August 17, 2017

What’s a Great Headline for a Creative’s Anniversary?

I didn’t realize. It had actually been two years already. What? Wow. That’s been a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least.

(Is this post public? Eh-hem.)

Nevertheless, I’m excited to discover that – well, yes – I have indeed written a book. The “Shivoo!” may as well commemorate and celebrate the culmination of these first years of managing a publishing company for Christian creatives. Welcome to the Shivoo! it’s called. Subtitled, Creatives Mimicking the Creator, and it is coming out next month. $0.99 pre-orders are taken by Amazon on Kindle.


The human impulse to create is a reflection of the Creator’s image shaped inside of us. So, why does a sense of value seem so elusive? Maybe it’s because creatives don’t quite understand our origin. (more…)


April 21, 2017

Response to Publisher’s Weekly News

This is good news from PW, At IBPA Meeting, A Push for Parity, from the hybrid publisher’s viewpoint.

I work for (doing marketing for several authors) but the biggest problem is POD. Barnes & Noble clerks tell customers that it is the publisher’s fault that they do not shelve our authors’ books, but I know that we distribute through Baker & Taylor, so the real problem is that the brick n mortar stores do not want to cut their 55% profit or pay for POD prices any more than the authors and hybrid publishers do. They have rookie authors over a barrel. When an author or small publisher must pay for all the print and shipping, handling (%43.5 value) and brick n mortar distribution cut (55% value) plus the marketing of each book purchased in the shade of traditional platform publishing models, – and then not get paid royalties for 90 days to a year,- the investment outlay is akin to financing a car or new home! Return is under $2 per book. To new authors, it can feel like an exercise in hubris to consider the costs together with those risks. When our books can only be found on Amazon or Nook, (here’s one below), authors should only be required to pay the online standard split of 30% since that is the distribution reality/risk brick n mortar stores are presently taking.…

I also appreciated Christian Smyth’s opinion and will be utilizing the branding techniques found here (Three Tips on How Publishers Can Brand Authors in Our Media-Saturated Times) for the distribution of promotional materials with A.R.C.s  on Soothing Rain, which is a new group study for lively women by authors, Tonya Jewel Blessing and Sue Summers.

Plunge Ahead!

July 1, 2016

All the Things We Cannot See

Filed under: Marketing for a Small Publisher — yourprotagonist @ 12:03 pm

pen itch byk-final

As the managing partner of Capture Books, I represent a small publisher’s few authors, listed on www.CaptureBookstore. Our writers’ group decided to take an adventure, a risk, into the middle world between self-publishing and traditional big house publishing. We were a group of fine editors, entrepreneurs, comrades, and writers, several of whom had been published, and two of whom could speak publicly. You can find me, officially, on LinkedIn.

We decided to pool our resources. Since I had the most time on my hands, which I disputed vehemently for six months until no-one else stepped up, and since my book was crying in the corner to be outed and published, I registered our name at the secretary of state.  I began to take online courses into the mysteries of publishing.

Immediately, I saw the advantage to being a publishing house.

Where self-publishers could fail in the editing, formatting or proofing stages, our group advised and helped each other. One author had a media list she had worked hard to compile into a mail mergeable list.  She handed it over. not understand

We respected one another’s genre and writing skills, but we did not overlap much in the genres, so our target markets were different. Once our newest books came off the press, we did not contemplate being competitors in marketing.

What no one understood was the need to address libraries and obtain publisher imprinted ISBNs and PCINs, LCCNs in order to categorize our books into the catalog systems for marketing. Also, we learned our way around book templates and introductory requirements and exit strategies for marketing inside our books. We were introduced to the need for pre-publication dates and galleys for pre-publication reviews.

These pre-publication concepts came only after my book had missed these deadlines due to its eagerness to be published. (These books have voices and minds of their own!)

Uploading book content prior to editing is an exercise in humility, but at least I began thinking about tip sheets and one sheet content at that time and giving credit where credit was due. Check.

I thought that once the books were uploaded onto the Ingram print site and when our books were pictured in their catalogs, that we were in! WRONGER than wrong.

Had I a proper coach, in the beginning, I would have known that Ingram does not fulfill orders when the royalty percentage to the author or publisher, as the case may be, is in the negative.  I was clueless as to how to promote a special deal. To change the royalty into the black, I had to wait a month for the new royalty to take hold. And, how much was a reasonable royalty? It was a balancing act to target the price a market would purchase, and still make a buck!

What I really didn’t understand was the voluminous amounts of time it took to read, learn and experiment with the process of marketing books!  Certain books could only be reviewed or submitted for awards from the publisher’s nomination. Getting a contract for PRWeb was a small trick compared to passing their tests for each book release copy.

In advertising designs, I had to learn to find and upload the graphic, present the leading question or possible reader desperation, ie. the emotive hook, and then answer this dilemma in one fell swoop, with a link to a landing page, WAIT, a landing page? Not quite. What’s up with that? Clicks and conversions?  Another mystery to unravel. And, how was I to find each author’s target market?  My new career became slated with more questions than answers.

How could I keep spending money on webinars, sell-gimmicks, and advertising if I was only making one thin dime of royalty on the author books?  Awkward discussions and hot contracts were proposed.

The more savvy details of attachments, funnels, blogging and submitting books to bloggers, setting up the authors and their books into Amazon, Forward, Good Reads, Twitter, Barnes and Noble, or Nook, Baker and Taylor, Biblio, Self-e, Bookbuzz, Fasttracks, Axis360, Quality Books, IndiBooks, Books-a-Million, and threatening the authors to start Facebook posting and setting up their author web pages with calls to action was a minefield of negotiations.  The first time I submitted a proposal to our local library district, I uploaded the unedited copy of a promo sheet, rather than the latest version.  There were the makings for not only an anxiety attack but an anxiety disorder!

Curses! People weren’t buying yet! One day as I was stuck in a traffic jam trying to attend an author autograph event, I had a meltdown to see all the people in all the cars on just one mile of just one highway in the world, and not one of them was tapped into our authors’ first books. All the cogs in the wheel were circulating towards the miner’s stake, but I had to start digging for the gold.  Summer Holidays were approaching…

This blog will define the tightrope of publishing and marketing books for small publishers such as our little group, Capture Books. If no-one else reads my record of coaches, gimmicks that work (lawfully), tips and treats for authors and small publishers, at least it will become my immortalized saga of the managing partner life I embarked upon in my fifties. Life, oh definitely, began at 50!

I’d love to hear from you, too…




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