Category Archives: tips

What is the Secret to Balancing Writing and Marketing?

By Anne Hill
I don’t mean just for a day, or a weekend, or a month when you find you have some spare time. I’m talking about over the long haul—from the moment you start writing something you are passionate about to the day, years later, when you finally become an “overnight success.”

Maybe you are one of the lucky few who are disciplined writers, experts at time management, enjoy social media, and love writing promo copy as much as your next big novel. If you are, then please introduce yourself because I don’t know ANY authors for whom all of this comes easy.

Fortunately there are ways to do this without possessing superpowers, and that is the subject of my upcoming workshop Thursday Feb. 13 from 9-12, in conjunction with the San Francisco Writers Conference. This pre-conference workshop is open to the public, and you need not register for the entire conference to attend.

Called “Being an Author for the Long Haul: How to Balance Writing and Marketing,” the workshop will show you how to:

• Develop an authentic voice for marketing without losing yourself
• Create a marketing plan that includes taking care of yourself
• Find one or two social media outlets that leverage your strengths, and ignore the rest
• Use the lure of curiosity and generosity rather than hard-sell tactics to attract and engage followers
• Generate a workday “flow” that allows you to effortlessly slip between writing and marketing

If you are interested in joining me for this session, register now at . I will be speaking at the conference as well, but am looking forward to going into greater depth in this longer session. I hope to see many of you there!

Creative Content Coaching

The Astounding New Market for English-Language Books

By Joseph T. Sinclair

How many English readers are there in the world? There’s no telling. But there are estimates of how many people can speak English as either a first or second language. David Crystal, a British linguist, estimates that non-native English speakers outnumber native speakers 3 to 1. With estimates of native speakers at almost 400 million, non-native speakers number about 1.2 billion. The grand total is 1.6 billion.

Some quick statistics shed light on where the markets are for books written in English. The ranking show the total English speakers using English as a first or second language.


United States                                    268

India                                       125

Pakistan                                 87

Nigeria                                   79

UK                                          60

Philippines                            48

Canada                                   25

Australia                                18

New Zealand                         4

The statistics above don’t show the number of English speakers in Europe, South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, and Indonesia where many educated and business people speak English as a second language.

For authors and publishers these statistics are an eye-opener. Do you want to exploit the New Zealand book market or the Indian book market? The Australian book market or the Pakistani book market? Again, we don’t know the literacy rate of the English speakers (as a second language), but we can probably assume that it is higher than the local language literacy rate; the English speakers are more likely to be educated.

You can hardly overestimate the Wow! factor in the size of the potential markets abroad. The question is, how do you reach such markets?

The traditional way has been to farm out the copyrights to foreign publishers. This has been done for a small fraction of printed books to a small number of additional countries for each book. But the world has changed. Easy worldwide distribution is now possible via digital books. No local publisher needed. But how?

Fortunately, the iOS and Android operating systems for phones and tablets invented in the US are the most widely used in the world, and the US has set the standards for ebook formats too. Consequently, English-speaking customers abroad can buy ebooks on Amazon or Apple and read them via the Amazon ebook-reader app or the Apple iBook reader.

The question is, does this avenue fully penetrate the markets? How many people in in the US have an Amazon account? Let’s face it, only a fraction of the total potential book customers have an account. How many people in Pakistan have an Amazon account?  A much smaller fraction.

Apple is a little different in that its ebook sales are tied in with its app sales, and its app sales are tied to its devices. For Android, the operating system, the book vendors, and the manufacturers are separate business entities and are not necessarily tied together in commerce.

The conclusion is that for Apple, the potential ebook market is theoretically 100% of the device market. For Android the potential ebook market is only a fraction of the device market, probably a small fraction, particularly abroad. Why? There are three businesses involved instead of one. Yet, even for Apple, the ebook system (catalog) is separate from the app system (catalog).

Therefore, my conclusion is that ebooks are distinctly separate from digital books that are in an app format. Apps are tied to devices much more tightly, and book apps have larger potential sales worldwide than books in an ebook format.

