Tag Archives: Authors

What’s Important?

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I was recently involved in a business conversation that was put on video when one of the participants started to ask me about my “Naked Blogging” Campaign. She wanted to know how deep into my own psyche I was going to delve to come up with pertinent topics to pass to my audience.

I thought about this question introspectively. I wondered what I could tell my readers that would make them understand who I am, why I work in publishing, and why I so desperately want to give back to the people within this industry and the authors who want to write for this industry.

At this point I am 52 years old.  I’ve been married once before and now I am not. I had a long-term relationship with a woman who passed away from Ovarian Cancer. I had another long-term relationship end recently after we had been engaged for four years. I’m reaching the point in my life where some of the goals that I wanted for myself are slipping away, and that’s okay.

Growing up I knew that I had a great father. I had an equally great mother, but knowing what kind of man my father was made me realize that I could also be a great father if given the chance. I didn’t marry until I was 35 years old, and that marriage ended in divorce four years later. We had been talking about children and I was fully prepared to be a father. I was ready to love someone so much that I would give part of myself to them to make another human being. I would sacrifice everything in my life to make sure that child grew up to be a wonderful part of the American dream. Even after my marriage ended I still had hopes of finding someone who might love me and want to be a parent with me within a loving family environment. I’m not the easiest guy to get along with, but I do have some qualities that are wonderful for parenting skills.

I realize now that my calling may not be to be a parent, but to be a mentor of sage advice to those who want to know about the publishing industry. My parenting skills can be utilized as teaching skills and refocused to aid those who need a hand up to live a happy productive life. It’s not life changing or life-threatening to write a book or to work in the publishing industry, but to be a help and possibly put someone on the right track for success is as admirable a goal as any for an individual.

My figurative “children” are those people I can reach and help along the way.

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Naked Blogging!

The Book Kahuna

I’ve been meaning to start doing this for a while now and I thought this would be the best time to get this going. I’ve been blogging for about three years now and I have put many bells and whistles into my blog-posts including photos, videos, and music videos. I thought it was time to cut to the unvarnished part of the blog structure.

What makes someone read a blog?

What gets someone interested in what you have to say?

How do you get people to look at what you’re talking about?

I think the answer to these questions is to get to the point where all you’re doing is putting words, sentences and paragraphs into the mainstream that build concentric ideas people can follow and are relatable. It’s not a difficult thing to get moving on writing about what is happening with EPUB, or why marketing is so important, or even why customer service is dead. The basic form-follows-function of the blog is to inform your readers and make sure that the content you’re producing is in a structure that is easily understood and summarily executed so that your message gets across.

No, I am not sitting in my home office naked right now doing this blog. I know that many of you are also glad that I’m not home naked writing this blog as well. It all comes down to the words, the content, and the direction on where you want your audience to go. Also, another important part of this process is what is the feeling you want your audience to come away with? Where are you driving them? What is the focus of where you are going with your written words? For the next few weeks I am going to be producing blog posts that will just be blog posts.  There will be no videos, no photos, and just the logo appearing on the top of the blog post itself. I want feedback from everyone who looks at my blog. I want to know what you want me to produce. I want more interaction with my readers. I want to hear from you letting me know what you are thinking, what directions I should be pursuing and topics I should be articulating in this blog.

I received a message on Facebook the other day from one of my friends that said there was a man who is trying to shut down bloggers because they are devaluing and undermining the content streams of authors who write for traditional publishing operations. I think this is a big mistake. There are plenty of good writers who do not work for large publishing operations or write for a living for that matter.

My answer is, and always will be: I blog therefore I am!

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Marketing: The Science that Drives the Sale!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I just recently started a marketing intensive to expand my business. I’ve often thought that getting traffic to your website was as simple as making it a “form follows function” well-designed site. The theory in my mind was that if you build it they will come. I have completely reevaluated and readjusted my thinking to the fact that you must put great content out into the field, you must have a doorway that people will find functionally easy to operate, and you must have value for those who come to your site.

I’ve had many people in the past ask me about my business. I am building digital reference materials for authors who do not want to get ripped off when having their books published. This could be in print format or could be in e-book format but there are many people out there who are taking advantage of authors, new and established, who just want to get their stories told.

My other focus is to help those who are new to the publishing industry climb up the ladder as quickly as possible. The publishing industry is notoriously slow in advancing pay for those who work within its ranks, but by taking and making some very easy changes in steps you can get to the corner office in a much more streamlined fashion.

How does marketing play at the wall of this?

What can I do to increase the traffic to my sites?

How I get the word out to as many people as possible that I am unknown quantity in my field?

I have been pondering these questions for the last few months. I have built a social media platform, and I’ve also reached out to many highly regarded executives in my field for interviews. The content I am producing is of the highest quality and includes blog-posts, videos, interviews, Google Hangout’s, and podcasts. I think the major point that I need to key on is that I’ve been looking at this as an overall process instead of 2 separate targets. When I say “an overall process,” I have been marketing to authors and new publishing professionals all in the same communications. The targets must be more focused. The content must continue to be of the highest quality. The posts must be consistently timely.

