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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Book Marketing Tips 2018 - 3 Topics Hardly Anybody Blogs About



I don't know about you but I wonder why people publish "same old, same old" blogs about how authors can succeed in a world where one million books get published every year.

Number of blogs found by Google about the following topics:
  • Hire the best editor you can (4,490,000)
  • Hire the best cover designer you can (4,620,000)
  • Have a presence on Facebook (289,000,000)
  • Blog to win fans (57,300,000)
  • Authors need to build an email list (138,000,000)

Hence, the question "Why are book marketers still blogging about these topics?" is quite permissible.

And, WHY are authors reading these blogs, again and again, when they should know all of this before they even publish their first book?

So, here are a few of my thoughts about less blogged about topics:

1) Copyright

Frequently, I mention that I see very loose handling of copyright issues. For instance, many authors use famous people's quotes in their books, probably, to make their own work look in line with the findings of famous people. Others use altered/photoshopped pictures of celebrities on their book covers.

Not only pictures and texts but quotes too are copyrighted.

In the United States, anybody can sue anybody. Whether authors get sued or sue somebody, this process always begins with hiring a copyright lawyer. They will ask for a retainer upwards of five grand and charge around $ 500 per hour.

Today, results came in for a big copyright infringement lawsuit: Marvin Gaye's Heirs Vs. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

Please note the last line of the verdict: The judge ordered that both parties pay their own lawyers' costs. [Only one full week/40 hours billed at $500/hr. is $20,000.]

While Marvin Gaye's heirs probably won't have a problem with that, indie authors might.


2) Foreign authors/readers

When I updated my book "NAKED NEWS for Indie Authors: How NOT to Invest Your Marketing $$$" I also scheduled a p-book give-away on Goodreads and posted it on Facebook.

Right away, I got "attacked" by an author who told me that even though he was aware that shipping costs to foreign countries were expensive, apparently, I was alienating my foreign readers by not offering the give-away in other countries than in the United States.

That was in January 2018 when Goodreads allowed only give-aways to readers in the United States but not in other countries.

In short, even though I had no other option I still got "attacked" by somebody who did not know the facts but decided to "blast me," instead of informing himself.

Not nice.

Furthermore, as it so happens, if I can update a book (rather than rewriting it because too many details have changed) I update the existing edition on Amazon who allows buyers of prior editions to get the newly updated edition completely free. 

As it so happened, this particular author had purchased one of the prior editions and therefore was able to download this 3rd (updated) edition for free but he still stabbed at me first, telling me that I was alienating readers in other countries.

Not nice.

That being said, in the last four months I made two of my "little blue books" for authors free for five days. Even though hundreds of foreign readers pulled the free books, only very few reviewed.

Attention Non-US readers:

Most recently, I shipped two paperback books to Canada. Shipping costs via US Postal Service amounted to: $16.80 and $24.99.

Considering these costs, I'd advise foreign readers to start reviewing like US readers, if they want their countries to be added to Goodreads giveaways, once Goodreads offers these options.

People can't expect US indie authors to pay these shipping costs if they have no hope that foreign readers will review, respectively, if they hear from author friends that non-US winners did not review.

*

And, why are above mentioned bloggers who blog for the five million seven hundred and twenty thousandth time about "Indie Authors Need a Facebook Presence" not blogging about this topic?

Maybe, just maybe (?), because they don't actively market their books, don't do give-aways, don't ship books, but sell programs only?


3) Manners

Getting back to manners, a topic I already touched briefly.

In the first and second edition of my book, "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews" (2015/16) I wrote:

"Don't treat Amazon top reviewers like part of Amazon's inventory because they are not."

Of course, since then, Amazon disconnected the top reviewers' email addresses but many top reviewers also deleted their email addresses themselves because they "have had enough."

Unfortunately, some indie authors approach reviewers with the wildest, disrespectful approaches.

For instance, relatively recently, I gave an author information regarding Amazon reviews in a Facebook group. The author came back with more questions, so I recommended my book ($2.99). After all, I had already devoted quite some spare time to answer the first set of questions. The author came back with,

"I already looked up your books on Amazon but have not yet bought. How do you decide what to review?  My books are..."

Hmm, yeah, that's an approach that's going to fly really well, right?

Basically, it says, "I don't know how it works, I don't care how it works, I don't want to learn how it works, are you going to work for me...?"

.... which equates to "treating a top reviewer like part of Amazon's inventory."


Why does this attitude matter?

For the third edition of said book "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews" (published in July 2017) I researched and published a list of bloggers who review books, in part - award-winning book bloggers. By the time I had to update the book (again) in January 2018, 95% of these book bloggers had stopped accepting books for reviews, deleted their blogs, and basically stopped doing what they were doing.

That's only six-and-a-half months later.

People who weren't nice to these book bloggers ruined it FOR ALL.

***

Indie book publishing has become a serious business. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of authors who compete to get their book noticed by readers worldwide, the industry is overrun by people who try to make a fast buck, many of them use blogging as their means to attract clients.

Like your mother might have told you regarding other topics, I recommend to not waste your time listening to "same old, same old" which many people perceive as kind of comforting. They have heard it before, so they don't expect "unpleasant surprises."

***

In contrast, this blog features no nice escapes, no "same old, no same old." Then again, did "same old, same old" stuff help anybody?

If you talk to any authors who have been self-publishing since 2012, they'll tell you that everything got only more difficult because Amazon deleted free marketing options that got abused and individual reviewers and bloggers removed themselves, once they got tired of the various spiels.

***

In 2018, "same old, same old" doesn't fly any more. Book marketing is all about creativity, proper handling, and also about being polite. 

~~*~~

Gisela Hausmann is a 29 yr. self-publishing industry veteran, an email evangelist and a top reviewer. 

Her work has been featured in regional, national, and international publications 
including Success magazine (print) and Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg, The Innovation Show  a show for Square Pegs in Round Holes, "The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling"-podcast, and Austria's Der Standard and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. 

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Gisela tweets @Naked_Determina


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© 2018 by Gisela Hausmann