Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith

Released: April 2010

The Double Comfort Safari Club is the 11th book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith featuring female Botswana detectives Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi.

In this novel, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi once again have their fair share of seemingly normal, innocent mysteries to solve. The duo must locate a safari guide held in high regard by a late American guest who has left him a steep legacy, as well as investigate the husband of a local woman who suspects he is cheating, when it is actually more likely that she is the deceiving party in their relationship. Sprinkled with the usual anecdotes on living and leading a decent life in the style of Botswana, McCall Smith provides another cozy experience that will make you feel thankful and count your own blessings.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How to Set a Price for Your Self-Published E-Book

Congratulations! So you've made the smart decision of self-publishing your e-book, and now all you have to do is come up with the right price to sell it for. You don't want to sell your e-book for too low a price; yet you don't want to scare potential buyers off from setting too high a price.

Whatever price you designate, keep in mind that going the e-book route will allow you to keep the majority, if not 100% of your profits. Generally, if you had gone the print route with a publishing company, you would have earned about $0.64 for each $8 paperback sold, $0.75 for each $13 trade paperback sold, and $2.50 for each $25 hardcover book sold. You would have to sell an EXORBITANT amount of copies to earn a respectable profit that you deserve.

Here are important points to consider if you're at the stage of setting a price for your e-book. Use these tips to designate a price that is comfortable for you!

1) Use the psychological pricing method. Experts say you should always end your price in the numbers 5, 7, 8, or 9 because they are the most visually and mentally appealing. Stay away from the numbers 0 or 1 because they are the least appealing.

2) Determine the value of your e-book. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes when measuring the value. A perfect example is pricing an e-book that explains how to start a llama farm business. Imagine the time you would have to invest in researching how to even begin to start a llama farm business, but you can buy the e-book that explains the process and breaks it down into a simple step-by-step procedure for $8.97. Wouldn't it be a relief and much easier just to spend $8.97 and learn everything you need to know versus spending hours on research? It's best to measure the value of your e-book when setting a price.

3) Set a price within the impulse-buy threshold. People will usually make purchases based on emotion first and rationality second. Impulse-buy prices are usually set between $1.99 and $4.99. Some authors believe that buyers may not read impulse-buys and setting too low of a price may deter people from actually reading the e-book after being purchased. These are points to consider when setting your price within the impulse-buy threshold.

4) Compare your e-book to others in its genre or competitors. Take a look around the web and see what other self-publishers are charging for their e-books. Take note of their sales numbers and strategies to get a good idea. Stay away from e-books through publishers because their prices are usually grossly inflated. Remember -- since you're a self-publisher, no price you choose is set in stone! Perform tests and change your pricing later on if you feel it's too high or too low.

Are you a self-publisher with any best practices for determining e-book prices? Have you learned anything new about e-book pricing? Share it with us!
      How to Price eBooks for the Kindle: A Pocket Pricing Guide for Authors and Publishers to Maximize Sales and Royalties with the New 70 Percent Royalty Option    How To Really Sell EBooks    How to Market and Sell Your eBook - Everything You Need to Know to Make Money with ePublishing

Monday, July 11, 2011

Die Trying by Lee Child

Released: January 1998

Die Trying is the second novel in Lee Child's series featuring Jack Reacher, former member of the United States Army Special Forces and the most bad-ass wanderer and hero of present-day suspense novels.

Speak of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; Jack Reacher is wandering the streets of Chicago when his chivalry takes over to prevent a woman in crutches from falling down. Seconds later, Reacher and the woman are kidnapped at gunpoint and thrown in the trunk of a car. Reacher soon learns that the woman, Holly Johnson, is actually an FBI agent with a prominent father and that she is being held ransom at the hands of a militia group with nutsy views and demands. On the brink of being murdered, Reacher must fight back to save his own life and the lives of other innocents.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How to Get an ISBN Number for Your Book

Obtaining an ISBN number is a smart business decision if you're self-publishing your book, and applies to both e-books and print books. From a profitability standpoint, ISBN numbers will allow nearly every online and brick-and-mortar book-selling venue to order and sell your book; plus it helps you, the publisher, to be identified easily for contact purposes if buyers want to order your book. While having an ISBN is not currently a legal requirement, it IS required by most booksellers.

Fortunately, getting an ISBN number is quite easy, so don't be overwhelmed when you learn you need to have one. It will definitely benefit you in the long run!

The U.S. ISBN Agency at Bowker is currently the official source of ISBN numbers in the United States, however there are some authorized agents that offer special services catering specifically to self-publishing authors.

Here are the steps you can take to obtain an ISBN number for your new book if you are located in the United States.

1) Visit to get started. On the right, click on the large button that says "Get your ISBN today!" to proceed.

2) Click on the "buy now" button next to the option for purchasing a single ISBN.

3) Click on the "checkout" button below the shopping cart that displays your product description.

4) Click on the "New Bowker customer" button to create an account.

5) Type your information into the required fields. You will be asked to provide your name, physical address and email address as well as a username and password for the Bowker website. After reviewing the registration terms, click on the "I Accept - Create my Account" button to proceed. You will then receive a confirmation email that completes your registration.

6) Log into your account and finalize your ISBN purchase. After your registration is complete, you will have the option to click on the shopping cart icon in the upper-right corner and enter your payment information.

7) Enter your book's information to have it added to the Bowker database. After you have paid for your ISBN number, click on the "My Account" link toward the top of the website, then click on the ISBN number you just purchased to bring up the title form. The following page will allow you to enter your book's details and information; such as the title, the cover image, the description, the selling price and much more. When you have finished, scroll back to the top of the page and click on the "Save" button to finish.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Released: February 2005

Uglies is the first of four novels in the "Uglies" saga by Scott Westerfeld.

In 15-year-old Tally Youngblood's futuristic dystopian world, she is known as an "Ugly". When teenagers turn sixteen, they undergo complex plastic surgeries to become "Pretties", turning them all into mega-beautiful supermodel people whose job is to do nothing but party and get along with one another. Racial and social issues are no longer a problem, and everyone is perpetually happy for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 4 Best Chick-Lit Authors

Chick-Lit is a newer sub-genre of fiction geared toward women that addresses common issues in love, family, and relationships. The chick-lit genre does often border on romance, but overall tends to focus more on difficult situations that the women protagonists usually overcome.

Here are my 4 favorite authors from the chick-lit genre. These women write intelligent, intriguing novels with unforgettable heroines.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

Released: March 2010

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is the third memoir by the ever-entertaining comedian Chelsea Handler. If you can't handle nasty or raunchy, then this book isn't for you -- but if you loved Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter and all of Jenny McCarthy's memoirs, then make sure to pick this one up.

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is comprised of stories about random, crazy adventures and incidents from Handler's past. This specific memoir also includes pictures to go along with the stories, which is an excellent addition that was absent from her previous books and definitely adds to its overall humor and value.

Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore

photo courtesy of
Released: April 2011

Sweet Jiminy is the 3rd novel by Kristin Gore. This novel is completely different from Gore's humorous Capitol Hill novels, as it addresses civil rights issues in rural Mississippi.

Here's the synopsis.

Jiminy Davis is 25 years old and already starting to feel the strain of law school. Eager for a break and change of pace, Jiminy decides to visit her grandmother in Mississippi for the summer. Shortly after her arrival, she starts poking around in old family journals and reads about another Jiminy in her family's history. Her family's tight-lipped behavior when the late Jiminy is mentioned stirs the curiosity of present-day Jiminy, who embarks on a journey to learn all about the past Jiminy and why her family has kept her a secret.