Countless people want to write books, but how many actually do? Many authors are their own worst enemy. They buy into a lot of myths about book publishing, which stops them in their tracks. You can realize your dream of being a published author if you simply don’t buy into these tired myths.
1. No time.
“It takes forever to write a whole book. I don’t have enough time!”
You don’t “find” time; you make time. Yes, people are busy, but if you have time to goof around chatting on Twitter or watch the latest episode of the Biggest Loser, you have plenty of time to write a book. The key to actually finishing a book to break it up into manageable chunks. If you think of a book as simply a series of articles, the project is a lot less intimidating. Spend one or two hours per week writing a 1,000 word article and in a year you have a book.
2. No agent.
“I have to find an agent or get a big publisher to pick up my book.”
If you opt to self-publish a book, you don’t need an agent or a big publisher. To get an agent or a publisher, you have to write a book proposal, which is essentially a big marketing plan for the publisher. If you are going to go to all the work of figuring out who will buy the book and how you plan to market it, why not just write the book and sell it yourself? When you self-publish, you keep all the profits and retain control of the project too. Why settle for a paltry “royalty,” when you can keep all the money?
3. No money.
“It’s really expensive.”
Thanks to dramatic improvements in technology, self-publishing a book is vastly less expensive than it used to be. Our books are profitable almost from the moment they are published because we don’t have to tie up a lot of money in inventory. Now you can have books printed one at a time only when they are sold. That in conjunction with cost effective online marketing means you can spend less and make more.
4. No fame.
“I’m not famous enough and don’t have the right credentials to write a book.”
If professors and actors were the only ones writing books, there would be a lot more boring books in the world. You have life experiences and perspectives that make your writing different from anyone else’s. Just because umpteen diet books have been written in the past doesn’t mean they don’t still sell. For every doctor putting out a health book, there’s at least a thousand others by people with no medical training.
5. No talent.
“I’m not a good enough writer.”
Here’s a secret: hire an editor. No writing is perfect. Smart writers hire great editors to make their books the best they can be. If you self-publish, the most important money you can spend is on hiring an editor (or more than one) to work on your book. Never skimp on editing. Everyone needs an editor, including you.
6. No exclusive.
“There are already too many books on my topic.”
The key to successful publishing in a crowded marketplace is finding a new take on the subject. Look for “holes” in the coverage that you can fill. Maybe you have a new slant on an old topic. Or your book can be targeted to a specific group of people. Although there are countless books on fundraising, my book Funds to the Rescue: 101 Fundraising Ideas for Humane and Animal Rescue Groups is the only book that is specifically targeted to its niche market.
7. No knowledge.
“Book publishing is really hard and I don’t know how!”
Like anything else, publishing can be learned. The first step is to educate yourself about the publishing industry. You wouldn’t open a restaurant without learning something about the food business, yet people often jump into book publishing with their eyes firmly shut. My book Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book explains how we profitably published our ten books with little money out of pocket. We also offer training courses at http://www.SelfPubU.com which give you more personal guidance as you make the transition from newbie writer to published author.
If you really want to become a published author, don’t let fear-based myths get in your way. Publishing a book isn’t brain surgery. Armed with information and expert support from editors and other publishing pros, you can do it!