Book Marketing and Publishing Tips for Authors–

Issue #04  January 31, 2018
Publisher: Judith Briles

Practical Publishing Advice and Guidance for Authors

In This Issue

1.  Let’s Skip Resolutions and Just Talk Business: Your Publishing

2.  Don’t Miss Out … this is the LAST day to save BIG $$$!  If you want to speak on your book!

3.  Why Publishing on Your Own Is a Very, Very Viable Option

4.  Book Shepherd "Fun" of the Week …

This Week Under The Book Shepherd’s® Roof: I’m deep in the heart of my next book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Don Sidle has completed the artwork for the new cover (Sheepie Girl in front of a mic with all her bling); interior art are almost all done, and I’m fine-tuning the content to turn over next week.
Our Publishing At Sea cruisers have headed home and I’m on board for a note week. It was a great week. Lots were done and now, I’m still on board the ship. "What?" you say.
Yup, I stay over a week. I’ve lots to do for clients that I can handle remotely … and lots for me. I’ writing my next book. I’ll be attempting my A Skype at Sea coaching call with authors on Friday—the times will be 9 Eastern and 2 Eastern. If you are on the call, you will get an email from me on Thursday with the reminders of what to do … you and I need to be connected on Skype to make it happen before the call starts so I can bring you into the group.

It was fun to get feedback from many of our first-time cruisers: "I get it … I get why you can come here for a week or two and just write and create." It’s what I do – I can work … I can have Skype calls with clients … I can catnap under the sun; slip into the hot tub; be waited on if I want; not have to fix meals or do dishes; not be tethered to the phone; … yup, it’s what works for me. And what’s important, you have to discover what works for you … then do it. A water, warmth and sun environments have always been my muse to dig down and "just do it."  What’s yours?

Let’s skip resolutions and just talk business: your publishing.

This is a good month to seriously consider some revamping of what you are doing and presenting to the outside world … the one that finds you via cyberspace.

- Start with your Branding—what do you do; what do you offer? Defining and demonstrating a clear and succinct mission statement should be created. If you have one—is it still a fit, or does it need some tweaking? Have you created a personal tag that others hook immediately with who and what you are and do? Is there clarity on what you do and your books deliver for your audience. And,  into uniqueness were woven throughout.

- Your Website should have a checkup. Anyone who says or thinks that websites are minor plays are ignorant in today’s online world—the website is now the hub of everything you do online—from capturing leads, to connect with others, to sell your products and services.

- What you put on your website is Content—make sure it’s the right content to match your message and your brand and that create a habit of adding new material at a minimum of once a week (think blog here).

-  All authors want fans and List Building is essential. The concept of creating free, high-value information and replacing it often should be used. ID your topics; use catchy titles to that hooks visitors and encourages them to opt into your email list. List Building requires email collections, such as Mail Chimp. When List Building in plays is that there must be a clear call to action on what to do next (download my 10 steps to …).

- Books are products, and Product Development can start before, during or post-publication. eBooks, multimedia, audiobook, CDs, DVDs, teleseminars, webinars, online courses, coaching, group coaching, inner circle clubs, conferences, seminars and membership programs were all explored.

- Social Media is a must do. Top networks of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram are your beginning point. Blogging is a must and is consistent, ranging from one to three times a week. Start with two of them and learn before adding more to the mix.

-  When you post blogs and items that offer a product for sale, keep this in mind: Is your post word-of-mouth worthy? Is your post inspiring? Does your post have a call to action? Is your post interactive? Where appropriate, are you using hashtags with any pushes or announcements?

-  Calls to action are critical. Don’t use social media in a lame matter. It’s an amazing and massive tool that has a variety of options to support you and your book. Start with the main players and deep dive into the one that works well for you. Get a website makeover if necessary. Start thinking "what else"—what other products can you develop using your expertise and book as the foundation. Work on building your crowd—it becomes your "superfan" base. And, as always, keep building on your content.

©2019 Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd®

Don’t Miss Out on the Speaking Unplugged Early Bird Opportunity

You want to be at Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Boot Camp March 17-18 event if you want to know how to structure a speech; create the stories to enhance your presentation; create an opening or closing that hooks the audience; know how to engage meeting planners; learn how to market yourself … in other words, be a speaking success around your expertise and your book.

Attendance is very, very limited because of the nature of what I do with each person. You will fill out a questionnaire prior to the event so I know you and your book and your goal. ALL Attendees will land in the HOT SEAT so I can work directly with you and the group watches.

This is deep learning.
This is author changing.
This is book sales to come galore.

Early bird ends this month. Details here.

Your CALL TO ACTION: Email me at or text 303-885-2207 and ask me to hold your space. You can pay at the March event. Today, I just need your commitment.

Why Publishing on Your Own Is a Very, Very Viable Option

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there were two types of publishing: the coveted traditional route, where thousands of books were printed, media releases created and publisher reps marketed the books that only real authors wrote; and the disdained vanity press—here the giant spitting sound. Authors went the vanity press route only as a last resort. Under the vanity, umbrella dwelled the small presses and self-publishing, costly ventures where mass distribution, marketing, and PR were nominal or non-existent. And the average author sold far less than 100 books—total!

