1. The Hollow
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    The Hollow Member

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    advertising costs

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Hollow, Aug 28, 2012.

    Does anyone know how much it would cost to have your book featured in a major bookstore, such as barnes and noble or borders?

    I was wondering...if a self published book were to be carried at one of those stores (I know barnes does if it has an isbn and a few other requirements), could the author pay to have it featured more prominently? Or do the overlords of the stores decide this? And if you can pay for a more prominent display, about how much?

    Thanks.
     
  2. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    A book with an ISBN listed on BIP is generally eligible to be ordered through B&N. So, if I walk into a B&N and request the book, they will order it for me and I can pick it up in store (or have it shipped to my house if I order through the website). There ends your distribution through B&N.

    B&N is not going to shelf your self-published book. In theory, if your book was wildly popular, someone, somewhere in B&N's buying group may consider giving it shelf space. But if you made the book that wildly popular, it wouldn't really matter, would it?

    So no, you can't buy your book table time as a self-publisher, let alone more prominent shelf space. If you could, you would be competing with St. Martin's Press, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and every major, well established publishing house. I cannot imagine you'd be able to afford it. Like NYC real estate, there is too much competition and too little space.

    As an aside, you won't be selling anything through Borders since the company was liquidated almost a year ago.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't have the necessary industry contacts. A prominent publisher would. That means far more than trying to buy influence, especially when you are asking a chain to risk its reputation by promoting something that most likely isn't up to the hype.

    Self-publishing is far more than bypassing Big Business to get your book in print. You are expecting to compete with long established publishing firms, with no staff, no budget, no network of professional contacts, no experience, and most likely in your spare time.

    Those providers of support services for self-publishers will seduce you with stories of easy fame and profit, They don't give a crap whether you succeed or not, as long as they make a profit from your vaivete or desperation.

    The big publishing houses only succeed if you succeed, which is why you have to meet their quality assessment to get into the game. They know the market, and they can cut the overhead costs far more effectively than you can. And if you can't meet their criteria, your submission probably doesn't have what it takes to succeed anyway.
     
  4. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    This ties back to an earlier point made elsewhere.

    Self-publishing is not (or should not be) simply the Plan B to trade publication. You need to fully examine the path ahead, you need to formulate a business and marketing plan and once you have done all of your homework, then you need to decide if it is something you want to do.
     
  5. The Hollow
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    The Hollow Member

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    Ah, I see. I had read an article somewhere on small local bookstores that allow authors to buy similar advertising in their stores, and wondered if the bigger stores did anything similar. I suppose not for people like me, anyway.

    So how exactly do self publishers promote printed books? Are they limited to the internet and a few odd shops? I haven't self published, but was considering it. I keep hopping back and forth between wanting to self publish, and wanting to publish traditionally.
     
  6. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    The bulk of advertising for self publishers is through the Internet.

    I was vacationing in Florida last year and wandered into a little bookshop. I discovered there was a book signing that day by a local author. Because I'm curious about weird things, I flipped through the book she thrust into my hands and looked up the publisher.

    But she had a book signing and a prominent display. That's good, right? Considering we were the only people in the store, I don't think so.

    Books I purchased on Amazon in the last 12 months: 9
    Books I purchased at B&N in the last 12 months: 1
    Books I purchased at a local bookstore in the last 12 months: 0


    I realize not everyone shops for fiction like I do, but it's just something to keep in mind. A lot of people are into buying from the kindle or nook store.

    It is difficult to say how self publishers advertise. Different people do different things and to varying degrees of success. There are people who spend tons of money producing YouTube videos and sending press releases and never make their money back. Then there are people who offer their first book for free on their website (or on the Kindle) and develop a following that sells future books in the series.

    If there was a tried and true formula to selling these books, every self publisher would be making money. The fact is that most lose money.

    At the very heart of the issue is that our book needs to be good. If you have to choose, you should pay for professional editing from a proper editor well before you consider producing YouTube videos (when was the last time you bought a book because of a YouTube video?). You should pay for professional cover design and interior layout before you spend a cent on google ad campaigns. And you need to have a very nice (not a "good enough" generic template) website before you try to get yourself pitching the book on cable television.

    Even moderate Internet success takes a lot of work. But it can be done if people want your product.

    I self publish stories because I like to write and because I enjoy marketing. I really enjoy marketing. I didn't discover how much I enjoyed it until I took some graduate level coursework in the subject. Self publishing is kind of like a combination of experimentation and exercise to help me develop that marketing bug on a practical level.

    If self publishing sounds "easier" than trade publishing. It isn't for you. If you are,self publishing because your work is unsuitable for any publisher, it isn't for you. Research and plan. Do a lot of that. Write down a lot of costs and look at the total project when you are finished. Then consider if it is something you want to do.
     

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