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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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Last month, the London Book Festival shared a flurry of information about publisher’s rights, the growth of book sales and the continued discussion of eBook sales dropping. While, the latter cannot be confirmed 100%, as the biggest eBook seller; Amazon, does not report its eBook sales to anyone other than their authors, no one can confirm that eBook sales are down.

But if they are continuing to decrease in sales, what does that mean for YOU, the Author?

While Amazon continues to grow in its monopoly of book sales, that doesn’t help you, the author, in any form. In fact, it hurts you, as many authors feel that the only way to sell books is through Amazon.

There are over 1 million authors selling on Amazon these days. With so many titles, it’s a whirlwind of information that overwhelms any reader. This then leaves the author to either purchase Amazon’s marketing programs and hope it helps them break out of the pack, or they can try to search for other tools and programs that help readers find them, such as Book Festivals, Social Media, Book Stores etc.

Texas Authors, Inc. continues to create new ways to help authors meet readers and increase opportunities for authors to sell books. BUT, all of these services and programs only work if the author is willing to invest the time and energy to market themselves and their books.

Many authors simply want to write and let someone else sell their books. That’s great if you have the extra income to spend. A publicist, or marketing expert can cost thousands of dollars and there is never a guarantee they will generate enough book sales to cover their cost plus earn you an income that allows you to continue to happily write.

The majority of serious authors, those we call Authorpreneurs, have learned that they must find every possible way to promote their books at the least expense. By doing this, it opens the door wide for those in the industry to sell you a service that may or may not work, authors can again wind up spending more money and time with little or no results.

Collaboration with fellow-authors who share their ideas and experience helps a great deal, and that is something that generally happens more freely and openly in meetings and events. In addition, finding out from the experts what has worked for them and how any author can tweak a program or service to get the most from it is just as vital, and worth far more than one may expect.

TxAuthors is here to help by providing many opportunities. This includes book festivals, book store events and marketing programs. As we continue to grow in membership, we can continue to grow in opportunities and programs. We encourage every author to read the Author Updates, which we send out three times a week, then participate in programs that fit their needs.

One such program that is gaining recognition and international support is our Authors Marketing Event. It is a weekend full of fun, meeting fellow-authors and continuing education by attending seminars designed to help you! Now is the time to prepare yourself for a future life as an Authorpreneur and increase your ability to sell more books. Learn more here: http://Authors.Marketing.

Remember, if you recommend us to other authors who then become members, we offer a 10% referral fee. Here is the link to share: https://texasauthorsinc.wildapricot.org/join-us

Getting a review for your book is a daunting task. More and more companies that were free, like Kirkus, now want to charge for their review. At the same time, newspapers, magazines and even Amazon are refusing to display or print a paid review. The ever changing world of publishing.

I recently received a magazine entitled Forward Reviews which is distributed to Librarians across the country. Along with the library uploads we are doing, this too is a great way for libraries to learn about a new book release. I contacted the company to get their specs on how to submit a review request and have listed their response below.

I hope this helps many of you who don’t want to pay, or cannot afford to pay, for a review. If you use them, please keep me posted on the response you get. Thanks.

Thanks for your interest in Foreword Reviews. Here are details on the two book review options available through Foreword Magazine, Inc:

Foreword Reviews print magazine: Our quarterly review journal—which we print and send to subscribers at libraries, bookstores, and avid readers—mostly reviews books before they are published or very near to their date of publication. To be considered, submit your galleys or review copies to the Review Editor as soon as they are available:

 

Foreword Reviews Review Editor 425 Boardman Ave Traverse City, MI 49684

If you are unable to send a physical review copy, you are welcome to send an electronic version. Email a PDF, MOBI, or EPUB file to ebooks@forewordreviews.com.

