Dave Chesson – How to get More Book Sales on Amazon

Dave Chesson – How to get More Book Sales on Amazon

Melanie Johnson & Jenn Foster interview Dave Chesson with Kindlepreneur! Dave Chesson is Founder of Kindlepreneur. Dave Combines his SEO knowledge and website development experience with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Dave teaches us how to get more book sales on Amazon with your Kindle book.

This podcast is about how to write, publish & market your book on Amazon. Best selling authors answer
your questions about becoming a best selling author, how to make money with your book and more.

Watch the PODCAST NOW on Apple Podcast or on Our YouTube Channel.

 

Or visit our PODCAST  right here on our website.

For more information about Dave, visit www.kindlepreneur.com

Read more and listen to the Podcast! 🙂

Watch the PODCAST NOW on Apple Podcast or YouTube below.

Indie Author Day – October 14, 2017

Indie Author Day – October 14, 2017

On October 14, 2017, indie authors across North America will gather at their local libraries to participate in activities like author panels, book readings and signings, writing workshops, presentations from local industry specialists and more. There will also be video workshops available from industry experts.

Here are a few reasons to participate in Indie Author Day:

It recognizes the self-publishing industry, independent authors, and libraries
It’s an opportunity for libraries and authors to connect
It’s a chance to network, discover new friendships, and form business partnerships
Find out if your library has signed up to host an Indie Author Day event and get involved!

For More Information or to register your library:

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Participate in Indie Author Day:

Author Sign Up

What a Publisher Does: Key Roles

What a Publisher Does: Key Roles

Publishing seems like a simple business at its heart: an author writes a manuscript, it’s printed or turned into an ebook, and a reader buys it. That apparent simplicity actually requires a lot of hard work and money on the part of a publisher. As just one example, to create film for printing, print, bind, and jacket a hardcover picture book can easily cost a publisher $25,000, not counting overhead, and their job isn’t done (read more details in Why Does a Picture Book Cost $16?). Novels cost less. Ebooks cost even less. Art books cost even more.

To get a book on the market, a traditional print publisher actually has to do a lot, and someone self-publishing has to find a way to do the equivalent, unless you are happy to do no more than sell locally and to family and friends, or to sell only online. At a publishing company, different people fill the roles listed below. If you self-publish a print book, you have to fill them yourself. Why? Because as a self-publisher you have to compete in a national or possibly global marketplace, head to head with the big publishing companies and many other self-publishers. It’s possible to do that, but it takes time, money, knowledge of the market, and a carefully crafted strategy. (If instead you are seeking a publisher, know that the following outlines what you can expect a publisher to do. Some companies present themselves as publishers when in fact they don’t do all of these things.)

acquisition–which is the right book to publish? Editorial staff may evaluate hundreds or even thousands of manuscripts annually to come up with a “list” of 20 books. An acquiring editor selects the ones she thinks will succeed, and take them through the acquisition process. If you are self-publishing, how do you decide which of your books to do? Or if you have one, how do you know it can succeed?

planning–what needs to be done to get this manuscript from draft to finished book? Once a publisher decides a book is going to be published, everything has to be coordinated so that books get out into the market when the company said they would. At a publisher, a managing editor keeps track of what everyone is doing. If you are self-publishing, you’ll have to fill that role.

editing–how can the manuscript realize its full potential? Are there problems to fix? Polishing needed? At a publisher, the “development editor” is assigned manuscripts as they are acquired and is responsible for getting them into shape (at children’s publishers, the acquisition and development editor are usually the same person). If you are self-publishing, how will you edit your manuscript? Editing yourself isn’t effective. You’ll have to hire someone.

designing–what’s so complicated about designing a book? Anyone can do it with a word processor, right? Well, not if you want a book that’s optimally designed for ease of reading, with a type face that suits your subject, and that doesn’t just look like every other book on the market. And then there is the jacket, to make the book stand out. Publishers keep designers on staff, or hire freelancers. If you are self-publishing, you’ll need a designer.

art directing–are there illustrations needed? You’ll need an illustrator. You must select and pay them. Their work will need to be art directed. Publishers have art directors to work with illustrators in picture books or just on interior and jacket art. They also oversee the designers. If you are self-publishing, you’ll need to take the role of art director, or hire a designer with art direction expertise.

copyediting–once the manuscript is edited, is it done? No, it needs a copyeditor’s eagle eye to check for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation; to create a consistent approach to such things as compound words; to do some light fact-checking; and perhaps to mark up titles, heads, and subheads. Publishers have in-house copy-editors or take care of hiring freelancers. If you are self-publishing, you’ll need to hire a copyeditor.

production managing–how do you settle on a printer? What do you send them? Will you print traditionally or via POD (print-on-demand)? If e-publishing, how will you create your ebook? A publisher expects a production manager to find printers who can do a good job within their budget; to source paper and other materials; and to oversee the actual production process. If you are self-publishing, you’ll have to do this yourself, or hire a freelance production manager.

distributing–how does the book get from publisher to bookstore or to an online store? Publishers have warehouse operations and relationships with wholesalers and bookstore chains. Even if a book isn’t in a store, it can be readily ordered. If you are self-publishing, distribution may be your biggest challenge. You may need to work with an independent distributor, if you can find one willing to take you on.

selling–how do consumers, bookstores, libraries, and schools find out about new books? Publishers send out catalogs or provide “meta-data” to online sellers, but they also have sales people, who sit down and show the newest books, and tell booksellers or library acquisition committees which are the ones that they should be sure to have. If you are self-publishing, how will you sell your books? Will you be your own sales force, or will you find volunteers–or paid helpers?

marketing/promoting–how does the public find out about a book? Most don’t just pick it up off a shelf in a bookstore. They read a review, see an ad, hear about it from a friend on Facebook, or even watch an author on TV. Publishers have marketing staffs that send out review copies, create promotional items, send out posts on social media, and book authors on tours. If you are self-publishing, you will likely need to hire a marketing specialist.

If you find this list intimidating, good, because that was my intention. Better to be intimidated now, when you can still do something about it, than after you have already made a commitment to self-publish a book and then don’t know what you need to do.

You can use this as something of a checklist in figuring out what you will need to do to get a book on the market, but please note that it is not exhaustive. Nonfiction books may need to be carefully fact-checked, for example, in more detail than a copyeditor would do (and not just by looking things up in Wikipedia). Permissions may be needed for photographs, quotations, or song lyrics. You may even need to consult a lawyer over potentially libelous material.

There’s a lot to do if you want to do it well.

You can learn more about a what a children’s book publisher does in such guides as my Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s BooksThe Giblin Guide to Writing Children’s Books, or Olga Litowinsky’s It’s a Bunny-Eat-Bunny World : A Writer’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Competitive Children’s Book Market. Similar books exist in other branches of publishing, but I don’t know them well enough to make recommendations.

Click Here for – Original Post

Licia Berry – Healing Path to a Women’s Power

Licia Berry – Healing Path to a Women’s Power

Melanie Johnson and Jenn Foster Interview with Expert Licia Berry – Licia’s professional experience includes 25 years in education and training, with keen interests in psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, fine art and learning styles. Licia is on a search to find a way to explain mystical experience through logical language. Through a grounded, practical and even scientific approach, she brings the left brain language to right brain experiences (such as mystical experience).

#1 International Best Selling Author, artist, speaker, mentor and women’s advocate, Licia (pronounced LEE-SHA) Berry is known worldwide as The Woman’s Guide to the Frontier Inside™. Licia is an agent of change through her writing, art, speaking, and facilitation.

She has a passionate belief in women’s innate resilience and is on an incessant quest to nurture women’s empowerment, leading her to teach other women to claim their unique life song. Leading by example, Licia works to show women how to transcend their experiences to achieve physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wholeness. Her primary work is in accessing ancestral memory for the purposes of healing ancestral trauma, creatively, shamanically, and neurobiologically.

Writing on juicy themes of women’s issues, resilience, consciousness, divinity, and creative approaches to a balanced, grounded, and inspirited life, her words have impacted seekers of wholeness around the globe.

