Showing posts with label selling books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label selling books. Show all posts

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Forget Book Sales: Think Career Building

 It Isn't About Book Sales: It's About Career Building

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Adapted from the multi award-winning flagship book in the HowToDoItFrugally Series of
books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter, Third Edition

In a writer's world sharing is sometimes as important as the creative aspect of building a book. The trouble is sharing—for many—translates into selling books. Of course, we all want to do that, but we tend to lose sight of the fact that we will eventually sell a whole lot more books and, in doing so, share with a whole lot more people, if we concentrate on building our careers. Indeed, for some authors with nonfiction books based on their businesses and professions, the whole purpose of the book is to increase credibility and exposure for themselves and careers. 

What many authors think of when they think of book sales is the kind of hardsell that most would rather eschew. When they decide to do it anyway because they know they should, they may skip learning something about marketing first and their efforts backfire on them. I have a motto: “Never say, buy my book.” Keep reading for better ways to market your book and yourself.

Here's the surprise. Marketing—marketing anything—isn't about selling. Marketing a book is about finding the people who will benefit and appreciate what the author has to share and then letting those people know how they will benefit (or avoid problems) by reading it.. And there is a lot of writing that goes along with it and that's what we do. And there is real pleasure in seeing our marketing efforts succeed and seeing our careers build as we do more of it and learn more about it. Here are some ideas of giving-sharing kinds of marketing from my Frugal Book Promoter. Each may be used as a part of a launch campaign or to nudge exposure for books that have been around a while.

§  Meet new readers by running a contest on your website, on Twitter, or in your newsletter. Use your books for prizes or get cross-promotion benefits by asking other authors to share their books; many will donate one to you in trade for the exposure. Watch the 99 Cent Stores for suitable favors to go with them.

Hint: Any promotion you do including a contest is more powerful when you call on your friends to tell their blog visitors or Facebook pals about it.

    Barter your books or your services for exposure on other authors’ websites. Other authors tend to understand your need to build your career and to sell your books. You'll make long lasting friends doing it.
   Offer classes in writing to your local high school, college, or library system. Students can become valued friends and fellow writers. Publicizing the classes is easy and free and helps build your author-name recognition. When appropriate, use your own book as suggested reading. Use your teaching experience in your media kit to show you have presentation skills.
 
   Send notes to your friends and readers asking them to recommend your book to others. Or offer them a perk like free shipping, gift wrap, or small gift if they purchase your book for a friend. That’s an ideal way to use those contact lists—the ones I show you how to build in The Frugal Book Promoter—and to let personal friends share in your exciting publishing adventure.
    Some of your reviews (both others’ reviews of your book and reviews you’ve written about others’ books) can be networking experiences. Read that word "networking" as "making friends who want to work with you." Check the guidelines for the free review service blog I started to help fellow authors extend the life of their favorite reviews. It's at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com.
 
   Connect and reconnect. Subscribe to new blogs and newsletters to get new ideas, new opinions. Start reading the ones you once subscribed to again. Join a writers’ group or organization related to the subject of your book. Offer to help them with guest articles and blogs. Enter their contests. Communicate on their forums.

    When you ship signed copies of your book, include a coupon for the purchase of another copy for a friend—signed and dedicated—or for one of your other books. Some distributors insert fliers or coupons into your books when they ship them for a small fee.

   Adjust the idea above to a cross-promotional effort with a friend who writes in the same genre as you. She puts a coupon for your book in her shipments; you do the same for her in yours.

    Be sure your Amazon buy pages amplify the effects of their logarithms and utilized the benefits they offer through AuthorCentral. 

    Explore the opportunities for speaking on cruise ships. Many have cut back on the number of speakers they use, but your area of expertise may be perfect for one of them. I tried it, but found ship politics a drawback. Still many authors like Allyn Evans who holds top honors in Toastmasters and Erica Miner have used these venues successfully. Do know, however, that you need a knockout platform including speaking credits.

