#WriterWednesday I’m Into Distribution: Do You Need to be in a Bookstore to Sell Your Books

Why did you become an author? To sell books or see your books in a bookstore? We all want distribution, nationwide distribution, but does being in a store actually sell your books? 

With my latest release, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, I attempted to answer my own question. I didn’t do what I would typically do, put it on sale through Ingram for distribution purposes, instead I put it on sale on Gumroad and directed all traffic there. 

Initially, there were only a few pre-orders, but since it’s release at the end of October I’ve sold almost 100 books and shipped them across the country and internationally. Now maybe to you 100 books isn’t a lot, but since according to Bookscan most books don’t sell more that 250 copies within the first year of its release I’m good. 

So, do you need major distribution? According to one my students if your book isn’t in stores then you’re not doing good. You may be of a similar mindset, but that’s the wrong mindset. If a bookstore doesn’t have my book when a customer asks for it they lost a sale. While I’ve built in exclusivity for my book and I am able to keep a majority of the money from the sale. 

A bookstore doesn’t sell your book, you sell the book, your marketing efforts sell the book, readers who recommend your book sells your book. With the whole world at your fingers, literally it’s time for you to be like me–I’m into distribution. 

Is this what your dream really is?

Why sell your book to a bookstore for a deep discount with no guarantee that the book will ever leave its shelf? If you can partner with an independent bookstore that’s going to help you move the books great, but if your book is just going to become another book on the shelf–I wouldn’t recommend it.

I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the traditional model. My ebook will still be available on Amazon, but I’m enjoying the liberty (and my dinero). 

You may be wondering what I’ve been doing to move Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. Well, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing: 

1. Praying. I made sure this book was soaked in the Holy Spirit. 

2. Working my marketing plan. 

3. Praying. 

Now if you need help any of these I got you–Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion: Prayers for Creative Christians and Entrepreneurs will teach you how to pray over your passion instead of slaving over your passion and if you want to work with me on your marketing, writing, or both book a Publishing Pow-Wow NOW and #getyourInheritance 

So, what’s it going to be? Is it a must for you that your book is seated on a shelf in a bookstore or are you open to exploring your option? 

Work in Progress: Children of God

I don’t know how this happened, but I haven’t blogged about my current work in progress. The work in progress that is driving me crazy. 

  1. This is my first book not set in New York. I am currently trying to find a way to work New York into the story line, however the protagonist is a New Yawker. 
  2. This is the first book that I had to do some serious research in order to work on. 
  3. I lost the USB that Children of God was saved on and I was 30K words deep into. 

Since losing the book about three weeks ago I’ve dug into the process of rebuilding the ruins. When I began Children of God I started it on my cell phone, so far I’ve recouped 10k words–10k random words. This week my task and goal is to continue writing and recreating the words that connected the randomness on my cell phone and get the story as fleshed out as possible.   

So here’s the deal, this is what Children of God is about:

Frontcoverdesign_Children of GodAnaiya Cunningham signed up for her church’s annual missionary trip to the Dominican Republic to escape the ruins her life has become. She was supposed to spend just one summer there that is until she meets Joaquín Dominque.

Joaquín is the pastor of La Iglesia de Valle and not a fan of missionaries. Although he’s devoted himself to caring for God’s people, he resents their ability to take off when trouble arises. The atrocities Joaquín has witnessed in the batey where his church is located has depleted his faith in God, dashed his hope in man, and turned the idea of finding a partner into nonexistent.

Determined to change his mind Anaiya volunteers to take on the missionary position permanently. Instead of in love she finds herself in the middle of the island’s immigration battle. Against Joaquín’s wishes Anaiya dedicates herself to fighting for the people and his heart. Will her passion be enough fuel to start a revolution and a relationship?

So, what do you think? Are you excited about this next release?

 

Balance. (FYI This is Not A How To)

If you came to this post seeking advice from a sage you’re in the wrong place. This is the Neophyte Author talking to you after all. 

