POD Does Not Mean Poo On Demand

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Links

As an author whose publisher uses Print on Demand (POD) through Lightening Source, I’ve already come across some misconceptions about POD when I tried to convince some local bookstores to carry copies of Painted Black.  Some people don’t get that POD with Lightening Source is a technology, not a business model.

Here’s another take on some of the stigma attached to POD.

Next time you order a book online, consider this: odds are increasing that the book itself hasn’t been printed yet. Welcome to the world of on-demand printing, where books live electronically on a hard drive somewhere until someone wants a copy.

via On-demand printing helps sustain the printed page | Marketplace from American Public Media.



Breaking into the Library

Posted: April 14, 2012 in Marketing

Libraries may seem like dinosaurs to some in this digital age. But it’s a great way to get your book read and isn’t it the dream of most authors so see their book on those hallowed shelves?

For small press and independent authors, however, you have to be willing to exercise some muscle to accomplish this. One simple way that might help is to request your book from the library and have your friends and family do the same.  If there are enough requests asking to borrow a particular title, the library might be willing to invest in a copy or two.

Here are excerpts and links to articles that talk about two other suggestions for ways to break into the library scene.

Get a Library of Congress Control Number. For instance, Wordclay offers this service. Otherwise, apply directly for an Pre-Assigned Control Number.

The CIP program is more complicated: “Only U. S. publishers who publish titles that are most likely to be widely acquired by U.S. libraries” – i.e. traditionally published books, though self-publishers are certainly eligible. The difference between the programs is a full listing with author name/subject or just a control number. The Library of Congress will catalog how your book is listed. Otherwise you can draft your own and label it a Publisher Cataloging-in-Publication, as opposed to Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication. Hiring a catologing company may be necessary to produce an accurate listing. The advantage to a more extensive listing is a greater likelihood that it will be bought by libraries.

via How to Get a Self-Published Book into Libraries | Self-Publishing Review.

One of the best ways to get in front of librarians is to submit your book to be reviewed by one of several publications that librarians turn to for recommendations. You aren’t promised a favorable review. But if you get one, you can use it in your marketing materials, excerpt a blurb for your book jacket, or include it on your website.

via How to get your book reviews in front of librarians.

The changes Facebook Timeline has made to Pages might be a mixed bag, but I am liking the detailed view you get of who has been looking at what on your page.  I plan to keep on eye on this in future to hopefully improve my content and give people what they seem to want.

Shy Author’s Guide

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Marketing

I posted yesterday about how blog tours can be a good solution for an introverted writer. But there are other options as well. Check out these great tips from BuildBookBuzz.com

How do you overcome your reluctance to promote your book, regardless of your reason? Here are the “I can’t do this” excuses that I hear most often and how to get around them:

via The shy author’s guide to book promotion | Build Book Buzz.

Blog Tours

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Marketing

Rock groups go on concert tours, authors tour through bookstore after bookstore reading and signing books.  Sounds exhausting.  And intimidating if you’re an introvert like most writers.  So try doing a blog tour instead.  Everybody’s doing them.  Here’s just one blog post about the subject.  Try Googling and you’ll find a ton of tips and a ton of blogs waiting to welcome you.

A blog tour consists in booking posts about your book in a number of blogs of which the main topic matches your book. Having your book talked about is the key to getting exposure, hence readers, so the logic is easy to get.

via How to organize a #Blogtour in 6 steps | ePublish a Book.

Smooth Landing

Posted: April 5, 2012 in Marketing

I am always looking for ways to improve my author website to improve visibility.  I even had a dream last night about some changes I’m going to make today.

The article below talks about one simple thing we can do to help improve traffic flow.

A landing page refers to the first page a new visitor sees on your website, usually arriving via an ad or search engine. Specifically for books, we’re expanding on that definition a bit. A book landing page is a single permanent page (permalink) on an author website or blog which contains all the relevant information for a given book, including a link to purchase. For example:


Surprisingly, a very large segment of authors do not leverage any sort of book landing page.

via 6 Ways a Book Landing Page Can Increase Your Book’s Revenue – The Savvy Book Marketer.

Writing Reality as Fiction

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Links

Writing fiction means creating worlds the reader can believe in.  To do that, we take reality and twist it, a little or a lot.  This is what makes it believable.  I talk about my experience with twisting reality in the article below.

All fiction is reality, really.

I don’t believe you can write any book without writing about real life at the same time. It creeps even into the wildest science fiction and fantasy. I have written a series of short stories set in a dystopian world that falls somewhere between those two genres. The kernel of the world I created is the premise that life once was the way we see it today and the choices humanity made led to the universe of my Last Generation. Even a world or characters that have no connection to human beings relies on how the readers understanding of the real world cause us interpret the motivation and goals of these strange creatures.
via OmniMysteryNews

One of the ways I am promoting my novel Painted Black is to find blogs, podcasts and websites that offer free exposure to an author and their work in the form of interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc.  I’ve been gathering info on those options one by one from places like Linked In and simply by reading interviews other authors have done.  Since I’m doing all this research, and keeping track of it for my own records anyway, I thought maybe I would start sharing that list here as well.  As I gather more, I’ll post future lists as well.

