Keynote Speaker: B. Alan Bourgeois
Every seat was occupied at the November 18th meeting, where we welcomed Austin author and marketing guru B. Alan Bourgeois. Following the business session which included election of new Board members, Kim Black handed the gavel over to our 2018 President, Mike Akins. There were many announcements from members about upcoming books and new projects. The creative energy and can-do attitude of Amarillo area writers is always inspiring.
Mr. Bourgeois is the founder and director of Texas Authors, Inc. and assists writers through his company Bourgeois Media & Consulting (BMC). "The arts is not something that most people are encouraged to pursue," Alan said. "Our parents meant well but most of our creative outlets was blocked."
In today's publishing environment, authors no longer need to consider whether to publish or not. With so many options available for writers, the reality is to ask the question "How to Publish?" Finding the right option for your work is key to successfully selling your books.
There are about 8400 published authors in this state. With over 50,000 new titles being published on Amazon every month, authors are face with impossible task of being noticed. Alan founded Texas Authors Inc to help Texas authors market themselves. We watched an inspirational music video by X Ambassadors, "Renegade", which shows people facing insurmountable odds without considering their limitations. Here's a link to watch the video.
There are three main types of publishing options for authors today: traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing.
The Big 5 traditional publishers have altered their focus. When you look at the new releases today, the main question is 'who does the author know'. Traditional publishing has become very public press oriented. Politicians, celebrities and people with high visibility are awarded book deals, not first-time novelists. The main question is not so much as to the quality or content of the work, but how many social media followers do they already have. You give up total control of your work for a small percentage of the profits when you choose a traditional publishing deal.
Hybrid publishers offer a portion of the services than the traditional route, and you can retain some control. For example, you might pay for editing, cover design, and marketing options. If your are complete control freak, and have the dollars to spend, then self-publishing is the perfect option for you.
Research your book. Does the story you wrote have an audience? Look at everything in regards to your content, cover design, target market and compare it to other books that are similar. Does this fit what you intended?
You must practice and know the sales pitch/synopsis for your book. Briefly, in 30 seconds using one to two sentences that relates to the back cover copy, describe your book. Alan discussed book reviews and the importance of having an email for business. "Set-up an email for authorship and your books. Keep it active and keep it alive," he told us.
Marketing renegade style, is doing whatever it takes to get people's attention. Marketing is 1) promotion of a product, 2) the ability to get someone to want that product, and 3) getting someone to buy your product. Alan described some of the new and unique services Texas Authors Inc offers its members.
"There are so many ways to promote your book. Think outside the box," Alan encouraged us to, "be the renegade that you are." We ended the workshop with a sing-along, as a second playing of "Renegade" was shown with lyrics provided.
It's our time to make a move
It's our time to make amends
It's our time to break the rules
And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we're renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Leaving like we're renegades
(Renegade by X Ambassadors)
Thanks to Mr. Beorgeois for a very energizing and inspiring morning!