Importance of Advertising

All too often I see authors in forums asking if advertising is important to sales or criticizing an advertising placement for lack of sales. I have ignored comment after comment and have tried to delicately offer advice to authors about advertising. But, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I can’t hold my tongue for too long before I am forced to speak. Consider this my turn to talk about advertising.

First, for all authors who wonder if advertising is important to sales, my answer in an unequivocal, HELL YES. Have you ever went to a movie, in which you didn’t see a trailer for, or which didn’t have a poster in the lobby? No, because they all have a poster and a trailer. Do you want your book to be put in brown brag, where a blindfolded man just might pick your book out of the bag? I hope not. Leaving sales to chance is quickest ways to lose money. Advertising is targeted. Advertising is systematic. Advertising is the antithesis of chance.

Second, don’t wait for success in order to start advertising. I hear authors all the time say, “Well after I get this project off the ground and make some, I will then have money for advertising.” No! This is not how advertising works. There are authors who can be successful without advertising, John Locke for example, but this is the exception to the rule. If you want to one day quit your day job, then advertising your product is a must.

Finally, for everyone who I have read say “I spent $20.00 on a box ad at fillintheblank.com, and I didn’t sell a book. Advertising doesn’t work.” No. No. And No again. Someone needs to see or hear of your product seven times before they remember the name. Seven times! That comes from months of advertising on multiple websites, forums, and magazines.

Advertising isn’t just a day, week, or month long campaign. It is a targeted lengthy campaign that must be flexible enough to change your advertising platform as you find out what is successful and what isn’t. But advertising works. For example, last year I kept seeing an ad that said “Better then steroids, and legal.” Now I don’t take supplements, and keeping in shape for me doesn’t consist of doing curls in front of a mirror, staring at my muscles. But after months of seeing the ad on more forums then I can count, I finally clicked it just to see what it was. I never bought the product and only stayed on the page for maybe 30 seconds, but nonetheless, I went to the page. Again it was on multiple forums with a slogan that at least made me curious. That is successful advertising.

I know this rant is long, but it needs to be. This is how important advertising is to the selling of any products. Self-promotions will always help sales, but in order to reach the pinnacle of success, advertising must be implemented. I know most indie authors don’t have a huge advertising budget, but there are cheap advertising platforms out there. A little research goes a long ways. Again, it needs to be targeted to your demographic. It has to be on multiple forums, with a lengthy campaign. It has to at least spark some curiosity in your project. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for advertising, but you must be consistent. Long story short, until you advertise, you will never reach your peak. Combine self-promotions with a small advertising budget and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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Christine Amsden Interview

JR: Today I am talking with Christine Amsden, author of The Immortality Virus. Thank you for agreeing to the interview, Christine. Please tell us a little about yourself and your story.

CA: Thank you for having me! You already know the third most important thing about me – that I’m a writer – so I’ll fill you in on the first two. I’m married to a wonderful man, Austin, and it is with his help that I am able to write and publish my books. I also have two wonderful children, currently 5 and 3, who keep me busy when I’m not writing (and sometimes when I am).

I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember, even before I could actually read. I used to look at picture books and make up stories. I like to say it’s in my soul, and that I could no more not write than not breathe. I write science fiction and fantasy, but to me, genre is not as important as character. I like to write about ordinary people defining themselves through extraordinary situations.

The Immortality Virus was a concept I came up with about five years ago, and which took me two and a half years to complete. It takes a hard look at the human quest for long-life, eternal youth, and asks, what if we all get it? Would it be that great?

I don’t think so, and my attitude is reflected through the dystopian world I created, and through Grace Harper, the heroine I invented to search for the man responsible for The Change. I’m just as nervous about growing old and dying as the next person, but I know in my heart, and especially when I look at my children, that life is a circle, and that the human race as a whole grows stronger through renewal.

JR: Where did you come with the idea for The Immortality Virus?

CA: The idea struck me, oddly enough, through a random Wikipedia search. I knew only that I wanted to write a novel, and that I wanted it to be science fiction. (My first novel was paranormal suspense, and I wanted to try something a little different.) A few clicks on the “random article” button later, I came across their article on DNA, which got me thinking about a genetic link to aging. I spent several days bouncing around the internet, gathering information, following trails until they went cold, but somewhere in there, the idea was born.

JR: I would consider The Immortality Virus a dystopian thriller…do you agree with this and are you a fan of the genre?