    I call reviews forever-reviews because they hang around forever. And because they are forever useful even when a book that is aging. In fact, I think they are so important to your career that I wrote an entire book on how to get them, how to manage them on places like Amazon, and how to utilize them…well, forever. It is, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been promoting her own books and helping clients promote theirs for more than a decade. Her marketing plan for the second book in the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success won the Next Generation Millennium Award for Marketing. The just-released third edition of The Frugal Book Promoter, published by Modern History Press, is New! Expanded! Updated! Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction books have been honored by the likes of Writer’s Digest, USA Book News Award, the Irwin award, Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards and more. Learn more about Carolyn and her books of fiction and poetry. Each of them helped her learn more about maximizing marketing efforts for different writers, different titles. Learn more at www.howtodoitfrugally.com


  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

When Your Book Isn't Selling


By W. Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin)


I used to cringe when I saw the mail or email from one of my publishers. It probably contained a royalty statement and experience told me many of those numbers would begin with a minus (negative balance).  I’ve written for many different traditional publishers and have had this experience from a broad spectrum of types of books including how-to, self-help, biographies, gift books and children’s books.

When your book sales are off, it’s a natural tendency to want to blame someone. Maybe my editor has left and my book was orphaned inside the publisher with no champion or advocate. Maybe my publisher didn’t market the book to bookstores. Maybe they changed the title between what was printed in the catalog and what was published. Or _(fill in the blank). I’ve had all of these things happen to my published books. Good publishing involves a cooperative process and working with many different people. Much of this process is outside of the author’s control. I’ve also learned there are many pro-active steps authors can take to change their situation.

1. Take 100% responsibility for your own success. In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield makes this the first principle. Over ten years ago, I heard this principle and adopted it in my publishing efforts.
2. Be active in the promotion and marketing of your book.  As the author, you have the greatest passion for your book—way beyond anyone else including your publisher. The great promoter, PT Barnum said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens—nothing.” Consistent promotion of your book is important.
3. Be Generous with your book. Reviews sell books but many authors have few reviews for their book on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Give books to people who are willing to write a review. If they’ve never written a review, give them a tool to help them like with this form.
4. Ask for others for help. In the New Testament, James 4:2-3 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” If you need endorsements, ask but make it easy for them to say yes (offer to draft it). If you need social media promotion, ask but create possible posts. Here’s an example of a page, I created to help others help me spread the word on my latest book.
5.  Take the long view of publishing. Publishing and promoting a book is more like a marathon than a sprint. With the huge volume of published books, someone has to hear about your book seven to twelve times before they purchase it. What actions can you take every day to give your book this exposure? My Billy Graham book trailer has been seen over 11,500 times in the last five years. http://bit.ly/BGBookT
6. No matter what happens in your life, keep going. In Perennial SellerNew York Times bestselling author Ryan Holiday writes, “The hard part is not the dream or the idea, it’s the doing.” If there were a simple formula to create a bestseller, every book would be a bestseller. There are practical actions every author can take. Each part of the publishing process has challenges and as writers your persistence and consistency is critical. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins wrote in the foreword of my book, 10 Publishing Myths, “Only one of a hundred writers literally make their deadlines.” If you meet deadlines with quality writing, it’s an easy way to stand out from the crowd. I wrote 10 Publishing Myths to give writers realistic expectations and practical steps every author can take to succeed. Today, you can get the 11th Publishing Myth as a free ebook.

When you point a finger at others because your book is not selling, just remember: when you extend your pointer finger, four more fingers are bent back toward you. Take action today. Let me know in the comments below what actions you are taking on a regular basis and we can learn from each other.

Tweetable:

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W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Straight Talk From the Editor. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Friday, July 5, 2019

How Authors Can Get Books into Campus Libraries


Q&A a la Ann Landers

Getting Your Book into Campus Libraries and More!

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

INTRODUCTION:
I occasionally run a Q&A based on the Ann Landers columns in my SharingwithWriters newsletters. I grew to love Landers’ wisdom when I edited the originals way back when I was a staff writer for The Salt Lake Tribune. This is one that received the most feedback since I published my first e-newsletter back in 2003. 

QUESTION

Regarding 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 it's going to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. Great possibilities on campuses include: 
1. College acquisition librarians
2. International student programs and clubs 
3. Campus career centers
4. International studies professors
5. Professors who teach American  literature, history, etc., especially the ones who teach ESL (English as Second Language) students
4. Campus bookstore buyers  

He spends about thirty minutes a day finding all the resources available on one or two campuses. He sends query letters to each of those resources, always trying to address the specific person in charge (and spell his or her name correctly!). Sometimes that's only one contact a day. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four.  

Lance has 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. His book is also been accepted by imore than 300 university libraries and some of those ordered more than one copy. 

