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Looking Ahead for 2008 & Beyond

by John Kremer

What can we look forward to this year as authors and publishers? How will 2008 be different from 2007 and previous years? How will it be the same? Here are a few of the thoughts that have been running through my head.

It is surprising how these predictions have become true and are still holding for 2010 and beyond.

1. Branding books will become even more important. Publishers will continue to look for the new books that could potentially lead to a series and, thus, a brand name - books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Dummies series, The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, and The Prayer of Jabez. If you have any such books, be sure to have a rock-solid author contract that spells out all subsidiary rights. Also, get the series name trademarked and be sure you own the web site URL for that series name. You might also consider whether or not you want to build your company name into a brand name.

2. Ebooks and print-on-demand books will get better distribution. While these books haven't received good off-net distribution in the past, they will get better distribution this year. So if you've been putting off using these options, you might want to reconsider them. Note the POD edition of John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame.

3. Cocooning will still be a major trend. After September 11th, more people began spending more time at home, whether by themselves or with family. They have been cocooning. And that means they are still looking for books on cooking, crafts, home care, family recreation, etc. And great fiction.

4. International books will also continue to grow in importance. Americans will be looking for and reading more books on other cultures, countries, and peoples. Not travel guides, perhaps, but travel writing, histories, personal stories, academic titles, multicultural children's books, and so on. Also Spanish-language titles are becoming much more important ó witness the growth in Spanish-language book clubs, book reviewers for Spanish, and the Spanish-language thrust by Books Are Fun.

5. Celebrities are out. Real people are in. While the major publishers might continue focusing on books written by celebrities, smart publishers will be focusing on useful or entertaining books from real people and everyday heroes. People will still read books written by celebrities, but books by real people will compete more effectively than before. 2008: The major publishers are still fixated on celebrities, but books by everyday heroes are growing.

6. Internet sales and marketing of books will increase from the current 10% to 20% or greater. I believe that the Internet will play an even greater role in the marketing and sales of books. While and B& will play a part in these greater sales, I think that publishers will finally figure out how to squeeze more direct sales out of their own websites. While you continue to refer sales to and B&, you should also be looking at your website to figure out how to get more direct sales (if you want them). Can you offer extra discounts for direct sales? Additional bonuses? Access to exclusive pages on your web site? Special emails? Membership in a club? If you're not spending more time marketing books via the web, you are making a mistake. Internet sales are now closer to 30%.

7. Independent bookstores are back. The work of the branding arm of the American Booksellers Association (IndieBound) is helping to bring the independent bookstores back into the mainstream. The independents are going to increase their influence and sales. Don't ignore them just because most of your sales are currently with the chains. Get to know the programs that IndieBound offers to publishers and then use those that work well with what you want to accomplish. The free reading copy giveaways to independents have been producing results for smaller publishers. So has the IndieBound '76 list.

I've noticed in the news media and in the general temper of the time that people are pulling back. That's a mistake. I understand the desire to cocoon and pull back from anything risky, but what we do as individuals has an impact on everyone else. If we pull back too much, we will actually bring about the thing we fear.

This is not a time to be shy or too cautious about publishing books. People will continue to buy books no matter what happens to the economy, the political climate, or the world scene. You might have to adjust the kinds of books you publish, the number of copies you print, or how you go about selling your books, but the opportunity to make money in publishing is still available. In fact, I believe it's as good as it has ever been.

Book Marketing 101: How to Create a National Bestseller ó How to out-sell the New York Times bestsellers without breaking the bank. This is an inside guide on how other authors and self-publishers have created national bestsellers with persistence, elbow grease, and some investment of time or money. Also includes John Kremerís insight on how to create a bestseller. Ebook download. $30.00.

Book Marketing 102: Editorial as the First Step in Marketing ó An incredible book about creating effective editorial that will sell a book, when you should publish a book and when you should not, how to get the best testimonials, creating selling book titles, and more. 78 pages, ebook download, $20.00.

Book Marketing 103: Designing Your Books as Sales Aids ó You can sell a book by its cover. Learn how to design both the inside and outside of your books for most effective sales. No other investment can increase the sales of your books more than effective cover designs. In addition, learn how to price your books for greatest sales and ask for the order. 60 pages, ebook download, $20.00.

Book Marketing 104: 192 Marketing Ideas I've Learned from Other People ó In this mini-guide, I describe 192 marketing ideas Iíve learned by reading bestselling books and magazines, attending seminars, and watching TV. Learn the seven successful strategies of every bestseller, guerilla marketing for writers, the meaning of success, a bestsellerís take on selling books, the ten secrets of publishing success, Mohammadís guide to gaining paradise, how to be a good talk radio guest, how Terry McMillan became a bestselling author on her own, and how Elmore Leonard became HOT! Ebook download, $20.00.

Copyright © 2012 by bestseller expert John Kremer

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