Category Archives: Social Media

Need to pay for your book project? Try crowdfunding!

We’ve seen many authors and artists come through our shop who have used a crowdfunding website to fund the cost of publishing their books. What is a crowdfunding website? It’s a website that exists as a platform to help people who have an idea, but need dollars to make the idea a reality. In our line of work, that idea is a book.

Listing your project on a crowdfunding website is also a great way to test the market’s interest in your book before it’s published. It will help you start thinking about the niche your book will fill. If you can successfully generate buzz for the concept of your book on a crowdfunding platform, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy some traction with your marketing efforts once the book is published.

The most commonly-used crowdfunding website is Kickstarter. Here is a link to their handbook to get you started, and a few tips to help along the way:

  • Backing others helps you learn the ropes and get a feel for the Kickstarter community.
  • Set up your payment options in advance so you are ready to accept funds on day one.
  • Be clear on discounts and perks – and get creative!
  • Aim high when setting your dollar amount, but not so high you can’t meet your goal and cash in.
  • Tell the story of your book, and consider making a video.
  • Answer all backer questions. They are supporting your efforts!
  • Use a simple analytics tracker to learn more about your readers.

Time to get inspired! Here are a few authors we know used Kickstarter to fund their book projects, then hired us to print them.

Bard_Hey Baby

 

Breena Bard, a Portland, Oregon-based cartoonist and graphic novelist released “Hey Baby,” a 6.5×8.5″ softcover, in summer 2016.

Breena’s Kickstarter

http://www.breenabard.com/

 

 

 

front-spine-back-covers-under_covers-outlined.eps

 

 

 

Margaret Davis, another Portland-based writer and book artist, funded “China Under the Covers” this past winter.

Margaret’s Kickstarter

http://chinaunderthecovers.com/

 

 

 

 

Adobe Photoshop PDF

 

 

Olympia-based fungi enthusiast Ellen King Rice funded her novel “The Evo Angel” in 2015 for publication in spring 2016.

Ellen’s Kickstarter

https://www.ellenkingrice.com/

 

 

 

 

Back in 2014, Peter Donahue funded a beautiful full-color, full-size landscape hardcover book complete with custom-printed end sheets and a matte-laminated dust jacket for the first volume of his popular “Rudek and the Bear” comic collection. As one of his Kickstarter pledge prizes, Peter drew any supporter who pledged $35 or more into the style of his characters and added it as a spread in the beginning of his book.

RUDEK AND THE BEAR VOL 1.indd

Peter’s Kickstarter

Peter’s ongoing web comic: http://zuzelandthefox.com/

Test the waters for your book project! Try crowdfunding!

Promoting Your Book at the Library

Are you looking for new ways to promote your book? Libraries are a great place to gain new readers and connect directly with your target audience.

Consider approaching your local library to set up a speaking engagement. If the library is interested in hosting your reading, they’ll likely put you on their event calendar so you can generate interest ahead of time. Ask if you can register the event on any other community event calendars, or with local special interest groups that might be interested in your topic.

The promotional tools an event like this can offer don’t stop there. The library might announce your reading on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to continue to share these event announcements, and encourage your friends and followers to share them too. The library might even have event posters printed, so ask if you can have a few to post around your community.ray_biko-frontcover-for-web

Many of our self-published authors give talks throughout their local library systems. In fact, we have a few regional authors with library events coming up!

The Naselle Timberland Library will host Laura Ray, author of Because of Biko, this Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 PM. Laura will read from her book, which tells the story of her travels in Africa, and a discussion and book signing will follow.fateful-fourth-cover

On Saturday, March 4th, local author and historian Russell Holter will talk about his recently-published title, The Fateful Forth: The Story of America’s Worst Trolley Disaster at the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library at 2:00 PM. A book sale and signing will follow. Russell’s book is part of our History Book Program, so you can order a copy online!

Author and Life Coach Anatha Attar will host a workshop title Tarot: A Path to Greater Personal Creativity at the Lacey Timberland Library on Saturday, March 4th at 3:00 PM. Anatha published her title Tarot and the Twelve Powers: A Journey for the Heart and Soul in summer 2016. You can learn more at her website.

Reach out to your local library system today to find out how you might be able to promote your book with their help!

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.

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.

Puppies at Gorham Printing

The three-day Memorial Day weekend is almost here and one thing on my to-do list (above working on my sequel romantic comedy) in my other spare time was to pick up two sweet bundles of fluff I was adopting from a woman in Vancouver, Washington. Two brothers (toy Pomeranians) born April 3 would be old enough to leave home and start a new adventure in Olympia. Best laid plans and circumstances change, of course. It came to be that the pups could be delivered Wednesday night.

Guess who I brought to the shop? That’s right, Brugh and Bouncer are spending these days at Gorham Printing

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service, and Brugh and Bouncer.

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service,
and Brugh and Bouncer.

All two pounds of them, each, maybe. Working with self-publishing authors all day, I typically hear dogs barking over the phone as the author talks about their book. I knew they’d probably understand if squeaky noises came from this side of the phone for a change but the boys have been fairly quiet.

Memoirs, novels and spiritual revelation books have come across my desk today and I wonder if the author has a dog. Writing can be a very solitary process, yet a warm four-footed friend at your feet helps keep you grounded and not alone. And piddle parties are a natural break to get up from the desk and stretch now and again.

Now time to get back to work.

5 Keys to Using Twitter to Sell Your Book

Twitter can be a very powerful tool for helping you to promote and sell your book. Below is a quick guide to get you started.

1. Use hashtags. Hashtags are Twitter’s system for organizing tweets. You can create your own hashtag, or search for relevant hashtags other users have created. Hashtags can be used to run a contest, host a tweet chat or get involved in someone else’s chat! You can read more about hashtags here.

2. Consider the name of your book. Before Twitter existed, the length of your title may not have mattered so much. But in a universe of 140 characters, the length of your book title becomes very important. You can always use an acronym instead of the full title, but make sure it’s unique and memorable.

3. Create content people want. Twitter is most effective when you have original content to link back to. A blog is an excellent way to post excerpts from your book or share your writing process. Try to make most of your content useful to others. Use a url shortener, such as bit.ly, to link back to your blog.

4. Limit self promotion. This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, isn’t self-promotion the whole point of using Twitter when you’re trying to sell something? You need to add value (see point number 3) before you can expect people to want to buy something from you. Keep the self promotion to a minimum and keep creating content people want.

5. Build relationships. Social media is, at its core, about building relationships with others. It’s about widening our idea of who our neighbor is and allowing us to connect with people who have similar interests, ideals and philosophies as us–as well as those with completely opposing views. The more connections you make, the more avenues you have that you can use to sell your book!