• David Frazier's memoir of Vietnam, "Drafted!", is multilayered - from the days of war in the 60s to return visits as a photography - and as complex as the place itself.
From local to national, to around the world. From inside the home to speculative. From fact to fiction - though we do take care about which is which.

stapiluslogo1

Amazon.com is making some big changes. Some of them, like its big push into India and its new app for childrens’ stories, may not affect you much as an indie writer and publisher. But if you use CreateSpace to print and Kindle Direct Publishing to develop your e-Books, another Amazon development may affect the way you bring your books to the world.

It is called KDP Print. It is now in experimental development, and it may change the way authors use CreateSpace and Kindle. It seems intended to help writers create print and e-Books at the same time, or even print books from e-Books.

I say “it seems” because Amazon has released little information about KDP Print.

Much of what we know comes from a few writers who, checking into their Kindle Direct Publishing bookshelf, have observed this notice: “You can now publish paperback versions of your books with KDP Print (beta). Learn more about the beta.” Only a few Kindle authors so far have gotten this message; most have not.

Until now, Amazon has developed CS and Kindle as separate units.

When in 2005 Amazon’s executives decided to start printing as well as selling books, it bought a company called Booksurge, one of the most popular early providers of print-on-demand publishing. Renamed CreateSpace, it kept many of the procedures and price points Booksurge had, and established a system and user interface – dashboard and related pages – customers have used ever since.

Amazon’s launch into e-Books was different, starting with the 2004 directive from CEO Jeff Bezos to beat the competition in creating an e-reader. In 2007, soon after the Kindle reader went up for sale and the Kindle Book Store began stocking books, Kindle Direct Publishing was launched to allow authors to convert their book manuscripts into e-Books.

Since then, the two services have had only a limited connection with each other. Authors who develop a print book through CreateSpace do encounter a page near the end of the process suggesting they to convert the book into Kindle format and make it available in the Kindle store.

Now, Amazon appears ready to link Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace closer together, possibly merging them. That may mean letting authors use both the print and e-Book service in a single dashboard user interface. However it evolves, the new unified system is being called Kindle Print.

A notice from Amazon shared by one KDP user says, “We’re excited to offer the opportunity to publish paperbacks in addition to Kindle eBooks. We’ll be adding even more print-related features in the future, like proof copies, author (wholesale) copies, and expanded distribution to bookstores and non-Amazon websites. Publishing a paperback can help you reach new readers. KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties, so you don’t have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory.”

It then cites several benefits of using the new KDP print on demand, most of which are similar to CreateSpace. One difference seems to be in the details of the royalty payments, which refer to payment for “up to 60% royalties on the list price you set, minus printing costs.” CreateSpace also offers its own store, where the comparable royalty is 80%.

The process for using the new system seems to be similar to CreateSpace too, with a big exception that only PDF files, and not Word documents (which CreateSpace allows), would be accepted for processing into print books.

There are also reports in the boards that CreateSpace may be absorbed within KDP. One commenter on Goodreads suggested that “You’ve probably noticed that the CS UI [user interface—its dashboard] is ancient. That tells me that Amazon isn’t really investing in CS. Once KDP Print gets out of beta, I bet you’ll see a push by Amazon to get people to move from CS to KDP Print.”

That’s one speculation. Here’s another from the same board: “CreateSpace is not the same as KDP and likely, one will not replace the other. CreateSpace and KDP are both owned by Amazon, but they are separate services. More likely, KDP will be a bare bones printing option since at the moment, they are limited.”

But on October 11, the GoodEReader website said “the consensus seems to be that Amazon may be shifting its print arm to this model rather than CreateSpace. And it noted, “Until more authors are brought in to test KDP Print’s process and more information is shared with the publishing industry, the full scope of the program—as well as its merits and flaws—won’t be known.”

The website The Digital Reader described the plan as a “combined interface where publishers can manage both their ebooks in the Kindle Store and their POD books in CreateSpace.”

