If I had it to do over again I would send out 500 books for free…

Endorsing, Marketing, Networking 1 Comment »

In the same issue of Book Business that I referred to last week, Peter Hildick-Smith also gives publishers this tip in his article, Fourteen Tips to Increase E-book Sales:

Earn personal recommendations. A large enough initial group of people have to first read and love a book before there are enough recommenders to make a difference in the book’s later sales. Personal recommendations are earned, not created. Before that can happen, the book has to be discovered, interesting enough to buy, and a strong enough read that the reader will be moved to want to share it and recommend it. Make sure that those who are most likely to respond to a given book’s topic of story have every chance to discover and read it.

When I first received my load of books, I think I was too stingy with them. Sure, I slated some of them for review and giveaway purposes, but in retrospect I don’t think it was nearly enough. Especially as a first-time author, it takes a lot to establish credibility. Since my target is the homeschool market, I should have come up with a list of 200 influential people in the homeschool world who would agree to review my book and publish their review either on-line or in print. Instead, I think my list was closer to 25. We’ve made up for it some over the last year and a half, but there is a certain momentum when a book is first released that is forever lost after several months have passed.

So, if you’re still looking toward a future publication of your book, make that list of a couple hundred influencers in your field and be sure that your budget includes the cost of those books plus shipping. Getting your name out there is a long, grueling process, so the more you can connect with people and build a coalition to help you in this arena, the better!

Did You Know?

Marketing, Selling, Thinking 2 Comments »

According to Book Business, “The No. 1 reason people buy a new book is because it’s written by an author they like.” This statement was made in an article of Fourteen Tips to Increase E-book Sales in the latest issue of their bi-monthly magazine. Addressing the question, “Do book browsers convert to book buyers?”, writer Peter Hildick-Smith offers this tip: Play to your author’s strengths.

This is a fascinating insight, equally relevant in print books, because the number one frustration I have experienced in marketing my book – Pajama School – is that people express interest in reading it, but that interest rarely translates into sales. I knew it would be hard to break into the market as a new author, but I had no idea just how hard it would be! That’s probably why the above observation resonates so much with me.

What exactly does this mean for new authors? Apparently, somehow they have to get lots of people to like them. 🙂 How this translates in practice I really don’t know. But if you have any tips or thoughts you’d be willing to share on the subject, I’d love to hear them!

Creating a Kindle Edition of Your Book

Designing, Distributing 3 Comments »

After months of thinking about publishing my book, Pajama School, in a digital format for Kindle, I finally buckled down and figured out what I needed to do to make it happen. The process was simple, but a bit time-consuming. First off, you have to set up an account with Amazon’s Digital Text Platform. Why this is not integrated into the Amazon Advantage accounts I have no idea, but Amazon seems to specialize in disjointed confusion…

Once the account is set up, just navigate to the “Bookshelf” and click the button to “Add a new title.” The uploading process is very intuitive. I ended up uploading my book file as a pdf, then I downloaded it as an html file and spent several hours cleaning up the code in Dreamweaver before re-uploading it. There may be a faster way to do this, but since I didn’t already have any of my book in an html format, this was the most convenient. Once it is uploaded, it takes about 24 hours to publish it and make it live and available for purchase on Amazon.com.

I’m not into reading books on a digital reader yet, so I’m not sure how important it is to make a book available in this market. However, it’s always valuable to explore something new and expand your knowledge in a new area. So, if you are considering publishing a book to Kindle, I’d encourage you to give it a try. It’s pretty painless, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to make your book available in as many venues and formats as possible!

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