Articles tagged "scott steinberg"

Should you just give it away?

What’s better than free?

It might seem irrational, but one of the best ways that authors have found to gain popularity and profitability for their eBooks has been to, well, give them away. Authors have found that dropping the price of their books to $0, at least for a short time, leads to dramatically better sales when they do raise the price.

[Recommended Reading: How Free Books Build Your Brand as an Author and Authority]

Speaking on The Self Publishing Podcast, independent author David Wright found that this type of promotion works, especially with writers who work in genre fiction. “Free downloads drive sales,” he said. “Especially with the serialized fiction model, where if our readers get our first episode for free, they want to read on, so they buy the next episode or the full season.”

[Recommended Reading: How To Serialize with Lulu]

Dropping the price of your eBook can help raise your sales rank and visibility, while, at the same time, promoting other books you’ve written. Of course, the lost revenue can sting a bit, but who knows if readers would have taken the plunge on your book if you hadn’t taken the cost-free promotional plunge?

But is a free promotion right for you? For serialized fiction, the answer is yes. Get readers hooked, and then get them to buy the rest of your series or your other titles. For experts and speakers, the answer is also yes. You want to spread your brand and name, and an eBook is even better than just giving out your card. Use your eBook mainly as a promotional tool — not a revenue stream.

Here’s who this promotion might not work for: writers of long, literary fiction who depend on sales to make up for some of the painstaking work that went into their novel. It might also not work for historians, who also put in a tremendous amount of time and energy and whose specialized knowledge has a place in the marketplace and should be able to find a readership despite its cost.

Either way — it always helpful to experiment with different marketing tools. Dropping your price to zero might feel weird, but the eventual reward could be huge. If it doesn’t work out anyway, it’s just as easy to start charging more for your book, and go back to the drawing (or writing) board.

Have you tried this technique? What was your experience?

How To: Market a Self-Published Book

As an independent author, dozens of companies, sites and services will offer to show you how to market your self-published book – for one low fee, naturally. However, the reality is such: Provided you pick and choose your battles, and are smart about evaluating opportunity costs, doing so typically requires a greater investment of time than money.

Thanks to the rise of technology, online and social media tools, suddenly, anyone can advertise and promote their works affordably – meaning, for the most part, that you can tell coaches and consultants to take a hike. However, for those who do choose to go the DIY route, it also bears remembering: Even in the best of cases, from a promotional standpoint, due to the sheer volume of products, services and announcements competing for attention, you’re still screaming into a wind tunnel.

Happily though, with a little ingenuity and a good hook, you too can effectively market your works to the masses, potentially scoring high-profile placements and media mentions. Interested in getting started? We counsel keeping in mind the following hints, tips and advice.

Image is everything: People are visual creatures, and tend to accept what they see at first glance: From book covers to websites, social media profiles and business logos, everything needs to look top-notch, as it directly impacts perceived value. So if you have to cut costs anywhere, don’t let it be on presentation: If a picture says a thousand words, they should all be positive. Happily, professional-looking covers needn’t cost a fortune, crowdsourcing design sites can aid with affordable graphics and you can easily use off-the-shelf blogging solutions and plug-and-play visual templates to create high-quality websites.

Source advance quotes to build credibility: Ask recognized experts in your field, including thought leaders, well-known executives and other authors to read your manuscript and offer some endorsements (“Joe Smith’s work is a must-read!”) before even announcing the volume.

Lulu Exhibits 102 New Titles & Hosts NYT Bestseller at Book Expo America

Book Expo America (BEA), the largest book convention in the nation, just finished in New York City. As attendees entered the show, they were greeted with 102 Lulu books that were exhibited as part of the BEA New Title Showcase.

To celebrate our ten year anniversary as a leader in Open-Publishing, Lulu also invited three bestselling authors to attend the show, sign free signed copies of their latest titles and explain why they picked Lulu over other publishing options.

On the first day of the show, congressional candidate turned bestselling political author, Kevin Powell, signed copies of his 11th book “Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King,” which explores modern politics and pop culture through recent events such as the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin.

Lines wrapped around the corner as numerous show attendees recognized Kevin from his appearance on MTV’s “The Real World.” Being a very charismatic and charming personality, Kevin was a big hit at the show and made a point of engaging with each person who waited in line to meet him.


David Thorne, New York Times Bestselling Author, signed copies of his new book “I’ll Go Home Then, It’s Warm and Has Chairs: The Unpublished Emails” during the second day of the show. With a very strong following, Thorne quickly signed over 250 copies of his book.

Joining other well-known blogging celebrities, Thorne also sat on the closing keynote panel for Blogworld & New Media Expo which took place in conjunction with BEA.

