Tuesday, March 7, 2017

So you want to write a book - Part 8

It’s official – you are an author

There is nothing quite as exciting as holding the first copy of your book in your hand.  It is up there with giving birth!  And in a way, you have.

Now the hard work begins.  Selling the book.  There are several ways to do this.

One way to offset your expenses in producing the book is to accept pre-orders, then as soon as the book arrives, you just have to mail them out.

Book launch
It’s great to have an official book launch to celebrate the arrival of the book.  Invite family and friends and include local experts and people who have helped make the book a reality.  Be prepared to give away some free copies to people who provided testimonials and readers who had reviewed the book prior to publication.

You should be covering the cost of the event – refreshments, venue, etc.  It is great if you can make the venue appropriate to your book.  For example, one of our authors, Debbie Kerr whose book When cancer takes flight, was launched at a small airport.  Another author whose book was artistic in nature, held her launch at an art gallery.

You may also want to look at a date that fits with your book launch.  One Red Lipstick was a book about women entrepreneurs, so we timed the launch with International Women’s Day.  Another author whose book was on cancer, held his launch on World Cancer Day.  This way you get extra buzz and mileage out of your book launch.

While you can arrange the media release yourself, sometimes it is better to use a PR expert who has knowledge and inside tracks with the media.  It is not just print media but this person can help you get radio and TV interviews.  It is also helpful to get that person’s spin on the book, as sometimes we are too close to see what makes the book different.

Book signings
Much will depend on the book store and how much hype they create.  It can be very lonely sitting in the middle of Chapters as people rush by.

Speaking engagements
By far I find you sell books when you are speaking.  People like what you’ve said and want to learn more.  Sharing some of the stories creates interest.

Find a sponsor
One great way to get your book out there is to find a company that will sponsor your book so it is given away to new clients, as a gift to existing clients or to participants at a conference. You will have to offer a reduced rate to make it worth the sponsor's while, but it gets your book out there.

This post is last part of a series on writing books by Anne Day, President of Full Circle Publishing and author/editor of five books on Women and Entrepreneurship.  Her next book, co-authored with Amy Vodarek will be coming out in Spring, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

So you want to write a book - Part 7

7.         Spreading the word

Many authors will share that writing the book was the easy part, selling it is hard work.

And it starts long before you hold that first copy in your hand.  You need to be building up hype and interest in your book as you go along.  That way it is easy to create buzz and momentum once it is out.

So how do you do that?

Start writing about the topic of your book so that you can generate interest in both your writing and the book.  Now don’t use the book material word for word, or no one will need to buy it, but expand on a section.  Your blog will also help you gauge interest in different sections.

List building
You want to start building a list of followers, people who will be interested in reading your book when it comes out.  You can do this through e-newsletters, speaking engagements and through social media.

Perhaps you offer a free e-book which could be just a ten-page pdf file on a specific topic that people opt-in to receive.

With social media, share information on useful articles and resources related to your topic.  This way you become recognized as an expert and leader in your field.

When you sign up and subscribe to paper.li online publications you receive material on a regular basis that you can share on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Start attending events where your potential readers can be found.  When asked what you are doing, tell people about the book.

As you get nearer to publication, have business cards made up with cover of book, website, and your contact information.  Vista Print can produce cards economically.

It helps to have a website to attract people and share more about the book and yourself as the author.  If you want to do speaking engagements, outline the topics you will cover.  You can also sell your book from the website.

This post is part seven of a series on writing books by Anne Day, President of Full Circle Publishing and author/editor of five books on Women and Entrepreneurship.  Her next book, co-authored with Amy Vodarek will be coming out in Spring, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

So you want to write a book - part 6 - Publishing pointers.

Publishing pointers

You are ready.  Manuscript done. Cover designed. Testimonials secured.  Now you have to find a publisher.   I am often asked what is the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing.  It boils down to three factors – time, money and control.

It takes much longer to secure a traditional publisher.  Often they only take on a few new authors (new to them) a year so you may be looking at 12-18 months before your book is accepted, and they are looking for a book that is easy to market.

While you may get the printing paid for by a traditional publisher and receive an advance, when the book is out in the market place, one author friend shared she got a $1 for every book sold. Traditional publishers no longer have the big marketing budgets so often it will be up to you to take on that role.

When you go with a traditional publisher, their editors will work on your book and you lose control of the content whereas with self publishing, it’s your book and you own the content.

Being published by a main stream traditional publisher gives great credibility to your book and this may be the route you want to pursue.  You will have to submit a publishing proposal and have to prove to the publisher that your book is relevant and will sell well.

Because it is challenging to get accepted by a traditional publisher, many authors have chosen to go the self-publishing route.  Here you own the rights to the book, have to pay for the printing and production, but generally the end profit stays with you, although some self publishing companies take a royalty.  (we don’t).

Shop around and be clear on what each company offers.  You will also want to look at the printing options.   Print on demand, for example, means that the price per copy provided at the outset is what stays in place regardless of how many copies you want printed.  The advantage is that you just order what you need, and don’t end up with boxes and boxes in your garage.  With the other printing option, you get a lower price based on volume.  So the more you order, the lower the cost.  You are looking at 1,000 copies usually before there is a significant reduction in cost.

With the formatting, you usually have to provide a copy of your manuscript as a word document.  Any photos and the cover should be provided as high resolution jpgs.

You should receive a proof copy of your book.  Read it carefully.  Have someone else read it.  This is your last chance to make any changes and capture any typos.

This post is part six of a series on writing books by Anne Day, President of Full Circle Publishing and author/editor of five books on Women and Entrepreneurship.  Her next book, co-authored with Amy Vodarek will be coming out in Spring, 2017