Just like their self-published counterparts, a traditionally published author has much to do besides writing
In the last post, I pointed out that self-published authors need to be entrepreneurs and listed what that entailed. The reality is that a traditionally published author needs to adopt this same mindset, being entrepreneurial as well.
A given requirement is writing a great book.
The next step is finding an agent, who will find a publisher. To get the attention of both, many writers first hire—and pay—a developmental editor, copyeditor, and proofreader to help them make their work the best it can be before the agent or publisher even sees it.
The author also needs to conduct market research to write a compelling proposal. For nonfiction authors, success in all this, however, largely hinges of them having a platform, from which they can sell their books. Fiction authors don’t face as much pressure to have a platform, but it still helps.
Landing an agent, who will hopefully land a publisher, doesn’t mean the author’s job is done, however. Once the book is published, which could take a year or more, the author must also promote, market, and sell their books. Yes, the publisher will do this, but they’ll expect the author to do most of the work.
No one will be more passionate and have more at stake than the author. This may involve hiring a publicist.
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In addition to writing a great book, the traditionally published author needs to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, handling the following tasks:
- Build a platform
- Conduct market research
- Hire a developmental editor, copyeditor, or proofreader
- Find a publicist
- Handle marketing and promotion
- Develop and execute paid advertising
The days of sending your manuscript to your publisher and letting them take it from there are over. Even with a traditional publisher, the author still has a lot of extra work to do. Maybe self-publishing isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.