Most wanna-be authors hold false beliefs about the publishing business that are either outdated or were purely mythical to begin with. Here’s how to avoid making mistakes by believing these 17 myths.
Here are myths 1-5
1. Once I write my book the money will start rolling in.
I’m sorry to break the news, but the idea that you’ll make a fortune on your book is not realistic. I tell my clients to think of their book as a calling card or marketing tool, not as a money-making venture. Only a small percentage of published books actually bring in the bucks, and usually only to big-name writers. Your book is a tool meant to support your core business, or your role as an expert in some area. That’s where the money comes from, particularly when you tap into the seven revenue streams that every entrepreneur should memorize. These include coaching, speaking, corporate sponsorship, one-on-one training, educational workshops, and corporate consultation.
2. My book will get me on television.
Wrong! Your expertise will get you on television. If you want to get on television, you must first show producers that you have valuable ideas and information for their audience. Your book can get your foot in the door, but it won’t seal the deal – in fact, many TV producers want to see a video before they’ll even talk to you, to determine if you’re personable in front of a camera. TV producers don’t exist to promote your book or your needs, and they’ll resent any obvious attempts to use them that way.
3. I’ll travel the country doing book signings and go on local radio and TV stations.
Book signings don’t sell that many books: the locals who attend them don’t come to shop, but for free entertainment. And any touring you do will be on your own dime – publishers rarely pay expenses. You can sell more books in front of your computer, creating online demand through your own or your friends’ blogs, article dashboards, viral video, and social networking on venues like Twitter and Facebook.
4. Respectable, successful books are only sold in bookstores.
Believe it or not, a bookstore is actually the worst place to sell your book these days – in fact, I’ve heard them called “publishing graveyards.” In recent years there’s been a paradigm shift in the publishing world due to increased volume – over 400,000 books get published each year, far too many for Ye Olde Booke Shoppe to accommodate, so unless you’re John Grisham, or your publisher pays for front-store placement, one or two copies of your book will end up shelved in the back, spine out. And for unsold copies, you get stuck paying for refunds and shipping fees.
5. Self-publishing is for losers.
Really? Did you mean losers like Mark Twain? Edgar Allan Poe? Deepak Chopra? Wanna-be writers look down on self-publishing, but this snobbery is unwarranted. It might have been true fifty years ago that the best and most popular literary works came out of Random House or Simon & Schuster, but with the advent of new techniques such as desk publishing, print on demand (POD), and e-publishers like iUniverse and Lulu, there’s been a revolution in the world of self-publishing. Many best-sellers were originally self-published and later picked up by big houses. A few self-published books: The Celestine Prophecy. The Joy of Cooking. What Color is Your Parachute? Chicken Soup for the Soul. Spartacus. Losers, huh?