1stNews from 1stBooks, October 16, 2002
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "How I Turned My Book Into a $4 Million Advice
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Teresa Campbell Searches for a
Cover Blurb and Finds TV Exposure
* Seasonal and Topical
* Article: "Critiques: Constructive Criticisms or Blatant
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information
The marketing article this time will knock your socks off!
It tells how a very ambitious, hard-working author turned a
single self-published book into a $4 million empire. No, I
don't expect most readers to go out and replicate that--but
if his success inspires you to do one thing to expand your
own information empire, it's well worth the space. In our
next issue, we'll have some comments from John Kremer,
author of "1001 Ways to Market Your Books," to comment on
this incredible success (which originally appeared in
Kremer's own "Book Marketing Update" newsletter).
In our last issue, the writing article covered how to locate
feedback. This issue's article tells you how to handle the
feedback, which isn't always easy to hear.
You folks have been great about sharing your successes with
us, and letting us share them with our 60,000+ readers. If
you are a 1stBooks author who has achieved media or
professional recognition, significant sales, or a creative
and profitable way to stimulate sales of your book, please
email mailto:shorowitz&1stbooks.com (which constitutes
permission to use your story). Don't forget to include your
Book ID number so we can direct people to your book.
HOW I TURNED MY BOOK INTO A $4 MILLION ADVICE EMPIRE
By John Graden, mailto: napma&aol.com, http://www.napma.com
Reprinted with permission from "Book Marketing Update"
You can move from your first book to new profit centers
within the same industry and to the same customers. I took
five steps to move from my first book to my current $4
million per year business. In total, these steps have
generated well over $20 million in seven years.
I first purchased John Kremer's book, "1001 Ways to Market
Your Books" and Dan Poynter's "Self-Publishing Manual" back
in 1992 as I was writing my first book, "Black Belt
Management, a Guide to Success Without Selling Out."
Most owners of martial-arts schools have to hold a day job.
However, they dream of teaching full-time since their
passion is the martial arts. My schools had over 600
students and generated a net $100,000+ annual income. My
book basically helped guys like me to do what I had done.
I wrote and produced my first book as a three-ring binder in
order to get a higher price for it as a manual. The second
and third editions were perfect bound and sold for a lesser
I began to tour and speak to school owners. My back-of-the-
room sales were great. I sold over 1,000 three-ring binders
at prices ranging from $100 to $149. I paid off my house and
moved to Step 3.
I launched "Martial Arts Professional" magazine, the trade
journal for the martial-arts industry. MAPro is a full-color
glossy monthly that has a controlled audience of over 29,000
martial-arts schools and clubs. I used this to promote my
book, video and speaking projects. This was overkill, as a
less expensive newsletter would have done just as well, but
I wanted to blow the field away with quality and it worked.
This was crucial to gain the confidence of the market for
the biggest step of all.
Step 4 (The critical step towards massive revenue)
I launched the National Association of Professional Martial
Artists (NAPMA). For $99 per month, member schools receive a
monthly package with camera-ready ads, a newsletter,
strategic reports, an audio seminar and a video with three
20-minute seminars: drills for adults, drills for kids and a
I shipped 725 sample packages out in December 1994. 125
schools called to enroll. I now have more than 2,000
subscribing schools generating over $150,000 per month. I am
very proud that NAPMA is the world's largest martial arts
I began hosting a national convention for martial arts
school owners. It generates more than $300,000 in revenue
with over 1,000 attendees. Combined with an ongoing seminar
series, our annual event revenues approach $1 million.
"1001 Ways to Market Your Books" and "The Self-Publishing
Manual" were significant in providing me with the direction
and confidence to execute this plan. When this all started,
all I had was an idea that such a book would help a lot of
people and position me as an expert. "1001 Ways" helped me
to see that the potential was far beyond a one-time sell.
This is the essence of what he and I do. We share success
stories that we hope will inspire our students to reach out
and go further.
I am now about to publish, for the first time, a book by
another author. "The World's Greatest Fighter Teaches You:
How to Master Bruce Lee's Fighting System" by Joe Lewis will
be published in January, and will be available at
http://www.martialartsbookstore.com I have also licensed my
pre-school age characters, The Little Ninjas, to KayBee Toys
for their website, and I am working with a Marvel Comics
artist to create a comic book to showcase the characters.
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: TERESA CAMPBELL SEARCHES FOR A
COVER BLURB AND FINDS TV EXPOSURE
"As author of a 1stBooks title, 'Life is an Adventure,' I
wanted to have a good statement abut the book on the cover
to catch the reader's eye so I contacted a TV station and
the medical correspondent, Dr. Kim Mulvihill. I often watch
her and think she is a good reporter. She read my book and
liked it and gave me an excellent review for the cover. She
later called and asked me to be on her TV Channel 4 Program
and she did a special on my book and my life with a chronic
disease. The program was watched by 150,000 viewers. After I
watched the program on TV the phone rang and it was Dr. Kim
asking me if I liked the program."
SEASONAL AND TOPICAL
40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, OCTOBER 2002
"Weekend Warriors" by Jerry Moore
Subject: A historical novel about the Cuban Missile Crisis
"Yank" by Norman Ferris
Subject: Baseball nostalgia
"Secret Bloodlines, Book I, The Hollywood Years" by June
Subject: Novel that includes a chapter about an outrageous
Halloween party on a casino cruise ship
"Your Fig Leaf" by Paul Sheetz
Subject: Study of masks and pretending to be what we're not
MEXICAN DAY OF THE DEAD, NOVEMBER 1
"Light on the Stairway" by Arthur Dykes
Subject: Historical memoir with over 40 pages describing the
celebration of this holiday
CRITIQUES: CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMS OR BLATANT REJECTIONS?
(c) 2002 by Jamie Karklin, mailto:jlswriteco&hotmail.com
Writers are very sensitive to criticism. They have to work
up the courage to have their writing judged. I still tighten
my stomach muscles when taking in a critique as if preparing
for a punch to the gut. For many writers, a negative
critique is an indirect attack on the writer's ability. When
you receive a harsh critique or even a straight-out
rejection, it can be difficult to remember that it is only
one particular editor or publisher's opinion.
* Have confidence in yourself, your subject knowledge, and
your unique ability to impact one reader.
* After you finish your first draft and are about to read
your work over, imagine that you are a publisher or editor
reading someone else's work, not your own. What critique
would you give this piece?
* Ask for a critique when you submit your work and
appreciate anyone willing to give you some advice. Critiques
do not tell whether or not you are a good writer. If a
publisher is not interested in your work, don't just crumple
up and throw away all the time and effort you put in. One
publisher's trash just may be another's treasure.
It happens more often than I care to admit. I put a
substantial amount of time and effort in and think my work
is good. But after a few weeks I receive another dreaded
rejection. So I go back and read over the piece. Suddenly I
see everything that is wrong with it. It is as if I need to
be told a piece is bad before I can actually see it--and fix
it. However, the opposite has happened as well. A piece I
just threw together when I didn't feel like writing in the
first place became one of my masterpieces.
* Ask anyone for a fresh-eyed opinion of a piece. Get
insight and advice from a reader's perspective before you
send your work off to a potential publisher.
* Let your finished piece sit a while before you go back and
read it over yourself; you'll judge it more accurately.
Editors can give you a non-biased opinion and professional
advice on how to improve your writing. Really great writers
are not a dime a dozen, yet even the best writers need and
do receive harsh critiques at times. But they know a
professional critique from an editor can be a priceless
asset that can make a profound impact on their work. They
also know a harsh critique or rejection is not the end of
the world, but an opportunity for a new beginning.
* Be open to constructive criticism. You do not have to take
all the advice that is offered but you should at least take
it into consideration, especially if you are trying to get a
piece accepted by the person.
* There is a reason why writers love the title "freelance
writer," because you are free to write about whatever you
want. Don't limit yourself or your writing to please anyone
else except you. Then find the appropriate market to submit
* Deal with paying markets only. I am a believer that you
should never give your hard work away for free. But more
importantly, paying markets have far more respect for good
writers and writing pieces.
Jamie Karklin is the owner of JLS Write Company, dedicated
to assisting people in achieving the dream of becoming a
published writer. She says, "Patience, persistence, and a
positive attitude are all it really takes to make it!"
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