Publishing for speakers

NSA/NC Meeting Report: Saturday January 10, 2009

The Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA/NC) kicked off 2009 with a meeting that attracted over 80 members and guests, including visitors from Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts and New South Wales, Australia!

Jeff Rubin – Profiting from Punctuation

Jeff Rubin The day began with Jeff Rubin, founder of National Punctuation Day® who explained how he turned a National Holiday into a branded, moneymaking enterprise. Jeff has developed a speaking program for children and an instructional DVD for teachers. These products have now become major business enterprises. We learned how to take an idea that might come in the middle of the night, develop it, market it, and become known as THE expert in that discipline and make money from it.

My only problem with blogging about Jeff’s presentation is anticipating his comments about all the, ere, punctuation; mistakes” (in, this: blog – report). Sorry Jeff.

Grow Your Speech into a Published Book

San Francisco Writers ConferenceAn update on the opportunities for publishing a book or magazine for speakers is becoming a January tradition for NSA/NC. Last year I reported on a meeting chaired by ace literary agent Mike Larsen. Mike is the driving force behind the upcoming San Francisco Writers Conference — NSA members who liked today’s meeting are encouraged to attend.

Mike returned with a panel of experts who covered the many aspects of publishing. On the panel were his wife Elizabeth Pomada from Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents. Mahesh Grossman discussed ghostwriting – a common and respected way to Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger

We also heard from Jessica Church of Planned Television Arts on publicizing your book.

Rounding out the panel was editor Alan Rinzler who has worked on books by Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson and Jerzy Kosinski in his 40 years of experience at Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, Bantam Books, Grove Press, and the Rolling Stone Book Division of Straight Arrow Publishing.

10 Options for Getting Your Books Published (Mike Larsen)

  1. You can collaborate with other writers in a co-op venture in which you share the production and marketing costs to create, for example, an anthology of your work.
  2. You can pay for all the costs to publish your book to a vanity publisher, but vanity publishing has no credibility in the industry.
  3. You can use subsidy publishing, which means that you pay part of the publishing costs, an option with less credibility than a trade publisher.
  4. You can partner with a foundation that will support the writing and promotion of your book because it will further their cause.
  5. You can self-publish your book using one or more of the following options:
    – Photocopying your manuscript and selling it in a three-ring binder
    – Print-on-demand (POD)
    – using print-quality-needed (PQN) for short runs
    – using offset printing for longer runs
    – publishing it for free online so it can be downloaded
  6. You can publish it in other media such as a podcast, CDs and DVDs or sell the rights to a film or audio company.
  7. You can sell it as a calendar or other form of merchandise.

  8. You can sell the rights to:
    – an on- or offline trade or consumer periodical that will serialize it
    – a publisher for a flat fee, as a work for hire
    – a small press, niche or specialty publisher, or a regional publisher
    – a academic or university press
    – a professional publisher that publishes books for a specific field
    – a midsized house
    – one of the six New York conglomerates that dominate trade publishing
  9. You can work with a packager who provides publishers with an upload ready for a printer or finished books.
  10. You can hire an agent.

Proposal Writing Workshop

The afternoon session was a step-by-step proposal writing workshop with Mike and Alan. Books often sell to publishers on the strength of a good proposal.

“Proposals usually range from 25 to 50 pages, and they have three parts: an introduction, an outline, and a sample chapter.”

1 Comment so far
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Nice capture on the meeting, Ian. The panel speakers were informative, approachable, and kept the mood light and energetic. I just wish I had remembered to take my new Flip Video.



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