Publishing Decisions 101

While some authors have a single focus—one book they must write and publish, many of us have multiple projects we hope to complete. And it can become difficult to decide which one to produce first. Here’s my criteria for the first-time author:

1: Which book is closest to your heart? If your passion lies with your memoir and you start with the novel first, you may have trouble staying on track. However, if you determine (after reading the remainder of these points) that the novel has more potential, you might get through the process without too much difficulty.

2: Which one will most likely do better in the marketplace?

3: Which one are you more well-equipped to promote?

If you are still stuck, write a book proposal for each book. Perhaps the truth in the pudding will show up within this business plan.

I often suggest to hopeful authors that they start with a how-to or informational book. If you have knowledge or skills in a specific topic—grammar, quilting, metal-working, a form of art, organizing, shopping on a budget, making cookies, for example—write a pamphlet or booklet on this topic. You know your audience and where to find them. You should be able to market adequately and sell many copies of your product. And you’ll learn volumes about publishing and marketing through this exercise. THEN write one of those books that are close to your heart. But not without writing a book proposal first.

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