How to NOT Sabotage Your Author, Writer and Publishing Career

Not a week goes by that I don’t get a variety of “How do I do it?” questions that pertain to either writing, publishing or book marketing. Whew. None are one sentence responses.

If it’s about writing, it may be: How can I make a living writing? Do you know who pays for freelancers?

For authors and authors-to-be, it could be: I want to be in this for the long haul. How do I get started? How do I find an agent or a publisher? How do I launch my book? How do I start book marketing?

This doesn’t just apply to authors-to-be and already published authors. If you are going to publish, here are the questions that need to be addressed:

Are you a one-book-pony … just to one and only one book?


Are you into this for the long haul … more than one book … maybe a series … to build on a career or a new career?

If you are a one-book-pony, my response has to be: Is this a legacy book? Is it something you are doing for a “lead generator” for your business? Is your book something you just want to “get done”; get it up on Amazon and whoever finds it, finds it? Or are you going to create it; print it either in an offset manner or POD, and market it to bring in buyers?

If you are in for the long haul, I would respond with: embrace and believe in the GOYT Factor: Get Off Your Tush. Successful authors and writers have learned that publishing isn’t for sissies. It takes work—lots of it. It requires tenacity and maintains passion and vision for every project. It means that the author and writer stay true to self.

I’ve spent mega hours on the phone with authors. Some just want a short response (and most likely, the one they want to hear—an often don’t like what I say). Others hang in there—many become clients and I have the privilege to travel with them on their publishing journey.

It’s a pleasure to assist authors accomplish their goal. And it’s painful to see and hear how some undermine and sabotage their efforts.

To recognize self-sabotage and publishing squashing scenarios, avoid:

  • Allowing the naysayers to take over.
  • Understanding the most “critics” are actually envious of you-you are writing a book; you are published. They aren’t. Enough said.
  • Being a loner—writing is a solo activity; publishing is a community. Join it.
  • Failing to acknowledge your mistakes and learning from them.
  • Being a jerk and treating those who “help” you poorly.

To move you toward author success and away from self-sabotaging downfall, ask:

What can I do to increase my chances of becoming and being a successful author?

Answers could include:

  • Maintaining a positive attitude (yes, after multiple rejections).
  • Coming to ongoing learning.
  • Getting over the ongoing frustrations that the ever-changing publishing environment induces.
  • Altering and fine-tuning my method of business.
  • Learning to market myself and my books.
  • Labeling my expertise and using so others are aware of it.
  • Creating a compelling voice and position—there’s nothing namby-pamby about you.
  • Understanding the “power” of the buzz.
  • Knowing who I’m writing for—for fiction, creating storylines and writing that creates a page-turner AND for nonfiction, knowing what the pains/problems of my reader are.
  • Writing on an ongoing basis.
  • Embracing the new tools that apps and technology generate.
  • Identifying up to three social media platforms to begin to share and reveal my expertise within.
  • Building and enhancing my reputation within the publishing community.
  • Becoming and being the type of author that Fans celebrate; that Designers, Illustrators, Editors, Book Coaches, Book Consultants, Publicists, Agents, and Publishers would love to work with.

What say you? What have you done to support your publishing success? What else can you do? What do you do to keep your passion and vision alive, even with setbacks? What have you done that slowed you down? What would you NOT do again?

How to NOT Sabotage Your Author, Writer and Publishing Career is a “chewy” blog. What bites will you take?


Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35, How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos has earned 7 national book awards in 2017Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged Bootcamp, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2018, the dates are June 23-25.  Participate in her Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Bootcamp held in March and November. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact me.

 The Book Shepherd ™

2 Comments on How to NOT Sabotage Your Author, Writer and Publishing Career

  1. Pingback: [Download] Blogs for Self-Publishers, May 4 – 11, 2018 | Free eBooks PDF

  2. Ronnie says:

    Hi there

    I recently launch my first book on 5 May, there’s about 120 copies out in the market already and I get different opinions from different readers, nothing negative though. But I need to market it well so I can attract the audience it’s written for. Do you have any advice pls

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