Book Sales Accounting – When Reality Sets In

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Many of us have been here already. Right before our first book launches we have about five thousand copies, a book tour set up, and our suitcase packed with optimism.  As the year moves along and book sales slow down before we break even on our investment, we realize two things:

1. We didn’t do as good as we thought

2. We spent the money we got from book sales celebrating.

If you are finding yourself in that spot when reality sets in don’t despair, you can recover from it! If you are working on your first book launch, you are still in time to avoid a sour moment of regret. Below are some tips on how to spend your book sales money wisely.

·         Save it all! Yes, I went there…you do not need to spend it! Put it in a separate account and hold on to it for at least 6 months. Watch your account grow as you sell your books one by one. Remember, this is not a hobby anymore. You are now in the business of writing and publishing, and as such you need to create your business capital.

·         Record selling expenses before touching sales dollars. Forget that you are cashing in for a while to give your capital a chance to grow, and in the meantime make note of the cost of selling your books. These are not production costs…those you should have recorded as you invested in writing and publishing the book already. I am talking about traveling, fees to book stores for shelf placement, consignment discounts, personal image, marketing, promotions, etc.  Make sure you know the total cost of producing and selling a book.

·         Budget before digging into your sales money. Nope, you still shouldn’t spend your sales money celebrating! Chances are that you sold between 500 to 2000 books during the first year. If you did, you most likely didn’t break even. Yet, you are fortunate as a huge number of first time authors do not even hit the 500 mark. If you were strong enough and did not touch your sales money, pat yourself on your back as you now have a startup dollar amount for your next book, which already has a platform - an experienced author and bookseller (you), and a realistic budget plus a bunch of contacts in the industry!

If you are looking to publish your book as a hobby, then these tips do not apply, but if your goal is to make a career out of writing and publishing your books, and/or being a public speaker on your topic of expertise, then remember that a business is built over time, and as such the income needs to be re-invested in order to grow. For more information on how we help authors visit www.bookbybookpublicity.com.  

Holiday Sales Tips For Authors

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Authors who want to sell books must take on the holiday season. There are so many options available during the busiest shopping season of the year to sell books and build customer connections. Below are some tips to cash in on a fun holiday season.

Plan Ahead. The more time you give yourself, the more ideas you can come up with and the more you can refine them, so they will be effective during the holiday season. Planning ahead is crucial especially for holiday events. Christmas art and craft shows begin the vendor application process about two months before the event takes place. They also require a vendor fee, so planning and budgeting ahead is necessary. But the author can also organize other type events during the holiday season like appearances on open mikes, book signings, speaking events…etc., all of which require booking and planning.  For Fall book launches, remember pre-publication PR campaigns are a must!

Participate in Holiday Entertainments. If you’ve written a children’s book, you might get yourself a booth at the mall when Santa is there so your target audience of children sees you. If you can find an open mike holiday event, such as a poetry reading, go and read from your book so people hear it and want to buy it. Is your downtown area having a special holiday shopping night? Then ask one of the storeowners if you can sell your books that night in the store.

Donate Books for Christmas Fundraisers. Christmas is the season of giving. So why not give copies of your books to local charity events, church bazaar, local Toys for Tots or other book drives, charity auctions or anything else that offers your book a chance in the spotlight. Remember that you can also offer to make an appearance at any event where you donated books.  If you volunteer with any holiday fundraiser, remember to keep copies of your book in your card, and book cards in your pocket. You never know, other volunteers might be looking for the perfect gift and your book might be it! So, don’t be shy and let yourself be known to others who already have the volunteer work in common with you!

Don’t Forget to Offer Holiday Specials. If you attend a Christmas craft show, make a sign announcing you have an “Exclusive Show Special” and offer a discounted price for your book, or better yet, if you have several books, offer a “Buy Two, Get the Third Free” or other package-type deal. Don’t forget your website! Offer specials and send out emails to your readers, plus post messages on Facebook and other social media sites where you can reach your online readers to let them know you have a special limited time offer.

