Shari Weiss, BAIPA’s social media maven, sends these informative answers to questions from the Q&A session she led at our February 7 BAIPA meeting.
Question: Fictitious names for independent publishers?
- Search county websites for names.
- Check the Trademark Registry.
- Search the web: put your proposed name in “quotes” when you search.
- Be certain to consider the availability of a name for a website.
- It may not be the end of the world to share a name with another entity. (When a bookstore sells a book, the check is sent to whoever delivered the book.)
What is the most economical way to sell a book with a credit card at an event?
- Stripe: take a picture of the card.
- Square: plugs into an iPhone; free until a certain volume is reached.
Is there any point to changing a book’s edition to update the copyright year?
- a. Advantage: You can SAY you have a new edition.
- b. Disadvantage: You lose the book’s ranking if you leave the old edition up.
- Amazon will transfer all recommendations to the new edition.
What should you think about when publishing hardcover and paperback editions?
- a. Consumers tend to buy the less expensive paperback; thus, you are competing with yourself if you publish both editions at the same time. Many authors wait a year or so to bring out a paperback edition.
- b. Libraries prefer hardcovers because they must laminate paperbacks.
What about pen names?
- You can “brand” yourself.
- You can use different names for different genres.
- Think about the ramifications of this. Using a pen name can be confusing: You may speak at an event and have to autograph books with your pen name, or, you may have to “lie” about your real name.
How do I know what to charge for my e-book?
- According to Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, the best-selling e-books are priced at $2.99.
- If your e-book costs $10 or more, your earnings are cut from 70% to 35% through KDP [Kindle Direct].