This system is still new, undergoing beta testing. Amazon has not gone public in announcing it, and seems to be offering it only to scattered users for testing. When I tried to reach it, I got the message, “This page is unavailable.”

The selection of tester authors seems almost random, On September 29, for example, a writer named Michelle posted on the CreateSpace forum, “I logged into my KDP account this morning and have noticed KDP has a Beta program for POD [print on demand], and that you can migrate your CS titles over. Could this mean that CS and KDP will eventually merge?” She quick drew a crowd of responders, all saying they had seen nothing similar.

On the KDP user board, writer James McKinney, who had entered and explored the new system but said he never had used CreateSpace, said “It’s actually really streamlined, pretty much a simple WYSIWYG wizard type of thing, and it makes fantastic looking books straight from your already published eBook – the only thing I’ve found that I DON’T LIKE about it is the lack of a page-numbering system.”

Plenty of writers are waiting eagerly to see what more Amazon has to say about all this.

books

bookworks main-logo

About once a year and again in this season one or more writers will assertively inquire in the writer boards: Why do I need chapters in my eBook? Can I do without them? Why can’t I get rid of the Table of Contents—it seems like a lot of work to produce? Or why can’t I move it to the back of the eBook?

Ebooks seem to be so flexible as to handle almost every creative challenge we throw at them. But doing away with chapters, or front-of-book tables of contents, are a bad idea.

You will see arguments to the contrary.

A year ago author Kevin Lomas wrote on the Lulu self-publishing board, “Not everyone wants chapters. There are none in my print fiction books.” The idea of eliminating chapters or tables of contents seems limited mainly to works of fiction, and the discussion seems to be centered around eBooks rather than print.

On September 27 this year, author Lala Corriere sparked heavy discussion on the Murder Must Advertise board when “I would not print my softcover books without chapters. But I finally asked my readers. So far, NONE of them look at, need, or want a TOC in an eBook. As a READER, I agree. Who cares?”

The concept of experimental formats, at least, isn’t foreign to traditional book publishers. Book editor Erin Lale said four years ago that, “In modern times, not all books have chapters. Most nonfiction books which naturally have sections, such as different historical periods in a history textbook, do still have chapters. Most fiction novels also have chapters, although some comparatively recent books have a modernist deconstruction of chapters. There are books with one word chapters, and books that begin with a Chapter 1 label and have no further divisions. There are books with nonconsecutive chapter numbering, books with backwards chapter numbering, such as ‘God, A Users Guide’, and even chapter numbering systems that border on a parody of the form …” Variations on these ideas have only expanded since.

In contrast, the provenance of the chapter is ancient. A 2014 “New Yorker” article about the history of book chapters argued that, “The chapter is tied intimately to our notions of literacy … More than this, the chapter has become a way of looking at the world, a way of dividing time and, therefore, of dividing experience. Its origins date back to long before the printing press or even the bound codex, back to the emergence of prose in antiquity as both an expressive and an informational medium.”

The chapter may have been developed then, as it still serves now, to help divide masses of material into easier bites, just as paragraphs do. Imagine reading this article as one unbroken paragraph … or, better, don’t.

But there are still other compelling reasons for sticking with the normal approach, including the technical and commercial.

One of the Murder Must Advertise writers recently advised, “If you publish with Amazon exclusively, they require a ToC, and they want it up front. I just got a notice to change a ToC from the back to the front of my book.” MMA authors warned in the same conversation that books might be flagged (on their online sales page) as technically deficient, or even removed from sale, if these chapter and contents rules aren’t met.

Amazon includes this in its Kindle formatting directions: “A working table of contents allows your readers to jump directly to the chapter or section they want. This feature is so important to Kindle customers that Amazon requires all Kindle books with chapters or sections to have a working table of contents. You can build one using Microsoft Word.” That same page includes detailed instructions for setting up a table of contents.

