Sunday, August 31, 2014

Presentation: "How to Build Your Author Platform One Step at a Time"

September 9, 2014 - 6:30 pm - Tampa, Fl. 
How did I go from an unknown, self-published, first time book author to becoming a well known, respected published author in less than two years, selling hundreds of books and speaking around the country?

First, I needed a plan. 
Secondly, I needed to set new goals for myself and third, I needed to develop my Author Platform.

I figured I had pretty good idea of how the book publishing industry worked. In my past life, I worked in the NY music industry with such artists as John Denver, Lee Holdridge, and the Starland Vocal Band, to name a few. Simple, I thought. While working at Cherry Lane, our artists would write and submit their songs to me for copyright.  I handle the licensing and administration on a world-wide basis.  (We did not have CD's back then or computers).  I learned the workings of the royalty department and WOW, was I impressed with those huge checks!

My assumption was the same when I finished writing the original manuscript on my mother's biography based upon her personal journal that she wrote when she was in Country Service Camp (Landjahr Lager).  She grew up in Austria before WW2. In 1938, it was mandatory that she join the girls division of the Hitler Youth called the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM).

Years had passed since I left Cherry Lane and until "Through Innocent Eyes" was published on Nov. 20, 2012, exactly twenty-three years on the anniversary of my mother's passing.  Boy, have things changed in the publishing world!

I knew that once I received a contract with a publisher they would handle all the work for me. In turn, I would become an overnight success, just like John Denver!  Simple, I thought.  I sent the manuscript to the publisher. In turn, they copyrighted and published the book.  All I had to do now was to wait for those huge royalty checks to start rolling in. I waited and waited, and then, the BIG DAY finally arrived!   

I treasured this moment, holding the precious white envelope in my hand.  I thought about my mother.  I thought about the past 23 years and what it took for me to research, write and invest the thousands of dollars to print my book. I wondered how much money was inside the envelope. I wonder how many books I sold.  Am I going to have enough money to pay off my house, buy a new car, and maybe, even move into one of those fancy gated, deed-restricted communities where every house has a pool?  (I live in Florida and a pool is mandatory. Something I do not have).

As I slowly opened the envelope I was dreaming of all the things I can do with my first royalty check.  I imaged myself on stage receiving an Academy award for "Best Film of the Year,” and being recognized as a “New York Times Bestselling Author.”  My imaginary acceptance speech included thanking God and my mother first and foremost, then, my family, friends, publisher, director, producer, and the cast and crew.  This is what I long waited for and at last, the moment has arrived!

I removed the check from the envelope and looked at the amount.  I blinked my eyes once, then twice.  I removed my glasses, rubbed my eyes, and looked again.  Can this possibly be right? I thought to myself.  Really?  Is this all that it is? I said to myself out loud.  What happened to the million dollar first royalty check I was suppose to receive just like John did on his first royalty check with “Take Me Home Country Roads?”

I instantly knew  that at I had to make a plan, go outside of my comfort zone, and figure out how first time authors became well know New York Times Bestselling authors with a movie to their name.

Now, I am selling hundreds of copies of my book and being invited to speak.  I am proud to say that I have moved from the self-publishing, pay the publisher world, and into the professional book publishing industry, receiving royalties from the publisher, world.

I look forward to meeting you at the Aspiring Writers Publishing and Marketing Meet Up group on Sept. 9, 2014, 6:30 pm, and discussing your goals, plan, and author platform with you! 


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