Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, May 14, 2009

second post of the day: book sales statistics

Just got off a teleconference hosted by Linda Joy Meyers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, featuring Kendra Bonnett. Bonnett talked about writing and marketing and covered internet marketing in particular. But the thing that struck me most was this: the importance of branding yourself and building your audience with the following statistics for the most recent year available from Nielson’s Bookscan: 1.2 million books published. 950,000 sold 99 copies or fewer (that’s 79%). 25,000 sold more than 5,000 (that’s 2%). 500 sold more than 100,000 copies (that’s an infintesimally small %). “Think getting a publisher who places your book in all the bookstores is your ticket to sales and fame? ” continues Kendra. “Well, think again. Seventy percent of all books in bookstores are returned to the publisher. That means no royalties for the author.”
Still want to go with a big publisher? “Hey, that great,” says Kendra.”But the best way to get an agent and a publisher is to prove that you already have readers who like your voice, your style, and your content. Creating a popular blog, driving traffic from social networking sites, and developing relationships will help you land the deal you want. Get started now.”

Well doesn't this just validate everything our dear old Dani has been telling us in our book blog class? It's hard work, and very time-consuming, but it seems it's the way to go to get book sales.



Galen Kindley said...

Hi, Karen, in a way, part of what you wrote was bad news for me: Branding. I just don't want to be branded. In fact, I'm working on just the opposite; I try to pitch myself as a Multi-genre author. Why? Well, I think it's tougher to write about different eras, epochs, and things, romance, adventure, historical, mystery, etc, than it is to write the 99th installment of the Joe Jones Detective series.

Now, I don't mean to offend those who do write those books. There's a readership for them, and they've published 99 books, so, they're doing something right, but, it's just not for me. So, if I gotta be "branded"...and this is not the first time I've seen it...I'm probably not gonna be too successful.

Best Regards, Galen

Patricia Stoltey said...

At least for fiction writers trying to get into libraries, there's one more critical element--getting a review from Publishers Weekly, BookList, Library Journal, or Kirkus Reviews. It appears that even a less than exciting review is better than no review at all. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Sounds like an interesting teleconference.I had no idea 70 percent of bookstore books were returned. That's shocking and sad.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

N A Sharpe said...

I have heard this before about making your web presence prior to shopping your book. To me it seems a bit of placing the cart before the horse, but, I guess I can understand the principal behind it.

NA Sharpe

K. A. Laity said...

The publishing model is positively nineteenth century and insane. Marketing yourself is tiresome and time consuming, but with the disparate information sources across the world, you have to let people know about your book -- and they won't if you don't do it. It's a difficult process. But I've found if you focus on finding the people who will be your audience -- whether they know it or not -- you will make them happy with a book they'll enjoy.

Linda Austin said...

Publishers these days are looking for sure bets, which means a writer with a ready-made audience or a "brand name." I join you in blogging and twittering my way out of obscurity.