At What Expense Is Being A Bestselling Author Worth?

I’m a bestselling author, you’re a bestselling author, wouldn’t you like to be a bestselling author too? If you fancy yourself any sort of an author, who wouldn’t want to be known as an elite author (well, when actually being a best selling author meant something instead of manipulating Amazon stats)? But at what length would you go to have bestselling author before your name?

I really want you to think about that before you answer, although I can already hear the words yes, hell yeah, and you damn skippy before I finish typing my question. And as an author myself I totally get that and I too want to be a bestselling author, but…

At what cost?

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Would you be willing to sacrifice your voice, your vision, and a chance to extend your brand and be an influencer of your own to be a best selling author? Now if your scratching your head and wondering just how being a bestselling author could cost you something so dear to an author’s heart that should be the cornerstones to their legacy, stop scratching and keep reading.

Maybe I’m late to the ‘be a bestselling author party’, but an emerging trend has surfaced in the publishing industry where you can actually be featured in a prominent author’s book (for a sizable fee of course) and they in turn will guarantee you being a bestselling author. Sounds like a win-win situation, but all wins aren’t equal if you can gain the instant gratification of being a bestselling author now and haven’t leveraged the unearned title for later use. Sounds like ‘EASY’ to me, and if you follow my blog you already know I’m not a fan of easy.

As I get more pointed with this issue and as you may label me hating at how one does business; let’s delve a little deeper in hopes that ALL PARTIES involved benefit EQUALLY.

As of this blog Nikki Woods, Brian Tracy, Jai Stone and countless other high profile authors, gurus, and influencers offer this service in some degree or another. Let me be very clear, I am not saying what is being offered  by them is wrong. It’s actually great business, but is it great business for the authors who are blinded by the glaring lights of becoming a bestselling author? That’s the heavy footed elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

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Nikki Woods offers her Page One To Done author program where you’ll get:

  • Monthly 90 minutes call training & updates Nikki Woods personally
  • Weekly action steps you can take to ensure progressing
  • Live interaction with Nikki in the private Facebook group
  • Access to some of Nikki’s GUEST EXPERTS
  • Daily accountability check ins

Clearly there is a redeemable value in Nikki Wood’s Page One To Done program with many actionable takeaways that would enhance any author’s knowledge, but let’s fast forward and see how all of your hard work cultivates into the finished product.

I actually own a copy of Shift and thought the stories were inspiring and showed great depth in making the connection with the reader. But something gnawed at me like an unfocused  picture that asks you to find what’s wrong with it. What was bothering me was my curiousity as to how each contributing author could leverage being a bestselling author when ONLY Nikki Woods name appears on the cover? Going a bit further, if you head over to Amazon to purchase the book Shift and look where it says ‘author by’, it says (drumroll please) Nikki Woods.

Ok I’m far from the smartest apple in the bunch or the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if the book Shift did reach Amazon’s best seller status and Nikki Woods name is the only name who is the credited author, then who really is acknowledged as best selling author?

If you’re asking why is it important to have your name on the cover and to be credited properly when you’re a co-author; it’s simple, MARKETABILITY. It’s easy to leverage being a bestselling author into speaking engagements and book signings when your name appears on the cover and a person can search you out as being a best selling author instead of just appearing in an anthology.

Looking at James Patterson who thought high enough of authors Howard Roughan and Michael Ledwidge to work with them, speaks immeasurable volumes about their credibility. Now who and the hell are Howard Roughan and Michael Ledwidge?  Never mind; their book covers says it all.

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 Jai Stone, The Emotional Nudist, (love that title by  the way) book collaboration project is called Her Chronicles; Stories of Faith, Fear and Fortitude. And like Nikki Woods she offers a host of great services to authors who’d like to grow their brand and extend their reach.

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Let’s take a few things that YOU will get once you sign up for Her Chronicles

25 copies of your book to gift to friends & family OR sell them (at $20 ea. you could make $500!)

