Is there a market for your non-fiction book-in-progress?
The short answer is yes, especially if it is about your passion subject.
Having a book in print adds hugely to your credibility. You will find that you will be in demand for interviews if you have a book to offer. Those of us with a mission or a story to tell who do not have a book in publication always struggle to get interviewers’ attention.
Secondly, many who have attended a workshop either in person or on Zoom, would like to reinforce their experience by having a hard copy to read.
Back of the room sales are a winner for every speaker. They also offer an income stream which can help towards your costs. In our case we offer a 40% discount to authors who order their own books.
Having more than one book also helps people widen their knowledge of your subject and will appeal to people who already bought your first book.
If we go to a job interview, we make sure that we are neatly dressed so that we make a good impression. Similarly, a good presentation of your writing and yourself will make a huge difference to the chances of you getting a contract with a publisher, so let’s explore what you will need to do.
It is a good idea to find out as much as you can about your chosen publisher. This would include searches in Linked In, other social media to see what they post and what genres they prefer, and the specific focus of their publishing endeavor. For example if they are academic publishers and you have children’s books, applying to them would be pointless.
Do have a look at the website to find out what the criteria are; such as do they consider unsolicited manuscripts? Some publishers prefer to work with literary agents, while others are open to free submission.
Include a comprehensive personal biography. Mention any previously published work and if it is still in print. List your personal achievements as well, such as any literary prizes you may have won. Mention also any associations where you may be active, such as writers’ groups, or professional groups. You do this to establish your capability in your particular field.
Put forward your marketing plans for your book. If you are a non-fiction writer do you have established media exposure such as a You Tube channel, a blog or website? Are you planning any public lectures or workshops? Are you a member of any online group/s where you would be allowed to speak about your life’s work and your book?
Include a précis of your manuscript and your reasons for writing it. If you choose to submit selected chapters only then you should mention the overall word count.
All the above actions and ideas will help a publisher to make a decision to commit to publishing your masterpiece. My experience with submissions is that very few writers go to the trouble of working on a good presentation. Those that do that will make a big impression on the publisher.
We should not forget that a publisher’s job is to publish and this does not include marketing. Most publishers do offer marketing packages at a range of fees.
The author is by far the best ambassador for their book, so an enthusiastic and credentialed author can make the publishing decision easy.
In today’s world it is all (or nearly all) about the marketing of books because millions of books and e-books are published annually, so we always look for an edge to get our amazing books noticed in a torrentially flooded market.
A new tool to help us has been developed which we think will make a huge difference. It is a specially developed Literary Widget (known as a Biblet) which will be widely distributed to book buyers in book stores around the world and through social media. We invite you to explore and welcome your feedback and comments.
The Biblet for The Reality Shifters includes a video book trailer, and an audio interview with the author Nadine May. Here is the link for your enjoyment.
We will be inviting current and future authors to participate in this program. There will be a cost of approximately $100.00 to participate, but we think that this will be well worth it. What do you think?
As promised I have been working on exposing our author’s books on this book discovery platform. By now I am sure you all know that the biggest task in book marketing these days is getting noticed among the tidal wave of books which readers can choose from.
I have created a theme in line with our long time motto of “Books that make a Difference to your Life”. It would be much appreciated if you could have a look here to see what it looks like now. More titles will be added every day.
Our international distributor Ingram, has announced a new service for book stores which they are calling i-page. All our international titles will be visible on one page and I must say that it seems to be an easy to use tool. Titles, authors and ISBNs are also searchable and once a book is selected it is a simpler matter to compile an order, no matter where you are in the world. I invite you to have a look here. We are not given to bragging, but I have to admit that our list is quite impressive!
We have known for some time that bookstores are struggling, but the latest two developments at Exclusive Books (South Africa’s biggest and most prestigious book chain) smack of a new level of either desperation or at least a change of tack from selling books. Let me explain.
Firstly, an edict has gone out from the owner that all book purchases (even of one book) now have to be approved by head office. It seems like they no longer trust the managers to buy even on sale or return. This is likely to work out in practice that an approved list will be developed which will include only books from the most popular authors and the two or three biggest publishing houses. This will exclude orders to all the smaller and independent publishers like ourselves.
This sounds like the death knell to smaller publishers, but in fact we have been working on what are known as special sales (non book store sales) for some time now and have become less dependent on book shops. Our main motivation was the wafer thin or non-existent profit margin in bookstore sales what with the high discounts (47.5% + 2.5% payment discount) demanded, the costs of courier delivery and the returns. It is sad to see them go, but in the end no loss to us.
Secondly, the owner of Exclusive Books has (or will shortly) establish a Tapas Bar as part of his flagship store (Hyde Park in Johannesburg). A Tapas Bar to add food to the mix . Personally I can’t see how this will bring in readers. Still it may be a profit center which will compensate for the losses in the bookstore. Good luck to him!
This weekend I went on a course with Les Squires on being social media savvy. I was always active but felt that I was not good enough at it; too much time spent with too little results. I am sure that you know the feeling.
Grateful thanks to my friend Dawn Pilatowicz for arranging this. It was a somewhat different experience, at least to start with because Dawn is a part time fund raiser for the Guide and Service dogs, so in addition to the participants we had five dogs attending. Time had to be taken to keep them from attacking each other, but in the end they settled down.
At any rate I learned things I didn’t know, neat tricks to make your social media life more effective which I am happy to pass on here. Les tells us that it is all about curating the content, in other words selecting elements and puttign them together to get a “WOW” result. It is also about organisation vs fragmentation.
Google Alerts: Go to Alerts and submit some favorite topics. In our case this would be something like “Healing” or “Weight loss”. Google will alert you via your gmail account everytime someone searches for your Alert. The double inverted commas are important because otherwise you will get all the alerts for ‘weight’ and ‘loss’ separately and thus get flooded with inappropriate results. Chose your alerts with care. You can elect to get them as thye happen, once a day or once a week.
Hashtags: are a device created by Twitterbut now also adopted by Facebook. They search all public groups for content appropriate to you hashtag such as #Weight Loss and report back to you. You can make it more specific by adding a + in front e.g. +#weight loss. It is also a good idea to make your hashtags unique to you. For example we recently published a book called Aistiq Meditation so we will hashtag it +#aistiqkima.
Organizing your bookmarks: On the Firefox browser one can categorise bookmarks into folders, so it is a good idea to place all your social media pages in one folder (private Facebook, business Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google alerts etc.). You then have an option to ‘open all’ which makes it really easy when booting up in the morning. I believe the same can be done on Chrome.
Google Drive: is a good place to develop collaborative projects or documents. Everyone who is a member of the group may contribute, add or make changes. It makes for a much quicker process than emails going back and forth. Google Drive is also an excellent place to develop a “resumé”, by making a table of all the sites where you are active or are a part of your working life.
I hope that I was able to pass on some of Les’s wisdom and that you cabn use it to advantage inn your business life.
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