What I offer in this post is a confession. I have been so unbalanced that I have accomplished a lot less than what I set out to accomplish.

In an attempt to establish and brand Inheritance Books I have neglected other things namely my personal brand.

How could that happen?

Well, I‘m not really sure how it happened. As I plotted and planned how to build my new company, which is now a year old I also bit off more than I could chew.

Do I regret it? No way. Within one year of business I released a book, started coaching other authors in the areas of marketing and writing, but where does that leave me?

For a moment I felt lost and I had some personal stuff going on that was trying to dim my light and as the to-do list got longer I stopped doing what I was supposed to do for me as an author.

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Many questions came to my mind during this process and they might be coming to yours as well, so here’s what I know, what I still don’t know:

Is a personal brand and business brand necessary?

For me yes. For you maybe. It all depends on your ultimate goal. I am an author and I run an independent publishing company. Eventually (actually very soon), I’ll be publishing other authors, so Inheritance Books must become known as a company that provides content that edifies and entertains. I still want to continue to write and that is separate from the company. I already have a tribe and you all may not want everything that Inheritance Books offers, so I have to build a tribe for Inheritance Books (and thank you to those who are supporting us).

Does balance actually exist?

I don’t know. With two kids who are in every class that requires them to be on the stage and requires me to be in either the audience or back stage there are some days I can’t do business. With a husband who is not a creative and doesn’t get what I do there are some days that I can’t do business. With a whole other career as an educator there are some days that I can’t do business. Currently I’m playing tug of war and I just decided I am going to win, by creating this balance that is highly sought after and rarely found. 

Is there anything I can do to get close to being balanced? 

Get organized. Get a planner and actually use it. Use your smart phone for more than posting on social media. Set reminders. Then let go and let it flow. 

Have you been struggling to find balance in your life? What do you do to keep everything in order and get stuff done? 

If you’d like to work with me send an email to nigeria@inheritancebooks.co to book a Publishing Pow-wow (for authors) or a Monster Manifestation Session (for creative entrepreneurs and digital brands and businesses. Visit Inheritance Books for more information. 

Writer Wednesday: Events

Contrary to popular belief the internet isn’t the only way to sell books.

Live Events are another way to sell books and network. 

Sales

A live event can be hit or miss. I’ve attended events where I’ve sold lots of books at full price and I once attended an event where I only sold four books. 

Here’s the deal though–you may sell out you may not, but one sale can translate into life long sales. For example after attending the BWABC in Tennessee I released Tempted to Touch and someone for Tennessee contacted me directly to order the book. 

Networking

This is your opportunity to meet other authors. You can soldify relationships formed over the internet or you can just learn and grow through some real life interactions.

Those interactions can lead to collaborations and you can gain insight about what other authors are doing to promote their businesses, establish their brand, and sell some books. 

After attending the National Black Book Festival a year ago an author from the MidWest told me about in-home books signings. I asked a few friends if they would host and praise be to God at least one person said yes. It gave me the chance to connect with real readers. 

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Challenge

For 2016 The Neophyte Authors wants you to attend a couple events. If you’re strapped for cash stick to local events in your city or create your own. Call up a coffee shop or the library and ask them to host you. 

And you’re going to say, I don’t know about any events or it’s too late for me to book now. No way. Obviously, it might be hard to get into an event going on in January, but there are events in the middle of the year that are still accepting vendors or taking participants.

Check out these sites to get started:

AALBC.com

Writer’s Digest

Poets and Writers 

What’s your dream event that you’d like to attend? Do have questions about attending events or preparing for an event? Do know any events that authors must attend? 

To Keep Up with the Neophyte Author sign up for my newsletter because I’ll be on the go. I already have two events booked for January. 

 

 

 

#FinditFriday: Book Blast–Anchored by Love

I’m definitely biased about this Friday Find. Please check out my #soulsis Unoma Nwankwor’s newest release. When you support her you’re supporting me.

