11 December, 2014

Do you have an unpublished manuscript lying around?

By |2023-06-09T11:14:06-07:00December 11, 2014|Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Do you have an unpublished manuscript lying around?

If you have an unpublished Romance, Mystery & Thriller, or Science Fiction & Fantasy manuscript, Amazon wants to hear from you!

They’re running a new program called “Kindle Scout” that could result in your manuscript being published at Amazon’s expense.

Details of the program are here.

Basically, the program is a combination crowd-sourcing/rights-licensing publishing deal, where you grant Amazon exclusive rights to have beta readers review your work and vote on whether or not to publish it.

If readers give you a thumbs-up, you sign an exclusive 5-year contract to have Amazon publish your work in Kindle and in audio format.

I think it’s a cool program, particularly for folks who don’t have the means to publish their work on their own.

That said, it’s a really, really good idea to invest in a formal read by a professional editor before you release your work to the general public.

Our version of this service is called […]

5 December, 2014

Author Interview with Will Edwinson

By |2023-06-09T11:14:32-07:00December 5, 2014|News, Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on Author Interview with Will Edwinson

Will Edwinson is an award-winning storyteller for his fiction and also an award-winning columnist. His second book, Buddy … His Trials and Treasures, won a first place in state competition and a second place at national. His nostalgia column, which he wrote under another name, won second and first place awards in two separate competitions from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association.

Will is also one of our long-time author clients, having first published with us in 2005 and now again in 2014. I’ve asked him about his brand new book, LouIsa: Iron Dove of the Frontier.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Will Edwinson, and how you came to be a storyteller.

Ah … where do I begin? When I was young I always aspired to be a writer. But I was just a small-town farm boy with insecurities, some of which included, “How could I ever expect […]

2 December, 2014

The A-Myth

By |2023-06-09T11:15:23-07:00December 2, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on The A-Myth

Wheatmark’s Sam Henrie wrote in a previous post about The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, one of the most important business books I’ve read, which helped me look at business in a completely different way.

Working on the business is quite different than working in the business. Just because you love cooking and everybody says you should open a restaurant doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Being a great chef at your own restaurant might still mean doing a terrible job running the business and hating it. Michael E. Gerber talks about how business owners ought to view themselves not as technicians (chefs, dance instructors, editors, widget makers) but as marketers and savvy businesspeople. He exhorts entrepreneurs to become experts at making the business of their trade work better instead of getting caught in the daily whirlwind of working in the business. The e-myth is simply […]

1 December, 2014

Taking Care of Business

By |2023-06-09T11:15:45-07:00December 1, 2014|News, Publishing|Comments Off on Taking Care of Business

Earlier this year Roberta Grimes called us to order some copies of her books. She is the author of the Letters from Love series and the novel Rich and Famous. She’s also the author of the novel My Thomas: A Novel of Martha Jefferson’s Life, originally published by Doubleday in 1993 and reissued by Wheatmark this year. I answered Roberta’s phone call. “Bookstore, Sam Henrie, how may I help you?” She was surprised that the company president was taking book orders. Roberta said she’d imagined I’d be in my office thinking about the business—conceiving the next killer book marketing strategy, pondering the writing of the great American novel, or planning a leveraged buyout of Random House. But, I was taking book orders.

I like taking book orders. It keeps me in touch with our authors, especially at the times when they release new books, start new marketing campaigns, or hold […]

10 November, 2014

What has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

By |2023-06-09T11:16:16-07:00November 10, 2014|Authors Academy, Marketing, Publishing, Social Media|Comments Off on What has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

I came across this article this weekend.

It’s about how Tom Hanks got his first piece of short fiction published… in The New Yorker.

Now, in case you aren’t already aware of this, getting a short story published in The New Yorker is pretty much the ultimate accomplishment for a writer.

Many authors submit stories for months, or years, or even decades… and never get their work published.

But not Tom Hanks. Did I mention that this was his first published short story?

What exactly has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

“Duh, Grael,” you’re probably saying to yourself. “He’s Tom Hanks!”

My point exactly.

Tom Hanks is a famous actor, so he’s able to get his fiction published by The New Yorker his first time out.

What this phenomenon refers to is the idea of “platform,” which Tom Hanks most certainly has.