Other eBook providers have imposed similar requirements. Production requirements for Ingram-Spark eBooks reference requirements for the table of contents as well.

On top of all that, authors who try to skip the use of chapters may be bypassing a useful commercial tool.

Many fiction authors title chapters only by number. (That’s one of the reasons some authors disdain tables of contents for those books.) But effective chapter names can help you sell your book – even your fiction book.

In my first article for BookWorks, I wrote about chapter titles: “The cover and the title will persuade someone to peruse your book – but if you’ve titled the chapters, they can help turn a browser into a reader. A table of contents tells a prospective reader what to expect from the reading ahead.” It described a list of compelling chapter names as a series of hooks to help pull the reader into the book.

There was the example of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, which used only chapter numbers. One online editor suggested chapter titles, such as “Chapter 1—The Truth of the Green Light,” “Chapter 2—Among the Ash Heaps,” “Chapter 3—The Host.” “Chapter 4—The Pursued, the Pursuing, the Busy and the Tired” and “Chapter 5—Ghostly Heart.”

My reaction: “Had those chapters been so named when I first considered reading it (at that time, and for some years, I passed), they might have drawn me in sooner.”

I still think so.

Chapters may be the traditional approach, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost any of their usefulness, or necessity.

books BookWorks

stapiluslogo1

The weeks just before and after you launch a book are full of to-dos, but few items on your list are more frustrating, stressful or essential than collecting an early round of book reviews.

Don’t be surprised that a whole industry has grown up to fill that need, or charge fees to people who think they need the help. But don’t be surprised either than this is a need you can fulfill on your own.

Your need for reviews begins soon after your launch. You need them to provide credibility to buyers, add heft to your book customer pages, and to qualify for various kinds of book listings and reports.

The reviews you want fall into two categories. There “institutional” or professional reviewers. Some of these work for large publications or companies (like Publishers Weekly or Kirkus Reviews) but many others write for independent web sites. I covered many of these review options in an earlier BookWorks post. Another post by Carla King discussed web sites where authors can get professional paid-for reviews (though the payment is no guarantee of a positive review).

bookworks main-logo

The second group of reviewers, at least as critical to your book marketing, are the individuals who submit reviews to places like Amazon.com and Goodreads. The more reviews your book gets in online retailer sites, the better it looks to buyers and the more prominence you receive overall. But getting these reviews, because these individuals are so scattered, is not always easy. Amazon disapproves of authors bringing in friends and relatives, or of paying for customer review books. (It will allow reviews from people who receive a review copy of the book, however.) As Penny Sansevieri wrote here last year, Amazon has become more aggressive about yanking customer reviews its staff conclude violate its standards.

So how can you get those precious reviews up there?

The answer is to obtain, and then parse, a data dump: Find or create a list of people who review books, isolate those likely to be interested specifically in your book, and then get in front of them. You either can hire out much of the work of doing that, or do it yourself.

The biggest commercial name in the field of finding reviewers is NetGalley, a division of Firebrand Technologies, and whose slogan is “Feed your readers”. Started in 2008, it found a niche in distributing to reviewers and to many libraries digital copies of books not yet released. Big 5 publishers including PenguinRandomHouse and Simon & Schuster use them, but so do many indie publishers.

NetGalley also carries a hefty price tag. Its basic service, called Marketing-Plus-Title-Listing (including some marketing services in addition to reviewer outreach), has a standard price of $599. There are lower-cost options and membership in some organizations can bring discounts, but NetGalley should be considered a high-end option which in some ways works more efficiently with larger publishers.

Here’s a quote from their web site: “We cannot guarantee any reviews or requests for your title, since the NetGalley service primarily provides a platform for publishers/authors to connect with professional readers.” That’s largely true of all such services.

A newer and highly popular option, sought out by many indies, is HungryAuthor, founded by novelist Rebecca Hamilton.