CA: You are the first person to come straight out and ask me that! I’ve been calling the book a dystopian novel for months now, but only after several reviewers used the word. It does seem to fit, but I honestly hadn’t set out to write a dystopian novel, just one that made people think. I realize the world I created is fairly dark, although I think I threaded some hope in there as well.

As far as being a fan of the genre, I would say only that I have read and enjoyed some of it. I’ve read 1984 a couple of times, Brave New World, and The Stand, among others. It is not a sub-genre I intentionally seek to read, any more than I intentionally sought to write it. Then again, I don’t tend to be a fan of any particular genre. I like good stories and interesting characters. Make me think, make me laugh, make me cry, make my heart pound…that’s far more important.

JR: What are your personal thoughts on immortality? It’s hard to imagine living forever, especially with the state of social security benefits. Would you want to live forever?

CA: Well, I’d think if we were eternally young, we’d have to eternally work as well. If you don’t like your day job, you may want to rethink immortality, because you’re going to be doing it for a looonnnnggg time!

A lot of immortality stories these days focus on a person or small group of people living forever, and in those cases, I suppose the world could at least support the situation. Most writers of the genre tend to predict boredom setting in pretty quickly, though. I was recently reminded of a memorable character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, an immortal whose goal was to insult everyone, because he had nothing better to do.

I’m not looking forward to death, but I don’t want to live forever, either. I regard it as a pretty selfish thing to want to do. Prolonging a single life always occurs at the cost of others, whether it is directly, as in the case of vampires, or indirectly, as in the case of consuming resources the next generation needs.

JR: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

CA: Meg, because she’s an innocent. She’s a truly young woman (early twenties) in a world of forever, one who would have been part of the new generation of adults in this world, but who is really little more than a child. She’s faced pain and loss, but she hasn’t grown cynical, and she still sees life for its possibilities. She is also a friend to Grace, when she needs one.

 JR: I believe every writer should also be an avid reader. What are some of your favorite books and authors?

CA: How long do we have? 🙂

Okay…I have to mention Orson Scott Card first, because I attended his “boot camp” in 2003 and learned a ton. Plus, I really do enjoy Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, and have read each multiple times.

In science fiction, I tend toward the classisc – Heinlein, Assimov, and Phillip K. Dick (short stories).

In fantasy, it’s just the opposite – I like the modern trend of urban fantasy. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are among my favorites, as well as Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series (the only vampire romance series to date that I’ve really enjoyed).

In more traditional high fantasy, I enjoy Mercedes Lackey and Robert Jordan.

I also read romance. My favorite romance genre authors include Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, and Cathering Anderson.

For romantic suspense with the occasional paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, or whatever she’s feeling in the mood for element – Linda Howard is great.

Mystery? Agatha Christie is the master (mistress?)! Good thing she wrote a lot of books.

Others? I’m in a book club, and I never know what’s coming next. Last month was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and this month is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal! (It’s supposed to be a comedy, I am cautiously looking forward to it.)

I love my book club, because I find books to cherish that I never would have picked up on my own, like Middlesex, and the Life of Pi.

Deep breath…or you could just look me up on Goodreads! I don’t hold back, I promise.

JR: Almost every author I know has received a bad review from a reviewer. How do you handle the bad reviews and not take them too personal?

CA: I’m not supposed to take them personally? 🙂

So, do you want the politically correct answer or the truth?

Here’s the truth: They hurt. I know, intellectually, that not everyone will like my book, but it doesn’t keep me from feeling down when it’s in my face. Depending upon how bad, I might complain loudly to my husband about how “they just didn’t get it!”

However, life goes on. There are a few positive reviews that blew me away, and that I read for a pick-me-up after the bad ones come in. To remind me that, while not everyone is going to love my book, some people really, really do.

JR: Give us little perspective on your daily routine from writing to promoting your work.

CA: My routine is a bit off-kilter lately, because of the book release. I ended up focusing almost entirely on promotion for a few months, and haven’t been writing as much as I’d like. Also, it’s summer vacation, so my kids are home with me all day.

Once things calm down, here’s what will probably happen: Three hours of writing (or revising, or editing, or critiquing) time in the morning while my daughter is in pre-school. (The quietest time.) One hour of marketing time in the afternoon, while she takes her nap. One hour of social networking scattered throughout the day, when I have a few minutes.

The house, unfortunately, tends to get the short end of this deal.

JR: This is one of my favorite interview questions because most authors can relate. How do you overcome staring at a blank screen, with no motivation to write? What we call writer’s block.

