I always sit down during December each and every year and decide to accomplish one new thing. As long as I keep it to just one, I can usually keep my resolution . . . at least by the end of the year. So I thought I’d ask PMA members what goals they’d like to achieve in 2005.
As you’ll see, some members’ goals are practical; some are political; some are downright funny. Perhaps within this column, you will find one thing that you can resolve to do–and succeed in doing–for your program in the coming year.
We’ve lived up to last year’s resolutions, but only in the past two months (the year was barely long enough!), to issue five of our print books digitally through Lightning Source and to release new editions of our standard operating procedures books for dentists and doctors. For 2005, I’m zeroing in on How to Plan a Great Second Life–before I slide into my third–by repackaging the content for associations, sponsors, dentists, and other niche groups, as customized book(let)s, speeches, and workbooks, all driving back to www.super-second-life.com and a beefed-up PR program for the second edition of the core book.
Patria Press will double in size this year–which means I will step off the entrepreneurial cliff sans parachute (Dan P. is cringing) and hire my first employee. There comes a time in every business, publishing or otherwise, when you have to either grow or die. Dying is not in my business plan, so I look forward to 2005 as a significant year for expansion of Patria Press and the Young Patriots Series.
Florrie Binford Kichler
To repay the principal to friend-lenders who believed in me and VanderWyk & Burnham, and believed that the topic, the title, and the promotional plans for What Are Old People For? would ensure a successful book campaign.
VanderWyk & Burnham
These are some of the resolutions that I made this year. I wrote them on January 1.
- Teach kids to care for the earth (a reminder to keep our mission in mind).
- Complete our Web site. Maintain, edit, and improve it. Market it.
- Pursue new accounts.
- Prepare manuscript, art, and layout for our next book.
- Keep marketing and marketing.
Trickle Creek Books
My resolution is to create more opportunities for radio and television appearances, and to expand our direct marketing campaign.
Jim Moore, President
The Animal Band Productions, Inc
- To switch from book signings, book fair exhibits, radio shows, and postcard mailings to another form of marketing–giving talks and workshops either on the subject of my books or on the process of writing books.
- To switch to a more active press campaign, spending time writing press releases and op-ed articles and offering my opinion on others’ Web sites–all in an effort to spread the news of the books. This will also entail beginning a blog to draw more visitors to our Web sites.
Hillary Davis Group
To raise prices on all my books for the first time in 20 years, and to do it in such a timely manner that I can coordinate with fulfilling the new ISBN and barcode requirements and meshing with my distributors’ schedules and catalogs.
Bright Ring Publishing
When I was 21, I wrote what I call my “dream cards”–a list of 26 things I wanted to have, do, and accomplish in life. A few of those dreams are: invent something, write a book, earn a degree, teach, build a beautiful home, have and be worthy of a beautiful, intelligent wife I would be totally in love with all my life, have a son and daughter, travel the world, build an international company, and make a contribution to humanity for my gift of life.
Each night I prayed my dreams would come true, and every New Year’ Day I would review my cards, add notes on progress toward each dream, and write “Done ” on those I had accomplished. It was not easy, because I barely got a high school degree. A divorce and personal bankruptcy were part of the process of earning my way to make all my dreams come true.
But starting from nothing, I kept my eye out for ways to make them come true and accomplished all but one. At age 82, I’m devoting the balance of my life to developing a way every human (and every potential terrorist) can uncover that talent and career their genetic instructions best designed them for–an interesting, healthy, purposeful, positive, and contributory life to look forward to.
The story of how I broke down the barriers to make all my “mostly impossible for me” dreams come true, and for my wife too, is told in the biography of my beloved wife, Donna–The Twentieth Century Lady: Donna Lou Seymour’s Contribution to Save Our World–who died of cancer in July 2000.
Donald E. Seymour
Talent Discovery Press
Here is a goal I set for myself, and I have been successful as long as I
have stuck to it: get one new account each week. Just like compound
interest. I have watched my publishing company grow by following this rule.
My New Year’s Resolution is to get and implement more ideas for effectively marketing my new Spanish-language book, which is the Spanish translation of my English book, The SIDS and Infant Death Survival Guide: Information and Comfort for Grieving Family and Friends and Professionals Who Seek to Help Them. I sent copies of the Spanish edition to three Spanish-language distributors and followed up with them, but have not been able to get a yes or no from them. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can market this book? I am desperate for ideas!
