You must reinvent yourself every five years.
These words of wisdom were given to me by a business coach I interviewed for a magazine article a number of years ago. It has proved to be a good rule to live by for those of us in the publishing business. It seems that every time we get a handle on the latest trends, the newest apps, the current best practices—everything in publishing changes. And in the past two years, it is even more important than ever to be aware of the changes in publishing.
The tried-and-true methods just aren’t working anymore in many businesses. Luckily for authors, the “COVID years” have been good for many of us. Many more people are reading, and many more people are writing. There are new apps to help people write, improve their grammar, keep track of their plots, format their books, and, of course, market their books. And some of the “best practices” I wrote about in 2012, 2014, and even 2018 have changed or just no longer apply.
What hasn’t changed is that the competition on Amazon and other bookselling sites is enormous and getting bigger all the time. More than two million books are published in America every year. Many of them are awful. Many of them are undiscovered gems just waiting to find readers. There is no longer room in the publishing world for boring covers, bad grammar, poorly edited and proofed writing, or any of the other myriad ways in which authors allow their books to scream “unprofessional” to readers.
How will you make your book stand out from the crowd? How will you let your potential readers know that yours is a book they must read?
There is no one right way to publish a book. If you read websites by self-publishing experts, you will find a lot of rules about what to do and what not to do. Some are valid. Some were valid last year but are no longer. Some I disagree with. Some I embrace.
While there is no one right way to publish a book, there is one very wrong way to publish. That is to upload your book to Amazon and expect it to become an instant best seller. Readers will not buy your book if you don’t let them know it’s there. The day you aren’t marketing your book is the day your book is not selling.
No matter what stage of the process you are in, my newest book, the second edition of SELF-PUBLISHING: YOU CAN DO THIS!: What You Need to Know to Write, Publish & Market Your Book can help you. Click on the link below to get your copy now.