Book Expo America 2012: Three Authors and 36 Million Reasons to Meet Them

Lulu is headed to Book Expo America (BEA), one of the largest publishing events in the world, next week, but we’re not going alone.  Three of our very own authors will be on site June 5th – 7th signing free copies of their bestsellers and, more importantly, sharing tips on how to make it in this lucrative new world of open-publishing.

The line-up of bestselling authors at BEA includes New York Times Bestseller David Thorne, former congressional candidate and political author Kevin Powell, and marketing/tech guru Scott Steinberg. This is a can’t miss for everyone attending BEA, so stop by to see us at book #3476!

Lulu Founder and CEO, Bob Young, will also be there presenting on two panels Sunday, June 3rd.  Bob will be calling on his years of salesmanship and expertise to share valuable tips and insights for publishing success.  Both panels take place this Sunday at the Javits Convention Center in New York.  Bob’s speaking schedule below:

  • 9:00AM – 9:50AM – Room 1E14 – Break Through & Publish You
  • 1:30PM – 2:20PM – Room 1E13 – Publishing Partners That Put Unknown Authors on the Bookshelf
Lulu’s presence at BEA comes hot on the heels of our 10-year anniversary, which had us celebrating our authors making over $36 million in revenue in our decade-long history.  At over 677,000 published eBooks and over 618,000 published print titles, we’re more excited than ever to show the folks at BEA just how easy it is to publish works in all sorts of markets and formats more profitably than ever before.  See you at the show!

Writer’s Bloc: An Inside Guide to the Publishing Business

Writer’s Bloc: An Inside Guide to the Publishing Business

Welcome to the wild world of self-publishing – one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys you’ll ever undertake. But make no mistake: It can often be a long, difficult and bumpy road as well. Navigating the publishing industry’s ups and downs has always been a rollercoaster ride. But in an era of breakneck change, as the realms of digital, print and on-demand publishing increasingly collide in strange and unexpected (not to mention smartphone-, tablet PC- and app-friendly) forms, consider. Nowadays, it’s more akin to taking a regular spin on Space Mountain. Daily. And after having chugged a Big Gulp and binged on theme park hot dogs to boot.

That said, I’d like to personally welcome you to the party: Just by taking the time to visit this blog and learn more about the day-to-day realities of working as a published author, you’ve already justified your presence on the VIP guest list. As the creator of nearly a dozen books on business and technology, including the bestselling The Modern Parent’s Guide high-tech parenting series and The Business Expert’s Guidebook (which explains how to use everyday apps, gadgets and online services to start and successfully run any small business), trust me when I say that the festivities are just getting started. Ask anyone who’s been published, and they’ll let you in on a closely-guarded industry secret: Coming up with the idea for your next life-changing masterwork, and even writing the book, is merely the beginning.

How Free Books Build Your Brand as an Author and Authority

Scott Steinberg wants to help parents navigate the weird world of gaming and technology as they raise their kids. He wants to help them so bad, that he’s literally giving this advice away for free. If they want it for free, that is.

In an interview with Portfolio, Steinberg describes how his new book, The Modern Parent’s Guide to Kids and Video Games will not only be released in different formats, but at vastly different prices as well (ranging from $17.99 to zilch.) On his website, he offers a paperback version of the book (available through Lulu), and a digital version, available free for the Sony reader.

But how effective a business model is offering both a version that costs money and one that is absolutely free? Is that even a business model?

As Steinberg explained, “Free giveaways facilitate brand-building, cement subject matter expertise, and foster huge publicity wins. These opportunities not only allow you to do something positive that benefits readers, they can also potentially lead to new relationships, fruitful speaking engagements and heightened goodwill.”

By offering a free version, Steinberg sees the tradeoff between profit and publicity as being completely equal. It doesn’t mean completely giving up on the idea of turning a profit on your self-published book, but by giving digital copies (or excerpts) away, an author can help promote their name and foster goodwill (resulting in even greater exposure and sales).

In the traditional publishing model, authors have to promote their books. But in self-publishing, we’re finding more and more that authors are using their books to promote themselves — especially when it comes to how-to guides or areas of specialized knowledge. For Steinberg, who is established in the field of advising parents about technology, his book aims to help build his flourishing brand.

Sometimes, the best way to establish that you’re a qualified source of information, is to literally have written the book on it. If you’re pursuing a career in consultancy, self-help, or expert analysis, self-publishing is a great way to build your brand and establish you as a bona fide source of knowledge.

Put succinctly by Steinberg, “Many authors consider books the best form of business card available.”

For additional reading on the topic, check out our blog post Make More Off Your eBook by Selling it for Free.

Thoughts? What examples do you know of authors selling their eBooks for free? Did it incentivize you to download the book?