207 – July 26
“If what you know now was enough, you’d already be where you want to go.”—Jack Canfield
When I started writing this book, I didn’t know anything about the book business. What I did know was that if I was going to have a successful book, I had better find out as much as I could about writing, publishing, marketing, and selling books. Writing a good book wasn’t going to be enough. I had to know how the publishing industry worked, how to write a good book proposal, how to get an agent, how to negotiate a book contract, how to promote and advertise the book, and how to close book sales. I bought books on these subjects, listened to tapes, asked everyone I knew who had contacts in the publishing industry, visualized success, wrote down my goals, practiced my affirmations, meditated, prayed, and sent out ships every day.
A few months later, I discovered that Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield were giving a seminar called “How to Build Your Speaking and Writing Empire” in my area. These two men, authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, had sold more than 50 million books (*Update: now over 500 million!!)! They were the perfect role models for me. I signed up immediately and drank in every word of the seminar when it was given. It was fabulous! Not only did they present a terrific amount of information, but gave many resources for getting more.
The day after the workshop, my networking paid off: Through Women’s Referral Service, I met a chiropractor, Jim Blumenthal, who referred me to Theresa Stephens, who put me in touch with her friend Jim Jermanok, who put me in touch with his friend, literary agent Lisa Hagan at Paraview, Inc., who signed me as a client the day she received my manuscript. Lisa found me my wonderful editor and publisher, Deborah Werksman at Sourcebooks. They are all “My People!”
Here is the short list of Mark and Jack’s success instructions:
- Visualize your goals
- Write down your goals
- Do affirmations
- Take action (send out ships!)
I like their list!
“All creative forces are working together for my good!”
It’s All About PR
“After you’ve written your book, found an agent, gotten a publisher, and your book is finally in the bookstores, five percent of your work has been done.”—Jack Canfield
You learn that, in the book world, PR is everything. When you walk into a bookstore, you are walking into a treasure house of 140,000 books. Online at amazon.com, there are some 3 million books. Somewhere in your mind, dimly, you knew that, but nothing drives it home so much as walking into a bookstore and seeing rack upon rack of beautiful books and then you go find your section and see all the racks of beautiful self-help books and then, tucked into a small shelf on the bottom left, there is your one-and-only, your own beautiful book. Ahhh, you sigh, your book, your dream, has magically materialized and actually exists in a real bookstore in real space in real time. Then your eyes widen, you look around, and you think, “Gadzooks! (or some such expletive) How am I going to get my book noticed?”
The answer is PR, PR, pr, PR, PR, PR, pr, PR, and more PR. As in public relations, press, advertising, newsletters, ezines, magazine articles, newspaper articles, radio if you’re lucky, television if you’re really lucky, etc., etc., etc. Then you put on your gold tennis shoes and do a book signing, speak at the Lions Club, the Direct Marketing Association, the Church of Religious Science, the Women’s City Club, the Society for Technical Communication, and anyone else who will book you. You go to other people’s book signings and schmooze, give copies of your book to celebrities (Marianne Williamson, Mark Victor Hansen, Martha Beck, and Suze Orman all own of personally autographed copies of “The Wealthy Spirit”). You go to your six or seven regular networking meetings, National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Referral Service, Chambers of Commerce, NEW Women Entrepreneurs (it really helps if you like chicken).
You do all this because, when you have lunch with Michelle Anton, the producer of the Dr. Laura radio show, she tells you how she found out about your book; that she didn’t know that you were on the “Dr. Laura” television show three years ago, that she didn’t get the press release your publisher sent with your book, and she didn’t get your letter that you sent with your book. None of that mattered. What mattered was that a friend of hers told her about the book. And that’s why, when someone asks what marketing strategy has worked the best to promote your book, you say, “The twenty years I’ve been out there networking.”
Then, because book money comes three months after the end of the six-month royalty period, you make hundreds of gold calls on the gold phone because the NOW money of workshops is in the phone, where the LATER money of books is in the mail. You teach class two nights a week and enroll class every other waking moment. In your spare time, you write an article for Dr. Laura’s web site, you write your next newsletter, and you smile sweetly when people start asking you about your next book…
And you thank God every day for giving you this rich, full, high-class-quality-problem-too-busy life where you can decide what dream you want, bring a book into being, and e-zoom your thoughts and feelings into the minds and hearts of a circle of friends.