Wednesday, December 3, 2014

If ‘Forever Free’ is one step too far…

So, as an indie author or publisher, you are convinced that the idea to offer your book for free is a good approach, but you’re not ready to commit to setting it to free permanently. Or you only have one book and you don’t see how you could chop it up into serialized work and offer part 1 for free. In that case, Babelcube’s temporary promos are what you need.

Pick your own terms

A new feature at Babelcube is that you can run limited-time—one to seven day—promotions whichever way you like. Want to lower the price of your $3.99 book to 99 cents for a couple of days? No problem. Want to set the price to free for just one day to boost visibility and get more paid sales after the price reverts back to the usual retail price? That is a possibility, too. On, post-free sales don’t really happen like they used to anymore (you need a lot of downloads for that to occur these days), but in other Amazon stores, the ‘bump’ in sales after coming off a free promotion is still very much a thing. And the best news is that with Babelcube, you are allowed to run promos on that book every month, not every 90 days like with KDP—which most self-published authors are limitation to.

Try it out today

As the rights holder, if you think a promo for your book just before the holidays kick off might be a good idea, go to your Babelcube account now. In your account click ‘Promotions’ next to any of your published books in the Translations tab. You need to schedule your promotion two weeks ahead; but once you have, Babelcube will do the work for you. No manual changing of prices on all the different book retailers – Babelcube sets them all to the price you desire and changes them all back when you want, in one fell swoop. Running promotions on your ebooks has never been easier.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Perma-Free: A way to sell more books‏

The Power of Free will give your book wings

It almost sounds like a magic formula, and in a way, it is kind of magical – by giving some of your work away for free, as an indie author you can sell a ton more books. Especially if you write series (or are willing to chop up a standalone novel and turn it into a serial). So how does it work and why would you give away books for free? Authors and translators, please read on for an in-depth explanation.

Once hooked, readers will want to read more

For people who have offered their books ‘perma-free’ (permanently free), the rewards have been plenty. Since there is no threshold for readers to sample your work, they download your book by the hundreds, even thousands, and if they are drawn into the story, they will happily buy the next book in the series, and the next, and so on. People who didn’t like it won’t buy your other books, and this ultimately gets your work in front of your target audience – the people who love your writing. Getting more visibility is the key: if nobody knows your book exists, nobody will buy it. Offering some titles for free will get a lot more eyeballs looking at your books, and that will pay off because you’ll have other, paid titles on offer as well.

If you are a self-published author with a series, the very best thing to do on Babelcube is to get one single translator to work on the entire series (or at least the first two books). This way, you can offer the first book for free and benefit from the ‘free hook’ into Book 2 – both you and the translator will make more money like this. It is a good idea to describe your other books at the end of each of your books, so readers can easily find them. Taking the step to give away your work for free might feel scary at first, but once you see the free downloads leading to follow-up sales, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try it before.

Babelcube can make it happen without price-matching

Some of the indie authors out there are already actively doing it – getting Amazon to ‘sell’ their book for free indefinitely by offering it for free on competing channels such as Google Play or iTunes. If iTunes offers your book for free, will most likely price-match because they always want to be the cheapest. This is not guaranteed, however – and it’s getting increasingly hard to pull this off on other Amazon stores in Europe and other places. 

However, Babelcube eliminates your hassles from price-matching. Babelcube can get your book into most of the major channels at a sales price of $0.00. That’s right – including Amazon, the store that typically doesn’t allow authors to set the price of their books to free permanently. And that’s not just, but all the other stores too. Imagine what it could mean for your book if, which is still very much growing, suddenly featured your book in Italian for free, forever – no risk of being reverted back to paid because decided to stop price-matching. This could be very good news for your books—and the translator and author team.

It’s not too late to try this out, even if a translator is already working on your book

If you’d like to give this pricing strategy a try, why not contact your translator and suggest you release a standalone book in two or three parts, setting part one to free? Or maybe someone is currently working on the translation of your first book and you’d like to offer them the opportunity to work on the second book as well, mentioning the perma-free strategy. Translators will get much more involved in the marketing aspect of getting the book out there – they’ll know what they’re working towards.