100 Bookmarks included

Customized electronic promo cards that you can use to pre-sell your book at events before your book release date

And so much more…

Now let’s take a look at the cost of being a part of the Her Chronicles book collaboration project, but before I do let me quote Jai Stone on operating out of a place of INTEGRITY…

“I pride myself on operating from a place of integrity and standards. The costs represented here are the first and final costs represented to the best of my knowledge.  I promise to always be transparent with you about any additional costs and always try to leverage relationships that will create a win-win for everyone! One of the BEST benefits about a project like this is that we are splitting the costs. If you produced a project like this alone it would cost you roughly $8500. If you don’t believe me, see the cost break down below.”

 

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But fret not, because total cost for this book collaboration project is only…$2295. That’s over $6000 in savings. Hmmmmmm…

Like I said earlier I’m NOT the brightest apple hanging in the Garden of Eden, but on an investment of almost $2300 I can make a whopping return of $500 because I get 25 books that I can sell for $25 a piece. Get the (fill in your bad curse word) outta here!

Bringing just one thing to your attention from Jai’s project costs chart, she said an ISBN and a barcode costs $250, when in fact if purchased from Bowker the total cost for an ISBN and a barcode is just $150; that’s a $100 mark up. Makes you wonder what else has been inflated to reach total fees of $8550?

I know this blog will strike a nerve in quite a few folk and that’s ok. Hopefully I strike enough nerves in authors considering participating in these kinds of collaborations to ask the right, TOUGH questions. People will read this blog and think I’m taking shots at how Jai Stone, Nikki Woods, and Brian Tracy conduct business. I’m not. What I AM doing is helping authors not be blinded by the allure of being a best selling author only to end up a voice of many in an HIGH PRICED anthology.

 

 

Authors, Easy is Never in The Formula For Success

Authors if you think the life of a scribe is an easy one, please think again. Contrary to many others in the publishing industry I do feel that writing a book is as EASY as writing a paragraph. I plan on putting my theory to the test in another blog, but that’s for another day (coming very soon by the way). And for me that’s where the easiness stops and the commitment, the grind; whatever you chose to call your animal of dedication begins.

The pitfall of many new and 1st time authors is listening to the claims of becoming a bestselling author in just a few easy steps by the latest bestselling guru or how this guru’s proven formula is so easy even YOU can use it. Just replace YOU with a cute monkey if you have grabbed your wallet and whipped out your debit card and purchased that no fail system that oozes easiness because you my friend have fallen for the banana in the tail pipe.

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I’m not saying all systems and formulas are meant to take advantage of new and first time authors, hell in a few months I will be launching my very own eCourse aimed at …you guessed it, new and 1st time authors, but I will not be making any claims of easy this and fail proof that. Just proven and effective methods that allows new and 1st time authors not only to compete in the Uber competitive publishing industry, but to thrive.

What’s even worse than being leery of the experts and the gurus and the way they talk of the publishing process being easy? When a first time author launches their first book and success comes easier than they could ever imagine. So how could that be considered a bad thing you have to ask?

If you’re that author who failed to do the same things you did when your first book was launched, than you can all but expect nothing but an epic failure to follow.

I stated earlier that in just a few months I’ll be launching an eCourse designed for 1st time and new authors to be competitive in today’s publishing industry, but today I’m going to share a two principles from that eCourse on how NOT to let early and easy success undermine being successful in the long-term.

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In 2010 I self published and released my first book The Ugly Side of Sex and I could do NO wrong marketing wise. From the beauty and barber shops, to online, then onto flea markets, and finally I made it to the shelves of a Borders book store. I stood in front of the above picture you see above and couldn’t stop thinking I made it, I finally made it.

All my efforts paid off; from passing out flyers, to blogging, cultivating meaningful relationship in the publishing industry, doing regular radio and blog radio, landing a magazine interview, getting great write ups and even greater reviews. I was on cloud nine and this was only my first book and I thought if every publishing process I started would net end results like this then let me get started on my next book.

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I did. I can honestly say to this day that A Boy & His Joyless Smile is some of my BEST writing to date and yet I was met with the deafening noise of crickets…. Not the barley chirping crickets; I’m talking crickets on steroids washed down with a couple of bottles of 5hr Energy crickets.

So what happened?

