Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Holding your book for the first time. Hear what it is like from these authors.

In conjunction with the release of its 225,000th title, Author Solutions has released a video titled, Special Delivery: Holding Your Book for the First Time.”. This unique compilation captures a range of authors speaking about what it was like to see a copy of their print book for the first time.

Two of the authors, Donna Schwenk and J. L Witterick were eventually picked up by traditional publishers, Hay House andG.P. Putnam’s Sons respectively, one of the world’s leading trade imprints of Penguin.

If you are still working on your manuscript, I think this video will motivate you to write to the finish.

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Author Solutions, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, self publishing, writing

iUniverse self-published book leads FDA to change law

Not every book has to be a bestseller to be successful. Take the self-published book Deadly Powder on Medical Gloves; A Wake-Up Call to the Food and Drug Administration. It is not a title you will likely see appear on the New York Time bestseller list, but this book has helped change a long-standing law in our land and eliminate a potential health risk to many.

The book, written by  Richard F. Edlich MD. PHD (with Julie A. GarrisDeadly Powderon BS and Heather N. Smith), and self published through iUniverse, draws attention to an important health care matter. In the words of the authors:

 “When medical/surgical gloves were devised, the manufacturer had to provide a powder on the glove surface that enhanced the donning the glove before use.  During the last decade, a wide variety of glove coating surfaces have been developed to eliminate the need of the deadly powder on glove surfaces.  Scientific studies have documented that the deadly powder on gloves increases wound infection, causes adhesions that can compress the bowels, and spreads tumor cells throughout the cavity.  Our book was written to convince all health care professionals to use only powder free gloves. 

After publishing, the authors sent multiple copies of the book to the FDA, along with a petition to have them ban the corn starch powder from all medical and surgical gloves.  On July 3, 2013, they received the following attachment by email from the FDA confirming they were going to ban the powder from all gloves sometime during the next 18 months. 

Extract of the FDA Ruling

 “Title: ●Proposal to Ban Powdered Natural Rubber Latex and Powdered Synthetic Latex Surgeon’s and Patient Examination Gloves 

Abstract: FDA has determined that a subset of surgeon and patient exam gloves that are powdered and that represent a modest share of the market present a substantial risk of illness that cannot be corrected by a change in labeling. These gloves are Powdered Natural Rubber Latex Surgeon’s Gloves, Powdered Synthetic Latex Surgeon’s Gloves, Powdered Natural Rubber Latex Patient Examination Gloves, and Absorbable Powder for Lubricating a Surgeon’s Glove.

“Consequently, FDA is proposing to ban these devices”.

One of the great things about self publishing is it allows voices who otherwise might not be heard to have a platform. That means there is opportunity to impact people in ways that otherwise would not be possible.  This book is a great example of what can happen when you pursue the goal of publishing.  Congratulations Dr. Erlich for showing us what is possible if you believe in your work.

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Author Solutions, authors, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

A interview with author Leda Sanford about her book Pure Moxie.

Pure MoxieOne of the great joys of my job is having the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of authors. Their experiences and stories are always inspiring to me. At the San Francisco Writers Conference, I had the opportunity to meet Leda Sanford. Leda, was a very successful executive who broke the glass ceiling and wrote a book to chronicle her experiences. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her book. My questions and her answers are below.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired by a desire to share with other  women my story of re-invention and success at a time when women were just beginning to examine the adequacy  of their roles as wives and homemakers.  In 1998 when I moved from Manhattan to California   I was constantly asked by women to tell them the story of my life…about ” how I did it” ..and how at 59 I had the courage to leave everything behind and move to California.  This always led to the other question of how did I have the courage to break up my marriage at age 33, and with two children age 5 and 11, get a job in a field I was not educated for  ( magazine business) and within 5 brief years break the glass ceiling in 1975 and become the first female publisher and president of a major American publishing company, and American Home magazine.

How I did it and what were the steps that I took along the way?

What was the “secret” of my survival and success and the continuing response to the age barrier as well as the gender discrimination ?

My  answer at a dinner party when asked this question now is : BUY MY BOOK!

Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing…  there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,

  • What do you hope readers will gain from reading the book?

 I hope that readers will draw from my book the courage to explore the dimensions pf their unique destiny while not negating their designated roles and wives ,  mothers and caregivers because there is no better preparation for aging than the power that comes from being a multidimensional person . I hope that the readers will see the importance of having courage rooted in determination and a willingness to accept the possibility of failure without being crushed by it. 

  • You have had extensive experience in publishing. How do you think that helped you in your writing and publishing process?

My many years of writing for magazines and directing and developing the writers ,  editors and art directors who reported to me cultivated  in me the ability to “communicate” through writing, editing and the ability to be brief. Get to the point …Grab the reader..

  •  What tips would you give to aspiring writers who are thinking about publishing?

