Cost-Effective Advertising

Effective advertising, or the lack of it, will, in some cases, make or break a large company. Many companies have sizable advertising budgets that account for a major portion of their annual spending. Publishing companies are no different. New authors who land big contracts with big publishing houses are often surprised to learn just how much is spent on the advertising for their books; we’re talking astronomical figures when compared to smaller presses—counting everything from radio spots to newspaper and magazine ads, and even public placement, such as in subway stations, on trains, on billboards, and wherever else. Small POD presses, and even self-published authors, can’t be expected to go in for such exorbitant costs.

So, what’s a fair solution? Cost-effective advertising, that’s what. The internet is ideal for this kind of thing. Do you have a website? No? Are you nuts? Get one—a professional one at that. The more professional the site, the more clout you’ll earn. Do you blog? No? Start a blog, but make certain you’ll be able to dedicate time to composing informative and entertaining posts that will keep your readers coming back for more (oh, and you’re also supposed to be selling books, so write with that goal in mind).

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The 7-11 Writer's Online Workshop

New for 2011, Daniel Middleton, founder of Scribe Freelance, and author Jaime Vendera—world renowned for shattering glass solely with his voice (as seen here on Discovery Channel's MythBusters)—have teamed up to bring you a highly anticipated writer's online workshop that will focus on mastering the art of storytelling and book publication and marketing. The workshop will launch in tandem with the release of two new books: The 7 Points of Write by Daniel Middleton, and The 11 Secret Steps by Jaime Vendera. You can reserve your slot now!


Editorial House Style

I have noticed that many small POD presses, both new and old, have varying editorial procedures, with some presses applying a higher editorial standard than others. However, not one press, among the ones I’ve come across thus far, have applied what would be considered a house style. Quite frankly, if small POD presses ever intend to play with the big boys, one thing they have to create is a definitive editorial house style and apply it to all their publications. Doing this would not only lift the standard of a particular press’s editorial practice, but it would certainly lend a degree of professionalism to that press.

To establish a house style for your press, all that is required is the creation of a manual of style—or style guide—that lays down a collection of editorial conventions that will be widely observed by any and all editors employed by your company, be it in a fulltime or freelance capacity. The overall goal here is to create consistency. A style guide can easily be culled from an existing editorial style manual, or manuals, such as The Associated Press Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style—many established publishers use a mix of both.

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Stepping Up to a Distribution Deal

If you feel you’ve run the gamut of self-publishing and are desirous of moving up a notch to publishing authors other than yourself, then you can start thinking about landing your first distribution deal, but this may involve printing your books on the traditional offset press. On the bright side, your books will cost much less to print per copy, and your titles will be stocked in bookstores and libraries across the country; warehousing your books, however, will be necessary, as will making them returnable and setting a steep wholesale discount for all titles (usually an astronomical 65 to 75% of the retail price).

Of note, landing a distribution deal does have many more advantages, among them is the fact that you will be taken seriously by the publishing industry at large, and mainstream reviewers will even begin to consider your works, if not outright review them, depending on how you approach them, and with what. First and foremost, however, you must have a minimum of 10 books in print (some will let you get away with less), written by a variety of authors, or else you will be ignored by the average distributor. Your books also have to sell, and you need to be able to prove that they’ve been selling, otherwise no one will be interested in bringing you aboard.

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The Importance of Marketing Your Self-Published Book

So, you’ve written a book and are wondering what to do next. Maybe you’re considering submitting the book to a slew of literary agencies in the hope of landing representation, or have already done so to no avail. Well, there is another alternative. While the number of books submitted to literary agents are astronomical, the percentage of books accepted for literary representation are miniscule; and the numbers shrink even further when considering how many books are actually sold to publishers and eventually see print.

True it is that many self-published books should not exist in the first place, but given the glut of bad books on the market, from thriving subsidy presses like Lulu, iUniverse, Xlibris and others, self-published books that are really necessary, and actually worth a reader’s time may, in this case, stand as rare gems amidst the rubble.

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