So many authors write for their love of writing or their desire to share their story or message, but if we want to sell books, it’s important to treat publishing like a business. In today’s guest post Stacey Aaronson discusses the mindset of thinking like a publisher.
After working with over twenty independent authors over the past two years as their editor, book designer, and publishing partner, one glaring issue has come to light:
The majority of self-publishing authors don’t realize that they can’t merely think like a writer; they must think like a publisher—if, that is, they want to sell books.
The thing is, it’s not easy for writers to shift into this mode of thinking—and I would venture to guess that most writers don’t even know they should be thinking this way before they even begin a manuscript. As a writer myself, I confess I didn’t consider the publisher’s mentality until I became a book production professional in the indie publishing realm, so I know firsthand how foreign it can seem.
But here’s the unsavory truth: the various self-publishing portals that have opened the door for would-be authors to get a book into readers’ hands are great, but many writers are running to upload all degrees of manuscripts—from the languishing and rejected, to the unedited and poorly designed—without honoring the legacy of traditional publishing. In short, thousands of substandard books are entering the literary marketplace because a multitude of writers are sadly stuck not only in ego mode, but in the belief that producing a book is somehow not a craft and an art. If we don’t want to destroy the reputation of books altogether—and if we want to reap a financial benefit as an author—this mindset has to change.