Una Rose – Author

Putting the world to write!

Authors need to smell the coffee more!


DSCF8288I had lunch recently with a budding author who has a book that will probably do well as it is a niche subject and with the right bit of publicity I do think it will sell. He approached me as I have published several local books but as I explained to him, I have made a decision to stop doing this.

Although fun, it is hugely time consuming and although the books make profit, it has to be rolled back into the company to fund overheads, publicity, stock etc. I will keep marketing the ones I have already produced (see my website for more details if interested www.estuarypublishing.co.uk) but I also want to get back to doing more writing myself and have started my next Asian thriller. So as both publisher and author, I can see the business from both sides. Sadly too few authors can do the same. This very articulate and charming man would have no problem getting media attention unlike other authors I have met who are fearful of audiences, but still he is inclined to think this is not his job.

He says and I quote: “In defence of lazy writers, of whom I am one, many of us find it easy to come up with ideas for stories and articles but much more difficult to sell ourselves. This may be hard for you to understand but many talented artists need someone to believe in them and drive the business side of their work – I am much happier in the worlds I create rather than the real one.”

My response was really wake up and smell the coffee. No author I know who has simply put the book on the shelf has really sold more than a handful of copies to friends and family. If that is your aim, then I wouldn’t really even aim to print the book as it is costly to do so. So many fall for the dream of being a published author and perhaps this is enough for some to fulfill an ambition. But it seems authors simply expect their manuscript to be the next JK Rowling experience and even she went on a nine year roller coaster of rejection after rejection. What she has that so many lack is tenacity and determination to get noticed.

As most self published authors know, just producing a book isn’t enough anymore, you have to have a PR machine behind you or be relentless in self-promotion to get a book noticed. Some 1,000 new books are published every day. E-books have made it all the more harder to get noticed. Authors have to do talks, appearances, signings, answer email queries, be on twitter, radio shows (remember those!), harangue newspaper journalists, friends and enemies to buy a copy – whatever it takes. I have three friends published by Penguin and another with Harper Collins and I can tell you it is the same for them.

I have been demoralised at times at craft events say where a woman has spent an hour producing some hand cream or cup cake and sells them for 100% profit while an author has spent years writing a book and can only hope at best to make 10% in royalty and usually still has to “sell” the book to the potential customer going into detail about what the story is about etc before a purchase is made. People are strangely fickle with books and seem unwilling to fork out £8 for something that will last them days, weeks, months in pleasure but will hand it over to a barman, cake shop owner without thinking for something that will give them just momentary pleasure.

Hope my doom and gloom isn’t putting you off!

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This entry was posted on July 10, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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