Don’t 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? Should I join a writing group?

For authors and authors-to-be, it could be:  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? What topics would you suggest I write about?

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?

And understand this:

Every author makes mistakes. Every one of us. Savvy authors don’t forget what occurred … or how it came to be. Don’t repeat. Then it’s moving forward time. 

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—and 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 goals. 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 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE

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.

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