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For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

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 Dear Alberta,
What a wealth of information you have given me this morning. I am very interested in all of it. Not to mention the info about Infinity. Just knowing you have dealt with them first hand is good to know. I have started my 3rd book, but it is almost impossible for me to think about publishing at this point, because of the expense of the last two. Which I don't regret, but I have to look to the future now. Perhaps it's time for something new. the fact that they will accept returns is above anything I have now, unless I pay for it.

But then again, if I get down to business about the sales of these 2 books that will generate some money to help with other things.

Thanks again,
I hope it helps. It's not easy with the promotional and marketing side of getting known.
I'm blogging a book, Who Killed Emmett Till?, and am having a hard time getting people to leave comments. Since I want to include comments in the blogged version, this is a dilemma ;>) Any thoughts would help. The book is at .
The best comment gets a free book. That would get some nice ones. Your idea man from North Carolina, I might even give it a try and I am super busy this season.
I'm not sure where your bogg is. I know if I put anything at all on, it automatically goes on the Internet. That's what I like about the site. It gets seen. You need a good attention getter with the TOPIC you are posting about the event. Example: if I put "FREE BOOKS", I do get orders. BUT, I may have a clause, like; the fifth person to order through my site with PayPal gets another book free with free shipping.
The problem most people have is they lose sight of the word fiction. You need to invent new weapons that only you can describe and keep a diary of your weaponry. Example, a liquid, crystal, rado which is silent and not deadly can immobilize an entire platoon of soldiers without a sound. In other words, this is your story and you don't have to follow one single example of Star Wars are any other previous work. It will be easy to pull an Excalibur, mulifaded defyer out of your war bag and totally paralyzed an enemy within range of your ray. Good luck, I have been writing fiction for forty years and when someone tells me that something I have written can't be done, I ask them for their definition of fiction. That ends it. PS, I also live writing, don't get me started, I don't know where to stop.
I don't write sci fi novels. Mine are memoirs...but, if I need a description of a situation in my story, I look things up online. Let say you go on the Internet and hit; pulse rifles, ray cannons, battle fields, or key in famous battle names. Read through them and get the action from their descriptions.

I hope this helps.
I don't have an answer, but I appreciated this refreshing problem! As an avid SF fan myself, I agree with Paradise. You can achieve plausibility through internal consistency, rather than consistency with current science.

Go to the library and look up sci fi fantasy. You can always take a copy for $.10 per page. Sometimes we forget what a wonderful place libraries are.
Try writing science Fiction that deals with society. In other words the science is not the hero, its effect on society is the focus. That way just a basic understanding of the hard science will do.
Remember "EMOTIONS" pull a reader into your books. Don't tell about a person's feeling: show it.

Get your reader into your characters. If they're mean; show it, don't tell. How did they look, facial expressions, clothing, how they stood, what they wore, etc. Get into details so that the reader can actually picture that character.

The same with the weapons. The colors, shape, marks on them, the dents from the continuous fights, the scars of the soldier's face or missing body parts from the battles, the sound as it stabs someone.

The reader wants to feel like they are watching a movie.
This discussion has actually become a wonderful book on book marketing! I'm to p. 14 so far, and plan to read the entire thread over time. Whereas books like 1001 Ways to Market Your Books or Beyond the Bookstore give me tons of ways to market, this discussion helps me narrow down which ways are working best for authors and which are not. Extremely valuable!

Although I've published through traditional publishers in the past, I started my own publishing company and published my latest book through BookSurge, about 5 months ago. It's been a great experience so far. I have about 15 nice Amazon reviews and my press kit web page displays other blurbs and reviews - . It seems to be finally selling on it's own on Amazon. (Prior to this month, it only sold when I got a review or made some other initiative.)

So now I'm revisiting the distribution question. The wholesaler Baker and Taylor carries it without a return policy, so that I assume no bookstores will order it from them, unless someone special orders. I applied to B&T to try to get it to have a return policy, but was rejected for having inadequate marketing. (Yet, I gave them copies of my 45 page marketing plan. I suppose they don't want to carry a book that's not being marketed specifically to bookstores through traditional cataloges, etc.).

I was turned down by a distributor earlier in the process. So here are my specific questions about seeking distribution:

1) Do I even need to seek distribution into bookstores? Since my book is a personal finance book, won't people tend to go for the high profile Donald Trumps and Dave Ramsey's, rather than a low profile person? (The party line among publishers is that to sell personal finance books, you've got to have a national radio show or some other type of national platform.) Maybe I should just concentrate on sales through Amazon and special sales outside of bookstores.

2) Since I'm still building my platform and hope to get more media attention later, would it be better to wait until later in the process to try to seek a distributor, since if I'm not presently nationally known, there's a likelihood that my book would go into the bookstore, only to be returned a few months later.

3) Is there a distributor that specializes in selling books to school and city libraries. Since libraries might want a personal finance book to fill a niche to young people - ages 16-32 - I think a distributor would have more success marketing to libraries than to bookstores.

Any advice would be appreciated. Oh, and the book is called Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It. Here it is on Amazon:


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