The Book Marketing Network

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

I'd like to start a new forum where people can talk about what's working for you right now in marketing your book.

I think this will help other authors to prioritize their activities if they can find out what's working for other people. This would be especially valuable to new authors.

I've share the hottest tool that I'm using right now. And that's Twitter. As you will note on the main page of this Book Marketing Network website, both my http://www.bookmarket.com website and this network have been rising in Alexa ranks (and visits) because of my use of Twitter.

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Hi Theresa,

Could you tell us who your European seller is. I'd love to get my info out to other countries.

Thanks

I got some good advice on using Twitter from John (of course,) but also from Mark Coker at Smashwords.  The advice was basically to start slow, post helpfully and only follow people who you want filling up your twitter feed.

 

I've got 2 out of three.  Posting helpfully is difficult when you feel like you're at the rear end of the learning curve!

Hi Theresa,

I sell quite a few of my books in the UK, mostly through Ingram. I would like to know who I can contact there for more sales. They seem to like my book over there.

 

How the Have Fun with Retirement

www.funwithretirement.com

Patrick Kennedy

BEWARE: Outskirts Press can set the list price too high for the market. My book, Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds, is 328 pages long. When Outskirts recommended setting the list price at $18.95, which is printed on the cover, I objected. The representative at Outskirts, however, said that I was not to worry about it; that print-on-demand books are priced higher; that once the book was out in print, the pricing could be set differently. WRONG! The price is too high. It makes discounting absolutely unavoidable. Outskirts also recommends discounting a book at least 55% if an author aspires to get into established online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Do the math! $18.85 at a 55% discount is $8.52. Outskirts' ads herald "You Keep All the Profits." WHAT Profits? Outskirts' cost to the writer can be $8.21 per book, which leaves a profit of $.31 cents. Outskirts does not participate in the discount. All of it comes out of the writer's royalty.

 

It is true that discounts of 55% or more are necessary to get a book into the established retailers. It is also true that other publishers produce a quality product at less around $5.00 per book to the author, which allows for discounting and fair royalty. When I protested, Outskirts recommended that, if I want more income per book, I should roll back the discount to 25% but that I should recognize in doing so that bigger retailers would not be interested and wholesale distributors would not be inclined to carry it. Further, if I wanted to change the list price, I would be charged a fee to revise the cover.

 

To cover their backside, Outskirts presents a matrix early in the contracting process that demonstrates their pricing, but to the uninitiated, the reality of what they are recommending doesn't sink until an author collects that first pitiful royalty payment. The matrix may be adequate to help Outskirts demonstrate full disclosure, but I fault with the guidance I was given, and excuse me, but it is calling on all the generosity within me to believe that it was not designed to be intentionally misleading and that it is a coached corporate sales pitch. (I have saved the emails.)

 

My book is selling well. I should be celebrating. Instead, I feel like an idiot in the way I am getting ripped off.  Shop around. Other publishers offer a quality product and a reasonable price that allows the author to be rewarded for the hard work that goes into writing and marketing a book.

John,

 

Thanks for your specifics. That helps us all.

Typically, these type publishers are publishing through Lightning Source, so most authors would do best by skipping the middle man, giving yourself a name for your own publishing company, buying your own ISBN's, and publishing through LightningSource yourself. Then you get author copies much cheaper, can sell your books much cheaper on Amazon, take a bigger cut, etc.

 

When I self-publish, I like to do it through CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon that is very similar to Lightning Source, again using my own ISBN's and my own press name. I find CreateSpace more user friendly than Lightning Source, since it's set up to deal more with individual authors than Lightning Source. I list my 270 p. book for $15.99 and it seems to do fine. I get 70% of each Kindle sale and $5.60 for each paper copy sale.

Steve, Great reply. In my case, and I will bet scores of others, we take on the task of publishing totally ignorant of all the ins-and-outs; Lightning Source, ISBN, et al. And, of course, I was looking for the shortest route possible; all condition that set up the new author a mark.

John,

 

I also published NO STONE UNTURNED with Outskirts Press and argued the pricing as well, to no avail.  OP says they let you set your own pricing, but it is within their parameters, based on the length and size of the book.  Since my book is 471 pages, it came in at $22.95, way too much for a paperback.  My royalty on each sale - $1.03!!!  I do several book presentations a month and sell my book afterwards for $16.00.  I also have it on Kindle for $3.99, and with the 70% royalty, I do much better with Kindle sales than paperback.  I'm writing my second book and doubt that I'll use OP again, although I was pleased with other aspects of their support.  Further, "brick & mortar" stores won't order self-published books although the independent book stores will take books on consignment.  It's tough out there when you're an unknown author trying to get established.  Word of mouth helps a lot.

Thanks, Jeanette. I see that I was not the only trusting one in dealing with OP. I do agree that their support is very good. That's what seductive about the company. But when it gets down to who walks away with the cash, there is little question that they put themselves first.

So John, can you pull your book from OP? I believe it costs about 125.00 to upload your already prepared files to Lightning Source. For my part I went a different route and used a regular  press for my first book back in 2004. I used Victor Graphics out of Baltimore, what a great house! I used them again for my third book in 2009. Thru them my book is about 2.75 a copy or 1.98 depending on the amount of books you buy and thru Lightning Source it's 4.78 (240 pg)

I used a regular press because I had a contract to work with a group and knew I could sell 1000 or 2000 copies. I used Amazon strickly for fulfillment, getting on Amazon and B&N etc.

Unless OP has you under contract, which you could probably break, I'd dump them.

 

And I agree that all authors that self pub go into it ignorant of all the junk like trim size, signture etc, but the regular presses gave me a great education and I figured if I couldn't sell 1000 books, I was already in trouble

Thank you for the information.  I chose Author House, many of my network friends tried to discourage me.  When pricing the book they gave me a minimum price and it was my responsibility to choose a price above what they recommended.  I chose to make 1$ profit per book because my goal was name recognition.  Which $7 is going to the publishing company.  At a book signing at Borders they sold my book at $32.  When I discovered the pricing I sent potential customers to the web site.  

The lesson we have learned: ask questions every step of the way.  

 

I can't believe your book, not only sold for $32, but people paid that. When PublishAmerica sent my book from $19.95 to $24.95, I couldn't sell it online. I'm out of contract with them now, thank heavens!

I'm now polishing the book up with a new title and cover and looking for a Christian Publisher.

 

Marsha,

 

How did you get Borders to do a book signing for a self-published book?  I approached my local Borders and they wouldn't order my book because if was self-published.  I was also told that their books came from some central source, and the local store (a huge one in so. Calif.), didn't have a say in what they received.

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