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The Party is Over for Authors – Really?

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Champagne-for-all

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Aaron Shepard Wrote a Blog: The Party is Over.
“Amazon has been touted as fostering a thriving culture of self publishing with its level playing field for online sales and its promotion of new reading and publishing technologies, particularly the Kindle. Well, much of that is valid. Amazon has made self publishing more and more accessible to writers and for many years supported a good number of them with sales. But with the Kindle, Amazon has also commercialized books to the point that fewer and fewer self publishers can make a living from them.”
“Print-on-Demand (POD) books provided a handsome profit margin even at reasonable prices. But Kindle books, with their lower prices, have decimated POD sales. Meanwhile, Kindle customers expect more and more for the low prices they pay. Many feel cheated if they spend 99 cents or even less on a book that isn’t “full-length.”  And the flood of easily-published books makes it harder and harder for individual ones to stand out—a problem that can only worsen with time.”  Read more on his website.

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A Numbers Game
Nothing fundamental about the process or the business has changed. It’s purely a numbers game. More and more people are attempting to make a living from self-publishing, and that increases the amount of poor products that will never sell well.  Fewer people making a living at it, in comparison to the total number of people attempting it.  A relatively fixed amount of consumer dollars is being spread over a continually increasing number of books.

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Make a Back List of Books First, then Profit!
Too many books and articles with sensational articles have touted the fast, easy money-making opportunity with books / e-books. Sure, it is easy to put your self published work out there – although the process to reach that point and to promote it is hard work – but there is only a finite amount of readers. The best way into a writing career is to build up a back list of books first before seeing enough profits to make a living.  Every book (and also every article / blog / guest blog a writer releases, will increase their return and boosts their portfolio exposure.

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Compare Publishing with a Marriage
You can see it also philosophically: Writing is like a marriage. If you want to get into it solely for the potential monetary payoff, you will probably fail. But if you get into it with your eyes open, and with reasonable expectations, you will probably get a payoff in personal satisfaction.  And in regards of publishing, you might even make some decent money along the way.

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What’s a Writer to Do?
It feels like every other boom we have seen in tech: The Get-Rich-Quicker’s show up, make a lot of noise, get discouraged and declare the party over. One needs to see the reality: There is no successful business that doesn’t constantly create new products – books. And there is no success if no one knows of your products – books. Can you imagine Apple still selling their PowerBooks, and has not invented iPods, iPads or iPhones? And has not created fantastic public launches, nor established their Apple Stores? The company would be already bankrupt, and their party would be over…

The proportion of people who write well – and who are professionally self-publishing and marketing their books well in order to succeed – probably hasn’t changed. Many authors think, writing a book is enough “if you write it, people will buy it”.  But that’s not how it works…  Compare it with a retail business: Setting up a shop with only one single product and don’t market this product will not even bring a handfull of customers. Everyone would agree that this is silly. But some authors do the same in their publishing “business”. It is a long road for author-publishers from having no readers at all, being on ground zero, to start a small base and grow it to a large readership. It takes lots of time and effort to connect with a sufficient reader bases in order to make a living. And it cannot be based on Social Media only, an author’s writing should show up at blogs, guest posts, at newspapers, magazines, through book signings, readings, radio and TV interviews and maybe even speeches. Not to mention lots of reviews from reputable places.

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No Reason for Arrogance
I have heard it too often: “I like writing, but hate to go out in the public and market my book”. “I can post on Social Media, but I am a shy writer, or I am not going to do any book signings”. Compare it with a party guest who doesn’t talk with others, who doesn’t try the delicious buffet or doesn’t listen to music or dance … these is the equivalent to authors who go to the big “publishing party”, without really participating, not being interested to talk with other guests, expecting the whole audience accommodates them (and is buying their books).

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Conclusion:
The party is NOT over at all, it just has gotten more guests. To compete with millions of other writers means for writers to create lots of new books and to market them professionally. If not trained in book marketing – and I am not talking about just having a presence on Facebook or Twitter – then get professional help long BEFORE the book launch (even better before you write it) in order to have a smooth and successful publishing experience and to establish a great author platform. And for the writing part: there are hundreds of websites with writing tips, critique groups and even more writing teachers and classes out there. And even from editors one can learn a lot.
Yes, new authors will likely find it necessary to work harder than ever before. This isn’t the industry for people who expect a quick profit, or who think their single novel is going to make them rich or they can make a living from the first book on.