Remember to be cheerful and festive and friendly, because when you connect with people at holiday events they are usually in a joyful mood and when you imagine people tearing open wrapping paper to discover your book under their Christmas trees, it can be quite an invigorating experience. For information on how we help authors visit www.bookbybookpublicity.com.

 

Got Horror Books for Halloween?

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Halloween to me has always been the most fun time of the year.  It’s a chance to let loose and dress ugly! OK and for some sexy… All the television networks show old horror and fantasy movies, and many readers re-visit old Stephen King and Harry Potter books. But if you are like me, you are also looking to get spooked by new thrillers and scary stories. Now that I don’t have any young kids at home, I love dressing like a witch and sit outside to give out candy and marathon read or watch scary movies…most times I do both especially when Halloween falls on a weekend instead of during the week! We have reviewed our fair share of books perfect for Halloween this year. Below are a few selections to check out if you are looking for new thrilling reads!

For Adults:

For Kids:

We wish you all a safe and fun Halloween filled with treats and reads! For information on how we help Authors visit www.bookbybookpublicity.com.

It’s Okay to Get Help…Wisely

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Contrary of the popular belief that Indie Authors self-publish due to traditional publishing rejection, many if not most Indie authors don’t even wish to knock at the doors of the big five publishers because they want full control of their book and its profits. In fact, many Indies are already successful entrepreneurs, and established professionals in their fields when they decide to publish a book, and as with any self-made hands-on pros they are ready to give it all as Indie authors. But there is a problem with this self-sufficient attitude when venturing into a new Industry while trying to wear all hats. This is usually a quick way to learn about the industry, but it comes at the toll of little to no profits from the first and even second book. In my own experience, the biggest lesson is that it is okay to get help! Here are some tips on how to get the help needed without over spending:

·         Educate yourself. There are currently so many inexpensive ways to learn about the self-publishing industry and process, whether through online classes, networking, writer’s associations or groups, etc. This step is crucial and the money invested in knowledge is money well spent in the long run.

·         Create a business plan and budget based on the acquired factual knowledge that specifies the different steps of the publishing process.

·         Make a decision on which tasks you should invest your time directly and which tasks are better off delegated to an experienced professional.

Remember that it is your project and you will be calling the shots but be wise enough to get and take advantage of the knowledge of others to ensure you have a successful first book! To learn more on how we help Indie authors visit www.bookbybookpublicity.com.  

 

Avoiding Mixed Messages When Promoting Your Book

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

When promoting your book, keep in mind its main message in order to imprint the title to possible readers interested in a specific message. Now message and topic are two different things, as a book on a specific topic could have different messages when it comes to marketing. For example, a book about growing up in Italy during WWII could have a message for women if we focus on what mothers went through raising their kids. But also could be a message for YA if we focus on being a young adult during that time. It could also have a message for Italians in general; or military as a war book. Below are some tips on conveying a clear message when promoting your book to different targets: 

·         When strategizing for a promotional event. Take time to research who will be most likely to attend, and then make that your theme. For example, if I am going to speak to veterans, I would make sure my event focuses on a message veterans can find and relate to in my book, “Innocent War.” But if I am speaking to a women’s book club, then I would make sure my talk is focused on how my grandmother kept her children safe and honest during WWII…which is also found in my book.

·         Dress the part. When appearing in public…whether face-to-face or online video, put some thought into how you will dress. Why promote a fashion brand on your event when you can promote your book with your outfit? If your book is a Fantasy, why not dress like you came out of that world? I found it very helpful to wear black pants and a T-shirt featuring my book’s front cover. Sometimes I would wear also my father’s Italian uniform hat. Think about it, what will sell your cook book better…a suit or a chef’s outfit?

·         When making an interview appearance, make sure you research the interviewer’s programing and find messages from your book that you can use to get their audience to relate to your book. Make sure when giving interviews that you are presenting a clear message. You can’t control what the interviewer may ask, but you can steer the interviewer in the right direction.

