Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting the Most From Your Book Production Team

Any successful published author knows that you can’t do it all yourself. It takes a team to create a top-notch book. You want a book that is well written, expertly edited, divinely designed, and professionally printed. Beyond that, you need professionals who will help you promote your book and repurpose it into an audio book, a speech, a presentation, or other information products to help you leverage your personal or professional brand. That’s a lot!

Now you see why it’s nearly impossible to produce a book that readers will rave about without the help of a few trusted experts. Finding the right people to help produce your book can be daunting. Building a book production team can be one of the most valuable time investments you can make with your book. There are thousands of choices for any of the above services and more. How do you find the team members you need?
  • Get recommendations from friends or other successful authors
  • Search online for experts in various areas of book publishing
  • Consult a writers group
  • Email me for my list of Preferred Providers in Publishing

Once you have a few people to consider in a particular category, how do you determine which professional is best for you? Here are a few questions to ask any provider:
  • How long have you been in the business? 
  • Do you work with authors in the same genre or literary form (fiction/nonfiction) in which I’m writing? 
  • What is your process for completing a project? 
  • What aspect of what you do, do you enjoy most/least?
  • How many revisions are included?
  • How long do you expect the process to take?
  • Do you have a few references I can contact?

In addition to these questions, you should have some clear objectives for your book project. After all, you're driving this process, so be clear about the following:

  • When you want the project to be complete;
  • How much you have budgeted (Note: Your expenses will occur over time, not all at once, so at least have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend total);
  • How you wish to communicate with your team (phone, email, Skype, text, in-person meetings);
  • What you want the final product to look like, sound like, etc.; and
  • How you will measure success.
Some authors run into the challenge of motivating their team; getting people to deliver on time and to their expectations. Part of getting what you want is knowing what you want. Just as important is knowing what motivates your team: is it money, deadlines, recognition, appreciation, or something else? Once you determine that, you can use those motivators as incentives to help your team "get the lead out" and produce to your expectations for an on-time delivery.

Getting the most from your book production team isn’t magic; it doesn’t take any special skills, other than clarity, focus, intention, and leadership. Your book is your “baby”; it’s your creation. Your team is here to help you produce a book that you’ll be pleased with, that readers will enjoy, and that everyone involved will be proud of.

Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".

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