Blind Date with a Book Unboxing

Last week I had a few book signings and in celebration of two great signings, my mom took me out to eat and to Barnes and Noble. While I was there I noticed Barnes and Noble has set up the new blind date with a book section.

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

 

How does it work? Well, basically the books are wrapped up, so you can’t judge a book by its cover. The only way you can decide if the book is right for you is by reading the tag that is attached to it. Here’s the tag for the book I picked out:

“Takes all of the best things from historical fiction, horror, fantasy, and a dash of thriller and you will get this book. Tackling what lack of a sense can do to a person you won’t be able to put it down until you are done.”

Now, while this tag has a few grammar mistakes, I knew what it was trying to say and I had a feeling this book was going to be the right one for me. Here’s the book I ended up uncovering:

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift — an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume” — the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

 

I love these types of books, so I can’t wait to start reading! My first blind date with a book was a success!

Has anyone else gone on a blind date with a book yet?

Getting Your Self-Published Book in Stores and Libraries – Marketing for Authors

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One of the most thrilling things for an author is to see their book out in the wild. We dream of the day we walk into a store or library and there’s our book! We all like to say we write for the love of it, but let’s admit it, we’re all a bit vain and enjoy seeing our little book becoming famous. But how do you get your book into stores? Well, if you’re a traditionally published book, your publisher usually handles these things, but if you’re self-published than you are your own publisher. If you want a store to carry your book, you have to work for it.

Barnes and Noble:

The end goal is seeing our book sold in Barnes and Noble, but the thing is, it’s almost impossible to get into Barnes and Noble as an indie author. You can sell your book through their online store through expanded distribution on Createspace, but they usually won’t sell the book in stores. You can sometimes manage to do a book signing at Barnes and Noble, but it’s all about known the right people. It took me two years before Barnes and Noble finally let me come in for a signing. (Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to learn how to arrange a book signing at Barnes and Noble!)

Indie Book Stores:

Indie book stores are your best friend. They love doing events and signings and they will usually sell your book in stores as well. When you sell your book at an indie book store they will usually do it on consignment meaning you leave your book there and they’ll give it a certain amount of time to sell. When it sells they’ll give you a cut of the sale and possibly ask you to bring in more copies. (PS- always sell signed copies, they’ll sell a lot faster!)

The downside to selling through any bookstores is that they do get a pretty large cut. You’ll end up having to sell your book for a discounted rate for them to hold it in their store and they’ll get a cut of the sale at the discounted price. The bright side? Your book is in a store! The downside? You don’t really make money…

If you do bookstore consignment, here is the information you want to file away:

  • Bookstore’s name and address
  • Store owner’s name and contact information
  • Consignment contract (price and cut agreement)
  • Title and number of books left at the store
  • The date you dropped them off along with the date you will pick them up if they don’t sell.

Libraries 

It’s easy to get your book in libraries. Keeping in mind libraries are not for selling, they’re for reading, I always donate my books. I may not be making any money off of it, but I’m gaining readers, and that’s all that matters right?

You Can Get Your Book Anywhere

So here’s the exciting part. If you have expanded distribution through Createspace, than any bookstore will sell your book as long as someone requests it. Sad for us, they usually only buy the one copy that was requested, but someone still bought it! Book stories don’t order indie books because we usually come from a print on demand publisher. This means a book is only printed as it’s ordered. If a book store doesn’t sell a book, they send it back to the publisher, but if the publisher does print-on-demand, they can’t send it back. Which is why places like Barnes and Noble just don’t want to deal with books that come from publishers like Createspace.

 

I’ve Failed as an Author

I hope every author out there knows what I’m talking about. Writing and supporting yourself as an author is something that is very hard to do. For myself, I have doubts every day. Am I doing the right thing? Should I give up now and find something else to do? To put it simply, I’m terrified. It’s hard to keep up with everything. Heck, I have no idea when I’m going to finish writing book number three. I also don’t know when I’m going to sell those hundred copies of books in my car. With college and a job, it’s a lot. I just hope if you feel the same way, that this video makes you feel less alone. We just have to keep moving forward!

 

How Many Books Did I Read in 2016?

Nominate your favorite writing blog! http://positivewriter.com/nominate-your-favorite-writing-blog-for-2017/

How do you do it? Simply go to the comment section of the above link, paste this fancy URL:  https://mandilynn.com/

And tell the world why you love my blog/website! –I have awesome writing videos 😉

My reaction to reading Harry Potter for the first time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErrWv4FoyU8

One year, 62 books, 20,998 pages. 2017, here I come!

One Page a Day Keeps a Writer at Bay—Balancing College and Writing

It’s not a secret that college is just a little bit over-whelming right now, but I’ve still managed to write just a little but every day. And when I say a little, I mean a little. As of right now, even with the semester over, I’m only writing about a page a day. It may not sound like much, but I’m hoping as I get more time to write, I’ll be able to extend that one page farther and farther.

8 Tips to Survive College “Somewhat Gracefully”

A year from now I will be a college graduate. It’s hasn’t hit me yet—I’m not ready to be an adult! But today I’m going to put all that to the side and remember all the little things I’ve learned that have allowed me to no completely loose it. Well…I “lost it” a few times, but that’s why you guys should learn from my mistakes.

8 Tips to Survive College “Somewhat Gracefully”

-Worship your syllabus

-Go to events!

-Find your study spot

-Get sound proof headphones

-Advil. Lots of lots of Advil.

-Get a Planner and write everything down! Here’s what I use! http://bit.ly/2i7LZSt

-Workout! Trust me on this one

-Be a good roommate.

BookCase Club Unboxing || December 2016

BookCase Club Affiliate: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=909691&U=1383173&M=67655&urllink=

Click the link above to learn more about the program!

In this week’s box:
A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy
Diamond Boy by Michael Williams

Don’t Tell My Professors!

The semester is almost over! Twenty-one credits later and I’m almost done! I’ve dragged myself through two internships, four classes, a job (at one point two jobs though one of them was my internship) and one independent study. And I’m so happy it’s almost over! I feel bad for you all. I feel like all I ever talk about is school, but I promise more entertaining videos are on their way! But today I’m here to talk about speed reading. It’s a blessing and a curse. No, you can’t absorb all the material you hope to, but how else are you supposed to read everything for classes? Don’t tell anyone I said that…

Hard Work Pays Off!

I’m so happy to say the semester is almost over. I can see the finish line! And this is the video where you get to hear me rant about my life! Yes, I was crazy enough to take 21 credits in one semester. And I’m going to have to keep taking lots of credits to graduate early. Wish me luck!

Will My Writing Get Better?

I really tried not to rant too much in this video…

Listen to my reading of my latest writing! http://bit.ly/2f0tYnS

We all know the more you practice something, the better you get. Same goes for writing. I’ve published two novels, so over the years not only has my writing style changed, but so has the quality of writing. I look back at Essence and realize how far I’ve come as a writer. And Essence not being up to par with my current writing isn’t a bad thing! A little embarrassing maybe, but it shows how hard I’ve worked. And it just makes me that much more excited to publish my new novel!