By Guest Blogger, Shawn Edgington
Author of Read Between The Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting With Simplicity & Style
I have to admit, the dream of becoming a successful published author was never included on my bucket list – until late 2008. The fact is, I’m a CEO of a national insurance firm where my company specializes in managing risk and preventing loss for thousands of America’s businesses. I’ve been working in the insurance industry for 25+years, which has NOTHING to do with the book business, let alone the 1001 l things you need to know to become successful within the publishing industry.
I was lucky enough to pitch my book deal to the Milli Brown, the CEO of a small boutique publisher, Brown Books, which is located in Dallas, Texas. Both Milli and her team worked closely with me to get my first book Read Between the Lines written, illustrated, designed and published in early 2010. They are wonderful!
Since then, I’ve joined an author coaching program, attended numerous seminars, teleconferences, webinars, podcasts, joined e-mail lists, purchased a radio coaching program, had my website redesigned three times, turned my book into an E-Book, created The One-Click Safety Series, spoken professionally to thousands of people, completed the manuscript for my second book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media and attended a publicity summit in New York City where I pitched my books to over 70 producers like The View, Fox News, The Today Show and Good Morning America. I’ve been a guest on more than 80 radio programs over the last four months, appeared on Fox Business, View From the Bay, Channel 4 news and CNN. And, I’m still working feverishly to become a successful author.
In an effort to help my fellow authors striving for success, I’m offering you this small but significant bit of advice that I wish someone would have told me:
- Every aspiring author (unless you’re famous) needs a great platform BEFORE you send your book proposals and/or query letters to the publishing houses. Your platform will include a great website, your weekly blog, social media, speaking events, and anything else that makes sense for your genre. Your website should be branded to you, not the title of your book.
- Writing the book is only 10% of the work. The other 90% comes after your book is published, and it is a full time job.
- The average author sells 300 books, and makes, on average, $1.00 a book. This means you have to be way above average to make a living in this business. Keep your day job, work twice as hard, and don’t expect to sell a million books in your first year unless you’re Sarah Palin or Kim Kardashian. J
- There are great resources available to authors to help you obtain publicity – too many to mention here. E-mail me if you would like a list of where I’ve found success.
- Come up with your treasure map of additional items you can offer for sale on your website besides your book. Example: Speaking, audio programs, electronically delivered items, subscriptions to your services, games, etc.
- Hire a web designer that specializes in working with authors AND monetizing websites. This is critical and will save you thousands of dollars. Check out my site: www.shawnedgington.com. I finally found the right person to get this right, $10,000.00 later. If you would like a reference, send me an e-mail.
Wow, I’ve learned a lot, and I’m learning more and more every day! If anyone has any great tips to share, or would like more information, please contact me at: email@example.com.
Shawn Edgington, CIC
America’s Leading Texpert and Cyberbullying Expert