- Article: “Selling Your Book Online: How to Compete with Amazon” by Tanya Hall
- Tips for Authors: “Five Book Publicity Tips”by Sandy Diaz
BookExpo America Recap
Thank you to all who visited us at BEA last week in NYC. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces while meeting new and exciting authors and publishers!
BEA seemed livelier than the past three years, with more exhibitors, steady stream of crowds and abundant galley giveaways. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “the effect of the recession steadily, if slowly, is fading, and the industry getting a better grasp on the role e-books will play in its future, the 2011 edition of BookExpo America was the most vibrant since the economy collapsed in late 2007.”
–Smith Publicity will be exhibiting at the National Speakers Association Convention in Anaheim, CA July 30 – August 2. Please contact us to make an appointment with Dan Smith or Sandy Diaz. For more information regarding the convention, please visit: http://influence11.org/.
Questions? Contact a representative of the Smith Publicity sales team:
Sandy Diaz, email@example.com, 856.489.8654 x301 Dan Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, 856.489.8654 x101 Marissa Eigenbrood, email@example.com, 856.489.8654 x314 Dina Barsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, 856.489.8654 x319
Selling Your Book Online: How to Compete With Amazon
by Tanya Hall, Greenleaf Book Group
Amazon sells a boatload of books, and a shipload of other stuff. In their quest to become the Walmart of the Internet, they offer a huge range of products and often discount them steeply to get your shopping cart started—and books in particular seem to frequently become loss leaders. This sometimes alarms authors just entering the world of retail book distribution, who suddenly realize that the customer who once bought on the author’s website can now buy the same book faster and cheaper on Amazon.
The discount Amazon places on titles does not affect what an author is paid through his or her publisher, of course, but it can impact how effectively that author can sell product on his or her website. It’s important to remember, however, that there are at least two types of buyers—those who will just buy the book, and those who are looking for a deeper experience. The buyer who just wants the book will probably not buy it from your author website if it is also available on Amazon. It is definitely difficult to compete with Amazon (or BN.com) for this customer—one-click purchasing, free shipping, and familiarity stack the cards in favor of the online retailers.
Frustrated by Amazon’s dominance, some authors eschew Amazon, trying to keep a product monopoly limited to their website. This is a mistake—you’ll never be able to attract the volume of users or offer the ease of purchase that Amazon does. As the saying goes, it’s better to have 10% of the gold than 100% of the shaft.
However, the buyer seeking a more immersive experience is another story. It’s for this type of buyer that you should sell product on your website—product that offers a deeper experience than just a cheap copy of the book. For example, bundle the book with an audio supplement. Offer a self-assessment or workbook to accompany the book. Consider offering coaching or, better yet, a community where your readers can collaborate and support one another. Use access to assets like podcasts, sample chapters, and exclusive supplementary content as an incentive for newsletter signups. And by all means, put a mention of these available website features at the back of your book. Ultimately, the goal is to capture and stay in front of your reader in a way that enhances their connection with you (read: no spam!) and builds allegiance. Successfully doing so will help you compete not just with Amazon but also with every other author vying for attention (a far more formidable opponent!).
Tanya Hall is the Business Development Manager at Greenleaf Book Group. Greenleaf Book Group is a publisher and distributor that specializes in the development of independent authors and the growth of small presses. Our publishing model was designed to support the independent author and to make it possible for writers to retain the rights to their work and still compete with the major publishing houses. We have six imprints under the Greenleaf Book Group umbrella: Greenleaf Book Group Press, Emerald Book Company, Live Oak Book Company, Olive Tree Book Company, Inc. 500 Press, and Legacy Book Company. For more information about Greenleaf Book Group, please visit: http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com .
Five Book Publicity Tips
by Sandy Diaz, President, Smith Publicity, Inc.
Christmas in July? Now is the time to begin thinking about your book as a potential holiday gift. Magazine Gift Guide editors often “close” their search for books to include in their lists at the end of August/early September. If you are promoting your book on your own, research top magazine outlets you think have readers who would purchase your book as a gift. For example, if your book is about fly fishing, hitting women’s interest outlets is the way to go. Send a brief email with bullet points explaining why your book should be included. Offer to follow up with a copy of the book!
Promote your books on Google for free. According to Google, you will sell a lot more books if a lot more people knew about them and they can help make that happen. Here are the instructions for adding your book(s) to Google Books, http://books.google.com/support/partner/bin/answer.py?answer=106169
Selling books on your website. We strongly recommend having a link to purchase your book on every page of your website—with as many options for the reader (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) as possible. If your book is a candidate for bulk sales, let viewers know you offer volume discounts and the best way to contact you.
Book Awards. Book awards are a great way to boost credibility for your book. Here are some links to explore for submission: http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/LearnMore.php http://www.usabooknews.com/
About Smith Publicity Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the leading promotional firms in the industry. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 1,000 individuals and companies—from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and business— representing a wide range of industries.
The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States, Canada, the U.K., and from Australia to Israel and Malta. We have offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles and London.
While our expansion from boutique publicity agency to a multi-faceted public relations firm has greatly expanded the breadth of our services, the fundamental driving force behind everything we do is superior presentation, promotion, and positioning of our clients. Our refrain, “make good things happen for clients,” has propelled Smith Publicity from just another agency to a premier promotional firm offering outstanding, cost-effective service with unparalleled customer attention.