Archive

Tag Archives: book marketing for self-published authors


Advantages to Traditional Publishing

bookshelf

When I first thought about writing a book, I thought the same way that so many other would be authors thought. I imagined getting huge advance and being given the royal treatment when I went into New York City to meet my publisher. I imagined a limousine picking me up at the airport and driving me to an amazing suite where I would stay a week while I hit the circuit of going from television station to radio stations, to other interviews, having my own makeup artist and hairstylist, going shopping in the Fashion District and even seeing a Broadway show while I was there.
After my visit, the publishing company would distribute my book and put it in the front of the store in every major book seller in the country. I would be given a number of copies of my books that I could share with my family and friends, and I would “live the dream”.
Nice dream. Reality was far different. I learned later that advances were seldom given to new authors (although I have met one).

Disadvantages to Traditional Publishing

The first thing that I learned was that when an author signs a contract with a traditional publisher, the contract always benefits the publisher at the expense of the author. The contracts are written in legalese so if the author doesn’t have a lawyer to look over the contract, the author might have to do things that they didn’t realize was not to their benefit. I heard of one author’s contract where she had to pay the expenses for attending book signings in distant cities. She was paid a set amount per book, but the number of books that she was able to sell was not enough to pay for her expenses. I had another friend had to buy copies of his own books so that he could sell them at live events. He made more money selling at the live events than anything that the publisher did for him. In addition, the publisher wouldn’t allow him to sell his books in digital format at all. Both had sold their rights to their publisher so they had no recourse. I have heard of other authors who had sold all their rights to publishers. The author has to make changes in manuscripts, might have to use a title and cover design of the publisher’s choosing. The author might not have any say at all.
I also learned was that the traditional publishing process takes about two years before you ever get your book on the shelves. Afterwards, if you were one of the lucky few who were able to get an advance, you won’t get paid until you sell enough books to pay your advance.

Self-Publishing

While I was learning all about traditional publishing, I started looking into self-publishing. The differences were enlightening. There was no promise of any advance. Before I was ever able to sell a book, I would have to put out money for editing, formatting, and cover design.
Of course, there are other problems with self-publishing. There’s a huge learning curve and expense to self-publishing that doesn’t exist with traditional publishing. I would have to take charge of marketing and book distribution. Getting into major bookstores would be difficult and advertising would be on my own dime as well.
I found however that self-publishing has its advantages. As a self-publisher, I own my own work. I have complete control over the content of my book, editing, formatting and cover design. I have complete control over the creative process. I can decide how I market my books, both on-line and off-line. I can handle my own distribution by working directly with independent book stores. I can determine whether I want to go on a book signing or attend a specific event. I can decide what public relations I want to be a part.
As a self-publisher, I can set my prices and can earn 70 percent or more of the cost of the books that I wrote and designed. As a self-publisher, I am a creative and an entrepreneur.


Capture business plan history timeline

My Last Planned Marketing Event

The last planned marketing event that I am participating in occurred last Saturday from 11am-2pm. I went to a local book store and did a book signing. Now that that is finished, I can determine how many books I have sold throughout the year. Granted, there will be number (I hope) that will sell online and at bookstores before the holiday., but as for me selling books in person, I am done for this year.

Writing Like a Mad Woman

I don’t know how I did it. I was trying so hard to keep my focus on single projects at a time, but during the past couple of months I went from working on one project to six book projects at a time. Plus I am finishing up this blog for the year. I have totally dropped Bubblews and Hubpages for now so that I can make progress and finish up some of the books I am creating.

First, There’s the novel that I plan to send to my first beta reader by the end of the year (read that the end of this month!) This book is called Sailing Under the Black Flag. This book will be book four of the Locket Saga. .I have been working on that every day and have been making progress. I should have it ready to send to her by New Year’s Day.  Then there is the novel that I started in NaNoWriMo. I have that almost up to 60K This book is called The Anvil. . In addition, I have two books about overcoming writer’s block called Breaking Writer’s Block for Fiction Writers and Breaking Writer’s Block for Nonfiction Writers. I started these two books in October and have made a lot of progress there as well.

The last two books are my latest projects, but I need to have these two books done by the end of the year. These are not actually books but booklets. One is about the usefulness of kelp and the other the usefulness of diatomaceous earth. Some of the information I already had, but some I still need to research. To save time, I am going to be sending these two books to my second beta reader at the end of the month for her to be reading while my first beta reader is reading the novel. This second reader asked me to send her the booklets via the internet.

The reason I need these two booklets right away is because the church that I pastor is hosting the first day of the Ozark Sustainable Living University on January 23. (The second day, January 24, will be at Next Step in West Plains). The Oregon County Writer’s Group, to which I am the President is going to be selling books that are related to sustainable living. I will have my gardening book available, but I really want these two booklets done too. I know that there will definitely be a market for them.

Things I Didn’t Do This Year

One of the things that I was going to do these last couple months but haven’t is that I was going to get to know other writer’s better. I don’t see me doing this much this month, but perhaps later in the month I will actually be able to make this more of a priority. If I get Sailing Under the Black Flag and the two booklets done though, I’ll have freed up a lot of time. I can see where my biggest weaknesses are this year and that is in the aspect of social media and online book marketing. Fortunately, my writer’s group plans on focusing on that next year and that’s also my own personal focus for 2016.

 

IMG_8330 final copy

 

 

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church in Brandsville, Missouri.  As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


hat

This month my affirmation is all about being in business as a writer. This month my focus is on treating my writing as my vocation rather than just a hobby.. This month (and next month too) my goal is to create a comprehensive, living, breathing document called a business plan.

