#1. There is no right way to publish. There are a wide range of options for getting material in print. Here are three.
Local print company Self-publishing Traditional publication
--face to face interaction --online communication --online communication
--author hires an editor --author hires editor --company provides editor
--prints exactly what you give them --prints exactly what you upload --prints after both editor and and no changes can be made and changes can be made author approve the final draft
--must purchase many copies in bulk --purchase books as needed; --given a few free copies; must
to reduce price; purchases must be purchases made anytime purchase the rest at slightly
made within a set time frame reduced cost; stipulations to when/how long an author may make purchases
--requires a set-up fee; no royalties --no set-up fee; pays royalties --pays the author up-front and pays royalties (Smaller companies charge fee then offer a royalty)
--author does all the marketing --offers only online marketing --offers online marketing, brick and mortar store options, and may assist with media contacts
--anyone can do it --anyone can do it --unless using small fee-charging press, must go through an agent
--the author must build a reputation --author-built reputation --some notoriety given to author based on the publisher’s reputation
#2. There is no perfect thing to write. Because humanity is so diverse, there is a market for every kind of written work. Every author will have both fans and haters.
#3. There is no right way to write. Some people have regimented writing schedules while others race through projects whenever the inspiration hits.
#4. There is no perfect marketing strategy, but an author must have one. Some people hit the roads; others pound the keyboard of social media, but to get a work noticed, a strategy must be implemented. That strategy is the author’s responsibility, even if he or she is traditionally published. More often than not, this is the writer’s nemesis.
#5. A good writer has a good community. This should include other writers who support, encourage, and offer criticism that’s helpful for growth. In addition, writers have the need to improve their skills just as any other job requires continuing education, so learning from teachers, speakers, and professionals in the field is a must. Experts who have honed their craft are a big part of the writer’s success. No matter how great a writer may be, he or she will encounter the need for professional help. Editors, formatters, agents, web designers, and accountants are some of the folks a writer may need along the way. A writer’s community must also include those who take up the slack in the other areas of the writer’s life. Whether it’s a patient spouse who adjusts his or her schedule to accommodate some of the writer’s needs or a great friend who offers a listening ear and a belly laugh, the people in the writer’s private world are part of the writing community.
#6. Writing is not for the faint of heart. When the creative juices are flowing, writing can be an exciting field, but the steps to becoming published include stumbles, missteps, setbacks, and challenges. Rejection and disappointment are part of the package. A writer’s skin has to be thick to take the punches associated with the project. Even good criticism can hurt when someone is talking about a writer’s baby. The dead times where life or sickness or lack of focus seems to hinder the writing process, can be exasperating. Waiting for others, choosing the right path for a project, and experiencing closed doors can be frustrating. Engaging the help of professionals can be expensive. Writing then marketing what’s written is a business; therefore, it takes time, effort, and money just like any other business enterprise. Always, writing is hard work, but those willing to put in the time and energy will reap the fruit of their labors.
#7. Everyone has to start somewhere. Whether it's building a platform, or picking up the pen for the first time, each writer's journey is filled with fresh challenges and new beginnings. The present is a great time to take the next step!