Tuesday, December 25, 2012

CreateSpace's Cover Creator versus BookCoverPro's Software

After yet another issue with the log-in feature with BookCoverPro, which I will admit was resolved significantly quicker than in the past, I decided to try my hand with the free Cover Creator provided by CreateSpace.

While I think BookCoverPro is easy to use if you are going to use their templates, I have to say if you are willing to limit yourself to templates, the Cover Creator provided by CreateSpace is easier to use and more intuitive.

I was able to create a cover design in less than 15 minutes that served my purposes and since this particular cover is for a book that is the first in a series of non-fiction books, the template I selected can serve as the basis for the cover for each book in this series. I will need to only to change the color of the cover design and the cover photo.

All of these steps were quite easy for me to figure out. The cover for the as yet to be published second book in the series took about 10 minutes to create.

Granted, covers from template designs might not be the best choice for many authors, but Cover Creator is easy to learn to use and for some books might be perfectly appropriate.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Google Affiliate Ads for a Self-Publisher's Blog: Selling Out? Smart Business? Or Making a Living Self-Publishing?

I will have been a high school teacher and coach for 29 years when the 2012-2013 school year ends. Very few of my college classmates who entered the profession are still in the classroom. I don't know if that is good or bad, but I do know the challenges of teaching are many these days.

As such, I have some distinct financial goals with my self-publishing enterprise. I would like to be debt free as soon as possible. That means paying off what we owe on the children's education (with one yet to go to college) and paying off our mortgage on the house.

Retirement? What's that?

Ideally, I would like to be able to work for myself and be able to engage in what my wife and I want to do. That will require being debt free and earning a decent income.

As such, it would seem wise to have as many different sources of income slowly (preferably quickly) coming in as possible.

Hence the decision to monetize this blog.

To some readers of this blog, this decision is probably viewed as a sell out of sorts. To others it might seem like smart business. One moment, I think I am selling out and the next I think this is a necessary business step.

I do know this, I have always viewed this as a business. A business I have made too many mistakes in learning and it has cost me money in a wide variety of ways. What pushed me to the decision to monetize is the realization I might be leaving money on the table I could otherwise be earning.

This experiment hopefully will not cost me any readers of this blog, and in the learning process, I will earn a little money. Another of those revenue streams that needs to trickle in.

One of the common needs of all authors, regardless of the type of work published, is the need to have a platform to connect with potential readers. One of the most common platforms is a blog.

If you can monetize your blog without losing readers and visitors, I have decided it makes good business sense to do so.

Selling your own books direct from your blog or website, or steering buyers to Amazon with Amazon Affiliate buttons and earning commissions in the process is certainly acceptable.

But what about appropriate advertising and affiliate advertising sales? Certainly a bit more commercial and to some, selling out. Most of the blogs I read I visit for the content and not to be sold products.

Can you strike a happy medium in the process? I hope so. And so the experiment begins with this post with adds for three books I actually own, have read and found portions of the information applicable and of value to my tiny self-publishing empire in one way or another.



I like the concept behind the Google Affiliate Ads better than how the Adsense ads work. I have no control over the Adsense advertisers that wind up on my blog but can at least preview and select products that are advertised on my blog in the Affiliate ads.

As I have stated many times on this blog, self-publishing is a business. Finding sources of revenue to increase income levels is an important activity. If you have a blog, and invest considerable time in writing posts and building an audience, you probably need to find a way to generate some income through the blog.

So yet another experiment in expanding my tiny empire begins.

I would love for other authors who visit this blog to share their opinions, ideas and experiences with others by posting comments about the topic of this post.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Checkout the December 10, 2012, Issue of Time

I rarely read Time magazine anymore but I am glad I picked up the December 10, 2012, issue to skim through at the library.

There is an interesting article in this issue about self-publishing, the indie movement, Kindle ebooks in particular and a few of the changes in the publishing industry.

Worth reading if you get the chance.

Thanks to Lavie Margolin for providing a link to the article.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

CreateSpace Improves the Proofing Process for Authors Yet Again

I received notification today via my Member Dashboard that my latest book files I submitted for publishing were ready for review. For those not familiar with using CreateSpace, the proofing process is basically the last step before you launch your book into the world as a newly minted, published book.

Since I started using CreateSpace for my print-on-demand service years ago, the company has continually upgraded the tools it makes available for its authors. 

I really like the latest upgrade. You can now view a digital version of your book on line to examine the finished product and determine if it is ready for publishing. CreateSpace still strongly urges each author to wait until after viewing a physical proof copy before publishing, but the digital copy gives you a huge head start on the review process before your physical copy arrives. Glaring errors can be found sooner rather than later.

The image below shows the option to use the digital review process. You can select the Digital Proofer or download a PDF version of your book. I suggest you do both. The Digital Proofer is neat to view the finished product with, but you'll want to use the PDF to actually look for the fine details and read for typo's another mistakes. CreateSpace suggests you review the PDF a total of three times, each time looking for different items in the final proof.


This next image shows the cover of the book. You are shown the view of the entire cover as it would be printed before it is bound to the book. The proofer has measurements so you can determine if the cover artwork fits the dimensions as you planned.



The next feature is pretty neat. You flip the pages like you would thumbing through the the actual paperback copy. Here are two interior pages of my latest book.





The final page of the book in this edition is used for promoting one of my earlier books. Note the pages are laid out as you would actually see them in the physical copy of the book. To view this final page, I had to turn the previous page.



I have to hand it to CreateSpace. This is a neat upgrade. I still ordered my physical proof copies as I still want to check the book the old fashioned way by hand and actually giving in a good eyeballing, but you have the option of using only the digital proofing method. If you are in a real hurry to get your book listed on Amazon and are highly confident the book is ready to go, you can select that option.

Now, if CreateSpace can create this neat digital version for free, why can't my print-on-demand book edition be automatically released as a Kindle version as well? Hopefully the good folks at CreateSpace think this way and in the not too distant future both POD and Kindle versions will be released at the same time by CreateSpace.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smashwords and ePub - Surprising Conversion Information

This post should probably have gone in the most recent round up post but I only discovered this story today.  Since I am searching for ways to economically, both in terms of time and financially, expand distribution of my non-fiction ebooks beyond Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I have been looking at a wide range of ebook distributors.

