We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this February.
The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob—A Journey Begins by Brooks Olbrys
The Forbidden Text by Dawn Clark
A Bitter Cup of Tea by Tim McDaniel
Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton by John Borling
Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.
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Compliance is an essential part of the book publishing process, yet it is often very difficult to navigate the details of each step along the way. When done correctly, the proper registration of a book maximizes search ability, but all the weird lingo and tedious applications can be daunting. While the compliance process is unnecessary to memorize in its entirety, here is a general overview of how it works.
First and foremost, an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) must be purchased for and assigned to the title. This number is the book equivalent of a Social Security number, and it can be purchased through MyIdentifiers in a block of ten, which is recommended—each binding will require its own ISBN. Once these have been purchased, they are ready to be assigned to an individual title via BowkerLink. This step officially links a specific ISBN to a single title. While performing this step, attention to detail is a must! You don’t want a slip of the finger to delay the setup process. Although the assignment is still technically pending at this point, it is usually safe to begin associating this ISBN with your title.
Next, an LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) must be assigned through the Library of Congress. (When the LCCN is obtained in advance of publication, it’s known as a PCN, or Preassigned Control Number). This fairly simple step includes a brief application that requires the book’s ISBN, among a few other details. Once the application is received, the Library of Congress will notify the applicant via email that the request is being processed. Usually about a day later, sometimes even sooner, the applicant will receive a second email containing the title’s LCCN.
Requesting CIP (Cataloging-In-Publication) data for the title is the next step. This can be done through companies such as The Donahue Group, but there are many others. The CIP data is designed to describe the bibliographic characteristics of a work to facilitate access to it in library catalogs; you can find an example of it on the copyright page of any book. The application for this one is a little more detailed and requires an actual PDF sample of the book, as well as specific information regarding the book’s interior. Turnaround time for this step is a bit longer. Unless the request is marked “rush,” which expedites the process to about a three-day turn around, expect to receive the CIP data roughly two weeks after it is requested, usually via email.
After a book has been published, its author or claimant must file for copyright registration. The copyright application is longer than both the ISBN and LCCN applications, but it is the last step in the compliance process. It is here that the copyright holder—not necessarily the author of the book—is selected. Once the application is completed, two copies of the title, along with shipping slips from the website, must be sent to the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This last step can take up to several months, but it ensures that every aspect of the book is registered and protected.
Although the process may seem tedious and scary, it is essential that each step be completed with care and patience—so take your time, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
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We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this July.
Leadocracy by Geoff Smart
Hypocrites & Half-Wits by Donald J. Boudreaux
Aleron by Kane
We’re All Different but We’re All Kitty Cats by Peter J. Goodman
Leaders in Motion by Dr. Marta Wilson
Speak More! by National Speakers Association
Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.
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Apple announced its iBooks Author application last month to much excitement as authors and publishers alike applauded the free app’s self-publishing capabilities. The cheers quickly died down, however, when sites like Mashable, PC Mag, and the Huffington Post began taking issue with iBooks Author’s user agreement. The sites noted that, by publishing your work on iBooks Author, you relinquish your book’s publishing rights to Apple.
Although Apple wouldn’t exactly own your content (it doesn’t lay claim to the content itself, but does stipulate that you sell your book exclusively through the iBooks store), the arguments did expose a very important—but not very often discussed—aspect of publishing: rights ownership.
So, what’s the hullabaloo all about? Why are publishing rights important, and why should you care if you own yours? We’ve listed some of the key benefits to publishing rights ownership below.
When you own the publishing rights to your unique content, you choose where it sells. Want to stock your book in a friend’s boutique? Have hopes of pursuing grocery store distribution on your own? Feel like boycotting Amazon? You’ll have to own your publishing rights for that kind of personalized distribution, and that includes listing the book on your own website. Notice that authors who have published with traditional presses—and, consequently, sold their publishing rights—generally won’t have a direct buy button. You’ll be directed to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or another e-tailer instead, even though sales made directly from your website will make you more money, bring more opportunity for interaction with your fans, and build your ever-important fan list.
Many nonfiction authors have content that will need to be periodically updated, while others recognize the importance of ancillary products and wish to repackage their book in a workbook or learning format. If you don’t own the publishing rights to your content, you’d have to buy the rights back to accomplish this repurposing, or convince the publisher that a new edition is needed (a harrowing feat). Repurposing can include audiobooks and movie rights as well. Have dreams of turning your book into a blockbuster some day? You’ll make more money—and will be able to choose the story’s buyer—if you own those rights. Ownership of the rights to publish in different, specific formats can sometimes be negotiated into your publishing deal.
