I communicate with a lot of authors and soon-to-be authors each week. We talk through strategies and ideas on how best to share their work with readers, we talk about the state of the publishing industry, Christian publishing in particular, and how technology has solved the problem of millions of authors not getting published and, at the same time, created the problem of none of them actually being heard above the noise of the crowd.
We usually discuss and often solve, a particular problem the author is experiencing in creating his or her book, in getting it published, in getting it noticed, and in where they should go from there.
Here’s an example: Chuck, one of our authors, came to us with a problem – friends, family and church members had bought his book (a few hundred copies) but after that, sales died; not slowed down – died. Chuck called we talked about the book, his intended audience, ideas that might work for dramatically improving the book’s ‘packaging’ (it’s cover and interior layout) and then ways we might expand his audience. Chuck’s message never changed, just the way we shared it with the world. Today Chuck has a great message wrapped in a really nice book, being shared with a greater audience each day (click here to see Chuck’s book).
That process didn’t start with our marketing genius, a great blog post or a magazine advertisement. It started with an e-mail that asked the question, “Can you help me with a problem with my book.” And with a discussion, me listening first, then us solving the ‘problem’ together. Some great strategies never go out of style.
Where are you in the publishing process? Working on a manuscript? Done with your manuscript but don’t know the next step? Have you published your book, but just can’t seem to get traction in selling it? Need some help putting your work on a success track?
Let’s talk about your book. But instead of just you and me, let’s open your question and our problem solving to the True Potential tribe. Use the comment section below to tell us about your book and where you are in the process, then let’s try to take you and your book to the next level. This should be fun and it’s bound to be productive! Fire away, we’re all ears.
Thanks for jumping in. Congratulations on your new book! Lulu is a good low budget way to get a book produced. All of the editing, design, layout, and marketing, however is up to you or costs extra.
E-books are an inexpensive way to quickly test the market with your book. On the downside, even though e-books are taking off, a lot more people read and buy printed books. Unless someone already knows you or knows about the book it’s tough for a new author to even get noticed in a ridiculously crowded market. Amazon’s Kindle platform carries 2.3 million e-books and has listed almost 113,000 new titles in just the last 30 days – Lulu, best guess, has about 305,000 e-books listed total. That brings up something really important, your e-book needs to e on Amazon as well as Lulu – it’s a much bigger marketplace. Amazon’s CreateSpace and Lulu make “Do-it-Yourself” Self-publishing possible, but, as you’re discovering, there’s a lot of ‘doing’ in do-it-yourself.
My book, Through Jenny’s Eyes, was picked up by a small publishing company, BluewaterPress, LLC, in 2008. I have promoted on FB (Through Jenny’s Eyes FB page), on Twitter, the book has its own page (www.throughjennyseyes.webs.com), have done 2 book signings, and have placed several copies in a local book chain. I have also given away some copies, to “light small fires”, including to a library. While I have sold some copies, I would like to become an independently wealthy writer! Suggestions?
Thanks for jumping in. Unfortunately you’re not alone in that situation of having a great book (I’ve read the Amazon reviews) and being pretty much stock as far as any sort of progress. I did a Google search for Bluewater Press – looks like they have ceased to exist on the Internet – their url is dead. The fact that I’m guessing you don’t have any help from the publisher really puts the burden all on you. Two things, I’d suggest.
1) If it’s true about the publisher being out of business, find another publisher to take on the book and get it back into distribution.
2) Independently wealthy writers (and the not so wealthy) write. Through Jenny’s Eyes was published in 2008. In a few weeks it’ll be 2014. When will you next novel be ready?
I am still in the process of wanting to publish my book. Please could you give me costs etc.
Love n Light
Sian Alexia Davies
Thanks for jumping in. Depending on the size of the book and the packages a particular publisher offers, publishing you books could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000. Pretty wide range, isn’t it. Beware of a publisher who is anxious to take your money without having looked at your manuscript or had at least one serious discussion with you about your goals and plans for the book.
Also, when considering a publisher, ask what the publisher’s role is in producing the book and in marketing the book once it has been published. You want your book itself to be a better product and it’s reach to be greater because of the publisher you choose. If you’re not sure the publisher will make your book better and get it in front of a wider audience than you can do yourself – find another publisher.
I WAS UNAWARE OF THE REPUTATION PUBLISH AMERICA HAD. I HAD MY FIRST TWO BOOKS PUBLISH BY THEM.I WROTE TWO CHILDRENS BOOKS TITLED “THE WALLET” AND “TOMMY’S BAD DREAM”. FOR ONE PUBLISH AMERICA IS CHARGING FAR TO MUCH FOR A CHILDRENS BOOK 25$ A COPY IN SOFT COVER. AFTER READING ABOUT THE NUMEROUSE LAW SUITS AGAINST THEM I DON’T THEM ENOUGH TO INVEST IN THEIR PROMOTIONS IN WHICH I READ WERE FALSE. I WANT OUT OF THE CONTRACT,THEY DID THE ILLUSTRATIONS WRONG AND AS FOR EDITING IT WAS A JOKE.THE SAD THING THESE TWO STORIES ARE EXCELLANT STORIES FOR CHILDREN AND THEY WASTING AWAY WITH PUBLISH AMERICA. COULD YOU HELP ME. THANK YOU,LARRY CARTER
Thanks for jumping in. The are a lot of reputable and, unfortunately,a lot of disreputable self-publishing companies out there. As I commented to Sian-Alexia, if the publisher doesn’t make your book itself better and make its reach wider, they’re not doing their job. As far as the contract with Publish America, simply ask that they void the contract and drop the publishing rights to the book. I imagine that you paid them to publish, not the other way around. If you paid them, you have every right to end the publishing agreement.
I have just published a book “In the Eye of the Hurricane: Where God Resides” through http://www.lulu.com. it is also posted on iTunes and and waiting to be accepted at Barnes and Noble Nook. This is my first book I’ve ever written. it’s currently is only as an electronic book. I am still working on getting it in hardcover. It has only been published for a week and I know this things take time but I have only sold one copy. I am wondering if the reason being is that it is only one in epub format? Although eBook sales are through the roof in that format so I am not sure.