I have a friend who has enjoyed a long successful career as a published novelist. More than once we took part in the same panel at a writer’s conference. Whenever it came time to field questions from the audience I came to expect — actually anticipate — that some bright-eyed, eager novice would direct a particular question at my friend. It wasn’t so much the question that I anticipated as her answer.
One of the biggest misconceptions about getting a book published is that the publishing company will take care of the marketing. Generally speaking, that’s not true. There are basically three different ways to get your book published. You can self-publish your own book. You can use a small independent publisher or if you’re an established author, you can use one of the big publishing houses like Penguin or Random House. Regardless which of these options you use, you will still be left with the responsibility for the marketing.
Publishing a book is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert in your field. Not only that but the book demonstrates your expertise in its best and most organized format. And perhaps the biggest advantage of all is that your book allows people to be introduced to your expertise without you doing a thing. Yes, you have to write it and get it published. And you also have to market it. But after that, you can sit back and let people read it on their own time.
If you are serious about your writing, in fact even if you aren’t, you need a web site. Let me repeat that — every writer needs a web site!
Raising your level of writing needs you to focus on bigger things, like having your work published for example. This is a surefire way to encourage yourself to go beyond your current limitations and weaknesses as a writer. Taking the step from writing as a hobby towards writing professionally and having an article or a piece published is indeed a big leap for anyone. It needs a long-term commitment, discipline and an almost endless source of inspiration to be able to write constantly and creatively. Not only does it entail having to do intensive research, but it also pushes the writer to find a certain niche from which he can excel.
Moreover, you have to be able to gauge your own work and consciously maintain a higher level of quality as compared to when you were just writing on a journal or your own blog. This leaves the question of how one learns how to write well. How can you raise your level so that it is up to par with what is asked and required of you as a professional writer?