Now that I have a book published and I can find it with the estore number in my account, how do I tell others to find it in the estore? I tried all of the tabs that come up when one goes to www.createspace.com but none of them seem to lead to the estore. Help.
Now the hard part begins. Marketing! You, and really only you have to let everyone you know that your book exists and where to find it. First, go to your estore and copy the url (address). Then send an email blast to everyone you know bragging shamelessly about your book. Also, copy it as a link (or a link to your own website-a bit classier-w/your own website you can also alert people about eventual signings and what other stores carry your book)into your email signature so every email you send has it as available. Many here have suggested setting up a facebook page touting your book. Have the same link in your facebook page. I have NO idea how all that works, myself, gotta get my kids to set it up for me. It does seem to be a great way to spread the word. Good Luck!
As an alternative to your CreateSpace store, you might look into using a third party for that part of your sales process because then YOU get to know and use your customer data which, as I'll explain more later, is very valuable. NorthStar Solutions offers good e-commerce services and have been been for several years, and they have very low rates. What is also really nice is that they are extremely easy to get set up with (you can be set up with them within about 20 minutes). From my regular marketing site, I simply direct customers to my store area at NorthStar Solutions. I immediately get an e-mail notification after an order has been placed. At that point I put the orders through my CreateSpace account since NorthStar sends the customer details, to include their shipping address (thus, CreateSpace handles printing and shipping for me, and I make a nice profit margin on the sale). Putting through the order is really easy: all I have to do is override the shipping address with some quick copy-and-paste action (literally about 30 seconds of work) and I just use my own billing account already stored at CreateSpace (then I get my money from NorthStar via a check every two weeks). NorthStar also enables me to sell the e-book version and they handle providing the customers with an immediate download link that expires after a certain time (so the link isn’t abused). I can sell the e-book for a lot less since there’s no printing or shipping and yet make the same profit.
Another big benefit (that you won't get if you just direct customers to a CreateSpace store) is that I get the contact information of my customers (it comes from NorthStar via e-mail, but I can also check my online account at any time, and if I wanted I can export the data to a file that can be put in a spreadsheet or kept in text format). In addition to getting my customer's contact information (name, shipping address, and e-mail address), I also make more in profits since I can order my own copies for less. Then, after about a month (long enough to know the customer had a chance to read the book), I plan to e-mail the customer and see if they liked my book. If they respond favorably, I will direct them to Amazon to write me a good review. Also, if I publish any more books in the future, I can e-mail my customers and let them know. Customer data is important to have!
It's a great deal and NorthStar Solutions is very easy to work with. You can learn more at http://www.nstarsolutions.com
You may already have one, but I thought I'd mention that it's also very important that you have a great web site that presents your book information, as they won't get to the point of making a purchase decision without you first having a good web site. I recommend that for a very small investment, you have someone build you a professional web site. PowerfulWebPages.com can build you a really nice site for about $95. I intentionally kept the number of links on my site to a minimum, as my goal is to get people interested in the book and ultimately have them buy it. Of course, I strongly believe in the message, but it goes nowhere if people don't read the book. With some modest advertising, I have been selling several copies a week (sometimes several a day) -- and my book has only been out for a few weeks, so I'm still tuning the marketing ideas. I am positive that without a good web site, I would not have enjoyed many sales at all (except perhaps the usual "friends and family sales"). It's a great feeling to break out of that circle and actually sell copies to strangers from all over!!!
Having a professional web site made is not unlike anyone in business that uses someone else to make their signs, build their websites, etc. While maybe you could do it yourself, if you do not do it professionally, you will either be taking more time on it than necessary (time you can be spending promoting your book, in fact), or the results will not be as good as it would be by a professional. The first impression that your potential customers see will make a HUGE difference of whether they stay at your web site and ultimately buy a copy of your book. Study after study shows that decisions are made within a few seconds of whether or not people will stay at a web site. Even if you have a sample chapter or good marketing copy at your web site, most people will not take the time to explore it if they land on a web site that looks amateurish. They'll conclude that if the web site is amatuerish, then the book must be too.
