Sell Non-Fiction Books Using AI

Sell Non-Fiction Books Using AI

Sell Non-Fiction Books Using AI

Most business professionals will publish just one non-fiction book as a form of “advanced business card” to promote their products and services. Very few of these people view books as the assets they truly are. Why? Because they don’t understand how to utilize algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to full advantage. They don’t realize there are effective ways to sell non-fiction books using AI.

When it comes to books, effective selling begins with effective digital publishing. And, by “effective digital publishing,” I’m not only referring to professional editing and graphic design. I’m talking about understanding how search engine optimization (SEO) really works—how search engines such as Google, and ecommerce sites such as Amazon, reward points to the content that is published online.

What is Effective Digital Publishing?

If you want to succeed at publishing and selling books nowadays, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per month. The Internet rewards speedproductivity, and momentum through these specific activities. And the Internet is your greatest ally.

Many of today’s most successful independent authors are selling thousands of books every year by publishing a new book online every four to six weeks. Both fiction and non-fiction book series are generating six- and seven-figure incomes by feeding the Internet’s voracious appetite for MORE in this way. It works so well that even mainstream authors like James Patterson are jumping on this bandwagon. He, too, publishes multiple books on a regular basis through his BookShots line.

Sell Non-Fiction Books Using AI

One of the greatest benefits of digital publishing/selling is that the Internet does much of the thinking for you. Just tell it what keyword(s) you wish to focus on in each blog entry and book description you post online. It will keep directing traffic to your webpages based on those instructions. But only if you keep your side of the bargain by continually feeding it MORE.

For Google AdWords and AdSense users, you were likely pleased when Google introduced its AdSense Auto ads program in early 2018. This is an advanced type of pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement that uses a form of AI called “machine learning” to determine the best placements for ads on webpages on your behalf. That means you just have to focus on posting regular keyword-rich content; Google will bring you constant, relevant traffic that matches it. Gone are the days when you had to go searching for those customers yourself.

Feed the Internet’s Voracious Appetite for Content … and It Will Feed You More Customers

Many people balk at the idea of publishing several books per year when they first learn about this form of digital publishing. Based on the traditional viewpoint of how books should be produced, it may seem like an impossible task. Well, it’s time to change your thinking on what constitutes a useful non-fiction book.

Throw away any pre-conceived notions you may have—particularly when it comes to word count. It’s more important to focus on the quality of your content than the quantity of words you’ve written. There is absolutely no need to add a bunch of unnecessary fluff into a non-fiction book just to get it to a certain word count. With non-fiction books of any kind, your number one priority is to understand your readers’ question/problem. Above all, answer/resolve that question/problem for them as clearly and easily as possible.

Here’s another helpful tip: instead of publishing one 120,000-word book, why not break it down into an eight-book mini series instead? Release each mini book six weeks apart to generate excitement and anticipation about the next. The Internet will reward this type of consistent publishing activity more than it will reward a large book published once a year. Click here to view an example digital publishing program designed to get results.

* * *   * * *   * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/discuss-your-book-project-over-coffee-tickets-50336696414

Polished Publishing Group (PPG) is now offering Calgary and area writers (aspiring authors) an in-person book project consultation with a book publisher and fellow author. This one-hour coffee meeting is appropriate for those who have been working on their manuscripts for a while, have at least 30 pages written, are wondering if their projects are viable, and are seeking advice regarding the various publishing options that are available to them.

Along with this one-on-one meeting, the writer will receive his or her choice of one of these two books:

How to Publish a Book in Canadahttps://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/htpabic.html

How to Publish a Bestselling Bookhttps://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/htpabb.html

And the coffee is on us!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee | Have Your Manuscript Reviewed

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee | Have Your Manuscript Reviewed

Discuss Your Book Project Over Coffee | Have Your Manuscript Reviewed

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/discuss-your-book-project-over-coffee-have-your-manuscript-reviewed-tickets-50250293982

Polished Publishing Group (PPG) is now offering Calgary and area writers (aspiring authors) an in-person book project consultation with a book publisher and fellow author. This one-hour coffee meeting is appropriate for those who have been working on their manuscripts for a while, have at least 30 pages written, are wondering if their projects are viable, and are seeking advice regarding the various publishing options that are available to them.

