The Book Marketing Network

For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

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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Jeanne,

 

Wow! Mind if I use this story on a website I'm starting for authors? Of course, I'll link back to your site so people can purchase your book. Also, you mentioned wanting to know sites and blogs that might be interested in a story on strays. My wife, Cherie, has a pet blog that's gotten some pretty serious press. It's http://www.pet-peeves.org . If you reply to one of her posts or contact her through the site, she says she'd love to read the book and review it. 

Wow!  I thought I was having problems in selling and getting noticed. Sorry to hear all this, Theresa. Where the great wide-web has it merits, it sure has detractors.  There seems to be an unwritten code of stifling authors from mentioning their books in certain circles. If one so much as gives a hint - say, just about an upcoming release - SPAM is immediately cried. If sitting in a writer's group, or participating on a book social media site, why CAN'T an author occasionally mention something without being labeled or branded or panned? 

 

We're expected to be open and approachable, courteous to bloggers and reviewers, willing and able to answer any and all questions, graciously accept harsh, stinging personal criticism yet keep out mouths shut about our books. Everybody seems to have their hand out to help authors in the way of PR for a price, but no one is willing to give a 'helping hand'.

Steve,

Of course, feel free to use any or all of what you want...thanks for the offer at your wifes website, I certainly will take her up on it. I'll send her a galley and maybe if she does them...a couple of ARCS for giveaway when the new version is off the press. I appreciate her willingness and yours. And please let me know if you need anything for your new website that I can help you with...my email is jeanne_web@yahoo.com, I'd love to be involved!
You know Shawn, I have wondered this very same thing. Why is it that we're persecuted for mentioning our work? Books club groups and other club sites seem to want new work or suggestions, and at the same time really come down hard on authors that even try to present their work for consideration.
I can see where authors by droves just posting once a blurb about their book could be intrusive, but when someone is willing to join and discuss, be part of the community, what's the problem?
This is my beef with indpendent book stores, esp in your community, they all want your support, but giving theirs is another matter. I've had a few doors slammed in my face, but that just makes me more determinded and I have a long memory. I kinda feel that way about the old publishing mindset in general. Seems like the authors are the lowest nibble on the publishing food chain and yet agents and houses make money off our work..how is that fair?

It didn't used to be that way. Publishers followed the old 'studio' system of grooming their authors for a long term relationship, crafted their image like a 'movie star' and acted as a buffer to the public. Think about the older authors - Hemingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Buck, how they had a mystique about them. Oh, how times have changed in the past 25 years or so!!!

 

Now, when an author goes indie, we are vilified by the traditionalists as undeserving, questioning our quality and commitment to perfecting our craft. We must open ourselves to the public without hesitation or protection all while trying to prove ourselves. Very few are allowed the enter by virtue of the gatekeepers.

I agree. ONly to say, it's all about to change. I get publishers lunch and I see the old houses everyday scrambling to keep up with the new devlopements in publishing...e books have thrown them for a loop. Chains are falling at a rapid rate as well as alot of indies. I have to believe something fairer and more open to everyone is about to be created. Gone are the days when a few determine what people will read. Agents are clamoring to figure out what their role in this new creation will look like and how to serve their clients.

Still I do feel that authors have some responsibility in standing up to this structure of allowing themselves to be trod on. I think it's because we wish to be published so badly that we will agree to just about anything to make that happen. Just how that is expressed I have no idea.

My biggest challenge is marketing.  I've researched internet marketing for two years, and I believe that most of the paid stuff is garbage.  I'm glad I didn't invest my money into such programs.  The key thing is that you are told what to do, but no one tells you how to do it.

 

For example, a marketing section is included in a book marketing plan.  How do you market?  How do you get your book into the bookstores?  If your publisher is not in the network of the distribution company that manages how books go to the bookstore, then you as the author will need to make extra efforts to make that happen.  Getting into B&N and Books-A-Million is not easy; doable, but not easy.

 

Authors must be involved in every aspect of their book marketing process.  Publishing was easy.  Marketing is another thing.

Agree about the ridiculous pricing of ebooks - FREE or 99 cents. Please! Yes, Amanda Hocking made a million dollars, but why?  In March 14th blog post titled Motivation, I used her as an example - questioning why she did it? Quick money? Name recognition? Or was her writing not good enough to command more? Whatever her motivation, she made it difficult for the rest of us to price our books competitively.


Readers become spoiled by free or cheap and that robs authors of profiting by the sweat of their work.  Amazon has price points for e-books. I wish Smashwords did to make it a level playing field.

Hi Martha,

 

Just wanted to chime in on your comments and make some suggestions for you...

 

First, I read your profile to get an idea for the kind of book you're trying to promote, and a quick read-through gave me a couple of ideas.

 

As you say you've studied Internet marketing for two years, neither of these suggestions should be foreign to you, but perhaps you haven't tried to implement them. (My expertise, by the way, is Internet marketing, so that's the sensibility I'm coming from with these suggestions.)

 

1 - Your book would seem to be PERFECT for exploring some good old-fashioned PPC ads, but NOT ON SEARCH. Instead, I would focus my attention on Google's Content Network, where not only are the clicks cheaper, but where you can "behaviorally" target like-minded people who may not necessarily know they NEED your book, but who would be inclined to take a look because they share your passion.

 

2 - Facebook ads. Again, seems like a great avenue and something you're probably aware of from your research. A simple plan would be to set up a Fan Page for the book and then drive some clicks using some of Facebook's behavioral targeting options.

 

For example, is there a book, movie, celebrity (or something like that) that someone might have read (watched, or liked) that would tell you that the person who liked that would also like your work?

 

For example, if I wrote a book about a teenage wizard I would advertise to people who indicated they liked Harry Potter. For a book about French cooking, I would target people who like Julia Child. For a book on dog training, I'd target fans of Cesar Millan.

 

For your particular topic I don't really know what those targets would be, but I'm sure you do. Heck, you could even advertise to people who indicated they read the Bible regularly (maybe, but that *might* be slightly too broad).

 

Chris Simeral

http://www.TheAuthorsEdge.com

I joined this network some time ago, but haven't really gotten involved. I'm exploring here a bit today. My biggest challenge is to convince people that my book is more than a niche book- although it is a book about my long-distance hike, that it has general interest with lots of humor, history, anecdotes, etc.

Joan,

 

Tell us more about your book - I love hiking!

Steve- It's called North Country Cache- I posted a video ad in another thread. Here is one blurb "New York to North Dakota, snow- banks or blazing sun, afternoon strolls and backpacking treks, Young serves up an eclectic collection of essays chronicling 2300 miles of hikes on the longest footpath in the United States, the North Country National Scenic Trail" (the book is my first 2300 miles. I'm working on the sequel)

 

If you go to Books Leaving Footprints, you can read a chapter for free.

 

Thanks for asking!

 

OK- I'm still finding my way around here. I posted a trailer in the Groups/ Promote your book section.

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