Read Tuesday Progress and Plans

It's going to be HUGE!

It’s going to be HUGE!


What is Read Tuesday?

It’s a Black Friday type of event just for books. This is a great opportunity for readers to shop for books at discounted prices; not just for themselves—books make nice gifts, too. It’s also a great opportunity for authors to participate in a global one-day sales event.

When is Read Tuesday?

In 2013, Read Tuesday will be held on December 10. Mark your calendar.

Is it free?

Authors, self-publishers, and booksellers can participate for free. Everyone is eligible. There are no forms to fill out, no obligations. To participate, a book simply has to have a short-term discount including Read Tuesday, which is lower than the ordinary selling price.

Similarly, there are no special fees, sign-ups, or obligations for readers to participate. Simply buy discounted books on Read Tuesday at your favorite booksellers. Authors may choose to list their books in the Read Tuesday catalog (click here to complete the forms), and many authors will be promoting their books on their blogs and other sites on Read Tuesday.

Many of the participating e-books will be discounted at Kindle. Some e-books will also be available at Smashwords through discount codes (a list of discount codes will be displayed on the Read Tuesday website closer to the day of the event).

Many of the paperbacks will be discounted through CreateSpace discount codes or through authors’ or small publishers’ websites (a list of these discount codes will be displayed as well). If you’re buying multiple paperback books on Read Tuesday, the combined savings will help to offset the shipping charges, especially as the per-book shipping costs less when buying multiple books together.

Read Tuesday is not selling anything. There isn’t anything to subscribe to, either. The only things being sold are books, and that is being handled strictly by publishers, booksellers, and authors, as usual. Read Tuesday is not a middleman.

Where can you learn more?

Check out the official Read Tuesday website:

Follow Read Tuesday on Twitter: @ReadTuesday

Like Read Tuesday on Facebook:

Tell your friends. The more interest there is among readers, the more authors will want to sign their books up; and the more authors who show support, the more readers will get interested.

How can you help?

Anyone can help. Just telling other people who enjoy reading books or authors who sell books about the event will go a long way toward making the event a success. Word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations are among the best ways to create buzz for a big event. This will help improve reader interest and author participation, which is a win-win situation for everyone.

Views, clicks, Likes, and Follows of any Read Tuesday posts or pages are very helpful. The more support prospective readers and authors see for the event, the more they are likely to be interested.

If you mention Read Tuesday in a post on Twitter, consider using the hashtag #ReadTuesday.

How is Read Tuesday coming along?

Here is how things have developed:

  • I didn’t get the idea for Read Tuesday until September 21st. So Read Tuesday has only been in the works for about one month.
  • Melissa Stevens designed images that anyone may use for free to support the Read Tuesday event in a positive way. You may have seen various authors and readers display this image on their blogs, websites, social media pages, and elsewhere.
  • The official Read Tuesday website launched on October 5, just three weeks ago. The Twitter and Facebook pages launched at approximately the same time.
  • In the first three weeks, the Read Tuesday website has had over 1,000 views and over 300 followers. More than 250 people have liked Read Tuesday’s Facebook page and there are more than 70 followers on Twitter.
  • Read Tuesday is being advertised on multiple websites (even though it’s not a company and no individual or business is profiting from this investment). Tens of thousands of people have seen an advertisement for Read Tuesday with the targeting directed toward authors and readers.
  • Authors and readers have been talking about Read Tuesday. People have contacted me to inquire about Read Tuesday, telling me that they heard about the event through other people’s (i.e. not mine or Read Tuedsay’s) blog or Facebook pages. I’ve seen Read Tuesday mentioned a number of times on Twitter, too.

What’s next?

Here’s what we’re looking to do presently and in the coming weeks:

  • Continue building buzz for Read Tuesday. Until now, much of the focus has been on spreading the news to authors, encouraging them to sign up or show support. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to this. We’re planning to start spreading the news to more readers, too. If you have ideas for posts and articles that may attract readers, please feel free to share them (or to write and post your own article on your blog, publish it, or submit it for consideration to be posted on the Read Tuesday blog—remember, you’re welcome to use the Read Tuesday images for free to support the event in a positive way). If you’d like a blog interview on your blog or website about Read Tuesday, we will try to accommodate requests (if you’d like to get interviewed on a website to talk about Read Tuesday, that would be great support, too).
  • We’d really like to go outside the blogging and social media world (in addition to this, that is) to try to attract readers and authors. If you can think of affordable advertising suggestions that may target this audience in this way, we’ll consider them. There is also the free alternative, which is publishing an article, getting interviewed, or getting the media to write an article about Read Tuesday. I’ve been working on this. If you have suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them. If you have access or connections, please feel free to help. Remember, you’re welcome to write your own article and may use the images for free to help support the event.
  • I’m contacting marketing and publicity contacts that I have. You’re encouraged to do the same, or to connect them to me if you don’t want to approach them about this. Some people have already volunteered to help spread the word in November or early December (I appreciate all the help we get, and a big thank you to anyone who has helped or supported in any way). I’m trying to get exposure with sites that have a lot of traffic or a large readership among authors or readers (any help or connections with this would be great, too). What would you think about an article in the CNN Community? It may get attention in that community even if CNN doesn’t do anything with the news. Any ideas, suggestions, or contacts in the way of publicity would be quite welcome.
  • This week was insanely busy for me, but the coming weeks should at least be sane. 🙂 I’m working on the author and book catalogs. I plan to improve the layout and design (at least, up to the point where the catalog may become too extensive for me to keep up with it, but it isn’t there yet—if it starts to look extensive in the coming weeks and you’re interested in volunteering, I might take you up on the offer). A visually appealing, well-organized catalog may help to improve interest among readers and authors both. You should see some growth and improvement in these catalogs in the coming days.
  • I received a suggestion to describe Read Tuesday somewhere like Indiegogo, which might get the event a little exposure while also helping to raise some advertising funds. Obviously, if every author contributed a small amount, it would raise a lot. But I want Read Tuesday to be free for authors, and my hope is for authors to benefit from the Read Tuesday promotion. I really don’t want other authors starting out in the hole, so I’m quite hesitant to do this. If you can think of sites where we can get similar exposure, but where we won’t be asking for money, those would be really handy suggestions.
  • As we get closer to Read Tuesday, authors may want to promote the Read Tuesday even while simultaneously promoting their own books. The Read Tuesday flag (remember, you can use the Read Tuesday images for free to support the event) may be able to help you market your own books in this way.

