Don’t Hire Me…
I’m aware that most authors don’t want to take a course, build their author platform, figure out advertising or book promotion. They’d much rather buy a book launch package that includes a bunch of guaranteed metrics or results, with a clear, simple checklist and price. In the past, I’ve tried to offer packages like this to authors, but more and more I’ve been shifting to online courses because I cannot be responsible for results unless I can control the whole package.
Recently I made a series of videos talking through the book promotion packages I’ve offered in the past, why they don’t work and why I’m reluctant to offer them, while also stumbling around and trying to find something I can actually offer that I feel confident will work for you.
This may be an insurmountable challenge.
Mainly, as I preach in all of my nonfiction books and courses, you need to focus on the product and the conversion.
1. I can help pull out the heart of your book, find your readers, and figure out how to talk about your book in an attractive way (blurb). But I can’t invent an audience or convince a bunch of strangers why they should read your book when they just don’t want to. And, unless I’m doing co-writing, even if I did an extensive developmental edit to point out red flags, I can’t guarantee that anybody will read and enjoy your book.
2. I can help you design the right, attractive, professional cover that’s going to get clicks and shares (cover). This is insanely important and can easily triple your conversion, but most authors get it wrong or already have a cover and aren’t interested in a new one; with the wrong cover, nothing I do will help you sell more books.
3. You need reviews. Verified, authentic reviews from people who actually enjoyed your book. I can build an ARC reader list, set up an optin page or autoresponder series or review team for you of interested readers; I can organize a free book blast and get a few thousand downloads, but I can’t guarantee *any* number of book reviews (and anyone who can is cheating, and you could get your account banned).
Until those three boxes are checked, we can’t even begin to talk about promotion or marketing. And if I took your money while ignoring those 3 issues, I’d have a guilty conscience. BUT it’s also unfair of me to judge or condemn your book when readers might love it, or assume it won’t be successful just because I don’t see the benefits in it; and it’s also not fair for me to refuse money when people want to pay me for help.
So I have been trying to figure out what a legitimate book launch service would look like, and what I could offer, and what I could promise. It would have to be comprised of simple, measurable, deliverable files – rather than ongoing, forever issues. I abhor book formatting because the manuscript is never ready and a simple 2-hour design job can easily turn into months of back and forth with authors. I feel similarly about book cover design but I enjoy it and I know I can out-design any “boutique” or vanity press or author publishing packages.
I can also, uniquely, without competition, identify major issues with your writing, organization, or content and suggest how to fix it; I can figure out who you audience is and how to read them; and dream up innovative ways to reach, entice, and create positive change or value; I can figure out how to get your book to show up and be recommended when people are talking about books in your genre – I can do all of these things and help make your book more successful.
If nothing else, I hope I can stop you from spending $$$ on some other book promo, email blast, or advertising that is doomed to fail because you haven’t figure out your targeting and your core offer (the three things above) and your book doesn’t convert, at least not in a way that makes it profitable to keep investing in it.
But it takes a lot of time and effort for me, and still may not produce the results you want for you, which is why I feel uncomfortable charging what I need to (even though it’s worth it) because I have an accurate estimation of potential results… which generally leads me to feeling guilty and doing a ton of extra work for free, often losing money on high ticket offers, not to mention peace of mind.
Where does this leave us?
I made two hours of video talking through all of this stuff and what I don’t offer, then tried to summarize it in a “short” 30 minute video (above). You don’t have to watch it all, but basically this:
- $997 is already a reasonable price just to fix your conversion: review, research, fix, position, package – because nobody else in the world can do it as well as me, which means you launch well without wasting thousands of dollars on fixable mistakes. This would basically be a “consulting” fee – although I may also build or set up some things for you.
- I would also skim your book to find great shareable content that can be turned into teasers, excerpt graphics and blog posts, and then feature them on my websites (which are more established – building a “silo” of valuable backlinks boosting your blog, book and main platform); this may also include a very pretty and high conversion landing page.
- I would figure out your best email optin offer and help set up and grow your email list so you have enough potential readers that you can offer advanced reader copies to build your book reviews (I can’t guarantee actual reviews, and you should be skeptical of anyone who can).
- I’d optimize your Amazon page and book listing so it converts; figure out your keywords and categories and metadata and SEO.
- At this point, I’d already be straining the limits of what I’m willing to do for $997 – but it’s all high value stuff. After that, once you have a high conversion Amazon page, then we could start talking about visibility.
- Optionally, after you’ve got some reviews, know your audience, and have a finely-tuned pitch, the fastest and most direct way to sales is through Amazon and Facebook ads, which I could help you set up and manage (but you would pay the adspend costs, up to a budget you’re comfortable with) – we would basically do a hard push, targeting the right audiences and books, to make sure your also-boughts are clean and Amazon is learning who to show your book to (ideally, so that when the ads turn off, the book keeps selling; OR – if we can advertise profitably, you can decide to just let them run.
