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How to Recover from a Launch Disaster

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



How do you recover from a book launch disaster? Over 4,500 new books are published every day.  As someone who has been in publishing for years, I understand without the author's active role, little happens.



In recent years, I've watched authors launch books and participate in their launch teams. I've gotten advance reading copies of the book, read it then posted my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. I've taken online courses on launching books. As an acquisitions editor for a New York publisher, Morgan James Publishing, I've watched many other authors launch their books. Like many things in publishing, I've found not everything will go according to your plans.



While I've written more than 60 books, I haven't published a new book in several years. My newest book, 10 Publishing Myths released to the bookstores on December 17th. Last year, I asked New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B. Jenkins …
Recent posts

4 Reasons I wrote 10 Publishing Myths

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



An acquisitions editor at a New York publisher, I spent many hours speaking with authors about their manuscripts and their own expectations for their book.  Often they will tell me, “I want my book to be a bestseller.”





In part, I love to hear those words because as an editor, I'm looking for bestsellers or books that will actively sell into the market. As someone who has been in publishing many years, I understand over 4,500 new books are published every day and 1.6 million books were self-published. The additional bit of information about self-publishing is on average these books sell 100–200 copies during the lifetime of the book. To beat those odds, every author needs to have a plan and strategy for selling their book.



I've seen many plans get changed as books get published. Years ago one of my books which received a large advance, had a different title in the publisher's catalog than when the book was published. This publisher never showed the…

When Your Book Isn't Selling

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



I used to cringe when I saw the mail or email from one of my publishers. It probably contained a royalty statement and experience told me many of those numbers would begin with a minus (negative balance).  I’ve written for many different traditional publishers and have had this experience from a broad spectrum of types of books including how-to, self-help, biographies, gift books and children’s books.



When your book sales are off, it’s a natural tendency to want to blame someone. Maybe my editor has left and my book was orphaned inside the publisher with no champion or advocate. Maybe my publisher didn’t market the book to bookstores. Maybe they changed the title between what was printed in the catalog and what was published. Or _______(fill in the blank). I’ve had all of these things happen to my published books. 



Good publishing involves a cooperative process and working with many different people. Much of this process is outside of the author’s…

Take Simple Action Steps

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



When I was a high school sophomore, my English teacher, Mr. Smith, saw something in my writing and encouraged me to join the newspaper staff. I started writing sports even though I was non-athletic and didn’t follow sports. I learned the jargon and began to write sports. Ultimately I was the editor of my newspaper my senior year and went on to Indiana University and majored in journalism. I thought I was going to be a newspaper reporter but instead joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and spent the next 10 years in linguistics. I began to work on the mission magazine and ultimately became the editorial director and in charge of the public face of Wycliffe in print.



My return to writing from linguistics began in the magazine world. I learned to write a query letter to pitch my idea and then got assignments and completed those assignments. Over the years, my writing has been published in more than 50 publications.



My first book was published in 1992 because an edi…

Face the Silence With Action

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin


Are you getting silence as you reach out to literary agents or editors during the holidays? Yes you might get a little response such as holiday greetings or Merry Christmas. From my years in this business, there is often a shift in the community from right before Thanksgiving until right after New Year's Day. People put off sending manuscripts. If they have a book contract from a publisher, they often delay to sign it until after January 2nd and any number of other decisions of this nature.


My authors are Morgan James are still active and corresponding with me but little is finalizing and moving forward—so mostly silent in some ways. How do you handle this silence? Does it stop your writing and your work in the community? In this article, I want to give you some pro-active idea of what you can do to be productive and face the silence with action.





1. Read books on the craft of writing. As you read these books, use a highlighter and post-it notes to take ac…

Get A Realistic Publishing Perspective

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



I've spoken with many authors about their plans and ambitions for their published book. Authors pour a lot of energy into writing their manuscript and creating a book proposal or careful pitch of their book for editors or literary agents. These authors make statements to me like:



“My book will be a bestseller.”



“My book will make a lot of money.” 



“My book will sell ____ copies.”



Also over many years in publishing, I've had publishers tell me that my book would be in airport bookstores and they had plans to market and sell many copies of the book. Conventional wisdom in publishing says the larger the advance, the greater the publisher investment and the greater they will have to invest in marketing to get this investment back and more. I've been blessed to get a couple of six-figure advances—but I have lengthy stories (not good ones) about how each of these books turned out in the market.









From my years in publishing, I know and understan…

Write a Review AND Promote Your Book

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



Through the years I've been in publishing, I've met many
different writers and they share at least one common characteristic: writers are
readers
. Yes we are people who love books, buy books, tell others about
books and read books.



Often in these entries, I have talked about Amazon reviews (click this link to see some of those entries). I have a
long-standing practice where any book that I read or listen to (audiobook), I
take a few minutes a write a review then post it on Amazon and Goodreads. I have
written over 500 reviews on Goodreads where I have 5,000 friends and
my reviews get a lot of attention. On Amazon I have written almost 1,000 reviews. It only takes me a few
minutes after reading the book (where the time is involved) to write and post my
review. In the past, I've shared the details about how I promote one of my own
books with my reviews on Amazon (follow this link to read that post).



Writing reviews is one of the ways I support oth…