Archive for the ‘The Red Hen Association’ Category

5 Great Reasons to Write a Book

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

I’m here to say that writing a book is good for the soul as long as your expectations are realistic. The chances of being a best selling author are probably worse than winning the lottery, but notice that the lottery’s notoriously slim odds doesn’t keep people from entering. If you write only for the pleasure of writing and keep your expectations in line, you will find much to commend it.

1.

A book gives you prestige and raises confidence. In my profession I am known as a print broker. Those in the graphic arts industry know what that is, but no one else seems to. The best I can expect after trying to explain what I do is an unenthusiastic, “Oh.” On the other hand if I say I am an author and starting an association of self-publishing authors, I get, “Wow, that’s great.” That is a big difference.

2.

A book allows you to say all the things that you’ve wanted to say. Whatever your experience or field of expertise is, don’t you just hate it when people get it wrong? The Stephen Spielberg movie called Catch Me if You Can, made me indignant. Toward the end of the movie Spielberg’s lead character was printing checks on a press located in France. It was all wrong. Checks are not printed the way they were portrayed and it made me question this movie, and frankly every other Spielberg movie made. Has he never visited a print shop?

3.

Writing a book is a pleasant pastime. I’m a morning person. I wake up a good two hours before anyone else in the house. Writing gives me an opportunity to jump start my brain. It is good exercise. Currently I write for two blogs (Talking Through My Hat and Chicken Scratchings), submit articles to Ezine, and am working on two books, one fiction, and one non-fiction. I also belong to the Utah State Poetry Society and have written two books of poetry. Many of our poets are older people. I’ve noticed some things they all have in common, their minds are sharp, and they love life. When I’m in my 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s if I can be like them I will consider it a great accomplishment.

4.

Writing fiction lets your imagination soar. Most of us in our daily lives have to deal exclusively with the mundane and routine details. It can get very boring. If you write fiction you can go anywhere, do anything, and experience things that are considered impossible. My wife writes a blog The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry. She has created a connection between a fairy world and our backyard. She writes in a serial style with each entry a continuation of the story. Arial Hollyberry has enriched our lives.

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5.

Writing is meditation. I don’t know about you, but my life seems to be like a runaway freight train. I find I have to react to situations far more than I would like. When I write, however, my mind is focused on my thought. It’s a kind of meditation. My wife complains sometimes that I don’t hear a question she asked. She’s right. When I’m in the writing space the rest of the world is cut off. Ah.

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What do you do once you have a book? You may want to find an audience. After all, what good is a book that no one but you reads? Learn how to use the Internet for book marketing the easy way through the Author’s Platform.

Ride High in the Club Car or Bump Along Underneath it?

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Talk about trying to catch the train after it has left the station, the big publishing houses are just now looking into Internet and network marketing.  The Internet hit the publishing industry like a runaway freight and it wasn’t truly respected until upstarts like Amazon, and Google were seen riding off into the sunset lifting their glasses of champagne high into the air.

Even now Amazon is leading the book selling revolution with electronic books. What are the traditional guys doing? Mostly moaning about how book sales are down (is that true Amazon?), and gnashing their teeth about how foot traffic into bookstores has decreased.

This is why I say if you go the traditional route your chances of success are very slim.  I’ve read that a new title will get a whole 30 days of shelf exposure before being flung into the discount bin. Or even worse, having their covers ripped off for return credit and the book destroyed. You have to make a big splash early and fast to survive.

Chew on this thought–what if you published your own book and you could take the time it needs to build its audience? What if you controlled the presentation, marketing, and distribution? AND, instead of getting a 10% royalty earned fifteen times as much? This is the essence of self-publishing.

I’m not saying that everyone is ready, willing and able to do what it takes to be a self-publisher, but what most don’t know is that it is easier than you might imagine. You can build yourself up and become an industry thought leader in six months without even leaving home. Blogging makes it possible. The Internet makes almost anything possible. I know–I’m doing it. I started a blog last January (it’s July now) and I’ve had nearly 11,000 hits so far, and my monthly totals are going up, up, and up.

Why am I doing this? Exposure. Name recognition. I haven’t even published my books yet, but before I do I’m laying the groundwork. I’m networking and making world-wide connections daily. That’s so cool I can hardly stand it. If you scroll down the right side of my blog you will come to a yellow map of the world. Click on it and see how far and wide my words have gone.  I even have a language translator so that they can read what I’ve written in their own tongue. Technology–don’t ya’ love it?

Social Networking (web2.0) is flipping the whole book marketing system upside down. It used to be that you would sell books and then people would come to know you. Now people can get to know you and then you sell books. Which method would you rather use?

I’ve been following T.A.P. (The Author Platform) to learn the ropes of blogging and social networking.  Without this guidance I would be lost. TAP very clearly shows the path to follow and gives very valuable tidbits of information along the way. I can heartily endorse it because I use it. Oh, and by-the-way there’s a No Risk 15 day FREE trial too. What could be sweeter? Just click here for more information.

What do I get out of it? I get a little slice of the action, it’s true, but more than that I get the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve helped my fellow self-publishers, which is the same reason I have for creating The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors (click here for more information). I believe that we all benefit if we strive to raise the bar. We can do that by producing better self-published books, and selling them smarter than the big guys.

Everyone Has a Book, but . . .

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

I love to question generally accepted truisms and it drives my wife crazy. “Why can’t you just accept it or let it go?” She tells me. This trait used to get me into trouble in school too. Just because the teacher presented something as a fact, that didn’t mean it was. Teachers don’t like little snot-nosed kids challenging them. I took more than one trip to the coat closet, I can tell you.

Everyone has a book in them and 80% want to write one.

I am bringing this up for two reasons, the first being the statement that “Everyone has a book in them.” I looked for the source of this quotation and it seems to be either unknown, a cliché, or anonymous. If anyone knows its origins, I would love to hear about it. The second statement treated as fact is that “80% of [people/adults] want to write a book.” How was that research conducted I wonder? Did a student with a clipboard wander up and down the streets stopping pedestrians to ask, “Have you ever thought of writing a book?” No matter how the research was done or even if it was done, it might be true. Ever since I wrote the manifesto for The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors (to read click here) everyone I know is either writing a book, has written a book, or has a close friend or family member working on a book. You might be tempted to ask, “Bill all of those sources you quoted know you, and you’ve written books, shouldn’t the figure be 100%? Okay smarty that would be true if they all pointed to me, but they didn’t, they were talking about themselves or some other person. I have enough sense to exclude myself from this highly questionable research I conducted.

Are 43.56 million books being written right now?

If you use my personal experience as valid research (note: not actually recommended) and take a wild a_ s guess, you would probably be correct in assuming that most would never really attempt it. But just suppose that 20% did give it a go. The adult population of the US according to the last census was 217.8 million. Twenty percent of that figure would mean that there could be 43.56 million books in process right now. Over forty-three million is a mind boggling figure. Even if 1/2% is true that would still come to nearly 11million books. Good grief–no wonder only 4% or less of manuscripts presented to publishers ever make it into print.

Family histories and journals are books too.

Let’s address the maxim that everyone has a book in them. I suspect that is true also. If for no other reason, our life stories will make interesting reading for someone. Especially once, we’ve passed on. After my father retired from his job as a computer systems analyst, he spent time gathering diaries and journals about our immediate ancestors. For me it was a good read. For someone unrelated, not so much. The point being that it is a book. A book printed on a home printer and hand bound with a metal strip you can purchase at any office supply store.

Is the book my father self-published going anywhere other than the bookshelves of his children? Probably not. But, what if one of our descendants became famous or heaven forbid infamous, wouldn’t someone love to have their hands on this information so they can speculate all day long on what made that person tick?

The difference between a book, a good book, and a great book.

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

The question isn’t does everyone have a book in them. That answer is yes. The real question is does everyone have a good book in them? This answer is obviously no. The authors that can weave a story in such a way that it becomes a living thing are still far and few between, but as we have already discussed there could easily be a million books in development right now that given a chance could be the next Catcher in the Rye. There are too many manuscripts for traditional publishing and distribution to handle. If you are the next yet unrecognized great author, you may have no choice except to publish your own book, promote your book, and take it like The Little Red Hen to the next level by yourself.

Psst…

Secrets of Internet book marketing are revealed. AND you get a 15 day FREE trial.  No risk. To learn more click here.

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© Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.