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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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Steve,

I think you are correct. I'll go even further to say that even with the books that are before that potential reader does not mean that they'll buy it. You have to know your audience and target them. For instance, I could care less about a horror book whether it's before me and even if it's free...it will just sit there on the stand.
Well for me the biggest challenge is having a bona fide strategy for marketing and the second biggest challenge is I am a one person show and I don't like marketing. Finally as I research various marketing options it can get overwhelming in determining what will really be effective..particularly the on line internet marketing options
18 to 20 hours a day?!? When do you sleep, eat, relax or do anything else! (And I thought I was over loaded!)
How productive have you all found book festivals to be? I am trying to figure out a way to focus small and not big...Trying to get clear on what niche audience would be and try to work that. Anyway I think we wrote books because we believe in our message so my goal is really to use the book as a vehicle to get a message out-so also trying to get as many speaking engagements as I can-some are paying some are not at this point...We shall see what we shall see.
Book fairs seem like a good idea, but are only useful if focused on a few authors period. And their books better suck. If a used book store is anywhere near where you are selling - forget it. If you are at a street fair - forget it. If you are part of a craft fair - forget it. If some lady is selling children’s book within five miles - forget it. The point is, if you are not famous enough to draw a crowd on your own - forget it. It's a cart and horse logic issue. Become recognizable first.

Books have their secrets locked inside. When someone comes up to where you are selling, they are more interested in the fact you wrote a book and they are probably looking for advice on how they could write one too. They will pick and flip to be polite, and then walk away. If your book could do a song and dance routine, then maybe you could make a sale. Musicians are lucky. They hammer out some songs and tell people they’re on the CD and today they’re selling at a HUGE discount - sales are made, especially if a pretty young thing is doing the selling.

The more complex and interesting your book is, the harder it is to explain it. The thirty word blurb is about all you get before their eyes glaze over. That’s why how-to books sell 10 to 1 better that fiction. They sell themselves - like the ShamWow. The title itself tells people if they buy the book it will improve their lives. It really doesn’t matter what improvement you’re talking about. If it improves your sex life, makes you money or will save a marriage, it’s a guaranteed sale to many gullible people. They have a garage full of them and give them to Goodwill six months later.

If you’re a fiction writer, like me, you have to be creative with the selling technique. I will guarantee improved sales if you make a book trailer and have it running continuously on a laptop computer sitting on the sales table. Don’t say a thing. You open your mouth and the magic dies. You add tee shirts with logos from the book, even better. You will sell a tee shirt and a book.

What you find is, due to the nature of a book’s contents being inaccessible without a long sit and read session, you need to be famous and that’s the draw or you have to gimmick the sale with a dozen carny tricks or you can’t break through the interest threshold to make a sale. Sell the sizzle not the steak.

How do I know this? Don’t ask.
Tracy,

If you're referring to the Danny interview, that was 15-20 hours "per week" that he spends on marketing, not per day!
That makes more sense! I was thinking "Doesn't he sleep?!?!"
My biggest challenge right now is getting the word out w/o a book cover...humph. I should have it in about a month and the release is in about 4 months. I don't have a large budget for promotions and need lots of guidance in that area. I have great reviews from book clubs and other readers, but if others don't know about it...what good is it to the rest of the world?

I really want to go international, but how on such a limited budget? Where are the online resources to get my book trailer (pending) and website to be viewed by others?
I have to agree with this. I think the book cover has to be on everything you do-business cards, blogs, facebook, everything. Even if the final book cover gets changed in the end publishing, find something you like to use for now so that there is an image associated with your book

http://teacherintl.typepad.com/blog/
Have you tried www.blazingtrailers.com
If you open my book on google QUANTUM WOMAN CELESTIAL MAN, or by my name Kamelia Sojlevska you will see a lot of webs where you can join for free and promote your book. At least somebody will see it, you never know...
Best
Kamelia
I will check these out as well. Thanks for tip...I went on this website called Book Tours and posted my upcoming book signings..It cost a dollar but someone called me from that and asked me to be a featured author at a book festival. Maybe I already told you all this...If so sorry for repeat
Just to let you know my book QUANTUM WOMAN CELESTIAL MAN will be on display at the Maryland Library Association 2010 Annual Conference held at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleu Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, April 21-23, 2010.You are welcome to come...

Regards
Kamelia

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