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“I wrote my first book. Now what?”


Congratulations on writing your first book! And you want to sell it. Here’s what you need to do.

1) Write a book proposal. Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? You already have a book why write a proposal?

This is what agents and publishers want to see.

A book proposal gives a summary, an outline of each chapter, and A MARKETING PLAN. It’s up to you to sell books, not your publisher. Who’s your market, how big is it, how are you going to get in front of them, etc.

Few authors make money getting published conventionally. Pennies for the author. Pennies for the publisher. New media and the economy are taking an even bigger bit out of the profits. That’s why publishing companies are going out of business.

The money’s in self-publishing.

2) If you self publish, I recommend going the route of Print On Demand (books are printed when sales come in) over printing $20,000 books and store them indefinately. Use a company that accepts returns. If you’re going to sell to book stores or Amazon, you have to be able to accept and refund returns.

3) If you do print the $20,000 of books ahead of time (profit margin’s much bigger that way), hire a fulfillment house like Speaker Fulfillment Services to ship out your products. If you’re a coach, include a welcome letter and a voucher for a free strategy session.

Back to conventional publishing…
The profits per copy are abysmal, but the credibility is terrific for getting media attention.

4) GET REFERRALS to agents and publishers. It’s very hard to be taken seriuosly without a professional recommendation.

5) Here’s another reason why I like starting with self-publishing. You can build a track record and a fan base before you approach agents and publishers. In the meanwhile, if you market well and people love your book enough to recommend it to their friends and grow your market, you could make a nice sum of money to supplement your coaching income.

And any way you play it, a book is a nice calling card. Especially for the media. (I have another radio interview this Tuesday, May 5, and my host will have read the book beforehand.)

6) Here are some great book coaches (authors and editors who guide new authors on how to get published, or build a platform to make money from their books).

Rosey Dow specializes in building author platforms, because the money ain’t coming from the books themselves. She’s a prolific romance writer who knows from experience that it takes more than being published (a lot) to make a living.

Nancy Faass runs the San Francisco Writers Group. She’s a published author who edits and writes book proposals.

Sheri Swanson I hired her to edit my book and write my book proposal.

7) Attend the Book Expo of America in NYC at the end of this month. And have your book proposal and some appointments lined up before you go there.

  1. star thomas says:

    this page has been very helpful and beneficial. hope to be a great author very soon!!!

  2. Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.

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