Publishing News You May Have Missed in 2019

The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”  ―Heraclitus

The publishing industry is no exception. It is in a constant state of flux. This past year contained numerous changes for the book industry, especially for the Christian retail industry.

Publishing News from 2019

Following is a quick recap of important publishing news from 2019 that you should be aware of if you write and publish books.

Associations:

Publishing Association Rebranded:  After fifteen years of service Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) was rebranded to Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) to better reflect the changing book industry.

New Christian Bookselling Association Formed: With the demise of CBA, the Association for Christian Retail in 2019, Munce created a new association, Christian Retail Association (CRA) for independent Christian bookstores and upgraded their Christian Product Expo (CPE) to an International show.

Bookstores:

LifeWay Stores Close: LifeWay Christian Resources announced that they would close all 170 of their brick-and-mortar stores in 2019. The company will continue to offer products through their online store at LifeWay.com.

Independent Christian Retail Stores Counted: The Get It Local Today program for Christian retail launched an interactive map showcasing existing retail locations that sell mostly Christian products. The program identified more than 1,800 stores across America.

Baker & Taylor Ceased Distribution to Bookstores: Baker & Taylor decided to exit the retail book distribution business in the US, to focus on library sales. This leaves Ingram as the only major print book distributor to bookstores in the US.

Ingram Launched a Stock Check App: Ingram, the largest book distributor, released an app that anyone can use to check Ingram’s on-hand quantity for any title in the company’s vast inventory. Once downloaded, you can search for any title by scanning the book’s barcode or manually entering the ISBN (EAN), book title, or author name to check the stock instantly.

Book Promotion:

Amazon Eliminated Two Book Promotion Services: Amazon closed its Kindle Matchbook program and ceased allowing Amazon Giveaways. On the flip side, Amazon expanded their advertising for authors to the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany.

Barnes & Noble Implemented an Advertising Portal for Authors: Barnes & Noble Press introduced an advertising portal giving authors the opportunity to create ad campaigns. Ads appear on relevant BN.com pages based on chosen genres.

BookBub Introduced Chirp for Audiobooks: BookBub responded to surging audiobook listening by extending its platform for book discovery and promotion to audiobooks through Chirp.

Google+ Shut Down:  Google+ shuttered in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

One of the services that Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) provides our Members is up-to-date book industry information related to publishing and marketing books. Each month, our newsletter provides our Members with this valuable information. If you are not a Member of the Association, I encourage you to join for the 2020 year. You can sign up today at www.christianpublishers.net.

Related Posts:
5 Book Publishing Trends You Need to Know for 2020
Good News: Religious Book Sales Are Strong
How Many Christian Bookstores Remain?

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Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske.

Resolutions Every Author Can Use

Research shows that about 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 8% are successful in achieving them. These dismal statistics cause some people to eschew New Year’s resolutions.

Sadly, goalless people wander and then wonder why they are not achieving what they had hoped. Goals keep us on track, moving in the direction we want to go. As an author, I suggest that you make New Year’s resolutions about writing and publishing. Here are five that every author can benefit from making.

1. Write More

There is always room to write more. Whether you are writing to publish more books or writing more content for your blog or other publications to promote your books, writing more is a good aspiration. Make it a resolution to write more in 2020 than you did in 2019.

2. Publish More

People buy books from authors they are familiar with. This means that they have had some type of contact with the author. Often, this contact comes from reading a book by the author. Studies show that people tend to read more than one book by a given author. Many authors report seeing a bump in sales of their older books every time they publish a new book.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

Make it your aim this year to publish more. If you are an independent author or small publisher, you can have access to print-on-demand sales distribution through Membership in Christian Indie Publishers Association (CIPA). CIPA Members receive free title setup with both IngramSpark and Lightning Source. You can join CIPA today at www.christianpublishers.net.

3. Promote More

There is no such thing as too much marketing. Every effort you put into promoting your book(s) means that more people are exposed to you and your books. Studies show that people need seven to twelve exposures before they make a purchase. Thus, the more you promote, the more sales you will reap.

If the idea of spending more time on social media to promote your book does not excite you, then I suggest you read my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books. This book is full of book promotion and marketing ideas that go way beyond social media and the Internet.

4. Learn More

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” There is always more to learn. Technology is bringing rapid changes to every area of life—including the publishing industry. In publishing, if you stop learning, then you become out-of-date and out-of-sync with the standards and protocols involved in publishing and promoting books.

Henry Ford Quote

Make it your ambition this year to keep learning. Learn to be a better writer. Learn to be a better book promoter. Step into all the roles associated with publishing a book with confidence and grace. Stay abreast of industry changes and trends by joining an author or publishing association and by attending Christian writers conferences.

