Article Navigation

Back To Main Page


 

Click Here for more articles

Google
Earn $100,000+ For Your Book
by: Susan Harrow
Every writer fantasizes about getting that big fat advance so they can take a little dream time, write, relax, or put their kids through college. But what most writers donít know is it takes a heck of a lot of work to get to the point of being worthy of a publisher handing you the equivalent of the golden egg. Whether youíre a doctor with the latest get thin quick diet or a mom who has a foolproof way to turn brats into angels, you must be willing to do the work-alot of it.

What separates the six-figure advance earners from the mid-list authors are two things.

1. They think of their book as a business.
2. They have a huge built in audience.

Think of your proposal as the business plan for your book. Your book is an integral part of your overall career which includes speaking, products, and more books. Authors are constantly in search of ways to expand their audience.

Agent David Hale Smith of DHS Literary, (he represented New York Times Best-selling author Cheryl Richardson) says he wants his authors to be financially independent people who see their book as part of a larger successful career. These are qualities he and other agents and publishers look for in their budding celebrities.

From my own experience media coaching and creating marketing plans for authors who get six figures Iíve found that they do three things right.


1. Six Figure Authors React Instantly.

When I asked Rich Fettke, author of *Extreme Success* to prepare the answers to the questions he thought heíd be asked by editors he was flying to New York to meet, he had them ready the next day. And yes, often editors want to meet you-if they think youíre going to be their next golden boy or girl.

This instant reaction reflex comes into play later when your publicity begins. When an authorís topic is hot, theyíre often asked to jump on a plane at a momentís notice to appear on TV, radio, take a print interview or speak at an event or charity function. If you hesitate, the opportunity vanishes.

Publishers who have invested the big bucks in you wonít stand for it. And rightly so. You have an obligation to them to earn back that hefty advance (which sadly, most authors donít).


2. Six Figure Authors Speak.

Gone are the days when writers can cozy up in their garrets and write. To be a successful author today you must become a public person, and more than that, an entertaining one.

A major publishing house hired me to media coach one of their rising star authors. Her book was getting major national press-but she was dull. And they were worried that her lackluster personality would effect her book sales. We worked until she got comfortable on camera while speaking vividly in 15 second soundbites.


3. Six Figure Authors Get Media Coached.

With some media coaching you can morph into a mediagenic maven. But it does take practice and sincere commitment. If you canít afford a media coach, get out that video camera and do mock interviews with friend. A lot can be revealed and ironed out just by seeing how you appear to others on the big screen.

That said there are 5 critical elements that determine the size of your advance.

1. Your platform.
2. Your endorsements.
3. Your publicity plan.
4. Your sample chapter.
5. Your audience.


1. Your platform.

When I interviewed editors at top New York publishing houses like Simon & Schuster & HarperCollins they told me repeatedly that the most important thing a writer can have today is a strong *platform.* A platform is a plan of how you are going to reach your audience to sell books.

Prove you have a following. Publishers want to know who has bought your books or products in the past--and they want to know how many. Can you show that you have a track record of selling your goods to people across the globe, or at least in your community? Maybe youíre not as far along in your career as one of my clients who is a $12,000 an hour speaker who put in his proposal the fact that his audiences range from 100-10,000 people, and he speaks 250 times per year.

His speaking bureau typically sells his video and audio tapes to those audiences in advance when they book his talk. What you want to show is how you can secure sales in large quantities to people you know will buy from you-because they have bought already. Or how audiences similar to the ones who have purchased are primed to buy your book.


2. Your endorsements.

To instantly establish your stature put these accolades on page number one so theyíre the first thing an agent or editor sees. Endorsements need to be from celebrities, best- selling authors and well-known experts in your field.

Show that youíre respected in the world. Endorsements show that high-level people believe in you, that youíre a good bet. They also go on your book cover jacket and help sell your book-and in todayís competitive marketplace itís essential. Donít say youíre *actively seeking endorsements.* Leading with the endorsements makes sure an agent or editor gets that youíre a big shot-or soon will be.

One secret that many authors donít know is the best blurbs are written by the writers themselves. Donít expect famous people to read your tome. They donít have the time or the desire. And please donít send your book to them unsolicited. Ask permission. Then do the work for them and ask them to sign off on that perfect gem-the one youíve written-touting the marvels of your work.


3. Your publicity plan.

Publishers are looking for people who know how to promote themselves and will take responsibility for doing it themselves.

Map out your strategy for selling books. Are you giving keynotes, seminars & workshops to hundreds of people every month? How many people subscribe to your online newsletter, visit your web site, buy your products? Do you have big name clients who will host seminars at their companies for you where youíre guaranteed to sell books?


4. Your sample chapter.

*Once youíve established that the author has some sort of a platform, that they have some voice in the world beyond their circle of friends, I go straight to the sample chapter,* says Kelly Notaras, a Senior Editor at Hyperion.

Prove you can write. *I want to know if they are a good writer, because an agent can tinker away with the rest of the proposal and make it sound really good,* Notaras says.

What if youíre not a great writer? Hire a ghost writer. Remember platform is non-replaceable. You, the personality, the presence, is what publishers are investing in. Good writing can be bought. Star quality canít.


5. Your audience.

Prove you have a media track record. Who knows you already? What magazines have your written for or appeared in? What TV and radio shows have you been a guest on? Are those producers aching to get you back on their shows as soon as possible? Do you have established relationships with them? You guarantee to a publisher that youíll reach your audience by showing who you have successfully reached in the past.

If you haven't done much media and aren't yet well-known in the public the quickest way to do so is to join PR Leads, (a service that reporters and producers use to send out queries (requests) to interview experts for stories theyíre working on.)

They are typically on tight deadlines so you need to respond as soon as the queries hit your email inbox. As founder Dan Janal says, *Reporters donít care if you work for a Fortune 500 company. If they need an expert and you can show them you are one, that is all they care about.* Using this service you can become an instant expert in a matter of weeks and build your platform in short order.

Once you can say you've done a lot of media and you plan to do more of the same type of media you've had success with in the past, you'll be on your way to creating an impressive impression-one that says that you've got 6 figure author potential.

About the author:
Harrow has worked with over a dozen best-selling authors and those who got 6 figure advances. This article was adapted from her E-book Get a 6-Figure Book Advance. Learn how to get a top agent and avoid the biggest mistakes that keep your book from going to auction (and a plug n' play proposal template) or fr.e.e excerpts: http://tinyurl.com/9r3l5


Circulated by NetActivated.com - the number one source for home based business opportunities and successful home based, work from home businesses

 



©2005 - All Rights Reserved