The New Black Friday

Perhaps you worked off those Thanksgiving day calories among the crowds this Black Friday. Maybe though you noticed the crowds not quite as thick as they once were. Or, maybe you are one of us who shopped Black Friday sales online from the comfort of the couch during movie or football commercials.

Online commerce is changing the way we interact and do business. Groupon, for instance, is currently advertising a $40 for $20 bookstore sale. Or one full-service self-publishing option offering staggering 25% off illustrations services. But like all Black Friday sales – these offers will end soon. So if you’re thinking book buying for the holidays or heading toward the new year with getting that self-publishing book project off the ground, today is the day.


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Affiliate Opportunites in Self-publishing

With the inevitable explosion of print-on-demand, there are more authors than ever before dipping their feet into the self-publishing game. In fact, the term dipping feet may be an understatement considering the volume of new, developing, and somewhat esoteric information involved in self-publishing. Some authors come from the traditional arena and have a degree of knowledge and understanding corresponding with their experience. Other authors may have independently published books in the past, consider themselves savvy, and are now seeking the advantages that come from joining forces with a full-service print-on-demand self publisher.

The great majority, however, are new authors, anxious to learn, but not possessing much history or background in the industry. They often rely upon the information they read on the internet, hear from friends/associates, or receive from their publisher. In fact, the term self-publishing has expanded in scope to include publishing content in blogs, forums, online newsletters, even videos.

You may find yourself somewhere along that continuum or in the process of researching publishing options for your own material. Have you considered that your expertise can benefit other writers while at the same time earning you additional income? The process is called Affiliate Marketing and a great opportunity offered through various self-publishing leaders.

Affiliates can often earn up to 10% or more for each author they refer. Here are the nuts and bolts:

It’s perhaps the easiest and fastest way to share your knowledge as an industry thought leader while at the same time earning extra income in the home based internet business, and you do not have to develop your own service. Instead, generate revenue by simply referring authors to recognized, professional custom self-publishing services through the credibility your experience provides. What’s more, you get to see the investment that comes from seeing authors reach their publishing goals.

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The Do’s of Pitching Your Self-Published Book to Producers

Here are 5 things to do when composing a letter to a radio producer to promote your self-published book:

1 – Do keep your letter short. No more than one page.
2 – Do include your hook. This is a 5-10 word sentence or phrase that should attract everyone’s attention about you or your book.
3 – Do format your letter so it’s easy to skim. Use bullet points.
4 – Do write your letter with the producer’s point of view. Re-read it as if you were the producer. Is it clear what you want and what value you offer to the radio listeners?
5 – Do be available to respond to interest immediately. These people are often on deadline and if you are the easiest solution to their problem, you’ll get the call.

Karl Schroeder

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Have fun and keep writing…

Self-publishing, Literature and Pop Culture

I opened the Books section in yesterday’s New York Times Urban Eye to read the headline, “Why Literature Doesn’t Matter.” Really? How sad. It matters to me. It matters to my family, friends, and colleagues. It matters to the self-publishing authors I work with every day. Literature doesn’t matter… I wish someone would have told me.

According to Urban Eye, a recent Sunday Book Review article penned buy novelist Kurt Anderson was to fill me in. Anderson writes, “During the 1960s and ’70s…people who hadn’t read a word of a first-rate contemporary novel — no Cheever, no Bellow, no Salinger, Heller, Styron, Doctorow, Updike or Roth — nevertheless knew the novelists’ names… And then everything changed.”

But book sales in the US have remained strong, and are even growing over previous years in Europe. Despite the current recession effects, statistics show that readers are still buying books. Not matter? Anderson goes on to claim, “But irony of ironies, after literature was evicted from mass culture, pop culture itself began to fragment and lose its heretofore defining quality as the ubiqui­tous stuff that everybody consumed.”

Ah, I’m seeing to whom, or rather to what, Literature doesn’t matter to – pop culture. Wait, then this is a good thing for authors and readers. The fragmentation that Anderson talks about is the segmenting of consumers into smaller, more clearly defined profiles. What that means to self-publishing authors of fiction, non-fiction, etc., is not that your work doesn’t matter, that Literature doesn’t matter, but that it doesn’t matter to everyone. Perfect, now you can coordinate and focus your subject matter and marketing efforts to readers who will benefit from, and buy your books.

Talk to your self-publisher early on about your custom marketing plan.

Karl Schroeder

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Self-Publishing: The New Black

Last Friday I happened to run into a new friend at a coffee shop down the street from my home. She also works in the publishing industry as a consultant, but more on the traditional model side. We enjoy running in to each other and talking shop.

This last run-in she mentioned a new author for which she’s providing ghostwriting and consulting services. Amy was evidently reserved in progressing with the project and I pressed for a bit more information. As it turned out, this particular author Amy was working with has a timely book topic on the table with a pressing eagerness to see it published; and with business savvy, the author wanted to see an attractive return on investment.

“Okay, what concerns do you have?” I asked. Amy first responded that shopping for an agent to pick up the book would push the timeline way back, and then between the agent’s and then the publisher’s cut, what could she reasonably expect to provide as an incentive to her author.

I couldn’t help but smirk. With self-publishing, authors retain exclusive control and full royalties, while having their books published in full-service style – start to finish – in around 12 weeks. Amy’s look was one of almost disbelief. When I mentioned all of these things along with the advantage of unlimited on-demand, international distribution offered by the best full-service self-publishing options she was noticeably, informed.

If you are an author, or publishing professional, revisit this question: What are your publishing goals? For many authors, the most important goals are:
1) Keeping 100% of your rights and creative control to your book
2) Keeping 100% of your author royalties
3) Setting your own retail price, profit, and author discount
4) Publishing a high-quality book that is available worldwide

I hope that helps. Keep writing…

– Karl Schroeder