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Monthly Archives: October 2015


Old Testament Sacrifices Replaced With A Better Plan

high priest
In the Old Testament, the high priest used to go into the Holy of Holies once a year in order to cover the sins of the people for the next year. Before he could do that though, he went through an elaborate ritual where he had to first be cleansed. For us under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, it is different.

A Priesthood Not of Aaron

In Hebrews Chapter 7 we learn about Melchisedec who Abraham paid tithes to. His descendants because they were still “seed” in Abraham paid tithes as well, including the priestly line of Levi. Like Melchisedec, Jesus Christ was a high priest who did not come through the lineage of Aaron.
The writer then goes onto say that under the New covenant, or New Testament, we have a new high priest, Jesus Christ who became a high priest, not in the Levitical Law of the Old Testament In the Old Testament, sacrifices had to be made by the high priest continually for sins, but that Jesus because he was not a high priest in that sense because he was not of the tribe of Levi. The priesthood changed. As the high priest, Jesus didn’t have to continually give sacrifices he provided the ultimate sacrifice which lasts forever.

A Forever Sacrifice

The old Levitical Law was weak and didn’t go far enough. It made nothing perfect, but it did point to a better way which Christ in himself fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled this by becoming a priest after the order of Melchisedec who did not have the lineage of a priest. His sacrifice replaced the Old Covenant Sacrifice and was the better sacrifice in that it was did not atone from year to year, but was a permanent solution.

Water Baptism

In the temple there was a piece of furniture called the laver. The laver, or basin, was a large bowl filled with water located halfway between the brazen altar and the Holy Place and was made totally of bronze. The priests used it to was their hands and feet before entering into the Holy Place. It stood as a reminder to the people for the need of cleansing before approaching God. The priests aloned for their sins through sacrifice at the brazen altar, but htye cleansed themselves at the laver before serving in the Holy Place, so they would be pure and not die when approaching God.
Baptism in water is not a new concept that originated with John the Baptist. Baptism has been a part of Jewish tradition since God first gave the law to the Israelites. People are cleansed in full immersion in a number of religious ceremonies where there is a major change. When a woman is married, she is cleansed from her past. When a proselyte comes into the Jewish faith, they are cleansed. They stand before the congregation, denounce their old ways and their old gods, vowing to follow the one true and living God.
John the Baptist was born to be a priest, but he was a priest who was different from any other priest. John in his priesthood became Jesus first evangelist and was an evangelist to the Jewish people. He pointed the way to Christ Rather than living like the rest of the priests, God chose for him to go out to the people and become “the voice crying in the wilderness”. He took the laver out to the people. He went out to where the people were to prepare them for “the coming of the Lord” by physical and symbolic cleansing through the act of immersion baptism. He prepared the people so that their hearts and minds would be open to God’s word through Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came to John, John recognized that Jesus did not need to come to him for cleansing because he was already pure and holy. Jesus, however, knew that because he was the second Adam he had to go through everything that his future followers would have to go through, so he insisted that John baptize him in the river of living (moving) water.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 it says “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

In Hebrews 10:22 the writer says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [with blood] to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


bookshelf

Understanding where the publishing industry is in general is important so that I as a writer and self-publisher know where the publishing business is heading.
It Is not important just to locate information and apply it to my business plan. I must study the information about the publication business and about self-publishing. I need to analysis of overall business and how individual companies are faring both with print books and with e-books.The better handle I have on trends in the business, the better I am able to adjust my business model to accommodate this information.
Publishing Industry Specifics


There are approximately 1.5 million books in print at any given time.


It takes an average of 475 hours to write a novel. Fiction is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies. Writing a nonfiction book requires about 725 hours. A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it reaches 7,500 copies sold.
The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists. Nearly eighty percent of books published each year are self-published or published by small publishing companies. This does not necessarily mean that most of the books sold are published by self- or small press published companies. Between eight and eleven thousand publishers enter the field every year. The average number of copies sold per title of a POD company that printed 10 thousand different titles is 75 books per title.