The startling news for BAIPA members is that digital books have expanded the market for books in English by 300%. The even more startling news is that to reach the expanded market is much easier and less expensive than the traditional way (for printed books). Indeed, it’s feasible for very small publishers. And the even more-than-that startling news is that independent publishers have a huge advantage over traditional publishers.

What’s the advantage? Books in an app format typically sell for less, and traditional publishers cannot sell books so cheaply; think of all that corporate overhead.

I see the future for books is as book apps, not ebooks. Although there are many reasons for this beyond the demographics, the demographics are compelling. Everyone with a smart phone has instant access to apps and knows how to buy and use apps. Not every smart phone user has instant access to ebooks or can afford them.

So we’ve seen the demographics on English speakers. Let’s look at the cell phone demographics. According to industry estimates five billion people now have cell phones. Whaaat? Astounding! About one billion of those are smart phones. In four years, there will be five billion smart phone users. Combine the English-speaker demographics with the estimates on the numbers of phone users and you’re staring at a rising tsunami of English-language publishing opportunities beyond the imagination. You are the deer staring into the headlights.

Are you ready?


©2014 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.

Digital Book World Daily

If you’re interested in keeping up on digital publishing, a good way to do it is to subscribe to the DBW Daily, delivered by email each day. It captures the latest relevant news. DBW stands for Digital Book World, which is an annual digital book conference in NYC. However, DBW is also a publisher. Besides the Daily, they publish a wealth of info on digital books. Go to for the Daily and to the homepage at . — Sent by Joseph T. Sinclair

“Autographed by the Author” Stickers

Here’s a tip to BAIPA authors from BAIPA member Sandy Baker:  I just purchased 1,000 gold 3/4″ “Autographed by the Author” stickers from They were $29.75 plus shipping. There are other styles, sizes, and texts available.  Questions? E-mail: .

Amazon Associate Issues Researched by Lee Foster


        Amazon Issues about Associate Links Researched by Lee Foster


At the July BAIPA meeting, three questions regarding Amazon were posed by BAIPA members.  To find out the answers, BAIPA member and travel writer Lee Foster did some research by asking Amazon.  Here is what he found out:


               Question: Is it OK for author/publishers to use Amazon Associate links to advertise their own books and get a 4 percent added sales return on those sales?


               Answer: Yes, author/publishers are welcome to use the Amazon Associate links to advertise their own items that are for sale on Amazon, and to receive a commission on those orders.   


               Question: Is it OK for author/publishers to go into Amazon with their Associate links and buy third-party objects, getting back a “discount” payment of 4 percent of any sales on any object?


               Answer: No, an author/publisher is not permitted to use their own Associate links to make purchases, if it is to purchase another item besides their own book.  The reason is that the Associates Program is an advertising program, rather than a discount program.  Amazon’s goal is to have Associates refer new customers to Amazon in return for advertising fees.  Associates are not eligible for advertising fees when they place orders themselves, or ask people they know to routinely place orders through their links so they can earn advertising fees.


               Question: Does Amazon have a 24-hour tracking pattern, so that someone going in through a link is remembered if he or she goes offline for a few hours, and then returns to Amazon at the same computer?  Does that link remain trackable?


               Answer: Yes, there is a 24-hour shopping window.  You may earn an advertising fee for any qualifying items placed in a customer’s shopping cart during a 24-hour window.  This window begins at the time a visitor clicks through your Associates link.  However, the session window will close if the customer submits their order or reenters through another Associate’s link.


Thanks, Lee, for doing this research!  Lee’s e-mail address is: .






Make Your Own News

Make Your Own NewsMake Your Own News

If you are looking to build your status as an expert and build your author platform, write and publish a news release every week.

It can be an article about you, your expertise, an aspect of your book, the research you did before writing it, or you can look for an angle that ties in to a bigger story or event.


To gain traction, you will want to practice some or all of the following tips:

  • Write and publish an article/news story every week.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be persistent.
  • Share your news on your blog.
  • Send it out via an email newsletter.
  • Tie your story to a bigger event or breaking news story.

Where Can You Publish a News Release

The number one spot is on your own website, but if you want traffic you also want to look at distributing your news article. Here is a selection of online sites where you can publish your news: