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Digital and Self-Publishing are now Profitable Words

Posted by Tom Chalmers on April 11, 2016 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Digital and self-publishing were once words often be disregarded by some quarters of the publishing industry, questioned by others and looked upon as being the future by a few. Since then they have continued to raise as many questions as answers in terms of how to get the best out of them, but what is clear is how they have grown in prominence to become key words within the publishing world.


The current self-published e-book market is clearly in a period of quite sustained growth. At the recent Nielsen BookInsights Conference Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book UK, noted that sales of self-published e-books rose from 16% of the e-book market by volume in 2014 to over a fifth of the market (22%) in 2015. Although the overall price paid for e-books was said to have fallen by around 1% in 2015, self-published titles were still thought to be, on average, roughly half the price of mainstream publishers’ e-book titles.


Focusing more on the e-book market, data taken from the Nielsen Books & Consumers UK survey showed that sales in the UK grew by 5% in volume in 2015. This is a positive figure but does highlight a lower growth rate than in 2013 and 2014, leading to the e-book share of books rising only marginally last year by 1% to 27% of the market from 26% in 2014. There is some evidence to suggest that this increase, in part, could be due to a rise in the purchasing of Amazon/self-published titles. This is especially apparent when you take into account the fact that e-book sales from mainstream publishers was slightly down on 2014 figures.


It’s obvious that success in self-publishing – print, e-book or both - is much more than just being able to write. In the modern publishing arena getting your work out there is easier than it’s ever been. The plethora of self-publishing companies and portals life make the process simple and relatively inexpensive.


But the big question remains - how to make all this hard work profitable? Whether digital or in print it takes hard work and the exploration of all potential avenues to generate decent levels of revenue. Of course rights and licensing will continue to play an important role in this and with the digital sector developing at such a rapid pace it’s clear that these can work hand in hand to break down more sales boundaries on a domestic and international level now and in the near future.

 

Copyright and IP: protecting your most rights

Posted by Tom Chalmers on February 3, 2016 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (1)

If you’re a self-published author it’s vital to fully understand all facets of your intellectual property (IP), including copyright.


There are many, often long-winded, explanations surrounding copyright so let’s keep it as succinct as possible.


It is the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.


Seems straightforward enough, but how do you get copyright for your work?


Copyright is automatically granted to your work once it's written - it's wise to show you're aware of copyright by including © Your Name (Year of Completion) at the beginning of your manuscript but otherwise you don't need to do anything.


Having said that, in the digital age copyright infringement is an ever growing problem. If you register your copyright with IPR License, we will store the full manuscript for you and provide a unique reference code and a record of the day you uploaded it.


We also strongly recommend that you mark your work with a steganographic identifier (a digital watermark). For digital works, you should embed metadata to help identify the work as yours. It’s also a good idea, if possible, to keep copies of work in progress, so that you can show how you developed your work and when, if you ever need to.


And, if you’re not necessarily the creator of everything in your book and have used additional content then it’s as important to realise the permission process required from copyright owners or licensees of this content. Meaning you need to fully protect yourself in terms of your own content as well as if using other’s.


This is a very rudimentary overview of what can often be perceived as a somewhat dry topic but the bottom line is that this will help protect your creative content and enhance your chances of boosting revenue streams and readership.


For example, a paperback book is just one product out of the vast universe of the IP that you own – hardback another, ebook another, audiobook yet another. And that is even before thinking about translations, new formats, media rights, permissions to quote from your work etc. You can happily keep on selling the book you have had printed while still having an ocean of IP left to license and monetise. There are opportunities out there, as long as you ensure the basics are taken care of and if done so this will ensure that you are in the best position to profit from your work.


If you’d like to know more about copyright or how to maximise the rights and licensing potential attached to your IP then why not drop us a line at info@iprlicense.com. We’d be happy to help!

