It’s time to be blunt, fellow writers. If you ever wondered why a big publisher hasn’t picked up your awesomely written book yet, the answer is simple. They don’t believe you’ll sell enough copies to make it worthwhile for THEM.
Why do they think that, when your story is so GOOD? Because you haven’t proven you can build a fanbase, and if you can’t prove yourself as a marketer without the publisher’s help, they don’t believe a good story is enough. And no, they won’t market your book for you, while you get to sit back and enjoy, because hey, you did the hard work already by writing something amazing. Nope, doesn’t work that way. The hard work has just begun.
This too is the reason why so many indie publishers fail. And why many self-published authors don’t sell copes. No matter who publishes your work, YOU, the author, still need to work your ass off to get it into the hands of readers and reviewers.
Big publishers have the luxury of being very selective with their authors, and the reason they do this is to remain profitable, because wasting time on a good author who doesn’t lift a finger to market their book ends with them losing money, and then the publisher simply can’t survive.
It’s expected that if you self-publish, you need to do all the work, but what so many authors fail to realize is that 1) you should be marketing your story and building an audience BEFORE you try to sell it, before you send it in to publishers, and 2) you need to continue working to get your story in front of readers from that point on NO MATTER WHAT.
Being an author is a job, and no one can do it for you.
So what about being an introvert, or not a good salesman, not someone who knows how to market themselves well? Doesn’t matter. It’s the age of digital; you can do everything from behind a screen, and still be successful. You don’t have to go to book conventions, or host signings if you really don’t want to, though that does help; you can do blog tours instead, find your readers on social media, run a blog, a website, or a newsletter building up a list of followers to email every time you have a new book out.
Having a good story doesn’t make something successful. Having the right publisher doesn’t either. Having an audience does, and the only person who can see that to fruition is YOU. There are a million resources out there to help you do this, but to start, check out these tips on building your author brand.
Doing nothing, accomplishes nothing. But amazingly enough, it doesn’t take a lot of work to gain readers, just a little accomplished each day.
Start right now. Write a blog. Create a website template. Make a twitter account. Try everything, and get rid of the things you don’t like over time to keep what you do manageable. Trust me, every bit helps. And if you start now, when the time comes, maybe you’ll get picked up by a traditional publisher if that’s the route you’d prefer, maybe you’ll help an indie publisher succeed, or become more successful all on your own self-publishing than you ever thought possible.