Amazon: friend or foe?

When I ask writers, authors, or publishers about Amazon, I get a variety of responses:

  • I love Amazon. I just ordered laundry detergent from them, and it was really cheap.
  • I try not to order from them but shop locally.
  • Amazon always knows what I will be interested in when I am browsing for something to read.
  • They make ordering so easy, and delivery is so quick!
  • They get me mad because they have the wrong cover for my book, and they won’t change it.
  • When I search for my book, they list the old edition first and I can’t get them to flip it to the new edition. Ugh!
  • They’ve made self-publishing so easy. It is a dream.

Quite the spectrum. When people think of Amazon, they think of books first, which puts them in a Kleenex or Xerox situation from a branding point-of-view. But as you might know, Amazon is way past books and publishing.

Don’t just rewrite an existing book

Coming to want to author a book is a slow process. There is likely ruminating, rethinking, internal debating, conflicting feelings, competing agendas, to say the least. Rarely, is it a moment of inspiration and then sudden action. Part of the decision process is thinking about what is already available on the market.

Many prospective authors will say, “there is nothing like this on the market. No competition.” This is very rarely true. There is usually some book, or more likely books, that your idea is standing on the shoulders of, wanting to reach higher. Also, the competition for some customer might be to buy nothing at all.

The what, why, and how of an author promotional platform

All textbook, book, and monograph authors need a platform to help sell their idea to a publisher and their work to buyers and readers. Gone are the days that an author can ignore marketing.

What is an author promotional platform? Why should you care? How do you create one? And how do you keep it going? These are the central questions answered by publishing consultant, John Bond during his 2021 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation.

5 Ways authors can assist their publisher with book promotion

Whether you are an author working with a larger publisher with a sizable marketing budget, or a smaller publisher with a tight marketing budget, you can–and should–play a role in promoting your book. Paul Krieger, author of a four-book Visual Analogy Guide supplement series with Morton Publishing, shares five ways authors can assist their publisher with book promotion:

How to use graphic design principles to evaluate the effectiveness of your book cover

All four books in textbook supplement author Paul Krieger’s Visual Analogy series showcase a visual analogy on the cover, a great advertisement for one of the key learning tools that make his books unique: visual analogies.

“My whole book idea was born in the lab from my teaching,” says Krieger, whose books include A Visual Guide to Human Anatomy, A Visual Analogy Guide to Physiology, A Visual Analogy Guide to Human Anatomy and Physiology, and A Visual Analogy Guide to Chemistry. “I used to sketch visual analogies out at my students’ lab tables, and it was students who encouraged me to write my first book 17 years ago. In the anatomy and physiology lab, students have to learn different anatomical structures. So, for example, when they need to learn the thoracic vertebra, I use a giraffe head to create a visual analogy that helps them learn and remember all of the parts of the thoracic vertebra, which is shaped like a giraffe head.”

Your inner expert

I have the good fortune to work with many highly educated, highly qualified, experts in a diverse range of fields. Masters-prepared. Doctorly-prepared. Academics and researchers that have devoted themselves to the pursuit and sharing of knowledge in the US and world-wide. Others seek their opinions and expertise. They have done significant research and published journal articles and other valued communications.

So, I could say I work with “leading experts,” “internationally recognized leaders,” or the “most important authorities.” Does this describe you?