Its review service (HA offers others as well) is relatively inexpensive. For $25, its web site said, “a team of reviewers who will read your book and post honest reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. Generally, you can expect 5-20 reviews, though some titles have garnered as much as 30-50 reviews.”

In January, a writer (possibly Hamilton but using a pseudonym) speaking for HA said on a forum for authors, “my review list started with my personal arc readers, and of course my arc readers are people who love books! They read to escape, not to critique, and they do have a positive review attitude. But that does not mean their reviews aren’t honest. We have seen 3 star reviews from my team as well, but as we ask that since they are getting these books for free (and therefore opening themselves up to books they normally wouldn’t read) that they only review the books they finish. This allows them to be honest without putting the author at risk for the kind of reviews common with freebie downloads.”

Author and book consultant Bryan Cohen said in August, in a podcast report on his own experience launching a novel, that he used HungryAuthor’s and received a number of reviews. HA has become popular enough that it is now booked months in advance. Its website cautioned, “Some books may be passed over if they do not meet our quality standards for editing, design, and formatting. Please submit your best product.”

A third operation, aimed even more specifically at reaching reviewers, is Book Razor: “You write … we look for potential reviewers”. They provide a list of carefully-chosen reviewers: “You want to email as few people as possible while getting as many reviews as possible. That’s why we only browse through the reviews of similar books you provide to us, and not through the entire genre and/or related genres. While it limits the number of potential reviewers we can find, we’ve found it greatly increases the response and review rate.” They charge about $30 for 50 potential reviewers, with increasing rates topping at $250 for 500.

How well does it work? Author Kevin Kruze reported last year that “For my newest book I tried out Martin Meadows’ BookRazor.com service. Basically, this is a service where they’ll research the names and email addresses of people who left Amazon book reviews on books that are similar to yours. Then it’s up to you to reach out via email to see if these active reviewers would be interested in reviewing your book.”

However, all of these services are explicit in saying they cannot guarantee a specific number of reviewers, or eventual reviews.

You could do the same thing they do, at more time and less financial expense.

It’s time- and labor-intensive, but the process will be more fully in your control if you do it that way, and you may learn a lot about your book’s marketplace.

Go to Amazon and look up a book as similar to yours, in subject matter and approach, as you can find. Go to the book’s customer page, and scroll down to the customer reviews. (If the book has none or very few, move on to another book.)

Scan the first review. Does this sound like someone who would like your book? If so, click on the reviewer’s name. If you can easily spot an e-mail address for that person, put the name and address on a list. Then move on to the next reviewer, and then the next most-similar book.

How many reviewers you collect this way is up to you; remember that only a fraction are likely to produce an actual review. Lean toward those providing what look like proper names (as opposed to “Amazon reviwer” or “anonymous”). Lean also toward those with higher reviewer ranks, preferably within the top 100,000, because they’re more likely to generate a review. (The overall number of Amazon reviewers runs into the millions.) When you have your list, send each person on it a note reminding them of their interest in the book they reviewed, your publication of a new and similar book, and the offer to send them a for-review e-book copy of yours. Then see what happens.

You may also get some reviews through book giveaway programs, free book download events and other activities. But approaching people accustomed to reviewing books online probably is the best way to get solid, well-crafted book reviews where you need them.

books

stapiluslogo1

Before you send your masterpiece out to the world, consider publishing a sub-masterpiece first.

I’m talking about an additional book, smaller, not lesser in quality, just in size and scope. It should be a good piece of work containing most of the attractive elements of the mothership, in a smaller package you can deliver quickly and promote in advance of the big book. This smaller book would be made available for free, as a promotional product. A number of authors, and marketers, call these “funnel books”—books that send readers through a marketing funnel to their main and for-sale product.

