The Perfect Partnership – You and Your Publisher

In the last post I told you about writing a proposal in order to accomplish two things. The first being, “whether you had a book worth writing” and the second thing was getting paid to write the book. Now let’s talk about the reason you really need your proposal and how it affects your relationship with your new business partner – your publisher.

When you work with a publisher, remember, the publisher’s business is selling books. The company acquires books which it hopes will sell, and sell well. Your publisher is putting up the money to publish your book, so you need to approach the project from his point of view as well as your own.

Publishers sell books on consignment. Publishers’ ship books to bookshops, and if a book isn’t sold within a certain time period, it’s destroyed. The bookseller strips the cover from the book and sends the cover to the publisher for a full credit. This is the “return“. If a title doesn’t sell, the publisher takes a beating. As you can imagine, publishers are no keener to lose money than you or I.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that you must keep this “return” thing in the back of your mind when you create your book proposal. Why you may ask? The answer is simple; it means that your proposal needs to emphasize the ways in which you, as the writer, will take responsibility for the book’s success.

You will try to ensure the success of your book by gauging the marketplace. You will work out who the likely buyers of your book might be, and the reasons they will have for paying good money for your book. You’ll assess the competition for your book. You’ll work out ways in which you can promote your book, so that people hear about it. You’re in partnership with your publisher, and if you’re prepared to take responsibility for that role, the publisher will be much more likely to buy your proposal.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

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Sell Your Book the Easy Way

If you’ve dreamed of writing a book but weren’t sure of where to start or even if you were good enough to write a book; there’s great way to find out if you’ve got the “write stuff”. Okay all puns aside, writing a book is the easy part, the hard part is trying to sell you book. But the best part of book writing is that you don’t need to write your book before you get some money! That’s right you didn’t misread.

You can honestly get paid to write a book before it’s even written. It’s easily possible to make a fast $20,000, or more. There have been instances when authors have made seven figures — over a million dollars for only twenty pages of text.  It sounds incredible, but a fast seven figures is certainly possible if you have a HOT, hot idea or have had an experience that hundreds of thousands of people want to read about.

The magic money in question is called an advance. It’s the money a publisher will give you prior to you writing the book.

The next thing that should have come into your mind is “how do you get a publisher to do that; pay you the advance?” Well, the answer is, you write a book proposal.

This is why before you write your book (especially non-fiction books) you write a proposal.  A book proposal is the business plan for book writers. Okay that’s the simplified way to think of one, granted most business owners don’t like writing business plans but without one, you will fail in business. The same is said of book proposals. They focus you on your topic, help you formulate the most important things that a publisher wants to see – your marketing strategy and the bottom-line of how you plan to recoup the money the published is spending on you and to whom you are selling the book to.

Writing a proposal is the smart way to write a book. It’s the way professional writers sell non-fiction. Selling a book on a proposal is much easier than selling a book that you’ve already written. A book proposal is a complete description of your book. It contains the title, an explanation of what the books about, an outline of chapters, a market and competition survey, and a sample chapter. A publisher will read your proposal, assess its feasibility, cost it, and if it looks as if the publisher will make money, the publisher will pay you to write the book. When you’ve sold your proposed book to a publisher, your role doesn’t end with writing your book. You’re in partnership with your publisher to ensure the book’s success. If you do your part, both you and your publisher will make money

A book proposal functions in the same way as any business proposal does: you’re making an offer to someone you hope to do business with. It will be treated by publishers in the same way that any business investor or financial institution treats a business plan or business proposal.  The proposal is the roadmap that helps you to not only sell your book; it helps you write your book. So before you sit down and pen one thing, sit down and create your book proposal.

If you’ve never written a book proposal for, visit Writerstopia.com, the publication for self-publishing and independent authors, click on the “Writer’s Radio” tab and click on the free download link, and you’ll receive a courtesy copy of “Dr. Ande’s How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Days.”

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Creating Booklets Let’s You Make Money Writing “How To” Guides

If you want to make money, exercise creativity and help others, then you should invest some time in writing the basic “How To” guide.  It’s something anyone can produce, and with all the proper ingredients at the right time, you can make a proper living with.  The hard part, of course, is getting all the proper ingredients at the right time.

Your basic “ How to Guide” is usually two pages in length, sells for $3, and outlines instructions, details, or a “How-To Method” for solving a problem:  making more money, saving money, attaining greater happiness, or fulfilling an ambition or desire. These are called folios. Folios is another word for booklets, pamphlets etc.

