Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Publishing Decision

This is the first of several blog posts on the publishing process, written in conjunction with my new book -- Writing When Time is Scarce And Getting the Work Published.
Through the years, many writers I know have wondered about whether to publish their work. There are many considerations in making a publish-or-don’t-publish decision. Some involve trade-offs with other activities. Others include whether you want to spend time on the business end of the writing equation. 

 To me, it’s worth it to spend about ninety percent of my work time writing and ten percent on the publishing and marketing end. If you want to share your work, I think you may also find it a worthwhile split. Keep in mind that even if you work with a publisher, you'll spend time interacting with their staff, and they definitely expect you to market a lot.

If you try hard to  get a major publisher and don't succeed, you have not failed. Assuming your book is well done, it's simply not what they are looking for now.

 Even as recently as ten years ago, reaching an audience meant finding a publisher (not easy at all) or publishing yourself and turning the product over to a printer. If you want to sell a novel, the cost-per-book needs to be low. Authors would have to buy 1,000 copies to make the price-per-book reasonable. In the 'old days,' you worked with a distributor or visited bookstores around the region –- carting a trunk full of books.

Things have changed.

Modern self-publishing makes it possible to write your book and produce ebooks or paper copies for next to nothing. Copies are printed as you need them – called print-on-demand publishing, or POD.

Your primary expenses will be for editing and a cover. When new writers say they have no funds for editing, I suggest they hold a rummage sale. That's not a smart-alek remark. We all have too much stuff, and you'll need shelf space for your new books.

No one thing is 'most' important, but one thing is essential. Take your time. You only get once chance to make a first impression.

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