Publishing advice for the aspiring and inspired author.

by Sherrie Wilkolaski

The holidays are here and it’s my favorite season. What I really love is that when it comes to publishing it is one of the busiest times of year.  There is so much energy it’s hard to not want to be a part of it.  You’re either an author who just published in time for the holiday rush or you’re gearing up to get your book ready for the next year.  Let’s take charge of your publishing destiny and get you energized to sell more books or get your book ready for publication in 2013!  I’m also going to tell you what I learned this summer at the Yale Publishing Course.

Books launched in 2012.

If you had a new title published this year or if your book has been out for a while, don’t let this holiday season pass you by.  Everyone is looking for great book ideas for the holidays, so don’t be shy.  Give your audience the top five reasons your book makes a great gift.  Write it up as a blog post and then hit publish.  Too embarrassed to do your own promotion?  Blame it on me.  You can be serious (book includes delicious recipes) or you can get creative (makes a great doorstop) it’s all up to you.  People by more books between October-December than any other time of the year, so get out there and market your book today.

Plan to Publish in 2013.

Now is the best time of year to plan for your 2013 publication.  It’s the busiest time of year for book buying and publishing. If you’re self-publishing, the indie platforms are running their best sales and promotions right now.  You can get some incredible discounts on everything from editing to publishing, to marketing and PR and yes…pre-orders on bulk book orders.  You can save a bundle.  Not sure where to go, email me and I’ll be happy to help find the right publishing option for you.  If you’re looking for a traditional publisher, start working on your query letters and check out www.agentquery.com to find a publisher that is a right fit.

What I learned at Yale.

This summer I attended the Yale Publishing Course and the theme off the week-long program was “change”.  It was the second best week of my life. The first was the week I spent in Paris, summer 2006.   You might be wondering, how Paris could compare to New Haven, but it was the people and the exchange of information.  Publishing professionals traveled from five contents to attend the 2012 program and there were 30 different speakers who presented on everything from eBooks to indie bookstores.  It was a bridge between traditional publishing and the new world of independent publishing and POD technology, with the discussion of what changes lay ahead for everyone; authors and publishers.

Biggest surprises.  Traditional publishers are still apprehensive about the independent publishing market.  I was sitting at dinner one evening and was asked two very interesting questions, “What is this indie publishing you keep talking about?” (Answer: Publishing independently of a traditional publishing house, the author is the publisher.) and “What is print-on-demand?” (Answer: Printing technology to print one book at a time vs. doing a large print run.) and both questions continued to surface throughout the week.  At the same time, they are aware that change is inevitable and taking the steps to grow.  There is no us vs. them, we’re all in this together.

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Publishing for me, is a wonderful blend of old and new.  No matter if how you’re getting your book to publication, it needs to be published properly; developing a solid product.  From there, how you decide to get it out to the world is the key to your book sales success.  Print-on-demand technology allows any publisher the advantage of printing one book at a time.  Need more, great.  Publish as many as you need, as the orders come in.

Book discovery is imperative. Having your book in as many distribution channels as possible will position any book to compete next to any “big six” traditionally published title.  Of course, that is if you have a professional cover design.  Where authors are distributing and promoting their titles is what will give them a competitive edge.

Still looking to go traditional? 

There are many new boutique publishers entering the market that specialize in food, wine and travel.  Go local.  Find a publisher in your city, state or region and you’ve still got a good shot at getting picked up.  Just don’t be surprised if your advance only has a few zeros at the end.  Traditional houses are cutting back on large advances and yes, you had better come prepared to be ready to market and promote your book, or they won’t even consider taking you on.  Being a part of IFWTWA is a huge plus, so don’t forget to mention you’re an active member.  If you’re an established writer with a brand and platform you can bring to a publisher, then traditional  may be the way to go.

Independent publishing is a wonderful alternative. 

Or is traditional publishing becoming the new alternative? I was lucky enough to meet Terry and Kathy Sullivan, of www.winetrailtraveler.com at the IFWTWA Las Vegas conference in February of this year. We talked about their idea to write a book and by the end of the conference they had made the decision to go for it.  We’ve been keeping in close touch throughout the process and I’m thrilled to say they have finished the book and it’s ready for publication.  We talked about their publishing options and going the independent route made the most sense for them.  They were focused on keeping with their writing schedule and Terry has the skills to use InDesign to create the professional book interior.  They’re going to use Infinity Publishing to publish and distribute, and they’ll also be doing the cover design.  At the end of the day, they truly are their own publisher because they were willing to put in the time to create a great product.

If you have the time, independent publishing can be just as rewarding and lucrative as having a traditional publisher pick you up.  If you’re not sure which direction is right for you, just ask.

Don’t forget…If you have a book that is published or have a new title coming out, please let me know. I’m looking for online author interviews, book reviews and guest bloggers to feature on my website and on a variety of other book and publishing sites, newsletters, etc. that I manage.  So don’t be shy, please reach out to me.

Happy Publishing! ~Sherrie

Image courtesy of Adrian van Leen.

Sherrie Wilkolaski

About Sherrie Wilkolaski

As the founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart Sherrie Wilkolaski is a Renaissance woman of the publishing industry. She brings to the writer’s table an effective fusion of marketing proficiency, best-selling accolades and a background in journalism. Her international public speaking credentials and social media savvy provide independent authors and traditional publishers a multifaceted strategy to achieving success. Sherrie’s specialized insight into the mechanics of the publishing process resulted in the formation of her distinctive boutique publishing house style, which bridges a client’s status from aspiring writer to published author. As a best-selling author, Sherrie has first-hand knowledge of the creative writing experience and the challenges involved in printing, packaging, marketing, and selling books. She has effectively harnessed the benefits of social media and site promotion to maximize an independent author’s circulation and public readership. In 2011, Sherrie co-founded traditional publishing house Pressque Publishing and is a consultant and publishing services broker for a number of small to mid-sized publishers and printers, including HP, and Infinity Publishing. She is columnist for Press Pass, Publisher and Editor of Luxe Beat Magazine and a featured blogger on a variety of industry publications. She is the former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu. Sherrie’s new radio program, PubSmart, is launching later this year. Sherrie sits on the board of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and was a featured speaker at the 2013 Annual Conference in Hawaii presenting, “The Power of a Book”: How to Use a Book to Enhance Your Career/Credibility as a Journalist”. A global conference speaker, she addressed members of the HP Dscoop Graphic Arts Asia Conference in Beijing, China in 2013. Sherrie is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the popular coffee table book series, “Cookies and Cocktails”. Her much-anticipated book “How to Bulletproof Your Book” is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2013. Sherrie is a broadcast journalism alumnus of SUNY College at Buffalo and is a 2012 graduate of the Yale Publishing Course.