The Key Principles Behind Successfully Marketed Books
Friday, January 31, 2020
Interview with the Founder of Emerald Lake Books
Tara R. Alemany is the founder of , a boutique hybrid publishing company. She is also a multi-award-winning author and speaker, as well as a serial entrepreneur. (She started her first company more than 30 years ago at the age of 19.) The combination of her extensive business experience and writing skills enabled her to create a unique publishing company that blends coaching and publishing to help her authors successfully use their books to build their business or brand.
1. Tara, as the publisher of Emerald Lake Books, what have you seen to be the formula for success as a hybrid book publisher?
A wise man once told me that there is a market for every business. It’s just a matter of making sure that your ideal client knows you exist. It’s the same when it comes to publishing. Authors have options these days. They can work with a traditional publisher, self-publish or work with a hybrid publisher. There’s no single right answer. But each publishing model has its pros and cons. As an author, it’s your responsibility to match up the needs of you and your book with the publishing model that’s the best solution for you. A reputable, high-quality hybrid publisher is the perfect solution for an author who wants to use a book as part of the marketing of their business or brand. We provide the author with more creative control and a shorter timeline to publication, while providing professional services that reflect well on the author and their brand.
2. What kind of books/genres do you look for? Why?
In our experience, books that target a niche market are the best. It’s easier for an author to connect with the reader because they can be very clear about who they are writing for and what issue the reader is trying to solve. So often, an author writes what they are passionate about. Words tumble onto the page, eager to be helpful. However, if the author doesn’t have a clear picture of who their ideal reader is, there can be a disconnect between what the reader is looking for and what the author has written—not because the author isn’t knowledgeable enough, but because the information wasn’t organized the way the reader needed to process it in order to achieve the desired effect. But when you write with a specific reader in mind, the connection between the reader’s needs and the book’s proffered solution can be made much more easily.
3. What inspired you to pen Publish with Purpose: A Goal-Oriented Framework for Publishing Success?
As Emerald Lake Books developed as a brand, we created a coaching program for our authors that prepares them for the release, launch and long-term marketing of their book. Our authors repeatedly keyed in on certain exercises that helped them the most, not just with their book, but with the vision they had for their business and author brand. These exercises helped them get clear on who they wanted to work with, what they had to offer, and why they were doing it. But it also helped them identify what made them unique and set them apart from the competition. Sharing some of our program helps other authors in their own writing journey while improving the quality of books being published. But it also allows us to showcase what makes us different as a publisher and invites those who are interested to explore working with us.
4. What advice do you have for the struggling writer?
Often, when we sit down to write, we think about what we want to say. Instead, if you think about your ideal reader and what it is they need to hear, it takes the pressure off. It’s easier to answer a question than to write a monologue. So, ask yourself the questions they might have. How would you respond to them? Start writing there. The rest will flow. I would also recommend finding a trusted group of people who are willing to critique your work for you. That might mean joining a local writers’ group or finding or creating your own critique group, but being able to share and receive writing critiques is a powerful way to improve your writing, even if it’s someone else’s work being reviewed.
5. What mistakes do many writers make when putting their book together?
Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, there is a “story arc” to follow. Sometimes, it seems that it’s easier for fiction authors to keep that arc in mind. Yet nonfiction authors need to pay attention to it too. Nonfiction authors take their readers on a journey. So, it’s important that you start at the beginning, where they currently are. Describe where they’re going to go and what they can anticipate along the way, so that they’re prepared for the journey. Then tell them how to get there, instructing them along the way with the key pieces of information they need to reach their intended final destination. And once they get there, remind them of how far they’ve come and how much fun it was to reach their new destination. When we remember that the reader is our audience, it makes for much more compelling material.
6. How can authors get to identify or know who their ideal reader is – and how to market to him or her?
There are many ways to identify your ideal reader; too many to cover here unfortunately. But I’ll touch briefly on a couple. Sometimes, it’s simply picking a specific family member or friend who you know would benefit from or enjoy what you’re writing, and then writing specifically for them. I did that with one of my books, The Best is Yet to Come. Or if you’re writing about how to do a specific thing or solve a particular problem, ask yourself who has that problem? Jot down some defining character traits for them. This is where writing for a niche market comes in handy. When you have an ideal reader in mind, everything you write, from the book to your marketing copy, becomes more conversational and targeted. It’s easier for the reader to determine whether you’re addressing them or not, so they can appropriately self-select. “Yes, I’m part of that audience.” Or, “No, that’s not me at all.”
7. What is “goal-oriented publishing”?
Goal-oriented publishing is the methodology we developed for publishing our books. For every book that’s written, there are essentially three goals that need to be considered for the book to be a success. The first two are straight-forward, but the last is a bit more esoteric.
1. What was the reader’s goal when they opened the book and started to read?
2. What was the author trying to accomplish for their business or brand by writing the book?
3. What impact is the book intended to have?
When we write, our words are far-reaching. They can change the life of someone we will never meet. And by changing their life, they respond and act differently, creating changes in their own circle of influence. Those ripples of change extend outward, impacting others as they go. While this often happens organically, being able to envision what that would look like often provides the fuel an author needs to press on with the difficult task of marketing their book.
8. Lastly, why do you love about books and working in the book publishing industry?
When I was young, books became my sanctuary. I used stories as a way to escape things that confused me and find friends who would always be there. Yet as I grew, I became more aware that words have both the power to build up or tear down. Since it’s easy to tear things down, I developed a deep appreciation for anyone who strove to build others up. It’s why we emphasize that we work with positive people. We want to work with those who are the problem-solvers, the inspirers, the bridge-builders, encouragers and leaders in our world. It doesn’t matter what genre they write so much as it does the attitude and approach they take to what they’re doing. I love the fact that books permit authors to give the best of who they are. And we get to be a part of helping them do that successfully.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.