by Laura Dawson
Bowker | Fri Oct 24, 2014
At Bowker, we sell ISBNs. So we get a lot of questions about them. We've collected the ones that seem to be most useful to folks calling or emailing us.
Is Bowker the only place I can get an ISBN?
Bowker is the US ISBN Registration Agency. Each country has its own ISBN Registration Agency, as part of the ISBN standard ratified by ISO. If you are in the US, your ISBNs come from Bowker.
I just got my ISBN. Now what do I do?
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Thu Oct 16, 2014
Publishing companies need to innovate regularly to create new value for their customers. But innovation in itself should not be the final goal. Not only must you spot opportunities, but you should capture value so you get paid for it, too.
There are two kinds of innovation. One is in value creation and the other is in value capture. Many businesses stop the creative process when a good idea is developed, believing that once it is implemented it will generate money. But unless value capture –maximizing the return on your idea – is also contemplated, you can leave money on the table.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Wed Oct 15, 2014
The metrics that publishing companies use most often to track performance include financial measures such as changes in sales and revenue. But viewed in isolation, these may have little connection to your long-term commercial success.
The question most publishers periodically ask themselves is, “Did I achieve the goals that I set?” The numbers are easy to measure and compare -- you either reached your sales objectives or you did not.
Due to this perceived simplicity, publishers stop there and recalculate their objectives for the next period. The problem with this process is it measures something you cannot control -- sales and revenue. If you could control them, then reaching goals would be a given. But you can only influence the attainment of those metrics by the actions you take.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Thu Oct 2, 2014
Too many independent publishers use the Christopher Columbus method of planning. They do not know where they are going. When they get there they do not know where they are. And when they return, they do not know where they have been. This is not a good way to run a business. You can avoid this situation by writing a strategic, functional plan to market your books. For a view of a new planning formula, look through these “ize.”
Recognize. A basic premise for successful marketing is to find a need and fill it. You do this by researching three major areas. First, discover what product opportunities exist. Second, learn the demographics and psychographics of your prospective customers. Finally, determine your potential market’s size, growth and competitive status.
by Bowker Publishe...
Bowker | Fri Sep 26, 2014
Book review ezine Shelf Unbound’s Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book now includes a prize for sports-related works. In addition to best overall winner, the competition will present the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, which carries $1,000 cash prize. The winner, selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound, will be featured along with the winners and finalists of the larger competition in Shelf Unbound’s December/January 2015 issue, which is read by 125,000 book lovers in 65 countries. Entries are being accepted now through October 1.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Tue Sep 23, 2014
Did you ever think about taking a long trip? If so, you probably thought about how you would get to your destination, perhaps traveling by car, plane, train or bus. Then you planned where to stay each night, what to pack and how much it would all cost. Finally you made a checklist so you didn’t forget to do anything and spend your money wisely.
That is the same process used to plan your book-marketing activities. First you think about what you are going to do, analyzing alternatives. Once you choose those that will maximize results, you write a plan as a reminder to perform each action in the proper sequence, at the right time and within your budget.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Fri Sep 19, 2014
Direct mail is a targeted marketing weapon that that can help you sell more books, test new titles, and generate sales leads. When you have a finite, identifiable group of people who are potential customers for your books, direct mail may be the most effective and efficient marketing tool you can use to reach them. It gives you control of the timing, delivery and content of your promotion, a predetermined fixed cost and the means to forecast and measure the return on your marketing investment.
The foundation of direct marketing is to get people to act – to place an order for your book or to request more information about your consulting or speaking services. There are several basic propositions you can use by themselves or in various combinations overcome the recipient’s inertia.
by Carla King
Bowker | Tue Sep 16, 2014
Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited e-book reader subscription program caused a real commotion in the publishing industry last month. But how will this “Netflix for books” model affect the self-publishing industry? Is Kindle Unlimited the best, or should self-publishers join the Scribd or Oyster programs instead? How do you get in? Read on for a comparison of these top three reader subscription programs and best recommendations for self-publishers who are looking to add these channels to their revenue streams.
AMAZON KINDLE UNLIMITED
Amazon requires that self-publishers join their exclusive KDP Select program to be included in Unlimited. If you’re already using KDP Select, or you’ve decided that joining the program may give your book launch a boost, then go for it! It’s only temporary.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Tue Sep 2, 2014
Book publishers rightfully believe that they should expand their marketing activity because not doing so results in low -- or no -- growth. But thinking about creative marketing and actually doing it are two different things. What happens after the creative idea is born? In most cases, nothing. It is easier and less stressful to rationalize the status quo. The problem is generally not coming up with the ideas, it is in the implementation of an idea that is outside one’s comfort zone. But significant benefits can accrue from trying. Here are Ten Steps to Enlarging Your Book-Selling Comfort Zone.
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Thu Aug 28, 2014
Should you write about what you know and love, or write about what will sell? The answer is, “Yes.” Your passion for your topic can be your ticket to greater well being as much as it should be a key to exceptional market performance.
Why are you writing your book? Is it to satisfy an internal desire to be a published author or to use your book as a building block in your business? Write to your passion but have a clear plan to translate your purpose into marketable product.
You can reduce your chances of commercial success if you do one or the other. So, do both. Your passion for what you love will sustain you through the months or years of writing, and it will also maintain your attitude through the years of marketing it.
There is intrinsic value to writing a book about your favorite subject, but it will not sell in large quantities unless it has value to your target buyers. The solution? Find your passion and put it to work