Archive for Authors

How Giving Away Books Make You More Money

The first time someone suggested I give away my books I was repelled! Why would I give my books away? They are the stability in my income and if I were to give them away, what would happen to my income?
Well, it seems like the more books I gave away, the more I sold! Who would have thought it could be that easy?
The first thing I did was to leave a book on every chair at an event I was speaking at in San Jose. The event organizer didn’t mind, but occasionally they might object. I explain to those who aren’t comfortable with this concept, I will be referring to sections of the book during my presentation and the audience will be more comfortable following along.
I make sure I refer to the book often during my presentation, but in a way that is helpful to the audience.
“When you turn to page 76 and notice how I’ve made a list of all the ways you can engage your audience easier, you’ll notice there are simple steps to make sure you are keeping their attention. My favorite is where I ask a member of the audience a question, especially if they look like they aren’t engaged.”
Then I’ll ask someone in the audience a question and it will usually get a good laugh from the other attendees. But I always make the question non-threatening. I never want to alienate anyone by trying to prove a point.
The results are amazing. The first time I did this, about half the attendees purchased the book. Not bad for any speaker, but what surprised me was not one book walked away unaccounted for. I did make a point of mentioning I had been asked by the organizer to offer the book at a special rate and gave them a 25% discount which made it clear to them it was for sale and not free just because it was on their chair. It was a fairly small audience but even with the discount it added another $500 profit to my day!
Up until this point I had an average sales volume of 25 to 30%, so by making the book more accessible they were able to see first hand the value of having the book to take home.
I interviewed an author who also has an author support website and she told me how she recommends the clients she works with give away five to ten books. The average results are they sell a minimum of twice as many as they give away and often do even better than that.
Now that electronic books are on the scene, everyone is promoting free copies of their books electronically. Once the formatting is done, there is no cost to producing them at all. The trick is however to only give away a portion of the book, such as the first three chapters not the whole manuscript. One author gave away the first three odd chapters so the readers had more of a reason to want to know what was in between those chapters.
This seems to be the latest craze in getting new readers, more followers to your website and re-engaging people who you have had in your database. You won’t always want to embrace current trends, but this one seems to be very effective in getting authors what they want, more books sold.
One of benefits of placing your book on Amazon is they will promote your electronic book for you. They will often even purchase pay-per-click advertisements for you to help you get more traffic, especially when they see you are building a following.
That’s where the work comes in for you. You must engage all of your social media resources and then some. If you’re not comfortable in doing campaigns, hire a virtual assistant team to make sure it’s done well. You don’t want to skimp when it comes to promotions and this usually means more time than funding. But if you engage a VA team you will realize the level of success you are driving for.
In today’s ever changing world, it is important to keep up with technology and trends and even more important to recognize when you need outside help. So jump in with both feet and create step-by-step written plans to help guide you for future launches. I find I forget what it was I did six months prior, especially if it’s a one off task.
The results will surprise you and you’ll end up with one more book sales path under your belt!

Successful Crowd Funding Campaigns

You’ll meet ten times more people who have not succeeded in their Crowd Funding campaigns than those who have. Why? First, it’s still relatively new and isn’t an easy task to undergo singlehandedly. Secondly, there are few guidelines and even fewer resources to help those who are newbies to the process of crowd funding.
Crowd funding is the process of engaging others to raise funds virtually because they believe your project will have merit and they enjoy being a part of the process of helping others achieve success.
There are many crowd funding sites such as KickStarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Towema, Crowdrise and EquityNet to name just a few. They all vary in their process and acceptance criteria, yet each one has a led many successful campaigns.
Successful campaigns vary greatly however. There have been those who have raised more than $100,000 in just ten days and others who have launched companies which are now generating millions of dollars a year.
When it comes to crowd funding for an author, the criteria is not much different than it would be for an invention or a company launch. The major difference is how to gain your audience’s attention, they must relate to you as an author or to what your book is about.
The major challenge for an author is what to do, how to do it and how to keep the momentum escalating until they have achieved their goal. Let’s define the goal: is $10,000 enough to launch a book or do you risk setting the bar as high as $50,000 and risk not reaching your goal?
Several of the Crowd Funding sites have an all or nothing rule. If you do not achieve your goal, you get nothing. On the other hand, if you surpass your goal, you get to keep it all. They also have a wide range of commissions attached to using their site to raise funds, so you’ll want to do a cross comparison and make sure you select your first Crowd Funding site carefully.
What can you do with $10,000 as an author? You can get your book edited (the costs range between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the service you use). Printing the first 100 books will range between $500 and $1,000 depending on the length of your book and the publisher you use. You’ll need to engage in public relations services to get your book noticed, reviewed and talked about in the media and that might start around $2,000 and could be as much as $25,000. But you can start with basic services and increase them as you achieve more success. You’ll need a website dedicated to your book which will range between $1,000 and $2,000 even for a WordPress site. Then there are variable costs in publishing such as your book cover, ISBN number, obtaining book reviews, setting up a merchant account, electronic book conversions and many other details it takes to be in the business of being an author.
So, $10,000 would be the bare minimum, and it would allow you to get everything rolling and initiate a good campaign. What is the most important is keeping track of what you are doing and keeping up the momentum until you have achieved your goal. Do not request an amount that is higher than anyone else who is also launching a book, as it would be a recipe for disaster.
Review no less than fifty of other author’s campaign details and see what appeals to you about each one. You can adapt your campaign to include the details that are more in line with your book. What are you going to offer someone who gives you $20 compared to someone who is willing to support your book launch with $50? You’ll need to be very clear about what you are willing to do.
One suggestion would be to provide an electronic version of your book for $20 and then a personally autographed copy once it printed. It might sound like a lot of extra work, but it is a great way to enlist your crowd’s attention. Always offer more than double in face value of what they are giving in kind. People are typically very generous, especially when they know they’ll be helping a new author get their books out into the world.
You’ll also want to produce a short four to five minute video of you on camera talking about your book and your passion of being an author. This will make you real to the crowd.
The best suggestion I can offer anyone considering crowd funding is to outsource the tasks you are not comfortable in achieving. One of the Virtual Assistant firms who are specialists in Crowd Funding is Zirtual. They are based in the US and are very successful with their campaigns. Traffic is the key and if you don’t have a huge database, you’ll never achieve your goal without utilizing a service who has proven they know what they are doing.
So let the campaign begin and get that book launched!