By Bob Kern
Welcome back from Friday to my Part Two blog post on "How I Write." To date, book two has been a finalist for book of the year with one association, a finalist for eBook of the year with another, received a bronze award from the Nonfiction Writers Association. It was just selected as a finalist for Nonfiction History book with the Independent Authors Network with the book of the year winner to be announced on August 15, 2016. The book has also been accepted in four other contests and awaiting results later in the year. The book also was the bestselling Cold War book on Amazon for five weeks.
Most of book two's success and 4.7 rating can be attributed to my involvement and promotions in the specific Facebook groups, which is up to about forty Cold War groups. I am very fortunate to have developed a great bunch of people who follow me and re-post my books to their walls helping promote the books.
I released book three on July 6, 2016 without offering it for free. Instead, I ran a five day free book promotion on book one, giving away one thousand three hundred and twenty-eight books. I had a great first month with book three and saw a nice bounce in sales for the first two books all month as well.
During July, all three books hit the top 10 in Amazons Cold War category at the same time. Book three hit number three in the top Military History category for top new releases on one day and was the top Military History/ Korea book for one week.
I am convinced that for nonfiction publications like mine, involvement in Facebook groups for the particular subject is an easy way to have success with your book. Once people get to know me, my commitment to this project on behalf of all Cold War veterans, they want to see me be successful and become an extension of my marketing efforts.
I am attending an association meeting in September for veterans who served in Korea during the Cold War and plan on running the five-day free campaign just prior to the event to kick up interest. I am confident the other two books will do well during this promotion.
I have used a bunch of paid and free advertising sites with very few of them standing out. Book Gorilla seems to be the only one that always gets me a bump in sales. I also like the Fuzzy Librarian. I like Books Butterfly since they guarantee results and plan to try them soon with book three. I have a huge list of free promotional sites for free eBooks and I’m going to use them all when I run book three promotion for free downloads.
As for my writing style, it is probably very different from everyone else. I have each person I am featuring in the book complete a basic questionnaire so I can have the foundation for their chapter in place. I then call each of them and visit for an hour or longer, writing notes and visiting to get to know each other better and get the particulars of their service and any unique stories they have. I then put each veteran's questionnaire in chronological order of dates of service for my timeline. I do some general research on the country and military history before writing and create a folder of bookmarks to sites with information I might use. I also do a deep online search for any unclassified documents I can use for the book. I don't research anything on each veteran until I begin writing their chapter. This allows me to research specific subjects from their careers and created the proper footnote at the time I actually write about it.
Once all the chapters are done, I send each veteran their chapter to fact check it, make sure I didn't add something that wasn't relevant to them, and to toggle their memories for additional information I could use. When I get everyone's chapter back, I make the appropriate edits. I then put each of the chapters together to form the complete book and do a complete read through and edit, making sure chapter’s transition and information isn't duplicated. Once I am happy with the edited book, I separate it by chapters once again and send them out to the veterans for one final look and approval before submitting the book to be edited.
This is probably an unorthodox way to write a book but I do what seems to work for me.
Bob Kern is an award winning author for his We Were Soldiers Too Series. Book 1 was a finalist for Nonfiction Autobiography Book of the Year in 2015 and has been nominated for Best First Published Book of the Year in 2016. Book Two was named a Finalist for Nonfiction eBook of the Year and Finalist for Nonfiction Military History Book of the Year in 2016. Bob was in the US Army for almost 8 years in the 1980's and during those years he was quickly educated about the military life that civilians never see or hear about. He decided to write and publish the story of his military career so that others may have an inside view of what it was like to be in the military at that time. Due to the overwhelming support and response from other Cold War Veterans, his first book has been turned into a Cold War documentary series telling the history of the Cold War from the perspective of the veterans who served during this critical time in history. Bob is the father of five children - Natalie, Bambie, Amber, Bob, and Rob. He resides in Bedford, Indiana with his wife Marsha and his three granddaughters; Sage, Jade, and Harmonie. Bob enjoys connecting with US veterans and sharing his stories with others. Bob’s social media links are: https://www.weweresoldierstoo.com/ https://www.facebook.com/bobkernauthor/