Category Archives: Marketing

An Evening with the Authors

Last Friday the Lewis County Historical Museum welcomed the public for its sixth annual Evening with the Authors. We had the privilege of attending this event and decked out our table to match the museum’s incredible Christmas Village and the rest of the festive decorations.

table-top

We took great pride in joining a good handful of our local authors at this event. While we love printing books for writers, families, and small presses all over the country, there is particular joy in supporting our local authors. This group of clients showcases the diversity of books we print. They represent novelists, historians, non-fiction and self-help writers.

our-authors

From left to right: Jan Pierson, author of the Ghostowners Series (calamityjan.com); Ellen King Rice with her novel, The Evo Angel, a mycological thriller set in the Pacific Northwest (ellenkingrice.com); Buddy Rose, author of Fire Mountains, a hiking guide to Washington’s three volcanoes; Margaret Chambers with her history of a rural Lewis County church, St. Urban’s Church: Early Years; Randall R. Booher and his personal development workbook, You Are the Issue, hot of the presses, along with his illustrator (and sister!), Leslie Gammelgaard; and Julie McDonald Zander with just two of her many local and personal history books, Winning a War and The Other Side of Banking (chaptersoflife.com).

We hope to see even more of our local authors here next year. Contact the museum for more information on how to participate.

We Went to Wordstock!

This time last week, Genevieve and Alison were loading up boxes of guidebooks, tote bags, business cards, candy, and Genevieve’s trusty typewriter Buttercup to drive south for Wordstock, Portland’s recently-rebooted  festival of books and writing hosted by Literary Arts.

2-wordstock-boothThousands of writers and readers from around the region gathered at the Portland Art Museum last Saturday to attend workshops, hear readings from over 100 authors, and wander the booths at the book fair.

We talked to dozens and dozens of readers and writers, most of whom stepped up to our booth to browse our beautiful selection of sample books, and to pull a word from a fish tank to use in a sentence on Buttercup, the 1950s Royal typewriter that made the trek with us. Many of them took a copy of our free guidebook to learn more about the book printing process for themselves or a friend or family member working on a book.free-words

As a short run book printer, we attended this  event not only to meet writers who might be interested in publishing their own work who might need a printer, but also to chat with the 25+ independent publishing companies who were there to meet writers and sell their books.

While many of these publishing companies are big enough to need quantities of books that warrant printing on offset presses, they may need Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) ahead of the run that will be sold in stores. Our digital printing methods mean we can keep costs low on a smaller run of books, and we can produce them on fairly short notice if a publisher finds themselves with a deadline an offset printer couldn’t hope to meet.

We had the great privilege of printing the ARCs of City of Weird, a fresh-released collection of short stories from Forest Avenue Press. This book was a Powell’s Pick of the Month in October! We also saw past clients at tables for Atelier26 Books as well as the Willamette Writers, who print their literary journal, The Timberline Review, with us. We made friends at booths for YesYes Books, Chin Music Press and Overcup Press.

All in all it was a day full of excellent conversation with fellow book-folk. We can’t wait for next year!

 

An Interview with Roy I. Wilson

A retired ordained United Methodist clergyman and Cowlitz Tribal Elder, Roy Wilson has written more than 30 books, many printed by Gorham Printing. His role as a spiritual leader gives him a special insight into both Native and Western spirituality. His special-interest books encompass tribal history, language and Medicine Wheel wisdom. Roy has recently completed Bear Raven longhouse, a retreat and spiritual center for Native and non-Native people to join together and study Native American spiritual teachings.

We had the privilege of chatting with Roy in the shop one day when he stopped by to pick up an order of books.

Gorham Printing: When did you start writing about history?

Roy Wilson: I started writing history back in the early 1980s, thirty to forty years ago, when nobody had written a history on the Cowlitz tribe. I did what I call a simple ‘dateline history.’ It was a little booklet of only twenty-eight pages. It started off 1806 and then simply the statement, “Lewis and Clark land at the mouth of the Cowlitz river,” nothing more. Nothing about it. It was twenty-eight pages of just a date and a line of a few words.

