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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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How does everyone feel with credit machines. I looked into it for book signing. It's expensive if you don't have an event going on every single week. I haven't had that many ask if I take credit cards but they are sales.
Anyone else using the machine?
I have an interesting story about buying a book from a web site that only took Paypal. I wanted a book written by an author friend of mine. I could have bought it from Amazon, but I know that the author gets a better share of the revenue if I buy it from her website, so I decided to buy it there.

When I went to the website, the only payment form was Paypal. I have nothing against Paypal. I was hoping for other forms of payment, however. I set up my Paypal account and paid for the book that way.

I had hoped to pay for the book using my credit card. Instead, I added extra steps to the purchase process by setting up the Paypal account. Had I not been a devoted fan, I may have been discouraged at not being able to pay for the book with a credit card and left the transaction uncompleted.

Authors and publishers with websites take note of this story. It pays to have multiple payment options for buyers.
I would say the biggest challenge I have found is marketing. Self-Publishers such as myself have many issues with marketing and promoting. How much is to much and what does to little look like. I started a publishing company to help with distribution in local and national book stores but even that has been a challenge.

Reverend Tonya Jones
www.encouragepress.com
Hi Tonya;

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Reverend Jones—
Congratulations on completing your book and on starting your own publishing company! It's a big step to start your own publishing company; one that I'm sure you entered into thoughtfully.

No doubt, marketing is the most challenging aspect of publishing. You pose an interesting question. How much is too much marketing and how much is too little? I suppose the answer to that question depends on what the author wants to accomplish with the book.

I have known authors who wrote their book to enhance their business and gain new customers. In that case, enough marketing is when the author has a solid client base. Other authors want to get their word out to like-minded readers. In that case, reaching an audience of hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands may be enough, and the money received from the sales is secondary. Still others want to reach millions of people, be feted on Oprah or the Today Show.

Whatever the motivation for writing the book, steady, constant marketing will move you towards your goal. Do five things a day to market and promote your book and you'll be surprised at the positive results. Five marketing tasks a day is 1,825 marketing activities a year. That much activity every year will certainly be enough to begin to generate sales.
Once the book is published, my greatest challenge is always sales. Mainstream publishers are not putting out
much money on marketing/promo these days, unless they have a huge name. I find a combination of offline and online efforts equal sales. So the challenge is reaching the right combination of venues to display your book. Tapping into nonprofits that can use 30% of your dollars can cause excellent bulk sales, book clubs
are the very best resource. They are loyal, helpful and know how to spread the word.

Martha Tucker
The Mayor's Wife Wore Sapphires, an urban political thrller
www.premierewriters.com
www.premierewriters.com
Sound advice, Martha. Which non-profits and book clubs have been successful for you? What tips do you have for pitching book clubs?

The only challenge for me is writing a book that I like. I am very selfish in that respect. I am not in it for the sale, but for the historical advantage I will derive from it. Let me explain. I am working toward immortality and this is my way. I have extended my existence by having the good fortune to pass on a set of fantastic genes to four other people who enjoy life as much as I do, I have built a house that will stand for over one-hundred years, but nothing I have done will for sure, carry me far, far into the future. That is why I write. I taught, among other things, history and the writings of the caveman has always intrigued me. What were they thinking when they learned how to mix, match and mesh dyes and paints on hides and cave walls to pass on a story to followers that they would never know. (or would they) Is it possible that when someone in the future reads our books, they will be talking with us or at the very least, listening to us? Some of our cave dwellers, actually drew objects that look like spacemen and space ships. Was that intended to tell us something? Isn't life grand, lots of questions and no answers. At least answers that never change from one generation to the next. When my grandmother told me that man would never be able to make it to the moon, that was a long time before I worked on the Mercury and Gemini projects. What changed? The knowledge that some one altered as it was being passed along. I love it.
Hello Paradise,

So true on leaving books for people. I'm getting unbelievable reviews from my newly released book Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, especially from the abusers.

I had bought 100 books two weeks ago and had to order more. If I can save one person from this disease, than it would have been worth telling my story after losing a husband and daughter from it.
What a gift if I leave this world and my books stay alive with readers searching for it.
My biggest challenge--marketing challenge--is getting my two novels in front of enough of the right people. They are self-published through iUniverse and have been well received. The first, When Pigs Fly, has been out a couple of years and has earned iUniverse's Star designation. I have had a number of book signings, typically selling between 0 and 6 copies at a session. While signings are satisfying in some ways, they are also labor intensive given the results.

Now my second novel, Getting Lucky, is out, and I am not especially willing to drive a couple of hours to book signings where the book revenue won't even pay for the gasoline. (I'm in New Mexico, so everything is far away.) So I am primarily looking for ways to sell my books effectively on the Internet.
Bob—
Living in New Mexico is a lifestyle choice. John Kremer—the founder of Book Marketing Network on Ning—lives in New Mexico, too. So, it can't be that bad a place for author/pubishers to live.

The best way to get your books in front of the "right people" is to send out review copies to media to which your readers may read, watch or listen. Review copies are the least expensive form of promotion. You'll want to create a list of appropriate media and contact them with review copies of your novels. Begin with Jim Cox at Midwest Book Review, mbr@execpc.com. Jim is sympathetic to self-published authors.

Continued success with your novels.
Another great, *specific* suggestion, Bill! Thanks for the important information, about Jim Cox.

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