Monday

Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 3

Today is the 3rd, and final part of the article from The Book Marketing Experts Newsletter. I hope you've been following along and getting all the great information this article provides. Penny Sansevieri knows her business and it's definitely worthwhile to listen to her advice. So, without further ado, here it is.

Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 3

By Penny Sansevieri

Not Understanding How New York Publishing Works

We may not like how the corporate publishing model works, we may find fault with it, but to understand it is to understand how the industry works. For example, knowing the publishing seasons and why Fall is the biggest time for New York publishers to launch a book and perhaps the worst time for you to send your book to market if you've self-published.

Also, know that corporate publishers don't publish to niches, or rarely do, so if you're publishing to a niche, you may have a real leg up.

As for bookstores, the big six in New York pretty much own most of the shelf space in your local Barnes & Noble, so if you're vying to get in there, you are going to have to do more than show up with a book in hand and a winning smile. You're going to have to promote yourself to that local market and gain enough interest for your book that people start asking for it in bookstores.
Understanding the corporate publishing model means knowing and researching your industry and again, not just the industry you are writing for, but the market of publishing in general. Knowing what's selling, what's not - who's buying, who's closing their doors. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with it and you'll have a much more successful campaign.

Playing the Blame Game

If something goes wrong, own it. Unless it's really not your fault, unless you were taken for a ride somehow, swindled or whatever. Own it. Take responsibility. Here's an example. Recently an author came up to me after a class I taught and said she'd pitched 200 bloggers and only 5 of them wanted her book. What was wrong with them? Well, maybe it wasn't the bloggers at all. Bloggers are busy, busier than they've ever been so your pitch has to be strong and your book exactly right for the blogger you are pitching. If you're not getting a lot of pick up on your pitch you might need a new pitch and/or you might need a new set of bloggers. Don't assume it's someone else's fault. Investigate what happened and take a critical look at the results. If you don't feel you can be objective, hire someone to sift through the data. Assuming success eluded you because of someone else's lack of interest or follow through might be undermining your campaign and you could be missing out on important data that could really help turn your campaign around.

Believing in the Unbelievable

There are no guarantees. No one can promise book sales, fame, or Oprah. Period. End of story. If someone is promising you these things, run, or if the offer seems too good to be true it likely is. If all else fails ask someone you trust. I get folks asking me all the time about campaigns, programs, and marketing opportunities. Feel free to do the same. Whether you are working with us or not, now or in the future, I will always give you a fair and honest answer. If you'd rather go to someone else, great - but find someone whose opinion you trust and ask before signing on the dotted line.

Success is not about hard work alone, it's also about making smart, savvy choices and not being blinded by your own ambition, creativity, or ego such that it undermines your work. To be successful you need to be relentless, believe in your work and your mission but you also need to be objective, realistic, and humble. That is a successful mix for any author and in the end, isn't it really about getting the book out there? Focus on what matters. Good luck!

Helpful Resources:

Some great and helpful books:

* Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, Volume 2: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (ParaPublishing, 2009) - Dan Poynter

* The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book (Writer's Digest, 2009 or 2010) - Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier

* Doing Business by the Book: How to Craft a Crowd-Pleasing Book and Attract More Clients and Speaking Engagements Than You Ever Thought Possible - Sophfronia Scott (Advantage Media Group, 2008)

* 1001 Ways to Market Your Book - John Kremer (Open Horizons, 2009)

* Red Hot Internet Publicity - Penny Sansevieri (Cosimo, 2009)

* Get Published Today - Penny Sansevieri (Lulu Publishing, 2010)

Great Publishing Blogs

* The Self Publishing Review http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/

* POD People http://podpeep.blogspot.com/

* Nathan Bransford http://blog.nathanbransford.com/

* Moby Lives http://mhpbooks.com/mobylives/


Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.  

To read Part 1: http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-1.html

To read Part 2: http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-2.html

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2 comments:

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Karen, thanks for sharing part three. I went and checked out the link for the free ezine and I signed up.

Have a great week!

Karen Cioffi said...

Hey, Susanne,

That was a good move; she has great information. I'm so glad these posts were helpful.

And, you too!