Saturday, September 21, 2013

There's never been a better time for new writers to gain a following

A big-name publishing house label on the side of your book doesn’t mean the same thing it did ten years ago- or even five. Oh, it’s still true some distributors won’t put your book in the stores if you self-publish, or publish print-on-demand, but who cares as long as you’re selling and making money? Bookstores are closing, media giants are gobbling up small presses, and smart authors are becoming entrepreneurs and making a higher profit by self publishing on the Internet.

The whole publishing world is upside down.

I’ve tried it all. I’ve been traditionally published by major houses; published POD (print on demand); and paid to publish on my own work. One thing I’ve learned along the way is there’s definitely more than one way to make a buck writing (and selling) your books.

The goal is to reach and affect readers, right? Now, the way to do that may have changed, but readers are smart so they’ve changed too. They don’t care who wrote it, or who published it. They care about style, plot and characters. Give readers a character they can love and root for on Page One and they’ll keep turning those pages until they hit “The End.”

Nobody but the few editors left in the Ivory Towers care if you’ve been “discovered” by a top New York publisher or created your own book with a desktop publishing program. They just want a good read.

Because I write both fiction and nonfiction and have edited for newspapers, large media companies, and Amazon’s former self-publishing division BookSurge, I can spot trends. Thirty five years in the business gives you good hindsight. I’ve reinvented myself and the way I sell my work over and over again.

And you know what? This is a great time for new writers to be discovered but you have to stand out above the crowd. With more people publishing their work online as well as in soft cover binding, you’d better find a way to make your book the one they’ll pick up or hover that cursor over until they hit “Buy Now.”

So let’s start our journey here on Penny Lane together by talking about what we write and how we want to publish. Our dreams and aspirations are what makes us who we are, and who we are is what makes any story we write- fiction or nonfiction- ours and ours alone.

You see, nobody can write your story but you!

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