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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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Because of budget restraints, I am very limited in what I can spend. I'm not sure about the Kindle thing. Don't you have to have an e-book setup?

Speaking of e-books, what do you all think of going that route?
Amazon owns BookSurge, so it's highly likely that they have a program for converting your p-book (print book) into an e-book. Check with your rep at BookSurge to see what is possible.

Technically speaking, most books today are created and saved into a PDF format. It is a simple procedure to convert the PDF into various forms of e-books.

I'm torn on the whole issue of e-books. On the one hand, they are great for certain types of books and/or publishers. They are a low cost way to enter the market. They can help an author build an audience before committing the money to print books. E-books are also useful for text books and other technical publications. Young readers will think nothing of reading from an e-book. It will be second nature to them.

On the other hand, I'm very tactile when it comes to reading. I like the feel of a book. I guess I'm old-fashioned. I realize I can get a very satisfactory experience from an e-book reader (such as the Kindle or Sony E-book Reader). Intellectually, I realize e-book readers have many useful features (built in dictionaries, highlighting, book marking, etc.). It's just hard for me to overcome my own inertia.
Hi Bill, I often write eBooks rather than print because my auience is online alot.
That's where I market them too. Just to let you know that eBooks have another name for us authors. E-document that can be put in PDF, downloaded an printed so you can still touch pages. People are willing to print out these eDocuments up to 100 pages I know. I sell alot of my Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast! at

I know most people here are more traditional in book approaches. I left all the agents and publisher over 10 years ago and started using the net. Some trepedition at first, but now, love it because it's easier, faster and cheaper.

Judy Cullins
Your book's successs is all about marketing. If you are willing to look into Online marketing, take a look at this 10 Non Techie Ways to Market Your Book Online, c. 2008.

Enjoy and cheers,
Ain't it the truth! One little edge (maybe) is to have your own astore on amazon. I have one for both .com and .ca. This way I can send people straight to the appropriate place to buy my books. This can generate a little commission - even if you have to wait for it to mount up to the amount they will pay you!
My astore books sites for "Smoke Screen" are: and
I also have my other book "Lost in Long Cove" set up the same way.
Another thing I'm using (eventually) is Google Book Search.
You are right about fiction novels, though. It's unlikely that you'll get rich unless you have already managed to be huge - like Steven King or Tom Clancy. I inadvertently named my last book "Smoke Screen". Sandra Brown is a popular writer who also put out a book by that name recently. (I should have done a search for the title beforehand - it turns out it is very popular). Who knows, someone might accidentally buy mine thinking it's hers?
Guess this doesn't allow links. I put them in there for folks to see, but....

Just a thought, your don't get rich on one book, but a related series. This works with how to or self help books which are better for sales. I advise clients to start with a short how to book for their business, then pay for the other books with sales from the how to.

And, you need to make more $ packages too. Just as easy to sell $99.95 package than a $19.95 book.

Book sales come from marketing-whether it's free with artilces, twitter and facebook, and your own ezine, or cost. Offer your audience freebies first before the bigger sale. I invite you readers to get gems from me montthly-and it's a free ezine at

Go from discouragement to learning what it takes to actually sell your books.
Stated simply, the biggest challenge with my book is public awareness. How to do that is the challenge and the frustration we all face.
There are multiple avenues, but no simple solutions. How to cost effectively advertise is the subject on many forums. I think one must take a narrow approach rather than "blitzing." Trying to reach the entire market is a waste of time and money. Identifying the potential market can start with the genre classification. Does the book appeal to a general audience or to an age group? Will it appeal to women, men, or both? Is it solely for the American market or does it have appeal to a world audience? Etc.
Whatever the answer, one should start with a specific target rather than trying to "blitz" with a catch-all program. We would all like our book to be a No. 1 bestsellers and appeal to a broad audience, but the chances of that are minimal. Targeting a specific audience, and then expanding to the next target area, is more effective. Developing a systematic approach to marketing conserves time and money.
Hi Abe,
I was told at any signings or speaking engagements that authors spend too much time explaining what their book is all about. They said tell the reader, or buyer, what "they" will get out of buying your book. Readers want to know why our books will benefit them.
Being seen is the key. I mentioned often, get a write up from your local newspaper, go to libraries and offer talking or book signing, the same at bookstores.
I leave my business card when I'm paying a bill after eating at a restaurant or add it to a bill being paid in the mail. Call magazines and see if you can write something.
You are right, the best is to stand back and look at who your audience is. Mine is a spiritual book and about my dad who was a Brigadier General. I just did my first "huge" speaking engagement at the Providence Marriott Hotel in RI for 150 women and a priest about my renewal. They were a Ministry for Catholic Women. I think I found my genre.
I send a synopsis to an editor at a newspaper in NH asking if they would do a story on me. I never heard, but eight months later, a friend emailed me with a page on the internet from the newspaper. They ran it without telling me.
I "highly" recommend the book "1001 Ways to Market Your Book" by John Kremer.
Last year, I advertised in a Catholic newspaper in Australia. It cost money ($100). This year, I advertised in The Anchor ($140), for a Catholic newspaper. The problem is, we never know if our advertising is worth it. I just do some when I get ahead money wise with my book signings.
I hope this has helped to get you started. I don't know what your book is about. If you tell me, maybe I can help more.
Don't give up.
I have two books.
The first, "To Beirut and Back - An American in the Middle East" was published in May 2006.
My latest novel, "They Plotted Revenge Against America" was published January 2009.
My Website: shows both books and provides information about them. I am more interested in promoting my latest novel since it is "timely" with current events.
Any help is certainly welcomed.
Hi Abe,

I would highly recommend calling an editor to the newspapers and having them do an article about your story. Call all over, including out-of-state ones. Another suggestion, call radio stations around the area and ask to be interviewed. They are always looking to fill open spots. Both of these cost nothing. Follow through with repeated calls if you don't hear. It took me about four months to get a radio spot.

I had no planned questions and almost froze the first time. See if YOU can write the questions to be asked of you. Be prepared. I did a great job, much to my surprise without it being planned.

When you do, offer to "give away" one or two books on the radio show for a certain number of the caller wanting your book. This helps in a few ways: it gets people's attention and you get to see how many people are listening. Before leaving, ask the manager the name of the winners and autograph it directly to them. Always mention the book's title when you talk. Never leave without announcing where the book can be bought and your website. Always leave your interviewer a free autographed book.

Call your "local" TV station and see if they will interview you, especially with your book about today's world.

Introduce yourself to high schools and colleges. Yes, I'm serious. I have an author friend, Diane Kozak, who wrote a fiction book titled, Full Circle 911. It's fiction but she talks at the schools about issues in the book that relate to life. She can't keep up with the calls coming from the schools and sells like 40-50 books each time. Diane is on the road all year. She offers multiple issues in the book for a talk and the teachers pick which one they want; like bullying, etc.

She swear by her "made up map" and I've seen her in action. People know it's fake but she pulls the people into her story by showing them the location in her story.

Call the NY Times and ask for the same. My mother always told me, "The worst anyone can do is say no!"

Let me know how you do and maybe we can think of other ways.
Another thing I forgot, send your book to the radio announcer that will be interviewing you. It gives them time to read it and the interview goes more smoothly with them knowig what's in the book.


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