Friday, June 27, 2008

A Word From A Book Publishing Solutions Architect

© Bill Frank 2008 all rights reserved

The process of writing, publishing and promoting a book overwhelms many writers. There are many actions to take to be successful and most writers are unfamiliar with them. Creating a best seller is a process similar to other processes authors may already be successful at doing, however. I urge writers to tap into success they’ve had with other processes.

I tell authors, writing and publishing a book is like hosting a banquet for many people. Most of us have given a successful party at one time or another, so we understand the process.

There are many aspects to the banquet: inviting the guests (marketing), cooking the food (writing and editing), serving the food (distribution) and entertaining the guests once at the banquet (building a community).

Many writers focus on preparing the food. The best chef in the world will fail, if the food doesn’t get to the table or no guests are invited to the banquet. The food goes to waste.

Finding a way to get the food to the table is critical to success. There are a variety of different ways. There are formal waiters in livery (large distributors), there are casual waiters (specialty distributors), there are short order waiters (wholesalers) and there is self-service (the Internet).

The invited guests determine which method is chosen to get the food to the table. Inviting the guests to the banquet begins with inviting yourself first. Then find other guests that match your interests. Identifying which guests to invite is critical to the book’s success. The guests must be suited to each other. Sending out the invitations to your banquet is nothing more than getting the word out: promotion, advertising, media appearances, etc.

Once the guests are at the banquet, the host must entertain them. This requires building a community—keeping in touch with those guests and making certain they are enjoying the banquet. Building a community is made easier with Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, social networks, virtual book tours, newsletters, ezines, etc.

The mystery of writing and publishing a book seems easier if the steps are broken down in this way.

Stephen Covey writes, “Begin with the end in mind.” Nowhere is this truer than when writing a book.

Begin by inviting the guests (determining for whom you’re writing the book). Know clearly who your guests will be. Knowing the guest list determines what type of food you’ll cook (the way in which you’ll write the book), which waiters you’ll use to serve the food (which channels of distribution you’ll use) and what entertainment you’ll have (which steps you’ll take to build and keep your community).

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Bill Frank is a book publishing consultant, a book dilettante. He work with authors and small publishers to produce, distribute and market their books. He’s based in Ventura, CA.


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Frankly, that was well put, Bill Frank. You made a daunting procession seem obtainable. Your delectable menu promises that my banquet just might be successful.

But I have a better idea...

You come over to my place & host the party. 'Kay?


Bill Frank said...


I'd be happy to host a party for you. There is nobody, however, better suited to market and promote your book than you. You're the expert. You did the research, and the writing. You've already done the hard part. Now it's a matter of locating more people like you who will buy your book.

Bill Frank said...

For a detailed list of the best books on book publishing, go to my Listmania! on

Bill Frank said...


One quick promotion comment for your book, Dead Witness.

Go to Amazon and search for other books in your genre written by other authors. Go to their book's page and comment on their book by writing a review. Be sure to include your tag line when writing your review. the tag line will mention your book and have a link to your URL.

Remember what your mother said when you were little as your write the review. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Writing reviews on other people's Amazon pages only works if you say positive things.

Marta Stephens said...

Great tips, Bill. Another thing I found on Amazon is the blog. Connect with readers asking questions through the Amazon blog. Start a blog by asking a question of readers. I've connected with several people that way.

Thanks for joining us at MB4. Hope to see you here often.

Bill Frank said...

Here's another idea using the other website for selling things: eBay.

Autograph some books. Autographed books are more valuable than plain books.

Post them for sale on eBay. Set the price 10% higher than the list price. You'll be surprised how many people will buy them.