What is your book about; is it fiction, a novel?
You are right on the "getting known." I think it works the same for Nadene and her company. You can have the best known publishing company and they will get your book on the shelves. "WE" have to get them MOVING off the shelves.
It's tough. Bill is right in doing something everyday. I'm thrilled my next book is in the publishers hands so that I can continue with the sequel and market my new book with letters and calls. I didn't realize the stress I was under until I put the manuscript in the mail.
Let us know what you title and book is about. Maybe we can help giving you some direction. I've got my market since my book is about substance abuse. As long as I push myself, I have plenty of doors to open. I've been sitting back because I wanted the book to offer after talks.
Hi Simon and to ALL who find marketing and promoting their books the biggest challenge;
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In many cases, the ideal reader for your book is a person similar to you. It shouldn't be too hard to find people with similar interests and tastes as you. What magazines do you read related to your subject? Try to get your book reviewed in those publications. What shows or conventions do you attend? Sell your books there. What organizations do you belong to related to your subject? Try to have your book reviewed by the newsletters in your field and sell your book at their meetings. In the beginning, it's easier to start with sources that are familiar to you, then branch out later after you've had some success selling the book.
Publishing a book is like an iceberg. Getting the book printed is the one sixth of the iceberg above the water. Getting the book noticed is the five sixths of the iceberg below the water. Many publishers focus on the one sixth of the iceberg above the water; printing. The real trick is to spend time and money on the five sixths below the water; marketing.
That is so true too. In my experience I've learned the simplicity of writing a book compared to marketing. In this order: Writing, Publishing, Editing, Marketing; for me anyway lol.
Websites are a great way to market books but you also have to get your website out there for people to see it which means it has to be marketed too. Once on the site, the reader can see what books you wrote, what you're writing now, and find links to purchase those books. It helps when there's reviews and excerpts. I find it easier to market the website than the books because its all there. The reader then can just choose while learning about me and my other books, as well as finding other authors if my books aren't what they're looking for.
I'm not sure who you self-published with but I just sent my MS to Infinity. They take books back from bookstores "as long as the stores buy them directly from them and not the distributor." So, this week I ordered business cards from Vista Print with Infinity Publishing address, telephone number, and website for the managers.
This way they have all the info on hand, if they have the interest in my book with my contact info.
I'll let you know how it works out. My book comes out in July.
I know Infinity Publishing very well. The CEO, Tom Gregory, and Author Advocate John Harnish are colleagues of mine. We worked together on the Book Summit in 2006 and 2007.
I have been impressed with their company because of the returns policy they have for their authors.
You may want to check out their Author Conference they have each year. Other colleagues of mine, notably Dan Poynter, Penny Sansevieri, Melanie Rigney and Brian Jud, speak at the conference. The information is educational and entertaining.
How wonderful of you writing that information to me. I had gone on Preditors and Editors, checking agents and publishers and they said they are getting great comments on Infinity from authors. Not only that, if you buy 20 or more books, which most authors do, they charge no shipping.
I wish I knew about them with my first memoir. The publisher of that book is killing me with sales. I had two International military distributors who wanted to see my book since it revolved around my father being a One Star Brigadier General. The Medjugorje Magazine loved the book and not only wanted to buy the book for their store, but advertise it in their magazine and do a write-up on me. One Catholic bookstore in Rhode Island (large one) wanted the book. They went to buy it through Spring Arbor who is their distributor, a branch of Ingram, and would only give them 5% discount. Every single book they got from them was 40% off but mine. This POD company would not work with any of these places to work a deal money wise. The prices for shipping was unreal and they went $5.00 higher on the price of my book.
Infinity said there would be no problem with returns if the bookstores ordered books directly from them. I'm going a lot of speaking engagements and hope to advance to the larger organizations. They confirmed if the organization, not me, called them direct to order the books for the event, they would be returnable. I was thrilled.
I receive the newsletters from Dan, Penny, and Brian. I didn't realize they were colleagues of yours, Infinity's. They have great ideas and directions to go toward. Honestly, Bill, I didn't have time to read all their info when I was finishing the book, and now I'm polishing up the sequel. Maybe it will be completed this fall or sooner. I can't wait to finish so I can get more involved with the chat rooms. I learn so much from them.
I'm from Massachusetts and their conferences are always far off. New York is only a four hour drive but self-publishing and then with a sequel is emptying my savings. Being retired, money goes out, but not in.
Thanks for the support, Bill, it meant a lot to me.
I'm going on vacation June 12-26th in California and have booked a signing at Borders in Santa Rosa, and working on a Borders in Palm Springs. I will miss my new book being released either while I'm on vacation or right after. That's why I'm having a picture of the new book on a postcard and the business cards made to introduce it.
As a first time author, you're discovering the deep discounts required by the distribution chain for books. 40% for bookstores is only the beginning. To get into bookstores nationwide, most small publishers need a distributor. There are many good distributors and all will charge 70% to place your book into bookstores. As you have already noted, however, books are only in the bookstore on consignment. if they don't sell within 90-120 days, the books come back to the publisher as returns. All damaged books are returned for a full refund.
The discounts offered to distribution indicate where the value is placed in the publishing value chain. The value chain places 70% of its value on selling the book, not writing or printing it. That's why they call them "best sellers," not best written or printed.
Don't despair, though. The Internet has leveled the playing field for small publishers. A book buyer doesn't know how large your publishing company is on the Internet. In fact, if you have a title that meets a buyer's needs, it doesn't matter at all.
The key is finding your audience—knowing how to reach potential readers. It's best if you have a vehicle to reach those readers; a newspaper column, a newsletter, a blog, a podcast, a radio show or a television show. If you don't there are low-cost ways to begin reaching readers in your target audience.
Start by finding others who do have a vehicle such as a blog, column, etc. Begin by commenting on their material. Be sure to mention you're the author of a book in your by-line. The more comments you post, the more readers will see your book mentioned, and some will be curious to link to learn more about it.