From Publishing Perspectives:
There are two kinds of people: those who say “I’m going to write a book” and those who don’t. Among those who do, there are two kinds of people: those who actually write the thing and those who don’t. Among those who do, there are two kinds of people: those who make a decent living from the thing and those who don’t. Multi-hyphenate impresario Lynn Isenberg’s new book Author Power, published this past December, wants to see to it that many more of those who make it all the way to writing a book join the ranks of those who make a living from their books. How? Author Power proffers a further culling: among those who say they want to make a living from their books, there are two kinds: those who say they do and those who really mean it.
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And, truest of truisms, one must spend money to make money.
“You should plan on…basic hard costs…editing, cover design, website…some social media…this is regardless of whether you do it yourself or you go through an author services company or partner publisher…That means that before you’ve been published, you will be in debt.”
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Author Power is about working in partnership with brands to cover these costs and more and create limitless opportunities for your intellectual property.
Brands? Limitless opportunity for IP?
“But before you can approach the brands, you’ll need to make sure you’ve positioned yourself and your brand with leverage…Leverage. Leverage. Leverage. If “brand” was the word for the first decade of the 21st century, then “leverage” is the word for the second…What can you leverage to make your book stand out? What assets have you created to build your case for attracting attention to your book? Why would this be a good idea for a brand…to come on board?”
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An author begins, manuscript half in hand, half in mind, by knowing, it must be assumed, something about something. The “power,” then, accrues to those authors who can leverage that something to gain exposure, to define an audience, to define themselves and to define a setting. These combine to become actual marketable assets, i.e., cash in hand to the intrepid who can summon the wherewithal to pick up the telephone and engage with marketers who, in fact, are always on the lookout. Author Power reveals no actual secrets; the book describes in richly intimate detail how a rather delightful fictional character mushroomed from an idea to a series of three novels, then to a star-powered web series and a movie development deal, then zigged into a consulting business and, finally, zagged into a 300-page how-to packed with hard numbers, real names, fearsomely honest commentary and firestarter action plans.
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No product placement primer, this; Author Power delves into the heart of the write-your-own-ticket world of brand integration:
“‘product placement’ in books goes back to 1873 when ‘transport and shipping companies lobbied to be mentioned’ in Jules Verne’s adventure novel series Around the World in Eighty Days. No records reveal if he was actually paid or not. Ironically, it’s widely believed that Verne’s book was inspired by media advertisements for Thomas Cook’s tour around the world…With the advent of e-books and hyperlinks, integrating brands into the storyline is more possible. The key is staying true to the characters and separating church and state…and in knowing how to identify, create, leverage, close, and deliver such opportunities with integrity.”
Bacon says knowledge is power. Ms. Isenberg says brand knowledge is power. But what, precisely, is an author’s “brand”? What does it profit a consumer goods brand to associate (and pay for that association!) with an author’s “brand”?
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Author Power shows authors the art of The Ask. Your female spy-hero is also a scratch golfer? Calloway Golf might just love to offer your books for sale on its web sites, might just love to see to it that a stack of your books sits next to their top-line ladies gear in shops across the world—provided your hero tees it up with her new Callaway X2 HOT driver while wearing Callaway NEOX shades.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives and thanks to Eric for the tip.