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School Marketing Blog

The professional school marketing manager needs to be up-to-date with the latest school marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the school marketing plan. This school marketing blog enables school marketing professionals to engage in blog discussions relating to the school marketing issues of today. The 'School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Teachers Writing a Book or e-Book - 7 Key Challenges and Solutions

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Teachers are highly qualified professionals who should seriously consider writing their own book or e-book. This blog post considers 7 key challenges and solutions to help make this a most enjoyable and rewarding task.

Writing your first book is one of life's most pleasurable experiences! All the time, thought, effort and creativity finally becomes very worthwhile. When the book finally sells is equally, or even more, exciting! Then you see your first pay-check from the publisher / book seller or from your website's online store - WOW!

I have written 6 nonfictional books, 5 of which are currently sold as e-books. The following are some of the experiences I have gained over the past few years.

What could possibly go wrong with the whole process of writing / publishing / marketing / selling, etc? Heaps - in fact! But don't initially be turned off by these. Be aware of the challenges and be prepared to meet these head-on. However, after becoming fully informed, and if you feel it is not right for you, it is probably best to let go and may be try another challenge awaiting you.

Seven key challenges and solutions are:

1. The average author makes very little income out of book sales. Now this must be a cause for serious consideration. Most authors do not make a living out of writing - at the best it supplements their income. At the worst the whole experience ends up costing them money. Hence, the theme you write about, as well as the quality of your writing, is critical. Along with these, you will also need a good publication method and marketing campaign. Sometimes authors do not expect any serious income but are just content with the option of writing for themselves and a few others.

2. The time commitment is considerable. It is virtually a part-time occupation spread over many weeks and months. Most authors either write in small to medium hourly segments of time over a long period, or in weekly blocks over time. This depends on individual circumstances.

3. Publishing is difficult as each major publishing company has thousands of new manuscripts or books at their disposal each year. Your work needs to have quality, be controversial or be very creative, or meet a specific niche, etc. Try a variety of companies and do not forget the e-book sellers. (See below.)

4. Self publishing is another option - yet one which usually also has a considerable financial cost associated. Having a substantial number of hard copies printed is expensive as is the cost of getting these to market - not to mention the considerable amount of time and marketing skills needed. However, if you are well prepared and funded, this may work for you, especially if you have contacts within the industry who can offer advice and lead you on the way.

5. Creative publishing methods are becoming more accessible through the internet these days. For hard copies of books you may also try creative selling methods e.g. eBay or Amazon's CreateSpace. At the time of writing, the CreateSpace option allows for Amazon to assist with the formatting, publishing and sales process considerably, but at a cost dependent on how much assistance you need.

6. E-Book sales through your own website are becoming more popular and usually for less expense. You will need to create, or have created, your own website, as well as having the electronic shopping facilities integrated within your site. There are many companies which offer this option, see Yahoo, for example. One of the major challenges of this option is getting your website visited very regularly, which usually means it is high on the search engines, e.g. Google, Yahoo, etc. Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) is the key concept needing a full understanding to be successful here.

7. Try blogging - it's usually FREE! To meet the inherent personal need to write, which we authors have, and save on the expense, you may like to try blogging. There are so many sites now which open up a whole new world for authors - try the WordPress and Blogger websites for starters. You may even make money directly or indirectly out of these opportunities. You may become well-known as an expert on a particular topic and searched out for this expertise. Or you may place affiliate or Google Ads, etc., on your blog.

The joy of writing sometimes supersedes the need to make a profit. For most authors, this unfortunate lack of profit is an inevitable consequence. I have personally enjoyed my experience these past few years and intend continuing this creative pursuit.

Writing your own book or e-book needs dedication and commitment. I took the challenge, locked in the time and energy needed and went for it. Twenty-five weeks over three years and 6 books later, I am a very contented author, e-publisher and e-book seller.

The 'Teachers Writing a Book or e-Book - 7 Key Challenges and Solutions' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

How to publish a paperback and e-book cheaply

Thursday, December 01, 2011

There is now a relatively inexpensive way to publish your books as paperbacks and e-books. Paperback publication is based on a system called ‘print on demand’. No more having to have a large number of paperbacks printed to save on individual book costs and then paying large amounts to self market your texts, or for even more outlay paying some professional marketing firm and then having to find a distributor, etc. I would like to share my recent very positive experience this year with an Amazon.com company called CreateSpace.

As a background, originally I took what I thought would be the cheapest method of publishing and marketing my books. The books I wrote I made into e-books and then uploaded these pdf versions to my websites for publication. Simple and relatively cheap i.e. if you do not count the cost of setting up two e-commerce enabled websites, each for a different theme, from a private designer. These days you can set up these e-commerce websites relatively inexpensively e.g. check out Yahoo’s Business options. Once you master the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills, which take some enormous amount of time and creativity and / or pay Google Ads, etc., then people will visit your site and purchase your books.

Since that time in 2009-10, I discovered that there was now a better way. This way uses the production, printing and marketing skills of an enormous world-wide internet selling company, Amazon.com, to achieve your publication at a relatively inexpensive cost to you. Once the production is finished you decide where you would like your books sold e.g. directly through Amazon.com and / or createspace.com and / or through their enormous collection of distributors and sellers world-wide. (You have more distribution options through the Amazon.com networks if you allow CreateSpace to arrange your ISBN numbers. However, if you take this option you need to stay with them and not go with other independent distributors.) The whole process is well explained on the CreateSpace website. There are many levels of production from which you may choose. They will do virtually everything for you, through to you doing almost everything yourself, with you eventually signing off on the finished product. Options range from cover design to proofing of text and internal designs, etc. Costs are proportionate to your needs. From my experience the whole process with your continued input / feedback sort or given is about 2-3 months.

Once the books are for sale through whatever outlets you choose, you then have the option of having your paperback converted into an e-book for sale on Amazon.com by CreateSpace. Once again you have various options of where to have these distributed dependent on where you had your ISBN sourced. Check their policy statements carefully before signing up.

Paperbacks and e-books now complement each other. It has been suggested that even though the markets are different, you will still sell substantially more paperbacks if distributed properly. The CreateSpace production and distribution methods seem to me to be the way to go for so many reasons, not the least this method is a cost effective world-wide means to sell your paperback and e-books.

I am still learning as my paperbacks have just been listed on Amazon.com and the e-books are being produced now. As an example of how paperbacks and e-books are listed on Amazon.com just check out School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), 2011 and Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), 2011.

The 'How to publish a paperback and e-book cheaply' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


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