Friday, December 6, 2013

Using Facebook to Market Your Book

If you have just finished writing a potential best seller, and want to share the news about how good it is with the world but do not have a clue how to do it you may like to consider social media sites. Using Facebook to market your self-published book might not be a path you feel comfortable going down or more than likely have not considered. However, compared with traditional marketing methods, it is an extremely effective and time productive way.

Also, I am sure you are eager to hear what people think of your book. By using Facebook to market your self-published book your audience will share their reaction to it, and this is one of the beautiful things about using social media.

If we go back to basics, then even though we are living in the 21st century, word of mouth still sells books. Using Facebook as a launch platform to simulate word of mouth activity, you can pretty quickly get that small snowball rolling downhill to grow into a monster, and as you gather credibility your visibly gets bigger as your new found fans spread the news for you. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Before using Facebook to market your self-published book, you must establish relationships with other people and this cannot be rushed. To get lots of fans takes time, and you should actively target market to the ‘right type of fans’ to visit your page. A great way to do this is to join as many writing groups as you can find. You need to develop relationships within these groups before you can market your book, so be patient and realize that this is a long term plan and cannot be achieved quickly.

Using Facebook to market your self-published book is all about communicating, sharing your work and getting involved in the work of other writers. It can bring some impressive results.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Price Your Self-Published Book

One important part of marketing your book is pricing. Some self-published books have really taken off, and sometimes a good pricing strategy is part of the reason. As an indie author, your book could very well be just as big of a success as those by authors who are published via traditional means.

Target Price For Your Self-Published Book
As an author, undoubtedly you are concerned about how to price your self-published title to enhance sales. An industry survey revealed that in 2013 the preferred self-published book price was $2.99. In 2012, the most favored price was 99 cents! Luckily, authors, like yourself, immediately caught-on that pricing books so low undervalued their book content and began pricing books higher, mainly because readers were prepared to pay more. It’s good to know that it is not required to “price yourself under the table” in order to sell your book on the market. Price does play an important role; however, superb content and giving the public what they crave counts even more.  

Pricing High or Low
An interesting discovery from the same survey mentioned earlier is that on average books priced at $3.99 sell more units than those priced at $2.99. This is more than any other price point outside of free downloads! Therefore, if you price your book below $3.99 you may be selling yourself short because readers respond well to the $3.99 price point for self-published books.  

Naturally, it seems to make more sense that cheaper books sell more, but $3.99 seems to be an optimal point, on average. At this price point, for a typical book, your revenue is 55% above the average of all price points.

Keep in mind that every author has a different sales approach. Nevertheless, the shared strategy is to start low and afterwards increase the price after discovering your market.

There’s room to be optimistic! There are many self-published authors who are actually earning a living from their book sales. Self-publishing isn't exactly something new, it’s just that today you have more opportunities to have your voice heard.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New FAA Rules are a Big Win for Indie Authors

Have you ever wondered if your electronic device really interferes with an aircraft’s flight equipment?

The Babelcube team is excited to learn that ebooks can be read safely throughout a passenger’s time on a plane. Soon electronic devices will not need to be turned off, providing they are in “airplane mode.” This eliminates one of biggest hurdles some readers had to switching from paper books to ebooks. We expect that this change will accelerate the already rapid adoption of ebooks.

A few days ago the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) announced that electronic devices can be kept on for uses such as reading ebooks, playing games, and listening to music. Texting and voice calls will remain prohibited. Airlines are expected to review the new guidelines and submit their plans shortly. The industry expects that multiple airlines will allow eBooks to be read at any point in the flight as early as the end of 2013.

You can watch the FAA announcement here.

While the new rules are for United States airlines, the European Aviation Safety Agency participated in the FAA’s review and plans to consider amending their regulations for electronic devices upon an aircraft.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let Translators Find Your Books!

We are excited to announce that Babelcube has launched functionality to let authors post information about books they wish to have translated. Functionality for translators to submit offers to translate these books will be available soon.

If you are an author, we invite you to add the books  that you want translated to the Babelcube marketplace. This will ensure that your books will be among the first group considered, once translators start submitting their offers to translate and partner with authors. Make sure to provide all relevant information about each book, including information about sales, rankings and anything else that could make the book attractive for translators. If you wish, you can provide a book excerpt so that translators can evaluate the book style and submit a test translation. 

We encourage you to introduce Babelcube to authors you know who may be interested in having their books translated and sold in global markets. As the variety of books at Babelcube grows, so will the quality and number of translators.

If you are a translator, stay tuned for more news! Soon you will be able to browse the books waiting to be translated and submit your offers.

The Babelcube Team

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our beta is closed. These are the books which will participate

We had a wonderful response to our call for beta testers. It was difficult to choose between so many talented authors and translators. We would like to thank everybody who joined our site and submitted an invite request.

These are the books we have chosen for our initial test:

From English to Spanish:

The Steel Van Man

by Jason P. Stadtlander

Translated by Kevin Peralta

God´s Forge

by Patrick Dorsey

Translated by Rocío Gutierrez

Eternal Vows

by Chrissy Peebles

Translated by Celia Cordón

From Spanish to English:


by Iván Hernández

Translated by Rachel Kinley

La Lluvia es una Canción sin Letra

by Ángel Gil Cheza

Translated by Ciara Hennessy

El Asesino de la Vía Lactea

by Gabriel Martínez

Translated by Max Zalewski

Hope you like them!

