Thursday, December 2, 2010
I explored this a little initially but since The Only Way is Up is not categorized primarily as a Christian book though it has several Christian principles as the backbone of my beliefs, I did not pursue this hard. Nonetheless, I will share with you my experiences, what I can remember of it.
Choice Books. Have you ever walked into your local grocery store like Publix and Kroger and seen these little rotating stands that sell inspirational books? These are mostly owned by Choice Books in my neck of the woods. They rarely do POD books or even books listed by Ingram or Baker and Taylor because they are a distributor themselves. Here is a link to Choice Books so you can see what the process is however. I did send them my book and they didn't feel it was a good fit but who's to say they won't like your book. Laughing. What I also realized by perusing their stands is that they appear to be affiliated with certain publishers and if I were to write a strictly Christian non-fiction or instructional book in the future, I will definitely query these publishers (small presses) and editors that they have provided links to. One thing I can say about them is that they responded within a few weeks and were very courteous. One way around the POD issue is if you are your own publisher and you offer standard industry rates, discounts, returnability, and they deal with you and not the printer, there may still be a way. They are very particular about the book cover and quality of the book. I will suggest that you get professional editing as well to make your product competitive. You will be surprised at how many books I have bought (especially for my little girl) from these stands.
Family Christian Stores. This is the largest chain of any Christian Bookstore that I know, at least in the South East US. Here is a link to their submission guideline, for your product to be considered for their shelves. They have a name for their bookbuyer listed.
CBA, The Association for Christian Retail. Here is their website. They are mentioned by Family Christian Stores as a source of getting to them if you do not have a distributor. Please note the representatives they have mentioned near the end of the page. I have no direct experience with this but it may be worth pursuing. A means to an end, so to speak. A path to the promised land.
Church Bookstores. Each church has their own process and it works in a similar way to small independent bookstores in the area. You basically need to pick up the phone, speak with the manager/book buyer or whoever is in charge and take it from there. Preferably schedule a meeting. Sometimes impromptu face-to-face works better because you can create an impression and get five minutes of their time but it could backfire if you are dealing with a person who is a stickler for appointments. In my church for example, I was given the email address of the deacon that handles such issues and decides what book they carry. I never did follow up but I was interested in the process. It appears to be the same in most churches. It may be quite hard if their pastor writes books as well and you are not a Joyce Meyer or a church elder. But it is always worth the try.
Christian Book Distributors (CBD). They also have a website which I suggest you visit. They have no clearcut information about how to get them to sell your books but you can be a CBD affiliate and the details are available here. If I ever find any direct information, I will add it as an addendum here. They seem more internet based to me.
Regular Bookstores. Of course, there is nothing precluding you from attempting to get your Christian book into Borders or Barnes and Noble. They do have a Christian/Inspirational section as well. You would just have to follow the instructions outlined in a prior post on this blog, Getting Your Self Published Book Into Bookstores: Targeting Createspace Authors.
Internet Based Bookstores. This may be a bigger market for Christian books comparatively, in terms of when other books and the balance between brick and mortar stores and online. Amazon.com is still a winner for any kind of book.
The Christian Writer's Market Guide is said to be invaluable. Once again, don't forget that Google is an amazing tool.
In my opinion, most Indie Published Christian Books are sold to people you know, church members, Christian book clubs, family, friends, through blogs, online and then you call it a day. I will continue to research this and enlighten you guys as I come up with more information. I wish I had more for you but that's it for now.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I keep getting asked this question, "How do I get my book into Bookstores?"
Just the other day, I got this email:
Hi, Can you share any info. with me on how I can get my book in stores like-Books-A-Million, Barnes-N-Noble or Christian Stores, etc? I am searching through Createspace trying to get some info. on how to in the above area.... Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
So I decided to do a post on it. I realized that because I always refer people to Author K L Brady's blog for help with this, I have never written about my own personal experience. I will today.
1) In interacting with other POD authors, I realized I had to get my own ISBN. Please click here for my post on the ISBN and Bowker process, links, how much it costs, etc. You do not have to buy a block of ten ISBNs but for me, since I intended to also have my book in ebook formats and some of them need a separate ISBN, paying for ten ISBNs was the same as paying for 2! With your own ISBN, it is now 978???---, in my case, it was 978098---, replacing the 144 which appears to be a POD tag. You become your own publisher instead of CS. I am now Arrabon Publishing.
