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Publishing a Business Book

Years ago, if you wanted to publish a book, you sought a literary agent to pitch your manuscript to publishers, hoping one would want to buy the rights. If all went well, the publisher paid you an advance against the first-year sales of the book, and your agent took their cut from that. Then, in a couple of years, you finally got to hold your book in your hands. This publishing model is still available today and is commonly referred to as “traditional publishing.” Many consider it to be the gold standard of publishing, and they covet the contract that proves their book’s worth. As more people tried to land publishing deals, though, the demand for publishing solutions outweighed the availability of publishing contracts. That gave rise to print-on-demand platforms, which enabled authors to become their own publishers. And “self-publishing” was born. However, many authors found they had a lot to learn to be successful … Continue Reading

Beware the Publishing Predators that Target Authors

Like many authors, even though I own a publishing company, I still get solicitations to republish my books from companies that haven’t done their homework. Unfortunately, as much as I am a champion for hybrid publishing and the benefits it has to offer the right authors, there are bad actors out there looking to take advantage of those who are unsuspecting. And they often start by telling you how wonderful they think you and your book are. After all, isn’t that music to our ears? Do Your Homework Whenever any business reaches out to you offering any service that you’ve never heard of before, it’s worthwhile to do some research before considering them seriously. This means Googling their names, especially in combination with “complaint,” “scam” and “reviews.” It also means checking to see if they’ve been highlighted or reviewed on Writer Beware and the ALLi websites as one of the known predators that target authors. … Continue Reading

Hybrid Publishing: A Publishing Alternative, Not a Scam

Earlier this year, the Society of Authors and the Writers Guild of Great Britain issued a joint report regarding the hybrid publishing model called “Is it a Steal?” In this report, hybrid publishing came under fire as being “the worst option a writer can take” and accusing hybrid publishers of predatory practices. For those who aren’t familiar with hybrid publishing, it’s a publishing model whereby the author subsidizes most or all of the costs of publishing the book while their publishing partner leverages their knowledge and expertise to create a quality book and send it out into the proper distribution channels to reach the author’s ideal readers. As in any industry, there are bad actors out there. You must do your due diligence before signing any contract. Some companies use aggressive marketing tactics trying to sell you on services and add-ons that you don’t really need, while others aren’t transparent about their contracts and will … Continue Reading

Legal Information for Authors

One of the speakers for our annual Publish with Purpose virtual summit in 2022 was Jonathan Kirsch, a publishing, privacy and intellectual property attorney and general counsel for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). As a publisher, we often field questions from our authors about what certain legal terms mean and how it affects them, as well as what they can and cannot include in their published works. So, we decided that it was time to consult a professional to demystify this information for authors. We compiled a list of all of the questions we typically hear, and our founder, Tara R. Alemany, took the opportunity to ask Jonathan what they meant and how they applied to the publishing industry. Rather than keeping this interview tucked away in our vaults, where only summit attendees could access it, we decided to make this particular interview public since it’s valuable legal advice for authors to know. Legal … Continue Reading

4 Common Business Problems Solved by Books

Every couple of years, Emerald Lake Books conducts a poll of entrepreneurs and business owners to ask about the most common business problems they face. We routinely ask them to rate ten potential issues to determine which are the most relevant to our respondents. In all the years we’ve conducted this survey, there are four issues that always rise to the top: Amazingly enough, even though better brand visibility is often a distant 4th in the list of complaints, it often solves two of the other business problems that frequently tie with each other for second place (more leads and improved cash flow). Regardless, all the common issues we see businesses deal with can be addressed by creating a well-structured, well-designed and well-positioned book. Let’s take a closer look at each of the Top 4 business problems to see how a book can resolve those issues. Problem #1: There aren’t enough hours in the day … Continue Reading

