Book Publishing … Goodbye 2011 and Hello 2012
The decorations are down, dishes put away and guests departed. It’s time to get back to the author’s work with new passion, a vision that has possibly been tweaked over the Holidays and a commitment that this is the year. Your year.
Starting a book is a major event. Continuing the journey deserves a tap dance or two. Launching it is a firework celebration.
As The Book Shepherd, my goal is always for the author to create a book that she or he doesn’t regret. The cover, the insides, the content, the editing, the time spent creating it, the ____.
One of the most important things that an author—new or old—must keep at the forefront is the voice—is it his or hers? Or, has it been so morphed by others in the process that it has gotten lost … not to be found. This is the year that your voice is heard above the noise—the noise of millions of other books that are out there.
- Let this be your year that you are not lost; that you are found in the present and the future.
- Let this be the year that you will seek and find the answers to every question you have … and ones that you didn’t know were circling, just waiting for you to ask.
- Let this be the year that you invest in both your work and yourself to get it grounded and launched.
- Let this be the year that your Author and Book Platforms rock and roll!
- Let this be the year that you build on your crowd—or as Seth Godin says: the tribe.
- Let this be the year that your crowd—your readers—find you.
- Let this be the year that you, and your book, are truly findable across the Internet.
- Let this be the year that no one looks at you with a glaze in their eyes as you share that you are publishing your book with your own imprint.
- Let this be the year that you say, “I can do that. I can be a bestseller.”
It’s an exciting time to be an author; it’s an awesome time to be a publisher. The typical author, especially the author that views his path aligned with a traditional publisher, wants the details to be taken care by others—to in some ways, be taken care of. The independent author/publisher knows that “if it is going to happen,” he needs to be intricately involved in the process. He must continue his education; keep updated on marketing strategies and tools; and stay connected with others in the authoring/publishing community.
That’s because you want to educate yourself, you want to find out what’s happening in indie publishing, you want to learn about book construction, or you want to find out the cool new ways people are marketing their books. No longer does an author write a book, get it published and wait. Wait for success or wait for the end, meaning sales have dwindled to zilch and the ride is other. Today’s savvy author knows that his book can have a never-ending life—with marketing smarts, vision, passion, commitment and the tribe.
Welcome to my world … the world of publishing that I embraced in 2000 when a client said, “We would like to buy 1,000 copies of your book that you will be speaking about in the spring … and do you think you could arrange a discount with the publisher.” Of course I said, “Yes,” knowing that I had just taken the rights back from the traditional publisher and to the best of my knowledge, only 60 copies existed. I jumped in; started to learn the insider’s world of publishing; the dollars and sense of publishing; and how to find people to create the book that I committed to deliver on my promise. I was an already an author of 18 published books; now I was to become a publisher. Heady stuff.
What I’m thankful for is that I did come from the traditional publishing side. My visual model. My books were edited and professionally designed on the interior and exterior. When I created my own imprint, it never dawned on me to do it half-assed … I expected that my first book would be of quality—that’s what I grew up with as a beginning author in 1981. The vanity press/publishing model? Never an option—not even in my sights.
The growth of quality independent publishing is phenomenal and will only continue to escalate; the “e” world has become a pearl for many authors who would have never had a chance; and the separation of the vanities and publishing predators from true independents is comparable to buying a cheap 50 cent toy that breaks when it is picked up versus one that is designed to last.
Indeed, here’s to 2012!
PS—my book, Show Me About Book Publishing is perfect for anyone who is interested in publishing. Available pBook and eBook formats on all platforms.
Judith Briles is a book publishing coach and known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.