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 
Empire"
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Teresa Campbell Searches for a 
Cover Blurb and Finds TV Exposure 
* Seasonal and Topical
* Article: "Critiques: Constructive Criticisms or Blatant 
Rejections?"
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information

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EDITOR'S MESSAGE

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. 

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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"
http://www.freepublicity.com/transcript/?10012

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.

Step 1
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 
price.

Step 2
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.

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 
business-related seminar.

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 
professional association.

Step 5
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.

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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."

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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
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/6545

WORLD SERIES
"Yank" by Norman Ferris
Subject: Baseball nostalgia
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/10157

HALLOWEEN
"Secret Bloodlines, Book I, The Hollywood Years" by June 
Latimer Jackson
Subject: Novel that includes a chapter about an outrageous 
Halloween party on a casino cruise ship
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/5702

"Your Fig Leaf" by Paul Sheetz
Subject: Study of masks and pretending to be what we're not
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/11983

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
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/10498

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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 
it.

* 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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