Sunday, December 31, 2006

Share Your Love With Others

Is there a subject about which you are incredibly passionate? If so, then you should try self-publishing a book. Now, self-publishing may not sound like a hobby, but it can be if you approach it in the right way. Self-publishing is more than just setting up the book and sending it off. You will be learning all about the book industry and how it works if you take on this task.

The first thing you need to determine is what book you will write. Then you will sit down to work on the manuscript. You can hire a professional editor or proofreader to work on the final manuscript with you. Be sure that your book imparts valuable information that you think people will be interested in purchasing.

Once you have the manuscript completed, your job has just begun. Public relations is a big part of the bookselling business although many writers shun this aspect of the business. Most writers are by nature introverts, and they prefer words to people. So, take a deep breath and get ready because you have to talk to and deal with people to make this happen. You will need to create jam up promotional materials to make your book sell. Few bookstores, save your local niche shops, will be willing to carry a book that is self-published.

You will need to sit down and think of places where the customers may be interested in your books. While it does not hurt to try bookstores, they should not be the bulk of your plan. Instead your plan should look at gift stores. If you have written something on creating beautiful personalized gifts, then look up all gift boutiques in your area. Many gift books, such as 101 Reasons You Love Your Mom, are good for counter purchases in clothing and other trendy stores.

Once you have a list, think about what would convince these people to purchase your book. You will want to have a cook. Books on political subjects, especially if they are slightly left-of-center, tend to work in coffee shops. You will need to get ready to approach the owner with the reasons that he or she should allow you to have your book in the store. You can offer to do as much of the work as possible. Offer to take back books that do not sell. (This issue is hotly debated in traditional publishing, but it is almost a necessity in self-publishing.) You can offer to set up a display with 10 books and to come back to get them if they do not sell in a month.

Also try to set up places to speak. Now, few people are going to come to hear you read excerpts from you book. Though many people who write books would be interested, the results show that the general public just is not. Instead they want to know what you can do for them. What can your book do to change them?

Let us say you wrote a book about kid-friendly recipes. You would want to have something hands on. Have a workshop at a local store that caters to families. Have ingredients on hand and let the kids in the audience work with you to create a couple of quick snacks. You can work on creative packaging and put the book with the most common ingredients or tools needed for the recipes. Give people a reason to want to add your book to their lives.

Once you have started your marketing campaign, you will need to keep it up. Give people your business card (with website address) often. Capture their information and send out postcards when you have new editions or products. Sell, sell, sell your book. Self-publishing is a wonderful way to be able to spend more time with a topic you enjoy. Your research and experimentation time, for example, now is worth something more to everyone involved. If you sell enough copies, you could even think of transitioning your hobby into something more permanent, which is an admirable goal. Just remember that you will need to work at self-publishing as it exists at the strange intersection between business venture and hobby for most people.

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