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“Where did these come from?” she asks. Her next question was how to hire a lawyer to stop the sale of her book from which she gets no recompense.
After phone-pouring her a stiff drink, I explained where they came from and why there is nothing she can do about it.
First off, several of the sites that list a book do not actually HAVE the book. Computer bots have scurried around the book websites and grabbed new book information as it is released. The bots then send the book info back to their host computers who post the book automatically. I love seeing one of my clients $16.95 books on sale for $203.50 at a used book site.
But other than that, the books you see ARE real.
Smart authors print pre-release copies of their books, Advance Reading Copies or actual book copies, to send to reviewers and jounalists during the early months of a book’s marketing campaign. Dozens or even hundreds of copies of these books are sent out to reviewers and editors asking for some attention.
Bethany Brown of The Cadence Group says: “We here at the Cadence Group always sticker the books we send out with bright orange stickers stating that the books are for review only and not for resale. But even with those stickers, the books always show up for sale on Amazon, B&N, and other used book outlets. It is the reality of the review world.”
Once a book is reviewed, the reviewer is well within their rights to do whatever they wish with it. A LOT of reviewers have a local used bookstore that will take boxes of books each month. These used bookstores, having bought the books legally, put them up on their Amazon and other retail marketplace pages.
I will say here what I said to my now-no-longer-letigious client. Let it go. A few used copies bought cheaply will only help get your book out there. The more people who read it the better! If you sent out 100 books, then brace yourself that 86 will be sold as used or almost new. That is 86 more readers than you would have had.
I get calls all the time from people who “know” the book publishing industry. They have written a book and have been avid readers for years… so they assume that they are the key demographic and what they know is fact.
More often than not, what they “know” is old news. Now I assume that no one reading this falls into this category, but perhaps we can pass this info onto the others…
So, once again:
- Hardcovers no longer are the standard for “serious” books and are rarely purchased
- POD has become more acceptable to bookstores, but you still need to print some and offer them through traditional distribution or fulfillment companies to be taken seriously by the bookstores.
- Digital Printing has improved in quality and you do NOT need to print thousands of books.
- There are even fewer print and online reviewers of consequence but…
- Reviews are still KEY. Most libraries and major book chains need professional reviews before they will consider a small press title in any real quantity.
- Libraries and bookstores are not necessarily the best way to get to readers anymore
- Most books are not sold in bookstores
- eBooks have taken a much bigger portion of book sales
- There are MORE readers now than there were a year ago THANKS to eBook readers
- Inexpensive eBooks are the best way to get your book out to the most people and create a buzz. It does not “cheapen the book, it gives the reader a chance to sample something they would not otherwise because of a special offer.
Call if you want clarification on any of these! 518-261-1300 or email email@example.com
This weekend I went looking for Eddie Izzard on Twitter. I like his world and political ideas and thought his tweets would be a good addition to my feed. I found that Mr. Izzard has over a million followers and yet only follows 71 people.
I have had WAY too many conversations with authors and publishers about their “Twitter marketing work” and how they are “putting it out there” on Twitter and Facebook. I have never thought of Twitter as a way to push myself out there. I have always seen it as an amazing learning bank.
There are agents, publishers and industry insiders who generously share their wisdom, pass on news and tidbits and forward fantastic articles that I never would have seen otherwise. Because of them (and Twitter), I am a more educated, informed person. I would not have ever have gotten the benefit of their wisdom without twitter and I am grateful for their generousity.
There are also a number of industry folks who use my twitter page as a place to promote (read: spew) their latest review, minor triumph or self-serving mention. For them, Twitter is a marketplace, not a place of learning and community. Okay, I can see that; I can let Twitter be a marketplace on THEIR computer, but not mine.
For me, Twitter is an exchange of information, not a place to sell yourself. It is a forum where I get to give and take with no expectations. It is like any other relationship… Those who enter into it wondering what they can get out of it are not good relationship prospects. The next time an author asks me about the return on my Twitter time investment, I am going to hit him/her over the head with a piece of Church of England cake.
So that leads me to my post next time… Should I be more selective about who I follow? Shall I unfollow those who have not turned out to be good relationship prospects?
I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Barbara Holstein to New Shelves. Dr. Barbara is the author of several books including her latest, The Truth. I asked Dr. Barbara to share with us her experiences navigating the world of Amazon.com.
Over the last several months, Dr. Barbara’s book has steadily grown in rank and increased in sales through Amazon. The sales and success can be traced directly back to her efforts on the site as a participant in their numerous discussion groups and using the tools they offer. We could all learn a lot from her.
So, with that, I encourage you to enjoy this short and helpful article about her experiences on Amazon.com:
If you ever want to experience a deep forest with wild rivers and secret caverns, without even leaving home, I suggest you take a trip to the Amazon. That is www.amazon.com .
It is an amazing place. I’ve been visiting it on and off for more than a year and I am still getting to know my way around. When my newest book came out last January, THE TRUTH (I’m Smart, I’m a Girl and I Know Everything), The Cadence Group suggested that I have a profile page and do reviews of other authors.
Since that time I have created a profile page, have reviewed about 70 books by other authors, and am still doing reviews as often as I can.
I have started a few discussion groups and posted answers to others.
Also, I have tagged my own book, with explanations. When I have been able to chat with someone who may be reviewing my book later, I remind them to make sure to Tag.
All of these steps have taken a lot of time and effort. I don’t know which of these steps has benefited THE TRUTH (I’m a Girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything) the most.
That’s the thing-it is a trip into the Amazon, and like any adventure into the great unknown, we don’t always know what is working and what is not. But I can tell you, have faith and take the adventure. You will have a lot of fun and for sure your book’s Amazon rank will profit. My book was #13 a few days ago in the top 100 for BEING A TEEN. That is a great reward for taking a trip into the unknown!
I wish you great success and happy adventuring.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein,