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Friday, July 6, 2012

[Book Marketing Expert] Cutting Out Amazon: Does It Still Make Sense to Sell There? via @bookgal


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THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER!
A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.
July 5, 2012 Issue #276
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in this issue
-- Note From The Editor
-- Free: A Copy of Red Hot Internet Publicity!
-- Feature Article: Cutting Out Amazon: Does It Still Make Sense to Sell There?
-- 30 Ways to Market Your Website for Free!
-- Take Advantage of AME's Book Marketing Resources
-- Book Bits and Bites
-- Tips for Aspiring Writers
-- Rocket Your eBook to Success with our Powerful eBook Programs
-- Listen to Powerful Book Promotion Made Easy
-- AME in the News
-- Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
-- How To Get Your Book Mentioned In A Newspaper
-- List Your Book in the "Family Friendly Book Directory"
-- Compliments of AME - Social Media Magazines!
-- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Content
-- Reader Tip: Avoid Blogging Boo-Boos
-- Social Media Snippet: How to Get More Likes, Shares on Facebook
-- Social Media Snippet: 11 Twitter Essentials To Pimp Your Blog
-- Reader Tip!
-- WHO ARE WE
-- ------------------------------------------------------------

Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor penny@amarketingexpert.com
Welcome to a new issue of THE BOOK MARKETING EXPERT NEWSLETTER.

You are receiving this newsletter compliments of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To opt out, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.

Note From The Editor
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Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter! Dear Author,

To all of our US readers I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July and are perhaps enjoying an extended weekend. Overseas the Tour de France has started - I love the tour! It always reminds me what an amazing race that is.
Another amazing race is the one you are involved in: promoting your book. Sometimes I know it feels like you'll never get to the finish line, and guess what? You won't. There isn't a finish line in publishing, just milestones. Have you defined your milestones recently? I think it's important to do. Make sure that you've clearly defined some realistic goals for your book and celebrate when you achieve them. Great authors always have a plan and if you don't have one, you should create something that you can easily stick to.
Coming up on The Publishing Insiders we're speaking with Charlie Mac, he's an author and a marketer - though not professionally, but he's become a tireless promoter. Come listen to Charlie on our show on July 24 and be inspired!
Do you hate Amazon? I hope not, though I know a lot of people do. This week we're taking a look at the realities of selling on Amazon - does it make sense to continue to offer your book there? We have a lot of exciting things this week, including a fabulous new program if you're slightly tight on marketing funds, and a free book offer - yes, you read right: free book. I'm finishing up the rewrite of Red Hot Internet Publicity and I have a bunch of copies here we're giving away. The special offer is in the newsletter.
I hope wherever you are you're staying cool and enjoying the summer!
Wishing you publishing success,
Penny, Paula, Amy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.


Free: A Copy of Red Hot Internet Publicity!
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Get your Free copy of Red Hot Internet Publicity (paperback) today! It's been called the definitive guide to marketing your book online and it's free now, but we only have a limited number of copies so hurry, this offer won't last!
Fire Sale: Click here: https://amarketingexpert.wufoo.com/forms/red-hot-internet-publicity/ to get your free copy of Red Hot Internet Publicity. ($5 shipping and handling only)


Feature Article: Cutting Out Amazon: Does It Still Make Sense to Sell There?
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Over the years, I've had numerous conversations with authors who totally dislike the Amazon model of selling books. Mostly this refers to the percentage that Amazon takes in order to list and sell a book. With all the scuttlebutt around Amazon these days, this conversation has gotten even stronger. A lot of marketing and publicity experts have been encouraging an Amazon boycott, but does this really make sense for you? In 1999, when the self-publishing wave was starting to build (thanks to print-on-demand technology) a then fairly unknown company began to emerge as an online resource to sell books. Back then, there were limited ways to sell online, and Barnes & Noble wasn't stocking these books in their stores so Amazon became a salvation for many authors. As the online site grew in both demand and popularity Amazon did some things that were questionable at best. Who can forget the #amazonfail campaign? (if you aren't familiar with this, Google the hashtag and you'll see some old conversation around Amazon pulling certain books out of its system).
As an author, you are also a business person - and if you're not thinking that way you should be. Your decisions should be based on fact, though arguably if you don't like Amazon or what it stands for by all means follow your heart on this one. Consider this though: it's hard enough to sell a book in this market. Not just because money is tight, (because entertainment items never seem to suffer the same fate as other dispensable things) but because there's so much competition out there. If you take away a trusted sales source you could lose a customer; are you really willing to risk that?
That said, there's nothing wrong with offering your book on your website or ramping up ways to sell it direct to consumer. Doing this has much bigger benefits than just making more money: you can also build a mailing list of buyers. The process of doing this might take time, but here are some ideas that could help you move a sale from Amazon, to your website.
* Give options: First, you don't want to exclude Amazon altogether, so I suggest having buying options on your site. Though not too many because a confused mind won't make a choice. Offer Amazon and Barnes & Noble alongside your own e-commerce system.
* Incentivize your consumer: When authors tell me that they want to pull more business away from Amazon, I often encourage them to give away a bonus, or some other freebie to incentivize consumers to buy from them, instead of from Amazon. You could also give them a deadline to get the freebie because adding a sense of urgency helps to capture "the buy," but I would suggest starting with an incentive item and see how it goes. On our site we offer two books for $20 which is hugely popular. One book is printed and needs to be shipped, the other is electronic and sends automatically: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/diy-store/books-books-books/two-books-for-20/
* Discounts and shipping: Here is where it gets tough to compete with Amazon which gets very low pricing on books and discounts them heavily. Then there's the case of free shipping for Amazon Prime members or if you are willing to wait for your order. While I don't recommend discounting to the point of digging into your profit, you could offer free shipping. Consider doing this as a way to bring more people to your site. Studies show that consumers hate paying for shipping which is why the Amazon Prime service does so well.
* Building your mailing list: If you aren't seeing a lot of sales on your site but still want to build your mailing list, I would suggest adding a page to the back of your book that would invite consumers to contact you when they've bought your book. The idea is that if they bought the book anywhere else, they can still come to you to get a freebie. They get the freebie, you get their contact info. It works every time.
* e-Commerce system: If you're going to sell from your site, make sure that you have a good e-commerce system. Many sites, like WordPress, offer e-commerce systems for free and candidly, we see more buyers from PayPal than from anything else. So you don't need an elaborate credit card system, just get an account at PayPal and have it linked to your store.
While it might seem like everyone in publishing is jumping on the "I hate Amazon" bandwagon, keep in mind that there are a lot of changes happening that may or may not affect your book. Educate yourself on the industry, but don't cut out a potentially strong sales tool because you never know what big opportunity you might miss. Several years ago we had an author who sent his book to O Magazine, not thinking they'd feature it - it was just, well you know, wishful thinking. As it happened O Magazine did run a blurb on the book which was great, yes? The problem was the author chose to not have his book on Amazon and his e-commerce system on his site wasn't set up. Consequently he didn't sell a single book from the O Magazine mention. Lesson learned.


30 Ways to Market Your Website for Free!
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Discover ways to promote your site that don't cost anything but are effective - from creating press releases to using social media: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2048588/30-Free-Ways-To-Market-Your-Small-Business-Site

Take Advantage of AME's Book Marketing Resources
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Add AME to your circles on Google+ at: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117877257839352379062/. "Like" our Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, Publishing Insider shows, and more: http://www.facebook.com/bookmarketingame.
Want book marketing content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Watch "LinkedIn - How to Set Up a Great Profile with Stephanie Sammons" and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.


Book Bits and Bites
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* Author Inspiration - 15 Famous Authors on Why They Write: http://www.flavorwire.com/303590/15-famous-authors-on-why-they-write * Awwww - 12 Cuddly Bookstore Kitties: http://www.buzzfeed.com/samimain/12-cuddly-cats-in-bookstores-5pfv
* Sweet Literary Treats - Jaw-Dropping Book-Inspired Cakes: http://www.bookliciousblog.com/2012/06/jaw-dropping-book-inspired-cakes.html
* Fab Fans - A Collection of Brilliant and Inspiring Letters From Famous Authors to Their Young Fans: http://www.flavorwire.com/302861/a-collection-of-brilliant-and-inspiring-letters-from-famous-authors-to-their-young-fans


Tips for Aspiring Writers
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Words are all around us, and there are many people who desperately want to learn how to use them for self-expression. But the sad fact is that even though learning a language and its functions can be relatively easy, learning to express yourself openly is not the easiest thing to do. Developing your voice as a writer is a process that takes self reflection, dedication and practice. Thankfully, there are a few tips that you can use to become a better writer regardless of your level and experience. Read as much as possible

