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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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Hi friend,

It’s great to hear from you, and that you have done. Let me help you realize your goal as much as I can.

It(the book/s) was your goal, before your write or when you did not complete writing. (For me also, to complete a book was my goal before I wrote or before I did not finish).

But, now you/we have achieve that, and it is no more a goal(because you/we have pass it, passed the milestone, or achieve it), but the next goal is to have audience(as many as possible) - who will buy our book/books - in other words ‘to sell book if it is to make living from it – that means – if making a living is your goal(no matter from the book or others)’, but, that is the natural goal of all and that’s not wrong. But, without having audience it would be too hard to sell.
If you can find good traditional publisher you will sell more of your books than present, because, they already have good audience.

But, if that is not possible, seek any possible way to make audience. Be their friend, talk with them etc... Are you on twitter, I am there -, let’s have followship there.

(according to my research) is a great distributor comparable to good traditional publisher. And, they also welcome independent author/selfpublisher like publisher. seems to be another best for me, and from them I came to know that Brian Jud - , a friend of Ron Pramshufer -, can (directly sell to nonbookstores) sell books for author or help author sell themselves, help author sell more book and increase their profit.

Anyway, the greatest challenge is to write a good book regardless of sales, etc..

‘So, chose the best arrow or make the best arrow. And shoot the best arrow, and another and another until you hit the bullseye.’

'When you are pursuing goal, expect the unexpect. And you will never be disappointed nor discouraged from the result of your work. But, do not give up to achieve your goal as long as your goal is true.'
Dear Theresa,

If your book about self-publishing, read and consider the below -
Book on self-publishing seems to have very few audience compared to others. I think, it targets especially authors, or maybe only authors.

To make a living, or to sell more books, or to have more audience, I believe one should try to write on subject targeted to greater audience if not all.
That is why I said, 'make the best arrow and shoot...'

What do you say?

Thanks so much for sharing openly about your frustrations. Some of my marketing efforts that I thought would pay off the most (e.g., big Atlanta TV interviews, e-mail to my cultivated list of 8,000 people collected from my websites) resulted in close to zero sales. Other initiatives have paid off much better (getting reviews by influential bloggers in my subject area, speaking, etc.)

Can you tell us specifically what you tried with video and perhaps link us to some of the videos? I hear people saying, "You need to get of videos up about your book. Search engines rank videos very high." But there's also lots of competing videos out there and I'd like to know 500 author's actual results with that method. I've got a couple of professional videos up (taped from my Atlanta TV interviews), but I doubt I've actually sold any books as a result. Any specifics you could tell us about your experience with videos would be helpful.

J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."
Steve, I love reading your posts. It is very educational for me. I look forward to seeing your work each day.

For our self publishing enlightenment.

and maybe more importantly, I liked this one the best::

Dr M
It sounds like you have put out considerable effort but from what I've heard it can take a long time to build up readership. Can you give us your website address? I'd like to visit.
Theresa, my experience is similar. I think it's just hard. It takes time, and it really is all about building a platform. What is that? Building relationships, blogging, posting on many sites, helping others, public speaking, and learning how to Internet market. And exposure doesn't necessarily mean sales. Word of mouth I have found to be the most successful and people recognizing me as someone they personally know. I think you are expressing what all of us have found but may not be so willing to admit. Still, those who are in it for the long haul won't give up. We are compelled because we love it, even if we never make a living at it.
Ms Roberts,

I couldn't have said it better. I love following you and Steve here. rm

Here is a site I was just reading and found interesting.

From what I've seen, different books require different approaches to marketing, so since you know your books best, you'll be better able to judge whether what we suggest may work or not work. But here are some of my thoughts:

1) I like your site. I can find out something about each book, look at a video, description, cover art, etc. I can also order from there.

2) I read some of "A Book of Five Rings: A Practical Guide to Strategy. I like you're writing and believe the book would appeal to a lot of people.

3) So let's say you've got some great books, a great website, videos about your books, and talking to people on social networks about your book. What's lacking?

4) In my humble opinion, you've done a fantastic job of setting up places for people to find you talking about your books, but perhaps need to concentrate more on getting other people talking about your books. Maybe you've already done much of this, but here would be my suggestions (I may run out of room and have to post a separate reply.)

a) Get reviews. People don't tend to believe us when we talk about our own books. Your site and your Amazon pages need to be filled with blurbs and reviews by others saying how great your books are. This typically involves finding influential people who are interested in your subject matter and e-mailing them to see if they'd like a free digital or hard copy for review. Kremer recommends sending out hundreds. If you do it on a large enough scale AND if people love your books, you get not only reviews and blurbs on Amazon and your site, but they put reviews on their sites and blogs, telling their followers to buy your books and linking to your site or to Amazon for them to purchase.

