Publishing Myths Busted!

Over the years, I have heard writers make some fairly outrageous claims like:

  • “My book is going to rock the Christian world.”
  • “Everybody needs to read my book.”
  • “I just write; I don’t read.”

These writers have bought into ideas that are not true. Sadly, there are numerous publishing and marketing myths that newer writers and authors often believe.

Publishing Myths Busted

In his new book, 10 Publishing Myths, W. Terry Whalin sets out to debunk 10 popular publishing myths while educating writers on the reality of book publishing and marketing.

This small book is packed with useful advice and resources for aspiring and new authors. For each myth, Terry provides an MBA—not a Masters of Business Administration—but a Myth Busting Activity for the reader to do.

Terry Whalin knows the publishing industry. As both an editor and a writer, Terry has written over 60 books and numerous articles. He has worked as a magazine editor and is currently an acquisitions editor. His advice is sound.

In debunking the “My Book Will Be a New York Times Bestseller” myth, Terry states:

With over 4500 new books entering the marketplace every day, it is a challenge for any author to find readers—and to find readers who will write a few sentences of honest review and post it on Amazon and Goodreads and other sites.”

I agree with Terry. The competition for readers’ time and money is stiff. Authors have to devote time and energy to promoting and marketing their books to reap sales. I have often said that book reviews are your second most important marketing tool—your book’s cover is your number one marketing tool.

In the “My Editor Will Fix All My Mistakes” myth chapter, Terry writes:

One of the ways we can grow as a writer in the knowledge of our craft is to read how-to books. Even though I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and have shelves of how-to write books, I continue to read books on the craft of writing. For years, I’ve read at least one of these types of books each month. New how-to books continue to be created and published—and I learn something from each of them.

Every writer and author can benefit from this piece of wisdom. There is always room for improvement, and there is always more to learn. As an author, you should follow Terry’s advice and encourage others to do so also. One way you can put this into practice is to gift Terry’s book or another book on writing or marketing to one or more writers in your life this Christmas.

Authors should be readers. Read books in your books’ genres and read books to improve your writing and marketing skills. I suggest that you start with this book and then read all the additional resources and books that Terry recommends in the book.

Related Posts:
How to Sell More Books
What Are You Learning?
Book Reviews Are Social Proof

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Photo courtesy of Patrick Fore.

Do You Suffer from Fear of Public Speaking?

I recently spent some time coaching a woman who had high anxiety around giving presentations at work. Within the last year, this individual had started a new job. Her new position included presenting at least once a month to colleagues and coworkers.

Fear of Public Speaking

This woman was a professional with a Masters Degree. Yet, her anxiety around public speaking was getting the best of her. She described to me how her anxiety caused her to miss major points in a recent presentation. She also reported that the energy in the room seemed to shift during her presentations. She felt this was due to everyone in the room feeling the anxiety she was projecting.

The fear of public speaking is common. The majority of people report that they fear public speaking more than spiders or even death itself. Studies show that three out of every four people (74%) suffer from speech anxiety. One statistic I read said that the fear of public speaking has a 10% impairment on wages.

For authors, speaking is an effective platform for selling books. Because people buy books from authors they know. Authors who speak often sell more books.

Yet, many authors suffer from speaking anxiety. They dislike being the center of attention and talking in public. The thought of doing so makes them want to run for cover.

What was fascinating for me was watching the transformation that took place in the woman I was coaching. Through identifying and tweaking some underlying faulty thoughts she had about her presentations, we were able to dramatically decrease her presentation anxiety.

Glosphobia: Fear of Public Speaking

The false assumption that this professional was struggling with was that she had to be the expert. For her, that meant that she had to have all the answers. Maybe you feel the same way.

This belief is a huge burden. My client knew she did not have all the answers, so when she gave a presentation, she felt like a fraud.

Here’s the truth: You don’t have to be an expert to speak to groups of people. The purpose of a presentation is to share information or knowledge that you have—including a personal experience and what you learned from it—with a group of people. That’s all.

Having all the answers is not required. All that is required is your authentic self, sharing what you know. This small thought shift can make a huge difference. And it is an important one. It is even important for you, as an author, in your writing.

You are not called to have all the answers. You are called to write what you know.

When you are part of God’s Kingdom, this is all that is required—sharing what you know. What people do with what you share is up to God. The outcome is in his hands.

