunate.”

If you quote lyrics or other works of literature in your novel, list them and put “used by permission” (after you get permission) or “in the public domain” on the bottom of this page.

If you have published other books, include this list on the next page after the title page. It’s free advertising, right? See below for how these two pages might look.
Sample title page on the left, list of other novels on the right. Notice the “publisher,” copyright information, and publisher’s note on the title page.
Sample title page on the left, list of other novels on the right. Notice the “publisher,” copyright information, and publisher’s note on the title page.
A sample preface
A sample preface
A sample prologue
A sample prologue
A sample epilogue
A sample epilogue
The author’s “deer in the headlights” picture
The author’s “deer in the headlights” picture
#4: Professional additions

Add a simple dedication or quotation before your first chapter. I dedicate my Kensington novels to my wife. Most recently, I added some scripture before chapter one of a Christian romantic comedy.

Add a preface, which is an introduction to the book that you write. A preface is generally short and explains how you came up with the idea for the novel. Many authors choose to use the preface to acknowledge a few folks who helped with the book’s creation. This is not the place to list 200 “shout-outs” to everyone you know … in the hopes that they’ll buy your book so they can “see their name in print.” If you list too many people, some readers may doubt that you alone wrote the book. Remember to “sign” (your typed name) and date a preface. Some authors include where they wrote the book at the end of the preface as well.

Add a foreword, which is an introduction to the book that someone else writes. Choose the writer of your foreword carefully. Don’t use a family member, especially one who shares your last name. Find another writer to “hype” you. The foreword can precede your preface if you wish to have both. The writer of the foreword should “sign” and date it as well.

Add a prologue, a short piece of writing at the beginning of your novel that immediately captures your reader’s interest. If you include a prologue, you must include an epilogue that brings closure to the work. They’re like bookends, and you can’t have one without the other. Most writers use neither, but again, using both of them can add a professional touch to your novel. Simply snip off the first part of your first chapter for your prologue and the last part of your last chapter for your epilogue. If you are writing a series, however, you most likely won’t need to use a prologue or an epilogue until the last book of the series. Remember: an epilogue is the final word.

Add an “About the Author” page at the very end, on the inside back cover, or on the back cover itself. Include your picture—or not. If you do include your picture, make sure it’s a high quality photograph, and don’t forget to smile—unless you write horror or mystery novels. Then you can look grim and sufficiently creepy. Your vanity will determine how “beautiful” or “handsome” you want to look years from now. I know a woman who has used the same Glamour Shots photo for 20 years, and she doesn’t plan to change it—ever.

If you pay attention to these details and include these professional additions, your book will stand out because it no longer looks like a self-published book. Professionalize your work every time, and readers will take you seriously every time.

Using Goodreads as a Self-Published Author: Should You Respond to Reviews?

Responding to Bad Reviews on Goodreads

What’s the best way to handle bad reviews on Goodreads? Don’t respond. No, really. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Goodreads has to say on the topic:

Ok, you got a bad review. Deep breath. It happens to every author eventually. Keep in mind that one negative review will not impact your book’s sales. In fact, studies have shown that negative reviews can actually help book sales, as they legitimize the positive reviews on your book’s page.

We really, really (really!) don’t think you should comment on this review, even to thank the reviewer. If you think this review is against our Review Guidelines, please flag it to bring it to our attention. Keep in mind that if this is a review of the book, even one including factual errors, we generally will not remove it.

That said, there are still plenty of authors who choose to respond to negative reviews on Goodreads anyway. Here are the top reasons why authors respond to reviews (and why it’s almost always a bad idea, in this author’s opinion.)
The Reviewer Misunderstood Something in the Book

Some authors say they will only respond to a bad review if it’s with the goal of correcting a misunderstanding. While this seems like a good idea, it can come off as unprofessional or even petty. Not everyone is going to “get” your book. If a whole lot of people are coming away with the same misconception, it’s likely a matter of poor editing or craft. If it’s an isolated misunderstanding, chances are that other readers and reviewers on Goodreads will step in and offer the correction without you having to do it. Yes, Goodreads encourages interactivity between readers and authors –to a point– but there are proper channels for doing so. It’s a good idea to respond to questions readers ask you specifically on your book or author page, but responding to every misconception about your story or characters is going to make readers feel hovered over in a bad way. You may be right, but in the immortal words of Dr. Phil, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
The Reviewer Pointed Out a Mistake and You Want to Apologize

Everyone makes mistakes, and authors are no exception. Whether it’s a typo that slipped through the editing process or a major faux pas that could offend readers, there are going to be times in your writing career when you feel the need to apologize. Unfortunately, an apology at the wrong time and in the wrong place can do more damage to the situation. The comment box below a one-star Goodreads review is, in this author’s opinion, always the wrong time and place. If the issue is big enough that you feel it warrants an apology to your readers and a correction, that’s what newsletters, author blogs and Facebook are for. Write a heartfelt apology, have someone you trust read it, post it and move on. Interacting directly with readers on any negative topic is more likely to make the situation worse than to help.

Some readers will merely be offended that you’ve written on a topic they don’t like, and that’s another matter entirely. Chances are, something in your book is going to offend someone sooner or later. Books that make us think also have the potential to make us angry. If you’re receiving overwhelming critique that your subject matter is poorly or insensitively handled, that’s one thing, but resist the urge to apologize every time you leave a negative review. Whether you write literary fiction or genre romance, you’re a writer because you have something to say. Own it.
You Want to Dish About Characters

I get it. You love your characters. Their quirks, their triumphs, their failures. Plenty of writers get more attached to their characters than most flesh-and-blood people, and watching other people fall in love with your imaginary friends is the absolute best part of writing (up there with, you know, paying the bills and eating.) Being a writer and a reader go hand in hand, but taking part in the conversation is where it gets sticky. Some authors love jumping into the fray and gossiping about their own characters with readers. Some think it’s perfectly fine to do so, but here’s why you should be wary. Readers deserve to have a space where they can talk openly and freely about books, including yours.

My best advice is to let the readers come to you. Answer questions about characters through the appropriate channels (Twitter, Facebook, your author Q&A on Goodreads, and any other cases in which a question has directly been posed to you.) There’s a delicate balance to be found between professionalism and accessibility, and the last thing you want is for readers to feel like they can’t discuss your work openly with other readers.
You Want to Thank a Reader for a Positive Goodreads Review

Okay, so it’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t respond angrily to negative reviews, but should authors respond to positive Goodreads reviews? Again, there are two schools of thought on this. The first says that yes, of course! You want to thank readers for particularly insightful reviews to encourage them to leave more. The second is no, of course not! Can you guess which camp I fall into?

The reasoning for not responding to reviews on Goodreads, even the good ones, is simple. Even if that particular reviewer happens to think it’s super cool that you reached out to thank them for leaving a good review, others might not. Also, if you only comment on glowing reviews and ignore the bad ones, that sends a message. Everything you do on Goodreads (and on social media in general, really) sends a message. In my opinion, the safest message, the only true neutral, is to respond only when readers have directly reached out to you. They can message you, ask a question on your page, ask a question about your book, email you, Tweet you, etcetera..

Now that we’ve covered the most common scenarios in which authors feel compelled to respond to a Goodreads review, I want to make it clear that I don’t mean to discourage authors from interacting with readers. Far from it! Goodreads is a powerful platform for authors to use, but with power comes great potential for embarrassment and chaos…or something. In the end, the authors I know who are thriving treat their writing careers as a profession. This includes being aware of the image they want to project at all times. It’s also important to remember why Goodreads exists in the first place. It’s a platform for readers, not for authors. Of course, most of us are readers and the absolute best way you can gain attention on Goodreads as an author is to engage with other readers as a reader.

Chicago Limousine Services For Wedding

Chicago limousine is the most luxurious purpose for occasions and travel all over Chicago. Thinking about having a drive a limo in Chicago is the most fantastic idea you have ever imagine in an event. Chicago is one of the luxurious cities in US and you will find many car rental companies here who will rent you a limo. For the people of Chicago, Chicago limo is the best ride for wedding and any other popular occasions. For the history of cars, limo is one of the best cars and people of Chicago want to make their wedding or any occasions exceptional by using limousine.

Most of the people think that limo is only a long black complex car, but in reality there are many verities of design of limousine. But for main occasion in Chicago to use limo is marriage and for that most of the people want to use the black limo this is the reason to think like that. Marriage is the most exiting occasion of people’s life and the bride and the groom are the core appeal. People used to see the entrance of groom and limousine gives her the best look.