Did I pass out flyers for A Boy & His Joyless Smile like I littered the streets with flyers when it came to The Ugly Side of Sex? Not exactly. Did I stop by and show love to all the barber shops and beauty salons that always welcomed me in when I was a young and hungry author? No, but I wished I did though. Did I at least maintain relationships with all the bloggers, blog talk radio shows, magazines, and everyone that brought my 1st book? Well see, what had happen was…

Let me tell you what happened; EASY HAPPENED. Just because my first book was accepted so readily, I believed that everything I would write and release would be met with the same fanfare. That kind of thinking is what kills the literary careers of most new authors and definitely had mine on life support.

So the first principal I want to share with you is that you have to maintain consistent marketing efforts with each book project and not arrogantly think you’ve made it based off of your previous work.  Janet Jackson did sing ‘what have you done for me lately’ for a reason you know.

And from the titles of those two book; The Ugly Side of Sex and A Boy & His Joyless Smile, can you guess what else I did wrong? Sure take your time (took me forever to figure it out)…

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Ok time’s up. What I did drastically wrong was genre hopping. I jumped from erotica, The Ugly Side Of Sex to a coming of age story with A Boy & His Joyless Smile. I mean who did I think I was James Patterson and I had a following that loved my writing regardless of what I wrote? Ninja please, I was an unknown author writing like  I knew my small, but growing following at the time would still keep pace.

Curse you ‘EASY’ and your false securities of effortlessness; luckily I followed up The Ugly Side of Sex with Dirty Secrets of Clean Sheets and Bad Kenny 1st Story to keep my fans of erotica happy. Does this mean an author shouldn’t write in other genres? Of course not. It just means no matter the genre make sure you have clearly identified your target market which is my second principal I want to share with you.

You’re an author and if you’re a good one, the writing ideas that keep you up at night won’t confine you to one specific genre and that’s fine. Writing is about expression and growth right? So when that urge strikes for you to write that Sci-fi Paranormal thriller just make sure you take the time to properly research your target market and keep in mind that the readers that may have supported you in other genres may not be up to following you into something new and that’s ok. Just make sure you don’t forget about them as you embark on your new writing journey. Remember even no matter what James Patterson writes about he always comes back to his Alex Cross series.

So as a new or first time author what are some of the challenges are you facing? Are your book sales lagging? Not sure how to properly identify your target market? Or do you just find it hard to keep the momentum going with your marketing efforts? Whatever obstacles you are facing with your book project(s) I want to help you not only overcome them, but flat out CRUSH THEM.

And I can help you do that just by you leaving exactly what’s stopping you from being the author you see yourself as with your comments and or questions below in the comment section and I promise to answer each and every one.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog and if you felt it helped you in any way then please feel free to share it across your social media platform as well. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

No time to write a book? Not even 3 pages a day? Then you don’t wanna write…

When people find out that you’re an author and that you have a few books under your belt, the first thing they say is they always wanted to write a book , but they just don’t have the time. Honestly I hear this more than I care to.

People say that like most authors don’t have the same life issues that every day people who don’t write. Most authors have jobs with time consuming commutes. Families who don’t understand the purpose of a writing cave and the peace it takes to get into a writing zone.

 

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If you’re still thinking that there isn’t enough time in the day, I say you just need to manage you’re time better because everyone has the exact same 24 hours in a day. My seconds, minutes , and hours aren’t different or longer than yours. Yet with a full time job that includes a roundtrip commute of an hour and a half, a family that loves me, but refuses to understand the concept that these books don’t write themselves, but yet I still found the time to write two full length books, two eBooks, two informative marketing pdf guides, and a growing blog. I also own and operate En El Publishing and En El Publishing Services.

So what you were saying about not having enough time again?

Before you think I have it all figured out; I DON’T, I’m still figuring it out. But I too, was quick to say I didn’t have the time to write my book, but I had time for my Lakers and I couldn’t miss my Bronco’s. I watched the WWE faithfully, I loved 24 so much that I was contemplating getting a dog just to name him Jack Bauer, and HBO’s The Newsroom had become the real news to me. I had time for everything I wanted to do, but couldn’t make time for what I NEEDED to do. That was until I made me writing my book a need and stopped wanting to write my book. Television Production Concept. Tv Movie Panels

So if you’re serious about getting that book out of you and onto some pages, the first thing you have to do is stop wanting to write your book and start needing to write your book. Need to write your book like you need to earn a living. Need to write your book like you need to eat. Need to write your book like you need to love. And if you’re wondering if it’s that serious, YES, it’s that serious. Because if you don’t take it that serious you will never get it done.

