Tag Archives: Goodreads communities

Why You Should Have a Print Book Too & POD


Private Library

Photo Credit: Alex Duret Lutz


Paperbacks or Hardcover – to Sell More of Your Work?
Many successful authors will tell you exactly how to do start as a real publisher with their books and blogs – from Dan PoynterAaron Shephard to John KremerJoanna Penn and JoelFriedman. Author David Gaughran wrote in one of his blogs: Making Money from Paperbacks  ”I was really slow to see the potential in print, and it was probably the biggest mistake I made over the last years.”

Why should you have a print book and not the digital version only? In a former blog post we listed lots of reasons for this:

  • The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books at the moment (that will change)
  • You can give out review copies to newspaper/magazine or book blog reviewers
  • To be hosted at local media / TV interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
  • To sell your book easier to libraries
  • To participate in a Goodreads Giveaway –
  • To sell your book to those who really don’t want an e-Reader or just love paper books
  • If you write non-fiction it is almost a MUST to have it in print
  • You have an ISBN number and can get listed with Bowker at WORLDWIDE bookstores
  • Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas – unless you put an e-book on a new e-Reader and wrap it
  • To sell more e-books! Yes – because they seem to cost so much less in comparison…
  • To list your book in more categories / genres on Amazon: per book type you are allowed to choose two categories / genres. Two print and two digital versions – which increases your books’ visibility and also shows you exactly in which genre you have the most success.

Espresso Book Machine


During your pre-production phase you acquired already a bar code (for your print book) and an ISBN, the International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published anywhere in the world. How to get one? Or better a block of ten, if you intend to write more books. BTW, the price of a block of ten is the same as buying only two ISBN’s.

Good news for authors in Canada: ISBN are free for Canadian citizens, publishing a book in Canada – no matter were it is sold. But that’s not the only benefit for the publishing industry in this country.

Selling your e-book on Amazon doesn’t necessarily require an ISBN, you will get automatically an ASIN, Amazon’s identifier. Other retailers may require an ISBN, such as Kobo URL for example.
ISBN numbers are assigned by a group of agencies worldwide coordinated by the International ISBN Agency in London, England.  In the United States, ISBN’s are assigned by the U.S. ISBN Agency: R.R. Bowker is the independent agent in the US for this system. You can apply for an ISBN online. On average it takes about two weeks for ISBN’s to be assigned. Getting your own ISBN is very important, as the initial purchaser of this number is considered officially as the publisher. Don’t fall for “free” ISBN and don’t purchase it from other sources than the official organizations.

Plan and Calculate Printing Carefully
Unless you have hundreds or even thousands of paperback orders, it doesn’t make sense to have your book printed the traditional way. Book printers expect a run of at least five thousand books to give you a reasonable price per book. Avoid to be one of these authors who have a garage full of books and no idea how to sell them ever. Get your distribution channels (more about this in one of the next blogs) first and then order your printing.
For Small Print Runs Consider “Print On Demand”
CreateSpace and Lightning Source are recommendable POD’s who offer small print quantities and are distributing your book to wholesale and retailers. They have changed the book publishing landscape considerably. The issue of discounts and returns (the banes in book selling) are one of the primary reasons you might use them. Getting into Lightning Source (LSI) requires you have at least three books for sale. If you have only one book, you can band together with other authors, however, one of you has to be the official publisher. You can get your book into and Barnes& with only a 20% discount, and you avoid accepting returns.

Use BOTH POD Services for Best Results
Printing through Lightning Source is the least expensive way to get your book into If you get into Amazon via a distributor or the Amazon Advantage program, you’ll pay a slightly higher discount. Lightning Source is owned by Ingram, so when you sign up with LSI and pay $12 per year (per title), you get your book into Ingram’s large distribution network.
The benefit of CreateSpace: it’s owned by Amazon and your book will always show as available on Amazon’s website. However you can go with both to get full advantages and broader distribution of your book.

For Just a Few Copies Use “Espresso Book Machine”
If you don’t want to have print books, but would like to have a book signing or your grandma wants a copy of your book in paper, use either a print shop that offers digital printing or any of these Espresso Book Machines that are sprouting up in large cities. You certainly can order it online from them and get it shipped. Their prices are a bit higher, but if you need a bunch of books “yesterday” then it is a good option. Locations can be found at their North America Map.