SIDS Educational Services Inc.
I started writing my second book more than a year ago. However, I’ve been so busy promoting and selling the first book, My Brand New Leg, that book #2 has been on the back burner. So my resolution is to finish …and His Grandmother Wasn’t Even Dead before next summer and then sell out of the first printing before the end of the year.
Northstar Entertainment Group
One of my resolutions is to form a one-book publishing company, and finish my book. I believe it will help avoid reading failures, and therefore academic failures, in American elementary schools. But first, we will have some serious Thanksgiving turkey to consume!
My publishing goals for 2004 were modest, but they are happening! This is very exciting for me. I decided to begin publishing as a way to maintain control over the creative and business aspects of my books (four of which were published by other firms). It’s a matter of picking away at it. I found that I have had to wear nearly all the hats myself, although I did hire an official editor.
This summer, I reorganized one of my DBAs to include publishing. My first title (SUPERvision SAFETY: The Indoor Child Care Environment by Roberta E. Lonsdale and Susan R. Karp) is nearly ready for the printer as a perfect-bound trade paperback. I participated in the PMA library mailing in August and have received a modest number of orders.
I am pleased that I joined PMA and think it has been a great investment for my business. Thanks!
Technical Editing & Writing
As a growing literary agency, our two primary goals for 2005 are to make more sales for our writers, and to continue to help our writers improve, both in their business acumen and in their writing
Simple and focused activity brings results.
ST Literary Agency
I have already resolved to publish another book, our second, this time a cross-cultural children’s story about the Russian Snow Maiden, with a devious product placement (a matryoshka doll). But I now resolve to heed even more attentively the sage advice of Jan Nathan, Paul Krupin, Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Fern Reiss, and Bill Manns. Respected gurus all.
It has been a very profitable year for us, but as Corinthian Books is a small press (25 titles by 17 authors, $1 million gross), with a small (six-member) core staff, we cannot do everything we want to do without going broke. Therefore, for 2005, we have resolved to do the following (all of which are nuanced versions of previous resolutions and procedures we’ve been developing for years):
1. Maximize our effort to care for and sell through the 20 percent of our bookseller clients who provide 80 percent of our sales, and add more of these high-quality book-selling venues. Our bestselling books are intensively researched biographies of strong Southern women of the nineteenth century (we’re located near historic Charleston, South Carolina). Our best trade book clients are Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks stores; Eastern National, the book buyer for the National Park Service sites; and independent bookstores run as gift shops for museums and historical sites. Just one of our historic-site bookstores sells more books than all our chain bookstores put together–and at 40 percent (bookstore) discount, not 55 percent (Ingram). Such sites are the ones we will concentrate on expanding and developing in 2005.
2. Expand my public speaking to national groups. Fifty percent of my sales (and those of our other authors) comes from back-of-the-room sales–at list price. If I sell 40 books at an event where I am a paid speaker, I earn $1,000-plus additional gross income, as my books list for $24.95 and $29.95. I never give discounts, except when doing a charity fund-raising event. Then, I donate 20 percent of sales to the charity.
3. Expand our library conference/state book-fair presence. State library conferences with their thousands of library buyers look tempting–but even with our location-specific histories and biographies, we’ve never done well with our booths there. The reason: our books are for readers age 30-plus; most of the librarians in attendance are school librarians. In 2005, we’ll have Combined Book Exhibit and Advanced Book Exhibitions display our library titles for us, which will get us 10 times the bang-for-buck exposure that we got from manning a trade show display ourselves.
4. Increasing our state book fair/festival presence. State book fairs sell books, spread your reputation, and enable you to make fabulous media contacts. I have never been a book vendor at a state book fair without getting at least 10 requests to speak, at least four invitations to go on TV shows, and invitations to present at many book clubs.
5. Maximize the number of profitable annual events we attend. Annual events are a dream: after the first year, you know exactly what to do and not do; who buys what; what to bring and not bring; and where to stay and eat–or not (grin). With annual events you build a repeat audience, and those readers tend to become totally devoted to you. Then you just go back and back and back, and the sales grow each year.
