Category Archives: Bookselling

Surviving Your Book Promotion

Fame and Fortune Weekly Dime Novel Story PaperVery few authors believe they have sold enough books. Don’t seek personal validation for your career through book sales.”

Ed Cyzewski has a new book out today about the calling and career of writing, Write without Crushing Your Soul.  He observes how experts have differing ideas of what works and you can’t copy one writer’s successful habits to gain your own success (though perhaps that works for some).

I once asked an editor at one of the Big Five publishers about balancing traditional with new media advertising, and she said to do all of the traditional stuff and to then do the new media stuff until I dropped. That may have been realistic for success with a Big Five publisher, but it’s hardly possible for the average author who wants to have family time, personal pursuits, or some sort of spiritual practice each day.

I tried to follow her advice for a season, but over time I found that trying to dive into all of the social media marketing options out there at the same time meant I did all of them poorly.

He says he built an email list for a personal newsletter, which I hear is a strong marketing technique. Readers respond to email solicitations more than social media links, especially if they believe they have already gotten a good return from the emails they’ve received up to that point. There are different ways to do this. The main idea is to recognize and utilize your strengths.

Are Any Books Banned Today?

Ruth Graham points out the problems with that wonderful literary celebration currently engaging many sweet, ill-at-ease readers across the country, Banned Books Week.

Much of the rhetoric around Banned Books Week elides not just the difference between the past and the present but some other important distinctions: the difference between “bans” from public libraries and from school libraries, and between inclusion in school curricula and general availability in a library. A parent merely questioning the presence of a book on a required reading list is the same, to the organizations that run Banned Books Week, as the book being removed from circulation at the local public library. But the former, I would argue, is part of a reasonable local conversation about public education (even if the particular parental preferences are unreasonable). The latter comes closer to a “book ban.”

We at Brandywine Books hope you are enjoying your Banned Book celebrations. If you’re looking for suggestions, Lady Chatterley’s Lover has always been a great fire-starter. We’ve heard of some bacchants snatching books from tables at coffeeshops or smacking them out of the hands of readers on the sidewalk. Don’t let the reason for the season slip into history. Get out there and ban a book. (via Prufrock)

I See a Future for You in Audiobooks

Loren Eaton offers three reasons for new and established authors to have their work recorded into audiobooks.

“Most audiobook listeners are affluent professionals with plenty of time available during their commutes, and such availability is reflected in the sales numbers. A recent report from the American Association of Publishers shows that downloadable audiobooks are the industry’s fastest-growing segment.”

earphone fish

Commuters are a growing demographic for audiobooks.

 

Bookseller Offers Refund for ‘Go Set a Watchman’

A bookseller says the hype over Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman mislead readers, who are now expressing their disappointment in what was supposed to be a new classic.

Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan, has said that its “dozens” of customers for Go Set a Watchman are owed “refunds and apologies” over the way the novel has been presented. “It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as ‘Harper Lee’s New Novel’,” the bookseller writes on its website. “This is pure exploitation of both literary fans and a beloved American classic (which we hope has not been irrevocably tainted). We therefore encourage you to view Go Set a Watchman with intellectual curiosity and careful consideration; a rough beginning for a classic, but only that.”

The Watchman

Christian Book Awards 2015

“The highest honor of Christian Book of the Year™ went to The Daniel Plan by Pastor Rick Warren (with Daniel Amen M.D., and Mark Hyman M.D.). The New York Times bestseller with a strong and regular presence on the ECPA Bestseller list, is described as “creating a health plan” that adds faith, focus, and community to the usual “food and exercise” approach to weight loss and health. The plan is credited for helping 15,000 of Warren’s church members lose 250,000 pounds in the first year.”

The Christian Book Awards from The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association have been announced. Again from the press release: “The Christian Book Award® winners not only represent the best books in our industry, but in their variety they represent the transforming power of Christian content that impacts all of life,” explains ECPA President/CEO Mark Kuyper. “Our industry continues to produce ‘Good Books that Feed the Soul’ for all ages, seasons, and interests.”

Lifeway Pulls Heaven Tourism Books

Last year, the Southern Baptist Convention resolved that the Bible tells us enough about the afterlife and that experiential claims can’t trump it. In light of recent bestsellers and movies, their influence on even biblically literate believers, and Scripture refusal to tell us personal experiences with the afterlife, SBC messengers “reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one’s understanding of the truth about heaven and hell.”

Yesterday, Lifeway softly announced it would follow suit, saying it is taking a new direction. A spokesman said, “We decided these experiential testimonies about heaven would not be a part of our new direction, so we stopped re-ordering them for our stores last summer.”

I hope the business tactics used to obtain the Malarkey family book will not be part of this new direction as well.

Publishers Sue Family Christian Stories Over Inventory

Family Christian Stores (FCS) is filing bankruptcy with the desire to claim several million dollars worth of inventory that they haven’t purchased. Publishers, who consigned that inventory to FCS, is suing to have their merchandise returned or purchased.

“As the nation’s largest retailer of Christian books and gift items with 266 stores in 36 states, Family Christian said it needed to restructure its debt in the face of sales that had fallen from $305 million in 2008 to $230 million in 2014,” reports Jim Harger.

Black Market for Textbooks

In Mauritania, where 60 percent of the country is under age 25, school books are hard to find. Added to what distribution issues publishers may have, thieves are taking books to sell on the black market. Where a book should cost under $1 at a legal bookseller, on the black market it will be sell for $10.

Aldada Weld El-Salem, who is in his thirties, said he was lucky to find six schoolbooks for his daughter for a total of 20,000 Ouguiya ($68.81) on the black market.

“I did not want to risk the future of my daughter so I recently gave in to the prices of the dealers and I paid whatever they asked for,” he said. “I did not want my daughter to be a victim of the indifference of the official authorities toward a current crisis afflicting all of Mauritania’s schools.”

(via The Literary Saloon)

Bookstores Finding Small Spaces to Survive

Borders and other large bookstores have closed over the past several years, leaving some towns without a local bookseller. Some business owners are trying out smaller spaces as a sustainable business model for their brick-and-mortar stores.

Judith Rosen reports,

This 1,200 sq. ft. store in Beverly, Cabot Street Books & Cards, which opens in May, will also be paired with an Atomic Cafe. “We’re trying to get the model right,” said Hugo. “I’m hoping we can do more of these. The stock is managed better because booksellers touch it and feel it within 10 ft. of their desk. The trick is traffic.”

Ministry Buys Bulk for Bestseller Boost

A former employee of Pastor David Jeremiah’s ministry, Turning Point, has come forward with a report that his employer directed him to buy copies of Jeremiah’s book with his personal American Express card in order to boost market sale numbers. He asked for prepayment before making the purchases.

World has the story. “Tyndale House Publishers lists David Jeremiah as one of its authors. Todd Starowitz, the director of public relations at Tyndale, refused to answer specific questions, but he did issue this statement: ‘Tyndale House Publishers does not contract with anyone or any agency who attempts to manipulate best seller lists.'”