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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: My biggest challenge is that I'm writing about some history that goes against what the media has (not) reported. It involves civil rights stories in the Mississippi Delta that can only be brought to light by time-consuming research. I'm also at a point where I need some help in filing FOIAs. But... I'll get there. Hope I do before I die. ; > )
my biggest challengen Iis getting my book published, I have spent 4 years writting a Diary/memoir of a breast bre cancer paitients journey, but in a way no one as told it before , this is a no holes barred, written with expletive candour, and ever present wit, I have so had 3 publishers ask to see the full manuscriped so hope this is a good sign, suzy
Being a beginner to book marketing, I am confused about where to place my web page.
THE JOURNEY is my first book. It is written in the third person as fiction but, is based on my wild and remarkable life. It reflects the experiences and nurturing I have picked up along this incredible journey. My life is full of adventure and universal lessons. I have been all through America, Canada, Europe, Germany five times, and the Middle East for over a year. Anyone with an adventurous mind or looking for insight to physical, mental, and spiritual growth will love this book.
Writing was easy, but I am intimidated with the steps neccessary to drive readers to it.
You shouldn't have any difficulty, good books sell themselves. You do have to do a little marketing, but like a wildfire, if your book is hot enough to flash the minds of your readers, they will do the work for you. Develop a network of satisfied readers, let the most favorable become group or club leaders and don't expect sales to soar at first, it is a slow process, but as your book gains momentum it will take on a life of its own.

Keep the social networks open, put your best foot forward, expect a little discouragement from time to time, but most of all, keep what you believe in before your potential audience. Keep a record of your most successful efforts and concentrate on that arena. Your time will come.
I'm on the other side - trying to market the ebooks of others (authors). Any info on dealing in this realm and any success/disaster stories greatly appreciated.
Jason—
What genre of ebooks are you selling? The genre dictates what will be successful when it comes to marketing your ebooks.
I'm especially interested in this thread, as I am now editing three eBooks together with college students. The eBooks give advice to high school students on how to organize themselves for the college applications process, and how to get off to a great start in college. I know these eBooks will be popular with my clients, and am thinking ahead to how best to market them to a wider audience.

The first step was developing text that will appeal to high school students; that's why I recruited my college interns to share their experiences.

Step Two was to get my college interns to record videos for youTube, to serve as "video sidebars" for the eBooks. Does anyone have experience with embedding video in eBooks?

Step Three was to learn how to format the text--and lots of istockphotos--in an appealing manner.

Step Four is constructing a products page; including designing eBook covers, creating layout and linking to a shopping cart.

I'm in the throes of putting it all together this month. Any advice is welcome! Marketing is often easier if we develop the product with marketing in mind, so I'd be very glad to hear from the group.

I have experience, and success, in "regular" print publishing, and find that I really like working through all aspects of the production and distribution process myself. Plus, this is where my client base is--online!

Jason, what services do you offer that are different or better than self-marketing through one's own website or through services like lulu.com?

With considerable excitement,

Marlena
My biggest challenge to date is just about everything to do with self-publishing, reviewers, marketing, author events, and just getting the word out about my book. My first book went live March 6, 2009, I have been lax in my efforts because I was working on the follow-up. This second book goes into production August 12th, so it is time for me to start seriouly marketing these two books.

The problem with the reviewers I had contacted was that they either didn't respond at all, or replied that "It's not our policy to review self-published work". Although she remarked that she admired my tenacity, I would much rather have her review my book. This is where the stigma that lables "self-publishing" really needs to be reviewed. It's very difficult, if not impossible to be taken seriously without reviews.

Bookstores also have their policies, which I totally understand. But I feel it would be fair to open up a little for the new and struggling writers of tomorrow. It could be in the best interest of everyone for them to also take self-publishing a little more seriously, I don't think it will just go away. (In my opinion, of course.) I could purchase the Book Return Policy from my publisher, Authorhouse, for the sum of $700.00. If I could sell more books, I might have the extra money for this policy. My goal is to see if there is a policy I could offer myself, without having to purchase it.

Next come illusive author events. I have had one, it was given by my local library. It was successful in every way, and I really enjoyed it. I would love to have more events scheduled. I have done more homwork this moring and discovered Barnes & Noble in Ft. Wayne is having a Local Author Event, scheduled for Sept 24th. I will call today to see if they will consider my work for this event. I find I'm more nervous about this phone call than I was for my first event. It could be because I hand delivered one of my first books to their public relations manager April 24th, and have heard nothing. But I also followed up only twice and she was out both times. I believe in myself, and my writing, but I find the thoughts of rejection again quite disturbing. So there's yet another challenge; overcoming the fear of rejection. I think it's because I know how important these events can be to the success of my book sales, which would allow me to continue publishing my future work.

