Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Savvy Self-Publisher, May-June 2008


Rumors of proposed anti-trust lawsuits, boycotts and even hacker attacks against Amazon have been circulating for weeks, since the online bookseller announced that it would discontinue carrying POD books from its competitors.

But why should Amazon matter so much to self-publishing authors? For years, Poynter and Snow have repeatedly admonished writers that conventional bookstores are the LAST places to sell books, online or offline. Mainstream booksellers demand huge discounts, pay slowly, and often require the right to return unsold books for a full refund. On the other hand, when authors sell books from their OWN sites or at live events, they retain far more income, get paid much faster, and see fewer (if any) returns.

For some reason, first-time authors often feel that it's "sexy" to boast that their books are available at Amazon. But in today's world almost anyone can get a book on Amazon, whether it holds any real public appeal or not. The truth is that 99% of self-publishers are better off focusing on other outlets.

For the other 1%, outlets like Borders.com and BN.com can fill the void left by Amazon. Barnes & Noble already has its own affiliate program. Very soon, Borders.com will be entirely independent of Amazon. In many cases, self-publishers can simply link from their own sites to BN or Borders.com instead of Amazon, and keep their books available without much fuss... while enjoying better earnings.

Additional Stories from April-May 2008

Microsoft Closes "Live Book Search"

On May 23, Microsoft announced that its alternative to Google
Book Search is closing:


Meanwhile, our friends at Google are continuing their quest to
digitize every book ever published, to the true benefit of
readers and writers everywhere.

In spite of grumbling from some larger publishers, GBS is a
great thing for humanity... and a great alternative to Amazon
and its ilk for the little guy.

PBA Contest Deadline August 15

$500 grand prize, many categories, POD and self published books
welcome. $50 entry fee:


New Blog on Special Sales

In the publishing world, we call book club deals, customized
editions for bulk buyers, and other ways of selling books in
large numbers to a single buyer "special sales." And they really
ARE special: just a single book club deal can move thousands of
copies; a customized special edition for a corporate sponsor
can dwarf one-at-a-time orders from Amazon and its ilk.

A new blog from Brian Jud discusses the ins-and-outs:


Barnes and Noble Going Digital?

In February, Borders made a bold move to update its business model,
with the announcement that it would open slick new "Digital Centers"
in as many as 20 stores during 2008:


Now Barnes and Noble has jumped on the bandwagon with a new Web-
based wiki for the hot "How-to" market:


Please feel free to forward copies of this bulletin to your
fellow authors and publishers. This is a fre@ resource that is
available to anyone in the book world upon request. We don't
accept paid advertising, endorse or guarantee products or
services, nor accept fees for mentioning them without full
disclosure. Please visit http://www.u-publish.com to subscribe.

Imitation = Flattery?

A new site named (ahem) "YouPublish.com" appears to be the latest
DIY book publishing service to appear, following Lulu, Wordclay,
Cafe Press, CreateSpace, etc.

Reviews of their services from U-Publish.com subscribers are
welcome at http://u-publish.blogspot.com where you can share
your feedback with fellow authors and independent publishers.

We're flattered by their choice of names... But please remember
that the 'real' U-Publish.com has been serving self-publishers
since 1999!

"Live" Appearance ???

Co-author Danny O. Snow joined a panel discussion about Amazon
at SecondLife.com on April 26 as an animated character:


Snow enjoyed his visit to SL immensely (especially the flying
lessons) and recommends the experience highly to others:


AuthorNation Founded

At a new "Online Community for Authors, Writers, Poets and their
Readers" you can create a profile that includes a bio, reviews,
photos, videos, abstracts, poems, stories and a link to sell
your book through the retailer of your choice:


Reviews of AuthorNation from U-Publish.com subscribers are
welcome at http://u-publish.blogspot.com

-- Tip courtesy of Brian Jud, www.bookmarketing.com

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