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Discover How Becoming a Published Author Will Improve Your Credibility and Make You an Expert in Your Field! 

Entries in book publishing (4)


Style Your Writing For Your Target Market

You know you are a good writer. You write and edit and proof and edit again and then proudly post your words. But you aren't getting the response you expected. Why don't people see how brilliant you are? Why don't you get people flocking to your site/blog/products/services? Most likely it is because, despite how brilliant your words are, you are not talking in your target market's language so that they can understand.

We all talk a certain way and we all write a certain way. But if you are writing non-fiction for your business, unless you use words that your target market (the people you are trying to reach) will understand, your words are going to be wasted because the people you are writing for will not get it. Your words will not connect with them and so they won't see how you can help. It's not in their language.

Think of traveling. You are in a foreign country and you try to communicate with the population in your own language. They may get the sense of what you are saying, but they won't understand the underlying concepts. They won't take the time to figure out what it is that you are really tying to say. They won't really connect with you. Your target market is the same way.

Most of the time your target market will not be as smart as you in your area of expertise. That's why you are the expert and why they need you. But they don't want to hear all those big words/concepts that you throw around as the expert. They don't want perfect sentences. They want to know how you are going to help them. They want something that makes sense TO THEM!! So, you need to write in words that they will understand. You don't need to change your ideas. Keep the exact same content, but make it an easier read. This has absolutely nothing to do with content- just writing style.

Remember, you are inviting them to work with you or buy your services. You are not trying to get a passing grade on a thesis. If they don't understand what you want them to do because you are speaking a language that they don't understand, then they will never become your clients. Be very clear on who your target market is, then listen to their language. Find out who they are, how they 'talk'. Then talk to them so they can hear. You are likely to find you will get far more responses if you just listen and style your writing for your target market.

Candace Davenport is a Writing Mentor and Publishing Consultant for Our Little Books. For those of you who would like to work with her 1 on 1 on how to work with writing for your target market, or would like to explore how you can publish with Our Little Books, please contact her for a free consultation. For those interested in getting started writing, the next one-day Writer's Workshop will be on 5/16/15 in Alameda, CA.


eBook Authors: Surefire Book Publishing Announces New Opportunity

For Our Little Books guest post Wednesday we are pleased to have return guest blogger, James Moushen. James is an author who has written extensively on the connection and correlation between the eForms industry in the 1990s and the current eBook industry developing now. He created a blog to motivate and challenge authors to take advantage of the great opportunity the eBook industry offers them. He also feels that the other players in the industry must also take action or someone else will.

Photo by Donna Grayson via Flickr

Surefire Book Publishing announced today the formation of a new eBook division.

Surefire CEO Jim Satire said, “Our publishing company is going to take a new direction because we recognize the large opportunity of the immerging eBook industry. We have been a typical publisher for a long time. We have about a 5% throughput rate (submission to publication) including fiction, non-fiction and reference books.”

“Because of the eBook opportunity, we are going back and researching our turndowns and the reasons for them. We are looking at the top 10% of the books rejected and creating a new breakeven point, starting with the low cost to bring an eBook to market. Then we are categorizing the turndowns into profitability, quality of content and longevity of content.”

“The reasons for the rejections have ranged from predicting whether the book would be profitable to the brand of the author. We will take into consideration the reader’s acceptance of the topic, the genre, regional appeal, the author and other basic concepts. Then we will convert the content to an eBook format and publish it through online channels.”

“This makes sense to us because we have already done the homework on the submission. The shelf life of an eBook is considerable longer than the paper version so over time the income from the eBook has the potential to outweigh the paper version which has a shelf life of about six months tops. Plus the eBook shelf is not a physical one which has to be rotated out for new books.”

“SPR is a medium sized publishing company with about 100 active authors. We publish about 20 books a month. Our forecast shows that to start with we will convert about 25 books a month at a higher margin for Surefire and a larger royalty for the authors.” 

