What’s the new trend in publishing?
February 19, 2016
I MET A YOUNG LADY for breakfast. She had a lot of questions about publishing, and I knew she wouldn’t like my answers.
I went anyway.
Ham and eggs will do that to a man.
The young lady had written a book.
She wanted to find an agent.
She wanted to find a publisher.
She had no idea how to find either and hoped an old warhorse like me might be able to help her.
We poured our coffee, and I began my litany of bad news.
I’m up front with every new writer I meet.
I don’t want to destroy their dreams.
Then again, I don’t want to give them false hope.
In our books, we may deal in fiction, but in life, I prefer a cold, hard, dash of reality.
Here is what I told her.
Having a book published by the big boys in New York has always been difficult.
Now it’s virtually impossible.
It can happen.
There are a few great new books being discovered every year.
And I hope it happens to you.
But be prepared for the worst.
Be prepared for a suitcase filled with rejection letters.
Your query letter may never get past a gatekeeper who has been hired to tell you no.
She sat back, raised her chin, looked at me with cold, dark eyes, and said, “I have a friend who just published a book.”
“She found a publisher in six weeks,” the young lady said.
“I’m glad she did.”
“It’s not that hard,” she said. “If my friend can do it, I can do it.”
“Good luck,” I said.
And I sincerely meant it.
She gave me the name of the publisher.
I had never heard of the company before.
But that didn’t matter.
I stuck the name in my pocket and went home.
A few days later, out of idle curiosity, I tracked down the publisher on Google.
It was the book written by the young lady’s friend.
I wasn’t surprised.
This author had done what I have suggested many writers to do.
Don’t want people to think you’re self-published?
Do want people to believe your book is in the hands of a genuine publisher?
It’s not difficult.
Start your own publishing company.
It’s not that difficult.
Select a name for the publishing venture and register it with GoDaddy.com.
Build a Website.
Create an attractive imprint or logo for the spine.
Showcase your book.
Allow other writers to feature their books.
Those other writers may even want to become part of your publishing company. Together, you can build a real marketing co-op with everyone helping each other promote and sell books.
Amazon is waiting.
So are Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and a lot of other eBook retail outlets.
CreateSpace and SmashWords can’t wait to start producing paperback copies of your books.
People see them.
People read them.
People see the name of the publishing company on the spine and title page, and they don’t know or care if the book was published in uptownNew York City or downtown Dothan, Alabama.
You may have spent a lifetime trying to deal with publishers.
Become a publisher yourself.
It’s the new trend in an old industry.