Edwards Brothers Malloy Fulfillment Services

Video Transcript

Most publishers think of Edwards brothers malloy as a book printer.  What they might not know is that we’re a fulfillment company too.

If you print with us you get the first 30 days free storage.  The system that we use is web-based. Customers can get in there 24/7, during the week whenever they want.  They can see where their orders are at.  They can see it in real time.  Their inventory is real time.  That’s probably one of the biggest features that we offer and that most customers like.  The other is just our service.  They love the way we get the books out in a timely manner.  We have a 24 hour turn around rate but most books go out the same day.

Most of our orders are shipped within the 50 states but we do handle a fair number of overseas orders.  In fact, we’ve shipped books as far away as Australia.  We have over a million books in inventory, and last year we shipped over 800,000 books which averages out about 3,000 books a day.  We’ve got about 140 customers and they range in size from one title to many titles so we really do deal with a lot of different size publishers.

Posted in Videos | Leave a comment

7 Book Marketing Tips for Newly Minted Authors

Authors who print and publish for the first time often face another uphill battle; marketing their new book.  The internet has drastically changed the ways books are brought to market.  Barriers for authors have been greatly reduced and in some cases eliminated.  If you’re a new author in need of some tips for getting your book in front of more eyeballs, check out our 7 suggestions below.

Research Your Audience

Before you can reach your audience you have to know something about them.  Spend some time researching who they are, what kinds of content they like, how old they are, demographics, etc.  There are a lot of very fancy ways to gather market information but for most authors working with a budget of “free”, those methods aren’t practical.

Authors can use social media to try and find out more about their audience.  Once you have networks that are up and running and active, pay close attention to what content people are interacting with.  What do they share, comment on, like, re-tweet, favorite, re-pin, etc.?  Sites like Facebook feed even more detailed demographic information right to you with their Insights analytics platform.

Twitter has a similar tool at analytics.twitter.com.

Over time, authors can start to see data pile up and actually draw conclusions from it.  They can use that information to tailor social posts, blog posts, videos and other content they push out about their title.

Use Social Media

social iconsYou knew this strategy would be in here and for good reason.  Billions of people use social media platforms to communicate with one another.  Some of the world’s largest and most successful brands use them for marketing.  The best part is that a savvy author can use them for free to get exposure for their book.

Authors should try and market their title on as many platforms that they can however they shouldn’t just go to a network because it’s what everyone is doing.  As mentioned earlier, make sure your audience is present on the network.  Spend some time “listening” on networks to make sure people who will want to buy your book are active there.

You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Use search features on sites like Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and others to find what people are posting about. See if the content is related to what you write about.
  • Find authors who do similar work to yours and see if they are having success marketing on a particular platform (obviously that is subjective but if they have a ton of followers and lots of engagement, it’s safe to say you should be on that network too).
  • Look for groups that are relevant to your work on social platforms and create profiles there.

Once you know which platforms you will be marketing your book on, create profiles and start coming up with a strategy and content.  Posting to social networks is a must and you should make a point to post a certain number of times each week.  That will vary based on the audience and the network but in general you’ll be doing it daily.

Posting however is not enough.  By definition, social networks are not a one-way street.  Authors need to be able to develop thoughtful conversations with their audience.  That means prompting conversations, asking questions, engaging with the content of others, sharing the content of others and things like that.  Remember too that you should not be completely self-promotional.  Follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of the content you post is not self-promotional and the other 20% is promoting your title or yourself as an author.

Build an Email List

Email at symbolEmail is a great way to get a personal audience with your market.  Getting emails can be tricky though.  Fortunately for authors, they already have something built to collect emails; their book.  A good way to get relevant members of a target market to give you their email is to offer something for free.  Try offering a piece of your book as a free download in exchange for a name and email.

You can do this by using a small monthly investment and a combination of web services.

Aweber

Aweber is an automated email marketing platform that allows you to create personalized email messages that can be sent to subscribers when they fill out a contact form.  It integrates with Leadpages.net (more on this in a moment) and authors can hand-craft a series of email messages.  You can start a subscription to Aweber for about 20 bucks a month.

