Category Archives: Update

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New publisher – Westbow Press

Update: As of August 2015, the book has a new publisher – Westbow Press!

It’s unsettling for a self-published author when your publisher announces they’re closing their doors. Thankfully, Westbow stepped in and coordinated with Crossbooks. My book was sucked over into their system with no hiccups at all. They were incredibly easy to work with.

You can find the book again at all online retailers.

As always, I’d appreciate you leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads or the online bookstore of your choice. It helps! If you’d be willing to leave a review, leave a comment below, and I’ll send you a free copy! – JN

Happy two-year anniversary

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Super Center Savior’s publication. It’s been a humbling journey the last two years with a lot learned about three selfs:

  1. Self-publication. I chose Crossbooks as my publisher, and they have been great to work with. If I were to self-publish again, I would have no hesitations in choosing them. The only thing I regret doing is buying 500 copies of my own book. Their sales person talked me into it, and at the time, I thought, “It will be easy to sell that many copies around town.”It wasn’t. I still have a couple of cases. Moral of the story? Don’t buy your own book! It’s good to have 50 copies available, I would say, but beyond that, unless you have opportunity to speak to various groups, I would encourage you to just buy what you think you need at the time.
  2. 2-year-logo-squareSelf-promotion. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of publicizing a book that self-publishing requires. I still have folks tease me about my promotion of it. You need a thick skin in the self-publishing market. There are very few people outside of your mom and a few friends who will continue to talk up your book after a week or so of its publication.Initial enthusiasm and early Amazon rankings are great. On its release day, it climbed to #5 under Inspiration, #86 under Spirituality, #31 Kindle Inspiration under Best Sellers. However, it’s sustained help from friends and others that help a self-published author get noticed and contribute to the success of a book.
  3. Self-IE. The “IE” here stands for initiative and effort. Be prepared to work. That should be obvious from the self-promotion topic above, but coordinated book signings with bookstores, recruited blog reviewers, set up book giveaways on GoodReads, etc. Unless you have an incredibly proactive champion in your corner, no one else will assist you or guide you through the months after the book’s release.

THANKS

I can’t thank all of you enough who have read the book, shared it with others and encouraged me personally. It’s still surreal when someone new mentions the book, leaves a review on a website, or contacts me about it. One amazing thing about a “book” is that its message sits there quietly, within its bound pages, just waiting for someone new to pick it up. It doesn’t matter when it was released. As long as it’s available, there’s content within that can impact lives.

May you discover and enjoy a love relationship with Jesus that leads you into 24/7 living for His glory and other’s blessing.

-JN

Why the book appeals to senior adults

We continue to hear anecdotes of senior adults in traditional churches who thoroughly enjoy Super Center Savior. It’s an interesting observation and trend, and we wonder if you’ve heard similar feedback from family that may be in this demographic.

If you have, we’d love to hear about it in the comments. In addition, we’d encourage you to give a copy of the book as a gift to a grandparent or friend and ask them to let you know what they think.

Confessions of a self-published author..

Check out Jeff’s post over on his blog about walking through a bookstore.

“Really?!” I think. “This book gets shelf space and featured and even published.. while mine doesn’t even make it into the store? I KNOW mine is more helpful, valuable and better written…” And the perplexing thoughts continue. And then I walk by (on the way to the bathroom) the three ENTIRE SHELVES of manga.

Happy book birthday!

The book turned one on December 18, 2013! One year of being in publication. I’ve learned so much about the publishing process and being an author over the past year. I am grateful for all of your help and support.

Self-publishing a book has a lot of rewards, but it’s also a lot of work. I couldn’t have done it without each retweet, recommendation, referral and review. Please keep them coming!

I’m excited about 2014 as I begin work on a new project. I’ll keep you updated! Make sure to follow me on Twitter both at @supercentsavior (book account) and @journeyguy (personal account).

Happy New Year!