Back of the Room Sales
Similar to varied distribution, owning your publishing rights will allow you to take full advantage of any back of the room sales opportunities. Are you a public speaker? Plan on hosting any workshops or seminars this year? Do you teach a class, or own a business? You’ll want the option of selling directly to your audience and customers. You’ll make more money, more connections, and build credibility with these sales. In most cases, the party who owns the publishing rights also owns the inventory of books. Were your publisher in charge of your rights, you’d have to buy your own books from them in order to sell at your events. Not fun.
One of the most important—and most overlooked—benefits of rights ownership is full creative control of your book during the publishing process. Most authors feel strongly about every detail of their work—as they should! You’ve worked hard crafting your book, why should someone be able to completely alter it without your consent? In most cases, when you own your publishing rights, you have the ultimate say in everything about your book—the direction of the editorial, design, packaging, cover copy, and more.
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing a publisher for your book. Many authors have personal, financial, or emotional reasons for choosing whom they work with, and, ultimately, it all comes down to fit.
Whichever publishing direction you choose to take for your own book, knowing whether or not your publisher owns your publishing rights is essential. Be sure to have a lawyer review your contract and explain the ownership clauses. Above all, take your time, make sure you feel comfortable with the contract before signing, and know what, exactly, the stipulations mean for the future of your book.
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Today's post is by Lynne Klippel, a best-selling author, publisher, and book shepherd. Since 2004, she's been working with coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs who want to write a nonfiction book to showcase their expertise and build their business. Her business, Business Building Books, focuses on the marriage of internet marketing and publishing and has helped clients from six of the seven continents. An avid reader, Lynne used to get in loads of trouble as a kid for reading books instead of doing her chores. Lynne lives in Missouri with her husband, three sons, a bunch of pets and tons of books.
Most new authors have a hard time believing they are writers or have anything worthwhile to say. You might hear little voices of doubt whispering that you aren’t very interesting, creative, or don’t have the proper degrees behind your name. These little whispers erode your confidence and make it hard to write confidently.
The best way to overcome those nagging doubts is to collect evidence that people are interested in your information. Sally, one of my coaching clients, was starting a new book project and concerned because there were quite a few other books in her topic area. She wasn’t sure if she could add anything new or fresh.
So, I had Sally start to experiment with her information to see what kind of a reaction she would get. First, Sally started telling people in her networking groups that she was writing a book about her topic. Then, she noted the number of people who asked her a question or showed interest versus how many others changed the subject. Sally was pleasantly surprised that the majority of people seemed very interested in her topic.
Next, Sally wrote three articles about her topic, posting them on her blog and submitting them to article banks. She watched to see how many comments she received and if her articles received many views or downloads. This experiment gave Sally some mixed results. She did not get many comments on her blog but two of her articles were very popular on the article banks. This told Sally that there were people interested in her writing but they were not reading her blog or commenting on it. She decided to drive more traffic to her blog and continue to monitor the number of comments. They began to grow in time as more readers viewed her blog.
Finally, Sally invited some of her local clients to a free afternoon workshop where she taught the key topics from her book. She was thrilled to have thirty people in attendance who gave her enthusiastic feedback about her information.
These three experiments gave Sally solid evidence that people were interested in and receptive to her information. Her confidence grew and she was able to finish her book. As an additional benefit, she used the questions that came up in her workshop to create an information product she could offer for people after they read the book.
How does this story inspire you?
Do you have any evidence to prove to yourself that your book idea has merit?
If not, get busy and collect some. When you do, you’ll find your confidence growing and your passion for your book increasing.
If you are ready to become a successful author, capitalize on your strengths and build from there. To identify your author strengths complete the free Author Assessment at www.BusinessBuildingBooks.com
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Best known for her individualistic expertise when it comes to coaxing out the real emotional power in brands to spike the bottom line, Mary van de Wiel [alias: Van] is CEO and Brand Anthropologist of Zing Your Brand & Co., a New York-based creative brand consultancy, laboratory and workspace. Dubbed Master Provocateur by clients and media alike, Van brings a highly-eclectic perspective to branding whether as weekly host of NY Brand Lab Radio, leading the quarterly NY Brand Lab Workshops, speaking, consulting, blogging or producing the Brand Reinvention Summit. For 15 years, Van ran her own global branding shop with offices in New York and Sydney, Australia with Fortune 500 clients across four continents. She’s written for Entrepreneur.com, Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog,and been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, Reuters, VOGUE and Entrepreneur Magazine. She is the author of soon-to-be-published Dead Brand Walking. Follow Van on Twitter @maryvandewiel or download her free audio, 7 Creative Secrets to a Wickedly Bolder Brand as well as two free ebooks (How to Score your Business Brand and Raise the Pulse of your Brand) www.zingyourbrand.com.
