It always amazes me how little some authors actually know about the BUSINESS aspect of writing. I’m published doesn’t necessarily mean I’m successfully published. Many have bought into some of the writer’s advocacy group spew—that writing is an art-form and therefore, actually, not really a business. Advice from those who have failed only brings failure with it. Their mantra usually goes like this: Write a book, find an agent, let the agent get you a huge advance and then write another book. No marketing required. No platform required. All you have to do is write, because your publisher will do all that marketing and platform building stuff for you. Yeah, right.
Failure has no experience with success. Those who have failed will continue to preach what they don’t know. They will continue their mantra that says it takes no effort beyond knowing plot, character, dialogue, point of view, scene, plot arch and movement to be successful—look at me—which is never followed by sales numbers or maybe by sales numbers created in the 1980s. Their worn out idea of continue to crank out books, find an agent, find a publisher and if all else fails, self-publish, yada, yada, yada spells FAIL.
Become one of their disciples and you too will fail.
Another fallacy preached is you must write the perfect book to be successful—perfect meaning totally grammatically correct and lord don’t let a spelling error slip past. This is also total crap because you and I personally know many authors who write crappy, books with grammar errors and yet their books are hugely successful.
So what is the secret to success? The secret is not that difficult and really no secret at all. You only have to KNOW YOUR READER, know what your reader wants, then give them what they want. In other words, you cannot write to into a vacuum and be successful. If you have a product for sale, you aren’t its only customer. You don’t write to entertain yourself. You must write to entertain your readers and your readers, in turn, will reward you for enlightening and/or entertaining them by buying, reading and telling others about how they LOVED your book. That’s basically all there is too it. No long-winded explanation, just that you must write what YOUR readers want to read.
If you write for a known market you cannot lose. Writing is, after all, a business and a book is a product. Writing without feeding a book into a known market is like writing in the dark.
Publishing is a business. Writing for publication is a business. These are facts. I really don’t care what failed authors say, I only care about what successful professionals say and they all say the same thing—writing is a business and, consequently, ALL business practices apply and that includes BUILDING A MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT.
If you wait for an agent or publisher to run your business for you, your business is going to fail—period. Agents represent many authors—publishers publish many authors. If you aren’t making them money you get little attention and you can only make money by being successful. Advice is cheap. Believing those who dispense publishing advice without publishing knowledge is actually cheating you out of a career and money that could put to better use. Don’t buy into false news from fake professionals.