After hearing Judith present at a breakfast meeting, Phil approached her about an idea to write a book. Listening to his story, she set up a brainstorming session with him about the creation of his book—a book that was basically from scratch via his PowerPoint presentation on his area of expertise. His objective: to create a book that would be used as a “stamp” for his expertise in a niche market.
The unique SOURCE mapping was used to identify all aspects of the book, Phil and his business. Within the process, his distinctive skills and interests spilled forth, allowing for the expansion of his initial vision and concept and subsequent market strategy. Hidden markets and factors were recognized that would not only improve the readability of his forthcoming book, but guaranteed his success. A slight hiccup was unearthed where it was determined that a little extra side-coaching was needed to support the completion of his book.
Joye was initially referred by another Shepherd client. She had self-published via print on demand (POD) a book that she was promoting, and selling, on her website. Its lack of sales that she had envisioned were beginning to erode her confidence.
During the first session, the big picture was strategized. As a result, she has revamped the first book, making it far more attractive, readable and professional looking vs. the “drop it in a template and print it when needed” approach.
An additional manuscript for a second book (and third) was created from that first session which expanded her initial big picture—cover design, the perfect layout, and printing format. Joye’s bonus was that we eliminated the gap between what she thought her vision was and gave her a seamless, highly professional, readable book and brand.
Successful books don’t just happen by themselves. They need a plan … a platform. Rhonda had neither… it was clear that she was going nowhere fast. Over-extended, tired, frustrated and with money misspent, learning how to prioritize; creating a more compelling and succinct vision; discarding poorly designed material; and focus was urgently needed.
Time management was one of the first items highlighted on her Book Action Plan, followed by speaking on her book. If it wasn’t in the Plan, it didn’t get done. Abandoning time wasters—including hours on the phone and Facebook, Rhonda began to focus immediately on targeting her markets. Soon she had a top notch presentation, was listed on a national speaker’s list and found her life began to balance as she morphed into a new life style, that of a successful author.
One way to find yourself under the umbrella of The Book Shepherd is through Author U. Barb showed up at an Author U meeting on cover design and by the end of the meeting was talking book consultation. Like many authors, she had several directions her book could go and in Barb’s case: a couple of underdeveloped books, memoir or how-to book? One or two books? What?
Questions are more abundant than answers for many authors. Barb needed shepherding through the publishing process. Cover design which complimented her series of book ideas, consulting and current business identity was a must. During the initial consultation, it became clear that she had national appeal, perhaps even TV opportunities. But, she needed a highly polished, professional book that snapped the readers’ attention. Working with our team of experts, she has a book that captures her compelling story, expertise and showcase personality.
And TV? It’s coming … she’s been approached to create a reality show based on her outgoing personality, creativeness and expertise in a topic that reaches out to millions.
Lynn thought she had a vision and also a manuscript for her book. It was clear she had the vision … the manuscript, though, needed a major overhaul—radical surgery—to get it anywhere near what could be a publishable format that was professional and represented her amazing expertise and skills. A successful doctor who enjoyed a national reputation in her field and headed a highly successful practice, she wanted her book to transition her into the next, next level.
What was the next, next level? A successful best-selling book and expansion in her field as the “go-to” consultant and speaker, taking her to a variety of international engagements.
What’s a book look like that has “achieved?”
To Lynn, it meant sales that would cover all her costs in a short period of time; it meant national recognition; it meant having a “buzz” with others actively promoting her book; it meant creating a brand that was instantly recognized within her field—both with patients and professionals; and it meant being sought after as a presenter at conferences and consulting.
What it meant … happened. Within a couple of months, sales exceeded her expenses (they were high); it meant appearance on local and national media; it meant numerous mentions and recommendations in blogs and recommended reading lists; it meant being honored with book awards; it meant requests to speak and consult; and it meant learning how to live with the mantle of being a successful author and all its trimmings. A few years later, other books surfaced and were published.
Jim found The Book Shepherd at a publishing conference. Approaching them, he confessed that he thought he had the wrong publisher. Knowing the reputation of who he had signed with, we knew he was correct. He was able to break the contract and connected with another, again running into roadblocks left and right.
Coming into our offices, we helped negotiate a severance with the second; worked with him on creating a game plan, brought in editors, cover and interior designers and re-launched the entire process. At his first book signing, he sold 250 books at $27 each—more than enough to cover the cost of his print run. Full price, immediate payment, no returns–what’s not to like?
Like with all of our authors, Jim and his wife experienced peace of mind and felt that they were finally on the right publishing path.
Sometimes, too often, a book comes to us in trouble. Sometimes the author knows it; sometimes not. As The Book Shepherd, Judith has rescued numerous books at various stages of their impending demise. These authors didn’t get the benefit of Creating, Strategizing, Developing, Publishing or Achieving. What they got was a sizeable hole in their wallets; a mediocre to poor looking/reading book; and a high level of frustration, regrets and some cases, anger.
When this happens, The Book Shepherd kicks into crisis mode. A total rewrite may be necessary; an emergency marketing/PR plan; new cover and interior layouts; or even telling the author that she or he is clueless and they need to slow down and rethink their game plan. Some authors have had to spend multiple back-to-back days in their offices until the book can breathe again. And they do.
Each of the rescued books was lost in the publishing maze. We don’t want that to happen to yours. Call … it will make the difference for book survival or book death.