I have published 11 books to date. And I’ve been included in more than a dozen other anthology publications. Each book publishing journey has held and continues to produce ups and downs. Here are five things I’ve learned about and from publishing books.
- If you think you’ll make a great living off of one published book, think again. I know a lot of published authors and none of them got to full-time writing as a career until they reached book 7 or 10 or 12. It takes time to build a following large enough to support you. So start building that following today. Social media makes it affordable and easier than it has ever been before.
- Every book has the perfect publishing platform. Sometimes, traditional is the way to go. You’ll want to seek out an agent and get them to sell the book for you. Other projects, self-publishing is the perfect route. If you can reach your niche audience better than anyone else, consider self-publishing (if taking care of every single detail is your style). You’ll know based on the interest others show in your project.
- No matter how you’re published (traditionally or self) you are responsible for all of your own publicity. When my first book, 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live, was published by Career Press, I did get about 30 days of attention that included lots of radio interviews. But after those 30 days, the publisher moved on to the next new group of books and I was on my own. This was, of course, also true when I self-published and when I published others. Do all you can now to build your following and to become an extrovert.
- The best place to sell books is at the back of the room. So many authors I’ve met are afraid of public speaking, but if you want to sell books, that’s what you’ll have to do. Develop a following by teaching workshops or classes and then offer your book at the back of the room. Speakers are respected and the audience is thrilled to get your autograph.
- Become joyful with the juggle. Take time each day to write, to promote yourself, and to live your life. Some days it’s difficult to get equal time for all three of those. But, that’s the goal. That’s why I say my writing career is a long, slow play. There’s no need to rush. Do a little more each day and in time you’ll achieve your publishing dreams and goals.