Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best Way to Improve Sales: Give Readers a Free Sample!

Have you ever heard of Mrs. Fields. She’s the lady that makes those great homemade chocolate chip cookies. Do you know how she became Mrs. Fields? Besides marrying Mr. Fields.
Answer: She gave out free samples.
Mrs. Fields made up a platter of her cookies and walked up and down the street handing out free cookies. Yep! She gave them away! Then, once customers became hooked, they started buying those cookies by the bag-full and Mrs. Fields became the Queen of Cookies!
So, when my publishing company Acorn Book Services signed on to sponsor the C3 Conference, I asked myself how best to promote not just myself as an author, but those authors who I work with. Then, my thought turned to those new authors who may be nervously attending the C3 conference for the first time as an author.
How does a new author, who is promoting his or her very first book, convince readers that they are good? That they are worthy of spending a few bucks on their first book?
Answer: Give out free samples!
That is the purpose of the C3 (Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity) Anthology.  Acorn Book Services will publish and give a copy of our anthology to each attendee at the conference.
Picture this! You are a new author on your first panel. The readers are sitting in the audience thinking, “Well, he seems like a nice guy, but I can’t afford to buy a copy of all of these authors’ books. How do I decide?”
You answer their hesitation by holding up the anthology. “And you can read a copy of my short story in the anthology that you received in your welcome pack. It starts on page 42.”
The readers will read your story. Fall in love and you’ll have a fan, or two, or three, or a hundred!
Please pay close attention to their submission guidelines below:
Word Count: Maximum 7,500 words.
Limit: One short story per author, who must be registered and attending the C3 conference.
Limited to twenty-five stories accepted for publication so be sure and get registered today so your story can be part of the anthology! Space in the anthology is limited. I wish we could afford to publish a hundred stories, but we can’t.
Please include author photo, bio, website, and other information to accompany short story in the anthology.
Short stories accepted for the anthology must be edited, and will be edited and proofed by Acorn Book Services. By submitting a short story, the author agrees to giving Acorn Book Services rights of usage of the short story in the Anthology to be published in print and e-book form (at the cost of Acorn Book Services). The printed format will be given to attendees of the C3 conference. This anthology will serve as a promotional tool for the authors, who will retain all ownership rights to their story.
After the conference, Acorn Book Services will then release the anthology in e-book form on Amazon. In this e-book format, in exchange for use of their short story, the author will receive further promotion as the e-book will also include the author’s bio and links to their website and places where their books can be purchased.
All of this is at no cost to the author, other than the cost of attending the C3 conference. All proceeds from the sale of the e-book version will be retained by Acorn Book Services to help offset production cost of the anthology.
Deadline to submit: March 1, 2013.
For more information or to submit your story contact Acorn Book Services at