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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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Alberta, you're such an inspiration! Thanks for getting out there and making things happen!

I'm trying to interest some accountants in my book to purchase in bulk for Christmas gifts for their special clients. When I first published the book, an accountant that I know well purchased 100 copies for this reason. But it's tougher going out and meeting accountants I don't know.

I sent 15 letters to local accountants, offering them a free book to look over, but none have replied so far. When I show up at their offices, however, they gladly receive a copy. Now one of the secretaries is all enthused about it, wanting to buy a few copies. So perhaps my tactic should be to get it into the hands of the secretaries and have them read it, to recommend to their bosses to purchase as gifts.

I may or may not succeed in this campaign, but I'm learning a lot and at least I'm out there trying to make something happen!

J. Steve Miller
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."
I have taught my children to save money from age two or three. I used to put a can under their beds, one marked retirement, one savings and one mad money. They loved getting an allowance to divide up into four pieces. (They kept one share for themselves) I added one more ingredient to the pot and that was education. They all graduated college and had enough money by the time college started to pay for it themselves. (I was glad of that) The youngest one has a mention in David Bach's workbook on Automatic Millionaire. Shannon McGinnis was working full time at age 14, having completed high school and had saved most of her allowance and earnings. She was recognized by David Bach for her efforts. By the way, she started her IRA very early as well.

Each of my children were required by the mean dad to have a job by age fourteen and begin saving for college. It works.

I have led them into one more of my pet goals and that is writing.

I think your money book is a very good thing for young people. The make, save and invest part should be learned before the car, cell phone and Ipod thing.
After reading a couple of biographies of Warren Buffett, that's one of the biggest things that stuck out to me - "the power of early." Young people have no vision for their money. They don't think they'll have enough to save until they get a good-paying job. What they fail to realize is that most of them have no expenses. I'll bet Buffett, starting about about age 8, saved 90% of all he made. By doing jobs anybody could do - finding and selling golf balls, caddying, paper routes, etc., he saved what in today's money would be about $47,000, by the time he graduated from high school!

I'm casually interviewing 100 people over 50 years old to get 5,000 years of money wisdom. I ask 1) what did you do right with your money that you recommend to the younger generation? 2) what did you do wrong with your money that you'd like to warn the younger generation about. I'll probably write some articles about the results and use them to mention my book.

Could I use your example of what you did with your children?
Steve Miller
Certainly you can use the cans under the bed idea and if you mention about my books too I wouldn't mind that either. I might add, I also required my children to keep a small pocket note book recording each entry and deduction.

I just wrote my work history for another article asked of me by someone else. I began working at age seven or eight. I had a paper route and along my route was a small farm. The farm lady was paying her weekly paper dues when she asked me if I saved any of my money and I told her my dad earned only $24 dollars a week and had four kids to support, he borrowed most of my money. She asked me if I could get seven dollars and she would sell me a baby pig which already had her shots etc. I had collected that much that day and it was all mine, so I gave her the seven dollars, she put the baby pig in a burlap feed bag and I tied the pig around my waist and finished collecting my route. My mom was mad, my dad was mad my brothers were mad, but I was happy. I began playing with my little pig and my dad began salvaging some old lumber to make a little pig house. Within a week, the baby pig was no longer sleeping in a cardboard box by my bed, but had her own place. My family grew to love Petunia as I had named her and I spent the next seven years as a pig farmer. My dad loved the pig and all her babies because he sold them for money, my mom loved the pig who ate all our garbage and drank our dish water, and my brothers were happy that I was too busy to bother them anymore, plus they got my paper route. When we sold Petunia because we were moving to another state, she was with 32 of her offspring and my dad made a fortune for himself, and gave me a $75 dollar defense bond. Little did I know, it only cost him $50, but I learned the value of leveraging.

If you need the article about my daughter and her savings written in David Bach's workbook and can't find it. Let me know and I will look up the page for you. I don't recall the exact words, but it was very complementary.
Great story. I'll look up the article. Thanks!
Another advantage of what you're doing Steve is staying in touch with your target market. Just experiencing first hand the good and bad reactions to your book is very instructive and helps tell you how to sell it. I think the experiences you're having with the local accountants might be turned into a mail (or email) campaign.
Yes, very instructive. And you never know where contacts will lead. Probably some of these accountants are involved with initiatives to help the needy with their money, or to help students with their money. Never know who you might end up partnering with on something.

So far, nobody's answering my letters (I write the accountants who work out of their homes.) But the ones I visit in their offices seem receptive. If I search "Accounts in Acworth, GA" in Google, it not only gives me a list of accountants, but gives me a picture of the storefront from Google Maps, letting me know which work from home and which have a storefront. Pretty cool!
Steve Miller

Here is more than enough to keep you busy the rest of your life.

dr m
Cool! Thanks! It's actually quite amazing how many avenues there are to sell books. After authors get past the "getting into bookstores" and "doing author signings" modes, they realize the incredible array of places to offer their books.

I really think that I could easily spend the next ten years following the leads I already have, including home school organizations, high school person finance teachers, college freshman programs, etc. I'm actually having a lot of fun discovering new avenues, starting small, and trying to achieve a small platform in a particular area, getting the word out, then branching out.
Steve, I am glad you favor getting out of the bookstore mode!
Would you like to share any ideas or advice about developing leads and how to use them effectively (ROI)? I suspect you have clearly defined your niche audiences.
I'm teaching a seminar next weekend on marketing your books. I'll try to e-mail you my extended outline. I see you have an article as well. I'll look it over!
Steve, sorry I am only now thanking you for the outline. I am "home bound" for most part these days due to family member in home-hospice with my husband, daughter, and me. Thankful for Internet which helps me keep working, but I sometimes do have gaps of time. I'm going over your outline now. I know it can help others.


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