Monday, 14 February 2011

CGW Publishing Provides The Answers To Author's Questions About Today's Publishing Industry

More and more people are turning to publishing to capture knowledge and expertise, using a book to build business credibility. But how can authors get their books to market without being ripped off by publishers who charge outrageous set up fees?

In the past ten years, the publishing industry has changed beyond recognition.

Book production used to be something that only the major publishing houses could afford. They took the commercial risk of printing tens of thousands of copies of a book and in return, they paid the author the most meagre of royalties. However, their marketing strength and control of the market meant that well promoted fiction books sell in the tens or hundreds of thousands and the author makes enough money for it all to be worthwhile.

However, this made the big publishers extremely risk averse. If you had a number one record, a sports career or a TV series, you were guaranteed a publishing deal while authors who weren't already in the public eye would spend years of rejection from one publisher after another.

“Sorry, it's not really what we're looking for at the moment”, meant, “Sorry, you're not famous enough and we'd have to actually work to promote your book”.

Some publishing houses, known as 'vanity publishers' would always take a book, and charge the author the full costs of setting up an expensive offset print run. If your goal was to see your book on your coffee table, this used to be the only option.

Today, Print On Demand has turned the industry upside down. Authors can publish their own books through 'self publishing' channels, or they can turn to a growing number of small publishers who offer them editing, cover design, ISBN registration and marketing services.

Some automated services offer the author no assistance at all, and so the author has to learn all about file formatting, cover design and print setup. The setup costs are reasonable, but the time and effort it takes to get your book to a high standard of production is beyond some author's capabilities or desires.

A number of publishers have entered the market to solve this problem. They will take an author's manuscript, format it, give the author a number of stock cover designs to choose from, set up an ISBN record and guide the author through the entire process.

So what's the catch?

The catch is that they charge up to $8,000 for this service.

At one British rip off publisher, the minimum, do everything yourself package costs £795. You get a stock cover design and up to ten images inside the book. But what if the author needs help in other areas? A cover design of their own? £99. A marketing kit? £219. A fast turnaround of only 2 to 3 months? £399. Press release? £559. Social media profile? £699.

An American publisher charges a simple upfront fee for the author, apparently giving you $20,000 worth of services for only $4,000. And it must be worth every cent because their logo is a coat of arms.

The cost of setting up a Print On Demand book with a printer is about £100. An ISBN number? £10. Cover design and editing? Is that really worth such extortionate fees?

How can they do this? Simply by letting their authors believe that this is the only option. In the past, these would be the 'vanity publishers'. They will take any book and pass on all the commercial risk – plus a very healthy profit – to the author. But without the heavyweight marketing of the major publishers, who own the shelf space in the High Street book stores, your book is unlikely to sell in high volumes, even if you have paid £120 for the publisher to list your book on their website.

Therefore you are very unlikely to recoup the cost of book production through book sales alone.

So what can an author do?

The way to profit from a book is to use it to capture intellectual property. You can sell this as a unit in itself, or you can use it to promote and build credibility in a service business.

Let's say that you have been a corporate manager for many years, and you want to start a service business coaching managers. By writing a book on the subject, you demonstrate far more authority and credibility than all of your brochures and testimonials put together. It's something that you can use to open doors to conferences, corporate opportunities and of course exposure in the business press.

At CGW Publishing, we are honest with our authors, transparent in our pricing and our focus is on helping authors build service businesses. We built a successful management consultancy and established an enviable reputation in a niche training area by writing and publishing five books, and we now help other authors to achieve the same results.

CGW Publishing have published a book which guides authors through the publishing process. Priced at just £7, Write For You, ISBN 978-0-9565358-3-2, is available from all good book stores.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

CGW Publishing joins the Green Business Network

We've joined the Tees Valley Green Business Network, and while we might not be saving the planet by cutting down on radioactive waste or toxic gases like some of the other members, we're definitely standing our ground by cutting down on paperwork and recycling where we can.

We can't get away from the fact that books use paper, but at least our author statements, payments, invoices and letters are all delivered electronically and by making ebooks of all of our titles available, we give readers the option of saving a branch or two... although we suspect that the environmental impact of an iPad or Kindle is quite a bit higher than the production of paper and ink.

Latest Reviews for The Pitching Bible Make The Pitch Doctor the Right Prescription For Business

Paul Boross' new book, The Pitching Bible, is getting excellent reviews from the business and media world that prove its value both for entrepreneurs and sales professionals in these tough economic times.

These three reviews, from executives in the media business, demonstrate the broad appeal of the book and also the fact that it has something new and compelling for even the most seasoned and experienced business pitcher.

“I've worked in the media and advertising industry for 30 years, and The Pitching Bible by Paul Boross is the best book on pitching I've ever read. In fact, it's a breath of fresh air for an industry that is having to work harder and harder to get the message across when the answer, in my mind, is in simplicity and impact.