Smashwords is one of the better known distributors and one that I had considered until I learned you had to use Smashwords' "Meatgrinder" to convert your book. Having heard and read all the nightmare stories about the final product resulting from the Meatgrinder conversion process, I decided not to pursue Smashwords as a distributor.

Since I have my books converted professionally by eBook Architects and receive both a Mobi (Kindle) and ePub (Nook and others) file for the same title, it simply made no sense to me that Smashwords would not take my already converted files and distribute them for me. Less work for everyone and the files were already inspected for quality and any possible issues.

Well, it would turn out there is more to the story.

Smashwords did not create it's infamous Meatgrinder process. Read this story about how one publisher determined what is going on at Smashwords when it comes to converting files to ebooks.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Catching Up - Lots of News in Self-Publishing

I have been really busy this past week and it was not until today I sat down to do my self-mandated reading on the internet to continue to learn more about the state of self-publishing. Here are a few of the interesting posts I came across.

From Self-Publishing 2.0


I don't know how Morris Rosenthal obtains his information. I get the KDP newsletter and unless I just missed this item all I can guess is Morris has his connections at Amazon.

From Book Making


Michael Marcus provides a needed service for authors just getting started learning the self-publishing industry. This post covers common terms used in the industry.

From Kunz on Publishing


Great story for authors considering self-publishing. It is also of interest for authors who have made the jump into self-publishing.

From The Book Designer

Author Blogging 101: Top 10 Tasks to Get Your Blog Ready for Primetime

Joel Friedlander really hits it on the nail with this one. If you have a blog or are about to start one, you need to read this post. It would seem I have a few more items to take care of on my blogs.

The Holy Trinity of Abundant Blog Traffic

Blogging is one of the ways authors can reach out and create an audience for their books and writing. Joel Friedlander, who has a successful blog, gives some insight into making this process work successfully.

From CopyBlogger


Pamela Wilson provides useful tips on using the WordPress blogging platform. While I use Blogger for this blog, I use WordPress for my other two blogs.  WordPress is a great tool but one can always use help in learning how to use this blogging platform.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Scheduling as Part of Your Writing and Publishing Process

I can procrastinate with the best. There are tasks I just do not enjoy performing and I am more than happy to put off completing these chores for as long as I can.

I also take a great deal of pleasure in achieving the goals I have set for myself, regardless of how big or how small the goal may be. My graduate degree is in Sport Psychology and I spent a lot of time researching and studying the goal setting process.

Goal setting is not rocket science but there are some definite elements that must be included or applied for goal setting to be truly effective. A couple of these elements are:
  1. goals must be flexible
  2. goals must be realistic
  3. goals must be written down
  4. goals must have DEADLINES!
There is something about a reasonable deadline posted on your calendar staring you in the face that can create a sense of urgency to complete a task.

Please note, in the four elements listed above the goals must be flexible, things happen. Goals have to be realistic. I am not going to start a book on Monday and have it finished on Wednesday. Writing things down makes them tangible, visible and somehow real. This is important.

Deadlines is what makes us start the effort to complete the task.

Working from a schedule that is realistic, flexible, written down and has appropriate deadlines scheduled in proper sequence during the entire process will go a long way to keeping an author on task, working to complete key tasks and producing finished books in as timely a manner as possible.

The same is true for the publishing process. Establish reasonable, flexible deadlines for getting the editing done, the interior produced, cover designed and the entire book assembled ready for print and ebook publication.

Include your marketing strategy in your scheduling process. You can never start marketing your next book too soon and it needs to be included in the schedule.

Cost and availability of funds must be included in the planning of the schedule. There is no sense in rushing the editing process if you won't have the funds to have your interior produced for another two months. So take your time working with your editor.

Calendars are a good thing. Buy one. Put it where you have to look at it all the time. Record your writing/production/publishing/marketing schedule on it. Work your plan and meet your deadlines.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Technical Stuff and Business Opportunities for Self-Publishers

For those of you who are technical types!

From Aaron Shepard's Publishing Blog

Good-bye PDF/X-1a, Hello PDF/X-3

Aaron lost me just a few lines in to this post. For those who are into color, creating files yourself for publication and all the finer points of this process, well you need to read this post.

From The Book Designer

Why non-fiction authors should be speakers.

Joel Friedlander has some interesting things to say. This fits in line with my thinking that self-published authors must think of their efforts as a business and look for every possible source of income they can.



A much older post by Joel Friedlander, but still fitting in with the premise of self-publishing is a business. Authors need to look to re-purpose their material to generate income and this is an interesting look at this concept.



Morris Rosenthal likes to experiment and share the results of his efforts on his self-publishing blog. In this instance, Morris converted some of his how-to videos he made for YouTube as an experiment into a DVD using CreateSpace for the duplication service. I am very interested in this process as it will fit into my business model nicely when I can get around to "making a video."

Again, this blog post is in keeping with maximizing income possibilities for authors who self-publish.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

eBook Distributors Versus Self-Distribution

They say you get what you pay for. Who ever "they" are, is probably right. I have given up on trying to upload my ePub versions directly to Google Books myself. It is simply too confusing for me. Yes, I am fully aware it is probably quite easy to do and takes only minutes per book to upload.

The problem is, what is simple and intuitive for many people is not for me. As I work to expand the "infrastructure" of my business to increase sources of revenue, I have to make decisions about the best way to use the limited time I have to work for myself.

I have a full time job as a high school history teacher and coach. If any of you are or have been teachers, you know teaching is not a job for clock watchers. Neither is coaching.

The predicament I currently find myself facing is I have to spend all my time working on my website, my other blogs, my newsletters, etc, in order to expand my potential customer base. In other words, I am no different from any other self-published author.

So it made sense to me to try to find an ebook distributor. I thought about what my requirements for an ebook distributor would be. This is the list I came up with:

1) Must be extremely easy to use.

2) Must allow me to deal with both Amazon and Barnes & Noble directly myself. Since I "Aim at Amazon" all of my marketing efforts direct my customers to Amazon. I already have most of my Kindle books available as Nook editions at Barnes and Noble. All of the additional retailers are simply extra sources of sales I would not be able to generate otherwise.

3) Must distribute ebooks to as large a number of retail outlets as possible.

4) If there are costs involved on my part, those costs must be as low as possible.

5) I set the retail price.

6) I receive as large a piece of the pie for each sale as possible.

7) There must be no hidden costs or surprises.

