Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Lazy Way to Publication

Over the years, I’ve been approached by a number of people who want me to write their story for them…and find a publisher, oh, and maybe an agent. The conversation always comes down to “You do it and we’ll split the royalties.” Honestly, I’m not sure I can hide the chagrin on my face anymore.

These people might have taken the occasional writing course or joined a critique group just long enough to sense how daunting writing a book can be, never mind selling and promoting it. Sometimes, the wannabe author is someone I’ve met socially, or while selling my books, or through a friend.

I call this the lazy way to getting published. Now, let’s be clear. I have nothing against someone wanting to hire a ghostwriter, and I often recommend reputable publishing services to others, but I would never take on the project myself. In fact, I’m highly suspicious of people who want to get from point A to Z without doing a shred of the leg work required, or who refuse to spend a single penny on a good editor, or writer, for that matter.

I’ve given workshops that outline the importance of having a social media presence, and offer simple how-to tips, only to have the occasional attendee say at the end, “I don’t really have to do all that, do I?” Of course not, provided they don’t want to sell any copies. My answer is a bit more diplomatic than that in person, but it amounts to the same thing. If you don’t invest in your idea without doing your homework and spending some dollars, then you won’t get far.

There’s a lot of nice people out there with great stories to tell, but it’s a slippery road to hell to commit your time and skill to someone who doesn’t understand what it takes to write, publish, and promote a book.


Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

This really resonated with me, Debra. I tell people all the time, for your first book, especially, hire a professional editor. View it as an investment in yourself and as an education, like a college course. Learn from it.

My other pet peeve is when people ask how much I make. Why is that any of their business? Would they ask me my income if I sold car insurance or worked at a bank?

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Thanks for your comments, Judy. Yes, I'm occasionally asked what I make, but also I have customers who assume that if I wrote a book that I must be making a lot of money. I shock them with the bold truth :)