A Book Is NOT a Glorified Business Card

Have you ever heard someone describe their book as a glorified business card? Some speakers and coaches hand out their books at conferences and events like stickers at a pediatrician’s office or lollipops at a bank. However, a book is so much more than a glorified business card. Let’s take a closer look, and I’ll show you why. A business card typically contains a lot of useful information about you, especially if a person wants to get in touch with you. It may have your: name email address phone number website photo product info social media handle and more! Every detail on the card is about you and your brand. Yet an effective book, one that can successfully help you grow your business, is more about the reader and the problem they’re looking to solve than it is about you. A business-building book: clearly identifies the reader’s problem. outlines some possible solutions. shares why certain … Continue Reading

Learn How to Publish with Purpose

My book, Publish with Purpose, is based on a framework that Emerald Lake Books developed for the authors we publish. We use it for every project we work on. The process has proved to be so beneficial to our authors that I decided to write about it in my book and often speak about it at conferences. Here’s a quick overview of what publishing with purpose means and how to do it yourself. And if you’re looking for help figuring out how to apply this to your own works, we invite you to reach out to us for a coaching call. What Does It Mean to Publish with Purpose? Publish with purpose is a goal-oriented framework that is intended to help authors identify three specific goals. One is for their reader’s goal in terms of: What is the reader looking to get out of the book that they’ve picked up? Why did they pick it … Continue Reading

Building Your Business with a Book

Are you working hard at building your business? Every couple of years, we survey small business owners and entrepreneurs to discover what their worst business problems are. Out of a list of ten common problems we often hear about, there are three that always place at the top of the list. The order they appear in may change from year to year, but these three are always among the Top 3 Worst Business Problems people face. I need more leads. I need to improve my cash flow. I need better brand visibility. It’s common for two of those to tie in the survey results as they all vie for the #1 slot. This means that a fourth issue regularly makes it into the Top 3 as well: There aren’t enough hours in the day! Do any of these sound familiar to you? More startling Facts The scary thing about those results is that almost half … Continue Reading

Don’t Feel Bad About Your Publishing Decision

When I self-published my first five books, I kept running up against what my mentor calls “unconscious incompetence.” Essentially, you don’t know what you don’t know. After helping a number of friends through the maze of self-publishing with their books, I ultimately started my own publishing company, Emerald Lake Books. The way I see it, not everyone enjoys or has the skills to clean their own homes, balance their own checkbook, grow their own food, or repair their own cars. And so that’s why house cleaners, bookkeepers, accountants, farmers, garages and mechanics became viable professions. That’s why I started my own hybrid publishing company. I was willing to dig into how to publish books successfully. It was a topic that interested me, but I realized it wasn’t something that everyone would want to dive into to the same extent I was willing to do. With publishing, there’s a middle ground between having a traditional publisher … Continue Reading

Understanding Publishing Models

I belong to quite a few different social media groups that relate to writing and publishing. And every once in a while, a savvy new author will share information about a publishing deal they have been offered and ask the group’s feedback. Oftentimes, these offers come from hybrid publishers. Upon hearing that, many people will start chiming in with things like, “If you have to pay your publisher, it’s a scam!” and “Publishers pay authors, not the other way around!” I cringe every time I read those responses… But it’s clear by their vehemence that there’s little I can say that will change their minds. To me, the question is no different than whether an entrepreneur should do their own bookkeeping and taxes rather than spend time working in their own area of genius. If you’re not doing what you’re best at, you’re not going far fast. And just as there are bookkeepers and accountants … Continue Reading

How Is a List Price Set For a Book?

I was recently asked the question, “How do you set a list price for a book?” Sometimes our authors want their books to sell at a certain price, mostly because they want to make the book affordable for readers. And that’s definitely an important goal to keep in mind. But a list price isn’t something you can just pull out of thin air. There’s actually a formula you need to keep in mind to make sure you can financially justify the price that’s set. That’s why it’s typically the publisher setting the list price rather than the author. The publisher has key information about production costs that need to be factored into the final price. Understand the Market At Emerald Lake Books, we start by looking at the prices of other books in the genre. From a reader standpoint, if two books on the same topic or of similar interest are both of good quality … Continue Reading