The Author Earnings report takes its data from 7,000 top selling digital genre titles on Amazon’s category bestseller lists. It found that:


DRM (digital rights management) “harms e-book sales at any price point.”
Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the e-book dollars going to authors.
Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but they are also taking “significant market share in all genres.”
Strong indie sales will continue to remain a significant and permanent part of the book publishing landscape.


Common Complaints about Self-Publishers


One complaint in the industry is that self-published books in general are poorly written, full of proofreading errors, and are poorly formatted for the e-book reader. This problem I have dealt with already. I have two excellent beta readers who read and edit my work before I print it and I have learned what it takes to format books for various e-book formats as well as for print. I need to find a creative way to get others to know that my first book When God Turned His Head (which has negative reviews regarding this problem) has been re-edited and formatted.
POD (pint on demand) books don’t sell is because authors do not know how much promotion is involved. Writing is the easy part. Promotion and selling requires time and work. Writers who by nature tend to want to work alone would rather sit in their ivory towers and right their tomes and hope that someday someone will discover their reams of literary gems sitting beside their mummified corpses. This information tells me that If I want to sell more of my books than the average writer, then I need to get out there and sell and promote more than the average writer does.
Dealing with the reality of these two problems that self-publishers face, I have an edge over many other self-publishers who are not willing to face these realities.


Evaluating what to Charge for My Books


When studying the book marketing industry, another area that knowing this information can help me as a self-published author is in knowing what to charge for my books. Here are some information that I found in that regards.
According to experts in the publishing industry, determining what you charge for a print book depends on the number of pages, trim size, color use, bleeds or no bleeds, as well as the printer you are using. As far as pricing…ideally your book is priced at 7 times the unit cost, so a book that costs $2 to print would price at $14. However, there are other factors to take into consideration as well, including what other books of a similar size and in the same genre are going for. It’s easy enough to get on Amazon and check out the competition. You don’t want to price too high or too low…there’s definitely a balance.
$2.99 and $3.99 are currently the pricing sweet spots for most e-book bestsellers. In general, authors who price their books modestly earn more than those whose average price is higher, 99 cents is “no longer the path to riches.”
Readers prefer longer e-books. In fact, bestselling books tend to be over one hundred thousand words. My novels tend to run around eighty thousand words a little less than the bestselling books.
Series books outsell standalone books — but series books under 50,000 words are at a sales disadvantage. My novels are over fifty thousand words and they are in a serial so this is to my advantage.
Free still works as a marketing tool, especially when an author offers the first book in a series for free, but it is much less effective than before — primarily because so many authors are taking advantage of it. I have tried this and it wasn’t very successful, but the book at the time needed work. Perhaps I will try this again, offering the first book free for a couple of days every six weeks or so.
Pre-orders give authors a sales advantage. According to Mark Coker, pre-orders are where free was a number of years ago.
Statistically, non-fiction earns more at higher prices. I have found this to be true of my gardening book. I have found that I can readily sell that short book and get what I want whereas the novels are in less of a demand and it is harder to get what I need from them. Because the novels are longer, I have considerably less profit per book because of the added cost per book because they have more pages. ”


Where to Sell Books


Fifty-two percent of all books sold are purchased outside of “brick and mortar bookstores. So most of the books sold are not sold in book stores however, this also means that 48% of the books still come from the book store so it would not be smart to discount bookstores as a sales option.
According to Self-Publishing Resources, http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ The size of the small press movement is estimated to be $13 billion to $17 billion a year, as opposed to trade publishers who are responsible for bringing in $26 billion. 52 percent of all books are not sold in bookstores! They are merchandised via mail order, online, in discount or warehouse stores, through book clubs, in nontraditional retail outlets, etc. 64 percent of book buyers say a book’s being on a bestseller list is not important. Bookstores are famous for returning books to publishers. The industry return rate is typically 36 percent for hardcovers and 25 percent for soft covers.