She is currently a three-time best-selling author of Love Letter – A Message of Comfort, Self Care and Sanity in Stimulating Times (2008), SOUL COMPOST-Making Good Medicine out of Bad Medicine (2012), The Frontier Inside – a Woman’s Path to Personal Power (2014), and her #1 International Bestseller I Am Her Daughter – the Healing Path to a Woman’s Power (2016). She also writes regularly on her blog at LiciaBerry.com.

Licia has a twenty-five-plus-year career in education, spanning public schools, state agencies, non-profits, and private practice internationally. In group settings and one-on-one, she mentors women in feminine leadership. Additionally, she speaks internationally on her signature topics #LeadingByBeing and offers live events including Vision Quests and retreats, as well as teleclasses and an online curriculum library at #AthenasAlliance.

Learn more about Licia on her website www.liciaberry.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as her appearances on television.

Find more at http://www.LiciaBerry.com

Watch the PODCAST NOW on Apple Podcast or Stitcher Radio.

Or visit our PODCAST on our website.

 

 

Licia Berry Podcast

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

Let’s face it, there are a lot of small businesses out there and you need a way to stand out. Writing a professional business book can give you instant credibility and it’s surprisingly achievable with digital technology to reach a global audience with your words. Attention is the first step in the sales funnel and a book is a great way to get you and your business noticed.

Here are 7 more reasons you should write a book for your business.

1. Demonstrate your expertise

You’ve spent years gathering your knowledge in a specific niche. You have notes and seminars, training programs and articles as well as a lot of know-how in your head but how do you quickly and easily prove your ability? A book with your name on front establishes you as the expert and provides an easily consumable version of your knowledge.

2. Increase your credibility and status

Authors are respected because they have achieved the concrete goal of publishing their work. People look at you differently when you say you’re an author. This increases your credibility in the market and will also give you more confidence in promoting your business.

3. Solidify and articulate your knowledge

You may have perfected your one-line elevator pitch but writing a book gives you the opportunity to expand and fully express your story. Business books are no longer dry and boring. They contain plenty of personal stories and anecdotes so you can share the unique aspects you bring to your niche. This also gives people a chance to know, like and trust you which is a key component in whether they will hire you or recommend you to others.

4. Expand opportunities for media and speaking

If you have a physical book it can act as a business card, demonstrating your ability to speak coherently on your topic. This is useful for media as there is existing credibility and a focused topic they can interview you about. A book is also recommended if you want to create or expand your own speaking business. The most highly paid speakers have multiple books associated with the topics they speak on and speaking is a great way to bring new people into your business.

5. Create multiple streams of income

You can sell your book online or at your live speaking events. You can also use the book as the basis of a larger product line to expand income streams. The book is your entry level information but you can also have an online multi-media course that expands the material, plus a full day workshop and 1:1 coaching around the topic. People might not be willing to go straight for the higher priced product but they will likely part with a smaller amount to read your book.

6. Grow your business internationally

If you market your books to a wider audience, you can attract new people to your business. They may read your book and then want to investigate your professional services further. You can easily and cheaply publish print books as well as ebooks on Amazon.com. With print on demand technology, you can sell books to the huge US market as well as other countries.

7. The book you write will change your life

Many people have a dream of writing a book, but that dream can now become a concrete goal. You probably started your business because you are passionate about something and want to change people’s lives. You have a story that needs to be told. Well, your voice is important and your words can be heard if you get them out there.  In these days of digital printing, you can achieve your goal of writing a book even with a small budget. So state your goal, and get writing!

Make 2017 the year your business stands out from the crowd.

About the author: Joanna Penn is an Amazon bestselling author and professional speaker on writing, digital publishing, and internet marketing. Her business, The Creative Penn, helps people write, publish and sell their books. Follow Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepennWRITE YOUR BOOK TODAY! – Call or Text your Name and Email to 832-572-5285

Trevor Crane – 10-Time Best Selling Author

Trevor Crane – 10-Time Best Selling Author

Trevor Crane interview on Elite Expert Insider.

How To Write The Right Book – Fast
Position Yourself As An Authority, Attract Qualified Leads, Build Your Brand And Increase Your Income … Effortlessly
What’s the difference between writing the “right” book and the “wrong” book?