He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest (i.e. those who answer his e-mail) with a “yes!” response. I am “The Frugal Book Promoter,” so I love this approach. It costs less than just sending a book with a cover letter to each contact.  Of course, there is also a cost to sending books when requested, but otherwise using this method doesn’t cost an author anything out of pocket. I love it because the results of one’s efforts are easily traceable. You know, as an example, a professor has recommended it to a class when suddenly you sell thirty-five books all being shipped to the same place! 

I also love it because the dollar-and-cents results have proven to outweigh the expense. 

When Lance gets a perfunctory positive response, he sometimes worries he will be wasting a book. But that response usually results in many more than the sale of one book. He has had requests to use excerpts for professors’ classroom assignments or handouts. (He always provides those who ask for permission to reprint with an extensive bio and sales pitch that he asks them to include as part of the assignment.) 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 fifty-nine copies. 

One more secret. He is persistent.

One more big benefit: I’s apparent that word travels among universities.  

Here’s an alternative that he tried. It isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal, but it’s a lot less time-consuming than his one-on-one method: 

IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) has a catalog that they send out to selected resources. One goes to libraries. A separate one goes to university libraries and another to reviewers.  I've used that service for my books in my HowToDoItFrugally Series of books,too, and a couple of my poetry books. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title. 

Be aware that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses it as class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention in your query letter that your book was ordered by X university or that Professor X showed an interest in your book in a followup letter to the library’s buyer.

PS: The recommendations and endorsements from many of these contacts also resulted in a request from a Ukrainian press to publish his work in translation. It was also published in Simplified Chinese, apparently through his contact with a Chinese studies program at one of these universities.


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a multi award-winning novelist and poet who started her writing career in journalism, PR, and marketing. Her multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers has been helping authors since the publication of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; now in its second edition. The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; is also in its second edition, and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers and The Great First Impression Book Proposal are her inexpensive booklets for writers. Her Getting Great Reviews . She loves to tweet because it is a social network that understands the value of marketing. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

By-Pass Marketing and Book Selling


Whether you're an author, writer, or have a home business you should have a book under your belt.

Books are one of the most powerful authority building tools. And, they can be created with little or no money, though services like CreateSpace.

Since bookstores don't have the same draw as they once did, to sell that book you need to think out of the box. You need to think about by-pass marketing.

I first learned of the term, by-pass marketing, through a teleseminar presented by Steve Harrison. The featured speaker was Jack Canfield. He explained that “only one out of seven people in the United States go into book stores to buy a book.” This was back in 2010. Imagine the percentage today.

In fact, today, book stores have jumped on the internet bandwagon, as the majority of their sales come from that source.

By-Pass Marketing

Getting back to by-pass marketing, what does it mean?

By-pass marketing is selling in places you wouldn’t expect to see books for sale.

Some By-pass Venues for Selling Books:

•    Bakeries
•    Nail salons
•    Gas stations
•    Beauty salons
•    Barbers
•    Fitness centers
•    Spas
•    Cleaners
•    Tailors
•    Doctor offices
•    Chiropractic and Acupuncture offices
•    Radiology offices
•    Local restaurants

You get the idea. Sell anywhere you can. Think of establishments in your area where you have to wait for services or that get a lot of traffic.

Talk to management or the owner of an establishment and offer a percentage of sales or a set amount per book. This is a win-win situation for you and the business owner.

They have absolutely no investment of money, time, or effort, therefore no risk. Yet, they have the opportunity to make money. This should be a no-brainer on their part. All you need to do is ask.

Remember: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. Get must-know writing and marketing tips at http://thewritingworld.com.

Check out Karen's e-class through WOW! Women on Writing:
Give Your Author/Writer Business a Boost - Get Results
Basic Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing



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MORE ON WRITING AND MARKETING

5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Bio
Evaluate Where You Are with Zig Ziglar
When Writing is Not a Career



Friday, March 4, 2016

The "Small Big" Tactics for Writing Pitches and Selling Books

Writing Pitches (and About Everything Else) That Influence
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I read and reread The Small Big: Small changes that spark big influence by Steve J. Martin, Noah J. Goldstein, and Robert B. Cialdini. It’s not that it tells me anything new about marketing, writing copy, or putting together great pitches. It’s that it inspires me anew, and reminds me of what a tough job those tasks are and how so many other disciplines are involved, two of my favorites. Words matter. And Psychology. And, yes, capital letters because they are so important.

