Here are myths 6-10
6. I can’t write. Even if I could, it takes years to write a book.
If you can tell a story, you can write. Just get rid of the stereotype in your head of the writer brooding in front of a blank computer screen with a mug of coffee, a supply of No-Doz, and a walloping case of anxiety. As with any skill, the secrets and strategies of writing, and of fast writing, can be mastered by almost anyone. A decent book doesn’t have to take more than two months to write. It won’t be Hemingway – but who needs more Hemingway? Your goal isn’t to create sterling literature, but to convey a message in coherent, articulate English.
7. You can get a big advance from a major publisher by submitting a proposal.
Good luck. Approximately 98% of proposals sent to acquisition editors are rejected. In fact, more major publishers like Simon and Schuster are adopting a self-publishing formula to mitigate financial risk.
Besides, it can take as much if not more time and energy to write a proposal as the whole book, so why not just write the book? In my opinion, book proposals are a waste of time – spend your time developing a marketing proposal.
8. Like rich cream, an amazing book will always rise to the top.
Wrong! Except for literary fiction, publishers aren’t looking for amazing as much as they are hot topics and authors who’ll work at selling. And most readers don’t want amazing as much as information they can use. If your book, for instance, is about a startling new method of knitting, which is currently enjoying a huge resurgence, a publisher is more likely to grab it up than some amazing book on an obscure topic. It’s when you create something people want, and figure out how to tap into the market, that your book will have the chance of rising to the top.
9. A good book always finds its audience.
Purely magical thinking. Books don’t walk around all by themselves looking for an audience, and publishers want books with a built-in audience, like the knitting aficionados referred to above. It’s up to you to identify your audience and gear your book in that direction. If you can present your book to a publisher coupled with a target audience, you’ve gone a long way towards building an effective PR campaign.
10. Find a publisher who does marketing, or hire an expensive PR agent.
Wrong! When it comes to publicity, you are it. The traditional, formulaic marketing processes that are still relied upon in the publishing world are antiquated and mostly ineffective. Sending out a few review copies and hoping they’ll lead to an appearance on The Today show is no longer the only – or the best – way to sell books. These days every author, self-published or not, has to take the marketing end of the business into his or her own hands, create a marketing strategy, and network like crazy, primarily online.
Here are myths 6-10