We’ve been talking about the various paths to publishing over the last several weeks. I hope that you have found this information helpful. Here are some final thoughts:
There are generally three ways to get your book published. You can publish your book yourself (self-publish), you can contract with an independent publisher (not affiliated with the Big 5), or you can contract with one of the Big 5 publishers (and you will need to get an agent first). Your choice of which path should be based on a business decision of how you want your business to run.
Do your due diligence and decide which publishing path is the best for you and then take the necessary steps to follow that path. Include Plan B, Plan C, Plan Z to get there. There will be time and work involved in each path. Accept it.
Regardless of the path you choose, there are some things that you should remember:
You are the brand. Your books are the product. This means that you should be professional at all times. You should present your products to your readers as best you can. Think in terms of longevity. This is not a fly-by-night gig. This is your legacy.
Never ever act like a diva. Seriously. Publishing is a small world and word gets around. I have met and worked with some fabulously famous authors who were amazingly kind and generous with their time. I recommend them to conferences and readers alike.
I will only interact with a diva author once.
Do your research and make a realistic marketing plan. Include things that will work for your personality and temperament and follow that plan on a regular basis. Consistency is important.
Make a realistic budget for your marketing plan. Yes, some marketing tasks are free but some marketing tasks are free for a reason (Read that last sentence again). Will you need to purchase author copies to give away? How many review copies will you send out? What about the cost of postage? What about bookmarks or postcards? None of these things are free. Research the cost of goods and services that you want or dream about doing, and include those in your marketing plan. Remember that EVERYBODY MARKETS. If you don’t want to market, then hire someone to market for you, but put that in your budget.
While you pursue publication:
- Keep learning writing craft. You can always be better.
- Read everything. And then read everything else.
- Keep writing. Every day. Write to practice writing.
- You have to write a lot to get good.
Next time: Back to writing your novel in scenes.