Ideas, suggestions, and comments are not only welcome, they’re even encouraged. 🙂

Chris McMullen, Coordinator of the Read Tuesday event

How to Sell Hundreds of Books a Day

Sales Pic

This is a marketing post, but it’s actually about false advertising. As such, I felt that this title may indeed be appropriate. 🙂

Just in case you really had your hopes up, you might not have understood correctly. This post probably isn’t going to show you how to sell hundreds of books a day. This post is about false advertising.

And just in case you’re trying to read what you want to hear: This post is NOT going to show you how to sell hundreds of books a day through false advertising. At best, it may convince you that if you try this, your book’s days will be numbered.

Now it’s probably clear to everybody. 🙂 Unfortunately, I suppose that 90% of the traffic won’t make it past this line. Well, there isn’t anyone to blame but myself.

That’s a shame, too, because the 90% who just left probably need to read the following sentence. If it sounds too good to true, like a get-rich-quick scheme, it probably is.

Well, maybe it doesn’t really matter. If they were searching a for get-rich-quick scheme, they probably weren’t going to take my advice.

The real point of this post is that false advertising isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes it’s subtle. Some people even do it to some extent without realizing it.

A common form of false advertising is over-hyping a product, event, or service so that it seems better than it really is.

Creating buzz is a useful marketing tactic. But it has the danger of promising too much. When it doesn’t live up to the hype, word spreads through reviews and conversations. Although hype can generate many initial sales, the total sales may be greatly reduced if excited customers don’t feel satisfied.

I’m not saying not to try to create buzz; just to be careful what you promise. You want people to look forward to it, but not to expect more than will be delivered.

Another form of false advertising is writing a blurb that makes a great sales pitch, where you get a little carried away with the sales part. For many online sales, the blurb is the only salesperson at the point of sale. So it’s important for the blurb to be effective at drawing interest from the target audience and inspiring sales. At the same time, an over-hyped blurb can lead to negative product reviews.

One more example of false advertising is packaging that targets a wider audience, but the wrong audience. This tactic is generally quite ineffective. Most people will just be frustrated when they realize the product isn’t for them, and the few who unknowingly make the purchase are likely to show their frustration through product reviews. Packaging is most effective when it targets the appropriate audience.

Okay, I lied. This post is all about how to sell hundreds of books per day. I just didn’t want the greedy people to take advantage of the secret, so I motivated them to not read all the way to the end of this post. Whereas if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you knew I wouldn’t mislead you. 🙂

It’s very simple, really:

  • Research the kinds of book ideas that become bestsellers, along with the type of storyline, characterization, and writing that they use to achieve this.
  • Have the talent, creativity, background, and do the necessary research to write such book.
  • Write a killer book where the storyline and writing appeal to a wide audience.
  • Perfect the book from cover to cover; get your book professionally edited and formatted.
  • Design a killer cover and write a killer blurb that attract your target audience.
  • Choose a short, catchy title that your target audience will love.
  • Write more books like this to create a hot series.
  • Research successful marketing and publicity strategies and study the marketing and publicity habits of top-selling authors who went from nobody to famous.
  • Apply what you learned about marketing and publicity brilliantly to become as famous as a celebrity.
  • Build a large following prior to publishing and spend months on effective pre-marketing.
  • Permanently discount the first book. At the right time, put the entire series on sale for one day only and promote the daylights out of this sale, with and without paid advertisements; but only do this very rarely so nobody waits for it.
  • Find an experienced publicist whom you can verify turned nobodies into bestselling authors, get this person’s attention and interest in your book, hire this person at any cost (and an experienced attorney to iron out the contract), and get this person to advise you before you even start writing your first book (you’ll be directed to get help every step along the way, from the writing to contacting a recommended agent).
  • Exhibit extraordinary self-motivated diligence, develop key connections and relationships, and be very patient.
  • Streak naked through a major, widely televised sporting event with your book cover quite visibly tattooed on your chest (shave first, if needed), but first be very sure that the networks will actually show you while you do this (which may require hefty bribes and threats), but do so slowly and calmly, facing the cameras, so everyone gets a good, long look. When you’re sitting in jail, please remember that I advised you NOT to do this. (I said I’d show you how to sell a hundred books a day, but I didn’t say I’d advise you to actually try it.)
  • And, of course, just get lucky.

See, there’s nothing to it! 🙂

(And the 90% who left early weren’t going to do all this work anyway, so it doesn’t matter that the only false advertising was convincing them to leave.)

Now for some legal verbiage: Results are not guaranteed. Results described may not be typical. Sales of a hundred books a day may only last for one day, give or take (most likely take) a day. Offer void in the Milky Way galaxy and anywhere else prohibited by law.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Do You Remember?

Do you remember:

Seemingly infinite energy to play?

Curiosity for life’s simplest wonders?

Learning several new things every day?

Running free with no destination in mind?

Experimenting with each part of your body?

Hearing and trying out new words all the time?

Years without worries? Having fun for fun’s sake?


What would your former self say to you today?


Copyright 2013 © Chris McMullen