Friday, March 30, 2012

Writing and Publishing Your Memoir

A Six-Week Course: I've been approved to teach a course on memoir writing and publishing on consecutive Wednesdays, beginning May 16, 1 to 3 PM, at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs. The course is being advertised to seniors, but I doubt if they'll be checking IDs at the door. Still, if you're under 55, you might email me first.

My minimum objective is to get students to plan their memoir, complete with working title and subtitle, table of contents, and a vision of what the finished book will look like, how long it will be, who the readers will be and how they will reach them. In addition, with six sessions, some students ought to be able to road test a chapter or two or three.

Fee is $110.00 for members of Cottonwood and $135.00 for non-members.

I've been looking for a way to help would-be authors, especially seniors, to get their memoirs written and published a suitable form.--The Publishing Pro.

Marketing Tip: How to Leverage Family and Friends

A Little Help:The email below caught my attention for two reasons: First, it comes from a family member. Second, even though it plays the charity card ("Help my strugging son-in-law artist..."), it includes some practical advice to recipients about how they can help the author sell books on Amazon (even with a bad review). 
My son-in-law, Aaron Michael Ritchey, has his debut novel coming out! THE NEVER PRAYER will be published by Crescent Moon Press on Thursday, March 29th.
Aaron has spent the past few years working on it, but he's been writing all of his life. This is a dream come true!

His novel is a young adult, paranormal romance that explores the age old battle between good and evil. This time things take an interesting turn when an atheist angel has to battle a faithful demon for the soul of a girl. She must discover who is the angel and who is the demon in time to save herself and her small town. It's similar to Twilight, but with more grit and heart.

Here’s how you can help. We are doing a special Amazon event on the night of Friday, March 30, 2012. So if you plan on buying the book and supporting his dream, please do so after 7 PM Eastern on March 30, 2012. The more people who buy it during that time, the better chance he has of breaking into the Amazon bestsellers list. It’s $14.99 for a paperback, less for the electronic version. Just go to [Amazon] ...

Also, if you read it, please leave a review! These days, the more reviews you have, good or bad, means the difference between success and failure for a book! We appreciate your support. Help us make the world a better place. Support my struggling son-in-law artist!

Also of note: See what the author does on his website on the page entitled "The 12 Steps." And ... his book signing is at a bar and grill. I'm seeing more of this as bookstores disappear. The Publishing Pro

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Color Is Wonderful ...

... Except for the Cost: Color printing is not as expensive as it used to be, but it is still up there. CreateSpace, my current favorite print-on-demand company, charges $2.77 for a 160-page trade paperback, small format, color cover with bw interior. If you want the same book in color, you will pay $12.07, more than four times as much. The black and white version needs a retail price of $15 to $20 to be economically viable. The color version needs a retail price of $60 to $80 to work. That's not going to work in most situations.

What do you do if your book needs color? Two of my customers are in this situation and have chosen two different approaches. 
  • Author #1 wrote a how-to book for art teachers. She wanted the book to be in color, mainly to show off the projects. However, at CreateSpace, the black and white version was going to cost $2.55 while the color version was going to cost $10.79. She figured she could easily sell the black and white book for $20.00, a price that was more than workable in my opinion. However, she did not think she could sell the color book for more than $30.00, which is well below the retail price she would need in order to sell the book on Amazon or in stores. However, the $30 price would work okay if she sold the book directly to teachers at her workshops. Because some prospective customers told her they would buy the color book for $30.00 rather than the black and white book for $20.00, she decided to try a color version as a test. Two things made the test reasonable. First, it was a relatively simple matter (and therefore inexpensive) for me to create a color version by replacing the grayscale images with color ones. Second, CreateSpace charges a tiny setup fee for a new book. The book is not ready yet, so we do not know if her prospects will really spend the extra $10 for the color version. We also do not know if it will be worth it for her to take a smaller profit on the color version in order to satisfy her customers. In this case, the test is inexpensive and therefore low-risk.
  • Author #2 wrote a business book that requires color charts. She believes she can sell many books through her speaking engagements and therefore is willing to risk an offset printing of 2,000 books, which brings the unit cost of her book below $5.00 and makes a $20.00 retail price reasonable. The only question, which remains to be answered, is whether she can sell those 2,000 books. The inventory risk is high, but the author's speaking credentials reduce the risk. This is a publishing model that works.  The Publishing Pro, LLC