Monthly Archives: October 2013

The 80/20 Sales Rule for Authors

It’s long been known in business that 20% of your existing customers generate 80% of your sales. The same can be said of book fans. When someone reads a novel or nonfiction title they enjoy, they will actively seek out additional works by the same author. Keep these tips in mind as you reach out to your fan base.

–Keep in contact through social media or your email lists. Let people know what you’re working on as well as opportunities to find older titles you might not be actively marketing.

–Serve your fans. Why are people reading your novels: for entertainment, for a deeper social message? Is your nonfiction a vehicle for inspiration or concrete tips? Be sure to address these components with every outreach.

–Reward return readers. Find a way to say thank you to fans who keep coming back. Offer to provide free ebooks to anyone who sends in a receipt for a particular printed title. Host a lunchtime Skype session where you chat with readers about their burning questions about your upcoming book.

Keep these ideas in mind and you’ll build loyalty to you, the brand behind your books.



Ways to Keep Readers Coming Back

When you’re setting about to write that next book, don’t ignore the fans you’ve already snared. They’ll be looking for you and the content you create rather than just another book to read. So be sure to utilize branding methods like the following:

–Be consistent. If you’re writing thrillers, don’t suddenly switch to romance. The exception of course is if you’re writing a cross-genre romantic thriller. Then go for it! Just be sure not to leave your existing fans out in the cold as you work to gain new readers.

–Remember that readers want to read your books, not someone else’s. So whenever you appear for a signing or media opportunity, be authentic. Speak from the heart about your passion for writing and your fans. If someone asks a question you don’t want to answer, simply say so and allow the interview to move on.

–No matter whether you’re self-publishing or traditionally published, always focus on quality. Even if your goal is to produce two books every year (or more!), make sure that nothing goes out the door you wouldn’t want to read yourself.

Book Agent Info

Adam Muhlig of McIntosh & Otis loves fiction and is looking for a fresh voice in fiction or narrative nonfiction. He seeks authors offering new perspectives by or about music mavericks as well as texts focused on natural history, travel, adventure and sports.

The Stories Behind Famous Book Covers

I’ve posted before on the importance of a book’s cover. I’ve also included links to lists of successful covers and downright terrible covers. Now Publisher’s Weekly’s blog has set up a collection of covers with the stories behind each.

Take a moment to check this out. It contains a lot of information you can use when considering how well your own cover will work.

How Books Avoid the Digital Decline

The New Republic magazine recently presented an article on how books are avoiding the digital decline seen in the music and video entertainment industries.

Generally, CDs declined not because people switched to digital versions that were cheaper but because they listen to songs individually…and wanted to buy only one or two songs from an album.

TV shows suffered the same fate. The packages of entire seasons weren’t always what people wanted to buy and so they turned to individual streaming of single shows.

Books, on the other hand, can’t be offered in pieces. Although some authors have found success serializing their books by releasing single chapters at a time, most readers want to consume the entire work in a single sitting or multiple sittings performed within a short timeframe. This is part of the engagement of readers in a story or nonfiction topic, so books perform better for readers when they are consumed in this fashion.

So, although prices have fluctuated for ebooks, there really isn’t any comparison that can be made for how a reader is impacted by a book. It has to be taken as a complete whole at the reader’s leisure, not in bits strung out over time.

As we move forward into this new world of publishing, remember that. Price your works accordingly, and reserve the low prices and bundling deals as short-term sales.

Unique Residency

The Paris Review and The Standard hotel are offering one soon-to-be-novelist the writing opportunity of a lifetime: “The idea is this: in January, a writer with a book under contract will get a room at the Standard, East Village, in downtown Manhattan, for three weeks’ uninterrupted work.” The application consists of a sample and a letter from your editor for a chance to stay at this new boutique hotel for three weeks. 

New Opportunity for Christian Authors

1Source is a collaborative effort between publishers and includes Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, Believers Press, Bethany Press, and Anchor Distributors. Their new books will appear as part of 1Source’s Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line in spring 2014.

Job Opportunity for Writers

Media Connect at is the nation’s leading book publicity firm. They promote best-selling authors, independent publishers, and university presses as well as the Big Five and major publishers. They promote both nonfiction and fiction. Seeking an individual, with 2+ years of experience in promoting books and authors to the online news media: bloggers, online reviewers, and.the side of major media outlets. An intimate understanding of how to use social media to help promote author brands is a must.