2) I had to get my print ready files (interior and exterior) over to Lightning Source, a subsidiary of Ingram and publish a second edition of my book through them with some upgrades. I did this in April of 2010. For those who do not have their own full Adobe creator, there is a wonderful pdf creation service by selfpub.net for only $15. LSI does not have the same a la carte services that CS has like the editing, etc. But they will serve your purpose.
3) I sent my kit over to Barnes and Noble, Borders and Booksamillion according to the instructions on K L Brady's blog, Indie Publishing on the Cheap. I found all to be accurate except for the information for Baker and Taylor. I believe there might be an updated link in the comments section if you read all the way down.
4) Because of a hitch on LSI's part in which my book was not showing up on their iPage, I had to follow up with Barnes and Noble with a phone call. That is a good rule of thumb in any situation, except when agents or other such people say expressly, do not contact them! Remember to be sweet and unassuming when you call.
5) Barnes and Noble accepted my book and ordered a trial 25 copies to start with. They also have it listed online, probably related more to the Ingram listing. The ebook listing on Nook is through Smashwords distribution.
Booksamillion has my book listed even though I never heard back from them. And of course, good old amazon.com always has my back for both paperback and Kindle versions of The Only Way is Up.
I still use CS to provide my books ordered from Amazon.com or directly from me because it is the cheapest per unit cost and very convenient. But Barnes and Noble orders from Ingram. So, everybody is happy.
This information is by no means exhaustive authors and do remember that Google is your best friend. There is nothing you cannot find somewhere online if you search hard enough. When I had no author friends or acquaintances, the internet was my sole source.
For more information, please visit the writer resource section of my website. Of course, you can always contact me with any questions.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Please click here for the Writer's Digest writing competitions and the rules for each one. And yes, the 79th annual contest is closed. Same as the self-published contest but there is no need crying over spilt milk! Let's just go with the ones that are still open.
Monday, July 5, 2010
The journey has not been without hitches and it is far from over. You were all here with me when my first edition was published in November of 2009 in it's rawest form. Then I learnt a little more about the industry and released a revised edition in April of 2010 with some updates and improvements, this time making sure to have Ingram distribution on board. Of course the devil was at work as usual and there was nothing straightforward for me about this process. I thought everything was straight but to my amazement, it was actually Barnes and Noble that alerted me to the fact that The Only Way is Up was not live on Ingram IPage as it should have been. It took another month or so to rectify that.
Finally however, today I can say The Only Way is Up is available in at least one Borders store: BORDERS # 254, 9441 West Colonial Avenue, Ocoee, FL 34761. 407-532-2269. It has also been approved by the Barnes and Noble Small Business Department. At this point, I have no information about what stores will carry my title but will update this information as soon it is available to me. If it is not available in your local Barnes and Noble or Borders, it can be ordered quite easily since it is in their system.
I am just thankful to God that even with my full time job and without a book deal, and being a first time author self publishing, I am able to achieve much progress and it just keeps getting better and better.
Of course it does not end there. It is really just the beginning and I rely on your support as always to get the message out there about The Only Way is Up, my motivational book which targets women, African Americans & immigrants and focuses on self-esteem, self-worth, success, relationships, being single, single parenthood, teenage pregnancies, diet, health, weight, nutrition, spirituality, life outside of the United States, gender roles and so much more. It focuses on many societal issues in this age which we need to address and there is no sugar-coating here. I tell it like it is. It draws a comparison between my upbringing in the UK and Nigeria and life in the United states and offers solutions that are much needed in these times.
Please visit my website http://www.theonlywayisup.net/ for more information, how to purchase etc. If you have read the book already, please do leave an amazon.com review. The electronic version on amazon Kindle as well as in different electronic formats on Smashwords is only $2.99 at present and is part of the July site-wide sale on Smashwords as well. The print version is only $11.69 on amazon.com as well currently. Links to these may be found on the Buy page of my website if you do not wish to do a search on amazon.com.
I am work in progress but I have no doubt in my mind that truly, The Only Way is Up! To find out more about the process of getting these stores to carry your self published book, please read this exhaustive blog post on Indie Publishing on the Cheap by K L Brady, an initial self published author who in one year has gone as far as selling her book to Simon and Schuster and having a two-book deal.
Hard work pays off,
Consistency pays off,
Believing in yourself definitely pays off!
