Author's Club How about the club part of Authors Club?

Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Location
Reno, Nevada
I've been wondering whether it's appropriate for authors to talk to each other here or whether such a place could be set up. I'm in the processing of publishing my history of the 14th Iowa, and I have questions. At the same time, I'm an experienced editor and I know I could answer questions from others. I haven't been able to find an organization for non-academic history authors. This group would be perfect.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Location
Reno, Nevada
I'm asking a new question as a reply to my previous one because I haven't been able to figure out how to insert the "authors club" prefix. (The only choice when I started a new post was "book launch.")

Has anyone here self-published with Barnes & Noble? I started to set up an account, but their instructions seem way more complicated than Amazon's. Would it be worth the time it would take to figure everything out? I had planned to offer an alternative to people who hate Amazon, but I'm having doubts now.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
I couldn't figure out how the prefix thing, either.

I know of several authors who self-pubbed, but none with Barnes and Noble, which makes me think that they thought it wasn't worth the effort. I've heard them mention Smashwords and Kobo, and know they didn't like Lulu.

Hope this helps. You can message me if you want. I only have the one Civil War book, but I consider it non-academic, and I'd be willing to compare notes of you thought it might be helpful.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
I am not sure how Barns and Noble works either. I stopped by my local store to inquire and left not knowing a lot more than when I entered.
I self published my book with Newman Springs, Red Bank NJ in February 2020. A part of my contract was that they entered my book on the Ingram Network, which made it available for sale through Barns and Noble in addition to other retailers such as Amazon, iBooks, and ebook sales.
I did leave the local B&N store discovering that I needed to get authorization from their main office to do promotional book signings in their store.
FYI, I also investigated having my book for sale at NPS gift shops.....there’s red tape there too, that makes things difficult.
I am now waiting for the pandemic to pass so I can pick up with my local promotional efforts.
Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
My experience is that bookstores don't buy from Amazon. Since their main wholesale catalog source is Ingram, I did look into the software offered by www.ingramspark.com. It appears to be similar to that offered by Amazon (and you could do both I believe).
You may want to talk some book buyers in your local indy book stores to get their point of view.
Good points
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
I had a different experience from yours, @Woodswalker, but I went the traditional publishing route instead of self- publishing. I walked into Barnes and Noble and said I was a history teacher at the local high school and said my kids wanted to know if they would be able to get my book at BN, because they're too young (allegedly!) to buy things online. They looked on the computer, said it wasn't at the warehouse yet (it wasn't out then), and to remind then to order it when the publication date was closer. I did, and they said they were ordering 3 copies. The publication date came 2 days after lockdown, so I assume they have it, but no one can get to the store to buy it. They suggested to me that I come back and do a signing. Hopefully that will happen when Massachusetts comes out of lockdown.

Eastern National handles book distribution for the NPS gift shops, but I don't know their policy in self-pubs. They order different books for different parks.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
I had a different experience from yours, @Woodswalker, but I went the traditional publishing route instead of self- publishing. I walked into Barnes and Noble and said I was a history teacher at the local high school and said my kids wanted to know if they would be able to get my book at BN, because they're too young (allegedly!) to buy things online. They looked on the computer, said it wasn't at the warehouse yet (it wasn't out then), and to remind then to order it when the publication date was closer. I did, and they said they were ordering 3 copies. The publication date came 2 days after lockdown, so I assume they have it, but no one can get to the store to buy it. They suggested to me that I come back and do a signing. Hopefully that will happen when Massachusetts comes out of lockdown.

Eastern National handles book distribution for the NPS gift shops, but I don't know their policy in self-pubs. They order different books for different parks.
Thanks Gary. I will make another attempt with Barns and Noble after stores reopen. Perhaps I just asked the wrong person, but I did ask for the manager.
Eastern National’s policy is - they will deal with vendors directly except with books. In the instance of book sales, they only deal with publishers. So if you’re self publishing, like me, it’s difficult to get your book in the gift shops unless your publisher does it... I think most won’t, and I know mine won’t.
I have been communicating with Eastern and they are looking at changing the policy. I believe they run books through some sort of review to verify accuracy before they okay them for gift shop sales. I can send you a copy of the policy if you wish.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Thanks Gary. I will make another attempt with Barns and Noble after stores reopen. Perhaps I just asked the wrong person, but I did ask for the manager.
Eastern National’s policy is - they will deal with vendors directly except with books. In the instance of book sales, they only deal with publishers. So if you’re self publishing, like me, it’s difficult to get your book in the gift shops unless your publisher does it... I think most won’t, and I know mine won’t.
I have been communicating with Eastern and they are looking at changing the policy. I believe they run books through some sort of review to verify accuracy before they okay them for gift shop sales. I can send you a copy of the policy if you wish.
I had an advantage, I think. I was awarded a research grant, and one of the quirks of the grant was that I would present my findings at the National POW Museum at Andersonville when I was finished. The rangers at Andersonville had already told Eastern National that they wanted my book in their gift shop even before I was completely done writing it. In fact, that was one of my biggest selling points when I approached publishers.