Those are some of the things I offer in my Guerrilla Publishing course, which comes with an additional year of weekly coaching so you can ask me anything whenever you get stuck.
Online Course + Mentorship
You’ll get my complete step-by-step system to publishing bestsellers, personal help and feedback, and some done for you services (if you need a little less help, you can join the basic program for $39 a month, but if you need my full attention, join at the $997 level and we can get started.
Here’s some other stuff I can help you with:
Ashamed of your website?
Did you know agents and publishers will check out your author platform before offering you a publishing deal? Will yours embarrass you? Get a total branded author website and social platform that will get you a book deal.
Website design is a pain, especially because most authors want something that expresses their soul, rather than something simple and functional which will actually boost credibility and sell books. So I’m making some landing page templates for authors.
Have a good book and a stack of rejection letters?
Tired of submitting to agents? Don’t let your creative dream die! Our PROVEN literary services will quickly fix the core issues with your book and allow your writing to shine… GUARANTEED.
This would include critiquing the synopsis and outline, finding the hook and pitch, and editing the query letter and first three chapters (agents sometimes ask for the first 50 pages). I stopped editing years ago but this would be something I enjoy that would also be higher value than just the editing. (I’m a great editor, but it’s frustrating to edit a book when the author’s in charge – focusing on the commercial aspect, what this book needs in order to be SELLABLE – is more attractive for me and valuable for authors). Check out our manuscript critique and query editing services HERE.
Wrestling with a story idea that just won’t come together?
Losing the battle to procrastination and self-doubt? Get unstuck! Our plot doctoring services will fix your saggy middle and leave readers surprised and delighted with the thrilling twists. With a clearly structured outline, you’ll be EXCITED about working on your book again.
I LOVE outlining. Coming up with plot twists and events is my favorite thing to do (actually drafting is harder for me). And a lot of authors get stuck somewhere in the middle, don’t know what happens next, which sucks up the enthusiasm for the project – lots of good books die somewhere in the middle. I’ve seen other services like this for $200ish, but I have a PhD in Literature and I focus on commercial books, which means my help is valuable. I can help turn a mediocre book or story into a great one, and I can do it before you waste months writing a less powerful version.
Check out our outline critique and plot doctor service HERE.
Want to build an email list of raving fans?
When books don’t sell it’s often because the author has no fans – building an email list BEFORE you launch your book can get you 50+ guaranteed reviews, and is the most powerful long term marketing.
But how do you grow your list, what do you write them about, how do you get them to like and trust you? My “Reader Seduction 101” course will help you get your first 1000 subscribers FAST.
Got a good book that’s not selling (and you’ve already tried everything?)
It’s not your fault! You’re a writer, not a marketer. The good news is, you can quickly get your book selling by fixing a few external details. Our Book Transfusion services will give your book a facelift, and pump new life into your sales – with no marketing!
This is a total author platform audit, including blurb revision and keyword research. If necessary, I’ll include a fresh book cover as well. If your book isn’t selling and you’re not sure why, I can help!
Check out our author platform audit HERE
Creative Independence Consult
I’ve been giving out free advice to authors, artists and entrepreneurs for several years. During that time I’ve been building businesses, starting websites, raising my prices, publishing books and growing my platform. Although I’m pretty good at nearly all aspects of building a creative business, I’ve recently discovered the area where I really excel. I often tell people things like “Get started – it’s so easy! You just pick a name, buy a domain, pick a WordPress theme and start writing!”
If I’m with them, I can take out a notepad, consolidate their idea and brainstorm it into a powerful brand name and the perfect tagline. I can isolate the ideal focus (which is a blend of their core passion and the subject that others value enough to make it profitable). In minutes I can build a masterful one year business plan for quick growth, dream up innovative ways to market and promote, offer book titles or products or events that will sell well and explode your platform. I can jot down 10 powerful headlines that will drive viral traffic.
I can do all these things because I’m a creative rebel & literary scholar, and because I’ve gained experience going through this process hundreds of times already, and because I truly love it. It’s my favorite thing to do in the world. It’s gotten really easy for me, which is why I’ve assumed anybody could do it.
But I’ve realized recently that very few people can.
Everybody will tell you to choose a powerful brand name, target the precise subject that makes you unique and memorable, tell your personal story in an epic way… but they couldn’t actually help you to do it, and on your own you may flounder or procrastinate for a year and still have trouble concentrating your skills or values into a profitable lifestyle business.
And if you email me with questions or seeking advice, I’ll probably help you anyway for free.
