Wear it Wednesday

Have you heard of Wear it Wednesday?

This program was launched earlier this year by a 22-year-old with the goal of recruiting a million Christians youth to wear their favorite Christian t-shirts each Wednesday as a way of coming together to share and proclaim their faith.

Already, more than 250,000 people nationwide have joined the effort. You can too.

I believe Wear it Wednesday presents an awesome marketing opportunity for any Christian author or publisher with a book geared toward teens.

Here is what you can do. Print a bunch of t-shirts with your book cover image on one side of the t-shirt and a Christian message on the other side (message should be related to your book). Then head on over to the youth group at your church, and tell the teens there about Wear it Wednesday.

Give each kid a free t-shirt to wear the following Wednesday and encourage them to log-in to www.WearitWednesday.com. There they can register and post pictures of themselves wearing your t-shirt the first Wednesday and whatever other Christian t-shirt they choose to wear on subsequent Wednesdays.

Follow my simple advice and you will garner publicity or your book and at the same time encourage teens to stand up for their beliefs and be a witness for Jesus Christ in the world.

P.S. Feel free to send me a copy of your t-shirt also.

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Need a Gift? Buy a Book!

Most of the people who read this blog either write books or publish them (and some do both). That means that almost all of you are book lovers.

I wonder how many of you give books as gifts. We tout books as great gift ideas, but do we practice what we preach? After all, books are more useful then candles or bath soap. They have the power to improve peoples’ lives. For under $20, you can give a book as a present and it will usually well received by the recipient.

The major publishers understand that books make great gifts. Take Random House. They have secured the URL www.booksequalgifts.com. On this website, they feature great books appropriate for the current season of the year (i.e. fall is billed as “Back to School,” books for the student in your life). Random house even offers a personal shopper to assist customers in choosing the book that would be the right fit for the person they are shopping for. Customers can email personalshopper@randomhouse.com or ask on twitter using the hash tag #booksgifts.

With the Christmas shopping season upon us, the perfect opportunity presents itself to promote your books as great gifts. Consider offering your customers a holiday special. Maybe a two-for-one sale billed as “buy one for yourself to read and get one free to give as a gift to a friend.” Alternately, you could just offer a holiday discount to encourage people to buy your books as gifts.

This Christmas season, I will, as always, be giving books as gifts. I am also offering a special on my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. You can purchase the book for just $19.99 with free shipping from now until Christmas (that’s a $5.00 savings). Buy it for yourself at the sale price, or give it as a gift to the Christian author in your life.

Need a gift for an infant or toddler in your life? Then consider Baby Bible Board Books, an age-appropriate collection of four stories of Jesus in board book format. Give this book set for just $15.00 (with free shipping).

May you find the perfect book for each person in your life this Christmas.

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Christian eBooks Step Up to the Plate

Back in June, I lamented in my post “Where are the Christian eBook Stores?” that there were no online Christian stores dedicated to selling Christian ebooks. While many ebook stores exist, not one was dedicated solely Christian ebooks. Yet, many online bookstores exist that are dedicated solely to Christian print books.

Since that post, a few small Internet sites selling Christian ebooks have emerged. Although, not one of them appears small publisher friendly. One of these sites, Novo Ink, is keeping a larger percentage of the book price for each book they sell than most brick-and-mortar stores get, and is charging publishers a hefty fee to upload an ebook to their site.

Interestingly, Christian Book Distributors, the largest Christian book catalog found online at ChristianBook.com, began selling ebooks this fall. Not only did they launch an ebook store on their website, they introduced their own CBD Reader based on HTML 5 technology (the same technology Google Editions will be using).

The CBD Reader is a free reading platform that operates within the Internet browser of a computer, smartphone, or iPad. Hence, readers can access the ebooks they purchase immediately “in the cloud.” Those who have a reading device, such as a Kindle, can save a purchased ebook to their computer and from there place it on their e-reader.

I applaud Christian Book Distributors for coming up with this innovative way to sell ebooks. With the CBD Reader, ChristianBook.com only deals with one format and doesn’t have to worry about selling ebooks in all the different formats needed for the various reading devices.

This video describes the new CBD ebook store and free reader.

You can check out CBD’s new ebook store and try their e-reader reading platform by reading one of the free ebooks they are offering. Just click here and then click on “Try FREE eBooks” on the CBD website.

On the downside, Christian Book Distributors is not friendly to small publishers. Therefore, an online Christian ebook store that accommodates small publishers is still needed. Sigh.

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NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Individuals who participate in NaNoWriMo write a 50,000-word novel (175-page) from scratch in one month’s time. That’s quite a hefty challenge.

Yet, for the past three years, over 100,000 people have participated in NaNoWriMo.  Of course, not everyone who participates actually finishes. Last year, out of 167,150 participants, only 32,178 wrote a complete 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

Whether a participant makes it or not, participating in NaNoWriMo can certainly give authors and aspiring authors the motivation to begin that novel project that you have been putting off for awhile.

If you are an author who has been itching to write a new novel, consider taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. Not only will it help you start writing your novel, participating in NaNoWriMo gives you a great way to market your soon-to-be novel.

Start by announcing that you are taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. You can announce this on your blog, your social networking sites, your own website, and even in a press release. Then, post your progress on your blog or website and social networking sites during November. Encourage your online readers and friends to critique various parts of the novel you write over the course of the month. These written pieces can be a teaser to interest people in reading the final product.

When you have a completed project, you can make a new announcement to your fans and inform them where they can purchase the book. Don’t forget to thank them for any support they give you over the course of your NaNoWriMo writing journey.

If you are not an established author and don’t have a blog or website, Smashwords has opened up their platform to allow all NaNoWriMo participants to publish, share, track and promote their works-in-progress. You can use the Smashwords platform to generate interest for the novel you are writing. Then, at the end of November, you can upload your completed novel and sell it on Smashwords.

To learn more about how NaNoWriMo works, or to sign up as a participant, visit the NaNoWriMo website.

I would love to hear if you are taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. Leave a comment here about your project and be sure to include where readers can track your progress this month.

Bountiful writing wishes to you!

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