Most publishers are only marginally interested in how good your book is. The trick is to convince them that they'll make lots of money with it. I suppose the same goes for distributors
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Sounds right, Gary.
A friend of mine was commissioned by a historian society here in Virginia. After it was published the historical society took it to Eastern National and it sailed through.
I approached three publishers before I self published and only one near Williamsburg Virginia showed a mild interest.
You are fortunate to have the NPS connection. I have an “in” with a former senior ranger in the Richmond office and one important one near Fredericksburg but I would never consider asking for help from either. I would not want to impose but more importantly to me, I would prefer make it successful on my own.
If I may impose, what’s the name of your book? Where in Massachusetts are you? My wife is from Palmer, a little West if Springfield.
Thanks. Dennis
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Sounds right, Gary.
If I may impose, what’s the name of your book? Where in Massachusetts are you? My wife is from Palmer, a little West if Springfield.
Thanks. Dennis

Tell the Mrs that I taught at Old Mill Pond School at one point. I'm from Brockton, live in Greenfield and teach (sort of, at the moment) in Amherst.

The most recent book is The Andersonville Raiders, which kind of borders on pop culture, as far as Civil War goes. It's my fifth book but first crack at writing history. My first three books we on keeping different species of exotic birds as pets for Barron's, which were published under my "maiden name," Mary Gorman. (Yes, I'm a girl)

My two bits of advice are, if you're going to approach a traditional publisher, hit them with as many numbers as you can when you query. I found out that the Raiders were one of the two most asked about things at Andersonville (Providence Spring is the other), and that the year before queried the publisher (which was the susquecential), something like 160,000 people visited Andersonville, so those both went into the query, along with the fact that no one had ever written a book that dealt solely with the Raiders before, so there really weren't any competing books

The other bit if advice is that if you self publish, you need to be really savvy when it comes to marketing it. It's not something most writers think a lot about, because they're focused on the writing and not the selling. I haven't self published yet, but a few of the writers I know have, and the ones who seem to do best are the ones who really hustle with ads, Goodread giveaways, signings, press releases, cajoling people to leave reviews on Amazon, etc.

Hope this helps.
 

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 23, 2018
The other bit if advice is that if you self publish, you need to be really savvy when it comes to marketing it. It's not something most writers think a lot about, because they're focused on the writing and not the selling. I haven't self published yet, but a few of the writers I know have, and the ones who seem to do best are the ones who really hustle with ads, Goodread giveaways, signings, press releases, cajoling people to leave reviews on Amazon, etc.

Hope this helps.
Yes, this is so true! I am not an author, but I work as a freelance editor and have guided some authors through launching their books. Lots of great writers are not very good at marketing, but if you want to sell books, it's a necessary evil, especially since even traditional publishers are expecting more and more marketing work to be done by the authors themselves. It's even a factor in getting a manuscript accepted for many traditional publishers. So, it's even more important for self-published authors who are pretty much on their own.

As for folks asking about Barnes and Noble self-publishing, I've not had any of my clients work with them, but I have come across them a few times while researching options for writers. From what I can find on their website, they seem to have very limited distribution options compared to some of the other companies, so I usually advise writers to use someone that offers more, like Ingram. Any company that doesn't put your book on Amazon --and I've never found any indication that Barnes and Noble does for their self-published books--is really limiting your potential sales.
 

OParks

Private
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
I am here to ask questions about publishing, editing, etc. My daughter and I are contemplating writing a historical fiction book centered around one of our ancestors. Is this the appropriate place for that, or should I be looking elsewhere? I have an idea for a NPS/location-specific children's book as well, but have not pursued it as I wouldn't know how to market it, etc. If you know of any resources that would be helpful, we would be greatly appreciative! If you've not published yet, are you permitted to join the Author's Club forum?
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Sure, just use the new "Authors Club" Prefix available only to Author's Club members! You should be good to go!
Is there a sport where we do not write but read books about this era of American history can find book by authors of this era.? I would like to discuss these books that may stimulate conversation on these books.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Is there a sport where we do not write but read books about this era of American history can find book by authors of this era.? I would like to discuss these books that may stimulate conversation on these books.

Check the "Print and Visual Media Discussion Tent." There are forums there for both fiction and non fiction books.

@OParks, I think "Authors' Club" is intended to focus on upcoming book releases rather than as a spot for current and future writers to get together (I'd be willing to moderate such a forum if there was one!). I've only got the one Civil War book out, although it's actually my fifth published book - the other four are published under my - "ahem" - maiden name. Publishing in general is rough, especially right now when a lot of the publishers have been locked down since March. Given the current swing of the political spectrum, I'm asking myself if my next book should be another Civil War book (I was looking to do another one on Andersonville) or it I'd be better off changing genres.

