In this video I share some tips and strategies for publishing fiction faster and easier.
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Did you know that getting your ebook into libraries can be a great way to boost your book profits if done properly? However, the issue is that, aside from it being very difficult to convince libraries to license ebooks, there is currently little opportunity for authors. While there are some services that connect authors and libraries, many are saying that it’s an imperfect system for everyone involved. We’ll go through the existing opportunities, and then follow up with what one service is doing to make things better for authors and libraries.
The existing system in many ways seems like it might favor authors on paper, but that’s far from the truth in reality. Services like Overdrive and 3M have a large catalog of ebooks that they are offering more digitally-inclined libraries. Most of these titles cost about $80 for a yearly license, with most of the money going back to the author. That seems great because you’re getting a nice chunk of change every year, and libraries need to renew the license to keep the book.
However, there are a few flaws with this system. Due to the price of the ebooks, most libraries are nervous about licensing too many, especially since they have to continuously pay to keep the book in stock. Many library managers also find this practice unfair because when they buy a book, they keep it for life. They can buy additional books, but they don’t need to pay yearly to keep it in stock.
Another issue is that, even though authors are making a lot of money per license, individual authors are typically making very little. Most are seeing less than $100 per year. The best way to increase this sum is to make ebooks less expensive and more available to libraries, which will in turn make them more willing to purchase additional licenses.
EbooksAreForever, or EAF, is a new service provider in this field that is currently in beta and is looking to rapidly expand in the library sphere. Unlike the previous system, where libraries pay for yearly licenses, EAF allows them to buy book licenses once and keep them forever. Most of the title are at regular book prices (around $7.99 for full novels) which makes libraries more enthusiastic and inclined to try this system.
But, doesn’t this hurt authors? You’re making a 70% royalty for each sale, but $5.60 seems hardly worth it. EAF has a few ways to fix that. First of all, libraries have to purchase a license based on how many times they want to book rented out. For example, one license allows a single patron to rent the book. Two licenses would allow two patrons to rent the book simultaneously, and so on. Most libraries get at least three copies of any book to ensure a good user experience, and they may get more for very popular books.
EAF is looking to include as many libraries as possible into this system, which can spell huge earnings for authors. Let’s say that you make $7 per license, each library buys three licenses and 1,000 libraries are interested in your book (which is a very small figure for popular books). That’s $16,800 for just adding your book to a new platform, and it can go up from there. And just think of this: there are currently more than 120,000 libraries in the US alone.
Upload to EAF
Uploading your book to EAF is a very easy process, and it just takes a few clicks and some text entry. The problem now is that they are currently cherry-picking books since the system is still in its infancy. However, you can still go to the website and ask them to evaluate your book. More popular ebooks are getting priority, but new ebooks are also being considered. Also, they are not accepting erotica yet, but are considering it in the future.
Also, in case you were worried, you can publish your ebook on other platforms like Nook, iTunes and Amazon and still have it added to EAF.
EAF is looking to better connect authors and libraries in a lucrative agreement that will help authors make money and libraries better serve patrons. While the system is still a little closed because it’s fairly new, many think that it has the potential to storm the market. It’s best to get your catalog added now so that you can join the early wave of authors as libraries excitedly try to incorporate ebooks into their physical catalog of books.
Not Finishing Your Book
While this may seem obvious, how many writers start out with an idea and never finish it? So many writers never become published authors, they stay in the purgatory of “aspiring authors” who want to publishing something, but never have the discipline to finish their books. Some don’t even start the work. They keep thinking about and improving the idea, but they never put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and start the process.
You can never be a bestseller, or even an average or subpar author, if you don’t finish a book. Sit down, get the words out and finish your book.
Writing Without Marketability
Being ready to write isn’t enough. You can’t just make any type of book you want and expect the sales to happen. You have to create a product that has true marketability. That means that the book has a place on the shelves, or that it fills a void or need within the market. There’s nothing wrong with making the book of your dreams, but there should be an audience for your book.
Make sure that your book has true marketing viability before starting. This means checking the current status of your genre of choice, researching reader groups to make sure they would buy a book like the one you’re planning and seeing if the book can really attract readers’ attention.
Never Promoting the Book
You made the book, now what? Now isn’t time to sit on your laurels and expect the big bucks to roll in. It’s time to market your book. Without making things too brief, there are two things you need to be concerned with when it comes to book promotion. You need to consider your author platform, or how you market people to yourself as an author and a content creator, and your book promotion platform, or how you market the book itself.
The former is about keeping people interested in you. This promotes long-term sales, and keeps people coming back for more. The latter is about short-term sales and making sure that your latest product brings in a profit. Normally book promotion takes the forefront, but you also have to mention yourself so that your more interested readers check out your blog and social media outlets.
One Book and One Outlet
Too many authors are finished after their first book. They put so much time, effort and energy into their first book and they don’t want to duplicate that process again. They also judge success based on their first book, and when sales are slow (which they generally are because no one knows who you are), they give up and don’t pick up the pen again.
Also, too many authors only consider themselves writers. There are dozens of ways to make money as a content creator. You can become a coach, consultant, hold webinars, affiliate related products, become a paid public speaker and so on, and there’s no problem with combining these methods to improve your profitability. Just remember that you have options and you constantly have to expand your product line and your methods of making money.
Never Getting Help
Being an author is more than just writing. You can be an amazing wordsmith, an award winning writer, and still fail as an author. That’s because you need have a profession cover, profession editing, and a compelling title and description. The bestsellers get the extra education or help when they need it. Others go it alone and never fully develop the skills they need to truly make it as an author. Be sure to pay the money or time for these other skills.
As you can see from the list above, making it as a great author is more about marketing and expanding yourself as an entity. Writing is definitely important, you need a strong product, but you need to do more if you want to become a bestselling author. It isn’t hard if you’re willing to do the extra work, but it’s impossible if you only focus on writing the book and doing nothing afterwards.