Leadpages.net

This is a service that allows you to build really great looking landing pages.  Some templates are specifically designed to offer ebooks.  You can make a PDF out of a few chapters of your book and promote it on a landing page for visitors to download.  Once they enter their name and email, they are sent your first Aweber email with a download link to the PDF and voila!  You have their name and email that allows you to market to them on a regular basis.  A basic Leadpages account is about 37 dollars per month.

Authors can also find other ways to gather emails.  It won’t be as easy as using these services but as long as you stay organized (and honest with the people whom you’ve collected emails from), you can successfully market your book to them.

Start an Author Website

Author WebsiteIf you do nothing else on this list, you should at least start an author website.  This allows you to control all the content that people see and provides for a central hub where you can drive traffic.  It also allows you to have a platform where you can make transactions.

The internet has changed the way that books are marketed and it has also changed the way that websites are built.  That means that you don’t have to be a programming wizard to build a nice website.  The following services are perfect for building highly attractive and functional websites for free.

  • Blogger.com
  • WordPress.com
  • Wix.com
  • Squarespace.com
  • Weebly.com

That’s just the short list and there are many other free website builders available.  Author should make a website that features their book, an about page, and a blog.

Blog, Blog, Blog

BloggingAs mentioned in the previous section, authors should leverage their talents and start a blog on their author website.  Blogging is beneficial for a few reasons.

  • It provides content that can be shared on social media
  • It provides a channel for people to subscribe to and follow
  • It will help an author promote their site in search

There is more to that last point.  Search engines love fresh content and by adding a blog post on a weekly basis, authors can start having more pages showing up in search results.  By crafting posts around specific concepts and keyword phrases, they can start to rank those pages in search.  If the content is good enough, other website owners will start building links to the blog and its posts.

Authors can then place calls to action in the side bar of their blog or at the end of posts.  These calls to action can be links to download the author’s book.

Network

networkingMarketing your book is just like marketing any other product.  You have to hit the bricks, talk with people, make connections and that will lead to more opportunities for exposure.  There are lots of places authors can market in person and the internet also makes that process a little faster.

In-person

  • Attend writers conferences: some people say that conferences that are marketed toward writers aren’t always the best events so do your homework on who will actually be there.  Also, sometimes these are paid and sometimes they’re free.
  • Attend other literary events: You’ll have to search for events in your local area.  Check out the closest major metropolitan city to you for upcoming events.

The key things to remember for getting the most out of these events is to make an impression and meet people.  Work on a seven second presentation about your book that you can deliver at a moment’s notice to someone you’ve just met.  Make cheap business cards and bring them with you (even if it’s just your name, email and links to social accounts on it – be creative).

Online

Authors can network in the digital space as well and most of that happens on social media.  Instead of posting on a regular profile though, seek out groups that you can belong to.

  • Join LinkedIn groups for authors
  • Google Plus has some communities for authors that are pretty active
  • Search Facebook for groups that you can contribute to
  • Seek out writer or publisher forums that you can be a part of

A sure fire way to not be successful networking online is to post spam.  That means content that is “me” oriented.  Authors should start off in a group helping others.  Seek out questions that others have and answer them.  Over a short period of time, you’ll build credibility with the group and people will pay more attention when you post things that are promotional about your book or yourself as an author.  It takes time to build this rapport but the rewards are long-lasting.

Work With Other Authors

other-authorsTeaming up with other authors is a great way to pool resources and get more reach for your book than you could have on your own.  This works even better if you team up with an author who has been through the process before.

  • Reach out to other authors on social media or in forums
  • Use your own sphere of influence (the people you already know) to find partner
  • Find people at networking or publishing events that would be interested in sharing resources

No matter who you team up with, make sure you set expectations.  Put your agreement in writing so there is no confusion as to who is contributing what and what you are both getting out of the deal.  Nothing kills a business deal faster than when one party feels like they aren’t getting what they were promised.

