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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments I have a question, and the title says it all: is anyone else having trouble promoting their book in Australia? I have handed out fliers about Enchantment's Deception, my sister and I have created promotional bookmarks which we have handed out at the local shopping centres...but how can I promote my book on a wider scale? Preferably nation-wide (to begin with ! lol) Seriously, does anyone have any ideas? I'd be very grateful!


message 2: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 05, 2010 05:39PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Amber, The situation is not good. Roughly speaking, there are two routes to independent books sales in Australia:
a) be famous, and then readers and publishers will rush to your door. Probably better not to be a famous author: a sportsman, politician or their jilted mistress would be better.
b) seek reincarnation as the favourite daughter/niece/concubine of rich publisher or media presenter.

Seriously, things are difficult and when you see trays of dumped $5 American imports outside you favourite book shop, you can guess just how difficult.

As a minimum, you need more than one book. I am assuming that you have failed to interest any of our sparklingly brilliant publishers/agents (see note above) and are going it alone, so you have to chat up your local newspapers and radio stations. You have to get into the bookstores, even if you sell to them personally (that only works with the independents), so you have to have a competitive RRP, and be prepared for the shop to take 40% as their cut.

Feel free to email me if you like. I am in a similar situation with my Australian sales and waiting for that all-important break. In the meantime, I am turning a profit but have yet to buy my first Ferrari. A little Hyundai might be a possibility...


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

By George!!!, Jacqueline's got it! (-: ditto to all Jacqueline wrote, I had an American publishing co. approach me about 2.5 years ago, but I kept 'putting them off' because I wanted an Australian publisher to take me on, despite my radio appearences & print media features the aussie publishers still didn't want anything to do with me basically because (as Jaqueline said) I was not already famous or wedded to an established publishing family. I did say yes to the American publisher & now my 3rd book is about to be released, American published, promoted, printed etc. My 1st 2 were self published.

Amber you have to 'hound' the radio stations for 'air time' the ABC is a good start, if any of the stations say no, wait a couple of weeks then hound again, they will eventually 'give in' the same goes with the papers & magazines.


message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments Thanks Jacqueline and David! I know it's not going to be easy; and sometimes it gets disheartening. This is my first book; it took ten years to get from first scribblings to published novel, and now it's a struggle to get it 'out there'. I'm going to keep pushing it - as you both suggested - I just wanted to know if anyone else was having a rough time trying to get Australia in general to show some support.


message 5: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Pretend you are a publicist promoting somebody else: how would you go about it?
I answered this question in the place you asked it first, Amber: in addition, you have to research publicity strategies on the web. The problem is with self-publishing that when you have exhausted the circle of people you know personally, you're stuck. So you need to broaden your circle of acquaintances: join a writers' club, or a writers' class. Find out when the next book festival is in your state and get a stall. Find other self-publishers and form an alliance. Write another book or two. Where is your website - where is your blog? You must put their URLs right under your name everywhere, including your emails. Get started with PayPal and sell books off your site. Or put them up on eBay - there are writers doing that already.
The company you used to produce your book has a whole arm dedicated to book marketing: perhaps there is something there that will work for you.

Rosanne Dingli - author of puzzle thrillers
http://www.rosannedingli.com
http://rosannedingli.blogspot.com


message 6: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments I never actually thought of a Publicist, or even the local Writer's Centre - the latter a very obvious choice and one that never crossed my mind. Thanks for the advice, Rosanne! As you can probably tell I'm very new to this, so any help you're kind enough to give is very much appreciated!


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Fortunately, what we do have at our disposal is the internet and that makes for a very level playing field.

Some of the greatest phenomena that sweep the net are of social-viral nature. The trick of course is to find something that'll work. I'm seen some amazing things, including recently a fake job-quitting photo-series.

Even with a great explosion of exposure, I would dare say that you'll be lucky to hook 1 in 1,000 people of which maybe 1 in 10 will actually buy a copy.

As we all know though, finding that 'hook' is the real trick and what works for one probably doesn't work for another.

Persistence is perhaps your greatest friend. For while many famous books seem to just 'explode' onto the market there's usually years or work behind it (one need only read about the struggles of J.K.Rowling).