I have joined several sites for authors and I continue to learn from the experiences of others, and I find John Kremer sites very valuable for Infomation on many topics. I'm sure we all feel that we are special, and that our problems are unique. In fact, they are not. I have learned much from reading this site, and I appreciate all the helpful advise I have recieved.

Thank You,
Crolyn Sue Morris
Hi Carolyn,

I self-published with Infinity Publishing June 19, 2009. I wonder if our topics are what moves our books move. My memoir is Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. About losing my husband in 1985 from this demon. The sequel, which is almost completed is Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism is about the continuation of our lives after his death. I watched my daughter take the same path as her dad and died November 22, 2006 at thirty-nine years of age from the same killer.

I went into a bookstore and left a copy to review. The manager "called me" to leave books on consignment. The book is right in the middle of the substance abuse section facing out along side of books by Traditional Publishers. What helps is Infinity gives 40% to bookstores, free shipping if they order 20 or more books and a year of guaranteed books returnable. That means a lot.

I found a mistake I've been making is giving someone, who is truly interested, a business card of mine who wants me to talk or do book signings. Maybe they misplace them, but I don't hear back;its not too often this happens. The mistake is: I should also in turn get their business card to follow-up. We can't let "one" opportunity pass because that could be the big break!

I have been doing speaking engagements at rehab, halfway homes, and organizations who want to hear my life story. Because of this platform, that's why I self-published instead of waiting for rejection letters to come.

My first book is A Healing Heart; A Spiritual Renewal and bookstores refuse my book because it's published by PublishAmerica. I've had managers say that to me. PA does not guarantee books returnable; a big red flag to bookstores. I've gone to Catholic Woman's Ministry and they have "paid" me to talk for an hour to over 150 women. I supply the books after the talk for signings. If it was through Infinity, the organization could order the book and return any left over.

We have to find our audiences. A lot of doors will close but we have to keep pushing. I'll be glad when the sequel is done, and I can spend 100% to promoting and marketing. I've had too much going on.

I've got two previous radio shows reviewing my book for a second interview along with a cable TV show who had me on once before.

I'm not trying to advertise myself on this site, but only to show how we have to work hard. I may never become famous, in fact, I'd be shocked it I did, but I hope to help others.

Instead of trying to sell your book.....sell yourself and the content inside it. People want to know what they will get buying your book.

It's taken me almost three years of writing and getting published, but I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was told it takes a good five years to get notice.....if you keep getting seen and heard.
Alberta,
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me your about your publishing experiences. It's really helpful advise, all of it. I had heard things about Publish America, but know nothing else. I have never heard of Infinity Publishing, but I certianly wish I had. I will check them out. I use Authorhouse, they produce a wonderful product, but do not supply books except to reviewers, and then only if they request one.

You have given me some valuable tips. I will continue to try to find my audience too. You are absolutely right about that. It is so important. I think mine would be women's groups. My first Book, "The Journey, The Dreams, & AnnaBelle" is about the struggles of life, marraige, deceit, and life in general at times. It follow 3 generations of my family. My second book, due out next month is 'AnnaBelle's Spirit", a follow up of the first with more depth. Annabelle was my Mother, she passed away in 2007. Like your books, mine are non-fiction, and about the trials of life.

Alcohol can be such a burden on a family, and it destroy's thousands of lives every year. I know from the experiences in my own family. I admire you for the work you are doing. I believe if we can help even one person along our way, we have accomplished a lot.
Thanks again for the positive reply.

Carolyn
I have a great lead for anyone reading this. Carolyn take notice. I found a site that is remarkable. It's www.booksinsync.com. They promote your book for $25 "A Year!." You have an interview with them, and William Potter from Canada, a Staff Member will review your book(s) "free" if you sign up. Monday I sent him two of mine.

If you can't afford the $25 at once, she takes payments. If you go on the site, click on top to Multi-Book Authors and go to my name down the list Alberta Sequeira. You get more but they will explain it. If you are a member William designs book covers with low prices.

The site is trying to help authors since most promotional sites are way out of line with prices.

Carolyn, Infinity gives you 50% off your first book order, 40% after....with 10% royalties on your own book orders, guarantees books returnable a year (if ordered from them directly) you get a statement online every month, you get 15% royalties with books sold with online bookstores and bookstores themselves, and you get 30% on books sold through them. I find this great. Oh yes, you get free shipping if you order 20 or more books and so do the bookstores. PA can't compete with this.

You're right....call on woman's organizations, call magazines, newspapers, radio stations, to advertise your book. Christian organizations would be good, too.

Let me know how you do.

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