Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Waiting (Part 3 of 4)

This post is written by Steve Laube and is reprinted with his permission.
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Waiting for Your Editor

You met your deadline. And then you wait.

Months.

And you begin wondering if anyone is reading the manuscript at all!

This is actually quite typical. The publisher needs to have the manuscript in hand to know that it actually has been written. But don’t think the editor is sitting at their inbox, on the due date, with rapt anticipation of receiving your contracted manuscript. They manage their time in order to keep things in the queue and moving along. It can be very frustrating to wait. The key here is to be in communication with your editor. It is okay to ask! Or talk to your agent to see if they know if there is anything going on that is preventing that editor from working on your book.

Waiting for Your Marketing and Publicity to Kick In

The new author is so excited about their new book that they want to start chatting about it the day after they turn in the manuscript. A great athlete or sports team wants to peak at the right time, never too early. The same with book promotion. If you begin tweeting and creating Facebook posts, without inventory online or in stores to back it up, the window of sales opportunity closes.

“But e-books solve that issue because they can be ready today!” you shout. True. But don’t forget that a lot of people still buy physical books in stores, online, and off your back table at an event. The physical book is still alive and well and must be available if your publicity and marketing is to be effective.

—Steve Laube is a literary agent and owner of Christian Writers Institute. http://www.stevelaube.com/
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Do you have questions about ghostwriting or collaborating? Cec's legacy book, Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method, is now available for pre-order.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Waiting (Part 2 of 4)

This post is written by Steve Laube and is reprinted with his permission.
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Waiting for a Publisher

After working hard to get your proposal just right, we send it out to a select list of publishers. Then we all sit back and wait. It can take 3-6 months to hear an answer from a publisher. The longest our agency waited was 22 months before we received a contract offer. No kidding. Just shy of two years. [Both my client and I had already moved on, thinking the project was dead.] But that is truly the exception. I believe that if we don’t receive some sort of answer within four months it is probably not going to connect.

That record was recently surpassed by a client who was contacted by a magazine asking to publish a poem she submitted twenty-six years ago… in 1990. You read that right. Evidently this magazine keeps great files and a new editor must have been going through the archives!

Waiting for Your Contract

Once terms are agreed upon, it can take quite a while to get the actual contract issued by some publishers. Many can take as long as two months to generate the paperwork. We once had to change the date of the contract because it had taken so long to create the paperwork that the due date for the manuscript was earlier than the actual date on the contract! This delay can be excruciating. Ask your agent what is typical for the specific publisher you are working with. That way your expectations will be set.


—Steve Laube is a literary agent and owner of Christian Writers Institute. http://www.stevelaube.com/

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Do you have questions about ghostwriting or collaborating? Cec's legacy book, Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method, is now available for pre-order.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Waiting (Part 1 of 4)

This post is by Steve Laube and is reprinted with his permission.

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Good publishing takes time. Time to write well. Time to edit well. Time to find the right agent. Time to find the right publisher. Time to edit again and re-write. Time to design well. Time to market well.

While there can be a lot of activity, it still feels like “time” is another word for “wait.” No one likes to wait for anything. Our instant society (everything from Twitter to a drive-thru burger) is training us to want things to happen faster. Business experts claim faster is better (see Charles Duhigg’s book on productivity Smarter, Faster, Better). Many years ago I wrote about how long it takes to get published, which gave an honest appraisal of the time involved in traditional publishing. Reviewing that post from half a decade ago reveals that nothing has changed!

A successful author learns how to wait well.

Waiting for the Agent

Why can’t agents respond faster? Don’t we just sit around all day and read? We try our best to reply to submissions within eight weeks and are relatively good about that. But if your project passes the first review stage and we are now reviewing your entire manuscript, remember that reading a full manuscript is much more demanding than reading a few pages in a proposal.

If you are already represented, all I can say is that agents do their best to be responsive to your questions and phone calls. Crisis Management is part of our job description. Remember that one of the first things a First Responder must do is triage. Some issues are more critical than others, which can create consternation if yours is next in line instead of first.

But if your agent is unresponsive that is a conversation for another blog post.


—Steve Laube is a literary agent and owner of Christian Writers Institute. http://www.stevelaube.com/

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Are you interested in ghostwriting or collaborative writing? Cec's newest book for writers--Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method--is now available for preorder.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10 Marketing Do's and Don'ts for the Year (Part 3 of 3)

--By Rob Eagar (used with his permission)

8. Don’t Burn Yourself Out
The typical author, business owner, and non-profit director works a tireless schedule. Downtime can get pushed to the backburner, which leads to exhaustion, stress, and lowered creativity. Plan vacations now and make them sacrosanct. You’ll face this year feeling more relaxed knowing a vacation is on the books.

9. Do Pursue Bulk Sales
Bulk sales provide more revenue with less effort. For example, if you speak at conferences, encourage the director to buy your book for every attendee. Provide volume discounts as the quantity goes up, or create a special version of your product unique to the customer, such as custom covers, exclusive content, bonuses, etc.

10. Don’t Skip Your Professional Growth
Don’t view professional development or hiring outside expertise as an expense. View it as investing money today to make more money tomorrow. But, only take advice from someone who has succeeded at achieving your intended goal. If you want to increase your business acumen, you must increase your skills.

As you read these 10 Marketing Do’s and Don’ts, pick two or three issues and work on them this week.


Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing and a broad-based marketing consultant who helps authors, publishers, and organizations spread their message like wildfire. http://www.startawildfire.com/