We’ve talked before about how important it is that you take charge of every aspect of your book project from start to finish. And, really, there is no “finish,” unless you decide to stop promoting. So I guess I should say, from start to forever.
What do I mean by taking charge? What can (and should) you control? Only everything!
• Decide to write the right book for the right audience. Make sure this book is wanted/needed and not just something you want to write for ego reasons.
• Write a book proposal. This will help you to determine whether or not you are writing the right book for your audience and how to best market this book. This will also give you the opportunity to define your platform and devise ways to build on it.
• Keep your audience in mind throughout the entire writing process. Organize your nonfiction book so it is easy to use. Include the information and material the reader needs. Write so that your audience can follow along. For fiction, make sure you don’t leave the reader behind or confuse him. Make your story flow logically and so that it is entertaining.
• Study the publishing industry early on so that you have a good understanding of your options, the possible consequences of your choices, your responsibility as a published author and the inner workings of the industry—just as you would any other business you were about to enter.
• Research your publishing options and become highly familiar with each one. Thoroughly study those options you are considering—understand the contracts, be absolutely clear as to what you are getting and what you are giving up.
• Hire a good book editor and expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $3,000—more for a huge manuscript that needs a lot of work.
• Devise a marketing plan and commit to it. By now you should understand the importance of your full attention to the task of book promotion. If you don’t take this step at least as seriously as you did the writing of the book, you won’t have a very successful publishing experience.
I am available to field your questions. Those of you just reading this information for the first time will be a bit stymied by the intensity of my suggestions. But I have to tell you that publishing—especially if you are serious about a successful commercial outcome—is a seriously competitive business that will take your full attention. Contact me here: PLFry620@yahoo.com
In the meantime, read the book I wrote just for you. It is an amazing lesson in understanding the publishing industry and learning how to successfully navigate it. The book is Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author. It’s at http://www.matilijapress.com It’s also at amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores.