Friday, October 24, 2008

Virtual Tour Stop for Author & Publisher Carol Denbow

We’re here to talk about your new book, “A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story.”
Is this your first book?


Carol Denbow: No, it’s my third release. My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released in 2006. Then after a two year gap, I’ve had two new books released in just the past three months. This one, A Book Inside, which I self-published, and Stress Relief for theWorking Stiff. My next book, Keep Your Sanity, will release in early 2010.
So you’ve self-published and been traditionally published?

Carol Denbow: Yes.

Do you recommend self-publishing a book?

Carol Denbow: Well, there are advantages that go along with traditional publishing, primarily, the cost—there really isn’t much when compared to self-publishing. But you do give up a considerable amount of control in exchange. For instance, I genuinely disliked the cover that was designed for my book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff. I din’t feel it represented the contents of the book as well as the title being difficult to read from any reasonable distance. To me, this breaks the first rules of a good book cover design. But regardless of my efforts to change it, I have a contract with the publisher, and that is concrete. So even though it’s my book, I lose the power and control I would have had I self-published the book. Because of these things, I prefer to self-publish.

When you self-publish a book, and here I’m excluding print-on-demand publishing, you maintain complete control, but, in turn all expenses and a lot of work falls on your plate. Self-publishing requires an enormous commitment to what can equal years of preparation. After spending what may seem like endless hours writing your manuscript, there will be many more devoted to editing, layout, cover design, finding a reliable printer, marketing, and promotion. But of course, when you do-it-yourself, all profits are yours to keep.

Print-on-demand publishing is when you pay a publishing house to do a considerable amount of the work for you and make your book available to most buyers. But with POD publishing you still have to pay for copies of your own book. Also, your book is rarely “returnable” by retailers such as Barnes & Noble, so they are reluctant to order it, limiting your sales market.

Publishing options are something each individual author must choose according to their personal needs and expectations. For me, yes, I prefer to go all the way and self-publish on my own.

So does A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story teach new writers how to self-publish their books?

Carol Denbow: Absolutely. But it is the writers’ choice of which publishing method they personally prefer or suits them best. The book explains all methods of getting published, including Print on Demand. That way, the reader can weigh the differences prior to making their choice. Once they decide what’s right for them, they can follow the step-by-step instruction and use the references to locate the resources they need.

For such a small book, A Book Inside contains an incredible amount of resources. Where did you find these?

Carol Denbow: Research, research, and more research—about three years of it.

I like the way you get your message across in all your books. I found them to be really easy to follow. Did you plan the books to be this way?

Carol Denbow: I hate to admit this, but I’m not a reader. In fact, I’ve read very few books cover-to-cover. I’m sure it’s just me personally, but when I pick up a book for the sake of learning something, or to better myself, I don’t want to read a lot of unnecessary “filler” text. So when I write, I create a simple outline of the lesson and then fill in the blanks with the most valuable information I can find. I don’t like books which are loaded with repetitive information. If you teach the lesson once and position it in the text to make it easy to find again, you won’t have to repeat yourself. Basically, my books have all the information “needed” and not the mumbo jumbo extras.

Many of the writers I work with self-publish their books; do you think a marketing plan is necessary for self-published authors?

Carol Denbow: If I said no, I’d be shot dead! Writing is a business and as with any business, you need to have a plan. There is no point in writing and publishing a book unless it will sell. Since more than seventy-five percent of books are self-published, I would like to direct this answer to those. On average, a self-published book sells only 120 copies. Are these statistics from published authors who lacked a good marketing plan? Absolutely!

I’d like to point out as well that book marketing is an ongoing effort. A new release can take up to three years to show signs of success. Some authors give up long before their book has the opportunity to really “get out there.” My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released back in September of 2006, but didn’t evolve into what I would consider a “successful” book until early this year. It takes a good and ongoing plan with aggressive and unique ideas to properly market a book.

So where can we find your books and do you have a Website?

Carol Denbow: All my books are available through Amazon.com as well as through my Website at Author's Box. I also have a great blog for new and seasoned writers at http://abookinside.blogspot.com.

Just to let the blog visitors know, tomorrow is the last day of my virtual tour. The final post will be discussing how an author can put together their own virtual tour. Visit The Book Marketing Maven Blog at http://bookmarketingmaven.com/ tomorrow to learn more. Hope to see you all there!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this information with us!

As always, visitors are welcome to leave comments by clicking on the little “comment” link below. Thank you for joining us today!

10 comments:

Roanne LeRaine said...

Thanks for the insight. I am in between the ideas of POD or pursuing traditional publishing for my current project. Since I don't have the means to invest financially--- traditional seems better. I still plan on being a part of marketing since the subject of my book will be the first of it's kind, so maybe I can use that as a way to maintain more control before signing a contract.

BonnieRose said...

Hi Carol... your article was very informative.. thank you for all your research!I am currently leaning towards traditional publishing for my memoir I am currently writing.. as well as for any future Photography books I have ideas for. What are your thoughts? How can I better market my POD photography book I just unveiled?? thks in advance, bonnierose

elizabeth said...

thanks for the info.

Carol Denbow said...

To Roanne,
I suggest you make about 10 "hard" attempts at finding a traditional publisher. Don't waste too much time or energy on it after that. First time authors rarely get accepted. Avoid the hard feelings and move on if your work is declined. If you are accepted or not, most of the marketing will be your responsibility anyway--so be ready!
I hope your new book is a huge success!
Carol

Virtual Tours said...

Bonnie,
The best ways to gain exposure for your new book are through article submissions, links with similar Websites (photo), and getting noticed through book signings and virtual touring, like this. That's where I've seen the most results. If anyone has more to offer, please post your ideas here for all of us!
Best wishes Bonnie,
Carol

Carol Denbow said...

Thank you to everyone who stopped by today to read about publishing options.
One of the best ways to market your book (and yourself) is through virtual book tours like this one. Tomorrow is the last day of my tour. Won't you please join me as I talk with Dana at Book Marketing Maven about virtual book touring and the benefits of it.
Dana's Website is http://www.bookmarketingmaven.com
Thank's for a GREAT tour!
Carol Denbow

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