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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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Distribution. You have a system developed for large companies. I am using John K. to try to workaround that. You really need about $250,000 dollars to hit the stores. The growth will come another way. It is a lot of work to publish. Even the magazines like Publishers Weekly are set up for large companies. That is the way it is. Best wishes.

Hi, Michael.
Wouldn't we all like a marketing budget of $250,000 to promote a book? For most, that isn't going to be the case, however.

I think using John Kremer's system to make your book known to the reading public is good. BTW, check out his TEN MILLION EYEBALLS promotion he's running. You can get that program's content for $197 for a limited time.

Where I don't completely agree with you is on your premise that the system benefits the large companies. I interpret that to mean large publishers selling books to large distributors selling books to large bookstore chains. While it's true the institutions have grown large since the advent of the bookselling super store, we're beginning to see a shift in that trend. Look at the large publishing houses. Most of the large, diversified publishers are having financial difficulties. More niche publishers, such as SourceBooks, are growing at the expense of the larger, diversified publishers because they focus on a single niche.Consider the large bookstore chains. B&N is suffering financially. Borders has been "for sale" for almost one year—no buyers. Consider the large distributors. Several went out of business in the past two years. One of the largest, Publishers' Group West, left many of it's publishers in an untenable situation when it went out of business. And, finally, look at the book buying habits. Amazon has changed the way books are purchased. Amazon sells nearly 20% of the books in the US. That's an awesome number of books!

The point is this. The old distribution methods may not be the best distribution methods. Consider alternative distribution. Consider the Internet. Consider any way of getting books into the hands of readers that makes sense for your book's readers. No doubt this is what you're learning from John Kremer's teachings. .

BTW, also consider reading Dan Poynter's new book, THE SELF-PUBLISHING MANUAL 2. It updates many of his self-publishing marketing methods for the new media.
I have 14 titles under my belt and my biggest challenge is distribution. Publishers can be narrow-minded sometimes when it comes to diversity. For example, many marketing experts like to target market when it comes to diverse novels. If a book has minority characters, marketers immediately want target one audience which limits the amount readers who will hear an author’s voice.
Sadly, American plutocrats have trained a multitude of consumers to think a particular way. Consumers feel if a book has a particular image on the cover, which doesn’t reflect who they are, they immediately become Xenophobic. For those brave souls who allay their fears and break the chains of Plutocratic mind control, they usually discover a new and exciting voice.
Sometimes marketers/publishers get a reality check when a book does something they consider to be OUT OF THE ORDINARY. Books like the Joy Luck Club, Like Water for Chocolate, Memories of a Geisha or Waiting to Exhale, enjoy a large cross over audience. Still, even after repeated examples of consumers thinking beyond what society has trained them to believe, publishers in many regards continue to market and publish books the same way they’ve done for generations.
What I’d like to see is an American society that enjoys a good book the same way they enjoy good music. Whether you like Aretha Franklin or Cold Play, who cares what color they are—We are all human with a story to tell. All an artist asks for is a chance for everyone to hear our voice.

Congratulations on publishing fourteen books! That's a fine accomplishment and puts you into an elite group, the small, independent publisher.

The books you mention (JOY LUCK CLUB, LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, MEMORIES OF A GEISHA and WAITING TO EXHALE) are examples of best selling books that became famous because of two things—positive book reviews in mainstream media and word of mouth recommendations. None of them would have become best sellers, however, if they didn't have distribution through multiple channels (retail stores, discount stores, warehouse stores, etc.).

Will you share with us what you do to get reviews for your fourteen books? How have you positioned your books to reach the wider audience you seek?
That's a good question. I second that. I've had some reviews done for my books but its not getting the sales where I want them to be so how do you generate reviews that sell? And I'm talking about reviews you don't have to pay for lol.

There's an old saying, "Any publicity is good publicity.” While that's not entirely true, it is fair to say that any book review will help your book. It's how you leverage the reviews you receive.

The first trick to book reviews is narrowing your focus to a select number of media you contact. There are thousands of media opportunities; that's too many to concentrate on. Select the top 25, 50 or 100 media outlets you want to target. The media doesn't have to be the first level newspapers, magazines or television shows. Sure, every author thinks they want to be on Oprah, but few authors have the commitment to pitch Oprah until they get on. Oprah gets over 1,000 pitches every day. Why would anyone want to go up against that type of competition to be on the show?

Instead, focus on local media. Most newspapers, magazines, radio and television shows in your area are more hard pressed to find good interviewees. Pitching locally improves your chances of getting coverage.

Also, focus on trade publications if your book is non-fiction. Trade publications target your potential readers more closely than a general interest medium, like Oprah. Of course, the trade publications don't reach as wide an audience as a general interest medium, but the readers more closely match the subject of your book, in most cases.

Once you get good reviews, then leveraging the reviews is key. Whenever possible, use the key quotes on the back cover copy of your book. Also, use any positive comments on your book's sell sheet. Mention all positive reviews to your distributor and/or wholesaler. Also notify booksellers selling your title whenever you have a good review.

Furthermore, use good reviews when pitching other media. If you were favorably reviewed in one medium, be sure to mention that to the editor or producer of other media. It helps the producer or editor make the decision if you have been successful elsewhere.
Thank you Bill. I am working on getting reviews done for 2 of my books for now. I lost my digital copy for my first book so I can't get it reviewed right now lol but it has gotten a few good ones since its been out a couple years ago. When my second book came out, I didn't really know how to market both books at the same time and now there's a third coming out soon, probably next week so I really need to learn multi marketing lol.

But you're right, getting reviews is important. I also had a radio interview last year but it fell through because I couldn't get a copy of the book to them (finances were low). Hopefully, this year I will be able to do something to pick up the pace. Thank you!!!!

A sell sheet is a document you present to dealers, distributors, or anyone who may sell your book. It contains the specifics of your title.

I've included an example of a sell sheet I did for a book titled THE DEATH OF MANOLETE. It will show the pertinent information. You can model your sell sheet off this one.
That's good to know. I never put something like that together. I used other forms for mine lol. Putting it all on one sheet looks better and more organized. I think I will use that style from now on. Thanks!

Thanks, Bill. I loved your One-Sheet. I had business cards made just for the bookstores so this will be very professional in my media kit. If they buy through just my publisher, the books are guaranteed returnable.
My biggest challenge is the response I have not received from my family members since my book has been published. Is this normal? The second challenge is how much time, money and effort to get anyone interested in your book.


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