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Can I Really Be A Writer And A Business Person At The Same Time?

Author: Lynne Schlumpf
Date:   10-31-01

Part 1 of my Self-Publishing series found at: http://www.writersmanual.com.

"Hold please", the voice on the other end squawks.
"Okay", you reply, but they're gone before they get a chance to hear your answer.

Is this a familiar experience you've had with your publisher or agent? Are you an author who has never been published before and you're trying to decide what you should do? The future of your book is always in your hands, from the time you write the first sentence. This article will present both ways to get published, helping you to decide which choice is best for you in your present circumstances.

This series of articles will not only deal with the subject of getting published in print, but it will also touch on the possibility of getting published in e-book format.

Let's make the assumption that you have never been published before. You have written a book that you're just aching to share with the world, but you're not sure if you should allow a publisher to handle it all, or if you should market your own book.

Unfortunately, even if you make the decision to let a publisher handle it all for you, you're not going to want to put the promotion of your book on complete autopilot, unless you're that trusting. You'll probably want to have some participation in the process. Why? Not all publishers have the time to devote to your book the way you might.

"I don't have any time to devote to marketing my book", you might say.

Ok, but I could almost bet you might do a better job of letting others know about it than your publisher ever would. Unless you're that lucky star that has a book that just sells all by itself, you'll want to be involved in the promotion of it.

If you don't take some role in the marketing of your book, you might feel like you don't have control over the process at all. If you're a control freak like I am, you've probably already answered the question of whether or not you should self-publish. If my book fails, I want it to fail because I failed it. I don't want to look back and say that it failed because someone else did not do their job.

Who knows your book better than you? Who knows who would love to read it more than you do? You may have to do some soul-searching to figure out who your target audience is because sometimes target audiences morph right before our very eyes.

One moment we think we know who would love to read our book. Before we know it, a completely different "crowd" is buying our book. We have to turn around, shake the rocks in our head, and start over in our marketing efforts.

Don't worry too much if your target audience does change. Your readers may not really be who you think they are. That is a normal process of figuring out what your book really is.

We'll make the assumption in the rest of this series that you have decided to self-publish. Even if someone else published your book, don't let that stop you from reading the rest of the articles in the future. Even if you have decided to let someone else do it for you, you'll still learn valuable marketing secrets to get your book in front of others.

Enjoy figuring out what your book is really about and who would really love to read it, and I'll see you next time.

You can also find Lynne and her books at http://www.littlewebsitethatcould.net.

Copyright 2001 Lynne Schlumpf. All rights reserved.