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.

Related Posts:
Oh, The Places Your Book Will Go!
It’s Never Too Late
How to Get a Book into a Christian Bookstore

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Photo courtesy of Brandon Kawamura.

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.

Related Posts:
Announcing Christian Indie Awards
Book Awards Produce Winners
Receiving a Coveted Book Award

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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.

Related Posts:
Announcing: Christian Indie Awards
The Value of Book Awards
What’s So Great About Book Awards?

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Do You Need an Excuse?

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Book of the Year Award! If you are an independently published author or a small publisher with a Christian book intended for the Christian market that promotes the Christian faith in some way, I encourage you to nominate your book. For complete nomination guidelines and to nominate a book, visit www.bookoftheyear.net.

Of course, you might not want to nominate your book. If you need an excuse to not enter a book award, here are 10 Reasons to Not Enter a Book Award.

10-reasons-not-book-award

Related Posts:
10 Reasons to Enter a Book Award
The Value of Book Awards
Receiving a Coveted Book Award

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Opening Doors for Authors

I like it when someone is polite enough to hold a door open for me. It means that I don’t have to fumble with a door, and I can just be ushered into the building I am entering.

Sometimes as authors we knock on doors to get people to open them. Other times we try to heft the door open ourselves. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes the door remains closed to us. Each door represents another path to receive more exposure and sales for our books.

holding-door-clipart-1

Are you tired of grappling with doors? A book award can help. Book awards open doors for authors.

This summer at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) I met a literary agent who wanted to know more about Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). As we talked, one of the things I shared with her was that CSPA is the sponsor of the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

This literary agent recognized the award. She told me that she has a client whose children’s book won this award a few years ago. She reported that she had been working with this particular client to secure a contract for a new line of children’s books with a large Christian publishing house. They had recently signed a deal.

I wondered aloud whether the book award had some influence in that decision. Her response was that a book award always shines favorable light on an author.

Whether you are looking to secure a contract with a traditional publishing house, or simply just want to sell more books, winning a book award helps open doors for you.

Of course, you can’t win a book award unless you enter a contest. The number of book award contests grows each year. There are plenty to choose from, including the list of Christian book awards you can find at www.christianbookaward.com. Allotting some of your marketing dollars for book award entry fees is a smart idea.

The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is currently open for nominations for the 2017 Book of the Year. The award is granted in 14 categories. If you are a small publisher or an independently published author with a book that promotes the Christian faith, you can nominate your book for the award.

To read the complete nomination eligibility and guidelines and to nominate your book, simply visit the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award website at www.bookoftheyear.net.

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10 Reasons to Enter a Book Award
Book Awards Matter
The Value of Book Awards

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