Attract translators who want to join you on the perma-free journey

As an author, if you want to take advantage of a perma-free strategy, attract translators who wish to collaborate. On your book profiles at Babelcube, make it clear that you are looking for a translator who supports perma-free. You can also discuss the idea with all Babelcube translators you have used or contact you in the future.

Give your translated book wings today!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Indonesia to Promote over a Hundred Literary Translations for 2015 Frankfort Book Fair

Indonesia is slated to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015; but they will do more than attend as they are the guest of honor. Officials from Indonesia are preparing to show the rest of the world their wide range of literature and culture. The Indonesian Deputy Education and Culture Minister, Weindu Nuryanti, is looking forward to the Frankfurt Book Fair and hopes to be able to promote Indonesia at the event. She is hopeful that through their participation they will be able to move forward with creating their own translation center in Indonesia.

Promoting Indonesian Literature
Weindu Nuryanti is looking forward to promoting Indonesian literature as well as the country's authors. She feels that the Frankfurt Book Fair creates the “perfect international stage.” Nuryanti said that their officials are planning on displaying 2,000 books at the Indonesian booth with 150 of those titles being translated into either German or English. The Indonesian translation team is working to get all 150 of the title translated by next year. The government has already assigned $1 million US dollars to fund the project.

Literary Works on Display
The managing editor at Gramedia, Wandi S. Brata has already said that his company will be displaying 100 titles of Indonesian literature. In the past, the publisher has focused on buying rights of international titles; but this year they will be trying to sell the rights of some of their local titles to the international market. They are focusing primarily on Germany at this time. They have already translated 61 of their titles and have about 40 more to complete.

Indonesian Author Achieves International Success
Laksmi Pamuntjak is an example of an Indonesian author who has already achieved international success. Her novel, Amba was translated into English and bears the title The Question of Red. The novel’s German rights have already been sold to Ullstein Verlag. Laksmi hopes that the German distribution will help open up even more doors to the international market. She is looking to Indonesia’s participation in the Frankfort Book Fair to help “curate the nation’s literature” so that the Indonesia’s cultural voice will be represented. She has great pride in what the Indonesian authors have already achieved.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What’s Behind the Recent Growth of Self-Publishing in Brazil?

Over the last five years or so self-publishing has grown to be a very stable part of the book market on a global scale. International and local businesses have offered a variety of services for self publishing authors who are willing to distribute their books in a digital format. Kobo and Amazon are two such examples. This same type of growth in self-publishing has been happening in many different regions around the world, most recently in Brazil. Ricardo Almeida is the founder and CEO of the most popular self-publishing platform in Brazil, the Clube de Autores. They have been having remarkable growth and in 2014 they won the British Council YCE award.

Inception of Clube de Autores
In 2009, Clube de Autores was started by three writers who were having a difficult time publishing their books. They basically had only two choices: find a publishing company to sponsor the book – which was very rare; or pay the outlandish publishing fees outright. The three writers didn’t think that a market as huge as it is and one that is saturated with content should be so difficult to get started in. So they began working on their own self-publishing model that would be sensible for all writers. Their basic model was designed such that an author could publish their works online for free and once a sale was made the book could be downloaded or printed. The plan took off and worked perfectly so that now, five years after its inception, Clube de Autores publishes about 10% of all of the Brazilian market.

Challenges Clube de Autores has Faced
One of the biggest challenges the partners faced was printing the books on-demand. It was difficult to negotiate prices with a print shop to print books in these tiny batches. But the organizers would not give up on their vision because it was one of the factors they knew was necessary for the success of their self-publishing platform. They also faced all of the regular challenges for a business in Brazil, such as high taxes, postal company strikes, and government red tape. But their mindset was that these were just common barriers that they had to get around.

