The Elements of a Successful Career in Self-publishing

Posted in Self-Publishing on August 26th, 2010 by admin

As an author, the most important person in your career is you. Self-publishing takes writing into a higher level since it’s you who will spearhead every single detail that makes up your book marketing campaign. However, you should learn to choose a number of allies who will help you all the way to your book’s launching. You don’t know everything. Going solo in doing your marketing campaign will leave you drained and frustrated. You need people who will help you cut through the competitive market.

The future of your writing career basically depends on these elements: (1) you as an author, (2) your book/s, (3) marketing and promotions, (4) and networking.

You as an Author
Just like establishing brands, you need to standout among all the other authors. It is not a question of talent or skill since appreciation in writing is diverse and subjective. This boils down to your creativity; letting readers understand and appreciate what you are writing about. When people can relate to your writing, you become successful in being a part of their lives.

Your Book/s
How can your book possibly compete against bestsellers? It’s equally important to plan out your writing career. State your goal and enumerate your objectives. In that way, you won’t have a difficult time establishing your niche. It takes much consistency for you to be known for something.

Marketing and Promotions
Your books won’t sell unless you do extensive marketing campaigns. Competition is fierce in the market. Doing your best means picking the right marketing tools to help in your book’s marketing campaign. Take time to evaluate on the book marketing product or service and always consider their prices.

Networking is cost-free. But it takes time and social investment for you to succeed in this aspect. You won’t be able to attract readers if you just talk pure business. Networking also takes a lot of creativity and out of the box ideas to draw in sustainable interest and attention. The more promotions you do, the more opportunities you create.

But above everything else, remember that you are the most powerful marketing weapon. You are your book’s advantage.

Here’s a checklist to help you in your career:

  1. Don’t stop learning. Endlessly practice and polish your ability to write.
  2. Fuel your passion and promotion by learning from other book marketing campaigns. Success stories will inspire and keep you going.
  3. Be resilient at all times. Stay committed to your career.
  4. Don’t let creativity run out. Take risks and try out new things.
  5. Continuously establish your identity through presenting authentic and new ideas.
  6. Keep your communication open. Build and maintain relationships with your growing network of readers, fans, the media, and the rest of your allies.
  7. Be willing to go an extra mile in promoting your work. Seize speaking opportunities even if it doesn’t earn you a dime.
  8. Take every problem as a challenge.
  9. Lastly, use your time and any existing talent as productively as you can.

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What Do I Deserve As An Author?

Posted in Book Publishing on August 12th, 2010 by admin


Written by: Tony Eldridge

So, you have written a book. Congratulations! No matter how you did it, that is truly a feat worthy of praise. You have beaten the odds and did what few others have done. You now have a piece of your legacy that will always set you apart from others.

I’m not going to tell you that now the hard work begins. By now, I am sure you have done your homework and you realize that you have a responsibility to market your book. Unless you are among the elite best-selling authors, your publisher will probably not have much of a marketing plan for you. If you rely on that, your three months to make a splash will come and go before your publisher moves to the next book.

The question I do want to consider is one that may make you feel a little uncomfortable, but it’s one we really need to ask if we want to move past the hurdle that many authors never get past. The question is:

What Do I Deserve As An Author?

  1. You don’t deserve book sales- Just because you’ve written a book doesn’t man that people have to buy it. Ultimately, books are written for readers, not the authors. It is up to the reader to decide whether it’s worthy of purchase. If they vote “no”, then that’s the way it is.
  2. You don’t deserve stellar reviews- While reviewers often give opinions that you may disagree with, they are not a service to help you promote your book. Once in their hands, they are ethically bound to give their honest appraisal of your book. That’s all that you deserve to expect from them. And on matters of opinion, the benefit of the doubt rests with them.
  3. You don’t deserve a hot word-of-mouth network- Of course you want to enlists everyone you know to help you spread the word of your book, but few authors experience a 100% mobilization of their personal network. I hate to break it to you, but you will have family and close friends that will never tell anyone about your book, even though they make promises that they fully intend to keep. Success or failure of your book does not rest with them, but with you.
  4. You don’t deserve freebies- As an author, you don’t deserve to have people offer free advertising or marketing for your book. People have businesses to run, and if that business involves marketing and advertising, you are another client just like every other client. If you want their business, you need to be willing to pay (or barter) for it. Freebies are a gift that we need to be thankful for, not ones that we need to expect, or deserve.

So, what do you deserve as an author? In my humble opinion, you deserve something far more valuable that the things mentioned above. You deserve:

  • Self Respect- This is huge. No matter what is going on in your life, you did what few others have done. That is something to be proud of and something no one can take away. Like earning a diploma, it’s something you will always have.
  • Proof that you can overcome great obstacles- If you can write a book, then you deserve to know that you can overcome any obstacles set in your path. The skill of overcoming obstacles is one that’s worth gold when you have tangible evidence you can do it.
  • A legacy to leave to your descendants- 100 years after people leave this earth, there is little left as a legacy. A book is a way to live eternally to those who come after us. What a wonderful thought that your great-great grandchildren will read your words with pride.

