Your Book From Computer To Bookstore

We all have an idea for a book, and often we challenge our friends by stating, “Someday, I’m gonna write a book.” Heck, yes you can, you should, it’s easier than you think, and more powerful than you know.

My Story
Start with Purpose

If your goal is to make money from selling a book – forget it. Unless your name is James Patterson, John Grisham, Stephen King, or J.K. Rowling – it probably won’t happen. Big publishing houses like DoubleDay, McGraw-Hill, Nelson and others are looking for breakaway ideas, famous authors, or diet books. Diet books are by far the best selling category. Business books are definitely harder to sell!

I wanted to write book, and I was simply thinking I could take all the thousands of emails I type every month, put a book jacket around them, and say – Ta-Da – My Book. That is kind of what I did. My purpose was twofold:

1. I wanted to have a voice on a topic I read and talk about a lot – Leadership.
2. I wanted to use my book as a giant business card to attract new clients for speaking engagements.

I was well-positioned to get help. After journaling, scribbling, typing in my computer under file “book” for several years, I had a mess but no book. I needed help. I had heard about Advantage Media Group at a Gazelles coaches’ conference. I reached out to them, we talked and assessed ways of taking my notes, ideas, manuscript, emails, and actual dictation, to actually build a book.

Book Options

There seem to be 3 publishing options:

1. Self-publishing – It sounds easy, but I learned that I am no more qualified to publish a book, than driving a car prepares me to build one. Reading books and publishing books are completely different. Publishing is a world unto itself, and it is not simple to navigate if you are serious about using a book for building your brand.

2. Mid-tier Publishing – Advantage Media Group helped me assess my book idea, content, and writing value. I needed help with editing, scaling, references, and marketing. So I kicked in money (more on that) for a 9-month plan to have them help me organize and plan a book using my 5 years of scribble, and execute that book from dream to reality. In my case it involved a strict deadline and cash I infused to the process. Now I was committed and moving toward really writing and publishing a book.

The difference between a dream and a goal is the deadline.

3. Top Tier Publishers – Double Day, McGraw Hill,and similar publishers will review your book, 99% of the time they will reject it, and offer little guidance or help. I wasn’t in their league.

Ante Up and Money in Your Pocket?

In my case, the costs to hire a publisher were less than 50% of the cash required to get a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. That is cheap! These costs vary, and just like advanced degrees have monetary value, so does being an author. The costs are impacted based on the size, editing, writing support, marketing and dynamics associated with the book, just as the cost of a degree is influenced by which institution is granting which degree. In my case, a 206 page book, requiring mostly structure and editing was far more economical than the cost of an advanced degree. Simply for me, the title of author has power and gives me a credential, as does a degree.

The cost to the author is less than you might think. First you decide whether you want to publish a paperback or hardback. I went paperback, since the question posed to me was, “How many books are you going to sell?” I didn’t know. And the rationale for that question was a hardback book tends to be one-printing with a higher price per book, whereas a paperback is less expensive and just-in-time printing.

So, if I guess I’ll sell 10,000 books at $8.00 per book – hardback books would be an outlay of $80,000 – gulp! Plus they print all at once, so I have a garage full of 10,000 books, and a bank account $80,000 lighter. John Grisham tells the story of carting his first book “A Time to Kill” in his trunk, and driving around selling his novel.

Or I could go for the paperback version with my cost a mere $5.00 per book printed. I pay that only when someone actually orders my book – no inventory. So, instead of hardback book cost of $8.00 and huge inventory, I chose to simply reduce my incoming profit by $5.00 to print the book and no inventory. I do keep a small inventory so orders can be filled immediately, and then I only replenish my small inventory the publisher actually holds.

We priced my book at $15.00. Amazon gets 50% of the proceeds from any sale. So I have $7.50 left, and the book costs me $5.00 to build – now I have $2.50 left for each book sold. My publisher and I split that amount, and so I get $1.25 per book. Ta-Da – wealth is pouring in. Distribution into Barnes & Noble and others, is planned and occurs through my publisher but I don’t see it on the shelf. Again my name is not Clinton, Bush, or Trump but my book is there. It most likely needs to be requested by an interested reader. As I said, you won’t get rich on book sales, but I’m an author and that has bankable potential!

This is simply my story and my version of writing my book; your mileage may vary.

I am pleased to be introduced at conferences as an author; it just doesn’t mean I’m the wealthiest guy in the room.

Now run, don’t walk, to Amazon.book and get The CORE of Leadership, today!

Good luck to you, in moving from scribbles to author!

Jim

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