That was my first start [writing history] but I was very busy at that time. I was still pastoring. I was on the Washington State Governor’s advisory council. I had two national offices in the Indian world. One year I made 62 cross country flights. It was a nightmare. I was living out of a suitcase. I didn’t have any time to write and so I’d just write little short things. I wrote a number of little booklets until I retired. I started taking those booklets and using them as a table of contents to write larger books. The twenty-eight page dateline history in the early 80s became a 243 page book on the history of the tribe in the 90s.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

RW: It was a woman from up on Bainbridge Island who had followed my Indian teachings for a long time and she had a book printed by Gorham. And she had copies of my books and she sent me an email. She said I’m going to be down in Centralia in a few days to get my book that’s being printed. Sure would like to see you too! So I came up and met her here while she was getting her and books. Up until then I was having my books printed in Ohio. Prices were basically the same. The difference was shipping cost! I just pick up my books at Gorham now.DispossessedCover

GP: What are your thoughts on the purpose of preserving history, particularly in book form?

RW: Several different comments. One. History repeats itself. Quote-unquote. We are creating history with our actions today. Maybe we can do a better job of it if we study what’s happened in the past. History is important to create the dynamics of a powerful future.

The next thing is that we need to realize that history needs to be looked at from many different points of view. I recall an article that quoted, “There is no existing accurate historical record in existence.” Each writer has written history from their vantage point, their point of view.

I gave a lot of thought to that. It makes writing history more important because I need to look at the history of that event through as many different eyes as I can to come up with what might have really happened. The Indian history that’s taught in our schools and our universities is all written from the white man’s perspective. So it’s important for me to write it from an Indian’s point of view. What really happens when the Indian dies? There are several Indian historians now who’ve done this and I have copies of some of their works. It’s just a totally different story.

It’s important we see all the different views and then make up our own mind about what we think really happened.

 

To learn more about Roy Wilson’s work, or to order a copy of his book, visit his website: http://sundancemedicinewheel.com/

 

 

Successful Summer Sales for Self Publishers

The days are getting longer as we head toward the solstice. With the extra hours of sunshine, now is an excellent time to plan a summer sales event for your book. I’m not suggesting setting up a lemonade stand on your front yard, but you might rent a booth at a local festival or street faire. You have a variety of options to sell your book as a self-published author if you look for them!

Street faires and festivals:

Front cover image of the delightful children's book

Front cover image of the delightful children’s book

Jamie David, author of Johann Sebastian Humpbach, a delightful chapter book for children, sets up a table at her town’s weekly street faire during the summer. Does your area have a tourist trade? Check the events calendar of your local paper, or within a certain radius of you.

Jan holding Romance 101

Jan holding Romance 101

Jan Bono recently attended an outdoor bazaar in her local area, selling copies of all of her titles. Over the years Jan has created a professional-looking booth that compliments her infectiously fun personality and augments her book sales.

 

If not a faire booth, why not contact a local juice bar or café and see if they will host a book signing event for a few hours? Give yourself enough advance notice to be able to put notices up and spread the word through your social media.

Start setting up your calendar for July and August. Are you vacationing somewhere that may have an independent book store? Why not try to set up a book-signing event during your stay? Is there a local bed and breakfast that would love to host a visiting author? Contact your local library and ask to set up a “Meet the Author” event where you could present an evening of how your book came to be, reading a page or two and open the floor to questions.

Check your inventory.
Do you need to place a reprint order?
Allowing two to three weeks for production
could prove a problem if you’ve set up events
without having enough books on hand.

What else can you do to hook an audience? Think outside the box! I like to link marketing efforts for my latest romantic comedy, Her Ghost Wears Kilts, recently licensed by Amazon Encore imprint, with the cable television series Outlander. The program is between seasons and fans may want a book about a ghostly lord of ol’ Scotland to tide them over.

Be creative and use this time for aggressive marketing.

 

Reviews – When You’re Self Publishing

One of the more difficult aspects of self publishing is collecting book reviews. Whether on Amazon.com or Goodreads, a posted review helps get the word out about your book. You can’t count on friends and family members to write up their view points even though you ask often, they nod their heads and then nothing happens. Statistics show as little as one in ten people will take the time to post a review of a book they’ve read. Why go through the time and expense of getting reviews? It can mean much in getting the attention of new readers.

The costs of packaging and sending out review copies should be considered as part of your marketing budget. Advance review copies (ARC) can either be a short-run of books printed, or part of your larger run. Understand books sent to review services will not be returned. One thing to keep in mind, sending copies of your book out for review around the holidays is not the best idea. You are not guaranteed a review from whomever, and they may give away your book as a gift to someone else.

