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Category Archives: Book Sales

17 Bestseller Tips – from Trade Publishers

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Bestseller-List

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If you ever see Marketing and Advertising from traditional puplishers, it’s for their Bestseller authors only, such as: Advance Book Reviews, posted on their book’s cover, Book Tours and Signings of celebrity authors, media coverage including reviews, speaking engagements, and placing at major bookstores who report to Bestseller lists.  How can author-publishers use the methods of global trade publishers to promote their self-published books?  You don’t need to travel to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, like Johannes Kepler did in 1620 – yes, self-publishing was en vogue already four hundred years ago!

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7 Million Self-Published Titles:  Stiff Competition
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites.  And these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over and self-publishing has been dropping almost 50% per year, obviously “separating the wheat from the chaff”.  You’re not a New York Times bestselling author. You don’t have a publicist. And your Amazon sales numbers are awful. Should you quit writing books?  No, absolutely not!

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including website, paying for IT help, designer, or Google ads.
Traditional publishing uses multiple ways to promote. Self-published authors attempt to market their books to the entire world via Amazon, social media, and their website it seems.  Publishers select books in order to stay in business, and also to determine what the publishing house’s identity is.  Here’s how you can copy traditional ways to market – adjusted to self-publishing.  One step at a time, but continually every day – split in small tasks.
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1. Start Early
Market Research – the very first step to do!  An editor will need to make a case that the book fills a market need. And to do that, the publishing house will look carefully at what’s out there. Has the competition a recent publication in this sub-genre? Does it have similar scope? Is it widely available?

Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too:  Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books. The most powerful and essential steps you can take toward promoting your book begins long before the actual writing of the book. At least two years before the book is published, start building a network of supporters and reviewers.
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2. Print!
Traditional publishers concentrate on print books, which still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book.  Audio Books: The audio-book market is certainly growing, and Trade Publishers are not only investing in digital (even so it took them a very long time) books, but also in audio-books.

E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or Barnes & Noble. You might have even turned it into an audio book. But the questions for a “real” book, paper back or hard-cover copy from conservative friends or elderly family members are nagging… And wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a Chapters or Baker & Taylor or one of these rare independent book shops and see your book in the shelf?  You will not earn a fortune, not even a living, but for a couple of months it is a nice pocket change. Only months… yes, because longer than this, barely any book will stay in the book store, unless it really is a bestseller and gets re-printed. If you go the indie route and choose for example the POD services and worldwide distribution through Lightning Source, (provided you have at least 3 books to be considered a small publisher) your book is printed on demand and will never get discarded (good: no-return-policy in POD worldwide distribution). See this article How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide.
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3. Book Sales at many outlets
Imagine you could buy all books from Penguin only in one book chain… Publishers distribute their books to as many outlets as possible, to brick-and-mortar stores, independent book sellers, mass markets, online book sellers, even via Affiliate programs.

Authors: Sell your books, e-books and audio-books not only through Amazon, but as well on Barnes&Noble, Apple and Kobo websites, to have your “eggs in more than one basket”. And don’t forget the potentially huge potential market for hardcover books, selling them to libraries all over the country!  However, there are way more online retailers for e-books and books than just Apple , Sony, Diesel, Kobo or Barnes & Noble.  Sign up with a book distributor / fulfillment company for your print-version of the book. Distributors mostly require just three books to be listed as a publishing business, and if authors have not written three books yet, they can band together with other authors to reach this minimum.  Traditional publishers and the books of their authors can be found on Bowker’s global database of books.  How to get into “Books in Print”, a worldwide database and to register your book for FREE! with Bowker is the topic of another blog posts.

Books available for future publishers:  Aaron Shepard has written two books about the topic of book distribution: POD for Profit and Aiming at Amazon, both contain very detailed information for small publishers. Another great source is Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, a classic publishing guide-book.
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4. Sell books to Libraries
All traditional publishers sell their books to libraries.

According to statistics from the American Library Association and the Book Industry Study Group, libraries yearly purchase books for nearly $2 billion. But not only books, also audio-books and other forms of publications. Around 95% from major publishers.  Imagine, you sold your $15 book at a 50% discount to only 10% of these libraries, you will earn more than $75,000. But how can you tap into the lucrative library market?  It is explained in detail, including valuable links of wholesale companies who sell to libraries, on SavvyBookWriters here and here.
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5. Book Shows & Fairs
Representation at the applicable trade shows includes bookseller trade shows like the Bookseller Expo America (BEA) or one of the regional bookseller shows, like the New England Booksellers Association, Book Shows for the Library Association (ALA) and certainly the world’s most important, the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany every October.

Which Book Fairs or other Literary Events will you attend in the coming months to present your work?  How to organize your participation and how to attract visitors is explained in detail in this blog post, pointing out the do’s and don’ts at book fairs.

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6. Book Signings
An author tour can take various forms. Two weeks of travel, flights from city to city, an author appearance every day, twice a day if possible.  Publishers often make their choice on the basis of three factors:  if the book can sell in quantity in bookstores; if the book can be reviewed in newspapers, not simply journals;  and if the author is presentable.

How you can organize your own book signing is explained in detail, even with a time-table, here on this blog post at SavvyBookWriters.com/blog
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7. Book Clubs
Traditional Book Publishers sometimes sponsor book clubs, or invite them to participate in a contest, such as the one offered by Random House of Canada “Book Clubs are Beautiful”.  Members suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list. member suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list.

Authors on the book clubs list have attended a meeting or contacted them by phone or email. Writers can find easily contact addresses of book clubs via Google. Offer them a free copy of your book, just as big publishers do. Don’t overlook virtual book clubs at Goodreads, Wattpad, Bibliophile etc.
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8. Writing Contests
Many published authors compete in writing contests, and publishing houses sometimes organize contests.

How to Get More Readers from an Award:  Publicity around a book award will boost your book sales. Contests are a great way to hone your craft and show the world how much better you are than other writers. Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval. You will not only see an increase in your book sales – if you market it well – you also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline. 25 Writing Competitions You Should Enter
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9. Content Writing for magazines & newspapers
World-famous bestseller writers from big publishing houses, such as Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tom Chiarella, Gloria Steinem and Stephen King did it: Writing occasionally short stories and magazine articles – before blogs became fashionable.

Your book has been launched months ago or even last year. NOW readers need to see something NEW from you. It doesn’t need to be a whole new book:
The three main assets you have already
– your writing skills
– the content you already penned
– the research you have done for your book(s) can be used to write at least 20 – 30 articles or blog posts – and if regularly posted on Google+ it is raising your Search Engine Ranking on Google tremendously.

More benefits of writing content:
– it is a subtle way to promote your book
– you receive valuable back links to your website or blog
– you will have lots of possibilities to post on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook.
– include links to your articles in email newsletter (that you hopefully send out regularly to your readers)

Post these articles on your blog or contribute guest blogs to other sites that are focused on the same topics as your book.
Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers, it will link to your book sales page or your website and it helps a lot to build a platform. Last but not least it gives you a lot of material to post and to tweet. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence: you will achieve success with your writing – and in many cases, even get paid for it.
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10. Press Kits on your website
Bestseller authors at traditional publisher have the support of the publisher’s in-house (or out-sourced) publicity department. How much publicity support depends on many factors, but there are the basic elements that a publicity department will likely provide:  Book Press Materials.  Near publication date, the book’s publicist will email the electronic version of the press kits to a large number of applicable editors and producers to garner interest in the book. Book Media Follow-Up is the next step. The book publicist will follow up with any media outlet that responds to the mailings or e-mailings, will mail additional copies of the finished book, and will make additional calls or emails to other outlets to remind them the book is in their in-box.

