Book Marketing 105: Choosing a Book Distribution System - This vital mini-guide includes criteria for deciding how you will distribute your books. Also includes complete information on 30 distributors, 4 library distributors, 89 book publishers who also distribute for other publishers, 3 sales representatives to the chains, 27 bookstore wholesalers, 34 library wholesalers, and 23 Spanish-language wholesalers. Plus a sample book distribution contract. Ebook download, $30.00.
Top 700 Independent Bookstores - This database features 740 stores with address, book buyer, owner, event coordinator, phone, fax, email, website, and more! Cost: $40.00. This data file features an updated list of the largest indie bookstores that work with authors and buy books from indie publishers. The report comes as a data file download (your choice of Microsoft Access, Excel, or rich text format). The data files do require that you know how to use a database or word-processing program.
More great quotes at http://www.quotablebooks.com
The Art of Living: Artists, Poets, Photographers, Architects, Designers, Cartoonists, Writers, Novelists, and Critics on Art and Life: http://amzn.to/ccAJh8
The Business of Life: Business people and others on life, business, careers, the workplace, economics, investments, jobs, money, and more: http://amzn.to/bXp3Pd
How to Act: Advice on How to Live and Act from Actors, Models, Comedians, Directors, Producers, Playwrights, and Screenwriters: http://bit.ly/bJnqvz
In this issue . . .
- Speak and Sell Books
- 5-Minute Marketing Tips
- Tweets you can use
- More author success stories
- IBPA special membership offer
- Selling to Costco
Check out http://blog.bookmarket.com to view an interesting way to showcase multiple book titles.
John Kremer's Waterfall and Other Poems is now available via Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Waterfall-Other-Poems-ebook/dp/B004PYDGJE.
I sure would appreciate your feedback on my poetry.
Speak and Sell Books
Here's another success story from a reader of this newsletter:
One way I promote my books is to sell large quantities - non-returnable only - in lieu of a speaking fee. For example, Curves purchased 7,500 copies of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul (founder Gary Heavin penned a story for the book) and I waived my fee. They did cover my travel expenses. Curves gave a free copy to each person attending the international conference.
I did the same thing for Cookie Lee's conference (3,500 books) and eWomen Network (4,000 books). Per my suggestion, both conferences added an additional $8 to the conference attendees' fees to cover the cost of the books and everyone received a copy in their gift bags. Then they sold additional books for anyone who wanted more. Of course I signed nearly every book during all three of these events. It was nice because I didn't have to mess with the money. I just signed books.
It works pretty well for me and is one of my main negotiating strategies when asked to speak at large events. - Dahlynn McKowen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul
5-Minute Marketing Tips
Here are a few more ways that you can make use of a spare five minutes anytime during your work day, leisure time, breaks, or standing-in-line times. There are some great ideas here. Be sure to read all of them.
=> Instead of writing a blog with writing tips, which so many fiction authors do so well, I write a funny blog once a month and offer a contest/drawing with it. In February, my blog was “How to REALLY Woo a Woman.” For every person who commented I donated $1.00 to the American Heart Association in honor of February being heart awareness month. Plus each commentator was entered in a drawing for a $25 Godiva gift card. The prizes never exceed $25.00 and I always get new fans and great sales, especially of e-books. I had over 70 comments on the February post. - Cindy Sample, author of Dying for a Date, www.cindysamplebooks.com
=> Promote your book to book groups on your website. Build a separate page, linked from your book page, where you make it easy for book groups to enjoy buying and reading your book. I've posted a pre-reading guide, some appropriate snack suggestions for their discussion time, a 15% rebate to a their charity, and some discussion questions for when they re-convene. To see how I'm promoting my debut mystery tourism novel Missing in Mexico to book groups, see www.stuartgustafson.com/book-Missing-clubs.html. - Stuart Gustafson, www.stuartgustafson.com
Alert - I'm writing a short book of 5-Minute Marketing Tips. I'd love to hear from you on 5-minute actions you've taken that helped you sell books, set up a media booking, connect with a blogger, get a great testimonial, etc. Email me with your stories and 5-minute tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll share some of the best tips and stories in future issues of this newsletter.
Tweets you can use
There are some great book marketing lessons and tips included within these short tweets.
=> For an author's association or writer's group near you, check out http://www.bookmarket.com/writers.htm
=> Book Marketing Tweet #5: Create relationships with top 30 websites your potential readers are already going to for info & inspiration. #BM
=> Repeat: All of marketing consists in creating relationships. Real relationships: friends, lovers, partners, warriors, fans.
=> Book Marketing Tip #3: Sell autographed collectible copies of your book via Amazon's Sell Yours Here program.
=> RT @kathyireland If planning to write a book...get in touch with Mr. Kremer B4 U write word one. He is the best at helping authors navigate 2 win!
=> If you view your problem closely enough, you will recognize yourself as part of the problem. - Ducharm's Axiom #quotable
=> Need a great news release? Check out http://newsreleasecritiques.com
=> If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. - Milton Friedman #funny #true
=> Angels Watching Over You - song by Tim Peterson. I love this song. Watch the video at http://www.bookmarket.com/angels.htm. Performance rights available.
Follow more of John's tweets at http://twitter.com/johnkremer
More author success stories
Here are a few more tips from authors on what they are doing to help them sell more books . . .
