Book Publishing News 06/23/17

Do You Have the Swagger of a Buffalo?

During our trip out West to Yellowstone I was struck by how confident bison are. They graze near roads, relax next to fire hydrants, and seem unconcerned with how they disrupt traffic. When you’re big and strong you can act with confidence. May God give you His peace, protection, and strength to move with confidence against the disruptive forces in your life. ~ EJ

Christian Fiction Keeps Its Allure

Despite some challenges, the category keeps drawing in publishers—and readers

“Publishing Christian fiction can pay, and pay big, but it’s harder than ever to succeed in the category, publishers say. Many companies have abandoned Christian fiction in recent years and others have cut title output, which can make it seem as though the market is contracting. While Christian fiction seems to be healthy and even growing slightly, just three publishers now take almost half the market,” write Lynn Garrett of Publishers Weekly. “And just a few authors—such as Karen Kingsbury (Brush of Wings) and Wm. Paul Young (The Shack)—tend to dominate sales. In 2017, the prolific Kingsbury has two new titles coming, and, with a just-released movie version of The Shack, Young is doing a booming backlist business. Read the full article.

Record Few Americans Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God

Story Highlights

  • 24% believe Bible is literal word of God, the lowest in Gallup’s 40-year trend
  • View of Bible as secular stories and history at 26%, up from 21% in 2014
  • The largest segment, 47%, still think Bible is inspired word of God

“Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,” similar to the 26% who view it as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.” This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism. Meanwhile, about half of Americans — a proportion largely unchanged over the years — fall in the middle, saying the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.” Read the full story.

Is Mass Market Dying, Or Just Evolving—Again?

“Shelf space for mass market books has indeed continued to shrink in the mass merchandise accounts,” said Jennifer Long, associate publisher at Pocket Books. “This has had little impact on top-tier authors, as they are still given shelf space; however, it does present a challenge for lesser known authors.”

“In steady decline for years, the format is either enduring an incredibly slow death or has begun to right itself in the market,” writes Rachel Deah of Publishers Weekly. “Although the reports of mass market’s death have been greatly exaggerated, the format has been struggling. According to NPD BookScan, which tracks roughly 80% of print sales, mass market titles accounted for 13% of total print units sold in 2013; that figure dropped to 9% last year.” Read the full article.


Book Publishing News 06/16/17

Book Publishing News 06:16:17Want to Make a $100k as an Author?
8 Things Every Author Should Know

Last year Written Word Media conducted an extensive author survey to discover the strategies and tactics of successful authors. They focused on emerging authors and financially successful authors, isolating what the financially successful authors do differently than the emerging authors. This year WWM tweaked the survey to reflect changes in the publishing industry.

Last year WWM looked at authors earning over $5,000 per month vs. lower earning authors. This year, they compared authors making over $100,000 in a single year vs. authors who earn less than $500 / month from book sales.  Approximately 11% authors surveyed fell into the 100K bucket. Click here to read how these top authors make a living as full-time writers.

Thomas Nelson Launches New Imprint

Thomas Nelson recently introduced Emanate Books, its new charismatic Christian publishing imprint. The word “emanate” means, “something abstract, but perceptible, that spreads out from a source.” This new imprint will publish books that emanate God’s love to a hurting world. Emanate Books will bring twelve titles to market in its first year, beginning with “The Azusa Street Mission and Revival.” Read more.

HarperCollins Christian Gives Independent Christian Retailers a Boost

To support the successful health and growth of independent brick-and-mortar retailers in the Christian industry, HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) and The Parable Group have deepened their relationship in recent months giving retailers an added boost. Not only is HarperCollins Christian Publishing supporting nearly 90% of The Parable Group Summer Catalog (which celebrates “independents” and shopping local), HCCP also provided postage for stores to mail deeper into their customer list. All participating stores increased their catalog distribution, and 10 stores added the summer promotion due to HCCP’s generosity. Read more.

Digital Book World Reports an Increase in Audiobook Sales

  • “Twenty-four percent of Americans have completed at least one audiobook in the last year, a 22 percent increase over the prior year.”

  • There has been a jump in smartphone listening, up to 29 percent in 2017, as opposed to 22 percent in 2015.