Traditional Book Printing
Finding a cost effective Book Printer who wants to deal with a small publisher requires a bit of a search. Most printers can print books but few printers are professional book printers. There are only about 50,000 printers in North America and only a handful of them are book printers. Few book printers want to work with the first time publisher. Get referrals from other writers, check out books in your library that often shows the name of the printer or ask at writer seminars others about their experiences with printers. Don’t just order it from the first book printer you cross, get at least ten quotes for printing & binding prices, including shipping costs and references to have enough points to compare. Then ask those printers to give you titles of books they printed, and even maybe contact the independent authors, who dealt with the printer. A Google search or the Better Business Bureau regarding the printers reputation might be helpful too. Sample printing calculations can be found here:

TIP: Expect at least about 2-3 weeks in average including freight, but this depends heavily on your printer’s schedule – The earlier you book, the less time you need to budget. Add at least ten days as a safety margin for unforeseen’s, such as lost freight, weather disasters, machine breakdowns and other delays. A great source for detailed information about the printing process and explanations of trade-specific “slang” can be found at

Use the Print Time to Spruce Up Your Marketing Efforts:

  • Plan and advertise the book launch (FREE on Google+ and Goodreads)
  • Start a Goodreads Giveaway (1-3 copies)
  • Get as many pre-order for your book as possible
  • Increase Social Media efforts and sign up with even more reader forums
  • Spruce up your web page and write lots of blogs
  • Prepare news / press releases
  • Schedule interviews and book signings
  • Use Google+, Flickr, Pinterest etc. to show your new books’ cover image

The book release date is not the end of your book journey, but the beginning. Your book should have an active life span of at least 2-5 years, and much longer for an e-book, as it is a living document and can be revised to a new version any time. You now have almost a full-time job of being an author, and should continue to perform all of the marketing activities in a smart way. Use the content of your book to write articles – maybe even get paid for it.



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:
Or visit to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 930 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 111Publishing @ Google+



Hyper Smash



Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Publishing, Self-Publishing


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7 Top Reasons for Writers to Be on Goodreads



How Can Goodreads Help Your Book Take-Off?
Goodreads is a kind of Facebook / Google+ for people who love to read books. A free website for book lovers. Bookshelves, reviews, ratings, reader communities, author pages, book giveaways  … all this is Goodreads. There is more offered on their website: join a discussion group, or start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing. More tips about the benefits of joining Goodreads and how you can use Goodreads to promote your blog.

1. Goodreads Author Program
Use it to promote yourself and your books. What is the Goodreads Author Program? It is a
completely free feature designed to help authors reach their target audience — passionate
readers. This is the perfect place for new and established authors, to promote their books. What
Can You Do as a Goodreads Author?

a) Show Your Author Profile

  • Add a picture and bio.
  • Share your list of favorite books and recent reads with your fans!
  • Write a blog and generate a band of followers.
  • Publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements.
  • Share book excerpts and other writing.
  • Write a quiz about your book or a related topic.
  • Post videos. Add the Goodreads Author widget to to your personal website or blog to show off reviews of your books.

b) Promote Your Books

  • Sign up to advertise your book to up to the Goodreads Community—16,000,000 readers!
  • List a book giveaway to generate pre-launch buzz.
  • Lead a Q&A discussion group for readers.
  • Participate in discussions on your profile, in groups and in the discussion forums for your books.

How do I join and who can join is explained in detail in one of our former blog posts about Goodreads.
The Author Program is designed for people with published books, or who are just in the process of
publishing a book. It’s best if your work is on a bookseller’s website, such as or Barnes & Noble, but Goodreads will accept any author who has published a book. This includes authors from
other countries as well as authors who are self-published. If your book is self-published and is not yet in the Goodreads database, you may manually add it.

How To Use the Author Program
Learn more about how to promote your books with special tools on Goodreads. Each slideshow
demonstrates a different aspect of our Author Program.