Trevor Crane explains all in this interview with Melanie Johnson and Jenn Foster on the Elite Expert Insider Podcast.

trevor crane

 

Watch the PODCAST NOW on Apple Podcast or Stitcher Radio.

Or visit our PODCAST on our website.

 

 

 

Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down

Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I’ve been asked by writers and others if I’d ever query traditional publishers again.

As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten queried by traditional publishers a couple of times in the past year.  I’m not really sure why, since there now seem to be many cozy writers out there. I’ve politely rejected them.

It’s not that I had a bad trad-pub experience. It’s just that I’ve had a better self-pub experience.

Reasons I’ve decided to stick with self-publishing:

I make more money writing independently of a publisher.  This is by far the top reason. I even made more self-publishing a few books than I did with more traditionally published books on the shelves.

I exploit all my rights and publish my book in a variety of formats or internationally. I can expand my reach to find more readers.  Publishers frequently hold onto your international, audio book rights, etc.

I can make changes to my self-published books.  Sometimes I’ll hear from readers about formatting or typos in my trad-published books…and it’s very frustrating knowing there’s nothing I can do.

I can make changes to my online profiles at the retailers and distributors I deal directly with.  I had to deal with a lot of red tape to even get my photo up on Penguin Random House’s site last week. I was stunned to find it wasn’t up there. After all, I’ve written for the publisher since 2010 and my photo was available to them for the backs of the books.

The only reason I was able to jump through the hoops and get the picture uploaded was because an employee at Penguin for the Berkley imprint went above and beyond the call of duty as a conduit between me and the art department.  My Memphis books aren’t listed or linked to on the page…they’re stranded in some sort of Nowhere Land without an author bio or picture, but at this point I  don’t have the time to deal with it.  Plus, my Riley Adams profile there has no bio or picture.

I can run promotions on books with lagging sales. I can make a book free. I can give a book away to gain newsletter subscribers (and then inform them of new releases for later sales gains). I can run quick weekend sales to make my books more visible on retail sites.

I can devote all my time and best ideas to the series that will pay me best. If I wrote an additional series for a trade publisher, I wouldn’t have as much time to devote to my other series.  I felt at the end of my traditional publishing that I was saving my best ideas for my ‘own’ books.

I don’t feel the need to prove anything. Originally, it did feel good to be validated by a gatekeeper…I was a newer writer and I needed that. Now, I prefer reader validation. It’s ultimately more valuable.

I have price control. If I switched back to traditional publishing, my readers would experience higher prices for my new books and they’d be emailing me to ask me why.

I can choose my book covers. I got lucky with the covers I had from Penguin Random House.  But going from complete creative control over the covers back to no control (they did always ask me what I thought of a cover before they signed off on it, but if I hadn’t liked it, I’m not sure they’d have pulled it/reworked it) would be challenging.

I can release books when I want. There could be large gaps between books: more than a year.  Now I can release a couple of books in the same series in a year’s time, if I like.

There were also certain things about traditional publishing that I just didn’t like.  For one,  I didn’t like losing my editors to layoffs, etc.  This meant I was an ‘orphaned’ writer whose series would likely not get renewed.

I didn’t like the contracts that I was seeing with non-compete clauses. I didn’t like being offered digital-only contracts later in the game.

What do you like about self-publishing? Or, to hear the other side, what draws you to traditional publishing?

 

See Original Post at http://elizabethspanncraig.com/5424/why-im-turning-trad-pub-deals-down/

Michael A. Huggins Hits #1 Best-Seller List

Michael A. Huggins Hits #1 Best-Seller List

#1 Amazon NEW BESTSELLER: “7 Financial Cheat Codes” by Michael A. Huggins

Best Selling Author/Speaker as well an international financial trainer; Michael A. Huggins recently hit No. 1 National Amazon.com best-seller list with his new book, “7 Financial Cheat Codes!” – Live Smart, Pay Less Taxes, Retire Early and Have the Financial Freedom You Dream About, a book which was released on February 4th, 2017.

