Marketing To Independents

Purple Passion

Maybe you know by now that the big-boy brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders won’t carry your self-published book.  That’s because they’re dependent on major publishers, so it’s understandable.  But all online bookstores will carry you, including those named.  It’s up to you to see that you put out a well written, well edited and well proofed product.

And now to market!  Bring your adrenaline up?  It should, because this is another of the most important things you can do for yourself.  Earlier, I spoke of making friends with librarians.  This is a lifetime thing, you know.  And next door to it is contacting independent bookstores.  They’re still out there and many of them are hungry for good books you’ll help them sell as a partner.

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When You Go To Market

Going Green

You’ll note my heading does not begin with the words self-publishing.  That’s because this blog is as much for writers being published by regular publishers.  If you’re not studying marketing and the ways it’s done nowadays, stop and wonder if you’re serious about what you’re doing.

The average self-published novel sells around 400 copies.  A listing on a mystery writing lineup featuring publishers who are open to mystery acquisitions states that they sell about 2,000 copies.  That was when the economy was neither booming nor sinking.  Think what it’s like today.

What I’m saying holds as true for self-publishers as for those published by regular publishers.  Today’s market needs a different approach.  First of all, you need first-rate books on how and where to sell.  Three I can think of that can be purchased on Amazon — used if need be — and are worth their weight in platinum are John Kremer’s sixth edition of his fabulous “1001 Ways To Market Your Books.”  From soup to nuts he lays out the ways and means of reaching the readers you want.  Another is Penny Sansevieri’s “Red Hot Internet Advertising.”  Still another is “Plug Your Book,” by Steve Weber.  Amazon’s website is http://www.amazon.com

It’s so important to keep abreast of what’s going on in book marketing.  The internet has taken over.  Print is still important, but fading.  All three of these books set forth the steps you need to take to find and keep readers.  And isn’t that what you want most of all?

Self-publishing: Useful Sites

Pretty Purple

From time to time I’m going to suggest other sites that you can gather info from to your great advantage.  I’ve dealt with the people who set up these sites and found them to be respectful of your time, money, energy, not to mention your hopes and dreams — or your book.  I’ve found  them to be savvy and willing to do their best for you.  You will hear from them prompty and they don’t have dollar signs for eyes.

Today it’s Wheatmark.com.  I will mention this company often because it’s so far above the others I’ve worked with.  Remember, I’ve studied this field for over 20 years, back when it wasn’t so well regarded.  Now, as the comedian said, “Everybody wants to get into the act.”  And no wonder, so many of those who’ve tried it after studying it carefully are thrilled.

Also, please check into Wheatmark.com/blog.  This particular set of ongoing blogs comes largely from writers who are self-publishing with Wheatmark.  I never fail to find these blogs interesting and informative, and I believe you will too.

Self Publishing: Do Your Basics

Wondrous Sunset

Ask yourself if you really want to succeed.  Stupid question?  Far from it.  Success means many things to many people.  Webster’s definition that I like best speaks of being favored.  Not an exact quote, but that’s one of the deepest meanings.  To be favored is often to meet with hostile envy.  Can you take it?  Think about it long and hard, because it’s an emotional basic of self-publishing.  Not everybody can do it and some will be envious if you’re successful with it.

Now, to the nitty gritty.  Not enough of you who are interested in self-publishing are willing to do the basics.  Study the market for your book — first.  Sound crazy?  Greedy?  It’s not.  Why spend a big chunk of your time, emotions and energy on something that a little spadework will show isn’t going anywhere?  I can hear you groaning that you write from the heart and that’s what matters, isn’t it?

Indeed it is, so why not consider tweaking your treasured baby so it’s what you want it to be and it fits what the reading public wants.  For that, you’re going to need a  market analysis that will tell you who’s reading what, what’s selling, where, and for how long.  Anybody who writes a book and doesn’t get a market analysis is cheating him or herself.  Like love, you have to be involved with it to appreciate it, and like love, it grows and develops as you put yourself into it.

I thought it was crazy to get a market analysis at the beginning.  I’ve learned better and I think you will too.  They aren’t expensive.  You can google it or you can contact Wheatmark.com.  It’s much to your advantage.  Try it.

Self-Publishing: Make It Your Business

Nature At Her Best

If you hope to succeed with self-publishing as with anything else, you’ve got to get your act together. First, relax and use your noodle.  As I’ve pointed out here, study the field thoroughly, take the time to familiarize yourself with the good guys and the bad guys.  Make use of your Better Business Bureau; they’ll point out the rotten ones.  Go to your library, google, check out Amazon, but somehow get the so-called bibles of self-publishing.  There are few, but they’ll save you a lot of trouble.

An excellent place to start is with Wheatmark.com.  That excellent  publishing company offers you a free series of pamphlets for downloading.  Reading them, you’ll find out if self-publishing is for you.  Better to find out early than late.  And too, they have an excellent book for free downloading called Marketecture.  That one book transformed my life, and I’ve been a published writer — by good publishers — for 20 years.  It is well written, clear, concise and to my mind, one of the best I’ve read.

Too much information and your mind is going to sleep.  Please mull this over and come back for more which I’ll share with you often.  I just wish I’d had someone to offer me more tips in a blog, but little was available when I became hooked years ago.  Now you’ve got me and I’ve dug deep and found much.  I’m willing to share because I want your ideas and your experiences. So, stay tuned!

Happy self-publishing!