Monday, June 17, 2013

P.O.D Preference?

How many authors like the option of POD or Print on Demand today?  According to “The Economist” in February of 2010:
About 6% of books in America are now printed on toner-based or inkjet machines—a rough proxy for print-on-demand (POD)—as opposed to on offset presses, estimates InterQuest, a market-research firm. Over the next five years, it predicts, this figure will increase to 15%. In 2008, the latest year for which data are available, about 285,000 titles were printed on demand or in short runs—132% more than in 2007 and for the first time more than in the conventional way. Amazon, the world's biggest online bookseller, uses POD machines, although it does not reveal how often.
With all of us saving the trees, the atmosphere and time, a POD option is a novel idea! (no pun intended)  As more people turn to their e-readers for book purchase, the POD option is equally tantalizing for those that like to have a book “in hand”, to turn actual pages. For authors this is a great way to control printing costs. With POD, purchases can be “on call for print”.  A customer online can simply click purchase (ie AMAZON) and the printing process begins for the book they have chosen. For the Author this means the novel sits on a computer server until someone clicks purchase.  Now books are printed on demand. There is no “out of stock” or two week waits for replenishment.  But just a few years back an analysis was made that claimed large print runs won’t go away for any novels that are in high demand….hmmm, in 2013 it seems you can get your e-book and read it now, regardless! So times are changing…and FAST! I wonder what will happen 5 years from now in the POD realm. I'll check back with blogger with statistics when they become available.
For now, all is good. Authors take note when considering POD:  the better the quality or durability of a printed book, the more expensive it will be to print and sell. If there are edits or changes to a book, POD allows the simplicity of loading a new e-file to the server to make easy alterations to the book. Now books that have errors or additions can be altered immediately with almost no repercussions.
Authors must know that cover choice is important as well. Output of book covers and how the book will be perceived by the purchaser depends on the kind of paper stock chosen.  Smooth finish may look like quality but may not be durable. Glossy finish may not look like quality but has durability.  (as noted in an article here: )
I guess the question remains… do you prefer e-book or printed style reading?
Kristine Sheehan – Designs

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lead Generation Tools: Truth or Dare

Anna Campbell, mother, author and business guru gives her take on lead generation. After reading her article let me know how you feel about purchasing leads for business. Does it work for you? Are you playing truth or dare with lead generation tools?

Remember playing truth or dare as a kid at a friend’s house? I personally hate this game because I am a control freak and I don’t like to share too much personal information about myself or be forced into doing something that I normally wouldn’t want to.

So, how do lead generation tools work and are they playing truth or dare with you, your time, and your money.

While in the real estate world, I unloaded a great deal of money to wipe away years of time my fellow Realtors had already put into their businesses. As a newbie, I needed to play catch up and there were two very large lead generation companies that provided statistics, answers and huge potential dollar signs. I learned very quickly and painfully how to understand which companies were telling the truth and which were asking me to dare.

When a company forces you into a 3 month, 6 month or annual contract; they are daring you to invest your money into their product or service with very little truth. Zillow and Trulia both force you into a potentially expensive and long-term contract with very little return. In fact, their goal is to have you upgrade, upgrade, and upgrade even more, so that you are so heavily invested in their service/product you feel that you can’t afford to go anywhere else, because your cash is tied up into their dare.

These two companies promise you quality business leads. What they forget to mention is that 50% or more of real estate buyers and 75% or more of real estate sellers are only going to use someone they know or someone they are personally referred to. You can’t buy quality leads, because they aren’t for sale. Quality leads are breathing human beings with needs and fears. You must earn the opportunity to serve quality buyers and sellers.

Another choice many business owners need to make is about a website. This will be one of your biggest online lead generation tools available to you, when you know how to use it properly. The way to tell if a website designer is telling you the truth or asking you to dare, is when they present you with a cookie cutter template price, with a cookie cutter style and service. When a website designer is not able to answer your questions, doesn’t have time to help you understand how to use your website, or what it takes to get your website ranking (without you paying them to list it), then you are talking with someone that isn’t able or isn’t interested in providing you with a business service that will actually help your business long-term.
Business websites are your virtual face, business sign, and basic first impression. How your website looks is very important, attracting people to your website is just as important. How will people find you? Why will people want to visit your website? How often will they come back? Is there any reason why someone would want to share your page with others? These are all questions your website designer should be able to help you understand. Once you understand them, then you will know what type of website is best for your business, and what you will need to do to build traffic to it.

The key to truth and dare is information and working with people who are not afraid of sharing information with you without a contract. We earn our clients, and our clients should earn us as well. Take your time, build a relationship, learn about the person you are working with because it is a lot less stressful and a lot less expensive to take your time and work with one honest person than to hurriedly blow through thousands of dollars on all the wrong people.

In truth, patience is very hard. However, you and your business are worth the time.

Now it is your turn, what have you found to be truth or dare while running your business?

Written by Anna Campbell with My Monthly Business Journal. Anna uses many ways to share the tools her clients need to grow their business. She has a published business journal workbook, notes and feedback on her facebook page, articles and information on her website, small group time at her monthly Coffee Breaks, and very in-depth break through sessions with clients on a one-on-one basis as needed.