We continue working on our platform, we expect to open it to all of you in a few months. Our first step will be to open the possibility for authors to upload information about the books they want to translate. Keep an eye on us!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Looking for Beta Testers!!!

We continue developing our platform and we have now opened the possibility to create a full account with all your user details. If you registered with us to receive email updates, you can now go to and create your account.

We are also looking for Beta Testers, authors who may be interested in translating their books and translators who may be interested in translating them. Those books selected for this beta stage will have a number of advantages:

  • We will pay the translators a stipend, additional to any royalties they may earn through our platform. With this, we want to make sure that translations are done quickly and with great quality
  • We will pay for a professional proofreader to review these translations
  • The books will be part of our initial marketing push and we will invest in promoting them via many different channels

We are looking for books with the following characteristics:
  • Adult fiction (any genre is welcome)
  • Published in English or Spanish
  • Published in or with good sales and reviews
We are looking for translators who can translate from English to Spanish or from Spanish to English.

If you have published a book with these characteristics or if you can translate in those languages and want to be considered to join our Beta program, you need to take two steps:
  • Register at Babelcube
  • Fill in the form that you will see in your account page to request an invite

Many thanks for participating!

The Babelcube Team

Thursday, August 29, 2013

eBooks have won

This picture was taken a few days ago at the "Metro" in Madrid. You can see that six people are reading eBooks and that no one has a traditional paper book. To me, this is a clear indication that eBooks are winning the battle and that soon most people will read their books in electronic form.

This is great news for indie authors who currently publish most of their books in electronic form. The market is growing really, really fast and changing everyday. This reminds me of the 2001-2005 period when we went from almost nobody owning a digital camera to a situation where almost everybody had one. This is happening with electronic readers right now. Two-three years ago almost no one had one but I expect that by 2015 almost everybody will.

In my particular case, I got an electronic reader for Xmas 2011. Before that, I read something like 30 books a year. Last year I read 50. This is mainly due to two factors:
  • I read in more places. With my electronic reader always in my handbag, I am able to read in many situations where I would not have carried a traditional book.
  • I am able to get the books I want faster. If I find out about an interesting book on the TV, newspaper, internet, I can buy it and start reading in a few minutes. With a traditional book, this would have taken days or weeks, and many times I would have forgotten about the book by the time I could have purchased it.
This is also great news for out platform, babelcube, where we want to put independent authors in touch with translators, so that their books can be sold in many more markets and to many more readers. So, we are really excited with the fact that eBooks are winning the battle!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How reading a book by an indie author made me launch a startup

    Author Hugh Howey and his book "Wool"

This is how it all started: at the beginning of this year I read an outstanding book:   "Wool" by Hugh Howey. It is a science fiction book but I think it can be enjoyed by all kind of readers, even those who do not ordinarily read science fiction. It has an amazing story, an incredible pace, one of the best characters I have ever found in a book... I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you would like to read it, you can buy it at Amazon, it will cost you just 5 bucks in the Kindle version.

But I am not writing this blog post just to praise this book. The thing is that I liked it so much that I wanted to recommend it to all my friends. But the problem is that most of my friends don´t read english and there was no spanish translation available and this was SO frustrating...

I had never heard of Hugh Howey before I read his book (I heard about it in a science fiction blog). I tried to learn more about this author and was amazed to find that he was an "indie" author. He had no proper "publisher" and had published all his books directly in all the electronic platforms like Amazon. I learned more about "indie" authors and found out that there were lots and lots of writers publishing many, many very interesting books.

But I kept finding the same problem again and again: none of these very interesting books were available in my native language and it was frustrating that I could not share them with my friends. I kept thinking that the authors were losing a huge business opportunityI looked at some forums and asked some authors and found out that the main problem behind the lack of translations was the high cost involved: it would cost $2000-$4000 to translate an average book to just one language. If you multiply this by several main languages, it was clear that this was out of reach for most independent authors.

Then it was when it hit me: what if we could involve the translators in the business equation, and have them share both the risks and the rewards of translating these books? If we could involve those translators who had a more entrepreneurial spirit, who saw the business opportunity behind the global expansion of successful books, giving them also the opportunity of expanding their experience in a very rewarding line of work, then we could break down the biggest barrier for having these books translated.

This is how the idea behind Babelcube was born. We are building a platform where successful independent writers can connect with translators, working in a revenue sharing environment where all parties involved shared the risks and rewards.

And the best thing is that the electronic markets provide us the opportunity of making this platform work, as they provide some features that make this project possible:
  • Global reach
  • A good revenue share for authors
  • Accountability, reporting and fast and swift payments

Hugh Howey is now such a successful author that he has been able to sign up with several "traditional" publishers and some translations of his works are now appearing (a german version is already available), but I love to imagine that many more "Hugh Howeys" will be able to reach a global market, reach many more readers and earn higher revenues. And that many translators will be able to work on wonderful books that they like while earning a nice income.

Stay tuned for more!