Thursday, August 07, 2008

What's Killing Your Publishing Career?

by C.F. Jackson

With the large increase of books being published by self-publishers, and the up-rise of print on demand, there is still a lot of death taking place in the publishing industry. In the United States, over 291,920 books were published in 2006, per Bowker.

Are you a part of this population? There are many aspects that make up these individuals. However, let us target just three that are undeniable to anyone reading this article.

As in anything we do, a large portion of it is about taking risks. Are you a risk taker? You have completed your manuscript or just published your novel; it is time to open the entrepreneur portion of your brain.

Risk takers do not mind the possible end result because the thought of success is pure motivation. Many writers and authors remain reclusive within the safe haven of their creativity. What makes this ideology costly? It is the slow return on their investment.

Are you wondering if you fit into this population of authors? Sure you have published your work for the whole world to read, even critique. But that is just the beginning of this venture. What makes you any different than the other hundreds of thousands of writers and authors?

Sure you can play it safe and hope your extraordinary opportunity hits you over your head. Why not become a risk taker and take it by authority?

Becoming a risk taker you must be:
--- persistent
--- creative
--- passionate

Another obvious bludgeon death is the lack of knowledge.

Yes it is lovely to remain in your creative world and just produce book after book. Can you imagine leaving all the other hoopla for others to sort out?

No one who’s a true business person would dare allow themselves to walk blind in their business. Prime examples are Oprah, Donald Trump, and Bill Gates. However, many writers and authors are just that, blind.

In order to be successful, you need to be savvy on all levels in the literary industry. If you are not, just like buying a car, you are going to get taken every time. Do your homework, rather than relying on third party hearsay. For example, many writers have shouted foul play regarding POD (print on demand). The pitch is knowing the short and long term of POD. Before signing any contract, may it be for a car, house, student loan, or what have you, the rule of thumb is to know what it says. If you do not know, you will swing at a curve ball because the only pitch you anticipated was the fastball.

To become knowledgeable:

--- ask questions
--- take the time to research
--- make sure you understand

Lastly, the beast of all beasts, is marketing. It is amazing how many authors are not marketing exhaustively.

This reverts back to the second point: lack of knowledge. Too many authors belief that a publisher will sign them and they will promote and market their book. Happy to inform you, that is not always the case.

This is your business and publishers have invested enough in you, such as advances, printing, and a brief promotion run. After this, it is the author’s job to build a Web site, create news releases, get interviews and so on.

There are many authors and writers out there with published works who are at a loss. Many assume self-published authors do not have to deal with marketing and promoting. If no one has informed you, allow me to say that is not true. All published authors, in any realm must market themselves. How else will your book or novel sell without getting out to the masses? Your readers?

To market, you must:

--- think-outside-the-box
--- market everyday on some level
--- address all angles of your novel or book
--- have a user friendly Web site

Take a look at where you are and where you desire to be in this literary world. Determine if you are killing your publishing career.

This is going to be a challenge, but you must have enough energy, passion, and juice to make it past the trying moments.

As a writer or author, make sure you are multi-dimensional. You are becoming an entrepreneur, so know where your hats are and when to wear them.

C.F. Jackson has been interviewed on The Sumter Television Show, The Louie Jones Show, Millionaire Monday Series by John DiLemme and Atlanta’s WVEE (V-103 FM), to name a few. Download your free Web site Makeover 101 at http://www. Web Learn the two things a Web site must 404.492.7644, email:

1 comment:

awalls said...

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