What happens after I self-publish my book?
After you have finished the DIY production process through PublishingRoom, your book will
be available for purchase through our Bookstore on our Web site. Anyone can purchase copies of your book directly through our Bookstore. You can order copies of your book at your author-discounted price by contacting one of our customer service representative for a quote.
If you purchased channel distribution for your book,
it will be circulated through retail channels through our distributors. It takes about 30 to 60 days for your book to be circulated through the retail channel and updated in individual retailers' systems. Once your title is added to a retailer's system, the retailer will list your book for purchase on their Web site and/or individuals or store managers can place orders for your book through their own system.
You can also purchase additional promotional and marketing services through our Services Store to spread the word about your book.
Promotional efforts are key if you want the general public to purchase copies of your book.
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What is distribution?
Distribution means that your book will be made available to purchase to retail outlets
through the Ingram Book Network. Thousands of retailers worldwide will be able
to place an order for your book.
Will I be notified before my distribution expires?
Yes, you will be notified via email when it is time for you to renew your distribution
(about 90 days before your distribution is set to expire). You will also be able
to track your status through the Author Account Panel Web page. You do not have
to wait until you receive the renewal reminder; you can renew at any time.
If you do not renew the service by paying the
cost for distribution, your title will "expire" in Lightning Source's
system, which means that it will no longer be available for purchase through retailers.
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How do I renew my distribution?
You can renew directly through the Services Store by purchasing additional years.
If you do not renew by the indicated deadline to renew, you will have to re-purchase
distribution in order to resubmit your book for distribution.
My retail distribution is expired but my book is still listed
on Web sites like Amazon. Does this mean it is still available through retailers?
No, it is not available through retailers if your distribution has expired. We do not have direct control over other retail Web sites, and it is up to those
retailers to update their Web sites. If a customer attempted to purchase the book
after the title is expired, the order could not be filled and would be rejected.
In rare cases, there will sometimes be one or two physical, printed copies of your
book in storage. In this rare case, a customer could technically order the book
after the title is expired. If you are concerned and wish to prevent this, you can
order the book after the book's distribution is cancelled to ensure that any printed
copies are sold out so that it truly is inaccessible.
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How do I get started marketing my book to increase book
You can start putting your marketing plan together before you even write the first
word of your book, but if you've already finished your manuscript, you still have
plenty of time. First, create your marketing plan, a document that records the actions
necessary to achieve your marketing goals by defining your market, identifying your
customers or target audience, identifying your competitors and outlining a strategy
to attract customers.
There are a few basic decisions that must be clarified and defined regarding your
1. First, clearly identify your target audience, or the people who are most likely
going to purchase your book. Some aspects to consider about this group include:
age, sex, career, income, residence/location and education.
2. Second, identify the competition. The book market is a large and highly competitive
market, but you can use this to your advantage. Find out what books are selling
the most within your genre, experts in the field, your competitors' strengths and
weaknesses, the selling price and market demand.
3. Third, find out how best to reach your targeted audience, whether it is through
a particular magazine, Web site or geographic location.
4. Fourth, develop a statement to position your book within your targeted audience.
This statement should highlight what separates your book from the crowd in a bustling
5. Fifth, develop a budget for your marketing plan. How much can you realistically
spend on marketing over the next year? Over the next two years? Consider the type
of media you will use, promotional services and all other costs associated with
marketing. Once you have examined these important questions, the next step is to
develop your marketing strategy based on theses fundamental distinctions.
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What should be considered when creating a marketing plan?
Marketing strategies are the ways in which you will accomplish your marketing goals
and concern the "Four P's of Marketing": product, price, place and promotion.
First, when thinking about "product," construct a persuasive and impressive
product description to emphasize the special features, selling points and uniqueness
of your book. How do you wish to position your book within the targeted market?
Try to shape how the customer will view your book. How will the front cover look?
Remember, a book's cover is like the packaging of any other product and highly impacts
how customers perceive a product. PublishingRoom, through Wordclay, provides professional cover designers and
illustrators ready to help you will this extremely important decision. Also, make
sure to include material to meet today's book standards, such as an ISBN, which
you can obtain through PublishingRoom's Services Store, and neat and professional formatting
in the interior of the book. PublishingRoom's book layout specialists can design and format
your book's interior to ensure your book meets and exceeds standards of modern design.