8) Everything is transparent. I must have the ability to track all of my sales and royalties owed with ease. I like the Member Dashboards of CreateSpace for my POD titles, Amazon's KDP reports for Kindle sales and the set-up Barnes and Noble has for Nook sales.

9) Payment needs to be on a regular, predictable basis.

10) I want good customer service that is available to help me with my inevitable goof-ups in uploading my files or any other seemingly impossible mistake I will be able to make.

Jane Friedman wrote an excellent blog post titled 10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to Any E-Publishing Service. If you are searching for an ebook distributor I suggest reading this post.

My initial research led me to create a short list of three companies to consider: Smashwords, BookBaby and Pigeonlab. Smashwords is a pretty well known name and one of the first ebook distributors. BookBaby is another familiar company. I had never heard of Pigeonlab but that particular ebook distributor is recommended by the company I use to do my ebook conversions, eBook Architects.

I ruled Smashwords out nearly immediately. The more I read about their "meatgrinder" process of conversion and the problems associated with it, the more certain I was I would not use their service. A lot of my books have photographs and detailed diagrams. These have to be as high quality as possible as the ebook medium is not the best to begin with for this type of display with the current levels of ereader technology.

This left BookBaby and Pigeonlab. After visiting the two company's sites here is the side-by-side comparison of the two distributors.


My plan is to start with one book using BookBaby. Once that book earns out the $99 investment I may, or may not, list a second book with PigeonLab just to have an actual comparison. Whichever company I finally select, my plan is to only add one book at a time as the cost of listing a new book earns out from previous books distributed by one or both of these companies.

I just simply do not have the time and it might be worth the money to use this source of distributing my e-books. So I will start slow with one or two of my best selling titles and slowly expand as I learn.

As always, I will keep the readers of The Self-Publisher's Notebook informed of what I learn.




Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Fallout on Amazon Removing Book Reviews

The saga of the Amazon review removal debacle continues. J.A. Konrath posted about it on his blog and generated quite a few comments from the authors who read his blog.

TechDirt posted an interesting article about the subject as well. Zachary Knight, the author of the post opens his article with this statement:

"For a while now, there has been a bit of a kerfuffle at Amazon over so called "sock puppet reviews" or reviews purchased by an author to help pad their books' rankings. We hadn't been covering any of it because, frankly, it was a non-story. There never was a threat to the publishing industry and it was always questionable how widespread the problem really was. Additionally, the idea that a writer would have to pay to get reviews was just a sign that those writers held no real confidence in their work."

Amazon works very hard to be customer centered. Removing false reviews of the books and products Amazon sells is probably the right thing to do. But removing only positive reviews while leaving false negative reviews is not fair to authors and publishers. There has to be balance of some sort.




Friday, November 2, 2012

Amazon Strips Books of Positive Reviews

I regularly visit J.A. Konrath's blog A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Mr Konrath's most recent post concerns Amazon's removal of positive book reviews from books listed on its retail site.

After reading the post and some of its comments, I quickly went to Amazon and checked several of my books. To my horror a large number of perfectly legitimate 5-star reviews had been removed. Of the few negative reviews I had, they all remained!

I have contacted Amazon to voice my concern, particularly if they are going to leave negative reviews alone. I fully realize Amazon can do whatever it wants and there is nothing I can do about it.

However, removing positive, and legitimate reviews but leaving negative reviews, one of which I can prove was written in spite by an individual I know and another in which the author of the review point blank states he has not read the book, is troubling.

As authors we spend a good amount of money sending copies of our books out for free to individuals we believe, and hope, will like our books and be willing to write positive reviews of our books on Amazon. To simply strip books of positive reviews with no recourse for authors somehow smacks of injustice.

This apparently is in response to some authors who complained about "fake reviews." Amazon's reaction to these complaints is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. 

The individuals who gamed the review system will figure out a way to do so in the future. This destruction of huge numbers of legitimate and positive reviews is, in my humble opinion not only unfair, but causes a degree of harm disproportionate to the initial problem.

If Amazon will agree to remove the fraudulent negative reviews, I will be happy and in the case of the book in question, the actual star average will be close to what it was before all of this started. In this one example, everything would have evened out.

But if Amazon is removing fraudulent positive reviews using an algorithm, why can't the coding geniuses figure out a way to remove fraudulent negative reviews? That would be an acceptable and just solution to the situation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Three

I have uploaded my first book marketing video on YouTube. This has been more of a task than I thought it would be.

Here are a few of the challenges I have been learning how to deal with thus far:

1) Using Camtasia to successfully edit a combination of screen shots, actual video and the sound track. This is fairly easy software to use I have been told. I have managed to get segments of the desired project completed in a manner I find satisfactory enough to use. It took a bit to figure out how to merge different clips together and edit them. Once I did I realized how easy the software is to use.

2) I had to purchase a software called Wondershare to convert the digital files from my camera in order to use the footage in either iMovie or Camtasia. This means more time invested in learning how to use software necessary to produce the final video. It took about 15 minutes to figure out how to use this software. Once I did, it was super easy to use. It cost me $69 + tax. There might be less expensive or free software that will do the same thing. Wondershare was too easy to learn to use and that made it worth the investment to me.

3) I have managed to successfully film myself for the portion of the first video I will appear in. The subject matter of the film, me, leaves a bit to be desired but I can't afford to hire Brad Pitt or some other actor who looks fantastic on film.

4) Rehearsing did not produce a perfect product, but it saved me from re-filming this first short video over and over. I am confident the more I do this the better I will get.

5) Whatever you do, buy a tripod.

6) Lighting makes a difference. One more thing to have to learn about.

7) If you can afford it, buy an actual digital video camera. The results are vastly superior to a camera in your phone, a flip camera, a web cam or a camera mounted in your laptop. 

8) Microphones are worth the extra expense in producing a soundtrack that is understandable. I managed to have some echo due to the fact I filmed the video in a small room.

9) YouTube is your friend when it comes to learning how to use all of these items. Many knowledgeable individuals, either as a hobby or as a business endeavor, have posted videos designed to help novices learn to use these tools.

10) Be willing to make mistakes. One of my issues is I want to get it perfect the first time. When learning how to create something like a video you are going to make mistakes. Give your self permission to make mistakes. 

12) Power point is a helpful tool for these projects. You can insert actual video in between slides. Use Camtasia to capture a timed running of the Power point slideshow. Then using Camtasia, insert the video you have in between the slides conveying information or still photographs.

