Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get Published!

We love options. 

Exhibit A: your neighborhood coffee stand, where baristas whip up your double tall half-decaf extra hot skinny vanilla and your friend’s triple vente decaf light foam half-and-half hazelnut sugar free.

But present us with too many options, and we need help. 

When it comes to publishing, authors these days have hundreds, if not thousands, of options. That’s a good thing, until you start mucking around trying to figure out what’s best for you and your book.

Traditional, Indie, or hybrid? Agents? Multiple submissions? Sub-rights? Digital rights? Author services? Fee-based? Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Google Plus? Blogs? Blog tours? Discounting? Distribution? Covers? Blurbs? Reviews?

It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming. It’s enough to make you want to curl up with your double tall half-decaf extra hot skinny vanilla and forget about publishing altogether.

But what if help came in the form of authors who’d been there, authors with success in both traditional and independent publishing, authors who’d studied the changing marketplace? Acclaimed author Dana Stabenow proposed that she and I offer a forum like that, to share with writers what we know about publishing options and how to sort through them.

A fantastic idea, I agreed. So I’m beginning to draft a series of “Get Published” workshops that might look something like this:

  • Your Goals: One book, or a career as a writer? The arc of a book and a writer. The realities. An overview of what’s involved in getting a book to its readers.
  • Your Project: Is it ready? The steps you should take to make sure, plus a one-on-one consultation with a published author about your project.
  • Your Options: Traditional publishing. Independent publishing. Pros and Cons. How to decide. Resources. The hybrid author.
  • Your Submissions: Entering the traditional market. Networking, including social media. Resources. Agents vs. direct submissions. Craft an effective query; one-on-one consultation with a published author
  • Your Indie Publishing Venture: Digital and print production. Digital and print distribution. Digital and print marketing, including social media.
  • Your Strategies: Budgeting time and money; balancing art and business; sustaining momentum; the value in waiting; accountability; adjusting expectations; making it happen

Dear readers, what do you think? Would a series like this be helpful? Would you sign up for the whole series, or would you want to attend a la carte? What’s missing from the line-up? Is anything included that shouldn’t be?