Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Do Authors Need Book Insurance Or A New Plan?

Have you ever wondered why you had to get auto insurance or homeowners insurance, but not healthcare insurance (pre-Obama)?  And when you used your insurance, you wondered why the premiums went up.  Some insurance you get but feel like it’s not needed (travel, devices).  You may have life insurance but it’s the one policy you really don’t want to cash in.  Should there be book insurance – something to guarantee that your investment of printing and marketing a book doesn’t go to waste?

The insurer would go out of business, because most books are not big money-makers and many self-published authors fall short of breaking even.  And yet, the statistics show that over one million books flood the marketplace each year.

Why publish a book if the chance of a decent return on the investment is quite low? Because books are written not for the money, but the love of words and the sharing of ideas, information, and inspiration.

Sure, we all want to make a buck – or at least avoid losing money – but our passion and purpose rule here.  The book industry is driven not so much by dollars and cents, but more so on creativity, ideology, and desire.  Ego, too.

I think writers should continue to pursue their dreams, and to produce the books they hope others will value and purchase.  But authors, if they are to make writing a successful business venture will need to make a few changes.  These would include the following:

  • Testing ideas before publishing a book.  Query others on your book idea.  Publish a few articles on the subject matter and see what type of reception they receive.
  • Where possible, find a sponsor or investor who can cover your costs and contribute resources to help you get published.
  • Before you strike out on your own, solicit literary agents and book publishers.  Even if they don’t agree to work with you, take their feedback into consideration.
  • Give yourself a chance to succeed by doing things – the right way.  Stick to deadlines and work at marketing and publicity way before pre-launch.  Build up your social media platform, research groups to sell to, schedule book signings, and seek out reviews early enough to get them.
  • Be willing to compromise to meet the needs of the marketplace.  For instance, don’t be so attached to a book title that means something to you but confuses others.  
  • Price your book appropriately.  
  • Where possible, do a shorter book rather than longer.  
  • Be aware of competing titles and make yours unique, better, or different.  
  • Get testimonials from known entities.
Book insurance may not ever exist but you can insure yourself against frivolous pursuits and squandered funds.  Go ahead and write the book you’ve dreamed of, but to avoid it from becoming a financial nightmare, spend the time and effort to do it right, and in some cases, reconsider doing it at all.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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