It’s just not enough to be brilliant. People must know and remember that you are. Let’s face it, walking around feeling complacent and entitled because you know you’re brilliant is not a viable strategy, right? So if you want to be known, remembered and recognized, it’s critical you build a brand that not only positions you as brilliant – but as irresistible and indispensable, too. How do you do that? You create a potent brand.
Potency defined OK. Let’s start with a definition of potency here just to get us all on the same page. The word ‘potent’ means (i) power; authority, (ii) efficacy; effectiveness; strength; and (iii) the capacity to be, become, or develop one’s potentiality; and (iv) a person or thing exerting power or influence.
In other words, the more potent your brand, the more powerful, authoritative, effective, strong and influential you are. The best part? A potent brand makes it easier for your world to find you, get to know you and then, want to engage with you (work with you, employ you, salute you, etc.) You get the idea.
So how do you start building a potent brand? The world is moving at a staggeringly fast pace. It’s never been more important to get a grip on your brand’s core values, what it stands for and why it’s meaningful.
It starts with asking questions. Take a look at the six clues below plus questions. See how willing you are to give your brand a leg up, as they say. It’s likely to turbo charge your thinking. It’ll then, hopefully, get you moving forward—and building a brand with potency.
1. Be Chief Influential Officer of Your Brand
• Are you poised to become the Go-To-Resource within your area of expertise Y/N?
• How willing are you when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone Y/N?
• Are you ready to stake out your territory in a more authoritative way Y/N?
• Is your Brand Pulse showing strong, pumping and vital signs? (the last time you checked?) Y/N?
• Would you describe your brand as robust and hardy Y/N?
• Is the world around you noticing you’re becoming a center of influence Y/N?
2. Set the Right Tone for Your Brand
• Are you clear about the intention behind your brand Y/N?
• Are you really communicating you are who you say you are Y/N?
• Is your brand’s voice clear, authentic and aligned Y/N?
• Are you regularly minding your brand’s behavior Y/N?
• Is your brand’s attitude welcoming, empathetic and transparent Y/N?
3. Start Seeing your Brand as Your Platform
• How committed are you to showing up in your brand Y/N?
• Would you give yourself a high score when it comes to inspiring your world Y/N?
• Do you actually think about changing the world Y/N?
• Are you at ease speaking confidently from your brand platform Y/N?
4. Pay Close Attention to Your Brand’s Emotional IQ
• Would you say your brand lands a high score when it comes to empathy Y/N?
• Are you aware the world around you has feelings about you and your brand Y/N?
• Do you think you might be keeping your world at arm’s length Y/N?
• Do you focus on actually creating strong emotional connections in your communication Y/N?
5. Focus on Being 120% Authentic
• Are you spending much effort on creating a consistent brand Y/N?
• Do you know exactly what a congruent brand looks like (let alone feels like?) Y/N?
• Would the world around you give you a high score as an authentic brand builder Y/N?
• Do you know that feeling when your brand is out of alignment Y/N? (You always know when the wheels of your car are out of alignment, right?)
6. Face Facts: The Money’s in the Brand
Note: Potent brands are profitable. The definition of business, after all, is about profit, purchases, commerce and volume of trade.
• So are you paying enough attention to what your world really needs the most Y/N?
• Does your brand consistently deliver what your world is craving Y/N?
• Are you willing to let your brand go to work for you Y/N?
OK. How potent is your brand feeling right now? P.S. Don’t ever forget that building your brand is always a work in progress. (That’s the good news Y/N?)
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In true book nerd fashion, we’ve rounded up our favorite publishing-related links of the week for you! Read on to uncover the best in books this week. If you want to know about these links sooner than Friday afternoon, follow us on Twitter—@GreenleafBookGr.
- NPR launched the Back Seat Book Club this week, aimed at kids between the ages of 9 and 14—i.e., the secondhand listeners of NPR. They’re hoping to get tweens engaged by encouraging them to submit any questions or comments for the author of the month, who will subsequently respond on All Things Considered. This month’s pick is Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Not gonna lie, we kind of want to join this.
