4 Lessons from a Book Purchase

This summer, I was introduced to an author and his book on spiritual discernment through an article in an online news outlet. The article featured the author and the topic of the book caught my attention. The article did not include the title of the book. Rather, it was a story about the author with the article mentioning that he was the author of a recently released book on spiritual discernment.

4 Lessons from a Book Purchase

I noted the author’s name and decided to check out his book. In my research, I discovered that this author has actually penned a number of books.

Lesson #1: Media exposure sells books.

With my interest piqued, I went to Amazon to check out the author. Amazon was the logical place for me to look first since that website features just about every book published.

The book’s page on Amazon revealed that the book had over 350 reviews with an average rating of 4.8 stars. I was interested in the topic and was convinced that the book would be worth my time and money when I saw the reviews.

Lesson #2:  Positive reviews, especially a large number of positive reviews, sells books.

I bought the book on Amazon. It was just convenient. I could bundle it with other purchases and get free shipping (I am not a Prime Member). When the book arrived, I was excited to read it—and I did.

It was a good book. I enjoyed it. It was an easy read. The chapters were short and the book was only about 100 pages. When I got to the end, I realized the book was only 100 pages. I was a little disappointed that it had cost as much as it did. The book’s retail price is $14.95, but Amazon sells it for about $13.00. This price seems a little steep for a 100-page book.

I realized that I had not paid much attention to the number of pages in the book when I purchased it. Rather, the description and reviews had convinced me that the book was worth buying and reading.

Lesson #3:  Price is not typically a deciding factor in book purchases—unless the book is priced unusually high.

At the end of the book, I realized how this author had been able to accumulate over 350 positive reviews in a short period of time. The book was released in January, and I purchased it six months later. The author had used a launch team.

This book had something that I have not seen before. At the very end of the book, the last six (yes, six) pages of the book were dedicated to “Special Thanks to Our Launch Team”. I counted the names on just one page and counted about 120 names. If you multiply 120 times six pages, you get a launch team of about 720 people.

This author had around 720 people talking about and writing positive reviews for his book when it launched. That is truly impressive.

Lesson #4:  Launch teams (a.k.a. Street teams) help make books successful.

If you are unfamiliar with what a Launch Team is or how to go about gathering and using one. I recommend that you join Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) and download our reference guide on Book Launch Teams. This guide covers recruiting a team, communicating with your team, promotional activities for our launch team, and rewarding your team.

Christian Indie Publishing Association’s (CIPA) Book Launch Team Guide is just one of the many resources Members of the Association have access to. You can join CIPA on our website at https://www.christianpublishers.net and have access to this Guide and many more.

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Does Your Book Title Grab People’s Attention?

The other weekend, my husband and I were chatting with some neighbors around a table at our community pool. I noticed that one of the men had a book with him.

Book Title

Being the book person that I am, I asked this gentleman what he was reading. He held up the book. The title read:

What Radical Husbands Do

Upon seeing this, another neighbor told this gentleman that he wanted to read the book when the man was finished reading it. Then, as an afterthought, he added, “If you think it’s good.”

This little interchange reminded me how important book titles are. This book title was enough to spark the attention of two males in my neighborhood. Why? Because they want to excel in their role as husbands. This book title promised to give them information on how to do that.

Your book title is extremely important. In fact, studies show that your book’s title is the first thing people consider when learning about your book.

Your title will either draw people in—as was the case at my neighborhood pool—or it will send them on their way. This is why it is important—especially with nonfiction titles—for your title to clearly tell the reader what your book is about.

When I teach at writers conferences on self-publishing, I encourage authors to use the PINC acronym to guide them as they craft titles for their book titles. PINC was created by Michael Hyatt, a former CEO of Thomas Nelson. It stands for:

Make a Promise

  • Example:  21 Seconds to Change Your World by Mark Rutland

Create Intrique

  •  Example:  Why Keep Praying? By Robert Morris

Identify a Need

  •  Example:  Steps to Peace with God  by Billy Graham

State the Content

  •  Example:  The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

In addition to using PINC, I suggest that you float your title by a number of people in your target audience. Ask them for their initial reaction on hearing or reading the title. This will give you more information as to whether your title resonates with your target audience and draws them in to want to read your book.

By the way, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is still offering our Summer Membership Special of membership through December 2021 for just $120. Join today and got access to more resources to help you be successful in publishing and marketing your books.

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You Have No Excuse!

I frequently receive random questions from authors. These come to me through email, voicemail, and social media.