The Many Hats of A Self-published Author

A self-published author wears many hats. First, I am the author of four books and am writing more as we speak. Second, I am a publisher. I am a business owner.
I am a researcher, and I am one of the editors of my work. I used to be the only editor, but I changed all that when I realized that if I didn’t own my company, I could be fired for having done such a poor job! So I now have someone else handle the final edits. I format my own books and picked out the designs for the covers. Again, I probably would do better if I hired someone else to do that. I am also handling the marketing and most of the sales. In addition, I am currently my own PR person and my own secretary. Due to precious little money coming into my business at this point, I handle my finances as well. Finally, I am the president and CEO of my company. I am the boss.

Hats That I Do Not To Wear

One hat I do not wear as a self-published author is that I do not do my own final editing. I leave that to my beta readers. In addition, I do not take my own photographs nor do I design or create my own flyers. I actually have someone else do it who does a far better job than I do.

Letting Others Wear My Hats

Though I do wear many hats, there are certain hats that do not fit me very well and eventually I intend to let someone else wear those hats. I would like to focus most of my time and attention toward producing books and being featured at speaking or book signing events. I would also like to have someone else drive me to those events. A girl can dream; can’t she?

What Does This Have To Do With Business Planning?

Knowing what I do well, and what I do not do so well is an important part of business planning. A business owner needs to realize that he or she cannot do everything alone. As a self-published author, I want to have creative control over my work which I have, however, that doesn’t mean that I should make it a one woman show even if I was good at all of those things, but I am not.
Therefore, it is important that I understand what I am doing, what I am allowing others to do and what I should be allowing others to do. This gives me a human relations goal for my business. I begin to create job descriptions for future employees or contractors. This shows me what it is that I do so that when the time comes for me to share the load, I can tell exactly what I am doing so that I can tell the person that I am relinquishing the hat to what it is that I want that person to do with that hat and to know whether that hat is a good fit after all.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


What should I do now?

What should I do now?

Can you believe it? Here it is the end of July already. Already many of us who have children are taking them back to the stores to get their back-to-school clothes. It seems as though summer just started and already we can see some of the leaves on the trees starting to change. Where did the time go?

July’s Affirmation: “I posture for Success”

Finished A Second Draft of a future publication

This month, I have worked diligently on the completion of Book V of the Locket Saga: In The Shadow of the Mill Pond which is a whodunit set in the backdrop of the whiskey rebellion of the 1790s in the then frontier town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I finished adding the final words of the 80k on July 26 which was five days ahead of schedule.

Planning For My Book Launch in August

In addition to adding 30k to my manuscript, I have also been researching about book marketing and have spent the planning for my book launch of my next book Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace. This launch will occur August 29 at 1pm Saturday afternoon at the Oregon County Local Food Producers and Artisans Cooperative.
Much of the work on the launch has been done during the last week of this month. The execution of those plans will occur throughout the month of August.

Planning to Start a Writer’s Club

Another project that I have been working on is that I am getting ready to start a writer’s club here. As far as I know, there are no writer’s clubs in this area and I wanted to be in a writer’s group so I decided that I would start it. I have the place and time set for Monday, August 31 at 7pm also at the cooperative. My major challenge will be getting the word out there so that writers around here will know that this is for them.

Looking ahead to August

In August, I will be implementing the plans I made this month. At the same time, I am going to be fighting one of my biggest fears which is the fear of rejection. Every day in August, I will do at least one small thing that I am afraid to do that is related either to the book launch or the writer’s club meeting.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 


I'd Rather be Writing

I have a tee shirt that I made that says “I Would Rather Be Writing” I have worn this tee shirt when I have been out marketing my book, but I think I am going to stop wearing it. Of course, I would rather be writing, but I really need to market if I want to make any money writing. It is just a fact. All the resistance in the world is not going to change that.
I had a comment on one of my blog posts recently from my friend Bill Holland related to the subject of public book promotion. He said:

“You could post this blog once each week for an entire year, and about 99% of the writers who read it will nod their head in agreement but never do anything you are suggesting. For whatever reason, writers do not like to promote their own books in public. It is a phenomenon that I do not understand but it is very real. Anyway, all great suggestions here.”

I started commenting back, but then I realized that this was a topic that would be better addressed in a blog post rather than simply in a comment.
What I have found is that many of us writers start to believe our own happily ever after stories. We think that somehow we will be discovered and all of our marketing troubles will be over. News flash, they are not.
When I am thinking about waiting to be discovered, a scene in Shrek The Third comes to mind. In that scene, Fiona and the other fairy tale princesses have been captured by Prince Charming and Fiona is trying to figure out how to get out of the prison cell that they are all in. The other princesses assume the position of waiting to be rescued. Fiona’s mother on the other hand determines that they need to take the situation into their own hands and get themselves out of the cell. Like these fairy tale princesses, most writers will be waiting a long time before they are discovered.
Sadly, a lot of the advice that most writers are given is that they need to write the next book in order to get success. However, without marketing, you’ll have not just one book that no one knows about, but two.
A writer who isn’t marketing is likely to complain that they are not getting any sales. They will complain that the market is saturated. Although there are a lot of books on the market, saturation isn’t the real problem. The problem is that the writer has not done marketing its due.
Sure, I could continue to complain that no one is buying my books or I can wait until the publishing prince comes to rescue me from my writing tower, or I can do the things that I know are going to make a difference. I have decided that I am going to do the things that I need to do to make book sales.
I am conducting a book launch. I am writing my own press releases and sending them out. I am scheduling public appearances and radio interviews on my own. I am doing guest blogging. I am scheduling a blog tour.

I am marketing my own books.

 

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

%d bloggers like this: