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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.
We had a wonderful time today talking to Sherrie Wilkolaski about Social Media and Marketing your Book Online.
Here is a recording of her great advice for authors:
Would you spend hours working on a resume only to throw together a quick generic cover letter and hope you get an interview? Probably not. In fact, in today’s tough economic times, your cover letter is probably the most important piece of your “package” in any job search.
- Address your letter to a specific agent or editor at a specific agency or publisher. Don’t send out something generic.
- Make sure that you’re sending your letter to an agent or publisher that works in your genre. One of the biggest mistakes that authors make is not doing their research. Agents and publishers list their interests and previously sold titles on their websites. Check them out and make sure your project is a good fit.
- Show that you’ve done your research. Mention a book or an author than an agent has represented in your first paragraph. Identify why you picked this particular agent or publisher to query.
- Sell yourself. Give you and your platform a full paragraph. Explain why you are the best author for your book and how you can sell yourself and generate book sales.
- Be courteous. Let people know if your project is on multiple submission.
- Identify a market for your book. Really. A real market. Add a statistic or two.
- Be respectful. Use appropriate business etiquette.
- If you’re just sending a query letter, let the agent or publisher know what else you have available – i.e. A full proposal and two sample chapters are available upon request.
- Have someone else read your letter before you send it. Even the best of writers needs an editor. Typos have no place in a good query letter.
- Be succinct. Keep your query to one page. Identify why you’ve chosen a particular agent or publisher, pitch your book, identify your market, sell yourself, thank them for their time.