 

How to Win Friends and Influence Buyers

Posted by Brian Jud on July 16, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)
The 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” has sold over 15 million copies and still ranks in the top 100 Amazon best sellers regularly. Why? Because its content is timeless. For example, here are six things to make people like you (and all can be applied to selling your book): 1) Become genuinely interested in other people, 2) Smile, 3) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound, 4) Be a good listener, 5) Talk in terms of other people’s interests, and 6) Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

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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

How to Win Friends and Influence Buyers

Posted by Brian Jud on July 16, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” has sold over 15 million copies and still ranks in the top 100 Amazon best sellers regularly. Why? Because its content is timeless. For example, here are six things to make people like you (and all can be applied to selling your book): 1) Become genuinely interested in other people, 2) Smile, 3) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound, 4) Be a good listener, 5) Talk in terms of other people’s interests, and 6) Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

How to Win Friends and Influence Buyers

Posted by Brian Jud on July 16, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” has sold over 15 million copies and still ranks in the top 100 Amazon best sellers regularly. Why? Because its content is timeless. For example, here are six things to make people like you (and all can be applied to selling your book): 1) Become genuinely interested in other people, 2) Smile, 3) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound, 4) Be a good listener, 5) Talk in terms of other people’s interests, and 6) Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

JK Rowling says to learn from your mistakes

Posted by Brian Jud on July 8, 2015 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

JK Rowling was divorced, jobless, a single parent and almost homeless. But she had an old typewriter and a big idea. You know what happened next. But there was an interesting comment she made about her situation. She said, “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.” (Readers Digest, June 2015, p 21)

Don???t Believe Everything You Think

Posted by Brian Jud on July 1, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Our past experiences skew the ways in which we make judgments and decisions. However, our experiences are the result of how we interpreted an event or circumstance. Further complicating the decision process is that our analysis is distorted by our biases and the result may or may not have had anything to do with the reality of the situation. Here are the Top Ten Ways to Learn From Mistakes.

 

1. Publishers are outcome oriented – a book was a success or it wasn’t – and we laud our successes and ignore the failures. A better technique is to analyze the process leading to the result. A good outcome can lead us to stick with a questionable strategy that worked this time, and a bad outcome can cause us to change or discard a strategy that may actually be better, except for this time.

2. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we may be fooled into thinking we have more control over our success than we actually do.

3. Honest feedback is essential for making better decisions in the future. But if our intuition is distorted by our interpretation of our past (good or bad) we may sabotage how we evaluate evidence.

4. Predictions based on experience make the assumption that the future will resemble the past.

5. Just because something is obvious after the fact doesn’t mean it could have been predicted.

6. Recognizing a potential problem requires a different approach than solving an actual problem.

7. The goal of learning should dominate the natural tendency to assign blame – on yourself or others.

8. “Creative conflict” enhances decision-making. It is better to learn about problems from colleagues when there is still time to fix them than from the market when it is too late.

9. Perform a premortem (vs. postmortem) by imaging yourself in the future and experiencing some problem. Use “hindsight” to think about how to avoid it.

10. Focus, but not too much. If you over-evaluate a situation too much or long you may lose out on an unexpected opportunity.

 

Authors should follow the tech crowd

Posted by Tom Chalmers on June 9, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

As the founder of an online licensing platform it’s little wonder that I find myself referring to technology quite a bit. And I certainly make no excuses for it. The digital revolution continues to gather pace and those not embracing it are only being left behind in its wake.


Traditional publishing has a legacy of being somewhat slow paced and a little ponderous when it comes to thinking outside the box – for want of a less cliché cliché – when it comes to new routes to market or incorporating new ideas. However, in its defence these attitudes have improved, and more and more publishers and authors are getting to grips with technological advances.


On this note, a recent article that did capture my attention was one which focussed on how the publishing world is reaching out to readers through crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter. Since launching in 2009, Kickstarter is reported to have seen $70m pledged to projects in the site’s publishing category. But recent years have seen the number of successful books-related projects more than double, from 735 in 2011 to 2064 in 2014.


Of course the idea of testing the water and gauging initial responses to their work is nothing new for authors. A synopsis and a selected few chapters have long been used to wet the appetite of the reader, the publisher or the agent, but such online projects can now take it to the next level. And the take-up for these has especially been apparent amongst aspiring indie or self-published authors.


Funding for specific projects, even support with copy editing, cover design and distribution are all now relatively commonplace. These have come to prominence both through the ease of set up and the realisation of the opportunity to build interest and a community around projects. By this I mean engaging with a potential audience throughout the creative process to help create a stronger, longer-lasting relationship between the reader and the creator.


The simple fact is that the more authors can do to showcase their work and interact with interested parties the better. Be this through a crowdfunding site to help form, create and shape the content through to a licensing platform such as IPR License to showcase and monetise the rights to this content on a global scale.


And the common factor within this publishing journey? Technology of course.

 

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.