Tag Archives | self promotion

Vanishing shelf space and self-promotion. (part 3)

I remember in the good old days (6 months ago) when authors on Verla Kay’s blue boards would fret when Borders and Barnes & Nobles didn’t pick up their books.

Why did they worry so much?

Because those major chains not picking up their books meant the slow and terrible death of their first and probably only print run. If a book wasn’t in the major chains, almost no one would see it, almost no one would buy it, which meant no one could read it and love it.

So let’s explore the diminishing shelf space at the bookstores that are left and then figure out what it means for authors and self promotion.

Here’s a quote from Joe Konrath from his post, One more nail in the coffin.

Now, we can debate the health of indie bookstores, and the two remaining chains, B&N and Books-A-Million, but pretty much every account I’ve read says that print sales are down and ebook sales are up. I’m confident the end result is the Big 6 publishing fewer books in print, which means fewer print sales, which is bad for the publisher/bookseller bottom line.

Here’s a quote from Bob Mayer from his post, eBooks as the new mass market paper back and don’t be a Buridan’s ass. (Don’t get caught in indecision.)

The big cloud I’m seeing on the horizon is the growing awareness in NY that they need to revise the way they view the eBook.  It’s not competition for their print sales, it’s part of their overall revenue stream.  I predict we will see a lot more books from the Big 6 priced under $5 in the coming months.  I think there will be more direct to eBook publishing, where the book might never even come out in print.

Kris Rusch in her post, Bookstore Observations comments on her experience at Barnes & Nobles.

To sum up, Kris talks about less books, less authors and less shelf space. I’m sure most of you don’t need to read about her experience to understand what’s happening to bookstores. But go ahead and read it anyway.

And one more by Anne R. Allen in her recent post, What will publishing look like in 2021.

Anne predicts that due to bookstores downsizing their inventory, print will be reduced to gift books, celebrity books, bibles, coffee table books, small children pop-ups, top selling superstar books. (Hopefully this is in the far future!)

I’m adding this link by historical romance author, Courtney Milan. An open letter to agents.

Courtney addresses agents in an open letter. Published authors and unpublished writers alike are talking. We’re looking for answers. Basically, agents need to show how they can make their top selling authors more money than self publishing. No publishing arm. No 15% commission for something we can do ourselves. It’s a must read.

Let’s circle back to the authors who used to worry about their books being in the big chains or not. I think today, authors will be lucky if their books stay in Barnes & Nobles longer than a few months, if it even makes it into the bookstore at all.

So sure, a book appearing in a bookstore would be wonderful – as writers isn’t that our dream? But I don’t think that’s what will make or break a career anymore. I’m not sure the biggest concern should be how to publish. (self pub vs traditional)

  • Writers need focus on producing a book that causes word of mouth grassroots sales, where bookstore sales would just be the icing on the cake.
  • Writers need to seriously think about their plans to market themselves and their books.

What do you think?

Comments { 37 }

What exactly is self promotion in today’s world publishing? (part 2)

What exactly is self promotion in today’s world of publishing? (part 2)

I’ve had more than one writer tell me they couldn’t self publish because they are not good and/or terrified at self promotion. What do you think you’re going to have to do when you publish traditionally?

Let’s look at several facts about traditional publishing:

  • Advances are smaller.
  • Publishers are buying less.
  • If you don’t sell through your advance, book 2 will be hard to sell.
  • Most authors get very little promotional support from their publishers – unless you are a lead title.
  • Fewer books will be in bookstores for any length of time, unless you make it big.

So if you traditionally publish, who is going to keep your book in print? Who is going to make sure it does sell through?  #rhetoricalquestion

Would sales increase if a traditionally published author approached the release of their book as if they self published? (And I mean the self published authors that are doing it in a non-spammy kind of way!)

Self promoting is hard work. But I disagree that it has to suck.

What is self promotion?

  • Self promotion is promoting others.
  • Self promotion is giving back.
  • Self promotion is providing unique content on a consistent basis.
  • Self promotion is capturing the core of your writing and presenting it through the various mediums of social media.
  • Self promotion is being a friend.
  • Self promotion is working hard to build a tribe of people who will help you promote your book and you will help them.
  • Self promotion is reaching out to others and making yourself vulnerable.
  • Self promotion is being yourself – the best side of course – and hoping people forgive any mistakes.
  • Self promotion is being smart and making the best use of your time on social media.
  • Self promotion is making a plan and following through.
  • Self promotion is a business.
  • Self promotion is writing a great book.
  • Self promotion is writing the next book.
  • Self promotion is understanding Amazon and key words and lists.
  • Self promotion is learning internet marketing alongside writing.
  • Self promotion is about relationships.

I hate to break it to all of you, but self promotion is now part of being a writer. Even if you’re traditionally published.

And if you want further reading, I highly recommend these three e-books. It’s for everyone, however you publish.

They all approached self promotion in a grassroots sort of way – taking the time to build relationships. It’s worth reading one or all of them if you are trying to figure out how to promote your books.

How would you finish the statement: Self promotion is… Do you agree or disagree that as writers we need to learn to embrace self promotion in all its forms and stop telling ourselves it sucks?

Comments { 46 }

Why Nathan Bransford’s self promotion fell flat – and why you should take note! (Part 1)

Okay, Nathan. You know we love you and all that but… (Of course, not real love, just that bloggery appreciation for other people in the industry.) #i’mnotastalker

I know Nathan as the ex-agent extraordinaire/tech guy. I look to his blog for breakdowns on ebooks and publishing industry info. That seems to be his thing.

Then he wrote and got a book published. Jacob Wonderbar and the Great Space Kapow.  Yeah, it surprised me too but I thought, cool. I bought the book because I was curious. My son read it two times the first week. He really liked it. The book is well written and perfect for advanced first grade readers through fifth graders. Middle schoolers might read it, depending on their maturity level. #greatgiftbook

Honestly, I don’t think Nathan’s blog is really set up to promote a middle grade book. Of course, he’s more than welcome to do it. No one minded the announcements and the initial push when the book released. At least I didn’t.

But then he wrote this. Some comments were very supportive but he received a few negative remarks. #theyweren’treallythatbad And then, he got a tad bit defensive. #whichweknowisanono  #evenex-agentsextraordinairemakemistakes

Then he wrote this blog post the next day in response.

His rational was, ‘hey, I spend a lot of time writing this blog for all of you, so here’s my book you should buy it’.  #notexactwords

Yeah, not the best approach. Even if he meant it to be light hearted. We all put a lot of time into our blogs so that rationalization doesn’t add up for me. I think his readers got it right in the comments. His post and approach to self promotion just didn’t seem to fit with his blog.

His post didn’t seem to fit with his blog.   #notatypoimeanttorepeat

And yes, we’re going to cover this topic (self promotion and the whole you should not be blogging about writing) on my blog because I’ve been giving it a lot, I mean A LOT of thought. So start thinking fellow bloggers because even Nathan Bransford felt the backlash of creating a brand on his blog that doesn’t support his book. And even Nathan blogs about writing.

And Nathan, don’t worry. I thought your misinterpreted self promotion was kinda cute. It’s nice to see you struggle with the rest of us. Almost endearing. Was that your evil plan?

So, fellow bloggers, what does self promotion mean to you? And what advice do you have for Nathan, for all of us?

Comments { 75 }