In my last post, I described why your readers (and my customers) want you to write short.   Over the next few posts, I’m going describe methods which enable you to do this more effectively. Not only will these techniques win you new readers, they’ll also make your book more attractive to stores!   Today’s readers don’t just want thinner books, they also want content that’s easier to scan. Tighten up everything in your book. Believe it or not, readers really do appreciate chapters that are just a couple pages long.   I just finished reading a New York Time’s Best Seller (Platform: Get NoticedRead More →

In today’s culture people are reading more than ever before. At the same time, they’re also reading less. Understanding this paradox makes all the difference in whether or not your voice gets heard.   To see what I mean, consider how written communication has changed over the course of just a few generations:   Not too many years ago, there were only three ways a person could hear from a writer. They could read a book, flip through a newspaper or magazine column, or open a personal letter (you remember those things that used to come in the mailbox with stamps on them?).   ReadingRead More →

If you’ve self-published a book or are planning to, you’ve probably looked into the author discount program that most publishing houses offer.   Let’s crunch some numbers to see if this is a wise move for you.   You, the author, will be eligible for a discount on your book for any copies that you personally decide to buy. If you place a large enough order, this markdown can be as high as 50% off the retail price. Self publishers will try to sell you on this discount early into the production phase.   Why You Should Do It   -You can earn money byRead More →

In my last post, I described marketing techniques which are a waste of time when it comes to getting your product sold in stores.   Now it’s time for the fun part. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to provide several tactics you can employ which will make your book irresistible to bookstore owners and managers.   But first, one more story of a failed marketing attempt:   God’s Shrooms   As I was opening my store one morning, a gentleman approached me to see if I would be interested in carrying a new gift line he was developing. I prepared for his pitch.Read More →

My day job consists of managing a Christian bookstore. Every month, I’m asked by new authors and artists if I’ll consider carrying their latest project. Most of the time, I politely say “No.”   It’s not that I’m trying to be rude. After all, I’m an author too. I walk the same path and face the same marketing challenges they do. Part of me wants to put a copy of every budding author’s book on our shelves. There’s just one problem: I’m not paid to serve authors.   WHAT A STORE OWNER/MANAGER WANTS   My job description is to steward my company’s assets and serveRead More →

Getting your project carried by a national brick-and-mortar retailer is a big win. It adds visibility and (perhaps more importantly) credibility to your brand. And of course, it doesn’t hurt sales either.   Even if you plan to market your book digitally (which you should), don’t write-off traditional bookstores as a powerful avenue through which you can build your tribe.   GET SERIOUS ABOUT MARKETING   Many new authors and artists don’t even consider their local store (let alone a national chain) as an avenue to reach new audiences. The task seems so daunting, the hurdle so high, writers dismiss the dream altogether. This doesn’tRead More →

Want to write a book? I’ve got a topic that will guarantee your success as an author.   The good news is it won’t require any special training or credentials. You won’t have to do any research. It doesn’t even have to be that well-written.   But it will sell. Because they always do. All you need to do is write on one topic.   Write a book about dying and going to Heaven.   The Heaven Obsession   I’m joking of course. The world doesn’t need another book about a near-death experience. We’ve been inundated with them.   The book Heaven is for Real isRead More →