Why being able to publish and being
successful at it are two totally different things

                With
the excessive number of outlets for self-publishing available to writers today
(nearly 42 MILLION Google search results for “self publishing companies”) it’s
no wonder there are so many “published” writers today. I realize that’s a
facetious and borderline rude way of putting it, but in many ways, being able
to say you are a published writer is as easy as being able to buy a new book
online or rent a movie. The ability to self-publish is a valuable tool,
especially for the passionate writer who is serious about having a hand in
their own career, but it’s also a valuable tool for the lazy writer. Don’t be
mistaken though; being a published writer in no way guarantees success.
                This
month we are going to look at ways to make publishing your book contribute to success
in your life as a writer. We’ll look at some easy tips for taking your book and
its publishing to that next level. 

                Last month we talked a lot about social
media and using outlets like Twitter and Facebook to boost your online
presence. This is important, for sure, but when you publish a book you need more
than just an online presence. You need people to be interested in what you’re
saying. You need people to be drawn in so that they WANT to buy your book
because, let’s face it, you could publish a hundred books, but if you don’t sell
any and/or nobody reads them… what was the point?

                Publishing
success is an art, to say the least. It is a complex interrelationship balanced
between marketability and pushing the limits. We constantly need to push
the boundaries of what has been done before while staying true to what the fads
and interests are of our readers today. The first step to being successful in
publishing is definitely realizing that this is a necessary consideration. For
example, if you are interested in publishing teen fiction, understand that
today’s allure for that genre comes from dystopic societies and the
supernatural. Modern day 1984-esque books like “Hunger Games” or “Maze Runner”
allow people to escape, while “Twilight” and “City of Bones” draw you into a new
world created from enough reality laced with the supernatural that it feeds our
innate existentialist desires. There are of course other successful teen
fiction books, like what John Green created with “The Fault in Our Stars,” but understanding the trends can help you better understand the path to
success that is right for you.

                To be successful in publishing, the first step involves really
understanding your readers. I know in the past we have stressed appealing to
target audiences and marketing directly to them, and it really can’t be
stressed enough. Success as a writer (no matter how you define it), in most
cases, involves getting people to read your book. Publishing is a great step in
this direction, but the bottom line is that it still has to be something that
people are interested in reading.