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.
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.
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Photo courtesy of Patrick Fore.