Monday, August 15, 2011

Use Your Book to Create Opportunities

In the highly competitive book business, most authors come to 3L Publishing with their sights set on making the New York Times best-seller list. While that is an admirable goal, those authors always make me nervous. First, the desire for your book to climb to the top of the list is a fun and fabulous goal, but only when you put everything into perspective and realize that accomplishment should actually not be used as a lofty measure of your success. I don't discourage my authors' dreams. What I try to do is redirect and redefine their ideas of success. When you write a book and put it there, you face several competitive realities. First, did you know that literally thousands of books come out each day? Second, only a tiny percentage of those books ever come close to becoming best-sellers. What I like to do is redirect the author's attention to the easy wins. What opportunities will having a book give you? Here are some examples of winning opportunities these authors would not have had without their books.

1. Let's start with me. If I had not written Second Bloom, I would not have received recognition as a publisher. I would not have had authors ask me to publish their books, and therefore, 3L Publishing would not exist. My book opened the door to a new and profitable business opportunity. My other book Vanity Circus has led to numerous authors signing on with 3L. If I had not written Vanity Circus, I would not have had so many other new business opportunities. And in both cases, I would not have the monthly opportunities to speak, meet more clients, and attract new business. Did either book make the best-seller list? No, and I'm as happy with the outcome as can be.

2. Another fiction author wrote his fantastic book. It has sold marginally well. After he published the book, he wrote the screenplay version. The screenplay got optioned. He also is fielding offers to consult on television shows. Would he have had the opportunity to meet the right people to move his screenplay forward without his book? Probably not. Would he be fielding TV consultation offers? Probably not. Do you think he regrets his book? Probably not.

3. A non-fiction author wrote a niche book. After a business owner read the book, he offered this author a highly coveted CEO position. While this author continues to sell his niche book directly to the target market, he is happy with good, steady sales. He is also happy with the new, high-paying job offer he received as a result of his book. Do you think he regrets that his book hasn't made the best-seller list? Probably not.

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