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Bringing value back to a book that’s been devalued

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MY PARTNER STEPHEN WOODFIN wrote a blog yesterday that went straight to the heart of darkness facing so many authors today.

He wrote: The price of a book doesn’t determine its value. The best way to devalue a book is for it to sit on a shelf, real or virtual, unread.   

A book unread, he said, has been devalued all the way to zero.

Stephen and I understand that problem as much as anyone and perhaps better than most.

For the past three years, we have devoted most of our efforts to two things.

  1. Writing Books.
  2. Building Caleb and Linda Pirtle.

During that time, we have each written several novels.

But I fear that most of them have been sitting on a shelf, real or virtual, virtually unread while we have invested a great majority of our time tending to the Website.

We have been so busy promoting and marketing books written by other authors that we have ignored or overlooked most of our own.

Sure, we mention them from time to time on Caleb and Linda Pirtle.

But we have not developed a strong mainline, nationwide marketing program.

That’s our fault, and that’s our mistake.

Our books have been unread, and, as Stephen wrote, that has devalued them all the way down to zero.

Dust collectors.

That’s what they are.

But I’m the fool.

I’m the eternal optimist.

Our books may have been devalued.

But rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

It was far different in the old traditional bookstore world of book selling.

In those days, if the book didn’t fly off the shelves in two to three weeks, all unsold copies were returned to the publisher, no self-respecting bookstore ever re-ordered the book, it was dumped and cancelled and left for dead.

No.

That’s wrong.

It was dead.

Times have changed.

The digital revolution has given us all new life.

Our eBooks may rest for a while on a shelf.

They may be lost in the maze that is Amazon.

But the words are there.

And so is the story.

The adventure and suspense and conflict and love story are all packed between the covers.

All we have to do is re-launch the book and roll it out to the marketplace one more time.

Treat the book like it’s brand new.

For all practical purposes, it is

Promote the book.

Market it.

Showcase it.

Breathe new life into the book with a heavy, healthy dose of social media.

Give bloggers a chance to blog about it, reviewers a chance to review it, friends a reason to pass on your Tweets and Facebook reports.

Let readers know the book exists.

Let readers know that you as the author exist.

Shake the dust, either real or virtual, off the book.

And you’ll find that the book has always had value.

Until now, however, the book was never given a chance.

If the story is worth writing, it’s worth talking about.

Somebody out there may be listening.

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