“In the course of being an IndiePub Coach I get a lot of questions about self-publishing, promoting one’s books, and sales figure projections. This week I’d like to share the questions I’ve received recently and the answers that I’ve given to writers considering independently publishing their work,” Ms. Hill explains.
"The Self-Publishing movement is growing at attention-grabbing levels. After the Book Expo of America was held several months ago, it was computed from industry surveys that out of every ten emerging authors ready to publish, NINE will self-publish!"
"Kirsten Nelson of the Nelson Agency revealed in a radio show interview that we recently shared that her agency took in 36,000 query letters and only published THREE from the field of inquiries she and her partner received. The traditional publish-process is at a complete gridlock," Emily Hill concluded as our interview began:
1. ISBN Numbers
A Client Asks: Thanks for the ISBN # for my print book. Do I need the one for the e-book version of my book?
Emily: ISBNs are very territorial entities.
For ebooks an ASIN number will be assigned by your book vendor - which indeed will be different from the print book ISBN. So far, there is no outlet for an author to pre-assign and submit their own ASIN to a book vendor. And, it's fine to trust Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords to assign an ASIN number to your title.
Remember, the purpose of an ISBN, and ASIN is for the vendor (aka sales channel) to know how to apply the sales revenue in THEIR system for your book. **It is very, very different from your Library of Congress number which is exclusive.
Some titles have six or seven ISBN and ASIN numbers – ‘Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner’ has six ISBN/ASIN numbers:
An ISBN for CreateSpace
An ISBN for Ingram’s
An ASIN number for Smashwords
... for Nook
2. CreateSpace Upload first, or KDP Amazon Upload first?
A Client Asks: Should I upload to CreateSpace or to Kindle first?
Emily: I recommend to everyone that I meet to upload to KDP Amazon first.
a) It's free
b) It's easy
c) The options for editing your work, your marketing strategy, your cover art is simple
d) The ‘instant sale’ status let’s you know if your book marketing campaign isn’t making the grade.
a) CreateSpace is more expensive - do it AFTER you have every 'first-publish' bugs worked out;
b) Changes and edits to your CreateSpace manuscript require a galley print review = $$
c) And 'pulling' early (errant) editions are impossible to grab back from readers once they're out in the world.
3. Marketing and Promotions
A Client Asks: My Co-op Publisher is listing my title with Bowker and calling that ‘marketing’
Emily: In a word, ‘No’. I wonder if you understood your Co-Op Publisher correctly. Bowker is merely an outlet for ISBN numbers. Having your title sit in the Bowker inventory [which is a system that is closed to the general public] is in no way ‘promotion’
Your book’s sales figures will disappoint you if you depend exclusively on the fact that your book is listed with Bowker.
To give you an overview of the basic and necessary facets of promoting your titles, please read the marketing section of ‘All Smart Cookies Can Self Publish. This guide, available on Amazon, will give you some fresh ideas on how to promote your title while budgeting your time.
4. A Client Asks: My friends want to know when my book signing is going to be. Should I be asking book stores in my city to have a signing for me after my book is published?
Emily: Only in the movies are book signings ‘sexy’. When it comes to ‘in the moment’ book sales signings work for celebrity authors only. Of course, bookstore owners love them because the authors’ friends become potential bookstore customers once they have said ‘Hello’ to the author.
The only way to make bookstore signings work for an author is if the author moves around the store! So…grab a copy of your book, take a pocketful of Hershey’s kisses and start meeting the people who count the most in a bookstore – the Information Desk staff. They are the ones who need to know about you, your title, your enthusiasm for your book. And, they are the ones who will lead patrons to your title long after your friends have left the store. Hang out in the section of the store that would carry your title. What are people buying? Introduce yourself, “Hi! I see that you are interested in [fill in blank]. I am the author of [book title]. I’m having a book signing today. [Point in the direction of your signing table.] Invite them to stop by before they leave the store.
A month after your book signing, it’s Hershey’s kisses time again! Go back and say ‘Hi!’ to your Information Staff friends.
5. The Wonderful World of IndiePub Coaching
Potential Client of A.V. Harrison Publishing: Do you like what you’re doing?
Emily: Yes, I love the work. My familial roots are in publishing and the newspaper business, so all this publishing stuff comes somewhat naturally.
I hope you’ll let me help you if you run into any problems in your formatting, uploading, or book marketing. It’s an exciting time to be in publishing, enjoy yourself!
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A.V. Harrison Publishing features ground-breaking topics from emerging authors. Its books are distributed by Ingram, available on Amazon.com and B&N Nook. Owner, Emily Hill, invites submissions and can be contacted at info@avharrison-