Last week I touched on how I wrote my first book. I spent an hour every day at a local shopping mall with a coffee and a 3-ring binder in which I poured out my thoughts about hiking the West Coast Trail. One thing I learned was that an author never really finishes his book; he is always rewriting, finding things to change, correcting errors, rereading and finding more changes. For more information on this process, check this out. There comes a time however, when the writer has to put their fear aside (yes, it’s fear) and determine what’s next. At first I thought that I had corrected all the grammatical and spelling issues and so it was time to find a publisher.

A friend noticed a writing contest in a local newspaper and suggested that I submit, which I did. My manuscript was typed by me and put in an envelope and shipped off to a publishing house for a writing contest for adventure stories. I’ll be damned if I didn’t win second place! I sent a letter to see if they would be interested in publishing but they declined – heart broken. Now it was time to learn how to become an author.

Spell check in Word is not editing. Handing your manuscript to a friend or family member is not editing (unless they are a professional editor) and then hopefully they will also give you back an invoice – that’s how you can tell. If you want your hard work to see the light of day, an author must put on her business suit and become a marketing expert, salesperson, production expert, lawyer, accountant, printer, layout pro, professional speaker, tinker, tailor, soldier and spy. Let’s talk for a moment about the publishing industry.

Here’s the deal – no matter how good your book, if you have to look for a publisher, your chances of success are minuscule, at best. If the publishers come looking for you, offering big advances, then you have huge name recognition and recognition translates to profit and that is what publishing is all about. Period, end of story, so to speak. Walk into a bookstore – what are they selling? Gifts, cute little stuffed animals, TV watching blankets, cards, games, and a small selection of best selling authors or authors with huge name recognition value – think Obama, Oprah, even Trump. I know for a fact that none of those people are subscribers to this website, so let’s tell it like it is, but first, this week’s


From a musical point of view, I was very lucky to grow up in southwestern Ontario, sandwiched between Toronto and Detroit. Yonge St. in TO was the Canadian music mecca with places like Le Coq D’Or, The Brown Derby and many other venues featuring people like Bobby Curtola, David Clayton Thomas and Rompin’ Ronny Hawkins. Detroit had Motown. Waterloo had WLU, then Waterloo Lutheran University and now Wilfred Laurier University – nice how they didn’t have to change the sign. Friday nights would see some incredible music acts from both of those locations arrive in the gym for dances, yes dances, not concerts. Here’s a blast from Martha and the Vandellas that has been covered by many others – it hit #2 on the charts when released in 1964, written by Marvin Gaye. This will get your mojo going:

The traditional publishing companies are simply not an option for 99.9% of first time writers But what a wonderful world we live in because there are options that you really need to explore after you hire a professional editor. There are associations in most locales for professional editors, many of whom will work online without the need for meeting personally – check them out. And there are very legitimate options in self publishing and assisted self publishing for you to look into.

The biggest book retailer in the world is Amazon and every author who has even the slightest idea of getting their manuscript out of the bottom drawer of their desk needs to learn about publishing on Amazon and CreateSpace. If you are ready to put on your hard hat and do much of the work of publishing yourself, then this is the major route to take. They are incredibly professional and have amazing resources available if you are prepared to take the time to learn.

I would suggest that you spend some time on Smashwords, an aggregator that makes your book available on all of today’s major retail sites like Kobo, Barnes and Noble, I-Tunes, libraries, and more. Explore the many resources that they offer for editors, cover designers, uploaders, etc. Set up an account and read their blog suggestions for self publishing your book.

Do you think that self publishing is a second class option like the publishing industry would have you believe? Here’s a list of your fellow authors who began by self publishing:

  • David Chilton – The Wealthy Barber. …
  • James Redfield – The Celestine Prophecy. …
  • K.A Tucker – Ten Tiny Breaths. …
  • Michael J. Sullivan – The Riyria Chronicles. …
  • H.M Ward – Damaged. …
  • Barbara Freethy – Daniel’s Gift. …
  • Lisa Genova – Still Alice. …
  • Amanda Hocking.
  • and E.L. James – Fifty Shades of Grey – a book that my wife and daughter have told me I’m not allowed to read for some reason.

There is also a brilliant option now available called assisted self publishing in which you retain all the rights to your book (no, you don’t in traditional publishing). I will cover this in more detail next week but in the meantime, go here and read this information from Polished Publishing Group.

One thought on “MY BOOK IS WRITTEN – NOW WHAT?

  1. Pingback: How Do I Publish My Book | Robert J Bannon

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