Tag Archives: Publishing

Author Success: A “Well Business Planned” Future, part 12

PART TWELVE: Show and Tell

You have done it all! You have completed your Book Business Plan! We’ve covered:

But … I’m a Writer, Not a Businessperson, Your Subject Hooks and Selling Handles, How Long, Author Platform and Book Platform, Target Markets, Your Exposure Plan, Your Promotional Plan, Your Competition, Resources Required, Bio and Photo and Book Outline Requirements

It’s time for Show and Tell! Time to use everything you’ve worked so hard to put together (almost as hard as you worked to write the book!).

A serious author, one who plans for a full career as a writer, understands all the elements we’ve covered. They know that writing IS their business. They understand the responsibilities of promoting their business, expanding it, growing it … building it. A successful author is aware of the market, how to write for it and sale to it. That author knows that some battles – like developing an entirely new market or bucking what the readers, agents and publishers are asking for – just may not be productive. The point of gaining sales success is to also gain the ability to write what they want. Everyone must pay their dues, be seen, heard, watched and followed. It’s just how the world works.

An author with a strong Book Business Plan has established a commitment to their career. They’ve made the effort, did the work, faced the questions and created perfect solutions for marketing themselves and their books. They understand that this shift in the industry (the shift that drops marketing responsibilities onto the author’s shoulders) is not a bad thing. It is a challenge, but it’s also a boon! Authors who take the reigns into their own hands are always happier with the final results, especially if they’ve efficiently planned for those results. Think of it as a 12 step program to take us all from what the publishing world used to be … to what the publishing world will be. AND, making sure we’re all ready to ride this new machine to the winner’s circle.

Never forget, your Book Business Plan is a living breathing thing. It’ll change with the market, the industry and every new direction you choose to approach for bigger exposure and more book sales. It’s a perfect collection of all the elements and bits of information you will need to try something new with your marketing. It is your friend; it’ll gain weight and lose weight, it get cranky and be sweet. Treat this plan with respect and it will serve you well. And remember, with your next book – fiction, series or non-fiction – you’ll be developing another plan. Sometimes, especially if you are writing a series, you can simply hook onto the successful strategies you created in the first plan. But remember, there are ALWAYS new and expanded directions to reach possible readers. So keep your Book Business Plan fluid. It’s a template for your career, your future and just may become your best friend ever.

And now … (just in case you thought I was finished, LOL) …

There are a few advanced tools and strategies, among them the skill to sniff out and identify multilevel marketing and promotional opportunities. So, the next series in the Author Success blogs will cover just that.


Author Success: Multilevel Marketing and Promotion

This NEW series will cover …

  • The world’s most effective book launch
  • Understanding how to dig deeper into your manuscript for even more selling hooks
  • Taking your platforms to even more effective places for awareness and sales results
  • Taking what you know of your market and expanding it
  • E-book sales success strategies
  • Playing the genre game
  • Cross marketing your book
  • Ongoing sales strategies for when the book launch honeymoon blush is gone
  • Time management that gives you TIME TO WRITE
  • And more

Come join me for the next in my Author Success series … Multilevel Marketing and Promotions. The publication world is changing and YOU, the author, can be sure to be successful no matter what happens. How? By dancing through the raindrops and coming out dry and smiling.

PARADIGM WARRIORS

Author Success Coaching

Publicity Marketing Promotions

writerchef@sbcglobal.net

Author Success, A Well “Business Planned” Future

12 Lessons and they start here, But … I’m a Writer, Not a Businessperson


MIA Writer Wakes!!!

Oh how I’ve missed you! My pleasant, letter-fading keyboard is smiling at me because it knows I’m about to actually blog! Yes, it’s been a very long time, months in fact and I can’t honestly say why. This seems like something I should seriously explore, and in five brief points, I can probably break it down.