Paul.


message 8: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Promoting a book need not be confined to Australia: the web is universal. Example: I was interviewed on the Web today and the views and clicks come from all over, even Germany. I find that I sell most books from Amazon in the UK. Have a look and tell me what you think: Australia is mentioned of course, but as the place I live and work in, not the place where I necessarily need my books to sell.
Cathryn Isakson interviews Rosanne Dingli !!
http://novelexpectations.wordpress.com/


message 9: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Rosanne wrote: "Promoting a book need not be confined to Australia: the web is universal. Example: I was interviewed on the Web today and the views and clicks come from all over, even Germany. I find that I sell m..."

That was a really interesting interview Rosanne, thanks for sharing. I love hearing stories about how people get into writing.


Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli


message 10: by Cath (new)

Cath Thanks Rosanne for mentioning your interview on my blog. Coincidentally, I set up the blog with the aim of finding out about how authors in Australia are promoting themselves and their books.

It's been revealing for me as everyone seems to approach it differently. Some writers prefer to sit at home and build an online following, others like to get out and meet their readers. Some invest in book trailers, some blog or do blog tours, some tweet and some want to be on TV.

There's lots of advice available online on this topic - some good, some dubious.

Amber, if you'd like some online publicity for your novel, I'd be happy to interview you on my blog.

novelexpectations.wordpress.com

Best, Cath


message 11: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments Cath wrote: "Thanks Rosanne for mentioning your interview on my blog. Coincidentally, I set up the blog with the aim of finding out about how authors in Australia are promoting themselves and their books.

It'..."

Hello Cath, thank you for the offer! I read your interview with Rosanne Dingli, and I thought it was fascinating - both the questions asked and the answers given. To arrange an interview with you, is there anything specific I must do first?


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Cath wrote: "Thanks Rosanne for mentioning your interview on my blog. Coincidentally, I set up the blog with the aim of finding out about how authors in Australia are promoting themselves and their books.

It'..."


Welcome to the group Cath. :)


message 13: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Mandy wrote: "Rosanne wrote: "Promoting a book need not be confined to Australia: the web is universal. Example: I was interviewed on the Web today and the views and clicks come from all over, even Germany. I fi..."

Mandy: thank you for having a look ! Much appreciation to other visitors too. I enjoyed doing the interview very much, and the questions asked had me really thinking. Cath asks unusual questions without being intrusive or probing.
I appreciate how you found the book cover for my first novel and put it up here, Mandy. Very thoughtful.


message 14: by Cath (new)

Cath Thank you Gail for your welcome.

Amber, I'm not sure of the protocol here for contacting someone privately. My email address is listed on my blog under the tab 'Who's behind this blog?' which is on the top right of the page.
You can also send me a message through LinkedIn, if that's easier.

If you email me, I'll let you know what I need from you before I can compile your interview questions.

I'll put up the second part of Rosanne's interview later today. In this part, Rosanne talks about she's promoting her books. (One thing Rosanne doesn't mention is how active she's been in online communities - which is a great way of letting people know about your book.)

Because this is a book group, I would like to recommend a book on the topic of book promotion. In Literary publicity: the final chapter (2001) Joseph Marich Jr explains how you can construct a traditional campaign for your book.

There are a few newer books that start to grapple with building an online presence for authors. I haven't found one I could recommend yet.

Can anyone recommend a good book on online strategy for authors?


message 15: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Cath wrote: "Because this is a book group, I would like to recommend a book on the topic of book promotion. In Literary publicity: the final chapter (2001) Joseph Marich Jr explains how you can construct a traditional campaign for your book.

There are a few newer books that start to grapple with building an online presence for authors. I haven't found one I could recommend yet.

Can anyone recommend a good book on online strategy for authors?..."


Here is the link to the book Cath recommends. It was published in 2001.
Literary Publicity: The Final Chapter

Recommendations for newer resources would be very helpful!


message 16: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments I started reading this forum, then went to lunch, then came back from lunch and someone sent me this link - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-Ma...

Spooky, eh!


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Someones looking over your shoulder Kevin.


message 18: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Martin (PDMartin) | 3 comments Amber (and anyone/everyone else),
Others have mentioned the web - including making sure you have a website and probably a blog too. Also, Goodreads has a good author program. Are you signed up specifically as a Goodreads AUTHOR? For example, you can list a giveaway and people sign up for the free book. I did this for Kiss of Death (my latest release) and offered 5 copies. Over 1,000 people 'registered' for it, which means over 1,000 people who might not have been aware of the book (or me) before the giveaway now know my name, the book title, what it is about and what the cover looks like. All good marketing/brand recognition. The only cost to me was the books from my publisher and postage. And with your author page you can link in your blog (if you've got RSS feeds) and post book trailers, etc.

