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Self-published books becoming best sellers

Self-publishing allows writers to use ingenuity and self-promotion to be discovered by readers

Self-publishing allows writers to use ingenuity and self-promotion to be discovered by readers

There is a sea change underway in how some authors are published. Self-published books have made their way onto best-seller lists and the distribution model is attracting more established authors, the New York Times reports.

The Times article overviews how big publishing houses including Penguin and Harlequin are now operating divisions focusing on writers that are willing to forego an advance in exchange for a greater share of the overall profits. More than 250,000 self-published books are now produced annually, and while many may never be well read (or read at all), a quarter of the most popular titles sold on Amazon were self-published.

“While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties – the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books – after the advance is earned back in sales,” the Times article noted. Romance and science fiction topped the charts, according to the report.

Another avenue of opportunity is using self-publishing to distribute backlisted books that have gone out of print. A 2011 Forbes article cited authors making greater royalties off of out of circulation titles than when they were in print. But many services are geared toward novices. A quick Web search turns up a bevy of sites dedicated to the practice including independent publishers. There are also guides to self-publishing and services to assist writers that aspire to make their first bestseller or just have their voices heard.

There might be some gimmickry, but it makes perfect sense to use the Internet to disrupt how books are distributed.  The model at least provides another option that casts off reliance on publishing houses’ marketing promises, agents, and other middlemen that reduce payback for what could be years of work. Maybe publishers will innovate their own services in response.

(image credit: stagecompany.org)

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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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6 Easy Steps To Book Your Author Blog Tour

6 Easy Steps To Book Your Author Blog TourIt’s pretty common knowledge in the publishing industry that most book signing tours don’t generate big bucks for new authors. Sure—book tours can stir up buzz and interest. But most of the time, bookstore tours are put in place only after an author has established some kind of meaningful reputation that can translate into lines that wrap around the store.

These days, there’s a new way of connecting with readers that doesn’t involve brick-and-mortar book signings: blog tours. A blog tour is when an author does a series of interviews or guest posts on the blogs of book readers and reviewers. Blog tours are fantastic for author self-promotion.

Most of the time, blog tours are synchronized with book releases so that writers can sell more copies of their books. Blog tours can be inexpensive, fun, and rewarding!

How To Set Up a Blog Tour To Promote A Book

There are many ways to kick off your promotional blog tour. You can:

  • Hire a publicist to nab spots on popular blogs.
  • Hire an established and reputable book blog tour company (NOTE: There are unscrupulous companies that claim to get gigs for their clients on dozens of blogs, many of which lack a meaningful audience or are owned by the companies themselves).
  • Set up blogging dates yourself.

If you’re a DIYer and want to book a blog tour without having to pay for publicity help, here are the five steps that will get your book on great blogs.

1. Start reading book blogs. Do your research and narrow your focus to those blogs whose audiences are active readers in your genre. Make a list and track the blog’s attributes, audience participation, readership, and proclivities. HINT: Establish a clear minimum number in your head for the number of blogs that you’d like to appear on.

2. Establish a relationship. If possible, begin leaving comments on the blogs you like. Visit regularly. You may need to demonstrate your genuine appreciation of the blog before you’re invited to appear on it. Use Twitter and other networks to give shout-outs to blogs you like.

3. Write up a pitch plan. Some bloggers have writers beating down their door, begging for reviews and free promotion. You’ll need to make yourself stand out with a personal touch as well as an incentive. Are you willing to give away free copies of your book? Is your idea of what you’d like to “do” on the blog consistent with what the blogger is already doing? Are you willing to do interviews or only guest posts? Will you host the blogger on your author blog in exchange?

4. Draft your “nice to meet you” letter. Reach out to the blogger via a personal email when possible. Be kind, flexible, and maybe a little deferential: you’re asking to be invited to the party, after all. Express your appreciation for the blog and volunteer to host a giveaway (should the blogger believe that his/her audience would benefit from your visit to the blog).

5. Follow instructions carefully. If a blogger agrees to host you, be sure to follow directions. Also, include links to your social networks and author website in your post—just don’t overdo it.

6. Set up your blog calendar. On the days that your blog post is to appear on each guest blog, be sure to put in an appearance that day. Leave comments, interact with readers, thank the host for having you. Then, if you’re running a contest, follow up as soon as possible by sending out the prize.

When Your Author Blog Tour Is Over

Be sure to thank your host for his/her willingness to help you; you might even want to mail out a little thank-you gift. Then, keep your contacts well organized so that when you have another reason to do a blog tour, their contact information will be at your fingertips.

