NaNo and Emerging Authors Beware

Newbie and NaNoWriMo authors will soon discover a legion of businesses eager to publish their manuscript. Wanting to capitalize on inexperienced authors, these  “reputable companies” whose names we all recognize, basically accept every single manuscript submitted. They are printers, not publishers. 

Don't trust your manuscript with just any ole printer

These printers realize that authors want more control. They are preying on giddy authors who have accomplished a significant goal and now want a finished product.  While I do not advise against self-publishing, I do warn authors to enter with caution. Recognize that there are many businesses who can destroy your reputation in a blink. Also recognize that you may be too “in love” with your manuscript to be rational.

First, prior to publication, step away …pause…and then pass your manuscript to someone to read, and ko-wreck(t) the misstakes [sic].

While the life of an author is filled with people willing to help fledgings through the process, few will read something you’ve written and bleed red ink across the pages. Why? Because authors are notorious for drama, fits, tantrums and other outbursts which (quite frankly) people just don’t have time to deal with.

This is one of the reasons why New York publishing houses will not take a risk on a newbie. They have zero time for drama. They also have zero time to deal with a stubborn author who refuses to see mistakes, or bend to improve their manuscript. They are weary of highly educated authors who believe “The End” means perfect.

Second, ask a self-published author about their results. Filter their response with the knowledge that some printers offer “author incentive” programs. Meaning, if they refer an author to their services they earn a reward. You aren’t asking if they like their printer or were satisfied with the results. You are asking about sales after the end-product was shipped to the author’s home.

You are not one of the suckers born every minute who will fall for a sales pitch. You are seeking the truth.

You understand the importance of distribution, distribution, distribition versus: unsold stock, unsold stock, unsold stock.

Ask point-blank questions. If the self-published author only offers eBooks ask: “How do you direct readers to your ebook?” If the answer is vague, file the response in the “Danger, Danger” category. While it is rude to ask how many copies the author has sold, ask; “where do you garner the most sales?”

Do not under any circumstance upload an ebook in December and expect it to sell.  Let the words rest. Let the words commune with their friends the sentence, the paragraph, the page. Do not be in a hurry to make a mistake. As always, I welcome any questions.

Remember, Kindle owners can order a copy of Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author for $ 2.99 until the end of 2011. Amazon Prime Members can upload it for free.  Also: In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love  & Tomatoes has  once again been added to book clubs across the south. (Hello, Texas and Mississippi readers!)  It is also available wherever books are sold. Click this link  to your favorite bookstore.  (you might have to ask them to order it); Garden with Billy is also available on Kindle and Amazon.