Along with this one-on-one meeting, the writer will receive his or her choice of one of these two books:

How to Publish a Book in Canadahttps://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/htpabic.html

How to Publish a Bestselling Bookhttps://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/htpabb.html

The writer is also encouraged to bring along a USB memory stick or flash drive containing up to the first 30 pages (double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12-point font, roughly 5,000 words in total) of his or her manuscript for review by one of PPG’s copy editors. The copy editor will offer basic advice and guidance on writing style, spelling, grammar, and punctuation to complement the publishing/business advice given at the one-hour in-person consultation. (Allow up to 7 business days for the copy editor’s reply.)

And the coffee is on us!

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

There are 3 reasons graphic designers should never edit books, despite your genuinely good intentions in doing so. So many do this as a form of “value add” for the clients who hire you to design their books. What you don’t realize is that you may be causing more harm than good.

#1 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: All Editors Edit Differently

While it’s in all authors’ best interests to have as many different pairs of eyes as possible on their books, to catch as many of those last-minute typos as possible before publication, this practice also comes with its challenges. This is because they can give the same work to three different editors, and each one of those people will copy edit it differently from the others. Every single time. Without exception. And then the proofreader will make even more changes that will seem to contradict these editors’ recommendations … unless authors specify which editorial style guide they should all be using right from the very start. In other words, there’s no “one right way” to do this, which can be very confusing/frustrating for authors at times.

That’s why simplicity and consistency in editing is so important to every author’s sanity and why graphic designers should stick to designing alone. Otherwise, you’re just adding one more opinion to an already-complicated group of opinions. Believe me, it can be more confusing than helpful.

#2 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: Editorial Style Guides

To take this a step further, English is far from being a simple, straightforward language. That’s much of the reason why editors and proofreaders sometimes contradict each other. There are many different editorial style guides associated with the English language. In fact, each different English region has its own: the UK, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. We all have different ways of spelling and punctuating the English language, so we each use different style guides.

To achieve the desired simplicity and consistency mentioned earlier, my company now creates a customized editorial style sheet for every single one of our authors. The styles are driven, first and foremost, by each author’s preference (if any) as to which primary guide we should use (e.g., The Oxford Style Manual for British authors, The Chicago Manual of Style for American authors, a special blend of the two for Canadian authors, et cetera). From there, the customized editorial style sheet is created by the primary editor. All other proofreaders and editors follow that editor’s lead for every book published by that author going forward. Since most graphic designers are not privy to which style guides are being used, you are not in a position to make any changes to the books.

#3 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: Stick With Your Specialty

Editors would never recommend graphic design changes to a book; they know that’s the graphic designer’s specialty. That respect should go both ways. Editors know their jobs best and are most familiar with which style guide will work best for a particular project. So, when graphic designers see things that you think might be wrong, I recommend you leave it be. It’s okay to send a note to the publisher or author questioning a certain word, phrase, or punctuation mark. But never change it on your own. You may just be changing something that was correct exactly the way it was and undermining the agreements made between the editor, proofreader, and author. It’s best to just stick with your own specialty and let the editors stick to theirs.

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Yesterday’s advice regarding writing the most SEO-friendly blog posts was pretty simple. Make sure your post is genuinely helpful and contains at least 500 words. Within those 500 words, your main keyword should be repeated at least 10 times. By doing that, search engines like Google should be able to easily find and index the blog entry.

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Today’s advice is a little bit different. According to SEO 2018 author Adam Clarke and Yoast: SEO for Everyone, an SEO-friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) is crucial to your SEO success.

Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts, publicly stated that poorly researched and misspelled content will rank poorly, and clarity should be your focus. And by readability, this means not just avoiding spelling mistakes, but making your content readable for the widest possible audience, with simple language and sentence structures.