- Mediabistro’s “Cubes”—a series of video tours of media headquarters—posted a video of Scholastic’s offices, headquartered in Manhattan. The office features a huge retail space, Harry Potter memorabilia, a living room, terrace cafeteria, and Scholastic’s credo printed throughout the office carpets (rumor has it there’s a misused comma in there somewhere—get it together, Scholastic). It’s pretty amazing—check it out.
- Having trouble coming up with enough great content to share with your audience? Have you considered tapping your entire organization’s brainpower? Content Marketing Institute recently posted a guide to engaging an entire organization to power content production.
- Twitter can be a crazy, chaotic place to navigate. Luckily, there are tons of resources to make it easier, including Xobni’s new “Implicit Twitter Feed” feature. They’ll help you locate social media users you should be connecting with based on your established online habits. Now you can find Twitter matches made in heaven!
- HBO is all about adapting books for television lately. Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections is in the works at the network, as is Mary Karr’s infamous memoir Lit. In addition, they’re tackling Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!, the adventurous story of twelve-year-old alligator wrestler Ava Bigtree. Michael Chabon, author of Wonder Boys and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is also working on a script for HBO with his writer wife Ayelet Waldman; the show has been dubbed “Hobgoblin” and will center on a group of magicians who use their skills to battle Hitler in WWII (a premise similar to Chabon’s award-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay}.
- Mashable shared an infographic about Facebook today, and included random facts about the site’s users and habits. We didn’t realize that Facebook was the most-liked page on Facebook. How meta.
- Halloween is around the corner! As you’re gearing up for the holiday, why not geek it up with some literary jack-o’-lanterns? (Seriously, if anyone can copy that Sleepy Hollow one, let us know). Too cool for pumpkins? Galley Cat rounded up the best literary costumes, and Good Reads listed the most effectively terrifying horror novels.
- Robin Sullivan of Write to Publish ran an author branding series on her blog, discussing the dos and don’ts of establishing a powerful brand. (Her first tip? Find your passion; write your mission statement.) Read it and supplement it with our own branding and platform development series!
- The sixteenth annual Texas Book Festival is this weekend! Lots of big names will be making appearances in our hometown of Austin, including Molly Shannon, Susan Orlean, Jim Lehrer, and Paula Deen herself! Check out the schedule here. PS: There’s a Literary Death Match going down. Need we say more?
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Today's post is by Scott Lorenz, president of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve. Learn more about Westwind Communications' book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com.
My phone rang recently, and on the other end was a client telling me that the radio station on which her boss was scheduled to be interviewed had been struck by lightning. The producer informed her that they were not able to record the interview because the “recording board blew up” but that it would be streamed live online.
Murphy’s Law seems to have free reign when it comes to live radio—or publicity events of any sort. When I begin working with my author clients, I ask them to read over material I’ve created about how to conduct a great radio interview and what to wear on a TV interview, etc. One of the first things I recommend is to be sure to ask radio stations in advance to record upcoming live interviews. These interviews can then be added to the author’s website and even transcribed to glean new content for speeches, articles, or another book.
After being informed that they would not be able to record the interview my client’s executive assistant, Joan, immediately started researching how to record live streaming radio from the web to her PC. “First, I quickly investigated the sound options in the control panel of Windows 7,” says Joan. “No luck there. Next to the Internet, where I discovered Audio Record Wizard from NowSmart. They offer a free trial download, which was fast and easy.
“Sadly, the free download only offers three minutes of recording time, and the rapidly approaching interview was to be ten minutes in length. Fortunately, the Audio Record Wizard featured a “Buy now” button, and the transaction was processed seamlessly. The site even issues the license key immediately with the payment confirmation, so there’s no need to wait for an email. A quick copy and paste of the license key, and I was recording the interview within seconds,” says Joan. “A couple of wayward sounds from incoming emails in Outlook were removed with RealPlayer’s Trimmer software,” adds Joan.
Bottom line: Going forward, I am taking Joan’s advice and adding Audio Record Wizard to my list of items all authors should have on their computers. What a wonderful gift that bolt of lightning provided! We recommend this valuable tool for use on all live radio interviews that offer streaming audio on the web.
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Tired of boring old two-dimensional printing? Think that printing on paper is something that should be relegated to the musty confines of your grandma’s house? Your printing ennui may soon be cured, my tech-forward friend!
3D printing has made major headway in the past few years, with several new developments occurring this month alone (solar-powered glass printing, anyone?). The technology allows for objects to be designed and printed with exact proportions in customizable form. Check out this video to see a 3D printer in action.