  • Fifty-six percent of survey respondents said that when they listen to audiobooks, they’re not doing anything else, “just listening.” This finding seems to contradict not only the common assumption that audio fans listen while doing other things (driving, working out, dog walking), but also the APA’s own survey result in which 78 percent of respondents said they enjoy listening to audiobooks “because you can do other things while listening.”

  • When it comes to those who do multitask while listening to audiobooks, “A majority of audiobook listening is done at home (57 percent), with the car as the second most frequently cited location (32 percent).”

  • This year’s survey for the first time asked about voice-enabled devices such as Amazon’s Echo with the Alexa software and Google Home. Nineteen percent said they’d listened to an audiobook with one of these devices.

The report also cites podcasts’ popularity as a “gateway” to audiobook listenership.

Does Amazon Have a Fake Book Problem?

Indie author David Gaughran shares the latest analysis and effort to address bad actors in the Amazon system.

Free promotions are one of the perks of going exclusive with Amazon, and an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Free runs can provide significant exposure, which leads to a bump in Kindle Unlimited page reads a few days later. They can also be useful by boosting sell through in a series, or by generating mailing list sign-ups for future launches. As such, authors invest significant resources in free runs, and those places in the Top 20 are high-visibility spots – i.e. incredibly valuable real estate.

“But ebook thieves make a stolen book free for a few days, and then use a variety of banned methods to generate a huge and immediate surge in downloads – generally suspected to be bots or clickfarms or dummy accounts, or some combination thereof. These fake (stolen) ebooks then suddenly jump into the Top 20 of the free charts, displacing authors who have gone to considerable effort to put together an advertising campaign for their work.”

Read how this might impact your ebook’s sales.

Mary Keeley Leaves Books & Such Literary Management

Books & Such Literary Management announced Mary Keeley’s departure from publishing early today, June 5, 2017.  Keeley has been a part of the publishing industry for nineteen years. She began at Tyndale House Publishers where she worked for eight years, first as a product manager, then as an administrator, and finally as an acquisitions editor for nonfiction. Read more.

AWSA Announces Golden Scroll Award Finalists

AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) announced their finalists for the 2017 Golden Scroll Awards for Publisher, Editor and Fiction Editor of the Year. The winners will be announced at the 2017 Golden Scroll Awards Banquet to be held Tuesday, June 27th from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati in conjunction with Unite the CBA Christian International Retail Show.

The Fiction Editor of the Year finalists are Ann Tatlock of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (Heritage Beacon), Lisa McCaskill of Pelican Book Group (White Rose), and Katie Morford of Silver Fern Creative Services, LLC.

Non-Fiction Editor of the Year finalists are Hope Lyda of Harvest House Publishers, Steve Barclift of Kregel Publications and Deb Haggerty of Elk Lake Publishing.

Honored for outstanding ministry partnerships with their authors, the Golden Scroll Publisher of the Year finalists are Kregel Publications, Leafwood Publishers and Moody Publishers.

Amazon Will Be the Fifth Largest Bookstore Chain

A combination of bookstore attrition and its own startup efforts will make Amazon Books the fifth largest general bookstore chain in the U.S. based on the number of outlets.  Amazon Books has opened seven outlets with confirmed plans to open six more before the end of the year. Amazon Books’ growth comes amidst the steady decline in the number of bookstore chains. In 1991, there were 11 chains that had 13 or more outlets, with total outlets topping 3,000. In 2017, the top five chains had 1,076 outlets. Since 2011 store outlets have fallen by 32%. Read more.

Music Musings

  • Decline of music recording industry revenue per year for past 16 years: 4%
  • Growth of music recording industry revenue in 2016: 11%
  • Percentage of revenue from subscriptions and streaming in 2016: 50%+

Marketing Tips

  • How authors can best work with independent bookstores. A panel at BEA offered advice for both traditionally published and self-published authors. Read in Shelf Awareness.

  • Top book marketing takeaways from Book Expo. The folks at BookBub attended BookExpo and have summarized key findings helpful to authors. Read at their blog.

