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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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I honestly feel that in order for any book to sell the reading public should know more about YOU. Let's face it, when you're marketing your book you are selling yourself at the same time. It then, would behoove us all to allow press/media kits and any other advance publicity work to precede the book. This way, the book will have a better chance of selling!
Readers will want to get to know you, that's for sure. I'm not sure, however, it's the first thing a reader looks for unless you're already a household name.

What readers want from your book is to solve a problem. If your book is non-fiction, then your book must meet a need. If you have a book on car repair or motivation, for example, a reader will buy it to solve that specific problem. If your book is fiction, then the reader is buying it to fulfill a recreational need.

Once a reader has read your material and found it useful, then the reader will want to know more about you. Your book is your credential. It builds your reputation and credibility. Think of it as a 6 x 9 business card.
Sales of my three POD books, surprise, surprise, are extremely difficult, a common author affliction caused by the sheer volume on the market. But what burns my brain is that chains and bookstores require 40 percent of the selling price, won't order-and-stock POD books (despite returns-guaranteed by my publisher), and require consignment and delivery. I have decided to "minimize" using bookstores as venues in favor of shows and exhibitions, readings and signings, and recently joined direct-to-purchaser website programs (carefully vetted, of course). My other gripe is there are an overwhelming number of scams or deceptive practices, Internet driven, by those who would fleece us poor, starving and gullible authors. That said, my novel, poetry book and PR guidebook are doing pretty well, thank you very much. They have made me a "hundredaire".
I like that term, "hundredaire". You're right about the bookstores. All the ones I've gone to want me to produce the books for them and then they take out what they've made in percentage and give me the rest. Its what's gotten me to freeze on getting booksignings done. Of course, that does make individual signings mean more to me. Eventually though, the harder we try, the more people will see our books. So hopefully that will make our next book better and we'll be able to start getting our books in those stores. That would be nice.

You've hit on a key point. Sell your book where your readers are. If you are having success at shows and exhibitions, readings and signings, then stick to those opportunities. Nobody knows your reader better than you do. And nobody knows where your readers buy their books better than you do.

Hundredaire. Good one.
My biggest challenge is legal issues with the subject of the book. I've written and found a publisher for Poundland: The 'Novel', but Poundland, the company, don't seem too happy about this. They've been threatening my and causing all kinds of problems.
Wow, sorry to hear that, David. I hope you're able to resolve things soon. Its so stupid how people think a book is about them just because of the title. Some people just need to grow up sometimes.

I'd like to announce that my second memoir Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis was released on June 19th by Infinity Publishing. It's about my fourteen years living with an alcoholic husband and losing him in 1985. It starts out with my teen years, meeting him, our marriage, and having two beautiful daughters. Our family happy, secure life gets turned on a merry-go-round of confusion, fear, broken promises and abuse.

I'm working on the sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism. It's about losing my daughter in 2006 from the same demon.

I'm doing some talks at rehabs, half-way homes and any location wanting to hear my story. I just came back from a California vacation and a small book tour introducing my new book. It can be purchased at at $18.95, or any online store.

I wanted to share my excitement. Now I'll be promoting and marketing two books, both memoirs, but completely different stories.

I'll be knocking on doors to bookstores like the rest of you. I don't sell more than 5 books at them but it slowly gets my name out there. I'm not too keen on the bookstore selling myself. Too many people walk by with their eyes toward the floor afraid to get pulled into buying. I enjoy meeting people who don't buy and pass out my business card. I guess that's the best we all can do!

I can't thank you enough, Nancy for all this information. I'm going to jump on this next week. I have a two day book signing at a festival outside of town. About 10,000 people go. I'm thrilled to have my new book on time.

I'll let you know how I make out with the Akron Beacon Journal's Sunday Premier. This proves how important networking and chat rooms are for authors, especially when you are willing to help another author.

Honestly, Nancy, people see this book cover and stop! I hear everyone's stories about their lives with alcoholism. I hope it sells well this weekend; a good test.

Thanks so much,
No, I won't. They are on my list. Honestly, I go all day, and there doesn't seem to be enough hours out of the day.

I write, promote, market, sell, do book signings, visit chat rooms, etc. I'm like every author, but it's hard doing it all. I get exhausted sometimes.

I'm hoping it will all pay off. After two years of hard work, I'm being called, instead of me calling, to be on small cable stations, radio shows and to speak. It's going in the right direction.

I suppose it's a sign of the times, but my book, which is an inside story about the car rental giant, Enterprise, is being read by a lot of Enterprise employees & former employees, and for the most part, it's been very well received; however, it's shared by large groups of people (10-15) who apparently think spending fifteen bucks is too much for one person to handle. I wasn't counting on that much "car-pooling" going on, but times are tough. I'd just hate to be that last person reading that beat up copy after it's been shipped a couple of dozen times, from cheapskate to cheapskate. I really think everybody should own their own personal copy...
Congratulations on your book. Your lament about the passalong readership for your book reminds me of the argument publishers make against public libraries. Why sell one book to a public library only to have scores, if not hundreds, of people read it. One sale, many readers.

The fact is, getting a book into a reader's hands—any reader's hands, even a cheapskate—builds your reader base. The more people who know your work, the more likely they will buy any future work you produce.

Do you have a website for the book? Are you writing a blog? If you are, those readers who were exposed to your book can be driven to the web site and blog. If the readers like what they read, they are inclined to return to your web site and blog again and again. They are also predisposed to want to buy and read the next book you write and publish.


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