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Comments

Daree Allen

Can you provide some ideas or considerations for how to promote ebooks-- I have heard of one way to sign Kindle ebooks but what about other formats?

Dr. Andy Rose

My first book will be available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon this September. How can I use e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote it?

Dana Lynn Smith

Daree, in many ways ebooks are promoted the same way as paper books, although there are some additional things you can do, such as participating in Amazon's KDP Select program. I will be writing more on the topic of promoting ebooks, but below are links to some of the things I've already written. To make sure you receive future posts, see the notes in the right column about how to subscribe to this blog. Good luck with your books!

Plan a Book Launch Party for an Ebook http://bit.ly/IbevWA

Quick Start Guide to Marketing Your Kindle eBooks Like a Pro http://bit.ly/eLX5F9

Amazon KDP Select - Pros and Cons http://bit.ly/ueCrdX

Take Advantage of Kindle's Look Inside Feature http://bit.ly/qHRn9C

Dana Lynn Smith

Andy, congratulations on your upcoming book! I have written extensively on the topic of promoting books through social media. You can see a collection of articles at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/social-media-for-authors/

I've also got a social marketing resource page at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/resources/promote-your-book-with-social-media-marketing.html

Email marketing is a topic that I need to write more about and I'll add that to my list. Below are links to some material that I already published on this topic. But I also want to caution you of what NOT to do - don't add anyone (except perhaps family and close friends) to your email list without their permission and never send emails to a group of people by listing email addresses in the "to" field in your email account. I strongly advise using an email management service and that's referenced in one of the articles below.

Levels of Engagement, or Why Authors Need an Email List - by Joel Friedlander http://bit.ly/ftwaSQ

How Often Should You Email Your List? http://bit.ly/4rngLX

Optimize Your Email Signature http://bit.ly/dlg0rh

To make sure you receive future posts, see the notes in the right column about how to subscribe to this blog.

Jenn Crowell

I would love information on marketing for fiction authors! I've read some great tips, but more are always appreciated.

Dana Lynn Smith

Jenn, thanks for your note. There are some definite differences in promoting fiction and nonfiction books. Word of mouth is very important for novels, so it's a high priority to get lots of people reading the book and sharing it with others. Another thing to keep in mind - most of the highly successful indie novelists write multiple books, often in series format.

Joanna Penn has an excellent training program on how to promote fiction: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/savvy_book_marketer/how-to-promote-your-novel.html

Here's a collection of articles about promoting fiction: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/fiction/

More information about KDP Select: http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/ebook_publishing/2011/12/amazon-kdp-select-proceed-with-caution.html

Good luck with your books! To make sure you receive future posts, see the notes in the right column about how to subscribe to this blog.

Steven O'Connor

Hi Dana

I see a lot of advice on the importance of using google analytics so you have good feedback re those visiting your home base website. My Q is very basic. As a guy in his early 50s, I am doing my best to do all the right social media things but I am unable to get my wordpress website/blog to accept google analytics. I have tried quite a few times to follow instructions, but they either don't work or assume high level of technical knowledge. (I find it too high anyway!)

There is some great marketing advice for new indie authors like me (making the switch from trad - 1 book only), and I am learning heaps, but sometimes a bit of basic advice like this for authors with little tech know-how would be also great. Perhaps you can help, or can direct me somewhere?

If you can't, that's OK. But it one thing I want to learn about!

Dana Lynn Smith

Steven, thanks for your note. There is definitely a learning curve to online marketing and managing a website. If you are using WordPress.com (free site hosted by WordPress) they have some basic site statistics available, but they may not allow you to connect with an outside analytics package like Google. I'm not sure.

If you're using WordPress.org (that you are hosting somewhere else) it will work but I don't know how to help you with the technical issues. You might try searching on Google for help.

There are also other options - I use both Google Analytics and StatCounter.com.I actually prefer StatCounter because it's easier for me. Good luck finding a solution - it really is helpful to understand where your visitors are coming from.

Shar McBee

Dana -- I would appreciate comments about screening printers. I had used this company twice, with good results. But didn't know the owner had sold the company when I re-ordered. I ordered 3000 books. We have a contract but they arrived printed on a cheaper paper. They also arrived beat up and damaged. The driver noted “50 cartons crushed and torn.” We offered to keep them but asked for a 50% refund. The printer didn’t want to do that, but has agreed to take them back and reprint 3000 books according to our contract! (I hope he does it.) Dana -- How could I have prevented this?
Thanks, Shar

Dana Lynn Smith

Shar, thanks for your note about working with book printers. Printing on the wrong paper was probably an honest mistake and the printer is right to either give you a substantial discount (if that's acceptable to you) or reprint and reship at no charge.

The damaged cartons of books could have been caused by rough handling by the carrier and/or poor packaging by the printer. Carriers may be responsible for damage but that depends on the carrier and how the bill of lading was prepared. If you have questions about who is liable for damage in transit, discuss it with the printer in advance and get it in writing.

There's nothing that you can do to prevent printing errors (short of being present at the printer while your book is printed), but it's always wise to screen printers, understand your contract, and get the details in writing. You can include packing specifications in your contract too (thickness of cartons, padding on inside of boxes) but you may be charged extra.

You can ask printers for samples of books similar to yours, ask for references, find out how long the company has been in business, and ask for recommendations on author/publisher forums and groups. I also advise asking your book designer for input and assistance. Experienced book designers are often quite familiar with the printing process and can help you understand what specs to send to the printer and how to understand the contract, and they may be able to recommend printers. Some designers also offer print management services.

Daree Allen

Please share some pros and cons to publishing an ebook *without* a printed version? My first book was available in all formats, and my second was printed only--all nonfiction. Thanks.

Dana Lynn Smith

Daree, that's a great question. I'll write a blog post on that topic soon, but here's a short answer. The advantage to publishing in multiple formats is that you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience and increase the chance of your book being discovered. Many people have a preference in how they like to read and learn. Personally, I prefer audio and Kindle for fiction and print for nonfiction, but everyone is different. The advantage of print only format is that it's less work to produce and publish only one format - but ebook publishing isn't really difficult. Another consideration is what kind of profit margin you are making on print vs. ebook formats.

Terry Hueffed

I am a children's book author.
The peopl that buy my books are very different from the kids that read them. How do you market to this split audiance?

Dana Lynn Smith

Terry, books for young children are usually selected or recommended by parents, grandparents (and other relatives) teachers and librarians. I recommend thinking about where you can reach these target audiences - parenting blogs, family festivals, etc. School and library visits are also very effective for selling kids books. I've got a collection of marketing resources for children's books at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/resources/resources-for-childrens-and-young-adult-authors.html

Perrypr

How do authors get their books into church bookstores? I notice that it is mostly well-known authors who have books in church bookstores.

Do the authors contact the churches individually or do the publishing company use a distribution company.

Or, do the authors try to book speaking engagements with the churches but I am mainly talking about Mega Church bookstores

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Update

  • The Savvy Book Marketer podcast, guidebooks and training programs are no longer available, but the blog articles will remain online for a while.

    Thank you to everyone who has supported the Savvy Book Marketer website, and I wish you much success with your books! Dana Lynn Smith