It seems like a good idea to write a novel, memoir, self-help book or ___________ (you fill in the blank). But is it, really? What makes you believe that you should spend months or years writing this book? How do you know there is a need or desire for it? Are you sure that there are publishers waiting for a book like this and consumers yearning to read it?
Or are you so emotionally attached to your book idea that you are willing to risk time and money, not to mention your mental health, in order to see it published—one way or another?
Not all manuscripts are meant to be published. Let me say that again, not all manuscripts are meant to be published. Just because you have this desire to write something down, doesn’t mean that it is worthy of publication. There are thousands of books in the system now that probably should have remained just a concept in the author’s mind or musings in a private journal. And there are thousands of authors who wish they had never spent the money to produce an inferior book just for the ego rush. Some of them realize now where they went wrong—others still don’t have a clue.
It used to be that publishers pretty much determined what books were available to read. We had few choices, as consumers, but to rely on their opinions. There have certainly always been a few renegade self-publishers and vanity presses trying to create a voice within the industry, as well. But, today, practically anything and everything goes—good or bad, rich or sleazy, intellectual or trashy, desired/needed or not. And some authors don’t even care about the quality of their project. They just want to see their words (their ideas, their thoughts) down on paper. They want to have something from their own imagination, ingenuity or experiences preserved for evermore. And many of these authors don’t give a second thought to their audiences until the reality of publication begins to set in.
The author wakes up one day and realizes, “Hey, I’ve just spent quite a bit of money having my memoirs (gay-ethnic-romance novel, children’s picture book or alphabetical guide to sushi bars along the west coast) published. Now I’m going to start selling it.” And he heads to the nearest Borders Bookstore with an armload of books and a bundle of self-confidence.
It doesn’t take long for rejection to diminish his confidence level and for overwhelm to set in. Some of these authors run back to their POD companies and start signing up for various promotional programs in hopes of selling enough books to pay the growing publishing bill. When these programs fail to produce the sales figures he desires, the author gives up and his book dies.
So what could have saved this author? What can you do to guarantee your own publishing success? Educate yourself. Become knowledgeable about the publishing industry. Become aware, through study, that publishing is NOT an extension of your writing, but a business. And then take the steps toward becoming a savvy author with a strong business sense. Here are my recommendations for new authors who on the verge of entering into the publishing field. Before writing that book or, at least, before choosing a publishing option:
• Study the publishing industry.
• Become aware of and consider all publishing options before making a choice.
• Keep an open mind. Knowledge will burst some of your bubbles.
• Write a book proposal.
For assistance with any of the above, order your copy of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book NOW. Herein, you will learn about the publishing industry, you’ll become aware of your publishing options and receive guidance in making your choice, you’ll also find complete instructions for creating a book proposal along with sample proposals as templates. http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html