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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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Bill,

Thank you. I will try all of those ideas. If you want, I can write back and let you know the outcome of each opportunity.

Thanks for the welcome. It is so beautiful out here. I can't wait to start writing again now I'm here.

Talk to you again, soon.

Kris
I put my reply to Robert Catherine down the page. They are my promotion ideas.
Alberta
I appreciated all of you giving me ways of promoting my book. I've come a long way since I last wrote. My book is in five bookstores; B&N in Braintree, Borders In Taunton, Readmore in Taunton, Baker Books in Dartmouth and Bev Loves Books in Rochester. I realize they are not flying off the shelves.

This is my second time writing on this site. I love the way Bill Frank helps everyone. I will hit this site more.

I have learned a lot listening to Steven Harrison on phone seminars. He gave the differences from poor authors and rich authors that rang a bell. Poor authors depend "only" on book signing and getting their books on the shelves. A rich author finds ways that he or she can find to use their other skills.

So, I put my ideas together. I have been teaching Beginning Writer's Workshops to libraries and senior seniors and not charging much. Tomorrow I'm mailing out a resume to the South Coast Learning Center in New Bedford, MA. I'm signing up to be an instructor for their Spring class. There's good money doing this.

The center also sends the instructor to their other locations in either Newport, RI and Needam, MA, if you're willing to go. So, I am. The director of education will send you on radio and tv shows. I'm going to volunteer for it all. This may get my name out there and a chance to introduce my book.

Now when I do my next workshop, I'm going to record it and put it into a CD. That way I can sell it on my site with a free item to go with it.

I went on the WBSM Radio in Fairhaven, Ma this year. I have an audio of the show and I want to find how to get it on my website since I already have a video of my book.

Jay Fadden and Fr. Robert Reed from the CatholicTV show, "This is the Day" is reviewing my book and wants me on his show (GULP). It's one of the EWTN Network shows.

The Catholic women's organization "The Magnificat has asked me to speak next year at their breakfast. There are over 200 women who attend this function that meets four times a year. If you are a speaker, you can book sign.

My last promotion idea fell on my new book "Please God, Not Two" which I'm hoping to have finished by next year or sooner. It's based on a true story about me losing my husband, RIchard (46 years old) in 1986 from Cirrhosis and my daughter, Lori, at 39 years old on November 22, 2006 from the same terrible family disease.

Yesterday I called the Gosnold Rehab in Falmouth that Lori had entered. I introduce myself and will be donating a poem that I wrote for my new book called "The Demons" in a two-sided clear frame along with Lori's favorite prayer card and her picture in memory of her.

I then asked if I could speak to the women during their meetings. They were thrilled and said they never had anyone from the other side speak. Once I do, I will ask to speak to the men at the same rehab. I'm calling on the AA groups that Lori attended and more to do the same.

Slowly, I want to be seen and heard. When I'm looking for a publisher, I can add my experience as an instructor to writing workshops and a speaker in rehabs and AA groups. This can also be added to my new book.

Another suggestion was from Penny Sansevieri from the Marketing Experts, Inc. (www.marketingexpert.com/publicity.html), which is wonderful. She stresses that the author should NEVER try to sell their book. Sell the BENEFITS that your book can offer to readers. My ears perked. I never looked at that point of view.

These are the things I have learned in the past three weeks and I'm not talking about it, I'm doing it. I hope these ideas help others.

Alberta
Hi, Alberta. Congratulations on all your activity selling your book! You're exploring many different avenues to promote your book.

I heartily recommend both Penny Sansevieri and Steve Harrison as resources for authors. I subscribe to both newsletters. I look forward to receiving the newsletters each month.
Hi Bill,

I can only speak for myself but I think the biggest challenge for me and probably for most authors is marketing, promoting, and selling their book(s). Every day, I struggle to make sure that I'm doing something to market, promote, and sell my books.
Hi, Lorraine. I admire your persistence. Daily activity is the key to successful book promotion. The really successful authors do many things each day to promote their books. John Kremer recommends doing five things each day to promote your book. Five marketing activities a day doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. Five activities 365 times per year is 1825 activities a year. That many activities will make a positive impact.

