Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spreading Ideas Outside the Bookstore

Filed under: Promotion — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Seth Godin, Guest Author

More and more, bookstores are turning into places where books go to die. Without active promotion, and even better, an easy way for the idea to reach people who don’t hang out in bookstores, it’s difficult for a book to catch on.

Here are two authors/crusaders who have figured out how to put alternative distribution to work for them. Bryan Stevenson, a professor at NYU, spent years honing his stump speech and it all came together with a TED talk he gave two weeks ago. In just a few days online, he has reached more than a quarter of a million people – he doesn’t use a book, he uses himself to spread the idea.

Michelle Alexander started more traditionally – with an extensively researched book, published by an old-school publisher. In the last few months, though, the paperback edition has sold more than 175,000 copies – not because she’s been on television, but because she has relentlessly traveled, speaking to groups who needed to hear her in person in order to start evangelizing her message.

It’s easy to look at the results of viral sensations and marvel at how quickly they went from zero to many. Most of the time, it’s not quick at all–it’s the result of years of groundwork followed by persistent attempts to speak up.

Here is Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk. Although not about promotion, a very interesting video.

BONUS Articles: Promotion Articles for Authors and Speakers

Copyright © 2013 by Seth Godin. Seth Godin has written thirteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Seth is the founder of The Domino Project. Check Seth’s Blog.

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Benefits of Having an Agent

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent, Guest Author

Today I’m covering some back-to-basics information. While people have always asked me about the advantages of having an agent, I’ve noticed an increase in the frequency of the question in this age of independence and do-it-yourself. People want to know: Do I need an agent? If I had one, how would they help me? Is it worth paying out 15% of my revenues?

Not everyone wants or needs an agent. Your job is to assess your situation and decide if it is the kind of partnership that would serve you. Here I offer you an overview of the ways the right literary agent can enhance your writing career.

manuscriptWhat kind of publisher do you want?

You only need to consider an agent if you’re interested in pursuing traditional, full-service, advance-and-royalty paying publishers. If you’re 100% committed to some kind of self-pub or subsidy publishing, you can probably do that on your own, although many agents today offer publishing services.

Preparing Your Manuscript

An agent can help you prepare and polish your proposal and manuscript before they’re submitted to publishers. Agents know what’s sellable in the current market, and they can help make sure your materials are top-notch before submission. They can help with everything from revisions on your manuscript to showcasing your platform in the most impressive way possible.

Submitting to Publishers

When your proposal is ready for submission, an agent has a big-picture view of all the possibilities, and they have information and experience that tells them which houses might be best for you. They have relationships with editors and an awareness of the editors’ preferences and current needs. The agent knows exactly how to submit your project to publishers so that it gets the proper attention. Often the agent has multiple conversations with publishers at the submission stage—answering questions, providing further information.

Offers from Publishers

When offers come in, the agent knows how to respond and how to negotiate the initial offer (at the Deal Memo stage). This is typically the time when the amount of the advance and the royalty rates are discussed, along with other key terms that may include the rights being sold, whether the publisher wants an option on the author’s next book, and the author buy-back discount. If there are offers from multiple publishers, the agent sets up a formal auction to decide the publisher.

But What if You’ve Already Secured a Publisher?

All the the functions listed above assume that you need a publisher. But sometimes an author is already working with a publisher when they begin considering an agent. In this case you’re asking, “Does the agent serve any function beyond the initial submissions and sale to a publisher?”

The answer is yes—read on below. But also, consider that even if you already have a book deal, signing with an agent will mean that your agent can help you with all the above functions—on your next book. By then they will have been working with you for some time, they’ll know you, and be in an even better position to help you take the next steps.

Negotiating the Contract

Most publishing contracts are 15 to 25 pages of legalese spelling out what rights the publisher is buying, and what rights you retain. The contract details how much money you’ll make on each format of your book and on every different kind of sale the publisher might make. It details how much it will cost you to buy your book from the publisher, whether the publisher wants an option on your next book, when you are eligible to get your rights back from the publisher, and whether your right to publish other materials is restricted. A typical boilerplate publisher contract that hasn’t been looked at by an agent usually doesn’t contain the most favorable terms an author could get if they tried (and I am not just referring to money). And most attorneys do not understand the implications of much of the language, unless they specialize in intellectual property.

Your agent understands the contract, and their job is to make sure your rights are protected and you are getting a fair deal with the best terms possible in your situation. They know which terms are most important to negotiate given your own goals and publishing scenario. Most importantly, they won’t allow you to sign a “bad” contract that would probably come back to bite you in the long run.

copyeditsInteracting with Your Publisher

Once the contract is signed, you are on a long road with your publisher in which you’ll go through the process of:

• writing your book,
• dealing with several rounds of editing
• having your book cover designed
• possibly having your title changed
• promoting your book in cooperation with the publisher’s marketing department
• launching your book

Throughout this journey, you will have many questions, and your agent will have the answers. Whenever you have an issue (for example, if you think you may not meet your deadline) your agent will handle it with the publisher. Whenever there is a conflict, such as a cover design you hate, your agent knows how to go back to the publisher and facilitate a satisfactory resolution.

It is this day-to-day partnership that is most valuable to many authors. An agented author is never alone on this publishing journey.

