If you don’t pay your rent or mortgage, someone is likely to scream at you. If you don’t take out the trash, your house will quickly smell atrocious. But nothing really bad will happen if you don’t finish your book. No one will scream at you. No one will kick you out on the street. And that’s why so many people sit on their book ideas for years.
How do you actually finish a book? Write like a bulldog. Give yourself a set deadline for when a draft needs to be completed; set aside a given amount of time each day to write. And then protect that time like a bulldog. Unless it’s a life threatening event, you write and write and write until you reach your goal.
Some people ask why Kind Authors focuses on eBooks. Here are three reasons:
1) High Sector Growth: This recent article from Publishers Weekly presents telling information on the ongoing battle between print and eBooks. Amazon already sells more eBooks than hardcover and paperback combined. And as tablets continue to plummet in price, more and more people will buy eBooks. Personally, I think the biggest reason for the growth of eBooks is impulse purchases: you hear about a book, you can have it within 60 seconds. With print, you have to remember the title of the book, then go to a bookstore to find it, or wait to have it mailed to you if you order online.
2) Level Playing Field: It’s almost impossible for non-famous authors to get into bookstores these days. Why? Because bookstores are struggling so badly that they cannot take the risk. They have to go with proven winners. So while I could walk into a bookstore and get 1/5 independent book stores to try out my book ten years ago, now that number might be 1/20. And there’s far fewer independent book stores today than in 2001, not to mention the demise of Borders. Read the middle of this article to learn more about how bookstores are parrying their selections.
3) Greater Control: With eBooks, you can shift prices any time you want; you can upload new versions; you can handle both high and low volume easily; and you can go to market quickly.
Don’t get me wrong – print still has some strong advantages, particularly for business books where you want the client to hold your book in their hands and pass it on to their staff and other potential clients. But overall, the landscape is clear – it’s smarter for new entrants to avoid wasting energy trying to get into stores and instead pursue the medium that offers a level playing field.
About ten years ago, I was stuck at a stop sign and had to make a decison: Right turn to go home. Left turn to someone who would likely reject me.
I turned left and drove to a book store called Andersons Book Shop. I asked the woman at the counter if the store would take five copies of my self-published book on consignment. All five other book stores I had asked, including Borders, had said no. She said yes.
Her store ended up selling more than 1,000 copies of my book. One of the book sellers there ended up becoming my agent, selling my book to Little, Brown and Company (think Twilight) for six figures in a two-book deal.
I wish I could say I’ve taken the left turn every time in my career. But I haven’t. Fear of rejection, fear of trying something new, fear of wasting my time have stopped me.
How about you? What stops you from making your left turns? What left turn can you take today? What left turn can you take this week. Being a Kind Author is an invitation to take left turns continuously, knowing that most will be dead ends, but some Magical.
Imagine climbing Mount Everest, your body sore and fatigued, only to realize that you’ve just begun climbing! That’s what it’s like being an author. We work so hard to write our books, sometimes for years. But as soon as our book is released, the truly hard part begins: sharing the book with the world.
This Kind Authors blog will present fresh, penetrating book marketing tips continuously. For starters, here’s one: When I wrote my first book, I contacted ten Rotary Clubs and asked them if I could come talk to them about my book during their weekly lunch. Three said yes, and one attendee was a Superintendent of schools who bought hundreds of copies of my book for his students.
What groups can you speak to?
The vast majority of author websites are what I call brochure websites, meaning, they are boring, static, and lack the dynamic potential of the Internet. While well-intended, they do not create community. They present static facts about the author and his/her books.
The most innovative authors, like Gretchen Rubin, are earning bestseller status by creating dynamic web communities. These web communities offer a continuous stream of must-have information, videos, blog posts, top ten lists, and establish themselves as a hub for their chosen topics. This is where KindAuthors.com is headed – to be the premiere community for generous authors who want to publish and market their eBooks. Join us.