Tuesday, March 11, 2008

7 Deadly Sins Authors Make and How You Can Avoid Them

Here's the second part of Fred Gleeck's article from yesterday. In this article, he lists the seven sins authors make and how you can avoid them. Good advice.


The most recent data I've seen says that 99% of authors make less than $50,000. Sad but true. Want to find out how to end up in the 1% who make more? Keep reading and avoid these deadly sins that most authors make.

1. Going with a Traditional Publisher. Unless you are a fiction writer, you'll make more money publishing a book yourself. My friend and client Bob Bly has had over 70 books published by traditional publishers. Every time I sit down with him he tells me that if he had it to do over again he would have made a LOT more money publishing the books himself.

2. Not including bounceback offers in your books. Whenever I do a seminar with writers in the room the vast majority don't even know what the word "bounceback" means. That's because most writers/authors/publishers have been taught the traditional model. Sell books and make money from the books. NOT. Use your book to get people to go to your website and sign up for your list. Then you can sell them much higher priced items forever!

3. Worrying about people STEALING your books published in e-book form. If you understand the new publishing model you should care less about people acquiring your e-books without paying for them. Instead, make sure to include a lot of bouncebacks AND make sure to include the following line in multiple places in the book: "Registered users of this e-book are entitled to the following free bonuses." Want to get people to pay for your e-book fast? Include this line and the bootleggers will come running back to pay for what they stole.

4. Not understanding how people learn. Although you're a writer, you'll have to understand that people learn using different modalities of learning. Although someone picked up your book, their PRIMARY method of learning may be by listening (audios) or watching (videos). It thus behooves you to create content in your subject matter in a variety of forms, not JUST the written word.

5. Not building a LIST of people who are interested in your topic. As a writer, your single biggest asset in your publishing business will be a list of dedicated fans of you and your work. Make sure to capture the names of any and everyone you can who visits your website that sells your book. Use a program like WebMarketingMagic to quickly and easily build your list. The list you build will be worth (if properly cultivated) between $.10 and $1.00 per person per month.

6. Sending people to a brochure site to sell your book(s). The line I always use is: A CONFUSED MIND ALWAYS SAYS NO! If you send people to a catch-all site that has every possible bit of information about who you are and what you do, don't expect people to end up buying the book. You've given them too many options. Instead, create a site that sells JUST your book. It's fine to have other sites, but each book must have a single site geared to selling just that book. Full stop. No exceptions.

7. Not understanding that you're no longer a writer, but an information marketer. Sure, you may think of yourself as an author or writer, but if you sell your knowledge in any other form as well, you're an information marketer. Do you do coaching or consulting on your topic? Do you do training and seminars? What about speaking? If you do anything in addition to writing, you, my friend are NOT a writer, you're an information marketer! Behave appropriately! Learn from other savvy individuals how to best leverage your skills and talents to maximize your returns!

In conclusion, the publishing business is changing. Changing rapidly. Don't get stuck using the OLD model. Learn how to maximize your revenue as an author who understands the new challenges. Understand the 7 items above and you're on your way!!


Fred's advice is something every author should read and apply. It doesn't mean that you have to follow his advice in every instance (I certainly don't), but if you do follow his advice, you'll undoubtedly make more money than if you commit any of the above seven deadly sins. It's your choice: sin or make money.

Whichever choice you make, be sure to do one more thing: Have fun. Enjoy what you do regardless of which way you decide.

To subscribe to Fred's ezine, Fred Gleeck Insights, go to http://www.fredgleeck.com/ezine.

Fred offers five free books to anyone who wants them. Check them out at http://www.fredgleeck.com/ebooks.
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