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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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My biggest question is making the right decision at the right time.
Annette—
Which right decision are you having difficulty making? The right question about: Editorial? Design & layout? Printing? Sales & Distribution? Marketing? Running a publishing company? Or is it the critical decision about which type of publishing option to pursue: traditional, POD, self- or co-publishing?
The biggest challenge by far is marketing and promoting the book.

I have a new Pet book released next week...We have it coming out on Amazon, but how to get people to buy it?

Pam
Pam—
There are many ways to drive interest in your book now that you're on Amazon. There are seventeen different ways to market your book on Amazon, alone. Brent Sampson wrote a good book on the subject, SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON. Amazon keeps evolving, so the book is somewhat dated since it's publication date. It remains one of the best books on the selling books on Amazon, however.
I've always felt if you wrote a book about pets or children, you have a great audience.
Call up your local libraries (free). They have Saturdays where you can read your book to the kids. Call your local radio station (free) and ask for an interview. Offer to give a book out free to a certain number caller. It also lets you know if people are listening.
Ask your bookstores (free) if you can do a reading and then sign a book. Call pet stores (free) and see if they will carry your book on consignment. If they sell fine, if not, you take them back.
Whatever you do, see if you can do it in person. Saying no in person is harder than on the phone. Hand them a book to review with a small bio about you and a synopsis of the book.
Leave fliers or bookmarks in hospitals emergency rooms, doctors offices, dentist, etc. Hotels even let you advertise your book.
Start with these things. Don't ever depend on a bookstore or online stores to sell you book. You have to get known. Good luck.
My biggest challenge is having the funds to market. I know it's an exceptional non-fiction book, according to my statistic findings 30,000 people are murdered every year, yet sometimes I feel I am the only one.
I offer 20% discount from my website to hopefully get funds to market that hasn't work.
I am not giving up
Patricia...I am no expert..but dollars are not always the answer..it is just plain hard work..and discounting does not always do it. You believe in your book..find other means of marketing..There are a gazillion...want some suggestions just ask..carol stanley author of FOr Kids 59.99 and Over
Hi Patricia,
As I just wrote Will, you have to get known. Get out and be seen, follow book readings in bookstores. Read what I wrote to Will above. Go on the internet and key in mystery sites. Ask other authors to advertise your book for a week and you'll do the same for them. Ask for reviews on your book, like www.readerviews.com. Search them out. Call on an editor of your local newspaper and ask for an interview on your new book. Everyone has a book on every subject or event in this world. YOU have to do the leg work. People are not going to knock on your door for your book. I have close to 9,000 hits on my site and have only sold about 10 books. A poor rating. I'm doing something wrong myself. I have to figure it out, which I'll do when I finish my next book I'm working on.
Authors think they have to spend hundreds on books with marketing. I spent "thousands" and my book isn't moving on the online stores. So, I'm doing better going out myself.
Schedule book signings when you go out of state or your hometown. Borders has been great for that. Tell them you are visiting and would be honored to book sign while you are visiting their town.
Good Luck!
Patricia—
Persistence is important when selling a book. Some books require a "long runway" to take-off, according to Eric Kampmann of Midpoint Trade Books. John Kremer says an author should be ready to spend three years to promote a book.

Your book will require sweat equity because you lack the funds to market it. As you've found out, having your book for sale on your web site doesn't mean book buyers will find it and buy it, regardless of the discount you offer. The Internet is a big place. You need to advertise and promote to drive potential buyers to your site. That's one reason Amazon and BN.com are so effective. Book buyers already know to go there to search for books. They've invested the money to get Internet book buyers to visit their sites, so all you have to do is make your book available on their sites and buyers will find it.

Lack of marketing funds is often a direct result of an improperly priced book. For what price are you selling your book? What are other books in your genre selling for?

The old rule of thumb for pricing a book used to be price it at eight times the cost to print the book. That gives enough margin to provide money to market the book. In self-publishing, the rule is somewhat different, four to six times the cost of printing the book.

If you believe in your book, there are many ways to finance the marketing. One way is to use your credit cards. Another way is to take an advance on any 401K plans you may have. Banks, in general, don't like to loan money to publishers for book marketing since there is no collateral to secure the loan except the books themselves.
I would like some opinions with these questions:
Question One:
I divided my book, Please, God, Not Two, into two because many authors said that books close to 600 pages is too much. This is my second book. So, I did. Is this true?
Question Two:
I'm also told that chapters should not be over 2,000 words. True?
Question Three:
I'm given a price to edit my books. The first book is 314 pages and 62,836 words. They quoted $650-$700. The second book is now 253 pages and may go to 20 more with say 67,000 words. The quote was $500-$550. Is that reasonable?
Question Four:
My first book was 253 pages with 72,000 words and this person quoted me $200 because it was her first time editing. Don't get me wrong, she is great with telling you how to pull more emotions out, show don't tell in areas, etc. She had a poem published maybe four years ago and no book published. She did go to school for editing, maybe four - five years ago. Are the above prices reasonable. She is also in our writing group so I guess I was shocked with $1200 for editing two books. Is this normal?
Thanks/1

Thanks
The only question I can answer with certainty is the first one. First ask yourself, "Too long for what?" If your goal is to sell the book widely, you can be sure that 600 pages is too long.

Two dollars a page for editing seems inexpensive to me. It's important, though, to be clear about your expectations. Please don't take this as advice about what you should or should not do. It's only a suggestion that you think about a reasonable hourly wage for the editor.
Hi Marlena,
Thank you for your input. It meant a lot. I'm comfortable with dividing the book. After three years, I feel like I separated twins.

I guess it is expensive to get editing.
Thanks!

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