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.

Quality Workmanship

The other day I saw an interesting sticker on the back of a construction company vehicle. It read:

quality

We promise quality workmanship
At a profit if we can
At a loss if we must
But always quality workmanship

I was impressed. Here is a company that is demonstrating integrity and promising quality workmanship no matter what.

What about you? Is quality workmanship at the forefront of your priorities?

Whether you write and publish your own books or publish the works of others, is quality one of your top priorities? Or, have you lost sight of quality workmanship in the pursuit of growing your business, growing your readers, or growing your profits?

As children of God, our priority should be in “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Whatever you are doing to write, publish, and promote your books should be done with quality. Remember, what you do is reflecting Jesus to the world. It is so easy to get sidetracked. Take a lesson from this construction company, and make quality your priority, even if it means a financial loss at times.

Related Posts:
Quality Matters
Is Your Book a Work of Beauty?
Distinction

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Boosting Global Sales

Book selling is becoming an increasingly global market. The Internet and ebooks have driven this trend. Globalization is great for authors and publishers as it means a wider audience and more book sales.

Global Sales

Any author with an ebook on Amazon or Kobo knows that International sales of your book are not only possible, they have probably already happened. According to Code Mantra, the six largest book markets by country are (in order):

1. United States
2. China
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. France
6. United Kingdom

All these countries have English readers who purchase books.

If you collect email addresses from visitors to your website or blog, you may already be aware that not all the visitors to your site are from the country you reside in. Even on social media, all your followers are not from your country of residence. After all, I am fully aware that that not everyone reading this blog post lives in the United States.

Global reach can present a problem when promoting a book. If you send out an email to your list of customers containing a link to buy your book or if you put up a social media post with a link to buy your book, often this link is to your own website where you sell the book or to Amazon’s website in your country of residence. However, if a consumer in another country clicks on that link, they are not going to buy from Amazon in the United States if they live in China.

If you have a rather large global following, this issue can be of concern to you. Fortunately, there is a free solution to this problem.

A service called SmartURL can help you point your potential customers to an online store in their country of origin through the use of one single URL. SmartURL was originally designed for music sellers. It allows music sellers to create a single URL that directs people to the correct online store (Apple or Google Play) to purchase music depending on the device they are using to access the URL.

SmartURL will also allow you to direct someone who clicks on your purchase link to a specific online store depending on what country the person is accessing the Internet from. In essence, with SmartURL, you create a unique URL that sends everyone to a destination URL that you specify to purchase your book. With this same URL, you can direct people from various countries to the appropriate online store in their country to purchase your book.

If you are concerned that you may be losing sales due to globalization of readers, I encourage you to check out SmartURL and try it out for your next book sale marketing push. With this free tool, you can direct your potential customers to an online sales site selling your book in their currency.

Related Posts:
Develop a Global Strategy
The Global eBook Market
The World is Ready for eBooks

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We Want Your Vote!

If you read or sell Christian books, you are invited to VOTE for the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

pencil voteYou can vote online right now at www.BookoftheYear.net. Voting on the Book of the Year Award is open through March 31, 2016.

Although small publishers are often less well known than larger publishing houses, they produce fresh and innovative books to inspire readers or fill niche needs. The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award honors books produced by small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.

The 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award features 123 books in 14 categories.

The winners of this award are determined solely by the votes of Christian book lovers and retailers alike. The winners of the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award will be announced by May 1, 2016.

The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

What are you waiting for? Go Vote! And, invite your friends to vote also!

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Publishing Industry Trends for 2016

At the beginning of January, I blogged about some marketing and publishing predictions for 2016 that I thought you should be aware of. These were great predictions, but not all were directly related to publishing and promoting a book. Today, I am going to talk about some tactics book publishers plan to engage in this year.

Trends

Book Business, a magazine for book production and manufacturing, recently conducted its annual Trendspotting Survey that asks leaders in the book industry to share what technology they plan to invest in and which products and platforms they anticipate will drive revenue growth for their publishing organizations for the coming year. A few of the insights Book Business gleaned from this year’s survey include:

1. Digital printing will grow in 2016.
More publishers indicated that they plan to spend dollars on print-on-demand for this year than previously. Since many answering this survey were larger publishers, this means that these publishers are transitioning more from traditional printing to print-on-demand.

2. Interest in email marketing is growing.
Last year email marketing was near the bottom of publisher’s technology priorities. This year over one-fourth of publishers reported that they plan to invest in email marketing.

3. eBooks and print books are expected to drive the most revenue growth in 2016.
Even though audiobooks make up one of the fastest growing segments of the book industry, most publishers believe ebooks and print books will lead revenue growth this year.

4. Social media will play a significant role in book marketing in 2016.
Book Business asked survey respondents what marketing platforms they think offer the greatest opportunity to grow profits. Two-thirds of respondents reported that social media offered the most opportunity for the coming year.

What do these trends mean for you, the small publisher or independently published author? I think there are two important things to note from these trends.

First, publishers are planning to invest more in email marketing this coming year. While social media is growing as a way to connect with consumers, email still remains one of the strongest marketing tools. Expert marketers consistently rank email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention with customers. Some statistics say that the average return is $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing. If you are not using email as part of your book promotion strategy, I encourage you to begin to do so this year.

Second, social media is here to stay. It is growing in as a tool for people to not only stay connected with others, but also as a news source. Studies show that 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media. Taking your message to where your audience hangs out is an important strategy in promoting a book. As such, social media is increasingly becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns as more people are hanging out on that medium.

So, as you plan your book promotion strategies moving forward, I encourage you to invest in both email marketing as well as social media to get the word out about your book.

Related Posts:
Predictions for 2016 That You Should Know
How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book
Email Marketing is Still Important

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How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book

You know you need to do more on social media to promote your books. However, the whole idea overwhelms you. Maybe you are afraid of getting sucked into a black hole that you can’t escape. Maybe you just aren’t sure how to go about using social media to promote your books.

This social media infographic by Pardot.com showcases how in just 30 minutes a day, you can make the most of social media. The infographic includes six major social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. If you don’t want to use all six, that is fine. Learn how to rock social media in less than 30 minutes a day and more effectively promote your book.

Related Posts:
A Successful Social Media Strategy
Social Media Success
Discovering Books Via Social Media

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