In this book “7 Financial Cheat Codes” Michael uses a fresh model other than the common traditional financial approach other books employ to teach an easy to follow system to become financially free. This method, when used correctly, will help one live smart, pay less tax as well as retire early

Michael A. Huggins acquired the position of #1 in Personal development, Financial Management & Leadership and Training Category with this New Book, which had been highly anticipated.

3d7financialcheatcodes

About Michael A. Huggins

Michael A. Huggins is an international speaker and highly requested financial trainer, who have helped numerous people establish control over their investments, pay off their debts and even superseded their return on their retirement account. He has coached people into living the life they desire using his extensive knowledge in personal development.

Through the course of his journey in life, he has received personal training and garnered knowledge from well-known professionals like Mark Kohler, Garrett Gunderson, John C. Maxwell, Bob Snyder, and Woody Woodward. He has also been featured on The Dr. G & Kevin Show and various entrepreneurial blogs.

Michael has received several accolades for his zeal and steadfastness which includes the 2016 Utah Regional Excelling Leadership Award, 2016 Colorado Regional Leadership Award, and the 2016 Summer in Denver Driving Force Award as a top income earner in the sales and marketing division of a world class educational company.

Gladdened with many years of experience behind him, Michael has mastered the skills of running a successful marketing business.

See more at: http://www.michaelahuggins.com

 

no 1 best-seller michael huggins

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Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans

Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans

Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans
by Carolyn Campbell


Return to DIY Publishing · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version

Richard Paul Evans (http://www.richardpaulevans.com) originally wrote The Christmas Box to show his two daughters he loved them, and to tell his mother he understood her grief in losing a child. Yet through his persistent determination and marketing genius, Evans parlayed his self-published novel into a $4.25 million advance contract from Simon & Schuster and established himself as one of the most financially successful authors of the ’90s.

The Christmas Box made history as the only self-published novel to hit #1 on The New York Times best-seller list as a self-published book. It further set a precedent as the only book to simultaneously hit #1 on The New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 1995, The Christmas Box had the highest one week sales of any book in their list’s history.

What do you see as the most important first step in considering self-publishing a book?

First, don’t start by considering self-publishing. Becoming self-published is not the easy way to become a published book author, but it is sometimes the only way.

In studying self-publishing, you will see both history and the law of chance aren’t on your side. When I decided to self-publish The Christmas Box, no publisher wanted it, yet I sensed that readers wanted it very much. I would definitely begin by submitting the book to traditional publishers through an agent rather than trying to send it to publishers directly.

Are there ways to sense when it is time to shift from seeking traditional publishing to deciding to self-publish? How long did you wait?

You have to listen to your gut instinct. I quit sending The Christmas Box off to publishers really fast. I sent to six publishers. My mail all came back and said the same thing, and even all the local publishers had no interest. You need to listen to what the rejections are saying and ask yourself if they are all saying the same thing. If they suggest changes that make sense to you, as far as making a better book, do it.

But at the same time, realize that if you have something that is a new paradigm the experts often aren’t experts. A paradigm pioneer is going to be rejected because it doesn’t look like a best-seller. Both The Christmas Box and The Celestine Prophecy didn’t look like what was succeeding at the time when they were released. Now everyone wants to see a book that looks like one of those two books.

Are there ways to anticipate whether a particular book is marketable as a self-published book?

One way is what I call the tuna casserole syndrome. Say you have a great tuna casserole recipe. You invite friends over for dinner and they say it’s great. If some of the people at your party go out and start making tuna casseroles, that isn’t the time to self-market your recipe. But if someone calls back a week after the dinner and says they are coming to get the recipe to start making it for their friends and their friends start calling you for the recipe — that is when you know you might have something.

Before you decide to self-publish, start sharing your book with people around you — family, friends and business associates. Be sure you are convinced that you have something special, because it takes a lot of work to take your book outside your own circle. And I would start with agents, not publishers.

Once you have decided that self-publishing might be your route, what financial and artistic considerations should you keep in mind before you begin?

