Archive for

Free Audio Books & How to Get Them

Perhaps you are one of the many people in the world who love listening to audio books. They can be found just about anywhere–the World Wide Web, book stores, rental services and department stores, among other places; and now nearly any book imaginable is available on both compact disc and audio cassette. Perhaps, also, you are flat broke. Maybe the holiday season has left you banknote impaired–yet you just cannot manage to free yourself from a desire to finally relax and enjoy listening to a favorite book. Fortunately, that is not an impossible dream, regardless of the circumstances. And it is a dream that can be realized without spending a single penny!

There are many ways to get your hands on free audio books. An obvious example would be your local library. While this bit of advice may not be true of all libraries, it can be said that many branches are now catching on to the trend. Of course, there are always those whose local libraries are a bit too “old-fashioned” but on the other end of the spectrum, many libraries are now offering free audio book downloads.

If, however your local library seems to be of the antique brand, then there are many options for those with internet access. A Los Angeles based service, Jiggerbug, offers free trials of their audio book rental service. They provide an extensive catalogue of audio book titles; and if you like the audio in their collection, then feel free to burn them onto CD for your own personal use (meaning do not get caught selling multiple copies of Brokeback Mountain from your car’s trunk). Copyright laws don’t take kindly to being broken; the consequences of doing so can be heinous.

Also worthy of mention is Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org ), a website consisting of free computer generated audio that are available for download. Although their selection does not include many contemporary reads, it is a good source for classic literature if you don’t mind listening to a computerized voice.

And finally, there’s always the do-it-yourself method: record your own audio books! This is especially a great idea for parents of young children. With free software Microsoft Speech SDK and Text Aloud MP3, you have only to decide on a book that you believe your child or children will most enjoy. Also, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t have the voice of James Earl Jones–the kids don’t care. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, though, would it?

While these suggestions may be considered obvious to some, it is often the obvious things that are overlooked. Regardless of your methods, though, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re getting stuff for free!

Sell Books on eBay and Amazon

This just happened to me, yes, this is a true story, but I just wanted to share it with you.

I have a bad back at the moment so I just logged into my local library to see if they had any books about treating a bad back. They had a few and this one was amongst them.

‘Shoulder Arthrography’ by Amy Beth Guildman. Well I got to admit that I have never heard of her or the book (no disrespect intended). Anyway I thought that rather than borrow it from the library that I would buy one instead.

So I logged on to Amazon and entered the title and Authors name in, and the book new is $92.11 and they also have six used versions in stock the cheapest is $81.89 and the dearest is $184 (So I am going to get mine from the library).

But guess what? Our local libraries have a sale once a month of books and they really don’t have a clue what they are worth, and they don’t seem to care either because the sale is held by volunteers just to raise money for the library.

So the thought came to mind that one of the easiest topics for any one hoping to get started at selling online would be to sell books on eBay and Amazon, I have sold many over the years so just maybe this category might appeal to you also.

Just as an afterthought I should like to add this;

I went to Barnes and Nobles on Sunday (I love that store, nice cup of coffee and a cake) anyway in the entrance (or exit? Call it what you will) they had some Classic books, you know the kind of thing, Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities, that sort of stuff, and they were $15 each. Now admittedly they were well presented and nicely bound, but, they are totally worthless.

They are all out of copyright, there are millions of them on the market, and I could print some and sell them myself if I wanted to (and if I knew how to do it).

So you may be asking “what has this got to do with me making money?” a good question, so I will tell you….

Everything!!

Timing is everything…..

People are buying now,… because the ‘trends’ season is over, Thanksgiving is long gone and so is Christmas, summer is still on the horizon.

Garage sales, thrift shops, and countless other outlets are very active in the early spring and summer months and books both for sale and to sell are everywhere..

Selling books is a business that you have complete control over, there is very little competition when it comes to selling used books, believe me, this is nothing like selling new books. You have complete control;

  1. There are never any suppliers or deliveries to worry about
  2. There are never any breakages (easy to pack)
  3. You trade only with people who want what you have
  4. Very good profit margins (you set them)
  5. Easy research (just check out Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Nobles) and of course eBays own completed listings site to see how many copies of that particular book have been sold in the last 14 days and for how much.

Everyone has books in their home, this is a very respected business to be in and you can buy and sell the products almost anywhere in the world.

  • It can be very difficult to buy new products and then sell them on eBay for a 200% markup but in fact this is what you need to do if you want to sell on eBay at a decent profit.
  • If you buy a product for two dollars and sell it for four dollars by the time that you have paid eBay you will have very little if anything left, but if you can sell it for six dollars then you will have about four dollars left after you pay eBay (your original two dollars plus $2 profit) that’s about a 100% profit.

That is just an example to give you a sense of perspective.

Also bear in mind that about 50% of the items submitted for sale on eBay do not sell the first time, so they have to be re-submitted, but for once with eBays new policy coming into effect in July this may work to the advantage of the sellers.

Strategies To Market Your Books

Good books need good marketing strategies. Writing a good book is not the end of the line for an author. Unless an author has the support of a team of marketers, he will have to involve himself in all the activities of marketing to sell the book, in addition to writing it. Often books that are well written go unnoticed, if they have not been marketed successfully. The successful author often has to take a very active role in promoting his books. Marketing not only involves letting people know about your book, but also getting them to want to buy the book. Listed below are a few strategies that various authors use and benefit from, for marketing their books.

Use Bookstores and Libraries: It is a very basic idea to head down to a local bookstore and request them to stock your book. You could even ask them if you could sign a few books at the store. If possible offer them discounts. The same policy can be followed at libraries. You may even give away a few books free to the libraries.

Online Marketing: You could use the latest technology, Internet, to market your book. The best option is to design a website of your own that will be a part of your online marketing strategy. Your online marketing strategy can include writing an article or book excerpt in content article directories, online discussion on the topic of your book, various quizzes for which you could keep your books as gifts, polls, volunteer for online interviews, and the most important – request online reviews. Many people and bloggers would be interested to express their opinion about your book. Online newsletters are also good tools to create awareness about your book.

Communities on the Net: You can join online communities and groups like Yahoo, MSN and Author’s Den, where you would find like-minded people. You should make your presence felt in such community discussions so that others would take interest in your books. Once you post your say, do not forget your signature. You could also identify few bloggers on the Internet interested in your subject. Send them your book as a gift. If they like it they may even mention them in their blogs. You may even request them to blog about the book.

Use press releases: Research your market. You could design a press release and send it to editors of various newspapers and magazines.

Use Flyers: You can have flyers distributed at locations such as libraries, bookshops, conventions etc.

Use radio and TV: Radio interviews are an important part of media strategy. They allow you to promote your book to millions of listeners and viewers across the country. TV can also provide you with good exposure. You only need to be presentable and make an impact on the mind of the readers in the short span of time that you get.

There are many more strategies that you may follow like selling at seminars, conferences, getting the editors to review your books, conducting your own workshop or seminar and so on.

Every writer has to build up his own marketing strategy. Personal involvement in marketing strategy is a major factor to push sales.