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You Work Hard for Your Books Sales, Don't Waste Your Money

UPDATE - Info about Commun.It has been added sinc ethe publication of the original blog.

Commun.It- Recently has changed their polices that better fit their financial needs and not yours. For anyone who has been with them for a period of time, you would probably not notice the change. For new people, hopefully you caught the change.

Commun.It is set up as either a free service to gain followers, or as a paid service. As a free service, they will send out tweets and postings from your account without your notice and or approval. What is wrong with this is that your account can be sending out tweets and postings of other companies and people that you may not agree with, support, or even want listed on your feed. This can damage your reputation and your brand.

If you want them to stop sending out the tweets/postings, they want you to upgrade to their service for a hefty monthly fee. This is a form of blackmail. If you send a request for them to stop, they will discontinue your account immediately. There is no middle ground with them.

Therefore, unless you are comfortable with them sending out tweets/postings under your name, that you have not approved, cancel your account and advise them why.

What little service you get from them finding you followers, is not that great, nor of value to pay a monthly fee for their services.

With our partnership with Texas Authors, Inc., will test out products and services to see if they have value in promoting or selling your book. This is the current list of companies that we do not recommend and the reasons why. There is no need for you to waste your money and get little to no results promoting your book(s).

It should be noted that this is based on our use of their program, and each person may have the same or different results. We post this on our site to help you to be more educated in how you spend your money. – Why pay $30+ a month to promote a website book store that doesn’t promote you? True, an 80% commission is great, but will you sell thousands of books over a year to justify the expense. Plus, they have top selling books on their site, so all the promotion to them only adds to their sales of everyone else’s books, including best sellers…again, how does that help you?

Authors Uproar – their website is incomplete and full of ‘additional’ products you don’t need. – Operates several websites that you pay to have your book promoted. The AwsomeGang promotion lumps you into a list of books being promoted via email, so you get lost in the shuffle and there is not a set genre for each email. It’s anything and everything in the mix.

BookShout is another book promotion email program that promotes more than one book in their email.

If you pay for book promotion you should be the only book promoted either in that email or in that twitter moment. A link should be going directly to a page where they can see and read more about your book and then purchase directly from that site. If you are one of several books, then people will skip over you and you have wasted your money. In addition, the email that your book is listed in should be for books in your same genre, not books from every genre, or a group of books from one genre that has absolutely nothing to do with your book.

Originally appeared in Publsihign Perspective on December 19, 2017 by Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

What will kids be reading in 2018? Scholastic editors issue five predictions about what children’s book trends will be popular and successful next year.

‘Just the Right Book at the Right Time’

In a series of five points, the editors of Scholastic have set out predictions of what they think will be the top trends in children’s books for 2018:

1. More books will highlight strong female characters

2. Kid-friendly nonfiction will continue to grow as a draw

3. “Iconic series and characters” will return with new stories

4. Fantasy worlds and creatures should maintain popularity

5. Activity books will be engaging, especially in the STEM arena

Publishing Perspectives reported in early February on Scholastic’s biennial Kids & Family Reading Report, and this new set of observations is, in part, based on what came to light in that report.

In a prepared statement on the newly released round of predictions, Scholastic Book Clubs president Judy Newman is quoted, saying that the company’s editors gain deep insight into their market and its potentials, not least because they must “feature a wide range of choice all year long in our monthly, in-classroom flyers.

“Their expertise,” she says, “helps more children find just the right book at the right time to encourage a love for independent reading.”

Keynote Speaker: B. Alan Bourgeois

Every seat was occupied at the November 18th meeting, where we welcomed Austin author and marketing guru B. Alan Bourgeois. Following the business session which included election of new Board members, Kim Black handed the gavel over to our 2018 President, Mike Akins. There were many announcements from members about upcoming books and new projects. The creative energy and can-do attitude of Amarillo area writers is always inspiring.

Mr. Bourgeois is the founder and director of Texas Authors, Inc. and assists writers through his company Bourgeois Media & Consulting (BMC). "The arts is not something that most people are encouraged to pursue," Alan said. "Our parents meant well but most of our creative outlets was blocked."

In today's publishing environment, authors no longer need to consider whether to publish or not. With so many options available for writers, the reality is to ask the question "How to Publish?"  Finding the right option for your work is key to successfully selling your books.

There are about 8400 published authors in this state. With over 50,000 new titles being published on Amazon every month, authors are face with impossible task of being noticed. Alan founded Texas Authors Inc to help Texas authors market themselves. We watched an inspirational music video by X Ambassadors, "Renegade", which shows people facing insurmountable odds without considering their limitations. Here's a link to watch the video. 

There are three main types of publishing options for authors today: traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing.

The Big 5 traditional publishers have altered their focus. When you look at the new releases today, the main question is 'who does the author know'. Traditional publishing has become very public press oriented. Politicians, celebrities and people with high visibility are awarded book deals, not first-time novelists.  The main question is not so much as to the quality or content of the work, but how many social media followers do they already have. You give up total control of your work for a small percentage of the profits when you choose a traditional publishing deal.

Hybrid publishers offer a portion of the services than the traditional route, and you can retain some control. For example, you might pay for editing, cover design, and marketing options. If your are complete control freak, and have the dollars to spend, then self-publishing is the perfect option for you.

Research your book. Does the story you wrote have an audience? Look at everything in regards to your content, cover design, target market and compare it to other books that are similar. Does this fit what you intended?

You must practice and know the sales pitch/synopsis for your book. Briefly, in 30 seconds using one to two sentences that relates to the back cover copy, describe your book. Alan discussed book reviews and the importance of having an email for business. "Set-up an email for authorship and your books. Keep it active and keep it alive," he told us.

Marketing renegade style, is doing whatever it takes to get people's attention. Marketing is 1) promotion of a product, 2) the ability to get someone to want that product, and 3) getting someone to buy your product. Alan described some of the new and unique services Texas Authors Inc offers its members. 

"There are so many ways to promote your book. Think outside the box," Alan encouraged us to, "be the renegade that you are." We ended the workshop with a sing-along, as a second playing of "Renegade" was shown with lyrics provided.

It's our time to make a move

It's our time to make amends

It's our time to break the rules

Let's begin

And I say hey, hey hey hey

Living like we're renegades

Hey hey hey

Hey hey hey

Leaving like we're renegades

Renegades, renegades

(Renegade by X Ambassadors)

Thanks to Mr. Beorgeois for a very energizing and inspiring morning!