The second thing you need to do if you’re serious about writing your book is the actual writing part. You can want to do something, you can need to do something, but until you ACTUALLY do it, all you have are thoughts of doing it.

And I know you have a busy life and that you are tired at the end of the day. And when you finally get a moment to relax the last thing on your mind is to sit in front of your computer and finally get started writing, but what if I told you that I could help you, help yourself in finding the time not only in getting your book started, but seeing it through until completion?

I don’t want you reading this blog, getting all amped up to write your book without a way of getting it done. So watch the short video below, the message is simple, but if you’re honest with yourself you will see how you really have more than enough time to do what’s important to you.

You see how just by stop using your smart phone for everything else but being productive, you will have more than enough time in finally writing that book you once claimed you didn’t have time for. And now since you have more time in your day here’s the third thing you need to do when it comes to writing your book. WRITE JUST 3 PAGES A DAY!!! No more, no less. If you write 3 pages a day, for 60 days without missing a day, you will have written 180 pages. You will have written a full length book.

So do yourself a much needed favor and stop saying you don’t have time to write a book and do the three things I spoke of in this blog:

  1. Stop wanting to write your book and start NEEDING to write your book (know the difference)
  2. Actually write your book (the word ‘write’ is a verb and we know that most verbs are action words, so take ACTION)
  3. Write 3 pages a day, EVERYDAY (without fail)
 I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to leave me a comment below and let me know what’s stopping you from finally siting down and writing your book. And if you haven’t signed up to follow my blog already just do so at the top right side of the page and feel free to share this blog’s link via social media.

 

8 Rules for Kids That an Author Can Live By…

 

1.) Keep God First: Out of the rules my daughter and I discuss, keeping God first is my favorite. It helps her to try and see (she’s only 5 you know) that the owness of life’s hard times isn’t her own and thanks should be given in good and especially bad times This is done by keeping God first. As an author, especially a self published one, you will face more than your fair share of frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments. Keeping God first just as an author will take away the lonely feeling of no one understanding your struggle and giving you the strength to go on when you have ran out of reasons on why you should.

 

2.) Work Hard: Marlee wants to be an artist when she grows up, I’m sure that’s subject to change at least 20 times before she finds her life’s true calling, but as it stands now she wants to be the Basquiat of the crayon and pad. So when I come home from work and she has her markers, crayons, and drawing paper spread across the coffee table, but the t.v. on and the drawing paper still clean, I ask her just one question. ‘Marlee what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And with a sheepish grin she reaches for the remote and cuts the t.v. off. She understands that without hard work, her being an artist is just an answer to a question to what she wants to be when she gets older. As an author you are working on what you want to be. Now if you want to be a successful author , nothing will give you that much sought after success than hard work. Nothing. Period. Forget the ads you see on Facebook of how someone’s 3 secret steps will have you sell thousands of books. Or how by using their tried and true system, you too can become a bestselling author. If you were listening to me read this then you surely would have heard me laugh at the B.S. Anyone can write a book and for that you DON”T have to work hard, but if you want a successful career as an author than be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life

 

3.) I am Great: When Marlee and I first started to go over her rules together I would have her say I’m going to be great, now I have her say it in the present tense that she is already great and working on becoming greater. Being an author I think it’s vital to your success to know the day you sat down and dedicated yourself to becoming a successful author that at that very moment you became great and as you continue to hone your craft, you will without fail, become greater.  I know you look at your favorite authors and think ‘wow’, but your favorite authors at one time in their writing careers was exactly where you are today. And the one thing that not only your favorite author , but all successful authors have in common, is they know that they are great at what they do already. 8 rules

 

4.) I’m A Leader, Not A Follower: If the first rule is my favorite, then I’m a leader, not a follower has to be a close second. When Marlee gets around other kids and she’s ripping, running, and being bad as sometimes kids do, so I pull her to the side and ask her to recite all the rules. With an exhausted look on her face she just says rule number four since she knows that’s where I’ll stop her at to point out that she’s not currently being a leader, but a follower. And as you read rule number four, stop and ask yourself are you a leader or a follower. Are you playing it safe and continuously writing about what’s popular, or are you looking to write your truth, giving readers something else to think about instead of the same ol’ same. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are NO NEW stories under the sun sorry, but the way you present those stories can provoke thought and feed the passion of the masses. Sounds like a good leader to me.

