In the past 25 years, I have had the pleasure of watching six of my manuscripts go from first word to royalty check. Watching your ideas influence others through your humor, adventure, healing and/or knowledge is very rewarding. However, obstacles exist that can put your publishing dreams at risk. By following the tips below, these obstacles can turn into successful stepping stones.
A book for everyone is a book for no one. Many first-time authors believe the more genres their book fits into the better. Wrong. A book’s strength is in its ability to be classified into one genre, so bookstores know where to shelve it. Case in point: Because the Harry Potter series was so successful within the fantasy genre, millions of readers from others genres jumped in.
While creativity is infinite, the mind is not. Be careful not to waste endless hours rewriting your manuscript in an effort to attain perfection. This is when it takes more guts than talent, so make sure your grammar is correct and your idea is solid, and then send your manuscript out.
Match your book to the right publisher. Do not send a manuscript on how to crochet to a publisher who publishes books on fishing. This is a waste of everyone’s time and a red flag signaling your lack of knowledge and investment in the true dynamics of the publishing industry.
Good things come to those who wait. Everything you do in the publishing process sends a message about your book and you, including your professionalism. Be careful when it comes to contact frequency and overall attitude. The longer a manuscript is held, the higher the chance it is being considered for publication, so be patient.
Rejections are your friend. I received a rejection letter for one of my manuscripts that stated, “it wasn’t funny or clever enough.” I could have cried and quit. However, I listened to their advice, changed the tone to be more cutesy than edgy, and the book sold.
At some point, the sacred “baby” becomes a product. While you have spent nearly all of your blood, sweat and tears to create your “baby,” remember, you might know your book, but your publisher knows its audience and must make whatever changes are needed to generate revenue, so let go and let your publisher take over.
With 30,000 books published per month, I have yet to get rich financially, but I am richly satisfied with the rewards of seeing my ideas and efforts printed for others to enjoy.