But if you want my full attention and need a chunk of my time (which I don’t like to share, because I’m working on exciting projects of my own) you can get personal feedback and support by joining one of my courses or booking a CIC.
Creative Independence Consult: $997
$997 will get you a CIC – a Creative Independence Consult. First, we’ll talk on the phone so I can get a sense of your goals and vision. I’ll take a look at everything you’re doing, all the projects you’ve made, all the products you’re selling and tell you how to improve them. If I can do an easy design overhaul I will. I’ll give you a specific, multi-layered business plan for growth, with a bunch of action steps, and help you achieve them. I’ll also spend up to 4 hours brainstorming for you, researching opportunities, possibly creating guest posts to promote you (or telling you how/where you should do them), building viral content if applicable, or improving your website or sales copy.
Keep in mind you’re mostly renting me for my breathtaking creative superiority: I can solve problems and generate brands and play with words and envision a successful future for you better than anyone else in the world. I won’t be making your a book cover (I may do a quick reboot that will significantly boost sales, but I won’t give you as much control as I allow my real clients). I won’t build you a website (though we can discuss options). although I can help you get started and set it up. But I will help you focus, clarify, and get started.
I’m putting this offer up because I know how valuable it is and how many people need it, but I’ll also be writing a few guides and ebooks soon that will walk you through the process (you’ll get a basic version if you sign up to my list). Honestly, I prefer writing everything down once, making DIY templates, or recording video tutorials so that you can do things yourself and I can keep happily working on my own exciting projects, but I’m leaving this offer up – it’s limited to three people per month.
Read some of my content, books and guides before you decide anything; and I have cheaper courses that include feedback on specific things like cover design or your author platform. Consulting like this would be a last option if you’re really stuck getting started. I’ll help you focus, and build a creative, income-generating business that turns your life into a thrilling adventure.
Need help with your book?
I’ve stopped offering book design so I can help more people, while reserving more time for my own projects.
INSTEAD, I’ll be building online courses that include several months of personal feedback, advice and help. For example, if you join my Guerrilla Publishing Program, you’ll not only get advice and feedback on how to sell your books, you’ll also get a huge amount of video tutorials, book design templates, tools for growing your email list and more – and we won’t have to try and cram everything into just an hour (long-term motivation and productivity is more important, and it’s hard to learn everything in a short amount of time).
I genuinely believe you’ll get more value for less money by joining my courses, but if you really *have* to talk with me directly, that can be arranged.
If you’re not interested in publishing books, but are interested in starting an online creative business yourself, I’ll be working on some books and courses for you soon – in the meantime make sure you sign up to my list for my free email series on providing value and creating work that matters.
Need custom book design and formatting?
I still take a limited number of clients at www.creativindiecovers.com.
Want to DIY your book design?
You can make your own professional book covers and avoid common mistakes that kill sales with my package of book cover design templates! For a limited time, you can upgrade to the Epic Book Design package and get interior book formatting templates and my course on book marketing for free!
More stuff to help you publish
You can also check out my main book cover design site, or my blog Creativindie.com where I help authors and artists produce and sell their best work. If you’re looking for a book editor, check out www.bookbutchers.com.
What do I know, anyway?
I used to be a fine artist and philosopher. Now I write and publish fiction and non-fiction and make a living as a writer. I’ve started several six-figure companies, and now make several hundred dollars a day in passive income. I’ve built dozens of websites and side projects, designed over a thousand books, and have over a decade of experience with branding and online marketing.
I’ve also gotten well over 100,000 email subscribers, though every few months I cut my list down to only the most engaged subscribers. I even have a PhD in Literature (my graduate theses are on Harry Potter and Paradise Lost) and my wife and I travel the world full-time, working on projects we love and seeking out new adventures. A few years ago we got featured in CNN for renting a castle. I’ve enjoyed speaking at over a dozen publishing and business conferences as an “indie publishing specialist.”
Let my decade of experience save you time and money.
You can totally do all this stuff on your own. I did. But it took me ten years of constant effort (I’m older than I look!)
Do you have ten years to spare, or do you want to see results now?
Over the past few years I’ve put hundreds of hours into building templates, tutorials and resources for authors and small businesses, but at the end of the day it’s hard to do everything right, if you’re doing it for the first time. And it needs to be just right or you won’t see results. With all this competition, “pretty good” isn’t good enough.
A quote I heard somewhere that has always stuck with me is, “There’s always room at the top.”
Most people get lost in the middle of their journey, overwhelmed by the burden of trying to figure everything out at once. But if you’re one of those few people who get it, and do everything right the first time, you’ll be above the competition and find a space where the money comes easily.
PS. Click here to learn more about me. Don’t forget I have TONS of free resources – look for the free books and courses in the menu!