In addition to my work at PTA I am pleased to announce that as of January 2nd I have taken on the role of Publisher at Morgan James Publishing in New York.
My good friend David Hancock founded Morgan James Publishing in 2003 and in 2007 we published over 130 books. We focus primarily on publishing non-fiction books and are looking for authors with a "platform" (isn't everyone!).
We work differently than other publishers. We partner with our authors and we are very committed to their success, because their success has been our success.
Most importantly I am looking for authors who are in line with our vision. We give a percentage of every book sold, for the life of each book, to Habitat for Humanity. I publish authors who also want to "give back".
Write down 5 points on index cards before you are about to do an interview. Practice - Practice - Practice- till you get all your point to sound natural.
Get it perfect. Remember- Practice makes perfect... Not always= PERFECT practice makes PERFECT! Remember an answer has 3 parts.... Problem.......Example of the problem....... and solution. You need to practice this an give the audience THREE things they can do today that will Change their life. Don't SELL when you are on the air. TEACH! The more you teach them - the more they will want to buy whatever you are selling.
In Part 1 of this series we discussed the fundamentals of national marketing platform building. Additional ways to build a platform include:
Publishing your chapters. Build publishing credentials by submitting your sample chapters as articles to magazines, newsletters, or journals. Being a published author will help you attract agents and publishers as well as overcome the lack of or a weak platform.
Developing a great Web site. We are moving into a visually, graphically active, interactive world through the Internet, television, games, cell phones, and Amazon.
Agent Richard Curtis explains, "When I pitch authors to editors over the phone, I can actually hear them typing on the keyboard as we speak. I know that while we're talking, they are going on Google or Amazon and checking out the author. They'll say, 'I see, oh yeah, I see the author's picture or the cover of his last five books.'"
So, if that's what editors now do in order to identify a writer and place him or her in a context that they feel comfortable with, lets give it to them.
It's in an author's interest to create a Web site which provides credibility in today's interactive world. The trick is to create a presence or the appearance of a platform that editors can easily find and with which they can relate.
Creating a qualitative survey. Conduct surveys to test, support, or document the central theory in your book. Hire a company that specializes in running surveys or do it yourself. A survey can demonstrate the need for your book.
Running the first survey on a subject or an aspect of it can establish you as an authority on that subject; it will make both you and your survey newsworthy. You will attract media coverage because the media love to report on surveys. If a survey demonstrates a need for your book, you will be more likely to sell it.
Conducting focus groups. Focus groups that test your book or its concepts can add credibility and help you build your platform in several ways. For example:
a. The information focus groups provide can show you ways to strengthen your book.
b. The answers you receive can boost your stature in your field.
c. When eighteen of twenty group members say that they benefited from your program, information, or advice, they become a part of your following, and their testimonials can add weight to your platform.
Documenting your success. Build your expertise, legitimacy and following with illustrations of your or your approaches' success. Take before and after photographs to submit with your proposal for your weight-loss book, or diary entries that show that your methods work and the clear benefit they provide.
Compiling a names list. Compile a list of people who would be interested in buying your book. Check if similar lists are available through list brokers and investigate the value of purchasing them. Publishers like names lists because they help them target book promotions and they also identify a segment of your potential following.
How writers present themselves and the information they provide on their sites can be revealing for agents and editors. Since we're living in an increasingly electronic world, editors can refer others in the acquisition process to a writer's Web site for information that may impact the decision on whether or not to buy a book.
In this electronic age, having a top-notch Web site shows that a writer is professional. Increasingly, editors are viewing them as tickets to the game.
If you're a nonfiction author and you have a body of knowledge, it's very important to have a Web site even if it doesn't reach that many people. The Web site is another piece of the marketing puzzle because it gives you a presence in the market in the eyes of publishers. It helps an editor to sell your proposal when you have a robust Web site, Q & As, a chat room about your topic, and your own newsletter going out to 2,500 people.
Authors should also agree to link their Web sites with other reference sites to help the consumer get information. That makes the author more of an expert and makes his or her site a place for browsers to go.
Of course, before any of these steps, ask yourself these questions:
What is your platform? What makes you unique; how do you stand out? Who are your followers who will spread your message? Where can you go to deliver your message? Will people buy a book about your message?
Those answers will guide your specific actions in the building of your platform.