If you’re thinking of writing a book – and I certainly hope you are! – you will want to consider your publishing and marketing options from the get-go.
A few days ago I told you about Geri, up to her eyeballs in her music school business. Geri had a book she wanted to write, but it just seemed like one of those things she would never have the time to do.
However, once she got clear on her priorities and made the decision to hire an assistant to handle the administrative end of her business, the book idea came off the back burner and assumed its rightful prominence in her life!!
Having no idea as to how to get a book out, Geri hadn’t given any thought to self publishing books. She naturally assumed that once her book was written she would submit it to publishers and get a publishing contract.
She was ecstatic when she found an agent who agreed to represent her book!
The agent expressed enthusiasm about her work. He had connections in the business, and assured her that he knew three publishers looking for a book like hers.
Delighted, she gave him an initial payment on a one-year contract.
Geri went back to her music school and immersed herself in her work, which now included researching marketing options and drawing up a schedule of presentations to parents’ groups and music school associations. She sent her finished proposal off to her agent.
Weeks passed. She wondered what was happening with her book. When she called her agent to inquire, he assured her that a contract was just around the corner.
Weeks turned into months, and still no publishing contract. “Don’t worry, these things take time,” her agent told her. “Acqusitions editors are overburdened with submissions. You have to be patient.”
(Read on – There is a major up-side to this story YOU will want to know about!)
The year wore on, and Geri completed her end of the payment agreement. Still no word from the publishers. Had her agent taken her for a ride? Or had he actually put an honest effort into representing her book? She had no idea.
She did see that two other books he was repping had hit the market. Why did hers have to be the one dying on the vine?
Finally, a week before the contract was set to expire, Geri got a call. A publisher was interested in her book! They had looked it over and wanted to talk to her.
Geri was thrilled.
Three weeks later she got a call from the acquisitions editor, who complemented her on her work. The release date would be a year and a half out – just a reality of the business, he said. She would retain North American rights and be awarded a $5,000 advance against a small royalty on sales.
“It’s a good deal for an unknown author,” her agent assured her. “If this book takes off, you’re set for life. They’ll want everything else you can produce.”
What she didn’t realize was that the publishing house would do little to market the book beyond putting it in bookstores, and that the burden of book promotion would therefore sit squarely on her shoulders.
Nor did she note that the bookstores would require a buy-back agreement for copies that didn’t sell, or that the cost of buy-backs would be deducted from future royalties.
(Stay with me … you’re almost to the magic moment!)
The most upsetting thing was that when her book finally came out, the publisher had changed the title … and it didn’t feel like her book at all.
She was in shock. She nearly gave up on her book.
AND THEN … When she least expected it …
Last year, she received a call from a music company. A marketing executive had come across a copy of her book, and he wanted to talk to her about featuring her music lessons in the company’s ads.
Re-energized, Geri decided to take another tack with her book.
Having heard about the recent rise in self publishing books, she realized that self-publishing would allow her to:
• PUBLISH the book the way SHE wanted it to appear
• CAPITALIZE on the connections she had already made
• POCKET all the proceeds from sales.
After negotiating a release with the publisher, she had the book’s cover redesigned and contracted for a small initial printing with a print-on-demand printer. Her music store would be the publisher!
Within three weeks she had corrected proofs of her book and received shipment of her first 100 copies!
She cut a contract with the company that had called her, and two weeks later she was back for a second printing of 5,000 books (drop-shipped to the destination address, so she never had to deal with them at all).
That was the beginning of a delightful experience in steering her own career as an author.
Since she decided to free herself from the constraints of working with an agent and a publishing house, Geri has blossomed as a writer and speaker and is making sizable waves in the music school world. And her income has skyrocketed.
* * *
So… What can YOU learn from Geri’s experience? And what do you need to know to take advantage of the digital publishing revolution?
For most new authors, self-publishing is the best option, at least initially. Why?
• It shaves years off the process!
• It puts YOU squarely in the driver’s seat! (You WILL recognize your book when it’s done.)
• It puts all the profits in YOUR pocket!
Your Self-Published Book will make YOU stand out in your market!
Promoting your book is fun. You believe in your book, and all you have to do is build relationships with people and communicate to them WHY you believe in it … and how they are going to benefit from partnering with you.
Once your book achieves a level of success in the marketplace, publishers are likely to notice and end up vying for the right to publish it. That puts you in the enviable position of being able to negotiate a very favorable contract.
So… Know that YOU CAN make a difference with your book! A much bigger difference than you can make without it. Start writing.
And be aware that the world of publishing is changing rapidly. Self publishing books has gained tremendous acceptance in recent years, and more and more is seen as the common sense way of getting a book printed and out to the public.
New opportunities for promotion and distribution of self-published books are making news all the time. Stay tuned to future posts for more details on this.
For a wealth of valuable TIPS on how to prosper with your writing (PLUS a COMPLIMENTARY BONUS AUTHOR CHECKLIST) click here: writeyourwaytoprosperity.com/wywtp or claim your TIPS at the top of the sidebar on the righthand side this page.
NOTE: In over 25 years of helping people with their books, my clients have voiced the same issues time and again. Many of my blog posts are composites of their stories to assist you in the realization of YOUR dream of writing and publishing your own book(s).