Read the new York Times especially the Sunday Book Review section.

Avoid critique groups of amateur writers. You can’t learn from these people.

 Submit your writing to the scrutiny of accomplished professionals that you have to pay.

Would you go to a free “doctor.?”

 My best teacher taught me that “Writing is Rewriting.”

Watch C-SPan Book TV on Sat. & Sunday  channel 109

  • What has been the most satisfying thing about publishing a book?

For me he most satisfying thing about publishing a book is the feeling of immortality.

Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing…  there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,someone who dedicated  time and energy to sharing their soul with other people . And there is the ego gratification that I enjoy when giving my book to someone or when people come to hear me speak about it..

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

Self published author and speaker, Terry Hawkins, gets publishing deal with traditional publisher.

For some time, I have been saying this is the best time in history to be an author because there is more than one path to publishing and more than one way for an author to get picked up by a traditional publisher. Terry Hawkins is another great example of how self publishing can lead to even bigger opportunities.

Terry founded a professional training company, People in Progress Global, in 1989. Since then, educating businesses and individuals has been her passion, and along the way she has helped more than 300,000 professionals find their drive and realize their goals. She is a native of Australia so before her relocation to the USA she was one of the most sought-after, award winning female speaker down under.

Choosing iUniverse as her self publishing services company

Because of her busy speaking schedule she used the publishing package path to get her book “Why Wait to be Great?” self published through iUniverse. In the video below she explains how iUniverse took a good book and made it great.  Once in the market, the book gained the attention of Barrett-Koehler, which is a respected publisher who  welcomes authors who share in its mission of “Creating a World That Works for All.” 

Publishing her book is one way she hopes to encourage people

In the press release announcing the acquisition, Terry made this comment,  “It’s been my life’s work to help people achieve their goals and experience success both personally and professionally,” said Hawkins. “With the help of Barrett-Koehler and iUniverse, the methods and teachings I’ve used in my own life to overcome great adversity and throughout my career, are now available to everyone in ‘Why Wait to be Great,’ and I hope it encourages others to deal with their pain and follow their dreams just as I have with my own.”

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Books are the new business card says Fast Company magazine. Funny, we said that back in 2009.

Recently Fast Company magazine ran an article titled, Why Books Are The Ultimate New Business Card. It was a helpful piece that summarized why books are so key for those in the business or consulting world. Here are four important statements from the article that I thought you would find interesting.

  • Books are no longer simply books, they are branding devices and credibility signals–not to mention the reason their authors command large speaking or consulting fees.
  • Authors have diversified their income streams, and many make substantially more money through new business generated by a book, rather than from it.
  • Today, authors are in the idea-making business, not the book business. In short, this means that publishing a book is less about sales and much more about creating a brand
  • For an author looking to break into this market, it wouldn’t be about courting critics or seeking award nominations. Rather, their book needs to prove that they are an interesting or attractive storyteller with relevant ideas.

This piece was quite good, but the premise is something I have been saying  since 2009. In fact, Smart Money magazine ran an article in July of that year which made similar statements as the Fast Company article based on a press release we did at ASI. That doesn’t make the recent article less relevant or important.  I just wanted to point out that authors have seen this opportunity for some time and if you are not taking advantage of how self publishing can help you, it is time to get that book done.

Here are some examples of books that are being used as calling cards by authors and helping them build a brand.  They are targeted at very different audiences, but are all intended to support a business practice and give the authors greater credibility as they work to build their reputation.

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

4 things every writer needs to know if they are planning on publishing today

The world has changed for authors which means they have new opportunities and consequently responsibilities.

As you can imagine, with the announcement a few weeks ago about Author Solutions being acquired by the world’s largest publisher, there has been an enormous amount of media interest. This is both a thrilling and confusing time for authors, so I think it is more important than ever for authors to be informed and choose the best option for getting published based on their goals, skills, patience, and budget. My last post suggested there were four paths authors could pursue today, and I laid out the differences among them. But recently, at the end of a very thoughtful and comprehensive interview, I was asked the question, “Is there anything else you would like to say to authors today?” What follows is my response to that question.

Gone are the days of walking to the mailbox and pulling out a pile of rejection letters and wondering if you would ever get published. Today, every author can get publishedand get his or her book into the hands of readers—whether you use a DIY method, assisted self-publishing, or sign with an agent and try to acquire a traditional publishing contract

That means authors have more opportunity than ever before, but they also have more responsibility. And that is not something anyone seems to be talking much about. Whereas before it was the publisher, now it is the author who has the responsibility to set clear goals and a budget. Having clarity about these two areas will help authors make the best decision about which publishing path is best for them. In addition, they also need to have a realistic assessment of the skill and time they have to put to the project.

You can absolutely change your brakes and wash your car for less money if you do it yourself, rather than paying someone to do it for you.  But if you don’t know how to change brakes or you don’t have time to wash your car, you should pay someone to do it for you.  I think the same type of decision-making should be applied to making a publishing decision.

In addition, authors should:

  1. Make sure you have a clear picture of who the audience is for your book.  Saying your goal is to sell to every man, woman, and child on the planet (I had an author tell me that) is not realistic.
  2. Understand your options. DIY, assisted, and traditional publishing all have advantages and drawbacks. Inform yourself. There is plenty of information out there. In fact, that is why we created the Author Learning Center (www.authorlearningcenter.com) and why I published 7 Secrets of Successful Self Published Authors. It’s an ebook on booktango.com  for 99 cents.  We have been told by many authors that both the ALC and the 7 Secrets are very helpful.
  3. Think about your marketing while you are writing your manuscript, and know there are no guarantees with marketing. Just ask any marketing director at any company in the world. You do some things that you think will work and they don’t, but you also do some things that far exceed your expectations. The key is to be consistent and experiment. Not everything is going to work, but if you do nothing, you don’t stand a chance.
  4. This industry-changing shift in publishing does not mean everyone will be successful, but it does mean everyone will have the opportunity to be successful. Honestly, I think that is the most exciting thing about the time in which we live. At ASI, we are simply providing the opportunity, whether you want to publish for free with Booktango or use an assisted self-publishing imprint like AuthorHouse or iUniverse or publish with an imprint tied to a traditional publisher like Westbow Press and Thomas Nelson or Balboa Press and Hay House. Not that long ago, authors only had one choice: find an agent and pray they could sell the manuscript. That has all changed, and I think that is amazingly exciting.

Too many authors publish a book with the expectation that the world is just sitting, waiting for their manuscript to get finished, and once they make it available for sale, the world will come to them. The reality is, being an author takes an informed, consistent effort, but when you get those e-mails from readers that tell you how much they enjoyed your book or found it helpful, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Certainly, there are economic considerations when it comes to publishing, but I think the one common goal that unites all authors is they want to impact people with their writing. That’s why those motivations I mentioned on our call are so key. Writing to help others or telling a story that has to be told or supporting a business or ministry are worthy pursuits because they impact people.

As I say to authors all the time, I don’t know how many books you will sell if you publish, but I know how many you will sell if you don’t. I don’t know how many people you will impact with your book if you publish, but I know how many you will impact if you don’t. And to all the naysayers and fearmongers, I would like say: quit bickering about methods, and let’s encourage authors to seize the opportunity.

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

The 4 different publishing paths authors can pursue today.

It was that long ago that becoming an author meant there was one path to pursue. Find an agent to represent you and then have that agent sell your manuscript to a publisher. But as you know, the indie revolution has created more opportunities and choice for authors than ever before and so now there are four different paths authors can pursue to get their work into the hands of readers. 

…..the indie revolution has created more opportunities and choice for authors than ever before…

The first is what I call the Free DIY path. This is the author who uses a publishing tool like Booktango, Smashwords or Lulu to create a formatted book for limited distribution. It may only be an e-book and only  for sale on the publisher’s web site, but it is out there and available for readers.

The second publishing path  is what I call the General Contractor path. These are the individuals who serve as the “general contractor” for their book project and obtain all the services they need to create, publish, print and distribute their book. Some of the work they do themselves  and some they hire out , but they are in control of the whole project. I find this group is currently the most vocal and the ones most proud of how they are sourcing everything themselves or doing it on their own.

Which path is best for you? It depends on the skills, time and dollar investment you can make and what is your ultimate publishing goal.

The third path is the one where an author uses a bundled services package to get published. Imprints such as AuthorHouse or iUniverseoffer such packages.  This

More options mean more opportunity for authors.

Publishing Package path may mean paying more to get published than with the first two paths,  but there is a convenience and time savings to working with one company to get everything done. For whatever reason, the General Contractor authors seem to be most critical of this group of authors because they feel like they are overpaying to get their book published, but I think they are missing the point. You absolutely can use other means than a publishing package to get published, but if you don’t have the skill or time to mess with all the details, working with a professional services company is the fastest and easiest way to get to the goal of a published book.

The fourth path is the one that has always existed and will continue to persist. It is Traditional Publisher path. However,  the indie revolution has changed  where traditional publishers are finding authors they want to pick up.  It used to be they would only find them from query letters from agents, but now they are actually finding authors who are using free DIY, general contracting and publishing packages to publish.  That means the walls that have historically stood between authors and a traditional publisher have been torn down.

Now each of these paths has advantages and drawbacks, but the most important thing is that each of them can get you to the place where your book is available for readers. Which path is best for you? It depends on the skills, time and dollar investment you can make and what is your ultimate publishing goal. But you have four paths to choose from instead of just one.  That is why it truly is the best time in history to be an author.

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