Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tough love on publishing

A couple of months ago I threw caution to the wind and gave out some tough love [wow, I'm getting those cliches out of my system before I work on edits!]

It was one of the more popular blogs I posted. In fact, it was almost as popular as my blog of fear. So today I decided to share with you a tongue lashing I gave myself recently.

Fair doesn't matter.

For many people the focus is on being fair. We all want to be equatable and give everyone their say. The internet, and particularly blogs, have sprung up simply because they offer ANYONE the opportunity to talk. I never would have dreamed a year ago that this blog would be as popular as it is. When you count subscribers [people who have the full blog emailed directly to them each time I post] there have been between well over 10,000 hits on my blog in 2008 so far. That is TRULY mind boggling for me.

The blogosphere [not sure if that is the correct spelling. My dictionary predates blogs] is also rather Darwinian. There is no guaranteed equality of outcome, simply equality of opportunity.

The same is true in our marketing. It doesn't matter how nice we are or how much we like our story. It is our responsibility to see to it that our book sells. And this is where you have to make a fundamental intellectual shift:

You are NOT employed by a publisher, a publisher invests in YOU! They are a business partner providing a service to help distribute your product. You do not work for the publisher. NOW before you go ranting off to an editor telling them that you don't HAVE to change your 17th scene because you don't WORK for them...stop! They also don't have to invest in you if they feel it is a loosing investment.

If you were going to buy a duplex house to use as a rental to earn money you would likely object if the current owners decided to paint the place bright purple just before closing because it was "The color on their heart". Why not?? Well, it is likely you won't be able to find the tenants you are targeting if the place is bright purple.

The same is true in publishing.

I think once authors begin to realize that they are not job hunting when they shop their manuscripts, but rather that they're looking for investors to buy in to their vision, that they will approach their writing in a much healthier way.

Okay, end of rant. Next time we're going to look a bit on changes in the market and how to adjust.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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