At the BEA this year, a panel looked at Christian titles. They agreed that nowadays, the obstacles that used to be present are far less daunting.
It used to be that Christian titles were primarily distributed through the CBA, the Christian Booksellers Association. Now, however, Christianity has gone mainstream. Folks who don’t attend church regularly still want guidance, and they turn to books for that. The demand is growing steadily and sales are strong. They’re so good, in fact, that Christian titles are often now distributed through the ABA, the American Booksellers Association, which handles nearly all topics and categories.
If you’re working with a Christian title for adults, young adults or juvenile readers, let’s talk about your pitch today!
Authorbuddies.com is a new website that connects authors with other authors and interested readers around the world. Everything from which bookstore to book a public reading to where to stay when you visit on your book tour can be found through these connections.
If you’re building your own tour or want to reach into foreign markets digitally, check out this site. And let me know how your experience went!
Branding…it’s a word we hear all the time associated with everything from baby food to high-end automobiles. Why would authors need to create their own brand?
Because readers read not only for the content but for the person who creates that content. Experts writing in nonfiction fields have known this forever. In fiction, it has long been called “the story behind the story,” and includes everything from the author’s journey to why they write specific novels or children’s stories.
Branding can seem complex and downright bizarre for authors. It actually is quite simple. Answer these five questions to find the core of your brand:
1. Why do you write?
2. What do you write about most often?
3. Why do you write about that topic/s most often?
4. Who will be helped by reading your books (fiction or nonfiction)?
5. How can you best tell the story behind the story?
If you need help, Writer’s Resource is only an email or phone call away!
McGraw-Hill is well-known for its strength in academic (educational and professional) content. It is partnering with Follett to expand sales of ebooks into K-12 schools.
This will have a good impact on authors. The availability of ebooks allows for more readers to find authors they might otherwise never hear about. Ebooks also provide publishers with a way to monetize their backlist, which means that authors whose works are out of print can derive fresh income when their books are re-released in electronic form.
The disruption is doing its job. Things are looking up for publishers and for authors, and this is just one example!
Midia Inkphone is not the first on the market to offer eink on a phone. It is, however, an indicator that people are reading more on their phones than ever before.
I have been waiting for a device like a phone or an iPad to allow for both internet browsing and eink displays for American readers (both devices now available are for foreign markets). I don’t particularly enjoy reading on a full digital display. It just isn’t the same. And studies comparing the impact between digital reading and reading on the page prove that the brain retains more with print.
So eink is a good midway point. It will help readers engage more with the story or content. It also is much easier on the eyes!
Hachette recently bought Perseus books. What hasn’t been discussed widely in the media is that the deal included 400 indie publishers. The indies represent $300 million in distribution sales volume of the total value represented in the deal.
This is great news for authors. Although the merge hasn’t been without its issues for the indies, it does signal that traditional houses are taking indies seriously…and that they value the products they produce. In time, we are likely to see more mergers like this with traditional houses and indies teaming up to revitalize publishing…and reading.
BookTrack, at BookTrack.com, offers a unique marketing option. Authors can log onto the site and, using audio they find themselves or audio clips from the library, generate a sound track for the first section of their books.
This doesn’t have any voiceover, so it’s not an audio book. It is, however, a way to evoke a stronger response in potential readers to your work. And anything that can help pull in more readers is worth a try.
In late June, the Shatzkin Files worked up an interesting comparison of data on publishing. The study looked at how authors used to perform before self-publishing became such a big trend. Generally, there were always the big authors, few enough in number. Then came the midlist, authors who did well enough but who had to build to the breakout over the course of several books…if they ever broke out. And then came the ones who sank quickly after publication.
Now, self-publishing is changing the economics for authors but not necessarily in a good way. With so many additional titles available, the midlist author is being squeezed out. There is simply too much static in the background for them to make a splash. The big authors, meanwhile, keep getting bigger as readers turn more and more toward the names they recognize.
And the third group, the rest who sink, is growing larger. These elements impact authors no matter if they have self-published or gone to a traditional house. Take this into account when you consider stepping into the indie arena…it might be harder than you think. And remember, too, that you can self-publish and still approach agents and publishers with the same book at the same time.
BookStats now estimates that publishers are making more money off of internet sales (for print and ebooks) than from revenues created by brick-and-mortar stores.
The difference in the percentages is small but this is a first.
Keep this in mind as you go about marketing your book…whether it’s traditionally published or indie produced, ebook or print. If you need help, the Writer’s Resource marketing plan is geared specifically toward low-cost and no-cost digital opportunities.
A new ebook subscription service will offer 1 million titles.
Bllon will launch in beta form this summer. Details on how many books readers can view each month still aren’t clear but 3 ebooks will be provided for free when users first subscribe.
Although Bllon is based in Germany, similar services for the American market average 500,000 titles. So keep an eye out for Oyster and Scribd to ramp up their games and match that number.
Seth MacFarlane has promised to match up to $1 million for the Reading Rainbow crowdfunding campaign. Reading Rainbow is an app used in schools by young readers, and the campaign aims to provide it to low-income students.
This move mirrors a trend overseas that in some cases isn’t a trend…it’s part of other nation’s cultures. Governments in some European countries have long provided tax breaks, grants and other incentives to authors, bookstores and publishers. Some of it has happened recently because publishing is taking such a beating worldwide. Much of it, however, has been in place for a century. The understanding that literature is valuable to a nation’s identity and culture is too strong to simply allow publishers to forge ahead on their own.
America should wake up to this fact. Individuals are doing their part by contributing to crowdfunding campaigns for small presses, bookstores and authors. But more needs to be done. We need to support authors in meaningful financial ways. We need to help bookstores and publishers not just survive but thrive.
What is your best idea to help?
The Guardian is running a contest for juvenile manuscripts. Their crop of shortlisted entries has been anything but depressing or dark. Instead, they said they are looking for entries “that make the make-believe seem real.”
Lately there’s been talk of a turn toward more realistic fiction in YA and younger titles. This is mostly due to the success of The Fault In Our Stars. But the dystopian and darker elements, along with speculative works, aren’t done yet. If you doubt that, consider how long the vampire craze lasted…over a decade.
So if you’re working on something dark, dystopian, or just plain speculative, know that the market will still welcome your submissions.
A group of authors with debut novels launching in 2015 called the Freshman Fifteens has teamed up with online writing community Wattpad for a writing contest. Entries are open now.
The Common Room Teen Mentoring Contest will pair 15 winning authors aged 13 to 19 with a member of the Freshman Fifteens. The established authors will mentor the teens through the writing and publishing process. The 15 winning entries will also be published in Common Room, an anthology being put out by Wattpad in January 2015.
This is a great chance for adults who are in the lives of teens to encourage their writing dreams. I’ve had the chance to work with teenagers through Writer’s Resource, and every time it has been a fantastic, high-energy experience. My clients, although young, achieved publication, and it changed their lives. Help out your best teen pal by telling them about this contest!