I also use Facebook a lot. I have a personal profile, but also have a page that's dedicated to my work as an author (www.facebook.com/pdmartinauthor). I've run comps from that page, posted research videos, and I'll generally try to post something a couple of times a week. Plus I've used Facebook ads to get more fans to my page and to promote my book trailers. With Facebook, you can tailor your ads (e.g. to people who like Kathy Reichs, Criminal Minds, Dexter, etc, who are female and over 30, etc). You can also select country - so if you're book's only available in Australia, just target Australia. And you decide what you want to pay (it might be $5/day for two weeks). And when I do an ad, I usually run them Monday-Friday only, because I've found the stats are much lower on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hope this helps!

Phillipa
www.pdmartin.com.au


message 19: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda P.D. wrote: "Amber (and anyone/everyone else),
Others have mentioned the web - including making sure you have a website and probably a blog too. Also, Goodreads has a good author program. Are you signed up spe..."


Thanks Phillipa, that's excellent advice!


message 20: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments Mandy wrote: "P.D. wrote: "Amber (and anyone/everyone else),
Others have mentioned the web - including making sure you have a website and probably a blog too. Also, Goodreads has a good author program. Are you ..."


Thanks for the great advice Phillipa! I never thought of giveaways - by the looks of all the suggestions on this discussion there's a lot I've never considered! Thanks to everyone for sharing ideas with me...


message 21: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Anyone understand how you get more people to visit your website?


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments A lot of work. Usually the first way is to go to a place that's fairly busy (eg, like here) and periodically drop your link down in a post. If we had signatures in here it'd work a lot nicer.

Using click-adverts is another way but it's not a good way of establishing large numbers of visitors because quite frequently you only get the 1 visitor per click - worse, they often can end up clicking your advert a couple of times if they forget where the site is, sometimes an expensive exercise.


Ultimately, the key is to get the link to your site in as many different locations as possible, preferrably with well ranked sites (again, like GR).

Paul.


message 23: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Amber wrote: "Thanks for the great advice Phillipa! I never thought of giveaways - by the looks of all the suggestions on this discussion there's a lot I've never considered! Thanks to everyone for sharing ideas with me..."

This is a great discussion Amber. Thanks for starting it!


message 24: by Graham (new)

Graham Storrs (grahamstorrs) Amber, I got my first publishing deal with a New York small press and they were - how do I say this politely? - disappointing when it came to publicity, so I've had to learn fast. Fortunately, the Web is full of excellent resources for book marketers and I've tried something of just about everything in the past six months. You've heard a lot of good ideas already in this discussion so I'll just add a couple that I haven't noticed yet: building a Twitter following, and doing blog tours.

Twitter is just one big, fascinating conversation. Join in, follow people, and people will follow you. Eventually, you will have hundreds or thousands of people receiving your "tweets" and, because they get to know you and enjoy your company, they're actually interested when you tell them about your books.

A blog tour means doing a series of guest posts on other people's blogs - about your book and about yourself. When I launched my novel, I did a tour lasting two months that took in about twenty sites. It was actually great fun. (An index to the entire tour is available here: http://blog.timesplash.co.uk/the-blog... if you'd like to see the kind of posts I did.) The advantage of posting on other people's blogs is that you reach other people's readerships, not just your own.

This is a bit long already (sorry) but I just want to mention the lovely Joanna Penn, who blogs from Australia on Web 2.0 book marketing. She has loads of useful material on her site: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

Good luck!

Graham.


message 25: by Shelleyrae (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 148 comments I'm a reader, not an author but I do have a couple of suggestions for promotion.

Library - contact libraries and ask if they are interested in having a guest author visit. This works best for general/woman's fiction because that readership is who usually has the time to attend, but you have access to a wide readership so the library can let you know if they think your book will be well recieved. You can donate a copy of the book to the library to sweeten the deal. Think about approaching libraries that are not just local but country areas if you are able to travel.

High Schools - If its a YA book, contact the English Dept head at high schools and ask if they are interested in having an author visit. Again you can offer your book to their library and maybe have a competition for the students to win a copy.

Rotary Clubs/CWA groups/ Youth Groups etc - these groups welcome guest speakers at meetings and if you have a book that suits the target audience then this can be a great opportunity.