It’s an old concept, and not limited to publishing. You see it at your grocery store where companies offer free tastes of food and other products. (The shampoo I’ve used for many years first came to me as a free sample.) One web site on general marketing ideas said, “When companies introduce a new product to the market, whether it’s a perfume or a pizza, they often give away free samples. They hand out product to consumers and send free coupons in the mail. They offer free coupons to people who ‘like’ the product on Facebook. While people may be hesitant to try something new if they have to pay for it—if they’re disappointed, they’ll have wasted their money—many people will try anything once if it’s free. If the product is good, they’ll want another pizza or more perfume.”

bookworks main-logo

The advantages of free have been suggested over and over by authors and marketers. No marketing tactic has an airtight success record, but the results on this one are strong. The reason is simple: Free attracts people easily, and if they see strong quality—what they’re looking for—in the freebie or cheap piece, they’re far more likely to invest actual cash in your writings next time.

This can work especially well in fiction, if you offer a series or a group of otherwise similar books. Many authors offer the first full book in a series for free, finding that satisfied readers will be highly likely to pay for the second, third and beyond.

The idea is to create a “funnel book” that is shorter than a full-priced book but still provides most of the same reader experiences: The same major recurring characters, similar setting and atmosphere (if these are consistent), and the same kind of emotional charge. If you have a series in mind or have started one and you have a story or novel idea that isn’t quite complete, isn’t enough to sustain a full-scale book, this may be the place to use it.

The novella, long thought to be an outlier in commercial fiction, has found a whole new use in this area.

Author Nick Stephenson is among the writers using this approach as a standard method. He first creates a funnel book designed to bring in readers and ease them to the next step; the funnel can be an already-existing book set permanently for free, or a new short book also set for free; sometimes he gives readers two free books in a series before charging for one. In addition to earning the trust of the reader—that you will deliver an enjoyable or useful book—you can set up the delivery system to capture the reader’s e-mail as well. (You could send the free book to the reader by an email autoresponder.) That way, you can let your reader base know about new releases.

Stephenson said he pulled in a thousand new readers after first embracing this approach, and over several years has developed an estimated 15,000 new e-mail addresses.

Sean Platt and Johnny Truant, hosts of the Self Publishing Podcast, report that, “the most frequently visited topic [on their podcast] is how to build funnels.”

Another thing you can do with funnel samplers, if you’re still planning and developing your series, is to test your options. Some authors send out several sampler funnel books, all drawn from the same prospective series but varying in key respects: Pacing, the number of characters, locations and atmosphere, or other variables. If you can write three or four brief funnel books and send them all out to the world, you can see which generate the best reception.

Writer Derek Murphy tried this with four short titles. “All are pretty similar, in pretty similar categories, with similar covers, [but] only one has really taken off,” he wrote.

Murphy reflected, “I could have done the normal thing and wrote a series, then another series, then another series … I might spend 5 years before I wrote a popular series that could actually make money. Instead I wrote four 50K half novels, as a market test, to see which of my ideas was most marketable. Obviously, I have my answer.”

One of the authors I work with tried the funnel book approach on a small scale for a local non-fiction book about how a city park was created. I suggested he develop a smaller free book, providing a tour of the park area, that could be promoted in advance, develop a readership base and link him to the subject of the park system. When time came to release the main book, his audience seemed to be a little more ready for the full book than it otherwise might have been.

You can release free funnel books in eBook rather than print format; the out of pocket costs for doing it this way are minor. You will need to create and obtain the eBook files for your books (mobi files for Kindle, for example) so that they’re easily obtained by readers. Bear in mind that even though they’re free, your funnel books still need promotion so readers will know they’re there. Follow your usual book marketing approaches for doing this.

Distribution of free books is generally easy through most eBook channels. Kindle has several categories that can distribute at low cost (usually meaning 99 cents), and it will distribute free in special days in the KDP program. An alternative, or an addition, is to work through Smashwords, which actively encourages use of free samples as part of their distribution program.

If you want to keep track of exactly who is ordering your free book—and this is helpful for building e-mail and other lists—you can store the books on Google Drive or Dropbox, or a similar service.