To get the word out about the upcoming book launch, to receive positive articles in newspapers., magazine, book blogs, or to get interviews, writers should professionally deal with anyone who could tout their book – not only national press or TV.  Don’t make these common errors:  Not having a press page on your website for example.  Unfortunately most writers are not aware that journalists, bloggers or radio hosts need a bit more information than what they see on your Amazon page. And they won’t just copy and paste your “about the author” or the description of your book on the sales page. Check out Stephen Kings website, see how he organized his page for the media, where journalists can download high-resolution press photos.

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11. Advance Book Reviews in magazines and newspapers
Did you ever wonder why brand new books had already reviews?  New author-publishers can learn a lot in book stores:  Check out how professionally published books look like: Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on their binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed.
Traditional publishers may budget anywhere from fifty to several hundred “free and review” copies. Advance Review Copies (ARC’s) are what they send out half a year before book launch date.

How these pre-editions Galleys) are produced and to whom they should be sent is explained in How to Get Reviews Before Your Books Launch.  Prepare your book review query well in advance and learn what to avoid when pitching to reviewers.  Valuable tips can be found at Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them.
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12. Radio Interviews
Bestseller authors often appear as guest at TV or radio stations. Publicists for major publishing houses have longstanding contacts to their editors and arrange interviews for bestseller authors.

Authors can go the same route, starting with internet radio stations, such as this one: The Book Report.  Don’t forget when you plan the marketing of your public events, to announce it for free on Google+ and on Goodreads, use their free Event pages.

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13. Speaking Engagements
Keynote Speakers and Motivational Speakers get handsomely paid, often $10.000 to 15,000 for a two-hour speech!  Most celebrity authors, found as speakers, are writing Non-Fiction books.

Speaker agencies, or organizers of Writers Conferences are the best approach if you want to earn more with speaking engagements than with your book.  If you are really serious about publicly speaking, join first Toastmasters.com and then the Certified Speaking Professional Association where you can get certification in public speaking.

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14. Foreign Rights
Basic subsidiary rights that publishers contract with their authors include translation into foreign languages, foreign rights, and reprint of selections by other publishers, just to name a few. An American publisher may also license a book to a British house for separate English-language publication in the UK and the Commonwealth

Foreign Rights  as well as translations into other languages can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but don’t expect big numbers right away. Additionally, it will add an international, professional image to you and your books. Revenue will be an advance and approximately 6 – 10% royalty of the retail price, minus percentage for the agent. Try to get the highest advance possible. It’s also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores – and another half year for royalties to arrive.
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15. Bookstore Placement
Placement in bookstores, both chain and local (especially bookstores that report numbers to the Bestsellers List)  William Germano explains in his book:
Trade publishers’ marketing departments issue all kinds of catalogs to promote books—ones you see and ones you won’t unless you’re a librarian or a bookseller. The trade catalog is a publisher’s principal tool for making sales to bookstores.  Publishers with two trade catalogs bring out one per publishing season. The fall season usually begins in September and continues through the winter. The spring season begins in February or March, and continues through the summer. Books to be announced in a catalog must be securely in place at the publishing house up to a year ahead.

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing including your website, paying for IT help, designer, or ads.

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16. Placement of books in big box stores
Wandering into a Walmart or Shoppers DrugMart outlet, you will most likely find close to the entrance / cashier desk the shelves of magazines and books, often from Bestseller authors. Big publishing houses sell tons of books to these big box stores – at steep discounts I must add.

If your books are selling like hot cakes, consider selling in bulk too.  Book wholesalers or websites such as ChainStoreGuide.com and TheSalesmansGuide.com, provide contact information for hundreds of buyers. You could also visit the websites of your most coveted outlets. Target even maintains a “vendor hotline” to answer questions by phone. However, be aware that having at least a dozen books is the minimum before you approach buyers at big box stores. They will not order single titles. If you have a book that should go into a specific department, for instance Sporting Goods, Electronics, Childrens, etc. contact your local store manager and ask who the buyer is for that specific department.

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17. Book Sales Page
Many big publishers and major online retailers sell from their own website print and digital books – and so can you!  How?

Get all the information you need to start selling your books from our former article:  How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website.
Make at least 30% more on your books. Get your revenue immediately and get to know your readers, a very important point for your future marketing and to keep in contact with your customers.
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Conclusion:
This is just a small selection of the many book marketing activities that authors can copy from major publishers – beside Social Media networking.  “Just Because You Wrote a Book, Readers Won’t Line Up To Buy It!”  Yet, authors who take their publishing endaveor seriously and work as hard on their publishing business as they do on their writing, will always succeed. Read this article regarding the “Book Sales Plateau”.
Find many more detailed tips and links to all aspects of author-publishing and book marketing at SavvyBookWriters, especially how you can act like a professional publisher and take your books to the next level.  Remember that you don’t have to do all of this at once!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+
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How to Get Your Book into Stores

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Books a Million

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Getting your self-published book into stores is one of the toughest nuts to crack when it comes to author- publishing, compared to how easy it is to get your print book into Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Apple. And then there are discounts, returns and commissions… not to speak of waiting times till your invoice is paid. Book distributors & wholesalers will take care of all this – for a price.
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POD print and distribution
For small amounts of print books, say less than 2,000 books, an author is better off to have it “printed on demand”, done by CreateSpace or by LightningSource, who are also the distributors. The printing might be higher priced, but you can decide on discounts and there will not be any returns from book stores for unsold books, which can be costly. POD produces only after receiving orders.
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Distributors
Let’s assume your book sells like hot cakes and you would like to have it distributed to book stores. So, how to find a book distributor? And should you go with a big, national or a smaller distributor?
An advantage to small distributors (often specialized in certain genres) is that they often know their bookstores better than larger distributors. The orders tend to be smaller but more realistic. Returns with larger distributors to bookstore chains can be very high: 30% returns is expected, but it can be as high as 70%.
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Partner With a Medium-sized Publisher
Another option is to make an arrangement with a medium-size publisher who already has a distribution deal and a sales team. For a percentage of the sale, they could include your book in their catalog, which goes out with the sales reps to book stores across the country, and their sales team will present your book. Some publishers may want all the attention for their own titles, but some may like the idea: there’s no printing cost for them, for instance. Their catalogs are produced 5-6 months in advance.
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Booksellers are Reluctant to Stock POD
Most booksellers will generally not stock Print-on-Demand books because they can’t return the book if it doesn’t sell and the percentage they get is lower. Printing one book at a time is more expensive per book (usually twice as expensive) than publishing a few thousand. That’s why many self-published authors can’t get their books into the large chains. It’s all about non-returnability. Bookstores only order the blockbuster titles they know they can sell. Books-a-Million, one of the book store chains, for example states it does not allow POD books into it’s stores at all.

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Many large US Book Distributors won’t take you on before you have at least five to ten books in print.
 They might also want you to have a sales team who will present your books to booksellers, to show that you are willing to move those books. They also prefer a contract for a certain number of years. Another issue with full service distribution is that they take a minimum of 20% commission, but it will often be closer to 30% if you’re a small publisher. Check them out before signing with any book distributor. Talk to their customers (both publishers and bookstores) to verify they would be a recommendable company for you to work with.
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Selection of Book Distributors in the U.S.A.

Small Press United

Publishers Group West

Partner Publishers Group

National Book Network

Legato Publishers Group

Independent Publishers Group

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Be Aware of these Book Industry Distribution Arrangements

  • Discounts: Bookstores get ($8 when a $20 book sells) or in percent, a 40% discount from the distributor, big box stores often get 45%.
  • Returns: Bookstores can return books back for credit against future orders, on average, about 30% of their initial sales might be returned. Paperbacks are not “stripped” so they can be shipped out again when another bookstore orders them. However, distributors may charge for warehousing of returns.
  • Commission: Sales reps work on commission and only gets paid when books “sell through” (sold to the consumer). The distribution company also works on commission, which is one of the reasons they are so picky about taking on non-validated clients: if the books don’t sell through, they lose the money they have spent storing and shipping the books, their commission is usually 25-30% ($5-6 on a $20 book).