There are a couple of things that I have done to help market my book, Preparing Your Heart to Survive in a Dangerous World, published by Publish America. The one that seems to attract the most attention is a video I produced. It is based on the lead story in the book. It can be viewed by clicking the link at the bottom of the home page on my website at http://www.ralphturnerphd.com. - T. Ralph Turner, author, Preparing Your Heart to Survive in a Dangerous World
Face to face and word of mouth still matters. I recently sold thirty copies of my paranormal/fantasy novel, Among Other Edens, at a night club in Germany, at the airport waiting to go to said country, and at my German hotel. Toting a purse large enough to have copies on hand, I happily signed and sold books over dinner, on trips into town, in fact anywhere I had a chance to talk about my book. Soon, I became known as the book lady and, within two days, had sold out with orders for more.
I call this spontaneous selling, it occurs in unexpected locations and requires no campaign or effort, other than the willingness to break out of our comfort zone, step from behind our computers, and make face to face contact with people. As we continue to market online, we need to remind ourselves that technology is a tool in the writer's publicity tool box. Good old-fashioned meet-greet-and-salesmanship will never crash, give you a blue screen, or need re-booting! - Guinevere Edern, author of Among Other Edens
I listed my book and described it on my website which has a small but growing audience. The pages that describe my book provide links to amazon.com and createspace.com where my book can be purchased securely online.
I've also established blogging accounts at fiscaltimes.com, huffingtonpost.com, washingtonpost.com, and yahoo.com. I've been submitting comments about article on these sites. This takes about 15 minutes each day. I usually end with a reference to my website, which does seem to drive traffic to my website. The exposure is good, but no one has yet purchased my book. - Dr. Mary Ayala, author of Economic Soul Food: Understanding the Recession of 2008
John's comments: You are getting some traffic, but you are not selling your book. One problem is your book cover. It's hard to read on Amazon.com, does not stand out, and does not sell your vision. You also need to get anyone you know who has read your book to post reviews on Amazon.com. Without the reviews, few strangers will take a chance on your book.
As for your website, I couldn't find it on the first page of Bing.com, either by searching for your name or for the title of your book. But in doing a quick search online, both maryayala.com and economicsoulfood.com seem to be available. If I were you, I'd get both of those URLs and link them to your existing website (wherever it is).
IBPA special membership offer
The Independent Book Publishers Association is making a special membership offer to subscribers of this newsletter. If you join IBPA during the next month, you not only get the standard access to cooperative direct mail programs, discounts on goods and services, a wonderful monthly newsletter, discounts on seminars, and more, but you will also receive two gifts:
* Your choice of two IBPA Publishing University online educational webinars (a $78 value)
* A complimentary copy of Digital Publishing for Dummies (a $15 value)
Just go to http://www.ibpa-online.org/welcome.aspx and enter the code KREMER in the shopping cart. Or call IBPA at 310-372-2732. Last year, IBPA members saved an average of $200 on shipping discounts alone. For more than 25 years, IBPA has been the national voice of indie book publishers. Good people there.
Note: The IBPA Publishing University will be held May 22 and 23 in New York City right before this year's BookExpo America.
Selling to Costco
In last week's newsletter, I featured a 5-minute tip from Jim Misko on selling books via Costco. A reader wrote back asking for more details on Jim's experience in selling to Costco. Here are Jim's answers:
1. How did you go about setting up the Costco book signing?
The signings were set up through my Alaska distributor who worked with a wholesaler in the lower 48 by the name of America West Books.
2. What was the retail price of your book? And how much did you get keep of each book sale?
The retail prices for my books are $15.95 and $16.95. Costco buys at 55% discount. Their retail price is about 45% of the list price. They sold my books at $9.99 per book. I received 1/3 of their retail price, or about $3.33 per sale.
3. Did you sell any books before the book signing, or did you only sell during the book signing?
At Costco, I only sold during the signing. Leftover books were sold by them after I left. As of Friday, two weeks later, they had sold seven copies out of 14 I left there.
4. Did you bring the books to the signing, or did Costco stock the books (and are they still stocking the book)?
There are two criteria for a successful book sale according to my distributor: the author and the books get to the same place at the same time. I carry my own books. So far, they have not regularly stocked my books. Only the leftovers after a signing.
5. If you brought the books to the signing, did Costco pay you your share right way?
Costco does not pay right away. They pay about 90 days later. You don’t make money with Costco. You get readers, exposure, future sales, and a lot of fun talking to book buyers or people you convert into book buyers. There is some evidence that the managers are getting tired of book signings here but I don’t know why.
Here is the math. I sold 200 books over five days and earned $3.33 per book to be paid in 90 days so that is $666 divided by 5 = $133 per day. I added 26 people to my email list for future books. I signed up three book clubs that are future sources of sales at retail price. I removed six cases of books from storage and got them in the hands of readers.
By the way, after multiple appearances in Costco, several people who had purchased my books and read them stopped by and told me how much they enjoyed them. That’s worth several coffees.
Any smart person who has lived on earth for awhile wants to help others. It's just common sense. And it works. As you lift up others, you lift yourself as well. - John Kremer
Previous: Clever retellings of old stories / 5-Minute Marketing Tips / specialty retailers / Tweets you can use / How to find the size of the market for your book / rewriting a news release / Parenting magazine wants your story