If you publish a niche genre eg speculative fiction google sites that would likely appeal to your reader - like gaming sites, and consider advertising on them.

Google for book review blogs that review your genre and offer a copy for the blogger to review, and perhaps give away.

Post sample chapters/excerpts on Scribd, Wattpad etc

Hope something there is useful :)


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Although not directly related to this thread, I thought it'd be important to inform fellow Aussie authors that Lightning-Source-International (POD service) is opening a facility here in Australia in June~August 2011.

This is very important news for a lot of us because it will mean finally our books will appear in Australian stores like A&R, Dymocks etc at sane prices, not the $35~$50 they're currently being quoted at ( due to being printed in the UK and shipped over ).

Paul.


message 27: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Paul wrote: "Although not directly related to this thread, I thought it'd be important to inform fellow Aussie authors that Lightning-Source-International (POD service) is opening a facility here in Australia i..."

Sorry for the dumb question Paul but what is Pod service and is lightning source an actual bookshop or an online thing? And that's great about the lower prices etc.!

Actually I'm thinking on re-reading your post lightning source must be a printing business?


message 28: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Mmmh - run that one past us again, Paul. My understanding from the States is that Lightning Source is part of Amazon and print POD for sale directly to customers. They do not sell to bookstores, because the figures do not stack up. Means your books might be cheaper online because freight is less, but they still won't be on the shelves of your local store.

I could easily be totally wrong...


message 29: by Paul (last edited Sep 23, 2010 06:31PM) (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Jacqueline,

Lightning Source Int (LSI) is an international print-on-demand service which distributes via the Ingram distribution network (It is Ingram that created LSI as far as I know).

LSI is a printing source for publishers, though there's nothing stopping you being a 1-person publisher (as indeed we are).

LSI has printing facilities in the UK and US, they also have quite a few Espresso book machines around the world (fantastic devices, walk up to them, choose your book, 20 minutes later it's printed and bound for you to read).

It is through LSI/Ingram that our book is now at Amazon, B&N, Bookrepository, A&R and many other stores, without having to do any footwork.

The establishment of the AU printing plant is good because it'll mean that finally the AU prices of our book(s) will be competitive with the domestic buyer's anticipated costs.

Hope that helps a bit... happy to answer more Q's.


Paul.


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim Spain. (rimeriter) | 1 comments Well, goodness me. What a marvellous lot of information.
"Thank you" everyone.

If for no other reason, this alone is sufficient to justify my decision to join Goodreads.

Now I better understand why 'THEM' out there were resistant to a www being established.
Jim - the Writer of Rhyme.


message 31: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Paul,

Yes, I'm with you there. That is how anyone can buy copies of my American editions (if they can abide the appalling covers). You can even order them through your local bookstore - at a price. The bookstores cannot get the 40% discounted prices they would need to take books into stock and put them on the shelves why the casual browser might find them.


message 32: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Paul wrote: "Jacqueline,

Lightning Source Int (LSI) is an international print-on-demand service which distributes via the Ingram distribution network (It is Ingram that created LSI as far as I know).

L..."


Paul, does that mean we will be able to self-publish in Aus soon via a print on demand service?


message 33: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Kevin - we already have POD printers in Australia. I use On-Demand in Melbourne and my experience of product and service has been good.

I wonder if another player in the market will bring prices down or whether we will have a situation like Optus/Telstra or the retail petrol market where the players compete on everything except price.


message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments I'm wondering when/if some of the larger institutions are going to bring in some Espresso book machines. However with the massive upswing in eBook readers (especially now with the K3 being so cheap) it'll be interesting to see if the EBM falls out of favour.


message 35: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I looked at Espresso in Australia and it would only work on normal paperbacks if they retailed at ~$40. Less than that, and the margins just did not work. I have not heard that they are working as a straightforward retail tool anywhere else either...


message 36: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Jacqueline, do you have any links to a study on the economics of the EBM? I was under the impression that the EBMs should have been a more cost-effective way of getting it out to Universities and such. That said, as mentioned above, I am wondering if the eBook revolution isn't eclipsing the EBM in popularity and putting a serious dent in the projected market.