Growth of the Self-Publishing Platform in Brazil
One of the most surprising things for the three founders was how fast the platform began to grow. They knew it was going to be successful because of the high need of self-publishing authors, but it grew up overnight, much to their surprise. They learned to work well with their authors and eventually grew into a complete marketplace including reviews, book covers and a variety of needed professional services. They even received international recognition by being awarded the YCE award for their work.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top 5 Best Reads for Translators

It’s very likely that if you are a translator, you enjoy reading. The reasons for reading are varied and it can be fun as well as rewarding. But it is a good idea to read as part of our professional development. What should a translator read in terms of professional development? Are there any specific books that would be beneficial? There are literally thousands of relevant books, but here we’re listing five of the top books that are great to get you started.

Translation as a Profession
This book by Roger Chriss is a good resource for translators from novices to veterans. It is full of useful information and his style is concise and succinct. You’ll enjoy this read and learn a lot about translating in the process.

The Entrepreneurial Linguist
Judy and Dagmar Jenner did an excellent job covering how to develop a successful translation business. For the most part, the book shares a variety of ideas and tips on how to become a freelance translator, but presents it all from the perspective of building a business. The Entrepreneurial Linguist is a wonderful tool in the hands of translators who are serious about taking their translation business to the next level.

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator
If you are just getting started in freelance translation services, then How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator is for you. Author, Corinne McKay discusses a myriad of topics, including how to start and grow the business, how to set up your home office, how to determine your rates and tons of other useful bits of information. It is also a very good source for a variety of related resources and tips.

The Translator’s Handbook
The first edition of this handbook was printed in 1996, but it is now it has reached its 7th revised edition. Even though the title makes it sound like the book contains specific information on how to translate, it is not the primary topic. Morry Sofer took the time to create an overview of translating, useful resources and professional development opportunities.

Mox’s Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation
This book by Alejandro Moreno-Ramos is a fun read. He created a fictitious cartoon character named Mox. The character is well educated, works way too hard and is typically misunderstood by friends and family. You’ll enjoy this fun look at the types of situations only translators are able to relate to.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Barbara Freethy’s Transition to the World of Self-Publishing and Translations

Just a couple of years ago romance author Barbara Freethy began self-publishing ebooks using her books that were out-of-print. By the early part of 2012 she had sold over 1.5 million copies. To grow sales, Freethy began self-publishing translated versions of the books. Needless to say, she’s been quite successful and a had a fun run along the way.

The Road to Self-Publishing
When Freethy started self-publishing it was a marketing decision. She decided to sell her titles that were out-of-print as inexpensive ebooks as a way to draw attention to the newer titles she was having published through traditional publishers, such as Simon & Schuster. As she made the transition to indie publishing, she created new book covers and ran social media campaigns using Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to her books' listings on sites like Amazon.

Her strategy worked. Her book The Sweet Thing had previously been published by Avon back in 1999, and when it was brought back to the market as a self-published book sales thrived. In 2010 The Sweet Thing ranked #35 on the New York Times Combined (print and ebook) Best Seller List and ranked #22 on the New York Times eBook Only Best Seller List.

Freethy self-published books include 18 titles so far: 17 are back-lists and A Secret Wish is an original book. Although she made her titles available through a variety of e-bookstores, most of her sales came from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Trying Out Translations
After having such marked success at self-publishing, Freethy began creating foreign language editions. She started with just three titles: Don’t Say a Word was translated into German, Daniel’s Gift was translated into Spanish and Just The Way You Are was translated into French. All of these were made available on Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. She hired translators and proof readers for each of the translations.

Today indie authors can have their translations done at Babelcube for no cost (just share the royalties) by a team - lead translator and editor and proof reader. Babelcube distributes the books through language specific retailers from a list of 300+, from Amazon to country specific retailers. 

Freethy’s Persistence Paid Off
Fast forward to the middle of 2013 and her self-published sales reached 3 million books. Now that’s exciting! She only began self-publishing in 2011 with a single book, Summer Secret, and its sales began to increase until it was listed as #1 on Barnes & Noble’s list and the next month it reached #1 on Amazon as well. Shortly after that Summer Secret was #1 on the New York Times eBook List. Within a short time, her other self-published titles began showing up on best seller lists.

