About Clark

Clark Covington is the Founding Editor and Publisher of BookMarketing.net. Mr. Covington founded several startups in the book, media, and marketing space. Google

Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts Talks NYT Book Review Article, Focus, and More

NYU Adjunct Professor of self-publishing, traditional house and self-published author, and book development, publicity, and marketing  firm owner Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts offers an intriguing look at the art of creating and marketing a self-published title. In addition to discussing the importance of producing a high quality product, and the benefit of focus in book marketing, Penny discusses the highly-publicized New York Times piece discussing the role of paid book reviewers in the self-publishing ecosystem.

 

For more information on Penny Sansevieri visit Author Marketing Experts.

For more book marketing expert interviews check out our SoundCloud page.

Self-Published Graphic Novelists Rejoice – Indie Aisle Here To Save The Day

A surge in self-publishing popularity not only helped the fledgling romance novelist take bookstore sales to new heights, it is also bearing fruit for authors of all kinds, including those of graphic novels.

Indie Aisle, a service that turns two in November, offers a robust suite of self-publishing services that are especially friendly for the graphic novelist. While the site pitches itself as a tool for any self-published author looking to convert, publish, and promote their book, we think the design-focused author might benefit the most from the tools offered on Indie Aisle. Here’s the rundown on this up-and-comer.

Conversion

Indie Aisle offers your standard e-book conversion formats like turning your book file into PDF or ePub format, but the added-value of publishing through the site comes from their comic-friendly conversions of files like CBZ and CBR.

90/10 Royalty Rate

Sell your book through Indie Aisle for $10 and keep $9 no matter how the buyer pays, what credit card is used, how the book is downloaded. Compared to the royalty split to Amazon’s KDP program where the most an author can hope for is 70% of the sale price this is more than attractive cut for authors, now if they could just send all that traffic Amazon gets to the niche site we’d really be talking.

Promotion Tools

The most profound artist-friendly touch comes by way of the customizable promotional widgets Indie Aisle offers all authors that publish on their platform. A self-published book that is as much about visual images as it is text can really benefit from a slick promotional widget embedded throughout the web. All authors publishing on the platform have access to the Indie Aisle storefront. While Indie Aisle’s concept of offering authors a storefront isn’t new to self-publishing, the Indie Aisle storefront feels a bit more web 2.0, allowing books once stamped as nothing more than vanity works to have a more credible sheen to them.

As the market for self-published work grows, and the stigma of such continues to diminish, expect more niche outfits like Indie Aisle to emerge as players to serve their specific community needs better than the big boys could. We’d love to see a cookbook-centered self-pub service like this one, as well as a coffee table / photo book site with more functionality than blurb. Thanks to sites like Indie Aisle we just might one day soon enough.

 

Self-Published Authors Finally Accepted by Mainstream Readers as Legit

Could it be that the time has come where casual readers put self-published authors on the same credibility plain as a big imprint author?

We stole a few minutes of this Georgia peach’s lunch break from her day job at a Verizon call center to discuss her book buying process. A survey of one if you will. We didn’t have any prerequisites for the interview, and had no discussions with Melanie prior to turning the camera on about her book buying habits.

Around the 4:30 mark of the episode one can imagine many of the book buying public responding in a similar fashion that they aren’t entirely sure if a book they have recently read was self-published. As they say, the cream rises…

While our sample might be small, if you look at the interview as an indication of what the average American, or Southerner at least, thinks of self-published authors it’s a great sign of things to come, and yes, maybe just maybe, the dreaded self-publishing stigma is finally disappearing. 

For more information on selfmkt, including a complete compendium of episodes visit the selfmkt YouTube playlist.

Now Buzzing – The Humanity of Justice

Buzz offers a glimpse into new self-published books from emerging authors that reviewers at our friends Palmetto Review find buzzworthy.

Title: The Humanity of Justice: Lighting Even The Darkest Path Toward Justice

Author: Burke E. Strunsky

Genre: Murder & Mayhem, True Accounts, Biographies & Memoirs

Release Date: Available Now

Reviewer: Kathie Abel

In The Humanity of Justice, author Burke E. Strunsky warns early on that “…this book is not for the squeamish.” He’s right. The stories are stark, unsettling and brutal in some cases. What is more unsettling, however, is the light he sheds on the state of our nation’s troubling apathy and disinterest in a system that has defined us as a democratic society.

