Romance University is proud to announce Kayelle Allen as our newest regular contributor! Kayelle has posted with us several times before and always has great advice to give about book marketing. Welcome to RU Kayelle!
I lead a writer’s group in my community, and we often discuss pros and cons of specific aspects in publishing. One member recently asked if it was worth the hassle of putting a book in print, especially if it was more short story than novel. People chimed in with responses. Among them was a reminder that by using sites such as CreateSpace, you can sell print books on Amazon, and there was no up front cost for making them available. Print on Demand (POD) meant if a book was ordered, it was printed and shipped. That lowers the cost for the author.
An author might think no one will pay $3.99 for a short story in print. However, we should not discount the value others place on print books. That’s the only type of books some people will buy. Why not make it available?
One author friend often sells autographed copies of her books to readers who want special gifts for friends and family. She makes more in print sales than in eBook.
Should an author worry that their print book will end up in a used book store? Absolutely not! You want them to go there. Why? That’s where many readers get to know new authors. Remember that time you picked up a book by an author you hadn’t read before because it was on sale? I discovered JR Ward, JD Robb, and Michael Connelly that way, and they are all favorite authors now.
Here’s another reason to have a print version. Amazon provides a new service called Amazon Giveaways on certain print books. Not all print books, but many. All but one of my current books is available for it. The setting isn’t something you can request or set up yourself. To see if your book has it, go to the Amazon page for your print book, and scroll past the reviews. If it’s available, it will show up there.
Why is this good? You can set up an Amazon sponsored giveaway that people enter by following your Amazon Author Page. Did you know that when you release a new book, Amazon will allow you to send a note to anyone following you? That’s right. AMAZON sends it to them for you. Why is this good? Because that’s how sales are made.
Let me explain how this works. Say you have a print book that’s $5.99. When you set up a giveaway, you will pay for a copy of the book, and pay the average cost of shipping (about $6.00). So this giveaway (if you offer one book) will cost you $11.99 total. When the book is shipped to the winner, if the cost of shipping is less than $6.00, Amazon refunds the difference to you. To run the contest, people will follow your page, and then be able to click a link to see if they win. If they win, they get a book. If they lose, they see a note from you. I have a note on mine that says they can still get two free books by joining my Romance Lives Forever Reader Group, and I provide a link that takes them to that page. I get new people for my group (which is my newsletter) every time I run a contest.
I figure that if I run a contest on Amazon once a month, give away two books (average cost is about $24), and let 1 in 299 win a book, I could get up to 598 new followers on Amazon each month. That’s over 7100 followers per year. If you have a list of 10k, and 10% buy it, you can hit best seller status. Remember, every time you release a book, Amazon sends your followers a note you create for them. That’s almost as good as having your own newsletter. You should still have both. Some will only buy on sites other than Amazon, so your newsletter is a great way to reach them. Besides, you have news more often that when you release a book, right?
So, should you put your books in print? If you have a reader who only likes print, yes. If you have a reader who wants an autographed copy for a gift, yes. If you want the opportunity of holding a book in your hand, yes. If you want to do a giveaway on Amazon and get new followers, yes. If you don’t want any of these things, go with eBook only. In my opinion, it’s worth more than the hassle to get a print book. It’s worth gold.
RU Writer’s – do you have books in print as well? What are the benefits you’ve seen?
Bio: Kayelle Allen is a bestselling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers and the owner of The Author’s Secret.
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- Weekly Lecture Schedule May 11-15