Articles tagged "Previews"

From the Vault: How Previews May Help You Sell

Picture 10A while back, I explained why previews and reviews are crucial to sales. Seeing as more and more people are publishing every day, I thought it would be helpful to share this post again. Please enjoy this post “From the Vault.”

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job. Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how many books lack a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail,” on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year. For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, three things help me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what the book is about. So, that’s step 1 – think about your description and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a chance on your book.

Tips & Tricks: Book Previews – Entice your Reader without Even Trying

In an earlier blog post, Nick talked about the benefits of having book previews. Here we’re going to talk about how to create and what things to keep in mind for a great book preview.

If you’re anything like me, reading the description of a book isn’t enough for me to buy it. It’s a start, but those first few pages are key. Many times I find myself standing in the bookstore with almost the first chapter read when I start heading to the checkout counter. That’s what a book preview is! When the description isn’t enough, a book preview is a great way to draw people to your book.

A couple of things to consider when setting up your preview:

  • Are you just previewing the first pages of your book (The table of contents, the copyright page, a blank page, etc) or are you previewing enough that the reader can get a feel of what the book (or CD) is about? Don’t waste your time or your reader’s time with the first pages of your book. If they are pages you would skip in the bookstore, pretty sure the reader will do the same for your book. Give them something they want to read!
  • Preview doesn’t equal the whole book… unless you want to. Put up what you are comfortable with. If you do want to put up more than a few pages, think about having a free download of the first few chapters.

Now on to the how-to… Step-By-Step Preview Generation

A couple recent happenings here at Lulu…

  • Free ISBNS and Expanded eligibility – Did I stutter? No, seriously! For a limited time only we are offering our PBL (Published By Lulu) ISBN service w/ retail distribution, free of charge! Click here for more details.

In addition, we’ve also just recently introduced a new expanded eligibility plan for distribution which should allow more published content into our distribution programs than ever before. Check to see if your book is eligible and sign up today!

  • Lulu users in the UK will be pleased to learn that we’ve expanded our payment options to allow payments using the Visa Electron in £ (GBP). In the coming months, we hope to offer even more payment options in both £ Pounds Sterling as well as the € Euro.
  • For Photo book creators we’ve expanded on some image editing features in the Lulu Studio™ allowing users to rotate the angle of their images within a photo book. If your digital photos were taken at an angle that prevents them from displaying right side up, simply hover your mouse over the image to display a “rotate” icon which will allow you to rotate your image 90 degrees at a time.

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Lulu Studio now allows you to rotate imageswithin your photo book.

 

  • Flash Previews are now available for Lulu Studio™. We’re happy to announce that we are able to offer the same Flash-based previews for Lulu Studio photo books that we offer for our full line of book products.

 

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  • Lulu’s Community Homepage has had a bit of a makeover. While aside from appearance, not a whole lot has changed, we think you’ll find the new layout much more appealing and user-friendly.

 

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Additional release notes and other fixes have also been posted here in the forums.

-Adam

 

Giving It Away – How Previews May Help You Sell

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job. Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy, other times I am checking out whether it’s in violation of our membership agreement, and still others I am looking for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how much of it lacks a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail”, on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year. For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, and I’m in a bookstore, three things that make me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what it’s about, because it’s a lot. So, that’s step 1, think about your description, and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, and why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism, and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a risk and pay for your book.

The second thing I look for is who is recommending the book to me. If I see an author I recognize (and like) telling me they like the book, then I am more likely to pick it up. Since self-published authors can’t always get someone well known in their genre of choice to recommend their book, it helps to have people who are willing to give thoughtful and honest reviews of your work regardless. If it looks like your mom is the only person who reviewed it and loved it, I hate to say it, but I’m probably not going to buy it (unless your mother is Haven Kimmel or another woman whose writing I enjoy).

The final thing that will convince me to purchase a copy of a book I’ve never heard of before is being able to read the book, or at least part of it. I cannot stress how important this is. Barnes & Noble will let me sit in their cafe, read a book while drinking some Starbucks and never blink. They do this because they know that A) I will buy their overpriced snacks (and I will), and B) because they know I am more likely to buy something if I can read some of it first. They also know, I am unlikely to read an entire book in the store and then put it back on the shelf. So, they let me sit down, get comfortable and read, hoping I will like what it and buy it. The same thing applies to selling books, cds, and anything else online. People are unlikely to read an entire book online, and even if they do, if they like the book, they are probably willing to pay $15 to own a copy. On the other hand, if you don’t have a preview, no one knows how good your book is, and they aren’t as likely to give it a try.

This is why we advocate offering a preview. You don’t have to put the whole book or album up for people to read/listen to, just put up what you are comfortable with, and you think will help convince strangers and loved ones that they want to read, and/or listen to the whole thing. I can’t guarantee that you’ll sell 500 copies, but I can guarantee you’re more likely to sell copies if you let people try it first.

Nick Popio