The second "P," "price," involves developing a general pricing
strategy. Look at the price of other comparative books in the market. PublishingRoom allows
you to select the royalty amount and final selling price of your book, which is
based on the book size and page count. You'll need to find the balance between a
high royalty earning and a low selling cost to maximize profits. For example, if
your royalty is too low, you might sell a lot of copies because the cost is low,
but you may not earn your goal income because of the low royalty. On the other hand,
if your royalty is too high, you might make a lot on each sale, but you won't sell
as many copies because the selling price will also be high.
"Place" is the third "P" in marketing. Consider where the best
locations are to reach your targeted audience. This includes cities and the types
of selling channels. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the locations
you choose. For example, choosing New York City might be advantageous if it’s
your hometown because of your local connection. However, it is disadvantageous because
the area is overly saturated with publications and releases, so your efforts could
be lost in the crowd. Also remember your targeted audience and where to find them
when choosing locations. Consider if you want to reach customers through PublishingRoom's
Bookstore channel only, online channels only, or brick-and-mortar retail sales.
PublishingRoom offers Retail Distribution through the Ingram Book Network, which will
allow your book to be available through thousands of online and brick-and-mortar
retail outlets. We also offer the Retail Returns Insurance, which is extremely beneficial
if you desire to sell your book through physical bookstores. It enables retailers
to return your book if it doesn't sell, so they feel more comfortable taking a chance
on a lesser known title or author.
"Promotion" is the fourth "P," and involves specifying the advertising
platforms, forms of media, promotional efforts, marketing products and networking
that you will use to spread the word about your book. Your promotional efforts should
encompass various forms of media utilizing all kinds of avenues and efforts. There
are tons of different options to consider. You could run an ad in a local newspaper,
magazine or newsletter, or convince the media to print a review of your book or
an interview with you. PublishingRoom offers various services that can help you get more
review and interview requests, such as the Book Marketing or Expanded Book Marketing
press release services. You can even hire a personal publicist through PublishingRoom
for maximum results. Try networking with leaders or other experts in the field or
fellow authors in order to gain endorsements for use on promotional items, such
as Web sites, posters, flyers and postcards.
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Are there any tips or guidelines to follow when contacting
When dealing with media, retailers, and anyone else in the market, always remember
to be professional, polite and direct. Also, you should always follow-up with your
contacts. If you distribute a press release to the media, contact them within a
week or two. Do not expect results without a follow-up effort.
When you do follow up with an editor or reporter to whom you've directed your press
release, do not ask whether he or she received your news release because the answer
will mostly like be "no," followed by the person hanging up. Instead,
tell the editor who you are and that you sent them a news release related to your
book. Explain that you are calling to provide further information in writing a story,
review, or scheduling an interview. Also reiterate that you can send him or her
a free review copy of your book. Mention any recent scheduled appearances, book
signings, or other events that have occurred since you sent the release.
Be considerate of an organization's right to turn you down, and simply move on to
the next one. You can consider following up 90 days later, unless told otherwise,
with those who initially were not interested in an interview, book signing or review.
If you are scheduled for an interview, there are a few tips to prepare before the
date. Some questions to consider are: How did you come up with the idea for the
book? What is your background, education, and/or other interest? Is there anything
interesting about research you conducted for your book, such as interesting facts,
or the mode of research collection? How does your book connect with local interests
in the area your interview will be broadcast? What other works or authors have inspired
you? Practice answering these and other questions with confidence. If the interview
is actually in person (not over the phone), practice speaking in front of a mirror
to express confident and relaxed gestures and body language.
You should also have promotional material at your finger tips when networking. Personalized
material adds a professional touch to mailings or invitations to book signings and
events. You can customize letterhead and envelopes, business cards and postcards
through PublishingRoom. We also offer a ready-to-go kit for book signings or events, including
full-color posters to put up in the store, flyers to raise awareness and postcards
to mail out.
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How can I market my DIY-published book so that brick-and-mortar
bookstores will shelve the book?
