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.

A Time to Begin, and a Time to End

In January of this year, I heard very clearly from God that it was time to step away from my involvement with Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). This was not an easy decision for me to make, or an easy step of obedience.

A Time to End

Seventeen years ago, I helped co-found the Association and have been providing leadership and direction ever since. Over the years, I have had the privilege of both educating and encouraging hundreds of Christian authors and publishers. It has been a noble calling and service that I have always known was God’s intent.

As a follower of Jesus, it is my privilege to listen to him and do as he directs. This can be challenging when the path is not clear.

Fortunately, God is faithful. At the NRB Convention in February in Nashville this year, I shared God’s leading and my decision with Susan Neal, a CIPA Member. That night, God woke her up and told her that he was calling her to lead Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). I obeyed and God provided a new director.

Numerous people have asked me what I will be doing next. To be honest, I do not know for sure. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

That is where I am. I am taking the next step, but I don’t have a clear picture, yet, of where this new path will ultimately take me.

In 2008, I started this blog and have faithfully shared articles twice weekly on publishing and marketing books for the past 12 years. If you have benefited from the information that has been freely shared and want to give something back, I invite you to join me on my next step.Cross for Chapel

God has called me to help build a chapel on the grounds of a Spiritual Retreat Center that has been a blessing to me in my spiritual journey. Funds are needed for this chapel. Donations are tax deductible. If God is leading you to help, please make a donation on The Quiet Place NC’s website at https://www.thequietplacenc.org/the-chapel.

Finally, thank you reader for your support over the years. I have enjoyed sharing with you and I pray that God will bless you in His calling on your life!

Resources for Indie Authors

As independent publishing continues to grow, services supporting both authors and readers also increase. Over the past few years, a number of services have risen that effectively meet a need in the indie publishing community.

Two of these services provide robust choices.

 

ReedsyReedsy

This service helps authors find and connect with the best publishing professionals needed in producing a book. With this service, you can find editors, book cover designers, publicists, and translators. Reedsy also hosts a robust blog with great information. Learn more on Reedsy’s website at https://reedsy.com.

Draft2DigitalDraft2Digital

This publishing platform started as a digital distributor for ebooks. They have expanded their offerings to now include ebooks, print-on-demand books, and audiobooks (through their partnership with Findaway Voices). Draft2Digital offers wide distribution to numerous online outlets. The benefit of using this platform is that there are no upfront costs. Instead, Draft2Digital takes a portion of your earnings (10%) for their payment. Learn more at https://www.draft2digital.com.

Two newer services of note are for fiction authors.

New Fiction Book Discovery Website

A group of 120 authors—both traditional and indie—has launched Binge Books (https://bingebooks.com), a new online community for fiction readers. The site strives to be a reader hub where readers can explore new writers, unfamiliar genres, as well as favorite author collections.  Binge Books also a social media site, so readers will have the chance to interact with each other as well as the authors they follow.

Binge Books

Binge Books will also host a bookstore with links to purchase print books, ebooks and audiobooks from a choice of retailers. If you want to have your books featured on this site, you can join the author waitlist at https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/v7b3o5. The site will then contact you when they are ready to add new novels.

Self-Editing with Artificial Intelligence

Early this year, a new self-editing tool that utilizes artificial intelligence was launched. This tool, called Marlowe, is an artificial intelligence tool that helps authors improve their novels before sending it off for professional editing.

Marlowe

This tool can read your book and deliver a 25+ comprehensive critique within an hour. It is inexpensive—a fraction of the cost of a human editor. Marlowe reads all fictional genres and sub-genres and returns unbiased feedback. The tool can critique character traits, plot arcs, narrative arcs, pacing, punctuation, sentence structure, reading level and more.

Try Marlowe out on your novel at https://authors.ai. The service will provide a basic critique of your novel for free. There is a fee for the more robust analysis.

Related Posts:

Three New Tools for Publishers
Lessons from Self-Publishing
How to Spot a Self-Published Book

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Use Psychology to Sell More Books

As science progresses, so do the tools we have for understanding the human brain and human behavior. In the 1990s, fMRI was developed. fMRI stands for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Similar to the MRI, fMRI is a brain imaging technique that does not involve radiation.

Use Psychology to Sell More Books

Due to its ease of use, fMRI has become a popular tool for imaging normal brain function. Over the past decade, it has allowed psychologists to discover new insights into such things as how memories are formed, how language is learned, how pain effects the brain, and decision-making processes.

fMRI has opened the door to neuromarketing. This is a field of scientific study that aims to understand how people make purchasing decisions and then capitalize on this information to persuade people to buy products. Neuromarketing assesses how our brain reacts to stimuli—not simply what we self-report—allowing researchers to study both the conscious and the subconscious decision-making process.

You can use the information researchers have found to improve your marketing efforts. Knowing what consumers respond best to can help you design your book covers, your website, and all your marketing materials to better grab people’s attention. Consider these three neuromarketing findings.

1.  Maximize Eye Gaze

Vision is the most prominent of the human five senses. Nearly one-fourth of the brain deals with visual processes. It is long known that ads that contain images of people are more effective than those that don’t. In particular, images that include babies tend to attract longer and more focused attention from consumers.

