National award-winning author of "Texas In Her Own Words," Tweed Scott

Today we’re featuring award-winning author, Tweed Scott, of Houston, Texas. Thank you for sharing with our audience, Tweed. We’re grateful for your advice and wish you continued success.

Your name and company name: Tejas Communications,

Year founded / location / number of employees:
April 2004, currently in Houston, TX and I am a sole proprietorship

Publishing genre: Non-Fiction, Texana

Number of titles: One

Favorite and/or most successful titles: Texas In Her Own Words

Upcoming releases: Still writing Texas 50 Over 50.

If not publishing full-time, what’s your other job?
Professional speaker

What do you like best and least about being a small or independent publisher?
The best: I love the ability to make my own decisions, especially in the marketing of my book and career. It allows for lots of creativity and flexibility.  My least favorite aspect of being a small and independent is having to do it all especially the parts that I am not particularly good at. That is why I have other smart people around me to do the things that I don’t so well.

What inspired you to publish your first book?
I have always been taken by Texans and that can do attitude. I have been intrigued by where all that comes from. So after having been told that I wouldn’t understand because I was not born in Texas, I’m convinced that Texans have what I call the ‘T-Chromosome” and I decided that I was going to find out where that comes from.

What is your favorite/most successful marketing effort?
Doing speeches and presentations leading to back of the room sales. On average I have consistently sold 1/3 to ½ the room after each presentation. I have built an entire speaking business out of this model.

How do you get through road blocks – or writer’s block?
I can honestly say, I never get writer’s block. I have found that when I begin to write but am not sure how to start, I just start crashing words onto my computer screen or paper. I can start with anything, even “Mary had a little lamb.” By the time I have written a paragraph or two, my mind has already wrapped itself around the idea I wanted to write about in the first place. It’s easy to go back and delete the first part of the document. I just find it helps me to prime the pump and get on with the real writing at hand.

One thing you wish you had known before you began publishing:
It would have been helpful to know how complicated it is and how many people are going to be involved in YOUR publishing dream. It’s important to surround yourself with smart, capable, and professional people. Do that and your road to publication will be smoother.

One piece of good advice that you’ve received:
Two good pieces that I will always live by. 1) Don’t cut corners with your book cover. Your cover WILL sell you a lot of books. It did with mine. 2) Trust your gut — most of the time it will be right. I was told by someone I respected that I should change the name of my book because it would never sell with that title. I languished over that advice for two weeks. Finally, my gut was telling me to keep the original title. After all, that IS what the book is about. I kept the title and cannot see where it cost me one sale over the two and half years it’s been on the market. It is still selling well at the Alamo. I rest my case. Listen to the advice of the experts, but trust your gut.

Please provide a piece of profound advice for a new author/publisher:
This is a business. You have to treat it as a business if you intend to realize any profit from it.  Even if you have a big-time publisher, ultimately you as the author have to market your book. I learned early in my research of the publishing business; you as the author will spend 6% of your time writing your book. You will spend 94% of your time marketing or selling your book. I can tell you from personal experience having done this for the past 2 ½ years; that statistic is absolutely dead on. No one will do a better job of selling your book than you. So once you finish your manuscript, take off your writer hat and put on your marketing hat. It is a completely different mindset, but it is critical to the success of your book.

Any other comments you’d like to make?
It is amazing how much authoring and publishing a book CAN change your life. Anymore, when people ask me how I’m doing, I just tell ’em, “I’m living my dream.” It almost always brings a smile from the other person. But the simple truth is — I am.


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