Reading as a legal professional, I found myself nodding in agreement so many times as Strunsky describes situations clearly misunderstood, proceedings clearly misadministered, and justice clearly not served. He shows us that some of the problem is that the basics are not being taught as part of the middle or high school civics experience, and he’s right. He cites a poll that showed that more people can name the Three Stooges than can explain the three branches of government. He addresses the issues surrounding juries and the average person’s desire to avoid service.

The stories offered by Strunsky illustrate the dysfunctions of our society and bring home with compelling impact a need for understanding, change and reform not only in our system of jurisprudence, but in the way we as human beings view the process. The Humanity of Justice needs to be marketed aggressively and thoroughly – especially to young adults where it can hopefully be an agent for change. Four stars.

The Rise of Ancillary Services for Indie Authors

Once stigmatized as vanity publishing, the white-hot trend of self-publishing has not gone unnoticed by savvy marketers, web designers, and time-tested entrepreneurs who have gotten together to build out some pretty awesome tools to assist the self-published author. These ancillary services aim to solve indie author problems from book development to discovery.

While this list is far from comprehensive, it does offer a glimpse into a fast-growing world that will surely spit more startups out in the near future, and grow to include many more for as long as self-publishing stays on it’s rocket trajectory of popularity.

StoryBundle

A novel idea for sure, the StoryBundle concept pairs same-genre books in a low-cost Priceline style pay-what-you-say format.

Authors potentially will be able to gain more revenue from the sale of their books with a 70% take on sales, and pickup new audience members in the process by piggybacking off of other author names. Author endorsements? Who needs them when you can get your book bundled, and sold together for one low price to a book savvy audience?

See what the buzz is about HERE.

BookDaily

Great writing sells itself, well if it gets in front of an audience anyways. That’s the idea behind BookDaily, which connects authors with a dedicated SEO-friendly landing page, and an option to include a paid blurb in a large, genre-segmented email sent to a group of avid readers in the four-figure range. Yep, that’s a good clip of exposure for any author, nonetheless a bootstrapped self-published one. And they support our website, so now you’ve got plenty of reason to give them a look.

Check them out and setup a free author profile HERE.

Writer.ly

Undoubtedly the hardest part of reaching bestseller status is creating a product of quality in a field of glut. There are so many self-published books, many of them with DIY style covers and editing that frankly suck. It’s not a money issue for all authors, though some might just go sans any support to save a dime, others simply don’t know where to look. Enter Writer.ly, a soon-to-go-live marketplace for self-published authors.

Need a cover designer, editor, layout pro, and PR help? No problem. Have a certain price, style, timeframe you are shooting for? Not an issue. Writer.ly takes the friction out of finding the essential cogs to producing the bestseller status you’ve always lusted for. Check out our interview with the Co-Founder HERE.

Be the first to know when the site goes live by joining the invite list HERE.

Grub Street Reads

At their best traditional publishing houses and big box book retailers are described as quality control mechanisms for readers. Down the ladder of agents, editors, designers, executives, book buyers, and merchandisers we are told by the big outfits what to buy, when to buy it, why, and the aisle number the book is located on to boot. In the new and barely pubescent world of indie e-book publishing we don’t have said QC managers to tell us what to do anymore when it comes to investing in great books, a problem Grub Street Reads hopes to solve.

Grub Street Reads provides authors with a thorough review of their book, and if a given criteria is met, a star of approval. This notoriety will apparently carry the author forward to a new and eager audience that are trusting the analysts at Grub Street did their job, and are now ready to read your book. Think of it as quality control 2.0.

See if your book is right for Grub Street Reads HERE.

Did we miss any interesting startups that help self-published authors? Comment below and let us know!

Writer.ly CEO Kelsye Nelson Explains New Marketplace for Book Development Services

Writing a bestseller is just the start. Developing relationships with editors, cover designers, and book marketers is an art of itself. The friction on both sides, for example, authors to find qualified editors, and editors to find equally qualified authors as clients will soon be relieved thanks to an innovative marketplace called Writer.ly. Discover what it is about, and why this CEO thinks it will help authors crack the code of becoming a bestseller in this candid interview.

Nelson hopes to launch Writer.ly in the next month or two, and users can get a beta invite by signing up here http://join.writer.ly/

 

 

The Paperback – Anything But Dead

Reporter Tatton Jacob’s thoughts after a day talking to people about what and how they are reading.

Despite a clear push to advertise and manufacture new tablets and e-readers, people simply seem unable to find a reason to give up traditional books. Benefits such as portability and quick access to content online seem dulled by a sense of passion that permeates from proponents of traditional books.