For those of you who are experts or more experienced in using this type of software or crafting videos, this might not be the best approach. But for me, and probably for others who are just getting started, the end result will be acceptable.

For authors considering using videos on YouTube to market your books, go for it! I plan to try to produce a video every 10-14 days for until January. It's that time of the year to sell books!

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part One
Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Two

Monday, October 29, 2012

Final Blog Post Summary of October, 2012: Book Expo Review, Writing Contests, Nook Technology Update and Fighting Copyright Violations

As October draws to a close, this will be the final blog post that is a collection of posts I found interesting or helpful, at least to me, that I want to share with the readers of this site. Read the posts you find interesting but please remember to return and visit The Self-Publisher's Notebook in the future.

From FonerBooks

Google Rejecting Search DMCA for Social Networking Sites

The latest update in Morris Rosenthal's battle against internet piracy of his books and his struggles with Google in obtaining compliance in removing the offending violations.

From The Self-Publisher's Notebook

Kindle Pricing Strategy for Self-Published Authors

I know its my own post, but it's relevant. Authors need to realize this is a business and pricing is an important consideration. I wish I had this information when I started years ago.

From WeberBooks.com

Future Nooks Will Include NFC Tech for In-store Book Scanning

Steve Weber writes an interesting post about an announced technological improvement to the Barnes and Noble Nook in an effort to compete with the Amazon Kindle.

From Book Making

Report from Self-Publishing Book Expo

Michael Marcus provides a summary of his trip to attend the 4th Annual Self-Publishing Book Expo held in Manhattan. Michael indicates this is just part one of the installments he intends to share about his experience at the Expo. I found his summary interesting and wish I had the money for airfare and hotel to attend the event just once.

From Writer Beware

Alert: America's Next Author Contest

Victoria Strauss writes about a new author contest within the framework of high priced writing competitions and the need for self-publishing authors to be aware of the many pitfalls of entering these competitions.

From Pro Blogger

Five Essential Elements of a Successful Self-Published Book

A guest post on Pro Blogger by Srinivas Rao of BlogcastFM. A good summary of what it takes to craft a successful self-published book.

From The Book Deal: An Inside View of Publishing

Great Reasons to Self-Publish: Seven Case Histories

Alan Rinzler is the author of this blog and has a lot to say about the state of the publishing industry.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Visiting Other Self-Publishing Blogs - Book Marketing and Social Media, Pricing Strategies and the Need for Research

From The Book Designer

Social Media for book marketing


An excellent guest post by Jason Kong on using social media to market books, particularly works of fiction.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/10/jason-kong/

From Book Making

Pricing strategies 

Michael Marcus took a break from targeting author services companies that are inept or possess questionable business ethics and wrote this excellent post about pricing and value for authors to consider when establishing a price point for their book.

http://bookmakingblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-important-is-book-value.html

From The Savvy Book Marketer

The need for research


The first in a series about mistakes self-publishers make, I really agree with this one and certainly fall into the category of authors who needed to do more research when I made the jump into self-publishing.  This post stresses the need to learn about the self-publishing industry.

http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2012/09/the-biggest-mistakes-self-published-authors-make.html

Kindle Pricing Strategy for Self-Published Authors

Pricing has a lot to do with maximum sales and maximum net profit for any business. It is particularly true when it comes to selling Kindle books, one of the main sources of income for a self-published author.

The Christmas retail season is approaching and so is the peak seasonal sales period of the year for my non-fiction books. As a business enterprise, I need to earn as much as possible in the coming months. The overall gross revenue for the calendar year, as well as net profit, depend a lot on what happens in the next several months.

With this in mind, I have been thinking about pricing strategy for my Kindle books. I have three specific goals in mind for the next few months:
  1. Generate the maximum number of sales possible.
  2. Generate the maximum amount of net profit possible.
  3. Obtain the maximum number of first time customers possible.
Pricing will have a lot to do with whether or not I achieve these goals, allow which are important to the growth and success of my self-publishing business.

Amazon has suggested pricing guidelines. To earn a 70% share of a sale, Amazon wants a Kindle book priced between $2.99 and $9.99. If the price is above or below the suggested price range, the share of the sale drops to 35%.

A great deal has been written about pricing strategies for Kindle books. Here is a brief summary of the strategies:

Reasons to price a Kindle book at 99 cents:

First in a series: If a book is the first in a series of books, the goal is to lower the barrier to begin reading, and buying, the books in the series. While the profit margin will be low, readers who purchase this first book will have overcome the initial purchase barrier and a good percentage, if the book lives up to the buyer's expectations, will purchase additional higher priced, and more profitable books, in the series.

New Author: If the book is a first novel or first book of any kind, the author needs readers and the more the better. The low price of 99 cents establishes a low level of risk to try a new author. If the buyer likes the book, the author has a better chance of selling the reader another book at a higher price.

Amazon Sales Ranking Position: When launching a book, setting an introductory price of 99 cents to generate sales quickly, particularly for an established author who has a legion of fans eager for the author's next book and an author platform to do so, can help to drive the book up the Amazon Sales Rankings quickly in order to expose the book to the greatest number of potential buyers possible. The price should be raised shortly after launch to the optimal sales price. The 99 cent introductory price is solely to raise the rankings of the book thereby raising the book's search result position to the highest possible level in the shortest time possible.

Reasons to price a Kindle book from $2.99 to $9.99 or somewhere in between

This might be the optimal price point, striking the balance between the maximum number of sales and generating the highest level of net profit. For many self-published authors, the sweet spot of the price point could be in this range, particularly for works of fiction.

Many readers will not pay more than $4.99 for a work of fiction unless they simply must have the latest book by an author who has already earned the reader's trust and loyalty.

The idea is to find the price that will earn the 70% share of the sale yet generate the greatest number of total sales. For example, which would you rather have? 500 sales at $2.99 generating over $1,000 in net profit for the month or 100 sales at $9.99 generating $700 in profit?

To determine which price will result in the greatest net profit in sales, some experimentation will be necessary. Set different prices for set periods of time and carefully monitor sales results. Do the math and determine which price produced the best results.

I have yet to price a Kindle book over $9.99 and will probably never do so. I have not, and will not, pay over $9.99 for a work of fiction. I have paid over $9.99 for non-fiction Kindle books because I needed the information. About half of the time it was worth breaking my rule concerning the $9.99 price barrier which I think is actually a pretty good hit or miss ratio.

