How Three Publishing Myths Kill the AuthorWritten by Judy Cullins
Agents and publishing houses have their best interests at heart, not author's. Save yourself from headaches, disappointments, and money down drain. Become your own independent publisher and produce your book faster and cheaper. All you need is a little help from professionals.
Myth: You need an agent or big publishing house to market your book and make big money.
Since big publishers don't look at unknown authors, now is time to look at what they can do for you. Dan Poynter, self- publishing guru, says that if a publisher can't sell four times as many books as you can, you're better off selling it yourself. Self-publishing first is good because it acts as a test market for your book. If it sells well (over 10,000 in a year), publishers may be interested in your book. Traditional publishers and agents accept only 1-2% of authors' submissions, and even if you are one of "chosen" you may not make much money after printing, bookstore, distributor, wholesaler and other expenses --probably $2 on a $14 book. Yes, you get an advance, but your sales must meet that and more. And after initial book tour, trainee marketing person is onto next new author. Then, your books disappear from bookstore shelf unless you, personally, devote a lot of time to marketing them.
Book Publishing is a new game today. Think self-publishing where profits are all yours. Self-publishing is in. Thanks to Dan Poynter of Self Pulsing Manual for giving us permission to do part of task ourselves. If you self-publish and decide to print, you need to print only copies you need (5-500) with new technology Print on Demand (POD). No more unsold cartons of books in your closets or garage. You print as you go leaving enough cash flow to market your book splendidly.
Rome Wasn't Built in a DayWritten by Mary Anne Hahn
One of characteristics that I am *not* known for, and which I have spent a lifetime trying to develop, is patience. I'm an "instant gratification" kind of girl when it comes to most things.
Obviously, building a freelance writing career does not exactly cater to that aspect of my personality. The reality of waiting four to twelve weeks for a response to a queried article idea drives me to distraction. The thought that it can take nearly a year between having a book accepted by a publisher and having it actually published boggles my mind. And how many hands do you have to shake, how many business cards do you have to distribute, and how many cold calls do you have to make, before you can drum up even an erratic flow of local business writing projects?
That's probably why I so enjoy Internet. Query responses sometimes return in a matter of days, or even hours. Ebook publishing is almost instantaneous. An article submitted to an online publication one day can appear on Web next. You can bid on writing projects a half a world away without having to shake one hand or make one cold call.
But even in this amazing time for writers, it takes patience and perseverance to build one's career, reputation and income. Sure, we might have capability to whip up a meal in minutes, travel to different time zones in hours, or get published by end of this week. But to create for ourselves a fulfilling freelance career calls for tapping those same virtues that our ancestors survived on long before advent of microwaves, airplanes and email.