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Direct Sales via Your Website
There is an even more lucrative way to sell your print book and distribute it: through your own website. You keep 100% of your revenue, and you know exactly who bought your books. Valuable data that you can use for promotion of your next book releases. The only “work” you have, is to stuff envelopes and ship your books once or twice a week – or more if you sell a lot. Setting up a PayPal account and an ordering form on your website is pretty easy. Direct selling means that you can make almost three times the amount per book than you can make, compared to a sale through traditional bookstore distributors.
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Book Fairs
Comb the Internet and regional newspapers for Book Fairs. Rent a booth or share one with other writers and have fun to meet readers in person, sign your books, maybe even meet library buyers and book store owners – and keep 100% revenue. Authors could even band together and exhibit at national and international book fairs, such as New York, Edinburgh, Leipzig, Bologna or Frankfurt. If ten or more authors for example share the cost for exhibition, travel and accommodation, it seems to be visible.
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Consignment at Bookstores
Some local independent bookstores will take books on consignment. A 60% to you, 40% to them split might seem a bit unfair to the uninitiated, but it’s the standard in the book trade. If sales are really good, some bookstores will offer to buy your book or you offer it to them which saves on paperwork and hassle. In this case you might offer them 50% discount.
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e-Book Distribution through Kobo
Kobo has partnered with the American, as well as and British Booksellers Association. 3,000 book stores, including 1,000 independents, in the UK and Ireland will carry Kobo’s e-readers in the future and sell e-books directly to Kobo users.  Participating stores will receive a commission of every sale.
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Fazit:
Small publishers and author-publishers with at least 3 books might be better off with LightningSource / Ingram and CreateSpace combined – until their book sale numbers are into the several thousands – also due to the print on demand possibilities that both companies offer.

Lightning Source connects you with the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers. In addition to distributing books through their parent company Ingram Books, they print to order, which means, your book is printed and ready for shipment in 12 hours or less. With over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries your titles will gain the maximum exposure.

Lightning Source / Ingram work  with over 28,000 publishers of all sizes around the world. They deliver digital, print, wholesale and distribution services through a single source, and makes it easy for you to reach more customers in more places.

CreateSpace has slightly lower print on demand fees and set up fees per book, but it doesn’t get you into Ingram worldwide distribution. They offer something, called the Expanded Distribution Channel: “the “potential” to distribute your book to a larger audience through more outlets including: retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, wholesalers, and distributors.” Well “potential” which means actually nothing! If a bookstore is really willing to order a single book because a customers wants it, they will deliver…
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Whole Sale and Book Distribution in USA

  • BCH Fulfillment & Distribution – BCH is also a vendor for Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. BCH offers 24/7 telephone order taking, an on-line catalog, representation at major trade shows, and more.
  • Atlas Books - Distributes online, via wholesalers, and commissioned sales reps. AtlasBooks is the distribution and marketing arm of the BookMasters Group which represents small to mid-size publishers.
  • Midpoint Trade Books – works with small and medium size publishers. No catalogs, so they can take on new titles any time of the year.
  • National Book Network – Distributes for 85 publishers, they offer Print on Demand, starting at 20 books
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Book Whole Sale / Distribution in Canada:

  • North 49 – trade book wholesaler with an inventory of over 3000 bestselling books from more than 500 publishers from Canada, UK and USA
  • Librarybound – a wholesaler delivers Canadian books to libraries (fulfillment orders only, no warehousing)
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More resources:

Distributors and Wholesalers, compiled by IBPA, Independent Book Publishers Association
https://www.ibpa-online.org/resources/distributor-wholesalers/#.UWlwW7VO-So

Create Space Vs Lightning Source
http://write2publish.blogspot.ca/2011/02/why-create-space-is-better-than.html

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How dealing with Lightning Source exactly works can be learned “by the book”, actually two books, written by Aaron Shepard: “Aiming at Amazon” and “POD for Profit: More on the NEW Business of Self Publishing”.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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12 Amazon “Countries” in One Link

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World

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With the limited 140 characters on Twitter for example, character space counting is necessary.  To reach your potential worldwide readers, you have to tweet the link for each country separately. For some reason Amazon divides the world by countries and has separate platforms for each country, the wonderful Word-wide-Web seems not to exist for them…

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Great Amazon Link Shortener
A smart software developer created a program that lets you send out one link, and no matter where your readers are, they come to their own countries’ Amazon website, even though you give the link as viewbook …. It works great. Try it out with our own Amazon sales link. Just sign in with the developers site: http://www.viewbook.at, which is converting into http://www.booklinker.net/

Viewbook provides you with a link, which sends the customer to the Amazon site in your country, via their (viewbooks) site. It is a seamless process, and the customer doesn’t realize that it is happening. This is great for using on Twitter, as it does not matter where your potential customers live, because once they click on your link, they’ll be taken to the most appropriate Amazon store.
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Track the Progress of Your Link
Another great feature provided by Viewbook.at is the ability to track the progress of your book links.  Each link you post on Social Media gives you an estimate of how many clicks the books are receiving, and the countries they are coming from.  Two more companies currently offer a similar service: SmartURL and Georiot.

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Pro and Con’s
Yes, the service is free, or at least almost, as Viewbook is an Amazon affiliate and this way they receive a tiny commission from Amazon, for a $2.99 book about 6 cents.  If the customer orders more items within 24 hours through this initial Viewbook link certainly more. However, if you are an Amazon affiliate, you will not receive a commission on the sale of your book – Viewbook.at will receive this small amount for their great service.

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To Link or Not to Link?
On the other hand: you might even sell more, as more potential reader learn about your book by way of the “translation” of your sales page link. Your royalties will not be affected in any way. This single global link to many countries is really a superb invention, reducing lots of customer barriers, and it might improve your overall sales a little bit. There is some discussion on the Internet about Viewbook’s affiliate programs, on the other hand, if customers order free or 99cent books through referral of BookBub and similar services.  BookBub receives a commission too – on top of the hefty ad fees they charge for sending out a newsletter with advertisers’ book campaign info with a single click. That’s all they do!  I have never heard someone on the net discussing these affiliate commissions.
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I personally think the “worldwide” link helps book sales more – if you are not already an Amazon affiliate yourself.  And you can certainly use both links, your “old” ones from Amazon for each country and the “worldwide” Viewbook link.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing:  We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Stephen King Book Signing in Sarasota Florida

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Read tips for your own book signing, that might not draw such a crowd, but it will show your book to many more readers, and it is a part of your author platform, which helps to cement your author brand.

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Folks were lining up around the blog… What a sight!  I was curious and asked one of those in line if there is free ice cream from the new opened parlor.  But no!  She explained me that there is a book
signing.  Book Signing? Really? Yes, she said, in BookStore 1 is an author signing his books.  Yes, and what’s his name? Stephen King she said. Well, no wonder that folks are lining up!
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Stephen King Book Signing in Sarasota Florida

As I had already a small camera in hand, I asked several folks to model for me and took also lots of
photographs from parts of the line-up (sorry, had no wide angle lens with me to capture how the line went around the whole block).

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Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine.  I would assume to make ends meet…

If it hadn’t been for Stephen King’s wife, Tabitha, the iconic image of a young girl in a prom dress
covered in pig’s blood would not exist. King received 30 rejections for his story of a tormented girl
with telekinetic powers, and then he threw it in the trash. Tabitha fished it out. She sent his story
around again and, eventually, Carrie was published. The novel became a classic in the horror
genre and has enjoyed film and TV adaptations as well.

Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, which allowed him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers.
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Word for Your Week:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is hard work.” –Stephen King

And by the way: There is a publishing seminar in Sarasota, FL, this coming Saturday, March 22.
Sign-up for the Early-Bird-Offer, and learn how to become a successful writer – maybe one day people are lining up for your book signings too.  It all takes a lot of time, often years, patience and dedication. We will show you at this seminar how to redeem and get short stories from your books’ manuscript and from your research, to get your name out as a writer. Remember: Stephen King started out with short stories!
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Seminar-in-Sarasota

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Tips for Your Own Book Signing
Start with your own towns / cities bookstores, some will agree to a book signing with a local author. However, just because you set up an event, doesn’t mean people will come! You have to annouce it to as many people as possible. In the weeks leading up to the book signing, announce it often on all your Social Media sites, on Craigslist, print some flyers and post it at libraries, on Community Boards, coffee shops etc. Sent out a press release to various local media outlets, and maybe offer them a free digital version of your book.

Don’t forget to mention that you will have a drawing (maybe for a Kindle, Kobo or Nook and also that you will have “refreshments” (ice water to juice, coffee, or cookies, or even wine and cheese). It all depends on the venue, in a chain book stores that includes a coffees hop you may think about a gift card for a large coffee to hand out to people who bought your book.
Bring your book markings or cards, a fish bowl to collect addresses for the drawing, lots of pens, and ice water for yourself. And have someone to be present at your table and help you. See more tips at our blog post: “Top 18 Book Launch Tips” where you also get a time schedule.
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In her article “How to Have A Successful Book Signing” MaryJanice Davidson said: “First, let’s define “successful”. A successful book signing is when you show up, your books are there, you have a place to sit, and you sell just one book.”  Well, hopefully more than one I would say.
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Author Michel Sauret: “Not every person that comes up to you during the signing will buy the book. Don’t be desperate and try to force a sale to everyone you talk to, but definitely show your enthusiasm and confidence in your own work.” 

Valerie Peterson wrote: “signing books—can be an important part of your book marketing campaign. While online bookselling is booming, of course, many people do enjoy seeing authors live and in person, and it gives writers an opportunity to meet their readers—as well as to sell some books!”

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Problem With Book Returns & How to Solve it

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Bookstore
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Bookstores rarely host signings by self-published authors — maybe if the author is local and offers books in consignment.  “Why not?” I asked a bookseller.  “We can’t return them.  When we order books from self-publishing press, such as CreateSpace, the books are non-returnable. If the store can’t sell them, then they’re stuck with them, and lose money.
Archaic practices in the publishing industry allow bookstores to return unsold books, often just weeks after their debut – for full purchase price.  No risk for book sellers, but lots of frustration and loss for authors.
Trade publishers ship books on a refundable basis – pretty much a novum in retail –  so if a book store orders 30 copies and only sells 20, they can return the 10 unsold copies and will receive a refund, meaning no risk on the site of booksellers. 

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Booksellers Don’t Stock POD
Most booksellers will generally not stock POD books because they can’t return the book if it doesn’t sell and the percentage they get is lower. Printing one book at a time is more expensive per book (usually twice as expensive) than publishing a few thousand.
“That’s why many self-published authors can’t get their books into the large chains,” he explained. “It’s all about non-returnability. We only order the blockbuster titles they know they can sell. Books-a-Million, one of the book store chains, for example states it does not allow POD books into it’s stores at all.”

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Solution for Authors
However, author-publishers don’t need to be stuck with the current system of bookstore returns:
He pulled up several examples for me on his computer of self-published authors who use Lightning Source and offer both “Regular discount” (i.e 40%) and return-ability. He orders these books through Ingram/LightningSource, just like books from traditionally published authors. So it’s possible with Lightning Source, at least. The easier authors make it for independent booksellers and the big book chains, the more likely they will be treated like mainstream authors – if their books are well edited and have an attractive cover.

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Offer Both: CreateSpace & LSI / Ingram Distribution
If you don’t plan to sell many books, CreateSpace works fine. But if you DO plan to sell lots of books, you will earn a lot more from LSI (LightningSource Inc.) with a 20% discount than you will from CS with a 40% to 60% discount. Those setup fees everyone complains about at LSI are meaningless, compared to the difference in per-unit margin.  You will make up the difference in set-up fees within the first 100 books you sell.
in order for bookstores to order them you have to make your books returnable. In average, bookstores return about thirty-five per cent of the hardcovers they buy, according to the NEWYORKER and publishers (or author-publishers, that’s you!) write off the cost of producing those books. Don’t forget to deduct these returns from your tax.
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Benefit: Book Signings
You will be able to have book signings at Barnes & Noble and other stores, taking part in store events if you distribute for example through LSI / Ingram. Bestseller Author Stephanie Chandler wrote a great article how to sell to bookstores and also offers a free Consignment Agreement form for you to download and modify if you want to make an arrangement with a bookstore to carry your books as a consignment. Her statement: “It certainly can’t hurt to place your books at a few stores, but it probably won’t lead to fame and fortune!”  – It might work with an author who has a strong local following.  Last but not least: there is even some shifting in booksellers attitude towards the author-published books, read more about it in these blogs:

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,020 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Book Sales

 

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Book Sales Plateau – 13 Tips What You Can Do!

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First-time writers are often puzzled when after a very successful book launch and many book sales, their ranking on Amazon drops and their sales numbers dwindle over time – which is a totally normal process, even for bestseller authors. So what can you do as a writer – besides writing your next manuscript:
Your book has been launched months ago or even last year and you had great sales numbers. NOW readers need to see something NEW from you. It doesn’t need to be a whole new book:
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The three main assets you have already

  • your writing skills
  • the content you already wrote
  • the research you have done for your book(s) can be used to write at least 20 – 30 articles or blog posts – and if regularly posted on Google+ it is raising your Search Engine Ranking on Google tremendously.
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1. Use the manuscript text from your “old” book to split it into tiny portions and write lots of short blogs / articles from the content – along with a two sentence bio and a link to your webpage or Amazon author / sales page. Make use of your assets! Which means not only your book, but using all the research notes and text, you have compiled to write it. Make it a habit to post/publish content at least two – three times a week!

More benefits of writing content:
– it is a subtle way to promote your book
– you receive valuable back links to your website or blog
– you will have lots of possibilities to post on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook….
– include links to your articles in email newsletter (that you hopefully send out regularly to your readers)
Post these articles on your blog or contribute guest blogs to other sites that are focused on the same topics as your book.

Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers, it will link to your book sales page or your website and it helps a lot to build a platform. Last but not least it gives you a lot of material to post and to tweet. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence: you will achieve success with your writing – and in many cases, even get paid for it.

Read more here:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/prequels-authors-benefits-of-writing-them/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/a-new-way-of-book-marketing/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/free-brilliant-book-marketing-to-a-million-audience/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/smart-authors-get-paid-for-marketing-their-books/

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2. Rewrite these articles a bit, add more material and offer them to magazines, newspapers etc., starting with Airline Inflight Magazines, Huffington Post and Salon.com etc., even The Atlantic could be interested if it is a longer article with great content. Focus more on discoverability rather than selling. Your work is important, so help readers to find it.

World-famous bestseller writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tom Chiarella, Gloria Steinem and Stephen King did it: Writing occasionally short stories and magazine articles – before blogs became fashionable. In several former posts I explained in detail how easy it is for writers to create content, such as blog articles and sell them to magazines and newspapers or write guest blogs. Read more about brilliant book marketing and content writing, check out the links below.
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3. You Need More Potential Readers
Are you really adding at least 25 new followers per day to your Social Media networks? You often can add more, 25 is the restriction on Goodreads, but Google+ for example allows you to follow up to 5,000 people. However, don’t choose just anyone: type into the search function: booklover, avid reader, reviewer, book blogger… you get the point? These are the folks who might be interested in your book – and tell other about it. Make it a habit to add EVERY DAY new followers to each one of your Social Media sites. Future book campaigns will only be successful if you have enough fans!

