So where does an author start? What is the first step? Understanding the publishing industry—getting a grasp on what it entails, what all of your options are and what your responsibilities as a published author are.
Here’s what publishing professionals suggest:
- Study the publishing industry.
1. Continue to visit blogs. Follow the links. Consider the recommendations. Check out the resources. Heed the advice of professionals.
2. Read books by industry professionals such as Patricia Fry, Dan Poynter, Brian Jud, Mark Levine, Penny Sansevieri and others.
3. Join local authors’ groups. Attend meetings and events, participate in their discussion groups, read the articles and check out the resources at their sites and study every newsletter they so carefully prepare for you.
4. Subscribe to magazines and newsletters related to publishing. “Publishing Basics,” “Book Marketing Matters,” “SPAWNews,” “The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter—all FREE.
5. Search the Net. Spend time each week checking out the resources you’ve already discovered and searching for additional resources, articles, discussion groups and books. Use these materials and sites to gather additional information you need about the industry (your publishing options, how to choose and approach publishers/agents, your responsibilities as a published author, what to expect when it comes to marketing your book and so forth).
6. Attend at least one good authors’ conference. Sit in on several of the workshops. Ask questions, pick up handouts and network with other authors.
How can you succeed as an author in today’s highly competitive publishing arena? Remember that publishing is a business and approach it as such.
* [This article was written by Patricia Fry, author of 37 books and executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) www.spawn.org. Her latest book is Talk Up Your Book (Allworth Press). Follow her informative publishing blog daily: www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.]