Another approach, which comes with a small fee (starting at $20 a year), is a third-party distribution service like Instafreebie or Bookfunnel, which stores the books and simplifies downloading, through a single click, for readers. Because they can handle significant volumes more easily than an author website usually could, some large-selling authors use them. (I spotted a new Janet Evanovich title on Instafreebie this month.) For new authors, however, the issue of handling big volume generally won’t be a big consideration.

Some authors dive into the marketplace with full-sized novels and find success. But a softer entry, with the chance to review what works and what doesn’t, may be the surer route to success.

books BookWorks

I’m on the road around southern Idaho this week – visiting Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Boise, Nampa and other assorted locations. The occasion is showing (and giving away some free copies) of the book Crossing the Snake, which is a compilation of my Idaho columns.

Part of the idea too is setting down in places where newspapers are running the column, giving readers a chanc to converse. And me a chance to listen.

Reports from the road will be forthcoming. – rs

events publishing

We’re ramping up a bit on social media.

We’ve been expanding our presence a bit on Goodreads, the excellent site for book lovers (and for authors). And on other social media media as well.

Some of this grows out of work on a new book by Randy Stapilus on book marketing, which should be out and about in a couple of months or so. More on that soon.

publishing

We’re trying something with one of our newer books, Eye on the Caribou by Chris Carlson, that we may be expanding elsewhere. It has to do with how the books are distributed.

Most of our print books (we do e-‘s as well, of course) are printed by CreateSpace, which offers a good and efficient deal and has the advantage of easy entry into the Amazon.com store (which makes sense since CS is owned by Amazon).

You’ll find downsides to everything, and one here is that many book stores don’t much care for Amazon and, hence, CreateSpace. And if they see a book was made at CS, some bookstores are much less likely to stock it. That seems to include Barnes & Noble, a store I’ve worked with fairly easily until I started using CreateSpace.

There are also usually options, however. In this case, that is IngramSpark, which like CreateSpace prints on demand and also has a corporate relationship – with Ingram, the largest book wholesaler in the country and which services most book stores (and from which they routinely buy). IngramSpark is a little pricier than CreateSpace, but it also does good work, and printing a book through it means easy stocking in Ingram (much as CS does with Amazon).

So when Carlson pressed Barnes & Noble to stock copies of Eye of the Caribou, their response was: We will if we can get it through Ingram. So what we’re now doing, for Caribou at least, is using both CreateSpace and Ingram, which gives us very broad distribution.

There are more costs and is more work doing that. Still, we may do that with other titles. We’ll see how it goes.

publishing

bookworks main-logo

A Bookworks member has asked about targeted advertising strategies: what works (or doesn’t)?

Here’s the first in a series of posts we hope will help answer that question.

Targeted Advertising Strategies

Advertising of some kind or another is all around us, and many people develop strategies for tuning out much of it.  At least one web browser, Firefox, has a one-button tool allowing readers to crop out everything but the main core of text on a web page: Great for reading news stories, not so good for the advertisers who pay for space there.  In many ways, this is becoming a more challenging age for advertising.

Should indie authors nevertheless look seriously into advertising?

They should, although that doesn’t mean throwing money at whatever mass medium comes your way.  A great deal of advertising is wasted, but very carefully targeted advertising can help you sell your books.  Sometimes good ideas can come in unexpected places.

I’ve pondered, for example, the idea of using a billboard to sell a book – a very specific book that doesn’t yet exist.billboard

I live about an hour inland from Oregon’s highly popular ocean beaches.  Two highways leading there bear almost all the heavy traffic from the east, sometimes enough to create jams, as people head to the coast in search of something to do.

Suppose you had published a travel guide to the Oregon coast, and made it available on eBooks as well as print.  Now suppose you rented a billboard along one of those two highways advertising that book, offering an inexpensive, coast guide eBook available by wireless download to travelers right now, minutes in advance of arriving at the coast?  Might that sell enough copies to make a profit?

