About marketingchristianbooks

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), the owner of CREST Publications, and the author of 7 books including Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace and numerous articles. She is also the editor of the CSPA Circular, the monthly newsletter of Christian Small Publishers Association. A clinical social worker by education and experience, Sarah stumbled into the world of publishing after her two self-help books were published by a small publisher. Sarah and her husband, a fiction author, then collaborated on a set of board books for infants and toddlers after the birth of their children. After much thought and research, they decided to publish the project themselves. This decision led to the creation of CREST Publications and Sarah’s journey into marketing. Navigating the Christian marketplace began as a rather solitary learning experience for Sarah as no guide books or associations were available for marketing in this unique marketplace. After meeting and dialoging with other small and self-publishers marketing books in the Christian marketplace, it became clear that an organization was needed to provide assistance and information to new and emerging publishers. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) was founded in January 2004 with Sarah Bolme as Director. Sarah’s passion is educating others to help them improve their situation whether that is helping them get unstuck in their lives through counseling or marketing their books into the Christian marketplace.

Create an App for Your Children’s Book

eBooks, enhanced ebooks, and apps: which should you produce?

Authorly

For the most part, books geared to adults sell well just in simple ebook format. On the other hand, children’s books don’t appear to sell as well as merely digital book downloads. More and more, children are looking for interaction with their digital books.

Some publishers of children’s books are turning to enhanced ebooks to help engage more children. However, enhanced ebooks only offer slightly more than a regular ebooks. Enhanced ebooks can include narration and video streaming.

More and more publishers are beginning to look at turning their children’s books into apps. An app allows more interactive scenes and diagrams, animation, guided narration, and the ability to record and share your own narration. Historically, apps have been much more expensive to create than regular ebooks or even enhanced ebooks because of the special programming they require.

Independent authors and small publishers now have access to an online service that allows you to create a children’s book app for free. Authorly allows you to use their program to turn your children’s book into an app. The app is then made available for sale on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore and the Nook App Marketplace.

Those authors who are willing to learn a little and experiment with the Authorly software can create an app for free. Authorly then gives 50% of the revenue from each sale to the author. Those authors who do not want to create their own app, but pay Authorly for this service can spend $20 per page to have Authorly create the app. The author then receives 70% of the revenue from each app sale.

In an increasingly digital era where children expect more than a printed page on their computers, tablets, and phones, creating an app of your children’s picture book may be one way to engage more readers and reap more sales.

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Second Call for Nominations

Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is accepting nominations for the 2015 award.

Award_Seal

The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award honors books produced by small publishers each year for outstanding contribution to Christian life. Nominations are accepted in 14 categories: General Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Biography, Christian Living, Devotional, Relationships/Family, Bible Study/Theology, Christian Education, Children’s Book 4-8 years, Children’s Book 8-12 years, Young Adult (12+ years), Gift Books, and eBook Exclusive.

  • Books must be published by a small publisher or independently published author with annual revenues of $400,000 or less.
  • Nominated books must be Christian in nature and intended for the Christian marketplace.
  • All nominated books must be printed in English and for sale in the United States.
  • Any small publisher or independently published author can nominate titles for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.
  • Each book can only be nominated for one category.
  • Nominated books must be published in 2013 or 2014.
  • Nomination fee is $45.00 per title.

To view the complete eligibility guidelines and to nominate your books, visit www.bookoftheyear.net. Nominations must be received by November 15, 2014.

Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is the sponsor of this book award.

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Are You Using This Book Selling Technique?

As far a social media sites go, Pinterest is one that you should not be ignoring in your book marketing campaign. Did you know that Pinterest is currently the social media site that drives the most retail purchases?

Bookographic

Here are a few statistics to help you better understand the usefulness of Pinterest both in gaining attention and sales for your books:

  • Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, on more items than any of the other top five social media sites.
  • 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.
  • 80% of Pinterest pins are repined.

A presence on Pinterest can help you sell more books. Using images to draw attention to your books is one way you can use Pinterest in your book promotion campaigns.

A new term has developed to encapsulate a type of image many authors are using to promote books on Pinterest. Most of you are familiar with the term Infographic, referring to a visual image used to represent information or data. A new term, Bookographic (a.k.a. book-o-graphic or tipographic), is now being used to describe a visual image representing information on a book.

Bookographics are a great way to represent your book visually on Pinterest. Generally, a Bookographic contains a few tips from your book as well as a picture of the book’s cover and a link to where someone can buy the book.

These visual images are easy to generate. They do not need to be fancy. They can be made in almost any office software program like Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, etc. I used Microsoft Word to make mine (pictured here). In fact, I used just a sidebar text box to create my Bookographic for Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.

If you are not yet engaged with Pinterest as part of your book marketing plan, I encourage you to begin using this powerful social media site to connect with consumers. If you are on Pinterest, then begin creating a few colorful and informative Bookographics to connect Pinterest users to your book.

If you have already created a Bookographic for your book, leave a link in the comments section below to your Bookographic. I would love to see it.

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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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