Prototypes of gear can be developed and accurately tested with 3D printing; Chevy recently used rapid prototyping to design their Volt extended-range car parts. Researchers anticipate that the medical industry will also heavily utilize 3D printing. Creating printed, personalized replacement organs is a projected use, along with drug therapy, according to Autodesk’s CTO, Jeff Kowalsky.
The smallest available 3D printer, developed at the Vienna University of Technology, is about the size of a milk carton and costs $1,750—but that number is expected to drop as 3D printing becomes more widespread. The design software is already available to the average Joe; Autodesk’s 123D software is available for free use on Windows machines.
3D printing enthusiasts hope that the technology will bring in a new tide of American creativity, causing professionals at Forbes to predict that the industry will revive manufacturing in this country.
“This has the potential to remake the economics of manufacturing from a large-scale industry back to an artisan model of small design shops with access to 3D printers,” wrote Forbes’ Rich Karlgaard.
And one of the first found uses for this revolutionary technology? Copyright infringement, of course! Fans have already utilized 3D printing technology to recreate movie props and costumes. Techland reported that Paramount recently delivered a Cease and Desist letter to a superfan hoping to print 3D Super 8 cubes only eighteen hours after he posted the design on the Web.
But will 3D printing have a place in the publishing world? The popularization of the technology might be a great way to add interactivity to books—a definite plus in a society that loves to interact. Technical books used in architecture or engineering classrooms could have customizable prototypes that the students could test and alter.
Were home 3D printers to become ubiquitous, children’s books could come with printable games or puzzles, and fantasy books could be accompanied by printable props. And since 3D printing documents are fully customizable, readers could also potentially print books in their preferred trims and font sizes.
Whether or not 3D printing will have any impact on the book publishing industry is yet to be seen. Regardless, we’re pretty sure it will have an impact on our waistline—researchers at Exeter University recently perfected printed chocolate.
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Many authors begin the hard work of generating sales for their book long before the actual release date. There are many different options for collecting these preorders, as well as many ways to make the most of them, helping you meet your goals and priorities for the project.
One method of collecting preorders is to set up a preorder button on the book's website. During the preorder process, customers will be prompted to fill in their basic information and make a payment through the website for the book (or books) they order. Matching Amazon pricing or offering signed copies can be an added hook to get people interested.
It is also common to create a dedicated landing page for preorders, which you can utilize in your marketing initiatives, that drives consumers to a central location to make their purchase. This is a popular option when you are incentivizing customers by giving them access to extra content at no charge with an order. The landing page can host this content, and once the order is placed, the customer can be given a code to access the free content.
But collecting preorders can also be as simple as keeping a spreadsheet with all the information that you manually collect from customers as they place orders directly through you leading up to the pub date.
A different route is to simply send people directly to a retailer, such as Amazon, to place their order during a specified period of time, usually immediately following the release of the book. In this case, it's important for your publisher to know how many orders you expect to be placed at least three weeks in advance so they can ensure that adequate stock is in place in the supply chain to meet the rush of demand. (Also see our recent newsletter tip, In The Loop.)
Regardless of how you collect the orders, the idea is to have a complete record of all customers and their orders at the end of the preorder campaign.
Once all of the preorders are collected, you have to decide what your priority is for these sales. Have you generated all of these preorders so you can generate maximum revenue from your book right away? Or is your goal to have all of these sales count towards your retail track record? (Shameless plug: With Greenleaf, you have the flexibility to meet either goal, and we can help execute the orders or connect you with experts in the field that specialize in placing those presales in a strategic and planned way for maximum impact.)
If the primary goal is to maximize revenue with preorders, you’ll want to sell the books directly. Revenue generated through direct sales is not shared with a distributor or retailer, allowing for larger margins. Remember to bill the appropriate shipping charges directly to your customers if you want them to cover the cost.
If the goal is to drive retail sales as high as they can go, run preorder sales through a retail channel that reports to BookScan (the book industry’s go-to tool for measuring retail sell-through). This will make these sales a part of the book’s auditable track record. For bulk preorders, we work with a company called 800 CEO Read and they make this process very simple. Corporate customers (or your own company) can buy the books from 800 CEO Read, which reports sales to BookScan.
If you plan on generating thousands of preorders and want to use them to make a run at a bestseller list, we recommend working with an expert who specializes in handling this type of campaign. A campaign like this requires careful coordination and planning and the ability to process thousands of individual orders in a short time span.
What are your goals leading up to pub date? What’s worked to help you generate preorders? Share and discuss!