Getting published the traditional way is hard. As we said in the conversation above, publishers don't want good books, they want profitable ones. You may be better off writing it, trying to sell it, but having a contingency plan to self publish it if you can't find a traditional publisher. I'm probably not the best one to ask about marketing - my book came out two days AFTER I went into lockdown (a student's mother tested positive for Covid, and that was our last day of school for the year). I had 2 presentations a week scheduled from mid-March until July, when I was going to lead a tour of the prison site for the NPS, and every single event was cancelled. It's a tough time to have a book come out.

But I think you should write yours anyway. Hopefully, by the time you finish, things will be better, and you absolutely should preserve your ancestor's story for future generations.
 

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 23, 2018
I am here to ask questions about publishing, editing, etc. My daughter and I are contemplating writing a historical fiction book centered around one of our ancestors. Is this the appropriate place for that, or should I be looking elsewhere? I have an idea for a NPS/location-specific children's book as well, but have not pursued it as I wouldn't know how to market it, etc. If you know of any resources that would be helpful, we would be greatly appreciative! If you've not published yet, are you permitted to join the Author's Club forum?
Not an author, but I work as a freelance editor and have worked for a publisher in their editorial and marketing departments. @Gary Morgan gave you some really good advice. Also, look around and see if you can find similar-ish books to what you are wanting to write and see who is publishing them. And definitely take some time to think about your intended audience and purpose for the book. A book primarily intended to entertain adult readers is going to have a very difference marketing strategy than one intended to educate younger readers and vice versa.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Check the "Print and Visual Media Discussion Tent." There are forums there for both fiction and non fiction books.

@OParks, I think "Authors' Club" is intended to focus on upcoming book releases rather than as a spot for current and future writers to get together (I'd be willing to moderate such a forum if there was one!). I've only got the one Civil War book out, although it's actually my fifth published book - the other four are published under my - "ahem" - maiden name. Publishing in general is rough, especially right now when a lot of the publishers have been locked down since March. Given the current swing of the political spectrum, I'm asking myself if my next book should be another Civil War book (I was looking to do another one on Andersonville) or it I'd be better off changing genres.

Getting published the traditional way is hard. As we said in the conversation above, publishers don't want good books, they want profitable ones. You may be better off writing it, trying to sell it, but having a contingency plan to self publish it if you can't find a traditional publisher. I'm probably not the best one to ask about marketing - my book came out two days AFTER I went into lockdown (a student's mother tested positive for Covid, and that was our last day of school for the year). I had 2 presentations a week scheduled from mid-March until July, when I was going to lead a tour of the prison site for the NPS, and every single event was cancelled. It's a tough time to have a book come out.

But I think you should write yours anyway. Hopefully, by the time you finish, things will be better, and you absolutely should preserve your ancestor's story for future generations.
There are boois on Union invasion of the South which tells of what they saw as they marched thought = RISING IN FLAMES .Sherman's march and the fight for a new Nation'" J.D. Dickey is one I just read,The interesting section was how the soldiers attitude changed when they say what slavery was,esp, those that had joined for Union or against the rebellion itself.I have not found one on the Confederate soldier's attitude as he marched north into Pa.Is there a good one?
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
I wrote a self-published book on the B&O RR locomotive heist in 1861. Since all the action of the hauling away of the locomotives was in the northern Virginia area, I was able to get the book into an indie bookstore and two museums in the area. To get into the Harpers Ferry NPS bookstore, I contacted Eastern National three times before they accepted the book. B&N was not even willing to answer an inquiry e-mail.

Most of my sales have been through Amazon (sales, but little money), the indie bookstore, a train web book seller, CWRTs, SCVs, and train web interest groups. A host of e-mails (120, I think) to appropriate history professors and university libraries got a few more sales.

Still need to sell several hundred more copies to break even. Fortunately, I don't need to be concerned about the money, but it is an indication of how well your work is accepted in the book market.
 

19thOhio

Private
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
I researched, wrote and self published a regimental history. I sent a PDF to Diggypod (online) and just a few days later a box came with 100 copies. (And second order two years another for 50). I very highly recommend them. The books are of excellent quality. I have one copy that I have thumbed through for five years and it is still in good condition. You can get the price for printing various numbers of copies easily on their website. The price was reasonable and they can make/design covers for extra cost. I sold copies at various meetings and local programs, CWRT and some local bookstores and historical societies. Unfortunately with Covid-19 there are no more meetings/programs to make presentation to. I am fortunate that the curator of a local museum is offering my book along with some of hers on Amazon. I feel that regimental histories are probably of just local interest anyway.

Anyone in the world interested in the 19th Ohio (or any Ohio regiment) can look online "19th Ohio and Ohio in the Civil War" website by Larry Stevens. then the next step on Amazon and they get a copy. Several copies have gone out of state. 150 copies and I have covered all costs and made a bit of profit. Used copies are available on Amazon so I figure that at 150 copies the market is probably about saturated. My goal was to learn about the CW and the adventures of a local regiment and offer it to anyone interested.

There are many online sources that will proof, edit and offer to sell online or distribute a book. The only people involved in the business end of selling my book is me, Diggypod and my Amazon friend. No fees or middle persons.

Just my experiences with a regimental history. I hope that helps. My experiences echo DaveBrt above.
 
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