Monday is here and I’m still feeling inspired from my weekend meet-up with two fellow authors. They wanted to meet to decide the best route to go when it comes to publishing. We started with traditional publishing and finding an agent. I asked if they wanted to wait and go through the whole experience of being published through a big publishing house. I wasn’t surprised by their answer after listening to how long it took them to finish the book. My fellows didn’t think they needed to go the traditional route because things have changed with online options.
However, we talk about small local presses but if you go this route you’re still paying for everything as you go. This doesn’t cover the marketing or editing. The minimum packages for local presses in your area start at $5,000 dollars. You might be promoted on their website but some of them may not allow selling on Amazon. Let’s face it. Amazon is now the largest publisher around the world.
The publishing field is leveled. Yes, many authors try the traditional route but it’s only if they are prepared for rejections and pitch after pitch. We know it’s not impossible but you need to have the patience for it. Does this mean that if you self publish your book isn’t as good? No, but your book still needs to capture an audience while being professional enough to be sent out by a publishing house. If you self publish, you are bypassing gatekeepers to the best seller lists and more great authors are being recognized because they didn’t go this direction. A good manuscript is less likely to be lost in a slush pile because of online options.
Our ideas spilled over as we took a few bites of our delicious fajitas and packages. The energy flowed back and both between creatives and we’re one step closer to our target launch date. Having experiencing in design and publishing, I helped them begin to craft a 2 -3 month launch plan because we’re the ones who have to do the marketing.
What does a launch plan look like? Think about the summary on the back cover of your book or the query letter you would send off to a publisher. The plan is to talk about their book by using the main points of their novel. I gave them homework to get back on track with their social media, including TikTok. I’ve seen so many authors get discovered because of the supportive author and reader network. Once their media is up they should start sharing so that followers get to know them and their story. Many other authors who have big launch days spent this many months if not more building an audience.
One big decision maker in their choices was the fact that one of them was on our local news channel for years. She had her own live segment and has connections. Her chances of being read are higher than someone else without her network. We talked about her supportive friends and family who helped her get to this point after experiencing the tragic event of losing her husband oversees while outside of the US. There was no help to be found and this brave woman had to get embassy contacts and other officials involved so that she find him after he went missing. A vacation turned into a nightmare that no one ever deserves to experience.
Let’s just say there were times at the table when our eyes teared up as we talked. I warned my own husband that he might find me crying the next few weeks as I go over their manuscript. But that’s normal in the writing world. I’ve bawled while I writing sad chapters of my own.
Hopefully, I can get through the editing without too much drama so that I can focus on how the story flows. Did I mention that they found me through another author that I help publish and market? Yes, I’m being paid for my time and we agreed on fees. This is another option for experienced writers but you need to be comfortable being on the other side of the typewriter. I’ve been paid for consulting, art commissions, and social media marketing.
The best part of all of this isn’t being paid for time, not that I mind. The reward of working with other authors is seeing their creations take off and gain traction, especially if they self publish. Why? Because the power is back in the authors hands, not some gatekeeper.
My advice for this week in place of writing prompts – get together with your fellow writers and talk life and stories. Encourage each other.
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