2. Reader and Writer Forums
Did you realize how many writer forums and groups are on Goodreads? Just go to the top of each page and click on Groups. A new page opens and shows “Recently Active Groups”, “Featured Groups”, “Goodreads Author Groups” etc. and one the right hand site of the page “Browse by Tag”. This is were all the groups are listed by over 1,000 keywords. For sample:

  • Book Club
  • Historical Fictionistas
  • Non-Fiction
  • Young Adult Book Groups
  • Suspense
  • Super-Natural
  • The Perks Of Being A Book Addict
  • Womankind Worldwide Book Group

As you can see, when you scroll down on the right hand site, there are ten-thousands of groups!!!
Books & Literature (26598) Business (1393) Entertainment & Arts (2222) Friends & Common
Interest (6914) Geography (490) Goodreads Authors (2535) Just for Fun (22709) Organizations
(3365) Student Groups (6129)
There is even a group that encourages Author-Publishers (Indies) to promote their books – a rarity
at Goodreads, were obvious self-promotion is not well received otherwise. These groups are a hidden gem to meet readers and reviewers. Almost all are public groups. Anyone can join and invite others to join. However, it’s not a place to blatantly tout your books, with the exception I just mentioned. ”Authors are welcomed and Goodreads supports authors in many ways, but the groups are primarily geared towards readers. Authors should join and participate in the group as a reader first.” Once you are known in these forums, your author site and your books will automatically be read – and often reviewed.

3. Get and Give Reviews
When I was talking recently with an author, who desperately wanted more reviews. When I asked him how many reviews he has written in the last year, he stumbled … and said: “well, NONE so far”. Shall I say more? Don’t forget: To be a Goodreads member and to benefit, especially from reviews, requires that you are a bit more active on this site, for sample in shelving books of other writers, in participating from time to time in forums, read books and review them. How could someone expect to receive reviews if they are not writing some for others? Be a good pal in this book community!
From a Goodreads statement: “Books with no written reviews are added, on average, by 7 people, while books with just five written reviews are added by more than 40 people.”

4. Friends Can Recommend Your Book
And you can recommend books from your writer friends? To send out a book recommendation, go to the book’s page and click on the “recommend it” link at the top right side of the page. A new site appears with three possibilities: “friends” “manual” “facebook“.

Under the icon “friends” your Goodreads friends are listed and you click next to the name to whom
you want to send your book recommendation. Enter under “manual” single email addresses of readers that are not yet on Goodreads. The “Facebook” icon lists your FB friends, who are not yet members of Goodreads to recommend the book to.
Click on “My Books” in the top navigation menu and add away! You can add books into read, currently reading, to read categories or edit your bookshelf to add your own categories. Once you read them, write a review!  Many authors who’s books you recommended will return this favor to you.

5. Share This Book
Another hidden gem on your Goodreads page, that your visitors, readers and friends can use in order to promote your books: “Share This Book“.  Did you realize that everyone of your Goodreads book’s pages has share buttons to submit your book to Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and to their Facebook page, even “like” it on Facebook?  Go to the right hand side of your books page and scroll down, until you see the button: “Share This Book
There is another possibility to spread the word about your book:  Next to these Social Media icons are two unassuming words: Your Website. When you click on it, a window appears with some code that one can be easily copy and paste onto their blog or website and will show an image of your book and a link.  Another way to spread the work about your book! Let your friends ping to Google+ and FB
On the left lower corner of Goodreads are icons to these two websites to which your friends can send your image, books name and a link for your book – as well as a comment, such as “must read”, “great book” or “you will love it”.

6. Advertise Your Events for FREE
Goodreads encourages you to publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements. This is a feature, similar to the one which is offered on Google+  –  see our blog Start about 3 weeks before your book launch with your event announcement. Use Goodreads’ event listing form to start the process. It has an RVSP feature and people can state if they are “coming”.

7. Give Away Copies of Your Print Book.
It makes sense to give away books – if your goal is to get reviews. More than 50% of giveaway winners review the books they win, so the more books you offer, the more reviews you are likely to get. Run your giveaway for two weeks to a month. Goodreads says, “Giveaways less than two weeks run the risk of not getting enough entries, while a four-week giveaway will generate more entries.

Goodreads recommends even two giveaways: one about three months before publication to build pre-release buzz and reviews, and a second to increase awareness when your book hits the stores. Both will result in a lot of people adding your book to their to-read shelves – visible for all their friends.” Read more about Goodreads Giveaway rules in a former blog post.




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:
Or visit 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:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+



Hyper Smash



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