The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “Indies Unlimited”

Getting ready for a successful book fair

The warm-weather months are upon us, and this often means book festivals, book fairs, conferences, and other events. So, this seemed like as good a time as any to offer some tips on what authors need when selling their books at events. While events vary, the basic needs tend to be pretty similar.

via Tips to Help Authors Make their Festival/Events a Success ‹ Indies Unlimited ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

If you haven’t attended a book fair as an author with books to sign and sell, R. J. Crayton at Indies Unlimited has compiled a list of everything you need to take with you.

Selling books at a festival begins with being seen and ends with your signing a lot of books. There’s a bit of art to this, and that means setting up your booth or table to attract attention and make transactions with readers friendly and easy to accomplish.

–Malcolm

Promotions: What Type to Use When

“As indie authors, we have a wealth of types of marketing and promotional opportunities available to us. However, some types aren’t as effective as others, and some are more effective when you’re farther along in your career. As a newbie, where should you concentrate your efforts? As a more seasoned indie, what will boost you to the next level of visibility and sales?

“Here’s one list, together with our recommendations for when best to employ each type. Some are free; some, not so much. I’ve included a $ next to the ones that will cost you money.”

via Promotions: What Type to Use When – Indies Unlimited

Authors constantly debate which promotion strategies really work. Sometimes, those with high acclaim seem to have worn themselves out before most of us find them.

A lot of Indie authors are reporting that sales are down. Some blame a change in Amazon algorithms which purportedly favor the higher priced books from large mainstream presses over the modestly priced books that are self-published or that come from small presses.

Lynne Cantwell has done a great job compiling a list of strategies to try. Regardless of whether (or if) Amazon is tweaking its site to make more off the higher priced books, we still need to get the word out–and, perhaps, raise our prices.

Malcolm

You want your book to sell, right?

“Whether you design your own book exterior and interior or are working with a professional, here are a few precepts that will guide you towards a better product, and thus more sales.

“Lesson Number One: Think of the Reader’s Experience”

Source: Design Your Book to Sell – Indies Unlimited

Gordon Long brings us a quick list of steps we must take to convert “my manuscript” into “the reader’s book.”

Yes, it’s been mine for a while, my words, my muse, my drafts and revisions, but once it gets on the shelf and/or on Amazon’s website. it’s no longer just “mine.” It’s a story told for the reader, a writing prompt for his or her imagination.

But first, s/he has to pick it up. With the advice in this Indies Unlimited post, you can make sure that happens.

–Malcolm

Moving Print Book Files from CreateSpace to IngramSpark

A couple of years ago Lynne Cantwell gave a great overview of three of the most popular choices for paperback distribution: CreateSpace, Lulu, and IngramSpark. As Lynne explained, while all three have benefits, IngramSpark, owned by Ingram Content Group, “has the most robust distribution chain of any of the three POD services, as its parent…

via Moving Print Book Files from CreateSpace to IngramSpark — Indies Unlimited

This is a practical consideration for everyone who currently relies on CreateSpace. The alternative just might help you get a much better deal. Plus, not having returnable books is a big reason why most small press and self-published books are not in bookstores, a benefit IngramSpark allows.

–Malcolm

Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

“Amazon recently made some changes to their pre-order process that give authors more flexibility. Back in 2014, in what was considered a great leap forward foward self-published authors, Amazon provided the ability to offer books for pre-order.”

Source: Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility – Indies Unlimited

Now, author R. J. Crayton tells us that changes in the system will make the service even easier to use. I like having the ability to due pre-orders as my publication dates draw near.

–Malcolm

 

Aren’t you supposed to be writing right now?

Ernest Mendozza begins his Indies Unlimited post “Essential Apps for Procrastinating Writers” with a paragraph that attracted my attention because I am supposed to be writing right now rather than reading his post and creating a new post of my own to talk about his post. Here’s how he begins:

Someone once said, “Being a good writer is 3% talent 97% not being distracted by the internet.” Ain’t that the truth. Just while writing this introductory paragraph, I’ve checked my email three times, changed the music twice, and went to see when the next episode of Mr. Robot airs. And that’s not counting my Twitter habit.

He offers some advice and an application that just might help.

You know, when we work for somebody else, we’re expected to work during working hours. When we work for ourselves–as writers usually do–it’s easy to justify everything else but the actual work. No wonder nothing is getting done. Check out his post and see what you think.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “At Sea,” “The Sun Singer,” Sarbande,” “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire” and a batch of Kindle short stories.

 

InstaFreebie Offers Authors a Chance to Build Mailing Lists, Find Fans

“Back in August, I started hearing authors talk about a site called InstaFreebie, where you could give away a free copy of your book in exchange for recipients signing up for your mailing list. Both Jim Devitt and Shawn Inmon have discussed the importance of mailing lists. Authors on different online groups said they’d scored upwards of a thousand names added to their lists using InstaFreebie.”

Source: InstaFreebie Offers Authors a Chance to Build Mailing Lists, Find Fans – Indies Unlimited

Author R. J. Clayton has found a great site for us to explore. Why? Because sometimes establishing a mailing list is like pulling teeth. So how about a little incentive?

Worth a look, and perhaps a tryout, I’m thinking.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism novels.

 

Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover

“I’m constantly looking at book covers as part of my “job” here at Indies Unlimited. On top of that, I run into authors posting their covers in groups all the time, asking for input. So I see a LOT of covers. And most of them all have the same issues.”

Source: Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover – Indies Unlimited

Like K. S. Brooks, I wonder why we see the same nasty issues causing horrible book covers when there are so many of us pointing out why those book covers are horrible: like dark type on a dark background or light type on a light background.

She may have a good idea. Since some authors aren’t following any of this advice, maybe the thing to do is right a post that suggests doing all the wrong things in hopes that fractious, roll-your-own-disastrous book cover will stubbornly go out and do the opposite things.

You might want to show this post to the usual suspects on your Facebook friends list.

My brother, who’s an artist and who’s taught art at the college level, once told me that unlike other prospective talents, our ability to draw or paint gets stuck at a grade school level because the schools don’t teach much art. So why are we doing our own covers?

–Malcolm

YouTube and Amazon: Gain Exposure by Using Both

“It’s becoming evident that newsletters are a valuable tool for authors to have. Shawn Inmon recently discussed the importance of newsletters, and one of the things he said was, ‘The reason why is simple: You control how and when you access a mailing list, as opposed to investing everything into working the Amazon or social media algorithms.’ That really resonated with me, so I decided it was time for me to take his advice seriously.”

Source: YouTube and Amazon: Gain Exposure by Using Both – Indies Unlimited

As with everything else in the business–that of writing and marketing books–there seem to be so many variables about what works and what doesn’t. In this Indies Unlimited article, Melinda Clayton has found a couple of variables that work for those of us trying to get a newsletter started with more than our spouse and uncle Zeke on the mailing list.

–Malcolm

Indie Author Day and Your Public Library

“Melissa Bowersock recently told us about October 8th, the inaugural Indie Author Day across the US and Canada. She suggested you look here to see if your library is participating. If your library isn’t listed, you can click on the “Let us know” button to nominate your library, then give your local library a friendly call to explain the event, and ask if they’d be interested in participating.”

Source: Indie Author Day and Your Public Library – Indies Unlimited

So many authors have been burnt by various fairs and workshops where nobody showed up to buy their books, it’s nice reading an example of a library authors’ that worked.

It takes great promotion and a great idea for what will happen during the day to make it work. This example by author Melinda Clayton had both going for it.

–Malcolm

Post Navigation