Don’t Bother Writing Books—It’s Not Worth It, Unless You’re Already a Celebrity: Part 4 of 4

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donald pogi_18Hi, everybody. I’m one week late with my “Hendon on Influence” column. My apologies. I’ve been extremely busy finishing my first non-fiction book, Fractured Fairy Tales: Political Monkey Business. 35 political satires, each around 800 words. Similar to Saturday Night Live sketches—but a lot funnier! It will be released this month (September 2014) in both print and e-book formats. Please go to amazon.com after September 15, type in “Donald Hendon,” and you’ll learn more about it.

Hey, it looks like I’m not following my own advice. I’m not a celebrity, and yet I write books. And I like to make money. So why don’t I practice what I preach?

Because, all you frustrated writers out there, there just might be a way to influence enough people to buy the books you write and make some money in the process. If you’re a good and fast typist, it’ll be easy for you to use something called “Create Space” to self-publish and distribute not only your books, but also your DVDs, CDs, video downloads, and MP3s on-demand on amazon.com.

I suggest you use CreateSpace.com with e-books first. Ever since 2011, e-books have outsold print books on amazon. And if your e-book sells well, then think about finding a printer and distributor. You get a lot of credibility—whatever that means—if your book is available in both e-book and print format. More important, you end up with two ways to put money in your pocket!

I think it’s important to have both versions of your book—an e-book and a print book—out there in the market. A lot of people don’t own an e-book reader. Why miss out on print sales? And if you only have an e-book out there, you can’t autograph books at a book signing event. (By the way, I wouldn’t bother with book signings, unless you’re already a celebrity. The average number of books sold at book signings is only 3. Yes, 3! Why go to all that trouble just to sell 3 books! You ain’t Hillary Clinton!)

The two main kinds of e-book readers are Kindle and Nook. Both look like tablet computers. You can find a good comparison of the two products, Kindle and Nook, at digitaltrends.com/mobile/kindle-vs-nook-an-e-reader-face-off/#!bPIJve This is an article by K. T. Bradford published in Digital Trends.com on December 19, 2013. Title: “Kindle Paperwhite vs. Nook Glowlight: Battle of the Light-Up EBook Readers.”

Amazon markets Kindle, and Nook is a Barnes & Noble product. Barnes & Noble, of course, is the largest—and probably last—book store chain in the United States. The chain has 486 brick-and-mortar stores in the US. These are aimed at the general public. Plus the chain operates another 588 on-campus bookstores at universities, including UNLV. Total: 1,074.

So let’s say you want to have your book in print format, too. Should you contact “traditional” book publishers? Literary agents? I’ve compiled an e-mail list of 4,126 publishers and 3,695 literary agents in the US. Unless you use MailChimp.com, I wouldn’t bother sending out a bunch of e-mails. Instead, I suggest you contact Synergy-Books.com. Synergy is a very unique publishing company owned by Dave Smith in St. George, Utah. Dave can get your book printed and has contacts with book distributors—the distributors which Barnes & Noble buys from.

Once your book is “officially distributed,” the corporate buyers at Barnes & Noble will see it. They’ll buy one book. If the book sells, then they’ll buy two. If both sell, then they’ll buy four. If the four books sell, then they’ll buy eight. And so forth. When the book stops selling, they won’t buy anymore.

How can you can boost sales of your print book at Barnes & Noble? Hire a good publicist. If you don’t do that, here’s how you can do it yourself:

It’s pretty simple. Go to Allstays.com/c/barnes-and-noblelocations.htm. It will give you the locations of all 486 Barnes & Noble Stores aimed at the general public. And go to bncollege.com/college-partners. Look at the top right. Select a state, and begin searching. This website gives you the locations of all 588 university bookstores operated by Barnes & Noble. (These bookstores don’t have a “Barnes & Noble” sign on them. For example, the UNLV bookstore is operated by Barnes & Noble. The only way you’ll know it’s operated by B&N is to ask the store manager. Many UNLV bookstore clerks don’t even know about the B&N connection.)

So now you have a list of 1,074 B&N stores in the US. You probably know people in many different cities and states. Contact them. Ask them to go to their nearest B&N store and order your book. It’s better to ask close friends—they’ll probably buy your book using their own money. The people you don’t know that well may ask you to reimburse them. If 500 people ask you to reimburse them, and if your book’s retail price is $20, you’ll be spending $10,000. Unless your book is a very, very big seller, you probably won’t make more than $10,000 in royalty sales. That’s if you’re unlucky enough to be published by a traditional publisher.

Why do I say unlucky? Let’s wait for my final column on this subject. It will appear in the Mesquite Local News online edition on Monday October 6, 2014. I promise! Yes, I know—that will be part 5 of a 4-part series.

Dr. Donald Wayne Hendon is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and author of 14 books, including his latest—Fractured Fairy Tales: Political Monkey Business. It has 35 political satires, each around the length of this column. Similar to Saturday Night Live sketches—but a lot funnier! Other books: The Way of the Warrior in Business, Guerrilla Deal-Making (with Jay Conrad Levinson) and 365 Powerful Ways to Influence. Jay Levinson recently passed away. He specifically chose Don to be his final co-author—the person most qualified to  carry the torch of guerrilla marketing into the 21st century. Deal-Making contains the 100 most powerful tactics from 365 Powerful Ways—along with 400 winning countermeasures. There are 121 aggressive tactics, 92 defensive ones, 24 cooperative ones, and 16 submissive ones to get what you want from other people. Plus 81 dirty tricks to watch out for and 31 tactics to prepare you for your interaction with them. Download Chapter 1, free of charge, at www.DonaldHendon.com. Play Don’s free online Negotiation Poker game by going to GuerrillaDon.com. Apps will soon be available. 

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