Times have changed. With the Internet and today’s technology, traditional publishers are being turned on their heads, shaken up, forced into unheard of mergers and marriages, and vanity presses have morphed into new critters. And the new, new breed of small press, independent publishers have scooped up many of the old "self-publishers" and created an amazing, and quite wonderful, new world for the serious author.

There are four key reasons why you should consider, and main, publishing on your own: quality, control, time and money. And in no particular order—although, if you have a "hot" topic the time factor rears its head first.

Quality is, well, about quality. If a print book—the cover presentation; back cover copy; the paper; the interior design—the whole visual aspect of the book. Then there’s the content. The story makes sense; you don’t need a special urban dictionary to figure out all the typos and God awful grammar nuances and just plain things that make no sense that a great red pen would have whacked out. Quality—when you see it, you know it.

Control hooks on to quality. Control of how the cover will look and feel—what it actually says and does it reflect what the author’s message is about. Control is about the author having input that is heard and implemented.

Timing can be everything. If the book is about anything in the technology work, even six months can make it invisible—it needs to be out! If it’s political—there’s an election around every calendar corner. If the topic is truly ground-breaking, or a necessary position for a career move—timing becomes an essential ingredient.

And then there is money. Always money. To publish on your own costs money—sometimes minimal, sometimes lots. It’s not just a few hundred dollars—anyone, for $97, $197, $297, $397, $497 or whatever $97 of the month is the current flavor—is telling you the rest of the story.

Yes, there is someone who will do your cover for $5 a la … and 99.999999 percent of the time it will look like $5. There is someone who will design the interior for mini-moneys—and believe, it will look like it … you might as well do it yourself, something that is not recommended unless this is what you do professionally. And there is someone who edits your book for a few hundred dollars … or less … and it will read like it.  Then you print it—costing anywhere from a couple of dollars too many dollars per book, depending on where and who you work with.  In the end, you have an inferior product—your book, your baby.

This is the world of the vanity presses and the pay-to-publish operations work within. And within them is a large array of publishing predators, all beckoning, "Come to me, come to me." Well-established publishing houses have a partner, some of them stealthily, with the vanity presses. The prey is the naïve author who thinks they are working with a true subsidiary of a major publisher, where in truth, they have signed on with a "contract" operation.

When it comes to money … you must and must is the appropriate word … learn what the costs of true publishing are. Editors, Design, Illustrators, Consultants, Printing—all have a cost and you can get it upfront so there are no surprises. Post publishing has costs too. Social media—are you doing it yourself, or are you hiring/outsourcing it? What about any publicity and/or marketing costs? Plan, budget, execute.

And there is another world—the world where you, the author, take control selecting editors, designers and which method you will publish within; the world where you, the author, decide on the moneys to be spent and where to spend them; the world where you, the author, decide what weight of paper and cover you want as well as any other embellishments that might allow your book to "pop" visually over competitors; and the world where you, the author, decide what month, day and year is best for you.

If you want a bell-weather to do it on your own post the editing cost with a bare minimal version, use Amazon’s CreateSpace—and the cost per printed book is based on the number of pages. Is it high quality—nope … but it’s a POD, fast and you are in the Amazon umbrella with an immediate eBook option. It’s a few dollars per book in most situations without the requirement of having cases and cases of books loaded in your garage.

Depending upon the editing needed and if you have someone design the cover and interior, your cost will most likely come in between $2,000-3,000, a heck of a lot better than the "add-ons" that get piled up after that initial bargain $_97 whatever you got quoted from the so-called self-published/pay-to publish operation.

Higher quality will demand more moneys in creation, design, printing and publishing—and those cases of books you will be printing need to be stored somewhere.

Your return, though, is greater. Because you are in control—moneys come to you via sales. They may be full retail or they can be discounted via the bookstore route. For years, authors have howled that Amazon takes too much money from the author. Sales a la Amazon are comparable in return to you as they would be if with what a distributor/wholesalers/bookstore is going to take—Amazon takes 55% with the Advantage program—and you get your sales money a lot quicker than you do from the traditional bookstore selling route.

The money key for you is to get your marketing plan in order and hook it … get sales rolling in.  For me, once I figured out the net return to me of 1,000 books sold to one customer, there was no turning back. Plus, I liked the control, quality and timing options.
Book Shepherd "Fun" of the Week …

Here’s something to think about: As a kid, I loved watching the silly antics of my cates… and Big cats have fun too. Link

That’s my author and publishing news for today … what’s yours?

About Judith Briles
The Book Shepherd

Book Publishing expert Judith Briles, aka The Book Shepherd
has shepherded more than 1,000 authors and created 500 best-sellers and award-winning books. She knows publishing inside and out from both the traditional and independent sides. Judith is an advocate for authors within her blogs, podcasts and speaking engagements. What’s her pet peeve? Two words: publishing predators.

She hosts the podcast AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing that generates over 100,000 downloads a month. Her website is www.TheBookShepherd, email: and phone: 303-885-2207. Judith is The Book Shepherd.

The Book Shepherd ® is a registered trademark


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