Monday, April 13, 2009

When Publishing, If You Fail To Plan, You Might As Well Plan To Fail

A Few Suggestions for Self Publishing from Tom Becka, Radio Host and President of Orpheum Brothers Press

  1. Get your marketing strategy put together. The book means nothing if people don't know about it and know how to buy it.
  2. Understand it's a lot more work than you think. Writing the book is only the first part. You've got to edit, re-edit, approve the art work, edit some more, plan your marketing strategy, get into the book stores, proof read, and approve the final edit.
  3. Have realistic expectations. Only Harry Potter and the Bible sell millions of copies. Most books are lucky if they sell a couple hundred.
  4. Know your market. Who will want to buy your book and how do you reach them?
  5. Repeat the previous 4 items until exhausted.
Our response: Yeah, what Tom said! Plus, schedule time for editing, layout, indexing, printing, and all the other production details. But don’t fail to set realistic landmark dates that will allow you time to market before your book is set to publish. Lots of people talk about the writing and publishing of a book, and then they wait to start marketing. Don't do that! Start marketing the minute you settle on a book concept. Talk about it, Twitter about it, blog about it during the writing process to help you build your following. You don't invite someone to dinner after you set a place for them (most of you anyway).

Prepare formal, written marketing and publicity plans ahead of time. For goodness sake, don’t wait until you have books in hand. Are you hoping for critical reviews like Publishers Weekly or Library Journal? Don’t try to send it to them once it’s published. They want your book four months ahead of your publication date. Don’t wait to send your book to Parents Magazine after it’s published either; most magazines want to have books six months in advance. It is possible to get reviews and other publicity, but don’t forget to plan that into the release date of your book.

Plan ahead, plan well, plan realistically. Your investment in planning on the front end will pay off for you many times over.

Lisa Pelto, President
Concierge Marketing
and Publishing Services

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