I suppose every profession has its joys and frustrations. Whether you’re in a job you adore or dislike, there are moments you enjoy and those you’d rather avoid. An accountant, for example, may like working with figures, but not people. A policeman might love going out on calls, but struggle with the paperwork. And a secretary or administrative assistant might like the organizational aspect of his/her work, but resist handling phone calls.
It’s the same for the career writer. We may breeze through the writing phase of a project, but balk when it comes to learning a new technological tool. We may actually look forward to going out and meeting our readers, but hate, hate, hate the work involved with setting up book signings, presentations and so forth. We might enjoy writing articles, but cringe when it comes to submitting them.
What most non-authors and new authors don’t realize is that successful authorship involves much more than writing a good book. You don’t just write a story, get it published, then sit back and watch royalties roll in. Just as there’s more to police work than catching bad guys and more to being a bus driver than knowing your stops, there’s also more to being an author than most people realize.
Authors must have knowledge and a knack for writing clearly and concisely. They should know how to engage readers; teach and/or entertain them through their writing. Successful authors generally do a lot of research and self-editing. Since it is the author who arranges to have his work published, he must also know something about the publishing industry, his options, his responsibilities as a published author and how to navigate the fiercely competitive publishing industry.
An author must be patient, diligent and have a propensity toward stick-to-itiveness. There are a lot of choices when it comes to publishing and it’s important to make the right one for your project.
Once the book is published, the author must become a marketing manager—promotional expert. A book does not sell itself. Publishers don’t do much to promote the books they produce. It is up to the author to promote his/her books, which means that he or she must understand book promotion, which promotional activities work best for their particular book, etc. And the author must understand that book promotion is not a one-time event, or something you pursue for a few months. Stop promoting your book, and it will die.
If you are an author or plan to be, keep in mind that you, too, will probably love parts of authorship and vehemently dislike others. But it you want a successful book, you cannot sign up for some of the tasks and not others.
Here’s a keen and complete guide to the publishing industry. It should be required reading for all authors. Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author by Patricia Fry. Order your copy now here: http://www.matilijapress.comPublishYourBook.html or order a print, audio or Kindle version at amazon.com.
Download a FREE copy of my ebook, 50 Ways to Establish Your Author Platform here: http://www.patriciafry.com