The Cote Literary Group
I resolve to call it a day by 11:59 pm. This is just a goal–I haven’t
actually done it yet.
Renee Raab Whitcombe
Budding Family Publishing
I will set aside a certain number of hours each week to explore each and every free/cheap marketing avenue possible. This includes mailings to the kinds of colleges that typically buy our books (their addresses are free from industry publications, and a flyer costs pennies to print on our color printer), posting free information on our Web site and informing our subscribers, and offering our books as prizes for industry-related online contests. These are proven money-makers, but alas, I often get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of office work and neglect these rich sources of sales. May marketing take first place in my thoughts in the coming year.
Many Worlds Productions
Stay sane and happy by really (really!) delegating and sharing my load.
Wordpix Solutions in Print and Online
Here are my top 10 resolutions:
10. Do more of what worked, less of what didn’t.
9. Remember, in all things, you’ll make more on your winners than you’ll lose on your losers.
8. Make time for planning; it’s important to cultivate what fits in the big picture and not get totally consumed by today’s concerns.
7. Comparisons are odious. Do your own thing.
6. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
5. Publishing is essentially a creative process, so open your thoughts to others and realize that valid ideas will only be strengthened by more opinions and honing.
4. Be loyal and develop good partnerships.
3. Find a moment every day to thank someone.
2. Articulate your mission; decide what makes your company unique and adds value to the world of publishing.
1. Life is short. Do your own thing.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I have found that it is much more effective to develop and implement changes the minute you realize they are needed. My perpetual resolution is: Realizing that our success or failure is determined by the aggregate of all our individual decisions, I resolve to make as many of my decisions as I can logical and of the type that helps me achieve my goals.
- Use our networking contacts to greater advantage for publicity and marketing.
- Be more assertive with respect to niche marketing ideas and opportunities.
LadyBug Publishing LLC
Since we haven’t been in business a year yet (March 14 will be the first anniversary of our launch), our goals for 2005 are to increase exposure for our authors, expand our distribution, grow our lines (especially The New Age Guide to . . . series), and get our products on the U.S. bookstore shelves.
In the eight months (as of this writing) since we expanded to publish for others, we have brought out 15 books both in print and as e-books, and five other books in e-book formats only.
Because we are the new kid on the block, readers and other publishers have watched us to see what we can do. We’ve worked hard to prove that we’re serious about our business, and our titles, authors, and Web site have all won awards, while we consistently receive five-star reviews for our releases. Our U.K. author has been featured in a national magazine, and her books are available in Ottakars Bookstores.
Melissa Alvarez (writing as Ariana Dupré)
New Age Dimensions, Inc.
Our resolution for 2005 will be to find new ways for new fiction authors and poets to publish successfully on a shoestring budget. Nonfiction authors already get all the breaks, so they’ll have to do their own wishing.
And–this is no bull–we really do wish for world peace.
Your Own World Books
- To use email for light issues only. Never try to clarify any misperceptions in an email. The telephone is better, and in person is best (and, of course, never put confidential info in emails).
- To check in with your staff weekly to see how they are feeling, what they may need, or what concerns they may have.
- To set clear expectations in writing so everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
- To take time to exercise with staff during the workday; it gets the endorphins working and helps make us feel healthier.
Porpoise Press, Inc.
My resolution may be rather mundane, but it is to really buckle down and write my next book. And to trust that what I’ve done so far to publicize my first book is enough, and it is time to wean it.
In January of 2004, I decided I would speak in the 10 states of the lower 48 where I hadn’t yet spoken. I actually accomplished this in spite of a very difficult year, with the death of our son-in-law in June following a horrendous last two months.
Several times early in the year, I announced my goals at meetings of groups that I would have been embarrassed to disappoint. Having set a tangible goal (what is more tangible than 10 of the United States?), I found I was more focused. When something else came up, I asked myself whether it would move me toward my stated goal.
I also have a list of ongoing goals that are important to me, and I am discovering that I have neither time nor energy to meet all of them. This January I will decide which are most important to me now. My first goal for 2005 will be reaching out to Alaska and Hawaii (some sacrifice, right?) and thus completing a tour of sorts through all 50 states. I plan to pick one other major goal for the year, announce my goals, and stay focused in 2005.