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4. Post and Tweet more about borrowing your book for Prime Members.  After all you earn money with each lending (approx. $2 per book).  Every day new customers sign up for Amazon’s Prime membership program.
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What’s More:

5. Post something new on your website at least once or twice a week

6. Plan and create an email campaign to potential readers

7. Book Signings end Readings bookstores, museums or literary cafes

8. Readings at libraries & book clubs or Meetup Groups

9. Participate in Writing Contests (national and international)

10. Write a prequel for your next book and add a link to the first one

11. Join HARO (Help a Reporter out) to make yourself a name as an expert in your field
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12. As soon as your next book is written, contact the library distributors, read the useful blog article from SavvyBookWriters.com/blog with lots of tips and links how to sell your book to libraries.
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13. You Might Need More Distribution:
Use BookBaby or .eBookpartnership for example, to place your book on all Amazon’s Kindle Stores: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Brazil, Japan, India etc .  In North America: Apple, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Ingram. In Europe to: Askews & Holts, Blackwell’s, BlioBook, Depository, Kalahari.net, Waterstones, Whitcoulls, WH Smith. Their yearly fee is less than $100 and you can save LOTS of hours for uploading your book, for accounting with these retailers and if you work on Windows, to use a Mac computer (for upload to Apple).  Best of all, they do not take commissions, such as with Smashword for example. You keep 100% of the revenue from online retail. However, you should buy your own ISBN’s, preferably a block of ten, and don’t forget to register your book worldwide with Bowker’s database, which goes to all bookstores and libraries in the world.
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Don’t forget:
If you have only one book there is nothing that readers can actually buy from you, after they have read your book! The only benefit is the lending program for Prime Members that gives you some revenue – but only if you have priced it higher than $2.99, as readers usually prefer to borrow higher-priced books. And: marketing means not only sales campaigns … so do everything to show your potential readers a bit of content that leads to your book. The key to success is confidence in yourself, persistence, and also knowing what you want!
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SECRET:
Your first book will very often increase in sales as a result of a successful launch of your second book. Every time you launch a new book, it has an impact on past titles, if they are written for the same audience.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,010 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Book Sales, e-Books, Marketing

 

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How Can Bookstores Survive?

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Bookstore
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Carmen Amato asked me the other day what I think, how bookstores could survive. And yes, we all want them to survive, both, independent local bookstore and even big chains. It’s not an easy task for brick&mortar booksellers. However, it’s the growing popularity of the “shopping local” movement, in which booksellers were at the forefront.” And further: “many consumers across the country find the grassroots accessibility of indies appealing”, wrote The Atlantic.
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My “wishlist” and ideas how bookstores could strive:

1. e-Book Order Feature
Since years I was wondering why bookstores did not offer their customers devices where they could order the e-book version if they liked what they found in print in the store. Or at least “bundle” print books with an e-book version. Amazon now tries to partner with bookstores (which might meet some resistance…) to offer exactly what I had envisioned.
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2. Carrying Author-Published Books
Trade-published books do not automatically mean quality. There are so many wonderful books from independent authors out there – and it would be a smart move to offer them as well. Readers don’t care who publishes a book, they just want a good read.
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3. Order Directly from Author-Publishers
This way, bookstores could circum-navigate the wholesalers and increase their profit quite a bit! As these connections are mostly with local authors, the bookstores could play the “local” aspect into their promotions to the communities around. Most people like to “know” the author who’s books they buy.
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4. Offer Book-Layout, Cover-Image and Editing
Why not band together with professionals and offer authors these services to make sure the books’ content and layout gets a great start and is prepared for the Espresso Book Machine. Many authors would be happy to get technical help in the book production and publishing process.
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5. Set up an Espresso Book Machine
Many authors (professional and hobbyists) struggle to create very small numbers of print books, e.g. for book signings, Goodreads Giveaways or as gifts. Bookstores would be the ideal place to offer this inventive book printing device. Motto: “Get your book printed while having your Java”, which brings me to the next suggestion:
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6. COFFEE!
Most chain stores, such as B&N or Chapters have a Starbucks in a designated area, but very few bookstores offer this pleasure. Independent bookstores need to give customers more reasons to come in!
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7. More Space and PR for Author Readings
Supporting events such as readings and book signings should be a priority of bookstores – and organizing these professionally, including PR, should be a no-brain-er. After all it is a promotion for the store as well.
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8. Providing Space for Author Meetings
Charging a small fee (as libraries do) and renting meeting space for authors or even organize a writers conference could be profitable and at the same time a good PR for bookstores if they have the space.
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What is YOUR view, how do you think, bookstores can survive and even strive?

Check out what writers and author-publishers suggested on Carmen Amato’s website.
Who else wrote about survival of bookstores?
Can traditional bookstores survive the digital marketplace?
Barnes & Noble’s troubles don’t show why bookstores are doomed.
The Man Who Took on Amazon and Saved a Bookstore
How ‘Indie’ Bookstores Survived (and Thrived)

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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Audio Books, Book Sales, Bookstores

 

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Is this You? Make it Right from the Start!

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Teaching

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Would you learn to drive a car, a totally new profession or fly a plane without a flight instructor?
It makes sense to have a professional for “showing you the ropes”, someone who has studied the subject and has many years experience. The same is true for the “new profession” that you, as an independent authors choose: Publisher.

Getting help BEFORE you write or at least before you publish, can save a lot of headache, beginner mistakes, lots of time and most important: Money! And even when you get help after your book is published, it will improve your appearance as a serious author tremendously.
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Evaluating Book Appearance and Author Platform
Before we start our Publishing and Book Marketing consulting/coaching we ask our clients to fill out a questionnaire in order to evaluate their book’s appearance and if the basics of professional publishing are known and if the author platform or any kind of author brand are visible.
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These are some of the gaps we discover:

  • No knowledge about the “competition” of their book
  • No clear picture about the potential readership demographic
  • No professional author image on Social Media
  • Missing author pages on Amazon or Goodreads
  • Cover image not in line with the content / not attractive
  • No Google+ Page for each of their books
  • No email opt-in on their webpage
  • No own ISBN, which means not their own publisher
  • Not registered with Bowker for worldwide listing of books
  • No regular blog posts on their site
  • No guest posting on other blogs
  • Follows only other writers on Twitter instead of readers or reviewers
  • Book is in the “wrong” category on Amazon
  • No transfer of Twitter / Facebook followers to Goodreads
  • No interesting tweets, just hawking their books
  • No email signature, or no “about.me” on blogs
  • No articles written for newspapers or magazines
  • No free event invitation on Goodreads or Google+
  • Social Media sites are not connected with each other
  • Book Cover that screems “self-published”
  • No pre-publishing reviews are sent out
  • No Goodreads Giveaway before book launch

…. well, this list could go on and on …

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Never Too Late
My favored quote is “You never get a second chance for a first good impression”. However, there is always still a good chance to improve the author platform and the author brand, one step at a time.  When all these gaps are closed, sales will pick up!  But you have to do the necessary steps and the groundwork first!  Let’s help you with our 30+ years of professional publishing experience and marketing studies. See also samples how we can support your marketing efforts.
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/  to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 980 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Disappointing Results and a Scandal: Amazon’s Withdrawal

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Road-Closed

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Promoting local public libraries since fifteen years, and running a great website, PublicLibraries http://www.publiclibraries.com/  reported about Amazon’s withdrawal from becoming a big trade publisher:  “Amazon is toning down its plans to become a full scale publisher. The retreat from publishing appears to be a result of black listing of author’s signed with Amazon by brick and mortar book retailers.”

