Showing posts with label bookstores. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bookstores. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

You Need a Mixture of Marketing Efforts

By W. Terry Whalin


How is your writing selling? It's an old sales adage: If your books (or any writing) isn't selling, you need to be touching more people (asking for the sale) or creating new writing.  Your audience doesn't increase or your books don't sell without continued effort from you as the author. 

Whether you work with a traditional publisher who sells your book into the bookstores or you self-publish and are on your own, you still need to be reaching more people with your work. As an acquisitions editor, I tell every author that it is 80% up to them to sell more books. Yes we can sell the books into the bookstore but unless the author is building buzz and telling others about the book, those books in the bookstore will be returned to the publisher.

I wish I could tell you there is one path or one formula to sell books and become a bestseller. If such a formula existed, then every book would be a bestseller—and that is just not the case. Some books that are poorly written hit the bestseller list while other well-crafted titles sell a modest number of copies. The average self-published book sells about 200 copies during the lifetime of the book. The average traditional book sells around 1,000 copies. Now each of us want to beat these averages so how do we do it? It's through a mixture of different marketing efforts.


One of the most knowledgeable people that I know in this area is Rick Frishman. For over ten years, Rick has been our publisher at Morgan James Publishing. For almost 30 years, Rick led one of the largest public relations firms in the U.S. called Planned Television Arts (now called Media Connect). He has a huge list of bestselling authors that he has worked with like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Stephen King and Mitch Albom. Rick is the creator of Author 101 University which will be next month in Los Angeles. I've interviewed Rick a number of times and did so again earlier this month. You can catch the 45-minute interview for FREE at: http://writersconf101.com/index.php

In this in-depth interview, Rick compares book promotion to the four legs of a stool: Internet, print, radio, television, then he gives insights about each of these legs and how authors should be working in each of these four areas. See the balance that goes into this type of approach? It is a mixture of various marketing efforts for your books.

One of the most successful series of books in the English language is called Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jack Canfield tells us about following The Rule of Five to market their books. This short video (less than two minutes) gives you the details about how to achieve your goals.

Are you mixing your marketing efforts to sell your books? Tell us the details in the comments below.

Tweetable:

Are you mixing your marketing efforts? Get ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

—-
W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written for more than 50 magazines and published over 60 books with traditional publishers including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Book Proposals That $ell. He loves to help writers and has a large twitter following. Evan Carmichael ranks the top 100 marketers to follow on Twitter and Terry has been consistently on this list (#56 in September). He lives in Colorado.



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Friday, December 4, 2015

Secrets to Getting Your Book into University Libraries, Bookstores and More



Q&A A La Ann Landers

Getting Your Book into Campus Libraries and More!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
QUESTION

Re university bookstores:
 I know that Random House had my book in their catalog targeting educational sellers. Is there more than that I can do? How would I 
1. identify them and
2. approach them?
             
ANSWER
I'm going to use my husband's experience with his What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z as an example because he was so successful with it. 

He put together a form letter (which he tweaks) depending on who he is sending it to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. That includes 
1. Libraries
2. International Student Programs 
3. International Student Course Teachers 
4. Campus Bookstore Buyers
5. ESL classes through extension

He spends about 30 minutes a day sending the letter to the correct person when possible. Sometimes that's only one contact. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four.  He's had some amazing successes like having his book chosen as gifts/recommendations by the university that hosts the Fulbright Scholars in the US each summer. There is a cost to it beyond time. He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest, but these most often don't result in single book sales, either. The top sale we could trace to his letters (it's sometimes easier for self-published authors to trace sales to a specific effort) was 59 copies. 

Be aware, that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses is at class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention in a separate query or phone call that your book was ordered for a specific class or that Professor X showed an interest in your book.  

One more secret. He keeps at it. 

Here’s an alternative that isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal (but it’s a lot less time-consuming!):

 IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) had a catalog that they send out to libraries, a separate one to university libraries and one to reviewers.  I've used that program. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title. 
-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter published in 2003. Her The Frugal Editor, now in its second edition, won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 


The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy New Year!

I am back with my regularly scheduled posts. Last month, I had a cold and forgot about my post for December. I tend to write my post the month that it’s due, as I try to talk about something that recently happened to me or that I recently discovered.

I am always on the lookout for websites about writing, publishing, social media, books, etc. Here are several sites I found in the last year.

The Rate Your Story contest for picture books, novels, novellas and other kinds of stories runs through February 3. Good luck if you decide to enter!

Do you suffer from writer’s block? We probably all do at some point. Can you get out of writer’s block by using this map?

If you write for children, this is a new website, full of lots of resources.

This is a how-to article for authors on shopping at a bookstore.  A fun read!

This one is also for fun! How well did you do?

I hope you enjoy checking out these interesting and helpful websites. If you have any links you would like to share, please post them in the Comments section. Have a great 2014!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where are the bookstores?

Just this week another bookshop has closed its doors in my neighbourhood.  This wasn't one of the big chains like Borders, who closed their collective doors in 2011.  It was just another local small ma & pa owned shop who couldn't compete with the online giants.  Though I myself do a lot of online buying -- after all it's often the best deal by a long shot, and if you buy as many books as I do, that's a pretty important factor-- I can't deny that I miss the hours I spent in the local shop, fingering the titles, purchasing books on impulse, and having conversations with strangers over what either of us was carrying in our trolley.  There was always such a nice feeling in those places, especially the local one where I knew the booksellers by name and where they knew my tastes enough to not only recommend books to me but to order and hold them when an author they knew I loved had come out with a new novel.  I also loved the way bricks and morter bookstores bridged the gap between reader and writer -- offering signings, readings, chats and other fun events. That kind of intimacy is slowly disappearing and online events, while still pretty wonderful, aren't quite the same. 

So we all know where the online bookshops are, but are there any bricks and morter stores worth visiting?  Well yes there really still are some.  If you live in the USA, there are Barnes & Nobles everywhere and they're even longer running and bigger than Borders were.  In NYC alone, there are some 58 stores.  In the US as a whole, there are 691 shops. That's a lot of bookstores, and the nice thing about B&N are that they're also online, which means that prices are as cheap as anywhere.  Of course B&N are hardly "intimate" and personal. Nor are they 'independent' so you won't get that warm fuzzy feeling from supporting them, and it's unlikely they'll be flexible in terms of supporting local authors or catering to your unusual literary tastes. If you're looking for somewhere more independent, you could try The Strand bookstore in NYC. 

I have to admit that this was my favourite haunt as a youngster and it still rates higher than the Statue of Liberty for me when visiting NY as a tourist.  But we don't all live in NYC!  For the top indie bookstores in the US, check out  http://www.bookmarket.com/top700.htm 

If you live in the UK, you could try one of the following bookstores, some of which are so beautiful, they deserve to be coffee table books themselves (and forget Black Books - the customer service is brilliant): http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/gallery/2010/jun/14/your-favourite-bookshops-booksellers

If you live in my locale, you could try MacLeans: http://www.macleans.indies.com.au in Toronto or Hamilton NSW.  They don't serve great coffee like some of the London shops, but they're well stocked and are always willing to order in books (including mine if you ask!).  

The one thing that many of these indies have in common is that they don't do a tremendous amount of advertising.  You'll need to look a bit to find them, maybe asking around or checking the local directory, but  if, like me, you're the sort of tactile person who loves browsing, holding, and playing with books, it's worth supporting these shops, be-friending the owner or proprietors, and participating in their literary events.  

About the author: Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com

Why Every Book Needs a Proposal

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin I've read thousands of book proposals as an acquisitions editor and a former literary agent. I've taug...