by Bruce Fottler
There’s a proverbial sea of books for sale that usually leaves the average indie author drowning in obscurity. Gaining meaningful visibility has always been a daunting challenge, and it’s getting harder with each passing year.
Many indie authors have several published titles under their belts, having spent a lot of effort refining blurbs, covers, and developing marketing and distribution strategies. But despite these efforts, I often hear a familiar lament: Achieving visibility is difficult, maintaining it is even harder. And scaling it up? Ouch. Let’s not go there.
While there’s a multitude of marketing strategies and advertising options that various blogs have explored over the years, I’d like to focus on retail channel performance. Are retailers offering promotional opportunities, and have they helped to increase visibility for the average indie author?
Continue reading “The Indie Quest: Visibility through eBook Distributors”
While taking a short break from obsessively Googling your name and checking your KDP dashboard, you wander over to search for your book on Amazon. Imagine your surprise when – gasp – you see two listings. Or three listings. Or even more! Someone named IHeartBooks is selling your paperback on Amazon! Not only that, but – horror of horrors – they’re charging more than you are. Or maybe less than you are. Or maybe you’re one of those authors who’s stumbled across a copy of your paperback selling on Amazon for $6,789 or some such outrageous price.
The stinkin’ pirates! You should immediately fire off a DMCA takedown notice to have your book removed. Shouldn’t you? Continue reading “Help! Someone else is selling my book!”
With consumers on the hunt for Christmas gifts in December, many authors decide to run sales around the holidays. However, self-published authors wanting to take advantage of this buying season need to plan ahead, so holiday closures don’t derail planned price changes.
Just as schoolchildren and employees are off for the holidays, so are some of the retailers where books are sold. This means retailers may not be open when you’re ready to discount your books. While you can expect the usual of Christmas and New Year’s Day closures, some authors might be surprised to find the holiday hours for backend changes are quite sparse. (Most online retailers maintain normal 24-hour operations for those who are making online purchases.) Continue reading “Authors Should Check Holiday Closures When Planning December Releases, Sales”
[For an update on Createspace’s Expanded Distribution program, please read Lynne Cantwell’s article here. – the admins]
Createspace is Amazon’s print-on-demand company. They’re the same guys but they’re run as a separate company. Amazon is in Seattle and Createspace is in Las Vegas. I self-published two ebooks through Amazon (KDP), and the same two books in print form through Createspace. Unfortunately, when I had to contact them to deal with different issues that sometimes come up when you publish your own book, I had to speak to each company individually. So, that means emailing Amazon for your ebook queries or contacting Createspace by email or talking to them on the phone. Yep, they’ll talk to you. You instant message them from their website and ask them to phone you. I’ve done the phone deal five or six times and each time my phone has rang within five minutes of messaging them. It’s a great system and they’ve been very good in helping me.
I was asked recently whether I utilized Createspace’s Expanded Distribution feature and paid the $25 fee. I did-both times. This is the blurb from Createspace’s website detailing what Expanded Distribution means and how it expands the reach of your book to their additional outlets and distributors: Continue reading “Createspace’s Expanded Distribution – Yes or No?”