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Members of Texas Authors, Inc., are welcome to post on our blog for other fellow members, or for the general public.

Each blog post will be approved by the website administrator and must not contain promotion of ones book. This is meant as an educational posting program.

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Based on a few articles over the years, it has become clear that authors who have a book in their local library tend to see an increase in book sales, based on the quality of their work. Recently, we did a survey with Texas Libraries to see how much money was being spent toward book purchases of Texas Authors. It was very low, as we sadly expected.

Of the libraries that responded, the average annual allowance to purchase new books was $15,000 (this did not include the large cities with populations over 500,000). Of those funds, 10% of it went to purchasing Texas Authors books. With an estimated 8,400 published authors that’s tough competition.

Many authors donate a copy of their book to libraries, and most are grateful for that copy. However, there are a lot of libraries that refuse them, not because of quality, but because of the cost of turning it into a hard copy so it will last longer. That process averages about $15 per book and higher, an expense that librarians prefer not to spend on unknown authors.

The alternative for the author is to use a service that gets their Ebook into the library at no cost to them, and very low cost to the library. One such program is the Self-E program by the nationally respected Library Journal. This is a free service for self-published or hybrid authors. TxAuthors charges $10 per title to cover our time and to keep it super easy for the author.

Through our efforts, over 330 books are in the Texas system, with an estimated 50 books receiving reviews and moving up to the national database. Texas is the second largest database in the country and we are proud to help increase the opportunity for authors to find more readers. The Library Journal will be honoring us, by creating a special web page in their system just for Texas Authors. No other state is scheduled to have this done. While this may not seem like a big deal, the fact that they want to work with us and promote Texas Authors is a huge compliment for what we are doing.

In addition, because of this success, the Library Journal has been working with the San Antonio mass transit system VIA to allow for passengers to have access to those books. It is a free service to riders, who can read the books on their smartphone, ipad, etc., while on the bus.

On our bookstore web site, we have over 1,500 titles. At least half of those should be in the Library Journal program. Therefore, we encourage you to sign up and take advantage of this opportunity now, so when they begin adding Dallas, Houston and other Texas cities to the list, your book will be available to those readers as well.

The fact that this bus program results in no royalties for authors is a drawback. It does, however, allow for authors to find new readers and that can be more valuable than being paid a few cents in royalties. As always, there is never a guarantee of readership of one’s book, but increasing your chances to find new readers is the goal. For those authors who have multiple books, don’t put them all out on the system, but at least put one or two in the system, so people can discover you and will want to buy your other books.

If you had signed up for the Library Journal program and do not want your book available for free to readers, please email me so we can have your book removed from the system.

If you would like to get your book added into the system, you can either do it yourself, or pay us the $10 processing fee to get it up quick and easy.

This is a great opportunity to expand your options, I hope you will take advantage of it. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

About a month ago, I discovered an app that I can use only on my Smartphone called Ripl. It’s easy to use and allows your creative mind to work within its limits to create videos you can use to help promote your books.

I have used Ripl to make 12 videos so far, and I enjoy the simplicity of it. You can, of course, upgrade to gain access to more styles and music, but even the free version is quite valuable.

To get a better sense of the videos I’ve made using the app, I have created a video for YouTube where you can see 6 different video styles. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/usSVn7nDBiI

I hope this helps you to become more creative in marketing your books.

By Stephanie Barko

Originally Posted on San Francisco Book Review March 3, 2016

After setting up a social suite, many writers and new authors stare at their shiny new profiles wondering what to do with them. Although it’s perfectly fine to jump in and get your digital feet wet at this point, it doesn’t hurt to have a social strategy either. Thinking about your own social strategy right now, how would you characterize it?

•Do you bounce around socially?

•Are you so concerned about security that you are super careful about who you connect to? •Are you promiscuous on one social profile and reserved on another?

Regardless of your current social behavior, let’s take a look at what it might be like with more structure. As you skim through these ideas, think about how adopting a unique social strategy might help your readers to find you.

On Facebook, you can deliberately follow a business, organization, brand, product, public figure or cause. Let’s say you choose to follow a product. A user of that product may have a following that could include the readers you’re after.

Example: A nonfiction author who writes about how to run a better nonprofit Likes an organization on Facebook. The organization learns about the author’s book on nonprofit management through her Like and buys it.

LinkedIn is a great place to stick to a specific strategy. Be more selective here than you are on any other profile. Try connecting with folks who could help you run your business or become your customer.

Being discriminatory on LinkedIn makes it easier for you to search for both business partners and readers.

Example: A sci-fi author only connects to book reviewers on LinkedIn who accept sci-fi. When he reaches out to reviewers he is connected to on LinkedIn, they all take his subgenre and so are more likely to accept his book for review consideration.

While the temptation on Twitter is to connect to profiles with big followings, you really want to follow profiles with big followings that are likely to follow you back.

Example: You want to start showing up on podcasters’ radar and decide to connect with some on Twitter as an icebreaker. You like two podcasts equally, but choose to follow @bizbookwriter on Twitter over @NPRFreshAir because the former follows back. Instead of following Fresh Air on Twitter, you sign up to receive its feed instead.

For extra respect on Twitter, remember to have more Followers than you are following.

Whoever you connect to on Google+ take advantage of the G+ feature that categorizes your followers. Customize your follower categories to include readers, prospective book buyers, publishing partners, book bloggers, family, and friends.

Example: An editor starts following your Google+ posts and you follow back, categorizing the editor as a publishing partner.

The coolest thing about Google+ is that everything you do here is indexed by Google. Watch what happens to your page rank when you become a Google+ regular.

In summary, when you’re choosing who to follow, don’t just choose people and pages you like. Choose who you Like by the following they make available to you.

About

Texas Authors, Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed to help Texas Authors learn how to better sell and market their books.

We work closely with our partners DEAR Texas, Inc., and Texas Authors Institute of History, Inc., both nonprofits that have created additional programs and events for Authors.