Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Savvy Self-Publisher, October-November 2008

Tip of the Month

As we approach the holiday season in Oct-Nov-Dec, be cautious
about requests for free review copies -- other than those from
working journalists. Some so-called "book reviewers" may be
unethical scammers, trolling for free books from unsuspecting
authors to use as gifts. It may be an urban myth, but one
anecdotal report claims that a self-proclaimed "reviewer" asked
a small press for review copies of a dozen different books --
concluding, "And would you gift-wrap them, please?"

Lead Story:
Keeping Readers in a Time of Crisis

In the aftermath of 9/11, some 4,500 small U.S. publishers went
out of business when the American economy faltered. In late
2008, the economic horizon appears infinitely darker.

How will authors and publishers survive such a downturn? Or
can we survive at all?

Aside from academic texts ("required reading"), books are often
considered discretionary purchases by the public; simply put,
when money is tight, people buy fewer books.

Some more exceptions might include books that help readers save
money in a time of belt-tightening, like (ahem!)
and The Self-Publishing Manual. Or books that help people earn

But even a garden variety novel can be marketed as an economical
alternative to other forms of entertainment, such as movies, music
and video games.

Another way to wring more revenue from your writing is to make
your book available in multiple formats for readers with special
needs. You've probably spent many months -- even years --
writing the book... with today's technologies, it's relatively
easy to add an e-Book, large print edition, or even a talking
book for busy commuters who don't have time to "read."

Most of all, authors can get more actively involved in the
promotion of their own books. There are many, many ways to
build a grassroots audience at little expense, other than your
time. To cite just one quick example: nearly every author
should set up a "news alert" at Google that prompts you when
there is breaking news on topics related to your book. Then
you can post your expert commentary, signing "John Doe, author
of 'Book Title,'" in the closing.

Please read the 2007 edition of for more tips
about gaining exposure for your book at a minimum of expense.
It takes creativity and diligence to promote a book, but it
isn't rocket science. Thousands of self-publishing authors
have already proven that it's possible. You can be one of them!

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