Sam Henrie

About Sam Henrie

Sam Henrie is President and Founder of Wheatmark, Inc., and Past President of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. He is Co-Chair of the Book and Movie Business Genre of the Literary Committee for the Tucson Festival of Books, the third largest book festival in the United States. Sam is also a Senior Faculty at the Authors Academy.
1 December, 2016

What Is Hybrid Publishing?

By |2016-12-01T10:03:48-07:00December 1, 2016|Authors Academy, Publishing|Comments Off on What Is Hybrid Publishing?

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:

Curation

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.

Financing

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.

Rights

Some hybrid publishers want an exclusive license to sell your book, […]

6 October, 2016

‘Tis the Season . . . for Author Ordering

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20-07:00October 6, 2016|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season . . . for Author Ordering

It is hard to believe that another year is already winding down, which means that the holiday season is right around the corner. As the hustle and bustle of life begins to ramp up the closer we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is normal to try and get ahead on our holiday shopping. The quest to find the perfect gifts for the ones we love is often an annual tradition of fighting traffic, battling unending lines and searching for the best deals, while never feeling completely satisfied with your final choice.

For our authors who want to avoid the shopping chaos, what could be better than giving someone the gift of reading? While I may be biased, I believe books can be some of the most cherished presents, particularly when the giver is the writer. Some of the most precious gifts I have received have been personally created or designed by […]

24 August, 2016

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20-07:00August 24, 2016|Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

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 […]

3 August, 2016

Convergence

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20-07:00August 3, 2016|Publishing|Comments Off on Convergence

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 […]

10 May, 2016

The Perfect Is the Enemy of the First Draft

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00May 10, 2016|Writing|Comments Off on The Perfect Is the Enemy of the First Draft

Many writing coaches recommend writing the first draft of a blog post, chapter, or scene as quickly as possible without stopping to rewrite or edit. The idea is once you’ve got that first draft down, however imperfect, you’ll have broken through your writer’s block and procrastination, and accelerated the entire writing process. That’s not how I do it. I rewrite each sentence several times before moving on to the next. I pause to fact check, to look in the thesaurus for the exact right word, to get more coffee, to watch of few minutes of “Better Call Saul”…

Though I knew it would be difficult for me, I decided to try the technique to create the first draft of this article. I started my timer and set about getting four hundred words down in the shortest time possible, without rewriting or editing. My subject: The First Draft. It took me thirteen […]

5 April, 2016

Price your book to make a profit

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00April 5, 2016|Publishing|Comments Off on Price your book to make a profit

There’s plenty of discussion about the retail pricing of independently published books, most of it centered on self-publishing book companies setting list prices too high. I get frustrated when industry experts write that these higher prices are a problem, without offering any evidence that this is the case. In the absence of price sensitivity studies, or of testing book sales at different price points, the “experts” are simply offering a guess based on their experience. I suspect that their experience comes from pricing books for the brick-and-mortar bookstore market. What a company like Barnes & Noble suggests for list prices for their stores isn’t necessarily right for a self-published books that will primarily be sold through online bookstores.

The online book sales market is, in fact, such a new market that it is unclear what pricing strategies are most advantageous to book sales.

In the absence of hard data, how should you […]

8 March, 2016

In praise of editing

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00March 8, 2016|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on In praise of editing

Years ago I was reading the bestselling A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (on which the 2015 motion picture of the same name, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, is based) and found a typo on one of the first pages. The word the was spelled “th”. How could this be? The book was published by Random House, one of the Big Five! How had all of their copyeditors and proofreaders, not to mention spell checkers, missed it? How had the hundreds of advance copy readers failed to report it?

I told one of the editors here at Wheatmark about my discovery. This editor happened to be a voracious reader. She started circling all the misspellings, typos, or instances of bad grammar that she found in any major publisher’s book she read, and flagging the offending pages with Post-It notes. […]

8 February, 2016

Ten Steps to a Finished Book

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00February 8, 2016|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Ten Steps to a Finished Book

At Wheatmark we’ve worked with thousands of authors, and based on this experience I am proposing this ten-step process for writing your next nonfiction book. This process incorporates blogging in advance of your book’s release, so that you get a head start on building an audience for your book.

1. Make a chapter outline of your book. All you need is enough detail to describe what you are promising to give the reader in each chapter.

2. Get input on your outline from a trusted reader or editor. This should be someone who is a reader of the type of nonfiction book you are writing. Revise the chapter outline based on their input. Repeat as needed.

3. Now that you have a finalized chapter outline, write each chapter as a blog post, immediately posting each chapter on your blog as you finish it. Point all of your followers on social media to each […]

11 January, 2016

The Egg That Hatched The Martian

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00January 11, 2016|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on The Egg That Hatched The Martian

By now many of you have seen the popular science fiction movie released in October, The Martian, starring Matt Damon. I’m sure that many of you have also read the bestselling book of the same name by Andy Weir on which the movie is based. But, I suspect, that many of you don’t know the story of Weir’s journey from aspiring author to publishing phenom.

Weir’s lifelong ambition was to become a published working science fiction author. In the late 1990s and early 2000s he wrote a couple of sci-fi novels and submitted them to multiple agents and publishers. He even took a couple of years off from working as a computer programmer to focus exclusively on his writing career. Unfortunately, he received rejection after rejection from both agents and publishing houses.

Weir went back to work as a programmer, but, undeterred, continued writing, posting his writing on his own blog at […]

12 October, 2015

How big is your audience?

By |2018-03-29T11:09:21-07:00October 12, 2015|Marketing, Publishing|Comments Off on How big is your audience?

A few years ago I had a weekend evening to myself, and decided to go to a play. I found a performance of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘night Mother by Marsha Norman showing at the Tucson Temple of Music and Art.

I arrived very early, so I wasn’t surprised that there was only one other person in the audience, but was surprised when no one else showed up. The play started, and I thought to myself: “Now I am stuck here, even if the performance is terrible. I’m 50% of the audience. I can’t just stand up and walk out.” That turned out not to be a problem. The performance was completely engrossing.

‘night Mother is a two-hour play with only two actors. I can’t even begin to imagine what it took for the actors to sustain the emotional intensity that they exhibited for those two hours, let alone what it took […]