Dan Joseph’s “The Last Ride of the Iron Horse” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

Dan Joseph’s “The Last Ride of the Iron Horse” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 12 The Last Ride of the Iron Horse Dan Joseph Baseball
2 17 Bandstandland Larry Lehmer History
3 20 Baseball Under the Palms Sam Zygner Baseball
4 The Georgia Segregated School for the Deaf Knorr & Whatley History
5 3 What Springs of Rain Lindsey Lough Nature Photography
6 6 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
7 NEW American Citizen Ben E Myers Biography
8 2 The Foreman’s Boys William Marcum History
9 13 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
10 14 Collision Course William Cook Basketball
11 9 1780: Year of Revenge John L Moore History
12 8 The 1932 Yankees Ronald Julyer Baseball
13 7 Undoing Jane Doe Kristen Cunnane Abuse Memoir
14 NEW I Made a Short Film Now WTF Do I Do With It? Clarissa Jacobson Self-Help
15 18 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
16 16 Raising Monarchs Sue McGovern Nature
17 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
18 A Year of Change and Consequences Mark Singel Political Memoir
19 5 Fifty Years in a Foxhole Charles Kniffen Military Memoir
20 General John Fulton Reynolds Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
21 Look, I Shrunk Grandma Karen Severson Medical Memoir
22 10 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
23 Adventures in Distant and Remote Places William Lemanski Travel
24 Keystone Tombstones Gettysburg Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
25 4 Holocaust’s Child Amy & William Blocher History
26 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Brooks History
27 Dear Ma: Civil War Letters … John Hoptak History
28 Keystone Tombstones Civil War Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
29 24 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History
30 23 The Marines’ Lost Squadron Mark Carlson History
Alan Mindell’s “The B Team” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for July

Alan Mindell’s “The B Team” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for July

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 13 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
2 Going Home Sharon Marchisello Murder Mystery
3 22 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
4 NEW The Ghosts of Saratoga Ossont & Dampf Historical YA
5 25 On the Run Scott Stevens Crime Thriller
6 2 Magic Diary Pat LaMarche Historical YA
7 7 French Quarters James Snyder Historical
8 1 Purpose of Evasion JA Walsh Espionage Thriller
9 16 Murder on the Quilt Steve Kious Murder Mystery
10 18 When the Numbers Don’t Add Up Patty Bialak Detective Thriller
11 4 H_NGM_N JC Gatlin Murder Mystery
12 3 The Vatican’s Vault Barry Libin Detective Thriller
13 Murder in Tuxedo Park William Lemanski Murder Mystery
14 The Osiris Contingency Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
15 23 Breck’s Quandary Mark Mitten Crime Thriller
16 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
17 NEW Sentenced to Shakespeare Iris Dorbian YA Fiction
18 6 Dead of Winter Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
19 21 The Titan Strain Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
20 15 Till We Have Built Jerusalem Alan Craven Historical
21 8 Traces of the Past Steve Laracy Detective Thriller
22 17 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
23 19 As the Raven Flies Job Leach Crime Thriller
24 5 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmalee Historical
25 9 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
JB Toner keeps the top spot at Hellbender Books / Verboten Books for July with “Whisper Music”

JB Toner keeps the top spot at Hellbender Books / Verboten Books for July with “Whisper Music”

HELLBENDER BOOKS – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 1 Whisper Music JB Toner Supernatural Thriller
2 The Lurking Man Keith Rommel Psychological Thriller
3 Keeper of the Crows Kyle Romines Horror
4 8 The Book of Sariel Keith Rommel Supernatural Thriller
5 The Cursed Man Keith Rommel Psychological Thriller
Karim El Koussa’s “Jesus the Phoenician” is the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for July

Karim El Koussa’s “Jesus the Phoenician” is the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for July

ARS METAPHYSICA – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 3 Jesus the Phoenician Karim el Koussa Religious History
2 The ABCs of Narcissism Michelle Hoffer Self-Help
3 2 The Phoenician Code Karim el Koussa Metaphysical Fiction
4 6 Voice of the Red Dragonfly Jennifer Charlinski Metaphysical Fiction
5 1 Living in the Afterlife Michele Livingston Metaphysical
6 9 Messages from Beyond Michele Livingston Metaphysical
7 8 Stalked by a Demon Tess Rutjens Metaphysical Memoir
8 4 The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal
9 5 Pythagoras Karim el Koussa Metaphysical Fiction
10 7 Der Lange Verborgene Freund JG Hohman Folk Magic
PJ Piccirillo’s “The Indigo Scarf” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for July