Ideas solicited for promotion

I’ve been researching today what other self-published authors do to get the word out about their books beyond their own sphere of influence. (i.e., my Facebook and Twitter friends are getting tired of being bombed about the book)

I’ve read several great suggestions and here are a few of the better ones:

  • Sponsor a Pinterest contest. (I hardly use Pinterest, though I confess to having an account.) I wouldn’t know how to go about this without further research, but I did learn that the times of 6-10p are the optimal pinning times. Wow.
  • Create a launch team. I wish I’d thought of that back in December. I’d love to implement the idea of a 30-day period to see what could happen. Basically, you recruit 6-10 people and ask them to help you identify avenues for promotion and to even use their circles of influence – both digital and personal to get the word out about the book.
  • Giveaways. I’ve done this on both librarything.com and goodreads.com. Perhaps I didn’t give away enough copies (5 on each), but the stipulation was to write a review of about 200 words related to the book to enter the giveaway. I haven’t seen any fruit from either giveaway yet.
  • Mail out books to select bloggers and sites. In process.
  • Create an internship. This idea was submitted via Twitter by Allie, and it’s a great one since Virginia Tech has an excellent PR and communications department. I’m going to look more into it.
  • Simply suck it up and find a literary agent. This is a strong option as well since I have other writing projects in queue.

What other ideas do you have to help a self-published author or content creator?

Calling all reviewers

A great turnout at the book signing in Monticello, Arkansas

A great turnout at the book signing in Monticello, Arkansas

As we mentioned in the last post, online reviews are important to the book. First of all, they help communicate to people who are shopping online and look at the reviews. Second, and this is key for the book’s promotion, online reviews encourage book merchandisers to buy the book to sell in stores – as in brick and mortar. As a book generates good online feedback, it is a definite plus to encourage store buyers to pick up the title for shelf space in their stores.

We’ve been so appreciative of early reviewers of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and CrossBooks, but now we need your help to generate some second-month buzz about the book through your reviews. Since the book was released on December 18, help us to get to 18 reviews on each of the following sites (click on the link to go to that site):

If we had to prioritize the sites, we’d encourage Amazon, GoodReads and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks for your help!

 

Online sales

Blacksburg got walloped with a nine-inch snow on January 17. My daughter Adelyn and I ran outside for a quick snow selfie.

Blacksburg got walloped with a nine-inch snow on January 17. My daughter Adelyn and I ran outside for a quick snow selfie.

Many folks have asked “How is the book doing?” Truth is, I have no idea. CrossBooks, my publisher, doesn’t release data until the end of the quarter, and so I won’t have any idea of that until after March 31.

Online is where it’s at… for now

To date, the book is on most major online retailers. Sites like Amazon, Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, Family Christian Stores, etc. all carry the book. Crossbooks began publicizing the book in their new release catalog sent out to thousands of stores and chains across the nation just a week or so ago, from my understanding. That means that they “buyers” for bookstores, or merchandisers, will have the opportunity to see my book advertised in that publication and then decide if it looks interesting enough to select for in-store sales.

This is one of the reason we’ve peppered the airwaves – or web streams – with promotion about the book and asked people consistently to write reviews. The merchandisers will, many times, check out feedback on online sites that carry the book and see how people are responding to the book there. If they see good reviews and feedback, they will be more motivated to carry the book in stores.

Why is getting the book in stores important when web sales are dominating the market these days?

Great question! One reason is people still love to browse bookstores. I suspect you have done that yourself a time or two. Walking up and down book-laden shelves, a book will often catch your eye that you weren’t even looking for. You may then whip out your smart phone and compare the store price with the online price, but seeing it in the store triggered an interest. (By the way, this digital price comparison is called “show rooming” and is one of the main reasons for Target’s recently announced matching-price policy.)

Soooo… it’s very helpful for the book for you to write a brief review – whether good or constructively critical – and leave it on a site or two. Of course, leave it on the website that you bought it from, and then consider leaving a review on one of these book sites:

For those of you just stepping into the Super Center Savior site, here’s how the book finished up on it’s Buy-Launch Day on Amazon on Saturday, December 22, 2012:

Under Best Sellers:
#5 under Inspiration
#86 under Spirituality
#31 (for Kindle under Inspiration)