Posts Tagged ‘publish’

Good for You, Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable by Seth GodinIn his current blog post, Moving On, author Seth Godin announced that Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? will be the last book he publishes in a traditional way.

Good for him. He’s experienced success in the traditional world and he understands what’s possible. He states, “…my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works, even if it’s not a traditionally published book.”

I’ve long believed that people who have something important to say and a defined audience to speak to are best served by maintaining control of their intellectual property and choosing the most effective means of distribution. For many authors, there remains the longing for a traditional stamp of approval, but the fact is, readers buy content and the Internet has leveled the playing field in a way that allows authors to reach a target audience as never before.

The twenty-first century stamp of approval is the consumer’s dollar, rather than a publishing house’s approval. This is a power shift that leaves authors in a far better place as long as they’re willing to adapt to the new reality and learn what they need to know. As I’ve written in previous musings on the subject, I believe it’s easier for non-traditionally-published non-fiction to find an audience than for fiction, but even that is changing.

When someone as pivotal as Seth Godin steps away from traditional publishing, it’s clear that the market has spoken.

And now, I’m going to read Linchpin.

If You Think You Want To Be Published, What Should You Do?

Want to be published? Learn about the industry!So, what do you do when you think you want to get something published?

Here are a few tips for where to start when you have something to say and want to see it in print.

Know your goals. Sometimes self-publishing is a better option than pursuing traditional publishing (if you’re writing a book that you want to give to prospective clients, for example, or if you’re writing the history of your family). Self-publishing done right can be cheaper, quicker, and easier– as long as it fits your goals. You can read a few more thoughts on deciding between traditional publishing and self-publishing at an earlier post.

If you’re serious about getting published, join a writers’ critique group and get feedback at a local level before submitting. Other writers can see things you’ve missed, ask questions that help you clarify what you’ve written, and just offer good advice for the journey. You don’t have to take all the advice you receive, but you’ll find your work strengthened by the exposure to feedback from other writers.

If you’re not absolutely confident that your grammar, punctuation, and word usage are extremely good, hire an experienced copyeditor to clean up your manuscript before you submit or self-publish. Traditional publishers want to see material that is close to publication-ready. Editing is time-consuming, so don’t expect to get a good job free (unless you’ve married an editor;-)).

If you want to be published traditionally, learn about the industry. Read writing magazines; read a lot of good work in your genre; get Writer’s Market and learn about the submission process; and go to writer’s conferences and workshops. In any field, it’s necessary to learn and practice the basics before you can expect to succeed. You probably wouldn’t expect to be hired as a symphony violinist if you’ve taken only six weeks of lessons, so it’s reasonable to assume that there’s a learning curve for the writing and publishing process as well.

Accept the fact that there are standard procedures and timetables in the publishing industry, and you can’t change them. Stephen King or J.K .Rowling may be able to get special treatment, but novice writers needn’t expect anything special. It pays to learn to learn about the industry so that you won’t accidentally sabotage yourself through impatience or lack of knowledge.

Get involved with the writing/editing/publishing industry. Join a writer’s association such as NAIWE, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, where you’ll learn a lot more about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing your work.

Finally, enjoy the process. It can be challenging and frustrating at times, but writing is worth it.