You Have No Excuse

I get questions like:

  • I’ve written a book. Do you have any advice for me?
  • Do I need to register my book with Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data?
  • Can we talk so I can find ways to increase my book sales?
  • I am writing a book. Can I have it listed under both Christian fiction and regular fiction?

I am somewhat dismayed at how broad these questions are. Often, these are questions that whole books and seminars are devoted to answering.  It is clear to me that most of these authors have not taken the time to:

  1. Educate themselves about publishing and marketing.
  2. Connected with a writing or publishing group, since they are sending their question to a random organization or person with whom they have no connection.

There are plenty of books and seminars available to independent authors today. These books and seminars teach new authors everything you need to know about publishing and marketing so that you can be successful.

In addition, there are numerous groups and organizations dedicated to serving independent authors. These organizations also provide the information and resources that authors need to be successful.

Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) not only provides our Members with free webinars, we also inform them of other organizations providing training that are relevant to publishing and marketing Christian books.

For example, CIPA Members have free access to a two-day virtual book selling conference in September put on by another publishing association. Often, the educational opportunities provided by CIPA and other organizations are worth more than the Membership dues.

If you are an independent author, I encourage you to take advantage of as many webinars as you have time for. After all, success follows learning.

In fact, here are two FREE webinars that you can take next week.

How to Effectively Promote Your Self-Published BookWebinars
Sponsored by MAI
Wednesday, August 26 at 8:00 AM CDT
Register by clicking HERE

Marketing & Publicity
Sponsored by Ingram
Wednesday, August 26 at 10 AM CDT
Register by clicking HERE

I encourage you to sign up for these webinars. You really have no excuse not to have the knowledge you need to successfully publish and market your book—all it takes is a little investment of time and money.

By the way, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is still running our Summer Membership Special. You can join CIPA now for just $120 and receive Membership through December 2021!

Join today and receive the information and resources you need to better publish, market, and sell your books.

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Photo courtesy of Tumisu.

Book Marketing Advice

Earlier this year at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention, I was asked to do an impromptu interview for The Book Publicist Podcast.

The Book Publicist Podcast

During the interview, I covered a number of different marketing ideas and tactics. I invite you to listen to the interview to glean some book marketing advice!

Listen at:

https://recast.simplecast.com/01d0a534-4f0e-4063-93e7-ad4874b6c661
or
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-publicist-podcast/id1503562889

By the way, Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) receive a discount when signing up for Jason Jone’s Local PR Toolkit service. You can join today for just $120 for Membership through December 2021 with our Summer Membership Special!

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Are You Investing in Your Book?

We invest our time, money, and energy in things that are important to us. Some of these things include:

Author: Are You Investing in Your Book?

  • Our spouse
  • Our children and grandchildren
  • Other family members
  • Friendships
  • Hobbies
  • Our health
  • Our relationship with God

What about your book? Are you still investing in it?

Many times, independent authors will invest quite a bit of time and energy (and sometimes money) into bringing a book to print. They will invest in:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proofing
  • Interior layout and design
  • Cover design

Then, once the book is published, these authors sometimes put their attention on the things they neglected while focusing on the book, or they move on to writing another book.

Yet, when it comes to publishing a book, the piece that requires that most investment is marketing.

Marketing is needed if you want the words you have published to impact people. Readers must be exposed to your book in order to buy it. After all, we cannot buy something we don’t know exists.

One of my favorite quotes about marketing a book is:

“Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done but nobody else does.”  —Madi Preda

Are you investing enough time, effort, and money to market your book effectively?

One investment I believe every author and publisher should make is to join a professional organization. Professional organizations help you:

  1. Stay current by providing information so that you can invest in the most effective strategies for publishing and marketing your book.
  2. Demonstrate to other that you are serious about being an author or publisher.
  3. Save up money by giving you discounts on products and services that help with publishing and marketing your book.

A Member of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) recently told us:Christian Indie Publishing Association

Thank you for the terrific newsletters and the videos I’ve seen. These have been very, very helpful. No one else has been as helpful.”  —Karen

If you are an indie author or small publisher that creates Christian books, then you are eligible for Membership in Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). Right now, we are running a Summer Membership Special. For $120, you receive Membership through December 2021 (that’s 18 months of Membership)!

You can view the benefits CIPA Members receive at https://www.christianpublishers.net/membership/about. You can sign up to be a Member on the website at https://www.christianpublishers.net/membership/become-a-member.

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Do You Know What It Takes to Sell a Book?
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