…The Searchmetrics rankings report discovered sites appearing in the top 10 showed … content that is fairly easy to read for 13-15 year old students and up.

…By encouraging search results to have content readable to a wide audience, Google maximise their advertising revenues. If Google were to encourage complicated results that mostly appeal to a smaller demographic, such as post-graduates, it would lower Google’s general appeal and their market share. (Clarke, 2018)

Why I Now Use the Yoast SEO WordPress Plug-In

In a nutshell, the Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in helps me to write blog posts that Google will approve and index. That’s why I use it. Because Google is the greatest link between me and my desired reader base.

As I begin writing each and every blog post, the Yoast plug-in continually gives me little notices. It lets me know whether my content is SEO-friendly in various ways. It tells me if my FRES is within the acceptable 60.0 to 70.0 readability range. If not, it will show me which sentences need to be adjusted to improve that score.

Your Blog Post Can Be Less Than 500 Words

So long as your writing style matches Google’s desired FRES score, your post can be 300+ words long. Yoast also has a different way of viewing keywords. Rather than repeating your top keyword at least twice within every 100 words, Yoast wants to see it right upfront. If you include that keyword in your slug (the URL for the blog entry), at least one or more of your headings, and within your first paragraph, Yoast will usually give you a good SEO score. It’s also great to attach the keyword to an image on your blog post, too. That way, Google will certainly understand what keyword you want the post indexed under.

There are additional things you can do to improve your blog post’s SEO. Including internal links to past blog posts and external links to other relevant information will also help. The more posts you write that Yoast awards a good readability and SEO score to, the higher up your blog will land in Google’s search engine ranking.

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Estate Planning Checklist for Authors

Estate Planning Checklist for Authors

Estate Planning Checklist for Authors

Anyone who has been reading this blog (or my non-fiction publishing guides) for a while knows about my sales background. I’ve worked in various positions—mainly print advertising sales—over the years while building my authorship on the side. After being laid off from one of those common jobs, I was certified to sell prepaid funeral and cemetary services. I did that for a short time. Now, some of you may find that career path a bit odd or morbid. But I have to say it was an eye-opening education for me. I’m so glad I did it, because I learned so much. It is so important for everyone to have an estate planning checklist completed for the family members they leave behind. It is equally—if not more—important for authors to plan ahead in this way.

The Standard Estate Planning Checklist for Everyone

When a loved one passes away, there are so many decisions to make and things for family members to do. If it’s a sudden passing and that person didn’t leave any instructions regarding his or her wishes, it can be especially traumatic. Unexpected upfront funeral and cemetary expenses can leave family members strapped for cash. They may have difficulties locating important banking or insurance information to cover those expenses. They may be unaware of who all to invite to the celebration of life. The list goes on, so it makes sense to plan ahead. In the very least, everyone should take care of the following three details and let family members know where to find them:

  1. Draft a will that includes who will be named the executor, beneficiary, and trustee/legal guardian (if young children are left behind) of your estate. It is also wise to stipulate a power of attorney in the event you are disabled in any way that prevents you from making decisions for yourself while still alive.
  2. Attach a list of employment, mortgage, banking, and insurance contact information that is easy for family members to follow.
  3. A contact list of those who should be called to attend your life celebration is also great to include. This list is important even if you aren’t preplanning/prepaying your own funeral and cemetary arrangements. It can make things a lot easier for your loved ones to ensure everyone you cared about is aware of your passing.

An Author’s Estate Planning Checklist

Estate Planning Checklist

Estate Planning Checklist

Authors have another important list to include with their wills: all your titles in publication. It’s wise to include where you published each title through (e.g., the name of the publishing house, distributor, or ecommerce site). It’s also important to include all possible editions (e.g., paperbacks, hardcovers, ebooks, audiobooks) and any contracts you have in place for subsidiary rights.