For all that have supported me and continue to show love, I say thank you and God bless you. For those who didn't and who could not bring themselves to believe in me, God bless you also. God is definitely perfecting his purpose in my life and I look forward to bigger and better things as we all strive to be better humans.
Friday, May 28, 2010
He took me from being a mom, a wife and an MD to being all that and also an Author. For the first time in my life, I created something, a book. (I may be an MD but I didn't create that. I just studied it...)
He took me from having influence only in my immediate vicinity to being able to reach far and wide with the message in my book.
He took me from initially formatting my whole book in word and using a very basic Createspace tool for a book cover to using Book Cover Pro and Book Wizard for my second edition.
He took me from only having contact on facebook with people I know to being facebook friends with great authors, reviewers, promoters and marketers and a whole new world of great individuals as well as a facebook fan page with close to 500 fans that is still growing and getting close to 400 hits per week. I'm even getting the hang of twitter finally!!!
He took me from talking to patients one on one in exam rooms to radio interviews that reach far and wide.
He took me from dreaming of impacting the world to starting to impact the world.
He took me from not having an avenue to physically sell my books to starting to get into bookstores.
He took me from being afraid to sell and thinking I would literally suck at selling to having great sales numbers at Book Signings.
He took me from fear of public speaking to standing in front of a store at Book Signings and pitching my book effectively.
He took me from not knowing how my work would be received to getting good reviews from the Midwest Book Review, RAWSISTAZ, APEX Reviews to name a few.
Lord, I thank you for expanding my coast. Truly, The Only Way is Up. Book deal around the corner maybe? Yes, he who has done all these is able to take me from being self published to so much more. It is only a matter of time. I am not there yet but I sure am on my way.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
FREE Kindle App for Blackberry
FREE Kindle App for iPhone
FREE Kindle App for PC
To download any of the FREE Kindle Apps available so far, click the following link.
FREE Kindle App for iPhone, Windows PC, Mac, Blackberry and iPad
Hope this helps. This is the real FREE. If you want to carry the proper Kindle device itself around however, you still need to buy it. I can't help you there!
If you like my post, please order a copy of The Only Way is Up on kindle. It's only $2.99 for a limited time. If it still says $5.99, give it a day or two to update please. And do leave me a review as well will you? That's all I ask.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
I love Google. Finally, I did a Google search and there it was: an article with the answers from someone who had encountered a similar problem along with another friend of his. The article is titled Step by Step Formatting for Your Manuscript and is posted on the website for Independent Authors Guild. This lifesaver article led me to a page on Self-Pub.net where I was able to purchase a pdf conversion service for $15! It's called the pdf creation service. Kudos to Selp-Pub.net for doing their thing and to the person who posted the information about it. They are the same people I bought the Book Design Wizard from to format my revised edition and it actually looks professionally done now.
This is definitely a good deal, considering I have the revised edition published through CS and dated for a few days back! My Ingram distribution and subsequently being carried by big bookstores hinges on LSI.
I love the internet. Someone out there has had the same issue you are having. You just have to play around with the search terms on Google till you find a post about it. Go Google!
Have a great weekend y'all.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Have a blessed week.
PS: We cannot share table! It is addressed in their FAQs section.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I had looked into a few opportunities and last week, I actually got offered a deal. I was sent a contract and a lot of information about how it would all go down and let's just say it wasn't looking like what I had imagined. I'm not going to mention the name of the company but the marketing packages started from about $1,900 all the way up to $9,000. Automatically I knew I wasn't having them do any marketing for me. Unless I am sure of becoming a # 1 New York Times Bestseller, I'd never make my money back! Let us not forget I cannot afford it either!!! The first 3 or so of the packages (going up to $4,200) were all marketing efforts I have either made or am currently making by myself. It made me feel good that my effort on my laptop on a part-time basis everyday was seemingly worth so much.
Then I looked at the distribution contract itself. It went from a set up fee of about $500 to monthly admin fees and palet fees for storing my books. As a wise author advisor of mine just pointed out, it defeats the purpose of POD when I have to now pay for them to store my books. Let's not even start to talk about the kind of percentages that you stand to part with if you go this route.
They say they are affiliated with Ingram, Baker and Taylor and will get my book into the big three stores: Barnes and Noble, Borders and Booksamillion. I know of Indie authors who have done that by themselves and I am in the process of doing the same.