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Opposition from Bookstores
“Amazon has struggled to gain traction for its publishing division. It appears that Amazon underestimated the amount of opposition that it would experience from the traditional publishing and book retailing world. Major book retailer Barnes & Noble refused to carry any of the titles published by Amazon. Amazon has also had trouble attracting major authors to its division.”
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Disappointing Results and a Scandal
“Authors that have signed with Amazon have experienced disappointing results. Amazon’s first big title, Penny Marshall’s My Mother Was Nuts, performed poorly in print sales. This was largely due to the fact that brick and mortar books refused to carry the Amazon title. Even the eBook edition was effectively blocked outside of the Amazon marketplace as Google, Barnes & Noble Nook Store and Apple iBookstore all refused to distribute the digital version.”

Industry Newsletter Shelf Awareness also said that “In connection with [Kirshbaum's] departure, the most ambitious part of Amazon’s publishing operations will be scaled back. Already several editorial people have left or been let go, and Amazon has not been a factor in bidding on major books the way it had been just two years ago.”

Wallstreet Journal Online wrote: “In quick succession, Mr. Kirshbaum signed up a number of well-known writers and personalities, among them actress and director Penny Marshall and best-selling writer Timothy Ferriss. The signings worried rival publishers who were concerned that Amazon’s deep coffers would enable it to pluck many of the book industry’s biggest stars.  In January 2012, Mr. Kirshbaum’s efforts were effectively checkmated when rival bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. said it wouldn’t put titles published by Amazon on its shelves. A number of other retailers followed suit, making Amazon a less attractive alternative for many writers and their agents. The big-name signings stopped…”

Read the whole story how bookstores and trade publishers fought back here on PublicLibraries, NY Times, Gigaom.com and PublishersWeekly.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

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Online-Purchase

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In a former blog post: Successful Book Selling – the Non-Traditional Way  we mentioned that authors could sell books from their own website – which resulted in lots of questions how this could be installed and successful managed.
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Great Benefits for Authors
Take advantage of these three fantastic benefits of selling your books from your own webpage:

  1. You will have higher Revenues
  2. You get paid faster
  3. You will know your readers

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Higher Revenues
Directly selling means you earn around 85% from your retail price, way more than the maximum 70% you receive from Amazon, and on a 99 cent book or one above 9.99 you get nearly double the amount you would receive from Amazon.  It also helps your readers who live in areas where Amazon requests a surcharge, e.g. in parts of Asia, Africa and Middle East – and sometimes even when customers want to order books from countries.  A while ago I ordered a 99-cent book from Germany that was not available on Amazon.com, only through Amazon.de and at the end I paid almost $4.00. I certainly was not happy about this surcharge.
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Faster Payments
You get paid before your customers downloads your books. Unlike with online book retailers, you don’t have to wait until you receive a statement months after your book was sold. The money for your books is right away in your account.
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Who are Your Readers?
Having your book solely on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Apple etc., you will never know who orders and reads your book,s no matter how many are sold. These are not your customers anymore, but the retailers’ and they won’t let you know any details about your customers.
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A very important tip:  ALWAYS include your website, blog and social media information in your book, no matter if e-book (where readers can have a direct link to your sites) or print book.
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How to Set up an Online Bookstore
There are dozens of ready-to-go online stores available, called “e-commerce” which can be installed in your existing website or blog – relatively easy and quick. You have to have your own (hosted) website or blog, the paid versions – not a free website.
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Most e-Commerce Shops Take a Small Fee Every Month.
Some, like Ecwid for example are free if you have less than 10 books to offer. EJunkie provides shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell book downloads. They offer one week trials and their fees start with $5/month for less than 10 downloads. They also offer lots of features, such as tax and shipping calculators, discount management, affiliate management etc.  Almost all e-commerce shops work with PayPal systems for secure and easy payments.

Downloads Even Possible from WordPress Site
If you own your hosted web page and your web name at WordPress.org you can turn your WordPress blog into a full blown e-commerce site and start selling online.  A simple E-commerce Shopping Cart plugin lets you sell tangible products, services, and digital downloads securely from your own site. The plugin is packed with features to make selling easier on the internet and allows Paypal payments.
WordPress explains: “No matter what type of digital downloads you have, you can sell and deliver them securely to your customers with the plugin. Sell your e-books (PDF), audio books, music (MP3, wav, MP4), photos, digital arts easily from any WordPress.org site.”
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Custom-Designed Sales Page
Another option to sell from your own website is, if you are an IT / software professional or have one (can be virtual) on hand, to help with the technical aspect, to install your own custom-made online store. However, it has to be monitored and you have to choose a very reliable hosting company, as every down-time on their servers means lost sales for you.
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You Can Even Sell “by hand” Via your Computer:
Customers pay with PayPal and you deliver your files for your e-book via email, or shop your print book via regular mail. This is the most labor-intensive and you are required to deliver almost around the clock, as customers expect to receive your book immediately after their payment goes through.
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Showcase on Ganxy
Easy-to-use tools for selling and giving away content on Ganxy through a customized separate website. You can learn where and how customers discovered your content—across any website and channel where the Showcase appears. Showcases make your content look professional and consistent everywhere it appears on the Internet.
You can create giveaways, award contest winners, send review copies, distribute copies at conferences, and more. You can even ask promotional customers to provide their contact information to access content, giving you a forum for ongoing contact with your audience. They also offer a free trial. However, this is not your OWN website, it is a borrow and it belongs to this company.  Use it for campaigns and keep your own website too.
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Selz
The installation process with Selz is the same as any other WordPress plugin. You can either download it from the WordPress plugin library or install it directly from the “Add New” option in the plugins area of your WordPress website.
The sign up process for a free account is quite simple and takes only a minute to complete. To start the selling process on your WordPress website, you need to select the type of products or services that you’re offering. It can be anything from digital products like eBooks, images, audio files to physical items. Selz provides several other useful features that really make it a complete ecommerce package: For example, offering a freebie, like an eBook, you can simply mark your product as FREE in the product section.

Gumroad
The very best option however, is Gumroad, a company who charges just 5% + 25¢ per transaction. Working with them means: there are no hosting fees, no monthly fees, no bandwidth fees, no refund fee. You just give a link on your website to potential customers and all the transaction go through their website – but you will get and keep all your customers data.

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So, with all these options you have plenty of reasons to sell your book directly from your website – additionally to your sales via online retailers. Put your eggs in several baskets! You never know! And it is useful to know who is buying and reading your books, in order to notify them for your next launch.

Sources:

http://www.shopify.ca/sell/ebooks

http://www.3dcart.com/sell-online/how-to-sell-ebooks-online.html

http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-e-commerce-shopping-cart/

http://www.siteground.com/tutorials/create_website/sell_products.htm

http://line25.com/articles/the-best-shopping-cart-plugins-to-sell-with-wordpress

http://www.sitepoint.com/hosted-shopping-cart-solutions/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,160 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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http://www.111publishing.com

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Book Sales, Marketing

 

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Did You Think About It, Before Writing Your Book?

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Cat-in-Basket
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There are a couple of hard questions you should ask yourself before writing and publishing a book. Having heard all these stories during the last years about (very few) authors who self-published their books and became famous / rich, might tempt you to follow their path.

90% of all authors I talk to, haven’t done their research. There are lots of questions any author should ask (and answer) before writing – not only as independent writer, but also before pitching to publishers:

  • how many books of this topic (sometimes even with the same title) are out there already
  • where are these books sold and for which price
  • who are the customers of these books
  • how are these books received and which ones are bestselling
  • in which categories / genres are these competitive books listed
  • what cover designs have been chosen for these books
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Research First and Build a Solid Foundation
Barely any author is really planning their book and its promotion. Only when frustration sets in, they think about getting help.  Becoming an author-publisher is a long-term commitment and requires hundreds of small steps on the path to success!  Before you even attempt to write, develop and market an e-book, or paper book for that matter, create yourself a road map.