Why are these things important? M.L. Buchman explains it well in his book Estate Planning For Authors: Your Final Letter (and why you need to write it now) (Strategies for Success) (Volume 2). One important take-away is this: your book’s copyright outlives you by 50 years in Canada, 70 years in the United States. Did you know that? Assuming you self-published and retained 100% of your book’s copyright ownership, this means your estate will still be paid royalties for ongoing sales. Your beneficiaries could still potentially earn a living from your work many years after you pass on. So, you will want to give them instructions regarding how you want your intellectual property managed after you’re gone. I recommend picking up a copy of M.L. Buchman’s book for more details on how to go about this. It’s important, not only for you but for your loved ones.

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Canadian Success Story Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Canadian Success Story

Canadian Success Story

Every once in a while, I struggle to find a topic to blog about. When that happens, I look for a daily newspaper article or open up my Kindle to find something interesting to read. Reading always helps get my creative juices flowing. But tonight I was inspired more than usual when I came across an old book by fellow Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. The title of this book is How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks, and it’s a great read.

Cheryl is similar to another author named Mark Dawson in the sense that she had been traditionally published before switching over to self-publishing by choice. They’re both also fans of using Amazon’s KDP Select program to boost book sales. I won’t give away Cheryl’s success secrets here. People can get her tips straight from her inside her book. But I don’t think she’ll mind if I share an excerpt or two from this book about her experiences with both traditional and self-publishing. There’s quite an eye-opening contrast that matches everything I’ve said in my own books.

Canadian Success Story: Traditional (Trade) Publishing

In this excerpt, Cheryl discusses what it took for her to be successful in Canada’s traditional literary publishing sector. She also talks about how much money she spent versus what she earned. I can tell you, firsthand, what she’s saying here is the reality for pretty much every traditionally-published Canadian author.

When I think back to 2007-2008 when I was with that traditional publisher and how much time and money I spent to promote my books, the numbers are terrible. Even though I had the second highest sales of all their authors.

I spent many hours a day promoting myself online, plus 40+ book signings between October 15 and December 23. I spent an average of 5 hours at each signing and sold more than the average that most Canadian authors will sell at a signing. I spent an hour traveling to and from each signing.

I made less than MINIMUM WAGE when everything was said and done. And half of that paid for the books I had to stock and bring with me so I could do consignments with my other titles. With the traditionally published book, the bookstore ordered the stock and I didn’t have to put out a penny.

There’s something wrong with making less than minimum wage, don’t you think? And I did this for 9 years, all the while hoping that one day I’d get my big break. “Dare to Dream.” I did.

Canadian Success Story: Self-Publishing

Not only did Cheryl dare to dream; she changed her strategy from traditional publishing to self-publishing, from paperbacks to ebooks. And she changed her life along with it.

Download this book for free!

Download this book for FREE for more details about what Cheryl is talking about.

When you realize that marketing books does not have to be done the “same old way” it’s been done for decades, with tours and signings, and mailouts and newspaper advertising, and countless other expenses, you’ve broken through the old ways.

We’re free to market our books from the convenience of our homes, with less financial risk and far more possible gains than ever before. You can write with your laptop on your lap while reclined in front of the TV. You can stay in your PJs if you want. You no longer HAVE to do consignments in bookstores, only to have them ask you to take back your ripped, dirty books that have no resale value left.

It’s a writer’s revolution. The end of an era that was long overdue for an overhaul.

Now, finally, you can be paid to write your stories. You can be rewarded for your creativity. You can earn a respectable income.

What it Truly Takes to Succeed

I won’t give you Cheryl’s full strategy here. It’s her strategy to share with you, and she does so beautifully in her book. It’s an older book, but much of the information is still relevant today. It’s definitely worth the read.

That said, there is a common theme among all the “author success stories” I share with you on this blog. You can probably already see it just by reading the above two small excerpts. Success doesn’t come suddenly like a lightning bolt, nor does it come quickly by sheer luck. All successful authors have developed effective work habits. Every one of them kept their goals in mind while working toward those goals every single day.

