You’ve thought about it and stressed over it, and finally made the decision. It’s time to write the book that’s been floating around in your head. You know your knowledge and experience will help others, and putting it on paper…or computer... is the next step.
Authors usually write in hopes of reaching as many readers of their target audience as possible. To achieve this goal requires production, pricing, distribution, promotion and budget planning. A coordinated work plan may help the novelist achieve the positive results she is seeking.
Brian Jud, of Premium Book Company, identifies five areas to focus on when developing your book plan.
- Product actions: Publish your content in the form sought by your target readers. This could be a printed book, an ebook, a booklet or other form.
- Pricing action:. Based on your pricing strategy (a high, skimming price or a low, penetration price). Price each product form for optimum profitability.
- Distribution actions: There are two basic ways to reach your target buyers; consider using both paths. One is retail. This requires a network of distributors and/or wholesalers.
Submit your proposal to the potential distribution partners best suited to your target segments (bookstores, libraries, discount stores, gift shops, supermarkets). Books sold through retailers are typically returnable.
The other course is selling directly to buyers in corporations, associations, schools and government agencies.
Find your prospective buyers, prioritize them and begin the selling process. These sales are generally non-returnable.
- Promotion actions: Tailor a unique marketing approach to each segment. For example, support retail sales using a coordinated schedule of media appearances, social networking, advertising, reviews, sales promotion and other mass-marketing techniques. Non-retail selling is more targeted. Perform niche marketing with direct mail (email or snail mail), trade shows, telephone marketing and face-to-face selling.
- Perform within your budget: View the money you spend on promotion as an investment, not an expense. If you spend $X00,00 promoting your books, expect a return greater than that amount ($XY,000).
Professional Author’s Assistant
The above considerations require thought, research and preparation before implementation. If you segment each function and create a process system for each step, tasks may be easier to complete.
You may consider delegating some of these duties to a Professional Authors Assistant (PAA). These individuals have received a certification for course study and testing. PAAs work from home and are experts in research, social media and on and offline promotions, to name a few.
Your PAA can perform Amazon.com, iTunes, and other sales platform setup. This person can identify keywords and perform SEO, as well as handle manuscript uploading. A PAA can also handle tracking and website monetization.
By delegating several of the above-mentioned tasks to a PAA, the author is free to focus on writing and editing her book. She's confidence she's hired a person that can help her achieve success.
Support Services Costs
Cost is relative! Meaning, you get what you pay for. The price of an expert PAA’s services runs between the $40-$75 range, depending upon the services required. PAAs that have extensive experience typically charge at the high end.
Some PAAs bundle services. For example, PAAs who specialize in social media may offer social site monitoring and posting. These services could cover Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. Another may focus on research, SEO, analytics, etc. The PAA may also work with a full-service team that provides a large selection of services.
An author is on the right track for success when she strategizes and plans her book venture. Mapping out step-by-step processes will make each part of the venture easier.
Hiring the right assistant can lessen the workload and reduce stress. The PAA can shorten the amount of time required to produce and promote the final manuscript. This team member can also help with monetizing the book for other platforms and future sales.
Often in the beginning of the book creation process, an author may not consider all the necessary elements needed. It's important to have a strategic and systematic work plan. Its results can produce a successful book creation, launch and promotions campaign.
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