NRCANCHOREDBYLOVEPHARPERBANNER

Publisher: KevStel Group LLC (December 4, 2015)

Author: Unoma Nwankwor

Publication Date: December 4, 2015

ASIN: B0175FT2EC

anchored-by-love

About The Book

When Jabir Danjuma met Damisi Odinga years ago, it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. However, their attraction can’t be denied. Just as he begins to feel the forbidden emotion, Damisi breaks up with him and moves half way across the world.

Now, Damisi has a request that only Jabir could fulfill. Their encounter sets off a series of events that leave them both with fresh pain and hurt. They vow never to see each other again, but fate has a different idea. Will they stick it out long enough for the Potter to perfect their scars and pain for His purpose or will distance and time steal the day.

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About The Author

Unoma Nwankwor is a romantic at heart. Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents. She spent her childhood and early adulthood years in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She is the COO of KevStel Group LLC, a faith based Entertainment Company aimed at providing uplifting and life changing entertainment through its movies and books.

Unoma is also the published author of An Unexpected Blessing (2013) , The Christmas Ultimatum(2013), When You Let Go (May,2014), A Scoop of Love (Jan,2015) and Anchored By Love (Dec, 2015). She has numerous published flash fiction and short stories. Her work has appeared in Africa Book Club, USA Today HEA blog and the Kenyan Ezine ;Wamathai and well as numerous radio shows and blogs. She is currently working on her next novel The Final Ultimatum.

Her readers are in love with her unique way of telling stories that capture the essence of her present home base; Atlanta Georgia and her Nigerian culture. Her stories which center on forgiveness, faith and hope have been described as a fusion of faith, romance and African spice.

After all, “and now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:13

Unoma resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and two kids.

Excerpt

“So I guess you’re my knight in shining armor coming to rescue the damsel in distress…”

The tone of her voice was not lost on him. There was an edge in it he didn’t like.

She continued, “How many of us have there been over the years?”

“What?” He stared down at her.

She sat up straight and scooted away from him. She stared at him. “How many of us have there been? Six years…let’s see…yeah, I remember the three-month rule, so what is that, twenty-four?”

“You want to do this? Now?” His forehead creased in confusion. What had he said? How could she go from sweet one minute to this the next?

“We might as well. All this pretending we’re all good is making my stomach sick.”

He sighed. He wasn’t going to take the bait. Besides, she really didn’t want the answer. She just wanted to find a way to not let him into her heart.

“Answer me. How many?”

“No.”

“No?”

“N-O. No.”

Social Links:

Website: http://www.unomanwankwor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNwankworAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/unwankwor

Purchase Links:

Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B0175FT2EC

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/anchored-by-love

 

Tour Hosted by Write Now Literary Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com

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Follow the tour: http://wnlbooktours.com/anchoredbylove

#WriterWednesday: Time to Write

As a neophyte author or aspiring author time to write doesn’t exist. In our materialistic society there very often isn’t time built into our schedules for things that don’t bring income into the home. Now add to that the fact that we live in an microwave society where everything has to happen within seconds–it makes it almost impossible for a new writer with bills to find time to write if the words aren’t bringing in the cashflow immediately. 

Here’s what you have to do–the same way that you have created a whole world of people with a series of issues that you need to tend to you must create your time to write. 

There are some writers who will tell you that you must write everyday in order to call yourself a writer. 

This next statement is going to be very controversial. I don’t write everyday and I call myself an author (don’t look at your computer screen like that). It’s true I don’t write everyday. I’ve written everyday this week, but I don’t write everyday.

 I’m a one woman show in a sense. While I am traditionally published Actually, I am no longer traditionally published. Let’s

Typewriter Story Writing

restate that–while my first two novels were traditionally published God and I have been my publicity team. With a full-time job as an educator in the classroom, a husband, two kids (who live with me unlike those girls on reality t.v. that get to leave their kids with their mamas while they pursue their dreams) writing everyday is really difficult. 

Now, when I do sit down to write here’s how I create time to write

  • Nix lunch. Skip your lunch break at work. Brown bag it and bust out the laptop. That’s an hour of writing there. 
  • Transform your down time–when I drop my girls off at dance class I tote my laptop with me and while their working the beat my fingers are flying
  • Classic Early Bird/Night Owl–Either you rise before dawn and everyone in your house lets out their first yawn or you stay up while everyone in your household enters the early stages of REM sleep. 

I used to feel guilty about not doing what everyone else was doing, but with my second novel Seasoned with Grace SEASONED-WITH-GRACE (1)scheduled to be released, July 28, 2015 and a novella, Tempted to Touch coming soon with Inheritance Books. The guilt has been assuaged because I do not write everyday that doesn’t make me any less of a writer than anyone else. There are teachers that I work with who teach night classes and Saturday school. I haven’t stopped calling myself an educator because I don’t teach eight hours a day six days a week. It would be foolish for me and any other new  other to discredit themselves because they haven’t found their footing yet.  I’m going to continue creating time to write when I am able to and recommend you do the same. 

How do you currently create time to write? Which one of the suggestions above might help you create more time to write and advance your goals. 

For more information about making time to write and publishing if you’re in the New York City are please join myself and author, Theresa A. Campbell at the Yonkers Public library for a workshop on the path to publication–where we share our authortalk theresa & nigeria (1)experiences and tips and tricks to help you get past the dream stage and into the area of manifestation. 

#WriterWednesday: Comparison Kills

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Hebrews 13:5

You are gifted. You are a creative force to be reckoned with, but something is killing you and stunting your progress. Do you know what’s killing you?

You are killing you by comparing yourself, your success or your seeming lack thereof to other author’s successes. Stop committing writer suicide–comparison kills.

4 Ways to Change Your Focus

1. Become a trailblazer–while it’s important to know what’s out there, what’s going on, and what’s trending you don’t become a staple by following the trends. Trailblazers are monumental. Trailblazers don’t try to conform with the norm, but they operate their gifts the way they want. Many Christian Fiction novels are set in the south or a small towns, but all of my Leader Solutionswork has New York City as it’s backdrop. Why? New York is who I am as an author. I am asphalt not green grass. Now, I could imagine small town living to grab the audience and keep up with the trend, but in my mind every girl living in a small town is named Misty and speaks with a twang, but I know New Yawkers and they’re in my heart, so I write what’s in my heart. I’m blazing my trail. I don’t have time to look at the fire beside me while generating my own.

2. Know what you deserve-You don’t deserve anyone else’s success. Furthermore, you don’t want it either because you have no idea what the price of that success was. You deserve to be successful, but you can’t have the success that God has promised if you’ve got your eyes on someone else’s. Trust in His word and in the plan that he has for each one of us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11) Repeat this verse each time you find yourself eyeing someone else’s success and get happy about what God has for you.

3. Be Consistent. Be Flexible-Consistency mingled with flexibility is what makes a brand or an artist successful. Think of your favorite author or musician who’s been able to span decades. They consistently produced work, but they were flexible enough to grow with their audience. Stop looking at the accolades of authors around you and keep producing good content and just like a diamond buried in the earth someone will discover you.

4. Get Real-Some authors have teams of people promoting them, some authors have publicists that they work with on a regular basis. If you don’t have any that then be real with yourself–there are two things you can do. Either you save some duckets so that you can afford a team or publicist or pat yourself on the back for your efforts and keep going until you reach your destination. Get real about how long it takes to become a success. Rome wasn’t built in a day neither was Oprah, or J.K. Rowling. 

Bottom line stop trying to walk in other people’s shoes they’re not your size. Walk in the blessings and the calling that God has placed upon you. Own it each day and celebrate you each day. 

What advice do have for authors who committing writer suicide by comparing themselves to others? 

