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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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It's impossible for me to determine which marketing strategies are working, because there is no way to know where people came from who bought a book. In truth, they almost certainly saw a title of two of mine before they actually purchased.

I've worked hard (still am) to get more reviews, more interviews on blogs, more listings for my free story, more links, etc.

Since I get steady, if slow (3-4 books a day) sales, and 30-40 downloads of the free story, I have to believe someone is passing the word that they enjoyed the books. But I haven't yet found the secret to really breaking through to the point I could support myself.

I'm wondering if there is a difference in how one markets children's books vs adult books. I've read many blog entries and other information, some of which seems pertinent to children's stories and some which does not.

 
For instance, children's books are usually bought by adults (parents or grandparents) but are designed to be read by or to children. Adult books are bought by adults to be read by themselves. Children's books rely heavily on pictures and illustrations to carry the story; adult books do not. Children's books are shorter and less involved in terms of plot, character. etc. than books for adults. While a blog entry summarizing plot and character might work for adult books, the same may not be true for children's stories where some kind of visual is needed beyond cover art. Many of us who write children's stories have multiple stories or books for sale; how does this factor into the mix?

So, I'd like to hear from you out there; what do you think? What works for both and what is specific to the type of story and it's audience. Beryl Reichenberg

First time I've seen e-books mentioned on this forum.  I've also written my first e-book THE WATERS OF AFRICA and promoted it all over the net without any reviews or actual sales taking place. (I've sold two on Kindle's e-books)  As for reviews only friends, proofreaders (several) my editor and of course family have raved about the book and are waiting for the next one. Over my dead body, so to speak.  I've had about 650 downloads of the first part at Kindle and 30 at Smashwords.  No idea what's going on at Amazon although the book had been with them for more than a month.  

My question is:  Does the books get downloaded and passed around without people paying?

I've asked this before on this forum and nobody answered.

There is a borrowing feature on kindle, but I get reports when it's borrowed, and that's not very often, so I don't see it as a factor in hindering sales, for me at least. They can't download it and "pass it around."

Theresa, I'm afraid you have a few facts wrong. Amazon is NOT supposed to pay authors for free downloads, never was, never has. Amazon pays for books that are BORROWED by Amazon Prime customers. They pay the authors for each borrow. I know because I have been paid for them.

And giving away books for free for a limited time, like 2-3 days, does indeed increase sales of the book afterward, and other books in the series as well. This has been my personal experience with my two novels. Thousands of people in the US, UK and Germany have now read one of my novels. Many have posted fine reviews on Amazon. Many of them went and bought the other novel.

Perhaps KDP didn't work for you, Theresa, but I assure you it has worked very very well for a number of authors.

This is very enlightening. I signed up with LS because I'd heard it was better, but now you have given me reasons why it's better. I'm still debating whether it's really worth it to make "real" books of my mysteries, or to just leave them as eBooks.

I have been with LS from the beginning, but I am reluctant to use their services for e-books because they require all e-books to have DRM. I have heard that DRM is not viewed well on the consumer side, and it is only a mild speedbump for pirates to navigate. Also, I am unsure about how LS distributes to the available retailers. I'm kind of new to the whole e-book thing.

I've done my own ebooks- I would just use them for POD.

I took the other route and did traditional POD first, but I'm looking to do ebooks too.

For me I'd have to say marketing the books.

Marketing is always a challenge. That's one reason I wrote 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.

John Kremer

http://www.bookmarketingbestsellers.com

I understand your frustration, Theresa. Some sites aren't helpful. My latest beef is with YouTube. I put up a video for my upcoming released, scheduled for Nov. 1st, and just finished uploading when I get a "claim of copyright infringement". It hadn't even been viewed once on YouTube! This placed a marker on my video that if the dispute is rejected, the video is blocked and allows the person to place ads on the video as compensation.

Well, I disputed the claim since the music is from Garage Band. Unfortunately, the idiot - a musician from France - rejected my dispute. The video was blocked and YouTube gave me 2 choices - take it down or use music from their library. Like I'm going to give YouTube access to my video!

I investigate the guy to discover his music is NOTHING like the cut I used from Garage Band. It's all a tactic to hijack videos for free publicity.  YouTube isn't helpful. They have ignored any further contact. In fact, because of this I learned YouTube's system is easily abused. A person or company can submit so-called claims and the program will look for similar musical phrases - not exact matches and tag anything it deems infringement.

Google - the owner of YouTube - is notorious for such schemes to make money. Although they claim the system update on Oct 3rd is meant to help prevent abuse. Not! I had no choice but to remove my video or allow it to be hijacked by the jerk for his ads.I learned of one man who took down his video when some joker demanded copyright of the birds singing in the background on his video! Another woman wrote the script and narrated, but another loser rejected her dispute that it was 'his' copyrighted material she read.

Of course, I could get him back since my books and those images are copyrighted.  Right now, we're trying to figure out how to embed the video onto my website and by pass YouTube all together.

So, everyone - stop using YouTube!  They aren't friendly, helpful and certainly not easy to contact. Their sole purpose it to make money and now they will try anyway to tag your videos for marketing purposes.

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