Friday, August 6, 2010

Secret to Becoming a Successful Book Author

We sponsor events for writers and would-be authors every year. At these events, we come into direct contact with aspiring writers, people with finished or partially finished manuscripts and those who have either self-published or been victimized – um, “traditionally published” – themselves.

Each group has its own story. The aspiring writers are excited, creative and motivated. The self-published all tell horror stories about high costs, low sales and the constant pressure to market their books. The traditionally published authors just harp about how their publisher will someday come through and they will be wealthy and famous. They are hopeful because they were told that “Traditional publishers are the ONLY REAL PUBLISHERS”. That is a self-agrandizing lie. Book buyers don’t know the difference between a self-published book and a New York Times Best Seller. They only know if the book serves their needs or not. To them, if it looks like a book – it’s a book.

Don’t get me wrong here, quality is very important. The self-published books tend to be lower quality because they were not edited and no one worked with the author to deliver the best read possible. As a result, many of the self-published works out there are amateur or very little more than an ego gratification to the author. Those books don’t sell, no matter how much marketing you put into them.

Those with manuscripts started are normally struggling with writer’s block and a host of other maladies that infect any long-term project. We have met writers that have been working on their manuscript for as much as 30 years and still have nothing completed.

Contrast that with the fact that one of our writing program participants can have 3 books published in a year and those books are cover-to-cover reads! If those manuscript owners had met us at the beginning of their “writing career” they would be well known published authors in their markets by now. It really is a shame what the industry has done to our writers.

A new coalition has formed between several publishers that is out to address this horrible crime against creativity and dreams. We are focusing on training new and Young Writers in the craft of writing the highest quality books on the market – books that readers can’t put down.

This is accomplished through online and offline training over a 12 month period where the writer learns about the reader’s psychology, how to tell captivating stories, write for fiction & non-fiction categories and they are given a huge supply of advanced writing tools that make the writing majors drool like starving dogs. These are things that writing schools and colleges don’t have to give their students.

That’s right, the best writers are not found in colleges – they are found writing and working with their publishers on becoming the best they can be.

If you have any questions or interest in this program, please contact the author.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?

Ok, since the question has come up, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
We are Padma Gonpo, Inc. – a private intelligence corporation that has been training authors, writers and media personnel for over 30 years. Our business specialty is economic warfare – new industry creation.

For those of you struggling to get you mind around that – we create all of the mental and psychological foundation that launch a new industry. Examples are LEED, Organic Foods, Nano Technology and many others that you may use on a daily basis.
My post above on the #DearAuthor is not some angry – raving lunatic bent on destroying nice people’s dreams – quite the opposite. We operate a number of publishing organizations worldwide that serve as our industry operations outlets – real authors writing about real solutions to help real people.

We also carry a nice inventory of fiction titles that help people dream about solutions. All of our publications are designed to be “cover-to-cover reads”. This has taken time to develop because we spend a lot of time working with writers and new authors to help them release the best within them and then we work with them to develop it.

That part of our publishing piece can be considered “writer development training” and we offer a huge amount of training under the program that we have. It’s not just a “nice manuscript, thank you” deal.

Another area where we differ is that each book project has its own unique marketing plan. Every book is positioned in the markets that it serves – both traditional outlets and non-traditional or other “new outlet” channels.

I’ve heard the argument about “Editors being the soul of a publisher”. Literary Scholars grab your heart – I think that is egotistical crap. It is true only if you do not invest the time to help your authors release their best work first. I am not saying this without having 3 decades of proof behind us. Editing as a function is important – just like proofreading and print quality.

The author is the most critical factor in a good book. The publisher’s ability to target the book’s marketing is what determines the best publisher.
We do not believe that the publisher should foot the whole bill, not take the lion’s share of the profit. We don’t and there are other publishers that don’t either. People that are being trained to do exceptional things should have an investment in that learning. People that want the best marketing should share in the cost of the positioning of the product in that market. It’s a thing called business and that is a concept missing in most of the publishing industry.

If that rubs you wrong, consider this: Publishing has one of the highest occurrences of scams in any industry in the USA, UK and Europe. It is amazing to see how many people set out to steal money from writers and readers alike. That has given us as an industry a bad reputation – one that the arrogant want to perpetuate and assign to anyone trying to bring a good value-to-value offering to the authors and readership.

Behind this arrogance is the fear that they invested all that money for a degree and were conned themselves by their schools. No one owns words. Deal with it.
That isn’t saying that education is a waste of money – quite the contrary. Egotistical protectionism and arrogance is a waste of time and money. Giving good value for value received is a good rule in all life because it is a sustainable condition. No one loses so everyone can continue sharing.

Now back to industry building. Our parent corporation trains private intelligence operatives for world-wide service and also offers intelligence services to companies and individuals who have a technology, product or service that truly solves a real world problem. We engage in belief system modification, persuasion campaigns, and all manner of PSYOP to birth these new industries.

Our new industries employ millions and touch the lives of over 2/3 of the planetary population. To accomplish this requires advanced writing skills – things not taught in schools.

We have began to offer this formally elite writing package to the writers at large in an effort to end the Stockholm Syndrome that is so common in the industry now. Publishers and their editors guilt authors into accepting rude and unprofessional behavior and brutal forms of rejection into thinking it is the writer’s fault. That must end.