If you are technical enough to build a really nice web site on your own and don't mind investing the time, then maybe that is a good deal for you (and if you already have one, then that's great and this is more for someone reading it that isn't at that point just yet).
I hope this helps. I want self-published authors succeed!!! The big publishing houses have snubbed us long enough and we have books as good or arguably much better than those on the bookshelves. There's no reason we can't succeed with some marketing, a good web site, and a way to take orders. The Internet, leveraged properly, can do that for us.
- Jeffrey R. Camino, Author
You're very welcome. Also, I thought I'd note that I am getting almost 99% of my orders coming directly to me (via NorthStar Solutions). I make a higher commission with direct sales, but admittedly I am giving that back via an enticing discount to the customer (I could probably back off giving so much of a discount and still see a healthy percentage of orders coming in, but I don't want to mess with a good thing). Frankly, I am willing to give back the discount to the customer because I really want to get the customer's information which, as explained before, can help with future sales and/or just following up with them. In fact, I just recently had an e-mail exchanges with a customer that I followed up with and, as a result, they ordered quite a few additional books for friends! The specific link at NorthStar Solutions that explains an overview of their services and advantages thereof for CreateSpace authors is at http://www.nstarsolutions.com/CreateSpace.html
Best of luck!
Thank you! That's exactly what I needed to know too. There isn't a Createspace storefront per se, it's an author by author thing. That should be made more clear with directions on how to access the spot explained to newbies.
Thank you so much for your really informative post. (I'm just at the point of setting things up re websites and estore links.) Am I understanding right, that with each order you get notified of from NorthStar, you order a book at your author purchase rate from CreateSpace, replacing your address with the buyer's address for that particular order? And what kind of discount are you offering buyers? And you make that discount offer on your website? Thank you.
Yes, that is how I do it. I'm using NorthStar to take the order for me. NorthStar sends me an e-mail immediately after the order is processed and gives me the customer's name, mailing address, e-mail address, etc. (I can also go online at any time to check on the status of orders, search for specific orders, download an order history, etc.) To complete the order, I then go to my CreateSpace account and put in the purchase. Actually, to make the process especially easy, I have bookmarked the page that actually adds the item to my account. I have a couple of books, so I have bookmarked each one. I can select one or both of those items from my browser's bookmark, which adds the item to the cart.
If I'm not already logged into my CreateSpace account, at first the total shown is what would be charged to a customer; but once I select "Check Out" I'm prompted to sign in and then the total shown is what is charged to ME at the substantial author's discount (I like that, as I can see the difference right away). I have already charged the customer a higher price, so I'm buying at the discount and keeping the profit margin. Then I just continue through the checkout process as if I'm the customer, quickly copying and pasting the customer's address for the shipping part, using my own billing profile, and finalizing the order. The whole process takes less than a minute per order.
I get to keep the profit from the order since NorthStar sends me all my proceeds a couple of times a month. Also, as I have noted before (but can't emphasize enough), unlike if I had sent the customer to Amazon or CreateSpace, from that point forward I also have the customer's information so that I can follow up with them in the future: ask if they liked the book, offer discounts, suggest additional books I've written, etc. Keeping in touch with customers is really important to helping you establish relationships, which helps sales and, depending on what your book is about, it can just generally help you reach out to your customers. My book is related to a ministry I have, so that customer relationship is very important to me for reasons beyond just enabling me to get additional sales.
As for the discount I'm giving the customer, the book is listed with CreateSpace for $14.95; but I charge customers just $9.95 if they order through NorthStar because I really want to entice them to use that route. I think I could raise that to $12.95 and it would still be enticing enough, but since I still make a healthy margin at the $9.95 price, I haven't done so. CreateSpace is only charging me something like $2.95/book, so I make about $7.00 on each sale.
Since I am self-published, I tell customers they can "Buy the book directly from the author's publisher..." You can see an example of the front end to my order page at: http://www.LearnBibleProphecy.com/buy.html
Let me know if you have any more questions, which I'll be glad to answer if I can. Meanwhile, good luck!