1stNews from 1stBooks, November 6, 2002
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ATTENTION CHICAGO-AREA WRITERS/SELF-PUBLISHERS
Two 1stBooks authors, Jim Durkin and Sheila Peters, are
starting a marketing support group for authors--including
those who use 1stBooks--to meet quarterly. The first meeting
will be at the Barnes and Noble store, corner of Chicago and
Washington Streets in Downtown Naperville on Thursday,
November 14, 2002 at 7:30 pm. (Park for free in the city-
owned garage next door.) For more info, call the store at
(630) 579-0200 or call Jim at (708) 237-5361 (days).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "John Graden Succeeded; You Can Too!"
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Mike Walker Makes a Splash in
the Senior Market
* Seasonal and Topical
* Article: "Find Your Own Writing Voice"
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information
As promised, the marketing article this time is a comment
from John Kremer, author of "1001 Ways to Market Your Books,
" on the success of John Graden, who parlayed his book into
a $4 million advice empire.
Our apologies to Teresa Campbell, the subject of last
issue's Success Profile--the URL for her book was not
included. You can check out "Life is an Adventure" at
Continuing our series on feedback, this issue's writing
craft article is about keeping your own voice even in the
face of feedback that might indicate otherwise.
JOHN GRADEN SUCCEEDED; YOU CAN TOO!
By John Kremer
Editor's Note: If you missed Graden's article in the last
issue about how he built a $4 million business on the
foundation of a single book, please visit
It's almost impossible to make a living if all you are
selling is that one book. You have to expand your plan:
When you publish a book, you create a set of rights beyond
the book: audio, video, translation, electronic, software,
film/TV, reprint and merchandising... Major book publishers
are really in the business of selling rights. They publish
books only to establish the value of the subsidiary rights.
If you are not exploring rights sales, you're cheating
Create a Career
Being an author can help create a career as a speaker,
teacher, seminar leader, consultant, freelance writer, guru,
spokesperson, editor and/or expert. If you launch a new
career, you can justify spending more time and money
promoting the book.
Build a Business
John Graden's book led to seminars. The seminars led to a
magazine. The magazine led to an association. The
association led to conferences and trade shows. One book
laid the foundation for a $4 million per year business. Your
book might lead to videotapes, a newsletter, a catalog, or
Create More Products
Your book can build an audience for other products--
published by you or licensed to another company. Books offer
incredible spin-off opportunities: posters, calendars,
audios, videos, reports, kits, databases, websites, greeting
cards, plush animals...
Expand your possibilities! I've sold:
* PR Flash Database (now part of Bradley Communications PR
* "Book Marketing Update" newsletter: Since sold to Bradley
Communications, but I still get paid as editor, for
subscription commissions, and for bonus services to Gold
* Book Marketing Consulting: I've gone from $12 per hour to
$500 per hour.
* Speaking: I get up to $2,000 per event. In other markets,
speakers can make $50,000.
* Book Marketing Seminars: Two- to three-day intensives,
$495-$2,000 per person.
* Seminar Audio Tapes: $197 to $297 per set.
* Databases: I compiled lists of the top 500 independent
bookstores, 1,300 catalogs that sell books and tapes, 1,650
specialty booksellers, 2,300 public libraries, 300 seminar
centers, 16,000+ annual events and more. These sell for $15
to $40, delivered by email: no product cost beyond
development and maintenance!
* Reports: I sell over 40 $3 to $30 reports, which I email
or print as needed. I also sell a CD-ROM collection of the
cheaper reports for $50.
* DVDs: I'm currently working on a new multimedia
convergence DVD that will sell for $400.
* Kits: The Do-It-Yourself Book Publicity Kit still sells
* Other Services: I critique news releases, book
covers/titles, etc., $100 each.
* Teaching: I've taught book writing courses at the graduate
* Acting: I will soon appear in a movie. I expect to get my
Screen Actors Guild card within three years, thanks to
connections I've made through my other activities.
Besides all of these, I've sold translation rights, book
club rights, serial rights, and reprint rights. I've been
invited to speak in China, Mexico, the UK, and even Canada.
I've written articles for major magazines and newspapers.
I've founded associations, run them, been on their boards of
directors and helped them grow. I've helped other authors
and publishers sell millions of books, perhaps billions. And
I still have time to be a good person.
Don't think small. Think large. Think cosmic. Do great
things. It worked for John Graden, it worked for me, and it
can work for you.
John Kremer is the author of "1001 Ways to Market Your
Books." This article originally appeared in his "Book
Marketing Update," a twice-monthly newsletter that covers
major media publicity opportunities for authors as well as
case histories of successful book promotion campaigns. For
subscription info, plus a transcript of John's recent
telephone seminar on "What Bestselling Authors Do
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: MIKE WALKER MAKES A SPLASH IN THE
"I want to share two new developments regarding my recently
published book, 'Marketing to Seniors.' The book made the
list of 25 best new titles in the October 2002 issue of
'Independent Publisher Online,'
http://www.independentpublisher.com, including a review of
the book therein. Also, the book has been featured in the
October 2002 issue of 'Selling to Seniors,' a monthly
publication of CD Publications,
You can view Mike's book at
SEASONAL AND TOPICAL
MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY (NOVEMBER 10)/VETERAN'S DAY/ARMISTICE
"Bayonets and Bougainvilleas" by Robert Wallace Blake
Subject: Memoir by a U.S. Marine, veteran of three wars
"A Company Of Men" by Edgar Werner, Ph.D.
Subject: Novel involving the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S.
Navy Armed Guard in WWII
"My Private Vietnam" by Tony Newsom
Subject: Vietnam memoir
FIND YOUR OWN WRITING VOICE
By Dina Friedman, mailto:dina&frugalfun.com
I once learned a valuable lesson about writing from my
daughter, a pianist. She was attending a highly competitive
two-week chamber music program, her first prolonged sleep-
away experience. We were nervous when we went to visit her
for the mid-session concert, but she seemed happy enough,
though, as always, worried about how her performance would
turn out. Alana recognized that she was in a "different
league" of musicians, and confessed that she was having
conflicts with the flute player in her ensemble. "But
they're playing the piece too fast!" she argued. "And
they're ignoring the molto crescendo at the end!"
I dismissed her remarks as typical of her highly
perfectionist personality, and after the concert, I told
Alana that I thought the piece went fine. The musicians
blended well. There was good movement, and no mistakes. But
she was quiet, subdued. She felt the piece had not been
played to its potential. Sure, it was competently done, but
it was unexciting. She had interpreted the piece
differently, but the other members of the ensemble had not
agreed with her interpretation.
The following week, at the final concert, Alana played a
piano trio, and as the instrument with the largest voice,
she had more control over the interpretation. This time she
glowed after the performance, and I was glad that the
program ended on such a happy note.
So what does this have to do with writing?
Writers, on the whole, are not ensemble players, but
sometimes they forget that it's up to them to find their own
voice. When asking for feedback, beware of trying to please
others. Ask yourself, does this information help me with MY
vision of MY own work, or am I merely succumbing to someone
else's vision or interpretation? A good reader will help you
"midwife" your own voice more fully without imposing his or
her own voice in the process. This is not to say that their
feedback isn't valid. The flute player's interpretation of
Alana's first ensemble piece is just as credible as her own,
but when Alana played the piece that way, she felt as if she
had lost her own voice. A necessary lesson for ensemble
players, and, flipping it around, a necessary lesson for
Prize-winning fiction writer and poet Dina Friedman teaches
writing at the Isenberg School of Management, University of
Massachusetts at Amherst. This article originally appeared
in her "Writing Advice" newsletter, archived at
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