Saturday, November 19, 2011

Liveblogging IndieConf: Publishing as Marketing

Presenter: Denise Kiernan ( and @deniseKiernan)

The title of the presentation, "Spreading the Word: Publishing as a Marketing Tool."

Denise and her husband, Joseph D'Agnese, authored, The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, & the Self_Employed.

This presentation will address how to write a book that can drum up new business.

Make sure to take into account all of your personal experiences.

Why write a book?
  • Promote your business.
  • Establish credentials as an expert.
  • Make money.
Don't rely on the media...
  • Newspaper ad revenue has fallen 92% in 10 years.
  • 47% Americans get their local news on mobile device.
  • Readers don't pay for news on tablets and newspaper devices
  • 75%  of U.S. adults unwilling to pay for news. 
Become the media.

Traditional publishing
  • Write a book or proposal
  • Land an agent
  • Agent sells to publisher
  • Get advance: $$$
  • Publisher assumes all costs
  • Profit: Publisher gets 85-90%: you get 10-15%
Self-Publishing Print
  • Author writes book - for free
  • Author assumes all costs ($0 to several thousand)
  • Author uploads to:,,
  • Print on demand (POD) - a copy of the book doesn't get created until someone buys one.
  • Profit: Amazon takes 40%, author "60%"
Dead trees cost
  • Printing cost* = $0.85 = .012 per page
  • From retail cost, subtract Amazon's cut minus print cost!
  • 13.95 minus 5.58 (40%) minus $4.45 = $4.92 (28% profit)
  • Just pricing your product higher doesn't mean more people are going to buy it. Who are you?
Digital Publishing
When asked how many people had digital e-readers. The majority raised their hands. Do more people read with e-readers? From Denise's experience, they do.
  • (Traditional: Publisher pays, takes most $$)
  • Self-Pub: You pay  - less - and take most $$
  • Both: No print, no paper, no shipping, no inventory, no dead trees!
  • You are selling a digital file!
Digital Self-Publishing profit model
  • $2.99 and up: Vendor takes 30%, you get 70%*
  • under $2.99: Vendor takes 65%, you get 35%*
*If you have a traditional deal, you split the 70% or 35% profit with your publisher.

The App Effect
Price e-Book $0 to $2.99
  • Is this book any good? (Good reviews, everyone's talking about it, I've heard of the author.)
  • Do I like the price? (Yes!)
There are a lot of people who make money at the .99 price point. It's about volume.

What's best for my business?
  • Content
  • Audience
  • Expectations
You need to know who your customers are. Know what content they read. Depending upon those variables, the answer to what's best depends on the answer to that question. There is not one shoe that fits everyone.

Think of a book as a way to market your business. Sure, money from a book is good, but think of the book as a big brochure.

Anything can be a book

  • Customer service
  • Designer diet
Career in mind (Customer Service)
  • Goal-driven approach
  • Be your own product
  • Worked the clout
Donna Cutting decided to do some speaking locally, but she knew that she wanted to write a book. Her goal was to be a professional speaker. By writing a book, this product helped her do what she wanted. It gave her an opportunity to talk about customer service. 

In doing research, she realized that very few were writing about customer service. The author wrote a book that gathered all the best practices from experts in the field.  She added to her expertise by learning from others. Donna went the traditional route. Writing a print book gave her clout to address the audience she wanted.

Having a print book on-hand allowed her to sell books at the speaking engagements. The book sold well, but it gave her more speaking jobs. It was perfect!

Expanding on experience (the 9-Inch Diet)
  • Use what you have, push your boundaries
  • Find your audience in a creative way
  • Get personal and specific
Denise talks about another author who addresses the 9-Inch Diet. In the old days, our plates were 9-inches. Today, we have 12+ inch plates. In his new house, his current plate (12+ inches) did not fit in the cupboards because they were too big. By eating on 9-inch plates, his family lost weight.

Adding value to your service

  • A new twist on customer care
  • Captive audience
  • Leverage your reach
Talks about a doctor who has a private practice in Palm Springs. His expectations were to 1) He had a lot to say about customer care in the industry and he wanted to be called on as an expert for talk shows (like a Dr. Oz.

He decided to do print because he wanted to give away to customers as an added bonus. Charging $10,000 for his practice, adding a book was just a perk. He too, also did print through self-publish.

Break it down. Spin it off. (The Wealthy Freelancer)
  • Create free "buzz" while building your brand 
  • Ancillary products may be sold for far more than the price of your book
  • Repurpose your efforts
It's a blog turned into a PDF. It sits on your web site for an easy download. By giving you really valueable information, all I ask is for your e-mail address.  By doing all of this, you grow a really large e-mail list. Any new buzz piece that you do, you send it out to the list. This then, in turn, gets more people back to your site.

When I get you to the web site, I offer a book, free buzz pieces, or a paid DVD course. The free item gets them in the door (buzz pieces) where you can show them your paid offerings.

When you have done 5-10 buzz pieces, you can simply put them together in a book (get a neat book design and sell it for $1.99).

Bundle It. Sell It. Bump It.

  • Added exposure potential - bump.
  • "Tip" format popular
  • Easily adapted for online media outlets
Mashable took information from small publishers and web sites to create "20 Free ebooks and White Papers for Better Web Design." This demonstrates that even small time content creators can eventually get picked up in book stores. This means additional publicity. Remember: Blogs don't get into book stores. However, do an e-book and it may get picked up. All of this generates business.

You can sell e-books or give it away for free. 

Going the traditional route
  • Write a proposal (Write the perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why
  • Find an agent (
Superstar e-Book authors/gurus
Cover artists
e-Book Formatters
Monetize your content!
  • Kindle direct 
  • Pub It!
  • iTunes Connect
  • Lean Pub
Copy editors
  • $25-$35 per hour (About 5 pages/hour)
  • $1,000 to $1,750 for 200-250 page book
  • Check with Editorial Freelancers Associations (
Why would you do all of this? Recipies!
Do a proposal for a book! A young lady wrote a book and says how do I get it published? She said, "Write a proposal!" 


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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E-mail: Contact Me


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