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More About This Topic:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/want-to-write-for-glory-or-for-money/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/free-brilliant-book-marketing-to-a-million-audience/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/how-much-do-self-publishing-authors-earn/

 

 

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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.
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Survival Guide for Small Print Publishers

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Vintage-Phone
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Books are always very popular gifts for Christmas, birthdays and other occasions. Imagine: someone in Australia saw your print book on Amazon or read about it on Twitter or Google+ and would like to order it, but doesn’t want to pay high shipping fees. To get new readers and buyers of your book in other countries, it is almost essential to have it printed on demand and distributed worldwide – and also to be present in catalogs for library purchases.
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Would You Like to Have Your Paperback Sold Worldwide?
Author-publishers with at least three 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. So, if you are an author with three or more books, read on:
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LightningSource
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.
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LightningSource / 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.
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CreateSpace
has slightly lower print-on-demand fees and set up fees per book, but it doesn’t get you into the 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, but they don’t offer it actively to all bookstores.
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Don’t Let You Discourage
Recently some self-publishing authors were taken aback when LightningSource recommended them to use the new IngramSpark distribution program.  Aaron Shepard wrote on October 3, 2013 in his blog:
“Reports have it that Lighting Source is turning away potential clients—self publishers and other small
publishers. They’re being told to sign up for IngramSpark instead. You know IngramSpark—the service
that insists on a 55% wholesale discount for bookstores and can’t (or will not) send you a physical
proof.”

“Fortunately, I have learned it’s all a bluff!  Yes, Lightning will tell you that you’re really better suited to IngramSpark and should sign up there instead. But all you need to do is come back and say you don’t want IngramSpark, you want Lightning Source. That’s the magic key that lets you in. The gate is not actually locked, they just want you to think it is.  Maybe no one at Ingram understands that, if you limit new publishers to a 55% discount, they might just as well stick with CreateSpace EDC at 60%. The 5% difference simply is not enough to justify bothering with a publishing service with different technical requirements.”
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Read the whole story by Aaron Shepard, THE print publishing guru at
www.newselfpublishing.com/blog/#IngramSpark3. He wrote two books, every author should read: Aiming at Amazon and POD for Profit

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More information about LightningSource, Ingram and CreateSpace book distribution:
CreateSpace, LightningSource – or Both?  A guest blog by author Linda Austin.  And How Do You Distribute Your Print Book? at SavvyBookWriters.com

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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 KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 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 to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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How Do You Distribute Your Print Book?

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wikimedia.org/wikipedia/common

Worldwide Distribution Credit wikimedia.org/wikipedia/common

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In a recent blog post – How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost? and earlier, Distribution of Your Print Book and CreateSpace, LightningSource or both? – we explained how to distribute your printed book. “Self Publishing With Amazon, CreateSpace, and LightningSource:” Print-Book Self-Publishing Guru Aaron Shepard, author of the famous Aiming at Amazon set up a few guidelines that will help new author-publishers:

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  1. Start with CreateSpace to most easily, efficiently, and reliably handle sales to Amazon, your biggest market. One exception is, if LightningSource is better able to produce your book. For instance, Lightning now has color offerings that beat those of CreateSpace either in quality or in affordability. 
  2. When and if your sales are high enough that an extra 10% to 20% is worth doubling your effort, and if you want to have your book worldwide distributed, add Lightning Source.  And for heaven’s sake, read POD for Profit, so you understand what you’re getting into. 
  3. At least at first, set your list price to …     Read all of Aaron Shepard guidelines, and his explanations for everyone, interested in print publishing and distributing books – maybe even worldwide.

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More distribution tips:
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http://www.newshelves.com/2013/03/28/why-you-need-lightning-source-and-createspace/
“LightningSource allows your book the chance to be ordered in many countries overseas that CreateSpace does not.”

Terri Giuliano Long, Boston College teacher and bestseller author wrote a great blog post about self-publishing platforms and book distribution possibilities:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terri-giuliano-long/self-publishing-platforms_b_2810092.html
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Indies Unlimited gives this advice: When you upload your book and publish it through CreateSpace, it’s important to make sure you tick off the section that will enable your book to be distributed in Amazon Europe also. This is part of their basic deal and does not involve the Expanded Distribution feature so it does not cost anything extra. When you are on the “Distribute” tab, go to “Channels” and make sure you have checked “Amazon Europe”.
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All these information are for books that are printed-on-demand (POD), directly by the distributors.  In case you have done an excellent marketing campaign BEFORE you even finished your book – and especially if you have a targeted readership already for your non-fiction book, or huge amounts of pre-orders:  you also can print conventionally and distribute/ship the books yourself or with the help of a full-filling/shipping company.
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More about LightningSource and CreateSpace:

http://www.newselfpublishing.com/CreateSpaceEDC.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_Source

https://www1.lightningsource.com/default.aspx

https://www1.lightningsource.com/benefits_small.aspx

 

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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/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 830+ 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 to StumpleUpon.