I am thinking that now I have in my power the ability to build my business the way that I want it to be built. Being a publishing leader means taking risks, challenging yourself beyond all means, and making sure that what you produce is the highest quality material imaginable.

I am learning and will continue to learn but I know one thing for sure: I will be successful!

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1 Post to 3 Different Social Media Platforms!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book KahunaHere is a GREAT Google hangout I had with my friend Leslie Lane Peabody a few weeks ago.  She is the Ninja in High Heels!  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to sign up for my e-mail list and get the 71 minute manuscript to bound book digital lecture!

CLICK IT!!—> http://tiny.cc/bookkahuna1<——- CLICK IT!!

Follow me on Twitter:        @thebookkahuna

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSkootdad

If you are blogging anyway, the Empower Network is the SMART way to go.  Check it out…

 CLICK HERE ——->     http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret?id=The-Book-Kahuna      <—- CLICK HERE!

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What Is This Baby? BookBaby!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

When an author starts the process of self-publishing, a 5-tool coach who knows the ins and outs of the production-manufacturing process can be invaluable in getting to the final stage for format distribution. Many independent publishers have had an easier time getting the final files to the printer or EPUB files ready to load as e-books then the marketing and sales functions for their particular title. A new enterprise from the people who initiated CD Baby is ready to be unveiled. Their newest author homepage, BookBaby, an author landing page will be integrated through the marketing tools, BookShop.

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/bookbaby-launches-direct-to-consumer-book-retail-platform-for-authors/

This material was written up in a press release on the DBW website under the headline: BookBaby Launches Direct-to-Consumer Book Retail Platform for Authors. This will be a centralized landing-place where anyone who is interested in the author’s title will be able to find various distribution centers where the title is available. The BookBaby people put it this way:

“Having a page on BookBaby is free for everyone, even if they don’t want to use us for distribution,” says director of marketing Kevin Breuner. “Their pages have links to the places where people can buy their work. And with BookShop, authors can market their work directly from their pages to readers, setting their own prices, as well as going through all the other outlets. We’ve learned a great deal running CD Baby, and we’re applying it to this. We’re working for the authors.”1

CLICK IT!!—> http://tiny.cc/bookkahuna1<——- CLICK IT!!

Follow me on Twitter:        @thebookkahuna

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BookBaby, OOH Baby

This could be an incredible boon for anyone who is thinking about getting a title published.  It will alleviate the worry of how to get the word out about their title online. Anything that centralizes the process and puts more control in the hands of the author to create a viral buzz about their own product is a good thing. There are so many people under the guise of coaches and shepherds who take authors wallets for a ride when it comes to the actual marketing of the finished product. Using social media that can point back to the centralized location of a BookBaby page will enhance the prospects of getting that particular title into the hands of those who would like to buy it.

CLICK HERE ——->     http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret?id=The-Book-Kahuna     <—- CLICK HERE!

“If BookBaby is the shop window, the display that lets buyers see what’s available, BookShop is where authors can get down to the nuts and bolts of business. With detail from oversized cover image to author info, book metadata, full customization and updating, as well as links to let people click-through and buy, it’s the perfect sales tool for any author. BookShop offers the direct sales of ebooks and PDFs to readers from the page.”2

Authors Need to Write, Not Sell

For the most part, authors are not adept at marketing and selling. Their real passion and forte is writing and finalizing the manuscript of their chosen subject matter. If this centralized location can give the authors a leg-up in starting the process of title dissemination, then it is a good thing all around. I wholeheartedly endorse any avenue that makes the book publishing process easier and more cost-effective for any first-time self publisher or any independent publisher in general. There are so many pitfalls that can become costly and lead nowhere that any companies that are proponents of author relations and process mitigations are clearly on the right track. Since self-publishing is booming, let’s hope more websites and companies get on the author bandwagon to help out in the future.

Blast Off!

As the press release said at the end:

“BookBaby is turning the page. It’s a whole new chapter in independent publishing.”3

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The Book Kahuna Interview on CNTV!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

Did you ever want to use your talents for something greater?

Did you ever think: What if I could start a business that would help people to create their dream books without getting fleeced?

Having worked in the publishing industry for the past 30 years and gone from assistant to manager and beyond, is it possible I might have something to offer young people in the publishing industry?

I am convinced that I have something to offer. I am convinced that there is a market for what I’m doing and that people are looking for voices to come out of the din and give them directions on the paths they are choosing.

I know there a lot of naysayers out there who look at what I’m doing as something frivolous, insignificant and lacking in any real ability for successful conclusion. To them I say, “Stand back and watch this take off!”

