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Have a new book by tomorrow!

Posted by Brian Jud on May 18, 2015 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

You don’t have to write a new book, just describe it differently. Tell retailers your content will help them be more profitable, Tell librarians it will help their patrons. Tell associations it can help them increase their membership. Tell corporate buyers it can help them solve a business problem. Your content will seem pertinent to them, and that can help you sell many more books. Your book is not what it is, but what it does for the buyer.


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Brian Jud is the Executive Director of APSS (www.bookapss.org) - formerly SPAN. He is also the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Brian offers commission-based sales of books to buyers in non-bookstore markets. Contact Brian at P. O. Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; (860) 675-1344; brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com twitter.com/bookmarketing

10 reasons to sell books to non-bookstore buyers

Posted by Brian Jud on May 11, 2015 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Over 500,000 ISBNs were issued last year and most of those authors want to get on bookstore shelves. The problem is, there is limited shelf space available. You may find it more profitable to find special-sales opportunities. Here are some of the benefits that could accrue from non-bookstore marketing:

1.Increased sales and revenue. Increase your sales in a marketplace larger than the bookstore market

2.Recurring revenue. Your customers may place recurring orders

3.Lower acquisition costs. Selling to an existing customer is less expensive than it is to acquire another customer

4.Lower unit costs. The greater the quantity in which you print, the lower your unit cost will be

5.Increased profitability naturally follows, since the lower your unit cost the greater your profitability at the same selling price

6.Less competition. When you make a sales call on corporate buyers you have their undivided attention

7.Less discounting. Buyers usually do not have immediate access to competitive pricing

8.Fewer returns. Most non-retail buyers do not expect to return books

9.Negotiable terms. You may increase your flexibility in negotiations since discounts are not fixed

10.Improved cash flow. Most corporations pay in 30 to 60 days

 

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Brian Jud is the Executive Director of APSS (www.bookapss.org) - formerly SPAN. He is also the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Brian offers commission-based sales of books to buyers in non-bookstore markets. Contact Brian at P. O. Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; (860) 675-1344; brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com twitter.com/bookmarketing

 

Author Education Key to Showcasing Work

Posted by Tom Chalmers on April 2, 2015 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

In my previous blog post I talked about how self-published authors need to rise to the challenge of exerting greater control over their works to ensure they maximise all potential sales and revenue streams. Judging from the response we’ve had to the recent launch of the IPR License and The Writing Bank: Write, Learn, Earn Masterclasses, especially in the licensing and marketing sessions, this certainly appears to be happening.


How to best market and showcase titles has long been a question posed by self-published and indie authors far and wide. This obviously remains a priority for the majority, which is why the IPR License platform continues to prove so popular as an additional route to reaching a wider audience and potentially generating international interest.


The relationship between marketing, sales and licensing is closer than many writers think. Having said that, for far too long licensing and rights were often words met with quizzical expressions among the writing community. Education continues to remain vital in raising this important sector’s profile and it’s up to companies operating within this field, as well as organisations such as AiA, to carry on outlining the potential benefits when and where possible.


Being a successful indie or self-published author isn’t easy. As I’ve said a number of times, individual books in this market, as well as traditional publishing fields, should be treated as their own small business. For any small business to work it has to maximise all revenue streams effectively and efficiently.


Technology can often play a big role in this process and it’s great to see that more authors of all levels are really starting to embrace advances throughout the learning, creative, marketing, licensing and distribution process. The publishing industry can often be described as slow moving and traditional but it’s those forward-thinking indie and self-published authors who are really helping to propel the market to new heights through finding the most innovative ways to showcase and ultimately sell their works. Long may it continue.

 

How You Can Come Up With More Marketing Ideas

Posted by Brian Jud on February 27, 2015 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Traditional thinking has a powerful undertow. Well-meaning friends, colleagues or even family members may discourage you from “rocking the boat.” But in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, holding steady really means falling behind. Move, evaluate, adapt, strategize and move again. Act like a professional boxer as you bob and weave, looking for weak points in your adversaries’ strategies on which to launch your competitive attack.

 

Conduct a creative-thinking session to come up with new ways to tackle the challenge you have defined. Gather two or more people in a room and start thinking. Have some fun while you are at it. Use a chalkboard, flip chart or some means to record the ideas that is in plain view of all participants. Here are the Top Ten Ways to Make Your Creative Sessions More Productive.

1. Stimulate as many responses as possible. Think quantity, not quality at this point. Do not judge any idea at the time it is offered, so people feel free to contribute. .

 

2. Ask questions beginning with "What if…?" What if you condensed the information in your book and made a series of booklets? What if you sold your book as a premium to corporations? .

 

3. Ask questions in a way that will stimulate multiple responses. If you say, "Where else can we sell this book?" then the first plausible idea will answer the question. Instead, ask, "In how many other markets can we sell this book?" This will generate other possible solutions such as discount stores, government agencies, book clubs or academic markets.

 

4. Think about your ultimate consumers. Where do they seek the information in your book? In libraries? Then sell your books to librarians. Are your titles of interest to business travelers? Then sell your books in hotel gift shops or airport stores. Do they buy through catalogs? Then there is where your books should be. In how many ways can you make your books more accessible to prospective buyers?

 

5. Take a broader view of your potential. The video program You’re On The Air trains authors to create and perform on television and radio shows. It also helped train civil engineers to perform on the air when they were called upon to do so as the local expert. How many other people can utilize the information in your books?

 

6. Stop selling your books. Start selling the benefits that people receive from buying your books. Retail-store managers want increased traffic and profits. Demonstrate how your promotional efforts will drive people into their store. Librarians are not profit driven, but they want to help their patrons. What do your customers need and how can you help them meet their needs?

 

7. Emulate successful people. When you hit a mental block, think about what others have done to sell millions of books. What would Patricia Cornwell, Malcolm Gladwell or John Grisham do in your situation?

 

8. Break the rules. Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield were told that a book of short, emotional, feel-good stories would never sell. Their Chicken Soup for the Soul series has sold over 100 million copies. What obstacles are in your path, and how can they be removed or sidestepped?

 

9. Just do something. When one author was asked how to be creative, he replied, "It’s simple, you just take something and do something to it. Then you do something else to it. Pretty soon you’ve got something."

 

10. Use manipulation verbs to force you to think from a different perspective. How can you expand, combine, reduce or adapt your content?

 

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Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN) and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com and twitter @bookmarketing

 

 

Self-published authors increasingly in control of their rights

Posted by Tom Chalmers on February 16, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

In the publishing industry the world revolves around numbers, especially when it comes to sales. Last summer, data from Neilson Book suggested that self-published books' share of the UK market grew by 79 per cent in 2013, with 18 million self-published books bought by UK readers, worth in the regions £59 million.


Despite these impressive figures it’s evident that self-published books still account for only a tiny proportion of the overall market. On a plus note this percentage is on the rise. With sales numbers still firmly in mind it was encouraging to see a recent report that self-published author Sheila Rodgers has sold a million copies of her e-book Only the Innocent and its two sequels. Writing under the pen name of Rachel Abbott, she sold her books through Amazon Kindle after previously being rejected by a number of literary agents.


An interesting point to note on this particular story is that despite having a deal with an American publisher for her first two books, she decided to part ways when the publisher wanted world English rights for the third book as she thought she could sell enough independently.


It’s great to see someone of such stature acknowledging the importance of the rights they hold to their work and having the foresight to appreciate the full value attached to them. Of course this is an example of a self-published author with an established readership but that doesn’t mean to say that authors with fewer sales should be thinking any less about exerting greater control over their rights to ensure that they are maximising all potential sales and revenue streams. In essence, applying the same principles as those demonstrated by a traditional publisher.


The parallels between the self-published and traditionally published marketplaces are closing fast. The quality of writing is one element which appeared to be one of the larger gulfs in previous times, although this also appears to be narrowing. We are now seeing more emphasis on strong characters and exciting book series from this author community and with this being a growing perception of the kind of works being produced. And with larger readership numbers comes an even greater need to ascertain more control, especially concerning an often previously ignored component in the writing journey - rights and licensing.

 

Ten more book-marketing tips

Posted by Brian Jud on February 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Here are ten more book-marketing tips that may help you sell more books profitably.