E-book Sales Industry


Although I am having success selling paperbacks locally, I must not forget marketing online. Online purchases represented 28 percent of books bought.
Money is being made out of thin air in this strange new speculative meta-practice: there are seminars, conferences and courses springing up everywhere, even at the Society of Authors (a writers’ union which, until recently, was largely against e-publication). Television and radio programs are being made about self-e-publishing. Everyone can be a writer now. it only takes 10 minutes to upload your own e-book, and according to the New York Times “81% of people feel they have a book in them
An author self-selling his or her books can make a seventy percent commission on e-book sales whereas authors represented by publishing companies often receive as little as a 5 percent commission. E-book sales are up, but the sale of literary fiction remains fairly weak even in e-book sales. (Glad I don’t do literary fiction).
This review of course was written for my business in showing me the general trends and where I might change the way I run my business based on those trends. However, if I were to present them to someone else, I would slant the information toward my audience. If I were to present this to a loan officer, I would explain self-publishing to a loan officer in such a way that it would show that as a self-published author I can earn enough to pay back the loan.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


business people

A group of people that I as a self-published author need to study are other writers and publishers who write and publish books like I write. I need to understand not only those who are doing well, but also those who are doing poorly. The difference would indicate what I need to focus on doing to improve my own writing business.This isn’t to say that I should copy this other author’s approach to book marketing, but it does give me an idea of where to start using my own creative talents to develop my own strategies at least in marketing my books.

 

Knowing My Peers Helps Me

  • price my books competitively
  • gauge how other authors, and publishers are reacting to the publishing market so I can adjust my own business accorndingly
  • Understand how I rank with other authors/publishers

Remembering I have a Business

As an author/publisher analyzing my peers, I have to remember that I am a business person. In addition, I also have think like my target customer. I need to ask questions about my peers and relate them to the facts that I am in business and I want to appeal to my readers.

 

Branding-What makes my books unique and memorable

What makes readers come back to read my books time after time? The reason people keep coming back to read The Locket Saga series is because they have identified with the characters and they care what happen to them. When I subsequent books in the series, I have a built in readership who want to read this next installment. The reason people want to buy my gardening book: Simply Vegetable Gardening is because they want to discover to make their gardens as fruitful as mine have been. I have identified my niche by studying these competitors and determining how I am like them and how I am different.

What Should I Learn about Author/Publisher Peers?

Does my peers have mission statements? If so what are they and how do they compare to mine? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is their customer base? How does it compare to mine? What are their promotional and marketing strategies? Do they use contests or coupons? Have I been to their websites?  Do they have a Facebook fan page? What does it look like? Have I read their books? Have I been to their book signings? What did I like about them, or not like about them? How are my books different? What do I know about their goals? How are their goals different. Do their customers prefer to buy e-books or paperback printed books?

Are my prices reasonable and comparative to other author/publishers? How do my books appeal to my target audience. compared to my peers? Am I as likable as my competition online and in person? Just as important as knowing what I do like about my peers, I also need to know what I don’t like about my peers. How is their customer service? Is their product of high quality? Are their books well formatted and proofread? What do I like and dislike about their covers. How can I improve my books and marketing to improve my overall reputation online and in person?

 

Using Social Media

I can get to know my peers who are authors/publishers through social media and their readers as well. Since I have identified my target reader, I can find these readers when engaged with my peers. I am not stealing customers from them because one of that author’s readers are likely to want to read what I write because it is similar to what they write. However, what I have written is different enough to engage the reader as well.

Creating and Implementing Strategies Based on Peer Review

Once I have reviewed where my customers are doing well or not doing so well, It is time for my to implement what I have discovered by creating and implementing strategies in my business both online and in face-to-face encounters. As I am doing this, I not only need to remember what my peers are doing and not doing, but also I need to remember the goals that I am trying to accomplish, who my readers are. I need to make my plans achievable and have created backup plans in case the ones I have do not work as I expect them to work. In addition,While knowing my peers helps me stay in touch with trends in the author/publishing industry,  I need to remain focused on my uniqueness as an author and a publisher. It is after all what keeps my readers coming back for more of what I have to offer.

Cygnet’s Local Book Signing!

Launching August 31, 2015: Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward's Solace.

Launching August 31, 2015: Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace.

Tomorrow Saturday, October 10,  I will be having a book signing at The Book Nook in West Plains, Missouri  from 11-2 pm . I will be signing copies of my latest book A Coward’s Solace which will be on sale for 14.95. I am also offering a special deal where I will sell all three books in the Locke Saga together for $39.95. a savings of 10%. Would make a unique Christmas gift for the reader in your family.

 

 

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Be Sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8

Be Sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8

I have noticed lately that a much of the Christian community is viewing world events, not with the power of love and faith that God has given them, but with fear of what the world can do to them. They share videos from ISIS that show Christians being beheaded or worse. They are afraid that if this continues, they might have to face the same fate. It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.

Hebrew 2:14-15 says That then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Jesus Christ) likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

As believers of Christ Jesus, we don’t have to fear death. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If we live, we have Christ to guide us (if we let him) if we die, we join Him in Heaven.” Paul realized that whether he continued to live or whether he died, he was a winner. The same is true with believers. Follow Christ in this journey through life, and we further Christ’s Kingdom. Die because of our beliefs, and we win then too.

This brings me back to the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all of your ways and he will direct your path.”

Do we trust Christ? Do we believe that he wants the best for us even if it means that we have to face loss? Do we trust him with taking care of our children when they start leaving the nest? Can we trust him even when a loved one renounces Christ’s existence? Could we trust him even we have to face the loss of a loved one or even if we have to face our own death or torture or murder of our closest loved ones because of our faith?
The good thing is, we don’t have to answer all those questions now because we are not facing those things personally right now. These are just things that the enemy is using to try to keep us from doing what God wants us to do right now.

In Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek). For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. take no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I remember a story that Cory Ten Boon told. At seven years old, she asked her father, “How do I know if I have enough faith?” Cory’s father thought about it for a minute and then said, “When we go on a journey, when do I give you your ticket to board the train? Cory answered, “When I get on the train.”
“Faith is like that train ticket. Our heavenly Father gives us the faith we need when we need it on our journey through this life.”
If you have read the book The Hiding Place, you will know that she and her family helped save Jews during the Holocaust. Because they disobeyed the Nazi law by harboring Jews, they were thrown in prison. Cory’s Father and her sister both died in prison. Cory’s own faith was tested and sharpened to the point where she spent the rest of her life sharing God’s love and healing with the world.
I have heard many times (especially from mothers) that they think that they feared most of their children being tortured while they were made to watch. Although it would be the most painful experience I could imagine, my biggest concern about the scenario isn’t their pain or even my own. It would be that my children could denounce God if they lived.
Therefore, it is not my fear of their pain that would concern me as much as my concern for their trust in God. I cannot do anything about that type of future event, but what I can do today is teach my children and others that our most important role as believers of Christ is to learn to trust him, no matter what we face on this earth.

We need come to the place ourselves where we are so trusting of Christ that we too live out those words of Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Do you trust God enough today to trust him to this extent? If not, ask God to begin teaching you to trust in him more than ever before.

My Own Faith Tested

 

Sometimes when we make bold statements like the ones I have made above, the thief comes in to kill, steal, and destroy.. (John 10:10. When I think about what has been stolen and destroyed in my life during the past two years, I would ask myself where I was doing wrong. The truth is, I am not at fault for the adversity I have had to face. Two years ago my Dad died. Six weeks after that my brother died five months later my sister died. After my sister’s death, A few weeks after my sister’s death, my husband threatened to kill me and tried to choke me so I left and I left my daughter behind because I knew that it was what she wanted and that her father wouldn’t harm her. It took me three months to find a job and then just short of a year after getting that job my boss informed me that I no longer had that opportunity either. Just Monday I discovered that I am not eligible for unemployment. If I would have worked just one more day the following week. JUST ONE DAY, I would have been eligible.