  • Why books are rejected for a BookBub featured deal. A couple of the reasons include poor cover and lack of wide distribution or availability. Other reasons include:

    • “We look at pricing history for the past 90 days, try raising that title’s price and resubmit in three months.”
    • “If multiple reviews mention typos, grammatical errors, that the book feels incomplete, or that the story ends in a huge unresolved cliffhanger, that will negatively impact a book’s chance of being selected.”
    • “The book doesn’t have enough reviews on retailer sites to make them competitive in their categories, nor do they have blurbs from publications or comparable authors. This will make a book less appealing to our readers, which means the submission is less likely to be accepted by the editors.”

    Read more at 9 Reasons a Book Was Rejected for a BookBub Featured Deal.

  • Also: BookBub now offers pre-order alerts. You can now pay BookBub to send a dedicated email to all of your BookBub followers. Only open right now to US authors with at least 1,000 followers. Learn more here.

Book Publishing News 05/26/17

LPC Books Wins Two Selah Awards at the BRMCWC

LPC authors at BRMCWCHer Deadly Inheritance by Beth Ann Ziarnik took first place in the “First Novel” category and A Heart Set Free by Janet S. Grunst won first place in “Historical Romance.” Congratulations to Beth and Janet and all the LPC authors who placed in the final round of the Selah’s. Great job!

Harlequin Closes Its Love Inspired Historical Imprint

Harlequin recently announced that it is phasing out Love Inspired Historical (their Inspirational Historical imprint), and four other lines.  In a statement from Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice President of Global Publishing, Sacilotto said, “In the face of this ever-changing (retail) environment we are shifting resources from a few series that have been in decline and focusing our efforts on the series that are the most popular with readers and booksellers.” LPC Books continues to find success in its two historical imprints, Heritage Beacon Fiction and Smitten Historical Romance.

How to Grade an Author’s Marketing Ability

Rob Eagar writes, “Recently, I worked with a first-time author who received a six-figure advance from his publisher. But, halfway through writing the book, the author decided he no longer felt interested in the process, turned in a bland manuscript, changed jobs, ignored the book’s release, and cost the publisher thousands of dollars.” Read more to see if you are an author who failed the first grade of your new publishing career …

Are Mass Market Books Dying?

Mass market paperback books are printed for large audiences cheaply. They are smaller, usually 4 inches wide by 7 inches tall, and the text is in a smaller font. These smaller sized books are often called pocket books, and they do fit easily into a purse or a back pocket.

“In steady decline for years, the format (mass market) is either enduring an incredibly slow death or has begun to right itself in the market,” writes Publishers Weekly, Rachel Deahl. “According to NPD BookScan, which tracks roughly 80% of print sales, mass market titles accounted for 13% of total print units sold in 2013; that figure dropped to 9% last year.” Read more …

Bookstore Pop-ups Keep On Popping Up

“By being a pop-up I don’t have to open a store and run the risk of failing,” says Charlie Pugsley of BookSpace in Columbus, Ohio. “I’m learning everything as I go and can apply it to the store when I open it.” Read how Pop-ups and book kiosks are transforming the bookselling business.

Barnes & Noble’s New CEO Defends Physical Bookstores

“Barnes & Noble’s new CEO, Demos Parneros, sees the new bookstores that arch-rival is opening as proof there is still a need and consumer appetite for brick-and-mortar book retailing. Parneros, a longtime Staples retail executive, took the reins of the largest U.S. bookstore chain in April as its fourth CEO in as many years, after serving as operations chief for five months. He’s been given the mandate to revive a brand that has struggled to claim its share of online sales, notably from Amazon.” Read how Parneros plans to revive B&N.

Tips for Marketing Your Book

Rick Snyder offers six social media marketing tips that can help you develop a framework for your book promotion.

“Growing an author platform online takes planning, time, and effort,” writes Shama Hyder, “but with a little know-how you can build an online community of your own.”

BookBaby released its free “Twitter for Authors in 10 Minutes a Day,” guide. This free PDF will help you use Twitter to connect with readers, book reviewers, fellow writers.


  • Why Twitter is better than Facebook
  • How to compose effective tweets
  • Monitoring Twitter conversations with HootSuite and TweetDeck

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 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.