How long does it take? There is no magic number, no one answer to that question. It takes focus and time. Jeff Haden worked harder than anyone else and was able to make writing his full-time job within one year. For Joanna Penn, it took five years to transition to a full-time writer. How long will it take you? That’s really hard to say. I think so much of it depends on how bad you want it. It’s about your own will.

Look to Other Author Success Stories for Inspiration

Of course, sometimes we all need a little extra boost to reignite that desire to continue on. Don’t we? Sometimes, it takes reading someone else’s success story to motivate ourselves to write anything at all. That’s what worked for me tonight. An old book sparked a new flame. Thank you for inspiring me again, Cheryl! Hopefully, this blog post about your success will inspire many other authors the way it did for me tonight. Hopefully it shows them just what’s possible when they put their minds to it.

* * *     * * *     * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



6 Important Questions to Ask a Book Publicist

6 Important Questions to Ask a Publicist

6 Important Questions to Ask a Book Publicist

Book publicists can help boost you and your book’s visibility in the mainstream media more quickly than you can yourself. In fact, I talked about the important role publicists play in a post from 2015 titled Book Publicists (Advertising Versus Publicity). Since writing that post, I’ve hired two different publicity firms to help me promote two of my books. I’ve learned a lot from each experience.

One of the best things about book publicists is that they’re connected. They have well-developed relationships with all the “movers and shakers” in the media. As such, they can help you score guest blogging and web syndication opportunities with high-ranking publications. That’s gold to any author!

Unfortunately, the most effective publicity campaigns often have a pretty hefty price tag attached to them. Before signing with any publicity firm, I recommend asking these 6 important questions to help you decide which one is best for you.

6 Important Questions to Ask a Book Publicist

  1. Will you read my book? That sounds like an odd question to ask an organization you’re hiring to help you promote your book, doesn’t it? But it’s an important question to ask. In my experience, many publicity firms won’t actually read your book unless you insist on it.
  2. What are your prices? Ask for a price list of all their program options, and also ask what services are included in each program.
  3. What additional costs are involved in this process: do you want additional postage fees sent to you upfront and/or throughout the campaign for sending out review copies; how many physical review copies do you want mailed to you ahead of time; do you send these review copies out to low-ranking individual bloggers or to high-ranking relevant media outlets?
  4. How many of the interviewers you book for me will actually go through with the interview? Do any of them cancel at the last minute, after receiving the free review copy, and then post that book on Amazon for sale? (Believe it or not, this happens. And, yes, you’re right—it’s unacceptable.)
  5. Do you expect to include my personal phone number and email address on the press release you send out to the media? Will you share that press release publicly online via your website and/or any other websites? How do you protect each author’s privacy in this regard?
  6. Will your firm find relevant and recognized media outlets who are willing to accept the guest posts I’ve written that link back to my own blog and website?

Start with those 6 questions and see where they take you. You’ll learn a lot about the firm you’re dealing with through them.

* * *   * * *   * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Thailand Government Book Policy: More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

Thailand Government Book Policy

Thailand Government Book Policy

Why would an author and book publisher from Canada have a strong interest in the Thailand government book policy? Well, you see, I visited (and fell in love with) Thailand back in 2016. I lived in Hua Hin for one month where I studied Thai culture and obtained a TESOL certification. I then lived in Bangkok for the next five months and taught at a wonderful private school for one term before returning home to Canada. Ever since then, I’ve known that some day I’ll visit Thailand again. But next time, I would like to visit as the author and book publisher that I am. I would love to help aspiring Thai authors produce professional books that meet your government’s standards and promote your beautiful culture at home and abroad.

Thailand Government Book Policy

I have 25 years’ experience in the North American English book publishing industry (in both the traditional and contemporary markets). I’m also the author of over 25 books that teach aspiring authors how to be successful within this industry. That said, each world region has its own unique publishing methods and characteristics. One day, I decided to research the Thailand government book policy to see if it’s similar to Canada’s. As it turns out, we have some things in common. Both our governments want to support local authors who write books that promote and educate others about the countries we live in.

