Part 2: Surveying your book landscape, am I book worthy?
About the Author
Kevin Cullis is self-described 'business geek' and a former Air Force officer and is an entrepreneur. He has his Masters Degree in Administration as well as 12 years of face-to-face experience selling both Macs and PCs to businesses. He loves helping entrepreneurs and small business owners integrate, utilize, and optimize the use of their Mac in their marketing, sales, and business management processes. The combined perspectives of both business and the computer process gives Kevin unique insight in regard to saving and making money using a Mac. How To Start A Business: Mac Version: 10 Essential Business Steps for Startups using a Mac is his first book.
Time went by and my book idea had gelled enough to take a look at it objectively. Just because I have an idea, doesn’t mean that it will sell well. I’d hate to finish my book and not be able to make money from it. I needed to do some market research and see what other books were out there that I’d be competing against and to determine how to differentiate myself.
When I came up with the idea to do something, like starting a business or writing a book, like most people my first action was to rush “Full speed ahead!” without thinking about it. “Go with your guts,” as some would say. With my book idea fresh in my mind and as I began writing daily, I began to wonder if and how I could make money with it, maybe even seeing if I can become the next John Grisham, Mark Twain, J. K. Rowling, Thomas Paine, or even Ralph Waldo Emerson in my genre. (We can dream, can’t we?)
The why to do it is most difficult part of any endeavor. Solving my why I’m writing a book makes the how to write and produce it come into clearer focus. If my passion drives me to do something, let reason hold my steering wheel.
After a number of months of writing I began talking with a number of authors and entrepreneurs and found there are always questions to ask with any new idea.
The first step is the need to explore my idea enough to see if my business or book idea itself is worth the effort.
- Can it be done?
Testing my idea on others gives me the confidence that my idea has merit. No sense in trying to make a new recipe of tuna lasagna, ewww, if everyone turns their nose up at my idea. Same with a book. I needed to discover if my book idea is different enough that it will sell and decide whether I’m shooting for going for a literary or commercial book result. But when dealing with skeptics and cynics, and that means family and friends, Mark Twain said it correctly, “The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
- Can it be sold?
Once I have proven my idea is worth pursuing, I needed to see if there are ways of selling it. Larger publishers probably won’t touch my book unless the subject is hot, like programming for the iPad. Forget about vanity publishers, they’ll just take your money and leave you to market your own books with unopened boxes sitting in the basement. So then there is Print On Demand (POD) and other small publishers where I can get my book physically published. A print run of one or more as demand grows makes this the best approach.
As a first time author, the reality is I’ll be doing most of the book’s marketing. Am I ready to do this?
Will I have my book done before the holiday season or major book trade shows? Can I sell myself, and my book, to others? If I can’t sell at least between 2,000-7,000 copies in my genre market, then I need to rethink my reason why for writing it. There are two writing worlds: writing, and then there is the business of writing. As an author, I have a choice: write for the love of writing, or the love of writing and to sell my writing. I can write just for the sake of writing and “mercy” book sales to family and friends. But if I want to earn a living at writing, I need to learn the worlds of writing and business of writing. Most beginning authors fail to see this business side of writing.
(coming in next installment-So what does the business of books look like?
Part 3: Surveying your book landscape, the book planting business.)
© Copyright by Kevin Cullis