Are You Making This Mistake?

I read a lot of books. As with most things, what I think of the books I read follows the typical bell curve. A few are awful, a few are great, but the majority is mediocre. That is not to say that these mediocre books don’t have a message for someone, most do.

magnifying-glass

I recently finished a book written by a gentleman who was a pastor for 25 years and was published by a small publisher. The book had a good cover, nice interior design, and was written in such a way that it really kept my attention. I would say it probably fell on the higher end of the mediocre section of the bell curve.

However, I will not recommend this book to others. Nor will I reveal the name of the book, the author, or the publisher on this blog. I do not wish to malign anyone. I merely want to use this book as an example.

As I said earlier, the author of this book was a pastor for 25 years. Yet, in the book, he uses a story from the Old Testament to illustrate a point. However, he does not get the story right. He mixes up two separate stories that happen at two separate times, years apart in Israel.

Here is my point: the author, a pastor, got the story wrong, but the editor did not catch the error either. When a Christian author does not rightly handle the word of God, I cannot in good conscience recommend that author to anyone.

If you are publishing a Christian book, take the time and due diligence to check all Biblical references and stories that are being used in the book. Integrity with the scriptures should be the highest priority for Christian authors and publishers. Don’t ruin the message of your book by printing Biblical errors that could have easily been corrected if you had taken the time to check the story or reference.

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eBook Sale!

Last month, I informed you about International Read an eBook Day (see “International Read an eBook Day”). Read an eBook Day is this week. It will be celebrated on Thursday, September 18.

Special Offer

In honor of International Read an eBook Day, I am offering a special!

This week, anyone can purchase my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace: Third Edition in ebook format at a 20% discounted rate.

The ebook regularly sells for $21.99. For this week only, you can purchase either the PDF or EPUB version of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace for a bargain price of $17.59. Simply use the discount code “READANEBOOK” when ordering the book.

Don’t miss out on this special. If you have not yet purchased a copy of this definitive guide for marketing books in the Christian marketplace, do so this week while the book is on sale for International Read an eBook Day!

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Join the Movement

Good marketing takes stepping outside of the usual and doing something unusual. I recently read an article in my local newspaper about how Little Free Library boxes are becoming quite a trend across the United States. The article got my creative juices flowing and I began to think about how these little boxes can represent a wonderful marketing opportunity for authors.

Little Free Library

The Little Free Library trend started back in 2009 when a former school teacher in Wisconsin built a model of a one room schoolhouse. He filled this model with books, put it on a post in his front yard, and put a sign on it that said free books. His neighbors and friends loved it. He then built several more and gave them away.

The idea was simple. Visitors could take the books placed in the box to read. If they wanted to replenish the supply with their own they could, or they could return the book when they were done reading it if they wanted to. Five years later, there are over 20,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide registered with the Little Free Library group. Some people think this number is a low estimate for Little Libraries because it only represents those officially registered with the Little Free Library network.

Here is how you, an author, can make use of this neat idea to promote your books:

  1. Start a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. You can download free plans to build your own little library or you can order a kit starting at around $200. Once you have built your Little Free Library, you can stock it with books, including your own published books.
  2. Visit local Little Free Libraries in your city and leave a copy or two of your book in each one. You can find a map listing all the registered Little Free Libraries on the network website.

By joining the Little Free Library movement, you will not only be spreading the word about your books, you will also become part of a wonderful tool that shares the love of reading and can also help spread the Gospel.

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Are You Making a List?

Humans love lists. For years David Letterman employed his “Top 10” list nightly on his show. Lists are important because people love to categorize things, as well as know which things are more important than others.

top-10-list

One technique marketing professionals employ over and over again are lists. Lists are always popular. Lists like:

  • Top ten gifts to give for Christmas.
  • Five reasons to ditch your diet.
  • Seven reasons to start saving now.

You can use lists in marketing your books. Creating a list of reasons why someone should invest their time and money in your newest book is a great marketing technique.

I recently saw some findings from an online study conducted by Harris Poll on reading. This survey found the following:

  • 77% of U.S. adult respondents agree with the statement: “Reading has always been an important part of my life.”
  • 67% say reading puts them in a better mood.
  • 76% said their reading habits have increased over the past three years, and 44% attribute access to an e-reader, tablet or smartphone as the reason.

I think the second finding is a reason any author can incorporate into a list of reasons to read his/her book: 67% of people say reading puts them in a better mood.

So, when making out your list of reasons for people to read your latest book, include this one along with your other great reasons.

To get your creative juices flowing, let me share with you five reasons you should continue to read this blog:

  1.  It gives you great tips for marketing your books.
  2.  You stay informed about important new resources and trends in the publishing industry.
  3.  It is ranked among the Top 30 Websites for Indie Authors.
  4.  Each blog post is penned by an award-winning author.
  5.  67% of people say reading puts them in a better mood, so reading this blog should improve your mood.

Now, take some time and make a list for your newest book.

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One Recipe for Success

The ingredients: An author, a new book, and a desire to promote the book.

Book Signing for Blog

The venue: A local book store.

The event: A book signing.

The outcome: Success!

So reports Lewis Ben Smith, the author of a new novel called The Testimonium. Lewis’ book was published by a small royalty press. However, as with any type of book publishing, much of the marketing is left to the author. Lewis ordered an initial 100 books from his publisher. Then he set out to sell these.

Wanting to hold a book signing, Lewis approached local book stores. Family Christian was not very accommodating; they told him he had to go through their corporate offices to set up a signing at one of their stores. Sadly, this is not an unusual response from a Christian book store (see “Embracing Change”). When he visited his local Hastings store, he discovered they have a corporate policy to encourage and work with local authors. The store was happy to arrange a book signing for Lewis.

Knowing that having a book signing was not sufficient in and of itself to draw in customers, Lewis set about promoting his event. He sent an email blast to all his contacts, he heavily promoted it on his Facebook page and on all the Internet forums and chat rooms he belongs to. In addition, he got the local newspaper to run and blurb. Then he printed up fliers and passed these out.

His efforts paid off. Lewis reports that he sold almost 50 copies of his book at his book signing. The store also asked him to leave them a dozen or so copies to sell later.

The Lesson:  Book signings are not dead. They just take effort and a willingness to promote, promote, promote.

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