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Books & Reading Recommendations

Turning Your Idea into a Book

By July 29, 2009 No Comments

Books A lot of church leaders have a story to tell but don’t know how to get it from brain and heart to paper. They wonder whether anyone would be interested in reading it. And they don’t know how to contact publishers – or whether to go the self publishing route.

To address those issues, I wrote an article for Church Executive magazine titled, “Suggestions for Publishing Your First Book.” It’s available online as part of their “web exclusive” add-on features. It addresses:

– Do I need an agent?

– Do I need someone to help me write the book?

– If I write a book, how many people will read it?

-Should I write my book before thinking about publishers?

-What about self-publishing?

-What about making a book into an audio book, whether for download or CD or Kindle?

-What’s a good royalty advance for a first-time author?

In addition, the blog world has a lot of other helpful advice. Here are just a few suggestions:

– Mark Batterson offers “Seven Writing Tips” at http://evotional.com/2009/07/7-writing-lessons.html
– Tony Morgan says “Don’t Write a Book — Start with a Journal” at http://tonymorganlive.com/2009/07/31/do-not-write-a-book/
– Thomas Nelson publisher Michael Hyatt advises “How Not to Pitch Your Book” (and at bottom offers several related posts) at http://michaelhyatt.com/2009/05/how-not-to-pitch-your-book-proposal.html#more-221

“The Ugly Truth about Book Publishing” by Phil Cooke. He cites Publisher’s Weekly as saying the average U.S. book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime. Further, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies.  Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies.  Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies.  The average book in America sells about 500 copies” 

Finally, the researcher in me wants to offer a few stats:

– You need to sell roughly 1,000 books a day (all channels), on average, to get on Amazon’s overall bestseller list.

– Roughly 30% of you book sales will come through Amazon, if your book is typical.

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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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