But God is faithful, as it says in the rest of John 10:10, Jesus said that he came that his sheep could have life and have it more abundantly. Last night when I went to bed, I realized how much my Lord, My Savior loved me. He’s got my back. He is faithful and since he is in me, I am full of faith.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


crowd

As I stated in my last post, I think that even more important than me and those who work with me are the people who actually are likely to read my book.
These people include fans. I have fans of many different ages. I know of one fan who is only ten years old. However, I have another fan who is in her eighties. I could put out a new book in the Locket Saga tomorrow and both will buy it and ask me when the next book is coming out. Neither however, are actually in my target audience. Most ten year olds are not likely to enjoy my books, but this one does. Most of my readers aren’t in their eighties either. So who is my target audience?
This is where research comes in handy.

Basic Demographics of Romance Readers

64.6 million Americans read at least one romance novel in the past year. In 1998 there were 41 million readers in the US, 51.1 million in the US in 2002 and has continued to grow even faster because of e-books.
29 percent of romance readers are from the south, 27 percent are from the west, 26 percent are from the Midwest, and 12.6 percent are from the Northeast. Demographically romance readers are all over the place. Looking for a demographic, I say that romance readers are not generally from the northeast.
78 percent of romance readers are female and 22 percent of romance readers are male. Overwhelmingly, romance readers are female.
Fifty percent of romance readers are married and 37 percent of romance readers are single, Eight percent of romance readers are widowed, four percent are divorced and one percent are separated. Therefore most of romance readers are either married or have never been married.
Twenty two percent of romance readers are between the ages of 35-44, 19 percent are between the ages of 25-34, 18% are between the ages of 45-54 11 percent are between the ages of 55-64, 9 percent are between the ages of 18-24, eight percent are over75, six percent are between the ages of 14-17, six percent are between the ages of 65-74 and one percent are thirteen or younger. This means that 70 percent of romance readers are between the ages of 25 and 64 which would make this my target range.
Forty-two percent of romance readers have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 27 percent have college degrees, 15% have post-graduate work or degrees, 7% have associate degrees, 17% have attended a trade school or have some college, and 23% have high school diplomas. Romance readers tend to be educated.
Therefore, a basic demographic for a romance reader is likely be a well-educated woman between the ages of 25 and 64 living somewhere other than northeast. She is either married or has never been married. She is not likely to be divorced or widowed. This is also the demographic for my target reader.

Reading Habits of Romance Readers

During the past year, the number of romance novels that romance readers read varied. 54% have read between 1 and 5 books. 17% have read between 6 and 10 books. 14% have read between 11 and 20 books. 8% have read between 21 and 50 books. 2% have read between 51 and 100 books.
Romance Readers Obtained the Last Romance Novel They Read by buying them new (36%), checking them out of the library (25%), borrowing from a friend (16%), receiving as a gift (13%), bought them used (5%), got their books in other ways (4%) or traded another book for a new book (1%).
54% percentage of Romance readers bought 20% of their novels new, 32% don’t buy any new books, and 15% always buy new books
The most popular place readers buy their books is at mass merchandisers such as Target or Wal-Mart . 31% bought their books from a mass merchandiser, 22% bought their books from a mall bookstore, 16% bought their books from a free-standing bookstore, 8% bought their books from a mail order, 6% bought their books from another outlet, 5% bought their books from a book club, 5% bought their books from a grocery store, 4% bought their books from the internet, 2% bought their books from an airport bookstore, and 1% bought their books from a drug store.

What Elements do Romance Readers like Best?

