Book Publishing: Persistence, Perseverance and Passion … That’s the Ticket

Persistence, Perseverance and Passion … That’s the Ticket

Two publishing scenarios …do you choose self-publishing/independent or traditional? … that’s the question.

Here’s an astonishing fact: Three books on the top 10 titles on the Combined Print and E-Book Fiction Best Seller List last fall were self-published: #4 Blind Faith by CJ Lyons, #5 The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan, and #6 The Abbey by Chris Culver. All published under the own imprints—all very successful.

Self-publishing is increasing exponentially.  It has moved into the ranks of the honorable—authors who felt that … and publishers who believed—that New York was the only true way to publish are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of the literary world.

Publishing your own books isn’t easy. You still have to write a good book and sell it largely on your own. You have to work your tush off … no exceptions. But it’s faster, you have more control over it, and you get a bigger share of the profits.

Amazing … how this world of publishing has changed. The rapid speed with which self and independent books have risen in acceptance and success is something traditional publishers never anticipated. And probably didn’t want to dream about.

Another author chose to go the New York route. When Kathryn Stockett submitted her manuscript, she was almost giddy when her first few rejections came in from agents—remarks like, “It didn’t sustain my interest,” to “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing,” were the norm. She just kept tweaking her manuscript believing a publisher would fall in love with her manuscript. Those first few rejections were a badge of honor.

At rejection 15, she was feeling less giddy; at 40, she felt that the past year and one-half of rejections was getting old—she began to lie to her friends about what she did on the weekends … as she continued to tweak her manuscript. When she hit rejection #45, neurosis hit—all she could think about was getting an agent, revising the book, and getting it published. Even the advanced labor contractions of her daughter’s pending arrival couldn’t pull her away from the rewrites—to make her book better, more compelling, readable.

After five years of writing and three and one-half years of rejections, she hit pay dirt shortly after the arrival of rejection #60. Number 61 wanted her book. It was a good thing for all of us, as millions have enjoyed the sassy spirit of The Help.

What if Kathryn Stockett had given up after the first rejection … or the 15th … the 30th … the 45th … or the 60th? The answer is that she wouldn’t have sold her book, much less found it in the movie theaters. What about the self and independent author? Can she or he make it to the big screen or a major best-seller list? Yes—but in either case, it’s going to be about persistence, perseverance and passion—all elements of the Author’s Platform.

Most New York published authors now sell less than 1,000 books—surely a number that any self and independent published author can run circles around. Why?—because they know that they have to do the work to move their book where the New York author truly believes that their publisher will do the work. In their dreams …

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd, a book publishing coach and the Founder of Author U (niversity) 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. She’s the author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Her next audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform will be available in the Spring of 2012. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book publishing on the 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