To be honest, I must also state I only cross that price barrier for non-fiction under the following conditions:
  1. there is no used paperback edition available at a lower price.
  2. there is no paper edition available period.
  3. I don't have time to wait for the information to arrive via mail in the form of a traditional print edition.
This retail season I have selected a few books to test what I think will be the best pricing strategies for my books. I have several books for sale for 99 cents. These are intended to lure in first time buyers for my books in general.

I have several books priced at $2.99. These are also intended to lure in first time buyers but also contain more information than the 99 cent books. These books are also priced to generate the largest possible sales volume. I consider the books to be "shorts" and by design they are single topic non-fiction books of a limited scope.  I plan to make money on these books by high volume.

I also have a newly launched book I plan to eventually sell at a much higher price for the Kindle edition. This new book is the first of a new line, or brand, of books and has the potential for a much larger market for me so I my goal for this book is to reach readers in that wider market. The $2.99 price is meant to help me reach that goal.

I have other books, with proven track records of sales that are priced at my high end price limit of $5.99. I have found for these two books, this is the sweet spot pricewise. These two books are also my biggest sellers having sold just under 8,000 copies combined. No, neither is a break out best seller, but considering I am a niche non-fiction author, I feel pretty good about how these two titles have sold in the last two years.

My last price range is a series of books with a price of $4.99 each. These books sell roughly 20 copies a month on average but these books make up the largest part of my list. Multiply 20 copies times 10-12 titles and the sales and the money adds up.

Experimentation and record keeping is how I have arrived at which price to set for each book. It is hardly an exact science and I may be doing it all wrong and costing myself a lot of net profit. I will continue to experiment and adjust prices on a few books and work to fine tune both my pricing and my net profits.

One of the advantages of self-publishing is you, the author, have control over your pricing. You can experiment and determine the best possible price to achieve a specific goal you have for your book or series of books.

Michael Marcus has written an excellent post about pricing as a matter of value. This is another consideration in the pricing equation and not to be overlooked in the decision making process.

It's a business. Even if making money is not your primary goal, reaching the greatest possible number of readers should be. The more books you write, the more income you will need for editing, cover design, marketing, etc. You need sales to pay for these production costs.

Spend some time developing a well thought out pricing strategy. Experiment with pricing and keep careful records. It will be worth the time and effort to do so.




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Business Planning for a Self-Published Author Revisited - Diversification?

Making a living as an author, self-published or not, is a challenge. Writing, designing and publishing a book may be a creative effort. It is also a business.

There are as many financial goals for authors as there are authors. Some common goals authors may have is simply to earn extra income. Others may wish to earn their living entirely as a writer. Still other authors view their publishing efforts as a sideline to their main occupation, a means to promote and drive their other business efforts.

Regardless of your financial goals as an author, like any business, a self-publishing empire needs revenue in order to continue to grow and prosper. If nothing else, the next book has to be edited, the cover and interior designed and the book has to be marketed. Even on a shoestring budget with the author doing the bulk of the work, some funds will be necessary.

Multiple revenue streams are one way to help insure your self-publishing enterprise can generate a steady stream of income.

Why are multiple revenue streams a good idea?

Monthly book sales alone make the effort to develop multiple streams of revenue a good idea. If I could explain why my books sell in the pattern they do, I could make a fortune predicting book sales.

Until you have a big enough backlist that sells consistently enough to absorb the ups and downs of book sales each month, the extra sources of income are important.

Often, the "extras" are where you can earn your highest net profit. The movie theater industry makes more money from its outrageous prices selling concessions than it does from the ticket revenue it generates from admission to see the film.

Pro athletes now demand, and receive, a percentage of the merchandising rights from the team owners of their league in their collective bargaining agreements.

Can you provide something worth paying for related to your books? Fans of a character might want t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc, relating scenes from your stories featuring that character.

Non-fiction authors may want to offer a for pay newsletter or use their book as a lead generator for business opportunities.

Depending on your audience, you may want to offer audio books, DVDs or develop seminars. The only real issue, from my perspective, is can you create items that are worth what you charge your readers?

If the answer is yes, go for it!

It will be more work but you can kill several birds with the single stone. Merchandise that features your book both generates revenue and serves as advertising.

Readers who have not found your book but have come across your non-fiction how-to DVD may ddecide to check out your series of books on the topic, generating more book sales.

Back of the room sales at speaking engagements are another time honored means of generating income.

The more streams of income you can generate as an author, the more secure you will be financially. For authors who rely solely on their writing to earn a living, this is an essential approach to business until you consistently sell enough books to pay your bills. Even then, extra income is always welcome.

Self-publishing is a business.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amazon Announces New Feature - Author Rankings

Amazon Sales Rankings already give authors an excuse to not write. Compulsive checking of our books Amazon Sales Rankings takes up too much time of too many authors.

Somebody at Amazon has a warped sense of humor. Now Amazon has announced it ranks its authors as well. You can even check your status on a daily basis in the form of a graph depicting your rise and fall in the author rankings.

Great. One more thing I will feel and obsessive compulsion to check daily. I can't help it. I am a highly competitive person with a need to be Number One!

I have no clue how this is supposed to help anyone make decisions about buying books, or market books, but I guess it is one more metric Amazon can throw out there for authors and readers alike to examine as part of the shopping/marketing process.

From Amazon itself:

"Today we have added a new feature, Amazon Author Rank, the definitive list of best-selling authors on Amazon.com.  This list makes it easy for readers to discover the best-selling authors on Amazon.com overall and within a selection of major genres.

Amazon Author Rank is your rank based on the sales of all of your books on Amazon.com.  Just like Amazon Best Sellers, it is updated hourly.  The top 100 authors overall and the top 100 in selected genres will be displayed on Amazon.com.  You can see your Amazon Author Rank trended over time in Author Central.

You can find your Amazon Author Rank in Author Central under the Rank tab.  Historical rank data is available from September 28, 2012.

We’re always interested in feedback, so please let us know what you think."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Two

The arrival of the equipment I splurged on and purchased to create YouTube videos beat me home about two weeks ago. My wife was delighted as now we have a way to visually record "family moments" for her to share via the internet. Relieved, I told her the expenditure was for the business, had been paid for by the business and that was the priority for its use.

