Sunday, July 27, 2014

E-books vs. Papreback Debate

STOP THE E-BOOK vs. PAPERBACK ARGUMENTS. Here's why. The true question is if authors only produced paperbacks are they going to EFFECTIVELY get them to the readers. Other than social media, which I am certain brings in very little money, how are readers going to know about an author's book, if only they sell it. To sell E-books and Paperbacks together is MANDATORY. No mainstream publisher would ever even contemplate this proposition of not selling one or the other. We as indie authors have to think and run our companies more like them to truly compete on their level, and to gain respect from booksellers who have very little faith in our work. What truly needs to happen is this, authors need to price their E-books at $9.99 and just stop the cheap E-books. Mainstream publishers are not thinking about the fact that there's no overhead with E-books. A book is a book. IF EVERY AUTHOR RAISED THEIR PRICES, readers would either buy the paperback or Ebook if they both cost the same. People are trying to run businesses and eat off book sales only. Many people have full time gigs and making money from book sales ain't even a true priority because they have an income, so they should be a little less vocal regarding this. Now, let's start a movement to get every E-book raised to over $7.99 and let's really put money in our pockets, and make readers understand that our work is not worthless. And in the end, only the real writers will survive under this method, because readers are going to really select a book with caution if they have to pay $9.99 for it. Also, STOP THE FREE E-books in the end they do not really bring you sales or reviews. It's a cheap ploy for Amazon to gain more buyers not the authors. You drive people their to get your book free and the buyer buys something else from Amazon.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Competing in the Amazon Marketplace

In the competitive world of publishing authors often sit and contemplate how to live off selling books. How can I quit my day job and be a full-time author? How can an author effectively do that if every avenue that they must utilize to sell books has a method for them to be undercut, and lose potential sales. Indie authors have to compete with mainstream authors and the money put behind them to market and advertise their book, and the huge print runs that can be used to flood book stores and other huge retailers like Walmart and Walgreens. But, indie author's are not the only ones to have this sort of competition. Let's take a look at the price of some novels on Amazon.

Wahida Clark's novel Honor Thy Thug paperback retails for $12.17, the price set by her publisher. Customers are use to that $14.99 and $15.00 price point, so $12.17 is a steal for an Essence and NY Times Best Selling author's new release. So if given a choice, why would a person buy a new indie author's book for $15.00 or more.

K'wan's novel, Animal retails for $11.49, the price set by his publisher. Now, here is the fundamental difference between Animal and Honor Thy Thug. Animal is sold in the Amazon Marketplace, and the lowest new copy is being sold for $3.94. So, in this case, why would anyone pay the publisher's $11.49, when "horizonbb" an Amazon Marketplace retailer is selling his book for $3.94.

In an effort to see how this problem actually effects author's a few months ago, I set my novel prices lower than $15. I set Die Later to $8.99, which it seems that Amazon lowered to $8.09. Why, I don't know, I mean haven't I set it lower enough. Looking at the Amazon Marketplace for that book it seems that the number of sellers has been limited to four retailers, because the price cannot be beat.

But taking a look at Laugh Now, which is set at $10.93, and the lowest price it's being sold for in the Amazon Marketplace is $9.37 with over 15 retailers selling it under $10.93.

What needs to be done, I have not figured out, yet. But I welcome suggestions. We sell our books on our personal sites for $15 typically, but most readers know to go to Amazon and of course they buy there because the books are usually cheaper and they have Amazon Prime Accounts that affords them free shipping. Two things, I cannot understand. Why would my book be reduced $0.90? I mean would that really make a difference to readers? And how can we compete with the sellers in the Amazon Marketplace?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Urban Books: A Conversation with Rahiem Brooks

My Urban Books: A Conversation with Rahiem Brooks:       Every author has a story and every writer has their own writing style that will make the world stop dead in their tracks. But the o...
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Really Tired of Urban Book Stores

I don't want to get all HOLLYWOOD as I visit here, but I sell far more books to MYSTERY BOOK STORES in remote places like Boise Fuckin Idaho, and I don't even try to get into so called black owned stores. It's so sad, but they want you to kiss they ass to carry a book and then kiss they ass some more to pay you. You have some that don't want to try to carry ya book and give you a shot, and alas they going out of business months later. Good for them! They book you on a signing and do absolutely no promotion to help both parties. And what's strikingly sad is when they book an author for a signing that already have deals, that they already carry, authors that have already fucking made it, they blasting that shit. That's why they're going out of business all over the country. I have 3 stores that owe me for 5 books from August 2005. At $7 wholesale that's $35. smmfh I am just irked and so tired. And you can bet, I run around city to city meeting who I need to. I'm not kissing an ass. I am not getting no fucking job either to just sell books as a hobby. Oh, and I am going to the best school in this land to meet the smartest and brightest people on this land. I work and do the things that I do for all of the little people like me. For there to be change someone has to take charge, and right now I am not in the position to do what I want to do, but I wake up everyday vowing to make that happen. Change! I am sorry but I have book stores complaining that I don't hang in their store, and I only call to buy/sell books. What the fuck else am I calling for. I am an author. I write books, not manage a store. Then another store tells me, they have a new 120 day suspension for authors that miss signings without canceling. I don't give a fuck. A flying fuck! Again, THE MYSTERY lovers pay for my college and my expenses. Wait, I was also told that the store doesn't push my book because I don't stop in there. Huh, we're talking because I called you, and you confirmed my book sold out! Um, you ain't call me to buy more! Why, because you'll have to pay for what you just sold! smh Such a sad sad career that I have chose.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Unseen Promise's Blog : Guest Blogs Interview - Rahiem Brooks: Please welcome Rahiem Brooks to our Blog Interview regarding his latest novel. Let’s hear what he has to say.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There is true power in your future if you effectively use Facebook to advance your goals and platform. Yesterday, I posted my letter to BAM, and someone inboxed me about an error. They suggested that as opposed to addressing my letter to Dear Director, I should address the person by their name. I wholeheartedly agreed with the advise, but I informed them that I submitted the letter in the manner that the company asked for it. After we reviewed the submission guidelines together they agreed that I was correct and they apologized for the unsolicited advice. Now that was greatly appreciated, but here is a line that I seized on to effectively use FB. They person told me: 

