Posts Tagged With: Barnes and Noble

14 Tips to Marketing and Promoting on a Shoestring

Last night I thought about posting a question on the Amazon forums asking readers for help on writing this article. I wanted to know what they liked and didn’t like about Authors’ marketing and promoting their books. I decided against it about three seconds after I did a search on author’s marketing themselves. What I learned shocked me, but didn’t really surprise me that most efforts Author’s utilize to sell their books really annoy readers.

Over the years, I’ve studied different methods of marketing that fit what I’m comfortable with and below I’ve compiled a list of non-aggressive marketing tips that are budget friendly. I hope these helped and good luck all of you.

~Know your target audience and create a brand that appeals to you and projects the image you want for your writing career. With your brand in mind, repeat yourself in all your ads, webpages, etc to establish that brand in the minds of readers. For example: My author brand is “Where myths live, where legends walk, and where love is eternal.” I write Speculative fiction.

~When you finish a book, write the next one, and the next one, and the next one. Keep writing books. Create a backlist. The authors that sell well are the ones that write. It doesn’t cost much more than time, effort, and maybe paper.

~Upload to every book site available and fill out their author profile pages. Some readers like to know the author. My favorites are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Not only do you get better royalties by doing this, but you can also track your sales.

~Create a print book to go with your eBook. Some readers still like to hold a book in their hands, or like the eBook enough to buy the print book to have for their collection. You can carry it around with you in your purse and answer people’s questions when they ask about it. You can donate a paperback copy of your book to your local library. (I think most of the SPAL author’s use CreateSpace. This Amazon based service allows you to create a book with no out-of-pocket expense. The paperback will be linked to your eBook on Amazon. Another good printer is Lightning Source.)

~Offer Readers something for free. When readers receive something of value for free, trust and good feeling naturally arise. It is a very effective marketing strategy. This doesn’t have to be a full length book. Write a short story geared toward the readers you want to attract and offer it as a free read or bonus material at the end of a related book. Give the people on your mailing list or newsletter sneak peeks at a story. You can give them a coupon or some type of special they can share with friends.

~Run a contest giving out free e-books. Or have a treasure hunt where they buy the books to find clues and win something big. Or do a giveaway and ask everyone who downloads the book to please leave an honest review.

~Blogs and websites are free ad space on the web that creates a constant link between yourself and readers. It is there 24/7. This doesn’t mean you should treat it like a billboard. Share things that are meaningful to you and your readers. Blog about your book as you write it. Share character interviews, short stories, or news about the book. (There are many platforms to choose from. Weebly offers a blog for your website. Bloggster, Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr are all blogging sites, some of which can be transformed into websites.)

~Social Networking with Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus and the hundred of other sites out there are great ways to stay connected and keep your name active. Also sign up for reading sites like GoodReads and Shelfari, or creating a Youtube channel with a list of songs that go well with your story or author interviews is a great way to get people to notice you. You can then get widgets for all of these sites and place them on your website so people can easily find you on the web.

~Book trailers are a great way to show readers what your book is all about. You can upload it to Youtube and Tweet the link with relevant hashtags to get it out to people with similar interests.

~Join forums if you dare. Forums and group discussions can be great places to meet people. But be sure not to self-promote. Not only will it turn readers off, it can turn nasty fast. Amazon has created a special ‘Meet the Authors’ forum where authors can promote their books and talk about their work.

~Most people won’t give a book a second glance if it has not received any reviews, good or bad. I found that offering your book for free and asking for honest non-biased reviews can get you those reviews. But don’t expect them to be all nice. You can also send your book to bloggers and reviewers.

~Make flyers, brochures, postcards or pens with information about your books. I’ve never tried this but it could be worth it to make a flyer or brochures and place them in public places, giveaway flyers, brochures, or postcards to people who ask about your book, etc. Please make sure it’s okay with the owners first or it’s at a place where it is okay to put them. Bathroom stalls, libraries, and bulletin boards are good places. Network with another author and do an exchange of flyers. Pens can be given away, or left for people to use. I don’t know about you, but I do read the writing on the sides of pens.

~Find creative ways to use your business cards and leave them in unexpected places. Some authors like to print a brief book excerpt on the back, titles of your book or book cover, the table of contents, the characters, a rave review, or your elevator pitch. I prefer the list of books or leaving it blank. If blank you can write a specific book for the person or even write a coupon code for a free or discounted book on it. You can leave your card with the tip for the waitress, in the envelope if you pay your bills via snail mail, in library books, in the change room at your

~Create relationships with readers, writers, reporters, book sellers, book clubs, bloggers, teachers, etc. Word of mouth is still the most cost-effective way to advertise your books.

Categories: Author Platform & Branding, Book Promotion, Marketing & Promoting, Writing as a Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Publish with PubIt

(this is an overdue companion to How to Publish on Create Space and How to Use Create Space Cover creator and How to Publish on Smashwords)

Go to http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/, log in and then choose Go to My Titles in the upper right corner

Choose “Add a Title”

This opens a new page where you need to enter your title, list price, publication date, publisher, and contributors. These are you – as the author – and then any illustrators, co-authors, etc. You are allowed up to five.

Scroll down to upload your book. B&N accept word documents, HTML, RTF and TXT files. Us the browse button to locate your file, then click Upload & Preview. (You may get warning that you have not filled in all the information, but don;t worry, we’re coming to that)

This will upload an instant preview. you can use the tabs to switch between Nook and Nook Color views. use the Prev and Next at the bottom to navigate the pages. When you’re finished use the close preview in the upper right:

If the conversion looks good, then it’s time to upload your cover. (if not, make changes to the interior file and reupload.)  Your cover image MUST be a .jpg and has to be at least 750 pixels tall, but no bigger than 2000. To upload the cover use the browse button.

The cover preview will look a little fuzzy, but it will look fine on your final page:

Now to fill out the pesky questions that caused all those crabby “errors”.  They’re pretty easy: Do you have an ISBN? Is the book part of a series? Is it available in print and, if so, how many pages is it? Is it public domain? What group is it suited for? What language is it in? Where do you have publishing rights (aka, US, IS?Canada, or World Wide) and do you want DRM protection?

Now you want to add the categories your book fits in. Click the add/edit categories button

This drops down a box, and each selection you make may open another box to the right. When you have it chosen, click the Add Category button

You can choose up to five categories for your book, though you don;t have to pick that many (I have only three). When you’re done, click Save.

Now it’s time to enter your keywords (separated by commas), your book description and your author bio. You can also enter editorial reviews if you have them.

Double check that everything is the way you want it, and then it’s time to put your title on sale! Check mark the box to confirm that you own the work and hit “Put on Sale”

And that’s it! Now you just need to wait 24 – 72 hours for your book to become available through B&N.

On a side note, there was a rumor that Barnes & Noble promotes books published through pubit over those through Smashwords, so i have done some experimenting.

I published Ties of Blood directly through PubIt because, at the time,  Smashwords was having trouble getting books out to them and I had some Nook readers who wanted to read it. Though the advice was to remove the Nook version as soon as the Smashwords version showed up, I’ve left both to see what happened.  As you can see on the listing page, the smashwords version has the priority listing and you have to use the + NOOK book button to even get the PubIt published version:

This might have to do with the fact that Smashwords has an older Publication date.  When it comes to slaes it stands thus:

PubIt edition all time: 4 (all were sold before the smashwords version cleared)

Smashwords edition (through B&N for December only): 31

So, it’s safe to say that in this case that B&N isn’t pushing the pubit version over the smashwords. Whether it happens to other people I can’t say.

 

Categories: Barnes & Noble store, Publishing Basics, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , ,

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