Also, doing the most productive activities is key to success. I recommend reading the newsletters of successful book marketers to get the best ideas. I read Dan Poynter's, John Kremer's, Penny Sansevieri's, Brian Jud;s, Steve Harrison's, and the PMA's newsletters. Many of these newsletters are free to subscribers.
Hi Bill,
Thank you for the support. I'm really getting excited this past week. I feel strongly that I'm on the right road to get my name out there.

No matter how scared I am, and believe me I am, it won't stop me from going ahead. I've come to the conclusion that the THOUGHT of doing something is worse than actually doing it. Once you get into the process you move along.

Writing a book is a lot easier than talking in front of people. I signed up with Steven Harrison to see if I will be one of the 65 picked to have him work with you for a year. I'm afraid that the price may be too steep for me. I'll wait and see if I'm picked and then worry about that later.

You are a great person with the desire to help writers and authors. I'll keep everyone up-dated to my progress.
Alberta
Thank you for your kind words about me. Good luck and good selling for your book.
My biggest challenge is placing my book in book stores and getting people to buy during book signings. they'll look at the book and ask questions, and they say that the book sounds interesting, but won't y buy. they do the same with the next author as they move down the line in the room.
Most of my books have been sold to family, friends and on my website.
Your experience is not unique. Many authors sell their books to friends and family. Initially. Who is your publisher? How are your books distributed? Who's your distributor? How do the books get into the bookstores for your book signings?

Book signings, per se, have been replaced by book events. Few book buyers in a store want to buy a book from someone hawking their book. Your own experience shows that. If, however, you have an event, then buyers may be more likely to buy your books. What type of event? Perhaps you can do a talk on your book's subject matter. Perhaps you can talk about what it's like writing a book. Perhaps you can talk about a place or event described in your book. There are numerous topics that you can generate from the subject matter contained in your book. And who better to talk about it than you?

Next time you have a chance to be in a bookstore to sell your book, change the perspective a bit and hold an event. Talk on a subject related to your book. Answer questions for the book shoppers. The buyers may buy more books. And the bookstore will be more inclined to host you because you're delivering content to their customers instead of merely sitting, waiting to sign books.

One tactical thing you can do at your book events that you may not be doing, but it will help with book returns from bookstores. While in the bookstore, tell the manager you're going to autograph all copies of your book in the store. The manager will most likely not mind because a signed book is more valuable than an unsigned book. The positive impact for you, however, is that autographed books are not returnable to your distributor. That means the bookstore cannot send your book back after 90 days for a full refund. They must keep your inventory and SELL it to their customer instead of selling it back to your distributor.
Hi Bill,

My publisher is Publish America. I was in the Indie Pen Series at Karibu Books, The Black Author Showcase and with The Black Author Association. We get to talk about our books and answer questions about writing and why we became a writer and the cities were mentioned in our books. Some of the bookstores don't want to stock books published by my publisher. I hired a publicist to handle my book. I'm all over the internet.
Hi, Theresa. Congratulations on your success with your book. You've had some great opportunities with the Indie Pen Series, the Black Author Showcase and the Black Author Association.

I've heard of bookstores reluctant to carry books published by Publish America. In many cases, their reluctance has to do with the publisher's "no returns" policy. Most bookstores are accustomed to being able to return a book to the publisher for a complete refund if the book doesn't sell. You may want to check with Publish America to learn what their returns policy is.

For some suggestions on cracking into bookstores, you may want to contact Paul Coates at Black Classic Press, 410.358.0980. He is one of the oldest and best known African-American publishers. He may be able to help you. Another source may be Dr. Rosie Milligan, DrRosie@aol.com. She is both a publisher and owner of a bookstore featuring books by African-American authors.

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