 

1. A fundamental rule of marketing is to find a need and fill it.

2. Given the choice, it’s better to be effective (doing the right things) rather than efficient (doing things right)

3. Publishing books is like tending a garden. Plant the seeds, nurture them and watch them grow. But if not properly treated, they can die

4. A title can falter if you become complacent with business as usual and allow routine activities to become habitual

5. All motion is not forward; all change is not positive.

6. Stop worrying about managing your time and think in terms of utilizing your available time effectively

7. Find balance. Business excellence and individual fulfillment need not be at odds.

8. The first question to ask a prospective buyer is, “Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”

9. Market in all directions: Up (distributors, readers), down (suppliers) and across (bookstores and non-bookstore buyers)

10. People buy for rational and emotional reasons. Market to the head (price, size, form) and heart (benefits, value)

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Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant. He is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN). Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.bookmarketingworks.com and follow him on twitter @bookmarketing

 

Ten Book-Marketing Tips

Posted by Brian Jud on February 7, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Here are ten of my tweets from this week that may help you sell more books profitably. If you would like to follow me on Twitter, please do at @bookmarketing

 

1. Ditch the pitch – if it’s canned. Customize your presentation material to each prospect.

 

2. When is the best time to start marketing your book? Now.

 

3. What is your motivation? Mavis Cheek said, “Authors with a mortgage never get writer's block.”

 

4. “Without struggle, there can be no progress,” said Frederick Douglass

 

5. If you cannot control an outcome, respond in a calm and intelligent manner, adapting as you proceed

 

6. Some promotional tools are better suited to different titles, markets and personalities. Use the correct mix for your circumstances.

 

7. Marketing strategy is deciding which titles to publish when, and how you will package, price, distribute, promote them

 

8. Don’t get your exercise by jumping to conclusions.

 

9. Be competitive. Deliver greater value to your customers or create comparable value at lower cost, or do both.

 

10. Good enough is rarely good enough


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Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant. He is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN). Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.bookmarketingworks.com and follow him on twitter @bookmarketing

 


 

How to Get the Most from a Consulting Relationship

Posted by Brian Jud on February 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The most expensive part of book publishing and marketing is a costly mistake. You can avoid some errors through experience, which in itself can be costly. Or, you can hire a coach (consultant, advisor or mentor) to steer you through the marketing maze and minimize slip-ups that can have significant impact on your budget.

 

Those who seek advice and those of us who give it can work together to solve your marketing problems. However, a coaching relationship is not a one-and-done transaction, a singular event with the dispensing and accepting of wisdom. It is best utilized as a collaborative process, a mutual striving to better understand your unique challenges and craft the best path forward. This process has five stages.

 

1. Understand the desired outcome and form the relationship. Once you know what you want to accomplish, find the coach best qualified to help. If each side understands the vantage point, qualifications and positions of the other, the outcome is usually more successful. As the advice seeker you may want someone to…

a. serve as a sounding board to get a better grasp on an existing situation. The advisor’s task is to ask questions that guide you to your own conclusions.

b. be a “Devil’s Advocate,” to test the validity of an existing decision, such as selling only through bookstores and/or Amazon.com. The advisor should offer alternative solutions or hypothetical situations against which to test your hypotheses.

c. look at the bigger picture, expanding the frame of reference. Your advisor could share experiences and similar situations of those who ventured into non-bookstore markets successfully with content similar to yours.

d. provide guidance on how to address a high-stakes situation, such as printing a large initial quantity of books. The consultant should help you examine the pros and cons of the potential decision and offer the same for alternative actions.

e. increase the list of options under consideration. Your coach should be adept at conducting a creative brainstorming session to stimulate thinking and generate additional possibilities.

 

2. Meet with your chosen coach and open the lines of communication. In my consulting experience, many authors and publishers come to me seeking validation for their pre-existing opinions. They begin by framing the situation in a way that supports their position. Instead, the seeker should convey enough information for the coach to grasp the basics. Provide pertinent information objectively so your mentor can act in an appropriate, unbiased way to meet your objective.