The main difference to remember when creating one is the size and the composition you choose. Folios are generally four pages of content folded in half and have a paper cover. Booklets etc. are longer and their covers are usually card stock and can be bound in a variety of manners such as spiral, combed, saddle stitch or perfect binding. The price also varies, depending on the content and the number of pages. Booklets at minimum at around $5 but can go up to $10. If you are savvy you’ll create electronic versions of the materials which can sell as “eBooks” and they start off at $.99 for a “folio” size and go up to $44 for larger more in depth topics.

Any man, woman or child can write a saleable report on any subject – providing he or she has knowledge of that subject through personal experience, research, or both.  A lot of women write successful money-making reports based upon better ways of solving household problems.  And a lot of men write successful money-making reports on how to get greater pleasure from leisure time activities such as fishing, woodworking or other hobbies.  The list of subjects one can write about is endless, and reports on how to make more money easier and faster are no more limited to male authors than expertise in cooking is limited to female authors.

Writing your report is easy and quite simple.  However, it does take longer, and requires more sweat, blood and anguish for some people to produce a “finished” product than it does others, even if they are equally intelligent and knowledgeable.

The best advice anyone can give you on how to write a “how to” guide is to advise you to write as though you were talking to someone – as though you were instructing your next door neighbor via the telephone on the subject at hand.  I use the word telephone here to point out that regardless of how much you wave your arms, point your finger, or even draw pictures, you aren’t getting the message across, and your neighbor won’t “see” what you’re talking about until you tell him in the kind of language he can understand.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Happy New Year from Dr. Ande!!!

May 2012 be filled with lots of creativity, interviews, book sales, and publishing for you all!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

6 Ways to Get a 6 Figure Book Advance

With this year drawing to a close, as writers we need to look ahead to the New Year. So part of the karma of the New Year is to gain more income.

It’s the dream of 81% of the population to write a book. No matter how many times people tell you how difficult it is to do, nearly everyone wants to do it. There hangs a certain romance around writers. I think it’s a kind of nostalgia or grieving for some forgotten part of ourselves. We long to return to a place where magic and imagination are revered.

Others may just want the quick glory or fast buck they associate with being an author. But whatever you want, getting a 6-figure book advance is possible if you have the skill, drive and know-how. Here are five tips to get you started on achieving the dream of becoming a well-paid, respected author.

1. Know the Industry

Educate yourself on how the publishing industry works. Unlike the old days when publishers were looking to cultivate long-term relationships with authors who would be in their stable, today their top priority is just to sell books.

When I was traveling in Mexico this year I met a woman whose husband has been a best-selling author for twenty years in England. He has had the same agent and publisher for those same twenty years. Every time he came out with a new book his publishers expected it to be “number one” on the English equivalent of the New York Times bestseller list. They worked with him to make it so. In America the bottom line is king. You must be able to substantiate your claim that your book will fly off the shelves, without any help from the publisher.

2. Prove there is a Market for Your Book

In today’s world you need to show that your book will sell to one large audience, or many smaller niche audiences. Quantify each audience with statistics that show that they buy books on that subject. It’s not enough to say that this audience would be interested in your topic. You must be able to prove beyond a doubt with your well-researched facts that your readers are a *book buying* audience.

3. Develop a Platform

This is the most important aspect of your proposal after you’ve proven that there is a pressing need for your book and that book buying audiences will scoop it up. A platform is simply YOUR ability to sell books to the audience that you have said will buy-from you.

It’s all about the numbers. How many people are on your e-zine list? How many people do you speak to every month? How many people buy your products and services now? Do you have big name corporations or organizations that will buy your books in bulk? Do you have a regular column, or write for publications? Are you frequently seen in the media? If you don’t have an impressive platform you don’t get a 6-figure advance.

4. Map out a Marketing Plan to Promote Your Book

Your plan should include everything from speaking engagements, online marketing, licensing, and media placements. It must be realistic and do-able. In other words you can’t say that you’ll speak to organizations of 1000 people or more if you’ve never done it.

5. What do publishers hate most?

When you say that you’re right for Oprah. Unless you’ve already been a guest and taped the show please NEVER say this if you don’t want your reputation instantly sullied.

Instead show how you will build on your past publicity. If hosts or producers say that they want you back for another segment because you did such a good job the first time, say it. But if you haven’t done much media to date, don’t fret.

You can begin today and get a substantial number of profiles, features, and comments in the media in a few months by joining PRLeads.com, a service which delivers reporters queries (the stories they need experts for) daily to your email box.

6. Get Endorsements

Big names sell products in a big way. Getting known names of celebrities, best-selling authors, actors, athletes, well-known experts in your field, media personalities, any famous name that has glitter gives you the kind of credibility that can’t be bought.

One of my clients, who got a number of New York Times best-selling authors to write about him, accomplished three things with his endorsements. Each person who wrote about him told a different story about why he would be a winning author. The first one lauded him as a highly successful professional. The second stated that my client’s book filled a gap that her book failed to address. The third demonstrated that the people my client was trying to reach were an avid book buying market hungry for his type of book as they had bought hers.

These meaningful endorsements effectively helped him get his 6-figure advance. (And he got media coached by me before he met the editors at the big New York Publishing houses who then bid on his book at auction).

Don’t just get endorsements saying you’re terrific. Make your endorsements do double duty by helping you prove there is a market and that you’re the one they want to buy from. This is the type of information that makes you stand out from the other 150,000 authors who are published every year, most of whom never earn back their advance. Don’t be one of them. Instead, follow this advice and you’ll be well on your way to earning a 6 figure book advance. Good luck!

Happy New Year’s

Dr. Ande,
Host of Writers’ Radio & Writerstopia Presents IVA Writes Now eRadio
Associate editor of Writerstopia Magazine for Self-Published Authors & Independent Publishers
Contributing writer for CENTRE Digest the Publication for Consultants & Entrepreneurs
Owner of Dr. Ande Online Ltd.
Producer of Dr. Ande Radio

Want to Sell More Books? Don’t Be an Expert; Be a Filter

So, how much would you pay someone to sift through your email each morning, deleting the garbage and presenting you with the 5 (out of 500) emails you need to respond to? If you already have someone like that, lucky you! But if you don’t, I bet this sounds like a dream. In the age of a constant flood of information, consumers will pay good money for a filter. So if you want to sell books, be the go-to person for your market.

If you’re wondering how to become a filter, give some thought to the filters you may not even be aware of. For example, in the book publishing market I can think of two major ones: Dan Poynter and John Kremer. They are both filters. Why? Well, they have zeroed in on their focused market and have become the go-to people for everything publishing and marketing. Writerstopia has done the same thing; they’re all about self-publishing and marketing for independent authors.

While you’ll find filters in different markets, they share a lot of the same characteristics. Filters are out there weeding through information so you don’t have to, and then they are posting their findings on their website, blog, or talking about it in their podcast. Sometimes they’re doing a combination of all of these things to keep their readers informed.

Next, filters are so laser focused in their market that not only can they filter out the “noise” for you so you don’t have to, they can then compartmentalized the noise into sub-filters. These sub-filters become even more significant, and here’s why. Increasingly, we are living in an age of customization. I mean when was the last time you bought an entire CD or read an entire newspaper? More than likely you’re buying your music one song at a time on iTunes, or you’re reading your news selectively or, in many cases, through RSS feeds that allow you to tap into only the content that you want. We’ll put all of this together in a moment, but for now, start thinking about the customized element to what you’re doing.

The tools we have at our disposal (many of them free) make becoming a filter extremely easy. Blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, all of these help us to build our filter and therefore, build our audience. But before you launch headlong into filtering, consider these quick tips:

Becoming a filter requires dedication, but the benefits will pay off in ways you can’t imagine (and many that will fill your bank account). When I talk about dedication, what I mean is *you* must read every publication that’s out there on your topic so your reader doesn’t have to, and more than that, you should read outside of your area of expertise because you never know where the big ideas will come from. Take an afternoon, once a month, and devour your reading material. I read an average of 27 magazines a month. Yes, it can be overwhelming (at times), but the upside is that you are constantly staying dialed into your market. That’s the first step to becoming a filter.

Be crystal clear about what you’re filtering. If you’re sitting in a huge market like, let’s say automotive, you probably don’t want to talk about every single car that’s out there or being developed. Perhaps you want to focus only on hybrid vehicles. Now your direction is clear. Once you have this direction, your website should reflect that. Your website should be the first marketing piece you look at as you’re developing your focus.

Next, ask yourself if your book is a filter. If it’s not, it should be. Being a filter is tougher for fiction authors of course, but you non-fiction folks should have no trouble leveraging this into your books.