5. Read More

Reading is good for you. Studies show that reading reduces stress and increases life expectancy. So read more this year. In fact, reading more is one of the top ten New Year’s resolutions the people make!

As an author, your fans look to you for book recommendations. You can provide more book recommendations to your readers by reading more. This year, read for free. Sign up to be a BookCrash reviewer and you can get free books in exchange for a fair review. Learn more at www.bookcrash.com.

Related Posts:
Goals: Guideposts on Your Journey
New Year’s Resolutions for Every Author
Book Publishing Trends You Need to Know for 2020

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Wishing You Heavenly Grace this Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

I recently came across this old Christmas hymn that I was not familiar with. It is titled “Creator of the Stars of Night”. I love the line that says “didst come to save our fallen race by healing gifts of heavenly grace.”

Creator of the starry height,
thy people’s everlasting light,
Jesu, redeemer of us all,
hear thou thy servants when they call.

 Thou, sorrowing at the helpless cry
of all creation doomed to die,
didst come to save our fallen race
by healing gifts of heavenly grace.

 When earth was near its evening hour,
thou didst, in love’s redeeming power,
like bridegroom from his chamber, come
forth from a virgin-mother’s womb.

At thy great name, exalted now,
all knees in lowly homage bow;
all things in heaven and earth adore,
and own thee King for evermore.

To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
praise, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you today and each day forward. May you be blessed with all spiritual blessings from heaven as you proclaim His saving grace.

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Words that Sell

Consumers are bombarded by marketing messages. Just about every website or social media site you visit online showcases numerous ads and promotional material. Any marketing messages that you add to this storm can easily get lost in the deluge.

So, how can you help your marketing messages get noticed? Try using words that truly speak to your audience.

Persuasive words that evoke emotion work best to motivate readers to pull out their credit card and buy your book right now. People respond best to positive emotions that give them a sense of hope, belonging, or accomplishment.

To help you craft better marketing messages using words that sell, check out the infographic below.

Words that Sell

Related Posts:
Sales Text that Sells
Can This One Little Word Help You Sell More Books
Persuasion in an Age of Information Overload

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Sticking to the Basics

The new CEO of Barnes & Noble has a plan to rejuvenate the ailing bookstore chain. His plan is fairly simple. It involves getting back to basics and sticking to them.

In a recent interview with Publishers Weekly, James Daunt, the new CEO, said, “Basic book selling is what grew this company, and that is what we want to get back to.” To this end, Daunt has begun to implement changes with the overall goal of putting more emphasis on books in the Barnes & Noble stores.

Barnes & Noble

It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your calling and goal.

I believe many Indie authors struggle with getting sidetracked. It’s easy to in today’s fierce book market.

Most Christian Indie authors want to write and sell a book that God has laid on their heart. Then, when they hit the marketing path, they can get sidetracked and lose sight of the basics.

Basic marketing is simple. It’s about providing something that people need and drawing people’s attention to this need and the solution your book provides.

Yet, marketing is a world of its own that one can wander in forever. Advice abounds in this world. Everyone has an idea and an opinion of which path you should take:

  • Grow Your Social Media Presence
  • Hire a Publicist
  • Start a Podcast
  • Speak to Groups
  • Pay for Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest Ads
  • Build an Email List and Offer Lead Magnets
  • Host a Contest
  • And…

All these are great ideas, yet each one takes time and energy because each involves a learning curve and requires attention and feeding. Hence it is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus of your original calling.

Don't lose focus

It’s good to stop and take stock, especially as we move into a New Year. Ask yourself:

  • Have I become sidetracked?
  • Do I, like Barnes & Noble, need to “get back to the basics”?
  • Do I need to simplify and streamline my marketing activities so that I have time to focus on what I feel called to do?

One Indie author who is a Member of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) recent sent us the following note:

I am less than 200 book sales away from 10,000!Is Your Fruit Sweet or Sour?

This Indie author, Karen Finn, has just one book that she published in 2012. She has spent the past seven years diligently marketing her book—and it has paid off.

Karen has stuck to basic marketing. She did not get sidetracked into marketing that sucked her time and focus away from her goal of getting the word out about her book and how it can help people.

Instead, Karen focused on her audience. She considered all the audiences who could use her material and implemented a marketing plan that included social media, radio interviews, press releases and announcement letters to friends and family. She reports that word-of-mouth referral is not overrated—it provided her with a strong support base right away and created a platform that she could build upon.

Karen says, “Membership with the Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) has been a worthwhile investment; I am able to keep abreast of the ongoing trends in the publishing business and obtain additional support and information specifically relating to my marketing efforts.

As we head into 2020, I encourage you to join Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) to get the tools, information, and support you need to experience success in your publishing and marketing endeavors. Membership dues are just $90 for the year. Join today at www.christianpublishers.net.

Related Posts:
Back to Basics
Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?
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