And the last of the 17 myths… drum roll please

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11. A book has to be on television to get anywhere.
Yes, getting onto Oprah’s show is the hottest ticket in books – but that’s because of Oprah, not television. When she likes a book, she pushes it, and she has a huge audience of readers who value her opinion. Other than that, though, television’s dead as far as book-selling goes. New media is where it’s at: you can sell more books on Twitter than if you are on the fourth hour of the Today show. Period.
12. In order to sell, a book has to be really great, and get rave reviews.
Again, your book is a tool, a calling card – and selling it isn’t about content, but marketing. The marketing of the book is more important than the book itself – so put most of your time, energy, and resources into that.
13. Writing a book is like going through labor; every book is its author’s baby.
Too many authors promote their books the way a mother shows off her first baby – believing it’s just too precious, and expecting everyone else to feel the same. This comes from old romantic literary notions. Well, it’s time to throw out the baby and the bath water. No author should be that attached, or have that much ego-involvement, in their book. It is not a baby, yours or anyone else’s. Treat your book as what it is: a great tool containing valuable information.
14. The inside of a book should be elegantly designed.
This is for all those people who want to add illustrations, and color, and formatting… All those bells and whistles cost a lot of money. A good book sells; a fancy book just prolongs the manufacturing process, delaying revenue. Spend your money on marketing instead.
15. You can’t judge a book by its cover.
Maybe not – but you can attract more potential buyers with an eye-catching cover than with one that’s boring or aesthetically unappealing. A great cover is worth the investment.
16. I am the only person who can possibly write my book.
Maybe you’re the only one who has your exact information, but for a reasonable price a good editor or even a ghostwriter can whip that information into shape. I’ve had great success with ghostwriters who pick your brain, read your ideas, and transform them into clear, concise, readable prose. If writing isn’t your forte, consider taking this route. It can be well worth the investment. Just remember – the better the editor or ghostwriter, the higher the fee.
17. A well-written book will become a best-seller.
Good writing doesn’t create best-sellers; demand does. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that millions of great manuscripts are languishing in personal computers or desk drawers. It’s sad but true that many good or even great books never see the light of day, and many genuinely talented writers are employed as everything from bankers to technicians. The publishing world is not a meritocracy. It’s only when your book gives people something they want that your book might even begin to approach best-sellerdom.

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