  1. I got an agent. Yes, I know this sounds like a great thing and one of those events that truly ratchets up your life so it sings loud and strong and on key but … nope. Instead, what this bigger-than-big event did to me was something very different. After years of writing and editing and disassembling and re-plotting and rewriting and querying and literally hundreds of rejections before the big YES, I was tossed into a strange abyss. What now? I mean … a huge percentage of my creative time went into writing and redesigning the verbiage for query letters, researching agencies and specific agents and pushing the send button then holding my breath. It seemed that after someone wonderful said, “Yes, I want to offer you representation!” I just forgot to start breathing again. Everything came to a stand-still and if you know me at all … standing still is not my forte.
  2. I took a deep breath, finally. Yes, finally, after realizing it wasn’t a dream and someone wasn’t coming to my door to snap away the contract, I started to breathe again. What to do next was a major dilemma. I always have so many things on the burner, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t know where to jump … so I stood quietly for a while, thought it all through then started to talk to my wonderful literary agent and new best friend about what I should do now. He had many, many suggestions. We share a common drive and sense of humor, my agent and me, so it was a rather fun conversation I wish I’d have initiated weeks earlier. I guess I was just in shock.
  3. I made my project list. I had a list … well hell, I always have a list. It’s bubbling to capacity with everything from writing/author groups activities, non-fic proposal projects at various stages of completion, the plotting for the next book in my Cold in California series, an all new woman’s fiction I started entitled 36 Full Moons, my online activities – twitter, my own author website, my neglected blog, and weekly updates for my writing website, Whispers of the Muse – and of course, preparing for a Book Business Plan Workshop I’ll be teaching online for SavvyAuthors. I’m currently taste testing recipes for a cookbook series I’m developing and as the resident personal chef for my roommate, I cook everyday. What else? Let’s see … yes, the list was getting scary and I realized it might be best to just ask my agent what he wants me to work on. He answered.
  4. The plan is outlined! An agent is a good guide and mine is the absolute best. He patiently sat and listened then began to make his recommendations, trimming my project list and giving everything a priority we can both live with. He had a good plan that respected the fact that, a) I work best when I’m busy with several projects, and b) that I’m the kinda maniac who needs deadlines for those projects. Thus came the success strategy for the next few months and I finally feel functioning again. I am to finalize the cookbook proposal. I’m to finish plotting the second book in the series he’s representing, as he’d love to have the first 3-5 chapters in his back pocket to wet the publisher’s whistle. He’s very interested in the women’s fiction novel (which makes me very happy since that one seems to be tugging hard at me), and he’s adamant that I keep active with my social marketing.
  5. The implementation. Harder than it sounds but I’m loving every minute of it. Back to blogging, back to twitter. Time to do some redesign and redirection for both blogging and my author website. I’ll be getting FaceBook started soon and focusing clean blocks of time for my fiction and non-fiction projects. Oh … and I’ll probably gain a few pounds while I finalize some of the recipes for the cookbook but hey … I’ll be sending those recipes to my agent who should be gaining a few pounds too, lol.

I don’t honestly know how to explain all this. I’ve always been a bustling, busy kinda gal, as productive as possible in as many venues as I could find but I definitely got lost for a little while there. I’m back … and I’ve never felt more alive and excited!

Time to take flight!


Flying Pen Press: The Hunt for Great Authors

guest blog by David A. Rozansky, Publisher, Flying Pen Press 

booksExactly how does Flying Pen Press find its authors?

To answer that, one must understand that, as publishing houses go, Flying Pen Press is different, in many ways. 

Who is Flying Pen Press? 

Flying Pen Press is a small, independent publisher. We have neither staff nor funds to read unsolicited manuscripts. Literary agents overlook us.

Authors and readers now connect directly without the “book trade” involved. Authors have become our clients, not our suppliers. We help authors connect with their readers. Notice, I say “their readers,” not “our readers.”

We use print-on-demand technology. There is no need for warehouses and no inventory risk. That reduces costs over a traditional print run. We can take more chances on unknown authors.

We pay royalties differently. Authors receive a share of the book’s gross profits—net receipts less printing fees—usually 35% to 46%. As more books sell directly to readers, profit margins increase and greater royalties go to the authors. 

What Does Flying Pen Press Publish?

When we look at a proposal, we ask if the book fits our imprints. Flying Pen Press publishes a variety of books, fiction and nonfiction.

In fiction, we publish most all genres except erotica, YA or poetry. We have a many science fiction titles right now, because we found our first authors at Mile Hi Con, a science fiction convention in Denver, and our first catalog focused on the World Science Fiction Convention last year.

Because of our experience with Science Fiction, it is easiest to publish, but we are not limited to any one genre.

In nonfiction, we look at most topics. We do not publish New Age, Religious or Art books. We do have some specific nonfiction imprints.

  • Game Day: game books and books about games
  • Flying Pen Press Aviation: technical, travel memoir, how-to and fiction subjects, for aviation enthusiasts and professionals.
  • Flying Piggybank Press: business, finance and career.
  • Traveling Pen Press: travel memoirs.
  • Flying Pen Press Travel Guides: directories and guides for travelers.
  • We have four regional imprints: Flying Pen Press Colorado, Flying Pen Press Southwest, Flying Pen Press Rocky Mountain West, and Flying Pen Press Park Trek for national parks and monuments of North America.
  • The Press for Humanitarian Causes: a non-profit imprint to give a voice to those in developing nations who do not have a voice, and those volunteers who serve them. 

