Createspace Versus Lightning Source

For self-publishers, choosing between Amazon's Createspace print on demand service, and Ingram's Ingram Spark/Lightning Source service can be difficult. Both services have their pluses and drawbacks. For fence-sitters, here's an article that argues uploading to both services is a good idea. An author client recently indicated this approach was working well for him, and we'd be happy to hear opinions either was other print on demand using authors.

The Rise and Rise of Indie Authors

The Author Earnings website has worked hard at 'scraping' data from Amazon's various sites to provide unprecedented detail on sales data. As Amazon now represents close to a majority of print titles sold, knowing what is being sold and by whom is very interesting indeed. The data shows that independent authors represent a large and rapidly growing fraction of book sales on Amazon. There is also ample evidence that having a book listed on the Amazon bestseller lists provides a substantial boost to non-listed titles from the same author. Overall, Author Earnings claim that they identified over 9,000 authors earning more than USD $10,000 per year, and half of that number were earning over USD $20,000 per year. Read the whole report, which goes into much greater detail.

Useful Resources for Australian Authors

The Australian Society of Authors maintains a very useful collection of documents for Australian authors. Some of them are free, others free for their members. Titles include: The Author as Producer, the Author as Brand, Copying payments to authors, Getting Published, Getting Started for Book Illustrators, Ghostwriting Agreement & Contact List, Guidelines to Permissions, Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing, Literary Agent and Author Agreement, Literary Competition Guidelines, Paying for publication and so on. See also the vast collection of resources at the Arts Law Centre's website

 

If You Build It, They Might Not Come — Promotional Realities Part 2

Guest Post by Jo Ettles

Social media
I love social media and it has worked well for me. There are so many options though, so my best advice is pick one or two social media platforms and then do them really well. I use Facebook and Twitter only.

Facebook – I have a personal Facebook account but I keep this for family and friends and a few colleagues that I have connected with. Off to the side of my personal account, I have a business/ author page which I post on daily.  Because I write self- help books, I post quotes and tips, wellness information that I hope will encourage people to take action towards having a better day.  To me, it is fantastic a way to instantly connect with people and it also reflects the way I write.  

I have used Facebook adds as a way of selling books, and I have had good results. If you are not familiar with marketing using Facebook advertising, the guidelines are strict and you need to be mindful on how to do it well to make it work.  It is trial and error and maybe that is another post down the track if anyone wants to know more about that as a way to market their books.

Twitter
You can actually connect your Facebook page to Twitter and when you post on Facebook, it automatically reposts it on Twitter- killing 2 birds with one stone (no pun intended!!!). Twitter is a phenomenal way to connect with the world.  I once connected with two amazing coaches in London via Twitter and I sent them a copy of my first book. When they received it, they took a photo of it and then shared the photo and some information about my book with all of their followers. It definitely generated interest in my work and resulted in an increase in sales.

Here is another way to look at Twitter. If you follow someone on Twitter, they automatically receive notification via email that you are following them. It is a perfect way to connect and introduce yourself to all sorts of amazing people who might want to follow you, connect with you and even share your work.

Review copies   
When my first book was released, I had a publicist that actually got me a few radio interviews and a couple of good reviews in magazines. For my latest book, I have no publicist. I am my own publicist! 

I wrote my own press release and sent a copy of my latest book to a few media publications. So far, I have had a few radio interviews, a great full page write up in a newspaper magazine and it is early days. I have only just started doing this.

I don’t have any real influential media connections so this method is a bit hit and miss for me, but I have nothing to lose. I think if you want to really get your work out there, be fearless. What is the worst thing that can happen?  They don’t respond?  Take a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

Send review copies to journalists in your local paper or any papers and magazines for that matter. There is a great website called Sourcebottle and it is a free online service that connects journalists with sources so if you sign up, you get daily emails of upcoming opportunities to quote or feature in stories. I have found a couple of great opportunities via this website to promote myself and my books.