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Saturday, January 21, 2012

5 Questions Around Self-Publishing Your Non-fiction Book

Here are five provoking questions to help you begin the process of self-publishing your book!
These days everyone wants to write their book! Why not. It is easy to imagine the great feeling of seeing your book in print. It is such a tangible symbol and manifestation of success in the eyes of most people. It seems like anyone who touts themselves as an expert at anything, also has their book to validate it.
That first book has become a benchmark for many, many entrepreneurs.
However, the jump from deciding to write a book, and actually having that book completed and in print is huge. For some people it feels like an insurmountable task and it is so easy to get lost along the way, blocked by obstacles or just lose the inertia.
Here are five important questions to address, that will make the process much easier and more fruitful as well.

1. What is your purpose in writing your book?
Your business plan needs to reflect where your book will fit in to the overall picture. Why would this be important for your business? After people read your book, what do you want them to do? How will your book help your business grow?

2. Who are you writing it to?
Just like any product you are marketing, you need to know your target customer. You need to know who they are, what they need or want and the benefits they will receive. Once you can answer these questions it is easier to know what to write and how to write it.

3. What’s the style?
A non-fiction book often teaches something, as in, “How to” books. They can be motivational and inspirational as well. They can be essays on a subject. The style of your book needs to make sense to the person you want to communicate to and what you want to accomplish.

4. How to publish it?
If you want to become a household name then you might feel you need to get a conventional publisher. Many people think that getting a publisher will be cheaper. Not true if you look at the whole picture.
Unless you are already a famous person, you need to have an agent first. You have to write a book proposal, which can be more laborious than writing the book. I did this 15 years ago and it took me three months to do my proposal. I sent it to many agents and luckily someone took it. If she had managed to find a publisher, she would have taken her percentage of each book sold. The publisher will pay you possibly 6-15% of retail price.

At the end of the day you might end up with a couple dollars per book! It is also a mistake to assume they will market it for you. If you are unknown, they expect you to do your own marketing. However they will get your book in all the large bookstores via their distribution channels as long as the bookstores order it.
Self-publishing is the other option. Fifteen years ago I self-published two books. I had to print at least 1500 to make it worth it. It was a large outlay of money. These days print on demand gives you the ability to digitally print a small amount at a low price and have total control, sell them on your website, with no one taking their percentage out. And now there is also the e-book option. You still have the option to put them on other websites, in bookstores or anywhere and create your own wholesale price.
If you are going to do all the marketing yourself, why not earn more money? Now, years later, I have published my recent books and audiobooks this way.

5. Who is on your team?
It requires a skilled team to help you get your book out. Actually writing was the fun and creative part but help was needed with editing, layout, cover creation, mentoring, book naming and more. It is important to find the right people who can support you, understand the project and want to be a part of your process. Without a good team you will never make it to the finish line.

Follow these five steps, answer all the questions I have posed, and you will be much more equipped to move forward and begin your project. Just imagine your book in print and the smile on your face at the end!


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Selling Your Book to Non-Traditional Markets- 19 Strategies that will help you acquire those sales

Unfortunately, those traditional book store sales aren’t always ‘sold.’ The books might be returned over and over again. That’s the sad reality of the book retail industry. Your book’s fame, however, can help you to acquire nonreturnable sales in the nontraditional market where a sale actually is a sale, where sales of 25,000 copies and more are not uncommon.

Here are 19 strategies that will help you acquire those sales:
1. Write your book for a very broad market. Nonfiction works best.
2. Write a book that people will be happy to give as a gift.
3. Add as many photos and illustrations as you can afford.
4. Keep the topic light. Avoid heavy social commentaries, controversial topics, scientific theories and other heavy subjects.
5. Have your book professionally designed.
6. Have your book professionally edited.
7. Give your book a catchy name. Avoid boring titles such as How to Have a Happy Fulfilling Life
8. Make sure that the cover design is appealing, appears three dimensional and can compete with all of the major publishing houses. Hire a professional designer.
9. Sell the benefits of your book on the back cover. That is where you will sell buyers on the reasons why they just can’t live without your book.
10. Price the book competitively in your genre.
11. Make your book look like it is good value for the price. It’s all about perceived value in the minds of the buyers.
12. Don’t write for yourself, write for the end buyer. Fulfill a need for them or make them feel better.
13. Think of the corporate market when you are writing. Make a list of corporations that can benefit from your book, and then contact them. Yours could end up becoming a ‘premium’ book.
14. Submit your book to the book clubs at least six months before you publish.
15. Find an agent who sells to the gift market.
16. Find an agent who sells foreign rights.
17. Find an agent who sells to the display market.
18. Don’t be afraid to offer large discounts on nonreturnable sales.
19. Seek licensing agreements: they are a great source of income for no work on your part.