PJ Piccirillo’s “The Indigo Scarf” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for July

BROWN POSEY PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 NEW The Indigo Scarf PJ Piccirillo Literary Fiction
2 6 You Are Not Alone Jyssica Schwartz Abuse Memoir
3 2 Ulysses in San Juan Robert Friedman Literary Fiction
4 5 Rainwalkers Matt Ritter Climate Fiction
5 The Search for Roy Buchanan Tory Gates YA Adventure

The Fundamentals of Book Marketing

Your book has been released and you can search for it on Amazon. It’s a good feeling. All of that hard work and there it is, for everyone to see. But are there many seeing it?
At Sunbury Press, your book is available Internationally to bookstores and online. But just like we discussed last month, that is like a drop in a vast ocean of books people have to choose from. So how are they going to find yours?
If you’ve done your homework from last month, you have been researching small pools to wade into; pools that align with the subject matter of your book. But you have to capture and communicate with those new fans.
You’ll need an author website. If you are only ever going to write one book, you can make the site entirely about your book and its subject matter. However, if you intend to write and publish more books, then your site should be about you and the URL should be your name in some form or other. Domains are not expensive, and it is the beginning of your author brand, so I encourage you to get one.
If you are a new author, or if you just don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on a website, I suggest two free options: Weebly.com and Wix.com. You can purchase domains through them as well. They both allow you to create a very nice-looking site, even if you have very little technical ability. If it still seems overwhelming, find someone who can help you through it. Both of these sites allow you to pick a theme, drag and drop images, and tailor it to meet your needs. At a minimum, you should have a homepage, a page dedicated to your book, and a contact page. We’ll talk about other pages in the future like media and social share pages.
On both of these free site options, you can create a contact form to go on your contact page. This allows visitors to “talk back” to you, making communication two-way. You want to create relationships with your subscribers in order for them to become fans. It takes time to respond, but it’s worth it.
On your website, you will also need a newsletter signup form. This is separate than the contact form and very important! I recommend you use a professional email marketing service instead of the newsletter form on the website builder. Two services that are fairly easy: MailChimp and iContact. The first 1-2000 subscribers are free, and you can create a form and put it on each page of your site. To get visitors to your site to sign up, you can give away free incentives. Usually, authors give away a free chapter from their latest book. To get to that 1000 fans, you have to get many more subscribers. That makes this part of your plan very important. Again, if you are intimidated by this, get help. Don’t skip this step.
Another way to get subscribers is through social media. If you are not on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I recommend you start. Each of these are different and will provide another audience for you to find subscribers and hopefully fans. We’ll be discussing them more in future posts. For now, get signed up and start talking about your book. Remember, don’t just try to announce and sell. Tap into the reasons you wrote the book and don’t forget you’re an expert.
Hopefully, you have also setup your author page on Amazon.com and on Goodreads.com. These are dedicated to books and authors and you can’t dismiss them if you are serious about selling books. Neither can be set up until your book is available, but as soon as it is, get those up and running. (Instructions: http://sunburypress.com/amazon-central-and-goodreads/)
This is a top-level, crash course in creating your online presence. To extend your presence into your local community, many authors have printed materials made for their local bookstores and launch parties. Printed material can be expensive, so think ahead. Be sure you have put your website on each poster, bookmark, and business card. You’d be surprised how many authors just put the cover of their book without this easy reference to find the author. Make finding you as easy as you can. Be sure your website is also in your bio. This means it will be on everywhere you are asked for your bio – online and off – including in your next book!
Next month, we’ll step back out of the nitty-gritty details and discuss your brand presence and how to talk about yourself and your book. Many authors, especially novelists are introverts and don’t want to think of themselves in this way. But, if we can get you armed with a script and a few talking points, you are going to feel better about it. Because in reality, you are the best seller of your book and without you, your book will get lost in at sea.

Finding Your Fans — They Do Exist!