I have yet to post a marketing video on YouTube yet but we have video of our youngest running in cross country races!

As simple as the concept seems, film a video and post it on YouTube, it isn't. The actual process of uploading the video is easy. The process of creating a video that does not make you cringe when you watch it is not so easy.

For those of you who are skilled at this process don't laugh. Here are some of the things I have learned one must do, or perhaps a better way of stating the obvious, NOT do when making videos for YouTube.
  1. You need the right equipment.
  2. Lighting is important!
  3. Be aware of the background. It can be a source of distraction from the intended subject.
  4. Work from a script. Ad libbing will produce poor results.
  5. Rehearse a couple of times. It makes a big difference.
  6. Use a tripod! Video that jerks around due to the camera operator's movement is very distracting.
Take the time to learn plan out your video in advance. Think about the visual aspects of what you are trying to accomplish in your video. It would seem the practice of "storyboarding" by film makers really is a good idea. Modern editing software will let you insert a variety of images with "relative" ease to create a nice looking video.

The school I teach at is a laptop school and we use MacBook Pro's as our computers. This provides me with access to both iMovie and a non-Apple product called Camtasia, a software designed to capture what is on the computer's screen.

Both of these can be used to edit video and produce a decent video. You can insert images, text, edit film segments and add audio. Both take a little practice to learn to use but they are not tremendously difficult. I use Camtasia to create review videos for my history classes.

As I move forward and learn more in this endeavor, I will be sure to share my successes and failures on this blog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part One

Keep this simple quote in mind: "There are only 2 things authors ought to be doing: writing, and marketing that writing." Joel Friedlander.

YouTube seems to be quite an item these days. It can be used to find humorous videos, political news, how-to instructional films and my personal favorite, archival film of historical events. It can also be used to market and promote just about any item available for sale, including books.

As a medium to provide factual information, it can be quite useful. I often look up "how-to" videos on YouTube and many of these have been quite helpful.

I have plenty of good ideas that will allow me to share in an effective way information that readers of my books will want. I just need to learn to make short videos that effectively communicate this information.

The most difficult part of this effort will be to learn how to translate production and sharing of these short videos into sales. In other words, how do I use YouTube to successfully market my books/products and increase sales?

This marketing effort actually looks fun and I am pretty sure I will enjoy making my little short films or videos. Hopefully I will figure out how to increase sales, capture data, or whatever it is marketers do.

I would love for anyone who has experimented with using YouTube to share your experiences, good or bad, with the readers of this blog.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Self-Publishing School - Great Blog Posts From the Past Week!

Excellent posts I have come across this past week about a range of topics related to self-publishing. Check them out, but please find time to return to The Self-Publisher's Notebook!

From Writer's Beware by Victoria Strauss

Publishers Settle With Google - But What About Authors?: A quick summary of what is going on with the class action lawsuit against Google for violating copyright by scanning in copyright books.

From The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn

Lessons Learned from One Year as a Full Time Author Entrepreneur: A great post about about making a living, running a business that is, as a self-publisher! Hard learned lessons are the best and Ms. Penn graciously shares these in this post.

From Self-Publishing 2.0 by Morris Rosenthal

Entering Stealth Blogging Mode: Mr. Rosenthal is a bit irritated with Google. I don't blame him. As authors we rely heavily on our blogs as a key component of our author platform. 

From Catherine, Caffeinated Guest Post by Mark Edwards

11 Ingredients of a Sizzling Book Description: Increase sales by writing irresistible book descriptions on your book's product page on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

From The Book Designer by Joel Friedlander

15 Steps to Create Great Blog Videos: Since I am in the process of learning how to do this, I thought it would be good to share one of the better posts I have found on the topic. Very helpful.

From Futurebook post by Baldur Bjarnason

Ebook Publishing Platforms are a Joke: I wrote about this recently but it is of enough interest to include it again here for those who missed it.

From A Newbie's Guide to Publishing Guest Post by Anyomous on J.A. Konrath's Blog

E-Books in Libraries - They Still Don't Get It: This guest post is written by a professional librarian. Since we would all love to sell our books to libraries, this is worth reading.

Book Cover Pro Revisited - Obtaining Hints on Using the Software

After more effort than I want to recount, the problem with logging on at BookCoverPro has been resolved I am happy to say. Time to move forward.

As I work to expand my self-publishing business, one of the avenues I am pursuing is the sale of downloadable PDF files from an e-commerce platform from my website. An older version of ebooks if you will. Simple covers are what I need at the moment for these "books" and the BookCoverPro does the trick for these particular items.

One of the features about BookCoverPro that is helpful for an individual with no design background and even less artistic ability is the BookCoverPro Newsletter with design ideas and tips on how to use the software. Hints on how to use the BookCoverPro software are posted on the company's Facebook page.


The most recent issue was about using the software to "copying layers" on the cover design you are working on. While not a skill I need at this exact moment, these are the kinds of hints many of us need in order to better use the software to create covers that will sell our books.

I wish more companies would provide this sort of "support" information for their products. I spend far too much time trying to learn how to use software that is supposed to be user friendly.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Selling Books to Libraries Using Quality Books

Of the three companies I have found that sell books to libraries, the first I have pitched one of my books to is Quality Books Inc.  The process was simple and required 20 minutes of my time. The longest part of the process was finding the necessary paperwork to download as a PDF in order to complete the submission process.

The one page form along with a copy of the book I am submitting were bundled up in a USPS Priority Mail envelope and mailed on the way home from work today.

It will be interesting to see:
  1. if the book is accepted for QBI's catalog and sales efforts.
  2. how long the process takes before I learn if the title has been accepted or rejected.
Why sell books to libraries? Several reasons.

First, I want to increase the number of streams of revenue I have coming in. This is a business!

Second, I believe the sales to libraries truly will be sales I would not make otherwise. When my wife and I were first married, we simply did not have any extra money to splurge on books. Since both of us are avid readers of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, we made good use of the public library system in our area.

I am sure the same is true today. There are certainly individuals who will be interested in my books but will use the library to obtain a copy on loan instead of buying the book. So long as somebody buys a copy I am happy.

Finally, I want to get my books in front of as many people as possible in as many ways as possible. Since I write non-fiction and my books are meant to be used as guides and references, there might be a fair number of library users who decide to buy a copy to keep for personal use. 

