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.

Are You Misled by This Myth?

Robert Darnton wrote in a Chronicle Review essay that he believes there are five collective myths about the Information Age.

These five myths are:

1. The book is dead.

2. We have entered the information age.

3. All information is now available online.

4. Libraries are obsolete.

5. The future is digital.

I am not going to attempt to tackle all five myths in this blog post. I think that Robert Darnton did a good job of describing why he believes they are myths in his essay.

I do, however, want to highlight Myth #3: All information is now available online. While much information is available online, not all of it is free, nor is it easily accessible, nor is it always up-to-date and accurate. I run into this myth time and time again.

I find that some new authors and publishers don’t see a need to “purchase” information to help them in publishing and marketing their books. These individuals have subscribed to a few blogs and discussion groups, and read free articles on the Internet. They feel that this minimal research provides the information they need to effectively publish and promote their books.

Here is where the myth takes over. No one gives away their “premium” service for free. Many companies are now built on the model of giving away a scaled-down version of a piece of software that has some, but not all, the features of the full-priced model. The idea is to hook the customer so that they will want the full-version model and pay for it.

The same is true for information. No one gives away their “premium” information for free. Rather, they give away good information in the hopes of hooking the reader to purchase the premium information.

If you are only relying on blogs and discussion groups to get the information you need to publish and market your books effectively, you are missing out on some great information and resources.

While there is great information available for free on the Internet, I have found that there is also misinformation that circulates on blogs and in discussion groups that can end up leading authors and publishers astray. Sometimes authors and publishers that aren’t experience only know a piece of the puzzle and end up giving misleading or inaccurate information to others.

It is far better to pay a little money to get information that is up-to-date and accurate than to try and save a few bucks by thinking all the information you need is available free on the Internet. Money invested in premium information is never wasted.


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