Strategic Relationship Management, Part 3

The Ideal Author

In part 1 of this series, I outlined the concept of Strategic Relationship Management. In yesterday’s post I began to apply these principles, starting with The Ideal Publisher. Today, I want to provide the profile of the ideal author.

Idealauthor

What would the ideal, high-profit, low-maintenance author look like from the publisher’s perspective? Here are fifteen characteristics:





















Profile of the Ideal Author
High ProfitLow Profit
1. Demonstrates a win-win financial paradigm.1. Demonstrates a win-lose financial paradigm.
2. Publishes with us exclusively.2. Publishes with more than one publisher.
3. Plans and helps fund his own marketing efforts.3. Expects us to do all the marketing and make him or her famous.
4. Exceeds our profit hurdle on nearly every project.4. Fails to meet our profit hurdle on most projects.
5. Has the potential to become an author brand (has numerous book ideas).5. Does not have the potential to become an author brand (only has one book idea).
Low MaintenanceHigh Maintenance
6. Values our expertise and listens to our advice.6. Doesn’t respect our expertise and won’t listen to our advice.
7. Writes great manuscripts.7. Writes marginal manuscripts or expects someone else to come up with the content.
8. Delivers manuscripts on time.8. Delivers manuscripts late.
9. Responds to our calls and requests in a timely manner.9. Doesn’t respond to our calls or requests in a timely manner.
10. Participates enthusiastically in our marketing efforts.10. Refuses, resents, or complains when asked to participate in our marketing efforts.
11. Gives us the benefit of the doubt.11. Looks for opportunities to catch us doing something wrong and then jumps on us when he or she does.
12. Is organized and plans ahead.12. Is disorganized and expects us to make up for his lack of planning.
13. Understands that success requires a team effort.13. Expects us to make his book a best-seller.
14. Expresses gratitude.14. Rarely expresses gratitude.
15. Has a low maintenance staff or agent.15. Has a high maintenance staff or agent.

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  • http://www.angiebrennan.com Angie

    Can you elaborate a little more on how an author can demonstrate a “win-win financial paradigm?”

    This is a helpful list. As a writer working on my first book, I’ll have to put more thought into #5–that a publisher would like to see a potential for numerous books from its authors.

  • http://www.angiebrennan.com/ Angie

    Can you elaborate a little more on how an author can demonstrate a "win-win financial paradigm?"

    This is a helpful list. As a writer working on my first book, I'll have to put more thought into #5–that a publisher would like to see a potential for numerous books from its authors.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Angie, an author can demonstrate a win-win attitude by not demanding such a big advance on the front-end that it places all the risk on the publisher’s shoulders. No publisher minds paying royalties. Most don’t mind paying an advance. But it becomes win-lose when the publisher assumes all the risk and the author becomes unreasonable.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Angie, an author can demonstrate a win-win attitude by not demanding such a big advance on the front-end that it places all the risk on the publisher's shoulders. No publisher minds paying royalties. Most don't mind paying an advance. But it becomes win-lose when the publisher assumes all the risk and the author becomes unreasonable.

  • http://www.michaelabanks.com Michael A. Banks

    Michael,
    I am all for the author participating in marketing. Some authors figure their job is done once they complete the publisher’s author questionnaire. They may try to direct the marketing (“get me on such-and-such TV talk show and send out 500 review copies”), but that’s it, to their detriment.

    Too many authors figure that marketing is strictly the publisher’s job. They don’t understand that the publisher may not have the personnel or the budget to mount a huge publicity effort for each and every book (nor that it’s a futile effort for some books). And some authors do not realize that they know as much as or more than their publisher about their market.

    Promoting one’s book in support of marketing is easier than it seems. The author doesn’t need to hire a publicist. In support of my most recent book, I’ve lined up four TV appearances, a half-dozen radio talk shows, and coverage in 18 newspapers—all in two months. I’ve also arranged for mention of the book in more than a dozen magazines. (That came with the bonus that I was paid for some of the articles.)

    I’ve done several signings (some drew scores of people, some just a few, but you have to take that chance). I’ve traveled two hours or more to give talks on the book’s subject, and will be doing more of the same for the next several months. Some of those talks have led to paid speaking engagements. And some of the signings have resulted in interviews.

    There are other efforts I haven’t mentioned–among them online promotion, using bookstores, libraries, and other entities to help promote the book, etc.

    The results: the book made the New York Times extended bestseller list, along with the Wall Street Journal and Business Week hardcover bestseller lists.

    The publisher is of course promoting the book and supporting my efforts by arranging more signings and talks, doing mailings, and sending out review copies where I’ve paved the way for reviews, among other things. And I support the publisher’s efforts (as when the publisher gets a request for a speaker).

    I can’t guarantee the bestseller lists, but any author who is willing to spend some time and a little money, and work with her publisher can do a lot for her book’s sales.
    –Mike
    http://www.michaelabanks.com

  • http://www.michaelabanks.com/ Michael A. Banks

    Michael,
    I am all for the author participating in marketing. Some authors figure their job is done once they complete the publisher’s author questionnaire. They may try to direct the marketing ("get me on such-and-such TV talk show and send out 500 review copies"), but that’s it, to their detriment.

    Too many authors figure that marketing is strictly the publisher's job. They don’t understand that the publisher may not have the personnel or the budget to mount a huge publicity effort for each and every book (nor that it's a futile effort for some books). And some authors do not realize that they know as much as or more than their publisher about their market.

    Promoting one's book in support of marketing is easier than it seems. The author doesn’t need to hire a publicist. In support of my most recent book, I’ve lined up four TV appearances, a half-dozen radio talk shows, and coverage in 18 newspapers—all in two months. I’ve also arranged for mention of the book in more than a dozen magazines. (That came with the bonus that I was paid for some of the articles.)

    I've done several signings (some drew scores of people, some just a few, but you have to take that chance). I've traveled two hours or more to give talks on the book's subject, and will be doing more of the same for the next several months. Some of those talks have led to paid speaking engagements. And some of the signings have resulted in interviews.

    There are other efforts I haven't mentioned–among them online promotion, using bookstores, libraries, and other entities to help promote the book, etc.

    The results: the book made the New York Times extended bestseller list, along with the Wall Street Journal and Business Week hardcover bestseller lists.

    The publisher is of course promoting the book and supporting my efforts by arranging more signings and talks, doing mailings, and sending out review copies where I’ve paved the way for reviews, among other things. And I support the publisher's efforts (as when the publisher gets a request for a speaker).

    I can’t guarantee the bestseller lists, but any author who is willing to spend some time and a little money, and work with her publisher can do a lot for her book's sales.
    –Mike http://www.michaelabanks.com