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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why don't I offer Christmas specials on my books?

As Christmas nears, I've noticed several of my fellow authors are offering special deals. These deals go something along the lines of this: Purchase title "X" for only $5... and have it signed by the author!

I'm not posting this to discourage my fellow authors, or to put them down for choosing to offer these deals, but I've often been asked to share my sales techniques. So here is my take on why doing those deals is a bad idea.

Retailers give my books shelf space and exposure to new readers every day. I can either reward them by encouraging people to purchase only through the retailers, or I can make a higher profit margin per book by selling directly to readers. 1) Sales made through the retailers show up on my royalty checks, which impresses the publisher, which in turn translates to future contracts. 2) Sales through retailers help keep the stores in business, which in turn means that we authors have more opportunities for the all important book signing events. 3) Beating the price of retailers who sell my books, puts me in competition with them, rather than a partnership.

An important part of wise salesmanship, is developing and then maintaining good relationships with your retailers. These points are invalid for an author who decides to go 100% e-books, or focuses on driving Amazon sales, but for a career author publishing through traditional houses, my advice is: Do not put yourself in competition with the retailers! They can be your best friends.

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"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.