“Our goal is to reach a 100 eBooks a month next year. We recognize that if we have a hit with the eBook only, we will go back and publish it in paper because we have already converted the book to digital.”

“That cost is considerable less to take the book from a Word document by Surefire Book Publishing to an acceptable eBook format (mobi or epub), store it on a network and sell it online. We have no second hand market to deal with and no middlemen.”

SPR is a hypothetical company created to illustrate the future of a proactive publishing company.


How to Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition

If you are a professional competing for business in a tight market, you must stand out from your competition. You can have a fancy brochure, great business cards or a great website.  But, is that enough? Think about the experts in your field. What are they doing that you are not? Good chance they have author credentials as the best way to be seen as an expert in your field is to publish a book.

You can use your book as a calling card. Think about leaving a brochure or a book. Which one do you think will have the most impact? Even if the prospect does not read the book, he most likely will not toss it in the trash like a brochure. It may set on his table for several weeks before he picks it up. Whenever he looks at the book he will think of you.

People assume you are an expert if you have published a book. At Our Little Books, we have several authors that have experienced spikes in their businesses after they published their book. One author said that she had been prospecting the same client for years. Shortly after her book was published, he made an appointment because he said that he had never met an author. He became a client of hers, just because her book opened the door. But you do have to be careful. On the reverse side, a book could ruin your credibility if you have no idea what you are talking about! Your content must be worth reading.

As a published author you will be invited to more speaking engagements and you will be a guest on more radio programs. You will be introduced as a published author. For example, if you wanted to hire a business coach and had a choice between these two, which one sounds more credible? Which one would you choose?

I have the honor of introducing Mary Ross, author of The Little Book of Success. Her book outlines 5 Keys to Success that every small business owner must read. She has worked over 15 years with small businesses teaching them ways to increase profits with these Keys to Success.


I have the honor of introducing Mary Smith. She has worked over 15 years with small businesses teaching them ways to increase profits. 

Your book should be a big part of your business marketing plan. Think about how many times you can promote your business with your book. When you are at a speaking engagement you can sell your book in the back of the room. A book can add value to your services. You most likely will not see large revenue from your book, but your book will bring you opportunities that you may not get if you did not become a published author.


How do you feel about people who are published? Do you think of them as an expert? Are you more likely to respect a published author than one of their non published peers?


Traditional vs. Self-Publishing. Is One Better Than the Other?

Everyone knows about traditional publishing. That is where a publishing company offers you a contract, pays you an advance and publishes your book for you. In the past, traditional publishers would accept around 2-3% of all the manuscripts sent to them, either unsolicited or via an agent. Unfortunately, nowadays, due to numerous different factors, many publishers are not even looking at unsolicited manuscripts and only publishing less than 1% of the books they see from agents.  

If you were not in the lucky 1-3% accepted by traditional publishing houses, and if you wanted to publish your work, you needed to somehow get your book out there by self-publishing whatever way you could. So, for publishing purposes, anything other than traditional publishing fell under a “self-published” umbrella. 

Although there have always been very successful self-published authors (e.g., Willa Cather, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Grey, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L'Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Beatrix Potter, Anis Nin, Gertrude Stein, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Virginia Woolf just to name a few), self-publishing has always been under a “not as good as traditional publishing” stigma. However, with recent technological advances, various different methods of self-publishing have come into their own in the recent years and self-publishing has taken on a more respectable label. 

There are still the “vanity press” houses which will publish anything that comes their way (hence the name “vanity press- i.e., publishing houses which court the vain people who want to see their name in print). These vanity publishing houses do not do justice to the self-publishing industry by allowing poorly written, and poorly edited works to be published. 

However, there are many and varied kinds of self-publishing houses out there that do care what they publish and these companies are slowly eroding the self-publishing stigma. They provide all editing services for an author and want to see a good book getting out into the market. 

The bottom line for authors that do not have a contract with a traditional publishing house is to do their homework and find a self-publishing company that will enhance their writing experience and produce a work that they can be proud of. Self-publishing can be a viable way to get your masterpiece out into the public.