Related Posts:
Write Up, Speak Up, & Change the World
Passion and Expertise
We All Need a Little Encouragement

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Take Time to Love a Bookstore

The second annual Love Your Bookstore Challenge starts tomorrow. This year the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge will run Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 17.

#LoveYourBookstore

Love Your Bookstore is an industry-wide celebration of all brick-and-mortar bookstores across America. It’s a way for book lovers of all sorts to show support for bookstores.

We need Christian bookstores in America! Christian bookstores can be a shining light of Christ to a lost world. They provide a place for both seekers and believers to find encouragement through books and other resources.

As an author, the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge provides you an opportunity to get to know and support a local bookstore, as well as promote your books.

The Challenge encourages authors to:

  1. Visit a local bookstore during the challenge. Be a patron!
  2. Take a picture with a book you love or want to gift this season—or a picture of you with your book located in the store.
  3. Share the picture on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourBookstore.
  4. Then challenge your friends to participate in the #LoveYourBookstore as well.

I would also encourage you to make a purchase while you are in your local bookstore. Support these retailers who are an important part of the book-selling structure.

Christian Supply Shoppe

If you want to locate a Christian bookstores near you, you can use the Christian bookstore locator found on https://getitlocaltoday.com. Just plug in your zip code and it will let you know where a Christian bookstore is located near you. The site lists over 1,800 Christian stores.

If you do not have a Christian bookstore in your community (and many places do not), then visit a local independent bookstore. Last year, I drove 20+ miles to the nearest Christian bookstore for this challenge. Interestingly, this bookstore is not listed in the Get It Local Today directory. The store has a fairly sizable section devoted to local authors and a number of loyal customers. While I was there a number of local people stopped by including a pastor picking up his order.

Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The Love Your Bookstore Challenge allows you to put this verse into practice. Visit your local Christian bookstore this coming week and do good by supporting their endeavor.

You can share your plans for the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge below. I would love to hear from you.

Related Posts:
How Many Christian Bookstores Remain?
How to Get a Book into a Christian Bookstore
Why Christian Bookstores Are In Decline

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Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?

I sometimes run into aspiring authors who tell me that they will only consider a traditional book contract for their manuscript. I have no problem with this mindset. I understand that desire to have a book accepted after being vetted by an editor.

Are you doing these marketing activities?

However, some of these authors are holding onto the ideal of a traditional book contract because they believe that the publisher will market the book for them. They like the idea of just writing.

The truth is that authors—whether traditionally published or indie published—are largely responsible for the marketing of their books. In fact, one royalty-paying, Christian publisher states right on their website their expectations of authors. Here is what this publisher says:

Author must:

  • Have created a fully developed marketing plan.
  • Keep a web presence.
  • Be technology savvy.
  • Know how to copy and paste URLs.
  • Can search the web for answers and solutions.
  • Check email daily.
  • Participate in book promotions.
  • Reach out to fan base.
  • Never, ever give up the book!

These expectations are not unreasonable. If you are an indie published author, at the least, you should already be doing these things for your book—especially the last one.

Sadly, I often see indie published authors give up on their books too soon. Book marketing is long-haul trucking. You have to be in it for the long haul to see success.

In addition to the author expectations, this traditional, royalty-paying publisher listed what they would do to market each author’s book. Here is what this publisher says they will do:

Publisher will:

  • Advertise the book with Amazon ads and Goodreads ads.
  • Provide digital Advance Review Copies through BookFunnel.
  • Offer Rafflecopter giveaways of print and digital copies.
  • Submit your book for review to Publishers Weekly.
  • Offer the Kindle version of the book for FREE or 99 cents with Kindle Select promotions.

Trade Show Floor

To be honest, I don’t think this is much marketing support. I don’t see anything about providing the following marketing activities:

  • Press Release
  • Author Media Kit
  • List of Radio and Podcast Show Interviewing Authors
  • Trade Show Representation
  • Foreign Rights Representation

If you are a self-published author, then you wear both the author and the publisher hat. This means that these additional publisher duties for marketing fall under your jurisdiction. Ask yourself: Am I doing all these marketing activities for my book?

If you are an Indie author and you need support in marketing your book, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is here to help you. We provide support and information for marketing your book including reference guides for creating press releases and media kits, a list of radio and podcast shows that interview authors, and numerous cooperative marketing opportunities. Join today at www.christianpublishers.net.

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A Book Marketing Recipe
Marketing Is a Mindset
Market Your Novel Like a Pro

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Photo courtesy of Kaboompics.com.