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  1. #496
    Compulsive Writer MLSawyer's Avatar
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    a marketing thought...

    Since I've been competing in the FF contests, I've been enjoying myself quite a lot. It gave me an idea for marketing.

    1. contact your local school and offer to hold a FF contest for their students, winner gets a signed book. (will work better if you can also get a book store involved that will offer a voucher to the winner). Such a contest can also be announced during a talk to the kids if you're prepared to do that... talking to kids can be challenging if you're not a public speaker and if you're not prepared to have a few of them ignore you, mock you... whatever kids do nowadays.

    2. Contest is announced in the school newsletter (with links to your website and so on), also try to get it in the local newspaper (they like good news stories about local authors usually)

    3. Read a lot of stories (it's not as bad as it sounds), choose a winner, present the book to the winner at the book store where you can do some signings, take photos (maybe another newspaper article)....

    Pros: Exposure, good word of mouth since you're donating your time, you could possibly change some young kids life...

    Cons: Costs time, a book, work...

    I just went through this process at my old Highschool (without the book store as the one in my home town just closed down ) but just thoguht I'd offer it out there. I gained a few twitter followers, website clicks and a couple of book sales (did this at the local library)...

    Thought I'd add it to the post...

  2. #497
    Red Dobbs Red Dobbs's Avatar
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    I have pro editors in my family, and a graphic designer...the book was almost in book form with a cover and everything when my mother passed away. She left me just enough to try to make a difference in my life, by publishing my book. Then I didn't realize what people think of the self published. Here I go thinking again, I thought I was being smart with the small amount she left me. But it is hard down here on the bottom, but I don't intend to give up that easily. I am a fighter, and I have friends in 5 different countries now...that has to help me some how. Still waiting for my 1st quarter sales, but I don't think that I am doing to badly. Hope you are fighting right along with me!

  3. #498
    Registered User Andrez's Avatar
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    Definitive food for thought all round.

    Thanks for the school insight, MLSawyer, and a great idea.

    My problem is I live in Japan, so getting a captive audience that actually reads English fluently enough to tackle a novel is a tough call!

  4. #499
    Red Dobbs Red Dobbs's Avatar
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    great idea MLSawyer. My HS bought my book for their library, but I never thought of a contest there!

  5. #500
    We Read for Light Window Bar's Avatar
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    Amazon Kindle, Free Book Avalanche

    Imagine my surprise when I took a look at my Amazon download figures this morning and saw 892 downloads overnight (and mounting quickly; it could easily run into the thousands today).

    Riches? Nope. They were all free... a big let-down... kind of.

    I've had a free download special running on Smashwords for awhile, and beginning at 10:00pm last night, Amazon began matching the freebie specials that independent authors have established with other vendors.

    Rather than getting grumbly about it, I'm trying to see the upside: This will mean a large multiple of extra readers and therefore more buzz and more reviews. Some will no doubt be negative, but some will be positive.

    Anyway, to all you other indies: Give this approach some thought. I've kind of stumbled into it, but it feels right.

    "It doesn't matter what you say, just spell my name right."

    --WB

  6. #501
    Registered User Andrez's Avatar
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    Well done, Window Bar - and I do believe giving stuff out for free is beneficial in the long run; kind of a karma thing. Great idea!

  7. #502
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Window Bar View Post
    Imagine my surprise when I took a look at my Amazon download figures this morning and saw 892 downloads overnight (and mounting quickly; it could easily run into the thousands today).

    Riches? Nope. They were all free... a big let-down... kind of.

    I've had a free download special running on Smashwords for awhile, and beginning at 10:00pm last night, Amazon began matching the freebie specials that independent authors have established with other vendors.

    Rather than getting grumbly about it, I'm trying to see the upside: This will mean a large multiple of extra readers and therefore more buzz and more reviews. Some will no doubt be negative, but some will be positive.

    Anyway, to all you other indies: Give this approach some thought. I've kind of stumbled into it, but it feels right.

    "It doesn't matter what you say, just spell my name right."

    --WB
    So wait, Amazon just made your book free without asking you? I think the lesson here is that if you want to do a free giveaway, you will be putting yourself in the middle of the electronics war that is currently going on between these various companies. So do it carefully, if you're doing it.