A professionally designed book opens many doors while amateurish appearance closes many doors. It is vitally important that you invest in your book at the beginning to create sales in the long term. Plan for publicity and marketing before you print your books. Printing is not the final expense in your marketing plan. It is the beginning. You can have the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it. Create a book that buyers just can’t resist. Get your gift shopping done online for your writer friends:

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Read this:

Friday, July 23, 2010


Tired of going to information sites and having to wade through a lot of verbiage before getting to the nuggets you’re after? Like road rage, page rage slows you down, frustrates your need to move quickly.
For those who want to write but are short on time, A Cappela Publishing now offers:

Quickie classes which boil down important learning lessons into short bites that can be absorbed in just a few minutes.

Along with their 20 in-depth online classes on various aspects of writing, publishing and marketing what you write, A Cappela now offers condensed courses. These Quickie classes work best for fast learners who want ‘just the facts’ without a lot of examples and illustrations.

Quickie classes make it possible to get immediate answers to writing questions, and at a reasonable fee.

Known as the site of the world’s foremost Author’s Advocate, A Cappela is a one-stop-shop for authors. Its professional staff works with writers from the time they say, “I’ve got a great idea for a book,” through successful publication and marketing – saving you time and money.

Check out the many offerings at

Friday, January 8, 2010

Make 2010 the Year to DO IT!

Got the Writer's Blues?

No time?
Don't know how to begin?
Stuck on plot or characterization?
Just plain Writer's Block?
Wherever you are, whatever you need...
your Author's Advocate will help you!

Check out my one-stop-shop for authors


Thursday, December 31, 2009


The January Newsletter is ready and waiting. Check it out at the link below.

Monday, November 30, 2009


The December issue of the A Cappela Publishing Newsletter is ready!
Check it out now at:

Acappela Will Help You Write a Book

Got the Writer's Blues?
No time?
Don't know how to begin?
Stuck on plot or characterization?
Just plain Writer's Block?

Wherever you are, whatever you need...your Author's Advocate will help you!

A recent survey showed that 80% of Americans want to write a book.
Are you one of them?
I'll help you make it happen - whether you're a professional who needs a book to add credibility to your practice, someone who wants to write your own life story or your family's saga, or a wannabe writer of fiction or nonfiction.
Wherever you are in the process, whatever you need - I'll help you make this dream come true.

Check out my web site and decide where we can begin:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What We Can Do For You

I know from experience that it is not easy to write a book and even harder to get published.

I also know that once you’ve achieved publication, it gets easier and easier to get published again.

This happens for two reasons:
First, you will have honed your skills and be writing up to publishable standards by the time this happens..

Second, agents and editors recognize your skill through your published credits.

So the big questions are, how can you know when you’ve arrived at a publishable level, and how do you then determine the best publishing route for your works?

A critique of your work by a knowledgeable professional in publishing will answer your questions. A good critique will tell you if your work is up to publishable standards, and will even inform you about the size of the market for your work -which will, in turn, point you to either a large publishing company, a midsize to small niche publisher, or self-publishing. This information will save you immeasurable time, expense and heartache. It will help you avoid pointless submissions and the pain and discouragement of rejection letters.

We at A Cappela Publishing aim at helping you over all these hurdles - through books, CDs and classes to hone your skills; through professional critiques, and through book packaging (designing, printing and marketing of your work)----------------------------Where are you in your efforts to get published? Check out our website ( and learn more about how we can help.

Want To Be A Published Author?

Writing well enough to get published is a skill, an art – something that requires perseverance hard work. Saying that everyone is good enough is like saying that everyone can compete in the Olympics. Those that get published have reached a skill level that is derived from taking classes; many many hours of writing and then submitting their writings to a qualified person for a critique. This doesn’t mean that those friendly folks in your writing group are qualified
A qualified person will be someone within the publishing industry who understands what editors (and ultimately readers) are looking for. This someone will understand the current tastes of the market as well as the size of the market for your particular offering.

Getting such a critique can inform you of your chances of being accepted by a publishing house and whether your best bet is one of the larger houses or a midsize to small house. A qualified assessor of your works can also tell you if your material is good but only for a niche market - in which case your best option is to self-publish.

In today’s publishing world, self-publishing is no longer the same as vanity publishing, which ignores quality of writing in favor of getting your work out there, between the covers of a printed book . And it makes sense, since publishing houses now expect authors to provide much of the marketing for their books. Self-publishers also have the advantage of being able to keep 80% of their books’ profits, as opposed to the typical 10% advance on royalties of the first printing offered by publishing houses. There are many roads to being a published author, and it makes good sense to get an expert opinion on your work to move you in the right direction with your works.

Our goal at A Cappela Publishing is to help authors achieve successful publication. We can work with you at any stage of the writing process to steer you in the right direction. Get in touch.