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ISBN #

7 Oct

I recently caught a little problem for an author that I hadn’t seen before — “ISBN #” — which preceded the ISBN on the copyright page of his book. While I’ve heard many people say “ISBN number,” I’d never seen it in print.

ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number,” so having the number sign follow it is like saying “International Standard Book Number number.” I realize people do this all the time with “PIN number” and “VIN number,” but as author-publishers, we should have a higher level of awareness and usage of our industry’s terminology. And people have less tolerance for mistakes in writing versus those in speech.

In this particular case, the author-publisher is very intelligent, educated, and experienced in publishing, so I know this was a slip of attention rather than an error of ignorance. And that’s all the more reason for all of us to keep an eye on our works; none of us is immune from an “unprofessional” publishing mistake.

Write Once, Sell Often

23 Sep

As you’re developing your content, or are looking for ways to make money from what you’ve already written, keep in mind: “Write once, sell often.” This phrase (that I borrowed from publishing expert Paulette Ensign) is a reminder that we authors need to use and re-use our material as much as possible, the concept of “leveraging.”

Too many authors (and I have to fight from falling into this trap as well) become enamored with many different pursuits, writing on various and sundry, unrelated topics. Others write book after book, without getting the most out of each one. It’s a better strategy to maximize your income streams from each piece, however big or small, you write.

This means your manuscript could be made available  in the following formats: paperback, hardback, audio, e-book, video, booklet or mini-book, and a web book (interactive combination of book and website). Additionally, your manuscript can be chopped into pieces for articles, subscription email delivery, Twitter tips, Facebook updates, blog entries, and more. Now, you see why the phrase is “write once, sell often.”

Of course, not all of these avenues will be income-producing in themselves; however, they all will contribute to raising awareness of your body of work and generating virtual footsteps to the focal point of your work (most likely your website). And these footsteps ultimately lead indirectly to income.