In the end, you want your message to hit home with your readers, and then have them convey that message to their friends—your future readers. For more information on how we help authors, visit www.bookbybookpublicity.com.

Should You Enter Your Book in a Giveaway?

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

As Indie authors it is important to make the most of your marketing dollars with the primary goal being to increase sales, followed by the need to develop/boost your fan base.  One of the easiest ways to promote your book is to enter it in book giveaway contests. Here are some of the benefits of participating in a book giveaway: 

·         A no-cost or low-cost way to introduce your book

·         Stimulates awareness and interest in your book and brand

·         Generates leads for potential readers

·         Cultivates new relationships and widens your fan base

·         Generates book reviews

·         Leads to future sales and word-of-mouth marketing

We encourage authors to enter their titles in our monthly book giveaway, which we offer at no cost. It is an excellent way to keep the buzz around your title going on the social media networks. We also tweet, post and pin the contest information on all of our social media pages!

Additionally, you can increase the effectiveness of your book giveaway by promoting it on your own website. Tweet about the event, post it to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to generate further interest. Fans and followers are more likely to write book reviews. They also lead to future sales and will promote your work.

Be sure to personalize the experience after the contest. When sending out your book to the winner(s), slip a note inside the cover congratulating them on winning a copy of your book. Let them know you hope they enjoy reading it and that you would be grateful for a review, if so inspired. 

 We currently have slots available beginning with our December 2018 giveaway!

For more information on our book giveaway contest and other ways Reader Views can help promote indie authors, visit our Services for Authors or email us at mailto:admin@bookbybookpublicity.com.

 

 

2018-2019 Literary Awards – Don’t Miss The Early Entry Offer!

 Sheri Hoyte Managing Editor

Sheri Hoyte
Managing Editor

Is it really October already? Once again, I am amazed by how quickly the year passes. Autumn marks my favorite time of year because the weather is changing, the holidays are just around the corner, and the Reader Views Literary Awards program is in full swing! As usual, we have received so many inspiring books that it looks like this will be another tight competition!

The end of October marks the deadline to receive the discounted submission fee, so if you were planning to enter, this would be a great time to do so! The final entry deadline is December, but I encourage authors to take advantage of the early entry offer to beat the rush and allow more time for judging. With so many intriguing titles submitted in all categories, the anticipation is already building! For more information about the 2018-2019 Literary Awards and guidelines click here.

Networking. It Doesn't Have to be Intimidating!

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Networking has never come easily to me. Somehow, anything that had to do with selling myself as a skilled professional sounded too far from being humble, which is what my upbringing was based on.  But being an author and a publicist required that I challenge myself outside of my bubble in order to achieve my professional goals.  In the beginning, I found it very difficult but as I kept at it, it became easier. Currently, networking for me happens naturally. Below are some tips about putting yourself out there!

•    The first trick is to practice with the people you encounter in your personal life. Almost always when you meet someone new the question of ‘what do you do for a living’ pops up. I used to respond with a short answer followed by ‘what about you’. Instead, we should take our time to answer, and offer information such as our website and book title. Then wait one second to give that person time to ask more questions. If no more questions happen at the moment, then follow up with, ‘how about you?’

•    Most of us wrote a book because we are passionate about the topic we wrote about, or passionate about writing. So, when talking about what you do for a living, make sure you reflect your passion for it and continue the conversation by asking if they ever thought about writing a book. Welcome questions about the topic or your career, but if the conversation on the topic doesn’t spark, change the topic and focus on the person’s career.

•    Don’t wait for networking events to network. In all honesty, I have never made any contacts from organized networking events that have resulted in any business collaboration.  However, I have gotten new customers or vendors from casual meetings or gatherings.

When it comes to networking, there is no right and wrong. Just make it casual and have fun with it! For more information on how we help authors visit us at www.bookbybookpublicity.com.