publishing

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Take the High Road, Don’t Low Ball!

Published January 31, 2019 by Maryanne

Maryanne summerDon’t let anyone low-ball you! 

As a self-employed business woman (ghost writer, blogger, Facebook updater, author, speaker) each year I compare the market as to what others in my genre are making. That’s how I come up with my prices. I’ve been self-employed since 2009 and for the most part, I’m living the dream.

Every now and then, I get a potential client who wants to price haggle. That’s when I have to pull the reins in and say, “This is not a good fit.”

You can read my article “The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter” and see why you shouldn’t say “yes” to every potential client: https://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/bp–the-four-types-of-clients-youll-encounter

I am writing this blog to encourage self-employed people, especially those who are just starting out, to not let anyone low-ball you. Know your worth and increase your prices each year, or every other year.  AND I would also like clients to stop price haggling business professionals like they’re at a yard sale! It is not cool!

Since 2009 I’ve been helping people write their books. Many of them are now on Amazon; some doing incredibly well. I’ve written four books myself, two picked up by a traditional publisher. My fifth is a self-help book. It’s is going to be published by KiCam and is set for an October 2019 release (see here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/).

With all that, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about the publishing industry. So, it’s highly insulting when a potential new client asks me, “Is that your final price?”

Yes, it is. Or should I go much higher so you can haggle me down to my “final price”?

A few days ago I met a woman who had an incredible story. In fact, it was so incredible that one of my friends in the traditional publishing industry said she’d take a look at the story and possibly publish it.

Do you know what that means? As opposed to self-publishing (which most unknown authors do) it means the publisher was going to consider taking on this project and financing it. So, to use me as an editor, this potential client would still be way ahead of the game even though she thought my services were pricey. She wouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to a self publisher. She wouldn’t have to pay an agent to find her a traditional publisher. I could have helped her save so much time and money. But, no, because my per-hour price was too high, she took it upon herself to disrespect me and yell at me. Whoa, what a foolish woman!

I politely told her, “This is not a good fit. If you are worrying about money now, the project may never be finished.” And I hung up on her.

Nothing comes easy in life. If you want singing lessons, you pay by the teacher’s price. If you want therapy, you pay the psychologist’s price. If you want a health consultation, you pay the nutritionist’s price. So, if you want a good ghost writer/book editor, you pay their price. Get it? Got it? Good!

Try price haggling your doctor next time you go for a flu shot. (Or whatever it is that people do when they go to doctors. I don’t know, I don’t do doctors…but that’s another blog). My point is, if you want a good product, from a professional (that would be me) who has over 20 years in the publishing industry, you are going to pay for top quality.

Clients who have succeeded in working with me, from start to finish, have nothing but good to say about my work ethic. If I wasn’t that good, I wouldn’t be in business for so long. And it just keeps getting better because everyone who I helped write a book, tells their friends about me and I get their service too.

I’ve had many happy customers over the years, but I have to say, the happiest was Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi. I helped them write and publish their book 200 Letters, 62 Years and a War which was their love story. Soon after they started dating, Domenic went to serve in the Korean War. During that time, he wrote Antoinette 200 love letters. When I wrote the book in 2015, they were together 62 years. To this day, they send me a Christmas card every year, with a handwritten note, “Come visit us.”

But that’s besides the point. I don’t have to convince readers how good I am. I know I’m good. If I wasn’t, I still wouldn’t be doing something I love all this time!

So, if you hire me–or any professional–take the high road, don’t low ball. If you can’t afford a service, it may be God’s way of telling you to “wait, it’s not time yet.” But that’s between you and God, not you and the professional.

It’s more respectable to say to someone, “I can’t afford this…yet” instead of taking a shit fit over a price you feel is not affordable (as that lady did to me.)

If you want a ghost writer to help you write a book, it’s simple. Save your money. Or just own up to the fact that you’re not ready to write a book. If you want to do something, you’ll make it a priority. It’s as easy as that. Otherwise, this is not something you’re dying to do. Unless you want something so bad you can’t breath, you probably should be dreaming about doing something else.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Sex Sells But My Audience Will Expand If the Age Bracket Does!

Published September 19, 2013 by Maryanne

Beautiful-Curvy-Pin-Up-Girl

My Face Book status today: “People who have great sex lives don’t need to hear about other people’s sex lives. That said, I’m proud to say my upcoming book will have a mere PG-rating. Your kids can read it and so can your grandmother — and it will still be a page-turner. Thank you very much.”

I’ve written for several sex publications in my younger days and I was damn good at it. But honestly, you get to a point where you just have to move on in life writing about other things. It’s like, okay, I did that, where is the challenge now?

A fellow writer friend who also wrote for sex publications agreed on how draining it could be. Then once you are known for writing about sex it seems that’s all people want to talk about with you.

That said, I may be the first person to ever write a rock ‘n’ roll book without sharing my sex life. It’s a thrill being able to write so intensely while keeping it classy. My mother will be proud!

About a year ago, inspired by the television show, “Swingtown,” I thought it would be fun to create a similar scenario taking place in the 1980s instead of the 1970s. I started writing a book. But, I’m really struggling  because deep down I feel I am going backwards in my career, creating scenes and ideas that I’ve mastered writing about in the 1990s. Now a year into writing this book, I’m not sure I want to go there and finish it.

I shared with my husband, “I just want to write a poignant book about a cat — now that would be challenging!”

He smiled and gave me a hug. He was proud of me.

When I finally do publish my first book, whether it’s the autobiography I’m working on, or a fictitious side project, I want everyone I know to be able to purchase my first book — from my 12-year-old nephew to my 91-year-old father-in-law. Maybe they wouldn’t be interested in the book, but just in case they are, I don’t ever want to discourage someone from buying my book because of inappropriate material.

Recently Shirley Jones published a controversial tell all and so many people said they didn’t need to hear that — and I am with them! Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a place for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — but it doesn’t have to be EVERY PLACE! (In other words, shoved in your face!)

I do have a possible future project coming up that if it pulls through it will have sex and rock ‘n’ roll to appeal to the masses. It will be the experience of someone else, not my experience, written more from a journalistic perspective.

However, when it comes to writing my memoirs, there’s something to be said about going with your heart and not going with what is currently trending. Or being brainwashed into thinking that my book will sell if — and only if — it has sex.

No, I think I’m better than that.