Monday, November 3, 2014

Focus Pocus!

There is an old saying that the urgent often wins over the important.  

Are you spending so much time flitting about chasing after every little thing that comes up that you are missing the biggest opportunities?  Your overriding goals in publishing should help you focus on the things that matter.  Set your goals realistically, measurably and reachable so you have a way to tell if your goals are being met.  

I recently helped an author retrieve her publishing rights from a POD "self publisher". There were some legal documents she had to sign and some files she needed to get from the publisher. There was also the not-so-small detail of being paid the royalties she was overdue prior to cancelling. Rather than waiting until all the "I"s were dotted and "T"s were crossed as I recommended, she proceeded to cancel the contract ahead of the other items. Suddenly there were no royalties for that whole quarter in question. Trouble was, I could see through my own channels that there indeed were over $10,000 in ebook sales for that quarter.  How much the royalty should have been was not clear in any of her paperwork, but I assure you that it was not "nothing." Now, with auditors, attorneys and accountants, everything is delayed for her, and her book is time sensitive.  

Another author told me that she had already printed 3,000 of her hardcover book through Lightning Source because she knew there would be sales. Now she was in my office requesting help to sell the six-month-old book.  So she has a garage full of books -- 2,920 of them!  She had concentrated on getting a low unit cost for a book that had no readers or buyers, no distribution, no customers, no website, no marketing materials, no nothing. The list in the prior sentence should illustrate a few things she should have done prior to printing all those books. 

Bottom line, really look at what you are doing now, what you are doing next, where you want to be a year or two from today, all while looking back at you did yesterday to see what worked. Are you focusing on the tasks that will bring you big sales today and in the future? Are you truly supporting your book? Are you focusing on building and strengthening the hive or just flitting around to smell the flower of the day?  

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