« June 2011 | Main | August 2011 »

July 2011

Planning on Including Your Author Photo In Your Book? Here are Some Tips to Follow.

By guest author Karrie Ross.

Many authors like to include photos of themselves in their books, either in their cover design or on one of the text pages. An author photo, can play a big part in creating a more personable relationship between you and your readers.

Many of my clients come to me with an image already picked out. This can be good and not so good. The good part is that they have given some thought to the look they want for their cover. The not so good part is that the image may be too literal, may miss the mark or is of poor quality.

If you're planning to use an author photo in your book, to maximize its value, here are some tips you should consider.

  1. You need to be sure the resolution of your photo is as high as possible for the best quality reproduction. 
  2. If you will be taking a photo with your own camera, be sure it is at least 7 or more mega pixels and is set at the highest resolution.
  3. If it is going to be a formal still shot, be sure to use a tripod.
  4. Be sure that there are no unwanted items in the background.
  5. Be sure you can be seen clearly without hot spots or red eyes, and that there are no unwanted ugly shadows to your sides.
  6. Try different camera angles depending on where you are shooting. Use nature to help you by choosing locations with trees and flowers to add color and interest.
  7. Be sure the setting and background are in proper taste for the clothes you are wearing.

Finally, when determining what type of a author photo you want to you use, what is most important is that it should represent you the way you want to be seen.

[Karrie Ross is a nationally recognized book designer consultant and coach, and can be contacted at Be It Now! Karrie Ross.]

Want to Increase Your Book Sales? Other Retail Outlets Will Carry Your Book.

[At Book1One, we are often asked, "How can I increase the sales of my book?" For those of you asking this question, the following post is a must read.]

Ever thought about selling your book in outlets besides bookstores? There are numerous places besides bookstores where your book could sell. Major publishers call these "special sales."

Although there are close to twenty thousand bookstores in the United States, there are probably ten times this number of nonbookstore retail outlets also selling books. The Book Industry Study Group has said that one out of every four books purchased by consumers is bought in nonbookstore outlets. Places such as home-improvement centers, drugstores, discount stores, grocery stores, gift shops, liquor stores, even auto supply outlets are all prime candidates.

Think about your book's subject matter, then play with various audience connecting possibilities. Here are some equations of subject matter to retail outlets to get your thinking going:

  • Gardening - nurseries, garden centers, florists, botanical gardens, landscapers.
  • Hiking - sporting goods stores, camping equipment dealers, climbing centers.
  • Parenting - baby shops, toy stores, baby furniture outlets.
  • Crafts - hobby shops, quilting outlets.
  • Nutrition - health food stores, vegetarian restaurants.
  • Wardrobe coordination - dress shops, fabric stores.
  • Art book - museums, artist supply stores, galleries.
  • Hair and skin care - beauty shops, beauty supply stores.

An interesting article in Publisher's Weekly stated that based on a directory of the two hundred stores in a shopping mall which included two bookstore chain outlets, at least twenty-five other outlets carried books. The book's topics ranged from children's titles to gardening guides, travel to cooking, inspirational to gift, art to chess, animals to astronomy - the opportunities abounded.

Once you've figured out some logical matches, get to work. Guess what happened to The World in Your Kitchen , a collection of vegetarian recipes from Africa, by Troth Wells? An $80,000 order from Pier 1 Imports. The retailer bought for its nine hundred stores.

Carol Fenster publishes a series of cookbooks for people with allergies, asthma, and other illnesses. She finds a ready market in targeted grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market. Her books are also recommended by physicians, nutritionists, naturopaths.

For other sources for book sales, you might want to consider various professionals as potential resellers. Vicki Lansky discounts her book on divorce by 50 percent to lawyers, therapists, mediators and other professionals. They give or sell it to their clients to help children cope with divorce and its aftermath. It must be working. Lansky has sold well over one hundred thousand copies.

So as you look for ways to increase your book sales, don't overlook the nonbookstore opportunities that may be a perfect sales fit.

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