Archive for the ‘Susan Driscoll’ Category

The Seven-Year Difference

May 22, 2007

Yesterday I mentioned listening to iUniverse CEO Susan Driscoll when she spoke at Mega Book Marketing University 2006 in Florida. During this talk, Susan mentioned the difference that seven years can make in the life of a person. I found it fascinating and tracked down the specifics. She was talking about The Da Vinci Code author, Dan Brown. No matter what you think about the book, it found tremendous success.

Susan encouraged listeners to track down a court transcript where Dan Brown was defending himself against accusations of plagiarism in the London Court (and Brown was successful in his defense). With a little work on Google I located the transcript which is 77 pages.

In the transcript, Brown talks about his journey as a novelist and here’s the quote which Susan highlighted for her audience, Dan Brown said, “This was not an easy time financially. I remember that we were forced to literally sell books out of our car at low profile publishing events. The few readers who read Angels & Demons had gone wild for it.”

Brown and his wife were traveling to small events and selling books from the back of their car in 2000. What a difference seven years makes in the life of a person. Last year (2006), Brown landed in the tenth spot on the Forbes 100 list of earning an estimated $88 million or up from 12th spot the year before.

Where are you in the process of pursuing your dreams about publication? It is hard work to make the right pitch with the right book proposal. Many people don’t put the energy and effort into their proposal to craft the right pitch. Or they send it to the wrong places. Or they give up on the idea too easily. It’s a subjective business and you have to tell your story over and over to build enough enthusiasm for it that it succeeds in the marketplace of ideas.

Why is it so difficult? The statistics repeatedly show that each year reading statistics are on the decline. Each year about 190,000 new books are published with millions of backlist books already in print (published in the past seasons or backlist). If you are feeling low, take some of the smaller steps.

Begin to build a newsletter list. Everyone has to start some place so launch a free newsletter and continue building that group of subscribers, feeding them great content on a regular basis. The back issues of my Right Writing News have over 400 pages of how-to information which is free but only available to subscribers. If you don’t now what you would write for a newsletter, then go to this link and read every article and follow the advice.

If you are getting rejected, make sure you are building your relationships and learning your craft at writer’s conferences. Learn how to craft a basic magazine article or short story. It will take you down the road to achieve your larger dream because you are learning the process and building your publishing credits. I’ve traveled the country teaching about book proposals. As a home study tool, pick up my new product, Editor Reveals Book Proposal Secrets and listen to it over and over.

Most of all, keep holding on to your dreams and working each day to make a difference. You can do it and if you need the encouragement, consider the seven year difference in Dan Brown’s life–selling books in the back of his car to #10 on the Forbes 100 list.

Soak In The Information

May 21, 2007

These days I don’t spend much time in my car. Because I don’t have a long drive to get to my workplace, my time in my car is often limited to a few minutes each day when I drive to my mailbox and return home. That time amounts to about 30 to 45 minutes a day or not much time. I’ve been in jobs where I’ve had a much longer commute in the car but even on a short drive, there is an opportunity to soak in information–if you choose to take this path.

I could be listening to the radio, music or something else. Instead, I’ve been listening to the Mega Book Marketing University 2006 tapes–a conference which I did not attend but I know many of the speakers personally. I’ve met Susan Driscoll, president of iUniverse on several different occasions but until I reached her presentation at Mega I had never heard her speak to a group. Her insight was fascinating. You can catch some of her information about publishing on her iUniverse blog and I liked this entry about returns (something most book authors never think about but is a critical part of the overall process in traditional publishing).

My idea for you with this entry is to look for short bursts of time when you can soak in some burst of information. For example, follow this link for Mega Book Marketing University 2007 in Los Angeles yet look at the special offers in the top right column. Some of these sessions are several years old yet the insight and information is still valuable–yet substantially discounted. I continue to learn a great deal from these older tapes and hope you will as well.