Keeping Readers Engaged

2013 was the year of ebook subscription services. While a number of smaller startups had attempted this concept prior to 2013, none seemed to really take off.

Stack of books

Then last year, Scribd, the internet’s largest document sharing site, began an ebook subscription service. They offered consumers access to books and other written works on their iPhone, iPad, Android devise and web browsers for just $8.99 a month.

Following on the heels of Scribd, Oyster, a startup, launched their own ebook subscription service featuring over 100,000 books for a monthly fee of $9.95.

Over the past few months, these subscription services have just begun to analyze the data from their subscribers. Such data can shed light on reader’s preferences and reading habits, useful information for authors and publishers.

Here are a few of the early findings on subscription e-reading habits:

  • The longer a mystery novel is, the more likely readers are to jump to the end.
  • Readers are more likely to finish reading biographies than business titles.
  • Romance novels are speed read, faster than religious titles.
  • Readers are 25% more likely to finish books that are broken up into shorter chapters.

Just from this small finding, any author can glean two gems to help you get readers to read more of your book: break it up into shorter chapters and keep your mystery novels shorter rather than longer.

I am eager for more data like this to be released to help all of us (authors and publishers) structure our books to better meet the needs of our readers so that we can keep them engaged through the whole book.

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Do You Need a Marketing Template?

I am a list maker. I make a list, check off what I have accomplished, and then revise my list by making a new list that includes the items I have not yet completed and more that I need to complete. I frequently have multiple lists going at once.

Book Marketing Template

Do you like lists? What about a blueprint or template that shows you what to do?

One of the things I find is that I am often reinventing the wheel. Some tasks I do must be repeated weekly or monthly, yet I write them on each list. I find the same is true in marketing a book.

For each book I publish, I reinvent the wheel by creating a new list from scratch. I finally decided that I have had enough of that. To solve the problem, I created a Book Marketing Plan Template in Excel.

This Book Marketing Template is based on the marketing advice in my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. It includes all the important marketing steps from pre-publication through publication and ongoing marketing after publication of a book.
I have decided to share this Book Marketing Template with other authors and publishers. The template is designed to be used as a companion to Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, but it can be used as a stand-alone tool also.

Here is the best part. I am offering this re-useable Book Marketing Template in Excel for a bargain price. For just $4.99, you can have your own copy to use in marketing your book. Simply click HERE to purchase your copy today!

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Don’t Overlook This Marketing Opportunity

The other day as I was going through the mail, I could not believe my eyes. CREST Publications had received another check from our foreign rights contract for books sold!

money globe

I have often encouraged authors and publishers to seek foreign rights contracts as a good marketing strategy. Foreign rights contracts allow you to sell your books in non-English speaking countries. The best part is that you don’t have to do any work to do that. Instead, you assign the rights to a publisher in the country that the books will be sold in.

While I believe my advice to be sound, what amazes me is that we sold the foreign rights for our set of board books for infants and toddlers, Baby Bible Board Books: Stories of Jesus, back in 2008. We are still getting royalty checks on them.

In case you are a little slow with math, we have been receiving money for the past six years from one foreign rights contract—without any marketing effort on our part.

I don’t know of any other marketing strategy that takes so little work in exchange for the benefits reaped. You see, we did not have to find this foreign rights contract ourselves. Instead, we engaged a foreign rights agent who did the work for us. All we had to do was send samples of our books and sign paperwork.

If you have a book that might sell well in a non-English language country, don’t overlook foreign rights. Pursue them. If you are able to secure a contract, not only will more people read your book, but you will also impact more people for God’s Kingdom and sell more books.

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It’s Read an E-Book Week

This week is officially Read an E-Book Week.


The purpose of Read an E-Book Week is to educate and inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Some authors and publishers may feel like this week is no longer necessary with the growth of e-reading. Read an E-Book Week was originally registered with the Chase’s Calendar of Events in 2004. Since that time, sales of ebooks has only grown to constitute less than one-third of all book sales. With this statistic, it seems to me there is still room for ebook reading awareness.

New data from the Codex Group, a New York book industry research firm, suggests that further work may be needed to increase readers’ awareness of the availability of ebooks. According to Codex Group’s survey of 2,042 ebook buyers, 86% of them buy ebooks from only one retailer, mostly Amazon, Apple, or Barnes & Noble.

While this is good news for the big retailers, this is not so good news for the smaller ebook retailers. Small retailers receive most of their ebook sales from just 14% of ebook buyers who shop from more than one retailer. In essence smaller ebook retailers—including author and publisher ebook sales via their own websites—have an uphill battle to fight to sell ebooks.

So, Read an E-Book Week may be the time to attract some ebook sales direct from your website by offering a price promotion to celebrate this event.

I am doing just that, but with a twist. You see, I did not get the ebook version of my newly released Third Edition of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace up on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble in time to celebrate Read an E-Book Week. However, I am offering it as a downloadable PDF (one ebook format) on my website for $21.99. You can order your ebook copy today, just visit

What special are you offering on your ebooks to celebrate Read an E-Book Week?