#WriterWednesday : Mental Health Day

Writers are wacky. Yes, I said it. We live with people and stories in our heads. Words haunt us at times and characters cajole us out of bed to tell their tales. What every writer needs to do frequently is take a mental health day, Take a break from the words and the people living in your head and connect with the real people in your life. Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And Decisions

Stop yelling at me and looking at the computer screen funny. I know that you need to write. You are a committed and dedicated artist who must write something every single day. Now for the reality check in order to write well you need to be well. Yes, in fits of madness, sadness, or even depression you may feel like a creative genius or you may produce your greatest work, but those moods are not enough to sustain your writing career, 

Take a break. As a matter of fact do something us writers rarely do–celebrate you. Celebrate the work that you accomplished. If you only typed one word today bust out the Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider and do a happy dance you are not where you were yesterday. Don’t even get into that self-deprecating train of thought, but I’m not where I want to be. You are not where you were and you are taking steps to change that. Celebrate. 

I give you permission to celebrate. 

#FridayFind Fall of the Prodigal by Michelle Lindo-Rice

This week’s find is quite special because Michelle and I share the same publisher. Michelle is a real sweetie and has been very helpful to, so please be sure to support her latest release by ordering a copy or sharing the news. 

THE-FALL-OF-THE-PRODIGAL Cover

 

About the Book

A condemned man, his two brides, and one untimely death.

Michael Ward is at the top of his game and he doesn’t need anyone or anything. Money is his new best friend–until he’s arrested for a heinous crime. As much as he hates to admit it, Michael needs his brother, Keith Ward, the man who stole his wife and children. Will Michael open his heart to forgive his brother?

 Verona “Tiger” Stachs has been Michaels’ attorney for years. She’s in love with him, but is tired of being treated as his guinea pig. A lapsed Christian, Verona finds herself being drawn closer to God. She thought she was through with God, but soon discovers He’s nowhere through with her. Which relationship will she choose? 
 
Keith Ward’s a prominent minister and family man, yet he yearns to rekindle his relationship with his brother. When Michael calls him explaining that he desperately needs his help, Keith jumps at the chance to set things right with Michael. Will Keith be able to lead Michael into the light?
 

Read an Excerpt:

Rape.

What an ugly fourletter word. The very idea was preposterous. He had been arrested for rape. Michael Ward shook his head, remembering the charges written under his mug shot. He did not have to take any woman by force. Look at him.

He was at the top of his game. He began as an architectural designer. Then he moved into real estate where he purchased, rebuilt, and resold properties. It took some time, but his name meant something in the hotel resort business. Patrons knew any building bearing the MJW seal signified quality and topnotch service, for a price, of course. He had two MJW hotels in New York City, three in Atlanta, two in London, and one in Dubai. He had spa resorts sprinkled across Florida, Texas, and Chicago, all with the MJW stamp of approval.

Now, after all his hard work to build his empire, Michael could not imagine a nineteenyear old bringing him to his knees.

Last week, he had been cracking open a bottle of champagne, celebrating his newest property acquisition in Colorado. This week, he was squatting in the corner of a four-foot cell, waiting on Verona “Tiger” Stachs to post his bail and negotiate the terms of his release.

How had he gotten here?

He had been booked on multiple sex and assault charges and had almost lost his cool at his arraignment. The fact that it was September 11 was not lost on him either.

Someone had set him up, and once he was out of here, he intended to find that person and make him pay.

 
 

Read sample chapters and join Michelle’s reading list at www.michellelindorice.com

The first two books in the On the Right Path series

1. Walk a Straight Line

2. My Steps Are Ordered

 
Bio:
 
My pictureMichelle Lindo-Rice is the bestselling author of Color Blind. She enjoys crafting women’s fiction with themes centered around the four “F” words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. She was nominated for Author of the Year 2014 in Building Relationships Around Books book club. Michelle’s first published work, Sing A New Song, was a Black Expressions Editor’s Choice featured selection. My Steps Are Ordered, the second book in the “On the Right Path” series made the AALBC bestseller lists on May/June 2014 and August/September 2014. My Steps Are Ordered was also#1 in UBAWA’s 2014 Top 100 list.
Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner. She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook,Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University, A pastor’s kid, Michelle upholds the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. 
Feel free to connect with her at:
Website: www.michellelindorice.com (Please join her mailing list)

 

 

Pathways to Your #Passion: Are You a Brand?