Paul.


message 37: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Paul,

If you are talking about selling specialist texts to academic institutions, then espresso is made for it. Uni libraries won't mind paying a deal more than $40. Try Warren Broome at Central Book Services, Melbourne. They have the machine, but I'm not sure how good their academic sales are. Their brief involvement in fiction was a failure.


message 38: by Mark (new)

Mark (valiukas) Jacqueline wrote: "Kevin - we already have POD printers in Australia. I use On-Demand in Melbourne and my experience of product and service has been good."

I suspect what Kevin may have been getting at is POD companies who not only print, but who are able to offer distribution as well. Is there anybody local in that space?

Thanks for the heads-up on On-Demand, I've fired off a quote request to them - I'm happy with the quality and price of the run I had done through Griffin, but local and the possibility of shorter runs for top-ups if/when required is appealing.


message 39: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 25, 2010 03:37PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) My take on Australia's market structure is that we have the following categories of company

1) traditional printers, dealing with large quantities of offset printing

2) modern printers who can do large quantities but have also taken a POD option

3) distributors who send reps into bookshops but do no serious promotion

4) agents who run around trying to facilitiate the near-mythical Australian best seller so they might just possibly make a living

5) Con-men who make their money from authors by sending their books to POD printers, while fudging the fact that they do zero promotion and sales - you have probably come across some of these already.

6) finally publishers, those ethereal beings who take authors to their bosom, and caress, edit, promote, print and sell books. Unfortunately most Australian fiction doesn't sell enough copies to be interesting, so bring on the cook books.

Everyone would love to hook up with category 6, but that is akin to winning the lottery - so forget about it. Mostly you can forget about agents too. If you were to sell 5000 at $25 per copy by the agent/publisher route, you are not going to make $10,000 and any agent will be earning $1000 if things go well - not enough to buy much effort.

The con-men are worse than useless. Just another way to blow money and have book shops look down their noses at you saying 'But this is not a Proper Publisher'.

For the rest, printing is easy and not so expensive. Hooking up with an effective distributor is difficult, mostly because small authors cannot offer the most difficult thing of all - nationwide promotion. Crack that, and you might make the system work for you.


message 40: by Mark (new)

Mark (valiukas) That's very similar to the mental picture I'd developed, Jacqueline, although a severely constrained budget has prevented us even considering the con-men. Those with more money, or more willing to buy into their own dreams, might easily fall prey to them though.

I see agents as important in the long run, if only to crack #6 - but I can understand why they're risk-averse because I enjoy eating too.

So for now we'll try to maximise the distributions channels available to us (we've just got it into the iTunes store - yay!)- and see what else we can do for ourselves.


message 41: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Paul wrote: "Jacqueline,

Lightning Source Int (LSI) is an international print-on-demand service which distributes via the Ingram distribution network (It is Ingram that created LSI as far as I know).
This is interesting, Paul. Lightning Source prints my books that I have published through www.youwriteon.com LS produce well made books and are reasonable if you don't count the postage but at present with the high dollar postage is better. At least I think so with the ordering of my new book, Crossroads at Isca. I don't know if I'll be able to order my books in Australia. I'll have to check and see. What I like about the overseas publishers is for a yearly sum they put your books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online book sellers I've never heard of and collect the money for you. In the small isolated community where I live there isn't much opportunity to sell books. Laurel

L..."



message 42: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Posting on Amazon and B&N is a plus. I have to say that all my books are up and my sales per month by that route are tiny - no-one over there knows who I am.


message 43: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Jacqueline,

We're the same. Originally there was a big drama about the fact that we weren't listed on Amazon "immediately" but the sad reality is that it's not a huge sales vector yet. I suspect our Kindle-edition will outsell the print by a few orders of mangnitude.

Admittingly we've changed our perception on how this ride is going to be for the next 6 months; seeing more as a time for establishing a reputation rather than outright sales. Once the reputation is seeded I believe the book sales will improve as the next couple of books are released.


Paul.


message 44: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Thanks for that insight Paul. I'm also on Amazon, still having trouble getting the book into Australia. I see the sales position number change wildly and am still curious what it all means in the end.

I also have to pull my finger out and finish the second one.


message 45: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Kevin,

A good site to jump onto if you want to really get your teeth into rankings is the following;

http://www.novelrank.com

They'll pull the stats on your book and provide a meaningful output - which is a lot more than what I can say for Amazon at times.

Unfortunately, the stats only start from when you submit your book to be tracked, so do it sooner rather than later.

Paul.


message 46: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Thanks Paul


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