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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 cover to the high profile author—and he strongly disliked it. As a result, he never promoted the book and the sales were dismal. The book was taken out of print after six months. I was disappointed for all of the effort I put into writing and creating this book but many critical factors in the success of a book are outside of my control.



From other authors, I've heard many of these types of stories about their books. The process of publishing and promoting a book is filled with pitfalls and possible errors. I took my years in publishing and poured it into writing 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed.



I want to give you four reasons I wrote 10 Publishing Myths:



1. To give authors a realistic picture of publishing. Many authors have written a manuscript but do not have any idea of the details of publishing. I've written about these details in my book.



2. To help authors understand much of the process is outside of their control. There are many things that can prevent your book from successfully selling in the marketplace.



3. To give authors practical advice they can do to sell books and be successful. While much is outside of the author's control, there are numerous practical actions every author can take in the process. It's the focus of each chapter.



4. To understand there is not a bestselling formula but there are bestselling practices. Many authors are looking for a magic formula to make a bestseller. If such a formula existed every book would be a bestseller because each of us would follow that formula. It does not exist but there are active steps every author can take which is my emphasis. For example, I have worked with other professionals to create a short book trailer. Book trailers are all about exposure. Someone has to hear about your book a number of times before they purchase it. My trailer helps in this process.











5. To take the long view and not look for short term success. (A Bonus Reason) Many authors are looking for a way to rocket to the top of a bestseller list and a short-term gain instead of taking the long view for their book and continuing to tell people about it. From my experience it is the long view that will eventually bear fruit or get you book sales.







My book released last month and can be ordered in four different ways on my website. I encourage you to get a copy for yourself and another one to give it to another writer.



Have you fallen for a publishing myth? Let me know in the comments below.





Tweetable:




Learn four reasons for 10 Publishing Myths from this prolific writer and editor. Get insights here. (ClickToTweet)





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In addition to 10 Publishing Myths, I created a bonus chapter on the 11th Publishing Myth. It is free and you can get it today. Just use this link.


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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…