Are you a new author or a publishing industry veteran?  What tips do you have for marketing a book?

 

Posted in Author Marketing | Leave a comment

Jackson Road Guided Tour

Video Transcript

Edwards Brothers Malloy has three offset printing facilities.  Our Jackson Road facility was built in 1960 and founded as Malloy Lithographing.  Today it has grown to more than 180,000 square feet and features some of the most advanced book manufacturing equipment our company has at its disposal. 

First we will take a look at our automated plate-making line.  Added in 2005, the plate room is one of the first fully automated plate making lines to be installed at a book printer in North America.  Two redundant lines cover over two thousand square feet of floor space.  3 plate setters and 4 imaging heads produce 12 to 15 thousand aluminum printing plates per month.  The system is designed for Just in time processing allowing Edwards Brothers Malloy to start customer jobs quickly.  It takes just six minutes for the first plate to be produced from start to finish and two additional minutes per plate after that.  The entire system can be run with just one operator per shift.

Next we’ll take a look at two of our cutting edge offset web presses.  Our Jackson Road plant was the first facility to purchase a Timsons web press back in 1982.  We now have 8 timsons web presses at this location and our company as a whole has the largest fleet of Timsons in North America.    Installed in early 2006, this Zero make ready machine known as T8 can print at top speeds of about 1300 feet of paper per minute.  It occupies roughly 4,050 square feet and is capable of printing one and two color jobs.  The addition of folder and palletizer make this press fully automated. 

A sister to T8 and occupying roughly 3,600 square feet is T7.  Timson number 7 is similar to T8 however it accommodates a slightly smaller paper size.  An entire addition to the building was added specifically for this machine.  It is also fully automated reducing the workload and manpower needed to produce jobs in a matter of minutes.  T7 and T8 are some of the most advanced web presses in our equipment line up and make printing large quantities of books incredibly cost effective for customers.  

We also use sheet fed presses for making books.  Installed in 2008, the HA cover press uses Heidleburg anicolor technology to render stunning color and detail for book covers.  There are three sheet fed presses at the Jackson Road facility.

One of our 11 digital book centers located throughout the world is located here at the Jackson Road Facility.  This location features imaging units from OCE (oh-say) to produce printed pages and covers.  Our minimum run for softcover books at this facility is 24 copies and 100 copies for a hardcover book.  Books printed in any of our digital book centers do not need to conform to specific trim sizes.  This enables us to use the most cost effective equipment—offset or digital—that our customers need to meet the demand for their books.  No need to monkey around with trim sizes based on whether you need thousands or only dozens of copies at a time.  Our digital books centers help publishers and content creators keep their inventory levels under control. 

We use a film laminator and UV coater at the Jackson Road facility to apply protective coatings to the covers of books.  Added in 2010, the film laminator can apply heated film to printed paper at about 180 ft per minute.  The UV coater applies a thin layer of ultra violet protection to covers at about 6,000 sheets an hour.  These two machines exemplify of how Edwards Brothers Malloy provides high quality products at low cost to its publishers.   

Now let’s take a look at the Bindery.  Three binders take up over 19 thousand square feet in the back of this facility.  Binder 2 is the most highly automated of the three.  Added in 2002, binder 2 sports a collator with 14 feeders and can produce out about thirteen thousand book blocks per hour at top speed.  Binder 2 feeds a brand new state of the art trimmer built by Mueller Martini.  The trimmer operates at 6000 cycles per hour and can potentially trim about 18,000 books an hour at top speed.  The cutting edge equipment in the bindery ensures that the time consuming and difficult task of quality book making is done fast and done right.

One of the newest additions to the Edwards Brothers Malloy equipment profile is the Diamant case line.  Added in the spring of 2011, the case line is capable of churning out 35 case bound books per minute.  The addition of a Vesta inline jacketing machine allows dust jackets to be added to finished books as they leave the line.  The new case line is just one in a series of investments that Edwards Brothers Malloy has made to offer lower cost and higher quality services to publishers. 