 

As the advisor, listen attentively and keep the seeker on the right informational path. Allow the facts to come out, asking questions that will help you both better understand the background. The stated problem may only be a symptom of an underlying issue. Do not be too quick to provide what you think is a solution, because most likely you do not have sufficient information upon which to base a conclusion. Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.

 

3. Create alternatives. Once the groundwork is done, begin the consultation. This may not occur until the second or third meeting. The advisor takes the lead at this point, playing Devil’s Advocate, offering alternative solutions or conducting the brainstorming session.

 

The job of the advice seeker is to maintain an open mind, analyzing and internalizing the options as they appear. This is not to suggest it is a one-directional outpouring. Both sides have the responsibility to participate and not respond defensively to challenges to one’s position.

 

4. Make a decision. The consulting process is not open ended. The objective is to create a viable solution regardless of how much the best alternative challenges your preconceived opinions. Ask incisive questions to expose the rationale behind the preferred alternative until you are satisfied that it is the best way to proceed.

 

Although the ultimate decision belongs to the advice seeker, the coach should understand the extent to which the client is comfortable with the outcome. Inquire into any hesitancy or lingering doubts. Help your client understand the sequence of steps and all that is required to implement the resolution.

 

5. Take action. Once you have all the information you need, act on the advice you have been given. Make adjustments as you proceed. You are not on a fixed course, and your consultant has not abandoned you. Your future is conditional and transitory, viewed as an evolving cycle of action, evaluation, reassessment and new action. Arrange follow-up meetings to keep the implementation on track.

 

Clients want to quickly know how to proceed, but that path is determined first by an understanding of why the action should be performed. Uncovering the thought behind the action is the function of the advisor. When advice seekers and purveyors comprehend this process, they can create a mutually satisfying, long-term, professional and productive relationship.

 

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Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant. He is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN). Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.bookmarketingworks.com and follow him on twitter @bookmarketing

 

 

 

Ten Short Tips For Selling More Books

Posted by Brian Jud on January 30, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 

1. Selling to corp buyers is simple (not easy). Find the right buyers, then contact them with a message that is unique and important to them

 

2. When builders build, they have a plan to get it done properly, sequentially and on a strong foundation. Do the same for your book.

 

3. Trust your intuition. The voices in your head may not be real, but they usually have some good ideas

 

4. Too many potential buyers? That may be worse than not having enough. Qualify and prioritize them; spend your time calling on the top prospects

 

5. Network in person, not just online. Everyone you ever meet knows something you don’t. And you know something they don’t.

 

6. If you want to do something you'll find a way. If not you'll find an excuse. Find a way.

 

7. Don’t try to replicate what successful people do now. Do what they did when they were at your stage.

 

8. How far are you from your goal? One idea.

 

9. There are five characteristics of a good sales proposal: it should be teachable, manageable, fixable, replicatable and scalable

 

10. Research in each segment to find out what prospective customers want. Then give them what they want.


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Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN) and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com and twitter @bookmarketing

 


 

Ten Quick Book-Marketing Tips

Posted by Brian Jud on January 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Here are ten quick tips that may help you sell more books profitably.

 

 

1. Define yourself as a content provider rather than a book publisher – that opens new revenue streams

 

 

2. When deciding how to publish your content, remember that form follows function

 

 

3. Some thought Goliath was too big to hit. David thought he was too big to miss. Non-bookstore marketing is a Goliath opportunity - don't miss it

 

 

4. There are five characteristics of a good sales proposal: it should be teachable, manageable, fixable, replicatable and scalable.

 

 

5. When on the air, answer questions in a way that gets your info across. Play Jeopardy. “Here is the answer. What was the question?”

 

 

6. Grow your business by creating product-line extensions such as a calendar, plush toys or party game based on your title

 

 

7. Build multiple streams of revenue from book sales, speaking, consulting, seminars, etc

 

 

8. Publishers perform marketing backwards if they accept a manuscript, produce the book and then seek a market for it

 

 

9. When talking with prospects you are not an author or publisher. You are a consultant helping them solve a business problem. Act that way.

 

 

10. A question (How much is your book?) is not an objection (That’s too high). Answer a question w/o being defensive. Respond to objections

 

 

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Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN) and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com and twitter @bookmarketing