Now a day, this service getting more popularity and now this is the best option for any occasion in Chicago. Any one who wants to have a car, limo is the best choice of them. The car is more comfy and stylish than any others and with limo your wedding will be unforgettable. Though Chicago is a luxurious city, limousine will increase your status better than others in the party and people will have to give a look on you and they will want the opportunity like you.

Most people think this service is only for wedding and no one can’t rent a limo for other occasions. But this service is also open for other occasions even you can rent limo only for traveling. Most of the limousine services of Chicago have different packages. To rent or hire a limo make some research to get the best service. For wedding use some services offer some extra facilities with the car, so research will help to find the best service. To get the best services mention every features you want with the car like color and this will give you facilities to balance the cost.

Limousine is one of the best stylish cars for the last hundred years and now this car is the best for any occasion. There are many varieties of limousine but Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Bentley, Cadillac are the best brands. Chicago limo services are the best service for any occasion and for wedding this is the attraction of that. But to get the best car, book the car a few days ago otherwise other can book the best one.

So You Get The Cheap Travel To Mexico, What’s Next… A Guide To Mexico Travel!

You finally received your tickets to Mexico at the cheapest price. You did it by researching and taking your time comparing and eliminating online and offline travel companies and agent one by one. You also got your desired hotel accommodation and itineraries that did not cost so much. Now, while you are packing your things and make your way to the airport, here are some of the things and necessary advises you should know before entry, upon entry, and while at the Mexico:

Before you leave, you should have with you a photo I.D. such as passport and driver’s license, your tourist card, and your proof of citizenship. Bringing a photo I.D. would save you a lot of trouble when you check in on the airport. It would make sure that your ticket and your identity match.

The tourist card is your gate pass to Mexico. It is given free of charge but should be surrendered when you leave the country. You can get it from your airline when you check-in or in the Mexican Immigration when you arrive the country. You must not lose it and must be included at your travel document. Loosing this card is not pretty good thing to happen but if it does, make sure you have copied the number. This would make the trouble a lot easier to deal with.

Proof of citizenship should be your birth certificate. If you are a married woman and posses a driver’s license of your maiden name, be sure to bring your birth certificate to match the license.

Upon arrival, go directly to the Mexican Immigration. Here, your tourist card is validated and proof of citizenship is inspected. You must sign and accomplish the customs declaration form. You should know what to declare and what are allowable to bring in the country. If you failed to declare any item that are not allowed you will be penalized.

Here are some of the allowable items you can bring; toiletries, footwear, and clothing that is in relation to your trip duration, reading material (magazine and books), used sports equipment, one VCR, one camera, one movie camera, films (up to 12 rolls), 3L of wine or alcohol (18 years up and up), 50 cigars or 400 cigarettes (18 years old and up), musical instrument, portable TV, and medicines with prescription.

While at Mexico you should obey the rules. If you plan to rent a car, there are lots of car rental companies in the country. It you are on a tight budget, rent a car before you arrive. Rental companies offer cheap rate if you reserve early. When you get involved in an accident, do not leave the place nor make any arrangements to other people. Contact your rental company for assistance. Do not argue.

Bring the right amount of money for the day. Although Mexico uses their Peso, most business establishments accept US dollars. But peso would still give you better price. Wear comfortable clothes, Mexico is typically warm during summer and a bit cold during winter. But it still depends of your location that depends on the altitude.

When dining, make sure you drink only bottled water. Wash the fruits first before eating. Peel if necessary.

When traveling by bus, take the first class rather than the second class. First class is air-conditioned with slight price difference with the second.

These are some of the things you need to know when you travel to Mexico. And to enjoy more your whole visit in the country: stay safe!

