Book Publishing Specialists
Kelso’s Shrug Book
by Paul Kelso
Paul Kelso, author of Kelso’s Shrug Book, talks about how he built his audience and made his book into a success:
“Wheatmark has asked me for ... insight as to how I, make that we, created a modest niche book on weight training that has surprised everyone by selling over 6,000 copies.
“I have to date published over one hundred articles on weight-game subjects and reported eight World or Asian powerlifting championships and a World Games. I developed a lot of name recognition before I proposed the Shrug Book. In fact, I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE WELL KNOWN IN THE FIELD BEFORE GOING WITH THE BOOK. But a lot can be done to build that recognition.
“How did I market the Shrug Book? In addition to Wheatmark services, I used my contacts in the game to set up a number of retail distributors and sent out about four dozen freebie copies to website operators, equipment sellers, and magazine editors for reviews, and net forum operators for comment. Before publishing I solicited a dozen editorial blurbs for back cover and ad one-liners about how great my ideas are. Most of those guys already knew my work, but sending advance manuscript copies to them helped.
“Not everybody can have a breakthrough brainstorm or enjoy wide name recognition to help kick-start a book. But a writer might keep these approaches in mind for getting a book together.
“By publishing my ideas as a series of articles first and then compiling them into a book I got paid multiple times for the same material. This is an established way to proceed and not my invention. I got paid to write my books.
“Even if you are already established as a contributor, it is a good idea to query a magazine editor outlining your proposed article before you write the piece. If the editor says your article sounds interesting and he would like to see it, you have a leg up. You know you are on the right track, with less chance of rejection.”
As soon as Kelso’s Shrug Book entered Wheatmark’s Great Expectations program by selling at least 2,000 copies, we started thinking about how we could take the book to its next stage of success. With its unusual and narrow niche market, this book initially presented some challenges for us. We knew it was selling well, but we weren’t sure why! Interviewing the author revealed that a lot of his sales were the result of a 3” x 3.5” text-only ad he had run in the magazine Powerlifting USA. We designed an attractive new half-page ad with graphics, and placed it in Powerlifting USA. We also designed an additional 3.5” x 4” ad and ran it simultaneously in Monster Muscle. Sales for this narrow-niche title, with over 6,000 copies sold, continue to be strong!
“Published years ago, my book remains one of the better sellers in the field of weight training, and my theories have gained wide acceptance among lifters and coaches. The Great Expectations program kick-started another round of increased sales.”
—Paul Kelso, author of Kelso’s Shrug Book
Do you have a book to publish? Click here to tell us about it!
Check out what Wheatmark clients say!