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Want to Sell More of Your Books?

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E-books are great, but there is also still a huge market for print books.  How to get your book(s) successful into book stores worldwide?  Ingram and its subsidiary Lightning Source ( for Print on Demand) are international book distributors for both electronic and print books.

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Aaron Shepard: Aiming at Amazon

Aaron Shepard: Aiming at Amazon

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The best way to get your paper book(s) both, into the major chains, as well as Amazon, and in individual book stores is through Lightning Source. This company is not only international distributor of books and affiliated with Ingram, the biggest U.S. book wholesaler, which delivers basically all bookstores in the country, as well as many libraries and schools.  Lightning Source offers international business solutions to publishers worldwide. The opportunity to easily access local markets around the world.

But Lightning Source also prints on demand (POD) for self-publishing companies, small and big ones. In fact they are printing almost two million books per month!  But how can you get your foot in the door of this valuable distribution system? Lightning prefers to deal with publishers and self publishing companies rather than with authors directly as they do not provide support to newbies.

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Aaron Shephards book POD for profit

Aaron Shephards book POD for Profit

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If you want to cut out all these middleman in POD publishing, order a package of ISBN’s (International Standard Book Numbers) and register your own small publishing company and get a savvy computer guy (or girl) helping you to deal with uploading your files etc. if you are not already a computer whiz.

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 help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 740 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.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

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

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How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide?

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Lightning Source / Ingram are one of the most important book distributors in the world and a household name to small and big publishers alike.

If you are publishing at least more than three books and if you are computer-savvy you might distribute your (paper) books through them.

In this case, don’t forget to list your books with Bowker to be in the directory for the whole world’s booksellers. See an earlier blog post “Expose your Book to the World“.
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photo: NASA

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Shepard wrote that Lightnings Distribution will be extended through partnerships with printers/distributors in other countries, starting with Germany and Brazil.  Read the whole article in Aaron Shepard’s blog.

The local company will market the book to local retailers, then borrow the print files from Lightning and fulfill the order. By default, a book’s pricing and discount will be based on its settings in your home currency. No returns will be allowed.  My comment: Long overdue!  And this no-return-policy will hopefully be the beginning of the end of this unfortunate practice. Overdue too!

The Self-Publishers-Notebook blog wrote: “While foreign sales might not be large in number for most authors, a book sale is a book sale. If you are already using LSI for your POD service, this new program is worth looking into. It costs nothing to participate in the program.”

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 560 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, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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Want To Check Your Books Sales Rank Around The World?

 

Aaron Shepard

Aaron Shepard


Wouldn’t
 it be nice to know how your books are doing around the world?  

To start your sales rank checking for Kindle Books in 9 countries go to Aaron  Shepard’s website: http://www.salesrankexpress.com in order to get all the details for FREE!

Do a quick sales rank checking of multiple print books on Amazon in nine countries, including Spain, Italy, Japan and China:

 

  • Find more detailed stats on Customer Reviews, with a breakdown by number of stars.
  • See charts of the last week’s sales ranks, with visible peaks that let you make quick sales estimates and spot trends.  To see these charts, turn on “Tracking” for each title on Amazon’s Sales Rank Express.

To start, the Sales Rank Express search form is set to search Amazon.com, Amazon’s U.S. site—but you can also switch to any other of Amazon’s national sites by clicking one of the radio buttons or country names at the top of the form.

Next, fill in one or more of the text boxes. (You can quickly move from one to the next with your Tab key.)

  • Author. The name or any part of it.
  • Publisher. The publisher name or any part of it.
  • Title. The title or any words from it. Words like “and” or “the” are ignored, so you can skip them.
  • ISBN.  ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, used to identify each format of each edition of any title.

Aaron Shepard, the author of “Aiming at Amazon” and a dozen more books offers a great service tool for fellow writers on his website since 2008. Even the New York Times wrote once about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/06/business/media/06rank.html

 

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Amazon’s Sales Rank Express

Want to check your books sales rank?
Get all these details for FREE from Aaron Shepards website:
http://www.newselfpublishing.com

– Sales rank checking for Kindle Books in four countries.
– More detailed stats on Customer Reviews, with a breakdown by number of stars.
– Quick sales rank checking of multiple print books on Amazon in nine countries,      including Spain, Italy, and China.
– Charts of the last week’s sales ranks, with visible peaks that let you make quick sales estimates and spot trends. In order to see charts, turn on “Tracking” for each title.

Aaron Shepard, the author of “Aiming at Amazon” and a dozen more books offers this great service tool for fellow writers on his website (since 2008), check it out:
http://www.salesrankexpress.com

The New York Times wrote once about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/06/business/media/06rank.html

 

 

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