Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dr. C's Tip: It's Important To Follow Your Publisher's Advice

If you’re having your worked published by a traditional publisher, in many cases, you’re placed in the position where you must adhere to the publisher's suggestions for change. However, when you choose to self publish your work, there is much more leeway. 

The old saying by musical legend, James Brown, comes into play: “I paid the cost to be the boss." With self publishing, it’s very common for you to feel that you’re the boss! After all, it’s your money and as the author, you have the right to have the final say. While this is true, it can prove to be costly, in more ways than one! 

If you are just starting out, be open to suggestions from your publisher. If you have a self publisher that gives you suggestions, it is wise to consider them, particularly if this is your first time self publishing a book. Yes, as author, you may be the boss but not necessarily the expert in publishing. An established self-publishing company has published many books. So, if a representative makes a suggestion, it would be beneficial for you to listen and implement that suggestion. 

For instance, if a publisher advises you to reduce your page count, don’t take offense. One of the major mistakes new authors make is writing too much. They feel they must write that 300- to 400-page novel. Well, new authors should cut down the text. Yes, your best friends may read it and say they love to curl up with a tome, but most readers in the general public do not, unless you are a famous author like Stephen King, James Patterson, John Grisham, or Nora Roberts. After a few purchases from close friends and family, the general reading public will not even consider your work if they see a thick piece. 

Granted, there are some self-publishing companies that do not give any input. And so, you can write as many pages you want; their focus is solely on getting the money. Really, the more pages, the more money for those companies. However, as a “rookie” author, you are not known well enough to have readers want to venture in the "land of many pages." Remember, your 400-page work could be cut down in half if you really focus on the "nitty gritty" of your storyline.

If you decide to choose a self-publishing company that has a staff willing to guide authors, especially new authors, it would be best for you to heed their advice. After all, experienced staff members are dedicated to an author’s success. And taking their advice could mean the difference between you paying the cost to be “the boss” or having readers pay you to help you become a best-selling author.

Want to read more from Dr. C., MANA's writing coach? Then follow Dr. C.'s Writer's Sunriser blog by clicking HERE

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