 

5.) Time is More Valuable than Money: Out of the 8 rules, this one was the hardest for Marlee to comprehend… at first. And for that matter, most people that don’t  understand the true value of time. You see time well spent can’t be priced at anything, but since we are at a lost for  just how valuable time truly is, we waste it and wait for tomorrow with another 24 hours to be gifted to us. And the sad thing about that is we will waste those 24 hours too because we still don’t value time like we do money. Case in point you’re an author looking to be a success author, but that will never happen because you don’t value the most precious thing you have in your possession and that’s time. You never miss your favorite television shows, your phone is never too far from your hand, and the only time you feel socially awkward is when you’re not caught up in the redundant cycle of social media. The way you spend your time directly affects the amount of money you can spend.

 

6.) I’m Responsible for my Own Success and Happiness: Most adults can’t fathom that it isn’t someone else’s fault when they haven’t achieved the amount of success and happiness they’d like to have because as children they’ve been raised to believe that responsibility falls on someone else besides them. Any time Marlee is upset because other kids might not want to play as she’s playing or she didn’t get the desired results from the amount of work she put into a project, I clearly point out to her that she and no one else is responsible for her success or happiness. NO ONE. As all the rules that apply to my daughter, I think this one aptly applies to the majority of the authors today. YOU and no one else, but you are DIRECTLY responsible for where you’re at in your career as an author. If you feel you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be at this stage of your career, well look no further than the amount of work you’ve put in. No, honestly, take a hard, long look and if you can say you left it all on the table (or wherever you write at) before you go to bed then all left for you to do is be patient and wait on the work you put in to pay off. This is no one else’s life or career, but your own, so the responsibility of your life and career rests squarely with you.

 

7.) I’m A Problem Solver, Not A Problem: If you’re blessed with kids then you know they will come crying to you when the slightest thing goes wrong until you fix it and then five minutes later something else is wrong. So how do you get them to want to fix things for themselves? Help change their thinking that’s how. I help Marlee to see herself as a problem solver so when a problem arises her mindset is not to focus on the problem, but what’s the best way to fix it. As authors you will face problem after problem after problem; where does it end? It doesn’t, but a change in thinking is where you should begin. I learned the very hard way (or maybe that should be expensive) that you can’t pay everyone to fix your problems, especially on a shoestring budget. So you better become a problem solver quick or add being broke to the long list of mounting problems. And the beautiful thing about looking at potential problems as only questions that need to be answered, is that it always makes you more knowledgeable for it. Through that acquired knowledge I’ve learned to typeset, format, design e-book and full book covers, plus a host of other services . FIND OUT HERE to see all that En El Publishing Service offers.

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8.) I Love Rainbows: In the beginning all we had was seven rules, I guess it was my ode to The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, but at the end of the rules I put together with Marlee she would always add ‘I Love Rainbows’ at the end. I would tell Marlee I’m trying to teach her life lessons early and loving rainbows really didn’t have anything to help you deal with the harshness of life. She  would bury her cute chin in her chest and sulk upstairs to her room. One day my wife waited until we got done with “our” rules and wanted to talk with me as Marlee walked off, head down and feeling defeated because I wasn’t trying to hear anything about rainbows. My wife calmly explained to me that she thought what I was doing with Marlee was great, but I could be doing more harm than good. I asked how did she figure that and she sweetly said to me that I wasn’t letting her be herself by expressing her like for rainbows. That if helping Marlee to be the best she could be shouldn’t she have a say in the matter? I sat back and thought about what my wife was saying to me and felt horrible. As an author I’m one of the biggest proponents of writing what YOU want to write and be free and as expressive as you possible could be. The next time Marlee and I were going over the rules she stopped at seven and didn’t bother mentioning anything about rainbows, I lifted her chin off her chest and asked her was she going to add rainbows this time? Her little crooked smile and bright eyes said it all. So authors be free, be creative, be unique, but most of all be you.