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My SINGLE BIGGEST Mistake in Information Marketing

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Whenever I do a seminar on information marketing I get a lot of interesting questions from folks who market and sell info products. The BEST one that I’ve gotten recently is the title of this post: “What is the single biggest mistake I’ve made in the Info marketing business?”

For many people, they would need some time to think about the question. NOT me.

First a bit of background. My Dad was a diplomat by profession. He always wanted to be a writer. He ended up writing 17 books. He was a historian. I always thought of myself as a SPEAKER and not a writer. This had a lot to do with my Dad being fairly critical of my writing. Dad meant well, but the result was fairly predictable.

I wrote as LITTLE as possible and never thought I was any good at it. As it turns out, I’ve now learned how to write pretty GOOD! LOL!

When I was in graduate school I read a book by Robert Anthony called: “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”. It talked about how you could make a living as a professional speaker. Given that I saw myself as a speaker and not a writer, this book had strong appeal. It didn’t hurt that I was interested in getting a degree in theatre, which my Dad would not have helped to finance.

Armed with Masters in International Business and a theatre inclination, professional speaking seemed liked a natural fit. After getting fired numerous times by a number of well known Fortune 500 companies, I got into speaking full time.

Before I made the leap I studied the folks who were the most successful in the field. I defined success as those who were making the most money. The speakers making the most money were those who had products. They were also ALL authors. Not self-published authors. Authors published by traditional New York publishers.

You can probably guess where I’m going at this point.

I have written and published close to 20 books. ALL of them have been self published. Although it’s always great to have books out on the market, a self published book will NOT give you the notoriety needed to build a huge list and a “serious” reputation.

This IS the SINGLE BIGGEST MISTAKE I’ve made. I should have spent more time and effort to get a book published by a traditional publisher.

This thought has been reinforced to me very strongly by two friends. One of whom I’ve had for a while and another one who is relatively new. Bob Bly has been my most successful coaching client. Bob has had over 70 books published by traditional publishers. He was nice enough to dedicate the most recent edition of one of his most popular books, “The Copyrighter’s Handbook”, to me.

Bill O’Hanlon, my new friend has had over 30 books published by traditional publishers. He is a psychotherapist by training and has written books in both that field and in the “writing” area.

Both Bob and Bill have no problems generating large numbers of people to get on their lists and attend their seminars.

I’ve had reasonably good success as well, but I would have been MUCH further along had I been published by a traditional publisher. I would have gotten bookstore distribution AND I would have had books published in other languages that would have established my reputation in other countries.

Assume for a minute that I’m right. That YOU (like me) need to be published by a traditional publisher to make the REALLY BIG BUCKS. Why didn’t that happen for me?

To get published by a traditional publisher, you need an agent. To get an agent, you need a book proposal. A GOOD one. This is where it starts. Last week I recorded a program with Bill O’Hanlon about how to get published traditionally. It will be out shortly. I HIGHLY recommend that you get a copy when it comes out.

I don’t want to speculate about how DIFFERENT things would be now had I gotten published by a traditional publisher early on. I CAN tell you it would be different. A LOT different. But, that’s now water under the bridge. Over the next few months I’ll be spending a LOT of time trying to find the RIGHT AGENT and preparing a killer book proposal.

I hope that by writing this post, YOU won’t make the same mistake!

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6 Responses to “My SINGLE BIGGEST Mistake in Information Marketing”

  1. Articles on August 5th, 2010 9:00 pm

    I 100% agree. Self-published books just don’t have a great reputation. Though there are some good ones out there, a lot of them are poorly edited and not very well written. You don’t see that too often with books that are traditionally published.

  2. Fred Gleeck on August 5th, 2010 11:45 pm

    I don’t necessarily think that self published books are necessarily worse, I just think that they are not apt to get the kind of distribution necessary to get the results we information marketer want.

  3. Monica on August 16th, 2010 5:53 pm

    I have to say that I disagree with you about not being taken more seriously by not having a “serious” publisher. I listened to Bob Bly speak at one of your events and his reason for wanting to have a “real” publishing house publish his book vs. self-publishing was a little ridiculous: it boiled down to wanting to be taken seriously by a guy who could have potentially doubted his work and this “somebody” was nobody to be concerned with anyway. What I came away with was that it is about ego and having a “real” publisher bolsters the ego moreso than self-publishing because quite honestly, most people who are browsing books through (myself included) don’t notice anything about a book listing EXCEPT for the date of publication, a synopsis of the title, and REVIEWS of the book by bona-fide customers who have read it. Nobody cares if it was published by Warner Books or Infinity Press.

  4. Fred Gleeck on August 16th, 2010 6:23 pm

    Monica, I’ll tell you MY strategy. I intend to get books published by major publishers AND do some “crazy” stuff that you will see shortly. Keep watching, I don’t want to give it away. But as always, your thoughts are appreciated. They are always heartfelt and sincere. Thanks for “playing”!!

  5. Monica on August 18th, 2010 6:52 pm

    I can’t wait to see your next book. I’ve been waiting for 2 years…and even asked you about it when I saw you in Valencia last year. Bring it on!

  6. Fred Gleeck on August 19th, 2010 3:19 pm

    Monica, coming soon, BUT, using a very different distribution model than most!

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