Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Author's Trinity

With a flip slip of the tongue I made a horrible discovery today.  I am a writer, somebody who puts to paper the words others will read and pray they enjoy even to the point of sharing that tale with another.

I've been writing for years but only really starting submitting the last fifteen to twenty.

But what did I realize?

There is a triangle.  There are three sides to the writing process.  Yes, there are a lot of aspects to the writing but I see three (3) distinct processes for the writer.

Writing.  Publishing.  Marketing.

Each of the above processes includes a myriad of things to do within the scope of the job.

A writer back in the 40s and 50s would sit in a room and bang away at the keys of the typewriter and create the next Great American Novel which would get edited, processed and if lucky, published.  But, the bottomline was simple.  The author created the work and then handed it off to the agent or publisher and took a few days of relaxation before starting on the next story.

Today it is totally different.  Writers are involved with what happens beyond passing it off to an agent. The writer must have a marketing plan in mind, something to give the publisher an idea of how the writer sees getting this book to the public and increasing sales.

In the 'olden' days the publisher was responsible for publishing and marketing the novel.

I am in the process of signing contracts with a publisher to print one of my novels.  In their submission rules, one of the questions I had to answer was 'how to you intend to help market this book' which took me off-guard and by surprise.  I really hadn't considered it but yes, it is part of the author's responsibility to help market the book.  No longer does the author sit quietly up in the sacred study and work secluded on the next book.  They are involved with the publishing and marketing aspects moreso today than ever before.

Hence my triangle analogy.  Authors are not only writers but also marketers and publishers; especially if you decide to self-publish.  Doing so will find yourself in a whirlwind of the other two sides beyond just writing the story.

Remember, in the olden days, the hard part was writing the story.  Today it is marketing and publishing that will exhaust the author.

No matter how you place the triangle, pointy end up or pointy end down; the flat side is 'Writing' and the two remaining sides are of equal length to create the point. They are 'Marketing' and 'Publishing' and they are pointing to the word 'PROFIT' at the pinnacle.

So, if you're a newbie just starting out and think you'll be some mysterious person sitting in that sacred study, secluded and illusive.  Wrong!  If you don't push and hustle yourself, nobody else is going to, at least, not as well as you can.

Until next time I decide to ramble on...

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