CA: I take a bath. I don’t believe in staring at blank screens. If the screen is blank, then clearly, it’s not inspiring me. So I should go somewhere else. I don’t believe that all writing time has to take place in a chair, although I do endorse BIC (butt in chair). A lot of it takes place in my head. A bath, a walk, or a change of scenery can help a lot.

Also, when I’m in the middle of a story and get stuck, I see it as a sign that I’ve done something wrong. Instead of bulldozing it, I give myself a few days to think and reflect, and almost always come up with the answer.

JR: What advice would you give an author with no knowledge of the industry, except for knowing how to write?

CA: Brace yourself for rejection. No matter how good you are, getting published is a frustrating effort. You’ve got to sent out queries, and keep sending them out until someone says yes.

JR: What is your view on the industry as a whole?

CA: I think the industry is on the brink of a big change, but the giants in the field are afraid, and are holding back. I see this when I log onto Amazon, and see big-name author’s books cost the same (or more) in ebook format. Ebook readers have gotten better in just the five years since I published my first ebook, when I really didn’t know what to tell people about how to read it. Now, my ebook sales have shot past my print book sales. Then again, I went with a publisher who is offering the ebook for a fair price. It doesn’t cost as much to produce, so why should it cost as much to buy?

JR: Where do you see yourself in five years?

CA: Still writing. I’ve got a new urban fantasy series nearly ready to roll, and I hope to see it successful in that time, but I also expect new inspiration to strike.

JR: Your turn. You get to ask me any question you would like.

CA: How do you decide which new books to read?

JR: A lot of times it is decided for me. If I have a ton of submissions, those are the books that I have been chosen to read. My authors suggest books to me all the time from new authors they enjoy, some of which I will read. Other then that, I walk into my local bookstore and buy the first book that catches my attention.

Short Answer:

If I were President for a day I would…Probably say something not PC and end up getting insulted by every media network, with possible veiled death threats from some.

The easiest way to fix global warning would be to…Actually acknowledge that it’s happening and that we can fix it.

One book I would love to see in a movie is…The Immortality Virus!

I think the NFL strike is…I don’t follow football, so I don’t really have an opinion.

One talent is wish I had is…Singing! I do it when I’m alone, just be careful not to walk in on me.

If I could have the traits of one super hero it would be…Teleportation

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Coming Next Week

Sorry for the delay with this post but things have been hectic at Hobbes End this past week. Next week, I will post interviews with Stephen Knight, successful author of The Gathering Dead, and Christine Amsden, author of Estimated Time of Arrest. Both authors have major success in the industry and offer their knowledge of the industry from their experiences. I will also post another publisher rant, sure to include my biased opinion on the industry. Be sure to check in next week and remember The Endlands and Eldohr Adventures ebooks will not be available for $0.99 for much longer, so take advantage of it while it lasts.

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Sara Megibow Interview

JR: I am here today with Sara Megibow, a literary agent with Nelson Literary Agency. I am grateful you agreed to this interview as I believe you can provide much insight about the industry. Please introduce yourself, your company and your success in the industry.

Sara Megibow: Thank you Jairus! I am the Associate Literary Agent at Nelson Literary Agency. My job is to sell books to publishing houses and then manage the careers of those published authors. I love it! As an agent, I represent authors who write science fiction, fantasy, young adult novels (all subgenres), romance novels and commercial fiction (including women’s fiction). I’ve enjoyed tremendous success this year in selling books by debut authors (the upcoming CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally and THE SIREN by Tiffany Reisz for example).

http://mirandakenneally.com/

http://tiffanyreisz.com/

JR: What made you aspire to be an agent in the book industry and what drives your love of literature?

SM: I’ve always been a voracious reader and really that’s the answer to both questions. I sell books because I LOVE books! I can walk by a clothing store any day of the week, but bookstores call to me like a siren. I have always loved reading for pleasure, and personally my favorite genre of all to read is fantasy (both adult fantasy and young adult fantasy). So, I ended up in publishing and it’s really a great fit.

JR: There is a huge perception by many “outsiders” that this industry is a closed-knit community. Do you agree with this perception?

