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For our inaugural #BBchat Twitter chat, we asked a few of our authors and literary friends from around the world, including Chris Robley (our blog manager) and Petra A. Lohmann (BookBaby author of Swans), for their thoughts on recent book e-retail trends. Overwhelmingly, the comments on utilizing social media and book crowdfunding revealed that, while new tricks of the trade may generate buzz for established authors, such new tactics do not necessarily translate into higher revenue or engagement for those authors looking to build up their fan base. However, almost all those participants who responded to our questions on marketing and sales techniques (such as bundling) responded that they would be open to trying such promotions if they had evidence of demand from their respective target markets. As well, they responded favorably to these ideas from a reader or buyer's perspective. To view the entire chat archive, please visit this link. Below is a selection of questions and answers from our discussion.
We've got some exciting news to share: Steven Spatz has been chosen as the new president of BookBaby. Spatz has been the Chief Marketing Officer for Audio Video Labs (our parent company) for much of the past 10 years. He’s been a driving force behind many of our new products, including BookPromo and BookShop. “Steven has been an invaluable marketer for AVL on the music side of the business,” says AVL CEO Tony van Veen. “But he took a special interest in BookBaby from day one of this brand and we’re excited to see what he can do with the business.” “I’ve watched this company grow from its origins as CD Baby’s little brother, to become a leader in its field,” says Spatz. “I can’t wait to devote 100% of my time to this amazing brand.”
A couple of Saturdays ago in the concrete basement of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, I witnessed the future for our BookBaby authors. And it looks mighty bright. This vision came to me while sitting behind BookBaby’s table during the annual uPublishU event, a how-to conference for writers, both striving and thriving. It’s held in conjunction with the gigantic Book Expo America in New York City. Upstairs the usual book people strolled through acres of BEA exhibits on the main convention floor during the last day of the show. Meanwhile I was downstairs in the basement bunker with 800+ writers and exhibitors enjoying lectures and discussions by a who’s who of self publishing. I even moderated a panel featuring indie author superstar Hugh Howey that explored both traditional and self publishing paths.
The lovely folks at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) posted a guest article from me on their blog yesterday. The post combines some of the tips from "Book to book launch" with advice from 6 Steps to Take Your Manuscript to Marketplace in 6 Weeks — a guide written by BookBaby CMO Steven Spatz exclusively for NaNoWriMo, and available to NaNoWriMo participants for free. If you worked hard writing your book (and I imagine you did), then it makes sense that you’d want your words to find the right audience. It’s important to find the right balance between strategically planning your book launch (so you’ll be able to build interest in your book), and getting things done according to a definite timeline — because the last thing you want to do is sit on a finished manuscript indefinitely. To find out how to strike that balance, and how to deliver you manuscript to market in a smart-but-timely way, check out "Publish your book in 6 weeks" on the NaNoWriMo Blog!
- How did you know your book was really “finished?” What did you do to make sure your manuscript was ready to hit the bookstores?
- Did you have your book professionally edited? If no, why not? If yes, please tell me about the experience and whether or not you would recommend this for your fellow would-be author?
- What did you do about creating a cover for your book? Tell me about your experience and if you’re happy with your design.
Digital Book World presents a live webinar with BookBaby CMO Steven SpatzThe web, social media, and a host of new marketing platforms and initiatives are redefining book promotion for authors, publishers and content developers alike. Learning how to select and deploy them strategically could ultimately determine your book's success. On Tuesday, May 13th, Rich Bellis of Digital Book World will moderate a live web discussion with BookBaby's chief marketing officer, Steven Spatz, and Fauzia Burke, the founder and president of FSB Associates. Join them at noon (EST) for a comprehensive survey of current strategies for diversifying and economizing your promotional toolkit.
Get your book noticed: book marketing for beginnersSo the good news is you don’t need a publisher to get your book into the hands of readers anymore. After all, BookBaby gets your book straight into the world’s biggest retail stores. The trick is: How do you get readers to notice your book? Traditional publishers have marketing and PR departments. You have you. That’s where this handy guide comes in. Written by BookBaby’s very own Chief Marketing Officer, Steven Spatz, this book will teach you to think like a marketer. In Spatz’s own words: “That’s what makes this guide different from the hundreds out there. This is a guide for marketers. Not authors. Beginning today — right now — you need to think like a marketer. Which means you need to think of your book as a product — nothing more and nothing less.” This free guide to book marketing helps you do just that. What you’ll learn:
- How to identify your market
- Crafting your Unique Selling Proposition
- How to be everywhere
- Using Metadata
- And much more!