It might, because that billboard would be precisely targeting the exact audience of that particular book, at a moment when the subject is of great interest, and in a way that would allow immediate purchase.

One of the most important points about advertising (for books, but not only books) is to reach your specific audience, without wasting money reaching the masses of other people who aren’t and never will be your readers.

It can be done.

Facebook, for Example

Selection_412Indie novelist Mark Dawson, who is estimated to have sold more than 300,000 books, has done it.  He uses a number of marketing approaches but has doubled down especially on advertising in Facebook.  An article in Forbes reports that he spends substantial amounts daily on Facebook advertising for his books.  His advertising is so carefully targeted that he more than makes the money back while building a long-term reader base.  The precision of his advertising is the key: He has worked out in detail what his readers have in common, and sends his message to those people.

Dawson expanded his reach by using a feature in Facebook called “look-alike audiences.”  This allows him to submit an audience list to Facebook, which will find a second base of people whose attributes closely match those of the first.  It’s almost like replicating a highly responsive audience. The potential sizes of these audiences that Facebook can provide ranges up to the millions.  (As they get larger, of course, they also get more expensive.)

He has used that advertising strategy to help create a growing fan base, with which he keeps in close contact.

To use some of these advanced Facebook features, you first need to create a Facebook business account, which is separate from your individual account.  If you want to set up an author page, choose “Artist, Band or Public Figure” and if you want to set up a page for your book, select “Entertainment”.  From your account page, click “create ad” which takes you to an “ad manager” page.  The Facebook ads creation tools, also let you target (and test) your intended audience by location, interests, behaviors and demographics.  However, people who have used these features point out that either a considerable time or money, or both, is often needed to get good results.  Extensive market testing is equally important.  This may not be a form of advertising practical to newcomers, but is worth bearing in mind (and exploring further) for future possibilities, since Facebook is a vast potential pool of readers.

Other Places for Advertising

Not every form of useful and highly targeted advertising is as well-known or high tech.

One writer remarked in an online forum that, “I actually like placing ads in conference program books like Sleuthfest, Bouchercon, RavenCon (I write cross-genre so try to mix it up), horror conferences, etc.  Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the outcome since sales sometimes aren’t always the day or week the ad comes out, but for the nominal fee I think it’s worth it.  By nominal I’m talking under $250.”

Targeted advertising works differently for different kinds of books, of course.  I’ll be back soon with more on targeted advertising strategies for fiction and nonfiction books in Part Two of this series.

BookWorks columns

It’s been a busy year.

We started the year pushing through the new book on people in Idaho who have made a difference – the 100 Influential Idahoans 2015. It got a good deal of attention and kicked in nice sales, a good start to the year.

Next up we tried something new: A suggestion from Idaho Falls Post Register Publisher Roger Plothow to reprint letters to the editor that, for various reasons, the paper had declined to publish. The Unpublished made for very entertaining reading, and we hope to follow it up.

Chris Carlson’s Eye on the Caribou was a challenging and ambitious piece of work about the creation and passage of the Alaska Lands law in 1980, and its aftermath and effect on one miner in the state. In looking at the pluses and minuses both, it gave a nuanced view to some of the changes in land land in the country.

Scott Jorgensen’s On the Cusp of Chaos was a little more current – a personal view of Oregon in 2014 and 2015, inside and outside the Statehouse as changes in state government were underway.

A collection of my columns, Crossing the Snake, came in the fall, bringing together columns about Idaho spanning more than a decade – and all of it written from some distance away, in Oregon. It should say something at least about distance and perspective.

In the holiday season, Nathalie Hardy produced a fine Christmas e-book follow up to last year’s Raising the Hardy Boys. This one, Merry is Optional, hit the Amazon store in November.

For 2016? We have a batch of books readying for delivery. The first should be out in February.

publishing