Saturday 20 October 2018

Some nitty-gritty matters for making your book visible

If you are published or self-published there are a few other things you should do as a matter of course.


Public Lending Right -
Register your book for this. Even if you’ve only written a chapter in a book, you can get some PLR. Don’t forget to register for Irish PLR at the same time. This means that every time some-one borrows your book from a library, you get a small payment or a proportion of one. It varies from year to year and is about 6p with an upper cap of about £6000. On contracts for our anthologies we tell you which % to claim.
This is well worth doing. Several of my books that have been out for many years earn more in PLR than they do in royalties.


Authors' Licensing and Collecting Agency Register at This can be very lucrative as well for any articles you have had published. Register with them everything you have published.  
They collect money from photocopied and broadcast works. They also collect foreign PLR.
We can't dictate which proportion of the book you can claim – ALCS works that out. They award a generous 30% to editors. 
They charge a modest one-off fee for registering but you don't have to pay this up front. They set it against your earnings.
If you are a member, the Society of Authors pays this fee anyway.
You'll earn at least enough each year to cover your Society of Authors membership fee.

Author Central

This is run by Amazon and can be found here: You can list all of your books here and keep track of sales rankings. How about giving a tweak to each week's lowest ranking book?
Perhaps more importantly it allows readers to find your other books easily.
Occasionally if you are in an anthology Amazon will at first not allow you to list the book. Then you are invited to write to them. They usually respond quickly and positively. We design our books so that it is easy for them to see that you are a contributor.
You can also add multi-media, blog feeds and events to your author page.

Amazon Associates

This allows you to earn money from advertising on your sites. I'm not advocating that you cover your sites with advertising and Facebook won't let you do this anyway. However, you can link to your books and even embed attractive pictures of them into your sites. When someone clicks on that and then buys the book, you earn a small percentage. If they then go on and buy more form Amazon, you earn a small percentage of those sales as well.
I once earned quite a lot when someone bought a copy of one of my books and then went on to purchase several boxed sets of popular TV programmes.

Good Reads Author Programme

Do join this. You have to be approved but it is well worth it. Again you get information about how many people are engaging with your books. It increases your visibility as an author.
If you have a blog you can also link so that it gets uploaded to Good Reads every time you post. 
You will also get a lot of information about what to read.
They do organise giveaways and you always lose money on this. However when I ran one recently I noticed that in the week after it had finished the sales rank on that book on Amazon went right up. The extra sales more than covered the cost of the books I'd given away. 
Want more tips like this? See below.  

Monday 8 October 2018

Finding your niche

Sometimes your book isn't going to find most of its sales in the places that other books do. This may be more obvious for non-fiction but even for fiction think of all the research you've done.
Can you think of ten other places who might be interested in your book?
Even if they aren't willing to sell them they may be interested in a talk or an article.
Here's my list for the Schellberg Cycle books:
1.      The Holocaust Centre Laxton
2.      The Imperial War Museum North
3.      The Wiener Museum London
4.       The Jewish Museum Manchester
5.      The Anne Frank Institute
6.      Secondary schools in my area currently studying the Holocaust
7.      Jewish schools in my area
8.      The Goethe Institute
9.      1940s festivals
10.  The Kindertransport Association
Write to them. The worst that can happen is that they will say "No, thank you."
As a result of approaching the above, I've run several Schellberg Cycles in schools and that has led to book sales. I've had some of my research exhibited. I've been invited to write a few articles that may have led to more book sales.  When you've exhausted your list, start a new one.  

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