Thursday, May 22, 2008

How To Unearth Buried Treasures

by Michael Levy

Every person on earth has a story to tell that illuminates a treasure chest of experiences. Money should not be the reason to write, for If a person wants to earn a little money by becoming a self published author, then they need to start out with a lot of money.

It is very doubtful most writers will make any money by publishing their own books. However, if they wait for perfection or a large publishing house to accept them ... hell may have to freeze over first.

"It does not matter how slowly you go ... so long as you do not stop." - Confucius

Some people believe they have the talent to become famous authors and, no doubt, they are legends in their own minds. But having talent and being a good writer does not mean you will find success as an author. It just means you are a good writer. Many badly written books become best sellers, whilst many wonderful works go unnoticed. Nobody said we live in a fair world.

"The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and Old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of ... Wild, Creative Delight." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are other folks who say they could never become authors because they have not perfected their style yet. Some say they have nothing to write about. Well, everybody has something to share with the world even if it is how they continue to fail. In fact, negativity seems to be more acceptable to the public than positivity. Books that make the public cry, dramatize life, or scare them seem to be the ones on the bestseller list more often.

"Not knowing when the dawn will come... I open every door." - Emily Dickinson

The first thing new self-published authors have to realize is they will most likely be rejected by the media and general public unless they can afford the services of a reputable publicist. And there are many non-reputable scam merchant publicists out in the publishing world waiting for the next starry-eyed sucker to come along. Many pitfalls await a new author and unscrupulous predators await around every corner. They all seem very friendly, but if they are buttering you up ... be careful you are not the roast of the day. You can also take advantage of a “pay-for-placement publicist” and for only $3,000 you can have your name mentioned in a top magazine and they will even quote you as an expert. (Only recommenced for those authors with a driving ego and deep pockets.)

"I passionately hate the idea of being with it... I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time." - Orson Welles

Never, ever go into debt to sell books. The self-publishing world is filled with many people who will eagerly take your money and promise you great exposure. Most times you will lose your money and feel very disappointed. So the second thing to realize is ... do not have any expectations of making the big time. Just publish your book for the fun of it. If you can find someone to help you as a partner with no money up front, who will share the profits they make for you, then that is the best solution of all. When your book does sell a million copies then it will be a very pleasant, welcome surprise. It will be a bonus ... for you only set out to enjoy the journey. The reality that you generated fame and fortune along the way is just the icing on the cake ... it is not the cake itself.

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled ... but a fire to be ignited." – Plutarch

Now that you have heard all the good news, how are you going to actually publish your book?

• Are you going to get a good copy and format editor? (Recommended for first timers and for veteran writers.)
• Are you going to get a good traditional printer ? (Only recommended for people with deep pockets, for large print runs are required.)
• Are you going to get a publicist? (Even deeper pockets needed.)
• Are you going to get a literary agent? (Good ones are very selective.)
• Are you going to publish an e-book and sell it through the Internet?
• Are you going to use a print-on-demand publisher? (Recommended for most folks with little money to spare and can be combined with an e-book.) Do a search on the Internet and find the best on-demand publisher who is fair and genuinely wants to help you succeed.

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world." --Mother Teresa

Publishing your own book can be a very enjoyable experience, or it can become a tortuous, depressing event. It will all depend on how you set up your mind's prospects for success. With 70,000, or is it 700,000 (what does one more naught matter) new books published each year, the chances of becoming rich and famous are slim. But to die with your book still inside you is to have wasted your life on earth.

"All that is gold does not glitter ... not all those who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien

Once you have published your book, you are a success. No matter what your friends and family may say, you have published and they have not. No matter what negativity the media communicates, they are just doing their job and you are still a published author. They, on the other hand, probably are not. Remember what Moliere said: "Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love, and then for a few close friends, and then for the money."

There are some great Websites that help authors find their niche market. If you write to the owners of the site, they will be delighted to help you find the correct highway to travel on shaping your dreams into a reality.

"Happiness is when what you think ... what you say and what you do are in harmony." – Gandhi

Publish your book, enjoy the experience, and know you are successful by your actions and deeds ... not by other people's opinions. Now, set up a Website to sell your book. Submit your link to other Websites and search engines. Be persistent in all your endeavors. Be patient in all your pursuits. Be joyful in your approach to prosperity. And most important of all... be helpful to others.

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams... and endeavors to live the life he has imagined... he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

International radio host Michael Levy, is the author of eight inspirational books including the financial/inspirational book, Invest With A Genius. Michael's poetry and essays now grace many Websites, newspapers, journals and magazines throughout the world. He is a prominent speaker on health maintenance, stress eradication, wealth development, authentic happiness and inspirational poetry. Michael Levy Professional Optimist, PO BOX 7, 3032 East Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 USA. Website: Email:


Jim Murdoch said...

A good common sense article. I have just published my first novel and there are so many sites out there who are charging a small fortune for stuff that costs nothing if you only have the time to do the research and a bit of common sense.

The problem, and this is the problem with the Internet in general, is that there are too many sites. How do you know which one to settle on? How do you know they're telling you the truth?

It would have been helpful if you could have listed even a few of the "great Websites that help authors find their niche market" because sweeping statements are easy to make. (That's an observation, not a criticism).

Another one I've heard more than once is about the thousands of book review sites out there - yes, but most of them have a tiny readership. A little list saying "these are the ones to go for" would also be a help.

My personal problem is that my novel doesn't fit into a nice comfortable genre so it's so much harder to target my demongraphic.

Jessica Burkhart said...

Great post! I just found your blog and it's definitely a wealth of resources.