When marketing your book to physical bookstore, first make sure to include necessary
book features during the publication of your book, such as a well designed cover
and interior, edited content, retail distribution through Ingram, and an ISBN. These
features are necessary for your book to be seriously considered by a retailer. You
should also consider the Retail Returns Insurance so that retailers will be more
likely to purchase copies of your book knowing they can be refunded if the book
does not sell.
Once your book is published, start by contacting the manager to set up a book signing,
speaking event, or reading at a local store, library or any other venue to build
local interest. This will help book sales once your book is on the shelf. Next,
try to organize a book selling event with a smaller, independent book store to gain
experience and local interest. By the time you move on to approach the larger chains,
you can provide examples of your success and will have more local support. Always
be courteous to the managers you encounter, have business cards, a sample copy of
the book and a press kit on hand you can leave with the manager and always follow
up if they cannot give you a concrete answer right away.
It's important to understand that some retail bookstores, especially chains, have
a policy against ordering books that they cannot return for a refund. By having
the Retail Returns Insurance, you can side-step this obstacle common to many self-published
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How can I market my book using the Internet?
A growing number of authors use the Internet to help market their book. Setting
up a Web page is a simple way stake your claim online. After establishing your own
personal Web site, or using the Web page provided on our PublishingRoom Bookstore and
purchasing a domain name through our Services Store, you can include your domain
name on all of our marketing material to spread the word about your site. Adding
a Web address to business cards, posters, postcards, flyers, and letterheads is
an excellent way to direct more traffic to your Web site.
It is extremely helpful to have retail distribution through Ingram to spread your
book to all of the various popular retail sites, such as amazon.com, borders.com,
barnesandnoble.com, and more. Many customers are loyal to a particular retail Web
sites because they prefer it over others or simply out of habit.
Utilizing the search programs already supplied by popular search engines, such as
Google and Amazon, will help increase Internet visibility. By signing up through
our Services Store, your book can be included in the Google Book Search and Amazon
Search Inside programs.
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What are some basic tips for setting up a Web site?
A basic outline of pages to consider including in your Web site are a home page,
book-detail page (one for each title), book reviews or other media appearances,
events calendar, blog or diary, and a links page.
Choose your domain name wisely. First, choose a name that is logical, such as the
title of your book or your name. It should also be short, so if the title is long,
do not use the entire title. Second, use words that are easy and simple to spell.
Don't use your last name if you usually have to tell people how to spell it, or
if it's an uncommon spelling; just use an initial instead. Third, consider registering
more than one domain name with different suffixes (.com or .net) and different spellings
if there are multiple for a word you are using (such as grey and gray) or if the
word is commonly misspelled (in which case, you may want to reconsider your choice).
Lastly, your choice must be available. If someone else already registered your top
pick, unfortunately, you're out of luck.
Use keywords to ensure your Web site is found through common searches. Pack the
opening homepage and the first paragraph on each page with words that represent
you and your book effectively. Try to think from an Internet user's perspective
and speak the language of your targeted audience. What keywords would someone search
for if they were looking for a book like yours? Advanced users can utilize
the metadata, or keywords about your Web site, on each Web page, which search engines
use to organize their search results.
Make sure your Web site is easy to navigate, edited, and contains current information.
Update your site on a regular basis to avoid outdated material and keep your viewers
informed by posting upcoming events, appearances and signings. Get your audience
involved by posting an interactive blog. Help them get to know you with an online
diary relating to your book, events, or personal stories. Never post anything that
you are not comfortable disclosing to the general public.
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Can I get involved in large marketing events, such as trade
shows and conventions?
Yes, you can get involved in large marketing events such as book trade shows and
fairs, conferences and conventions, and book festivals by researching upcoming events
and personally contacting their organizers. However, before you sign up, make sure
you have plenty of information about the event. Determine if the event is right
for you by analyzing the cost/benefit balance. What are your goals? How much exposure
or book sales can you gain? What will the total cost be for reserving a selling
booth, creating an attractive display, plus the cost of food and travel? Also, find
out if you will able to reach your specific targeted audience. Once you've fully
researched an event, you'll be able to make an informed decision whether or not
to get involved.
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