When writing a book, it always helps to know what readers do and do not like about story lines. Here are some statistics regarding story elements.
Romance readers ranked the following setting or plot elements for romance novels in order of most enjoyable 48 percent of readers preferred mystery, thriller, or action plots. 36 percent of romance readers preferred exotic settings. 33 percent of readers prefer contemporary themes while 31 percent preferred inspirational romances with spiritual sub-plots. 27 percent of romance readers preferred Colonial American settings while 25% percent preferred settings in the American West. 24 percent preferred historical romance set in England while 21 percent preferred Scottish historical settings. 21 percent preferred Medieval settings, 18 percent preferred paranormal romances, and 14 percent preferred Futuristic romances.
What do Romance Readers Want in a Cover Design?
Cover designs that readers of romances prefer are as follows: 53% of readers prefer covers that are either abstract or romantic, 35% of readers prefer sedate and abstract covers, and 12% of readers prefer romantic covers.

What the Reader expects in Historical Fiction

No matter what a reader’s demographics, a reader expects certain things in a specific genre.For instance, my fiction genre is Historical Christian Romance. Above we saw the demographics of a romance novel, so now lets look at what a reader expects from historical fiction. A reader of historical fiction expects a setting located in a temporal past. Persons portrayed in this genre portray the manners and social conditions of the persons or times presented in the story and pays attention to other period details. Authors frequently choose to explore notable historical figures in these settings, allowing readers to better understand how these individuals would have responded to their environments. The tension between historical authenticity, or historicity, and fiction frequently becomes a point of commentary for readers and popular critics, while scholarly criticism frequently goes beyond this commentary, investigating the genre for its other thematic and critical interests. Historical describes historical events in story form for contemporary audiences.

What is expected in Christian Fiction

A reader expects Christian fiction to not have crass words and to be without voyeurism. Cursing and detailed bedroom scenes are not elements for Christian fiction. Plots should include Christian messages but without being preachy. Righteousness always wins out in the end.

The Importance of Target Readers

When we know who our target reader is, it helps us target our primary methods of book marketing. Our strategies can easily come from this knowledge and we are more likely to find success as self-publishers because we are focused on a specific target audience.
Another group of people who should be in this target reader is our reviewers. Reviewers are simply readers who also write about what they have read. If a reviewer is in our target audience, the reviewer probably has a following that is also within our target audience. As you can see, the more we understand our target reader, the better our chances of hitting the best sellers list.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


bookshelf

This is a continuation of the business plan and is a very important aspect.
In addition to knowing what I am doing in my writing business, it is important that I know how my business relates to other people within my business.

Target Audience

I think that even more important than me and those who work with me are the people who actually are likely to buy my book. These people are called my target audience. These people not only include fans, they also include reviewers.
I had recently started taking paperback copies of my books that cater to my specific books. For instance, though my novels are currently being sold in bookstores, I went out on a limb and decided to try to sell my nonfiction paperbacks at feed and lawn and garden stores as well as health food stores. I take in small numbers of books to these locations so that it is not a big risk for the store and sell the books at whole sale prices. They in turn get nearly a forty percent commission. Because I know my target audience for that specific title, I can make book sales easily and almost painlessly.

Industry Review

Understanding where the publishing industry is in general is important so that I as a writer and self-publisher know where the publishing business is heading.
A few years ago the only way to sell books was through a major publishing company, but since the advent of e-books, the internet, and e-readers, things have changed. For a few years, e-book sales exploded, but the market has settled somewhat since then and even though it is harder to sell e-books than it was five years ago, it still is a working model, but it is no longer the slam dunk that it was in the beginning of the e-book movement.

Peer Review

A group of people that I need to study are other writers and publishers who write and publish books like I write. I need to understand not only those who are doing well, but also those who are doing poorly. The difference would indicate what I need to focus on doing to improve my own writing business.
Another word for this is spying on the competition. Its where you read stuff that other people put out, you look at their websites, you find out about their book sales. When you’re looking at best selling authors, you’re looking at what they are doing differently than you are and emulating their success tactics. We will look more indepth into these three topics as they relate to my specific genres over the next month.

IMG_8330 final copy

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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