The Difference Between Price and Value and Why it Has Nothing to Do with Your Book

a new pathWhen I read Richard Halliburton’s first book, The Royal Road to Romance it altered how I think about the process of living. Though it is as far from a business book as you can get, it is one reason I make a good living doing things I love.

Another reason (and, to contradict what I said above, even less of a business book) is Dr. Seuss’ unknown classic I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. A youngster, plagued by problems, sets out for Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles, at least, very few.” The lesson he learns, again, triggered new thinking and new actions, a different path in life.

At the other end of the spectrum, I own 3/4 of Donald Knuth’s indispensable The Art of Computer Programming and haven’t made it past the first few chapters of book one (the engagingly entitled Fundamental Algorithms, which I assure is dead sexy to Knuth’s target audience.)

Continue reading “The Difference Between Price and Value and Why it Has Nothing to Do with Your Book”

Launch Print and Digital Versions Simultaneously for Better Sales

Another reason to make both versions available at the same time is to avoid alienating your fans.

“What? No print version?”

“What? No digital version?”

photo by meral akbulut

Whichever you publish first, someone will feel left out. Don’t miss an opportunity for a sale because you weren’t ready when your fan was ready.

Multi-format sales are slowly bleeding into Amazon. Continue reading “Launch Print and Digital Versions Simultaneously for Better Sales”

The Introvert’s Guide to Book Marketing by Tim Grahl

introvertI may be a people person, but I’m still a serious introvert. I need 51% of my time to be me, alone. At least 51%. (Best Beloved does not count because, for all practical purposes which don’t involve clothing, we are one.)

I’ve watched Grahl work with Dan Pink and David Burkus (as a member of their street teams for To Sell Is Human and The Myths of Creativity) and Tim is the goods, the real deal, the guy who does it right. Which is what his book is about.

You can even sign up to learn buckets of stuff completely free. But start by reading this article, because it’s pure unadulterated truth about why introverts can be stupendous at marketing.

Is Theory Enough?

I’ve studied humanistic marketing methods extensively during the past decade. What I’ve learned changed my life, not just my business.

photo by Mikhail Lavrenov

In 2006 the company I worked for shut down, just as my Best Beloved came home from 4 months in the hospital after a near-death experience. After struggling for 4 years we gave up the home we were renting in order to house-sit, in part because we could no longer afford to pay rent and utilities. From that poverty, we’ve come to making a decent living in 2013. I’ll define “decent living” — we pay all our bills on time these days, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary with a loooong weekend in a bed and breakfast on the coast of Lake Michigan, and we’re planning a 3-month trip to Ireland some time in the next 18 months.

We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, but we’re no longer poor, even by my humble standards.

Here’s what I haven’t done yet: applied that marketing expertise to selling my own books.

Continue reading “Is Theory Enough?”

Will This Book Be Right for You?

Most authors think marketing is a scary deep dark hole. I think it’s filled with rainbows and possibly unicorns, so I’m writing a book to see if you can learn to be as goofy about it as I am.

photo by Jose Bernalte

You’ll be disappointed to find that Commonsense Zero-Cost DIY Marketing for Authors will not be a step by step marketing guide. Like all my books it’s a why to rather than a how to.

But it will include lots of information like

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Would You Like Someone to Sell Your Books for You?

photo by Carla Peroni new question is coming up with some regularity.

“Why wouldn’t a confident marketing expert promote my book for a portion of the profit instead of charging me up front?”

Here’s why.
Continue reading “Would You Like Someone to Sell Your Books for You?”

Brick & Mortar Local Celebrity

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 9:04 AM, Cheryl Campbell <> wrote:Hi Joel,

Hope you had a great weekend. It’s Monday and I’m armed with more questions, of course!

I got the book up on Amazon this weekend. That happened faster than I thought it would so that was exciting. I’m still working on the CreateSpace piece for printing, but I should have the proof review and all that done by the end of this week.

So my question…rather questions, are around taking the book to local brick and mortar stores. I can’t imagine just walking in with a handful of books and saying “Hi, I wrote this. Will you display and sell it for me?” is the way to go.

What do I need to bring with me when approaching a book store? A printed synopsis, flyers, something else?

I’m guessing I would talk to a manager?

Do I call ahead to speak with said manager before showing up?

Really quite clueless on this part. Figured I’d start asking now before I started this piece of the process.



Continue reading “Brick & Mortar Local Celebrity”

Marketing Your Books in the New Age of Publishing

photo by BarbaraDin longer diatribe about marketing your self-published book. This is a year-long class, which I’d be glad to give if y’all are interested.

Publishing is in the greatest upheaval since Gutenberg. Supporters of traditional publishing will tell you it’s the only choice, or you’re not a real author.

I’ll take the opposing view: the only rational choice, from both the artistic and commercial perspectives, is to pick yourself, own the process, and reap the rewards. Here’s why:
Continue reading “Marketing Your Books in the New Age of Publishing”

4 More Quick Marketing Tips

Add these 4 to the 6 we already did, and you’ve got a good start.

photo by Alfred Borchard

  1. When anyone asks “what do you do?” introduce yourself as “the author of [your book’s name.]” When you self-identify as a writer, it changes your own perspective. This is not the same as pestering every person you meet with “hey, I wrote a book, and I’m going to tell you about it whether you like it or not.” Just identify yourself as the author, and if they don’t ask, you don’t pester. But say it.
  2. Ask your readers to write honest reviews at Amazon
  3. Carry copies with you everywhere, so when an opportunity arises, you can talk about it and sell it.
  4. Write your next book. A single-book author doesn’t stand out very much any more. “I’m working on my second book” is a good way to show you’re a career author, not a flash in the pan.