Showing Category: Book Prep Work
A recent reader of the Author U blog emailed about her strategy for marketing her book. She was an alumnus of a university with a few hundred thousand graduates and 15,000 current student body. Getting a review in the alumni magazine was her game plan. Assuming it was positive, that, she felt, would spread the “get this book” word.
Other forms of marketing would be bypassed. She didn’t want to put her time or energy into other forms of marketing, including all things social media. Blogging and Facebook were questionable. Reviews would be her strategy alone. Those she would direct to her past educational connections. She writes, “Isn’t that one review worth more than all of my blogging would be?”
Are You Someone’s Cash Cow?
Starting down the publishing path takes money—don’t let anyone … anyone … tell you that it doesn’t. Sure, there are ways to create a book and publish it for minimal dollars. And, it usually looks like it.
The lease expensive way to get into the publishing game is via the eBook route or the minimalist version that Amazon’s Create Space offers. It’s getting your toe in the water and a way to start learning the ropes.
There are hybrid publishers, there are pay-to-publish publishers (all vanity presses go in this category), there are traditional publishers, small/indie press publishers and there are self-publishers who could be indie publishers.
You think it … it’s there. What you don’t want to get caught up in is the “pay me once and pay me again, and again” publisher. You become the cash cow. Good for them … not for you.
Everywhere you turn, there is info via the Internet , on the bookshelf, via videos, and certainly from workshops. You would think that any beginning author would start with a quick search on the Internet to begin their quest. It would certainly reveal a plethora of information—how to do it; what not to do; publish your book for a few hundred bucks, become a best-seller; sell books by the boatloads—you name it, it’s out there.
Yet, a huge number of would-be authors start the process clueless … compounded blunders and mistakes … many that could have been prevented with a little prep work. Starting with these first five:
1 Believing that your mom, brother, sister, pal, neighbor will do the editing that your book—every book—needs. Unless they edit for a living, do ask them to read your book for a basic “flow”—does it flow, is the story/concept connected? Is there a beginning, middle, and end? If it’s non-fiction, does it provide solutions? Is it clear, to the point? If it’s fiction, is the story engaging? Are the characters interesting? Does the reader care about them what they do, become, happens?
Book Publishing Savvy Today:
Do You Know Where Your Book Sales Come From?
Do You Know Where Your Clients Come From?
Do You Know Where Your ____ Comes From?
Having a marketing and sales background, it was drilled in that I had to follow my leads, track my leads and know where my business came from. Maybe. Maybe not … at least today. The Internet has changed a lot of the rules of yesterday … yesteryear. It’s fast forward time…
If you have a product—a book, consulting services or any other product—today, it’s all about being “out there”—exposed, talked about, findable.
Maybe it’s time to stop asking the question, Do you know where your business is coming from? Because there isn’t a definable answer. Maybe the answer is in the response zone of “… just because.”
Book Awards List …
Which Book Awards Are for You?
It’s a new year … and thoughts of book awards get an author’s attention quickly … are they worth the entry fee? Which do you submit to? And what do you do if your book is recognized … besides telling all your friends?
Can book awards make a difference? Yes, if they are the right ones—that’s why Author U has cherry-picked the ones that are recommended for your “marketing dollars.” Jerry Sears, Senior Editor at Boulder Publishers shares this:
“Ben Franklin is potent. One of my titles, A Course in Miracles in 5 Minutes won the best book of the year award and went
from 0 sales to calls from book distributors all over the country wanting to take it on. It now is in its 10th edition with sales
of 100,000 plus copies.”
Book Publishing … Goodbye 2011 and Hello 2012
The decorations are down, dishes put away and guests departed. It’s time to get back to the author’s work with new passion, a vision that has possibly been tweaked over the Holidays and a commitment that this is the year. Your year.
Starting a book is a major event. Continuing the journey deserves a tap dance or two. Launching it is a firework celebration.
As The Book Shepherd, my goal is always for the author to create a book that she or he doesn’t regret. The cover, the insides, the content, the editing, the time spent creating it, the ____.
One of the most important things that an author—new or old—must keep at the forefront is the voice—is it his or hers? Or, has it been so morphed by others in the process that it has gotten lost … not to be found. This is the year that your voice is heard above the noise—the noise of millions of other books that are out there.
Which book path is for you–traditional … self … independent–which? Four words can get you focused: timing, control, quality and money. All are key factors when it comes to publishing.
Timing—if your manuscript is completed, you can have it edited, cover and interiors designed, printed and in your hands within four months or less. With traditional publishing, you can have your manuscript completed and it will most likely be in your hands in 18 months.
Control—if you get a group of authors together who have traditionally published, one of the most common grumblings you will hear is that they don’t like the way their book looks—covers and interiors and they really have been in a fog when it comes to book sales.
You’ve got to be strategic in how you market yourself and your books. Book selling is way beyond the bookstore—in fact, bookstores are minor players for many authors. It makes sense to be on Facebook (continues to grow–and change–by leaps and bounds), LinkedIn (business connecting); and Google+ (savvier than Facebook–watch it really take off next year); to send out tweets on Twitter (if you have different hats of expertise, more than one Twitter account makes sense); create videos for YouTube and actively use your website (You do have a website that is updated regularly, yes?). Don’t forget the Blog–like blogs cross promote and are a valuable tool.
If you have a new book, make sure you get it posted, with cover on your main pages within these groups. You can get the word out about your books via participating on content sharing sites that would in turn, be able to link back to you. Check out HubPages.com and Squidoo.com—post tips and tidbits—viewers will get use to seeing your name, reading your words and then find your work.
Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …
First of all, I have to tell you . . . I did not like Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, there’s no question that the author is talented. It’s well written—about a married women who doesn’t want to be married. She’s got to do a re-direct on her life to find herself, so she’s taking a year off and schmoozing, speaking Italian and eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia.
Did I mention she does love her husband, David—the one she doesn’t want to be married to? What scares the hooey out of her is having a baby—something that, in the early days of their relationship, they agreed they would do when the big 30 hit. Fast forward to now; it’s approaching and our author is a blabbering mess.
What a tangled web they weave … In the past two months, I’ve worked with several private clients and fielded numerous phone calls/emails from authors who have issues with their “publishers.” In all cases, they’ve been duped.
Their publishers are really not “publishers,” at least in the sense that they have the infrastructure to create and support a quality book and its author; that they have their internal team—from editing to some semblance of book design and publishing marketing and publicity; and that they are accountable in the critical accountability departments of actual book sales and responsibility.
I attended a national conference last month whose members were speakers. Many were well established speakers—a majority was new to the industry, gobbling up information that would hopefully turn them into a star on the platform. Having a book helps. Within the Exhibit Hall, several booths proclaimed that they were publishers … they would publish your book for a small fee. What they were, vanity presses—nothing more, nothing less. The predators of the print world … and they were signing up people … their next victims, left and right.
Are there Red Flags that can help you spot the vanity press in sheep’s clothing? Sure, start with: