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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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Designing your own covers saves more than half. The book shown here

http://www.amazon.com/Search-Paradise-Dr-Robert-McGinnis/dp/1450590...

is a cover I designed and a picture of the old home place which has shown very well.
Thanks for the reply,
Dr M
Robert,

I've been published through BookSurge/CreateSpace, but have always had my cover design, editing, etc., done elsewhere. I have an acquaintance who plans to pay Create Space to do it all. Do you (or anyone else) know if they do a good job with editing?
I enjoy my relationship with CreateSpace, but alas, I have never used the editing service. I get my editing done in house for about $1,000 per average book which includes two or three major rewrite allowances and I am sure this price can be found better with students at the college or other places, but I am rather attached to my editing staff. I have no idea how much CreatSpace charges, but it is my guess that it must be in line with other similar service providers.

I have a daughter who has a math book out, (professor Cynthia McGinnis the Art and Mystery of Math) and I don't know who is her editor, but like me, we have about the same English problems as anyone coming from a foreign country having been raised in the Ozarks of Missouri.

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Mystery-Mathematics-Cynthia-McGinnis/dp/0...
just as I suspected, she just started her honeymoon. She is worth waiting for.

Thank you for contacting CreateSpace. I will be out of the office until Tuesday, April 27th.

If you are an author with a book in our system, please log into your CreateSpace account, click on "Contact Support" and click on "Call Me" to speak with either your Account Management Team or Customer Service.

Happy Writing!
Allison Brown
The business books that I write are targeted to a specific niche or audience, I mean how many people are going to buy a book on how to start their own collection agency? Though many business owners will buy a book on how to limit credit risk and get paid from past due customers.

I sorted my list of customers who have purchased my books to date I am in NH and only had 38 sales to customers in NH, where I do most of my marketing, the surrounding area shows even less in sales, for example I sold only 29 books in MA, 4 in VT, 3 in RI, and 11 in CT.

I am trying to figure out how to make more sales with this information, and am wondering if I should pick up my marketing in the states where I made the most sales, CA, NY, FL, TX and GA. Any suggestions, tips or help is appreciated!
Michelle, did you think of writing a book about starting up a specific kind of business (what category would "collection agency" fit into...one that requires specific licensing or connections or knowledge in on broad category?), and use your collection agency knowledge as the key example of that kind of business. Is it mainly knowledge, action, and service-oriented, where a collection agency is sub-contracted by others? If so, does it fit three sub-contracting categories: service; credit collection/debt-related; and business to business or other? I may be off base, but this example may give you ideas. You would then develop plans. Also, what about how a collection agency works? Do people in debt, as well as collectors, know how such an agency works, what their guidelines/parameters are, etc? Whatever you do, you are right that you need to link with all possible, practical (for you) niches. Think of the selling points to anyone of your book. Some people will buy only for a chapter or two that deal with the problems they just cannot seem to resolve, either re: collection, or business start-up, etc. There must be lots of people in your niche if you can identify more than one or a general one, then go from there. Sell yourself on what your book offers, even if it does not offer everythign to everyone of the targeted audience. Then you can better sell it to others. I hope you are doing public speaking, with interesting topics, and then the book available. You could whet appetities with "as I say in my book"..... Just some thoughts. Also, where did those 38 NH customers come from, or what one or two things do they have in common?
P. S. This is Jean, not James, Purcell. We are married, and I don't know how I'm getting his mail :)
My biggest challenge is marketing overall. The details of promotion I can handle. It's time that I need. It's difficult to market from an island, so I'm grateful for the Internet. Plus, it's easy to get too wrapped with participating on too many writing sites. One must learn to pick and choose those which actually offer a viable method of promotion, and drop the others, which may be no more than just friendship sites. Still, it's making friendships that helps sell books. I guess what I'm saying is that it's easy to get too strung out on Internet sites and end up with no real promotion after all.

Promotion has a way of using up valuable writing time. I like meeting the deadlines that I set for myself to finish a work, but promotion of the current book overrides writing another story. I usually drop the deadline somewhere along the way. I would like to finish more books but must let each take its course and be written properly. I have so many stories to write but accuracy and getting as close to perfection as possible outweigh deadlines. That said, I had wanted to have my next book finished and published early in 2011. Sadly, I can see now that it may run into 2012 because the book is writing itself and turning into something I never expected. The excitement is worth the wait. And the wait is caused by the time it takes to promote my latest novel on the Internet, time it takes to make a trip or two to the Mainland, maintain my mega-website, etc., etc. One person can do only so much in 24 hours.

Time is my nemesis.
Mary Deal,

I like what you say, especially the part about the book taking on a life of its own. That's the part I love about writing, I never know how my books are going to end until they do and often I am as surprised as anyone. I really think that is part of the reason I like to write. I don't do marketing and don't have much interest in that area, I like the writing part but when my books sell, that is just a bonus. I see many sites where someone says, tag me and I will tag you, write me a review and I will write one for you etc, etc. I can't see how that makes a better book. I am more interesting in producing a good book than I am in making a few dollars here and there. Life is fun, writing makes it more fun and to me, that is the way it should be. Oh, another thing, I don't give many books away, I think it is so much better when someone likes a book enough to buy it. Please don't take my ramblings too seriously, I was just taken by the statement of your books turning into something you didn't expect. It is always that way with me. R M
I'm happy to hear of others who write like me. I hated when teachers marked us on brainstorming a story before writing it as that would ruin the surprises for me and lessen the stories effect. Being able to escape into something I write is much more liberating than escaping into a good book.

I, too, am a writer and not a marketer but find I'm stuck because children's books need pictures and artists need to get paid. Hence I have to market my books that I have published in order to make the money back needed to continue.

Off to create a forum titled "What's Your Biggest Success With Your Book?"
Sarah,
I would think you are in an excellent position to give young people some free publicity. Many young people would love to create some great pictures for you just to get their name in your book. As a teacher, I helped our school art teacher find people that would commission her students to do drawings and paintings for them. I started a program with Pizza Hut long ago where Pizza Hut paid for the art materials and even a few times an hourly wage for the art students to do murals on blank walls facing their restaurant. If you enjoy writing and you can find people who enjoy doing pictures for your books, you might be helping some young person get a foothold into their own profession. Who knows. Most school art classes have one or two art exhibits during the school year, I also bet the teacher would be proud to display your books. Hmmm I wonder how many books a proud parent would buy? I wish you all the success in the world, never give up, there is always one more idea around the corner. RM
RM,

Those are great ideas! I'd reinforce that there are lots of talented college students out there who are dying to get something - anything - in their resume. They desperately need a portfolio of things they've done and accomplished. To be able to say they've illustrated a book would be a huge boost for them, even if they did it free of charge (or for some minimal amount.)

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