"I respond quicker to correspondence address to me as opposed to "dear reporter." "

I found that they are a reported for a Cleveland paper, and I asked what was the guidelines to submit a story for a feature, and guess what they replied: 

"Send me your bio and press releases to *********. I can do a story on you as an author. Unable to review right now. Back log too long."

So, I obviously awoke this morning and I immediately got on that, and now waiting a reply.

For your viewing pleasure I will post the letter, and I encourage you to use it as a guide. Hell, plagiarize it for all I care. But if you've written a great novel it should be on the shelves at Books a Million. The guidelines are vague, but I have spoken to someone there, and they like to receive a physical copy of the novel, reviews, interviews, any sort of promo material. The back cover must have a barcode and the price of the book printed. I printed copies of my interviews with online magazines, Amazon reviews, threw in some book marks and post cards, press releases, and a list of the stores that carry my novels for their review. Always seek to put your best foot forward.

Good luck with that.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Let's Talk FB Author Groups...And I Have Advice.

I thought I'd join a few FB groups and interact with other people, but I just can't. I woke up to 87 notifications. Why? About 6 authors posted advertisements in about 8-12 groups all within a matter of seconds. The posts filled up my notifications to the point that I could not see which ones were directed at me from my personal wall, which I take serious. It's so absurd to me. Ninety percent of all the groups have the same members, so why launch an air assault on them. What's striking is if you ask these authors do they have media/press kits that they blast to every store across the country, they'd not only say no, but may add that there books aren't sold in any stores. You ask these same authors to show you their electronic and paperback libraries and they don't exist. They post in 10 groups and may not even get 1 person to "like" their stat. They post giveaways that people barely reply to because it takes time to build the sort of trust needed for the readers that have been burned and spread the word about it to trust them. Building trust and a reader base requires interaction and fostering relationships on FB, not simply posting random book posts and offers. There is an art to this. You have to chit chat with people. Get to know them. Let them get to know you. People always wonder why I post so much about my life, my career, and my day. I've been called a "bragger." One, in 20 years from now, I want people to say they watched me go from Laugh Now to an office on Sunset Blvd. in LA that produces books and movies. Two, I want other authors to be inspired. I want other indie authors to see me doing it, letting them know that they can do it. Another third advantage is people interact with me about the things I do. I have an interesting life. That is what attracts people to my books. They support me because they like me, or hate me, and want to see how my books are. In practically every city I've been to I've had a person tell me that they go to my page just to see what topic I have brewing. Everyone needs a platform. I am an adventurer, traveler, and if I find out information I share it. And as a result I have friends on FB. And here is how that works in my favor. 

I found out about the Miami International Book Fest on Monday and mentioned it on FB. I asked Kristofer Clarke should I scope it out for next year, and he told me if I could do it to go. Tuesday, I worked my FB friends list and I have a signing at a FB friend's salon in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I will also meet with a fellow author so that he can pick my brain about publishing. These two FB friends I've never met, but Debra Owsley extended her hand to me and her shop on a Saturday. That's what building great FB bonds will do. 

In the end, I assure that if people get a load of the person behind the books, they'll get behind the books. For A+ examples, see Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Al-Saadiq Banks, Treasure Blue, Tamika Newhouse, and K'wan FB walls. Look at how balanced they are. They look like regular people that happen to be authors, not authors that happen to have a FB account.


Libraries: To get my book into libraries, I had my local library get one book, which was placed into the world's library called, World Cat. A listing in World Cat is what I approach other libraries with. I explain that my books can be found in the World Cat library and that assures them that other libraries are carrying it, so perhaps they can and should, too. But start at your local library, as they will support the home team.

Indie Bookstores: To get my book into indie book stores around the world (well for me, I have books in one store in London and Australia) I use a site called, Indie Bound. There, I plug in a zip code and just cold call down the list. I offer to E-mail media kits, I have my ISBN's ready to read to them, because some will look the book up on their distributors site. Be sure distributors have your book listed as returnable and that stores get at least a 40% discount.
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