Mulberry Hill Press
Lehua Publishing holds a global vision for my new release, 9 Inner Jewels. We envision this book published in several languages and shared internationally through workshops and healing sessions. I am working on my second book now and intend to have the first draft complete by the end of January. It is our intention to live with an open heart and be a living example of peace through our books, workshops, and message to the world. My husband and I are both intuitive healers and hold the vision for people to realize the importance of self-healing, which can happen as we learn to bring our focus inside ourselves and stop looking to the external world for validation and answers to our questions.
As we enter this new year, let each of us be the change we want to see in the world.
When/if I have to do it over again . . . I will take Dan Poynter’s advice to heart and really have those review envelopes prepared and ready to go when my books come off the press!
A Kat’s Kids Kreation
My New Year’s resolution is to make sure I treat every sale as my first contact with a customer, not the last.
I am writing a book called The Miracle and Enigma of Psychic Surgery. My resolution is to finish the book. This has been my resolution for about three years. Maybe in 2005 I’ll finally publish it!
Lompico Creek Press
I am a huge goal-setter and even designed and published a line of journals in 2004 called List Lovers. One of those journals is Life List: 50 Things I Want to Accomplish (great way to list big and small goals, both personal and professional). My goal for 2004 was to start a publishing company and publish one book. I have published 19 titles, nine journals, and 10 other books (just emphasizing the importance of that first step).
Goals for 2005:
- Get one title on Barnes & Noble shelves regionally or nationally
- Get established with Ingram (now that I have enough titles)
- Sell one million copies of one of my titles (have already outlined various niche market avenues and will be open to many opportunities . . . not expecting it to happen in any one way, just planning to sell that 1 million copies)
Avant Garde Publishing
Your question dovetails nicely with my planning for the coming year and gives me a chance to try to articulate my vision.
My new year’s resolution for my book, The Marketing Toolkit for Growing Businesses, is to repurpose the content so I can help a broader audience. I’ve seen how other successful publishers have expanded into e-books, audio publishing, and teleseminars, and I’d like to do the same. One thing I notice is that all audiences don’t process information the same way. Some want a book in their hands; others like to attend a seminar or presentation; and still others want only to read from a screen. I’m convinced that one way to broaden my book’s appeal is to make the content available in different ways.
Chammerson Press LLC
Maybe the most important thing I can do for Cargo Publishing Company in 2005 is follow the plan. Planning is the most important phase of distributing information.
But one must start with a well-thought-out and realistic plan. Having done that, the plan is worthless if it is not followed. That does not mean you cannot vary the plan based on actual results. It means that the plan cannot be filed away after being neatly typed and printed. It must be viewed on a daily basis, for action, for review, and for success.
That is what I will try to do better in 2005.
One of Harbor Island Books’ New Year’s resolutions is to respond to telephonic, email, and written submissions inquiries in a timely manner regardless of the relevancy or volume of queries. Another is to more actively pursue venues to sell slightly damaged books, such as Amazon.com and Booksonlineplus.
Harbor Island Books
can tell you one resolution we have made: to consider moving to another country after this November’s election.
W. L. (Bill) Warner
Directly from the saddle:
- Never publish a book by an author who is not willing to stump for it.
- If you are trying to approach someone (in my case a potential author for an introduction to a book) through an intermediary, you are wasting your time.
- Define very clearly what “entertainment” means for you. All books contain elements of it, and if you are clear about what you consider entertaining and take care that it leavens your bread, your readers will know what you are driving at, or, as we used to say, where you are coming from.
Our business resolutions for 2005 will be to use all that we have learned from mistakes as a newcomer in the publishing business, such as:
- To take time to reflect on dollars spent on advertising and analyze cost-effectiveness before spending more.
- To carefully select titles for publishing, choosing those with timely and favorably received topics.
- To avoid getting caught up in production and focus instead on quality of production.
- To utilize a conservative approach in deciding on the number of copies in first runs.
- To carefully compare previous titles and always attempt to show diversity in all aspects of production when publishing a new title.
- To spend more time and less revenue, while effecting more productive results.
My New Year’s resolution for my company is: No more free consulting services. OK, we’ll see how long that one lasts. ; – )
Pat J. Schulz
- Have my new book, Testosterone Free Marketing, hit the bestseller list within three months of its release.