So, except for the prospect of spending less time in front of the laptop and more time with my family and in the kitchen cooking, I really do not see what they can do for me. Any distributorship they are able to pull off still depends on my marketing since their marketing packages are not affordable.
In fairness to the distributors, their services are probably worth what they charge as they have salaries to pay and overhead costs too. It just makes me feel good about myself to know that the efforts I have been making to promote my book are actually worth several thousand dollars. The real question is this: "Do I need their services however?"
I do not have all the answers yet but I seem to smell a rat! More importantly, I just need to trust myself and what I can achieve with my own efforts. All I will say is, be careful before getting into those deals. I have found one very comprehensive article about this on the net and you can click here to access Apples and Oranges: An Analysis and Comparison of Distributor Agreements by Ivan Hoffman. Please click here for Articles for Writers and Publishers which contain a long list of articles that help writers in general with legal issues as well as two more articles on issues with book distribution, also by Ivan Hoffman.
Whatever I do decide concerning Book Distribution however, I hope it's the right decision.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
How to File Income Taxes if You're a Professional Writer or Hobbyist
Death, Taxes and the Writer
Taxes and Finances for Writers
I hope this helps. Now I need to go sort out how to file mine based off of this information!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Reviewing can be pre or post publication and can be paid or free. Usually, the review is the property of the reviewer to post anywhere they deem please. They do give you the rights to use in part or whole however. Some reviewers offer it as a paid service where they give you the option of not posting the review if it is a negative review or if it is less then a 3 on a scale of 1-5 stars. Sometimes, the payment is for the purpose of expediting the service. Common reviewers of AA literature or non-mainstream self published work (not exclusively!) are RAWSISTAZ, APOO, OOSA Online Book Club, the Romer Review (TRR), AALBC, AAMBC, etc. There are also several smaller Book Clubs or Blogs that offer these services such as Joey Pinkney, Author Exposure and Flavor Book Club etc.
Rules I would advise we go by are as follows:
1) Be cognisant of the fact that you are never assured of a positive review. If it is pre-publication, do not ask for a review if you are not willing to change anything about the project or incorporate the advice. If it is post publication, if you produced quality work, enough reviewers will see that and the occassional negative or lukewarm review will not matter. Reviews are subjective. One person's opinion may not necessarily reflect how the public will receive your work. But do pay attention to criticism and use it to improve on yourself and your work even while staying true ro your vision for your project.
2) Try to send your work to reviewers of similar work or the same genre. For example, some reviewers only do fiction. Pay attention to their review and submission guidelines and their past reviews on similar writings.
3) Know that most reviewers do not keep to the timeframe that they promise. This is partly because a lot of these free services are run by volunteers and they have normal jobs and lives. Be patient with them. A rushed review because of the pressure of frequent emails from you is not in your best interest.
4) Do your research about your project and make sure you cross all your 'T's and dot your 'I's because someone will notice it if you don't.
Now I will go and apply all these rules even as I try to patiently await more reviews this week! Here's to hoping there aren't one or two places I've sent my book for review that I should not have!
Do have a blessed and productive week.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Do enjoy the rest of your weekend and the week ahead and keep it positive.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thanks y'all. For more pics, please check the event portion of my website or facebook.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Just some quick updates from my fellow bloggers I thought I'd share with you.
Please click here for a list of awards that Independent Publishers are eligible for and click here for a call for submissions I came across this morning.
All the best and have a good day.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Have a blessed week.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
GRAND PRIZE: $3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors or agents.
Submit your manuscript for a chance to win a trip for you and a guest to New York, where you’ll spend three days and two nights in the publishing capital of the world. While you’re there, a Writer’s Digest editor will escort you to share your work with four editors or agents.
The Grand Prize manuscript, the First Place manuscript in each category, and the names of the top 100 winners in each category will be printed in a special competition collection. Reserve your copy of the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection.
Compete to Win in 10 Categories:
1. Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
2. Memoirs/Personal Essay
3. Magazine Feature Article
4. Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
5. Mainstream/Literary Short Story
6. Rhyming Poetry
7. Non-Rhyming Poetry
8. Stage Play
9. Television/Movie Script
10. Children's/Young Adult Fiction
All the best.
