About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Archive for the ‘Marketing Musings’ Category

What is Genre and Why Does it Matter?

I am a newcomer to writing fiction, as my first two books have been non-fiction – one about how life is affected by a friend or family member’s cancer, the other on what it might be like to Be An Author. So when I was asked to label the genre of one of my flash fiction stories I was a bit nonplussed.
Always one to rise to a challenge, I decided it was time to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and find out more.
For the purposes of this post, I will be looking at genre as it relates to fiction. Looking online results in a bewilderingly long list of potential fiction genres, but as far as I can see the main ones are: (more…)

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The Book Marketing Industry

I went to buy a book last week, in my local independent bookshop. I asked them if they had any novels by local authors, which seemed to bemuse them slightly. They thought of Tracy Chevalier, who has written about the area – but she is well known, traditionally published and lives in London. I don’t have anything against any of those things, but what I wanted was to support a local author just starting out, or someone who had self-published their novel. (more…)

Choosing a Print on Demand Company – Distribution

I was asked recently for my thoughts on a particular print on demand company. This company, unlike many, is actually based in the UK. For a UK resident, that would seem to be a really good thing. So I optimistically started to investigate. The brochure I had been forwarded looked super, the packages were priced sensibly (very important in my book), not inviting you to sped thousands that you will have trouble recouping, and you could buy additional services such as editing individually from a menu.
So far, all looking good. Then I applied a simple test to their distribution. I visited the company’s website, found some books they featured, and then looked for them on Amazon. Oh dear. Yes, the books were there, and the print-on-demand company was listed as a seller for the books. But one thing was missing. The all-important ‘in stock’ label for Amazon itself. Not one of the titles I looked up was in stock at Amazon’s warehouse and ready to be shipped. Does this matter, given that they are in stock at the p-o-d company and ready to be shipped by them? You bet it does.
I am an Amazon fan. I use it all the time to buy things. You know where you are with Amazon, and when items you buy will arrive. That’s not to say that I won’t buy from other sellers on the Amazon marketplace, but I am far more likely to buy from Amazon itself, especially as we have subscribed to Amazon Prime which gives you unlimited next day delivery. There are many people just like me, in fact many will never even see the other seller options, just look at the ‘out of stock’ status and move on to another book.
By having your book in stock at Amazon, you dramatically increase the chances of it selling. Most people on the internet are looking for information. This means they are not automatically in buying mode. But on Amazon the reverse is true – most people on the site at any time are looking to buy something. This is an absolute gift to an author. So make it easy for them to buy. Use a print-on-demand company which has an arrangement with Amazon to keep books in stock. Then you won’t ever have to do anything to make sure your book is available now to those people who make it onto your book’s page.
There are several print-on-demand companies which can achieve this for your book. The one I use is lulu.com, and I’ll be writing more about how you can publish your book using their services in my soon-to-be-available free download ‘Publish Your Book on a Shoestring’. Keep an eye out, I’m in the editing stage now and it will be coming out in the next few weeks.

Create a Marketing Plan for Your Book

Right, back to business (temporarily at least). Here’s a little bit more of the download I am writing about self-publishing. (To follow this from the beginning go to the Publish Your Book category) I should share that I haven’t done this for my next book ‘Be An Author’ yet as that is traditionally published and I am waiting to see the plan from the publisher at the moment. I don’t think all the responsibility rests with the publisher, though, so I will end up with a plan of actions I need to take. (more…)

Problems and Benefits to Your Readers

Following on from Who Are Your Readers?, this is the next step in preparation for self publishing. (more…)

Who Are Your Readers?

Continuing from yesterday’s post on Why Self Publish? This is the next step – identifying your potential readers.
“As tempting as it is to say ‘Everyone should read my book’ or ‘This book will appeal to a broad market’, this is not really very helpful to you. What you need is to know more about the people who will read your book. (more…)

The Power of Free

Today I’m back making progress on Book 2, my book for writers. As I said before, for this book I have a publisher, and that’s not something I’m used to. I’m loving the editorial input, and not feeling like I’m in it on my own. But today I came up against the fact that I am also not in control. (more…)