QUESTION: Do you like the idea of doing a blog tour?

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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So You Want To Know How To Get Published?

Quirky Warrior Woman Writer Kimberly A. Cook

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

It might be easier to explain how to build an Ark. From scratch. But since a friend asked for a writer friend, let me give this a shot. A long time ago in a galaxy far away before the Internet, traditional publishing lived in New York City and writers tried to get agents who then submitted their work to publishing companies who decided who would get published.

Then along came the Internet in the mid-1980s and web pages and writers were called content providers. (Always hated that title.) A new product called ebooks came into being in the early 2000s and soon a group of rebels (authors and writers) realized they could overcome the Death Star of New York publishing houses and authorpreneurs/publishers were born in the great Indie publishing skirmishes which continue today.

So one decision you need to make about getting published is whether you want to be with the traditionals or…

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in writing tips

 

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Self-Published Interview Series: Judi Fennell!

For the Love of Books

Judi Fennell comAfter taking a break over the holidays, the self-published interview series is back! Please join me in welcoming romance author, Judi Fennell!

PUBLISHING QUESTIONS…

  • What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?

BATB 1400I wanted my story Beauty and The Best out there for readers. The story had been in the American Title Contest sponsored by Romantic Times Magazine and had gotten a lot of exposure. It’d come close to selling to NY twice. Readers were asking for it. When it was rejected yet again because “it doesn’t fit out line” even though the editors LOVED it, I decided to put it up on my own.

  • What went into the process? Writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc… Share your ups and downs and how you went about it. If you used a service from a someone, could you share who?

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Book Marketing Goals Pyramid – Breaking the process down into bite-sized bits

Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven

Book Marketing Goals Pyramid – Breaking the process down into bite-sized bits

So after yesterday’s Writing Goals Pyramid, you pretty much had to know we’d be applying the same principal to book marketing, right? And voila book marketing goal pyramid… here it is. The fact is that book marketing is an ongoing process. It should properly begin as soon as you decide to write your book, and continue until you decide you don’t want to do it anymore (or forever – whichever comes first). I know a gal who wrote a book almost 10 years ago, and she’s still booking seminars and classes all over the country based on that one book. How is that possible? Because she never stopped marketing it.

The first step is setting an overall goal. Yours could be a number of books sold, or it could be hitting #1 on Amazon. Whatever it is is probably achievable if…

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in book marketing, motivation

 

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Grammar Chic, Inc: The Growing World of Self-Publishing

Self Publishing Advocate

Originally Posted On Melodika.Net

There is little doubt in the minds of most publishing professionals that the industry, as a whole, has undergone some significant changes in recent years. The world of self-publishing was once thought of as an avenue for would-be authors who had nowhere else to go, and indeed, up until recently, the majority of the powers-that-be within traditional channels largely agreed with this theory. However, times are changing and many pros concur that self-publishing is no longer the taboo that it was once considered. In turn, many author services companies, such as Grammar Chic, Inc., owned and operated by Amanda E. Clark, are flourishing, as self-published authors look to professional publishing organizations for help with editing, proofreading, cover design and other important services usually handled by the publishing umbrella in traditional contracts.

In a recent article, Smashwords Founder Mark Coker made his 2013 Book Publishing Industry Predictions…

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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What is a ‘writer’?

Am I a ‘writer’? I don’t think so, or I don’t think many people would consider me to be one, but I have certainly written millions of words in my lifetime. I’m leaving aside personal letters (and, over the past 20 years or so, emails), reports and the like, which would account for many, many thousands of words. For around 10 years I wrote no less than 5,000 words a week, so a total of 2.5 million words would be a very conservative estimate during this time alone. In the remaining 40 or so years of my adult life I’ve probably averaged a weekly writing output of about a fifth of this, so around another 2 million in all. Let’s say around 5 million words in total. You might gather that I like to write. Does this make me a ‘writer’?

Grumpytyke

Several of the blogs I follow add the strapline ‘author’, or mention that this is what they are in the ‘About’. I think I understand what this means.
 
However, some add ‘writer’ as a strap line or describe themselves as this. I’m not sure I understand what this means (I know the dictionary definitions of course).
 
Am I a ‘writer’? I don’t think so, or I don’t think many people would consider me to be one, but I have certainly written millions of words in my lifetime. I’m leaving aside personal letters (and, over the past 20 years or so, emails), reports and the like, which would account for many, many thousands of words. For around 10 years I wrote no less than 5,000 words a week, so a total of 2.5 million words would be a very conservative estimate during this time alone. In the remaining 40…

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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in short stories, writing

 

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