Friday, February 2, 2007

Indie Marketing Project

Thank you for your interest in the new marketing project—which I am hopeful, will help you achieve an increase in book sales. I’m going to answer many of your questions to give you better insight into the goal of this project.

How is what you are doing different from what others are doing?

There are three basic ways to sell books: (1) the traditional market which would include all the major chain bookstores, mass merchants, all retailers that market and sell books, (2) through the use of technology of the internet, and (3) individual sales you initiate through your marketing efforts; usually one book at a time. Which means through your own hard work.

The major publishers dominate and control #1 (above). This system is well established and inflexible to participation by most authors outside the system.

There are no major websites, #2 (above), that focus entirely on the sale of Independently Published books as well as on marketing the author. The

Independent Author market is highly fractured and no one is focused on selling books and marketing authors. Most sell products and services designed to “assist” the Independent Author to attempt entry into the traditional marketplace.

Most Independent Authors sell books by the #3 method. That is where Independent Authors have their most success, through sales they initiate through their own marketing efforts, selling their book(s) from person-to-person.

In order to attract book buyers from #1, it requires a combination of #3 through the use of #2 by way of the community. What this means is that the power of a combined community of Independent Authors selling books through the use of technology where the focus is on the book and author, will siphon book buyers that otherwise would not have considered the book of an Independent Author. A key element of this project is to make buying your book or other writing very convenient for purchasers to locate you and your books.

What makes you think this will work?

The major trade publishing business in this country alone is an $8 billion dollar business. Combine the efforts of 500,000 new Independent Authors each calendar year with the 2 or 3 million that already exist, and I strongly believe that it is more than possible to band together to reach common goals in sales as Independent Writers and Authors.

One half of one percent of that market is $40 million dollars. That number dwarfs what is estimated Independent Authors sold in 2006. The possibilities are endless but it starts with banding together to overcome the previous difficulties of being fragmented and hard to locate.

What is the cost of participating in your program? What is the long-term cost?

There is no cost, not now, or will there ever be a fee participate. There will be services available that will help you to maximize your participation in this program but they are optional.

What is required of me as a writer or author at this time?

Nothing is required at this time. Step-by-step instructions will be sent when we are ready to begin loading information into the program. There will be links to your website. In the meantime, go ahead and make any updates you have planned for your website, if you have one, so your website will be 100% current when the link is setup. If you do not have a website, please don’t hurry to complete one, you can use this program as a guide to you and your book(s).

Besides selling more books, and not charging fees, what do you hope to accomplish?

My goal is to create a community for Independent Writers and Authors to sell their books, or writing, and promote themselves as writers and authors. This is the first step. The importance is in growing the community to the point where the market for Independent Authors has a single voice for the sale of their books, as opposed to the fractured industry that exists today. With tens of thousands of writer’s websites, it is more likely readers will find you if there is a single website for them to begin their search for Independently Published books.

Will you actually be selling my books?

No, not in the beginning. Possibly in the future there will be an outlet for the sale of your books. In the beginning you will continue to sell the books in whatever manner you are currently selling them or add to what you are currently doing. This project will begin as a gathering place, an artist colony, to provide more traffic the ability to find you than you have currently.

Does that mean you are going to increase the price of my book? Or are you going to force me to reduce my royalties?

The answer is no. As the community grows and you begin to sell more books, there will be plenty of opportunities for profitability.

Can I participate if my book is not yet published? What if I’m just a writer without a manuscript?

Yes, you can participate; this community is open to all writers. Everyone is welcome; poets, screenwriters, columnists; anyone who writes can become a part of this writing community. We of course will be focusing on authors and books; there are no barriers to participation. We want to sell more Independently Published books.

How do you expect to make money with this program?

In the beginning those who have invested their time and money will not be profitable, the focus is on bringing together Independent Writers and Authors. As the collective of authors increases and book sales increase, this will be the place where people come to purchase books that are hard to find elsewhere.

Do I have to sign up for the free newsletter on your website to participate in the marketing program?

No, absolutely not. Although I would love for each of your to sign-up for my newsletter, it is not a requirement to participate in this program.

When do you hope to start testing?

April 1st at the latest. We have over 100 writers signed-up for testing and we need 200, so please pass this along to your writing friends and let’s get to the 200 by Monday.

Can I opt out of the program at any time?


What is your background and qualifications?

I will ask you to visit my website and click on the About Jerry page to learn more. The link is provided HERE.

If you have questions that have not been addressed, please ask them at any time. Feedback is one of the most essential elements in a test period for a program. Your questions will be answered as promptly as possible, but keep in mind, sometimes the answer may require a test of the software or some other technical component before I can give you an answer.

I assure you I will not ignore any questions, and if there will be a delay of more than a day or two, I will advise you of the situation. With that in mind, I will be out of town and away from my computer until Monday, January 29th so any questions you send me will not be answered until that time.

I appreciate your willingness to participate in the test period. Never hesitate to bring to my attention any bugs you find in the program or suggestions for improvement. Again, thank you.

Jerry D. Simmons

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