7 Publishing Myths

Mar 24, 2010Write!



I don’t want to rain on your publishing parade, but I do want you to be realistic about traditional publishing. Here are 7 myths you need to know about.

  1. All authors make a bucket load of money! (Click to tweet this.) (Actuality: We make about 78 cents a book. Most of us make less than a teacher’s aid).
  2. Rejection ceases to exist once you’ve signed your first book contract. (Actuality: It gets worse, and the rejections hurt more.)
  3. Publishing is like those models who get discovered in diners. (Click to tweet this). It just happens without much effort. (Actuality: 10,000 hours of writing finally makes you a master at it. That’s about ten years. When I signed with an agent and sold two books in that year, folks thought I arrived quickly. Wrong. I arrived after 10,000 hours of my behind on the chair.)
  4. Publishers revel in marketing your books. (Actuality: They do the best they can, but in today’s climate, it’s truly up to the author to get the word out.)
  5. Authors don’t go to the grocery store. (Actuality: Um, yeah, they do. Off to Kroger soon…)
  6. You can usually skip the busywork of writing for smaller venues and go for book writing out of the gate. (Actuality: It’s better and more “normal” to have a wide body of periodical work published before you find an agent. Otherwise, how will an agent know if you can write, meet deadlines, and take editorial direction? Of course with self publishing and POD the way it is, you could publish a book right now. I’m speaking in the traditional sense.)
  7. Book signings are terribly fun and exciting for authors. (Actuality: They’re mostly just terrible. We don’t really like them, often because folks don’t show up and you feel like a 7th grader again, standing near the wall, waiting to be asked to dance. So not fun. Although I will say it’s an author’s rite of passage to attend a book signing and sell zero books. Yes, this has happened to me.)

If you’d like more information along these lines, consider purchasing The 11 Secrets of Getting Published. It’s everything I know about publishing in one handy-dandy reference.


Q4u: What publishing myth have you debunked in your pursuit of publication?