To me, it all boils down to this: As an author, you deserve to be proud of your great accomplishment. You don’t deserve anything from anyone else. What others may choose to give you is a gift to be grateful for, but nothing to expect.

So, get out there and do your best to persuade people to read your book and to help share it with others. If they don’t, that’s okay. Just move on to someone else. The passion and knowledge you have about your book will help find those people just waiting to discover your book and the joy you have created between the covers.

Tony Eldridge author of the action/adventure book, The Samson Effect, that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He also share his book marketing tips with fellow authors through his blog and through his free weekly video marketing tips for authors. You can follow him on Twitter @TonyEldridge

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Self-Publishing Your Book – The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Project

Posted in Self-Publishing on July 20th, 2010 by admin


By Wendy Y. Tucker

Do you have a book in you? We all have life experiences worthy of recording in a book. How then will you bring your message to its appropriate audience? Really, there are only two choices—either find a publisher or publish your book yourself.

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t self-publish.
1. You only want to make 5-10% of the proceeds the book generates in the form of an author royalty.
2. You enjoy editors telling you to basically rewrite your entire manuscript in their preferred style, ultimately changing the intended meaning of everything you want to say.
3. You enjoy waiting 1-½ to 2 years for your book to be in print. You’re in no hurry.
4. You’ve spent months or even years writing and researching your book and now want to relinquish your rights to it (such as copyrights, serial rights, foreign rights).
5. You are sadistic and enjoy rejection from literary agents and publishers.

Joking aside, by self-publishing:
1. You may make more money.
2. You will retain control over your work.
3. You can deliver your book to the public faster.
4. You’ll retain all legal ownership rights to your book.
5. You maintain the ultimate decision determining whether or not your book is published.

1. Make More Money
Publishing industry profit margins are quite narrow. Industry statistics indicate that a profitable book will create a 10% profit for the publisher. Add that to your 10% author royalty and you’ve doubled your profit. Also, because you will have control over costs, as a self-publisher you may be able to reduce them to a level that creates an even higher profit margin.

2. Retain Control Over Your Work
Editing and proofreading are crucial to producing a quality book. It is highly recommended that an author have professional, outside help perform editing and proofreading services. It is all too easy for an author to overlook the errors within his or her own work. However, by maintaining control over the editing and proofreading process, you have the ultimate say over what stays in and what goes out, ensuring that what you wish to convey to your audience is what’s actually published.

3. Get Your Book to the Public Faster
The publishing industry typically works on an 18-month or longer cycle from the time of accepting a manuscript to the release of a new book. By self-publishing, you can bring your work to the public within 2 to 9 months after completing your manuscript, significantly reducing the time from pen to print.

4. Retain All Legal Ownership Rights
If your work is published by a traditional publishing company, there is a great chance that the publisher will require the ownership of most, if not all, of the legal rights to it. These rights include electronic, serial, foreign, and copyrights. By self-publishing you retain all rights to your work unless, of course, you choose to sell them.
Suppose your novel can be converted to a screenplay for the next multi-billion dollar movie? When the production companies are ready to buy, if you own the film rights to your work, you get the money. If you don’t, your publishing company does.

5. Maintain the Ultimate Decision Determining Whether or Not Your Book is Published
Perhaps you are a humanitarian of sorts, desiring to disseminate your message to save the world and not necessarily to make a profit? However, the 35 publishing companies you’ve approached are uninterested in your work because they DO want to make a profit. Then, self-publishing may be the only avenue available to bring your work to the world. Also, many traditional publishers won’t work with writers not represented by a literary agent; and many agents won’t work with authors who haven’t been published before. It’s a catch-22.

So, where do you start?
First, do your homework! Read as many books on the subject of self-publishing as you need to feel comfortable with the steps involved in starting such a major project.

Several great books on self-publishing and related subjects are:
The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marian Ross
A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing by Mark Ortman
1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer
Publishing Basics: A Guide for the Small Press and Independent Self-Publisher by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.
Book Printing and Self-Publishing by Gorham Printing

Two great web sites are:, part of the web portal, maintained by John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and considered to be one of the nation’s foremost authorities on book marketing.

Secondly, decide who will print your book early in the process. By determining who will print your books, you ensure that you will create files or a physical document that the printer can turn into a great looking book by meeting the printer’s technical specifications. Different printers use different software and hardware for printing. Suppose you type your manuscript in WordPerfect with 1″ margins all around with a document size of 8-½ x 11″. Then, while shopping around for a printer, you find that most want ¾” margins all around, will only accept PDF or Postscript files, and that it’s much cheaper to print on 5-½ x 8-½” paper. You are then stuck with the task of reformatting your entire document.
Finally, decide what you can and will do, and what you can’t or won’t do. If you are able and willing to do your own typesetting, then by all means save the money and do it yourself. However, if you dislike computers and dread the thought of learning yet another complex software application, contract the task out for someone else to do it.
Self-publishing is not for everyone. It requires a significant investment in both time and money. Yet it brings a sense of great accomplishment and is highly rewarding.