What does Flying Pen Press Look For?

If the concept meets our imprints or marketing channels, we look closely at the author. The quality of the author is far more important than the quality of the manuscript. If the author is not ready for the book trade, their books do not sell. Therefore, we ask questions and do research on the Internet.

Naturally, the author must be able to produce great material. We go to the public and see what they are saying on the Internet. We also read a small sample of the author’s work, preferably from material published on the Internet or in magazines or other publishers. An author who needs remedial training in grammar is of no use.

Then we search the author’s name, through Google, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Technorati, and this is often where we weed out most of the submitted queries and proposals. We read comments by fans and lay readers.

Next, we determine the visible size of the author’s platform. A platform is a fan base or following that regularly reads the author’s material and is likely to buy her book.

We consider the platform in three ways:

  1. We can work with an author of promising talent who has started the process of developing a platform, and mentor them. This usually requires local authors. Telecommuting just does not work at this level of personal tutorage.
  2. The author has successfully built a sizable platform. We can see that the book will sell in profitable numbers rather quickly. Often, this is a quick decision for us because certainly, the author has approached other publishers.
  3. The author’s material easily fits into a platform we already have in place, like one of our nonfiction imprints.

In most cases, we are looking for authors who are building steady platforms of their own.

We want to see a blog with a lot of regular, repeat traffic. The number of “unique” visitors is not as important as is the number of “repeat” visitors. The blog should also be relevant to the author’s work. Novelists should post short stories.

The author should also participate in social media. We look at the size of the followers on Twitter, the number of fans on Facebook, and the number of friends on MySpace, as well as the intensity and authenticity of the discussions.

The author should have an electronic newsletter and a print newsletter. The number of regular subscribers to this newsletter is important. The size of the author’s mailing list is important, too, and we look at how she built it.

Basically, it all boils down to how the author attracts a fan base, and how she communicates with her fans.

If the author seems promising, we move on to an author interview and try to assess a number of factors:

  • Can the author write prolifically? We want an author to be able to produce two to four novels a year, regularly, a pace that unnerves many new authors.
  • Can the author accept writing assignments? If the author is not an assignment writer, can she write on the same subject or with the same characters and setting for many years?
  • Does the author blog regularly? Is she capable of producing a wealth of material that is always fresh, or is the blog merely a revolving advertisement? If the author is a novelist, can she supply short stories to feed to her fans between novels?
  • Is the author prone to miss a deadline? Ever? This is a vital concern.

Once all of these questions are resolved, only then do we ask for the complete manuscript. We often find 5-10 lay readers who volunteer to review the manuscript, and if their reviews are positive, an editor reads it. If the editor likes it, we perform a marketing analysis, and if all is well, we make an offer on the book. 

Where Does Flying Pen Press Find Authors? 

Flying Pen Press editors actively seek out authors. Our primary hunting ground is any gathering of authors. This includes writers conferences, genre-specific conventions, and writers association meetings. We also turn to social media. I am on Twitter most every day, looking for new authors and stating my immediate wishes subjects and story ideas.

Of course, email continues to be the busiest channel for reaching us. We look at proposals and queries, but it is a longer process because there is a delay in communication, and our email is so full of spam and frivolous submissions.

Do not even think about mailing a manuscript. A simple query letter is fine, but a manuscript by regular post tells us that the writer clashes with the electronic world that is publishing.

Sometimes, our Net surfing allows us to find an author’s platform without any previous contact. At those times, we will often initiate the contact with the author. 

About David A. Rozansky and Flying Pen Press 

David A. Rozansky is a writer with 23 years experience in journalism, public relations writing, magazine publishing, and book publishing. He has more than one million words published. He founded Flying Pen Press as a writer-centric publishing company that uses new rules for the new century.

David A. Rozansky receives emails at Publisher@FlyingPenPress.com. He can be reached directly at 303-375-0499. His Twitter account is @DavidRozansky

Flying Pen Press is located at 5491 E. Jewell Ave., Denver, CO 80222. The company website is FlyingPenPress.com.

Query letters and book proposals can be submitted to Flying Pen Press by email at Submissions@FlyingPenPress.com. Include the word “Submission” in the subject line.

All Flying Pen Press titles are available wherever great books are sold. 

Acknowledgments 

I would like to thank Deborah Riley-Magnus for inviting me to participate on her blog as a guest writer. The advice she gives to writers is invaluable, and I am proud to be a part of this experience. I met Deborah on Twitter, and she has been kind enough to point other authors my way.