Self-publishing was a learning experience for Feethy. And, initially sales were slow. Through research, such as online videos about book cover design, she studied many topics on self-publishing books. She also made her books available through a variety of retailers. And, even when sales were initially slow, she continued to add books to her self-published list.

What Freethy Likes About Self-publishing
While Freethy has stated that she seems to work harder now than ever before, she enjoys the rewards of self-publishing far greater. She loves running her own business, having control over what she writes and how frequently she can choose to publish. She always wrote faster than what publishers could produce and now she does not have to space out a series or hold back on the number of books she produces in a year. She is enjoying her new life as an indie author.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Presentation: Taking Your Book Sales to New Heights

Once your book is ready for sale, the next phase of the book's life begins. Authors, publishers, and translators all have the job of driving book sales.

To help you with promoting your book, we developed a presentation with numerous book marketing ideas.

Check out Guide for Authors: Taking Your Book Sales to New Heights. We were fortunate to have the presentation featured on SlideShare's homepage, after being chosen from thousands of presentations updated that day.

We hope you find it helpful!

 Guide for Authors: Taking Your Book Sales to New Heights

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

LinkedIn for Authors

There are a myriad of social media platforms and each of them provide benefits for authors. The particular social sites that an author chooses will depend on their personal taste, marketing strategies, and how they desire to connect with their audience. LinkedIn is one social platform that can be an effective and beneficial tool in the hand of an author.

Why LinkedIn Is Different
LinkedIn is one of the more popular social media sites available today. However, it has a very different flavor than most of the other popular social sites. LinkedIn is designed for social networking in the business community. It’s the largest social media platform that is geared toward the professional. Its design is such that professionals are able to connect with others in the same industry, for example. You may be asking how an indie author can use LinkedIn for marketing their books. There are actually several ways to use LinkedIn successfully.

LinkedIn Profiles
One way to use LinkedIn effectively is through the use of your profile. It is important that you update your status on a regular basis. If you are an indie author, for example, by including information relevant to the self publishing industry, you’ll demonstrate that you are actively involved and knowledgeable. Always use a current photo of yourself and make sure that it is a clear headshot. Be sure to fill out all of the fields including some of the newer ones like courses, publications or projects. Use relevant keywords to update the jobs field. By using relevant keywords in descriptions and titles you increase the likelihood of your profile showing up in search engine results. Make sure to keep your interests updated as well. Update your Amazon reading list, slideshows, and of course your blog. Your headline and summary are where profile visitors will get their first impression so make sure that they are creative and catchy.

Updating Your Status
Use timely and relevant information to update your status on a regular basis. You might include a sneak peak of your coming projects, speak of industry trends, discuss fast breaking news or even ask a question. By asking questions, you are likely to increase participation of others. If you want others to participate and be engaged, limit the length of your status to 50 characters. Typically, with an update it is good to include a web link, such as to your blog, a video or a website. Stay engaged with those who respond to your updates. Always be a part of the conversation by reacting to other’s comments or asking questions.

Using Groups On LinkedIn
One of LinkedIn’s finer qualities is in their groups. It’s important to select a number of relevant groups to join. You want to join only the number that you can reasonably be active in and don’t join just for the sake of joining. LinkedIn groups offer a great resource for making connections with likeminded individuals and creating enduring relationships. By being active in LinkedIn groups you can develop a good rapport with many other authors and readers. The key to success on LinkedIn, just like any other social site, is to stay actively involved.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Indie Authors Can Build a Readership

One of the concerns many indie authors face is how to build a decent sized readership. There can be many benefits associated with numerous readers. You have put years of experience, research and creativity into your book, you want it to be read and enjoyed by many. Many experts suggest growing a community of readers who are interested in your works and follow them faithfully. This is much longer lasting than simply having a fan base, although that is likely where a community of readers will begin to develop. Here are some suggestions on how to increase your readership.