If you are looking for ways to promote your work, why not check out these sites to see if they might be just what you’re looking for?

Venue Type
Name Paper Dragon Ink Interview
Website/address http://paperdragonink.com Reviews
Contact Name
Name Kris Wampler Blog Interview
Website/address http://kriswampler.wordpress.com
Contact Name Kris Wampler
Name 2012 Writers Alive Blogtalk radio
Website/address http://2012writersalive.blogspot.com/ 
Contact Name John Byk
Name National Assoc. Women on the Rise Interview
Website/address http://sylviabrowder.com/category/community-news/women-authors/ 
Contact Name Sylvia Browder
Name Morgen Bailey’s Blog Interview
Website/address http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/author-spotlights/
Contact Name Morgan Bailey
Name Margaret Millmore’s blog Author Spotlight
Website/address http://margaretmillmore.com/featured_authors
Contact Name Margaret Millmore
Name Thoughtful Reflections Interview
Website/address http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/
Contact Name Sylvia Ramsey
Name Wise Bear Books Blogtalk radio
Website/address http://www.wisebearbooks.com/category/authors/
Contact Name Quinn Barrett
Name Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews Author/Character Interview
Website/address http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com/p/interviews.html Reviews
Contact Name Guest posts
Name Artits’ Designers and Things Blogtalk radio
Website/address http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mathisinteriors
Contact Name Joanne
Name Family Matters/World of Ink Networks Guest Blog
Website/address http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork Podcast
Contact Name VS Grenier
Name OmniMystery Guest post
Website/address http://www.omnimysterynews.com/ Reviews
Name Just Imagine It Ink/Get Behind Me, Now Stay There podcast
Website/address http://www.justimagineitink.com/
Name Your Favorite Book Reviewer Interview
Website/address http://joeypinkney.com/ Review
Contact Name Joey Pinkney
Name Writers Block Party Book Feature
Website/address http://writersparty.com/ Reviews
Contact Name Lisa Taylor Author Interview
Name Crazy Lady with a Pen Review
Website/address http://crazyladywithapen.blogspot.com/  Guest blog
Name White Cat Publications Review
Website/address http://www.whitecatpublications.com/
Name Night Owl Reviews Review
Website/address http://www.nightowlreviews.com/ Author/Book profile
Name Bookshelved Review
Website/address www.bookshelved.net
Name Shelf Talk – Seattle Public Library Review
Website/address http://shelftalk.spl.org/about/
Name Bookpuddle Review
Website/address http://www.bookpuddle.blogspot.com/
Name Angieville Review
Website/address http://www.angie-ville.com/
Name All About {n} Review
Website/address http://bookwormygirl.blogspot.com
Name A Book Lovers Review Review
Website/address http://www.abook-loversreview.com/ Interview
Name Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman Blogtalk tadio
Website/address http://ramblingsofamadsouthernwoman.blogspot.com Reviews
Contact Name Ashley Founatinne Interviews
Name AlaskanBookie Reviews
Website/address http://alaskanbookie.blogspot.com Interviews
Name Cities of the Mind Interviews
Website/address http://citiesofthemind.org/
Contact Name Connor Rickett

Hogwarts takes on the Muggles

Posted: April 2, 2012 in Links

Amazon being representative of the Muggle world, that is.  Of all the publishing organizations flapping and fuming about Amazon’s apparent invasion into the industry, Pottermore sounds like it could just have the magic it takes to keep them in their place.  Which sorting hat did you end up with?

Instead of buying the ebooks through the Amazon e-commerce system, the buy link takes the customer off to Pottermore to complete the purchase, with the content seamlessly delivered to their Kindle device. It is the first time I’ve known Amazon to allow a third party to “own” that customer relationship, while also allowing that content to be delivered to its device. Amazon gets something like an affiliates’ fee from this transaction, much less than it would expect to receive selling an ebook through normal conditions. Schadenfreude doesn’t even come close.

via How Pottermore cast an ebook spell over Amazon | Books | guardian.co.uk.

I ran into a wall when I went to my local Barnes and Noble and asked if they could carry some copies of my novel Painted Black on their shelves.  When the manager looked it up in the database, she said they couldn’t because it is Print On Demand and they aren’t able to return unsold POD books.   I had no response to that so left a promo packet with her anyway and went home, dejected.

However, my publisher made it clear later that the manager did not know what she was talking about, and sent me a link to the article below.  If you use Lightning Source as your POD publishers, don’t let them blow you off with that excuse.  Read this whole article and go in well armed.

Nowadays, there’s an odd belief circulating that self publishing a book
as print on demand will keep it out of bookstores. Actually, the
opposite is true.

The Stigma of POD (Print on Demand, Lightning Source, Barnes & Noble, Borders).