Amy Collins is the author of The Write Way: Everything You Need to Know About Publishing, Selling and Marketing Your Book. She worked as a Book Buyer for a large books and magazines publisher, selling to Barnes & Noble, Target, Costco, Airport Stores, Walmart, Books-A-Million and other major book retailers.
Amy used to be a musician. She needed Christmas presents one year and decided to take a part-time job at a bookstore. When the season was over she planned to return to her life as a singer but she was persuaded to stay on. A year later she became the book buyer for that store. Within a year she was promoted to book buyer for the entire chain of 16 stores. She was offered a job as a sales rep for Prima Publishing (now a division of Random House). Five years after that she became director of sales for a nonfiction publishing house in Boston.
Ten years ago Amy decided to start her own business and level the playing field for small publishing houses and independent publishers. She wanted to give them the same opportunities that the big publishing houses have to distribute their books to stores and libraries.
This interview was information packed!
We talked about how to develop marketing plans, productivity, various revenue streams that authors can receive, and how to get your book into brick and mortar bookstores and libraries.
There are several different revenue streams that authors can receive from libraries from direct sales to licensing deals and more. If you want to learn even more about Amy’s step-by-step process for getting self published books into libraries after you listen to this podcast, you can check out the free webinar with Amy where she walks you through the library distribution process for self published authors.
Here are some of the takeaways from the interview with Amy:
• The rules change every six months. You have to stay informed and know what’s happening in the publishing industry.
• Print-on-Demand (POD) is a business model that allows you as the publisher to take advantage of the technology of digital printing along with just-in-time ordering to create a print on demand program for your readers.
• If your book is 300 pages or less and black and white, or a children’s book that’s 48 pages or less, print on demand is a wonderful business model that allows you to earn in profit for each book (which is all you should expect anyway) and take all the risk out of it.
• If you realize there is a mistake you can fix it almost instantly and all future versions of your book will be corrected. In the old days Amy would have to throw out the entire run of a book with a printing error in it. Now all you have to do is correct the book file, send it to CreateSpace or Ingram Lightning Source and move forward.
• It’s possible to get a print on demand book into libraries and the bookstore chains today, and Amy has helped hundreds of self published authors do just that.
• If you want your book in libraries and bookstores you need your book to be professionally edited and have a professionally designed book cover.
• If you have a quality book, the fact that it is print on demand won’t prevent you from getting into libraries and bookstores.
• Independent brick-and-mortar bookstores are a growing sector of the economy. In 2009, there were 1,691 independent bookstores. Today there are over 2,100 independent bookstores.
• If you want to get into independent bookstores, approach the American Booksellers Association. They have some wonderful programs that aren’t too expensive. Get your book into the White Box Program.
• The key to getting your book into bookstores as an indie author is to start locally. Start with your local bookstore and library. Go see the manager and head librarian and give them a copy of your book. Local businesses and libraries want to see authors from the area succeed.
• The big chains are different. To get into Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million you have to start by pitching to someone at their corporate offices.
• It’s easier to convince a librarian to give your book a chance. Librarians always want to see local authors succeed.
• Bookstores don’t like to give their money to Amazon. If you want to sell your book in brick-and-mortar bookstores sign up for the print on demand services at Ingram Spark a.k.a. Lightning Source.
Check out The Publishing Profits Podcast show to get weekly interviews from bestselling authors, publishers, literary agents, publishing attorneys and industry experts who share their secrets to publishing success at http://publishingprofitspodcast.com
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