If you don’t mind giving a little value to get a lot of value, then our program is for you. If you think that you are entitled to pennies on a copy of your book and like being treated horribly with no control over your book’s marketing or its ownership – then there are plenty of existing publishers out there for you.
If you want professional results and a means to release your best work – then you should consider us. We take the time to help you grow as you write. If you feel that writing is a solitary task filled with personal hardship – that’s what makes it “REAL WRITING” then you definitely don’t want to work with us.

This is a long post – I apologize for that – but we started getting asked, “Just who the hell do you think you are to talk to/about us like that?” so we believed that you should get a good answer.

Using Social Media in BSM

Currently there is a something trending called “#DearPublisher”. On the surface, it looks like publishers (some pretty big like Harpers Perennial and McGraw Hill) that are reaching out to readers, writers, smaller publishers, distributors, agents and booksellers. What a noble gesture.

But as we participated yesterday a familiar trend began to develop. Bloggers, a few smaller publishers and a handful of the same people all started to tweet and re-tweet the same messages.

Now, please realize that this is done in big business all the time – so much so that the SEC has required bloggers that are sponsored by a business entity to identify the connection in their blogs. Normally, this kind of “event” is created to draw media attention to the “subjects under discussion”.

In this case:

1. “E-books will not replace printed books”
2. “Publishers really care for the authors” (not all do, but most do care)
3. The use of “digital catalogs is good”
4. How much would you pay for an e-book?
5. How bloggers can “help” publishers

Beyond those “purpose based messages”, there were a number of honest and helpful posts by real authors, writers and small publishers that dropped by to check out what was going on.

People, watch these trending topics for organized patterns:

1. Re-tweets that have very low real value – except for a commercial one.
2. The same people all agreeing on the same topic multiple times.
3. Messages that are contrary to the industry or topic’s well known behavior
4. Embedded Messages and Individuals Listing (EMAIL is what your mind picks up).
5. Hypnotic commands, “Believe Me”, “You Need”, “Don’t think”

Sure, I’m giving up some of my industry’s tricks, but I’m not the first one to expose them. Normally, you see this kind of tactic used to produce positive results. For instance, removing buying resistance for a product that really does have merit to its market. Sure, some companies use this stuff for evil and greedy purposes – but no one beats the government when it comes to agenda driven use.

Right behind the Government is the media industry – which includes the big publishing moguls. They keep writers poor and themselves fat. Their justification is simply, “We’re more valuable than those morons. We own the power of the word.” I actually had one of the big publisher’s CEOs tell me that once.

Keep your eyes open and watch the trends. Don’t fall into the social engineering traps that are out there now on social media. Use the above as a guide and call them out when you find them.

If you would like to learn more, watch the videos and read the brief that exposes what the publishers don’t want you to know, then check out the revealing essay.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The self publishing trap

Have you heard the horror stories? You know, those authors that took ten years to finish their manuscript only to have every publisher that they submitted it to laugh in their face and reject it?

If they had the secret that the most prolific writers use, those same people could have had one hundred books completed and on sale. No joke – there really is a way to produce extremely high quality books in very short time. It is also possible to sell those books in multiple markets and across both traditional and non-traditional distribution lines.

Typical non-traditional markets fall short when it comes to quality and delivery of real value. Anyone searching online can discover everything they need to know to create a physical printing of their manuscript. Does that make it a book? That depends upon who you talk to.

At minimum, for a writing to be considered a “book”, the writing must have an ISBN number, a barcode, a price, a publisher and be in distribution at least once. Distribution means that it is sold (and has been purchased to)by the public. Otherwise it is just a manuscript.

Books are bound into a cover of some sorts. Covers vary wildly in their composition and style, but the “perfect bound” cover is the most common. Some books are bound with clear plastic over-pages on their cover to protect them from otherwise destructive conditions and some have fancy or unusual materials comprising parts of their cover.

Anyone can get a book printed, but to get it into circulation and creating sales – that’s where the real work begins. This is largely in part due to the fact that Ingram and the big-five NYC publishers have the bookstore market scared stupid. They feed the bookstores all kind of propaganda about how “minor league writers” are risky and how they are such low quality that no one will purchase their books. This can be a dream killer for many self-published authors.

A non-traditional publisher will give you an “Advance” (check) for a couple of thousand to a couple of tens of thousands of dollars based upon how much they believe they can make on your work. It sounds like a great deal until you do the math. You’ll get about twenty-cents per copy sold. At that per-unit revenue, it will take huge sales for you to make a dime over the “Advance”. The publisher can charge you back for that advance if the book doesn’t sell more than they have advanced you at your twenty-cents a copy rate.

Even if you sell a bunch of books, it will take you quite awhile before you see a check because you are paying back the advance.

There is a better way emerging. New Era Publishers are taking up the fight for authors, bookstores and readers. We are out to change the industry into a better business model where everyone wins. To learn more, download our free report here. You will find a number of videos that take you deeper into this new movement.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome Authors and Writers!

Come back frequently as we introduce you to our industry shaping project. Please feel free to participate and you are welcome to ask any questions that you have. Do explore the postings as someone may have already asked the same question and received their answer.

We are looking forward to getting to know each of you and hearing how your writing projects are going.


Paul McDowell
Padma Gonpo, Inc. Publishing Division