One of the things I find with new authors is their lack of understanding of the publishing world. It seems that for so many authors, there is the belief that you write a book and then it is published. These authors also seem to lack an understanding of the issue of time. The time it takes to write a book, to move it through the system and the time it takes to get it to the shelves.
Writers are often shocked when you state that hearing a response back from an editor or agent may take months. Really? It only took us 3 hours to read a novel, what is the delay?
When I talk to writers, one of the biggest things I push is to encourage writers to learn all they can about the business of publishing. Who are the players in the publishing process? What is their role in making your book a reality? What is the time between steps? I also encourage them to learn about how books are chosen by editors and agents. What factors are we all looking at when making decisions about books.
A friend of mine has spent the last year or so working on a non-fiction piece about a Scout camp. This is a history of the camp and stories that were attached to it. As I have watched him work on this project, I have seen how much he really did not know about the process. When he finished writing it, he found out a lot f things that could have saved him a lot of hassles that he is facing now. The program he was writing it on was not compatible to many publishers is just one example. He also realized that while the photos he wanted were great, the cost to put these in the book really raised the price of publishing it and certainly distribution. He was now trying to figure out how to sell the book. I have been able to provide him some advice along the way, but these are issues that all authors need to learn before really making the big plunge into professional writing.
Now that we are starting into 2021, I would encourage all of you to take the time each week to learn one new thing about the publishing world. The more you know, the better off you will be. I promise!