Archive for July, 2014

The Struggle Blog

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Unconventional Sales

This is one of the lessons that I think propelled my career in the first place. Without the lessons I learned from other self-publishers, I doubt I would be in Barnes and Noble today. You must create unconventional sales if you want to make a living selling books.

This lesson is actually one that I took from my street life, which I think gives me a slight edge over today’s market. I have my license to sell or should I say hustle my books legally in NYC. This is a very humbling experience because people actually judge your book, your character, and your approach. These people are shopping and traveling, most of them not even readers and may never read the book, but they usually will support the hustle in you and purchase the book when you show passion. This is great because you not only keep 100%…

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“The Son of the Streets” is available on kindle or iBook today!

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Unconventional Sales

This is one of the lessons that I think propelled my career in the first place. Without the lessons I learned from other self-publishers, I doubt I would be in Barnes and Noble today. You must create unconventional sales if you want to make a living selling books.

This lesson is actually one that I took from my street life, which I think gives me a slight edge over today’s market. I have my license to sell or should I say hustle my books legally in NYC. This is a very humbling experience because people actually judge your book, your character, and your approach. These people are shopping and traveling, most of them not even readers and may never read the book, but they usually will support the hustle in you and purchase the book when you show passion. This is great because you not only keep 100% of the money, you also create a buzz. This buzz can carry you into bookstores and bring ebook sales as well as physical copies.

This is one of many unconventional approaches that I took with “The Son of the Streets” I also approached beauty shops, barber shops, any place where people are sitting waiting. I donate books to doctors offices, libraries and it always brings fruit in the end. It brings a huge smile on my face when I run into someone and they tell me they brought one of my books in some place that books aren’t even sold.

Anyone have any unconventional approaches that they took? Anything you did to generate sales outside of the books stores would be unconventional. Example of my favorite unconventional sale is baby showers! Women buy books at showers almost all of them will. Advice from the wise!

Terrence Baker 7-20-14

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The Struggle

Posted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Struggle.

agents 2

Literary Agents

I think this is the biggest pitfall or set back that most self-published authors run into in their publishing process. That is why the first thing that I would say is to submit unfinished works to agents. That way you are not waisting time with a finished novel that could be self-published and bringing in a income as well as notoriety. Not to mention, once you do meet an agent, it will be easier to sell yourself if you are already selling without their help. Most agents will want to make the title that your working on with them your debut novel if you self-published before. This means no matter how many books you self-published, unless they became bestsellers off of merits, you will be new to the publishing world all over again. This means you may or may not want to consider using a pen name, and your agent may recommend using one.

We are all in the same barn,” James Lee Burke bestselling author of “Wayfaring Stranger” explains in his interview with “Poets & Writers” (July/August 2014).

In the end: the same bookstore, the same ebook platform, the same customers will see your book with or without an agent. Thats why I don’t think it’s important for the self-published to waist time looking for literary agents on completed manuscripts, but feel that writers write and shouldn’t focus all their energy on one title. Keep writing and query your stories as soon as you come up with enough to sell it, because after 70,000 words has been typed up, in my opinion, its time to get to the money.

Rumor has it that the Twilight Saga sold to an agent for $750,000 before she type half of the first draft. Just a thought!

I am looking for some feed back from some people who has dealt with agents, or some good/bad experiences submitting to agents. Do you think self-published authors should look for literary agents? What are some of the pros/cons self-published authors should be looking forward to embracing? I personally haven’t tried and would like to know if its worth adding to the slush piles?

Terrence LeRoy Baker 7-16-2014

 

agents

Even when I’m in pain,

Tears running from my eyes;

Tired of the world,

All of its wicked highs;

 

I’m terrified of everyone,

Every last thing;

When I’m tired of trying to control,

Whatever my future might bring;

 

I know that when the sun shines,

In on my face so bright;

That my angel will be holding me,

Holding on to me just right;

 

So that I feel the love he has,

Leaving his heart for me;

Lost in each others eyes,

Wondering how this love came to be;

 

I’ve never thought of a guy,

I don’t think you understand;

So much, all the time more,

Then you could stand;

 

Never has anyone,

Walked into my life;

Told me her belonged to me,

And that he divorced his wife;

 

Because he believes that a lifetime with me,

Is more that a dream;

Its reality.

 

Rachel A. Morrow

5/19/2014

 

 

 

 

The Struggle Blog

Marketing, Publicity, Promotion

20140418-105055.jpgMarketing, publicity, and promotion, is as vital to your books success as editing, and just like editing, there is a three step process and all steps are important to the whole completion of the novel. I haven’t covered editing in my lessons yet, and I will, but mostly because most writers learn early these stages: copy editing (grammatical), content editing (consistency), and book doctoring (beginning, middle, ending).

▪ Marketing is just that, putting your book on the market. Today the social media is the best most inexpensive way to market your book via word of mouth, and the social media alone has created some of today’s most successful artist and writers. When I first published “The Son of the Streets” in 2008, when there was no Face Book or Twitter presence. There was MySpace, Authors Den, and Goodreads. Thats it! Now you have tons of great social…

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Marketing, Publicity, Promotion

20140418-105055.jpgMarketing, publicity, and promotion, is as vital to your books success as editing, and just like editing, there is a three step process and all steps are important to the whole completion of the novel. I haven’t covered editing in my lessons yet, and I will, but mostly because most writers learn early these stages: copy editing (grammatical), content editing (consistency), and book doctoring (beginning, middle, ending).

▪ Marketing is just that, putting your book on the market. Today the social media is the best most inexpensive way to market your book via word of mouth, and the social media alone has created some of today’s most successful artist and writers. When I first published “The Son of the Streets” in 2008, when there was no Face Book or Twitter presence. There was MySpace, Authors Den, and Goodreads. Thats it! Now you have tons of great social media sites like Linkedin (terrence baker), FaceBook (Indiana Slim), Tumblr (Terrence Baker), and Twitter (baker_terrence) that really are designed for discovery in pretty much any aspect of artistry. Marketing is the most important to the books success in my opinion because if your book isn’t marketed properly no one will hear about it, which will result in little to no sales, and just simply setting up distribution channels are a waist of time if those channels dont allow you access to the market. I recommend and use Book Master ($1000) and Baker & Taylor ($300), they both have international databases that will allow your book to be placed in any Barnes & Noble and most of the other Large and small chain book stores. The goal is to get with Ingram, thats the hardest to get to take your book on, and you almost always have to go through a third party, but once with them your books will appear regionally on the market and sometimes nationally. To sum up marketing I would say that its up to the writer to get the book properly marketed based on budget. When you can afford a ($1000-25000) marketing campaign get one. It is investing in the end, but when you can’t afford it, word of mouth via social media can make just as much of a impact.

▪ Publicity is the second to marketing, because once your book is on the market, or if your lucky, on the book shelf in stores, it will collect dust and end up returned to you at your expense if your not letting people know about and where to find your book. This is where a publicist comes into the equation, and when having a literary agent or manager comes into place. It would be there responsibility to hire the right people, but when self-published its on you. In order to get out there and on the radio, literary journals, commercials, interviews, and signings, someone has to organize it all. You can hire a book publicist ($250/hr-$3000/month) or an publics relations firm ($6000-10,000/quarter). This all depends on where you live, because when your in Indiana and trying to make a New York living off your work you will need a firm of some sort thats less personal with a further reach, but when your living in or close to the New York outlets a book publicist with a more personal touch would be more ideal for you, they usually will have access to the literary world, but reach regionally more so then nationally.

▪ Promotion is the next step after publicity. This is when you the writer have to get out there and get your hands dirty and tell people about your work. This is the hardest stage, because this is the first time you will have to deal with rejection. I took an unconventional approach to promotion and got my peddlers license (Merchant Certificate) for the State of New York and set tables up on corners selling and giving my book away at little to no cost at all. This is hard if self-published because of the lack of inventory on hand, but a thought if your willing to invest it some stock. I would print with Malloy or BookMasters, they will be best turn around time (1-2weeks), cost ($1.00-2.00/per copy, great costumer service, and very nice  high quality products). Promotion can be an opportunity anywhere. This is solely up to you the writer, so make sure you have a place or link or blog or somewhere to guide them to your work. Its up to you to make sales.

 

Terrence LeRoy Baker 7-8-2014

  • I write on a Mac Book Air 11.
  • I usually carry my laptop with me everywhere I go, so having a small light weight Mac is ideal for me.
  • I play music usually on head phones off of my head; however, I frequently put them on when a song I like plays.
  • I am reading: Mastery by: Robert Greene; Another Country by: James Baldwin.
  • I read a little everyday, and my word goal is 2000 words a day when I am writing.
  • I keep a vision board and copies of my titles laying around for inspiration.