Monday, October 17, 2016

There Are No Shortcuts in Publishing

This last week, I noticed a huge rise in advertising on Facebook for fantastic programs to get that book published. In all of the ads, the sponsors noted how easy writing that novel would be. One, in particular was a program that plotted out your entire novel for you. Just click on character types, settings and so forth and BAM!, your story was plotted. Others proclaimed the ease of getting that finished book of yours to millions of people.

And I am sorry to say, but writing and publishing simply doesn't work that way. There are no short-cuts. Writing that novel, marketing it to editors and agents, editing, publishing that book, and even marketing it to readers for sales takes time, effort and hard work. This is not an industry where you push a button and you are suddenly on the New York Times Best Seller List!

I even get invitations from online writing forums to participate in pitch sessions. No, these are not sessions where we sit down face to face and talk about stories. These are places where writers simply throw their pitch on a discussion board and hope that some random editor or agent will buy their book and make them millions of dollars. While this might sound like it is efficient, it is not a successful way to get your career moving.

 Services such as these are very similar to the magic elixirs sold by those traveling salesmen in the wild west. Buy this product, or invest in this service and your are promised great things. In reality, the only thing I can promise you is that you will be out time that you could have been spending writing. You will also likely find yourself even more discouraged with this business. You might even be out money that you will simply not get back again.

Look, there are ways to get your writing potentially in front of editors and agents, but even then, understand that taking the regular approach will always be more productive. There are contests out there where, IF your story gets it out of the preliminary rounds, there is a chance that editor or agent you want will read the story. No promises though. There are also campaigns by publishers when they are looking for a specific genre of writing. But even then, there are no promises.

Programs like this are always out there, especially with the rise of self-publishing opportunities. Those companies offering the self-pub service have tried so hard to convince people that their approach is easy, fast, productive and certainly going to make you a ton of cash. Those people making it in that industry (or I should simply say in all of the publishing world) are doing well because they are working their butts off. They are also successful because they have a product worth selling.

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