SM: Yes, unfortunately I agree with this perception. I think it comes about because there is such a tremendous amount of competition for a very few spots. In 2010, I had 36,000 writers contact me asking me to represent their book (no kidding, really 36,000). I signed 9 of those clients and have since sold 7 of them. We are selective not because we are mean or insular but simply because publishing is this competitive. To further the closed-knit perception, once an author sells their work then they are more likely to sell more books. So, an outsider might see sales posted by the same authors and agents over and over and think – no one can break in to this thing! That isn’t true as almost all of my clients are debut authors. But it is true that the statistics are overwhelming. As an agent, every submission coming across my desk is evaluated equally – I consider writers with no publishing history the same as authors with extensive publishing history. It just may not feel that way on the other end of a computer when a writer receives that dreaded rejection letter.

JR: What advice would you give a new author, with a completed manuscript, who has no idea what to do next?

SM: Excellent question! Research…research…research. Our website (www.nelsonagency.com) has an extensive FAQ and resource section. It’s listed under the “Submit Manuscript” tab. If a new author were to spend an hour a day trolling those resources, they would be ahead of 99% of the pack.

For example, learn about agents that represent your genre here: www.agentquery.com

Then, cross reference those agents to make sure they are legitimate by going here: http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/

And, to learn how submissions are evaluated for quality and content, read here: http://www.evileditor.blogspot.com/

Learn your rights, as an author, at the Association for Authors’ Representatives (notice, this is not the Association for Agents Representatives or the Association for Editors Representatives – this is AUTHORS’ best interests): http://aaronline.org/

My boss, Kristin Nelson, blogs about publishing and the ins and outs thereof: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

JR: Just to give everyone an idea of how hard is to rise above the “slush”: How many queries do you read a week, and out of those how many manuscripts will you read out of these?

SM: I read 1000-1400 queries per week, ask for 30-40 sample pages from those, ask for 1-2 full manuscripts from those. BUT, to be fair – of that huge number of queries, the vast majority of writers are truly at the beginning stages of their journey. Writers who take the time to research the industry, query agents who represent their genre, have a finished manuscript, etc- that number is much smaller. A prepared and professional writer with a superior manuscript is really only competing with a handful of others.

JR: What is the most common mistake you see when you receive a submission and what are you typically looking for when reviewing a submission?

SM: The most common mistake I see (and the most easily-avoidable) is writers who query us with a project in a genre that we don’t represent. Our agency represents science fiction, fantasy, young adult, middle grade, romance, commercial fiction and women’s fiction. The query letters for coffee table books, self help books and non-fiction get an automatic rejection letter.

When reviewing the legitimate submissions, I am always looking for superior writing and a unique concept. Previous publishing history is irrelevant to me. An author’s age, location, biography, etc – these are incidental. Quality of writing is vital. And, in my experience, the quality of the query letter accurately represents the quality of the manuscript. Gail Carriger (NYTimes Bestselling author of SOULLESS and CHANGELESS) came from the slush pile. Jamie Ford, Sarah Rees Brennan, Sara Creasy, Marie Lu – all came from the slush pile.

JR: What are some “dos” and “don’t’s” when dealing with an agency?

SM: DO be professional and DO your research first. Read our website, follow our submission guidelines, have a completed manuscript and treat an agent or an editor as one would any prospective business partner.

DON’T worry too much. Your work really is being evaluated thoroughly. Yes, it’s hard to get specific feedback on any submission, but trust that, for our agency, we really know what we’re doing. If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t be in business. An agent ONLY makes money after the sale of a book. Period! So, if we pick the wrong books, then…you guessed it, we make no money and we won’t be around long. We are evaluating a manuscript based on what we know of the market. A “no thank you” doesn’t mean your book will never sell – it just means it’s not right for us.

JR: Have you ever come across a book you rejected for any reason, which caused you internal conflict?

SM: Definitely. I’ve passed on books because they are too gory or scary, but I know many of these will go on to sell. I’m a mom and I have a soft heart, so I don’t like books that include kids in pain or threatened. That’s just a personal preference and it’s often not a good business decision on my part. 

JR: If an agent passes on a book that becomes very successful down the road, do they regret their decision, pass it off as a missed opportunity or stick to their reasons for the rejection?

SM: A little of both. I sheepishly admit that, like a completeMORON, I passed on the brilliant Merrie Destefano’s  AFTERLIFE. I was a brand new agent and couldn’t quite wrap my head around what I thought the edits should be. When it sold and was released, I bought a copy of the book. Reread it and was like “WOW – this is sheer genius, I’m such a dork.”Alas.

Most of the time, when I pass on a project that goes on to sell, my first thought is, “Congrats to the author! That’s awesome news! I didn’t quite love it but so glad someone else did!”