(I may be going over the allotted words. I'll make a second reply.)
(Continued from my above reply)

Right now, I don't see any customer reviews on Amazon for "A Book of Five Rings." From my experience, those don't just happen. It may take one thousand people who buy your book to find one who takes the time to do a review. (I'm ashamed to admit that, although I read hundreds of books, I hardly ever review a book without prompting.) To get Amazon reviews, you don't even need to find influential people or thought leaders. Just get friends and acquaintances and people who are interested in the topic to read it. You give them a copy (digital and hard copy) and say, "If you like it and think it's of some value, would you mind doing a review on Amazon?"

b) This relates to point "a", but since you've already got nice stuff for people to see when they come to your site, concentrate on "going where people already gather" more than "getting people to come to you." I'm not talking about social networking in general (your Facebook group, etc.). I'm talking about finding the forums and blogs and LinkedIn groups where people discuss the topics you write about. Google key words and phrases about your topics, like leadership, Japanese wisdom, Eastern Wisdom, strategy for business and war, etc. I found 200 of the most popular personal finance blogs and e-mailed their writers to see if they wanted a free copy of my book for review and/or giveaway. The resulting sales more than paid for the books I sent and the shipping.

c) Consider more tried and true methods like speaking to small groups (see, school classes, etc. Sometimes you can get local media coverage. These little presentations seem like dated techniques in light of the hype over social networking, but the fact is, they still work, if done right. Schools like an author to come to class and tell about the writing and publishing process, inspiring students to read and write. Often they'll at least purchase a book for their library. The more you do it, the more they may let you sell.

Hope this helps. We're all learning this together.

J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."
Good Morning Steve,

I love everything you say and know you to be a wise man. I consider you one of my top friends and hope I remain as one of yours.

I do have a confession to make: I never ask for reviews. (or haven't yet) and my reason is this; if those that you mentioned, friends, acquaintances and professionals don't willingly offer a review, I do without. As a young man who served tables and waited on customers at a gas station, I would never ask for a tip, most people would offer one who felt it was deserved. You have a set of my books, I haven't asked for a review and won't.

The problem I see with asking friends and acquaintances to give reviews or anyone else, is that it waters down the value of what I do. I am in this for the long haul, my lifetime and the next. If interest and desire doesn't ignite my fire, then so be it. On the same note, I don't play tag my book and I will tag yours, vote for me and I will vote for you, buy my book and I will buy yours and any number of games the millions of authors play to get their book or books accepted. We all want to sell our book, but in my case, I am in no hurry and only want the genuine thing. I see nothing wrong with advertising, pitching, sharing ideas, offering suggestions, buying time, speaking to all audiences, going to colleges and schools and many more sales related techniques. I just can't trade a tit for a tat. It is not what I am looking for.

By the way, I only give free books to people I like extremely well, I hope your children are enjoying mine. If they would like the next series let me know.

All this is personal and from my own point of view. I encourage others to do what suits them. I have always been different, walked to a different drummer and lived separate from the masses. It is my way.

Dr Robert E McGinnis
PS I am sure I won't get a good review on this article. It is just me.
I did not know this person at the time she wrote this review nor did I ask for it, but I greatly appreciate what she has done for my books. This is found on Amazon.
By Georgia Akin (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Beckoning from Paradise (Volume 1) (Paperback)
I wasn't sure at first, if I would be interested in the book, due to it's masculine cover. However, I am glad I purchased the book because it's the best adventure story I have ever read! It is definitely appropriate for both men and women. I am now reading the second book in the series, and it just keeps getting better!
Dr. McGinnis,

Honored that you'd mention your respect for me. Coming from someone of your stature and accomplishments, that means a lot!

I certainly agree with the nobility of your approach to passively await people to give their own reviews, without any prompting on your part. But from what I've seen, you can have hundreds, perhaps thousands of readers who love your book, but never publically mention it.

In my case, I'm ashamed to admit that although I read constantly and regularly finish books saying, "That was an incredible, life-changing book!" I just go on to the next book rather than thank the author by writing a review. Alas, I feel most people are like me.

I don't ever want to coerce someone to give a review, but the other day someone e-mailed me telling me how he absolutely loved my personal finance book, Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It. So I said, "Hey, would you mind putting that review up on Amazon so that it might influence others to read it as well?"

He was happy to. Many readers are probably self-conscious about their writing skills and think, "Hey, if the book's that good, lots of people will be reviewing it." Yet, except in the case of major sellers, that isn't typically the case. So I feel fine giving out books to thought leaders in a field and asking them (not requiring them) to write reviews. Of course, I tell them to be honest and candid, so there is some risk here. If they don't like it, they might write a bad review.
Steve (first paragraph your words)
"I don't ever want to coerce someone to give a review, but the other day someone e-mailed me telling me how he absolutely loved my personal finance book, Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It. So I said, "Hey, would you mind putting that review up on Amazon so that it might influence others to read it as well?" (from the above post)

Again and as usual, I agree with you. The above example is a perfect unsolicited endorsement and the request to put it where it can be viewed by others is the way it should be. I don't see that you are trading in this case and you have a honest appraisal of your work.

I think part of my thinking goes back to offering free prescriptions on TV ads just to get customers hooked on all sorts of remedies that most people don't need. I read a book not too long ago and it was a great book. I would have recommended it to all of my fans except for one page. It was explicit sex. When I was asked why I wouldn't give a review I explained that I couldn't and wouldn't and the answer was, "sex sell books" but that is not my way and I couldn't endorse an otherwise great book. The author had a very good book without trying to coerce readers with a tease line, tease page or tease chapter, it all goes back to advertising. Look at the movies, TV commercials etc. and you will almost always see an underlying pitch man pointing his finger at you.

If someone sends me a nice email like the one you received, you bet I would use it and in as many places as I could.

Your friend

With millions of people self publishing their own book or books, I can imagine it is a tight place to squeeze in.



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