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Journalism Advice

The Financial Realities of Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid-Publishing-ArticleWriters today have more choices than ever when it comes to getting their work in the hands of millions. They can self-publish an eBook, hold out for a traditional publishing deal or do a combination of both, otherwise known as hybrid publishing.

Hybrid publishing uses aspects of traditional publishing (someone is doing the marketing for you), but you’ll still need to see this as running your own business. In our latest Journalism Advice column, we got the inside scoop on the financial realities of hybrid publishing:

The truth is, hybrid authors will need to put aside marketing and production funds to produce a high-quality book. That is not to say you can’t enjoy a high cash flow as a hybrid author, but you need to determine if you are willing to take a bit of a financial gamble. “I hesitate to say it’s a model that leads to success because success varies from author to author,” says Brooke Warner, co-founder of hybrid publisher SheWritesPress.com. “For us the parallel measure would be that a book ‘earns out’ its expenses, meaning that it breaks even. Many more than 10 percent of our authors are breaking even, so for me, this is an exciting place to be.”

To learn more about hybrid publishing, including how to broaden your reach with digital platforms, read: What You Need to Know About Hybrid Publishing.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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How to Plot Your Way to the Best-Seller List

best-selling-author-wpWorking on a book? If your ambitions run beyond merely getting your manuscript published to making it a best-seller, you’ll need to start planning before you’ve written your first word. And we’re not talking about planning out your plot. To climb onto the best-seller list you’ll need to be a one-stop shop of writer, marketer and promoter.

Keep in mind however, that what you’ll be selling is not your book, but yourself. It’s your success in getting people to follow you, rather than your title, that is the key to sales:

This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but aggressively pushing your current title in lieu of promoting your personal brand as an author — is an ill-conceived plan that can actually stunt book sales. Literary mega-stars like Stephen King and John Grisham have a built-in fan base that buys every book they release, almost automatically. And that, says [author Tim Grahl], should be the goal of every writer — particularly those who have aspirations to write in multiple genres or cover various topics.

For more advice, including how to build your base, read: 6 Steps to Becoming a Best-Selling Author.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Use Social Media Effectively to Promote Your Book

Book-Article-1While the actual act of writing may come naturally, the steps involved in marketing and self-promotion can be tricky areas for potential authors. As part of Mediabistro’s Journalism Advice series, we spoke to three publishing veterans, who revealed how building a writing platform can help prepare you for life in the spotlight.

Along with sharpening your public speaking skills and getting feedback from trusted peers, using social media effectively is key to gaining insight from would-be readers. But remember not to stress about your lack of Twitter followers:

[Regina Brooks, lead agent and president of Serendipity Literacy Agency,] says that the focus should be on communing with existing and potential readers. “You can buy Twitter and Facebook followers. They have algorithms out there. Now, are those people reading your blog? Are they replying to your tweets? Are they really engaged with you and the topic? Probably not,” she warned. In short, concentrate on quality, not quantity. High numbers may initially impress — and kind of make you feel like the popular kid in the cafeteria — but publishers and agents prefer the development of an actual audience to the smoke and mirrors of a manufactured one.

For more advice, including the pros and cons of getting an agent, read: Before You Write a Book, Build a Writing Platform.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Find Your Niche and Start Small to Work Your Way to a Celebrity Ghostwriting Career

Celebrity ghostwriting is a lucrative, yet competitive field. For writers who want to collaborate with celebrities on penning their memoirs, it can be an exciting opportunity to tap into a new market. However, there are a few things you should know before you get started.

First, it helps to have a portfolio of clips that are related to the celebrity you’ll be working with or the industry they’re in. For example, if you want to be the ghostwriter behind a politician’s memoir, make sure you’ve written substantially about politics. Or, if you’re going to ghostwrite a book about a big name in the music industry, having a few clips from the likes of Rolling Stone would be ideal.

In addition, starting with a smaller project might be the better avenue for the new ghostwriter, says literary agent Madeleine Morel:

You probably should go to the smaller independent houses, like Adams Media and Sourcebooks, who use a lot of ghostwriters but barely pay a living wage. They’ll probably pay you $5,000 to write a 100,000-word book, but it’s a way of getting your foot in the door.

For more tips on how to start your celebrity ghostwriting career, read: How to Land a Celebrity Ghostwriting Gig.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.