Tag Archives: Publishing

Bookstores are the worst place to sell books #allihaveisalaptopandadream

It’s the dream of every author and publisher to see their books in a bookstore. To have your work carried by a bookstore chain is prestigious but how is it for book sales?Ironically bookstores aren’t the best places to sell books. Unless your book is on a best seller list or there is specific promotion for your book around them being carried by a bookstore chain, getting a major sales from a bookstore may not be as realistic as you may think.

Here are a few reasons why bookstores are the worst place to sell books

  • Competition-your books are shelved with other books of the same category. Unless your book has an elaborate book cover or you are having a book signing. Having other books compete with yours, lowers your chances to make sales
  • Promotion-bookstores are into housing books, not promoting them. Once your book gets into a bookstore it just gets space on the shelf
  • Short shelf life-books don’t sit on bookstore shelves for long. As new titles become available, room has to be made on the shelves for them, so before your book can be discovered it may be on its way back to you in a box
  • Discounts-bookstores usually take up to a 40% discount off the retail price on titles they carry. This can also impact your bottom line on book sales.

Seeing my books carried in a bookstore chain is a goal of mine. I want to be able to walk into a bookstore and see one of my titles on the shelf. I know this is more of a goal for legitimacy than to generate sales. If my books do make it into a bookstore, I will try to capitalize on it by doing a book signing and sending promotional materials, like posters or banners to the bookstore to help promote them.

What are your thoughts about selling books in bookstores?

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If it’s easy, let it be easy: My struggle publishing a book using CreateSpace #allihaveisalaptopandadream


When I first got into self publishing the emphasis was on creating a book that would be accepted by the trade and would end up in book stores. There was a very labor intensive process and timelines are of the essence.

You have to plan your book a year ahead to promote to the trade before you even market to the reader.

Then the price of finding a printer and having books produced that may or may not sell and in most cases you end up with books taking up space in your basement or garage.

So going through this process a couple of times with my first two books, you would wonder why I was so resistant to using CreateSpace to publish my latest book.

CreateSpace is a print on demand service owned by Amazon that allows self publishers and small publishers to produce books and have them printed and distributed without the overhead costs of going directly to a printer or entering a distribution contract you have to pay yearly fees for. You don’t even have to purchase ISBN numbers for your books, CreateSpace will provide on for you and if you use their ISBN you get a library distribution option that is not available if you use your own ISBN number.

You can also publish your book to Kindle through CreateSpace. There are no upfront fees for their service. They take a small percentage off your book sales and pay you a royalty. And you retain all the rights to your books.

So with that being said, what was my resistance?

  • I don’t like change. As hard and as costly the old book model is, it is the way I started in publishing.
  • Ego. I never was successful with the old model and I wanted to master it before embracing the new way of producing and selling books
  • Branding. Somehow I thought producing books through CreateSpace would make my publishing company seem less legitimate. The truth is, the fact no one is buying my books makes my publishing company less legitimate.

The bottom line is, if there is no bottom line, you have to go with what your budget allows, so CreateSpace it is.

The process is easy. If all you have is a double spaced manuscript they have templates for different book sizes you can  paste your book into. They also have a free book cover design feature where you can create your own book cover from a selection of cover templates. You can proof your book online or order a proof copy.

They also offer editing and cover design  for a fee if you prefer to have some professional help.

Once you are satisfied with your final product, you approve the proof choose your distribution options and in a few hours your book will be available on CreateSpace (they give you a customizable page on their site for your book and they give you more royalties for books sold through their site). A few days later your book will appear on Amazon.

So I finally got through the process and I Know How to Lose Weight, So Why Haven’t I was born.

Even with this new way of producing books, I realize I still have a lot to learn about marketing and generating sales. I am thankful that I don’t have a box full of unsold books sitting in my basement.

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Hard Decisions

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

There comes a time in every small business owners life where hard decisions need to be made. I am at that point. My goal was to be self employed and build my publishing company to a multimillion dollar empire. I have sacrificed a car, apartment, wardrobe, pride and ego in order to make my dream a reality. Now I am faced with the hard decision of reentering the workforce without sacrificing my small business and what I have built so far.  I am fighting a few battles with making this decision.

The first battle is mental. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a means to an end, I have not failed, I just have to change the game plan. The second battle is ego. I have a Masters Degree and an extensive work history. I am not willing to accept anything, but I am not trying to be an employee for someone else for a long period of time. The third battle is time. How much time do I spend job hunting, and wouldn’t that time be better spent promoting my business, but I can’t properly promote my business because I don’t have the money which is why I am looking for a job in the first place. I’m dizzy.

I decided to sign on with a temp agency. That way I can work temporary assignments and not worry about investing too much in someone else’s company. The agency finds assignments that closely match my qualifications so I don’t have to do job searching on my own. I get paid a little less than I would If I were an employee, but I’m not trying to be an employee for long so that trade off I can live with. I still haven’t fully embraced this decision, but this is just one more sacrifice that must be made for my business to be successful.