The New Yorker knows that publishing Tom Hanks’ fiction will help sell magazines.

They know people will […]

24 October, 2014

Iris Murdoch Made the List!

By |2023-06-09T11:16:40-07:00October 24, 2014|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Iris Murdoch Made the List!

Thanks to all of you for your emails letting me know what a great job my staff did while I was on vacation. I received so many email that I haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone yet.

I had a wonderful trip visiting family, traveling to Prescott, AZ, Albuquerque NM, Washington, DC, Sparta, NJ, then back to Albuquerque. Of all the places visited, Sparta, which none of you will have heard of, was by far the most beautiful. Situated on Tomahawk Lake, it is lush, green, and peaceful. Forget any negative stereotypes you have of New Jersey and visit Sparta if ever you get a chance.

Last month Grael Norton, Wheatmark’s director of marketing, posted a blog that included a list from The Telegraph of the “100 novels everyone should read.” I was very happy to see that a book, Under the Net, by my favorite […]

25 September, 2014

Can a book change your life for the worse?

By |2023-06-09T11:17:13-07:00September 25, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Can a book change your life for the worse?

Last week we discussed life-changing books.

For most people, that means “life-changing for the better.”

But is it possible for a book to change your life for the worse?

This article from the Sunday Book Review in The New York Times considers the question.

For my part, I love the idea that a book can be a bad influence—just like it can be a good influence.

I also happen to believe that it’s true!

But that’s not what this article got me thinking about, which is the subject of influence itself.

Books are perhaps the most influential media out there.

They can convince people to dress up like characters on Halloween (and on other days, too.)

They can convince people to make major lifestyle changes, like changing their diets or beginning an exercise program.

They can convince people to drop everything and go on a spiritual quest.

They can even start wars.

There’s just one problem: most of the time, you […]

31 July, 2014

Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

By |2023-06-09T11:18:21-07:00July 31, 2014|Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

Nearly every month I’m late turning in this article for our Marketing Letter and this Publishing Success Blog, to the great frustration of my staff. Why am I late? The old saw comes to mind: “Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.” My article needs to be perfect because it will be sent to the most important audience I have: you. Because I want it to be perfect, I procrastinate, sometimes to the point of paralysis. And so the article gets turned in late. Many of you have had writer’s block, and will attribute it to the same root cause: perfectionism.

Not so fast! A few months ago I heard a radio program whose topic was whether perfectionists do, in fact, procrastinate more than other people. Two researchers from major universities who studied this subject were interviewed. (My apologies for the missing citation, but I don’t remember the names of the researchers, and couldn’t find […]

9 April, 2014

5 book marketing lies that stops authors from selling more books

By |2023-06-09T11:20:46-07:00April 9, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on 5 book marketing lies that stops authors from selling more books

Fiction authors are good at lying. Little lies and big lies that haven’t a speck of truth in them. Authors have no qualms filling their books with lies. They sugar coat their heroes with such virtues of talent, smarts and good looks that ordinary mortals step off the sidewalk to let them pass. Make way for superman and wonder woman! They describe their villains as malicious, scurvy folks that can be killed off with no more remorse than slapping a buzzing mosquito.

Imagination is what authors call it, of course. No one thinks of an author as a liar. That is much too crass and negative a word to describe such literary flights of fancy. Creative flow and artistic license is a nicer, digestible term. And people buy those lies; they love them.  Who can stop with just one? They slap down money on the counter and walk off with the […]

24 March, 2014

What authors need to know before starting a crowd funding campaign

By |2023-06-09T11:21:06-07:00March 24, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on What authors need to know before starting a crowd funding campaign

First-time authors as well as seasoned ones have successfully raised money through crowd funding. Campaigns have been funded that were as simple as $150 to pay for an inexpensive cover design and as complicated as over $49,000 to publish a coffee table book with glossy, colored pages. The main crowd funding sites used are Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Pubslush , although there are countless others.

Whether the amount is small or large though, crowd funding for a book has some hidden benefits that might be equally or perhaps even more important than raising money to pay for book printing and marketing costs.  Consider these:

Benefit No. 1: Connecting with new readers.

Benefit No. 2: Getting your book known on a wider platform.

Book marketing is about finding readers who will be attracted to your book enough to read it. Once you have shared the book with […]


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