While developing rapidly, the digital ecosystem is somewhat segmented, which can be confusing to consumers. A proprietary system with passwords and protection is a cold contrast to the hometown appeal of a secondhand bookshop, book swaps and tangible, tactile engagements.

Interviewed subjects showed confusion even discussing the subject of e-reading. Several mentioned computers and tablets from a number of different makers with different screens and sizes. They referenced purchases from different libraries, and mentioned the difficulty of losing an e-reader.

One subject claimed research indicates less physical strain on the eyes when using traditional books, though some scientists disagree. He admitted e-ink screens may be exempt from that, but pointed out their inability to be read without illumination. Oddly, in this category, people seem to expect illumination.

Another subject owned a Kindle but hadn’t yet bothered to open it. Device registration and accounting details can introduce tediousness where tediousness did not used to be. Passwords are a minor source of terror for some over the age of 40.

Many subjects were not happy with note taking capabilities on digital devices. Cross-referencing or otherwise reading multiple books at the same time seems to be easier with physical copies as well.

Additions such as Amazon’s lending library, book-sharing and the adoption of e-borrowing through public libraries have addressed many early complaints, but because digital concepts are flexible, the digital system will continue to adapt and will ultimately reign supreme.

Clear early adopters of the digital system have been medical and research institutions. With such a high volume of constantly changing content to deal with, the digital benefits of a compact library hold more weight. Open formats such as .pdfs have proven easy to distribute and are significantly changing said industries.

Small, individual and low-cost publishers see opportunities provided through e-reading. This has allowed them a foothold for freedom from the constraints of big-book publishing.

To an individual, the ambiguity of a digital screen can be troublesome. Aesthetically, a book presents itself in a rather obvious way, while an iPad can be seen as a portal to any number of digital venues.

Interestingly, the environmental implications of traditional book publishing were not mentioned by anyone I interviewed.

The simplicity of a book is hard to interrupt. It is a gift that can be given again and again. To improve this is a lofty goal.

Check the clip out here-

Stephanie Chandler of Authority Publishing on Book Biz, Bookstores, Social Strategy for Authors, and Much More (audio)

Experience is often the most sought after asset of any in-demand professional. Industry experience comes hard-earned through a rare combination of adventure, ambition, and motivation to succeed above all else. Enter Stephanie Chandler of Authority Publishing, an industry veteran that persevered to become a virtual encyclopedia of book biz know-how. Want to open a bookstore, self-publish a book, ink a traditional deal, start a marketing company, and become a top selling author to boot? Chandler’s got you covered, because she’s done it all.

Listen and learn from this fantastic discussion with an expert’s expert on subjects as diverse as bookstore outreach, social media strategy, platform building, blogging, and discovering the key to obtaining the ever-elusive positive ROI on a book marketing campaign.

For more information about Stephanie Chandler visit Authority Publishing.

Zetablue Marketing Chief Rachel Simeone Gives Book Marketing Primer (audio)

What’s lost in the trends and fads of any form of marketing are often the most important things. In this wonderful interview with Rachel Simeone of Zetablue Marketing we learn fundamentals. Not only does Simeone’s experience as a corporate marketer bring perspective to her career in the book marketing world, she offers a ton of useful tips from her current gig working with authors to help promote their book.

Simeone encourages segmenting your book marketing campaign to those most likely to read your book. She doesn’t shy away from the idea that a successful book marketing campaign takes hard work, yet she also encourages slow organic platform building campaigns to help dull the edge of such a daunting effort. Be sure to listen for the history of platform building for authors around the 14:22 mark, this alone makes the clip worth a stream.

For more information on Rachel Simeone and the services she offers authors visit Zetablue Marketing.

An E-Reader Under $100? No Problem Says eBay Mystery Deal

Found today under the “Mystery Deal” category on eBay is this Ematic MID 7″ Google Android Kobo eReader for a paltry $59.99 with free shipping.

While the deal itself is great for readers looking for a new piece of hardware to consume e-books on the cheap, it’s also a sign of things to come for digital books. Similar to the pricing of Mp3 players and CD players before them, as the price of hardware decreases, the adaptation of the format will only increase. This is good news for the e-book industry at large, and self-published authors alike, as the more eReaders penetrate the consumer electronics market, the more likely smaller e-book retailers like Kobo will have a shot at gaining new users, and authors new readers.

Interestingly enough, the current Kindle Fire offers a similar Android-based touch screen operating system on a 7″ screen, though it does come with 8 GB of memory instead of the MID’s 4.