  8. #503
    We Read for Light Window Bar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    So wait, Amazon just made your book free without asking you? I think the lesson here is that if you want to do a free giveaway, you will be putting yourself in the middle of the electronics war that is currently going on between these various companies. So do it carefully, if you're doing it.
    It's enigmatic. Amazon's contract is very clear on the subject of promotions: Authors may do all the discounting they want, but Amazon reserves the right to match the best offers that are out there. Of course it would be great to be able to pick and choose exactly which retailers are allowed to do discounting, but I don't expect to see that happening.

    Right now, I'm just happy for this bit of temporary energy: 4100 in the last 34 hours. The regret, of course, is that my next title is probably 6 months away, so the boost is somewhat ephemeral.

    Your point, then, is well-taken. It's a mistake to go gratis anywhere unless there's a specific purpose to be achieved; the best, of course, is if one has other titles in cyberland.

    --WB

  9. #504
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    It's the cost of working with companies like Amazon that doesn't get talked about much. On the bright side -- readers! On the down side, the percentage effect will probably be fairly small, at least to start.

  10. #505
    We Read for Light Window Bar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    It's the cost of working with companies like Amazon that doesn't get talked about much. On the bright side -- readers! On the down side, the percentage effect will probably be fairly small, at least to start.
    On indie eBooks only, Amazon pays 35% royalty for books under $3. They pay 70% for books priced between $3 and $10. From there upward, I don't know. Their categorization and cross-referencing is probably the best in the business, so readers do find one's books. They have, in fact, been a fairly dependable outlet.

    (Of course while I'm on their freebie list, 35% of free ain't much).

    The "cost" of large corporations is not to the author, it's to small retailers such as our marvelous hometown bookstore.

    -- WB

  11. #506
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well, what's kind of interesting is that a lot of the small retailers are doing very well right now, acting as kind of a combo of community arts center bookstore and online shippers. Your local bookstore might want to look into what some of the independents across the country are doing right now. Amazon used to own online retailing and of course they had 90% of the e-book market initially. But now we have a much wider range of online bookselling and Amazon's share of e-book markets has dropped to about 60%. The tablet computers are overtaking specialized e-readers. But Amazon is developing a Kindle tablet, which makes sense.

    Amazon has definitely given a big boost to small presses and self-publishers. But it extracts very firm and often exclusive conditions because small presses and self-publishers have little leverage. That's not the worst thing in the world, but it's important for self-publishers especially to really read the terms of the contract and understand what Amazon is allowed to do in the deal.

    Another interesting development that may be occurring -- Borders in the States is in bankruptcy, and it may be planning to get rid of its category sections in fiction, creating just one large general fiction section. This may have an effect on promotional efforts for authors, and it may effect small SFF presses, shutting them completely out of the chain. But then again, if Borders gets bought up or just fully goes under, it may not matter.

  12. #507
    Peckish hippokrene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    So wait, Amazon just made your book free without asking you?
    Yeah, I was sort of horrified when I read that. Self-publishing is about getting more control over your work, not less.

  13. #508
    Registered User Andrez's Avatar
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    Exactly, hippokrene. But interesting food for thought here from KatG and Window Bar... cheers.

  14. #509
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    Yeah, I was sort of horrified when I read that. Self-publishing is about getting more control over your work, not less.
    Well no, it's not. Authors working with publishers have control over their work's content. Where they don't have control is over the things that the publisher is laying out money for as their partner -- production, covers, pricing, distribution, and what promotion the publisher will do. A self-published author is not partnering with a publisher and therefore has to partner with printer/producers and distributors/sellers (which may be the same company, such as Amazon.) But these companies are not investing in the author and outlaying costs, like a publisher. And since the self-publisher only has one title to offer as opposed to many authors, and since the self-publisher cannot do the co-financed promotions, returns policy, etc. that publishers can, the self-publisher usually has to agree to the terms of these companies to get access to their platforms and sales venues, plus may need to pay fees.

    Self-publishing is a different way of working and involves different sorts of business deals, so an author who is self-publishing needs to understand those business deals he's making.

  15. #510
    Was: "Virangelus" A. Lynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Self-publishing is a different way of working and involves different sorts of business deals, so an author who is self-publishing needs to understand those business deals he's making.
    I am curious KatG, if someone has ever switched from Self-Published to Traditional House with the same book, and then perhaps back again or visa versa.

    Or do traditional houses stay away from books once they have been self-published?

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