Erick Mertz Writing
What can a publishing consultant do for you?
Do you have a manuscript on your desk right now that you believe is ready for publication? Are you uncertain how to get your book onto the market and into the hands of readers? Making sense of the ever-changing world of book publishing can be made considerably easier with the help of a professional publishing consultant.
Let’s discuss how that process of getting your book onto the market works.
Over the last ten years, the self-publishing revolution has become the most profound, driving force in the book and publishing world. The effects have been nothing short of earthshaking. Before the rise of self-publishing, a professional-level writer would never consider anything other than the traditional route for their book.
The self-publishing process was looked down upon. What were known as “vanity presses” were the hallmark of amateur writing.
That has changed though. Writers of all skill and experience levels have, almost unanimously, accepted self-publishing as a viable, legitimate route. Writing conferences and organizations across the world that once turned a cold shoulder to the self-publishing world are now opening their arms, embracing the reality that this is not just the future.
Welcome to the present day.
In 2020, anyone who has the time, patience and skill to write a book can also publish it. They can engage the entire process without going through the arduous traditional route of seeking out an agent and publisher by query or pitch. While those entities are still thriving, they are not as necessary as before. The doors, simply stated, have never been more wide open than now.
Compared to traditional publishing, self-publishing gives the writer optimal control over their product. Without the big company and an editor to please, an author has everything to say about their brand, from the book cover and design to editorial choices to how the book is marketed. Additionally, since authors are not bound to write novels, which were a requirement to fill shelf space in book stores, they are free to write shorter works of a more experimental form.
If all of this sounds very exciting, you’re right. These are exciting times.
But there is a flip-side to that excitement. What the promise of self-publishing ease is sorely missing, however, is a how-to manual for success. Yes, anyone can write and publish their own book, but how do they effectively reach an audience?
Or, once you get them, how do you keep your readership pleased over the course of your career?
Those were never easily answered questions. Even in the traditional publishing days, reaching and pleasing readers was a challenge. If you are looking for help answering those questions now, in today’s fast-paced market, a publishing consultant may be the right place for you to go.
Making Sense of Self-Publishing
Publishing success comes down to understanding a few simple facts. What self-publishing promises, it also delivers. Anyone can publish a book. Make a few clicks and fill in a few blanks, and boom, you’re suddenly a bona fide author.
But with that relative ease comes a new uncertainty. Anyone can publish a book, so as a consequence, anyone does.
Right now, the number of books released on Amazon is beyond staggering. Dozens of books every single day are released in almost every category. Each of those books is working hard to shoulder in on the valuable real estate high in the sales rankings.
Some books make it. Many, unfortunately, do not.
Slick writing magazines like Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest and The Writer’s Chronicle once offered articles and advice about the more traditional route to publication. That advice boiled down to writing the best quality book, networking and finding the right publisher for your particular story.
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The hallmark qualities of an excellent, successful book and author career have not changed. Some of my colleagues might disagree, but I would argue that they have not changed at all. The same elements exist in best-selling self-published books and authors as do in best-selling traditionally published.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about a well-written book that has been professionally edited at every level. With so many authors simply dropping books on Amazon, high-quality editing will set your book far apart from the other competition.
A book with a strong cover will command the attention of fans of the genre. This means that it will prevail in the rankings. Do you want to know something? Whoever said that you cannot judge a book by its cover must have had a really hard time selling books. The strong, genre-appropriately designed cover is your first, most important act of marketing.
Back in the old days, book layout and design were done entirely in-house at the publisher. An author never had to think about the process. Today, if you’re going to self-publish your book, you need a designer to help transform your manuscript into a living, breathing book.
What about networking? Yes, you’re a writer, a desk or coffee shop haunting introvert. But today, you need your tribe more than ever before. I have worked with dozens of authors, and one common factor among the successful ones is their ability to network with each other.
Are you beginning to see why a publishing consultant might be the best path to take?
A Publishing Consultant: A Path To Success
Although it is an old saying, I believe it remains true. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Failure is a difficult word to stomach, I understand that. No one wants to hear it, especially around a passion project like writing. Simply writing a book is a major accomplishment for anyone.
But is simply writing that book all you really wanted?
As a publishing consultant, I work with authors to define exactly what they want out of their projects. Whether that project is a fiction novel, ambitious novel series, non-fiction book or a screenplay, we focus on small, attainable goals and the steps toward reaching those goals.
Some people simply want a physical book they can wrap up and give to their friends. That is a very different goal, however than breaking through the glass ceiling and attaining publishing success on the best-seller list.
Both outcomes are possible. You just have to know which one you want.
How a Publishing Consultant Works
Like with many of the other professional services that I provide, I avoid selling a one size fits all package. Bringing you a prescribed plan would be ignoring your ideas and the inherent uniqueness of every project.
I want to know what you want from your book, however lofty or simple.
If you don’t know what you want (and that too is perfectly fine) then our work together will be more discussing the many possible roads and defining how to get there.
I cannot promise your book will a best-seller after talking to me, but I can assure you the path to reaching your audience will make a lot more sense once you do.
Do you think that working with a publishing consultant will help get your book project off the ground?
Get in touch with me today to discuss your project. Every caller or email contact receives a free 30-minute consultation where we can discuss your options for improving their fiction, memoir or screenwriting manuscript.
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