I’m not the best promoter in the world. I’m not the worst either. As a writer, I often feel like a doctor who complains that all the paperwork “isn’t practicing medicine.” Promoting my book is like that for me, it doesn’t feel like what I do, or what I should be doing. In spite of what I feel, however, I would be wrong. As an author it is part of the gig to promote, flog, expose, market, and sell the living hell out of your own books. For those of you who aspire to publish a book — and make lots of money — let me tell you some hard truth’s about the writing game.
But first, please, go to Amazon, right now, and buy a copy of Jack’s Notebook. Buy it for yourself, or, buy it for a friend that you wish to empower with a great story about how to be more creative. Look at the positive reviews, the critics say it’s good for Anyone who seeks greater creative effectiveness. People actually read this book because it’s entertaining, and, you learn something interesting and highly useful at the same time.
Now, back to the topic. Let’s say you write a book, of any kind, novel, biz book, self-help, whatever. If it’s your first, you probably expect a publisher to really help you with PR right? After all, they profit more than you do from book sales. But, nooooooo. Unless you are very well established as a writer, i.e. Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you can expect very minimal help. The expectation is…it’s up to you to sell your book. This has been true for years, but it’s more true now then it has ever been. Publishers have a unique business model. They buy a lot of books, then throw them all at the market and they see what sticks. The average book sells about 600 copies. So, they throw a lot of books at the wall to get that one that makes the New York Times best seller list.
And, while we take a break from reading my blog, why not visit Amazon (and for those in the UK, Amazon.co.uk) and consider buying a copy of… Jack’s Notebook. Buy it for a business associate who isn’t open enough to new ideas! Buy it for a professor who teaches marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, or business story telling. Buy it for the leader of an organizational team. The main thing here is, well, buy it. Thank you!
Publishing is dramatically changing. On the one hand, it’s more democratic, anybody can publish a book, and quickly, by using services like Lulu.com. Lulu will get your book on Amazon, and, get all those nasty details like an ISBN number sorted. Great — but you still have to sell it. Writers like me have to get creative, and use Twitter, FaceBook, blogging, YouTube, speaking gigs, and other means to get the word out, and get a book selling. Publishers call this a “platform” and if you want a deal, you’d better have a big one.
On the other hand, traditional publishers are less and less likely to offer writers, even established ones, book deals the way they used to. Once upon a time, you got an agent, who got you a book deal, you got an advance against royalties, you delivered the book, and that was it. Deposit check into bank account! Now, publishers are simply saying No. No Advance. Or, worse, No Deal. They are taking even less risk on new books, due to the economy and the changing nature of the book business. Book buyers at the chain stores are buying less copies to sell. It’s a tough game out here people, it requires aggressive and creative selling.
So, if you want to help a writer, this writer, make a living… you guessed it, go to Amazon and buy a copy of Jack’s Notebook.
People are reading less books. There are exceptions, but books have to compete with better TV, on demand movies, DVD’s, amazing video games, the web, YouTube, etc. I find it hard to believe, but some people do not read books at all. Sad statistic: 50% of Americans cannot read at an 8th grade level. That pretty much cuts the market in half doesn’t it? When the state of Arizona calculates what it needs in terms of prison beds, it factors in how many are reading well in the fourth grade.
So, end of tirade, but before we go…