One of the most difficult parts of publishing is the decision-making process. Should you self-publish (establish your own publishing company), go with a pay-to-publish company or hold out for a traditional royalty publisher?
Should you follow your editor’s or potential publisher’s advice to do a rewrite, give your book a different slant, add (or remove) chapters, build in a stronger how-to aspect, tone down the dialect, insert expert quotes, etc.?
Perhaps you should just write the book the way you want and produce an ebook. Maybe traditional publishing isn’t for you, after all.
How do you make the right decision about your book project? Well, you’ve heard this before: Study the publishing industry. I wonder how many people actually follow this advice. They hear it from every expert and professional and even some newby authors. But do they—do you—actually follow through in any way that is meaningful—so that you actually gain an understanding of the industry and your potential role within it?
Anyone can sit down, write a series of paragraphs and call it a book manuscript. You don’t have to take classes and study in order to produce a manuscript. You don’t even have to study to publish that book. But if you want to produce a book that is coherent, useful, well-organized and at least relatively error-free, you are probably going to need to work hard, study and practice, practice, practice.
Likewise, anyone can publish a book. But many authors are stumped as to which option to choose. How does one decide? Do you go with the sure thing—the pay-to-publish company whose representative is so nice and friendly and seems to love your story? Do you jump through the hoops outlined by the editors at the specialty publishing company who wants your book, but only after a rewrite? Or do you take charge and self-publish?
These can be hard decisions for someone who doesn’t yet understand the publishing industry, all of the options available and his/her responsibilities as a published author.
The author must also know something about his genre/field, writing skill level, expectations, platform, audience and his down deep reasons for wanting this book published.
Publishing, you see, is not simply a means through which to have your self-expressions acknowledged and, perhaps, accepted. Publishing is more than an avenue of influence or a way to massage one’s ego. Publishing is a business and your book is a product. No matter how you publish, as the author, you are the marketing agent for your product. And this is the long and the short of it.
In order to make better decisions on behalf of your book project, study the publishing industry before ever sitting down to write that book. Start by reading the book I wrote expressly for you! Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author. This book actually has exercises and provides prompts to help you make these tough decisions.
If you have started writing your book, you have finished it, you are trying to find a publisher or you are trying to promote this book, it is never too late to read Publish Your Book.
It’s also at amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores.