Writing and publishing require different skill sets.

I am a writer, speaker, and independent publisher. I have written and published five books. I followed the ‘yellow brick road’ of publishing and managed to crack the code to end up with a book published on Amazon and Kindle.

Several years ago, I spoke at a Toastmasters meeting and told my audience that you have more credibility instantly with the audience when you are introduced as a published author. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I believed it but didn’t think it would create a new income stream for me.

A few months later an acquaintance from Toastmasters called me about publishing his book. He had written it in a short time and couldn’t crack the code for publishing his book. I took on his book as my first publishing gig. A couple of weeks later he was a published author. He has used his book to increase the size of his business. Recently, I published his wife’s book.

The beauty of doing a good job is that people will refer to other people. My first client referred me to a new person. This referral process went on for five more referrals. I did a good job and was rewarded with new clients.

I got a call from a guy who had spent ten years trying to get his book published. He was a survivor of a ‘friendly fire’ incident on the Cambodian-Vietnam border in 1969. He believed the government covered up the story and he wrote his recollections to uncover the event. I had his book on Amazon in less than three weeks.

I find writing to be easy. When I first started blogging many years ago I did 365 blogs in one year.  I’ve written and posted a daily blog every day in 2020. Yes, writing a blog is not like writing a book. Yet, if my blogs were representative of my business, I could take those 50+ blogs and create a book from them.

In fact, one client attained #1 Best Seller status on Amazon in 2019 for doing just that. It was a compilation of articles he had written over a year and presented as ‘tips’ to improve a particular kind of business. It was his second book based on previously written newsletter articles. Books can be written one day at a time.

I accept books that are already edited and proofed. I have associates who do editing and proofing as their businesses. They enjoy that type of work. I don’t. I enjoy writing, speaking, and publishing.
For a physical book to have a spine with your name and book title you must have at least 104 pages.

I have had several clients coming it between 80 and 90 pages and wanting a spine with their name on it. There are several things that can be done. One is to increase the size of the font. Another is to decrease the size of the book. A third is to modify the margins. Another is to increase the line spacing.

Increasing the size of a book is relatively easy. Decreasing is not as easy. I’ve had one client two books around 100,000 words. They (a married couple) wanted the book to be nearer 350 pages than over 400 pages. It took a little juggling and the two books came in around 360 or so pages.
It takes time to establish being an authority in a business. Being a published author highlights your skills and experience and separates you from your competition. It established instant credibility.

I tell a story periodically when speaking to groups about being a business owner and having a book to establish credibility. A fellow friend and author has a small booklet and uses it as a business card. His book sales on Amazon account for a few hundred books. He has made multiple six-figures in his business because his book got him the business.

Why is publishing so hard? I don’t think it is. It is a skill. When I run into a problem I go to YouTube and search the videos to show me what to do next when I come across an unusual situation. I can stop the video and do a step-by-step line action to mimic my work to that of another person’s presentation on video.

I was talking to a LinkedIn contact this past week. He loves to do branding, marketing, and press releases to get his clients to #1 Best Seller status on multiple platforms and to help his clients also attain Award-Winning distinction. He doesn’t like the hands-on formatting and publishing end of the business. It is possible we might team up in the future to help each other in the areas we don’t have passion and skills.

Is being a published author that hard? No. Is it expensive? It can be? Some publishing firms provide more help than I do – marketing, library placement, bookstore placement, press releases, website, marketing plan, and more. I get the book published and turn it over to the author. I show him or her how to change prices so that books can be priced for special events.

Can you publish a book for free? Yes. This includes the cover also. It just depends on how much effort and time you want to put into it. How long does it take to publish a book once it is finished, edited, and proofed? Usually, less than a month if the cover art has been done.

Prices are set by the author and can be changed at any time. There is a minimum price Amazon will print a book. You can order your book at that minimum price and get credit for total sales. Or, you can order your book at an author’s discount and save money and get no credit for the sales of the books you ordered.

I tell all my clients it is best to have a marketing plan starting at the same time they start writing their books. If you wait till after the book is written to think about marketing, you are far behind the power curve. If you have any questions regarding being an author and publishing a book, please contact me at red.olaughlin@gmail.com

4 Responses

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