Make sure you have the funds to print, design and market the book. Above all, your book must not look like a self-published book. Ninety-nine percent of the time, readers, distributors and booksellers can pick out a self-published book. If your book does not look as good as a book published by Doubleday, which is who you are competing with, don’t bother.

How significant is book design in contributing to book sales in self-publishing?

There is a phrase called “nephew art.” This is where someone says, “I had a nephew who was a hippie van painter — I’ll let him design my book cover.” Sad to say, lots of time when you get a friend to do illustration, you kill yourself in the market. Friend illustrations are too often sappy and cheap and don’t compete on a level with national publishers.

When I decided to self-publish The Christmas Box, I decided on a very simple cover design with no illustrations. When Doubleday called, they told me mine was one of the most attractive self-published books they’d ever seen.

I’d suggest hiring an advertising agency or graphic design firm to do your book — it’s worth the money to make your book look like more than it is. If you put out $5,000 to print your book, it’s worth $1,000 to make it look right. It’s easily worth 10% to 20% of the printing cost to make the book look its best because if you make it look wrong you waste all of your money.

Once your book is designed and ready to market, what is the next step?

You have to have adequate distribution. Call the bookstores and ask which distributors they are working with. Distributors can make more money with your self-published book than with a national book coming down, so they are your sales force. Distributors are locally-based, so call the ones near you and ask a lot of questions.

How do distributing and marketing intersect?

If your book looks good, and you have the promotion and design, you will get more distribution. Back to the tuna casserole again. Say you walk into a store and want them to sell your tuna casserole. They’ll ask why they should sell yours when they have a deli there. You tell them it’s because you are doing a radio show and telling people to come to their store. You are making them money.

The only question in all marketing is “what’s in it for me?” You have to give them a reason to sell your book. A crucial aspect that I learned is that there are two sales that take place — one to the bookseller and one to the consumer. With The Christmas Box, consumers forced the booksellers to take the book in. It hit #2 on The New York Times best-seller list, but was only in 20% of the bookstores, so every bookseller in America was looking for The Christmas Box. When I went to the ABA show, booksellers told me, “You are the guy that ruined our Christmas.”

How important is self-promotion when self-publishing a book?

It matters ultimately. Someone has to care about your book, and if you are very lucky, you’ll have a publisher and a publicist who care a great deal. If you’re not willing to work for it, the publisher will usually back out and back down to your level… and you will limit what you have. At the ABA show during my first year with The Christmas Box, I sat next to young woman who also had a self-published book. While my book was doing very well, hers wasn’t selling at all. I thought her concept sounded good, so I was curious about her lack of sales As we talked she said she wouldn’t go on radio shows because she hated her voice, wouldn’t do newspaper interviews because she gets too nervous, and wouldn’t do book signings because she hates to speak in public. She was doing absolutely nothing and had an excuse for everything. I soon decided she didn’t want her book [to sell] that much.

What avenues of self-promotion did you find to be most effective and accessible?

Radio is the easiest and most accessible. In the beginning at least, it’s too difficult to get on TV. But there is always a little 1,000 watt radio station where you can call and asked to be interviewed. Now, when I go on tour, I do 20 cities and there is someone to meet me at every airport. But in the beginning, I did it in my own car, got a hotel room close to the airport, got a rental car and started driving. You can buy radio station guides, or find them at the library or on the Internet. I’d look for talk stations and ask to be on their show. I’d get up in the morning and do interviews. When I wasn’t touring, I did a lot of radio interviews by phone at my home.

When I first started, I was trying to get a local independent chain to sell my book. They were not real interested until I told them I had already ordered a billboard campaign. They were a lot more interested when they understood that I had put as much money behind promoting my book as I put into printing it.

In the beginning, I put $7,000 into the Utah market. I sold my book for $4.95 and put $1 into promotion for each book I sold. Initially, I hired a local publicist at between $1,000 and $1,500/month. It’s worth it if you have the money. It’s also important to realize just how big the United States is. You can drop $100,000 in marketing and not make a dent.

