Michael Stewart wasn’t so sure about publishing his book this year.
He contacted me, recommended by his friend and our author, Chris Maxwell (We’ve published four of Chris’s books and working on number five). Most of our new authors are referred by current authors.
Mike had been working on an Advent (Christmas) devotional and was hoping to have it published, but the manuscript wasn’t complete and it looked like this year the season would slip by again. In fact Mike was willing to wait, let this year slip by, so he could be more “prepared” for the next season.
Waiting another year would have put him at a handicap because Mike was planning a second devotional for the season of Lent leading up to Easter. If he couldn’t get the Advent devotional published this year, the Lent devotional would most likely have to wait another year as well.
If Mike could just get the Advent manuscript finished we could publish it and launch it in time for the 2016 Christmas season. Then he could leverage his Advent devotional sales to promote the Lent devotional in the Spring. Readers are much more likely to buy books from an author they’ve read before, especially when it comes to devotionals.
We talked a few times and I encouraged him to get his manuscript finished. Having the book ready for the 2016 Christmas holiday season meant a lot more than selling books. Launching the Advent devotional this season would open the door to his planned Lent devotional and have positive effect on his entire ministry in 2017.
Mike decided to go for it.
Another issue was the 500 author’s copies included with our most popular publishing package. Mike didn’t know if he could sell 500 books. I encouraged him to rethink the 500 author’s copies. I knew that selling 500 books would completely cover his publishing costs and earn a nice profit. I call this a “positive author experience.” We strive for that because we know that if we can help our authors succeed with one book; they’ll go into their next book with confidence.
I also knew a bit about Mike’s professional and ministry history, and a brief search of Mike’s “digital footprint” (website, Social Media, Google) told me that he had plenty of followers, fans, friends and acquaintances. Mike would have no trouble selling 500 books. Privately, I wasn’t sure 500 was enough books. I convinced him to stick with 500 author’s copies.
Mike finished the manuscript; we published it and launched on September 22, 2016, in plenty of time for the Christmas (Advent) season.
Mike received his 500 author’s copies. We shipped our copies to our distribution warehouse and launched the book on Amazon, to the trade (bookstores) and on our e-commerce store.
How did Mike do with his 500 author’s copies?
I did a a podcast interview (www.christianbookshow.com) with Mike in the first week of December. I asked how many author’s copies he still had. He guessed, “about 20.” I just checked with him before posting this article; that number has gone down, of course.
Wonderful! Mission accomplished! “Positive author experience” achieved!
In a few months Mike had made his publishing costs back and earned a profit form his first book. More importantly Journey to Christmas, Mike’s Advent devotional is now published and available to the world in both print and e-book format, for this Christmas and many, many Christmases to come.
And, more importantly, Mike’s career as an author has been established. With the Advent devotional he now has a platform of readers for the Lent devotional, and being a published author enhances other areas of his career and ministry, anywhere from increased market exposure to becoming a more attractive speaking candidate.
I’m glad Mike made the choice to “go for it” this year. In the last three months we’ve published eight new authors and launched eight new books. Those authors are entering 2017 differently then they would have had they not “gone for it.” Congratulations to Michael Stewart and our seven other new authors. You’ve accomplished something remarkable!
How about you? Do you have a book in you? Are you working on your manuscript? Is it finished? How will you go into 2017?
If you’re ready to “go for it” I’d like to talk to you about your book. I sure would like to be telling other potential authors about your success story next year. Use the form below to tell me where you are in the process and we’ll set up a time to talk.