Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
What Happens if Bookstores Go Away?
January 29, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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What happens if bookstores go away?That sentence alone is enough to send chills down my spine. No bookstores? I can’t imagine a world without them. Yet the fact of the matter is, that’s likely where we are headed.

I don’t often share this, but you know that term “bucket list”? One of my bucket list items is to get locked in a bookstore overnight – with a fully-functioning Starbucks of course because a girl needs her caffeine to stay up all night and dig through the thousands of titles on the shelves. Truth is, that one bucket list dream may never come true (and I suspect, neither will the dinner date with Bradley Cooper, either). Let’s face it, the world is changing rapidly. Amazon is making book access so much easier and without having to get in your car and, you know, drive somewhere. Look, I do love Amazon and what they’ve done for indie authors is tremendous, but the opposite side to all of this good is that bookstores are desperately trying to find a market. Ironically, in the mix of all of this, the independents, once proclaimed to be dead, are not fairing as badly as the chains. Well, the chain: Barnes & Noble.

My prediction, though perhaps wild and seemingly out there, is that we’re going to start seeing more niche stores, so children’s bookstores, all-fiction, etc. because at the end of the day, we are catering to an audience who doesn’t want to have to sift through hundreds of books to find the niche they are looking for. We live in the custom society: custom coffee, custom cars, custom pretty much everything. Would the same go for bookstores? Sure, why not? I also think that we’re going to start seeing a lot more book departments expand within stores. Hallmark has been experimenting with this for years, though granted their book section is small compared to everything else they offer, they could expand this, too. I don’t think you’ll see airport bookstores go away anytime soon. There’s a need there, gotta have something to read on the plane, though the surge of eBook purchases may change the need for those too.

Let’s face it, the structure is changing. Ironically it’s not going in the direction we once thought. A few years ago many bloggers said that libraries were a thing of the past, sweet but ancient dinosaurs. However, libraries have seen a resurgence in a down economy and librarians are eager to keep step with technology, offering eBook lending, etc.

The biggest challenge we face as authors and book promoters is that if, in fact, bookstores go away that takes away a huge chunk of those trusted book connoisseurs who would otherwise be out, on the frontlines, recommending books. Also, the shelf space, which for most of us isn’t really a factor since our books won’t be in bookstores anyway. But for those publishers and titles who depend on bookstores, how will they gain exposure? The answer is, of course, online.

I think as we see the market changing, we’re going to see things like niche social media sites, which despite Facebook’s online real estate could pull in more readers because, again, we want what we want. We don’t want to sift through tons of data to find that great, new read.

Free books and excerpts will become a must. I’ve spoken with a lot of authors who feel this is just something they don’t want to do. The numbers would, however, encourage a second look. Whenever we’ve run freebie campaigns we see a huge uptick in sales after the freebie is over.

Book bloggers: As time progresses, we’ll need more voices out there.  As we do now, we’ll start seeing a lot of niche blog communities popping up and, I dare say, that if the bookstore demise happens we’re going to see a lot more paid reviews.

Paid placement: Yes I think you’ll start seeing much more of this. Though not through ads but through paid content online. Some call it advertorial, and perhaps that’s a better term for it, but I think as we progress content generation to drive sales will become a huge factor.

What can you do now, this far ahead of the curve? Candidly, I think we’ll start seeing the downturn of the bookstore right after Christmas. We’re seeing it now already but as 2013 continues, more and more of the sales numbers are going to be facing a decline. What you can do now is stake your claim. Make friends with bloggers, network, put out good content. Don’t wait for the bookstore rug to be ripped out from under you before you act. Do it now. And when the eventual demise of bookstores happen, you’ll be ready to face that challenge.

Many of us ignore the library market because it’s not glamorous, but guess what? Libraries are a fantastic group of book lovers who could really help your book succeed. Been ignoring the library market in lieu of something more glamorous? You may want to rethink that approach.

No one wants to see bookstores go away, least of all me. But the writing has been on the wall for a while and even if I’m wrong, which would be great, I still think that the online world will become more and more significant in all of the ways I’ve described. Let’s face it. With all of the books published each day in the US, the market has been expanding on one side and shrinking on the other for a while.

So, head to your local bookstore and support them but make sure you keep an eye on the future.

 

 

 

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – January 28, 2013
January 28, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the January 28, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We have a great mix of posts on self-publishing, book marketing, writing and book sales. We hope you find these posts insightful and useful!

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Book Marketing

Susan Wowe presents SEO Tips | Guest Posts For A Win-Win posted at Online Business – Make Money Online, saying, “Submitting guest posts to relevant websites is a great way of book marketing. A great way to build up your authority in your own niche and get backlinks to your own website.”

Jordan McCollum presents Marketing 101: what is marketing? posted at Jordan McCollum, saying, “The basics of marketing, the best place to start when getting ready to market your book. The first in a year-long series on marketing books, especially online!”

Self-Publishing

Liz Long presents Why I’m Choosing Indie Publishing posted at Liz Long, saying, “I wrote a short post on why I was choosing self-publishing for my first book. Turns out it was a decision I still stand by, as I’m self-publishing my second book this spring! I was surprised by the great response I received on this post, but indie author support is amazing. Hard work shouldn’t scare away writers who truly want to be here.”

Book Publicity

Dana Sitar presents Tackle Your Bucket List + Get Some Blog Exposure posted at DIY Writing, saying, “Join the Bucket List Challenge Blog Hop to celebrate the release of “A Writer’s Bucket List” and share your blog with new readers!”

Book Sales

Sarah Bolme presents It’s Not Just Price… posted at Marketing Christian Books.

Writing

Rodney Maley presents 3 Writing Challenges You Should Try posted at Life-fficient.

Chris Gonzales presents Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block posted at Unretrofied, saying, “I’ve put together some tips that have helped me overcome writer’s block in the past. My hope is that they help others out too.”

Chrys Fey presents Characters Make A Book posted at Write With Fey, saying, “This post will give you tips on how to create characters that feel real.”

Bravebird Publishing presents How to Draft Memorable Characters from Page One posted at Bravebird Publishing.

Nick Daws presents MWC Olymp-inks posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “The MWC Olymp-Inks is a special (and free) event on my writing forum at www.mywriterscircle.com. Anyone is welcome to join in the wide range of writing contests and challenges, with some great prizes up for grabs!”

Social Media

Matthew Bostock presents Realizing the true potential of digital reading posted at Huffington Post, saying, “The post delves into the potential future of digital reading, with a stress on using the web and books in conjunction to share and discover new things to read.

For authors, especially aspiring ones, the potential here is huge in offering a low-cost, efficient way to harness the web to garner exposure and traction for a book.

I believe many self-published fail to realise exactly what is at their disposal, and tracking the trend of digital reading, it’s evident that its path is playing perfectly into the hands of those that use services such as Goodreads and Readmill to create and sustain a readership.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Guy Kawasaki talks about Self-Publishing and APE
January 28, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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What’s got Guy Kawasaki so excited? He’s just self-published his latest book, APE – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur and he shares his take on self-publishing and whether or not the industry is seeing too much content. If everyone can publish, is that a good thing?



Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of January 21, 2013
January 25, 2013by: Paula
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Here’s a look back at some useful book marketing Tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include the qualities of a great book cover, the best way to create an author website, what authors must know about publishing to succeed, and much more. We wish you much success in your writing, publishing, and marketing efforts!

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* What makes a great book cover?

A tumblr page dedicated to bad book covers provides fodder for examining what book covers need to succeed:

http://sevencamels.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/on-book-covers-and-what-makes-them-lousy.html?m=1#

* The Best Way to Build an Author Website

Authors do need a website – an online site they own and can use to promote and sell their books. Learn how to create your own site:

http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2013/01/the-best-way-to-build-an-author-website.html

* Tips for Writing a Book Proposal

Some great advice for how to write a book proposal that will be taken seriously:

http://wordservewatercooler.com/2012/12/17/the-book-proposal-publishing/

* The Evolving World of Publishing: What Authors Must Know to Succeed

This blog post contains some great tips and insights from this year’s Digital Book World conference:

http://www.amarketingexpert.com/the-evolving-world-of-publishing-what-authors-must-know-to-succeed/

* 30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience

Being online isn’t enough; you need to know what to do to build an audience that will come back for more:

http://www.copyblogger.com/30-know-like-trust-actions/

* How and Why Agents Are Guiding Authors Through Self-Publishing

This panel at Digital Book World discussed why and how agents are helping traditionally published authors get self-published:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_uIkVQN9-E

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Hugh Howey Talks about the Success of WOOL!
January 25, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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From Digital Book World, Hugh Howey and his agent, Kristin Nelson, talk about the success of his mega-series, WOOL and how a once self-published author made the transition to traditional. Smart guy! Congrats, Howey – it’s a fantastic story!

 

 



Why Google+ May be Better than Facebook – an interview with Guy Kawasaki
January 25, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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Is Google+ gaining on Facebook? Maybe not in numbers, but certainly in exposure. Check out this insight from Guy Kawasaki at New Media Expo.



Why Are Traditionally Published Authors Self-Publishing?
January 23, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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A panel at Digital Book World looked at why authors are turning to self-publishing. Called “hybrid” publishing by the industry, this panel takes a look at how they are helping authors do that. Short clip from this fantastic event!



Getting the Silent Treatment
January 22, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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I have had several calls recently with authors who have been marketing on their own and are really concerned about the deafening silence they’ve been getting in response to the work they’re doing. Are you feeling this way? If you’re nodding your head you aren’t alone. Marketing is tough, silence is tougher.

Last year I launched a book under a pseudonym, not at all connected with me or AME. Why did I do that? Because I wanted to test the system — I wanted to see first-hand how tough it was to be out there. Often authors say “Well, but you’re a marketing person and people know you.” True that. So now with this book I’m not. I’m just another author, out there trying to get noticed and you know what I found? The silence is hell.

Read more: The Silent Treatment



How Amazon Metadata Can Help Sales!
January 21, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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I was just at Digital Book World and captured some videos from a few of the sesssions. Here, agent Kristin Nelson talks about how she encouraged a publisher to tinker with the Amazon keywords and what that result was! Pretty incredible!

 

 

 

 

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors, January 21, 2013
January 21, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the January 21, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We have some great blog posts on social media, writing and self-publishing, and we hope you find them useful. Thank you to the contributors!

 

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Self-Publishing

Simpsonsparadox presents Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur posted at Simpson’s Paradox, saying, “Here’s a review of Guy Kawasaki’s new book aimed at independent authors.”

Joel Friedlander presents 6 Winning Ideas for Self-Publishers Straight from “Downton Abbey” posted at The Book Designer, saying, “This article discusses what writers can learn from the success of Downton Abbey.”

Social Media

Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents Why Authors Need to Participate on Social Media posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller, saying, “As explained in the post itself, the notice from a book publisher in its submission instructions made it very clear how important social media is for authors. I decided to quote from the publisher to help authors understand how vital social media activity is for their own book marketing.”

Writing

Dana Sitar presents 5 Weird Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing [Infographic] posted at DIY Writing, saying, “A brainstorming boost for your next writing project.”

Jon Rhodes presents The Four Essential Components of Storytelling in Scriptwriting posted at Film Script Writing, saying, “Story telling is the most important component when writing a movie script. This article shows you the best ways to incorporate story telling within a movie script.”

Chrys Fey presents Six Writing Tips You Should Know! posted at Write With Fey.

Matthew Hall presents How to Outline with yWriter: Step # 4, Sketching out your Characters posted at M.L. Hall, saying, “Tips for using yWriter for outlining.”

Nick Daws presents The National Emerging Writer Programme – a Great New Free Resource for Writers posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “This Irish programme is open world-wide and well worth checking out if you’re a fiction writer.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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