For instance, here’s a quote that beautifully distills the six principles of marketing for any field you are in:
  •    “. . . reciprocity (people feel obligated to return favors performed for them),
  •     authority people look to experts to show them the way)
  •     scarcity (the less available the resource, the more people want it)
  •           liking (the more that people like others, the more they want to say yes to them)
  •     consistency (people want to act consistently with their commitments and values)
  •     and social proof (people look to what other do in order to guide their own behavior).”

This book includes studies that show people in any industry (including my favorites, those associated with writing of any kind) how to frame what they have to say right down to what to put first, what to stress, and words to choose that influence people in different ways.

This is a book you’ll want to read—and reread—as I do. 

Reread? Well, it is so jam packed you’ll need to go back to it time again to get it all and keep utilizing what it teaches you in everything from your blogging, to your query letters where a great pitch is essential, to writing your synopses. Here’s the link again—in bright red so you you’ll have not trouble finding it and using it:

 http://bit.ly/InfluenceTactics

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Contributed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books--one for writers and one for retailers. She is now working on the third in the seires (after The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor), Getting Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically. All her books, including her fiction and poetry,  are available as paperbacks and e-books on Amazon. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Nitty Gritty Hard Work of Selling your Book - 2 Steps Toward Success

By Deb Toor



                           "...The grass is greenest where it is watered.”

                                       -- Robert Fulghum



How do most successful authors generate book sales? Are they just lucky?  More talented?

Maybe.

But as Albert Einstein said “Genius is 1% talent and 99% Hard Work." Most successful authors toil and sweat to sell their books.

Ready to get some results? It's time to roll up your sleeves and plunge into the nitty gritty hard work of selling your book. This blog focuses on two actions that will help you connect with your potential customers: Collecting endorsements and participating in or staging a community event.

1. How to find endorsements for your book:

Featuring the expertise of Carolyn Howard-Johnson, promo guru and author of The Frugal Book Marketer,http://howtodoitfrugally.com/


Quality endorsements, testimonials and reviews will show your niche audience how your book can help them to reach their goals. Carolyn suggests the following steps:

First, identify the professionals who are connected with your book’s theme, such as teachers, people in your field of expertise, associations, and fellow authors you know.

Next, send letters requesting their testimonials. What to include:

      - why you are asking for their endorsements, why you value their testimonials

      - why they are a good fit, explain the connection

      - a synopsis about your book

      - how they will benefit (such as community recognition)

      - a sample of an endorsement with the assurance that they are welcome to use their own words

Be prepared to send a copy of your book to interested contacts.

Carolyn recommends that you include endorsements in the following:

       -  media kit, teasers in mini-biographies

       -  e-mail signature lines

       -  query letters or the footer of stationary

       -  promotional postcards, business cards, bookmarks

       -  above the book cover art

       -  signs, posters, banners for trade shows and book fairs


Be sure to keep track of your correspondence records.

For more of Carolyn’s tips on gathering endorsements and other promotional nuggets, check out her book How to Do it Frugally.

2. How to link your book to a Community Event:

Featuring the expertise of Deborah Riley-Magnus, Author & Success Coach,


Deborah advises authors to connect their book to an appropriate charity. For example, if your book is about a pet, or cancer, or drug abuse, just identify a charity to support.

   Plan to attend an event held by your selected charity or create your own. At the event, you can sign and sell your books. To make it more appealing, Deborah suggests holding a raffle and awarding the winners with fun prizes. Donate a portion of your sales to the charity.

My own suggestion: How about a fun trivia contest based on your book? If your book is nonfiction, trivia questions could focus on facts presented in your book. If your book is fiction, trivia questions could focus on a character, the plot, etc.

Make sure to keep your book separate from the charity. "The key is to create connections with an audience that relates to your book. THAT’S how to create book sales,” she says.

Find out how promote your connection to your selected charity:
https://rileymagnus.wordpress.com/category/author-marketing/


        ____________________________________


Additional resources:

http://thenewbookreview.blogspot.ca/
This blog offers a free service to authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like more exposure, and readers who want to praise books they've read.

http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.ca/
Named in "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this blog provides a forum for readers and writers.




Deb Toor  is a nonfiction writer and freelance blogger.  She is the author of Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures, a suspense-adventure story for grades 4 to 6 that is based on peer-reviewed science. She is also a ghostwriter for a health blog.

Check out Deb's book at: Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures






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