The hardest sale is the first sale. Based on the feedback I receive, many of the individuals who buy one of my books wind up purchasing several. This is based on the numerous e-mails I receive from the reader asking questions or simply thanking me for sharing the information.

Anything I can do to increase the chance of a first sale is worth some time and effort on my part. Since QBI's submission process is relatively easy and costs only 20 minutes and a copy of the book, I hope my first submission is accepted. If all goes well, I will submit other books in the future. 

If any of the visitors to this blog have had any experience with Quality Books Inc, positive or negative, please comment and share your experience with the readers of this blog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ebook Platforms - Are Authors Missing Out?

It never occurred to me that the various ebook reading devices, which have given my tiny publishing empire a huge shot in the arm, might truly be limiting the number of books an author can sell?

I have committed the last month and this month to doing limited writing on material for sale and focusing on learning more about the business side of self-publishing, blogging, book marketing, SEO and all the other things it seems one has to master to succeed as a self-publisher.

One of the concepts I keep running across as I do my research is the need to capture data. While some "experts" claim I need to capture, retain and analyze seemingly unending data, I have decided to "filter" what is important for my business and simply disregard the rest. 

What information would I like to obtain? E-mail address for one. I have two e-newsletters. These are a big part of my marketing efforts as well as a means to establish credibility and announce new titles for sale or the arrival of the ebook or POD edition.

It would be great to know what keywords were used in the search that led buyers to my book's product page. The same is true for the tags used, any affiliate links that resulted in a sale and especially since I am a bit dubious about the value of social media, which, if any, resulted in a sale or a visit to a book's product page.

I am willing to bet Amazon knows the answers to all of these questions. Why this information is not shared with authors who use Kindle Direct Publishing or any other ebook platform is strange to me. The object for everyone involved is to sell books and increase the use of the ebook reading devices.

Well, it would seem I am not alone. Baldur Bjarnason posted a thought provoking article about this topic.

I would love to obtain this type of data. It would make a huge difference for me in my book marketing efforts. The more often I can get my books in front of potential buyers who have already shown an interest in titles and topics I write about, the more sales I will generate.

If nothing else, it would be nice if Amazon or Barnes and Noble offered as an option to the buyer or an interested browser the ability to opt-in to share contact information with an author, be it via e-mail or social media such as Twitter.

We might all make more money. Self-publishing is a business.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Credibility Marketing by Charity Cason - Review for Self-Publishers

As a non-fiction author, credibility is very important to me. If I am not a credible expert, why would any reader want to purchase my books?

Since I am not a household name, I have to build my credibility as an expert in my niche. I don't have a lot of time to do so when a visitor reads my Amazon product description, visits one of my topical authority blogs or comes in contact with any information related to me or my books.

The simple title of the book, Credibility Marketing by Charity Cason, caught my eye while browsing Amazon. As a Kindle book the price was right so I purchased it.

The book is short, to the point, easy to understand and I came away with three items I plan to take action on as part of my regular marketing efforts.

Building credibility is an obvious need for non-fiction authors. It is also necessary for fiction authors. Readers need and want to know a fiction author can spin a good story! 

A few of the chapters include:
  1. What does credibility marketing mean?
  2. Video Marketing
  3. Social Media
  4. Build True Relationships
  5. Tips for Managing Your Reputation Online
  6. The Digital Information Age
The author understands cost is a factor for small businesses. Many of her concepts are free or low cost.

This short book is worth the minimal investment for the information it contains.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amazon Pricing Guidelines for Kindle Direct Publishing

Price is one of the emotional factors to be overcome in making a sale. I have read many times that humans make purchases based on emotion and then use logic to rationalize the purchase. 

Pricing is an important issue for self-published authors as we struggle to earn a living or pay bills with the extra income derived from our publishing efforts. 

The trick, so to speak, is to price for maximum net profit. This is a careful balance between generating the maximum number of sales and earning the largest TOTAL profit possible.

Some authors want to set as high a list price as possible believing this will generate the greatest amount of total net profit. Other authors set a lower list price to increase sales and use volume to generate the highest possible net profit.

For those who want to see further examples of this math and logic behind this model, I suggest visiting J.A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing and searching his archives as Konrath has written extensively about this topic.

One principle I will share from Konrath's blog is he believes strongly in find the the right price point that will generate the greatest volume of sales and this will result in the largest net profit possible. Konrath as the sales and the data to back this up and he shares it from time to time on his blog.

Amazon allows authors to set their own list price and the share of the sale the author will receive is based on guidelines established by Amazon. Some of these guidelines are shown below and come from Amazon.




If you wish to see the complete set of pricing guidelines for Amazon click on Amazon Pricing Page.


Updating Your Kindle Edition Book!

Since I write non-fiction, from time-to-time it is necessary to update the content of my books to reflect recent changes. With a traditional off-set press run this means selling out the entire press run or having to absorb the cost of remaindering the unsold copies.

One of the beauties of eBooks is this is not that big a problem. Books can be updated as necessary. Amazon even has information on its site to help in the process.

The great thing about this technical capability is you are able to update your books for prior customers! What a great "customer service" tool! Readers of non-fiction work who value the information will be impressed, or they should be, by the fact you as an author work to continue to provide the reader with the most current information possible. Over time this should result in more sales!

Rather than trying to tell you how each step in the process works, I have provided links to each of the above topics/pages on Amazon's site.

Changing Your Converted Text

Changing Your Cover Image

Changing Your Book Details

Notifying Customers of Book Updates

I have an updated edition of one of my best selling Kindle books that should be ready for re-release/updating in a month. I am interested to see how the process plays out and would love to hear from any readers who have successfully done this. Comments on the process, positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Self-Publishing Blog Summary: Kindle Select Publishing, eBook Design Concerns, Subject Headings and More...

Experts in website design and SEO say it is not a good idea to provide ways for visitors to leave your blog or website. They might not come back. It's a chance I'll take.

Since I spend way too much time surfing the net trying to learn more about self-publishing and the skills needed to market my books, I can at least justify the time spent by sharing some of the better, or at least more interesting to me, blog posts I come across.

Just please visit The Self-Publisher's Notebook again!

From Amazon
Amazon Publishing Introduces Kindle Serials—Great Stories, One Episode at a Time
I don't write fiction but I always pay attention to anything Amazon announces about Kindle books. For fiction authors, this is worth checking out.

