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Producer Stew?


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock directing Family Plot (1975). Photo by Stan Osborne. Wikimedia Commons.

Once anyone decides to write a book, they are confronted with many decisions. Believe it or not, writing a book is easy (you can always get a ghost writer). However, everything else associated with it requires a lot of thought and planning. Why? Because the typical writer has limited resources and there are many ways he or she can spend their money (beyond the actual cost of publishing the book).

The big money its in publishing (and the most mysterious to self-publishing authors) are the distribution and marketing components (they go hand-in-hand). In other words, now that you have boxes of books in your garage (or even just an ePub version), how are you going to sell your book and make any money? Frankly, there are so many avenues an author can go down that it becomes overwhelming. It’s also one of those components of publishing a book where the author must push all their chips onto the table. So it becomes an exercise in determining where the greatest return-on-assets (ROI) will be achieved.

Out of the blue, I was asked by a local public television access channel to produce a 10-episode television series based on the first 4 walking tour books (French Revolution–two volumes, Medieval Paris, and the Nazi Occupation of Paris). At the same time, I’m confronted with doing ePub conversions of the books for Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Oh, and then there’s developing an app for the walking tours. What about hiring someone to get the books into the book catalogues that retailers use to purchase books for their shelves? What about the choice of different distribution channels such as big box retailers, small independent book stores, libraries, or even the bookstore at the airports that are gateways to Paris? So what does one choose to do when their stack of chips is only so high? I know what I’m going to do. Read More Producer Stew?

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Are You Alone On An Island?

Deer logo (2014) Marcus Moeller. Public domain.
Deer logo (2014) Marcus Moeller. Public domain.

How many times have you taken on a project, whether it’s personal or professional, where you wonder if you’re on an island all by yourself? You feel that perhaps you’re breaking new ground or nobody understands what you’re going through. Isn’t there someone out there that is facing (or faced) the same obstacles you’re up against?

Well, it’s no different than writing a book, publishing it, and then trying to find the magic elixir for selling your book. Trust me, after I wrote and published the first two walking tour books, I stepped back asked myself, “What now?”

As part of this wonderful journey into the publishing world, I began to explore the many roads in front of me. Read More Are You Alone On An Island?