I had already decided to review Terry Whalin’s new book, 10 Publishing Myths: Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed*, when I read an author comment in a Facebook group discussion about self-publishing versus traditional publishing. The commenter said she’d prefer a traditional publisher because of the marketing support.
Ahem. Myth number two in my friend and colleague’s book is, “My publisher will sell and promote my book.”
There was my justification to continue with this review.
There is absolutely no question that if you’re new to book publishing, you need to read Terry’s slim new book.
Myths and misconceptions galore
10 Publishing Myths * hits every myth or misconception about publishing and authorship that I can think of, but doesn’t stop there. In addition to providing an essential book publishing reality check (or 10), Terry shares helpful insights, anecdotes, and how-to information related to the myth.
For example, for that second myth about publisher marketing support, he explains that authors are responsible for book marketing — and why. He goes on to offer insights into how to proceed with that important task.
In fact, there’s a great deal of book marketing advice woven throughout the book because, as you’ll learn, it’s not enough to “manufacture” a book. You have to tell the right people — your ideal reader — that it exists, too.
Terry can share insights and anecdotes because he’s been in the business a long time. He’s been a writer or editor most of his career. In his current position as an acquisitions editor for hybrid publisher Morgan James Publishing, he has an insider’s perspective that guides what he shares in his latest book.
What you’ll learn
Here are just a few things you’ll learn from this quick read:
- There are more publishing models today than there were when Terry and I wrote our first traditionally published books in the ’90s. You’ll get a sense of how they’re different, yet how, in some ways, they’re the same.
- Why all authors are responsible for book marketing and some ideas about how to go about it.
- The importance of quality. Cutting corners? You’re also cutting sales.
- The importance of a book proposal, even if you’re self-publishing.
One thing I especially like about this book is that it’s like having a conversation with Terry. I know him pretty well, and his kindness and compassion come through in every paragraph. He wrote this book to help authors at all stages of their writing and publishing processes, and that motive is obvious.
About self-publishing . . .
Terry addresses the self-publishing option in myth eight, “Self-publishing is the best way to get my book out into the market.”
This one is something of a Catch-22. I wish he had hit harder on the fact that in spite of this myth, self-publishing is usually the only option for most authors-to-be.
To land a traditional nonfiction contract today, you usually need a marketable concept and a significant platform. If you can’t write well, the publisher will find you a ghostwriter. The path to a fiction contract is different — platform is much less of a factor, for example.
In either case, there are often so many obstacles in your way that most need to at least start with self-publishing. You can then leverage your book’s quality and sales success to open doors to a contract for your next book.
Learn the business
10 Publishing Myths* is an excellent starting point for all authors. Whether you see authorship as your ticket to wealth and fame or as a tool that will let you make a difference, you’ll be much better informed about how the business works after reading this.
Invest in your success in the coming year by getting a copy of 10 Publishing Myths: Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed* by W. Terry Whalin. You owe it to yourself.
What books have helped you learn about authorship and book publishing? Please tell us in a comment so we can all learn.
*All book links in this review are Amazon Associate -- affiliate -- links.
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