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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 Amber,

you're right and i agree with you!
people out there think authors are celebrities and on the other issue of travelling, i recommend authors to travel whenever they can with intention of meeting new people. it won't only promote your published project,but it helps you as well to acquire a number of other opportunities crucial to advance your writing career.
Hi Amber,

I schedule a book signing whenever I go on vacation, especially to another state. It helps get our names out there and the books.

Alberta
That's cool. I had one booksigning when I lived in Muncie, Indiana. I was excited about the event and advertised as much as I could and the bookstore had a big thing on their website as well as flyers on their doors for me.

It turned out the signing was scheduled on the same day as a big race in Indianapolis and during a graduation at Ball State which is in Muncie so the turnout for the store and the signing was almost nil. I did pass out my card to a couple people who were there to buy yarn so it wasn't a waste.

I had to buy my books for that signing and everywhere I've gone its been the same thing, I have to buy my books. I don't have my credit card anymore (used to have a prepaid one) so getting the books is hard enough. Finding a bookstore that will carry those books is just as hard. I have no one who helps me with the exception of my hubby and he just goes around bragging about me lol. We've made some friends that way lol. I'm glad you're able to get booksignings! Good luck with them!!

Amber
Amber—
It sounds like you could use some positive reviews to help books sales. You mention you purchase your books for book signings. Have you considered using some of those books to send to book reviewers. Book reviews sell books! Consider sending a review copy to your local newspaper. Perhaps the Muncie newspaper is easier than most to get a story written about your book. Also consider the on-line book reviewers. Pitch your book to as many reviewers as you can. Play the law of averages. The more books you send out as review copies, the higher the likelihood you'll get book reviews.
Thanks, Amber.

I'm leaving June 12-26th for California. I have a book signing at Borders in Santa Rosa and trying for one in Palm Springs. I do this when i travel on vacation.

I made a poster, postcards and business cards to advertised my next memoir due out in July. It's titled Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis.

It will come out withing 2-4 weeks on my return. Hopefully, readers in California will want to hold on to the postcard.

Alberta
Cool, I hope you have some fun while you're gone. I always had fun when I was on the road. In a way, I still am on the road lol. I live in Fort Wayne, but I'm in Anderson right now (Indiana) and I'm still talking to people about my book lol. I love talking about my books lol. If I could get in a bookstore, I would be on cloud nine lol.

Anyway, good luck!!!!

Amber
Alberta, this is a kind of belated reply, but are you talking about "11,000 hits" or "11,000 visitors/sessions" that you're getting on your site? They are quite different. The latter is the best indication of how many people are coming to your site/blog.

I run two educational websites, www.character-education.info and www.youth-ministry.info, which together get about 900 visitors per day. The primary reason people come to my sites is for educational resources (not my book specifically), but I mention my book on the home page of each site (and linked back to my Amazon page). Yet, as far as I know, nobody has bought a book as a result of this. And when I sent an e-mail about the book to the c. 10,000 members of the sites (people who've actually signed in to use the online resources), I only got a handful of orders.

This was very disappointing, as I thought that running popular websites and collecting a large list of e-mail addresses was key to being able to market your books.

But someone gave some advice way back on this discussion that I think is very relevant: "Rather than trying to gather a crowd, go where the crowd's already gathered." They were speaking in the context of speaking to civic groups that already have regular attendees and advertise their meetings, rather than trying to attract people to your book signings.

I think that this "go where the crowd's already gathered" concept can apply to the Web as well. It takes tons of time to develop a popular blog or site or Twitter following. Even when you get the traffic, they don't necessarily want what your selling. So if time is limited, why not spend your efforts participating in blogs and articles where people are already going (find these by searching key phrases at Technorati).

Bottom line: different things work for different people and different books. I think having a blog and a website is a great thing, but it's just one of many ways to sell books, and not necessarily the best payoff in time spent trying to build a following.

J. Steve Miller, author of Enjoy Your Money: How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It - http://www.amazon.com/Enjoy-Your-Money-Make-Invest/dp/098187567X/re...
Hi Steve,

How nice of you to take the time to give me some help. I have a report that comes after seven days and it states that I had so many 'hits' in those seven days. Last time it was 322. It doesn't say visitors. I'm over 12,000 hits so far. I'm not knowledgeable at all on the internet.

I don't depend on my site to sell. Not only do I do book signings but i talk at rehabs, halfway homes and any organization wanting to hear my life about living with and losing an alcoholic husband in 1985. My memoir Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis came out June 19th. In 2006. my daughter, at thirty-nine died from the same demon. I'm completing her story in the sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism.
Now my books is out and I can present it at my talks. The sequel, about my daughter, will follow maybe by December of the first of the year.

I also do workshops for writers. So, I'm trying to get out there.

You are right about going to where the crowd is. February of this year, I went to talk at the Providence Marriott Hotel in Rhode Island to 150 women and a priest about these events. I sold 26 books, got paid, and was asked to speak at their Boston Chapter Dec. 12th this year.

This was a Catholic Woman's Ministry. My first book A Healing Heart; A Spiritual Renewal was the topic. My second memoir was not out yet.

I have an interview with the Cranberry Country Journal Cable TV show that was just posted yesterday on YouTube; key in my name Alberta Sequeira and it will come up.

I'm trying to get out there. Like all of us, it's such hard work.

Thank you, Steve, for the support.
"Hits" in that case probably refers to how many times something "hits" your site. For example, Google's bot might be checking out your site to see what's on it. Each time it "hits" a new page on your site or an image, it would be considered a hit. When person comes to your site and clicks on several pages, each of these might be a "hit."

Typically, reports will list the number of hits, but also the number of "sessions" or "visitors", trying to narrow down how many distinct visitors you had to your site.

Thanks for all your comments on this discussion. They're invaluable and your relentlessness in getting out there is truly an inspiration!
Actually, my question is technical: What are your preferred online shopping cart services? Has anyone tried the new Paypal widget? Many of us sell only small numbers of our books from our websites (thanks for commenting along these lines, Alberta), and this promises to be a better (perhaps also cheaper) solution. Comments?
Hi Marlena,

My book 'Their Cancer - Your Journey' is available on Amazon, so on our website we sell it via an Amazon link. That way we get the affiliate percentage, but the real reason is to increase our sales rank on Amazon and so ultimately make the book more visible there. We do have our own printed books at home and sell these on Amazon in the UK via the marketplace, as these sales still influence the Amazon rank. Another advantage is that sales are not limited to our country but can be made worldwide through the various Amazon sites. Early days still for us, but the idea is that everything is co-ordinated.

Anne Orchard
Author 'Their Cancer - Your Journey'
www.familiesfacingcancer.org
This is very good advice. I too am trying to streamline and coordinate various efforts so that they support one another. Unfortunately, amazon.de is not as advanced as amazon.com; but I will give your suggestion careful thought. Thank you, Anne!

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