What hard decisions have you had to make? How did it turn out? Comment and subscribe

visit our website: www.marquisepublishing.com

 

 

Losing the Paycheck Mentality

paydayOne of the challenges I find with being a business owner is breaking the mindset of having a “payday” and a regular paycheck like I did when I was working for someone else.

A paycheck mentality is when you rely on getting the same amount of income at the same interval (i.e. weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, monthly), and you make financial decisions based on that.

There is a difference with being self-employed and being an employee. When your self employed, the business comes first, money comes in and you have to pay taxes, pay monthly business expenses, replenish inventory, reinvest in the business, and take what ever is left over as your salary, if there is anything left over.  When your an employee, you do your job, get your paycheck, if you work a set amount of hours per week or on salary, you can expect the same amount every pay.

When you are a business owner and see an increase in income one month, it is not the time to go splurge you have to think ahead, what may be a windfall this month, you might have to use to carry you through the next month. You can’t put off important expenses assuming you will always make the same amount. Unless you have a contract or a grant that guarantees you make the same amount each month, and even in that scenario, a business owner has to always think ahead and put the business first.

It is hard when you see profits rolling in, not to want to celebrate and splurge a little, and not get caught up in the idea that it will always be like this. The truth is, your going to have some good months and some bad. The good months will cover you through the bad months if you put your business first.

All in all you have to think like a boss, not an employee.

Have you had any challenges with having a paycheck mentality. Comment and subscribe.

You can also read this blog post on our website www.marquisepublishing.com

The Publishing Process: Book Reviews

An important part of the publishing process is the review. Book reviews can:

increase book sales

generate free advertising

provide feedback on the books content

help the book reach a wider audience

There are a few types of book reviews I will address in this blog, pre-publication reviews, peer reviews, and post publication reviews.

Pre-publication reviews are reviews that are requested prior to the books publication date (usually 3 to 4 months in advance). A bound galley or proof may be sent in for review followed up by a finished copy of the book a few weeks later. Request for pre-publication reviews are sent to book trade publications such as, Publishers Weekly, Foreword Magazine, and Kirkus Book Reviews. Also send requests for pre-publication reviews to major news papers like the NY Times, the LA Times, and USA Today. Although there is no guarantee a book will be chosen for review, if it is, the review can have a great impact on sales and marketing of a title.

Peer reviews are reviews by experts in the subject matter of a book or professionals whose review will add credibility to the book such as, a teacher reviewing a children’s book or a nurse reviewing a nutrition or exercise book. One may even ask a peer to provide a foreward in the book. Peer reviews help to bring credibility to a title and people who are asked to do a review are likely to help promote the book by telling their networks about it.

Post publication reviews are reviews done by people who have read the book and post reviews on book sites like Amazon or Goodreads. Online book reviewers or small press reviewers that review books in a specific genre, and may request a review copy of a title. Post publication reviews are not always solicited like pre-publication and peer reviews, this makes them more valuable because the reviews are coming directly from the consumer.

Either way, book reviews are a very important part of marketing a title, and which ever type of review is solicited, it is a good investment in a books success.

 

The Publishing Process

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: How long will it take to get my book published? Well, the short answer is it could take a year to a year and a half depending on the manuscript, the season, the Author platform and promotion, and the copyright and registration process. Other projects being published that year also factor into when a title is released.

Let’s start with the manuscript. A manuscript that has been accepted for publishing goes through an editing and a proof reading process. Several edits may be made, not just for spelling and grammatical errors, but for content, the flow of the book the chapter placement, the page count, should the book be released as one whole work or split up into multiple works. The editing process could take months, before a final draft is agreed upon between the publisher and the Author. Once the final draft is completed, a bound proof is sent to major publications for book reviews (more on the review process in a future bog).

The season refers to when the book will be released. Does the release of the book correspond with a holiday, a special event, or should the book be released during the eligibility period for a prestigious book award. The season a book is released in is very important because we want to give a title the best opportunity for sales and recognition.

The Author platform and promotion: This is the point of the process where we look at the Author’s platform on social media, any groups or organizations the Author may be in or affiliated with, any opportunities for speaking engagements or seminars the Author may have, then we plan a promotion strategy around the Author’s platform and then think of ways to expand it to the general public. The Author is responsible for most of his or her own book promotion, but here at Marquise Publishing, we like to provide a helping hand in the process.

The copyright and registration process is applying for copyright registration, the library of congress number, and the catalogue in publication data, basically all the books front matter.

Other projects pending release in the same year. Marquise Publishing is a small independent publishing house that only releases up to five works per year, as we grow that number will increase, but for now in order for use to provide a good home for great books, we keep it around five, and that can add to the time from acquiring a new title to its release.

So that is a small explanation of the publishing process, not everything was covered but that is a general idea of what to expect.

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