Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vol. 12 / What's Killing Your Publishing Career?

With the large increase of books being published by self-publishers, and the up-rise of
print on demand, there is still a lot of death taking place in the publishing industry.
In the United States, over 291,920 books were published in 2006, per Bowker.

Are you a part of this population? There are many aspects that make up these individuals.
However, let us target just three that are undeniable to anyone reading this article.

As in anything we do, a large portion of it is about taking risks. Are you a risk taker?
You’ve completed your manuscript or just published your novel; it is time to open the
entrepreneur portion of your brain.

Risk takers do not mind the possible end result because the thought of success in pure
motivation. Many writers and authors remain reclusive within the safe haven of their
creativity. What makes this ideology costly? It is the slow return on their investment.

Are you wondering if you fit into this population of authors? Sure you have published
your work for the whole world to read, even critique. But that is just the beginning of
this venture. What makes you any different than the other hundreds of thousands of
writers and authors?

Sure you can play it safe and hope your extraordinary opportunity hits you over your
head. Why not become a risk taker and take it by authority?

Becoming a risk taker you must be:

· persistent

· creative

· passionate

Another obvious bludgeon death is the lack of knowledge.

Yes it is lovely to remain in your creative world and just produce book after book. Can
you imagine leaving all the other hoopla for others to sort out?

No one whose a true business person would dare allow themselves to walk blind in their
business. Prime examples are Oprah, Donald Trump and Bill Gates. However, many writers
and authors are just that, blind.

In order to be successful, you need to be savvy on all levels in the literary industry.
If you are not, just like buying a car, you are going to get taken every time. Do your
homework, rather than relying on third party hearsay. Why would you find knowing
unimportant? For example, POD (print on demand) writers. Many have shouted foul play. The
pitch is knowing the short and long term of POD. Before signing any contract, may it be
for a car, house, student loan, or what have you, the rule of thumb is to know what it
says. If you do not know, you will swing at a curve ball because the only pitch you
anticipated was the fastball.

To become knowledgeable:

· ask questions

· take the time to research

· make sure you understand

Lastly, the beast of all beasts, is marketing. It is amazing how many authors who are not
marketing exhaustively.

This reverts back to the second point: lack of knowledge. Too many authors belief that a
publisher will sign them and they will promote and market their book. Happy to inform
you, that is not always the case.

This is your business and these publishers have invested enough in you, such as, advance,
printing, and a brief promotion run. After this, it is the author’s job to build a
website, create news releases, get interviews and so on.

There are many authors and writers out there with published works who are at a lost. Many
assume self-published authors must deal with marketing and promoting. If no one has
informed you, allow me: that is not true. All published authors, in any realm must market

How else will your book or novel sell without getting out to the masses? Your readers?

To market, you must:

· think-outside-the-box

· market everyday on some level

· address all angles of your novel or book

· have a user friendly website

Take a look at where you are and where you desire to be in this literary world. Determine
if you are killing your publishing career.

This is going to be a challenge, but you have to have enough energy, passion, and juice
to make it past the trying moments.

As a writer or author, make sure you are multi-dimensional. You are becoming an
entrepreneur, so know where your hats are and when to wear them.

C.F. Jackson has been interviewed on The Sumter Television Show, The Louie Jones Show,
Millionaire Monday Series by John DiLemme and Atlanta’s WVEE (V-103 FM), to name a few.
Download your free Website Makeover 101 at - Learn the two things a website must do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vol. 11 / What Are Publishers Looking For?

IDEA MEETINGS: By Rick Frishman

Writers understand that publishing is a business, but novice writers seem to think that the business begins when their book goes to print. Not so. The business begins with an idea meeting.

Idea meetings are usually attended by a combination of a publisher's editorial and marketing people, and the attendance may vary by who is available on any given day.

Although they may be scheduled for the same day and time each week, these meetings are basically informal and unstructured, more like group discussions. They usually don't have a written schedule or agenda; everyone sits around a table and the atmosphere is collegial, relaxed, and frank.

Editors inform the group about book proposals to generate discussions in which everyone chimes in. The group asks questions, gives opinions, and volunteers information about similar or competitive books.

Idea meetings are essentially exploratory. Their purpose is to challenge proposals by closely examining them and chipping away to see if the proposed project would make a good book for the house to publish. They discuss whether they think the firm should commit further time and resources to each book discussed.

At idea meetings, proposals can be rejected, but they cannot be given final approval.
At these meetings, the group wants want to see if the book has a strong hook and how it is positioned. The proposal must clearly answer the following questions:

What is the book about?

Is there an audience for the book?

If so, who is that audience?

Where will it be shelved? Books that don't have clearly identifiable places on bookstore shelves get lost. Booksellers don't know where to place them, and potential buyers don't know where to find them.

Can the book be produced so that it provides value for readers? For example, if all the books on a subject are priced in the $30 range, can the publisher deliver this book with a higher word count or information not in competing books and sell it for $12.95?

"A book has to be clearly identifiable as something new in the marketplace," according to Gary Krebs, the Publishing Director at Globe Pequot Press. "New in the marketplace means that it can be on the same topic as something that already exists, but there has to be a new spin, a new direction, which sometimes can be just a format change. Or, you could spin an existing topic for a new demographic such as businesswomen when all the other books were primarily aimed at men."

All decisions are market driven; the group must believe that the book proposed can make the company money. Editors as well as marketing representatives usually won't support a proposal unless they believe that the book can be commercially viable.

If the proposal survives the idea meeting, the editor who championed it usually prepares a presentation report or packet for another committee; one that has the authority to acquire the property. The report or packet includes research on sales figures, competing books, comparable history of the publisher's other books, recent publishing trends, and whether this proposal fits in with its overall vision of what they did in the past and want to do in the future.

At many houses, the champion prepares a profit-and-loss statement (P&L) for each proposed book. If the company decides to make an offer to buy the book, the P&L statement forms the basis for the price the company will be willing to pay for book.

Get my Million Dollar Rolodex at:

Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years.

Working with many of the top book editors, literary agents and publishers in America, including Simon and Schuster, Random House, Wiley, Harper Collins, Pocket Books, Penguin Putnam, and Hyperion Books, he has worked with best-selling authors including Mitch Albom, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Stern, President Jimmy Carter, Mark Victor Hansen, Nelson DeMille, John Grisham, Hugh Downs, Henry Kissinger, Jack Canfield, Alan Deshowitz, Arnold Palmer, and Harvey Mackay.

In addition to his work at "PTA" Rick has now taken on the new role as Publisher at Morgan James Publishing in New York. David Hancock founded Morgan James in 2003 and in 2007 "MJ" published over 130 books. Morgan James only publishes non fiction books and looks for authors with a platform who believe in giving back. Morgan James gives a portion of every book sold to Habitat for Humanity. ( for the million $ rolodex

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