The Smell of Books

Amazon keeps making new e-readers. This month, they released their new tablet, Fire, as well as two new Kindles, basic Kindle and the Kindle Touch.

The number of tablets and e-readers on the market continues to grow. Along with the growth of these devices, the number of American’s using them is growing. During the past year, the number of Americans using e-readers has nearly doubled from 8% 12 months ago to about 15% now.

Individuals who use e-readers are readers. On the average, they purchase more books than print-only readers.

How about you, have you switched to using an e-reader? If so, do you ever miss the smell of print books?

Those who purchase print books know that new books have a distinct smell. Smell is a powerful sense and taps into our memory banks. If the smell of new books evokes positive emotions in you, and if you miss the smell of new books since you purchased an e-reader, I have a solution for you.

Just get the “Smell of Books” in an aerosol can and spray it on your e-reader. When the smell wears off, just re-spray your e-reader. Never again will you need to miss that new book smell, even in the digital age.

Happy smelling and Happy Halloween!

 

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Whose Responsibility is It?

I recently read the book 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. In the book, Bill tells of an experience he had in hell. He believes that God placed him in hell to experience it so that he will tell people about his experience and let them know that hell is a real place.

In the story, Bill says that Jesus pulled him up out of hell and told him to tell people about his experience. He also says that Jesus said to him, “It is not your job to convict their hearts…It is your part to go and tell them.”

Bill reports that he was relieved to know that it was not his responsibility to convince anyone, that all he had to do was open his mouth and tell people.

What relief might you experience if you let go of the need to “convince” people to buy your  book? How might you look at your marketing efforts differently if you approached your promotional efforts from the standpoint of simply telling people about your book and how it answers a question or need in their life?

Changing how we think about the books God has called us to write and publish can sometimes relieve the enormous responsibility we put on ourselves to “sell” our books. By giving the job of convincing to God and simply being a mouthpiece can free us from the burden of performance.

After all, if God has called you to write or publish a book, it is for a purpose. He will make sure your book gets into the hands, minds, and hearts of the people who need the message.

In other words, let go and let God.

 

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Are You Misled by This Myth?

Robert Darnton wrote in a Chronicle Review essay that he believes there are five collective myths about the Information Age.

These five myths are:

1. The book is dead.

2. We have entered the information age.

3. All information is now available online.

4. Libraries are obsolete.

5. The future is digital.

I am not going to attempt to tackle all five myths in this blog post. I think that Robert Darnton did a good job of describing why he believes they are myths in his essay.

I do, however, want to highlight Myth #3: All information is now available online. While much information is available online, not all of it is free, nor is it easily accessible, nor is it always up-to-date and accurate. I run into this myth time and time again.

I find that some new authors and publishers don’t see a need to “purchase” information to help them in publishing and marketing their books. These individuals have subscribed to a few blogs and discussion groups, and read free articles on the Internet. They feel that this minimal research provides the information they need to effectively publish and promote their books.

Here is where the myth takes over. No one gives away their “premium” service for free. Many companies are now built on the model of giving away a scaled-down version of a piece of software that has some, but not all, the features of the full-priced model. The idea is to hook the customer so that they will want the full-version model and pay for it.

The same is true for information. No one gives away their “premium” information for free. Rather, they give away good information in the hopes of hooking the reader to purchase the premium information.

If you are only relying on blogs and discussion groups to get the information you need to publish and market your books effectively, you are missing out on some great information and resources.

While there is great information available for free on the Internet, I have found that there is also misinformation that circulates on blogs and in discussion groups that can end up leading authors and publishers astray. Sometimes authors and publishers that aren’t experience only know a piece of the puzzle and end up giving misleading or inaccurate information to others.

It is far better to pay a little money to get information that is up-to-date and accurate than to try and save a few bucks by thinking all the information you need is available free on the Internet. Money invested in premium information is never wasted.

 

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The Future of eBooks

The future of reading is digital books; not just ebooks, but interactive ebooks. This is not my opinion, it is a fact.

It may not happen in two years or three years, but in 10 to 15 years, it will be a reality.

Studies have shown that the use of technology changes the way our brains are wired. Today’s children are growing up with technology: Hand-held computer games, smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers. It is shaping these children’s brains, their preferences, and choices.  When these children are adults, they will not want static ebooks; they will demand interactive ones.

If you plan to be publishing books five years from now, it is time for you to get into the digital book game. Start with regular ebooks, but also begin to learn about interactive ebooks. Start laying plans for how your publishing company will enter that market.

If you don’t believe me, watch this video showing a one-year-old baby who has been exposed to an iPad. Her reaction to print media after an interactive iPad experience is interesting.

 

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A Successful Social Media Strategy

Just how useful is social media in engaging new customers? This is the question that publishers and authors want answers to.

Gallup recently released findings from a poll they conducted in regard to this question.

People have always recommended products to each other. Gallup’s poll found that the top sources for personal recommendation are:

  • Spouse 50%
  • Other Family Member 25%
  • Friends 12%
  • Expert 11%

Only 1% of the individuals polled stated they followed a recommendation from a Facebook or Twitter business page.

What does this mean for you, a publisher or an author trying to promote your books via social media?

This study basically showed that your best social media efforts come from focusing on your existing customers. You want to engage with these people on social media so that they recommend your books to their family and friends.

Simply focusing on getting a large number of followers on social media will not necessarily help you promote your books effectively. Rather, focus on engaging your existing customers so that they recommend your products to others.

Engage your existing customers through creating content or ideas that resonate with your existing customers and encourage their engagement with you. These engaged customers will, in turn, provide the most persuasive recommendations to their family and friends (either through social media or direct contact), thus helping you gain more customers and sell more books.

Go engage your customers!

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