More and more writers are self-publishing to tell their unique stories, share their life story or share their business. Many long to have their work distributed through a regular publishing company, but that dream means having less control over your work.
Ownership is great and being online helps open you up to the other options out there. When self-publishing you may experience struggles with getting your books enough exposure. However, the costs and experience of putting the book together can bring about many revelations. Here are a few keys to success: Read more
Amazon has just announced that Createspace Books will now be moving to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). A new notice has been posted to Createspace user dashboards informing us that Createspace is merging into KDP Print. Amazon has also launched a new page in the KDP help pages that explains how this merger will affect authors, and how they can move their titles from Createspace to KDP Print. This transition needs to be implemented in the next few weeks or it will automatically merge in 60 days.
This week’s edition of how to create a bestseller focusses on the professional services you may want to employ when taking on writing and publishing a bestseller.
There are a few questions to ask yourself when you begin the process of writing a book aside from your purpose and target market. As we said last week, your purpose for writing the book directs your content and promotion. Your purpose along with certain other factors will help you determine what professional services you will need to employ.
How much time do you have?
What skills do you have in writing?
How professional and polished do you want to appear?
This week’s edition of how to create a bestseller focusses on your purpose for writing a book and how that can direct you to the best approach. Your purpose is one of the first fundamentals to consider. A strong purpose assists in determining your target audience and your content.
1. Are you wanting to share a story to make a difference?
Your target audience would be the group most likely to benefit from your message.
Your message would then be answering the questions and addressing the concerns of that audience.
7 Costly Mistakes When Choosing a Publisher: Self Publishing Secrets That Will Save You Thousands by Best Selling Authors Melanie Churella Johnson and Jenn Foster Hit #1 in FIVE Categories on Amazon.com
Salt Lake City, UT- Friday, December 15, 2017 Melanie Churella Johnson and Jenn Foster of Elite Online Publishing release another #1 Bestseller on Amazon.com.
On the day of release, his book started its upward movement towards best-seller status on Amazon.com and reached #1 best-seller status in FIVE categories including, Editing Writing Reference.
Avoid major publishing mistakes by reading the tips and secrets by self-publishing experts Jenn Foster and Melanie Johnson. Are you looking for a publisher? Or not happy with the one you have? This book will teach you the right questions to ask, make sure you get the most royalties and best marketing for your book.
Are you confused about the differences between Self Publishing and Traditional Publishing? We will lay it all out for you, so you can decide the best way to go for you and your book. Jenn Foster and Melanie Johnson share their expertise in making all their authors #1 bestsellers. This information will not only save you money but will help you make money with your book.
About The Authors:
Jenn Foster is one of today’s national leading online and mobile marketing experts. She is the founder and CEO of Biz Social Boom, a company dedicated to helping business owners of all sizes thrive in today’s highly technical world of product and service promotion.She is dedicated to helping businesses use powerful new online and mobile marketing platforms to get visibility, traffic, leads, customers and raving fans.A graduate of Utah State University, Jenn is an award-winning web designer, author, and sought-after speaker. She received an Award in Hollywood from the National Academy of Best Selling Authors. Jenn enjoys raising and having fun with her three children, and family.
Melanie launched owned and operated 2 independent TV stations in Houston and Dallas Texas: Houston (Channel 51) and Dallas ( Channel 55) Melanie has a background in Media, Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising. She has been in front of, as well as behind the camera. She started her career as a News Anchor, Producer, Writer, Public Relations, Promotions, Tv ad sales, Programming negotiations an Financial Strategist. She is the SEO of Charity Auction Consignments. Melanie graciously donates her vacation properties to help raise money for nonprofits. She lives in Houston Texas and originally from Michigan, where she earned the title of Miss Michigan. She is relishing raising her 2 sons, who keep her motivated and young.
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 profilesat 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?
5 star reviews on Amazon. Josh could easily have gone the traditional publishing route. However he chose Elite Online Publishing because of the flexibility he found in choosing the publishing package that fits his needs.
Elite Online Publishing’s book publishing methods gives authors control of the publishing process to carry out their unique vision for their book.
What options are right for your book?
Learn what features are standard with all of our publishing packages
Compare benefits across all four of Elite Online Publishing’s all-inclusive packages
Consider what level of editorial, marketing and distribution support you need for your book
All of these packages include a number of standard features you won’t find with many other publishers. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PUBLISHING All of our packages include
• Author consulting
• eBook Conversion
• Custom Book Cover Design
• Author Retains Copyright
• Proof books for Author Review
• Global Distribution
(Amazon, B&N and GoodReads, etc.)
