|Montel and I discuss the Madeleine McCann case|
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But, a good portion of selling authors are not making money due to the brilliance of their word-craft or even tolerably good storytelling; many are mediocre at best, and some are downright abysmal and you wonder how they hell they are selling books by the thousands each day or week while you are struggling to sell one per month. It is this group I want self-pubbed authors to understand so they can realize they are not failing to sell their books because they aren’t good. I also want struggling authors to stop believing a lot of the rot published in anything titled close to “How to Sell Millions of Your Self-Published Book ” or “100 Top Tricks to Get Your Book on the Bestselling List.” Some of the books are making good money off of desperate authors by selling them an illusion (let that author write a book that doesn’t have to do with selling books and watch him crash and burn) and some of them can’t even sell a book about selling books! So at no cost to you at all, no price of a book or a seminar, I will give you the scoop right here. Actually, if I told you the truth in a book or a seminar, no one would invite me back because no one pays for giving out bad news. Not all bad news, but enough bad news that I can’t sell what I have to tell – I am not out to make bucks by shamelessly motivating you with bullshit. Okay, so how do authors sell books?
Well,let’s take a moment to examine authors who are lucky enough to get an agent (I have been fortunate enough to have four and very happy with my present literary agent, Claire Gerus, who just got me my two last book deals) and that agent gets you a publishing deal with the average advance (read: small). If you want to make really great sales, you have got to get in the front of the bookstore. You need to have your book cover facing out in a nice column on a front rack with a poster next to it. If your book is displayed at the entrance with pomp and circumstance, your publisher is guaranteeing you to make a shitload of cash on your book and they are paying, yes, paying for that prime real estate. But, if your publisher gave you a small advance, he isn’t spending a fortune on a bad gamble, so no front-of-bookstore for you. You can be confident, as crap, if you are not Dan Brown or another hot selling author or an industry insider who saw more than five zeros on their advance check (not counting those with a decimal point in between), your book is not going to be there. It is going to be on the back shelves with the other tens of thousands of books serving as wallpaper for the front runners. Yes, there are a few slightly cheaper paid spots in a bin near the front of the store or on the ends of the racks that might make you a few dollars, but don’t hold your breath that those spots are going to throw you onto The New York Times Bestseller list.
(disclaimer: Not all publishers and publicists follow these general rules, certainly no one I work with).
Finally, a self-help book for aspiring authors that will save them money rather than scam them out of it. Criminal Profiler Pat Brown, author of seven books, takes writers on a sometimes funny, often surprising, but always honest journey through the world of publishing books, both traditional and self-published, and the confusing world of literary agents and book publicists. Always straightforward and blunt, this no-bull book is the kind of information writers need to navigate through the tricky waters of getting one's book published and publicized, what to do and what not to do and, most of all, how not to lose your mind, money, and self-worth in the process.
ONLY THE TRUTH now available for only $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!
About the Author
Pat Brown is a nationally known criminal profiler and television commentator. She is the CEO of The Sexual Homicide Exchange and president of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. Having made over two thousand television and radio appearances in the United States and worldwide, Pat Brown is well known for her crime commentary and for her profiling and forensic analysis. She can be seen regularly on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, NBC, and CBS, and is a frequent guest of Nancy Grace, Dr. Drew, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Inside Edition, and The Today Show, Pat Brown was the host and profiler for the 2004 Discovery Channel documentary, The Suspicious Death of Cleopatra and the 2010 Discovery Channel "Mystery Files" in which she revealed a new Jack the Ripper suspect. Pat Brown is also the author of "Killing for Sport: Inside the Minds of Serial Killers" (Phoenix Books 2008), The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths (Hyperion Voice 2010), and the upcoming How to Save Your Daughter's Life (HCI Sept 2012), and The Murder of Cleopatra (Prometheus Feb 2013).