Book Publishing News 05/18/17

Christian Small Publishers Awards now Christian Indie Awards

“Over the past few years, the number of books published independently in the United States has grown exponentially,” says Sarah Bolme, Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), the sponsor of the book award. “In fact, between 2010 and 2015, the number of independent or self-published books grew over 400%. This new name better reflects the increasing numbers of independently published books and authors, while continuing to promote small publishers.” Read more …
Note from Eddie: While I applaud CSPA for inviting self-published authors to submit, LPC will no longer recognize any LPC title that wins this new award.    Progressive Publishers like LPC (small publishers that offer everything legacy, traditional publishers offer except author advances and guaranteed bookstore distribution) continue to fight the “self-published” stigma.  Authors remain confused as to what constitutes a self-publishing firm.  The definition is simple: If you have to buy books or pay for any part of your book’s publication, it’s self-published.  

Cynthia Ruchti joins Books & Such Literary

“Cynthia is such an obvious choice to excel at agenting,” said Janet Grant, founder and president of Books & Such Literary Management. “She has a significant network among publishing personnel through her many years serving as faculty at writers conferences; working with ECPA and CBA organizations as the professional relations liaison and past president for ACFW; as well as being a multi-published author herself. And she’s personally connected to many authors, especially through her work with ACFW.” Read more …

Audible Suspends Its Gift Copies Program for New Releases

Apparently Audible has stopped issuing gift copies of new audiobooks releases. Audible has explained the move as a way to focus on the selling of gift subscriptions. Read more …

Amazon Algorithms & How “also bought recommendations” Are Set

Indie author David Gaughran has written insightfully about how to strategically and ethically work the system. Read at his blog here and here.

Book Publishing News 05/12/17

Amazon to open bookstore in D.C.Amazon to open bookstore in D.C.

Amazon plans to open a bookstore in Georgetown. According to Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth, Amazon has agreed to lease a 10,000-square-foot space at 3040 M St. NW. Amazon currently operates bookstores in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington. Its website lists six “coming soon” locations in California, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

The State of Utah Benefits from Amazon Sales Tax Model

The Denver Post reports, “The state of Utah has seen its sales tax revenue skyrocket since the online retail giant Amazon.com agreed to collect taxes on purchases.” Officials refused to say how much of the tax revenue came directly from Amazon. Amazon began collecting the 4.7% sales tax in Utah in January under a deal with the state that allows Amazon to get the same 1.31 percent of the taxes-collected-handling-fee that in-state retailers receive.

EU’s New E-book Rules Worry Booksellers

“While the European Commission’s aim is to foster competition, the new rule may have the opposite effect,” says the The European and International Booksellers Federation. The EIBF, which primarily represents small and medium-sized booksellers, believes the shift may force many booksellers to abandon selling e-books altogether. In a press release they state that although 70-85% of booksellers in any given country in the EC sell e-books, the rule change would be to the “sole benefit” of the dominant multi-national e-book platforms, such as Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Google Play Books.” Read the full story …

2016 Was a Tough year for Independent Christian stores

Christian stores saw a 6 percent sales decline in 2016 over 2015. According to CROSS:SCAN data, 61 percent of reporting stores saw higher transaction averages but less traffic. While a decrease in store traffic is a major contributor to the sales decline, Christian stores also lack strong omnichannel capabilities (voice, email, SMS/text, web, mobile or social media presence)  that enable them to connect with consumers online.  As a percentage of the population with more disposable income increases, Christian-store customer segments may see a boost print-book sales. Read the full story …


Tips for Marketing Your Book

Join me May 21 – 25 at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference  where I’ll teach workshops on:

Why You’re Not Getting Book Contracts and What To Do About It

The book publishing industry changed last decade … year … month. Did you?  Learn the top mistakes writers make when they pitch their book and what to do about it.

Why You’re Not Getting Amazon Reviews and What To Do About It

Amazon book reviews are social-proof and one of the top reason online consumers make a purchase. Learn how to increase the number and rating of your book’s Amazon reviews.

