Independent book editor and publishing expert Janet Spencer KingÂ joined me on âTurn the Pageâ to discuss how to become a published author.”
In this post, JanetÂ offers additional advice to help make your book a success!
WILL MY BOOK BE A SUCCESS?
Janet shares, âJust about every client I have ever had asks me the Big Question: âWill my book be a success?â No one can answer this question upfront; there simply isnât a way to determine if a bookâhowever good it isâwill do well. However, there are several factors to keep in mind when you decide to write and publish your book.
Fiction writers need to keep writing! Most first-time fiction authors canât expect to sell many books. But we fiction readers are a greedy bunchâwhen we find an author whose work we like, we want more. Authors who hang in there, writing another and yet another novel, have a much better chance of being discovered. It may not be until the third or even fourth book, but once success starts creeping in, readers are apt to go back to purchase your previous titles. The beauty of being a self-published writer is that your books live on in perpetuity unlike traditionally published ones, most of which are pulled off the market well within the first year.
Many non-fiction writers have the advantage of an existing platform that will help sell their book. Given that non-fiction is often based on a successful business, or expertise in particular areas, these authors may already be doing presentations, holding workshops, and in other ways meeting people who are in their reader niche.
Read books in your genre that are currently popularâyouâll find out how to handle many areas in your own book by learning what other authors did. Go to writersâ conferences as often as possible. You will learn lots more about writing and meet editors and agents. Google lists conferences around the country according to region and genre.â
CRAFTING YOUR WEBSITE URL
âAll writers, whether fiction or non-fiction must have a web site! I advise using a URL with your name plus the word âauthor.â For example, www.spencerkingauthorservices.comÂ . The reason is that your site now welcomes your next book and your next. Using one bookâs title locks you into one book only. Non-fiction authors might want to link their expertise to their name in the URL.â
âMany traditional publishing houses are setting e-book prices nearly as high as print books, but self-published authors are free to set their own. I advise no higher than $9.99 and as low as $6.99 for smaller books. Amazon pays 70% royalties on sales of e-books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, and 35% on books that are priced higher than $9.99. The price on your e-book must be at least 20% lower than the print book in order for you to get the 70% rate.â
WHY ITâS SO IMPORTANT TO OWN YOUR BOOKâS ISBN
âYou must own your bookâs ISBN! It tracks all information including the publisher (you!), sales and revenue. The ISBN cannot be transferred; once purchased by someone, it remains with that entity and youâll want it to be you. In the US, purchase of ISBNs are through Bowker.com, one number or a packet of ten. I suggest purchasing a packet since you can use it for e-books and other future books.â
Janet recommends, âThe Novel-Makerâs Handbookâ by Diane OâConnell (Station Square Media), and âJeff Hermanâs Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents,â by Jeff Herman (New World Library).
Listen to our conversationÂ for guidance on navigating the options of traditional and self-publishing, and more tips on writing a professional-level book that will sell!
Every week, Express Yourself!â¢ will bring you a stimulating program based on a chapter from our award winning book Be the Star You Are!Â® for Teens.
“To be a leader, your must be a reader. Read, lead, succeed!” This is the motto of Be the Star You Are!Â® charity.
Hosts Asya and Zahra Â talk with Book Smart reporter in NYC, Maria Wong about her love of reading and some of her favorite books for young adults. Multi-award winning author Geoffrey Saign joins the conversation with his book series, Whipeye Chronicles, thrillers about love, nature, wildlife, intuition, and trusting yourself. Aim to Shoot
Reporter, Katie Choo discusses occupations that would involve reading or being part of publishing. A book is like a garden in your pocket. Pick up a book and find the wonder.
Bio Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife inspired his middle grade/tween urban fantasy, WhipEye, Book 1 of the WhipEye Chronicles, and previously led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a degree in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to self-awareness to novel writing. He won the 2015 International Book Award and Outstanding Childrenâs Fiction for WhipEye. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. www.geoffreysaign.net
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Spalding Moon: An excerpt from Working On Yourself Doesn’t Work: The 3 Simple Ideas that will Instantaneously Transform Your Life
An excerpt from Working On Yourself Doesnât Work:
The 3 Simple Ideas that will Instantaneously Transform Your Life
By Ariel & Shya Kane
I was four when my father made the moon. It was late and we were playing catch. The 7:20 train had arrived in Far Rockaway that August evening and my father had caught a ride from the station with Mr. Traiger. I was waiting in the yard, the grass tickling my bare feet and in my hand I clutched a small pink Spalding rubber ball.
âDaddy, Daddy,â I shouted before he even had a chance to catch his breath, âplay catch with me! Please, pulleaseâ I begged.
My dad had a cherubic face. It crinkled with pleasure, the weight of the day falling from his shoulders as he dropped his daily paper to the stoop.
âOK, Shya, give me the ball and run over there.â
I handed the ball, a quick hug around the waist and I dashed to the edge of the lawn. He tossed me a few, I hardly caught any but my enthusiasm sparkled like the early stars edging their way through the chiseled blue. The sun had set, its fire all but extinguished, and then my Dad, who was my hero and capable of anything, produced a miracle. He pitched that pink rubber ball high into the evening sky and that was when he made the Spalding moon. I lost sight of the ball as it was lobbed skyward and frantically I searched to find and catch it. That was when I saw that lovely, full harvest moon hanging above me. I was mesmerized. Long after my father disappeared into the house I sat on the stoop and gazed at what he had created.
I believed with all my heart that my father made the moon. It was years before I was disabused of this notion. Sometimes I look at my life and have to simply shake my head as I see that there is the story and then there is the obvious. As a child I told myself many things that appeared true at the time that, from an adult perspective, obviously were not.
For example, when I was a bit older, 8 or 9 perhaps, I spent several long bored afternoons at my fatherâs factory in New Yorkâs garment district. I made long circuits around the large cutting tables, trailing a finger and looking for things to occupy myself. The cutter at this time was William Salereno and he would cut the material to be sewn into fine dresses. William had a magical drawer under the cutting tables filled with oddments, pipe cleaners, paperclips, an old stamp, a penny or two. He also had boxes and boxes of toothpicks and oh how I wanted some. I dreamt of all the things I could make with those tiny slivers of wood â houses and trains and racing cars. I begged and cajoled and he let me have one precious box. I set to work with a bottle of Elmerâs glue and high hopes of creating the car that was in my mindâs eye. It was a dismal failure, lumpy and misshapen, nothing like my intent.
And there it was, my proof, the start of a really good tale. I was âclumsy, no good with my hands, unable to build anything of worth.â Utterly defeated I threw it all away and sat with my legs kicking the rungs of my chair, waiting for the long, long afternoon to end.
Today I still have that story: I am still clumsy, no good with my hands, unskilled, a failure and unable to build anything of value. Whatâs more, according to this old tale, I have never done anything of value with my life. And yet, in my dining room sits a smooth black walnut harvest table. The wood was lovingly hand milled and shaped although I left the edges âliveâ with the bark still intact. The grain is so fine and so is the workmanship. It will likely be just as beautiful long after my grandchildren are grown. I am âno goodâ at tying fishing flies either, according to this story. And yet I am passionate about tying them and my wife, Ariel, has caught all of her world record fish on my flies. And yes, in these âclumsy good for nothing handsâ she has found pleasure for more than 25 years.
Yes, I have my story and then there is the obvious, there is reality if one cares to look. We all have told ourselves big and little untruths since we were children. Left unexamined, they range from sweet and laughable to downright caustic and rancid, able to turn this moment into something foul.
Luckily, our stories are but gossamer. A breath of wind can carry them off. The light of awareness, the simple seeing of an old story without judging it or yourself, will allow the truth to be revealed and then you may still have that old story but it will no longer have you.
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The Legendary Leader Radio Show today explores the second quality of Chivalry…Loyalty.Â Loyalty begins with being loyal to ourselves.Â What does that mean? Is the spiritual path one of reading numerous spiritual books and understanding spiritual concepts or is it more than that?Â We’ll explore these topics today along with what it means to be exceptional.Â Tune in toÂ hear ‘Legendary Leaders: Answering the Higher Calling’ Radio Show this Tuesday at 1:00 pm PST, 4:00 pm EST.