The big names such as Kirkus and Library Journal Reviews want submissions from traditional publishers at a minimum of ninety days before the release date of the book. However, Kirkus does have an Indie division which will review the book for $425.00. A hefty price tag, but the well-known name holds weight in the literary world. There is no guarantee you will receive a positive review, they will weigh the professional look of your cover and interior pages as well as grammar and story structure.

Another heavy player in the book review world is Midwest Book Review, established in 1976, dedicated to showcasing reviews of small press, independently published or self-published books. Guidelines for submitting your book can be found on their website. They request two copies of your printed book. If you’re sending an eBook, PDF or advance review copy (ARC), there is a reader’s fee. MBR reviews will appear on Amazon.com if you’ve set up to sell your book with Amazon. You can add a piece of your MBR review as a back cover blurb on future printings. Or use it in promotional materials you send to bookstores.

Online book reviews held build an internet presence for you and your book. One place is ArmchairInterviews.com . You sign up as an author and designate how many copies of your book you will provide for review, filling out the form with a synopsis and categories of your book. You will be contacted to send a copy of the book to the reviewer(s) who has chosen to read your book. The great thing is you only send out a book when a reviewer has requested one.

A bad review is like baking a cake
with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.

Danielle Steel

Due to the quantity of books a reviewing service may receive at any one time, your book may not be reviewed despite your best efforts. Unless otherwise noted from the reviewer, you should not interpret the absence of a review as a judgment about the quality of your book. There may not be enough reviewers available for the demand.

Use your social media outlets to remind friends and others to take a moment and leave a review about your book. It doesn’t have to be long, even a short blurb is counted.

The door on reviews swings both ways, have you left reviews for the book(s) you just finished reading? The author would love to hear your thoughts.

Make Your Book Your New Business Card

In the state of Washington an injury lawyer has a simple free book on tips you should know if ever in a car accident. An accounting firm has a free book on hints for filing taxes. Books are a marketing commodity more business owners are tapping into, a tangible object people keep handy for reference or information. What better way to get a company’s name into the minds of potential customers than offering information they want and need in a pocket-size book.

More substantial than a leaflet or tri-fold brochure easily thrown away, a book represents quality experience and knowledge and is now being touted as a significant marketing tool for business owners and entrepreneurs as their new business card. For decades, the industry of personalized pens, can holders and such begged companies to attach their logo to just about anything plastic or metal. Yet a book not only touts a company name and logo but is filled with interesting fine points, proving an expert edge to any subject.

Whether a small business owner or service provider, imagine handing a potential customer a professionally designed book of your company or expertise. A guidebook of statistical data or fun how-to procedures for better living, a manual of making a better mousetrap will boost exposure for yourself and your company. A memoir of the company’s owner is another viable book idea creating a revenue source worldwide; people love to read about people – hence the popularity of the national magazine of the same name.Gorham_Printing_Banner

Today’s short-run book printing is a flexible process where you can easily start with fifty copies and see what helpful reviews and evaluations come back. Then simply make any changes, if needed, for a complete guidebook or how-to edition to start handing or mailing out to customers. Ordering in quantities of 500 books means not worrying about costly storage and still keep the cost per book down.

Learning how to write a book or books for your company is as easy as attending the Nonfiction Writers Conference May 6-8, 2015 with industry experts explaining the various steps and issues.

Speaker + Self Publishing = Success

Ready for a new marketing “shot in the arm” for yourself or your business? Wait a minute, marketing? The title of the blog says self publishing, why are you suddenly talking about marketing? Because self publishingPurchase a copy a book of tips and/or ideas about a subject you know best is a great way to increase your audience of potential customers and clients. The book becomes an incredible new marketing tool.

Over the last decade self publishing has exploded making the process simpler to create a book. Whether you’re thinking an industry-standard trade paperback or eBook available to potential business worldwide, having a book becomes a marketing perk.

As a speaker, schedule more presentations, engagements and you’ll enjoy back of the room sales. Produce a YouTube video and highlight this new book’s availability. Marketing the book in essence markets you and your company, a fresh, enduring avenue of marketing. MaherCoverEPUBSocial media posts in Facebook or Twitter ripple the attention across the globe.

You can do this – jump in the pool of publishing and expand your marketing power.