Why You’re Not Selling Copies of Your Book and What To Do About It 

Do you have a sales goal for each of your books?  A royalty target?  A marketing budget?  Would you like to have a top-seller?  Learn the secrets that can turn any good book into a “blessed seller.”

Book Publishing News 05/05/17

2017 Selah Awards Finalists from LPC Books

Selah Award

The Selah Awards are awarded to books within Christian publishing that are considered excellent within their genre. This year LPC Books placed nine titles in the finals. Congratulations to the following authors.

Genre: Contemporary Women’s
Author: Candee Fick
Title: Dance Over Me
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Bling! Romance

Genre: General Nonfiction
Author: Linda Gilden & Tama Westman
Title: Why You Do What You Do
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Straight Street Books

Genre: Fiction: Historical/Biblical
Author: Pamela King Cable
Title: The Sanctum
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Firefly Southern Fiction

Genre: First Novel
Author: Janine Mendenhall
Title: Starving Hearts
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Heritage Beacon

Author: K. S. Moore
Title: Angel Beneath My Wheels
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Firefly Southern Fiction

Author: Beth Ann Ziarnik
Title: Her Deadly Inheritance
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Elaine Marie Cooper
Title: Saratoga Letters
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Author: Janet S. Grunst
Title: A Heart Set Free
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Smitten Historical Romance

Genre: Fiction: Mystery/Suspense
Author: Donn Taylor
Title: Murder Mezzo Forte
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Lamplighter Mysteries & Suspense

Genre: Fiction: Speculative
Author: Aaron D. Gansky
Title: The Blood Sword: A Hand of Adonai Novel
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas / Brimstone Fiction

David C Cook hires new Chief Publishing Officer

David C Cook today announces the addition of Jon Burgess as Chief Publishing Officer (CPO), overseeing the Learning Resources group beginning on June 5, 2017. “We are pleased to have Jon join David C Cook as CPO,” said Cris Doornbos, Chief Executive Officer. “He brings a wide breadth of leadership experience to this critical position and his proven abilities will enable him to add immediate value to the team.” Read More…

Houghton Mifflin To Cut Staff by 8 to 10 Percent

This spring, the publisher will complete a reorganization that will eliminate around 360 to 450 people, as estimated by Publishers Marketplace

Who Are BookBub Subscribers?

The vast majority of BoobBub subscribers are middle-aged women, and the genre of highest interest is mystery/thriller. Learn more at the BookBub blog.

Facts About Amazon Prime Members

  • Estimated number of US Amazon Prime members: 80 million
  • Estimated share of Amazon customers who are also Prime members: 60%
  • Estimated increase of Prime members since last year: 38%

Book Publishing News April 28, 2017

Book Publishing News April 28, 2017Family Christian Stores Up for Auction

Online bidding for the assets of Family Christian Stores concluded Monday. The sale included desks, chairs, and tables. Other items include desktop crosses, inspirational posters, laptop computers, store fixtures, and mannequins.

Bookstore Sales Fell Again in February

Jim Milliot of Publisher’s Weekly reports, “Bookstore sales dropped 3.0% in February 2017, compared to the same month in 2016. The February decline follows a 3.7% drop in bookstore sales in January. The two-month losing streak has led to a 3.6% decline in bookstore sales so far in 2017. Revenue over the period has fallen to $2.23 billion, down from $2.32 billion in the comparable period in 2016.”

Top Shelf Book Award Accepting Nominations

Evangelical Christian Publishers Association created the Top Shelf Book Cover Awards to celebrate the year’s best book designs in Christian publishing.  Covers are judged by top designers in the industry for their merits in appropriateness for the market, level of conceptual thinking, and quality of execution. Judges are not bound by a number of covers to choose, but choose the designs that stand out as the best of the year. Submit your book’s cover.

Author Patricia Cornwell Signs With Amazon Imprint

Author Patricia Cornwell has taken her latest Jack the Ripper nonfiction book to Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint. She says it’s worth the problem of getting an Amazon book into bookstores to take advantage of Amazon’s Kindle in Motion enhanced ebook tech.

