Showing posts with label selling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label selling. Show all posts

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Are You Writing A Perennial Seller?


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

In the last fifteen years, the publishing world has changed. In the past, self-publishing was the poor step-sister to traditional publishing. These self-made titles often looked poor and were not accepted in libraries or bookstores. As book production has improved, this attitude is shifting. There are still poorly made self-published books and the average self-published title sells less than 200 copies during the lifetime of the book

My bent in this area is for you to get the largest distribution and produce the best book you can produce. It's why I continue to encourage authors to create a book proposal and work with traditional publishers as well as explore other models like Morgan James Publishing (where I've worked for over nine years).

While there are many ways and companies to help you create your book, at the end of the day, the key question relates to sales of that book. Is it selling? Are people buying it on a consistent basis? Are you as the author promoting your book consistently? After all, as the author, you have the greatest passion for your book—whether you went with one of the big five publishing houses or a small publisher or self-published.

One of the best ways to learn about publishing is to consistently read how-to books about writing or marketing. As you read these books and take action from the information, you will grow as a writer. I've got stacks of these types of books that I read.


Several year ago, I learned about a book from Ryan Holiday called Perennial Seller, The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts. Books that last and continue to sell in the market are rare. Traditional publishers are known to be fickle in this area. I have seen it when I've worked inside publishing houses (not Morgan James). You work hard to get a book published and into the market, then for whatever reason it does not sell, then a publishing executive writes a letter to the author or literary agent and takes the book out of print.

Every day thousands of new books enter the market.  Which books become continual sellers? Bestselling author Ryan Holiday has studied these details with his own books and with other books. Perennial Seller is loaded with the details for every author or would-be author to read. Ryan has a keen sense of what it takes to create an excellent book and each of his sections includes gems of information for the writer.

While many writers believe their key failure is in the marketing areas, Ryan writes in the opening pages, “Promotion is not how things are made great—only how they are heard about. Which is why this book will not start with marketing, but with the mindset and effort that must go into the creative process—the most important part of creating a perennial seller.” (Page 19)

Also for those writers who believe they can quickly crank out such a book, Ryan cautions, “Creating something that lives—that can change the world and continue doing so for decades—requires not just a reverence for the craft and a respect for the medium, but real patience for the process itself. (Page 29-30)

No matter who you are working with to get the book out there, Ryan is realistic in Perennial Seller encouraging the writer to take their own responsibility rather than feel like they can delegate it to someone else. In the section on positioning, he writes a section called “You’re the CEO” saying, “If the first step in the process is coming to terms with the fact that no one is coming to save you—there’s no one to take this thing off your hands and champion it the rest of the way home—then the second is realizing that the person who is going to need to step up is you.” (Page 67)

Wherever you are in the publishing process, you will gain insights reading  Perennial Seller. I found the book engaging and valuable—in fact, maybe a book that I will read multiple times (unusual for me). I highly recommend this title.

Whether you read Perennial Seller or not, I recommend you get the free gift from the back of this book. You subscribe and confirm to be on Holiday's email list, then you get a series of case studies which were not included in the book—yet from experienced publishing people.

Are you writing or dreaming of writing a perennial seller? What steps are you taking as a writer to make that happen? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tweetable:

Are You Writing A Perennial Seller? Check out this article to  Make Your Book a Perennial Seller.  (ClickToTweet)


W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page
.  He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers.  His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. Get this book for only $10 + free shipping and over $200 in bonuses. On October 5th, his classic Book Proposals That $ell will be released. He lives in Colorado and has over 190,000 twitter followers

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Some Good News for Writers


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
 
If you read the news or watch the news (as I continue to do), it is easy to get discouraged and completely stalled in your writing and publishing efforts. I've read where a number of writers are stuck, not writing anything and not moving forward. In some ways, I understand and it makes sense to be stalled. It has been a strange and different year with a worldwide pandemic. Yet you do not have to be stuck and stalled. In this article I want to give you some good news and ideas to move out of stall and into action.
 
1. People are reading more than recent years. Just check out this article from PR Expert Sandra Beckwith.

2. Books are selling. People are buying books from authors, online bookstores and brick and mortar bookstores. Books are getting translated into different languages and libraries continue to purchase books. As an writer, celebrate each of these opportunities and be knocking on new doors.

3. Publishers are still making new books. As an acquisitions editor, I am continuing to send process submissions, sign new authors and we are releasing new books. Yes some details have changed in this process but it is still happening.

4. Writers have opportunity to tell others about your book. Radio programs are still booking and looking for guests. Podcasts are still looking and booking guests. If you aren't getting on these programs then you need to take steps to learn how to pitch and get booked. There are online programs to teach you these skills.

5. Print magazines are still looking for quality writers to fill their pages. It's a simple fact, every magazine editor begins their next issue with blank pages which need to be filled with the right stories from writers (many of them freelance writers). You can be that writer—but only if you learn how to write a query letter, study their magazine guidelines (where the editor tells you what they need), then give the editor what they need. Yes it is that simple but it takes your effort and work to find the right fit.
 
