Marketing to Libraries

Librarian checking out booksWhile many indie authors have mastered online sales, even strong-selling writers tend to see distribution to libraries and bricks-and-mortar stores as difficult to impossible. However, they should consider giving it another go. Industry experts and indie authors who have tried to get wider distribution have recently found surprising success—both in expanded availability and greater awareness of their work, in the library marketplace.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), there are over 9,000 public libraries in the United States alone. Each of these libraries is a potential buyer of your book, and even if they buy only one copy, that’s enough to get the ball rolling and have the word about your book spread. Continue reading

How to contact your local newspaper about your book signing

USNPL LogoYour book has been published, and you’ve arranged to do a signing at your local bookstore. Congratulations!

But now you need to get the word out, because you sure don’t want to sit there by yourself for two hours. Yes, you should tweet about it on Twitter and post an event on your Facebook page, but you’ll also want to let as many local folks in the community know about the signing as well — and one of the best ways to do that is to contact the local newspaper for the bookstore. How do you find out what newspaper covers the area for the bookstore? Why, you can use this handy-dandy list of newspaper contacts. Continue reading

Great WordPress Tool for Authors: ScrapeAzon

If you have good reviews for your books at Amazon, you probably wish there was a way to show them on your WordPress website or blog without having to screen-scrape the copy. And wouldn’t it be great if all the new reviews would show up as well, without the need for you to check over there periodically to copy/paste them back to your website. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if there was a plugin for that? Turns out there is. Continue reading

Calling Henry Higgins

Let a woman in your life,
And patience hasn’t got a chance,
She will beg you for advice,
Your reply will be concise,
She will listen very nicely
and then go out and do precisely
What she wants — Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady

I was reminded today of the Writer’s Workshop I did for Orycon. One of the authors had written a fairly interesting fantasy piece, and aside from the usual “show don’t tell” advice, I mentioned that I thought he might want to revisit the beginning, because it was a little slow. In fact, it didn’t start to get interesting until page 11 for me, and if I hadn’t promised to read through the whole thing and mark it up for the workshop, I would have put it down after about page 2.

The other two commentators in the workshop expressed the same opinion (and I was not the first to go, so they were by no means following my lead). So, here we have an unpublished author who pays a fee to get his “manuscript in progress” professionally critiqued, and all three reviewers comment that he should probably rewrite the beginning to make it more engaging.

Naturally, you would expect that since he paid for this session, he would be taking notes, asking questions, gathering as much feedback as possible so that he could incorporate the suggestions into his manuscript and get it ready for submission. Instead, he told us all, very politely, that he had already tried it that way and it didn’t work out, so he really needed to leave it exactly like it was, thank you very much.

So he paid the critique fee… to basically ignore the critque? Continue reading

Things worth doing

Okay, so my last post was kind of a downer because I talked about “what not to do.” That’s always sobering. Today is the day before Turkey Day in the US, so I wanted to post a few positives going into the long weekend.

I want to talk about what one new author is doing RIGHT… and doing very, very well.

First, I want to mention that this is a brand new, never-before published author. A newbie. The kind of author VT specializes in. So everything I’m saying here is meant to truly inspire you, because she is just amazing. Continue reading