“Amazon’s reach into the UK market is deep. It’s estimated that Amazon controls 90 percent or more of ebook sales in the UK, and its Prime service reaches more than 30 percent of the population.”

Read more on Cornwell’s deal with Amazon.

Bestselling author Elizabeth Spann Craig Goes Indie

Cozy mystery author Elizabeth Spann Craig turns down traditional publishing deal to self-publish. One reason why: she’s making more money as an indie author. Read more at her blog.


Tips for Marketing Your Book

Generate More Book Sales With a Keyword-Powered Blurb. “The description of your book in an online store is a vital element of your digital book’s sales strategy,” says YA author Beth Bacon. “The description (commonly called a blurb) acts like a shop clerk in a digital bookstore. You want that clerk’s pitch to be as convincing as possible. The blurb, however, plays a second and perhaps even more important role: It helps draw those shoppers to your online sales page in the first place. Thus, seeding your blurb with the right keywords is a powerful way to increase your sales.” Learn how you can improve your book’s discoverability with the right key words.

Find Out Which Marketing Services LPC Recommends. How much will you invest each month in your book & writing career? $10 for Ask David Tweets, $16 for Vessel Project ad, $30 for a one day blog tour, $30 for an Amazon ad, $55 (once a quarter) for an EReader News promotion. If you have a great book, invest in its future! Find out which book marketing services LPC recommends.

Check Out These Book Promotion Sites. Dave Chesson has compiled a table of sites where you can promote your ebook for free or pay. Visit Kindlepreneur and get ready to close the pop-ups.

Book Publishing News April 21, 2017

Book Publishing NewsSimon & Schuster Closes Tyrus Books imprint, Relocates Howard Books

Simon & Schuster shut down its Tyrus Books imprint in early April. Benjamin LeRoy, the founder and publisher of Tyrus, announced the news on social media. LeRoy tweeted to his followers, “Hey! For all the folks who know me as Tyrus Books, Tyrus is closing down and now you can just know me as some dude on Twitter.” Tyrus was included in Simon & Schuster’s acquisition last year of Adams Media from F+W. Simon & Schuster will continue to handle the Tyrus backlist.

How Many Kindle Unlimited Subscribers Are There?
(And How Does KU’s Growth Impact Your Book Sales)?

How many Kindle Unlimited Subscribers are there? Amazon has never released the total number of KU subscribers, however, by working the formula backwards, Written Word Media estimates the number could be as high as 2.5 million readers. How many books does a KU subscriber read? Again, Written Word estimates the number may be as many as 20 books per month! Read how the growth of Amazon’s subscription model is changing the market for ebook sales.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing Shifts Publishing Programs

HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) announced April 11 three changes within its publishing programs. Daisy Hutton is being promoted to vice president and publisher for the W Publishing Group, a nonfiction imprint of Thomas Nelson.  Hutton has been the company’s fiction publisher for Thomas Nelson and Zondervan books for the past five years. Read the full story.

Where Will the Growth in Sales Come in 2017?

  • Number of retailer bankruptcies in 2016: 9
  • Number of retailer bankruptcies in 2017 so far: 9
  • Growth of online retail sales during the 2016 holiday season, versus 2015: 20% (Source: Washington Post)

Look for Amazon to continue to gain market share at the expense of brick and mortar stores.

Tips for Marketing Your Book

Author Kristine Rusch discusses email newsletter strategy. Learn the difference between old school newsletters and ad circulars. Take heart! You’re not the only one who feels undersized against the book-marketing monster.

“I feel completely inadequate,” Rusch says. “Then I feel like I’d better hurry to catch up. Finally, I crawl into my office and get back to the work in progress. I don’t feel overwhelmed when I think about fiction writing. I feel completely overwhelmed when I focus on the “shoulds” of marketing.

Read at Rusch’s blog on newsletters.

