Ask any author—self-published or otherwise—what they consider the most challenging part of the publishing process, and most will rank marketing near the top of the list. Bruce Bernstein, author of the young adult book, You Gotta Have Heart, is no exception. Yet Bruce made some smart moves to get his book noticed.
You Gotta Have Heart is based loosely on a screenplay that Bruce wrote many years ago. The main character, Alan Michaels, was orphaned at an early age. As a biracial orphan growing up in New York City, all Alan wants is a place to belong. He finds that place in a karate school, where he pushes his mind and body to the limits and becomes a “true warrior.” When tragedy strikes, Alan must draw upon his new-found strength and courage to overcome the odds. “If you always side with the underdog, and you like martial arts, inspiring stories, and tales of overcoming adversity, you’ll love this book!” smiles Bruce.
Bruce was inspired to write this book by his decades-long interest in the martial arts, and his deep familiarity with New York City. Bruce was born in the South Bronx and moved to Forest Hills, Queens, when he was eight years of age. Having lived in New York City for most of his life, Bruce is now a licensed New York City tour guide who gives tours to select groups of intrepid travelers. Bruce says that knowing a lot about Central Park and New York City is something he shares with the main character of his book, Alan. He and Alan also share a love of marital arts. Bruce is a fourth-degree black belt in karate, with extensive training in the martial arts.
1106 Design provided publishing services to Bruce, including cover design, page layout design, typesetting, and proofreading. (“The support and quality of the work provided by 1106 Design was excellent,” enthuses Bruce; thank you!) We also looked after the title set-up on the publishing and distribution platforms KDP (Amazon) and IngramSpark, and did the file preparation and uploads of the paperback and eBook versions to both. You Gotta Have Heart is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Bruce reminds people that his book can be purchased at their local bookstores. “Through IngramSpark, bookstores and libraries receive a discount. So, you can show your support for your local bookstores by asking them to order it.” says Bruce.
Back to book marketing.
One would never know that Bruce found marketing to be the most challenging part of the self-publishing process. Google “You Gotta Have Heart Bruce Bernstein,” and you’ll find review after review of his book—all positive, with 4 or 5 stars. How did Bruce obtain the editorial reviews? “I made sure I received several independent editorial reviews before the book was finalized,” he explains. Bruce published these reviews on his website and also on his Amazon book page (there’s a special section there for editorial reviews, which authors can add on their own). His Amazon page also shows twenty-six reviews as of mid-March 2019, including a wonderful video review!
In addition to editorial reviews, Bruce advertised and ran promotions. “I advertised in various magazines, did Amazon ads, used various eBook promotional services, did a Goodreads giveaway and more in order to get the word out,” says Bruce.
When asked if he has any advice for authors who want to self-publish, Bruce offered the following: “Find a good editor who specializes in the kind of book you are writing. Proofread carefully. And finally, be prepared to develop a marketing plan.
What does Bruce hope the future will bring? “My goal for You Gotta Have Heart is to do something I have long wanted to do: write a novel. Oh, and get a movie deal. A guy can dream, right?” We thank Bruce for trusting us with his dreams, and hey, if there are any producers reading this blog…you know what to do!
You Gotta Have Heart, by Bruce Bernstein
Fiction, Young Adult
Author Website: www.brucebernsteinNYC.com