Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, authors, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

5 tips to getting published in 2013

2013 imageThere has never been a better time to be an author so if you have a manuscript you have been working on, 2013 is the year you can get published.  Here are five simple tips to help you make sure you get to your goal.

  1. Pick a date when you want to hold a copy of your book. Writing is a process, but publishing is a goal so you need a deadline. And I have found the authors who are successful in self publishing, set a date when they want to hold a copy of their book. Sounds simple, but it is really important.
  2. Decide when is the best time for you to write and make that your routine.  I have talked to hundreds of authors and the ones who get to the goal have a discipline about their writing. Most have a better time in the day when they write most productively. What is your best time to write? Do you know when it is? Have you marked out that time on your calendar everyday or most everyday.
  3. Make yourself accountable to help you stay on track. No secret here. Most goals are reached because we have others who help us get there. Find someone to provide encouragement as you write. This could be a friend, a relative or maybe a member of a local or online writers’ group. The Author Learning Center has tools and an online Author Circle that can help.

    The ALC has tools and an online Author Circle to help you get to your publishing goal.

    The ALC has tools and an online Author Circle to help you get to your publishing goal.

  4. Select the best publishing path based on your goals, budget and time and talent you have to invest. The Four Paths to Publishing whitepaper can help you understand and evaluate your options. You can download a free copy here.
  5. Plan your book launch event. Just like setting a deadline for holding your book, you want to set a date for a book launch party. Becoming a published author is quite an accomplishment and it is cause for celebration. Be creative. Think about holding it somewhere other an book store. Sell copies of your book and ask those who buy them to go online and write reviews. It will help you build your platform and get word of mouth started.

What are your publishing plans for 2013? Do you have a book you plan to get into the hands of readers this year?  Leave a comment with your plans and let me know when you publish your book. I will use this blog to help announce your accomplishment.

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Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing, Writing Contest

Carl Reiner started the novel. You finish it and you could get published.

Reiner ContestCarl Reiner, the highly respected comic genius has launched a unique writing contest in conjunction with the release of his new book, I Remember Me.  Reiner has started a novel, but doesn’t know if  he will have time to finish it because of so many other projects he has in the works. So he did something really cool. He is giving other writers an opportunity to finish the story and get published.  Here are the details on the contest:

Distinguished actor, film director, producer, writer, and comedian Carl Reiner has written the beginning of an intriguing story. How it ends will be up to you.

He, together with AuthorHouse Publishing, is giving aspiring writers the opportunity to become a published author. If you write the best story to his Adolf Meistermann beginning, you stand to win a publishing package from AuthorHouse. Reiner will handpick the winning manuscript and write the foreword to your new book.

To read the start of the story and get the full contest rules, visit the Novel Beginnings Writing Contest site.

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Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, authors, Indie book publishing, self publishing

Who’s Who of comics praise Carl Reiner’s new self-published book, I Remember Me

Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks and Jay Leno are just some of the renowned comedians who have praised the new book from Carl Reiner, titled, I Remember Me.  Now 90 yearsCarl Reiner, I Remember Me old, Reiner’s work as a comedian, actor, director, TV writer and author has garnered numerous accolades, including twelve Emmy wins and one Grammy award.  With such a resume, certainly Mr. Reiner could have a secured a traditional publishing contract, but because of the speed to market advantages of self publishing and desire to make sure his story got told his way, he self-published his new book with AuthorHouse.

In this book, Reiner shares ninety years of love and laughter, highs and lows, mistakes and triumphs. Told with a warm heart and an occasional touch of nostalgia, he draws from decades of family, friends and fun to illuminate his life and career as one of America’s most loved and memorable figures. Stories range from hilarious to touching.  For example, there’s a chapter dedicated to Rinnie the dog who unfortunately mistakes a skunk for a cat and a heart wrenching recollection describing the day of his wife’s passing, plus much more.  It may sound cliche, but at times you will laugh. At times, you will tear up.

If you have a gift card, or e-reader, spend some time with I Remember Me. It will brighten your holiday.

Mr. Reiner could have a secured a traditional publishing contract, but because of the speed to market advantages of self publishing and desire to make sure his story got told his way, he self-published his new book with AuthorHouse.

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Indie book publishing, self publishing

Four Paths to Publishing featured in Beyond the Book podcast interview.

Beyond the Book Logo

If publishing is on your list for 2013 goals and you are confused or wondering about the options you have available, this will help.  Recently, I did an interview with Chris Kenneally, host of the Beyond the Book podcast. The focus of our discussion was the new whitepaper, The Four Paths to Publishing which I have mentioned numerous times in this blog and is available to download here. Chris introduces the segment with the following write-up on the BYB site.

Across publishing – once an industry virtually unchanged for centuries – revolutionary transformation is under way. Instead of an industry reliant upon middlemen and suppliers, publishing is becoming a service consumers can purchase.In a newly-published white paper from Bloomington-based Author Solutions, a world leader in indie book publishing, Keith Ogorek enumerates four clear paths that authors may follow to achieve their publishing goals.

The interview is available to listen to on the Beyond the Book website or on iTunes. I think you will find it helpful as you consider the best publishing path for you to pursue.

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Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Editing, Publishing, self publishing

How much should an author pay to publish?

As self-publishing has become mainstream, there has been lots of discussion about what an author should pay to get published. This debate has come about because authors now have more opportunity to get their books into the hands of readers than ever before. But even though publishing is within the reach of virtually every writer it doesn’t mean there is just one solution that works for every writer.ASI_FourPaths_HomeGraphic_240x130

 In my recent whitepaper, “The Four Paths to Publishing,” I identify the four distinct publishing options available in the market today; DIY, General Contractor, Publishing Package and Traditional Publishing. There are advantages and drawbacks to each method, but they exist because there are a significant number of authors who find each of these paths a satisfying way to get their work published.