Book Publishing News 03/03/17

the Big Boys are coming after the IndiesPenguin Random House Sales Decline Almost 10 Percent in 2016

Recently the biggest of the Big Five publishers, Penguin Random House, reported that sales dropped 9.6 percent in 2016. The decline is directly related to the drop in ebook sales in 2016.

According to their annual report, the company plans to employ a “differentiated pricing” strategy. This may mean Penguin Random House could begin to compete with small presses and Indie authors in the “low price” Kindle ebook market.  At the very least, it sounds like the Big Boys are coming after the Indies. Time will tell if the “Biggest of the Big Five” can adapt to the shifting landscape of the ebook market.

Barnes & Noble Continues to Close Stores;
Amazon Continues to Open Stores

“Last week, Amazon opened a store in Chicago, Illinois, its first physical bookstore not in a coastal city, and the second of the seven it plans to open this calendar year. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble plans to open four new stores and close 12 by April 30, according to David Deason, vice president of development. It already closed the only general-interest bookstore in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Last fiscal year the company closed eight locations.” Read the full article.

Amazon Announces Its Influencer Program

The Amazon Influencer Program is exclusively designed for social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content. An intuitive vanity URL makes it easy for customers to find, browse and buy the products introduced to them through social media influencers. The program allows influencers to earn fees for purchases they drive through their social media platforms. This program is currently in beta mode and open by invitation only.” ~ Amazon

If you are a social media influencer interested in joining Amazon’s Influencer Program, click to apply.

 

Tips for Marketing Your Book

 

Readers are Leaders, Buy a Boy a Book

Dead Calm, Bone Dry Curse of the Black Avenger

Are Amazon Ads Worth the Money?

James Patterson, the top selling author of my generation, promotes his books.An LPC author recently asked my thoughts on investing in an Amazon ad. Here is my response.

 

For every dollar you invest in your book you earn back two dollars. That’s not the case with every title, but with your book it is. (The per-click percentage for your book is actually 69.62% but I round it down to 50% because I know an ad for your book also generates “pages read” and those “pages read” earn royalties. The “pages read” royalties cannot be factored into the per-click percentage. Amazon only sees actual sales.)

“With regards to your question about spending $10 a month for an Amazon ad. That sum works out to be thirty cents a day and the per-click charge for an Amazon ad runs around fifty cents. Thus, your ad would only run for a couple of minutes each day. Basically, you’d be wasting your money. Many top-selling Indie authors spend hundreds of dollars each month on Amazon ads. These authors often own the tops spots in their book’s category.

For my own books I spend around $100 a month and my books aren’t nearly as good as yours. (Well, they may be as good, but I’m writing middle-grade fiction for boys and that’s a small market. There’s not even a category for it on Amazon. I spend the money to make my books known because I am serious about making it as a writer and in order to do that readers need to read my work and become familiar with my voice and style. )

The old business model of writing a book and hoping it sells died in 2008 with the Great Recession. Book publishers began to retreat and book stores closed. That trend continues. Authors who enjoy success today are those who invest in their careers and market the devil out of their book. Even James Patterson, the top selling author of my generation, promotes his books. He advertises on TV, YouTube, and on Amazon.

At LPC Books we seek authors who are serious about their writing. We want to launch careers, not just publish one novel for an author. If one novel is all an author wants, they should self publish. That’s the main market for self-publishing firms – the one-book author.

Write great stories, write fast, and invest in your writing career. If you aren’t willing to work hard at your craft and career, then do something else. This business is hard. Only the dedicated succeed.

And to succeed you need to sow seeds.

Here are some suggestions from Linda Glaz’s Facebook post: “Indie and smaller press authors: how have you found the marketing environment?”

“I’ve used short-term marketing like Robin Reads, EReader News Today, Faithful Reads, Bargain Booksy, Agape eBooks, ebooksHabit, etc with very minimal short-term gains. They just don’t have the volume of readership to really build your list. Marketing companies, like Ryan Zee and LitRing are great for a swift add to your newsletter list or followers.” ~ Kari Trumbo

 

Do you have a marketing tip that works? Please share!