Hawaii Rentals: All The Comforts Of Home

Rental properties: a great way to be able to vacation without having to leave all the comforts of home for a hotel that may look great online and in brochures, but is run down in reality. And there’s no place better for a vacation than Hawaii. So, naturally, Hawaii ocean front rentals are really popular.
And no island is more popular for Hawaii oceanfront rentals than Kauai. Kauai vacations are very relaxing. The island’s lush green natural beauty and charm will make you fall in love with it almost instantly. And if you’re looking for island activities, Kauai offers a multitude of possibilities: all-terrain 4-wheel tours into Kauai’s remote interior, charter sport fishing, windsurfing, and more.
Should you choose a luxury Kauai vacation rental, first decide if you would rather own or rent. Owning your own Kauai vacation rental can be a profitable investment, but you must have enough money to both purchase and maintain it. That’s why many people choose to rent. There are many places on the Internet where you can search for owners looking to rent vacation homes, so start there. If you don’t find anything, talk to a travel agent, since they often know about resources you don’t know.
Be sure to pack appropriately when you take advantage of Hawaii vacation rentals. You will have the ability to cook for yourself, so be sure to bring any special foods not commonly found in Hawaii. You should also be certain to pack any specialty items you need, such as hypo allergenic soaps or special toothpastes. You may not be able to find them in Hawaii, as there is a high cost to shipping products there. Also, remember not to bring any potentially inappropriate items, as you will be staying in someone else’s home.
Eventually, be sure to be prepared for fun. Hawaii beachfront rentals allow you greater access to the islands than staying in a hotel does, since you’ll be living like the natives. Rather than tourist attractions, you’ll get a good chance to experience everyday Hawaii, a unique experience even for US citizens. Hawaii is like no place else.
Do not forget, if you are considering Hawaiian vacation rentals, to look to the island of Kauai. Try to find a property online or through a travel agent, and once you find one, plane appropriately for your trip, making sure to bring the things you’ll need to be at home. Do all this, and you’re set for a great travel.

Living The Good Life While Traveling: Renting Vacation Villas

With our daily lives becoming more hectic and complicated all the time, there is hardly gets time to sit back, relax and take stock of one’s life. While workdays are understandably busy, even weekends are not entirely our own and there’s a lot of left-over work from the week as well as household chores that need our attention. This hustle and bustle often leads to health problems, both mental and physical, as well as problems in relationships.

One of the ways to rejuvenate yourself and have a better work life balance is to take a relaxing holiday every few months or, at the very least, once a year, and spend quality time with your loved ones. Planning a holiday well is the key to having a successful trip. Depending on what you are prepared to spend on your holiday, and the time of the year, you can choose from a variety of locations like the countryside, beaches or tropical islands, among others. Once your location is decided, you must make the necessary bookings for your stay. This is where you now have the option of choosing not just between hotels, but also choosing to stay in a vacation villa to get more out of your holiday.

So how is renting vacation villas or luxury villas better than booking a hotel room?

Serene Backdrop: Most if these rental villas are located away from crowded areas. This allows you to enjoy the company of loved ones in a tranquil atmosphere. Even when you are travelling solo, it gives you the opportunity to rest, read or listen to the music of your choice without being disturbed by blaring traffic or noise from other holidaymakers.

Dining options: Villas usually come with a fully equipped kitchen and that allows you to decide if you want to eat out all the time or cook some meals at the villa itself. This is especially helpful when you are travelling with kids or elderly parents. Moreover, luxury villas often provide the services of a full time chef who can cook a variety of cuisines, giving you the benefit of dining in specialty restaurants without having to step out.

Spa services: Many of the luxury villas combine spa services as part of their package. You can enjoy special spa treatments and exotic herbal massages. They not only pamper your overworked body but also have health benefits like a reduction in stress, improved blood circulation and sleep quality, etc.

Other benefits: Vacationing in villas often has other advantages that hotels do not have, such as being able to plan an outdoor party on your lawn, and having an outdoor barbecue station, as well as the choice of playing music that you enjoy listening to.

Apart from all this, many luxury villas also have other facilities that one usually expects in a hotel: a Jacuzzi, an infinity pool, housekeeping services and transportation. To sum up, opting for a villa rental during your vacation gives you all the benefits of staying in a hotel room and more and helps you in having a good time with those who matter the most.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8401650

Global Car Rental for World Travel: Renting a Car for Worldwide Travel

If you are seeking car rental for worldwide travel, whether in South Africa to use in the country or are a South African with the need to hire a car elsewhere in the world for a holiday or for business, then there are global car rental services that are able to meet your requirements. Booking a car for collection in London, UK, is just as easy as renting a vehicle to drive in Cape Town.

If you intend visiting South Africa for business or even a honeymoon, then it is important that you have your car pre-booked, ready to collect at the airport. If not, then you will likely find yourself in a long queue at the car hire desk, assuming you weren’t quick enough off the plane to get near the front.

You might also be disappointed in your choice, because the best cars at the major South African airports are often snapped up quickly and you will just have to take what you get. The benefit of using a global car rental online booking system is that it doesn’t matter where you are when you use it, or where you want to collect your car, you will be able to make your booking and pay for it online.

