Purpose is more important than making sales
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it works for me. I get a great feeling of accomplishment when someone reads my book and opens the door to a brighter future. Sure, I need to generate income, but not at the expense of compromising my mission or turning this writing/publishing effort into non-satisfying or non-meaningful work.
If you recall my first posts in this series, I invited you to follow along as I blogged this self-publishing adventure. My original offer still stands: You can second-guess me, offer suggestions, and generally feel free to be thankful that it isn’t you careening along the cliff edge of publishing a first book.
I wanted to restate this because I am reporting what has worked and hasn’t worked for me. I am not at a point like Dan Poynter where I can speak from years of successful self-publishing. I can only speak for myself and on the basis of what is actually working now. I am taking victories where I find them and working constantly to get my book into the hands of more readers.
I look back at my earliest posts in this series and the purpose for writing the book still applies: It should be a handy reference for people who are having a hard time with 21st century employment practices, and want to look forward to a brighter future.
So far, it is turning out to be just that. My big challenge is getting smart enough about marketing and selling books to get it into the hands of people who need assistance in leveling the playing field of 21st century employment.
People are willing to help you
The biggest surprise of all has been the number of people who have volunteered information, advice and support without asking to be paid first. I might expect that from friends and family, but I am getting help from people I have just met!
I think that may stem from the fact that I am publishing this book to help people and my money considerations are secondary. As a result, I seem to be pulling in assistance from unexpected sources.
Don and Anna Mae Evans, of North Carolina, are assisting me to get into a particular bookstore and on a talk radio show. My friend Jeannette Caruth, the fine artist, has connected me up with another talk radio host. New friends in Floyd, like Bernie Coveney, the bluegrass musician, are spreading the word about my book. Here is Bernie showing off his just-purchased copy of Danger Quicksand – Have A Nice Day. I had to show this picture as Bernie has shaved off his beard and folks may not recognize him without it.
I called Open Horizons to order John Kremer’s book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, and I got John Kremer himself on the phone. He was interested enough in my book and my self-publishing activity to check out my web site while we talked.
The man is extremely knowledgeable. In the course of our conversation, he saw the cover of my next book Who’s In Charge? and made a recommendation for the cover which will make a real difference in the impact it will create. I ordered his book and will be reporting on the results I get from using it.
John has a great blog and several related websites. You can spend an hour without exhausting the resources he provides. He is a book marketing consultant and he spoke at this year’s BookExpo in New York City. A cheerful fellow with an enormous number of friends in the trade, he was captured here in a BookExpo Photo Op with Miss USA and a former Playmate.
Way to go, John!
UPDATE: I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the great support I have received from Yvonne Divita. If you are an author who is undecided about how you should publish, you owe it to yourself to talk with her. She knows what it takes to package your ideas in a book that will sell. She made some suggestions that gave my first book much more eye appeal.
Yvonne is a woman of many talents. You can read her blog, Lipsticking, and gain a new understanding of the power that women exert on the internet and you can get advice on publishing your book at her A-ha! weblog, or her Windsor Media Enterprises website. Their tagline is Authors Helping Authors and they can provide the expertise you may need to get your project launched. They specialize in author services, which include idea development, manuscript critiquing, editing, proofreading, formatting and cover design. If you need it, they have you covered.