Reading The Pitching Bible is like reading all of the best tips that I've learned the hard way, collected into one easy, enjoyable, insightful read. It wouldn't be fair to call Paul's book common sense; it is uncommon sense – the stuff you know that you ought to know, the stuff that really makes a difference to you winning the business.

Not only is this book easy to read, it's easy to use too. With great examples, clear and practical exercises and beautifully simple checklists, it's a book that you can read from cover to cover and then dip back in to before an important pitch – and if a pitch is worth doing, it's important enough to do it right, with the help of The Pitching Bible.

I'll be recommending The Pitching Bible to all of my friends and colleagues, but not to my competitors, obviously. It really does contain the seven secrets to your competitive advantage.”

Ian Haworth, Chairman and Global Chief Creative Officer, RAPP

“The Pitching Bible is an enjoyable and thought-provoking book that is written with clarity, insight and humour. It takes you on an illuminating journey through the seven secrets of a successful business pitch. Paul Boross explains that he learned the hard way about what does and does not work when pitching. As a consequence he has used his vast and varied experience to create a book that is overflowing with practical ideas and techniques for preparing and delivering a winning pitch.

With subtlety and skill the book challenges the assumptions that the reader brings to it. To support this process Paul regularly offers questioning, reflection and information points for the reader. You are encouraged to work your way through each `secret' and reflect upon your thinking and practice in key areas of pitching. For example, when do you think a pitch actually begins? Who is vital in the process of making you win a pitch, is it you or is it your audience? How is it possible to always remain in control of your pitch? What type of language makes you more persuasive when pitching? Paul Boross offers solutions to every question that he raises. What I like about his solutions is that they are based on real-world experience and have real-world application.

This is an impressive book that actively engages you as a reader. When you finish reading The Pitching Bible you will notice that there is an eighth `secret'...buying a copy of this book will give you a competitive edge when pitching and will help you win more business. I recommend that you buy one.”

Dr. Tim O'Brien, Director of Consulting, Hanover Executive

“The Pitching Bible is a must read for all ambitious business men and women. This beautifully crafted and hugely enjoyable book, from probably the worlds leading expert on the subject, is crammed full with comprehensive and unparalleled authoritive advice on the art and science of pitching for business to optimal effect. The author's findings and persuasive propositions are accompanied by very helpful and often witty explanations, illustrations, exercises, puzzles and personal stories and insights which fully support his advice and add greatly to the appeal of this seminal work.”

Colin Campbell, former Head of Business and Legal at FIVE

The Pitching Bible is available from all good book shops, priced at £14.99.
Published by CGW Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9565358-2-5

Friday, 4 February 2011

Amazon Woes

We've had a running issue with Amazon now for some months, so we're posting our tale of woes in the hope that you'll think twice before putting any of your eggs in Amazon's basket.

Firstly, our books are available through any book shop, anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, Amazon have adopted a very aggresive purchasing strategy in order to buy their way into the online retail market, and they are probably now the most recognised brand as a result.

Amazon dictate discounts and don't actually tell you what discount they're taking until up to 90 days after a book is purchased. They demand bigger discounts than any other retailer, and that is how they were able to buy their way into the book market by undercutting the traditional retailers.

The problem we have is that Amazon tried to order a copy of The Pitching Bible and the order failed because the wholesaler sent it to wrong distributor. The wholesaler cancelled the order without letting either us or the customer know, and Amazon then market the book as unavailable, which is obviously not good for customer confidence.

We contacted Amazon and asked them to correct this information, and they replied that the book isn't available.

We replied that, as the publisher, we're fairly confident that the book IS available.

Amazon replied that the book isn't available.

This little cycle went on for some weeks. It seems that the first hurdle to get over with Amazon is getting them to look at the issue rather than fobbing you off with an automated reply.

The next step was that Amazon took the book off sale altogether! Where it had originally been listed as available to order with an unknown delivery time, now you couldn't even buy it at all! We added a marketplace listing so that we can at least offer customers a way of getting the book.

So, another email to Amazon. I said that Amazon's book data is out of date. They replied by saying that the wholesaler said the book is not available. This infuriated me, as I had also spoken to the wholesaler and they confirmed the book is indeed available.

I sent Amazon the data record from Nielsen who supply ordering data to book stores, which showed the title as available.

Amazon replied saying that they didn't know what my enquiry was about!!


I'm getting to the point where I'm going to drive to Slough and physically shake someone upside down by their ankles until they take their heads out of their backsides and actually look at the real time ordering data from Nielsen.

I don't expect this to be resolved anytime soon, so the moral is, please stay away from Amazon. They don't matter, they are a nightmare to deal with, they don't control the market and they don't need your business.