Write Back! Fan Mail is Good Business.

I usually don’t respond to student telephone calls, texts, or Facebook posts. As a parent myself, I feel kids communicating with adults should happen with parent supervision. So, I avoided numerous calls from Isabella, until I received a letter from her parents.

She was working on a library book report about her favorite author. After purchasing King for a Day, the Story of Stories during the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, Kentucky, she’d chosen me for her report.

“My librarian says authors are better than movie stars, because they write the story.” Isabella said in her letter.

Being a fan of librarians, I replied “I think librarians are better than movie stars, because they choose the books that fill the library.” Isabella shared the letter with her class and school librarian. Within a week, I’d been asked to visit two schools in her district.

As an author and illustrator, answer fan mail—schools are a niche market.

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Must Read List: Schools: A Niche Market for Authors

This month’s MWA, Inc. Must Read List selection is also a repeat favorite. I stumbled into public speaking through a teacher invitation. Elementary school visits are so much fun! I visit between 45 and 90 schools each year.

Jane R. Wood author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors, finds that schools are a unique market for authors. Whether an author writes children’s picture books, young adult books, or even adult fiction or nonfiction books, the goal for most authors is the same – to sell books!

As the author of four juvenile fiction books, Jane Wood has been selling her books to schools since 2004. More than 50 percent of her annual revenue comes from book sales to schools, speaking fees to schools, and book sales to students at those schools. For Jane this is a win-win.

Jane’s visits are a valuable benefit to the schools she visits. As a former teacher, her goal is to inspire reading in students. By creating characters that children can relate to, and scenes that engage their interests and imaginations, she promotes literacy. When she participates in an author visit at a school, she makes a connection with her readers, which is beneficial to both of parties. And when she talks about the writing process, she reinforces what their teachers teach them in language arts lessons.

There are many things to consider when targeting schools as a market for book sales. In her book she shares many strategies: how to make books attractive to educators; how to promote books to schools; how to develop presentations; and ways to generate revenue from this niche market.

Jane R. Wood can be reached at her website:  www.janewoodbooks.com

Meet Mark Wayne Adams, Award-Winning Author/Illustrator/Publisher

Mark was inspired to chase his entrepreneurial dream in the 3rd grade, selling drawings to classmates. Creating books and inspiring others has always been his passion. Mark’s ability to produce quality illustrations at a fast pace and dedication to mentor others has made MWA, Inc. both successful and unique. In the past five years, his authors have won over 50 book awards and he continues to create new, successful products annually.

Mark contributes his talents and time to the community locally and nationally. He promotes reading and writing via public speaking engagements, book signings, and participation in book events from Florida to the Northeastern United States. He has been recognized through the Kentucky Governor’s School for the ArtsKACo (KY Assoc. of Counties)FAPA BoardSCBWIIBPA, and national book awards. He also volunteers his talents to the Kids Need to Read annual calendar and donates books to various organizations.

Mark’s Published Books

Mark’s Book Awards

Mark’s Associations & Affiliations:

★ Official judge of the Readers’ Favorite Illustration Award 2013–2018.

★ Florida Authors and Publishers Association Board Member to President 2009–2017.

★ Independent Book Publishers Association  Since 2008.

★ SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) since 2009.

★ Storytellers of Central Florida members range from novice to professionals.

★ Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts Alumni — 1988

 

Find and follow Mark on social media:

2 Ways to Earn $1,500 a Month Publishing

Recently, I was asked, “how do you create a steady $1,500.00 a month publishing books?” I laughed at first! Steady income and publishing haven’t always gone hand in hand. Book sales have been extremely unpredictable. I’ve had months where I earned $12,000.00, and months where I earned $1,200.00.

Book sales fluctuate like the weather. I find “steady income” by illustrating books and public speaking.

Illustration is one of my biggest income generators. I illustrate from January through March and June through September. I spend countless hours creating artwork. The dollar per hour isn’t the best, and finding good clients comes with challenges. 

Many of you are thinking, “I can’t draw!” So public speaking is my best suggestion as a “steady income” for authors. Here is a formula I use.

  • Charge a minimum of $500 per visit. Three speaking events per month yields $1,500.00. Schedule a total of 36 throughout the year. Seems daunting, right?
  • Sell books at the events. Some schools don’t collect book sales, however some do! On average 10% of students purchase a book. 1,000 students generally equals 100 books sold. Being conservative 5% would yield 50 book sales. If you make $5 a book, that’s $250 extra. Now only 2 speaking events are needed a month, or 24 per year.

School visits can be repeated monthly. Elementary schools generally bring authors in from February through late April and October through November. It’s a small window of time to schedule 24-36 events. Just remember this is about one month of “work.”

Illustrating and public speaking are two ways I create a “steady income” publishing books. By creating more products and being social, book sales will become more consistent.

 

— Mark Wayne Adams, Award-winning Illustrator of Jilli, That’s Silly! A Story About Being a Girl