Whether you are a South Africa with a need for a car in Pretoria or New York, or an Australian traveling to the UK, you can book your car online and have it ready for you to collect when you arrive at the airport. You can usually find some great car hire deals when you book your car this way, and also a fabulous choice of vehicles and car hire firms. The one service can frequently offer you a range of cars available in your class from a wide range of hire companies – you are not restricted to just the one as you would be if you used the website of any specific car rental firm.

You can also arrange to have your car driven to you at arrivals, so you have no need to visit the desk to pick up the keys. More time saved! You can also order a self-drive or chauffeured service, particularly useful if you have a disability. Another benefit of using an online global car rental service is that you can prearrange to drop off the car at a different destination than you collected it. That is useful if you have a long distance to drive one-way, and are flying back from a different airport.

You can check up each of the services offered to you by the booking service and select from those that offer this service. However, the one benefit that most users of global car rental agencies consider the most compelling is the ability to select the best car available at an economical price. You are no longer restricted to the cheapest an individual car rental firm can offer you, but you have wide choice of options.

For example, if you are based in London want to pick up your car at Cape Town International and drop it off a week later at Pretoria you are offered a range of 20 cars along with all their specifications at a number of prices, from lowest to highest. These are available from a range of car rental firms that can offer this particular service. You can then choose the car that fits your needs at the lowest available price.

There is no other way to achieve this using just one form. You can pay it either all in advance or just a deposit when you book according to the terms of the car rental firm. You can also choose options online, such as SatNav or child’s seat, so you have no problems with any of that when you collect your car. Everything you need can be arranged in advance, so all you do on arrival at the airport is to pick up the car – you may have to pay the balance of the rental cost or arrange to pay that in advance.

Renting a car for worldwide travel is a simply task using a global car rental booking form, because such online services take a note of your requirements then carry out a worldwide search for vehicles that meet your needs that are available at your choice of pick-up destination.

The beauty of such global car rental services is that you can do it all online, no matter where in the world you are based or where you want to collect and drop off your car. If you want to collect your car at London Heathrow and drop it off in Glasgow, Scotland, then you have 60 vehicles to choose from.

This is without doubt the best and easiest way to book a car no matter where in the world you are and where in the world you want collect it and drop it off. Renting a car for worldwide travel has never been easier than by using a global car rental service online.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6446737

It’s a small world, blog-wise

I am sure that Walt Disney himself had no way of knowing just what a small world it would become after all, particularly in the world of moms.
Today, more and more brands are reaching beyond borders to connect with moms, while advancements in technology have empowered mothers to socialize with moms around the globe. Both McDonald’s and Disney World now have global mom panellists while Huggies, Coca-Cola and Purex also engage moms across continents in marketing programs.

Although my mom marketing books are published in 12 languages, it’s only been recently that I’ve seen a dramatic increase in interest by American brands to expand their mom marketing programs overseas. The trend has taken my studies of moms from South Africa to South America and, most recently, Europe. Each stop provides a unique opportunity for learning.

Social media mom networking at its best

The highlight of my journeys occurred three weeks ago when I hosted a Mom Blogger Mixer with FattoreMamma, www.fattoremamma.com, the leading Italian mom portal, in Milan. Not only was it exciting to host 60 social media mom influencers, it was fulfilling to be able to share the event with over 1200 US moms who tuned in online.

For over two hours, moms from both sides of the pond compared notes on social media, parenting and motherhood via live chat and online video streaming. It was social media mom networking at its best.

So what do companies who want to engage moms outside the US need to know? Here are a few considerations.

The core considerations

1) Moms around the world share five core values.
Regardless of where you are, marketers can connect with moms by speaking to one of these: 1) Child enrichment, 2) Health and safety of her family 3) Value 4) Time management and 5) Simplifying life. Brand messages should connect the benefits or features of your product to at least one of these core values in order to create relevance and value.

2) Twitter is an American marketing tool.
You won’t find Twitter Parties in Austria, Spain, Belgium or Switzerland. There are very few moms who have adopted Twitter as part of their social media tools. Many moms outside the US, question the need for Twitter when most of their friends and followers can be found on Facebook.

