• What Have You Found Surprising About Book Publishing?
This blog was featured on 08/21/2019
What Have You Found Surprising About Book Publishing?
Written by
August 2019
Written by
August 2019

The first thing I did when I decided I was ready to start writing books, and publishing those books, was hit the books, as in reading as much as I could about publishing. So, in the beginning I found quite a few surprising aspects about book publishing. For starters, I couldn’t get over the relentless mention of them slush piles, and for the longest I scratched my head trying to figure out exactly what audience meant.

I mean, okay, so I figured out how to scope out a certain market, or demographic. Writing for women, or young adults or any specific community defined a group. But how did a writer working on his or her first book, and looking for an agent, describe its audience? 

Early on it got frustrating trying to read between the lines. Was audience and demographic the same thing? I imagined writing across demographics, which based on the height of them slush piles I kept hearing about, it likely wasn’t only me envisioning that type audience. 

Wished I could tout how I eventually ‘got it’, as in respecting the traditional meaning of audience, but only got as far as being so tickled thinking about a book promoter asking, and asking in a way that came off a little smug...as if he knew I wouldn’t have the correct answer when he asked, “what would make someone pick up your book, out of... say... thousands of others in a book store?”

To be fair, the promoter actually was pretty good. He asked questions that had me later going back to the drawing board to tighten up my book pitches. Yet, to his staggering gasp and my amusement, my answer left no room for a work in progress. It still didn’t mean I could... or rather would... put the answer I gave him on the cover of any of my books. I just simplified reading between the lines.  

So, what have you found surprising about book publishing that you didn’t know before, but know today?  

#Storytelling #Inspiration #Writing

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  • RYCJ Revising

    SJ, thanks for your comment. Without knowing a thing about what you'd like to write, I already know your writing WILL NOT be pointless. Anyone who dreams of writing, and then commits him or herself to writing, will definitely find its audience. I just read a good article trending here on SheWrites about this;-) Actually, you may have already read it by now;-) ("An Author’s Life: Riding Out the Bumps in the Road")

  • Hyba Revising

    There definitely is a big emphasis on being able to define your audience! It's something I am currently struggling with right now, because my current audience is really just me - I'm writing books that I wanted to read. I was surprised to learn about publishing panels and how every book gets reviewed by them in order to see if it's worth publishing. I learned that they often included people from all departments - sales and marketing, finance, and more - because they really do sit down and look at your book as a product and how well it will sell. Learning about this - and the fact that your agent is the person that goes to present your book, without your presence (and therefore is hopefully good at presenting it!) - makes me feel a bit more nervous about the publishing process! But I'm still very excited to keep going! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful article!