- Work on one PR exposure every day. This was one of the strategies used by Canfield and Hansen, the mega-bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup books. In 14 months, the first one hit the bestseller list, and there have been Chicken Soup books on them ever since. That was over 10 years ago.
- Have my book sales lead to a lot of Web-site traffic and two very well-attended (and profitable) seminar events.
To publish my books in more editions to make the information available to additional people. Some works are already in e-book, large-print, hardcover and soft. We plan to put more works into these editions. Next: audio downloads.
- Increase our Internet sales by improving our Web site.
- Establish clear licensing agreements for selling digital rights of our training-based videos.
- Research and begin the processing of moving our training videos to DVD format (the market is beginning to demand this).
Whole Person Associates
My New Year’s resolution is to get Vivian Peritts’s book to press before her segment airs on the Carol Duvall Show in January. It’s going to take a miracle and not a few all-nighters. Hopefully, this resolution won’t go the way of all previous ones having to do with exercise.
I resolve to spend more time speaking with real human beings in the book business–book peers, publishers, critics, etc.–than I do searching for information online.
- Attending networking power breakfasts for new connections.
- Marketing my books for fundraising and as premiums, creating instant desirability by showing how buyers can use my books. Same books, new market.
- Updating my Web site, which is crucially important and urgent.
- Starting to market my next book way before releasing it.
- Brainstorming about offbeat marketing solutions.
- Reviewing objectives monthly and staying focused on goals to avoid wasting time and money.
- Not relying on past successes but drawing from experience and mistakes, understanding that times change. Every new book is a new challenge.
My first book, Trust Yourself to Transform Your Body: A Woman’s Guide to Health and Weight Loss Without Diets, will be delivered to me next week. So, while I have many goals for next year, here are some of the key resolutions I have for Crimson Leaf Publishing and my other company, Inspire Fitness, in 2005:
- Get a minimum of 25,000 women to commit to the decision to live more healthfully.
- Gross a minimum of what I used to make when I was employed by someone else and couldn’t stand my job.
- Increase my product and service line for Trust Yourself to Transform Your Body to include online workshops, speaking events, and support group kits.
- Learn more about financials and investing.
- Continue to “walk the talk”–continue to live a healthy lifestyle and to be a role model for women who want to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Crimson Leaf Publishing
Simple: every single copy of our latest release, Grandmothers, Incorporated, will be sold!
Crystal Ink Publishing
I resolve to present my business as a legitimate publishing company at all times and lose any self-deprecating, wish-washy references to being “self-published.”
Bubble Gum Press
- Produce an animated short film of The Corporate Circus as an adult animation project
- Showcase TCC short film at NATPE, film festivals, Comic Con in San Diego, Smallest Film Festival for mobile phone content, etc.
- Obtain a distribution channel for TCC animation shorts, as a television show, cartoon series, or mobile phone content
- Close the joint venture deal, currently under discussion with potential strategic partners in China; launch TCC animation and/or live television show in the burgeoning China animation and entertainment industry
- Obtain the necessary capital resources to fund the above China deal, which incorporates television, publishing, and merchandising opportunities
Adela Josue Polin
The Corporate Circus, Inc.
I resolve to try to sell 200,000 copies of our book Such Men are
Dangerousin Ohio over the next year.
Upper Access Press
KSB Promotions’ New Year’s resolution is to continue to prove to the media that books published by small and independent publishers are not only worthy of serious consideration for excerpt, mention, review, and author interviews, but are equal (and often superior) in content and quality to those coming from the major publishers. We also want to continue to show the media that the authors and publishers from this exciting side of publishing are easier to work with and more responsive.
We resolve to stick to what we know. Dogwise Publishing produces books on dogs for the serious dog owner, professional dog trainer, and multidog household. Yes, yes, yes, it sounds like a good idea to try to sell to pet-dog owners, but there are lots of publishers doing that. I would like to try getting some of our books on CD. Don’t know anything about how to do that. Guess we won’t strictly stick to what we know after all. Where would the fun be?
And the resolution of resolutions:
My book, Word Cures: How to Keep Stupid Excuses from Sabotaging Your Health, is an excellent antidote for those who make all kinds of resolutions but have trouble keeping them. It reviews 21 major reasons peop