I came across a presentation by Kim Chongsatitwatana titled “Thailand Publishing Industry” that was posted to the Asian Publishers Fellowship Program in Seoul (APS) website. In this presentation, Kim discusses the Thai government’s policies on promoting a “decade of reading as a national agenda” from 2009 to 2018. The goal is to educate people about ASEAN culture and society with a focus on the English language. The government also wants more ASEAN books published by ASEAN authors in general.

English Language Book Publishing for ASEAN Authors

More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

Did you know there are self-publishing options available to you in Thailand that will allow you to publish books your government can be proud of? I will be releasing a new title in paperback format, to bookstores around the world, this coming October 15, 2018. The book is titled How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West. It contains some compelling research about how today’s independent authors are self-publishing and selling thousands of ebooks every year. It also provides step-by-step instructions showing aspiring authors like you how to do the same—right from the comfort of your home or office.

One chapter of this book focuses on English language editing and how to find proper English editors at a reasonable price. No matter where you live, you can easily follow (and afford!) this program. All you need is an Internet connection and a laptop with Microsoft Office on it. Here’s what some Eastern reviewers who received early review copies have to say about this book:

“The author has used the simplest words which can be read and understood by everyone. The stepwise information makes this book seamless and interesting.” ~Sheetal Maurya, Halo of Books

“What an excellent book this is.” ~Sarath Babu

And don’t let the book title fool you. You can certainly reach the western market if you choose to; but you can also focus on your own eastern market if you choose. It’s all up to you.

A Decade of Reading in Thailand

“Reading remains a fundamental activity and a first step for anyone wishing to acquire knowledge and innovate,” the Bangkok Post quoted the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (Pubat) president, Suchada Sahasakul, as saying earlier this year. “Everything starts with the act of reading. Once one has read, one can experiment and act to shape the world.”

I hope you’ll read this book so you can see your own ability to shape the world by writing and publishing your own books. Gone are the days when the world’s large corporate book publishers set the pace and direction of the entire publishing market. Today’s western indie authors are now in the driver’s seat, and it can be the same for authors in Thailand.

* * *   * * *   * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

Do literary agents accept self-publishers? The short answer is: yes. Literary agents will accept self-publishers. The long answer requires much more than a well-written, marketable query letter.

What is a Literary Agent?

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

A literary agent is a type of broker that works within the traditional publishing sector, that helps authors to find trade publishers (which they refer to as “editors”) who will buy the rights to publish their books. Today’s literary agents are scanning the bestseller lists on Amazon to find the most saleable authors. Just ask Jeff Haden: an author, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer and Inc. Magazine contributor. In a recent podcast with Joanna Penn, he said, “I have 960,000 some followers on LinkedIn or something. That helps me drive traffic to my ‘Inc.’ articles, that helped a publisher say, ‘Wow, he’s got a platform. Maybe we should be interested in a book.’”

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers Without Platforms?

Occasionally, a literary agent will take a chance on an unknown writer who has written a convincing query letter. A query letter is essentially a sales pitch. (Everything in life is sales, isn’t it?) Before you pitch anything to any publisher, you must first research the company to understand exactly what they’re looking for in new projects. Most publishers will post submission guidelines right on their websites, and it’s important to read them and follow them to a tee. If you don’t, you’ll likely fall out of favour with that publisher almost immediately.

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers With Platforms?

Yes, absolutely. This is every literary agent’s preference. You need only read the amazing story of Amanda Hocking in The Guardian to see that this is true. Amanda Hocking was one of the first reported Amazon millionaires who utilized “rapid release” publishing to self-publish her fictional books after multiple rejections by the traditional trade publishers. Of her success, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian:

When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam.

How to Know When It’s Time to Call a Literary Agent

After self-publishing for a while, Amanda tired of it. She had been an avid reader before she ever became a self-published author. Someone who reads regularly can tell when a book is not on par with the quality of traditionally published books. And it really bothered her.