• Extended Distribution Program Listing
• Online Store front at EliteOnlinePublishing.com
• Author Pricing Discounts on Books
• Monthly Royalty Payments
• Free Subscription to The Elite Publishing Newsletter
• Access to Special Elite Author Marketing & Promotional packages
• Publicity Marketing Materials
There’s a big difference between being an author and being a bestselling author. Whether you are a business owner, a speaker, or a full-time author, being able to call yourself a bestseller dramatically increases your credibility. But what does that really mean?
To become a bestseller, you must appear on a bestseller list. Of course, The New York Times is one of the most famous of these lists, but there are many others, including: ABA IndieBound (ABA), The New York Times (NYT), Barnes & Noble (BAN), Publishers Weekly (PBW), The Boston Globe (BOG), USA Today(USA), The Denver Post (DPO), The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The Los Angeles Times (LAT), WalMart.com (WAL), BN.com, and Amazon.com.
To draw from a personal example, some of my books have been on the Top 100 Amazon Bestselling Teen List and the Top 100 Amazon Bestselling Hot Releases in Teens. One of my books has a ranking in the 300 range for overall books sold on Amazon, while three have been in the 400s out of over 1 million books. (For more details, here is a complete breakdown of my Amazon bestsellers.)
What does this mean? It means that my books, because of the rankings they received at one point on Amazon, were popular enough to be on the bestseller list. For a book to rank #300 on the overall Amazon ranking means that, out of over 1 million books on Amazon, only 299 sold more copies.
However, the New York Times bestseller list is different. Not to better or worse…just different. It’s a different metrics system. No one knows exactly how this is compiled, but large publishers know certain things about getting onto the list, and that’s why you find many of the large publishers’ books on there. It is a well-known fact among publishers that the New York Times gets its book sales data from a scattered few bookstores (like the Nielsen’s) and it doesn’t take into account the actual sales of the books (which Amazon.com does in order to rank), but how many books were shipped to these particular sampling of stores in anticipation of sales.
The New York Times list heavily counts sales in select brick-and-mortar stores, so if your books aren’t in these particular bookstores, then chances of making the New York Times bestseller list are minimal. And being not as comprehensive as Amazon.com in the amount of titles overall (typically brick-and-mortar bookstores can only carry within each store itself on the average 175,000 titles) versus the 1 million plus titles Amazon.com carries, these brick-and-mortar bookstores are not able to carry all book titles to compare sales. Just last year, the New York Times began counting online sales along with books that are in brick-and-mortar. According to certain publishers and industry insiders, it takes about 20,000 books ordered during a week at these select bookstores to have a chance at the New York Times bestseller list. Savvy publishers, usually the top ones, know which bookstores. The rest of us have to guess. However, to many authors, including myself, who have sold well over 20,000 books (for me, just the Frost Series alone was over 20,000) on Amazon alone, that is a surprisingly low number. It’s nothing to sneeze about, but when you think New York Times, you typically think the book must have sold more than anyone else in all avenues, including the number one book on Amazon.
Another important difference is in the timing, as the New York Times compiles their list based on a week’s performance of a book, while the Amazon list is compiled by the hour.
Does being on Amazon.com’s bestselling list actually mean you are selling more than being on a New York Times list?
In some cases, yes. It boils down to Actual Sales (Amazon.com) vs.Anticipated Sales from select bookstores (New York Times).
While it is wonderful and prestigious to be called a New York Times bestselling author, and I applaud any author who does become one, it doesn’t mean that authors on other bestselling lists are not bestselling authors as well.
It simply means their books did not ship enough or fast enough to one of the bookstores The New York Times pulls data from.
John Locke and Amanda Hockings sold over a million books on Amazon.com. While John Locke made the New York Times list (he had the #1 bestselling book, Saving Rachel, for weeks on Amazon.com, and the rest of his series were bestsellers, he made the New York Times list, too. He also had paperback books out in stores, which can explain why he made the list). Amanda Hockings is an Amazon.com bestselling author, who did not make the New York Times bestselling list (despite selling over a million books. I know a lot of New York Times bestselling authors who are friends, and they didn’t come close to selling 1 million books like Amanda Hockings did).
So you see, the New York Times list is not always a reliable indicator of book sales.
The publishing and book world are facing some changes and challenges these days. Amazon.com is thriving. Bookstores are closing, which is very sad for many of us who grew up with a bookstore in every neighborhood.
Perhaps those who have a bias against Amazon.com and BN.com should rethink that bias and realize Amazon.com and BN.com are doing something right in this new age of publishing and reading. Savvy literary agents and publishers realize when scouting for their next big author star to look towards Amazon’s self-published authors. Amanda Hocking was discovered that way, as well as Colleen Houck, whose Tiger’s Curse books were Amazon bestsellers.
A lesson learned from watching and observing bestseller lists for anyone, including those who are writing non-fiction business books, is to take what you read, including New York Times lists with a grain of salt, as opposed to other lists.
But of course, if my books or any of my friends’ books make the New York Times bestseller list or the Amazon lists, it’s a cause for celebration.