Branding. The one word that drives almost every author crazy. One of my very first posts on The Neophyte Businessman Computer Planning Marketing Brand ConceptAuthor was about branding, “Building My Brand (and yours)”. I didn’t know what I was doing then and I’m not claiming that I’ve got the answer now–there’s a reason this blog is called The Neophyte Author. One thing that I realized was after establishing a brand you want to make sure that what you’ve established as your brand is actually being recognized in other people’s mind.

I was going to do that evaluation when my one year anniversary came, but since it blew right past me in December I decided to let the sleeping dog lie. Actually, I didn’t want to have to deal with the idea of rebranding if I wasn’t successful. However, if when you’re brand isn’t an instant hit rebranding isn’t the first step for me or you. After a review of Born at Dawn was published on USA Today I realized it’s a fine time for some reflection for me and for you.

A brand needs time to be developed before you can decide it doesn’t work. Take Coca-Cola for example, during it’s first year nine servings of were sold per day. Doesn’t sound like the start to a brand who’s logo was trademarked in 1888 is still recognizable today and is probably responsible for several thousand cavities. 

Are You a Brand (only in your head or in other people’s eyes)?

What is your catchphrase, your one liner, your slogan? What is it that you do in one sentence. I write fiction for the renewed mind.

  • This line should adequately reflect your product, your purpose/mission, and who your audience is.

Check the break down

Writing Fiction for the Renewed Mind

What do I do: I write made up stories (Writing Fiction)

Purpose: Entertain and Edify (Fiction and Renewed Mind)

For Whom: Christians. Will non Christians like it? I hope so, but my intended audience are those who are already Born Again. (For the Renewed Mind a reference to Romans 12:2

Are You and Your Brand Synonymous?

Are you who you say you are? Check. In today’s social media driven world we’re all only one Google search away from, what is done in the dark being revealed and what was said in a corner being shouted from a mountaintop.

If you’re not who say you are you better get right. This is particularly true if you are a Christian author. What we do requires a level of transparency, consistency, and commitment that other genres don’t require. People do not expect J.K Rowling to be a wizard or that James Patterson has committed any of the crimes that fuel his legal thrillers. However, when you proclaim the name of Christ there is an expectancy that you are what you are selling and promoting. If you’re speaking life you need to full of it and people should be able to recognize that.

Who are you and what are the markers of your brand?

Personally, I’ve known for a long time that I’ve got a way of capturing the grit or the pulp of life in words. During grad school my peers would say I’m good with the vernacular. I was offended at first, but then I realized that my brand of writing is gritty, grimy, and for the everyday person. Yesterday that was confirmed by Michlle Monkou of USA Today who said that, ” Gritty, inspirational, and powerful mark Lockley’s brand of fiction.” The grit is me and the inspiration and power have come from God’s redeeming and transforming power. While God makes all things new He is able to use what we were to influence those He wants to reach and touch.  Consider a couple of the authors of the Bible:

Luke the physician–a doctor. Someone good at describing things and who also has the skill to put things in laymen’s terms is the author of two very spellbinding books of the Bible–his own epistle and Acts.

Paul–formerly known as Saul who had a penchant for letters before His conversion. When he was Saul he used his love of letters to persecute Christians and when he gave himself to Christ the Lord used that same passion and letter writing ability to pen a majority or New Testament. He did need a little rebranding, but the Lord took him through that process.

We’re able to look at these men and recognize their brand and distinguish their writing from other books of the Bible. Now what about you–does anyone recognize the marker’s of your brand without you telling them? Are you a brand? Have you established of the basic tenets of branding to test the water? Regardless, of the answer let’s remember Coca-Cola, let’s remember that only one hundred and twenty were assembled in the Upper Room and look at how many have received the Spirit of Christ since then. This is only the beginning and you can always begin again. 

Post your work, an excerpt, a link to your work or some type of ad you use to promote your work/brand in the comments and let’s assess your brand.