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April 2011

Three Marketing Tips for Authors

Normally, I’d share two marketing tips for writers in this space. ACFW logoBut if you’re an ACFW member and a published author, there are three great ways the organization can help published authors promote their books. I couldn’t choose just two!

So, wait no longer! Log in as a member onto the ACFW website, then click on “Post Your Information.” Once there, you’ll see three options.

ACFW Book Club submission. Here you can submit your book for consideration by the ACFW book club. At a minimum, over 1,000 members will read a blurb about your book. Better yet, your book may be selected by the club.

Apply for an interview. There’s a list of criteria you can read over to decide if you’d like to apply. The interviews with authors are posted on the ACFW website in either the Author Interviews or the Featured Author sections. And, of course, Afictionado publishes two features a month—one on authors who’ve made their first sales and another on an established author. Email the editor for more information.

Add new and upcoming releases. Input your new and upcoming books into this area and have them displayed in Fiction Finder, a feature aimed at the general public. You need to be a Fiction Finder member first. So go to the ACFW home page and click on Fiction Finder to register as an author. Once registered, look for the “Author Instructions” tab to get a list of things you’ll need to enter your book(s).

Market News

New market for writers

Amazon announced Kindle Singles—a new market for short fiction. Longer articles and short stories, written by authors with a track record, make up these titles. Prices start at just under $2.

Hot tablet sales broaden e-book market

Apple sold well over a million iPad 2 units during the launch of the new tablet both in America and internationally in March. Lines were long and some stores were out of stock in as little as 10 minutes.

A conservative estimate is over 8 million iPads sold in under six months, according to Apple. The company is pushing because a number of lower-priced competing tablet computers will hit in the next few months. Keep in mind, all these units double as color ebook readers.

Ebook sales climb fast

The major publishing houses report ebook sales were up between 150 to 400 percent over the Christmas holidays, according to Publisher’s Weekly. Despite the excitement, paper still widely out steps electronic. Reports claim 8 out of 10 books sold are paper, but some small publishers say paper outsells ebooks by 60 to 1.

Figures for the year ending January 2011, released in March by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) claim ebook sales have increased “annually and significantly” in the nine years the group has tracked the category. January 2011 was no exception, with a 116 percent increase from 32.4 million to 69.9 million.

Millionaire ebook authors

Despite the lag behind paper, Forbes reports fiction e-books, sold under $3 each, have made a handful of self-published Kindle authors millionaires.

For example, her 13 books self-published on Kindle have made twenty-six-year-old Amanda Hocking, who writes YA paranormal romance, a millionaire. Hocking just signed a $2 million deal with St Martin’s Press citing editing problems, distribution, and an opportunity to make even more as her reasons to step into traditional publishing.

Ebooks to outsell paper in two years?

At a conference on electronic storage space (GigaOm Big Data in New York City), Barnes & Noble VP of Direct Marketing Marc Parrish said two years and ebooks will outsell paper. Fortune reported Parish then later recanted, saying he didn’t mean to put a direct time-line on the shift.

In his talk, Parrish quoted Codex Forrester and Gartner Research who claim ebook reader sales will jump a 1900 percent in 2011, from 900,000 in 2010 to 18 million in 2011. Right now 30 percent of all book consumers do some combo of both ebooks and print, a figure expected to rise to 35 percent in the coming year.

Electronic formats up—and religious books, too

The AAP said anything electronic is on the rise, as downloadable audio books are also up 8.8 percent to 6.5 million from 6 million. Overall, lumping together all book sales on all platforms and in all categories, total sales are down 1.9 percent at $805.7 million this January as opposed to $821.5 million a year ago. But sales of religious books grew a respectable 5.6 percent, from $49.8 million to $52.6 million.

God bless you and the work of your hands. (Ecc. 9:10)

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