authors, book marketing, self publishing, Uncategorized

“I met the author”

In a world where the internet and cyberspace seem to dominate the discussion about book promotion, I don’t think we should forget the power of connecting face-to-face with potential readers. That’s why I think book fairs should still be a key element in every author’s marketing plan. There’s something powerful when a reader can tell their friends, “I met the author”. 

This weekend, one of the oldest and most prestigous author events, the Miami Book Fair, will take place on the streets of Miami surrounding Dade Community college.  If you are in the area, plan to stop by one of the Author Solutions booths. We will have nearly 90 authors signing and giving away books and making a connection with potential readers.


An Amazing event at the AARP 50+ conference

Kreskin book signing
Kreskin book signing at AARP 50+

This past weekend, I attended and did a presentation at the AARP 50+ conference. As part of my presentation to prospective authors, I explained that self-publishing is not just for people who can’t get published, but, in fact, even celebrities are choosing to self-publish because it gives them control of their content, speed to market and usually a higher royalty percentage. One example is The Amazing Kreskin. He wrote a book titled Kreskin Confidential, which details some of his experiences as a guest on The Tonight Show and other performances. According to Kreskin, here’s why he self-published,

“I didn’t have the time or the opportunity to have myself or my management sit and negotiate with publishers.I am pleased with my final choice because I have become immensely satisfied with the professionalism and the quality of work I found in AuthorHouse.”

What about you? You don’t need to know any tricks to get published. Just like Kreskin, you simply need to make a commitment to get your work into the hands of your readers.



How can ebooks help authors sell more books?

One of the hottest topics in publishing today is the impact ebooks will have on readers, authors and the overall industry. There are a mulitude of technolgy companies competing to be the dominant format.  Kindle. Sony Reader and Apple with their new tablet seem to all be in a content race. What will the outcome be? I don’t think anyone can say for sure, but I believe all this is good for authors. Why? Ebooks and the various formats have the ability to put content in the hands of readers in more ways than ever before. More content in more ways mean that readers will be exposed to authors, ideas and stories they otherwise might not have had opportunity to read.  In short, it gives authors more exposure, which ultimately should lead to more sales.  So if you have been debating what to do, I say embrace the change. You might not make as much money on ebook sales, but I believe if readers like your writing, they will buy your book.


Why more of you are self-publishing

The headline on this post was actually taken from the headline on an article that ran in the AARP Bulletin. In that article Tom Lombardo, who wrote the story, makes some interesting statements and provides some interesting quotes from authors.

“I would advise first time authors to self-publish. It is faster, less frustrating; you get what you want.”

“Self-publishing is the way to go if you’re not a big name or celebrity or have a story that can get you an agent,” says self-published author Reg Green, 80. “It’s simple, it’s much quicker, you have total control and you’re not that dependent on other people.”

“It’s nice to leave something about what you’ve observed for others to look at whenever they want to,”

What Lombardo has chronicled is a growing trend among authors to self-publish so they can retain control and actually get the book in the hands of readers.

In conclusion the article provides advice from authors who have self-published.

If you’ve thought about publishing, I think you will find this article insightful and helpful


If filmmakers can do it, why can’t authors?


Earlier this month, The New York Times ran an article with the headline, “As Studios Cut Their Budgets, Indie Filmmakers Go Do-It-Yourself.”

In the article the writer makes the following observation about the changing landscape for the marketing of films:

“Here is how it used to work: aspiring filmmakers playing the cool auteur in hopes of attracting the eye of a Hollywood power broker.

“Here is the new way: filmmakers doing it themselves — paying for their own distribution, marketing films through social networking sites and Twitter blasts, putting their work up free on the Web to build a reputation, cozying up to concierges at luxury hotels in film festival cities to get them to whisper into the right ears.”

I would suggest authors are following this same path. As traditional publishers contract their marketing dollars and focus on celebrity authors, more and more authors are finding they can use social media to build a platform and develop a following for their work.

In coming posts, I will share some examples of authors who are doing this.


How to get from idea in your head to book in your hand

I can’t tell you how many people I talk with who tell me they have an idea for a book, but can’t seem to get the manuscript finished. That’s not surprising because it’s easy to come up with an idea for book. It is even easy to start writing a book. The challenge with being an author is writing to the finish or completing the manuscript. I have talked to hundreds of authors and most would agree it takes a significant commitment and discipline to get a book done.

If you’re comptemplating writing a book or if you are in the midst of a manuscript, these tips will help.

1. Set a date when you want to have the book in your hands and on the market. That means you may have to create an event like a book signing or book launch party. However, without a deadline, you may never get the manuscript finished.

2. Decide when is the best time of day to write and put an appointment on your calendar. For most people, there is a time in the day when they are most productive.  In fact, one author told me he can get more done writing between 7:30 and 9:00 am in the morning then he can writing for four hours later in the day. Pay attention to when you write best and target that time each day.

3. Make yourself accountable to someone for your end date and plan to get done.  You may one of those rare people who is disciplined enough to keep a schedule once you set it, but for most of us, we need to have someone who prompts us and encourages to stay the course.

Although none of these tips are probably that surprising, following them is often the difference between having an idea in your head instead of a book in your hand.


How long should an author wait to get published?

This past April, I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus. A woman stopped by our booth to learn about self publishing because her 84-year-old father had a manuscript he was hoping to see become a book. Much to her chagrin, he was waiting anxiously to hear from the slew of traditional publishers to whom he had sent his manuscript.

I answered her questions, but I also asked her why he was waiting to get published.  With self publishing the author controls all the rights; So get the book in the market, develop a following and start generating sales. In fact, doing so may make the book even more appealing to tradtional publishers if that is the goal.

I told her I wanted her father to go his mailbox and pull out a copy of his book instead of another rejection letter. When you’re 84, you shouldn’t have to wait to get published.