From Self-Publishing 2.0
Risks and Rewards of Kindle Select Publishing
Morris Rosenthal must love statistics and math. He is always looking at one statistical model of data or another and sharing his results with the readers of his self-publishing blog. Morris always has a unique way of looking at things as well. This post is a good one for self-publishing authors with books available as Kindle editions.

From The Skilled Workman
Your Book Better Not Look Like a Poorly Designed Website
Good advice on selecting an ebook conversion company. As always, I want to recommend the company I use, eBook Architects.

From Marketing Christian Books
Did You Forget the Subject Headings?

There are so many details you have to pay attention to as an author who self-publishes. Let's face it, we are the entire publishing company AND the author. This blog post brings up some good points about little details that many authors forget that could pay off in the area of book marketing.

From The Social Media Examiner
5 Ways to Go From Blogger to Published Book Author
I actually did this. On another of my blogs I realized I had about 30 different posts on a single topic. These posts had generated a fair amount of traffic according to Google so it seemed like a good idea to edit them all into a book on the topic. It has just been released for sale so it is hard to tell how this experiment in "blog to book" will go. But, for those who blog, particularly non-fiction, this might be of interest.

This is the post that got my attention. Regular readers of my blog will know I mention on a regular basis that self-publishing is a business. This post tackles the issue of authors not taking the time to learn about the publishing and self-publishing industries from a business perspective.

From The Savvy Book Marketer
This post tackles the issue of having a marketing plan. Most self-published authors don't and the results are a lack of sales.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creating an Author Platform Using Blogger or WordPress

Self-published authors are responsible for the entire marketing effort for each book that is published by the author. This includes building an audience for the book, promoting the book, and setting the stage for the next book.

The internet has made this task, commonly referred to as building an author platform, vastly easier with Social Media and Blogs. Social media such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are not the focus of this post.

Two commonly used free blogging platforms are available for authors are Google's Blogger and the open source Word Press blog. Both of these have pros and cons and some thought needs to be used before selecting which platform to use.  

Note: It would be great if any author who has experience with either of both of these blogging platforms would share your experiences and thoughts on the subject in the comments section for this post.

I currently have four blogs I maintain and post to regularly. Two of the four blogs are hosted on Google's Blogger and the other two are "self-hosted" and utilize Word Press to run the blog. This blog, The Self-Publisher's Notebook is more for fun and a break from the "serious" blogs I write that are truly designed to serve as author platforms.  

The Everything Iggy (Italian Greyhound) Blog is meant to serve as an outlet for my passion for this breed of dogs and to experiment with different ideas for promoting a blog, generating traffic and eventually monetizing. Since I view this blog as having a two fold purpose, fun and experimentation, if I make a really big error with the blog, it's fine. It is meant to be a place to experiment and learn as well as a place to blog about Italian Greyhounds.

The Self-Publisher's Notebook is my first, and longest running blog. While I have two short books on self-publishing, it is not my focus from a business perspective. I just really enjoy writing this blog and sharing what I have learned, mostly from my mistakes, with other authors who self-publish.

I like the Blogger platform. It has been easy for a non-techie like myself to learn how to use, move things around and experiment with its features. This has been a huge plus for me.

The cons are I don't have control over the blog, its hosting or if the features change. Within the available framework, there are limits in how much I can adapt the format to my own purposes. There is a limit to how much I can customize the blog and I cannot use the platform for a true, traditional website. Without extensive programing skills, there is a limit to how much I can change the appearance of a Blogger template.

The WordPress blogging platform is free and open source. I am glad I started with the Blogger platform before moving on to a WordPress blog. While not difficult to use, it was a bit more daunting to me to attempt to set up. I still have a lot to learn and so far it has all been by trial and error. When I have needed to have something done right and quickly, I have paid good money to have the changes made to the WordPress blogs.

Also, if you choose the WordPress route, you really need to self-host your blog which will cost you some money, though good web hosting can be found for a low cost.

What do I like about WordPress? It can be adapted in so many ways. It can be used as a website. It can be used as an e-commerce site. It can do everything Blogger can do and so much more.

Will I start any more blogs using Blogger? Probably not. In fact, I have all I can handle in terms of posting regularly on the blogs I have. One of the drawbacks of blogging is it takes time away from writing (thus the need to re-purpose your blog posts into books).

Which blog platform gets my nod for an author looking to start working to create a an author platform?  Knowing what I know now, WordPress, simply because it is more flexible and allows for expansion into a full-fledged working website.

But Blogger is a good way to start as well to get your feet wet. If you start with Blogger and later decide to convert to a WordPress blog, you can transfer all of your own posts from a Blogger platform to a WordPress platform. You will need to own the domain name, which is a good idea regardless of which blogging platform you start with.

As with anything, think about what you need and want from a long term perspective and a short term perspective. Both platforms have their pluses and minuses and I cannot say I have covered all of the pros and cons of either platform.

If any authors who use more experience with either of these platforms would like to weigh in on this topic, please do so in the comment section.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Global Connect Launched by Lightning Source

Like its competitor, CreateSpace, Lightning Source is expanding its reach beyond the borders of North America. As promised, Lightning Source has launched a new program called Global Connect, expanding its services overseas.

Currently Lightning Source titles will now be available in Germany and Brazil. LSI's distribution of book titles will be done through a series of partnerships with other printers and book distributors located in other countries.

As announced, the program will function by having the local company market the book and offer distribution as well to retailers in that country. LSI files will then be used to print and fulfill the order for the local retailer or customer.

List pricing and the book's discount will be determined by the nation of origin's default setting in that nation's currency. LSI will not allow returns. LSI states that not all book formats will be supported, depending on the nation in question.

Ingram, the owner of LSI, stated in a press release "The goal of Global Connect, said Ingram president Skip Prichard, “is to help publishers get their books into markets where there is a demand.” Using Global Connect will permit publishers to offer books for sale in other countries and not have to worry about such issues (and costs) as shipping. Prichard noted that Global Connect is a true print-on-demand service and will only print a book when there is an order. Ingram chose Singular as its partner in Brazil because not only does it offer POD services but has relationships with about 60 distribution channels in the country and its sales channels cover 95% of the book and digital content markets in Brazil."

While foreign sales might not be large in number for most authors, a book sale is a book sale. If you are already using LSI for your POD service, this new program is worth looking into. It costs nothing to participate in the program.