The problem is that too many authors are in a hurry to start writing and don’t lay a foundation for book marketing. They spend all this time writing, and then they have no readers and customers to buy their books.
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Ask yourself some hard questions:

  • Who will be your e-book readers?
  • Is there a demand for your eBook product?
  • Is your e-book a “must have” purchase?
  • How much will people pay for your product?
  • Does the purchase of your eBook lead to additional e-book sales?
  • How much money will you need to fund your project?
  • How likely are you to excel among the competition?
  • How do you contact and “pitch” your product to your potential buyers?
  • How to you get the important book reviews?
  • Do you have already lots of followers in your social networks?

Writing your book is only 20% of the work, 80% is marketing! Having a plan on how you intend to market, publicize and sell your book before starting to write it is crucial.

• Choose your book content
• Start marketing your book, even before writing it
• Design and format it into a perfect downloadable file
• Create a professional cover for your e-book
• Select the e-book retailer to upload your book (Amazon, Apple, B&N, Sony…)
• Continue marketing your book

You are responsible for providing your own ongoing marketing for e-published work – the same as for paper books that are often not very well marketed. A book might be great, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t sell. Authors can’t count on the public seeing their books on shelves or in store windows – they have to find it on the internet.
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The Statistics are Dire 
There are more than one million books published in the USA alone every year.  Of those, some two thirds are self-published.  Book sales are declining, having peaked in 2007.  Your nonfiction book published in 2014 will, on average, sell less than 250 copies per year, fewer than 3,000 over its lifetime, which is increasingly short since publishers don’t back-list as much as they used to.
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Create Your Own Market 
More books, fewer sales means that publishers have less money to spend on marketing to try to reach those increasingly rare readers.  Less help from the publisher means that the author has to do more and more him/herself.  So you not only have to write the book, you also have to figure out how to sell it. How will anyone hear about your book?  They won’t see it – there’s a less than 1% chance that your book will be stocked in a bookstore.
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Establish Yourself as Expert
In an era of increasing specialization, and a daily explosion in knowledge, experts have clout and authority.  So if you want to be at the head of your field, you need that book – especially if you’re a consultant or something similar, who’s hired because of your expertise.  And then you’ll probably need another book in a few years’ time.  But let’s worry about the next book later.
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Become a Professional Public Speaker
Public speakers – the paid ones – still need a book to point to.  Even (former) President Clinton has had to write books to keep himself in the public eye. That’s why it’s important to get clear from the outset why you are writing this book.
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Don’t Let You Fool By These Bogus Stories
Writers claim to have sold hundred-thousands of their books in short time or claim bestseller status, and cash in on these stories.  When you look behind the scenes, they have either paid for hundreds of reviews or a service company bought ten-thousands of their own books (which these authors had to advance), catapulting them to New York Times bestseller status. All this false hype brings writers to think their book is a failure if not showing up in bestseller lists. Wrong!

Don’t Be Discouraged
Just do more research into your book market, learn everything about book publishing and marketing, and built step by step your author platform and brand.  And for your next book:  Do the research first!!! Before you start writing.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials or your KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 940 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Successful Book Selling – The Non-Traditional Way

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Store
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Bookstores, brick-and-mortar or online, are wonderful places to buy books – and for authors to sell books, but they aren’t the only places.  Do you know that more than half of all books are not sold in bookstores?  If you really want to lots of your writing, there are so many other venues for selling your books.
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Your Own Webpage
David Gaughran wrote: “
The first obvious advantage is higher royalty rates. You can earn a lot more than 70% if you sell direct. I’m making $3.49 on my $3.99 titles (as opposed to $2.70 from Amazon) and I’m getting nearly double the royalties on 99c titles.  On top of that, I can now directly serve readers who face higher charges internationally (such as readers in Amazon’s surcharge zone) and those readers who can’t buy from the major retailers (e.g. Barnes & Noble only serve the US, and Amazon don’t serve much of Asia, most of the Middle East, and nearly all of Africa).”  David gives in his article detailed information to pro’s and con’s of selling directly, payment options etc.

Gift shops
Many books fit well in the gift or souvenir market. The price for your book should be under $15, the cover bright and the book a good impulse item. If you offer your book in person, bring a display for dominantly presentation at the cash counter. A good place too is a hospital’s gift shop: visitors and patients need something to occupy their time at the hospital, right?
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Local Festivals
Build your local brand and get recognized by your community and sell your book at local festivals and fairs. Contact festival organizers in your area and ask them how you can set up a booth at the next festival. It may surprise you just how much traffic your booth could attract. Bring a fish bowl and initiate a raffle, and get names and email addresses to invite for your next book launch.  A side effect might be that people demand your book at the local library and even in local bookstores.
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Retail outlets
Some golf club shops, gourmet shops, sporting goods stores, home improvement stores, museum stores, wineries or children’s shops sell books as sidelines, items that complement their other merchandise. Offer the outlet ten copies on consignment, plus a free display to get the ball rolling. For example: if there is an exhibition about the Victorian era announced, and your book takes place there, offer a limited time consignment of your book. Or an ice wine festival at a winery: offer your gourmet book to them.  Golf tournament: show your mystery that happens on a gold course.
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Corporate gifts
A book is the ideal goodwill builder because people value books. Most corporations have marketing budgets for creating goodwill and turning prospects into clients or say thank you to customers. Do you have a guide on personal finance that you could sell to a bank or investment brokerage? Could your health-oriented book interest a pharmaceutical company or hospital?
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Book-Signings
Unless you’re a celebrity, don’t expect book signings to sell a ton of books for you; look at them as building brand awareness, the true power of a book signing is in its promotion. Get lots of tips for book signings on Writing-World’s blog post.

Catalogs
There are thousands of consumer and business-to-business catalogs that cover every imaginable subject. Find the ones that already have your customer base and convince them about the value of carrying your book. You can do this online or via a major library that has various directories. Catalogs have three great advantages: No book returns, they usually pay promptly and they order frequently and for a long time.
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Local mall
Contact the mall in your area and speak with the person in charge of leasing tables. Ask them how much it costs to lease a space in the mall, as well as the best locations to sell books and the best month, other than December: Easter or Back-to-School might be a good time too.
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E-books & audio-books
Make sure to sell it to e-book vendors all over the internet – not only to Amazon. There is Kobo, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Waterstones, Google, Gardners, Sony, Powell’s etc.  If you don’t want to deal with each of them on a direct basis, there is BookBaby, who submits your e-book for a flat fee and you keep all your net-earning royalties.
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FuturePerfectPublishing wrote:  ”Non-bookstore retail venues use different selling models.  For example, Starbucks sells only one book at a time in its stores, featuring a title for several months. Costco, Walmart and other big box retailers carry bestsellers as well as a selection of lesser known titles.   A recent New York Times article on non-reported sales of consumer books sold through such non-traditional outlets grew by more than $260 million.” 

“Publishers have many book-selling options today and may continue to migrate away from bookstore retailers – as long as their outdated and onerous returns and payment policies remain in effect.”

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials or your KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 940 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How to Distribute Your Book to Stores

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Bookstore

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Distribution of your book to stores is one of the toughest nuts to crack when it comes to author- publishing, compared to how easy it is to get your print book into Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Apple. And then there are discounts, returns and commissions… not to speak of waiting times till your invoice is paid. Book distributors & wholesalers take care of all this – for a price.
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POD print and distribution
For small amounts of print books, say less than 2,000 books, an author is better off to have it “printed on demand”, done by CreateSpace or by Lightning Source, who are also the distributors. The printing might be higher priced, but you can decide on discounts and there will not be any returns from book stores for unsold books, which can be costly. POD produces only after receiving orders.
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Distributors
Let’s assume your book sells like hot cakes and you would like to have it distributed to book stores. So, how to find a book distributor? And should you go with a big, national or a smaller distributor?
An advantage to small distributors (often specialized in certain genres) is that they often know their bookstores better than larger distributors. The orders tend to be smaller but more realistic. Returns with larger distributors to bookstore chains can be very high: 30% returns is expected, but it can be as high as 70%.

