Self-Published Book Awards

5 03 2020

Self-Published Book Awards

Deadline: April 1, 2020

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 28th annual self-published competition—the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Already Entered?
You can edit or manage your entry HERE
Prizes
One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $8,000 in cash
  • A feature article about you and your book for the March 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest
  • A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot

One First Prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $1,000 in cash
  • Promotion in the March 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest

All Grand Prize and First Prize winners will receive:

  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • One year subscription to Writer’s Digest Tutorials
  • A digital award seal for use in promoting your win.

Honorable Mention Winners will receive promotion on http://www.writersdigest.com and a digital seal for use in promoting your win.

All entrants will receive a brief commentary from one of the judges.

Categories

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction/Reference (General Nonfiction, Cookbooks, Guidebooks, Textbooks, How-To, etc.)
  • Inspirational
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Early Readers/Children’s Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult
  • Poetry

How to Enter

  • All entrants must send a printed and bound book. You may register your book online. All books not registered online must be accompanied by an Official Entry Form. You may enter more than one book and/or more than one category; however, you must include a separate book, entry form and the additional fee for each entry. We accept check, money order or credit card payment for the required judging fee. All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • The competition is open to all English-language self-published books for which the authors have paid the full cost of publication, or the cost of printing has been paid for by a grant or as part of a prize. Entrants must send a printed and bound book. PDFs and proofs will not be accepted. Entries will be evaluated on content, writing quality and overall quality of production and appearance. No handwritten books are accepted. All books published or revised and reprinted between 2015 and 2020 are eligible. (Writer’s Digest may demand proof of eligibility of semifinalists.)
  • Due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Crimea.
  • Click here to download the printable entry form (for entries not registered online)
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

 





Audible Settles Copyright Lawsuit with Publishers over Audiobook Captions

17 01 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jan/15/audible-settles-copyright-lawsuit-publishers-captions





Select Book Conferences, Fairs, and Festivals in 2020

13 01 2020

Select Book Conferences, Fairs, and Festivals in 2020





How to Not Waste Money on Facebook and Instagram Ads

13 01 2020

How to Not Waste Money on Facebook and Instagram Ads






Reasons Why a Distributor May Turn Down Your Book

27 11 2019

 

There are many opportunities for book sales through non-bookstore retailers. These could be airport stores, supermarkets, discount stores, gift shops and many more. The good news is that you sell to them in ways in which you are already familiar: you get a distribution partner and they contact buyers for you. The bad news is that the distributors are inundated with books that they cannot take on and therefore must reject them. Even a good book may be declined if not submitted properly or has missing information.

The Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS, www.bookapss.org) has a program to submit our members’ books to distribution partners, many of which specialize in selling to non-bookstore retailers. Years of experience has helped us develop solid information about what they may or may not accept – and why. There are many reasons why a well-written book may be turned down for purchase, but too often the books are rejected due to several common mistakes. Any one of these may be cause for it being declined. Here are some common reasons why a book might not be accepted by a distributor or wholesaler.

The book is not a good fit with them. Most book distributors specialize in certain genres and will not accept books outside them. For example, Cardinal Publishers Group (CPG) will provide distribution for adult non-fiction books (no fiction, inspirational or children’s books) to bookstores and other non-bookstore retailers across the United States and Canada. If you send them your children’s picture book it will be turned down. Check their websites before submitting books so you adhere to their guidelines.

No marketing plan is submitted. Demonstrate that you know your target audience, competitive titles and prices, and are willing to promote your book. Give detailed information about the pre-publication promotion you have done and the post-publication marketing you will do. Indicate the size of your platform and what you are doing to maintain and build it.

Not understanding the retailers’ hot buttons. Retailers want products that do three things for them. One, bring more people into the stores. Two, increase profit per square foot and three, increase inventory turns. Describe how your heavy promotion will help them meet those criteria. If not, your book won’t sell, will be returned for full credit and replaced by another product.

Not providing specifications. What is the size of your book? Case quantities? Number of pages? Photos or illustrations? Is it one of a series? List the ISBN and LCCN or CIP data. What other books have you published? How many did you sell?

Know the customer of your target retailers. Think of the types of people who frequent airport stores before submitting your book to the Hudson Group. For example. If your book is not appropriate for travelers, it will not be accepted. Think about how much different the customer is for a Hallmark gift store than those who go to Spencer Gifts.

What are the author’s credentials? The author must have credible credentials for writing a book on the topic, not just the fact that he or she has a special experience raising children or overcoming a particular illness. Certain subjects require the education and knowledge of experienced professionals. If fiction, has the author written other books? How many were sold?

Cover art and interior design look self-published. Chose an experienced book designer to produce your cover and page layout. Distributors can look at a book’s cover for just a few seconds and judge the book’s sophistication and professionalism. The cover design includes the spine and rear cover, too.

