It seems like no one has anything nice to say about anything or anyone lately. There is so much negativity out there that I thought it was time for someone to have something nice to say!
Over the past several months, I haveheard a number of people that I both like and respect make a variety of positiveand negative comments about my publisher. I respect everyone’s right to their opinions, and make it a practice to keep separate my feelings about the person from my feelings about their opinions. Otherwise, I would never have any friends since there is no one out there that I’ve met so far who shares all of my opinions on every topic!
Each of us who have books published have different experiences with the process. I can only speak for myself when I say that I approached publishing my books as an educational process so I could learn something new. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to have my books published and let my voice be heard, but I wanted to be an active part of the process and learn the way the business worked.
My decision to go with Eloquent Books (part of Strategic Book Publishing and the AEG Group) allowed me to accomplish what I wanted. My books got published, I was part of the process each step of the way, and I learned a great deal. All-in-all, my experiences havebeen positive so far. I know others have had different experiences, but I have not, so I have nothing bad to say about my publisher.
My first book was published by Eloquent (Strategic Book Publishing) in July 2010, and my second book should be out in Late March 2011. I walked into my business relationship with SBP with my eyes wide open and made the decision to go with them with no regrets. I had received a number of rejection letters from other publishers and agents, and SBP showed me a way to get my books published and let my voice be heard. I thank them for that.
During this process, I discovered that the easiest part getting a book published is actually writing the initial manuscript. From then on, you have to be very thick skinned as people give their blunt and honest opinions about your work – especially if they don’t like the work or aspects of the work. You have to be patient as the work is edited and mistakes are corrected. You have to be honest with yourself about why you want the work published and what you are willing to do to get it published. And finally, you have to remember that publishing is a business and you are a partner in that business.
For a first-time author, the publisher is not going to give you an advance and they are not going to put a lot of resources into marketing your book from the beginning. They are going to start small and see how the book does. If it does well in the beginning, then they will assign resources to help it do even better. If it doesn’t do well, they wont. As the author, you have to really work to get the book known. You have to approach book sellers to get them to carry the book and set up author and book events. You have to do interviews, blog, and find effective ways to get word out about your book. You need to tap into your friends and social networks to spread the word and generate interest. You need to approach reviewers to get them to read and write a review about your book. It’s hard work, but if you want to be successful and if you want your book to do well, you have to work hard to get your foot in the door. Publishing is easy. Marketing is hard. If you can’t handle that, don’t start – just write for fun and fine something else to do for a living.
As far as publishing goes, I’ve realized that you need to be patient and check your ego at the door. Whatever you write will be edited, reedited, reviewed, criticized, rejected, and, hopefully, loved. If you can’t handle other people telling you what you did wrong, don’t put yourself out there in the first place.
So, for my friends and colleagues who have not had good experiences with their publisher, I can only offer my sympethies. I understand the frustration – my book sales are not where I want them to be either. However, I have enjoyed a good working relationship with the people at my publisher, and I look forward to having good working relationships with them in the future. They havebeen making several positive changes lately, and I believe these changes can only help me in the future. They may not be the best or the right publisher for everyone, but they were the right publisher for me. I appreciate their efforts on my behalf and what I have learned from them and with them so far.