Posts Tagged ‘Royalty’

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.

How Ill is the Publishing Business?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I’m not just talking through my hat here. Yesterday I was asked by a librarian to tell her what was going on with book publishing. I am not currently a publisher, but she thought my print production experience would give her a deeper understanding. Also, I have contemplated self-publishing and have been reading everything I can get my hands on. One thing is very evident; everything that was true before, is not true today.

The traditional book publishing business has changed dramatically. In the past a publisher bought the rights to an author’s book, they edited the book, typeset the book, promoted the book, they printed the book, and they distributed the book. In return the author received a royalty. Today publishers demand that the author do most of the promotion. The author has to set up their own book signings and public relations tours. And the biggest surprise of all is that if an author is over fifty or deceased you can forget about it. In the past the quality of the literature reigned supreme. Not anymore. By today’s publishing standards Emily Dickinson’s poems would have never seen the light of day.

What’s going on with publishing? In my opinion it is focused on the almighty dollar and is losing its soul. Can you say greed?

It could be because the shear magnitude of manuscripts circulating is overwhelming. In fact, most traditional publishers will not accept a manuscript to read unless it comes to them first through a trusted literary agent. They’ve barricaded themselves in their towers and I believe, cutting off their noses to spite their faces. I know, I know, those are clichés and not a particularly good ones, but it makes my point. Traditional publishing has become a closed loop. If you are in the loop, you’ll get published, if not, good damn luck.

The tragedy is that the pressure is on the popular authors to keep knockin’ ’em out at a speed that keeps the cash registers ringing, but floods the public with marginal work. Writers are like chickens on an egg farm. No wonder everyone thinks they can be a writer. Much of the material that gets through the system and makes it to the bookshelves is not worth reading. I can’t believe that those authors are proud of their work. How could they be? Today’s system turns potentially good authors into hacks. Is that too strong? I’m sorry, but if anyone has laid down good money to buy a book, even if for just light entertainment, beach reading, and found it to be disappointing, like I have, then there is something really wrong with the system. Publishers, especially well-known publishing houses should guard their honor with their lives. If their stamp is on a book the public should be able to trust that it has real intrinsic value.

Vanity publishing is becoming king. What do I mean by that? Well, if an author really wanted her book published, but couldn’t find a publisher to take it on, they had it printed themselves. Usually it was for very limited distribution, family and friends mostly. Vanity publishing or self-publishing was looked down upon. It was cause for derision. If you had to resort to self-publishing you were considered to be a second rate author.

Today, since the publishers have pulled back into their shells, authors have no choice but to do all the work themselves. It’s like the old Golden Books story of The Little Red Hen.  After all of the work is done and the book is selling well, then, and only then will the publishers get interested.  I tell you it is the greed motive.

Richard Paul Evans wrote and promoted his little book called the Christmas Box Story. He was so successful in selling it that the publisher paid over $4 million dollars for the rights. He proved that his book was a viable piece of property and the publisher who now wanted in, paid dearly for it.  That’s where publishing is going. You self-publish, you self-promote, you keep a bigger slice of the pie, and if you get a good enough offer, you sell it, if you want to. Some publisher-authors may never want to get in that game at all.

Richard Paul Evans is an altruistic guy and has set up a company to help struggling self-publishers find success with their books. If you would like to know more about this, follow this link Rick also has another site that will help people handle their money better and amass fortunes it is

On my blog roll is a link to Authors on the Net is a website dedicated to sharing information with self-publishers to help them sell their books on the Internet. If you’ve written a book and need to get it edited, laid out, prepared for printing, and printed go to Bookwise. If you want to sell your book to millions of Internet users go to Authors on the Net. If you need your book printed, of course call me by all means.

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