Best wishes on your self-publishing journey!
Wendy Y. Tucker may be contacted at [email protected].
Wendy Y. Tucker is a Las Vegas native and is the self-published author of 777 Cheap Eats in Las Vegas (ISBN 0-9710486-0-6, Triple Seven Press, January 2002). The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, , or 1–800-431-1579.

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Becoming a Bestselling Author is Hard Work!

Posted in Book Writing on June 28th, 2010 by admin


by Katherine Swarts

Ready to write your first book?

More power to you.

Ready to live in luxury from the royalties?

Time for a reality check.

I won’t waste space with a lot of statistics on how hard it really is to make money writing. That approach is not only boring and negative, it’s futile.

Everyone who conceives the perfect book expects to be the exception to the rule, the one whose genius is immediately recognized and rewarded.

Actually, the apparent “exceptions” are those writers who mix plenty of hard work with their talent—from the beginning onward. No one ever creates a perfect first draft. Don’t take my word for it; ask authors who’ve been selling books for twenty years. And ask those successful authors how many editors rejected their early manuscripts; how many times they rewrote their first books after acceptance; and how much time they still spend sending out press releases and sitting at sparsely visited book-signing tables. No, the publisher won’t “take care of everything.” If a book’s own creator doesn’t care enough to work at popularizing it, why should anyone else?

If you’re not discouraged yet, that in itself is a sign you may have what it takes. There are many resources on the specifics involved (try and to start), but here are a few key points for key stages:

  • Idea: Research why the public (not just your immediate circle) would read this book.
  • Proposal: Read editorial guidelines! An amazing number of writers send fiction manuscripts to nonfiction publishers.
  • Writing/editing: Get the first draft down as quickly as you like, but edit the whole thing at least three times: once for consistency of details; once for smooth flow; and once for typo-free text.
  • Selling to the public: Send press releases to your local paper, the trade journals, your college’s alumni newsletter. Create a Web site and e-newsletter. Print business cards and bookmarks. Remember: even a published book won’t sell itself.

Unless you’re already famous, in which case thousands of people will buy a collection of breakfast-menu tweets if your name’s on the cover. But in that case, you wouldn’t have to bother reading “how-to” blogs.

Katherine Swarts
Spread the Word Commercial Writing
“Anything Worth Writing Is Worth Writing Right”

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Six Website Essentials for Authors

Posted in Book Publicity on June 25th, 2010 by admin


by Corinne Liccketto

A website is a staple of any book publicity campaign. As your publicist works to solicit awareness about you and your project, it is crucial to provide those who are interested with details about your book, background, and purchasing information. When a producer, editor or reporter is contemplating covering you, the first step they take is visiting your website. Then, media coverage will often include a mention of your website to direct potential book buyers.

Here are six essentials of an author website to help you get started:

  • Purchasing Information: For most authors, selling books is a top goal. To encourage sales and for visitor convenience, showcase a link to buy your book on each page of your website. If you are selling your book yourself to maximize your profit, great! However, many people will not purchase from a site with which they are not familiar. We recommend also including Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other household name retail online and bookstore outlets. Place the link directly to your book’s page, not the general home page. If you offer bulk sales discounts, let people know and how to order!
  • Media/Press Page: To encourage the media to cover you, make availa ble both high resolution for print (300 dpi) and low resolutions for the Internet (about 72 dpi) images of you and your book cover for easy downloads. Once your publicity campaign gets underway and media runs are secured, list the press placements on your website. Not only will this build you and your book’s credentials, it shows media contacts that you do have a newsworthy story to offer. Note: If you receive copies of television and radio interviews, embed them in your press page for user convenience. Also, try to include direct links to magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles in which you and/or your book appear.
  • Author Background: A book comprises half of a publicity campaign; the other half is the author! Since you c an’t interview a book, it is crucial to provide visitors with a descriptive biography. This also allows you to highlight some of the topics not related to your book you feel qualified to discuss on the air or in an interview. Plus, this is a way to let your personality shine.
  • Post Reviews and Testimonials: Show visitors what everyone is talking about! If you are soliciting reviews from credentialed sources and consumers alike, create a ‘Reviews’ page on the site to give visitors insight into your work through reader feedback.
  • Showcase Your Expertise/Give Useful Related Links: You are typically an expert on the topics covered in your book, whether you have written a fiction or non-fiction book. Consider adding case study/by lined style articles showcasing real life successes of your philosophies in your business book, research papers you have written on the topic of domestic violence which is the theme of your new novel, or useful links and resources related to the topic of your book. Be creative and give people a reason to come back and send others to your website.
  • Build Your Social Network Connections: Did you know over 70% of adults regularly follow blogs, tweets and user-generated content? As your network of supporters builds, stay connected with individuals and businesses through social network accounts. This also helps ground your online presence. By including links on your website to your blog, and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter account profiles, you’ll encourage visitors to click through and connect!
  • Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Smith Publicity, Inc.Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the world’s leading promotional firms. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and business representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States and Canada, and countries from the U.K. and Australia to Israel and Malta. Offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information, please visit

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