Archive for the ‘How to Capitalize on Self-Publishing’ Category

“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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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

 

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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

Book reviews:

Target small news papers first! Then with there references move forward!

Writing is a business like no other and any business owner will tell you that you have to network to make money. The reference game is the best promo you as a author has! There is no greater feeling then your name and book being in everyone’s mouths…

Make sure you say local when contacting papers. Now that goes far and wide. Being local could mean your from the east coast or like my self mid west. Being from a small town like south bend is not the place for a author, so I make sure to associate myself with the local college (#NotreDame) when I call places and they ask where I am located. This may not sound important but if your not in New York City you will never be taken serious as a starting writer, so make sure you act like you know you need they help to sell…

Now this is where it gets tricky. No review mag or literary mag will review a book with a cover on it. This makes sense to if you think about it, because no one wants to read your book or waist there time, so if you are getting a review from them, they want it to show up in the book or on the cover of the book if there respected like publishers weekly or the southern review, so when dealing with self publishers make sure you get manuscript emailed to you after editing is done and before you put the cover on. This is vital for appearing in Barnes and Noble and books a million. My book “The Son of the Streets” is in Barnes and Noble but they only carry it because my distribution deal with bookmasters, until then they would never and walmart or target would never. Now if I had all the great reviews I have recieve from the NAACP and many other respected sources which, would typically be placed in my next title as praise for the author. Now I am a publisher too, so I am reaching out to the self publisher in you and want you to capitalize on your self publishing experience…

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I read an article today in #thewriterdigest and it confirmed that the way to the literary world is via literary mags. Editor of Barrelhouse mag, Dave Housley said, “I can’t imagine not wanting to be a part of that community.” I agree… Pick up the latest literary journal and get up to date on writing and our world of writers. It’s your duty. My indulgence in this community of literary journals is where i have gained most of my confidence as a writer. Just the normality of the editors and contributors makes me feel good about my future endeavors.

This is a question that has been eating at me for so long. Why would I self publish if I am a publisher? Well the answer is simple: recognition. As sad is it may sound, there are more opportunities for the self published author this day and age then there is for the traditionally published. Carl Weber is the publisher of Urban Books, but is published by Kennsington. This has been going on for centuries. Its just easier for me to focus on publishing other authors then myself. Also the self publishing platform today is the place publishers and agents look to discover talent. It just makes since to self publish today, when you can afford to. 

A Manual for Writers is the writers/editor dictionary! The 7 Habits by Stephen R. Covey is a guide to success! Syd Fields is a screenwriting master minds and sums the whole process of book adaptation! Dan Brown is my favorite author…

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If you want to be a writer you must indulge in the literary world… I am possessed with these three literary mags…
Writers Digest: my favorite because of the work shops and lessons helped me become the writer I am today. I HONESTLY believe that you can get just as much from there work shops as you would any retreat.
The Writer: is my second but not but a long shot. There How I write article in the back of the mag is so personal to other writers and very inspirational. This is also the only mag I read from front to back sometimes twice. It’s fun hip and user friendly if you get my drift…
PW: is very important to me because I am also a publisher as well as a writer and this mag keeps you up to date on trending titles and genres, merges (author house, penguin group, random house) which lead me to my publishing deal with this power house. This is vital to the self publisher as well because it gives recognition to small companies that could make a huge impact in your sales…

Terrence Baker
CEO/publisher
Incarceratedminds@live.com
thesonofthestreets.com

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STEP 1: Create a Facebook and Twitter account under your pen name or real name if the same. (MY FACE BOOK IS UNDER ALIS NAME “Indiana Slim”)

STEP 2: once you have an account with Facebook and Twitter you have the foundation for the branding platform or your title, website, social media networks, blog, etc… The reason I am saying those two sites, is because once you have them every other social media outlet will allow you to promote directy to audiences outside your fan base by accessing a account via your Facebook or Twitter account by the push of a button… Not to mention most blogs and post in differnt forums will allow you to share articles and things via Facebook and Twitter which will be the beginning of your platform… (Always use clip art of your title on your accounts to be less personal to the audiences you target…. It’s okay to change up pics Engage fans, but the main focus is your product which is your titles old and new…

STEP 3: Set up your blog http://www.thesonofthestreets.com domain name the title as well, so that every time you post a entry it will go into the social media as well as the literary media which will lead to sales and feedback on blog post so that you know which topics get the most attention… This helps you with the use of #teamhashtag tags SEO codes…

Follow my blog where I get more into dept with my HOW TO CAPITALIZE ON SELF PUBLISHING, where I will give free advice via blog entries or contact me and I can discuss services that I can provide to help guide your social media platform into the right direction…

Terrence Baker
CEO /publisher
Incarcerated Minds
Incarceratedminds@live.com