Members of Texas Authors, Inc., are welcome to post on our blog for other fellow members, or for the general public.
Each blog post will be approved by the website administrator and must not contain promotion of ones book. This is meant as an educational posting program.
Over the past year we have seen a positive growth in bookstores opening (up 23%), increased paper book sales (up 20%) and decrease in eBook sales (19%). At the same time, we see many companies moving towards creating new digital ways for readers to get their information, wither it is books, news or social media. But what does any of this have to do with you?
While companies are increasing the way people get to their information, no matter if it is digital or physical, that gives you an opportunity to promote and sell your book(s). However, no matter how many opportunities you have, if you do not take advantage of them, you will not see an increase in sales.
For a first time author, they have to work 2-3 times harder than someone who has 3 or more books. The new author has to build a following, which means getting out there in every possible way to let people know you exist. In 2015 the estimate for published books was 1.2 million. For 2016, the estimate is 1.4 million books published. That means you are small drop of water in the ocean. The author must combine molecules together so that they can rise above the sea of confusion and become a torrential storm.
Thus, when you are paying for a service or goods, would you not use it? Do you go to a doctor to learn what’s wrong or how to live better only to ignore them? Do you go to a grocery store and buy food only to walk to a trash can and throw it away? Of course not! So why would you pay for a service and not take advantage of it?
It does not matter if you are a self-published author, a small press author or even with a big 3 publishing firm. You still have to let the world know that you and your book(s) exist!
TxAuthors is designed to help you with that process. To be clear, we are here to HELP YOU not to do it for you! We have a lot of information on our web site about social media, new programs, new partnerships, everything that can help you get the word out about your book. But that means squat if you don’t take advantage of it!
I work hard to find the latest trends, the newest way to promote an author or book, and even to take old ways and make them fresh and new. But, if you don’t take advantage of this, you are wasting your time and money.
Those who DO take advantage of the programs are seeing success and increased sales. They are finding the joy in writing because the success motivates them to write more. They find that by their third and fourth book, they don’t have to work as hard to make sales. The snowball effect is taking hold and they are growing, becoming stronger and better at their endeavors. They are becoming a storm that readers welcome with open arms, as if a draught has lingered for years.
Success comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances. The old saying, it takes money to make money is true. I get that authors in general, cannot afford to do a lot. That’s why we offer payment plans. I have spent over $6,000 of my own money to help Texas Authors succeed. That’s how much I want YOU to succeed!
Our Pop Up bookstore has helped spread the word about Texas Authors by giving them an opportunity to have their book(s) be in cities that they cannot get to. We have given members the opportunity to be seen by hundreds if not thousands of people through the year. This is just one of the many programs we create to help you. But it is just part of the package.
All of my time and effort means squat if you don’t take advantage of the programs, events and advertising opportunities that we offer you. Too many authors expect us to sell their books for them and are disappointed when we don’t meet their illusions. That’s not what we are here for. We are here to HELP YOU market and sell your books! Take advantage of our hard work so you can succeed, we dare you!
Here is a recap of what is available to you:
American Booksellers Association – we report our book sales to the ABA which is the Indy Booksellers. This helps get them to know you exist, but only when book sales are done through us. No other book seller you are listed with does this at a rate that actually makes more money for you.
Celebration of Authors Event – A weekend of marketing seminars designed for Authors. Learn a variety of tools that will help you succeed. There is no other organization that offers these type of seminars designed for Authors. Cost is currently at $90 and will increase to $150 for the seminars and dinner.
Lone Star Book Festival – October 1 & 2, 2016 - With a $50 deposit, you can start getting 10 months’ worth of advertising. Then after paying off the extremely low booth fee ($300 for members, and less if you split the booth), you can have access to thousands of potential readers that will see our advertising and that will attend the event.
Texas Short Story Contest & the Annual Book Contest – opportunities to show the world your writing skills that help increase readership and knowledge of you and your books. Through the sale of the Shor Story book, we have increased our market share through the advertising and promotion of the book.
State Fair of Texas – The first year that the GoTexan pavilion had a dedicated section of books by Texas Authors. We plan on increasing that our presence next year. While sales are slow, the advertising was huge! Thousands of people went through that store and had the opportunity to view those books and learn about them for purchase later. $50 per title cost meant less than a penny per person on advertising.
DEAR Texas – We are working with book stores around the state to get authors into them, this includes Barnes & Noble and Indies, along with getting you into schools and libraries. With our book fund campaign, we are able to purchase Texas Authors books and distribute them into people’s hands who will become your fans. This is a free program to authors.
Texas Authors Institute – You can write the history of your own book to live on forever. For TxAuthor members, their books are available for sale through this organization. No other author has that privilege. This is a free program to authors.
American Library Association and the Texas Library Association. – Two organizations that can be of great value when finding new readers. We work closely with them to help get you and your book into libraries.
Partnerships – We are building partnerships with organizations around the state to make us stronger and more viable for when we do go outside the state to promote Texas Authors.