Clarion Review: For authors and publishers who have struggled to get a professional, objective review of their book, with a book three months or more past its pub date, or simply want to be guaranteed a review of their book, we offer the fee-for-review Clarion service. Finished books, galleys, and pdfs are all accepted and will receive a review within 4-6 weeks. We guarantee the same quality review provided in Foreword Reviews magazine.

This professional 400+ word review/critique is useful for marketing and promotion. Authors have also used Clarion to obtain objective feedback on a manuscript, so that they might make improvements to the book before publication The fee is $499 and is open to all books and all publishers. Orders for the Clarion Review Service can be placed online or by phone 231-933-3699. You can find more information here: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/reviews/#service-clarion-review

With the author’s permission, both Foreword Reviews and Clarion reviews will also be archived with the top three title information databases used by booksellers and librarians: Bowker’s Books-In-Print online, Baker & Taylor’s Titlesource 3, and Ingram’s iPage, in addition to the Foreword Reviews website.

Check-out our website to determine which service best suits your book: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/reviews/

By Ellen Harvey

Originally Posted on Book Business March 11, 2016

The Digital Book World Conference & Expo (DBW) notably shifted its attitude towards major technology platforms this year. The platform giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google were ominously dubbed “The Four Horsemen.” They were referred to as such throughout the conference, and the language used to depict these companies matched the apocalyptic theme. Described as more powerful than most nations in the world and largely free from the confines of the law, these four technology platforms were blamed for the decline of all other forms of media and, it was implied, the decline of society itself.

In the opening keynote of DBW, Jon Taplin director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, explained the damage the Four Horsemen had already done. He said that over the course of the digital revolution, “$50 billion moved from content creators to platform creators. . . The digital revolution isn’t just coming after artists’ incomes, it’s coming after everyone’s jobs.” In a Wednesday keynote on antitrust and technology, Jonathan Kanter, an antitrust partner at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, explained that these platforms have captured this market share by becoming massive intermediaries that control the moneymaking side of content, including advertising, search, and adtech. “As these intermediaries get bigger, more money will be stuck in the middle and less money goes to the individual,” explained Kanter.

So how can publishers combat these massive entities? Antitrust enforcement is key. Taplin said that there are legal precedents in the U.S. that support a more equal distribution of technologists’ power, like the antitrust action taken against Bell Laboratories several decades ago. The government demanded that all of its licenses be provided for free for other companies to use. That technology included the microchip, the transistor, the microwave, and a slew of other inventions that consumers and companies have come to rely on. “Think of the possibility if Google had to do the same today,” said Taplin.

Kanter explained that antitrust efforts should focus on areas where the Four Horsemen sacrifice the well-being of their platform to protect their power. “Antitrust laws don’t penalize big,” he said. “They penalize exclusionary conduct.” He gave the example of Google promoting its own products in search listings over those of its competitors. Currently an antitrust case in Europe is investigating this practice. Kanter encouraged that similar action be taken in the U.S.

Both Kanter and Taplin said during their respective keynotes that disintermediation is an effective way to lessen the monopolistic power of the top technology platforms. Kanter identified disintermediation as the next revolution of the digital era, and the biggest fear of the Four Horsemen. “They’re worried about people being able to go direct to a user or buyer,” said Kanter. Taplin added that today’s low-cost distribution systems makes direct sales more attainable for content creators than ever before. He cited the creation of Sunkist, a cooperative of citrus growers that decided to bypass distributors to sell their products directly to retailers, as an example of disintermediation’s success. Taplin added that the Sunkist model is one that book publishers could emulate.

It’s interesting to note the rapid change in rhetoric at DBW, and perhaps a bit sobering too. I remember at last year’s conference representatives from both Apple and Amazon were present to share their plans for the future of the ebook. Although attendees questioned whether these technologists had publishers’ best interests in mind, the sentiment seemed to be that ultimately these tech giants were a necessary evil. Publishers had to play nice in order to succeed. If this year’s conference is any indication, it seems that book publishing leaders are prepared to get much feistier in order to protect their businesses.

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.