Shake off rejection or any bad news and move forward. Seize these opportunities. Learn how to write a query and book proposal. Be pitching editors and literary agents. Don't get discouraged. Sit at your keyboard and write your story. If I can help you in this process, don't hesitate to reach out to me. It's one of the reasons I have my personal email address in my Twitter profile.
 
As we move into the holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, I encourage you to focus on the positive things in your world, life and family. We have good news as writers and let's celebrate it.
 
What is your good news as a writer? In the comments, let me know what you are celebrating.  I look forward to cheering you onward.
 
Tweetable:

There is good news for writers. Get the details here from this prolific editor and author. (ClickToTweet)


W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers. His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. Get this book for only $10 + free shipping and over $200 in bonuses. One of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has  190,000 twitter followers

 

  

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Create A Plan for the New Year


By W. Terry Whalin

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s an old saying and cliché yet rooted in truth. What plans do you have for the New Year? Now is the time to be working on a plan. Do you have a book? What is your plan to market your book?
When many writers get this question, they pile on the excuses and look around for someone else. They have fallen into the trap of someone who has written a book. They firmly believe, “If I build it (write it), they will come (buy it).” These writers firmly believe the marketing for their book is the responsibility of someone else—some publisher or some bookseller or some marketing person. Countless times I’ve listened to writers in my role as an acquisitions editor when they tell me about their disappointment in the results of their book sales.
Remember, when you point your finger at someone or something, four of your fingers are pointing toward you. As the author, you have the primary responsibility to continually market your book. No one else can do what you can do.
Let me give you a bit of my background so you see why I’m writing about this issue. I’ve published more than 60 nonfiction books and for five years I was a book acquisitions editor. When I became a book editor, I began to understand the economics of book publishing. It’s important for every author to understand these dynamics—whether they write fiction or nonfiction.
Here’s the financial information that I didn’t understand until I worked inside a publishing company: for every book (fiction or nonfiction), a publisher is going to spend $30,000 to $40,000 (real dollars) to take your manuscript and turn it into a finished book. These numbers are with a modest advance to the author (say $5,000) and zero marketing dollars. These costs are production, cover design, editorial work, etc. on your book. Publishers receive thousands of submissions from would-be authors. When I was a part-time Fiction Acquisitions Editor at Howard Books, I was looking for six to eight full-length novels a year—and I’ve received over 250 submissions from individuals and literary agents. I’ve rejected some quality fiction because of the volume and limited spots. Imagine these numbers multiplied on other editor’s desks.
Let’s pretend for a minute that you are the editor and have to wade through these volumes of material to find the books for your list. You have two manuscripts. Both manuscripts are excellent, fascinating stories. One manuscript has a marketing plan and the other doesn’t. As the editor, you will be held accountable for your choices (within the publishing house). It’s a business to sell books. Which manuscript will you choose to champion to the other editors, the publishing executives (sales, marketing, etc.)? Editors risk for their authors. Your challenge is to prove to be worthy (actually more than worthy) of this risk.
Everything that I’m going to write is based on the assumption you’ve learned your writing craft and produced an excellent manuscript that is appropriate for a particular publisher. A big part of you may resist even creating a marketing plan. Isn’t that why you go to a publisher instead of publishing it yourself?

No, you go to a publisher to use their marketing efforts in combination with your efforts to sell more books (and to have your books in the bookstore). Publishers love authors who “get it” and understand they need to roll up their sleeves and take a bit of their energy to market the books to their own network. Also publishers always want to do more for their books especially when they release. Yet they have 20 books to shepherd through this process—and you have a single book. Who is going to be more passionate about the book? It’s you as the author—well show a little of that passion in your marketing plans for your book.
Check out PyroMarketing by Greg Stielstra (Harper Business). This book will help you see how you can stir people to purchase your book and why mass marketing techniques are ineffective. To get a taste of this book, read this free introduction (I use with Greg’s permission).
Finally can you bring your publisher a deal from the beginning that will sell at least 5,000 books? It’s not a crazy question since 70% of special sales are something that the author begins. For some creative ideas, check out Jerry Jenkins’ site. This is not the Left Behind author but another Jerry Jenkins. Put your own spin on these ideas with your book. Also you can learn more about this special sales idea through a free teleseminar which I hosted at: http://bit.ly/massbks.
Publishers are looking for true partners in the book-selling process. A marketing plan shows that you are actively going to enter into the process of selling books. Yes, publishers are looking for excellent storytellers but they need authors who care about selling books.

Now is the time to be working on your plans for the new year. What plans are you making? Let me know in the comments.

Tweetable:

Create a plan to market your book for the new year. Get ideas here. (ClickToTweet)
--
W. Terry Whalin has written more than 60 books for traditional publishers and his magazine work has appeared in more than 50 publications. He is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and always looking for great books to publish. Terry is a book proposal expert and the author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Sucess. He has over 200,000 followers on Twitter.

Read Well, Creative Writing Resources

Read Well, Creative Writing Resources by Deborah Lyn Stanley When we read well, we write well. I list a few good Creating Writing books belo...