Tag Archives: business

Creative Entrepreneur: Business Models For Authors

First Edition Design Publishing

Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

July 25, 2014

This is a continuation in the author entrepreneur series of articles. Recently, I posted the arc of the indie author from first book to CEO of your global business.

money flowersToday we’re focusing on the various business models that authors can use to generate revenue and satisfy customers.

Of course, many authors have day jobs which is a great way to pay the bills and writing can then be for fun or extra income, but this article is aimed at authors who are intent on going full-time in this business.

Why do you need to define your business model?

Defining your business model can help keep you focused. Opportunities expand as your profile grows and keeping your business model top of mind can help you say no to things that distract you. [I need to remind myself of this all the time!]

For example, renowned indie author JA Konrath states, “I gave up on public appearances a few years ago, because of diminishing returns. They were indeed fun, but the cost and time away from writing wasn’t worth it to me.”

My business model includes professional speaking as well as being an author, but recently I have started to turn down speaking work in order to focus more on the writing and only taking interesting speaking events, like Sweden in September. I’ll be sharing my business plan at some point soon, but in considering where to focus my efforts, these were the most common business models I discovered – and some people mix and match between them.

Business model 1: Non-fiction books with info products, speaking and consulting

Many non-fiction authors make more money from the ‘back-end’ of their books, rather than from book sales alone. This includes information product sales, professional speaking and consulting/coaching services. The book acts more as a business card as well as providing qualified leads and kudos for the author. The book itself doesn’t need to make any money – it’s the other services available that are more important for cashflow.

jack canfieldBig name speakers like Antony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki and Jack Canfield are examples of where the back end business is worth far more than the book sales. Recently, the Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort has started to use this model. He wrote the bestselling book that became the film in prison, and is reportedly set to earn $100 million from speaking events and course sales in 2014. He has said that he makes more from this new business model than he did from stock trading. Of course, that’s an extreme example and you may disagree with his ethics – but it’s a good example of how the business model works.

A more authentic example is Chris Brogan, author of ‘The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth,’ and other books. Chris is a highly paid professional speaker, consults for large corporates on marketing, as well as producing Owner magazine and online training courses for bloggers. In terms of indies, Jim Kukral of Author Marketing Club also primarily uses this model, providing author services, consulting and professional speaking as well as writing non-fiction books.

sark juicy pensYou can also include those authors who write non-fiction books for writers. For example, SARK, of the wildly colorful creativity books, has online courses, as does Julia Cameron from The Artist’s Way.

storyRobert McKee, who wrote the must-read ‘Story,’ has an extensive online video membership program, as well as running multi-day speaking events for premium prices. I’m a professional speaker, and all my tips on speaking are included in ‘Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts.’ I also have multimedia courses, so I use this model as part of my business.

If you’re writing non-fiction, consider how you can turn that into other products to offer more to your customers.

Business model 2: High volume fiction

For self-published or hybrid fiction authors, the model of writing fast and publishing often has become mainstream in the last few years.

It’s not a new model, as it reflects the way the pulp writers of the early 1900s wrote, producing massive amounts of escapist fiction on cheap ‘pulp’ paper so the price could be kept low. [It does not mean the writing was bad!]

HMWardReaders ate it up like candy, and authors became well known.

This same phenomenon has emerged since ebooks went mainstream. A good indie example is H.M.Ward, who releases romance novellas every few weeks and has sold over 4 million books, as well as hitting the New York Times bestseller list 11 times in 2013. Some authors are achieving this through collaboration, for example Sean Platt writes with David Wright in the Collective Inkwell, and Sean also writes with Johnny B. Truant for Realm and Sands books. Together they produce an enormously varied number of series and a lot of books a year!

enid blytonThis is not just an indie author model.

Isaac Asimov wrote over 500 books in his lifetime, Enid Blyton wrote over 600, Barbara Cartland over 700. Prolific authors still creating at a ferocious pace for their traditional publishers include R.L.Stine, the bestselling children’s author of all time, who has been known to write several books a month. There’s also Nora Roberts, who also writes under J.D.Robb and who writes a book every 45 days, writing 8 hours a day.

So ignore the people who say that writing fast means the writing is terrible! It’s just one way of doing things.

