Now we are going to get down to what you can and should be doing to get more sales! It is possible to do all of the following yourself; however, there are some things you probably should get skilled help with.
Foreign Rights: This is where you license the right to translate and sell your book in a foreign market. Although you can do this on your own, it is exceedingly difficult. Without a foreign rights agent who knows that particular country there is no way of protecting your rights or guaranteeing that you will get paid. Amazon is considering offering this service to its authors at some point in the future but for now you had best seek an agent. And for those of you who can afford it, attending the Frankfurt International Book Fair in October, 2013 would be well worth your while. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from the global publishing industry attend this event and most are looking to buy (or sell) foreign rights.
Global Distribution: Short of licensing the foreign rights of your book, this is something you can probably handle on your own. At most online booksellers (e.g., amazon, B&N, pubit, ibooks, kobo, google, etc.) you can have the English version of your book sold in the countries where these companies sell books online. In some cases, you may also be able to have your book translated and download it directly onto the foreign affiliate of these book sites. But unless you are fluent in the language of that country, be sure to get a professional translator. (Trad.it http://www.trad-it.ch/?language=eng offers translating services).
Metadata: This is the information about you and your book that makes searching for it possible. Be sure it is correct! If it is not, readers won’t be able to find your book. Check each and every online retailer. This takes time but you would be surprised how many errors you will find. Books with the proper metadata sell 98% more than ones with errors!
Author Page: If you don’t have one, you should get one now! Your fans want to know you and what you are doing so be sure to fully utilize your author page to your advantage. Most authors only put very basic information such as their bio on it but you can use it to promote all of your books: put any and all info you think will shine a light on your work.
Audio Books: This is something that may surprise you. Audio books are the future – and the future is NOW! This is the fastest growing segment of publishing. Everyone is “listening” to books – we do it at home, in our cars, while exercising, on planes, trains and automobiles, even while watching our children. Most, if not all, audio book production companies allow you to keep all your rights and have complete control over your book once the project is completed. This means you keep all of the profits; however, there are two points to consider –
1. The overall quality and especially the narrator’s voice are vitally important. No one wants to spend hours listening to a bad audio.
2. It is expensive. You may make more money on audio books than on eBooks or traditional books but the upfront costs are high.
Book Trailers: While there is some debate over whether these significantly increase a book’s sales, they are a way to get on the highly popular YouTube where many people search for books. Book trailers are relatively inexpensive and can even be done yourself. In an effort to get your book out to every possible fan, this is worth considering.
Wattpad: This is a community website where authors can upload electronic texts. It is being used by some authors with great success. For example, an 18 year old author who serialized her book on wattpad is now one of the highest selling authors in Great Britain! As this shows, the most successful authors who use wattpad serialize their book by putting a chapter up each week. Readers read it for free and if they like it they are very likely to buy the book rather than waiting a week to read each chapter. Fans will also seek out other works by a particular author.
In summary, you should constantly be looking for ways to promote your book and broaden where it is available. The range of ways to do this are increasing every day, take advantage of any and all of them!
Excellent advice, Geri. Thanks!
-These articles are always worthwhile, just to check that there’s nothing we’ve overlooked. Surprised by your comments that audio is so popular. However, the costs must be sky high!
Be sure to check out the piece by Cindi Crane on audio books – there are ways to do it without boo much expense!