It is $250 for a block of 10 when purchased from My Identifiers which is the link where you can also purchase a single ISBN or an ISBN and bar code. The cost for these still remain at $125 and $150 respectively however. On this site, you get your ISBNs immediately. There is no $30 Reg fee here.
When purchased online with the normal processing timeframe of 3 weeks, a block of 10 ISBNs is now $245 from RR Bowker. For those who were not in the "know" it used to cost $325. It may not seem like a big difference but believe me, it is! Every little help or break one can get counts...Now, if you can split that block with someone...(There's also a $30 Reg fee which makes the total cost for a block of 10 ISBNs $275). The cost is higher for express processing etc.
The barcodes are $25 each with bulk discount available.
Basically, it's like getting 10 ISBNs for the price of 2. Now, who would not want to take advantage of that and just keep writing? Pls let me know if you would like to split a block of ISBNs with me!!! Click here to email me.
Thank you RR Bowker!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Unfortunately, the workshop initially slated for this weekend was cancelled. No worries though. It will be rescheduled for sometime in April and I'm still looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, I have at least 4 Book Signings scheduled in the next 2 months which is a blessing. 3 of those are in February alone. I guess I'll really be celebrating Black History Month by trying to make a change in my own little way!
Watch this space and please keep giving for Haiti recovery. They will continue to need us for months if not years to come to recover from this devastation.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
CTB Radio stands for Catch That Book Radio! I had the good fortune of coming accross Traci Green, the talk show host on Blogtalkradio and she is doing wonderful things in the area of putting out word about new authors. I am scheduled to be on her radio show on February 17th @ 12:30pm. They also have an online book club, Author Exposure Book Club. Here are the links:
Watch this space for more info!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Radio Show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aambc
• AAMBC Radio provides a literary service to avid readers that reaches about 350 listens per show.
• AAMBC is a online based book club opening doors for authors to promote and for readers to call home.
• AAMBC hosts an annual conference every year in a selected city the second weekend in June.
• AAMBC is a book promoter at affordable prices for authors and poets
• AAMBC Book Reviews is a service offering a professional opinion helping to promote your books with a certified review
• The AAMBC National Meeting is a avenue for readers to meet authors face to face
Here is a photoblog that features pictures of The Obafemi Awolowo University In Ile-Ife, Nigeria-where I did a lot of my early years as well as being the University I obtained my medical degree from:
It is run by an old family friend of mine, Theophilus O. Emmanuel.
Here's another photoblog by another childhood friend of mine, Dehumo Bickersteth:
and some great ethnic music:
This entertainement magazine is run by family, Bode Ojo & Temi Kolawole:
This site, STURVS, is run by my brother, Temi Kolawole:
Yet another childhood friend Tosan Aduayi is making waves with his magazine Trendy Africa:
There was an article highlighting The Only Way is Up in December.
Just wanted to share. In your spare moments, please check these out.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I stepped out of my front door this morning to a beautiful sunrise immediately noticed by my daughter, 28 month old Jordan. She said it was "Pretty!"
I am so proud of her developing keen eye and artistic mind. It's supposed to snow later today and I look forward to it for her sake since we only get this once a year. I hope Jordan gets to play in the snow and enjoy it...I look forward to her expression of what she thinks of SNOW. Maybe she can even build her first snowman since she is always fascinated with it on her DVDs...
Take a moment to appreciate everything about life, both big and small. Before we know it, it will all pass us by. I want to enjoy every minute of 2010 that I can and I hope you can too!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Here are details of involvement if you choose to be a sponsor or vendor:
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
And this would also benefit those who are aspiring authors as well. Maybe by asking questions or by reading some of the comments from others, you might even avoid making some fresh ones of your own!
I used Createspace to self publish my book and I would like to know how that compares to Xlibris or Author House for example or even Lulu or Lightening Source. Hopefully, we all plan to do some more writing and we need to get better and improve on some of our choices and decisions each time.
Please share folks!
But I love this process and I feel like I am learning a new trade.
On Sunday January 10th @ 12 noon, I will have my first Book Signing Event @ BORDERS in the East Cobb area of Atlanta. (Really Marietta but still the Atlanta metro area!)
I am so pumped. God is good. If all goes well, Borders will carry my book "The Only Way is Up: The Journey of an Immigrant" eventually.
The door may not be held wide open for you but you can always find a crack in the window. I found mine and I will work it.
There is always a way!