Will a book really make clients call you?

Welcome to the first “Book Buster” post. The place where I call out unethical or misleading promotions, activities and information in business practices and the publishing industry, so hopefully you won’t fall into “easy button” traps.

I got this promotion for a webinar in my Inbox yesterday:

You know the advantages of having a book published. The increased branding awareness, the increased demand, the increased PR opportunities… Not to mention the authority status in your marketplace.

But you know the real big benefit? Customers come to you. Not the other way around.

Not having a book means you have to hunt for customers. And it’s hard.

Want them to call you and demand to work with you? Watch the rocking webinar here: [link]

He shows us how you can get your book professionally produced, published and printed in just 30 days!

OK so at first glance that looks like your typical promotion for a webinar, right? But I have a problem with it. A BIG problem. This guy is making promises he can’t possibly keep. Let’s break it down:

First, he talks about the advantages of having a book published, all of which are true. BUT the “real big benefit” is arrogant. As a real expert in the publishing industry with dozens of successful clients, I know for a FACT that you still have to work to get clients. Just having a book show up on Amazon.com will not guarantee your phone to ring. You have to market it, and market yourself as an expert on your topic. And I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that takes work.

Yes, hunting for customers is hard, and yes, having a book will increase your credibility and open more doors for you. But there’s no such thing as “Customers come to you. Not the other way around.” Customers aren’t going to flock to your door just because you have a book! You’re still going to have to, God forbid, get off your butt and do some legwork to find them. If anything, you’re going to have to work hard to let people know you even have a book. They’re not going to know unless you tell them!

Then this guy goes on to say you can get your book professionally produced, published and printed in just 30 days. This is partially true. If you want to skip the important process of editing and a professional book designer who is good enough to compete in the traditional space, then yes, the rest of the process can be done in 30 days. But you’ll be stressing out yourself and your team to make it happen in that short amount of time, and you’re bound to make mistakes along the way. In fact, you’ll probably do a lot of things wrong and end up with an unprofessional book that’s only going to sell to your current clients, friends and family.

A realistic timeline for the editing, design and production of your book is 60-90 days. Three months is standard, and we have been known to put books together in about 45 days, but they came to us fully complete and needed very little editing (or they were edited prior to us getting them).

It takes our editors anywhere from a week to a month to properly edit a manuscript, depending on the depth of the editing. Then it takes our cover designers about a week to put together initial concepts (which can be done while the book is being edited) and we always have to wait on you, the author, to get back to us with revisions, changes, etc., which rarely happens overnight. Then believe it or not, the interior layout actually takes a minimum of two weeks to complete. So we’re at just past 30 days here already. Then you have to proof the book, let us know of any revisions, etc.

Then we send the book to print – and the printer guarantees you will see a proof within a week, unless there are problems with the files (our files rarely encounter problems, but if you supply your own they almost always have issues).  We’re getting closer to that 45-day mark. Then if you have no revisions after seeing the proof, which happens with one out of every 10 books, it takes about a week to two weeks to receive your first order of books. We’re just past the 45-day mark.

If you want a book that’s going to compete with traditionally published books, you must take the time to do it right. Traditional publishers work on books for 18 months, so 3 months is nothing! Things like the above are “easy buttons” that only lead to disappointment. And I for one am sick of seeing authors get frustrated with the process because they were promised an easy button and delivered something else entirely. I’m also sick of seeing authors put out crap just to have it out there fast. Remember, everything you do is a reflection on your credibility. Put out fast, cheap crap and people will not expect quality from you. Take the time to do it right, and you’ll attract higher quality clients.

To discover your real publishing options, step-by-steps and pros and cons of each one, check out my free video workshop: www.ArtOfPublishing.com

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