One of the things I learnt as an author is what I was prepared to do to achieve that author status. This is very important because it will help with the next lesson when we look at self-publishing (I’ve done both.) Having worked very closely with my publishers for nearly 2 years I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, however, I can give you my personal experience and viewpoint (which will feature heavily in a later lesson looking at what a publisher wants.)
Publishers have their own agendas (of course) and for you to work with a publisher you will need to ask yourself these questions?
Am I prepared to write a book to a specific length?
Am I prepared to be dictated on by the look and branding of my book?
Am I prepared to adjust my style of writing?
Will accept that some content won’t feature in my book?
Am I prepared to be guided by a publisher on the direction of my book?
Am I prepared to waive my control over where my book is sold?
Publishers will also have genre’s and specific topics that they will wish to cover. By understanding this you can tailor your proposal to the right publishers.
On a personal note, I was asked to change the title of my book because WH Smith’s had shown an interest in my book. Originally it was called “Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win at work.” This suited me better because the majority of my coaching clients were in business. However, being prepared to change the title to “Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life.” has worked very well for me. And one of the reasons for this is that I was prepared to accept that I would adjust my own marketing strategy so that I was not just speaking to an audience of business owners, and that I was going to work hard to speak powerfully in my marketing to communicate with a wide audience. This is not something that may work for everyone, however, remember my original goal was to be able to work in a way that would look after my health. And thus this alteration didn’t impact on this if anything it has helped it!
ACTION; What am I prepared to accept or sacrifice to become an author?
This is important for Lesson 4 as we look at self-publishing and then in Lesson 5 Publishers.