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

5 free webinars every aspiring author should watch

As part of my role with Author Solutions, I have the opportunity to give and participate in numerous webinars for writers and authors for The Author Learning Center, Hay House and iUniverse to name a few. I always enjoy the experience, but I have to tell you I think some of the best webinars available to authors are on the Archway Publishing website.

Some of the best free webinars for authors are available on the Archway Publishing web site.

Some of the best free webinars for authors are available on the Archway Publishing web site

Full disclosure: I am always involved with approving the topics.and sometimes talk with the presenter to help shape the content, but each time I am always thoroughly impressed with the content and the topics that Simon and Schuster makes available to authors through Archway.

Here are the webinars that you can access for free to learn more about what it takes to publish a better book and market it more effectively.

  1. Secrets of an Acquisitions Editor – How To Get The Attention of a Traditional Publisher-Presenter: Michael Szezeran, Editor at Simon & Schuster
  2. Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make–Presenter: Abby Zidle, Senior Editor at Gallery Books and Pocket Books
    from Simon & Schuster
  3. Four Keys To A Killer Cover–Presenter:Jason Heuer, Associate Art Director at Simon & Schuster
  4. Best Practices For Authors on Facebook–Presenter: Susan B. Katz, Author & Strategic Manager at Facebook
  5. How To Capture Attention On Twitter–Presenter: Andrew Fitzgerald, Twitter Media Team
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.
authors, book marketing, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

A book every author needs to read: Platfom: Get Noticed in Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

3DPlatformLast week I was meeting with the executive team of a very successful traditional publisher and the conversation turned to marketing books.  I mentioned I was currently reading the book,  Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael HyattI have been aware of the book for some time and recommended it in the past just based on what I know of Mike’s experience. But it has finally moved to the top of my stack and I am reading it right now.

I started to share why I thought it was such a great book for authors to read and the president of the publisher interrupted me and said he bought a copy of the book  to give to every one of the authors they publish.  He said they had been working on developing material to give to their authors to equip them for the marketing task at hand, but when he read Mike’s book, he realized everything he wanted to say was in that book.

….the president of the publisher interrupted me and said he bought a copy of the book  to give to every one of the authors they publish.

That was fascinating to me, but not that surprising now that I have read the book.  The job of marketing books has changed and more and more of the work is falling to the authors whether they are traditionally published or self published.  Yet many authors are perplexed or overwhelmed by what they need to do. That is why Mike’s book is so helpful.

Here’s why I think every author needs to read this book no matter what publishing path is chosen.

  1. The content of the book comes from Mike’s own experience. This is not theory. This comes from years of lessons learned from building his own following and platform.
  2. The examples are very practical and easy to implement.  In many ways, this book is a check list for what you need to think about and do if you want to build a platform. And for the things you may not want to do or can do, he suggests vendors that can help.
  3. He shares what has and has not worked. Sometimes failure is a better teacher than success. In this book, Mike shares some of the things that didn’t work as well so you don’t have to make those same mistakes.
  4. He points out things that you might not think about, but that are very important.  This is not the first time I have thought about or read about this topic, but I found the book had many helpful things to consider. For example, Mike talks about the importance of the About Me  section of the blog or web site. To be frank, it would not be something I would pay much attention to prior to reading this book. Now I see it’s importance.

Building a platform is absolutely essential for authors today, and so if you have not read this book, I highly recommend you put it on the top of your pile.  You won’t be sorry.

authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

Michael Hyatt offers his recipe for success: Content + Platform

I did a post a few days ago that introduced you to Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform, Getting Noticed in a Noisy World.  It is a very helpful book written by someone who has years of experience working with authors and personally building his own platform. In this interview, Mike starts off by talking about how the days of the author writing the book and the publisher selling the book are over. Authors have to be engaged in marketing and connecting with an audience and this book gives practical, insightful, helpful advice on how to do that. In this interview, Mike talks about the two key elements for success in today’s marketplace: content and a platform.

authors, book marketing, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

5 keys to building your platform from the new book by Michael Hyatt.

Mike Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers,  has been an innovator in the publishing industry his whole career.  He was one of the first CEOs to utilize the power of social media for his company, himself and authors.  From his experience, he has written an amazingly helpful book on how to build your platform.  In the past eight years, he has generated some impressive numbers:

  • 300,000+ unique monthly visitors
  • 123,000+ Twitter followers
  • 92,000+ monthly podcast listeners
  • 70,000+ newsletter subscribers
  • 17,000+ Facebook fans

So his advice is not theory. It is lessons learned from his experience and they are lessons every author can apply. Here’s what Mike  says about this book on his blog .

Listen, in the past eight years, I’ve experienced every setback, mistake, and headache you can imagine while building my own platform. But I’ve also managed to generate:

The point of those numbers is not to brag. The point is to illustrate that I know what works (and what you should avoid). I carefully documented everything I learned in building my platform—successes AND failures.

Platform consists of five sections and sixty, short chapters full of practical steps, real-world examples, and helpful resources. It is not armchair theory. It is not idle speculation. It is full of “news you can use” to help you build your own platform.

I highly recommend it.