An Agent is Your Royalty Statement Watchdog

When your royalty statement comes, it will probably be confusing and hard to read. You may have no way of knowing if it contains mistakes or if you’ve been paid the proper amount. Part of an agent’s service is that they analyze your royalty statements to be sure your sales are being properly accounted for.

Constant Input and Education

Your agent can be a great source of knowledge about the industry. They can offer you a wider perspective whenever you have a question or concern. When you hear industry rumors, your agent usually knows what’s true and what’s not. Many agencies also offer concrete help and education for their clients, on topics that concern authors such as how to use social media to market books, or how to make the most of a writers’ conference. Some agencies have regular webinars for their clients, some have retreats, and many offer an online forum in which their clients can communicate and support each others’ careers.

Strategic Career Management

One of the best values an agent can offer is brainstorming with you about your “next book” and the entire direction of your career. They can take into account your personal goals and the state of the publishing marketplace to help you determine your next steps. If you have three different book ideas on the table, your agent would offer guidance as to which would probably be your best bet. They are keeping your brand in mind and will want to help you maximize your sales potential over the long term.

Ancillary Services

These days, literary agencies are doing more than just representing books to traditional publishers. They’re offering their clients multiple ways to be published, whether it’s traditional publishing, self-publishing, or a hybrid method. They’re always on the lookout for new opportunities for their clients.

Still, Not Everyone Needs an Agent

It’s up to you to determine whether a partnership approach to publishing would be right for you. I’m not trying to convince you to get an agent! But for those who’ve asked, I wanted to point out the benefits.

RachelleGardnerCopyright © 2013 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She’s looking for mainstream commercial projects for both the Christian and general markets. In non-fiction and memoirs, she looks for authors with established platforms, strong marketing hooks and an understanding of how to use social media. Non-fiction authors must have a book proposal and three sample chapters to be considered. She’s also seeking all kinds of fiction, and authors must have a completed manuscript to be considered.

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How Talking to the Media is Like Giving a Speech And… How It’s Not!

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

I recently traveled to Toronto to speak at a conference for business and professional women. It was an exciting event with women from varied backgrounds speaking on a range of topics designed to inspire and empower the attendees.

In preparing my talking points, I thought long and hard about which elements of my knowledge and experience would most benefit this audience. What did I want them to take away from their 45 minutes with me?

mediaIn that regard, preparing for a speech is in many ways like preparing for a radio, TV or print interview, or developing content for social media. You need to know your audience, and you need to think about what they’ll take away from listening to (or reading) what you have to say. Those take-aways should be information that holds a lot of value – not for you, but for them.

There are also a number of differences between a speech delivered directly to your audience, and talking to your audience via the media. Some, of course, are obvious. But others may not have occurred to you.

Here are a few:

For TV and radio:

Less time equals fewer “bullet points”: Occasionally, you’ll get a 30-minute or even an hour-long interview, but more often, you’ll have just a few minutes to make your points. So keep it simple! What two to three take-aways will reflect your message and benefit your listeners?

I talk to many people who have a difficult time distilling their “story” into seconds-long sound bites. If you’re like them, banish the “story” idea entirely. Instead, ask yourself, “Why is my message so important to me?” The answer to that is usually, “Because I know it can help solve a problem for others.” Now, tease out two to three points that can at least begin to help people solve that problem.

An interview is a conversation: Unlike speaking directly to an audience, when you’re talking via a talk show host it’s important to focus on engaging him or her. Do that, and you’ll engage the audience. For radio, have your take-always written down and placed where you can see them, just in case. (You won’t have that option for TV.) If the host asks a question that steers the conversation away from the points you want to make, answer it, but then steer the interview back to your message.

Remember, your interview may be edited: If your interview is not aired live, there are any number of reasons why portions might be edited out. Most of the time it’s because they’re dissatisfied with the interview. Keeping your take-aways pointed and succinct can help prevent that.

For print:

newspaperreporterYour words will be filtered by a reporter: If you’re being interviewed by print journalists, they’re likely taking notes by hand or recording the interview for transcribing later. Either way, what appears in print is subject to the reporter’s understanding and interpretation of what you’ve said. To help prevent a miscommunication, have your take-aways written down so you can be very clear and allow no room for misunderstanding. If the reporter does not have a specialty beat related to your expertise or is with a mainstream publication, as opposed to a trade, avoid using a lot of technical terms and jargon.

Social Media:

Can you share a take-away in 140 characters or less?: The beauty of social media is that you’re in control; the challenge is that you must be self-disciplined about the length of what you write. Twitter limits each post to 140 characters. One study of Facebook found that posts with 0 to 140 characters got far more responses than those with 141 and more. Another study found posts of 100 to 250 characters (about three lines) got 60 percent more response than those with more than 250. Be succinct. If you want to share lengthy material, post a link.

One thing holds true whether you’re giving a talk, an interview or posting on social media: Overtly promoting yourself, your product, company or book is not content that audiences value. They have ads and commercials – often entertaining, multi-million-dollar productions – for that.

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field sets you apart from your competition, which is why publicity is so important to building your brand.

The goal is not to sell, but to share your special knowledge in ways that will benefit your audience. In return, you gain their respect, trust, gratitude, and eventually, their patronage.

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2013 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

%d bloggers like this: