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Posts Tagged ‘publishing industry’

8 Biggest Fallacies in Book Publishing

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

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I write and publish books. But that doesn’t mean that I’m special. It just means that I’m lucky enough to spread the word on my writing and try to bring people with me on my learning and writing journeys.

While we’re at it, here are some huge fallacies I’ve discovered in penning my 13 books now over the past decade and navigating myself through the world of publishing. Just about to keep it real with you all.


8 Big Fallacies in Book Publishing:

  1. Writing and publishing a book will make you rich. Uhm, no. Sorry. Unless you’re one of the ultra rare (JK Rowling or EL James, as two quick examples), you’re not going to get rich in book publishing. Even the greats take decades and write dozens of books before they can make a living off of their writings and royalties. If you have a fantasy that you’ll quit your day job and just automatically replace the income overnight with book royalties, think again. It no longer works that way.
  2. Writing and publishing a book will make you famous. Again, nope. This is not the case. You may have 5 seconds of fame if you write about a hot topic in the press at some random point in time. But, you’re not going to be an overnight superstar just by writing one book.
  3. You don’t have to sell your book if you get picked up by a traditional publisher. This one is completely and utterly wrong. In fact, many ‘traditional’ book publishers now are more interested in the size of your tribe to sell a book, rather than the content of the book itself. The only one and the best one to market and sell your book is Y-O-U as the author. No one else cares as much about your stuff as you do, period.
  4. After publishing your book, you’ll make a bunch of money off of speaking and consulting gigs with little to no effort. Again, wrong. While yes, you do get invited to more speaking gigs and talk about your book–many places will not pay you big bucks out of the gate to keynote for their conferences. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get travel & expenses. But, if you think you’re going to publish a book overnight and then start demanding a $100K honorarium to speak per talk, you’re delusional. The writers who command this type of honorarium either were famous in an arena outside of book publishing prior to writing and publishing their book, and/or hustled their way to big bucks for speaking. It doesn’t happen overnight.
  5. Because you’re so rich and famous from book publishing, you can and often do give away free advice. Well, maybe if you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. But, both of them know what I also know–that time is the most precious asset of all. And time is money. That’s why they both say “No” a. Lot. I rarely, if ever, give away free advice any more as a consultant for this reason. That, and people don’t seem to value free advice. A subset does, however, value strong advice–and is willing to pay for it.
  6. The easiest books to write and publish are children’s books; anyone can write a children’s book. False. I just had a conversation with a fellow writer about this one this week (who also happened to write both children’s books and adult titles). Children’s books are by far the HARDEST books to write well–for a myriad of reasons. You can listen to an upcoming podcast episode I have coming up on the Pharmacy Podcast/Pharming Your Career about this very topic in the next month or so – watch for it.
  7. Once you’ve written a few self-published books, you’ll find a traditional publishing route, an agent, and you’ll start making great money. Oops – wrong, again. In fact, the more I write and publish, the more I realize that I need fewer, not more people between me and my superfan readers. I want to be able to know who purchases my books, and how I can better serve them. When publishers and Amazon hide that information from me as an author, I can’t connect with my fans and readers, which is a huge detriment to better serving them in the future. Thus, it’s really important for me to have a direct line to my fans and readers.
  8. Everyone has at least one book in them. This one, I actually do believe. However, where the men get separated from the boys occurs when the book actually gets written and published. If I had a nickel for every time some aspiring author came up to me and asked me how to write a book, and then never acted upon the advice (which is generally – sit down, and write it), I shake my head and realize I could be picking up another nickel. Writing and book publishing isn’t something that requires a high IQ. It instead requires perseverance, determination, grit, and a little stubbornness. People who write and publish books are brave and hard workers. They’re okay with working through and despite the universe telling them they CANNOT do something, and instead just doing it. They show up, they do the work, and they see the project through to the end. My latest book is a case on this as well – it’s a year late, but this weekend, I approved the final galley. It’s late…but it’s done.

There. I hope this helps demystify the halo around book publishing. If you know an author out there who is cranking out books and trying to make the world a better place through their writing, congratulate them on their work, support them by honoring and paying them for their time, buy their books, and give them reviews at Goodreads and Amazon. Because, for all the reasons I list above, they’re not getting all the glory that you think.