There are plenty of ways to market your books or to market yourself as an author or publisher, but perhaps one of the most important outlets to promote what you offer today is the Internet. After all, it’s where your target audience is spending a lot of time. As an author or publisher you should think of yourself as a business owner and the books that you write or publish as your products. Every business today should have a website. As an author, a website serves as a place for current and prospective readers to learn more about you and the books that you’ve published or are currently working on. To increase exposure and the number of visitors to your website, it’s necessary to engage in search engine optimization (SEO). Continue reading
Like the Slow Food Movement and the Shop Local Movement, it’s exciting to see the Indie Movement gain momentum.
Honoring independently inspired, owned, and managed efforts of all kinds, the Indie Movement is a human response to corporate consolidation, large-scale mishaps, and the stress on local and global economies by all things big. In the Indie Movement, creativity, sweat equity, and collaboration reign. Some of the most tangible signs are evident when indie authors and publishers partner with indie bookstores.
As booksellers have had to deal with the fact that online shopping and discounting have turned books into little more than another commodity, their response has been to focus more on creating unique selections and offering interesting events with local authors, rather than hope for an appearance during a bestselling author’s national tour. With the resources now available to writers everywhere to produce their own books, it’s easier than ever to find books that are well-edited, beautifully packaged, and appropriately priced.
Booksellers have told us time and again that some of their very best events are with local and regional authors. Some partner with an author to develop an individual event where both parties collaborate toward the book’s sell-through. Publicity, email and print newsletters, special postcard mailings, and in-store displays are all part of the typical marketing mix. Both parties furnish their own contact lists. Authors offer their promotional materials, develop an engaging presentation, and assist with local publicity. Everyone pitches in for refreshments (not always required, but helpful).
Some bookstores will coordinate a celebration of local authors, grouping them together for one large event where all authors contribute their contact lists and marketing efforts. This can not only be a very fun evening, but the event puts authors in touch with other writers they might never have met, which can inspire other collaborative efforts. When each author has five to fifteen minutes, the pace is fast and everyone is introduced to a variety of ideas and stories. One of my favorite questions at these events is, “Why did you write this book?” The answer to this single question makes the perfect human connection that is the very foundation for why we read.
In an age of homogenization, people crave authenticity. What’s fresh and new, what’s local and real is all you need to draw an audience, celebrate regional talent, feed the local economy, and have a heck of a good time doing what you love. The partnership between indie authors, indie publishers, and indie booksellers has endless possibilities and comes at a perfect time.
Donna Paz Kaufman is the founder and partner in The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates, established in 1992 to support the growth and prosperity of independent bookstores. Visit them online at PazBookBiz.com.
In our last blog post, “Turning Your NaNoWriMo Piece Into a Sellable Novel – First Steps,” we outlined the first two steps that a NaNoWriMo author should take upon completion of writing 50,000+ words during the month of November. The first step is book editing to ensure that the novel reads smoothly and to detect any spelling or grammar errors. Book editorial services can also include indexing and translation if the book will be published in multiple languages. The second step is to select a book cover design. A book cover design should be created by a professional designer and needs to catch the potential readers’ eye and give them a glimpse of what’s inside the book. Continue reading
The production of a beautiful giftbook like the Of Love & Sea Glass takes a lot of effort on the part of many people. It starts with Donald's wonderful sea glass photography and the graphic design talents of Kate Clark of Clark's Design Services.
Then it is over to the printing firm, Bookmasters in Ohio. Donald and Kate recently went there to see the actual production of the book.
THE SECRET WINTERING GROUNDS OF AN ENDANGERED BUTTERFLY
Dozens of breathtaking photographs reveal a beauty long unseen, and one that few people see in person.
For centuries their winter whereabouts remained an elusive mystery. Migrating monarch butterflies would hide away in some unknown southern location only to reappear months later as they flew back north. Several generations later, their grandchildren would find their way south once more, sometimes to the exact same tree their ancestors left. The alluring puzzle of how they accomplish this feat is surpassed only by the captivating beauty of the swarms of golden creatures as they travel. And by the stunning beauty of what was revealed when their wintering ground was finally discovered.
Photographer and writer Windle Turley turns his lens on these creatures in The Amazing Monarch to capture their beauty and explore their winter hideaway. Dozens of breathtaking photographs reveal a beauty long unseen, and one that few people see in person. Poems and quotes interspersed throughout the book draw the heart as strongly as the photographs call to the soul. Then, insightful text in the back stimulates curious minds with science and storytelling. And it highlights the environmental and ecological threats to the monarch’s very existence, a point all the more poignant after the gorgeous pictures.
The photographs include close-ups of the butterflies, whether simply of their wings or of a single one perched on a flower. More panoramic shots reveal literally thousands of butterflies coating everything in sight with their orange hues. Every square inch of trees, bushes, and ground in the wintering grounds is covered, giving the area a mystical quality. These photos are expertly shot and beautifully reprinted with vivid colors and sharp details. Readers may be surprised that they can’t help turning the pages, as the sights seem almost surreal. And the design of the book (and cover, too) sets it all off at its best.
Poetry and quotes from everyone from Carl Sagan to Hans Christian Andersen and Emily Dickinson are scattered throughout. Folk legends and comments from butterfly experts are also included. They provide comfortable breaks from the photographs and are set with faded script lettering behind. Again, this gives the book a high-quality feel.
The back of the book features a discussion of the butterfly’s life cycle and migration patterns. While this portion leans a bit more toward the scientifically minded or, perhaps, butterfly enthusiasts, those who would normally be drawn only to the pictures may find it a surprisingly interesting read. This section is well researched, as demonstrated by the copious notes. And after the reader comes to appreciate the monarch in a fresh way through the pictures, the concerns expressed about environmental threats to the creature become even more powerful.
It’s a stunning book, appropriate for any coffee table. Everyone from adults to young children will be enthralled by the photographs and charmed by the quotes. And those who view things more intellectually, will appreciate the carefully researched discussion of the mysterious migration pattern only recently revealed.
November 21, 2013