Archive for February, 2015

Finding a book publisher takes a lot of TLC: Talent, Luck, and Connections

Looking for a royalty-paying publisher for your book?

Ask yourself whether your writing skills and your ability to organize and express your ideas are up to taking on a book-length project. Tackling a book is different from putting together an article or an advertising piece: there’s a great deal more structure and development involved. If you’ve done some writing previously, ask others whether they believe you’re equipped for the task. The better your writing, the easier it will be to place your manuscript with a publisher. Do you have the talent required?

Whom do you know, and whom can you meet? If you have writer friends, can they introduce you to an agent or a publishing house editor? On your own or in collaboration with your publisher, you’ll need to contact media outlets, wholesalers and retailers, publicists, and possible readers because nowadays much of your success will be DIY–do it yourself. Being comfortable with multiple levels of social media is essential. What are your present and potential connections?

Talent and connections will get you a long way, but they’ll also have to be accompanied by a lot of good fortune. Will your book hit the market at just the right point in time to ensure sales? Ideally it will impress all (or at least several) of the people who matter in your field, and you’ll receive praise that will help you sell copies. The bridge between your talent, your connections, and sales is a large measure of luck. JK

Price your book at what YOU, not Amazon, think it’s worth.

No one knows the value of your book better than you and your publisher, so why shouldn’t you have a say in how it’s priced? And shouldn’t you be the decision maker who determines how long your book remains at its stated price? Of course you should.

You decided to write your book. You did the research and planning. You put the words together. It doesn’t make sense for a marketing company to tell you how much all that effort is worth. That’s your decision. If your decisions are disregarded, you have the right to walk away

If you believe in your book’s value to your audience, then you should set its price as a paperback, hardcover, or electronic book. Your time and your effort have very real value, and you deserve to receive as high a return on that investment as you think is fair and reasonable and salable.

Imagine coming up with an idea for a new household product, something unique and revolutionary that’s never been seen before. ¬†You do all the research and development, design, and manufacturing, and decide that a competitive retail price for your product–one that will help you recover the investment of your time and effort and make some measure of profit–will be $39.95. You turn to Sears, Walmart, and Macy’s to market your product, and they tell you they’ll put it in their stores, but they plan to sell it for $3.99–or $7.99–or $9.99. Even at their highest price, you stand to lose thirty bucks on every sale made. Who would agree to such a foolish deal? You’re certainly not going to “make it up on volume” and will only go deeper in the hole with every item sold.

There are really are only three variables to consider when offering a product (your book) or service for sale: Time, Quality, and Cost. You know the time and effort that went into your book. You know that you’ve produced a quality book that fulfills a need your readers will see as a benefit. And so it should be you who decides what the cost of that book should be to your readers.