Backlist Titles into New Sales and New Readers
In the last year, the writing
world has been buzzing about self-publishing—and the excitement has
quickly spread from the writing community into the mainstream media
spotlight. Stories of astounding self-publishing success followed by
million-dollar book deals have created an ebook “gold rush,” and many
writers are reconsidering self-publishing.
But what does all this mean for
the traditionally-published Christian novelist? It opens the door to
new sales and new audiences. You can self-publish and find new fans and
reviews, plus continue to work with your publisher.
PubIt! by Barnes & Noble
offers authors and independent writers an easy, fast, and free way to
convert their works to ebooks. Since PubIt! launched a year ago, more
than twenty thousand publishers and authors have found success selling
their works through the PubIt! platform. Many of their best-selling
ebooks are backlist titles from traditionally published authors, now
digitized, repackaged, and driving new revenue.
One of PubIt!’s most successful
authors to date, Barbara Freethy, has translated her backlist into an
ebook boon. Now she is at the top of the ebook best-seller list on both
BN.com and at the New York Times! “I love seeing
the sales in real-time!” says Freethy, best-selling author of women’s
fiction and romance, including All She Ever Wanted
and One True Love. Freethy was able to regain her
digital publishing rights, and she didn’t just reissue her past works,
she re-envisioned them. They quickly skyrocketed to new success.
Like many authors using PubIt!,
in relaunching her older titles, Freethy had to create new covers, as
the existing cover art from her print editions did not revert along
with her digital rights. After being published at several different
houses, Freethy saw new covers as a branding opportunity, and
repackaged her work with a unified look and feel—one that struck her as
more in line with her mix of romance and women’s fiction.
Total control of the publishing
experience is an aspect of self-publishing that many traditionally
published authors appreciate. From covers and descriptions to pricing
and publication schedule, the author is in charge with PubIt!
That control also extends to
marketing to readers. Authors get to select what categories best fit
their work and can position their work in a way that truly matches
It’s never been so easy to
publish your work. With PubIt! an author creates an account and uploads
writing as a Word, HTML, .txt, or .rtf file that PubIt! automatically
converts to ePub format, the standard e-reader format. Note:
work is already converted, ePub files can also be easily uploaded!
course, the next step for an author is marketing. An author uploads a
cover, adds the book description, author bio, quotes, categories, and
editorial reviews. From file to NOOK Book, a PubIt! title can go on
sale to the millions of customers at BN.com within seventy-two hours.
Barnes & Noble customers can then browse, sample, purchase and
read NOOK Books on NOOK Simple Touch and NOOK Color devices along with
the free NOOK Reading App for iPhone, iPad, Android Smartphones, PC,
and others. It’s just that fast and easy.
Reconnect with Readers
While Finding New Ones
Traditionally published authors
who embrace self-publishing have a major marketing asset: readers.
Because you already have a following in your genre, you can simply let
these readers know that your works are now available as ebooks. You’ll
also have review quotes to reference in your description, blurbs from
fellow authors, and social media marketing connections that you’ve made
over the years.
But you’ll also find new
readers. Many of our authors who relaunched their backlist found that
their works were being introduced to a whole new audience on NOOK and
in the NOOK Book store. And for authors of Christian fiction, this also
translates into a chance to reach a wider audience in the secular
Fiction Is Selling
PubIt!’s strongest category is
fiction, and the wonderful thing that traditionally published authors
experience with this platform is the ability to uncover new revenue
with their older works. While a traditional publishing model has a
timeline based on moving inventory or vying for limited space, ebook
self-publishing has a limitless window of opportunity for sales and
The Most Important
Your cover is your most
important selling tool. “I would encourage PubIt! publishers to focus
on producing a good cover as well as a good book. The cover will entice
the readers to buy and the quality of the writing will make them eager
to buy another book,” says Freethy. The old adage that readers select
books by their covers holds true in the digital bookstore, too.
Some important factors to keep in mind when developing a cover:
• How the image will look in a thumbnail size
• The size of the title should be large enough to read at any
• Including achievements such as “best-seller” or award nominations on
• A professional design: hire a professional if you don’t have design
Julia Coblentz is
the Senior Marketing Manager for PubIt! by Barnes & Noble and
has over ten years of marketing experience in trade publishing working
at Random House, Inc. and Abrams.