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July 2011

Two Marketing Tips

1. Christmas in July: Are you thinking about Christmas? Christmas treePublished authors should be. Now is the time to start promoting your book for the holiday market. Glossy magazines have a four- to six-month lead time. Popular blogs and reader forums are also starting to fill pre-holiday slots. Start now sending out information on your book and lining up those book clubs and blogs. Get your book in a position to be noticed during the biggest selling period of the year—Christmas!
2. ACFW rewards prepublished members who complete manuscripts ACFW’s The End program encourages writers to finish novels. Once your completion has been verified, ACFW provides a badge you can post on a website or blog. Additionally, for each manuscript completed, the writer’s name is placed in a drawing for one free registration to the 2012 ACFW conference.

Market News: July

Because fiction is hot in ebooks, publishers are considering new angles. This is creating opportunities for pre-published authors who are savvy enough to enter (and win) contests.

Ebooks produce opportunities

“Fiction is the hottest category in the ebook marketplace. Our challenge is that we see more publish-worthy novels than we can reasonably take to print in a year,” comments Karen Watson, Associate Publisher at Tyndale House.

Ebrook readers of various kindsTo solve this problem, Tyndale announced a new e-book initiative, Digital First, a line of books only published in ebook format. Starting this month, the new line features four first-time fiction authors writing in various genres and one nonfiction title.

Most of these pre-published authors are contest winners (hint, hint). Three of the titles are by ACFW members who also are both previous winners of fiction writing contests, ACFW’s Genesis and others. Here are the ACFW member books:

  • Stealing Jake, a historical romance by Pam Hillman.
  • The Reinvention of Leona Harper, a contemporary novel by Lynne Gentry.
  • Delivery, a contemporary novel by Diana Prusik.

“This initiative gives us a way to say yes to books that deserve an opportunity and it helps Tyndale become more agile in serving a wider range of readers,” Watson said.

This looks like an experiment for the house as a low risk way (read low or no advances and low printing and distribution costs) to see if there’s interest from their market in digital books. But this still bodes opportunity for new talent via ebooks.

Finding contests to enter

You can Google and Yahoo and of course, there are the ACFW writing contests for pre-published Christian authors. But don’t forget to check the Contests section of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide and blogs aimed at pre-published writers such as Seekerville and Novel Journey (among others), where Christian fiction writing contests are posted.

God bless you and the work of your hands.

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