Thursday, January 22, 2015

Your Next Challenge in Publishing - Finish What You Started

Editing Great Books Doesn't Get Them Selling or Sold - Publishing Does.

(Photo credit: Kev)
It's an easy trap to get into. Many niches have lots of books hanging around which beg you to bring them back to life.

And just in research alone, you can stumble onto fascinating projects which lend to even more interesting work.

The trick is to narrow your focus to the job at hand, and trust your research that you are working on the right product for the right niche.

I say this as now I'm in the middle of several incomplete publishing projects. Luckily, the changes at Lulu now force me to simply complete some of these shorter ones. Since all my PD/PLR books now have to be hand-submitted, it forces some choices. (A back-handed thanks, I guess.)

Some of the profitable approaches worth noting

  • Finding overpriced textbooks and simply republishing at a slightly or much lower price can be profitable. (Just watch for where they added additional material to the original PD work.)
  • Finding and publishing an out-of-print set of books with a new set of covers which binds them into a series - particularly where no one publisher has all of them, and most have been out of print for years.
  • Finding books which have not been ported over as ebooks - or only to a single distributor (like Amazon).
  • Building collections of books - very useful on Amazon, but they'll sell well on all the distributors.
  • Really doing the market research before you start and then sticking to the keywords and successful actions you found.
  • Evergreen launches.
  • Memberships with private links to discount versions in the paid area, but plenty of free material in the free area.
  • Finishing the marketing of one project before you start editing the next batch.
  • Getting your membership to buy discounted new releases and leave honest reviews. (The "instant bestseller" strategy.)
  • Surveying your email lists to find out what they actually want - and then publish that type of book.

Errors in publishing

  • Too many projects started, even published, and nothing marketed. You'll make some money, but are leaving tons on the table. 
  • Exclusive publishing on Amazon or any single distributor - same resul
  • Publishing only ebooks and not making the hardcopy available (from POD like Lulu.)
  • Getting dispersed with all the great books you can edit into shape. (Start with the highest quality digital files you can find.)
  • Buying conventional wisdom about spending a huge amount of time on social media "building your platform." (Get your reading audience to join your membership and interact with them by email.)
  • Only publishing a few books or spending an extreme amount of time "getting the marketing just right." Publish, Market. Then: publish, market. Then: publish, market. Some of your projects can overlap, since it takes time to proof hardcopy books. The solution to publishing income is to publish regularly and market when you aren't publishing.

- - - -

The end result for any home-business publisher isn't a lot of published books that sell well. That's just the whipped cream topping on top of that dessert.

A regular income from selling books just frees you up to really follow your bliss. This is also known as a "funded proposal." It pays for itself as it goes.

Your bliss-progress is gained only by helping other people find and follow theirs.

All this is designed around that central idea. That is also where you'll get your inspiration just before you dive into another editing-publishing-marketing project.

P. S. The reason for this post is to say - finish what you start. If you have a lot of incomplete projects, line them up by which is the quickest to finish and wrap them up on that order. Work on one project at a time from then on. Sure, download and file away books you want to work on, but get things completed. Review what you did earlier and do it better next time - don't go backwards, but simply do better with your next one. "Plan your work, work your plan."

Luck to us all.

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