Blog, podcast, and write, write, write on trends, reviews, hot new ideas and things that are so-so. I always tell people that I am my own test lab. If you want to try something new in marketing, check with me first. It’s likely that I’ve already tested it on myself. In fact, all of our programs are built from things I tried first. If I don’t like it, or it didn’t work, I won’t sell it. That’s a filter. And I’m not just talking about filtering stuff you can offer to a client, be objective! Be a filter for the competition, too, and by all means, send people to other vendors if they can offer what you can’t. Remember, the customer/reader came to you first.

Make customization your best friend. So, let’s use our car example again. Let’s say you wrote a book on hybrid cars and your site is all about hybrids as is your blog, newsletter and podcast. But now you have built your brand sufficiently, and it’s time to break out into new areas. How about this: ebooks for focused markets. Quick and easy tips, like “Buying a hybrid for seniors” or “Buying a hybrid for families.” The key to remember is that each of these markets has its own specific needs. When it comes to buying a car, the needs of a family are different from those of a senior or single.

What’s your brand? Everyone’s a brand, even Nora Roberts. Becoming a filter will help you brand yourself. Remember that people don’t buy a book, they buy a brand. If you’re clear on your brand, you’ll sell more books. Figuring out your branding doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be focused. I’m not talking about the kind of branding that requires hours of logo development. I’m not even talking about a brand that’s necessarily original. Yes, you want to be unique, but the key isn’t doing something no one else is doing, the key is doing it better.

So how can you become a filter? What’s your market and focus? Perhaps you’re thinking that you can apply some of these principles, but not all of them. That’s OK! The thing to remember is that being an expert is passé. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but these days everyone’s an expert. They’re a dime a dozen. What you want to be is a filter.

Happy Holidays

Dr. Ande,
Host of Writers’ Radio & Writerstopia Presents IVA Writes Now eRadio
Associate editor of Writerstopia Magazine for Self-Published Authors & Independent Publishers
Contributing writer for CENTRE Digest the Publication for Consultants & Entrepreneurs
Owner of Dr. Ande Online Ltd.
Producer of Dr. Ande Radio

Create Your Own Market For Independent Books

There’s an estimated 3 million Independent authors worldwide. If these writers join forces the potential impact is staggering.

As of right now, the print-on-demand companies estimate that over 90% of their authors sell less than 30 books per year. The question is: how do you expand the position and exposure in the bookselling market and offer Independent authors an opportunity to sell more books?

The traditional brick and mortar marketplace has an established base of approximately 10,000 retail locations large enough to warrant the attention of major New York publishers. Unit sales of individual titles are in decline and some experts suggest readers are tired of the same old thing – the market lacks new authors and new titles.

Total book sales in all markets (excluding schools and textbooks) is estimated at around $20 billion dollars. One percent equals $200 million dollars. All that is required for Independent titles to capture this one percent in sales is to form an online market, a central location, totally independent from any established publishing entity. That new creation would allow the Independently published book to be shopped by readers from around the world. The potential increase in sales is dramatic. The key is the development of this community, a destination for readers interested in purchasing the finest Independently written and published books from around the world: A place where the potential for Independent writers would open up to the world.

The concept is to open the market for Independently written books and offer readers the opportunity to shop for new titles, never before seen by the public at large. One community, bringing voices never heard and stories never told to the world.

The biggest problem with selling more Independent books is that an individual cannot imitate what the bigger publishers do in a market they control. The best opportunity to sell more Independently published books is to create your own market. Big publishing houses don’t use the Internet to sell their books. Exploit their weaknesses, and help establish your own online destination for selling book(s).

It is not economically feasible to establish a brick and mortar presence for Independently published books. The hurdles to even the smallest market share is cost prohibitive. The best strategy is through the use of technology, the Internet, to create a combined web presence, a community, where writers can market themselves and their book(s).

The strength of the Independent writer and author is the combined size of the group. When we create the community and develop a following, the old adage “build it and they will come,” will ring true. Major New York publishers relish in the fact the market for Independent books is fragmented and floundering. The last thing they want to see is a joining of forces into one location where readers can shop for books. The creation of a single community of Independent authors would send shock waves throughout the business! Let’s create our own market and stop trying to break into theirs.

It’s free, and the first step toward total independence in the marketplace for bookselling.

Happy Holidays

Dr. Ande,
Host of Writers’ Radio & Writerstopia Presents IVA Writes Now eRadio
Associate editor of Writerstopia Magazine for Self-Published Authors & Independent Publishers
Contributing writer for CENTRE Digest the Publication for Consultants & Entrepreneurs
Owner of Dr. Ande Online Ltd.
Producer of Dr. Ande Radio