|Mar 11, 2007 10:55 pm
||re: re: Do you have a book inside of you?
|| Hi Thomas:
In reply to your questions:
TW: What does the typical business deal for a "How to book" look like?
DMM: A publisher who wants to publish a particular book provides a contract to the author which gives certain rights to the author and certain rights to the publisher. Larger publisher want you to have a literary agent who is your adversary and will negotiate in your behalf. As an author you want to negotiate for as much of the rights as you can. Things like foreign rights, audio rights, reseller rights, movie and TV rights (not very often exercised on how to books).
TW: How many copies does the book potentially have to sell before a publisher is interested?
DMM: It depends on how big the publisher is. But if you self-publish and can sell over 5,000 books most publishers will take notice. I'm at 4,500 books right now.
TW: What is the "average selling price" for a how to book?
DMM: Depends on the number of pages and if it's hardcover or softbound. The rule of thumb is you take the costs of PP&B (paper, printing and binding) and multiply it by eight to ten times that's the price of your book. Of course a larger print run will bring these costs down significantly.
TW: How is the revenue split between publisher and author?
DMM: The more well known you are as an author the more you will get in royalties. On a $24.95 hardback a top, bestselling author will get about $3.25 a book and an unknown author will get about $1.50 per book.
But the big thing is Tom you don't get rich on a book. You make money on your book from the credibility it adds to the other things you do - so it makes sense for your book to be congruent and an extension of your brand. For example I've been able to increase prices twice on my marketing mentoring and stay in demand.
TW: What percent of the potential revenue goes to "marketing and distribution"?
DMM: The marketing costs are a wild card - that depends on what the author decides to do - so I can't state a percentage there. But distribution costs are mostly paid by the publisher within the contract - the royalties are clear to the author. If, on the other hand a self-published author gets a book picked up by a decent distributor they are looking at about 20-28% of the cover price of the book in distribution costs.
TW: Are there any guidelines or rules of thumb regarding how much time an author should expect to invest in writing a book?
DMM: Beats me. It depends on how fast you write, how many hours you put into it, if you need to do research, if you have a really great outline to go on - or if you end up changing things significantly later. Bestselling author Robert G. Allen (I used to be his exec asst) wrote "Multiple Streams of Internet Income" in six very focused weeks of getting up a 4:00 am and plowing away at it. Other books take authors years to write - but it's my feeling that they're not constantly writing - they have big hunks of writer's block in between. *LOL*
TW: When an author submits the first draft of a book to a publisher, how much of the author's work is done?
DMM: Depends on how good a draft they submit the first time around. There will always be re-writing - but you're definitely in the home stretch at that point. When I submitted my manuscript to my editor he said, "You need another chapter and here's why." He was right and it about killed me. But I did it.
TW: What should an author's book proposal look like? A one page idea summary? A five page market analysis and justification? Complete first and last chapters?
DMM: Thomas, I've read a dozen books on book proposals, I've talked with literary agents and publishers at top publishing houses and they all have a different idea of what the perfect book proposal is - and they all think their way is the best way *wink*. So I took everything I learned and put it together. Think of a book proposal as a business plan for a book. You're basically saying that you want to do a joint venture agreement with this publisher. The parts I believe should be included in a book proposal include:
Query Letter - this is like a sales letter for the book.
Table of Contents
Sample Chapter or Two
TW: Is there a potential market for books on "How to ask questions about publishing a book?
DMM: That's what I'm attempting to find out! *LOL*
All the best,
Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
PS: Curious if marketing mentoring will work for you? Check out how
mentoring helped one woman increase sales 170% in just three short weeks.
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