Distribute Your Self-Published Book - Part 1
Where is your book now? With a distributor? In a book store? Or, did it already die an early death after a few months?
New self-published authors often believe they need a distributor to sell a lot of books. They want to use Ingram or Baker & Taylor because they think they need to get their book into the "brick and mortar" bookstores like Barnes and Noble.
Authors go through many hoops and snags to accomplish this-- what I call the "traditional publishing nightmare" of inefficiency and lack of support for authors. Usually the author only gets around 10% royalties and has to pay back all promotion expenses such as book signings. So many hoops, some give up. So many authors I speak with who have gone this route still have hundreds, even thousands of unsold copies littering up storage space. Talk about discouragement.
Distributors Can be Dangerous to Your Book's Health and Your Wallet
One author wrote, illustrated, and marketed six beautiful children's books. Her books were well reviewed and received. For some time, the profits rolled in until her distributor went bankrupt, owing her $160,000. After she stopped crying, she decided to take her books on the road-to local fairs and talks where she could KEEP all the profits.
Distributors take quite a chunk of money from the author's profits too. They charge the author for storage, and when books are returned, the author loses those sales, and has to pay the distributor too. Authors lose from the bookstores because their payment is late or unreliable. Some authors wait way beyond 90 days. In fact, many just don't get paid. Writers are not always good at collections either. These middlemen not only take most of the author's profits, they cause much stress too.
How Can Self-Published Authors Distribute?
Self-published books include: print books (perfect bound, comb bound, print on demand or print quantity needed, or stapled) or eBooks (sent over Email through Word or Portable Document Files)
For each venue, make sure to include ordering information such as your Web site URL, your company address, your toll-free 800 number, your local phone number, and an order page to fill out for fax or phone orders.
1.Distribute through the Press.
-Create a "Power Press Release" (include tips and how-to's)
2. Distribute through a local Talk Show-Radio and TV or guest speak for another person's teleclasses.
Just a phone call away you can reach 100's of people interested in your book's topic. Do some research on www.teleclass.com. From my guesting with other experts every 2 months, new clients come; new book and teleclass sales increase to make up half my income.
On the talk shows or the teleclasses, offer the audience a free report to capture their email addresses. You can also send it through your host and she will distribute that information to her large email list. Of course you include your sales-pulling signature file at the end.
3. Distribute at local talks to groups. Sell your print books at the back of the room. Take a clipboard and capture everyone's email at the talk. These people become your dedicated sales force and tell others. Word of mouth takes up to one or two years, so be patient for results. Check your library for Clubs who need free speakers.
Develop a selling two-sided flyer with testimonials, your book cover, excerpts, and an ordering coupon. Take books and flyers with you everywhere. Offer to all you meet, even your dentist!
Authors need to be proactive in book promotion because publishers won't do it for them. (Part 2 of this article is available)
Judy Cullins, 20-year book and Internet Marketing Coach, Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," and "How to Market your Business on the Internet," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, The Book Coach Says...and Business Tip of the Month at http://www.bookcoaching.com/opt-in.shtml and over 140 free articles. Email her at mailto:Judy@bookcoaching.com
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I am twenty three years old, have sold over four thousand copies of my first book in a matter of a month after it's release and recently been contacted for contracts with Random House and Harper Collins for two new titles. I think a good deal of my recent success is highly correlated with my Reading for Charity Contest and the attention it has drawn. I'll explain the entire background, but as pre-thought I think it first manifested itself through a combination of my looking for a good way to market my first book, while balancing out my karma a bit. A way to interweave my love of novel writing, increase my book's visibility and provide a benefit to society in some way shape or form. All of these tasks have seemed to be accomplished- although my karma could still probably use some more balancing.
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Authors Should Be Optimistic
A client wrote me recently and asked what I thought of his using a publicist to promote his book - to the tune of $4,000 per month. In my usual blunt fashion, I responded by telling him most self-published books never sell more than 100 copies, that 2000 sales is considered excellent in the industry and that the number of people who sell between 50,000 and 100,000 can probably be counted on one hand. I just wasn't sure the publicist would give him the facts, since said publicist stood to make a lot of money off this author, whether he sold a book or not.
Never Pay Full Price for a Book!
Are you an avid reader? Are you trying to instill a love of reading in your children?
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