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February 2011

Two marketing tips

This month’s tips have to do with media interviews:

1. Your Ten Questions: One of the things your publisher will ask for is a list of 10 questions and answers about your book. Your publisher will send this cheat sheet to media outlets to get you interviews. So do a good job here. By the way, clever journalists will use your answers to create new questions—so be prepared.

2. Answer Another Question: One of the tricks to media interviews is to answer with something you do know, even if it doesn’t answer the question. Pros do this if they get stuck or draw a blank. Why? You give the media something they can use instead of dead air or stuttering. They can always dub in a logical question later. Also, keep your answers to 30 seconds or less. Longer could mean you get cut for commercial breaks or they sub in someone who does know how to talk in sound bites.


Market News

Editor’s note: Instead of finding Linda’s two marketing tips for writers at the end of her column, look in the sidebar.

Unless you were under a rock the last couple of months, it comes as no surprise that publishers are reporting huge gains in e-book sales over the holidays. According to Publisher’s Weekly, the big houses report triple digit jumps from 150 percent to a whopping 400 percent.

B&N reports best sales in 10 years

Barnes & Noble, whose been looking at serious red ink for a while now, reported stellar double-digit increases in sales over the nine weeks of the holiday season. Visit their corporate site then click Newsroom then Press releases then look for the Jan. 6, 2011 release. The company credits sales of its NOOK e-reader as a major player in the higher numbers. The largest jumps were in online sales, but retail was up almost 10 percent over all. The company’s biggest competitor, Borders, is facing bankruptcy. There’s speculation Border’s late entry with its line of e-book readers may be too costly to recover from.

Kindle book lending just announced

One feature the NOOK had the Kindle didn’t was the ability for owners to lend books to each other. Until now. Amazon is now lending works on any device that supports the free Kindle reading application. But not every e-book is eligible. More details are available at Amazon’s Kindle Book Lending site.

NIV Bible tops best-seller lists

Christian Retailing reported the new electronic version of the NIV Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, topped a number of best-seller lists this holiday season, making it the fastest selling e-book. I don’t know about you, but one of the first e-books I got was a good Bible, so I didn’t have to lug my bedside version to church. My prediction is once the new e-book reader crowd collects staples, like a good Bible, they’ll branch out into other books.

Faith-based books a billion-dollar business

Last month, The Washington Post took a look at mainstream distribution of Christian books via a feature on distributor Choice Books, founded by Simon Schrock. The article reported Christian books are about 10 percent of the total market or 2.5 billion a year. This is especially significant given struggles in both book retailing and the economy over the last several years.

Glo Bible gets Microsoft’s attention

The latest version of the PC-based, award-winning Glo Bible, that features not only several Bible versions, but articles, video, and interactive maps, got attention from Microsoft at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month. The Glo Bible was one of a handful of applications running on Windows 7 Tablet PCs in the Microsoft booth.

God bless you and the work of your hands.

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