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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My Cypher 2016

cypher 2016I posted  January 2014 about my ritual of creating a cypher entitled My Cypher . The purpose of creating a cypher is to give me an illustration of my relationships with the people in my life, how close those relationships are, who I should keep in my life, and who I should leave behind. I didn’t perform this ritual last year and I am curious to know that if had I done it, would the year have taken a different direction. I didn’t realize how much my relationships have have changed and people who were part of my cypher a few years ago  are no longer a part of my life.

This year I included my goals to provide myself with a realistic view of how close I feel I am to reaching them. Adding goals to the cypher helps me get a visual of how close my goals are in proximity to my relationships.

As I look at my cypher I pose the following questions:

1. Why did I place this person/goal here?
2. Do they deserve to be here? Is this really a goal or what I think should be a goal?
3. Does this relationship/goal add value to my life?
4. Should this person/goal be moved to the inner/outer circle, or should they be removed altogether?

My cypher is ever evolving, as I choose which relationship/goal to focus my energy on, that goal or relationship may gain more importance in my life or prove to be a hindrance or stepping stone to some bigger lesson.

What is a tool you use to gain perspective in your life or business? Do you think creating a cypher would be helpful for you?

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Happy New Year 

It has been a while since my last post and I realize that this is February, but I don’t consider it to be the new year until I can remember to write the correct date.

A lot has taken place over the past year and I have had to do some soul searching and sacrificing.

My journey to build my publishing business hasn’t been easy, navigating social media, the new book model, and business structure, there were times I wanted to give up, but I chose to take a step back and reevaluate.

I am eager to share what I’ve learned this far and eager to see where this new path takes me.

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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

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