The journey to becoming a competent writer starts with research, but unlike boring school research, as a writer you have the freedom to research expression itself. Not only is reading beneficial to your intellect, it will also help you to pick up and assimilate the techniques and feel of great writers. If you can take the things that you like from a broad spectrum of writers, and manipulate them so that they become your own, your writing will immediately improve. Also, reading a lot will show you what has already been done so that you can steer clear and keep your own work as fresh as possible.
Experiment with free writing

Once you have an idea of what you like in other writers, it is imperative that you bring it in to your own writing. You will never develop as a writer if you don't practice and work on your narrative style, so get to it! Many writers have issues starting their work - they just don't know where to begin. If this sounds like you, then maybe you should consider free writing. This is a useful exercise in opening up. All that you do is start writing - you don't even have to use sentences, just write the first thing that comes to your mind.
Eventually you will realize that you've written something of value. Even if you simply take phrases from another work, you will feel that you've accomplished something, and writing will become easier. Another useful tool is Internet sites that allow you to write variations on popular stories, in a fill-in-the-missing-word style. What would you have done with Harry Potter right at the end? Write it and have it critiqued by an online community.
Practice, be open, and look for advice everywhere and you will start to grow as a writer.
Guest post by freelance writer Victoria Heckstall. She is a stay at home mom who has been currently writing about Royal Bank Credit Cards and BMO Business Credit Cards, http://www.creditcardscanada.net/bmo-bank-of-montreal-credit-cards.


Rocket Your eBook to Success with our Powerful eBook Programs
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The key to eBook success is this: finding readers for your book! Our eBook programs will help push your title out to eBook lovers everywhere, including readers and possible reviewers. No one knows book publicity like we do, and now we have two fantastic eBook programs to choose from!
Gold eBook Promotion: $699

* 5 Amazon or Barnes & Noble reviews to dress up your book's page and draw eyes!
* Guaranteed 10-15 submissions on top eBook promotion sites.
* LibraryThing giveaway: we will coordinate and promote a giveaway on LibraryThing for you so you don't have to do a thing! And winners are encouraged to review your book!
* We'll promote your giveaway to the 5 top online giveaway sites.
* We'll also promote your book to our 13,000 Twitter followers.
* Finally, we'll promote your book on 5 top eBook free download promotion sites*.
Silver eBook Promotion: $499

* Guaranteed 10-15 submissions on top ebook promotion sites.
* LibraryThing giveaway: we will coordinate and promote a giveaway on LibraryThing for you so you don't have to do a thing! And winners are encouraged to review your book!
* We'll promote your giveaway to the 5 top online giveaway sites.
* We'll also promote your book to our 13,000 Twitter followers.
* Finally, we'll promote your book on 5 top eBook free download promotion sites*.
How does it work?

To promote your eBook we'll need:
1. Author and book information.
2. A copy of your book in a PDF, .mobi or .epub format.
3. Confirmation of your free promo via Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon, https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A6KILDRNSCOBA#freepromo, or your website*.
What happens?

We ask that you have everything ready, including author and book information, files, and your free promo confirmed, before submitting your order. Once we have everything we'll take it from there!
We strongly encourage you to sign up for Amazon's free promo that lets readers download your book for free, for up to five days. Our authors have had AMAZING success in generating exposure with this option, and you'll be giving our team that much more to work with.
Get Started! https://amarketingexpert.wufoo.com/forms/rocket-your-ebook-to-success-with-ame/
* This optional component can only be utilized in conjunction with a KDP Select free download promo or a free download promo on your website. If you choose to run one on your website you will need to arrange this with your website manager.


Listen to Powerful Book Promotion Made Easy
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You can enjoy AME's podcasts on iTunes at no cost! Topics cover everything from book marketing and promotion to the latest Publishing Insiders show: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/powerful-book-promotion-made/id139245590

AME in the News
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* Penny was interviewed in Costco Connection for the article, "Very Pinterest(ing): Business owners 'pin it' to win it:" http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201207#pg23 * BookBaby's post, "Promote Your Book on a Budget: 20 Thrifty Ways to Get Your Writing Out There" includes tips from Penny: http://blog.bookbaby.com/2012/06/promote-your-book-on-a-budget/
* Keep up with Penny's latest articles for Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri


Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
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Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go! Upcoming show:

Do You Have a Platform? Do You Know What a Platform Is? on Tuesday, July 10 at 4 p.m. Pacific:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepublishinginsiders/2012/07/10/do-you-have-a-platform-do-you-know-what-a-platform-is

Every author, every book, needs a Platform. It's the stage, the very foundation of your book and authoring business. It will take a Village to create it and you are the Mayor. Platforms don't happen overnight.

