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Finding the silver lining in used book sales

The idea of reselling used books is understandably troublesome for some authors. You work hard on your book and take it to market with the goal of getting it into as many hands as possible, but you want individuals to purchase new copies – legally. You copyright your book to protect it from theft. And then, in spite of all your best efforts, you see used copies on Amazon, in thrift shops, on the shelves at used bookstores. Even books in libraries offer multiple readings of one book, rather than each reader making a separate purchase.

One way to view these resold books is with gratitude that more people are reading your book and hearing your message. The reselling of books gives them new life. I’d sure rather my book went to a new person than languishing in the back corner of the original buyer’s bookshelf or, worse, winding up in a landfill somewhere. I always think back to Seth Godin’s admonition that an author must give away 5,000 books before their book will ever really take off.

Another way to view the sharing of books is by making a comparison to radio. Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and then gone out and bought the album, cassette, CD, or MP3? Of course you have – that’s why artists put their music on terrestrial and Internet radio. It’s not out of the generosity of their hearts – it’s for the exposure.

In my experience, buying secondhand books is not much different. For one thing, I often am introduced to books through used sources that I would never otherwise have known about or thought to buy. Secondly, with the introduction to these unfamiliar authors, on more than one occasion, I have sought out – and purchased – new copies of these authors’ other works.

Whether you view reselling as a blessing or a curse is totally up to you.

For those who appreciate a good used book sale, one of the biggest in the country is coming up this weekend in Phoenix. The VNSA Charity Book Sale will hold its 56th event at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. Bibliophiles from all over the country visit this sale – and it even has international patrons!

All books are donated by the public, and the sale is run entirely by an incredibly well-organized staff of volunteers. I just learned that VNSA does not carry books over from one year’s sale to the next, with the exception of specific rare books. Leftover books are sold or donated to nonprofit groups who make arrangements with VNSA months in advance of the sale.

This marks the 25th year with the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County as the sale’s beneficiaries. Since its inception in 1957, VNSA has donated more than $6 million to nonprofit human service agencies in the Phoenix area. Kudos to them!

Hours of the 2012 sale are: Saturday, Feb 11, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, Feb 12, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Shipping is available both days, and admission is free, although the fairground charges a fee for parking.

Categories for this year’s sale include:

  • DVDs/Videos
  • Biography
  • Business/Career Planning
  • Children’s
  • Classics
  • Computers
  • Cookbooks
  • Dictionaries
  • Fiction
  • Fine Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Health & Fitness
  • History/War/Politics
  • House & Garden/Crafts & Hobbies
  • Humor
  • Large Print/Books on Tape
  • Paperbacks
  • Rare and Unusual
  • Relationships/Self Help/Ethnic Studies
  • Religion & Philosophy
  • Science and Nature
  • Sets
  • Sports/Transportation
  • Suspense/Science Fiction
  • Text
  • Travel
  • Treasures
  • The West

Maybe I’ll see you at the sale!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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Internet Radio: Are interview opportunities just waiting for YOU?

(Click twice SLOWLY – not a double-click – to enlarge the image.)

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While a media kit is an important tool for promoting your book and securing media appearances, don’t overlook the smaller opportunities that surround you. One great, inexpensive way to promote your book is by finding Internet radio shows that are thirsty for quality guests.

These generally aren’t elaborate, expensive productions it may be a guy in his home office with a makeshift studio, hosting guests via Skype or telephone. Nevertheless, some of these shows get great traction. And, more importantly, many of them are tailored to incredibly SPECIFIC audiences … perhaps the very same audience as the one you’re seeking for your book. As they are often one-“man”-shops, these small radio hosts may not have the time or interest to slog through a full media kit. In this instance, a well-worded e-mail may be a better idea.

Make sure the subject line is clear and direct, and that your succinct message contains your pitch. Your goal is for them to call you back and book you for their show at the next available opening.

Obvious caveat: If someone ASKS your for your media kit, send the  media kit. Always have your media kit updated and ready to send at a moment’s notice!

You may want to look into the following Internet radio providers with large catalogues of shows:

http://blogtalkradio.com

http://voiceamerica.com

http://wsradio.com

http://alltalkradio.net

Happy pitching!

MARCIE

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Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

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PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, Sept. 22 Rehearse your BOOK PITCH until it rolls off your tongue fluidly

Monday, Sept. 19 Want to be attractive to the media? Include a MEDIA ROOM on your website!

Thursday, September 15 – 10 creative alternate uses for media releases

Monday, September 12 – Get your MEDIA RELEASE to the right person in a timely fashion for a better chance of response

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