Another option is to make an arrangement with a medium-size publisher who already has a distribution deal and a sales team. For a percentage of the sale, they could include your book in their catalog, which goes out with the sales reps to book stores across the country, and their sales team will present your book. Some publishers may want all the attention for their own titles, but some may like the idea: there’s no printing cost for them, for instance. Their catalogs are produced 5-6 months in advance.

Many large US book distributors won’t take you on before you have at least five to ten books in print. They might also want you to have a sales team who will present your books to booksellers, to show that you are willing to move those books. They also prefer a contract for a certain number of years. Another issue with full service distribution is that they take a minimum of 20% commission, but it will often be closer to 30% if you’re a small publisher. Check them out before signing with any book distributor. Talk to their customers (both publishers and bookstores) to verify they would be a recommendable company for you to work with.
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Be aware of these book industry distribution arrangements

  1. Discounts: Bookstores get ($8 when a $20 book sells) or in percent, a 40% discount from the distributor, big box stores often get 45%.
  2. Returns: Bookstores can return books back for credit against future orders, on average, about 30% of their initial sales might be returned. Paperbacks are not “stripped” so they can be shipped out again when another bookstore orders them. However, distributors may charge for warehousing of returns.
  3. Commission: Sales reps work on commission and only gets paid when books “sell through” (sold to the consumer). The distribution company also works on commission, which is one of the reasons they are so picky about taking on non-validated clients: if the books don’t sell through, they lose the money they have spent storing and shipping the books, their commission is usually 25-30% ($5-6 on a $20 book).

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Direct Sales via your website
There is an even more lucrative way to sell your print book and distribute it: through your own website. You keep 100% of your revenue, and you know exactly who bought your books. Valuable data that you can use for promotion of your next book releases. The only “work” you have, is to stuff envelopes and ship your books once or twice a week – or more if you sell a lot. Setting up a PayPal account and an ordering form on your website is pretty easy. Direct selling means that you can make almost three times the amount per book than you can make, compared to a sale through traditional bookstore distributors.
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Book Fairs
Comb the Internet and regional newspapers for Book Fairs. Rent a booth or share one with other writers and have fun to meet readers in person, sign your books, maybe even meet library buyers and book store owners – and keep 100% revenue. Authors could even band together and exhibit at national and international book fairs, such as New York, Edinburgh, Leipzig, Bologna or Frankfurt. If ten or more authors for example share the cost for exhibition, travel and accommodation, it seems to be visible.
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Consignment at Bookstores
Some local independent bookstores will take books on consignment. A 60% to you, 40% to them split might seem a bit unfair to the uninitiated, but it’s the standard in the book trade. If sales are really good, some bookstores will offer to buy your book or you offer it to them which saves on paperwork and hassle. In this case you might offer them 50% discount.
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Fazit:
Small publishers and author-publishers with at least 3 books might be better off with Lightning Source / Ingram and CreateSpace combined – until their book sale numbers are into the several thousands – also due to the print on demand possibilities that both companies offer.

Lightning Source connects you with the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers. In addition to distributing books through their parent company Ingram Books, they print to order, which means, your book is printed and ready for shipment in 12 hours or less. With over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries your titles will gain the maximum exposure.

Lightning Source / Ingram work  with over 28,000 publishers of all sizes around the world. They deliver digital, print, wholesale and distribution services through a single source, and makes it easy for you to reach more customers in more places.

CreateSpace has slightly lower print on demand fees and set up fees per book, but it doesn’t get you into Ingram worldwide distribution. They offer something, called the Expanded Distribution Channel: “the potential to distribute your book to a larger audience through more outlets including: retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, wholesalers, and distributors.” Well “potential” which means actually nothing! If a bookstore is really willing to order a single book from them, they will deliver…
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Whole Sale and Book Distribution in USA

  • BCH Fulfillment & Distribution – BCH is also a vendor for Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. BCH offers 24/7 telephone order taking, an on-line catalog, representation at major trade shows, and more.
  • Atlas Books - Distributes online, via wholesalers, and commissioned sales reps. AtlasBooks is the distribution and marketing arm of the BookMasters Group which represents small to mid-size publishers.
  • Midpoint Trade Books – works with small and medium size publishers. No catalogs, so they can take on new titles any time of the year.
  • National Book Network – Distributes for 85 publishers, they offer Print on Demand, starting at 20 books
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Book Whole Sale / Distribution in Canada:

  • North 49 – trade book wholesaler with an inventory of over 3000 bestselling books from more than 500 publishers from Canada, UK and USA
  • Librarybound – a wholesaler delivers Canadian books to libraries (fulfillment orders only, no warehousing)
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More resources:

Distributors and Wholesalers, compiled by IBPA, Independent Book Publishers Association
https://www.ibpa-online.org/resources/distributor-wholesalers/#.UWlwW7VO-So

Create Space Vs Lightning Source
http://write2publish.blogspot.ca/2011/02/why-create-space-is-better-than.html

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With more than 30 years experience in both, print and now e-publishing, we can provide you with many more tips, background information and support – additional to the huge amount of promotion you get in our online and off-line seminars. http://www.111Publishing.com/seminars

 

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 940 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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Bookstores to Sell Kindle and Amazon Books???

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My first thought was: A joke!  But no, Amazon offers bookstores to sell Kindle e-Readers and to participate in e-book sales – copying Kobo’s entry into the Indie book store market. Amazon calls it: “The Best of Both Worlds: Now your customers don’t have to choose between e-books and their favorite book store.” Jeremy Greenfield, wrote: “Today, Amazon has offered an olive branch in the form of a business opportunity to indie booksellers.”  Read his story at Forbes.com.
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Alter-Buecherladen

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Harsh Words Came from BusinessInsider.com
“Amazon Has A Plan To Get Indie Bookstores To Kill Themselves” – which they explained: “Once a customer is on the Kindle platform, odds are they’re going to buy fewer physical books, thus killing the Indie bookstore. In essence, Amazon is telling these companies to on-board customers to a digital platform that will destroy their business. We suppose 10% of revenue is better than nothing, but this seems like a suicide mission for any bookstore that signs up.”
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TechCrunch.com writes: “Amazon has not been seen as a fast friend of the brick-and-mortar bookstore business….” and Tim Carmody, writer at Kottke.org mused: “I have often wondered if an independent bookstore could sell their usual selection of paper books but also sell Kindle books to those who wanted them.”  And my own first reaction was: Most bookstores refused to carry author-published books – and now authors come into bookstores through the “back door” thanks to Amazon?
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Amazon’s Press Release

“Independent Bookstores Can Now Sell Kindles and Earn 10% from Future Kindle Books Sold
Amazon Source makes it easy for independent bookstores and small retailers to earn additional revenue by selling Kindles.

Booksellers can receive 10% of the price of Kindle books purchased from the devices they sell. The first order is worry-free for retailers—Amazon will buy back the inventory for up to six months after the first order, no questions and no penalties.

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 6, 2013– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com today introduced Amazon Source, a new program that enables independent bookstores and other retailers to sell Kindle devices and accessories, and earn money while doing so. In addition to a discount on purchasing Kindles and Kindle accessories for resale, retailers will have the option of receiving 10% of every Kindle book purchased on Kindle devices sold by the bookstore for the first two years after a customer buys a device. Learn more at http://source.amazon.com.”

What are YOUR thoughts on this?

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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