I’ve had questions about book marketing, but when I look at the sales of most of our authors, honestly, we should be bombarded with questions. A few are actively marketing their books, but most are overwhelmed and don’t know what to ask or where to turn. So, over the next couple of months, Lawrence and I will put out a series of blogs to direct, educate, and hopefully inspire you in all areas of book marketing. As most of you know, I live in the fiction world, so much of what I will offer as examples will undoubtedly be colored by that perspective. However, most of the ideas outlined will bridge the expanse into nonfiction as well.
Let’s begin with the big picture. You have written a book, or perhaps multiple books and you are just now coming to grips with how vast your competition is. The truth is there are well over a million books published every year. How is anyone going to learn about your book? You’ve made a product – you’ve worked hard, you’ve suffered through edit after edit, and now you have your name on the front of a book. The problem is, there are so many books out there, it is like creating a masterpiece painting and hanging it in your living room. Only a few people will ever see it and appreciate it, and most of them are related to you. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the cost of finding others to see your work has dropped so dramatically, most of it is free or very reasonably priced. You just need to know where to begin.
Let’s start with the real goal: 1000 Fans. Some out there will argue that 1000 subscribers will not get you to bestseller status. And on that, we would agree. Subscribers are only distantly related to fans. I would also point out that bestseller status is not the goal. WHAT? I know you are all aghast. But, nope. Not even bestseller in your genre or bestseller in your subcategory are good goals. This is important. FORGET about becoming a bestselling author. Forget about the masses. Forget about the world. Trying to sell your book to the masses is like dropping a bucket of food coloring into the ocean – it will have NO effect.
Forget the ocean. Find yourself a nice small pool, one close by, one where you might know people that go there, one that the temperature is just like how you like it. Now, you have something in common with these pool patrons. If you drop a bucket of purple food coloring into this pool, suddenly, all your new friends are purple pool goers. Okay, maybe I took the analogy too far? You get the idea.
Find a small group of people close to you, people who like the same things you like and wrote about in your latest book. If you wrote a vampire thriller, find the vamp-lovers group near you – they exist, I assure you. If you wrote a murder mystery, find the mystery dinner theaters, or the murder mystery home-parties that are happening in your hometown. I’m not making it up, they are happening and would love to meet you. Maybe you wrote an espionage thriller, find the conspiracy believers who may only meet online as they want to remain anonymous. Historical fiction? Easy, there are thousands of historical societies, join one. I am telling you, if you forget about the masses, and you begin to think of small, local groups that align with your book, its characters, and topics; you’ll begin to find your fans. And more importantly, you’ll begin to sell books.
I mentioned before that subscribers are not fans. But what are subscribers? They are people that agree to be on your email list via any means available: website, social media, in-person appearances, blogs, advertising, the back of your book, etc. You’ll need a lot of subscribers, so get signed up for a free email list through Mailchimp, Mailjet, or any number of other Email Marketing Service Providers. (The first thousand subscribers are usually free.) I don’t know exactly how many subscribers it will take for you to reach 1000 fans. I suppose it is different for each individual author. What I do know is it takes a lot. Subscribers are casual. They may find you interesting or want your free give-away, but they won’t all stick around. By the way, this is fine. Don’t get pushed out of shape when you lose subscribers. You should always be working on your 1000 fan-base, if a subscriber leaves, they were never going to be a fan. Also, it should be noted, not everyone who buys and reads your book is a fan. Some will simply not like it. That’s okay too. Keep looking for fans.
What is a Fan? Fans love you. They love your work, your books, really, everything you do. Why? Because it fits in with how they see themselves. We all want to fit in somewhere. Without wading in too deep into the psychology of marketing, I’ll quote Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” You create murder mysteries because you love them. You love the formula, you love the suspense, you love the challenge, you love the humor or the nail-biting or even the kitschiness. Whatever it is, that’s the same reason your fans will love your work. If you love to write global espionage because it is intriguing and smart and unpredictable, so will your fans. If you wrote a novel about the Civil War because it inspires, or puzzles or amazes you, your fans will feel the same. Fans will come to see you, want to talk to you and not-so-patiently wait for your next book to come out. You build a relationship with fans. It takes time, just like all good relationships.
Hopefully, you have your author website. Now get an email list going. Create a signup form on your site and ask everywhere you go, online and in-person, if visitors will signup to your list. Why? Exactly for the reasons we have already explored – your WHY.
The next blog article will focus on Email Marketing, what to do and what not to do. I’ll focus more on tactics and examples. For now, focus on the small pool nearby. There are fans there just waiting for you.
P.S. There is bound to be someone out there who wants to know what to do after you have 1000 fans. Almost none of our authors have reached this level yet, but. . . the answer is to find another 1000, of course. 😉