Hello, my name is Karen and I’m… a publisher. I haven’t always been. I used to be a slacker. I know, hard to believe, but true. I would gladly pay anyone to do anything to prevent me from having to do it myself. Now, I am a total control freak who cannot seem to delegate. I also used to be a writer, wait, author. And a bookseller. I am a much better publisher. I get to work with writers and I love that!
Because you love to. Don’t do it for any other reason. Anyone can write. You sit down and you put words into sentences and tell stories, or express feelings and emotions. You paint pictures onto your chosen canvas with words. It is one of the most beautiful forms of art there is. I live for words!
Because you want the world to experience the emotions of your art. Publish because you want as many people as humanly possible to read your work and to be moved by it. Whether with tears, laughter, or fear. If this is not your goal, then continue to write and leave the publishing to those who want to touch the masses.
The Top Five Things A New Author Needs To Know:
If you are an author, or are aspiring to be an author, here is what you need to know. This is YOUR book. Own it! Don’t sit in the passenger seat and let someone else drive your work into the bad part of town.
Don’t fall into the abyss of apathy. Just because you have finished a book, by no means is your job done. Now you have to make people want to read it. Apathy is not an effective sales tool. Trust me, this I know.
Don’t confuse your peers with your market. I know, authors read too. I’ve heard it all before. Hey! Are you paying attention? You in the blue jammies, I’m talking to you. You’re so busy hanging out on MMA that you haven’t even updated your web site in four months. Shame on you! Other authors are only going to your web site to see what kind of mistakes you have made. They aren’t buying your book, they are trying to sell you THEIR book. Come on, you know this! Make this about the readers and I guarantee you will sell more books.
Okay, I am only doing three things. I’m the guest I can do that. Right?
The Books On My Desk:
This is so funny. There are no books on my desk. There are lots of bills. Some junk mail. A Bead catalogue. Yesterday’s lunch plate. 6456 sticky notes of things I was supposed to do. 37 or so pens, including my feathery pink Flamingo pen and my Tinkerbell Glow pen. The bra I was wearing yesterday, it is actually hanging from the drawer handle (it was bothering me so I took it off.) 10 contracts I need to file, and some unsolicited queries that I asked not to be sent via snail mail that need to be thrown away. Some festival contracts.
Which leads me to …
My Favorite Things:
As a publisher, this is what I do for fun. Ask any of my authors, they can tell you that I am in my element at festivals and conferences. Don’t believe me? Ask Evelyn David, Jeff Sherratt, Robert Goldsborough, Sam Morton, any of them. In February 2008 I went to Love is Murder in Chicago, the Southern CA Writers Conference in San Diego, and the Columbia Book Festival in SC. In March we discovered that while I was doing all that traveling, I was in heart failure and could easily have died. But even thought I was having a wonderful time schmoozing, being schmoozed and selling books, I was sick as a dog. Exactly one month after I had the %$#@% pacemaker/defibrillator installed, I went to CA for the LA Times Book Festival. I love meeting writers and readers. I especially love meeting readers. I am unstoppable!
Without the readers, I have no reason to travel. I have no reason to write. I have no reason to publish. They are the lifeblood of the industry. And don’t you forget it!