We publish one author a year, and that changes everything.
First, we focus on building a strong relationship.
Creating a bestseller is a process that takes time, from the initial idea to the finished book in the hands of millions of readers. That creative journey is full of long, fast stretches on open road and points where you feel like you have reached a dead end.
Through all of that, the quality of the relationship between a publisher and an author makes all the difference.
At Bard Press, we start by getting a deep understanding of what your goals are for your book, whether that’s getting your message out, increasing revenue, gaining recognition in your field, or making a difference in the world.
Then, we get in the same room. We share ideas. There are whiteboards and flip charts. We share meals and tell stories. And we laugh a lot.
From there, we spend weeks working on versions of the book cover and months on drafts of the manuscript. We build multi-sheet project plans for the book launch with timelines and contact lists. You have to dig deep to create and launch a bestseller.
When your book is published, you get reports every week from us on sales at each of the major retail outlets, how the book is doing overall and the list of the other bestselling books. We believe timely information gives an author the ability to make better decisions about their marketing and sales efforts.
- How can you do all that successfully without a strong relationship between the author and the publisher?
- How can you engage in healthy conflict that gets the best answers?
- How else can you build the trust needed to create the best outcome?
You invest time in building a strong relationship.
When we worked with Bobby Herrera, CEO of Populus Group, on his book The Gift of Struggle, he described it like this:
My observation is that we are often too shy, and humble, to truly express ourselves despite knowing that we were all designed to help one another. It shouldn’t feel so uncomfortable – we all love to Give.
So, if this sounds and feels familiar, consider the following:
-Do you want someone you can trust to always tell you the unvarnished truth while guiding you?
-Is clarity of your message more important than the shots your ego will feel as you write your story?
-Do you want someone who will extend a compassionate hand when you inevitably become overwhelmed?
-Do you want to work with someone as selective as you are?
We didn’t come to the message we need to share by ourselves. Why would we then consider crafting and putting our message together with anyone that didn’t check the most important boxes?
If these questions are important to you; Todd Sattersten, Ray Bard, and the Bard Press family, check the boxes that matter most for anyone with the courage to put themselves out there.”
Next, we create a book that is unique and special.
We spend more time than anyone thinks you should, or need to, in creating our books.
There may even be points along the way where you, as the author, think the same thing.
The reason we spend that time is we have to create a book that readers will stop and notice.
There are tens of thousands of books published every year for readers in business and personal development. Standing out in that crowd takes work. The goal is to build a book concept that can own a category and build a place to grow your company and credibility.
That starts with creating a book that clearly helps solve a problem for readers. Everything from the title to the table of contents to the index (yes, the index) is an opportunity to show how much you care about those readers and their problem. Bestselling author Jay Abraham describes the value of this work, saying:
“If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they will automatically assume you have the solution.
When readers see your book, we want them to see the difference. The cover design clearly communicates what the book is about and how readers will be helped. The title is the strongest signal, but so is the subtitle, the font used, the endorsements on the back cover and jacket copy. We go to great lengths to get that right. For example, we once ordered a dozen paper samples to test and see exactly which shade will work best on a retail shelf.
The interior design needs to be just as inviting, striking and readable. We often use color, a feature not often seen in business books. We’ve used bookmark ribbons, hand drawn illustrations and even a removable door hanger to create a memorable experience for the reader.
We know this all sounds obvious, but it is not how book publishing is practiced. Commercial publishing houses publish ten or twenty or fifty books a year. There isn’t enough time in that model to labor over the details. We don’t see the publication of a book as a transaction to minimize or optimize.
- How do you get a book to stand-out?
- How does a book become the first one a reader thinks of?
- How does it become the one book that everyone reads that year?
You invest time in creating a unique and memorable book.
Roy H. Williams, Founder of Wizard Academy, and author of The Wizard of Ads believes this is what sets Bard Press books apart:
The way Bard works with their authors is what sets them apart. The depth of interest, personal care, and attention to detail they invest in each book makes the volumes feel almost handmade. You find no other business book publisher who can achieve this. A Bard Press book is an extension of your brand. This is why the collections from each of his authors feels so distinctly different from the others. With Bard it’s not about them. It’s about you.
In short, I was extremely lucky to be chosen by the best business book publisher in the country. That single stroke of luck has been directly responsible for bringing in millions of dollars into my firm and changing the direction of my life.”
In the marketplace, we help you create a bestseller.
The work we do to make a book unique and memorable flows into the work we do on marketing and selling your book. Authors are surprised when we tell them we spend the same amount of time developing the marketing plan as we do creating the book.
As your publisher, our job is to help you create the biggest launch possible for your book. Historical sales data shows that the number of copies sold in the opening six months has a direct correlation to the lifetime sales of a book.
We start with a big advantage. By releasing one book a year, we can tell our distributor and retail partners that your book matters. We get to say, “Look at the book we picked over all the others we could have published.” That selectivity captures their attention and makes them open to hearing about the book and its upcoming launch. Our sales reps often say, “Bard Press publishes one book a year — this is it.”
Our goal is to engage the widest range of retailers possible for your launch. Amazon is a critical partner. Barnes & Noble has over 600 stores— and for years they display and promote our books. Airport bookstores are a robust channel for both sales and building awareness. There are specialty retailers like Porchlight Books and BookPal that can help with promotion and bulk sales for events. For bigger books, Big Box stores and Club warehouse stores can enter the mix. In all of these outlets, we work with them to get the widest coverage and best in-store placement.
Next, we share the marketing and PR plan. Retailers want to see strong support for the books they support. The plan that we share shows the capabilities that you have to generate awareness and drive book sales. Each author has a unique combination of clients, prospects, media contacts, fans, family and friends. The marketing plan details the activities you’ll use with those readers—direct sales, public relations, social media outreach, speaking, consulting, coaching, email marketing and more.
All of those activities with readers, retailers and reporters builds as you approach the publication date for your book. We joke (but we are not joking) that launching your book is a full-time job. If we, together, have done our work, you will be very busy in the weeks leading up to and following the launch.
Why do all of this work?
A bestseller has the rare ability to draw an enormous amount of attention to you and the goals you have for publishing it.
Jeffery Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Black Book of Connections, says it best:
Bard Press breaks the mold. Rather than working with mid-level people looking to make a career move, you work with publishing pros who have bestseller experience and a passion for their work. They work with you like a partner—and for the long haul. They expect a lot from their authors, but they give more than they take. Because they only publish a few books a year, they put a strong, focused effort into each book’s marketing and sales.
And their results sell books. Lots of books.
Bard Press has a track record. They publish books that sell. Their authors (me included) make the bestseller lists, win awards, and consistently rave about the capability and integrity of Bard Press. They have a passion for the success of the writer, and have proved it to me one million times.”
That leaves one last question: Are we a fit?