The Book Marketing Network

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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Sounds like you're on the right track for the long haul - established your own publishing company and published through LS, Faceboook Page, Blogspot's cool, website. But now you've got to learn the business of marketing. Typically, books just sit there on Amazon, buried in a pile of millions of other books. They don't sell any, none, zilch, unless authors find ways to get their books out there. Having a blog, site, FB Page gives a place to build a platform, but it's not a platform in itself. Again, nobody will come to those places unless someone's directing them there. Those Web presences give you a place to direct people to, and a place to slowly build your reviews, etc.

There's a lot of crap out there, IMHO, about book marketing. I really like John Kremer's 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. I also like his e-book about self-published successes - John Kremer's Self Publishing Hall of Fame - inspiring and informative . http://www.bookmarket.com/booksforsale.htm

My book tries to help debut authors narrow down what might best work for them. Sell More Books!

Typically, don't pay big bucks to get someone else to do publicity. Most of what we're finding to work is free. And counterintuitively, dare to think small. If your novel might appeal to middle schoolers, consider volunteering to interact with a middle school writing class about the writing process. I had a middle school class critique my first chapter. Invaluable. I'm seeing some authors do great going from school to school - inspiring students to read and write - while letting them know about your books.

I like your idea about narrowing down what might work best for the individual author.  There is only so many hours in the day and trying to do everything just won't work.  I think putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward without looking too far ahead works for me.  One of the things I most enjoy is to encourage young children to write, illustrate and publish their own stories.  If this helps me sell my books great; if not I've had a most enjoyable time working with children. 

Thanks, Mr. Miller. I've done some looking in to my page design and web resources based on your replies.
One thing I notice is that the bulk of reviewers don't do "self-publishing" but will do "Indie publishing". Any thoughts on what the difference is? Is it a real business model or a matter of perception?

Mark,

According to Wikipedia,

"The terms "small press", "indie publisher", and "independent press" are often used interchangeably, with "independent press" defined as publishers that are not part of large conglomerates or multinational corporations. Defined this way, these presses make up approximately half of the market share of the book publishing industry."

So I think the reviewers you're speaking of are saying that they'll review only traditionally published books, whether they're with a large or small traditional press. That's true of most of the big time early review companies, like Kirkus Reviews, that review books prior to publication for libraries, bookstores, etc. I'd say that they're typically biased toward reviewing books by the major presses as well, since they assume the major presses are screening books more rigorously than smaller presses.

Your best bet for early reviewers is Foreword Reviews, which targets small presses. If they don't pick your book for review, you can pay them to do a review. Midwest Book Review is also a good, larger reviewer that takes small presses and self-published books.

But the vast majority of my reviews come from individuals I've sent my book to for review. And there are many smaller reviewers as well.

Self-publishing is clear: The author has published his or her book on their own (or, in today's world, via a print-on-demand company).

Indie publishing refers to publishing companies that publish books. Such companies may or may not publish self-published books. For example, I am the publisher of Open Horizons publishing, where I've self-published many books but have also published a few other authors.

My books have never been rejected by reviewers for being self-published.

If you are going to self-publish, set up a publishing company and act as an independent publisher (even if you decide only to publish your own books).

As I always say, if asked, I publish the best books out there. They just happen to be written by me.

Hehe thanks, John. That does open up a few more possibilities. I publish under the name Duck Castle Press, and I only publish my own books (so far). I think I can balance on that thread of perception and call myself a small press indie publisher :)

There is another possibility: a small publishing company that publishes POD but is not a self-publishing company. In today's market there are a number of possibilities.

How did you go about setting up your own publishing company?

Basically it's as easy as saying "I am a publishing company." You could use your SS # or get an EIN # for tax reasons (if you're in the USA), and the rest is what you do with it. I use the name of my company, Duck Castle Press, for dealings with printers, vendors, and such. As a sole proprietor, I am responsible for all the marketing, price-setting, promotions, and all that publisher stuff. I plan to release all my titles under DCP, and If successful, I can option to publish the work of other authors using the connections I make (no plans for that now).

Thank you Mark.

My biggest challenge is to find friends on this site, and on others too. I don't dare approach personal friends on my email list; they wouldn't be friends any more

For me it's a risky yet wanted idea to take one published work and combine it with the sequel. I know it sounds crazy but I've recieved some good feedback on the first one and am working on the second and it just feels like they should be one book. But I honestly wouldn't know how that would turn out. I'd need a new book cover for the first one whether I combine them or not. Being a new indie author is a challenge. Guess I'll learn the hard way, but I will learn.

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