With the small window of opportunity that you have to be successful and get noticed, the best strategy is to be a big fish in a small pond. Focus your money on a local market. If The Christmas Box had been brought out nationally, it never would have sold among 80,000 other titles. In the first year, I concentrated on the Walden Books just in Utah. The other regions saw our sales record and realized The Christmas Box was not on their list, and they ordered it for the next year.

What advice would you give self-published authors about book tours?

Book tours can be tremendously valuable sales tools. If you are going out to sell your book as a self-published author, tell why you wrote the book, the effect it had on you and others, and give people reasons to buy the book.

I’m the first author I’ve ever seen hand out fliers at book signings. To help keep people from shying away from approaching an author sitting at a table, hand them a flier, tell them about the book, give little quotes or testimonials. But don’t plan to go to bask in great glory. Remember that this is not an ego trip. If you think it is, you will get eaten up emotionally. Always go on tour to work. A lot of authors drop out of touring. But remember, you have to pay the price if your book and the message you are sharing really matters to you.

What do you see as your most innovative promotional strategy?

A really defining moment happened at the Mountain Plains book show. I wanted to meet the booksellers, who were all out meeting the well-known authors who were brought in by the publishers. The booksellers would get their books autographed and then get back in line behind another established author. I could see that I was really missing the audience here.

It suddenly hit me that if I didn’t care about this book, who would? I noticed there was one empty seat at the end of the table where the big-name authors were sitting. I went and sat down in that chair with my books. One of the organizers saw me. I could tell by the look on her face that she intended to ask me to leave. When she came up to me, I looked up and asked, “Am I late?” A bit flustered, she asked, “May I get you some water?” I saw her the next year, after The Christmas Box became a best-seller with a $4.25 million advance from Simon & Schuster. She said I’d come quite a ways and I thanked her for not throwing me out. She asked, “What did it hurt?”

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?

Let me say that my failures were the best thing that could happen to me. If I’d gotten a publisher right off, I wouldn’t have the success I have now. Because I had to promote it myself, I learned how to become market-driven. I needed to be real honest about the dynamics. When I saw what happened locally, I knew that if I could duplicate that nationally, I could have the number one best-seller in history.

Along the way, I discovered it’s very difficult to get national media attention for fiction. Talk show hosts feel that fiction isn’t intriguing or relevant enough for them to sit down and talk about it. Eighty percent of the books featured on talk shows are nonfiction, where they can talk about relationships or dyads or near-death experiences. They feel that asking a fiction author to “tell me what your book is about,” doesn’t make a good interview. Luckily, I had a story behind my book (his mother losing a child to death) that made it interesting to the press.

When you become market-driven, you find out who likes your book and who your market is. I crossed paths with the author of a book called Twelve Golden Threads, about the lessons learned tying quilts. She was having meetings and book signings with quilting clubs. I thought her focus was a good move. Once you find the basic example of who is buying your book, that is the key to success on a larger scale.

When do you recommend beginning self-promotion efforts?

Start a year in advance to plan the best time to release your book. Author Dave Baldacci (Absolute Power, The Winner, Total Control) released his book this year in mid-December. The year before, he released a book on Jan. 1. Why Jan. 1? Because all the major guns are dropping their books in November and December. Michael Crichton came out with his book Feb. 1. Lots of books come out during Christmas, when all the sales are.

Why did you write The Christmas Box? Why should anyone write a book?

I wrote The Christmas Box because it mattered to me. In the beginning, publishing wasn’t a consideration. The book was written with all of my heart for my two daughters. If the only result was that they understood that their father loved them, that would have been enough. If my mother was the only one who read it and she knew that I understood her pain over losing a child, that would have been enough. The Christmas Box worked because it mattered to me. Write something because it matters.

Copyright © 2001 Carolyn Campbell
This article originally appeared in Inscriptions.

This article may not be reprinted without the author’s written permission.


Carolyn Campbell has published more than 600 articles in national magazines. Her articles have also been published internationally in China, Japan, Germany, England, Denmark and Australia. Campbell is the author of Together Again: True Stories Of Birth Parents and Adopted Children Reunited, Love Lost and Found: True Stories of Long Lost Loves Reunited At Last, and Reunited: True Stories of Long Lost Siblings Who Found Each Other. Campbell lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children.

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