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A good free source for book publishing and marketing info

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CreateSpace (from Amazon.com) offers a monthly webinar, usually by my friend and marketing guru Brian Jud. (We co-presented a niche marketing program a couple of years back to the then Publishers Marketing Association University in New York City.)

You can see Brian’s last six webinars, with their valuable download handouts at their respective links, in the CreateSpace newsletter archives.

In How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days I explain, step-by-step, how you submit your book to CreateSpace (and six other houses) for ancillary publishing.

CreateSpace also conducts frequent polls of those whose books they have published and are selling. The most recent poll asked “What has been the most successful means for promoting your (book)?” So far, 64 answered this way: social networking 30%, word of mouth 25%, own website or blog 16%, press releases and media outreach 5%, paid ads 2%, other 2%, and none at trade shows.

An earlier poll, with 139 respondents, asked “How long did it take you to complete your work, from concept start to available for sale?” The replies: under 3 months, 19%; 3-6 months, 14%; 6 months to a year, 20%; 1-2 years, 14%; 2-5 years, 19%; 5-10 years, 8%, and 10+ years, 6%. One factor must be added: the ancillary publishing outlets, like Create Space, have only been available for a couple of years. Earlier, it was considerably more difficult and expensive to publish your own book, and that must have had a negative effect on quick completion. That is, those who took the longest may not have known what they could do to put it in print. No such excuse now.

 Best wishes,

 Gordon Burgett

 P.S. Monthly I share mostly publishing and writing info on my free newsletter. If that would be helpful, glad to have you aboard.

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How do you set your product prices?

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One of my close friends, a faithful newsletter reader, said that she noticed that my prices varied a lot at my order form, and she sort of asked if that was intentional or just get-what-you-can greed? If intentional, what was the thinking or formula?

Since I recently shared this on my free newsletter, it seemed just as appropriate for the blog!

In truth, I have no rigid formula at all (nor much greed), but if my thinking helps you, here’s what goes through my mind:

(1) What do others whom I admire and think honest charge for something similar? I seldom venture much from that range, particularly where buyers (like writers) are very price-sensitive.

(2) At what price must I sell that product to make enough consistent income to justify the research, writing, product development, publishing, and profit?

(3) Speeches are one-time, customized events where I must travel and so on, so they earn considerably more (from $2,500-3,500) than a printed book that I can reproduce in the thousands and sell through bookstores and to libraries (about $17.95-24.95 each). Downloaded digital renditions of those books are a few dollars lower than the printed editions, while e-books about very specific topics that have tighter and more highly benefited audiences bring more ($29-49), and for audio CDs (usually with a downloadable workbook) I charge about the same that I would charge for a pay-at-the-door seminar per participant ($49-69). That seminar, if offered at a convention (as a breakout session) or to a sponsor, would in turn would earn me about the same as if I were paid the full fee of 12-18 pay-at-the-door participants, plus, usually, travel and food/lodging. (Or it’s a spin-off fee when I’m already speaking to the group.)  And my consulting can vary from $175-250 an hour—here I sell years of successful experience, expert evaluation and guidance, and no-nonsense honesty, all tightly-packed. (Modesty is included at no additional charge. Jokes might be extra.)

(4) Remember, when you combine activities and items, there is some price flexibility (read discounts and bundles) factored into multi-product/service project fees built around the topic goal.

(5) Some publishers end their book charge with .95, others, .99 (i.e., $14.95 or $17.99) so I usually followed suit with the .95. I think anything much over $25 doesn’t need pennies after it, nor do short reports.

(6) I have some very good and still applicable bound books that, like me, are aging, so you will see a few prices at bargain-bottom rates. When those bound copies are sold, I may go back to slightly higher prices (than now) and just send P.O.D. books, printed when ordered.

(7) Finally, in the ancillary publishing world, I set one price for the bound edition, another for the digital download, and Kindle and iPad and the rest seem to charge what they want anyway. Until that dust settles, I have nothing very useful to share there.  

If that helps, great!

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

P.S. You might be interested in my new step-by-step how-to book about publishing through Kindle, iPad, Lulu, Blurb, CreateSpace, Scribd, LightningSource, and Smashwords. Check out How to Publish Your Book Free in Minutes and Market it Worldwide in Days!

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The rules for properly capitalizing your book titles!

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It dawned on me that I’d never actually seen any title writing rules until I read Linda Carlson’s “Desperately Seeking Good Data…” in the April, 2010 IBPA Independent. So let me share Linda’s key paragraphs lest you too rely on a lifetime of lucky guesswork or proofreaders:

“(The title) is the complete name of a published product, including the subtitle if there is one, as it appears on the title page. 

“Titles should be presented in the appropriate case for the language of the title, which is defined in English-language books as headline style. In other words, ‘the first and last words and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.) are capitalized. Articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor) and prepositions, regardless of length, are lowercased unless they are the first word of the title and of the subtitle.’ Titles published in Spanish and French should have the first word of the title and of the subtitle, and all proper nouns, capitalized. All other words should be lowercase. Titles should never be presented in all capital letters as a default.”

Can you ignore or willfully violate these rules? Sure. But there had better be some reason for it or the publishers, editors, and readers will think that you are ignorant of or too lazy to find out about them, and won’t buy the book. Nothing is more important, alas, than the book’s cover–and much of that is the title!

Best wishes,

Grdon Burgett

P.S. You might be interested in my new step-by-step how-to book about publishing through Kindle, iPad, Lulu, Blurb, CreateSpace, Scribd, LightningSource, and Smashwords. Check out How to Publish Your Book Free in Minutes and Market it Worldwide in Days! I’ve also got a free newsletter that talks about publishing and writing. Welcome aboard.

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Goodbye Google Ad Words

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I’m fed up with all of the big webfirms that sell services but have no way for their clients to get back to talk to a live, functioning, able-to-do-something contact who speaks understandable English.

Most irksome is Google’s Ad Words, which simply is too good (or virtuous or busy or greedy) to even bother to tell me how I can contact them so they can rectify (an apology is beyond my expectations) taking $100 from my account and spending it on a discontinued ad campaign. Then have the gall to come back for more money!

So goodbye, Google. Lulu is getting close to that goodbye list, and while I’m at it, I’m putting three more firms on my managed-by-arrogance, my MBA, list. What kind of idiocy (or business model) proposes service to paid clientele, then hides so those clients can’t find them? Maybe the same kind of logic that says if your book is just sitting around long enough, they will make copies of it (your property) and give it away free to libraries!

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

P.S. We do talk to our clients! And I share most publishing- and writing-related items free once a month on my newsletter. Glad to have you aboard. (Do you know about my newest book called How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days?)

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