JR: What are some of your personal favorite books and genres and do they influence your decision making?

SM: My taste absolutely affects my decision-making It shouldn’t of course, but it does. Ideally, an agent chooses clients based on answering the question, “can I sell this book?” But, for me it’s “do I love this book” AND “can I sell this book.” Alas, that’s likely why I have 16 clients instead of 116. Anyway – my favorite books of all time are fantasy novels – HISMAJESTY’S DRAGON by Naomi Novik, TRANSFORMATION by Carol Berg, HOOD by Stephen Lawhead, THE BLOOD OF AMBROSE by James Enge, THE SHARING KNIFE by Lois Macmaseter Bujold, THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley, THE HOBBIT of course.

When I evaluate fantasy and science fiction submissions – I am looking for this kind of truly unique world, complex and engaging characters and spine-tingling plot that I loved in these novels. In young adult and romance novels, I am hoping to find fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, science fiction, etc that is as complex and interesting as adult books – just set with teen protagonists.

JR: What does a day in your shoes look like and how do you balance the variety of jobs you must perform on a daily basis?

SM: Read query letters, read sample pages, read full manuscripts, read books on the shelf (to keep abreast of what’s hot), read client manuscripts, read proposals for client manuscripts, read Publishers marketplace and four other industry newsletters, read Locus Magazine, the Romance Writers Magazine and Publishers Weekly. Then, audit contracts, royalty statements, foreign sales, audio sales, ebook sales. And, manage author careers, guest blogs posts, interviews, book signings. Submit manuscripts, track submissions, communicate to clients about their submissions, follow-up on submissions. Blog, post, tweet, make phone calls, respond to emails. Negotiate contracts, organize release information, communicate industry information to clients, plan publicity stunts (are you still reading?…) This is a normal day if absolutely nothing goes wrong.

JR: I have had some interesting emails sent to me after rejecting a manuscript. Have you ever come across someone pleading for you to sign them or an angry email that disagrees with your opinion?

SM: Absolutely. Our agency responds to every submission so it’s somewhat easy for writers to email right back to us. We delete the upset ones, but I understand the emotion. It’s hard to be on the receiving end of an impersonal rejection email. I hear something like this at least once a day, “you wouldn’t know the next HARRYPOTTER if it hit you in the head.” Alas.

JR: As a publisher, I see the industry changing daily with the rise in e-books. Do you think this has oversaturated the market with books that aren’t worthy of publication or do you view it as an opportunity for more authors to get their work to the public?

SM: Personally, I think it’s a little of both. I think self-publishing offers a tremendous opportunity for writers. There are solid business reasons to pursue self-publishing instead of traditional publishing. I think of it this way – traditional publishing and self-publishing are two legitimate forms of distribution. The savvy author would do tons of research before pursuing either so they can weigh the pros and cons of each.

JR: It is scary from my point of view seeing brick and mortar retailers going under. Do you think print books will ever become obsolete and what industry changes do you foresee in the future?

SM: No, I don’t think print books will become obsolete. But, I think that hardcovers will become more like luxury items – bought as presents, bought by true bibliophiles (like myself) and reserved for the books by readers’ absolute favorite authors. I recently bought THE HEROES by Joe Abercrombie as a hardcover, spent the entire list price on it in my local independent bookstore and I’m so glad I did! I did so much flipping back and forth, looking at maps, reminding myself of character names, enjoying a scene over and over. I’ve also bought plenty of discounted mass-market books and e-books in the past 6 months too.

JR: What is your opinion on the emergence of small presses?

SM: I love small presses! I submit to small presses on a regular basis. I’m big in to pros and cons. Even a six figure advance from a major NY publisher has “cons” to it (namely – how stressful is it to make sure we earn back that advance, especially as a debut author!). There are recent small press successes that really help argue in their favor even more – THEWINDUP GIRL by Paolo Bacigalupi was published by Night Shade Books to tremendous success. And, of course, the publishing world is abuzz with the recent blockbuster success of GO THE F**K TOSLEEP by Adam Mansbach, published by Akashic Books. I think we’ll see more hugely successful books by small presses in the near future.

JR: I always give my interviewee a chance to ask me any question they might have. Do have any question you would like to ask me?

SM: In addition to writing a great book, is there anything else a debut writer can do to attract the attention of an agent?

