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5 Reasons Why Every Freelance Writer Needs a Book

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If you’re hanging around this site, there is a pretty good chance you make a living writing or aspire to do so. You’ve probably written all kinds of projects for clients — projects to help them market their services, earn more income, and build their brands.

But have you thought of doing the same for your own writing business?

If you’re like a lot of creative service providers, you might be pretty good at doing the work based on your talent and skill but you’re not as good at marketing what you do.

That’s where a book comes in.

It’s time for you to write  a book.

A book helps build authority and credibility like nothing else. Even in this cluttered marketplace where more than 3,500 books are published a day, being an author still means something. So make it mean something for you.

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A Publisher Is Offering You a Book Deal — Now What?

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A client in our book ghostwriting business recently called to tell me a publisher was interested in offering him a book deal. Of course I’m always happy when clients see success with projects we’ve helped them create, and this time was no different. We talked about the merits of accepting a book deal, which got me thinking about several things to consider when deciding if a book offer from a publisher will be a good fit for you. When I landed my first book deal (which I later terminated) and even my second one, I didn’t know much about book contracts. But now, as an experienced author and editorial consultant to other authors, I have learned just how important it is to read through the contract and negotiate your points — or skip the contract and stick to self-publishing.

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Selling Your Book On Amazon: Advantage, Marketplace, CreateSpace, KDP

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Amazon provides a great opportunity for self-published authors to sell their books on equal footing with traditionally published authors, but choosing how to do that can be a bit confusing.

A client had questions about the best Amazon option as she looked to plan her distribution and marketing for a book we had ghostwritten and designed for her. I realized what she needed to know was something many others need to know, also. Some people think that if they already have an Amazon account they use for buying books or selling their old stuff like the jewelry they no longer wear or the books they’ve already read, then they are good to go. But not necessarily. It depends on how you want to sell your books, including how involved you want to be in the process, and whether you have other products you also sell. Amazon Advantage and the Amazon Marketplace are the options most often considered.

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5 Questions to Ask If You Want to Turn Your Life Story Into a Book and Business

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Every one of us has a story to tell. But not to sell. Selling your story requires a few additional considerations, aside from simply wanting to tell it. Selling your story means finding that message, meaning, or lesson that can be drawn from it to inform, inspire, and educate others, often causing them to respond to a particular call to action.

When you find the message and meaning in your story, you can write a powerful book about it, even build a business around it. That’s what we help clients do every day at RootSky Books. In fact, those are the only books we ghostwrite. If a client isn’t interested in writing a book that touches the lives of others in some way, we don’t take on the project. It’s not that we are snooty or are being difficult. We’re just business-minded. We know that the marketability of a memoir or life story, especially by someone who is not a celebrity, is heavily dependent upon what the author wants the reader to get from it. If the author is only concerned with telling his or her story, and not concerned with why the reader will invest time in reading it, then it’ll be hard for that book to be successful.

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How to Publish a Book to Grow Your Business

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If you are in a service business, you need a book. That’s because a book can:

  • Outline your expertise
  • Allow you to discuss your target clients’ pain points a way that helps them see you can solve the problem
  • Become a key marketing tool to sell higher-priced products and services

Many solopreneurs, sales professionals, small business owners, and freelancers miss the opportunity to stand out in their fields because they don’t realize how important having a book is. A book often is the best way to go from average to credentialed star. That is because a professional, small business owner, or freelancer with a book behind his or her name is immediately seen as someone who knows something. This person, just by virtue of having published a book on a subject, is seen as more knowledgeable, more authoritative, and more useful than someone who hasn’t written a book on the subject. And this means the professional with the book can charge more money and sell more products and services.

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‘When I Learned to Treat My Writing Career as a Business, That’s When I Became More Productive’

Shelia Goss is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen books. She writes Christian fiction, suspense, women’s fiction, and young adult fiction. She discusses marketing and her approach to productivity.

Shelia-GossWL: You’ve had success in many ways as a writer — as a self-published author who landed book deals, as an author who has reached bestseller lists, as an author who has gained a loyal following, as a blogger with a longstanding blog. What has been the “secret” to your success?

Goss: There’s no secret. It’s a combination of things: faith, hard work, and determination. This business is not for the faint at heart. The key is to never give up, even when faced with obstacles or rejections.

WL: Was landing on bestseller lists part of what you were shooting for or was that a surprise to you? Please explain your answer.

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Everyone Has a Story to Tell … But Do You Have a Story to Sell?

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Sure, we all have stories. Stories of highs and lows, drama and the mundane. And we’d all like to think each of us has a story to sell.

But it’s not true.

I know. I am an editor and a ghostwriter. I’ve worked on clients’ stories that needed just a bit of fine-tuning to make them shine. And I’ve come across some pretty bad ones that had no hope of selling. At least not in their current states. Clients have sent me their messy, sometimes unintelligible, awful writings. And I’ve been able to turn those into something beautiful, or at least something that doesn’t smell up the place. Turning the story you tell into the story you sell takes a bit of honesty, hard work, and creativity.

Yes, each of us has a story to tell. But it doesn’t become a story to sell until we get rid of the junk, polish it so it shines, and look beyond ourselves.

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Award-Winning Author Stacy-Deanne Gives Advice for Landing Book Deals, Building Fan Base

Stacy-Deanne writes crime fiction, mysteries, and suspense. Her work includes Everlasting, Melody, and Giving Up the Ghost. She is profiled in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing. Giving Up the Ghost is a 2011 African-American Literary Award nominated novel and a 2012 Top 20 Black Expressions Bestseller.  The Season of Sin is a 2012 African-American Literary Award nominated novel.

WL: You started in the literary industry as a 19-year-old in 1997. How has publishing changed since then and what has that change meant for your career?

Stacy-Deanne: Wow. It’s amazing to look back because everything is so different. Back in 1997 we didn’t have half as many options to get our work out there. You had the Big 6 and a few small presses and if you couldn’t get accepted by either you had to self-publish. We didn’t have e-publishers or self-publishing on Kindle. You also had to have book distribution. Everyone fought to get with the Big 6 because that was the only way you had a chance to be in stores. Now smaller presses can get their books in stores as well as bookstores aren’t the force they used to be. I could write a book on how much things have changed.

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7 Secrets to Breaking Into Ghostwriting

I got a question in my inbox this week from a guy who described himself as a laid-off journalist. He wanted to know how to get into political ghostwriting. Great question, and it’s one I’ve heard before, so I knew it was time I addressed it in this space.

Ghostwriting is a great way to make a living writing, but it’s not for everyone. Some egos are too big for it: You’ve got to be willing to put aside the need for credit in your work, in exchange for a very nice fee. Some writers aren’t organized enough for it: You have to be super organized, especially if you are ghosting books. You’re collecting a large bit of information, sometimes over a long period of time. You’ve got to figure out the best way to collect the information, organize it, and make it interesting. Some writers get bored easily: You’re committing to a whole book. If you prefer shorter fare, this ain’t your gig.

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You Can Make Money From Your Book — Without Selling a Single Copy

You don’t have to sell a million copies of your book — or even a single one — to make money from it.

You see, a book is much more than a single product to be read. A book has become the new business card. It is a tool you can use to generate leads, get people to buy from or hire you, and build your brand.

Most writers, though, don’t take advantage of the opportunities their books give them. Instead, they focus on simply selling the book to the customer, the reader, forgetting that there are others who need their information.

I was reminded of this recently when a new client signed up for us to edit and design her book and get it ready for publication. As I talked with her about some of the additional ways her book can make her money, she was silent. Then she said, “I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”

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