Saturday, March 20, 2010

On Marketing That Book - Big Question

Gina Alzate is a new small publisher who is attached to me through LinkedIn, a business networking on-line site. There were some questions brought up that I find are similar questions by many new to this publishing business and thought others could benefit from this information exchange. If anyone else has further questions, I welcome them here.

On 02/11/10 9:26 PM, Gina Alzate wrote:
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Hello Patti,
Nice to meet your acquaintance. You must love to read! So do I, and now I am more into writing books. I just finished editing my first one, Living Our Soul Map: Unleashing the Warrior Goddess Within. Now it is in publishing stage. What a process!

On 02/24/10 8:40 PM, Patti Hultstrand wrote:
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Thanks Gina for the invite and congrats on the book. I know what you mean. I do the same for other authors. Am on my 19th book production now. Every author is excited while waiting for that book to be done printing. Pretty cool to be the one to help them.

So, what is your "Living Our Soul Map" about? I am into unleashing warrior goddesses.

On 03/18/10 7:12 AM, Gina Alzate wrote:
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Hi Patti
Your 19th book? How cool! I'm on my first, and learning the ropes as I go. Living Our Soul Map is an anthology of 12 women's stories of how they found themselves in their darkest moments and brought themselves out, plus how these women came into my life as part of my soul map.

How do you market your books? The ones I plan to publish are mostly my work, either written alone or with contributions from others. I'm curious if you ever had any books that found their way to the movies or television.

On 03/19 - Patti Hultstrand wrote:
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Am working on number 20 thru 27 right now. Four of these are either my books or I have a short segment of my writing. I help others get their books into print and into the market.

Curiously, I too had a near death experience which pushed me to finish my first book and led me to become the publisher for others. Everything happens for a reason, which is also one of the themes for that first book of mine, "Time Conquers All". My heroine is a strong warrior princess who finds her love is from centuries in the future.

On marketing -- Big question.
I market every way I can. While I thought it would be a plus to have books in multiple genres and book types, I've found it hard to market every book evenly. Example - I have a growing number of Urban Fiction (African-American is variation) which is totally different than the Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention goers I hang out with. While we have been offered sales at Walmart for the Urban Fiction, it just doesn't pay a small publisher such as myself to go to bed with Walmart because of the steep discounts they expect and their payment structure.

I always say, "Everywhere I go, all my authors and their books go." To me, it's not so much how much you market the books, but the frequency and locations you have the books for sale. The more on-line bookstores, conventions, book signings, seminars, speaking engagements my authors have or the growing family of small publishers can participate in, the more often our books will get into the public view.

Now days, Amazon is saturated with too many books and the big bookstores are reducing their book inventory and lean too heavily on the BIG publishers to pay for their shelf and floor space. So, don't rely on the BIG bookstores to feed your authors. You must find other avenues for sales.

So, in regards to the problem I had marketing the Urban Fiction, I have listened to my authors and have found them alternatives to sell their books. Instead of selling at Walmart, I am making deals to get into the prison systems, which is the biggest purchasers of Urban Fiction books. And you never stop at just one source to sell at any one place. I have new deals in several places to reach the prison system readers.

My advice for any author or book publisher would be to always be open and be on the lookout for opportunities. Sounds simple but too often we think you must throw money at an opportunity to make it happen. It's easier if you have money to use for marketing, but in this economy, nobody can afford to spend frivolously.

Az Publishing has a growing number of books because we have a growing number of small publishing imprints who rely on my publishing house. Az Publishing Services, LLC not only gives them great book printing prices, but I work with them on the book production process, giving them the support and education they need to print professional looking books.

On your question about whether our books have found their way to television or movies.
Michael D'Ambrosio, author of "Night Creeps" and the "Fractured Time" series, and others not published through us, is also a screenplay writer. He has just been signed with an agent to handle his screenplay for "Night Creeps". Michael is also working with us on several other screenplay projects for upcoming books we are publishing within this year. So, while we don't have anything on television or at the movies, the operative word here is, "YET!"

Hope I answered your questions Gina. I'm sure I spurred other questions for you too.

Patti Hultstrand
Publisher/CEO/Author
Az Publishing Services, LLC

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