YES! Write a great book. Really, really great. Edit it, make sure it’s polished, do your research and go for it. But, there’s one more step we haven’t yet covered and that’s promotions and publicity. I encourage writers to have a professional author website now. Now now now. Many agent disagree with me, so a writer should choose an agent that best represents their style. My solid opinion though is that platform matters (especially to the debut author). So, put up a professional website – have a bio a headshot and a page on “what I write.” That’s all you need, but make sure that if I google-stalk you, I find something professional. Here are three examples of my sf/f clients who are currently on submission and haven’t yet sold. These websites were up and running before even signing with me as an agent. It’s SOOOO important!

Steve Vera (urban fantasy writer): http://www.stevewvera.com/

Jason Hough (science fiction writer): http://www.jasonhough.com/

Mike Martinez (science fiction writer): http://michaeljmartinez.net/

Short Answer

If I were President for a day I would…Hire someone who completely disagrees with me politically and have them be my second in command.

My biggest frustration with publishers is…We aren’t (as a collective group) loud-mouthed enough about how important literature is as an art.

Lindsey Lohan should…Do something outrageous while holding a copy of one of my clients’ books, so we get tons of press and publicity and rocket to the center of attention.

If I had one wish it would be…To be multilingual, immediately.

If I could choose one book to be made into a movie it would be… THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by NK Jemisin.

Game of Thrones is…One of my favorite books ever (haven’t seen the tv version yet, but with Netflix it’s inevitable).

More on Sara Megibow at:

Nelson Literary Agency  www.nelsonagency.com

Publishers Marketplace: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/

Twitter:  @SaraMegibow

Facebook:SaraMegibowNelsonAgency 

One of Sara’s debut sf/f authors:

Jane Kindred, author of THE DEVIL’S GARDEN and the forthcoming THE FALLEN QUEEN:

http://www.janekindred.com/

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All E-books $0.99

We are pushing for a huge July advertising campaign and are starting this off by dropping the e-book price of Eldohr Adventures and The Endlands to $0.99. We have had great reviews for both books and the price for these books is great to say the least. You can buy them for any e-reader or can even download them to your computer. If you like to read print books, we have those as well at http://www.HobbesEndPublishing.com or at Amazon.

The interview with book agent Sara Megibow will be posted Monday after some changes are made to my wordpress site. Good day and good reading.

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Exciting Interview Coming Next Week

Next week I will be posting an interview with Sara Megibow, an agent with The Nelson Agency. She will be discussing how an author can successfully find an agent and some of the common mistakes authors make when querying an agent. She will also give insight into where the industry is going and why it is so hard to get in the industry.

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The Long Road to Success

I am an avid sports fan and recent events have made me appreciate the struggles of entrepreneurship. I watched the Dallas Mavericks win an NBA championship last night, after years of underachieving and failure. They did so through persistence, inconceivable work ethic, and the belief they would one day reach the pinnacle of success.

Not only was I excited to see them win the championship as a fan, but it also made me reflect on the years I have spent as an entrepreneur in the publishing industry. I have put my blood, sweat and tears to Hobbes End Publishing for the last 6 years of my life and have released a handful of great products. The first four years though, were a struggle that I can not describe in words. I had an author who abandoned ship a year after releasing his book, after having much success in selling the product. I had a manuscript that I got print ready before an author rescinded his submission and decided he would rather have a full time job then to be a writer. And I also released three books, that after further thought, needed more editing to really be as great as the idea itself is. Not to mention the constant struggle to reap a profit in an industry where print books are becoming obsolete to e-books.

The burden of money was always the primary failure of my company in the beginning. The cost of print, the cost of marketing, the cost of promotions and the cost to run a business was overwhelming.

But after watching the Mavs win last night, it gave me a sense of pride that I have had to struggle as much as I have for the success Hobbes End Publishing currently enjoying. By no means have we reached the pinnacle, but we are closer now then we ever have been. We have great products that can compete with anybody in the market. I have made the necessary connections in the industry to no longer be “The lonesome duck” in the industry. I have learned how to market and promote books, though I still have room to grow in this area, and am leading a successful publishing company.

It took Jason Kidd 17 years to reach the top and this blog was written to encourage everyone to keep being persistent. This industry is closed-knit, and doesn’t welcome many with open arms. But as the Mavs showed last night, continued persistence combined with impeccable work-ethic and the belief that you are the best at what you do, will lead to success. Keep your head high and keep going through the motions and success will eventually find you. Quitting is the only way to fail.

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