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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So You Want to Make a Million Dollars Writing Books?

As a small press publisher, I cannot tell you how many times I hear this from writers, “I’m going to write this book and make my first million.” Nothing would please me more than my clients having all their dreams come true, the fans, the tours, the writing prizes –and yes – the money!! Unfortunately, some go out and do incredible in sales. Some do not. Some wait for the public to come to them, then blame me, the publisher for not making their book more marketable. Some question their writing skills when the book doesn't sell.

My thoughts, the first rule of writing a book that sells is to WRITE A GOOD BOOK! We tend to overlook this little item when we decide what we think the public wants to read without doing any research on what the public is reading. Then we get angry with them, the public, for not buying our books. I realize that this may seem simple, but it’s not. Can your book stand up to public criticism?  Can you name at least five complete strangers who love your book?

Traditional publishers often start with the audience first, the readers, discovering through research what they’re reading. Then, some of them, find a writer who can write those kinds of books; the types of books that they know already have an audience. If you have an idea for a book, but that idea doesn’t have an audience, then when you write the book, edit the book, market the book; that book may not sell until you find an audience to buy it.  This can be a frustrating process because you are putting your precious work on display and people may not like it.

So, what is the solution?  Do we find out what is selling and design our books to target those audiences?  Do we write whatever we want, no matter the subject and hope and pray for the best?  Put the book in front of a million plus people, preferably those who love to read?  Do we develop an audience first and then ask them what they would like to read?  Believe it or not, these are all good ideas if you’ve got the time and know-how to execute them.

In my company, my best clients already have a following or an avenue of putting their books in front of as many people as possible on a regular basis. They are out in the world on the internet, in seminars, at parties, in book clubs, in organizations, etc. They have their own local television and radio shows. They are busy, busy people. I hardly ever hear from them except to order more books. They never ask me if their book is selling. They never ask about royalties. I send them a check every quarter with a statement of sales. I will say this too, they spent more time crafting their book, than dreaming about making millions in sales. They were meticulous about the details of making that book the best it could possibly be. They didn’t rush through the publishing at all. The editing process meant everything to them. They didn’t want to stop until the book was a perfect work of art. There is something to be said for drawing an audience to something attractive.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

To Type or Write...that is the question

Typing your prose, poetry, novels, short-stories, lyrics, etc. on a computer – WINS!   There a mighty good reason to type when you write!  If you type one one page per day, by year’s end, you will have 365 pages to send directly to your editor.  Once your editor receives your work in less than a two minute e-mail, you are on your way to having the work edited and then published! 

Now, if you prefer writing your pages out long-hand, you’ll have to type those pages out, or have someone else type them for you.  Depending on how fast you type or how much money you have to pay someone else to type for you, will determine how long it will take to get your pages out to your editor.

I wrote my first novel, Smart, Sexy, Spiritual, Strong long-hand.  I feel as if I’m still writing it because I had some re-writes that had to be done prior to publication.  It will be out this year for sale, but the original manuscript took me five years.  Don’t waste time – type!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Write On

that’s the ticket
So, you want your first draft to be a masterpiece.  Welcome to the world of fantasy.  I’ve had client after client hesitate in writing their extraodinary works because they don’t want the first draft to be a big fat mess.  Here’s a hint on what the first draft should be…it’s really complicated now, so read this very slowly and carefully…the first draft should be….huh, hum…THE…FIRST…DRAFT!!!  In other words, if you’re waiting for perfect weather before you go to work on your novel - that day may never come.

I’m asked constantly how I write so many books in such a short period of time.  My response is that I write all the time.  While others are watching television, I’m writing.  The t.v. may be on, sure, but so is my computer. 

Here’s the gest of it all, don’t be the editor when you’re supposed to be the writer.  Writers write!  Editors edit!  Understand that you might need to have 99 drafts before your work is finished, but you will be one finished book closer than someone who is still waiting around to get started.  Write on and on and on and on and on and on-

Thursday, February 17, 2011

To Type or Write

...that is the question
Typing your prose, poetry, novels, short-stories, lyrics, etc. on a computer – WINS!   There is a mighty good reason to type when you write!  If you type one one page per day, by year’s end, you will have 365 pages to send directly to your editor.  Once your editor receives your work in less than a two minute e-mail, you are on your way to having the work edited and then published! 

Now, if you prefer writing your pages out long-hand, you’ll have to type those pages out, or have someone else type them for you.  Depending on how fast you type or how much money you have to pay someone else to type for you, will determine how long it will take to get your pages out to your editor.

I wrote my first novel, Smart, Sexy, Spiritual, Strong long-hand.  I feel as if I’m still writing it because I had some re-writes that had to be done prior to publication.  It will be out this year for sale, but the original manuscript took me five years.  Don’t waste time – type!