Anyone who wants to review my academic and work histories can do so by accessing my LinkedIn profile.

www.linkedin.com/in/donaldschmidt/

I currently have a Go-Fund-Me  campaign where you can contribute and actually receive products that I have put together. The one product is my lecture at the Denver Publishing Institute that was turned into a self-narrated video with the corresponding PowerPoint presentation, the other is the e-book that I wrote for my Master’s thesis with an added chapter on “How to load your e-book for an Amazon Kindle download”.

http://www.gofundme.com/5qk2mo

I hope you will take the time to review the attached video and see exactly what I am building and why I am building it. There have been people throughout history who have been laughed at and ridiculed (Edison, The Wright Brothers, Marconi) while building something integral and special to their particular niche in the corporate world. I know that I am on the right path because of the social media interactions and views that I am generating with my blog-posts, tweets and videos. Come along for the ride and see where this journey takes us!  If you sign up for my email list you will receive the DPI lecture as my gift to you.

CLICK IT!!—> http://tiny.cc/bookkahuna1<——- CLICK IT!!

Follow me on Twitter:        @thebookkahuna

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:     http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSkootdad

CLICK HERE ——->     http://badasscontent.com/The-Book-Kahuna-Pages      <—- CLICK HERE!

No one said anything worth having is easy, and I am prepared to fight for every scrap that comes my way along this challenging test. I will succeed and prosper in the end!

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Amazon and Publishers: Numerology Roulette!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2014/02/10/amazon-vs-book-publishers-by-the-numbers/

Whenever there is a new way to do things, people and companies in the status quo begin to get upset. This is not a new development and has been going on since the covered wagon manufacturers were confronted with Henry Ford’s new transportation vehicle. I’m sure there was a spate of gnashing teeth and hand wringing as the model A’s and model T’s came off the production line. The buggy whip manufacturers were probably not very happy as well. Such is corporate life when a new model rolls around and upsets the status quo. Amazon is the new Ford Motor Company.

Amazon Corporate Model

I recently read the article in Forbes magazine by Jeff Bercovici:  Amazon Versus Book Publishers By the Numbers, and was struck by the lack of historical perspective that people have towards this love/hate relationship. To fundamentally understand the relationship between publishers and Amazon you must first realize that Amazon is not trying to be a book publisher or distributor based on the normal models. Amazon is building a business whereby books are almost a marketing device to grab customer share for purchases of everything else that Amazon sells on their website. Keeping this in mind is a difficult part of the overall Amazon/Publisher picture. There was a time a few years ago when Amazon was actually contemplating giving Kindles away to ensure market capture even though they would suffer a loss on their ROI. Any company that will give away a new electronic reading device to ensure consumer capture does not really consider themselves a book-selling company.

Some of the comments that were under this article on the Forbes website were instrumental in giving a bird’s eye-view of how the public views this spat. Most people believe that publishing companies have been in control of the situation in dealing with authors for far too long. Now with the dual realities of distribution points like Amazon being able to call the shots, and also being pushed to provide more and more bestsellers while competing with a vibrant and upstart self-publishing/independent publishing author base, the publishers are back on their heels. This may be the change in the publishing atmosphere that is necessary to even the playing field to a more author-friendly environment.

Click— http://tinyurl.com/lama53t– Click

The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing:  History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle

The Numbers

Some of the numbers from the article were very surprising to me and here are a few examples:

$5.25 billion: Amazon’s current annual revenue from book sales, according to one of Packer’s sources. That means books account for 7% of the company’s $75 billion in total yearly revenue.

19.5%: The proportion of all books sold in the U.S. that are Kindle titles. E-books now make up around 30% of all book sales, and Amazon has a 65% share within that category, with Apple AAPL -1.11% and Barnes & Noble NE -0.38% accounting for most of the balance.*

14: The number of workers Amazon employs for every $10 million in revenue it generates. For brick-and-mortar retailers, the average is 47 employees per $10 million of revenue.

1 million: The total number of copies — print, e-book and audio — sold by author Helen Bryan, whose two historical novels, “War Brides” and “The Sisterhood,” were put out by Amazon Publishing. Amazon announced this morning that Bryan is its second author, following Oliver Pötzsch, to reach the million-copy mark.

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Some may find these numbers droll and uninteresting, but I think they tell the story of a complete change in the publishing/bookselling mindset. Amazon will not be going away anytime soon, and with any uncomfortable situation the basis for the irritation will become the norm as time moves on. This is all new and could easily be instrumental in changing the publishing landscape over the next 5 to 10 years.

And in the Future?

Whether Amazon being a major player in the book distribution model will adversely impact the publishing community, as a whole, remains to be seen. Rather than lament the fact that Amazon is in the race, publishers should be looking for new and innovative ways to sell and market their products.  Only through continued innovations and new processes can the publishing community survive and thrive in the era of Amazon.

CLICK HERE ——->     http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret?id=The-Book-Kahuna     <—- CLICK HERE!

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