January 21, 2022 Free Advice Friday Hot Topics

If you missed Free Advice Friday on January 21st, 2022, you can watch the replay on our YouTube channel, youtube.com/NewShelvesBooks.

January 21, 2022 Free Advice Friday Hot Topics

What is the Wordle craze all about? It’s a word game taking the world by storm. You have six chances to guess a 5 letter word. Everyone plays the same board (to guess the same word) and play is limited to one time each day. Give it a try!  https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

Can people claim they have sold a certain number of books on Amazon even if they haven’t? Yes, you could check their rankings on Amazon and run a report on NPD Bookscan (If you have access to an Bookscan account – it’s not cheap!) to try to figure out if their claim is legitimate. However, Amazon doesn’t fully share sales data with outside entities which makes it almost impossible to accurately calculate how many book sales another author has made.

How to link your book for retailer sales on your website: Find a buy button for each retailer and link the button to each individual retailer sales page. Tip: If you hope to sell to bookstores, don’t let Amazon be the only link on your website. Consider linking to a major chain like BN.com as well as indiebound.org or bookshop.org.

Should you sell your book on your website to make a higher profit? It depends on your goals as an author. Direct sales could hurt your Amazon ranking, and they don’t count for lists Like USA Today or New York Times. Also keep in mind the commitment involved to accept orders and fulfill them in a timely manner. Go to 7:55 on the replay to hear an in depth discussion on the topic.

How many books should I take to a book fair? If you have a single book, Keri recommends you bring at least one case. If you have multiple titles, consider ten copies of each one. Tip: When setting up your display, make sure you don’t have TOO many copies of a single book out to avoid looking like no one wants it.

How do you get to sell your book at Costco? Go to a Costco that is close to you, or the location of where you book is set and speak to a manager about display, kiosk or consignment options. If given the chance to hand-sell the book in store and it does well, the store may give your book shelf space consideration. Once you get into one store, it will be easier to get into other stores in the chain.

Wondering how you set up a pre-order for print books? Watch the replay starting at 28:15.

How should I end my pricing? Don’t use.97 at the end of your price. It indicates a discounted price. You can end your price with .95, .99, or .00. There is no right choice, although .99 works well because people tend to associate the price with the initial dollar amount of the price, rather than rounding up to the nearest dollar. ($14.99 is often thought of as one dollar cheaper than $15.00, even though it's only a one cent difference.)

At what point in the writing process should you get an ISBN? An ISBN is typically obtained during the publishing process. If you are going the trade publishing route, your publisher will provide the ISBN. If you are self-publishing, you will want to obtain your ISBN directly from the approved entity in your home country. In the US, that means purchasing from Bowker at www.myidentifiers.com. Some other countries, like Canada, need only apply for free ISBNs from the government.

Is it true there may be times that you don’t need an ISBN? Technically, if you are publishing an ebook only to Kindle, you don’t need an ISBN. (Amazon assigns all kindle books with an Amazon Standard Identification Number or ASIN rather than using an ISBN.) HOWEVER, Keri highly recommends that you always assign an ISBN to your book as it legitimizes it and assigns a tracking number to the title. Never accept a “free” ISBN – it comes with strings attached. (Read THIS article to learn more about what those strings are.)

Can you leave a note to your reader in the back of your book encouraging them to review? Yes! This is an awesome idea and highly recommended. Just make sure the ask is framed in a personal way and your authentic voice comes through.

What is “library pricing”? Digital books and audiobook are often priced higher for licensing to libraries. While some licensing is up to 5x the retail cost, it’s more common to set a library price of 2-3x the price of retail.

Go to 43:25 on the replay for a look at what a GREAT book ad on Instagram looks like. The point of an ad is to pop out and grab people’s attention. You need to make it clean, simple and easy to read. Be sure you have one clear call to action. For best results, link the ad directly to a sales page at a single retailer. Don’t ask or expect the user to click through multiple pages to get to a sales page at a specific retailer. Tip: For more clicks and better conversions, create a call out on your ad with the price if the book is discounted.

If you have questions you’d like answered, join us next week, Friday, January 28th at 10am EST to get your questions answered LIVE or e-mail your questions in advance to info@newshelves.com with “FREE ADVICE FRIDAYS” in the subject line.

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