The book was not edited. If your book passes the initial design test, the acquisition people will read the first few pages and other pages chosen at random. If your content is rife with typos and grammatical errors, it will be declined.

Testimonials should be from people with impressive credentials. It is common to have a quotation from a businessperson on a business book, but unless that person has nationally recognized credentials it hurts the book’s chances more than it helps. The same concept applies to endorsements attributed to initials only (BJ, Avon, CT).

The format does not fit the age group. For example, a children’s picture book with pages that have large amounts of text no longer works as a picture book. If your target reader is in an older demographic category you might need a large-print edition.

The book is inappropriately priced. It is not difficult to research competitive prices before establishing the retail price. If the price of your book is outside the parameters for your category and format it may not be accepted. The price should also be shown on the rear cover.

To stay in the retail stores – including bookstores – your book should sell well in 60 to 90 days. It will remain there as only as it is more profitable than a replacement product. And you must keep up the heavy promotion over time to keep it selling, or your unsold books will be returned.

Retailers do not sell books, they display books. And they don’t want your book on their shelves, they want it at their cash register. They want products that can sell themselves in terms of design, content, fit, price and promotion. The easier you can make it for a potential distribution partner to sell you book, the more likely it is they will accept it. Make them confident that your book will be profitable for them by giving them the information they need to make a decision.





SELLING TO NON-BOOKSTORE RETAILERS

13 11 2019

Selling to Non-Bookstore Retailers
by Brian Jud
Bowker | Tue Aug 6, 2019

There are many non-bookstore, brick-and-mortar retailers through which you can sell your books. These include airport stores, supermarkets, gift shops, discount stores and others. Your current distributor may already be selling to them, so check with them before pursuing retailers on your own.

Otherwise, creating a retail-distribution channel is a good way to start your special-sales efforts because it is much like selling through bookstores. You work through distribution partners, the discount structure is similar, and books are displayed on shelves. Fiction usually outsells non-fiction in the retail setting. On the other hand, unsold books are returned, and you are paid in 90 – 120 days. Here are some things you can do to profit from selling through retailers.

1. Define your target readers. Who are they? The worst answer to that question is, “Everybody who likes (your genre).” If your target readers are in a low-income demographic then you want your book in Walmart, not Neiman Marcus. In what form will they buy it? If your target buyers are in an older demographic category, they may prefer a large-print version. Where do they shop? You want your book sold in those locations. Is your content seasonal in nature? That might dictate when they purchase your content.

2. Know the customer of your customer. You may have the best book in your category, but that category may not be important to a retailer’s customers. The customer of a Hallmark store is different from one at Spencer Gifts. Who shops at airport stores? Supermarkets? Discount stores? Understanding your target readers will direct your efforts to the appropriate retailers.

3. Know why retailers decide which books to carry. There are three major factors that influence the products chosen to place on the shelves. One is store traffic. Will your promotion help build the number of people who come to the store? More people shopping there should increase the other two criteria: profit per square foot and inventory turns.

4. The least important item in the decision process is your book. Buyers want to know your platform size and what promotion you have done and will do, thus increasing the factors described in point number three. If your book doesn’t sell, the retailer will replace it with another product and return your book to the distributor. They do not want your book on their shelves, they want it at their cash registers.

5. Know how the middlemen work before submitting your book for possible distribution. For example, Choice Books (http://choicebooks.org/ ) manages the title assortment on the displays it sets up and services in retail locations. Titles are tailored to store demographics and sales history, and they specialize is selling bibles (adult & children’s), cookbooks, devotionals, family living and fiction. If your content does not meet the needs of their customers, Choice Books will not accept your book.

6. Retailers don’t sell books per se, they display them. It is up to you to promote your book and drive prospective customers to the stores. Work closely with your distribution partners to support their salespeople and give them information about your upcoming promotion and sales tips about how your book is different from and better than competitive titles

7. Is your book produced to expected quality? Walk the stores so you understand the topics, pricing, colors and dimensions of the books sold there. Is your spine of sufficient width to be seen on the shelf? Does the rear cover identify the BISAC subject heading under which your book should be shelved? Does it show the bar code and price of your book?

8. Work with your distribution partners at all levels to offer creative solutions to increase their sales. Offer to conduct store events (vs. book signings) to increase store traffic. Give them ideas for cross merchandising. If your book is about cooking steaks, create a display to place on the supermarket counter near where the steaks are sold. Sell the same book in large quantities to Lowe’s for them give as a free gift to people who purchase a grill there.

Promote your book so your distribution partners (middleman and retailer) are more profitable selling your book than another one. If not, it will be returned since it is relatively easy to find a replacement product. But when two companies are linked by mutual value, what was purely a financial transaction becomes a co-created partnership fed by trust and loyalty.