Start While You Are Still Writing
You can start building a readership before you even finish the book. There are many people you can begin telling about your writing, including your friends, family and peers. It’s quite alright to share details about what you are creating. Be comfortable asking those close to you, those who understand you, for support. But, also remember to give your peers--including other indie authors--support in their efforts too. Once you have completed your book or project, those whom you've involved in the process will be eager to make a purchase.

Create A Mailing List
Email marketing is a great strategy for self-published authors. It gives you a way to connect personally with your audience. An audience that is tightly connected with you will likely follow you on a regular basis. Create a mailing list and make sure to put a link and call to action on your website so that it is very easy for others to join.

Give Something To Your Readership
It’s very good to make that connection with your audience, but make it personal. Make sure that you are giving them something that is beneficial. For example, if you are sending out regular, informative emails you must do more than just make a sales pitch. You’ll lose readership if that’s all you do. Give them something “extra” for following you. One idea is to offer them exclusive content or something that is not common knowledge. If it’s applicable to your situation, providing mentorship might be welcome, or support the creative ventures of your audience. Each indie author is different and there will be very creative and unique ways to give back to your readership. Don’t be afraid to contribute to them in the way that makes the most sense to you.

Numbers Are Not Everything
Even though you want more people following you, when it comes to building a readership it’s really not as much about gaining a large audience as it is connecting with them. The interaction or engagement with your audience is where the real benefit is. By establishing a real connection with them, it is likely to be an ongoing, long-term relationship. That’s where the power is, because when you are connected with a follower, they will be sure to spread your news. It’s better to have a couple hundred people on your mailing list who are going to tweet about your latest book to their friends than it is to have a couple thousand friends on Facebook who passively read your status updates. Always remember to engage with your readership, not just count them.

Be Yourself
It is very important to be yourself when engaging with your readership. As an author, you do not need to create a persona. Readers are intuitive and will see past the fa├žade. It’s much better to be yourself so that you will be the same every time you interact with them. They are looking for genuineness and openness. Think of them as a community, not just people who buy your book. Honest interaction with your readership is what will keep them connected to you.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Creating a Sell Sheet for Indie Authors

A sell sheet is an important detail for the self-publishing author. In essence, it contains all of the details pertaining to the book. It will include items such as the price, ISBN/ASIN, a synopsis, reviews, blurbs and an author bio. It may also contain details such as how many pages are contained in the book and where it can be purchased. Some indie authors like to include a photo to add a more personal touch. Basically, a sell sheet is a document that is similar to a brochure that has all the information about the book in one location. 

What is a Sell Sheet Used for?
A sell sheet is simply a tool to help promote your book. It can be useful for presenting your book In some cases, a sell sheet is used in accordance with a media kit. It’s more than a press release, which simply focuses on the news pertaining to the book. A sell sheet is similar to an announcement, but it explains the book and its details from a marketing perspective.

Publishing Details
You will put the title of the book at the top of the sell sheet and in the upper left hand corner you’ll want to place a thumbnail of the book cover. This is more than just an aesthetic feature; it also gives the reader a visual reference for your book. On the right side of the sell sheet you’ll want to list the publishing details about the book including these items:
  • Title (it’s okay to state it again!)
  • Author
  • Category or subject of the book
  • ISBN
  • Format including e-versions and print
  • Date of publication
  • Number of pages in the book
  • Price
  • Book dimensions
  • Where the book can be purchased
  • Languages the book is available in

A sell sheet will also contain a synopsis of the book. It is advisable to write two or three different descriptions about your book, ranging from short to fairly long, so that you have a suitable version for different situations.

Author Bio
Always include an author bio on the sell sheet. This offers your audience another way to connect with you. Because an author bio is written in third person it is sometimes more difficult for the author to complete than the book itself. It does not have to be lengthy; just tell the reader what you want them to know about you and your interests.