Eye tracking technology has discovered that an adorable baby face is not enough to engage consumers with the content of a visual ad. With eye tracking, researchers found that images of infant looking face on at the viewer, distracted the viewer from the rest of the content. However, if the baby’s face was looking at the product or ad content (rather than straight on), then the viewer also focused on the advertising content.

 

eyes

The big take away from this study is that if you are using images of people in your marketing content or on your website, have the faces of the people turned toward what you want your readers to look at. Images in your marketing material should enhance what you are trying to communicate, not distract from it.

2.  Color is Important

Color plays a major role in decision making. Research shows that people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. Between 62 and 90 percent of that assessment is based on color alone.

Colors influence how we feel. This makes them a powerful marketing tool. Colors are often a primary factor in purchasing decisions. Studies show that a product’s color influences 60 to 80 percent of a customer’s purchasing decision. The colors you choose for your book cover, your website, and your advertising copy are extremely important.

Using color effectively can be a powerful marketing tool. Colors evoke emotion. Familiarize yourself with the emotional message of various colors before choosing your next book’s cover. Interestingly, color appears to be tied to culture. Colors that entice shoppers in America are entirely different from those that entice shoppers in India.

3.  Fonts Make a Difference

Humans prefer comfort and ease. People are more likely to engage in a given behavior the less effort it requires. This is true for reading. Studies show that people prefer easy-to-read fonts over complex fonts. The easier the font is to read; the more people feel they will understand what they are reading.

font

There is still a place for more complex fonts. Just use them sparsely to catch consumer’s attention in your marketing. Anything text that requires longer reading and understanding should be done with a simple font.

Final Thought

All marketing speaks to the brain. Knowing what catches the brains attention and what influences the brain’s decision-making activity and then designing your marketing materials to capitalize on these influences is smart marketing. Your design, color, and font choices all play an important role in convincing consumers to buy your books. People make 90% of buying decisions subconsciously, and it can take just 50 milliseconds to create a positive or negative impression on your audience.

Related Posts:

Can This One Little Word Help You Sell More Books?
Nine Tips to Improve Your Marketing
Choose Your Colors Carefully

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio and Francesca Zama.

Giving Thanks in a Difficult Year

2020 has been a difficult year. Worldwide, the corona virus pandemic has raged causing numerous deaths and shutting down economies in countries around the world. Countless lives have been disrupted. No one has escaped the effects of this virus.

In the United States, there has been division and unrest among the populace. Many cities experienced riots with burning and looting. The Western half of the country was ravished by wildfires.

Happy Thanksgiving

Yet in the midst, God tell us to “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

So, today, Thanksgiving 2020, I invite you to give thanks. God is still good. His love, mercy, and grace still flow from his thrown to all inhabitants of earth.

I think the words of this old hymn “We Lift Our Hearts in Thanks Today” by Percival A. Chubb, is appropriate for this season.

We lift our hearts in thanks today
For all the gifts of life;
And first, for peace that turns away
The enemies of strife;

And next, the beauty of the earth,
Its flowers and lovely things,
The spring’s great miracle of birth,
With sound of songs and wings;

Then, harvests of its teeming soil
In orchard, croft and field;
But more, the service and the toil
Of those who helped them yield;

And most, the gifts of hope and love,
Of wisdom, truth and right,
The gifts that shine like stars above
To chart the world by night.

As we receive, so let us give,
With ready, generous hand,
Rich fruitage from the lives we live
To bless our home and land.

 
Related Posts:

The Benefit of Thanksgiving
Counting Blessings
Giving Thanks to God!

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A Special Offer

Out with the old, in with the new!

This American idiom is usually said at the beginning of a new year. With a new year—2021—right around the corner, now is the time to contemplate this idea.

What new things or fresh start are you going to usher in with the new year?

In regards to writing, publishing, and marketing books, what do you need to focus on or do more of?

  • Writing
  • Publishing more books
  • Book promotion
  • Book marketing
  • Networking

Joining a professional publishing association can help you with your goals for 2021. Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) provides its Members with information, tools, and cost-saving benefits to help both indie authors and small publishers have more success with publishing and marketing Christian books. Members have access to:

  • Checklists for designing a professional book and book marketing activity timeline.
  • Webinars to increase your proficiency.
  • Cost savings when publishing a book including discount on purchasing ISBNs and free title uploads and revisions with IngramSpark.
  • Mastermind groups in 2021 for learning and networking with likeminded individuals.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) has been helping authors and publishers since 2004. As one Members says:

“CIPA has been the most helpful resource for self-publishers I have found. Thank you for the monthly journal and the videos.” —Kathy

Right now, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is offering a Membership special for 2021.Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books

Join the Association for just $90 for the 2021 calendar year and you will receive a FREE copy of Sarah Bolme’s award winning book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books!

If you are not already a Member of CIPA, don’t miss out on this great deal! Join the Association today. JUST CLICK HERE!

Related Posts:

Your Book Matters
How to Spot a Self-Published Book
You Have No Excuse!

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