How Not to Sell a Book

Nominations for the 2018 Christian Indie Awards are rolling in. One recent nomination demonstrates how not to sell a book. I thought I would share it with you, so you can know what not to do.

The Christian Indie Awards nomination form requests various information. The form asks the nominating party to list the publisher of the book along with contact information. This contact information is very important, because it is who we contact should the book win an award.

One recent nomination listed CreateSpace as the publisher of the book and gave contact information for CreateSpace. Folks, CreateSpace is not a publisher. Yes, you can request that they assign your book an ISBN number and then they list themselves as the publisher of the book on Amazon, but they are not the true publisher of the book.

If you are an independent author, you are the publisher. If you use any print-on-demand service like CreateSpace, IngramSpark, Lightning Source, BookBaby, or LuLu, you are still the publisher. These companies are simply printing platforms that allow you to independently publish your book.

So, this independent author lists CreateSpace as the publisher of the book and gives the contact information for CreateSpace. Now, if this nominated title were to win an award, we would have to send the announcement to CreateSpace. Do you think CreateSpace cares? Do you think they would contact the author and let the author know that he won an award? No, they won’t. CreateSpace is simply a revenue stream for Amazon. The company exists so that Amazon has more books to sell, and thus can make more money.

In an attempt to see if I could scare up other contact information for this author, I Googled the book’s title. To my dismay, the only place this book is listed on the internet is Amazon. The author does not have a website for the book. Neither the author nor the book are listed on Goodreads. There is not even a Facebook page for the book. Nothing.

Next, I strolled on over to Amazon to check the Author Page to see if I could scare up some information on the author. This time, I was not too surprised when I found that this author had not even completed the author profile for his Author Page on Amazon.

The book in question was published in November 2016. That was a year ago. In that time, the author has done almost nothing (from what I can tell) to promote this book. That’s like saying you are a missionary, but all you do is put some tracts in a local café and spend the rest of your time sitting in your house. How will people hear about the Gospel unless you tell them? How will people know about your book unless you tell them?

Having your book for sale only on Amazon with no other online presence will ensure that your book won’t sell. You must tell people about your book for them to know about it. Telling on the internet includes (at a minimum) having a website and a presence on social media.

By the way, nominations for the Christian Indie Awards are open through November 15, 2017. You can nominate your books at www.christianaward.com.

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Photo courtesy of Brandon Kawamura.

Oh, The Places Your Book Will Go!

On a recent weekend excursion, I stayed in a HomeAway basement apartment in Virginia. For those of you who aren’t familiar with HomeAway, it is a competitor of Airbnb. Both services help people rent anything from a bed in their home up to their complete house to travelers.

It was obvious that the main room of this basement apartment doubled as a bonus room for the family when they were not renting their basement to travelers. One wall held bookcases that were full of books.

Being a book person, I spent a few minutes perusing the books on these bookshelves. I gleaned a number of things about the family whose house I was staying in from the books they had on these shelves.

I learned that the family followed Christ. At least one of the spouses had attended a Christian university (the yearbooks were housed on these shelves) and there were numerous Christian books on the shelves.

As I was browsing the various titles, much to my delight, I encountered a title that had won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award (now renamed the Christian Indie Awards). I pulled the book off the shelf, and sure enough, the award sticker was proudly displayed on the book’s cover.

I love to see books by small publishers and independently-published authors on bookshelves in homes I visit. What a treat to find this gem among other great Christian books!

The number of independently published books is on the rise. Recent studies have found that almost one out of every five books (17+%) purchased is an independently published book. As a result, I am sure more and more bookshelves will be housing independently published book, including winners of award for these types of books like the Christian Indie Awards.

By the way, nominations are still open for the 2018 Christian Indie Awards. You can nominate any Christian book you have published in 2016 or 2017 for the awards through November 15, 2017. Nominations can be made by either the author or the publisher. The award is open to independently published books as well as books published by small presses.

Make your nomination today at https://www.christianaward.com.

Have you ever seen a book you published displayed or stored someplace that pleasantly surprised you?

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Call for Nominations for the Christian Indie Awards

As the number of independently published Christian books grows, vehicles are needed to bring awareness and give recognition to these books. The Christian Indie Awards is one tool striving to do just that.

The Christian Indie Awards are sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). These awards are open to any small publisher or independent author who has published a Christian book. To be eligible to nominate a title, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Books must be Christian in nature, promote the Christian faith, and intended for the Christian marketplace.
  • Books must be published with a 2015 or 2016 copyright and released for sale in 2015 or 2016. New editions of previously published books are eligible. Reissued editions are not.
  • Books must be printed in English and available for sale in the United States.
  • The nomination of a title must be made by the publisher or author of the book.
  • Eligible publishers must be small presses or independently published authors with revenues of $450,000 or less per year.

The award is offered in 14 categories. To nominate your title visit the Christian Indie Awards website at https://www.christianaward.com. Nominations are accepted through November 15, 2017.

Discover four great benefits of wining a book award. Watch this video:

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Four Benefits of Winning a Book Award

“The best piece of advice you gave me was to enter my book into book awards.”

Of all the marketing advice this independent author had received from me, he felt that the encouragement to enter his book into book awards was the most valuable. Holding up his book, the author pointed to the new book award logo on the cover. He shared with me how winning the book award opened doors for promotion and sales opportunities.

Winning a book award provides many benefits. Following are four ways authors benefit from a book award. Winning an award:

1. Gives your book a seal of approval.
Your award sticker signals to the world that your book is excellent, that it is a quality book worth readers’ time and money.

2. Helps your book stand out from the crowd.
An award sticker gives your book’s cover bling, making it eye-catching. Additionally, studies show that when buyers are presented two books on the same topic, they will pick the one with an award sticker over the one without.

3. Brings you prestige.
When you win an award, you get to bill themselves as an award-winning author. Having this type of clout opens doors of opportunity.

4. Provides you and your book publicity opportunities.
The media will pay more attention to a pitch from an award-winning author. Winning a book award gives you additional opportunities to tell your audience about your book and persuade them to buy.

There are numerous book award contests available for authors to enter. One award, the Christian Indie Awards, sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is open for nominations. This award honors Christian books by small publishers and independent authors.

If you are an independent author or a small publisher, you can nominate your book for the Christian Indie Awards. Nominations are open at www.christianaward.com.

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Book Awards Produce Winners!

Nominations are open for the 2018 Christian Indie Awards! The awards are sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Christian Books published in 2016 and 2017 are eligible for nomination. For complete nomination guidelines and to nominate a book, visit www.ChristianAward.com.

Not sure if you should enter a book award? Check out these 10 reasons to do so.

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