[A]lthough she has employed [sic] own freelance editors and invited her readers to alert her to spelling and grammatical errors, she thinks her ebooks are riddled with mistakes. “It drove me nuts, because I tried really hard to get things right and I just couldn’t. It’s exhausting, and hard to do. And it starts to wear on you emotionally. I know that sounds weird and whiny, but it’s true.”

In the end, Hocking became so burned out by the stress of solo publishing that she has turned for help to the same traditional book world that previously rejected her and which she was seen as attacking. For $2.1m, she has signed up with St Martin’s Press in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK to publish her next tranche of books. (The Guardian)

Amanda had proven her sales abilities. As a result, the traditional publishers finally embraced her. Literary agents and trade publishers alike want to buy books that will sell well and earn them a profit. The best way to prove yourself to them is to self-publish and sell it yourself.

* * *   * * *   * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



What is Success?

What is Success?

What is Success?

What is success to you? When you envision yourself as “successful,” what do you see? If you were to ask me that question 15 years ago, I would have given you a completely different answer than I’d give you today. Success isn’t a fixed notion for me; it’s much more dynamic than that.

I finished writing my first book 15 years ago and published it the following year. Up until then, I had always wanted to write and publish a book, but fear of the unknown had me procrastinating for years on end. When I finally pushed through that fear and did it, I felt truly successful! I’m unsure how many copies of that book I sold. Probably very few. Probably only family members bought it. But selling wasn’t the priority back then. My number one goal was to make my childhood dream come true by writing and publishing a book. And I did it!

I’ve since published 28 books. I’m actually writing number 29 right now. Fear of the unknown no longer haunts me because writing and publishing have become like second nature to me after this much practice. I have new goals now, and my definition of success has evolved along with them. Now success is about reaching as many aspiring (and established) authors as I can with my books and helping them to realize their own goals, whatever they may be.

What is Success to Lawson Craddock?

What is Success?

What is Success?

First things first, who is Lawson Craddock? He is a Tour de France rider and the subject of an inspirational article written by Jeff Haden for Inc. about the human spirit and how it will define success from one moment to the next. The title of this article says it all: “After ‘3 Weeks of Pain,’ an American With a Broken Shoulder Finished Last in the Tour de France. Why He Kept Riding Is Truly Inspiring.

How Craddock defined success was certainly different going into the Tour de France. Sure, he wanted to finish. But he also wanted to support his team, to be a workhorse during the team time trial, to possibly make it into a breakaway or two, to finish high up in the standings on certain stages… maybe even win a stage. (A boy can dream, right?)

In a matter of seconds, all that changed And that’s when Lawson revised his definition of success.

Success now meant finishing — and making a difference for other people in the process.

Where my definition of success has changed over the years, Lawson Craddock’s changed within one Tour de France race. Life threw him a curve ball that changed his course and set him on an even more inspirational road to success than he could have imagined before. The universe works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

What is Success?

What is Success?

What is Success to You?

Many of my recent posts on the PPG Publisher’s Blog have been focused around selling lots of books and earning a significant income from one’s writing. Maybe those posts have resonated with you, and maybe they haven’t. That’s okay. One of my past guest bloggers, Liz Schulte, put it best when she said, “It doesn’t matter if the book is insanely successful or still looking for its market, writing a book is a major accomplishment. At the risk of sounding cliché, writing is a journey.” And an enjoyable one, at that! Don’t you think?

When I write the blog posts focused on financial success or share author success stories with you, I just want to get you thinking about what’s possible so you can stretch yourself a little further. Right now, success for you may be exactly what it was for me 15 years ago: just write the book. And your idea of success may well change again in a year from now: now sell the book. It’s all fine. It’s all very individual, and it will evolve along with you as you take your journey as an author. Whatever you define success as for yourself, I hope you reach that goal. I’m rooting for you!

* * *   * * *   * * *

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.