Business model 3: Sporadic books with teaching/speaking/freelance writing

Of course, not everyone wants to write books at such a prolific pace, and literary writers in particular don’t work at this fast pace.

teachingTherefore, it’s rare for a literary writer to make a full-time income from book sales alone unless that book happens to win a major prize.

So the business model for literary writers is usually to combine writing with teaching creative writing, applying for grants and prizes, or with another writing career like journalism or freelance writing. If you take a look at the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop faculty, you will see famous literary writers and poets like Simon Armitage, Ian McEwan, John Irving and more, who make money through teaching as well as writing.

What business model are you aiming for?

If you want to be a full-time author, then you need to consider how your income streams will work.

Of course, these business models can be combined and my own is a combination of all of these right now. I receive income from the sales of fiction and non-fiction books, from the sale of online training courses, professional speaking and also affiliate income from my blog. There are no rules and this is a mix’n’match game!

First Edition Design eBook Publishing

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

The best edition: Meet First Edition Design Publishing #Author #Writer #ebook #publishing RT

The best edition: Meet First Edition Design Publishing


By Liz McKeown  Nashville Books Examiner

First Edition Design Publishing is a Print on Demand (POD) and ebook publishing company with clients in over 18 countries. First Edition Design’s scope spans from self-publishing to book distribution to software application development.

Question: Did First Edition Design Publishing get started as a self-publishing First Edition Design Publishingcompany or did it start out with software application development?

Answer: The company dates back almost three decades. Its roots go back to graphic design. That was at the dawn of the internet, web site development and so forth. Early on, we became Apple Developers and Microsoft Solution Providers. With digital technology expertise well in hand, we were well positioned as we grew into the burgeoning ebook industry. Our past experience and relationships enabled us to establish a massive global distribution network. Our background is what moved us into position as publishers, aggregators and Master Distributors.

Question: If someone has an ebook on Amazon already and just wants a distributor and more attention for the book, what does First Edition Design Publishing have to give?

Answer: As Master Distributors, we submit authors’ books to over 100,000 distribution points in over 100 countries including on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. In addition to Amazon, we submit books to Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of other on-line booksellers. We do provide a comprehensive list, which is constantly growing, at http://www.firsteditiondesignebooks.com/html/distributionchannels.html

Question: What does your company offer that its rivals don’t?

Answer: As mentioned–unequaled distribution. On top of that, we provide awesome customer support and the best cost to value in the industry for services.

Question: I know First Edition Design Publishing offers fiction and non-fiction. Are there any categories of books that you and others in your company are particularly excited about?

Answer: Children’s books is an area we have always served, but we are now experiencing a tremendous surge in that department. Academic books are another growth area for us.

Question: I understand that comic book authors have an easier time publishing their illustrated work as ebooks. Can First Edition Design Publishing accomodate authors with pictures, graphs, etc.?

Answer: Yes and no. If you submit your file with color pictures and the e-reader which many are black and white; the picture will only appear to be black and white to the reader.

The availability of color e-reader devices has greatly improved over the last year or two with the proliferation of the Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color, Apple’s iPad, smartphones, and others, all of which support color graphics. You also have to keep in mind an e-reader is smaller than a printed book. Therefore, viewing any details of a picture will be very difficult for the user.

The format of the picture cannot be wrapped around any text. The picture must reside either at the top or under a block of text. If you submit your book with graphics and the picture is not formatted properly, we will move the picture to the top or bottom of the corresponding text area.

One other option is to remove the picture and provide a link as to where the picture resides. You can set up an html page with your pictures, upload the page, right click on the picture and copy picture link. Insert the link instead of submitting the picture. The text of the link should be “picture”. The reader will know to tap on the “picture” link to view.

Question: What’s new in First Edition Design Publishing?

Answer: We had another ebook release, Daria Rose and The Day She Chose by award-winning Children’s Book Author Yvonne Capitelli, hit Amazon’s bestseller list last week. This month, we also further expanded our ebook distribution in Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We also added MBS Books, Textbooks.com, Feedbooks, OnlineBookPlace, SmartEbook.com, Starland Books and Eguidebooks to our distribution list along with three more Christian book outlets, Mardel, Parable, and Berean. There are a few other dynamic projects in development that we will announce in the upcoming months.

Question: What is the biggest mistake a self-published author can make?

Answer: Since you asked, the biggest mistake would be for an author to not contact us before submitting their manuscript to us. It can save them a lot of unnecessary heartache. With that said, (another big mistake) is not having their work professionally proofread and copy edited. We see so many “rookie errors” in writing style by indie authors in addition to the usual grammar faux pas. It can really kill a book.

From a book marketing standpoint, I see distinct areas for failure. The first is setting unrealistic goals and having expectations for far greater than what the author and book content can generate. With or without high expectations, most authors don’t put nearly enough time or effort into marketing their book. Authors always want marketing advice… but many don’t apply it and follow through. Another area is poor book cover design. We have had some really awful covers submitted. By the time it gets to the submission point—some authors are emotionally attached to their cover. They don’t (or will not) see what a good art editor or designer sees and the author doesn’t want to part with it. It’s just another area where knowing what the market expects, in addition to skill and wisdom, that pays a dividend.

Question: Any advice for people specifically interested in publishing a POD book?

Answer: Be sure your manuscript is error free before submitting it. Typos, misspellings, misused words, etc. can get costly to change later, or disastrous, if you’ve ordered copies and they contain errors. You will have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t worry about interior design. A good self-publishing service will set it up for you and provide a proof to look over for your approval before it goes to the print house.

Question: Would you recommend that a POD author buy about 25-50 copies of the book and sell them at in event, such as a book fair?

Answer: Book fairs, BOR (Back Of Room) sales at author talks, and book signings are all great ways to promote a book. An author should always have some copies on hand, but how many is the question. That’s the beauty of POD (Print On Demand). With First Edition Design Publishing’s service, authors don’t have to order large quantities, unless they want to. A minimum order for print books is only five. Most authors will see that they have the potential to sell many more books on-line. That’s where the value of a Master Distributor comes in.

Question: I have seen a lot of book trailers on You Tube that are nothing more than the author reading from the book in front of a camcorder. What makes an exciting, enticing book trailer, in your opinion?

Answer: Like anything else that’s audio-visual—it needs a hook. You have to grab the viewers’ attention in the first fifteen seconds. It has to have energy.

Question: Is there anything you want to tell me that I haven’t asked?

Answer: The whole ebook publishing industry is in a fluid state. Major announcements are being made on a weekly basis. As a company, we’ve been able to view the evolution from a slightly different angle. As I said, we were on the digital scene well in advance of the ebook arrival around 2007. Authors who shy away from adding an ebook version to their already published print book, or new release, are giving away a big market share. After all, it’s about giving readers what they want and delivering a book in the way they want to read it. And again, it’s about availability through wide distribution.

Amazon has been selling more ebooks than print books by a considerable margin. Border’s Books sat on their corporate hands when ebooks rolled out. They viewed it as a passing fad that would never catch on. The rest is history. What more do you need to know? Ebooks aren’t the future; they’re the present. Authors and publishers have to respond to the market demands.

I was on a flight last night and looked around. I counted seven people reading ebooks on a variety of ereader devices and one person was reading a paperback. Okay—so that’s a small random sampling of the population, but it says a lot. Authors, and future authors, who rail against ebooks, are only kidding themselves. Then again, there were people who couldn’t accept changes in transportation when the automobile started to become popular 100 years ago.

Want to know more about First Edition Design Publishing? Click here: http://www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com/

First Edition Design Publishing

Nashville Books Examiner

Liz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. She worked as a writer and actress for Shockwave, a science fiction comedy radio show from 1993-1995 on KFAI, Minneapolis-St.Paul. She has more than 1000 followers on Twitter who are indie romance, Vampire, mystery or Chick Lit writers. Liz has over 10 years experience as a secretary for two world-famous research scientists; the late Professor Karl Folkers co-discoverer of Vitamin B12; and Professor Lee Wattenberg, founder of Cancer Prevention Research. Her duties included typing up, proofreading and submitting medical research articles for publication in such periodicals as Cancer Research, Science and AACR (American Association for Cancer Research). In addition to book reviews, Liz wants to interview indie authors, especially those who write romance novels, mysteries, Vampire books, time travel, paranormal romance, New Age and paranormal books.