3) Cultural differences contribute to the style of mom bloggers.
It was only recently that Mom bloggers in the United Kingdom decided to disclose their identity on their blogs. The “bulletin board” approach to life, as my husband calls it, is a trait that American moms seem to possess in greater quantity than mothers in France and German. Bloggers who are moms in the Netherlands focus their posts not on their role as a mother but on their life in general. Being a mom blogger seems to be trumped by the desire to be identified as a lifestyle blogger.

4) Product reviews are far and few between on mom blogs.
Even in countries with a proud population of mom bloggers, few moms review products. In fact, the state of the mom blogosphere in Italy reminds me of the US mom blogosphere three to four years ago. There is a strong and active debate among Italian mom bloggers regarding whether or not it’s right and ethical to review products. Marketers would have better luck sending product samples to traditional journalists who are mothers and female webmasters in the hopes of obtaining an online review.

5) Indoor play centres and festivals present an effective vehicle for sampling product.
Moms everywhere enjoy spending quality time with their children, and in Austria, Greece and Germany these occasions present a good opportunity for demonstrating products. Moms are open to interacting with brands related to their roles as mothers whether they are at the zoo or an indoor playground.

6) Limited Internet access has slowed growth of social media in some countries.
This is particularly true in Turkey, Greece, and southern Italy, where online mom magazines are more popular than blogs. For marketers, the most effective way to connect is through these magazine message boards and forums.

7) European moms were green before green was cool.
Long before it became trendy to take along your own shopping bags to the grocery store, moms in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France were eliminating plastic waste. Green-friendly products and services are a great way to connect with moms worldwide.
Moms present buying power around the globe, and, with the right tactics, marketers can establish a dialogue which drives brand awareness and ultimately sales.

Paros Rent A Car: Serving The Tourism Industry

Paros rent a car agencies are an integral part of the tourism infrastructure of the island. Each year in summer time, the island gets millions of visitors. During this busy period, Paros rent a car is a great help to the tourists who flock there. Most of these tourists prefer to have their own cars on the island during excursion and want to travel around from one village to another beach. Many people who come here to spend their vacation usually come in large groups, especially if they have families or if they travel with friends. They prefer large station wagons for this purpose. It is essential to know that a Paros rent a car agency can provide any type of vehicle that you might be looking for. They have all the brands and their cars are new and well-taken care of.

Roaming on motorbikes is definitely a cheaper alternative on Paros. But given the summer hot weather of Greece, it is highly possible that you would prefer a car rather than an open vehicle. Moreover, the roads can be quiet tricky and in an unknown place it is advisable to have a car rather than moving on mopeds or motorbikes. Then there is also the question of carrying your luggage which would hardly fit on a motorbike.

The airport and the main harbour of the island at Parikia is the place to get many car rentals. Here you will come across many Paros rent a car agencies. The staff of Paros rent a car agency is very helpful to tourists and they explain to you all the formalities required to be fulfilled before you can get a car of your choice. You also have the option to survey the car and then hire it. Usually the car hiring provision has a sort of contract. If you have any problems regarding understanding the clauses mentioned, you can always clear your doubts with the staff of Paros rent a car agency. In this way while you sign the contract, you sign it with a clear mind and have a tension-free roaming experience on the island.

Many hotels also hire services from Paros rent a car agency. They might not have too many cars to support the tourists pouring in onto the island. At that time, they call up Paros rent a car agency to get some cars to give to their tourists. You can also contact Paros rent a car agency online and ask them to drop off the car at the airport or at harbour. In this way, you don’t have to hire a taxi to the hotel and pay extra money. You can directly have your own car. You can then drive to the hotel and keep your car in the parking area of the hotel. Each and every hotel provides parking space for cars on the island. For the excursion tour, you can get yourself a roadmap and your hotel’s travel brochure to map out the places and roads that you would take.

There are many gas stations on the island from where you can fill your car. If you got the car with an empty tank, you can return it to the Paros rent a car agency with an empty tank as well. Moreover issues regarding the fuel should be sorted out with Paros rent a car agency before you take the car out with you. Another factor is the maintenance of the car. You should always check the car parts before you take the car from the Paros rent a car agency. In this way, it prevents any sort of unlikely accidents or road mishap on the island. Moreover, you should always carry your car contract papers and your driver’s license with you. In this way, if you get stopped on the road by patrol police cars, you can show the required documents to them. But if you are found without them, then it might prove to a great hazard!