Sunday, 15 April 2012

Why New Authors Who Want to CREATE Still Need Publishers


In just over a month’s time, I’ll be scoring another item off my “before I get to 40 bucket list” with the publication of my first book, Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing.
In this golden age of self-publishing (when virtually anyone can become an author), I am particularly proud to have found a “traditional” publisher to work with on this project.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe self-publishing provides many writers with a legitimate route to market. And as many self-published writers will attest, it also enables them to publish more quickly and potentially secure a higher income from individual book sales than the traditional publishing business allows.
Indeed, many influential marketers, including highly respected authors like Seth Godin, have spoken out in favor of self-publishing and consigning the traditional publishing industry to the history books.
I can confirm, working with a publisher can at times seem a little longwinded. The writing of my book took just over three months. However, the publishing process has taken almost double that time, with my manuscript going through the editorial, design and marketing procedures of the publisher, which of course needed to be scheduled around their other authors’ releases.
The decision to go down the “traditional” publishing route appeared, even to me, at times as counter-intuitive. I am after-all a marketing professional with a significant network of friends and business associates who will kindly help me promote my book. I also come from a publishing background and could have easily pulled on personal relationships to help me through the design and editorial process. Not least, I’m also very impatient and, occasionally, have felt that waiting six months to see my work hit the shelves of Amazon, etc. was nothing short of an eternity.
But I believe, as a first time author, I made the right decision to work with a publisher. So let’s examine why working with a publisher made more sense to me as an author who wants to CREATE.
  • Credibility: Working with a legitimate and recognized publisher will undoubtedly add credibility to your work. This credibility will not only enhance your reputation as the author of a particular work, it should also lead to greater sales.
  • Reach: A good publisher will not only work with you to ensure your work is available in as many retail outlets as possible. They will also work with you to secure additional rights such as foreign-language, audio and serialization rights, etc. extending the reach of your work.
  • Editorial Services: Never underestimate to value of having a professional editor add a little polish and professionalism to your text.
  • Artwork: While you should never judge a book by its cover, many self-published books never reach their full-potential because they look just plain awful.
  • Teamwork: While writing is often considered a solitary task, the editing, marketing and sales of a good book definitely benefit from a little teamwork.
  • Expertise: Publishing, like any other business, has any number of nuances that can make the difference between a well-written, widely available title that people will want to read and a book that is left on the shelf.
Of course, working with a publisher is not right for everyone. Perhaps you work in a particular niche that would not viable for a “traditional” publisher to invest in. Perhaps you need to find a quicker route to market. And sometimes, even the best works fail to find a publisher. I’d be pretty arrogant if I didn’t admit the fact that I was lucky and found myself in the right place, at the right time with the right work.
In Becoming THE Expert I discuss how to find and work with a publisher and how to go it alone (think indie not amateur), alongside examining a number of other Thought Leadership channels including blogging, white papers, public speaking and events, PR, video and social media.
Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing is currently available for pre-sale at Brightword Publishing. Or, for more information, check out my Facebook page.

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