There's no doubt about it; the publishing world is shifting, much like the music industry did when MP3 downloads first hit the scene. While some details have certainly changed, there are some things that will forever stay the same. Below are just 10 tips to set your mind, and heart, in forward motion.
1. "You gotta have a goal. Do ya have a goal?" -Laura San Giacomo as Kit DeLuca, in the 1986 Box Office Hit, "Pretty Woman".
Setting a clear intention is the first action anyone will ever take in the valuable 4 step process to creating and manifesting any vision. What are you aching to contribute? Who is your target reader? What is your message, and how do you plan to use, share and distribute the material you create? Get crystal clear with your intentions, and move forward with the KNOWING that if you can DREAM it, you can DO it.
2. "You better shop around."
In this business, EVERYONE wants your business. (Yep, I said everyone.) According to Publishers Weekly, there are more than 86,300 publishing companies worldwide, with about 86,000 of those being Self Publishers. Since not all printers, publishers and distributors are created equally (in fact, far from it), always, always, always ask for their publishing agreement UP FRONT. Know your terms and conditions, and invest the valuable resource called "time". What's your royalty cut, and how much must you earn in royalties to receive a check? Whats the cost per unit? Whats your COMPLETE cost, including extended distribution? Are royalties paid Monthly or Quarterly? Inquiring minds wanna know. Like YOU.
3. "So you wanna be a "Best-Selling Author", hm?"
Have I already mentioned that EVERYONE wants your business? Beyond the Publisher, Printer and Distributor, there's your best-selling "Expert". But, is she really an "Expert" at all? Well, maybe... Again, invest the precious commodity called, "time". Call previous clients of those who bid for your business, ask questions about current campaigns, understand IN WRITING what they will and WILL NOT do for you, and be clear on the expectations (for all involved). Sure, they might make you a best-selling author, but what are they REALLY willing to do to MAKE THAT HAPPEN? (Did I mention to get ALL it in writing? Yes, I believe I did...my peace there is said.)
5. "This ain't Nordstroms, Baby."
Imagine THIS: You've just made a connection with an amazing client, and they want to CARRY YOUR BOOK! Wahoo! You place an order for 100 units, and have them shipped directly to the client, when you get this call. "Hey, its USA Bookstore. We received your shipment, but something has happened (Example: damage done during shipping/delivery, sliced covers from a box cutter, or the new guy spilled his Slurpee during his break.) What now? Well, if you've got a publisher with a taste for client satisfaction and author retention, you ship them back, FREE, and have the order shipped again, FREE. On the other hand, if you've partnered with a publisher who's in it all for the quick buck, profiting on authors rather than client sales and business development, then you might have just purchased a box of Cherry flavored books. Know the buyback policy.
6. "Dream BIG."
To reach the masses world wide, your book will need a passport. Your "Extended Distribution Package" (or "passport") is not granted or gifted upon publishing, but rather is positioned as an OPTION. If you intend on global distribution, this 'option' becomes a MUST. Also, if you hope to see your book for sale through major online retailers, you MUST have an extended distribution number, or your title will have limited access, and will likely NOT be picked up by any major distributors.
7. "The know-it-all."
Is there anyone who knows it ALL? Even the top coaches of all the coaches have coaches, teams, unions, affiliations and avenues for collaboration. Know why? Because we CANNOT do it alone. We weren't designed to! And besides that, would we really want to? Reach out to industry experts for input, join a union (such as the National Writers Union), hire a campaign strategist before your book even launches, and network with the like-minded and like-hearted. You aren't alone, and the good news is, most people in this industry are not only creative and driven, they also genuinely desire success in your honor. (Really!)
8. "Service SPEAKS."
When you publish a book, you're not instantly a millionaire (contrary to popular belief.) What your book WILL do for you though, is position you as an industry expert, add credibility to your mission, open doors for speaking, facilitating, teaching, instructing and GIVING. Yes, GIVING! Do you have a cause or passion that's close to your heart? Do you wish you could give more, provide more, DO MORE, or make more of a difference? Now, you can. Your book is a TOOL, and can be used for fund-raising, cause awareness, community leadership opportunities, and charity partnerships. As a published author, you've created the means to GIVE, and trust me, service SPEAKS volumes.
9. "Go Green!"
Of all the Format Upgrades you can choose, CHOOSE THE e-BOOK PROGRAM! The benefits are plenty and this option generally costs around $150. Your book will be available for slightly less than the printed SRP, shipping costs are eliminated, and despite the current economy, Kindle sales are ON THE RISE, and e-books are flying off the online shelves. Fast. For your tangible copies, hard or soft cover, you can still think green. Give thanks to Mother Earth by planting 50 trees through the EcoLibris "100 Tree Project". It's $50 dollars you can feel GOOD about spending, and also lets your readers know you care.
10. "HAVE FUN!"
Last, but certainly not least, enJOY the journey! This is your time to share, to write, to express yourself, to contribute, to create, to collaborate and to serve. Let no one tell you that you aren't ready, let the nay-sayers know they can exit stage left at any time, and never, never, NEVER give up. You're ready, you're capable, and you've been perfectly and divinely prepared to contribute whatever it is you're here to contribute. EnJOY it!
Elle Febbo is an accomplished Author, International Journalist, National Speaker, and Advocate for Human Potential. Elle has been a feminine leader in Business and Social Charities since 2003, with appearances on radio, television, stages and live workshops, and recently served as an Associate Producer for the "Enlighten Up" series, filmed for public television.
She owns and operates a boutique consulting practice as a personal and professional writing and publishing coach, leading aspiring authors and industry experts through the Inspiration to Publication and Promotion process, while working closely with a team of valued industry leaders and distributors.. Elle was recently named a Power 100 Woman for Global Feminine Success through the Amazing Woman's Alliance.
For more information abut Elle Febbo, visit www.ellefebbo.com.