TxAuthors is constantly looking for ways to market and sell you and your book(s) for the best possible price we can.
I fully understand that you can’t afford to do much, but if you’re not selling books, you will never afford to do anything. Being involved in programs is critical to your success, even when it seems that nothing came from it. But you are missing the point. Advertising is the key to marketing and if you don’t advertise your book, no one will ever know it exists.
Last month, the London Book Festival shared a flurry of information about publisher’s rights, the growth of book sales and the continued discussion of eBook sales dropping. While, the latter cannot be confirmed 100%, as the biggest eBook seller; Amazon, does not report its eBook sales to anyone other than their authors, no one can confirm that eBook sales are down.
But if they are continuing to decrease in sales, what does that mean for YOU, the Author?
While Amazon continues to grow in its monopoly of book sales, that doesn’t help you, the author, in any form. In fact, it hurts you, as many authors feel that the only way to sell books is through Amazon.
There are over 1 million authors selling on Amazon these days. With so many titles, it’s a whirlwind of information that overwhelms any reader. This then leaves the author to either purchase Amazon’s marketing programs and hope it helps them break out of the pack, or they can try to search for other tools and programs that help readers find them, such as Book Festivals, Social Media, Book Stores etc.
Texas Authors, Inc. continues to create new ways to help authors meet readers and increase opportunities for authors to sell books. BUT, all of these services and programs only work if the author is willing to invest the time and energy to market themselves and their books.
Many authors simply want to write and let someone else sell their books. That’s great if you have the extra income to spend. A publicist, or marketing expert can cost thousands of dollars and there is never a guarantee they will generate enough book sales to cover their cost plus earn you an income that allows you to continue to happily write.
The majority of serious authors, those we call Authorpreneurs, have learned that they must find every possible way to promote their books at the least expense. By doing this, it opens the door wide for those in the industry to sell you a service that may or may not work, authors can again wind up spending more money and time with little or no results.
Collaboration with fellow-authors who share their ideas and experience helps a great deal, and that is something that generally happens more freely and openly in meetings and events. In addition, finding out from the experts what has worked for them and how any author can tweak a program or service to get the most from it is just as vital, and worth far more than one may expect.
TxAuthors is here to help by providing many opportunities. This includes book festivals, book store events and marketing programs. As we continue to grow in membership, we can continue to grow in opportunities and programs. We encourage every author to read the Author Updates, which we send out three times a week, then participate in programs that fit their needs.
One such program that is gaining recognition and international support is our Authors Marketing Event. It is a weekend full of fun, meeting fellow-authors and continuing education by attending seminars designed to help you! Now is the time to prepare yourself for a future life as an Authorpreneur and increase your ability to sell more books. Learn more here: http://Authors.Marketing.
Remember, if you recommend us to other authors who then become members, we offer a 10% referral fee. Here is the link to share: https://texasauthorsinc.wildapricot.org/join-us
Getting a review for your book is a daunting task. More and more companies that were free, like Kirkus, now want to charge for their review. At the same time, newspapers, magazines and even Amazon are refusing to display or print a paid review. The ever changing world of publishing.
I recently received a magazine entitled Forward Reviews which is distributed to Librarians across the country. Along with the library uploads we are doing, this too is a great way for libraries to learn about a new book release. I contacted the company to get their specs on how to submit a review request and have listed their response below.
I hope this helps many of you who don’t want to pay, or cannot afford to pay, for a review. If you use them, please keep me posted on the response you get. Thanks.
Thanks for your interest in Foreword Reviews. Here are details on the two book review options available through Foreword Magazine, Inc:
Foreword Reviews print magazine: Our quarterly review journal—which we print and send to subscribers at libraries, bookstores, and avid readers—mostly reviews books before they are published or very near to their date of publication. To be considered, submit your galleys or review copies to the Review Editor as soon as they are available:
Foreword Reviews Review Editor 425 Boardman Ave Traverse City, MI 49684
If you are unable to send a physical review copy, you are welcome to send an electronic version. Email a PDF, MOBI, or EPUB file to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarion Review: For authors and publishers who have struggled to get a professional, objective review of their book, with a book three months or more past its pub date, or simply want to be guaranteed a review of their book, we offer the fee-for-review Clarion service. Finished books, galleys, and pdfs are all accepted and will receive a review within 4-6 weeks. We guarantee the same quality review provided in Foreword Reviews magazine.
This professional 400+ word review/critique is useful for marketing and promotion. Authors have also used Clarion to obtain objective feedback on a manuscript, so that they might make improvements to the book before publication The fee is $499 and is open to all books and all publishers. Orders for the Clarion Review Service can be placed online or by phone 231-933-3699. You can find more information here: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/reviews/#service-clarion-review
With the author’s permission, both Foreword Reviews and Clarion reviews will also be archived with the top three title information databases used by booksellers and librarians: Bowker’s Books-In-Print online, Baker & Taylor’s Titlesource 3, and Ingram’s iPage, in addition to the Foreword Reviews website.
Check-out our website to determine which service best suits your book: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/reviews/