Category Archives: Judith Briles

Book Publishing: Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

First of all, I have to tell you . . . I did not like Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, there’s no question that the author is talented. It’s well written—about a married women who doesn’t want to be married. She’s got to do a re-direct on her life to find herself, so she’s taking a year off and schmoozing, speaking Italian and eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia.

Did I mention she does love her husband, David—the one she doesn’t want to be married to? What scares the hooey out of her is having a baby—something that, in the early days of their relationship, they agreed they would do when the big 30 hit. Fast forward to now; it’s approaching and our author is a blabbering mess.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book and the author: she did not communicate to hubby that babies weren’t her forte and that it wasn’t going to work for her. Then the two could have come to closure instead of her dumping him for a new language, some pasta, and eventually meeting a guy who wasn’t interested in increasing the population.

What’s this got to do with authoring and publishing besides the book itself? Everything. Let’s start with clear, effective communicating, which is what many of the iUniverses, AuthorHouses and those who package publishing projects don’t do. My favorite thing about AuthorHouse is the coining of the word “authorcentric”—it’s a very cool word and one that I embrace. I wish AuthorHouse did. Then there’s iUniverse, which claims to be the champion of “supported self-publishing.” What’s supported self-publishing? Per iUniverse (via its website):

Self-publishing your book with the support of iUniverse is a professional, affordable, and fast way to get your book into print. Compared to publishing on your own, it costs you control of some aspects of the publishing process, but only in exchange for less hassle and expense. iUniverse professionals with book-publishing expertise will educate and guide you through the entire process for an affordable price. Supported self-publishing also enables you to test your marketing abilities and learn about the publicity process without emptying your bank account or making it your full-time career. And, because you control the rights to your book, you can get started with supported self-publishing but move to a traditional publisher—or choose to self-publish on your own—after you have experience and a track record.

Let’s look at the folks at AuthorHouse via its website:

AuthorHouse has grown into the largest self-publishing company in the world – responsible for helping more than 40,000 authors publish more than 60,000 books. AuthorHouse allows you to maintain creative and financial control of your book while receiving all the personalized attention and support you need – from publishing to promotion and everything between. AND AuthorHouse has  print-on-demand service that combines high-quality production with speed to market. Plus, formatting options and distribution capabilities can help set your book up for selling success.

Each boasts about its marketing services (very expensive), low cost entry into publishing for the author, generous payments (really?), distribution capability, etc., etc. AuthorHouse and iUniverse are just two of the many, many who proclaim themselves as “self-publishers” but who are, in reality, Vanity Presses. Period—nothing more, nothing less. They are huge and have a literal boiler-room approach, just like a hounding credit collection agency would—dial and re-dial … “If you don’t respond by today at two, our special offer will no longer be available … blah, blah, blah.” They eat, prey (on writers), and probably just love themselves. Communicate clearly? … nope. It’s grey everywhere.

They all use a POD model—which I’m the first to admit has a spot where it’s the right method for a quick print or end of life. But for the serious author/publisher, the one who intends on making money with a pBook format, this is a pass.

Self-publishers who are truly serious about their books and being successful need to step, no run, away from the term self-publishing. It no longer fits. The correct term is small press or independent publisher. Use it. Embrace it. Wear it with pride.

 

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

 

 

Book Publishing: It’s Not a Fad … It’s a Trend-Skipping NY

 

Book Publishing: It’s Not a Fad … It’s a Trend

A distinct trend has surfaced with book shepherding clients I’ve worked with this past year. These successful, traditionally published authors are choosing to bypass New York. Yes, if they offered their ideas, their manuscripts to the traditional publishing community via their agents, the odds were extremely high that they would receive a hefty offer to publish the new book. Yet, these authors chose not to. Why?

For years, I’ve been talking about the four primary reasons I left traditional publishing: control, quality, timing, and money. Their reasons matched mine. What publishers do in support of authors has declined to a minor fraction of just 10 years ago; in fact, most have turned into quasi printing houses that include cover design and minor editing only. Marketing has been pushed to the author with the expectation that if an advance had been paid, it would be used to promote the book. Publishing corners have been cut from the quality of paper and covers to the amount of glue in the spines. And authors have awakened to the fact that publishers are leaving a lot of money out of their pockets.

Just as kids grow up, express their independence, and get their drivers licenses, authors now want the keys to the publishing car. And it’s long overdue.

That’s where Author U comes in. You have the keys—with your hands on the wheel, you can go anywhere. The “anywhere” will be based on your platform, your vision, and your commitment. Along the way, Author U will introduce you to pit stops that will fuel your journey. You just have to keep refueling in the process. That’s where the Author U community comes into play along with the variety of programs that are available—some in person, others via computer.

Throughout the summer, the Tech Tool Box, Monday Evening Salons, and Webinars R Us have been active—book creation and book marketing don’t take vacations. Participating in them gives our members the up-front and personal attention by the presenters to dig down, learn the concept or tool, and implement them. Webinars have plenty of seats; Salons and Tech Tool Boxes are limited, with each being sold out. Make sure you check the dates and topics for each within The Resource newsletter and on the Author U website and sign up early.

The rest of the Author U year has been planned. Dinner and a Program will return on September 15th with presenter Jon Tandler focusing on all things legal in the publishing world—come with your list of questions. October 22nd will be a Saturday BootCamp that reveals a variety of “how-tos” in creating an Internet Book Launch, identifying the right partners, and the creating of gifts and prizes and special websites to funnel it all through. On November 17th, Steve Stone will deliver a Multi-Media Internet program with wonderful goodies to add to your website.

Author U starts a new tradition and will be going to the Holiday Mart sponsored by Denver’s Junior League in October. Participating members will have the opportunity to sell their books to thousands of pre-Holiday shoppers that are attracted to the event every year.

There’s lots on the Author U Highway … choose which pit stops will supply the fuel that you and your book needs.