Each path seems to have its own set of advocates, many of whom are very vocal about the choice they have made. But if you listen closely to what they are saying, there is a strong implication that there is only one way to get published, and it happens to be the path they chose. And anyone who chooses another path is just not as savvy or as smart.

….as I listen to the rhetoric from those who only advocate for a DIY or General Contractor approach, it reminds me of people who love camping telling people who stay in hotels that they are overpaying for a vacation.

I find that very presumptuous. Some choose a DIY or General Contractor path because they have the time and skills to invest to get their book completed and do the marketing. Others choose a publishing package option because they either don’t have the time or they just prefer to pay someone to handle the details for them. That doesn’t mean they are uninformed. It means they made a purchasing decision based on service and convenience. Still others try to find an agent and pursue a contract with a traditional publisher. Again, that doesn’t make them less savvy. It is a choice they make, but isn’t it great that authors have these options available today? For even as recently as ten years ago, the only option open to an author was a query letter, hope and patience.

I do find the current debate quite interesting because as I listen to the rhetoric from those who only advocate for a DIY or General Contractor approach, it reminds me of people who love camping telling people who stay in hotels that they are overpaying for a vacation. Camping is a choice that works for some people. Staying in a hotel is a choice that works for others. Neither is wrong. They are just different. Publishing today provides the same opportunity. There are a variety of options that require a differing investment of time and money.

However, no matter which path an author chooses, there are some key things to remember.

  • Publishing is not free. Even if you choose a DIY option like Booktango, you will need to invest in editing and cover design. Those who don’t spend that money often put out an inferior product. Guy Kawasaki recently published a book about self-publishing and suggests you should plan to invest from $2,000 to $4,000. I think that is a reasonable benchmark, no matter which path you choose.
  • Marketing is an author’s responsibility. Even traditionally published authors have to build a platform and cultivate an audience. So get educated about how to do it, and get busy. The Author Learning Center has lots of great ideas and instruction that can make you a savvy marketer. And I highly recommend the book Platform by Michael Hyatt.
  • Everyone won’t be successful, but everyone has the opportunity to be successful. The indie revolution has leveled the playing field and created more opportunity than any other time in history. So don’t let that book idea sit on your computer. Get published. You never know where it may lead.
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Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, authors, book marketing, Editing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

You never know what can happen when you publish your book, but sometimes it is pretty cool.

A young woman used the book to let her Mom know she was going to be a grandma for the first time.

A young woman used the book to let her Mom know she was going to be a grandma for the first time.

If you have read this blog, you know I have published a children’s book titled Eli the Stable Boy. It is a story I told my twenty-year old daughters when they were young. They strongly nudged me to publish it so I did and dedicated it to them. They thought that was pretty cool, but recently I had a woman tell me about how the book was used in her  life that made me even more glad I published.

Finding out you are going to be a  grandma for the first time. During a family Christmas gathering a woman who knows me was handed a gift box to open. In it, was a copy of the Eli book given to her by her oldest married daughter and son-in-law. She later admitted when she opened the box, she thought to herself it was an interesting gift because she knew me, but she wasn’t overly excited, and did not want to appear unappreciative. So she turned to the front of the book to see if I signed it and she saw these words written:  “Grandma, will you read this to me when I get older?”.

It took a moment, but then it hit her. Her daughter was telling her she was pregnant with her first grand child. She immediately dropped the book and started screaming with joy and jumped up to hug her daughter. Now mind you, no one else had read those words and I am sure they thought she was over reacting to getting a kids book for Christmas, but once she stopped her exultation she and her daughter let everyone in on the secret.

OK, I know the royalty on the sale of that one book is not going to change my life, but stories like this one make me glad I invested the time and money to publish. Do you have any stories like this one where you have heard from readers as to how they used your book or how it impacted them. If so, leave them in the comment section and I will post the best ones.

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authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

4 key things Time magazine said about self publishing

time-magazine-logoIn the December 10th issue of Time magazine, reporter Andrew Rice wrote a lengthy article on self publishing under the title, The 99 cent Best Seller. The full article is only available to subscribers, but I thought there were some very interesting points made in the article that support many of the things I have been saying for years. 

So if you don’t subscribe and didn’t see the article, I thought I would highlight four key things I took away from the article.

  1. Self publishing is no longer the last option.  Rice makes the statement that, “In the book business self publishing used to be considered an act of desperation” Then he goes on to say how that is no longer the case. In fact, some of the most savvy authors are looking at self publishing as their first option, not their last.
  2. Self published titles are no longer excluded from the review lists. According to Rice, “Self published titles now regularly appear on the New York Times ebook best seller lists. Four were in the top 25 on Thanksgiving weekend, the beginning of the holiday book shopping season.”
  3. Seeing the first copy of your published book is an emotional high. I have been saying for years, one of the greatest thrills of being an author is holding or downloading a copy of your book for the first time. Rice supports that point in the article when he relates how he asked author Sheryl Hoyt what went through her mind when she downloaded her first self published book, Dangerous Heart. She choked up and told him, “It was a euphoric feeling.”
  4. There is no reason to die with a manuscript in your drawer. Again I like the way Rice summarizes this point. In his words, “Publishing can be humbling, but it is better than keeping the stories to yourself.”  Self publishing doesn’t mean everyone will be successful, but everyone has the opportunity to be successful.

I know I say it over and over again, but it truly is the best time in history to be an author.

…some of the most savvy authors are looking at self publishing as their first option, not their last.

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