Who is your customer? Are you sure?
Your first response is probably, “That is a pretty silly question.” Of course, your customer is the person who buys your books. But if you interpret the question differently, your answer could have significant impact on your business future, since it determines your business model and where you will invest your resources.
In a retail setting, your customer could be the retailer who ordered your book to place on the shelf. And, it could be the distributor from which the retailer ordered your book. In non-retail segments people buy books not for resale, but to use as tools to sell more of their products, motivate their employees, generate more members for their association or educate their students. Couldn’t they all be considered customers?
Before you enter a negotiation, talk yourself into success. It sounds like a cliché, but it has proven to work. The key is to not-only say the right things to yourself, but use your physical appearance to reinforce your self-confidence. Here are Ten Ways to Project a Winning Personality in a Sales Situation.
Miral Sattar is founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, an award-winning author services marketplace that matches authors with quality, award-winning book publishing professionals. She has worked in the media industry for 11 years (most recently at TIME) and her writing has been featured in PBSMediaShift, TIME, CNN, NY Daily News, among other media publications. Follow her on Twitter @miralsattar.
I get a lot of authors coming to me for self-publishing advice and these are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen.
1) Having Vague Goals
You need to define your goals. Are you looking to get more readers? Or looking to sell books? It’s easy to get more readers if you’re a first-time author, but it’s harder to sell books.
2) Not Getting Your Work Professionally Edited
On Tuesday, February 18, Bowker and DCL co-presented a webinar called Assuming the Risk for Your Own eBook. The white paper that accompanies this webinar is available here, or at the DCL website here.
Topics covered included:
- Types of editorial processes - developmental, fact-checking, copy-editing
- Designing your eBook - for different devices and platforms
- Marketing best practices - courtesy of Sandra Poirier-Diaz of Smith Publicity
- Distributing your ebook to different vendors
In the world of self-publishing, one critical component that's been missing has been reliable data about how self-published books are selling. Last week, the self-published author Hugh Howey released some data on 7,000 ebooks on the Amazon bestseller list, from the mystery/thriller, romance, and science fiction genres. He posts his report here:
The other eye-popper here is that indie authors are outselling the Big Five. That’s the entire Big Five. Combined. Indie and small-press books account for half of the e-book sales in the most popular and bestselling genres on Amazon.
Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller's Futurebook blog, provides the following caution here:
Goodreads has really become a front and center social network for authors. First, with their new Amazon relationship, and now it would seem that they’ve doubled their readership to 25 million. Though many authors and publishers vowed to close their accounts after the Amazon merger, it seems that Goodreads is still going strong and still maintains its independence of Amazon. If you’re not on Goodreads or if you haven’t touched your account in a while you should consider this site and the benefits it offers.
There have been many success stories from Goodreads, authors who “got noticed” by having lots of activity there, mingling with other members, getting tons of reviews, and while success isn’t guaranteed on this site (or anywhere) Goodreads can really help you get a leg up on your promotion. So, how did the massive growth of this site happen?
Do you hear the words “copyright and permissions” and you all but shrug your shoulders? Trust me, you are not alone. These are not words many people give much thought to, but the fact is they do matter and they are starting to take front and center stage with the emergence of digital media and the way we retrieve our information.
As a self‐published author, educating yourself on copyright and permissions, will not only protect you from facing the risks of non‐compliance, it stands to enhance your income and success!
If you were thinking about writing a book, are in the process of writing book, or are looking to get your book published, here are some fast facts for you to take away, decide how they apply to you & how they may affect the way you move forward:
When an author publishes a book in the traditional way, the publishing house assumes the risk - the costs of publishing - in the hopes that the book sales will recoup that investment and begin generating a profit. The publishing house is, in effect, taking a bet on the book that it will do well and warrant that investment.
But when authors self-publish, they are assuming that investment themselves. And there are some costs that new-to-publishing authors may not know to take into account as they begin investing in services to bring their books to market.
In a webinar sponsored by Digital Conversion Labs, Bowker’s Laura Dawson will explain how you can make your best possible eBook, ensuring a professional level product more likely to turn readers’ heads.