In this show, Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd, will guide you to:

· Identifying which publishing venue is right for you
· Creating the time and space to create your masterpiece
· Finding which Internet and social media features will work for your book
· Learning the components of creating a successful book launch
Shows available for download include:

* All About Mobile Marketing
* What's Going on With Google Updates?
* No Money Out of Pocket: Shooting Your Book to Stardom
* Secrets to Creating Book Titles That Sell
* How to Create a Brand-Building Buzz with Media
* Book Reviews: Do You Need Them?
* Special Guest Amy Porterfield on The New Facebook Page
* All Things Pinterest
* "Like" My Stuff
* Secrets to Creating Children's Book Apps
* Lead Without Followers with Dave Ursillo
* Facebook Facts from Social Media Expert Mari Smith
* Special Guest Mike Stelzner on social media marketing
* Special Guest Amy Porterfield on Facebook Marketing
* Special Guest Chris Brogan on Google+
* How and Where to Sell Your Self-Published Book
* Speaker Tips for Authors
* How to Get Your Book Reviewed
* The Future of Author Events
* What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design
* SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box
* Smart Self-Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter
* Smart Self-Publishing: Making Money with eBooks
* Smart Self-Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher


How To Get Your Book Mentioned In A Newspaper
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Although newspapers have cut back or even eliminated book reviews there are other ways to get coverage: http://www.bookbuzzr.com/blog/book-marketing/how-to-get-your-book-mentioned-in-a-newspaper/

List Your Book in the "Family Friendly Book Directory"
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In honor of the 10th Anniversary of I Love To Write Day, John Riddle will publish the "Family Friendly Book Directory" and send it to the 28,000 schools all across the U.S. that celebrate ILTWD every Nov. 15. He will ask the school librarian to share the directory with the students, teachers, administrators and parents. In addition, he will send the directory to his e-newsletter subscribers, and it will be posted on http://www.ilovetowriteday.org/.
If you have a "family friendly" book, it can be listed at no cost! A listing includes: Name of book, author, price and website address.
For an additional fee, you can also post your book cover graphic and include up to 5 lines of copy.
Save 50% on paid listings until July 15. Contact johnriddle@sprintmail.com for more info.


Compliments of AME - Social Media Magazines!
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Read Penny's interview with bestselling author David Meerman, who offers insights into getting the most out of social media: http://socialmediamags.com/google_magazine/april-may-2012?promo=ame Get your free copies of Social Media Magazines, compliments of Author Marketing Experts:

http://socialmediamags.com/emails/customs?promo=ame


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Content
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Content marketing can be an effective way to market your book. Here's how to get the most mileage out of your content: https://marketyourbookblog.com/content-marketing-timesavers/

Reader Tip: Avoid Blogging Boo-Boos
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Nina Amir's blog is the source of her book How To Blog A Book (http://amzn.to/NinaAmir) published by Writer's Digest Books. I'm proud that she included my guest post, "Blogging Booboos for Beginners" on her famous blog. Be sure to leave a comment (it should include a link to something of your own if you want it to work for your own promotion campaign) and search for more great information on blogging from someone who knows. http://writenonfictionnow.com/blogging-booboos-for-beginners-a-bakers-dozen/ Tip offered by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of how-to books for writers. http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.


Social Media Snippet: How to Get More Likes, Shares on Facebook
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Using photos is a great strategy, but there are other ways to get more people to respond to your Facebook posts: http://mashable.com/2012/06/19/how-to-get-more-likes-shares-on-facebook-infographic/

Social Media Snippet: 11 Twitter Essentials To Pimp Your Blog
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You can use Twitter to get more people to read and follow your blog. Here's how: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/02/08/11-twitter-essentials-you-need-to-pimp-your-blog/

Reader Tip!
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If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to penny@amarketingexpert.com with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.

WHO ARE WE
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Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from. To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to penny@amarketingexpert.com with the subject line "Author Services Info." You can also visit our website at www.amarketingexpert.com.
Reprint permission
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You are welcome to reprint any items from "The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter." However, please credit us as a source with the following paragraph:

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com


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We never rent or sell subscriber lists to any third party. Your privacy is very important to us. Always. To subscribe to this newsletter, click here: subscribe@amarketingexpert.com.

----- Copyright 2012 Author Marketing Experts, Inc. -----

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