Edwards Brothers Malloy handles storage and fulfillment for many of its customers.  18 thousand square feet of storage space is used to store books that will be shipped to destinations all over the world. Six dedicated workers fulfill thousands of orders every day.  One of the most advanced aspects of this operation is our state of the art inventory management software.  Customers can log in and see real time data on inventory, tracking and shipping. 

A unique feature of the Jackson Road facility is the air screen filtration system.  First installed in 1993 and upgraded in early 2004, the filtration system collects more than 2 and a half tons of scrap paper each day and shoots it through 2500 feet of pipe to two compactors located in the back of the facility where it is picked up for transport to a recycling facility.  This specially design scrap retrieval system is an integral part of a comprehensive recycling program that earned the Jackson Road facility zero land fill status in September of 2009.  No manufacturing waste is sent from this facility to a landfill.      

The cornerstone of our operation is not a piece of equipment or any of our facilities, it is the team of customer service professionals who help publisher manage their titles printing at Edwards Brothers Malloy.  Our CSR’s have been with the company for an average of over 20 years. Their extensive experience and knowledge gives them the ability to truly make our customer’s jobs easier. 

 

Posted in Videos | Leave a comment

6 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

writers-blockYou know it when you feel it.  That time when no idea that comes into your head seems good enough to put on paper.  You can’t make thoughts flow freely from your brain and you’d rather be doing anything else but writing.  That’s when it’s official.  You have writer’s block.  If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips that might help you out of your rut.

Stop Trying

Even if you’ve just sat down to start working, your brain might not be in the right mood to create.  Forcing yourself to write might work but more than likely, you’re going to produce something sub-par.  So stop and go do something else.  Mentally remove yourself from your work.  Accept that you aren’t going to write anything and that you’ll come back to it later.  You’ll be surprised at how this opens things up later on.  You don’t have to take a break for days.  Sometimes just a few hours of focusing on something else will do the trick.

Spend Time with Friends or Family

Go and do something fun with a friend or a family member (or anyone you enjoy).  This is a sure way to take your mind off your work (or lack thereof) and get a fresh perspective on life.  Having some kind of experience with another person is the most powerful.  Go bowling, take a canoe trip or a walk together.  It sounds cheesy but interacting with people you appreciate, respect or enjoy can put your mind at ease and pave the way for fresh ideas to come out.

free-writeFree Write

Writer’s block is a mixture of self-doubt, distraction, frustration and skepticism.  Writers will start to form a thought, think it’s not worthy and try something else only to have the same opinion of the next idea they come up with.

Instead of dismissing everything, write it down anyway knowing that later on you can throw it out if need be.  Even if your thought process doesn’t make sense and you end up with a bunch of gibberish, that’s fine.  No one will be reading it immediately after you write it so it’s fine if you write garbage.

Read a Book

Writers can often get inspiration from reading the work of others.  Go back to a book you’ve been reading or start a new one.  Read for a few hours and you’ll find that ideas and thoughts will flow more freely.  This trick doesn’t really work if you don’t throw yourself into doing it.  Forget about what you need to get done and enjoy someone else’s work.

Change the Setting

sceneThis works especially well if you’re always writing in the same spot such as a home office or favorite library room.  Sometimes when we are in a place where we typically do work we feel pressured to get something done and that makes it hard to focus.

Try doing your writing in a different spot that you’ve never been in before.  Even if you just do it in a different room of your house.  Changing the environment can cause new ideas to pop into your head and change your state of mind.

Do Something Fun

This one isn’t for everyone but if you have a hobby that involves playing or there is something from your childhood you’re still fond of, do that.  For example build a model car, play with Legos, draw or color a picture, play basketball or some other sport.

Enjoying yourself with a simple activity reduces stress and enables you to have small successes.  This can boost your confidence and allow you to think more clearly.

What are some fun and creative ideas you have for overcoming writer’s block?

Posted in self-publishing | Leave a comment