Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indie Author, Melissa M. Williams breaks records sales at Barnes & Noble Book Signing!

Iggy the IguanaIn a business where expectations are high and actual results are relatively low, one indie author and publisher is making headway in an overcrowded industry and has most recently reached a pinnacle in book sales with Barnes & Noble.

If there has ever been one constant I have easily recognized in the countless forums and discussion boards on the Internet that deal specifically with indie publishing and authoring, it is this: It is hard and almost impossible at times to sale any significant amount of books. The business is overcrowded, the buyers determine the market when they have access to what they are wanting or think they want, and the big corporate conglomerates control the destiny and bottom line for book sales from the very precious few who actually land a traditional publishing contract. And although there are new and exciting authors emerging every day thanks to greater technologies and ease-of-use and functionality online, it is still very difficult to discover a method to obtain the overall objective of every author: book sales.

I am honored to say today however, that despite the odds and despite the roadblocks and the vast array of impossibilities, my client has transformed those odds into something we all long for, even deep down in our souls beyond the place where we simply, just love to write. I am proud to say the methods and strategies and philosophies I have presented, when actually put into practice have begun to produce the impossible: book sales in steady stream and flow and with of course, poetic flair and professional presence and credibility, not so much from what we believe, but what the consumer actually desires in an author--indie or traditional. They want to meet us, learn from us, become inspired by our passions and lastly, hold a signed book in their hands as they leave our presence to escape into imaginary worlds.

Melissa M. Williams

I began this most recent venture with LongTale Publishing less than three months ago, and in that time helped isolate and identify key areas where an author and indie publisher needs to focus to help establish credibility, online presence, marketability and of course, present a product worthy of the efforts it takes to create a finished book. With a web presence that was steady but relatively low and a desire that seemed to be lingering somewhere between overwhelming and hibernating, we at LongTale Publishing have transformed the presence of the other green reptile from that of a good book to one of pure desire in the youth of the Lone Star State. With close to 100 school visits in the past 13 months, author presentations, the agonizing but required book signings that conjure up greater costs in time than they produce in sales, and a steady stream of Press Releases and credible articles, interviews and practiced placement online, the Iggy the Iguana chapter-book series for kids has become an indie book publishers dream. What began as a dream for an eight year-old little girl in Houston, Texas has become the pinnacle of a desire to share something beautiful with kids. This new children's favorite in chapter-book series for kids is on its way to breaking another milestone: 1,000+ books in just under 90 days.

At her most recent book signing event at Barnes & Noble in  Houston, Texas, Melissa M. Williams was able to perform an almost impossible feat in the book signing business. With average numbers of celebratory success coming in at less than ten books per signing, Iggy the Iguana captivated the wondrous eyes and attention to children and parents alike in a book signing that closed with some 120+ books out the door. And it is unlikely that any of the remaining books in stock will be returned--another aspect that breaks the bank for indie publishers--but rather sheathed upon the shelves in anticipation for the next child in search of the "tale of a different kind."

With a strong web presence generating some 128+ visitors per day (a striking increase from the 200+ visitors per month just a season ago), Melissa M. Williams has been able to incorporate a business approach to selling books that has solidified her expertise of studied practice and learning of the previous five years, with steady online content, articles, guest appearances from other industry professionals and a new column on Houston's (e)newspaper, The West Side Story, all in efforts to establish the ever elusive brand which is required of any indie author wishing to establish a presence of sales and longevity.

To further enhance the three foundational pillars of LongTale Publishing--Literacy, Creativity, and Learning--Melissa M. Williams has co-founded a literacy foundation with yours truly, designed to nurture the creative and learning desires in our youth: READ3Zero. Presently, READ3Zero is accepting manuscript submissions for short stories written "by kids, for kids" through February 1st, 2010 for all children in the US (in and) between grades third through eighth. Next year LongTale Publishing will honor each of these winners in an anthology entitled: "I Write: Short-Stories By Kids, For Kids." By focusing on the creative aspects and desires of our youth, READ3Zero will allow a means for parents, community and educational leaders to re-establish and strengthen an enthusiasm in kids to learn again.
READ3ZeroWhen asked about her most recent sales spike and of course, her record breaking numbers from her Barnes & Noble book signing last night (Nov 18th, 2009), Melissa Williams said she was "in shock as much as she was comfortable." She went on to say, "I was amazed at the draw and at the same time, not surprised at all. I got into this business to sell books and when I think of book signings, I think of long lines with kids eager to learn about all things Iggy." When I asked her to elaborate on the secrets behind her sudden surge and rise in popularity, especially within the greater Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth area, Melissa says, "It's about the work. You have to be willing to work at this every day, for hours on end, with countless follow-up, constant event booking and of course, do it with passion, the very passion God put in your hart to succeed."

For a list of upcoming events, book signings, author visits and more, please be sure to stop by the official homepage for Melissa M. Williams. Also, to discover more insight into the book selling process and approach that has allowed LongTale Publishing to record breaking book sales within the indie book publishing business, you won't want to miss Melissa's LIVE one-hour interview with Bobby Ozuna on The Indie Author Show, Monday November 23rd, 2009 @ 7PM CST.

Melissa M. Williams featured LIVE on The Indie Author Show!

To book your author interview, school visit or author presentation, please contact Bobby Ozuna, online marketing manager for LongTale Publishing.

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.
*Bobby Ozuna works as a private book marketing consultant for indie & small press authors.*

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