“… when streams are ripe and swelled with rain.” With apologies to Paul Simon, here in the Sonoran Desert there are only dry streambeds this time of year. It did rain briefly, however, on the Saturday, March 10, day one of the Tucson Festival of Books, but that didn’t seem to deter the over 100,000 book lovers there. (The Festival’s now the third largest in the country. ) When I’m not working at Wheatmark, one of the things I do is volunteer for the Festival on the Book & Author Committee, where this year I was responsible for inviting authors who work in, or write about, the movie industry. Of all the authors I invited, the one who drew the biggest crowds was not a journeyman author with fifty titles, but first-time author Jenna Fischer. You may remember Fischer for playing Pam […]
Grael Norton, Wheatmark’s Director of Marketing, does a fantastic webinar called “Do This First” which answers the question “What’s the first thing I should do now that I have written my book?” I won’t be a spoiler. You’ll have to watch the webinar (register at www.bookpublisher.com) to get the answer.
I have some “do this first” advice of my own, which answers the question “What’s the first thing I should do to market my books?”
Should you focus first on traditional publicity, advertising, social media marketing, getting reviews, entering book contests . . .? Based on my experience working with hundreds of successful authors, the simple answer is: Networking. In particular, networking within the community of people who are passionate about your genre or subject. Whatever other marketing you do, you will need members of this community to get your work, and you as an author, discovered by a […]
When a book that we publish sells well, I always want to understand why, partly so that I can pass that information on to you. One book that’s been selling well lately is Farmer Able: A fable about servant leadership transforming organizations and people from the inside out by Art Barter. The book is an extended parable that teaches the lessons of servant leadership, the form of leadership in which leaders exist to serve the people they lead. It tells the story of a farmer named Able and his transformation from a typical all-about-me power-reliant head of farm and family to a true servant leader. The story is told from the perspective of both the humans and the animals on Able’s farm. Even the wind, plants, and Earth are characters in the story. The author very effectively uses anthropomorphism and onomatopoeia […]
Some of the books I’m reading, or have read lately, I can recommend, and highly, to writers and those aspiring to be published authors:
Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson (Penguin Press, February 7, 2017). Fame sells books: Famous books sell, famous people’s books sell, and books about famous people and things sell. Without one of these three types of fame, making books sales can be a challenge. “Discovery” is the term of art publishing aficionados use to label the process of moving from obscurity to fame. But, how does an author get “discovered?”
In this fascinating book Derek Thompson explains, and tells stories of how it used to work when gatekeepers, like the major publishing houses, had the power to decide who became famous. He also explores in depth how discovery has […]
Periodically I call one of our authors with a better-selling book and chat with them about their book marketing efforts, and what they believe is responsible for their sales success. I had one such conversation recently with Janet Marthers (janetmarthers. com), the lead author of Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College (ISBN: 9781627872621). The book is different from other college guides in that it uses students’ interests, both academic and non-academics, as the primary tool to help them navigate the college selection process, and discover colleges and opportunities that they might otherwise overlook. If you or someone you know is evaluating colleges, I highly recommend that you check out this unique book.
Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College was published in December of 2015. In March 2016 Forbes interviewed Marthers about the book, and she noticed […]
Fans of crime fiction and true crime: I’d like to draw your attention to two award-winning authors who’ve recently published two exciting new books.
Duke Southard is a First Place winner of the 85th Annual (2016) “Writer’s Digest” Writing Competition, a finalist of the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, and a finalist of the 2015 Indie Publisher Next Generation Book Awards, to list just some of his accolades.
Southard’s new book Cracks in the Wall (Wheatmark, 2016) is a suspense novel in the Parker Havenot Police Detective Series. The plot centers on the murder of a young mother of three in a quiet suburban town in what appears be an open-and-shut case. Detective Havenot, however, is not so sure, suspecting that the key to the murder lies somewhere in the victim’s past. This book is a fantastic fast-paced read from the first page to the surprising […]
Nothing spells the new year and a bright outlook than a move into newly remodeled offices in the city center. We recently bid farewell to our old corporate center by Tucson’s Rillito River on River Road near Campbell Avenue. While it was a great and easily accessible location for many of our local authors, many of you had found it difficult at first to find our exact suite in a myriad of similar-looking buildings and suites!
Well, we’re in a corporate jungle no longer!
Our publishing company, now in its 17th year, just moved a couple of miles south to Speedway Boulevard near Campbell Avenue by the Aloft Hotel near the University of Arizona.
Our new address is 2030 East Speedway Boulevard, Suite 106, Tucson, Arizona 85719, located in the Sun Building. You will no longer get lost looking for our suite, I can guarantee that!
If you’re local or are visiting Tucson, we […]
There’s a lot of buzz about hybrid publishing in the writing and publishing communities, coupled with an equal amount of misunderstanding and confusion. Not surprising. As the name suggests, hybrid publishing is a cross between traditional and indie publishing, incorporating some features of each. There are a wide variety of hybrid publishing business models, depending on which features are incorporated. Here are some of the features to watch for when evaluating a hybrid publisher:
The best hybrid publishers do the high-level editorial work that traditional publishers do: Screening submissions and accepting only those of merit with a reasonably large potential market, and working closely with authors on design and editing to create the best books possible.
Nearly all hybrid publishers require the author to finance all or part of the publishing, editorial, and marketing costs, usually through the payment of upfront fees.
Some hybrid publishers want an exclusive license to sell your book, […]
I have a friend who is deeply passionate about a certain subject. My friend’s spent years reading every book and article written on, and watching every documentary made about, the subject. He’s studied and thought about it deeply. He feels that he now has something to contribute to the global conversation. But, my friend doesn’t have any academic credentials in the subject. He’s not a member of any online (or offline) interest groups. And, he hasn’t yet written any books or articles on the subject. His study has been done mostly in isolation.
He recently asked me if I thought anyone would read books or articles by him on the subject. I had to answer, “I don’t know.” The question was impossible to answer with a definitive yes or no without some knowledge of his potential readers and without having read his yet unwritten writing.
I did have a recommendation, however, as […]
For years I’ve given a talk called “Three Ways to Publish,” in which I describe the three main paths to publication: selling your book to a rights-buying “traditional” publisher, hiring a publishing services firm like Wheatmark to publish your book, or starting a publishing company of your own (self-publishing). Over the past few years the lines between these paths have become increasingly blurred:
- The largest retailer of books in the world, Amazon, carries nearly every traditionally and self-published book equally
- Authors with successful self-published books are often picked up by traditional publishing houses
- Successful authors often dump their traditional publishing houses in favor of going “indie”
- Publicists, editors, agents, and book marketing professionals who used to work exclusively for traditional publishers now routinely offer their services to publishing services firms and indie authors
Another way the lines are blurring is that savvy indie authors and publishing services firms are adopting the […]