November, 2015

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How Many Books Have I Sold?


TWW Front coverAfter years of helping clients publish their books, it was time for me to put my money where my mouth lived.

My book came out November 9th and I was SO excited.  It has been a number of years since my last book launch and I can tell you that the nerves and butterflies do NOT get better with age!

Within three days I was the #1 New Release in my category and I have the screen shot to prove it!

Want to know what that actually means?  N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

It means my sister, my mother and a few others bought copies that first week. I sold a grand total of SIX books to become the #1 Hot New Release in the Reference and Publishing Category.

I could not be more thrilled… honestly.

I now can tell my clients that what I have been saying for YEARS is now true for me as well: This is a marathon, not a sprint. Ranking and status DO NOT MATTER.

6 copies. (And my family bought 4 of those.)

What a week.  What a world.  What a relief!

What DOES matter is that in the LAST two weeks, I started my review and marketing outreach. I am sending out copies to editors and blogger, producers and content aggregators.  My book is starting to show up on OTHER sites and my sales THIS week were 19.  19 on my FIRST week of asking for reviews and for media attention.

Can you imagine how many I will sell once the reviews and media starts actually posting?  I have a job to do in 2016.  I have to get the word out about my book every day for the next year.  Status and ranking do not matter.  Sales matter and those come from daily work in the fields… no harvesting with out a lot of back breaking work first.

I’ll make a deal with my fellow authors –  Let’s stay away from the ranking sites and bestseller lists and spend our time giving advice and discussing our books to the communities who will want to read them.

If you want to join my sister and mother and get a copy of THE WRITE WAY, you can buy it from me on this site or online by clicking here.


Do Two (Just Two)


list-27221_1280Two items a day. That is my goal, that is my plan, that is my commitment.

I need to spend just a few minutes a day on promoting my book.  I tend to get grandiose and do HOURS on a project one day and then not go back to it for another few weeks. But I cannot afford to let my natural excitement and inevitable exhaustion set the pace for my book marketing.  The book deserves better than that.  SO here is what I CAN do:

Each Day I Will Do One of the Following:

Reach out to two reviewers.

Reach out to two publishing cohorts and ask for a mention

Find two blogs from my industry and suggest a guest article topic

Find two radio stations and suggest myself as a guest

Find two organizations and suggest myself as a speaker

Go on social media and suggest my book as a solution for a topic being discussed by others

Write two blogs and schedule them

Follow up on two of these activities as needed

(and I can keep track of all of these items on a spreadsheet so I can do them all justice)


Are YOU willing to do two things today? If so, drop me a line or a comment below and tell me what two things YOU are doing.


Real Fast Library Marketing Links to Wholesalers


Wholesaler linksHello Twitterers!

Here is the list of wholesalers we mentioned during the webinar!

For  PDF of the links click here: Wholesaler links


B&T Axis360




Thanks for joining us at Real Fast Library Marketing!
For More Details and Information Go To:


How Many Books Should I Print?


mugThis morning, a lovely author from Greece and I spoke for over an hour.  During this time, she asked many great questions.  But it was the last question asked before she hung up that really struck me…

“One last thing,” she said. “Is printing 5000 copies crazy?”

“Well,” I replied, “it depends… what are you going to do with the 5000 units?”

“Sell them I guess” was her answer.

When deciding on a print run number, the  decision often comes from how many units can one purchase for a deeper discount.  At 5,000 the unit price goes down nicely. What most small publishers fail to recognize however, is that until the books are sold, those unit costs are totally fake.  If you pay $15000 for 5000 units of your book and only sell three books, each book cost you $5000.

There is a better way.  When choosing your print run number, start from the END (sales portion) of the process and move back towards the printing part of the process.

For example:

  • How many bookstores will you sell your book into?
    • How many ARE there in your area of attention?
    • How many are you going to contact and ask them to stock your book?
    • How many will likely say yes?

If there are 1000 bookstores in your country AND you have a plan on how to contact 500 of them in 2016, AND 150 of those agree to stock 2 copies of your book AND half of them (75) sell two copies of your book (150) and don’t return them you are looking at 150 units in 2016.  Even if ALL 1000 bookstores are contacted and HALF of them agree to sell your book and NONE of them return the books they get you are looking at 1000 units.

  • How many will sell on line?
    • Well, how many sold of a competitor’s book?
    • Why will your book get as much attention as theirs did?

If Amazon was able to sell 3000 copies of a book like yours, published and promoted by a large publishing house, you can rest assured that you will not be spending the time and money on promoting it that they did.  Sooooo I’d shoot for 10% of their sales.  AT BEST.  That is 300 units.

  • How many do you need to give away?
    • A few hundred to reviewers
    • A few hundred to magazines and newspapers editors and freelancers
    • A few hundred as sample books for bookstores and libraries to use to evaluate

That is 600 give or take.

Sell 1000 to libraries?  Sure! If you have the time to call 500 libraries in 2016 you will sell them!  The nice thing about libraries is that they DO buy books and rarely return them.

Let’s look at  the total:

Bookstores 150 – 1000

Online 300

Give Aways 600

Libraries 1000

3000 units TOTAL in 2016 and that is ONLY IF you actually take the time and expense to present the books to libraries, bookstores, reviewers and editors.  These books will not sell themselves.

How many do you want to print?  5000 makes sense if you are okay with having them for a few years, are willing to do the work to sell them and start with the sales expectations and work backwards.

Want to learn HOW TO SELL more than a few hundred copies?  We can teach you.  Email Amy at and send her a bit of info about your book and she will come up with a plan for you.  (Sales evaluations and plans are always free of charge at New Shelves!)




Library of Congress, Cataloging Data, and Bowker, Oh My…


Do you have questions about how to register your book with the Library of Congress?  Not sure where to go to register your book for Books in Print?

You can register your book with the Library of Congress if your publisher has more than 4 books published and registered.

However, there are ways around this rule. Library of Congress registration and a valid, properly formatted CIP block on your copyright page are some of the items that separate the “men from the boys” marketing-wise.

If you are a small press with fewer than 4 titles and want the benefits of a Library of Congress Registration and a Catalog-in-Publication block, the follow these steps:

1. Make sure your publisher name is not trademarked. It does not matter if you have a publisher with a similar or identical name as someone else UNLESS it is trademarked. Go here to find out:

There will be another article later on the benefits and detriments of similar or identical publisher names at a later date….

2. Register your publishing name and your TITLE information at Bowker. Go here:

Libraries and Bookstores will look up your information on Bowker. Don’t skip or skimp this step. A fully fleshed out profile and title data listing on your ISBN log will make a good impression. A poorly executed profile or title data block will make a bad one.

3. Apply to the Library of Congress for a Preassigned Control Number. Go here:
From the LOC website: A Library of Congress catalog control number is a unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from commercial suppliers. The purpose of the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) program is to enable the Library of Congress to assign control numbers in advance of publication to those titles that may be added to the Library’s collections.

4. Once you have all of that done, it is time to get a CIP. A Cataloging in Publication record (aka CIP data) is a bibliographic record prepared by the Library of Congress or one of its vendors for a book that has not yet been published. When the book is published, the publisher includes the CIP data on the copyright page thereby facilitating book processing for libraries and book dealers.

It is not possible to get a CIP from the LOC if the book is Print on Demand, subsidized in any way by the author or published by a house that has published books by fewer than three separate authors.

Do not despair! You can get a CIP data block from a vendor. Libraries want the data in a specific way and you can hire someone to provide that to you. Check out these guys:

or these guys:

You are now on your way!