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September 2010

Nine Great Tips On How To Successfully Sell To Libraries

By guest author Dana Lynn Smith.

America's 123,000 libraries purchase nearly $2 billion worth of books annually, according to statistics from the American Library Association and the Book Industry Study Group. Nonfiction books are especially well suited to library sales. Here are ten tips on how to sell to libraries:

1. Publish a library-friendly book.

Library books take a lot of abuse, so they prefer books that are sturdy. Libraries will not purchase books with spiral or other non-traditional binding. Nonfiction books should have a good index and preferably a bibliography. Librarians also prefer to purchase books that are cataloged using CIP (cataloging-in-publication) data.

2. Get your book reviewed in a library journal.

It's impossible for librarians to keep up with the huge volume of books being published, and they value the screening process that the journals provide.

3. Make sure your book is available through major library wholesalers.

The majority of library book purchases are made through wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor and Ingram.

4. Apply to work with a library distributor.

Seek out distributors such as Quality Books or Unique Books, if you have nonfiction.

5. Solicit testimonials from librarians.

6. Contact libraries in your area.

You should inquire about programs and speaking opportunities for local authors and let them know about your events such as book signings, radio interviews, etc.

7. Send direct mail to libraries.

Address your mail to the Collection Development Librarian for your subject area, and include a flyer with book details and a list of wholesalers and distributors that carry your book.

8. Consider donating a sample copy.

Copies sent to a few top library systems can encourage purchases for branch libraries.

9. Exhibit at library tradeshows.

You will find co-operative exhibit programs offered through the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Combined Book Exhibit and other organizations.

[Dana Lynn Smith is a nationally recognized book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketer Guides.]

Five Inexpensive Book Marketing Strategies That Can Successfully Launch Your Book

By guest author Jake Olvido.

Unfortunately, most authors do not have unlimited funds to spend on marketing their books. In fact, almost every self-publishing author faces the challenge of marketing his or her book on a shoestring budget. Here are five inexpensive book marketing strategies that may be a perfect way to launch and promote your book.

1. Maintain an effective yet inexpensive web presence.

The Internet provides lots of cost saving marketing opportunities including advertising at free ad listing sites, blogging to genre relevant sites, registering at social networking sites, participating in virtual book tours, uploading book "video-mercials" to video sharing sites, and sending online media releases.

2. Write and submit online articles on topics that are book genre relevant.

This inexpensive marketing strategy can build up an author's credibility in a given subject matter and provides a web marketing presence that both online researchers and book readers will appreciate.

3. Market your books to non-traditional sources to get closer to your target readers.

Research non-traditional book sellers such as companies, clubs, associations, organizations, foundations and other groups that are book genre specific and see if there is a gold mine somewhere for marketing. The key is to show these groups the benefits they will gain by purchasing your book.

4. Consign your book to relevant local shopkeepers and retailers.

For a minimal consignment fee, your book could be prominently displayed and instantly recognized. For example, if you have written a book about pet care, a local pet shop may be just around the corner and may be very receptive to a consignment sales program.

5. Promote your book to school libraries.

Regardless of your book's genre, you can actually market to local and state level libraries. Most importantly, find out which schools are regularly updating their catalogues. Offer reciprocal arrangements, like volunteering for free book reading sessions and creative writing discussions.

An important marketing tip is to study what works for your book subject - know your target market well by determining what's important to them and what influences them to make a purchase. And remember to always market your book's value rather than its price.

[Jake Olvido is a book marketing specialist and can be reached at Bookwhirl.com.]

Book1Blog Welcomes Dana Lynn Smith

Book1Blog is pleased to welcome Dana Lynn Smith as a guest author.

Dana Lynn Smith Photo Dana is a nationally recognized book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Marketer Guides, a series of ebooks and audio programs for authors and independent publishers. Drawing on her 15 years of publishing experience and degree in marketing, she specializes in developing marketing plans for nonfiction books and helping authors learn how to promote their books online.

Authors tell us that successful book marketing is the most difficult challenge they face after their book is published. Dana's expertise and knowledge will be terrific additions to this blog, and we look forward to her posts in the weeks ahead.

Look for Dana's first post next week. And Dana, it is great to have you with us.

Nonfiction books are easier to write and sell than fiction

Some may disagree, but it's true. Successful nonfiction books are easier to write and sell than fiction books - and here are a few reasons why.

  1. Writing fiction is an art that comes from emotion. Writing nonfiction is a craft derived from information. Developing a craft is easier than developing an art.
  2. Fiction entertains while nonfiction informs. It's easier to inform than it is to entertain.
  3. As entertainment, a fiction book has to compete with other entertainment options such as other fiction books, taking in a movie, playing with the kids, watching television, listening to music, etc. Nonfiction books, on the other hand, do not compete for readers' time, or with any other book or activity. Each nonfiction book is unique.
  4. With nonfiction, it is easier to focus on who your intended audience is and what you plan to give them. According to howtosellmybooks.com, somewhere between 400 to 500 books are published each day. So the narrower your niche, the better your chances are of not having competition.

Most publishers will urge aspiring authors to work on nonfiction first and to save fiction until they can afford it. Spending time on writing how-to books - valuable information that people will buy in order to save time or money or better themselves in some way - can generate income faster.

So, if anything, remember this thought. Fiction book writers tend to be creative, interesting people who are fun at parties. But nonfiction book writers drive better cars.

[This post was created from excerpts from Successful Nonfiction, written by Dan Poynter.]

Successful Bookwriting Is All About Using the Right Words - Here Are 13 Tips to Follow

There is a happy medium between a book to tough to read you would need an IQ of 180 and a book only suitable when you have difficulty falling asleep. The key is the words you use - and successful bookwriting is indeed all about using the right words. Here are 13 tips that may help you select the right words for your book.

  1. Sentence length: The ideal understanding level of a reader is with sentences that average no more than 14 words. The key word here is average. Some sentences can be shorter. Others longer.
  2. If you have a choice, use short words instead of long ones.
  3. If possible, four, five and more syllable words should be avoided.
  4. Avoid beginning a lot of sentences with the word "the".
  5. Do not overuse the word "I".
  6. Watch for repetition of words within close proximity.
  7. Guard against using cliches. Instead, think of a fresh, new way of saying it.
  8. Pare away unnecessary words such as "very", "really", "just" and other qualifiers that don't serve a definite purpose.
  9. Are your words colorful? Don't have the man walk. Rather, have him amble, stride, stagger or shuffle along.
  10. Foreign words and unfamiliar jargon may confuse the reader - so beware.
  11. Likewise, "in vogue" terms can date your manuscript and may appear ridiculous five years hence.
  12. Delete needless words. Examples: Early pioneers should be simply pioneers. Until such time as should be until. Combined together can just be combined.
  13. Trim uneccessary "thats" like you would prune an overgrown tree.

Remember, brevity is beautiful. Train yourself to shed the padding that comes from years of cranking out student papers. We've heard it said that if you run your pen through every other word you have written, you have no idea what vigor it will give your style.

[This post was created from excerpts taken from the 5th edition of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]