Category: Marketing

Less than a month to go before launch (June 3) and I just received these beautiful bookmarks (that I helped create in InDesign). Thank you HarperCollins!! Hope to give these out at launches, readings, book clubs…Remember if you would  like me to join your book club I’m happy to do so (in person or on Skype). Contact me here.

bookmarkBlogfront

The front

bookmarkBlogback

The back

For years I’ve been an avid book buyer. Now with a novel on the market, I’m suddenly on the other side (though I continue to be an avid book buyer). So, if I was intrigued by the world of publishing, books and sales before, now I’m almost obsessed.

It’s a complex and rapidly evolving world. Luckily there are some well-informed people out there keeping tabs on what’s going on.

5 Valuable Charts That Show How  Publishing Is Changing, a blog post published on JaneFriedman.com, offers some fascinating information about how people buy books. I’ll attach my favourite chart here (if you click on the image you can see it on Jane’s site where it is easier to read):

Retailer share of booksBig

Here’s Jane’s takeaway from this graph:

“By the end of 2012, nearly half of US book sales (print + ebook) were happening online (eCommerce), which is primarily driven by Amazon. Notice how the large chain bookstore retail share drops from 31.5% to 18.7%, driven in part by the bankruptcy of Borders. While many people focus on the percentage of ebook sales (currently averaging about 30%), I’d argue it’s more important to keep tabs on where the majority of sales are happening, regardless of format. This directly affects the value proposition of traditional publishers (at least for now) and how books get discovered and/or purchased—increasingly online through tech giants such as Amazon, Google, Apple, etc.”

This bar graph  more or less describes my spending habits when it comes to books. Living in Toronto, I loved Book City. Then my favourite location shut down and I began to buy primarily at Indigo/Chapters (there was one right inside the building I lived in for about 8 years; I lived in the Manulife Centre building). It was convenient. Now, no longer living in Toronto, I usually buy from Amazon. Amazon is even more convenient. They are frightening in their ability to pinpoint the books I want (I’m an impulse book shopper) and as well I often want somewhat obscure titles. (Amazon gets them to me quickly.) But I am not unaware of how they squeeze publishers and therefore authors. And yet my publisher wants to see strong sales on Amazon. It can all be very confusing.

amazonIs Amazon good or evil? Or is it merely a product of capitalism and changing technology? And what is its impact on books (and authors)? A fantastic New Yorker article by George Packer examines these complex questions and is a must-read for anyone at all curious about the world of book publishing.

I’m getting questions about where people can buy Where the Air Is Sweet. Quick answer: you can pre-order it here. If you would like to buy the book and additionally help improve sales, read on.

The apparent success of a book depends not so much on overall sales as on concentrated sales. Bestseller lists are determined by weekly sales. So, ideally you want people to buy in bursts — this shows an excitement for the book, and booksellers (and the media) pay attention to this.

This is what I suggest people do if they would like to help me get Where the Air Is Sweet onto bestseller lists:

Pre-ordered books count towards the first week of sales, so it’s wonderful to pre-order. And if people are unsure where to order from, Amazon is a good choice because retailers tend to look at Amazon sales.

BUT

It’s even BETTER to order the book from Amazon on the first day it is available, the “on-sale” day, which in my case is June 3. The reason for this is that retailers take notice of  big Day 1 sales.

If people prefer to buy from independent bookstores, I suggest they use the link on my site to pre-order. Local stores are unable to stock very many copies so it is advisable to ensure you have a copy by pre-ordering.

tasneemjamal.com (or ca). Easy.

The nice thing about websites is they are fluid. No final pub date. We went live with the site right off the bat so my work in progress has been public from the get go, something that would be unimaginable with my fiction.

Please look around and keep coming back. I will be continuing to make tweaks. (For example, this section is called “our blog” and I am working on changing that since it is only “my blog.”) As well I will be posting more regularly now that the launch date is approaching (June 3!).

Get in touch with Tasneem

For book club or media requests, please get in touch with Tasneem below.

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