M.J. Rose, author of eleven novels and two nonfiction books on marketing and one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers has some tough love for indie authors.
Passive Guy knows some of M.J.’s thoughts will raise hackles all over IndieWorld, but he (semi-frequently) thinks it’s a good idea not to live in an echo chamber and listen to people with whom he may disagree in part.
In the spirit of comity, good vibes and world peace, PG will put Mr. Snarky in a box and allow Ms. Rose to speak without interruption.
(All you Hackles! At Ease! Take a Xanax break or a bunch of deep breaths. Not that many! Breath into the bag. And spit out that extra Xanax right now!)
A writer who writes all the time might still be a romantic ideal but it’s not a practical reality. No writer can entirely devote him or herself to the muse. Not one who is traditionally published. And not one going the self-publishing route.
So how much work are you are you going to have to do?
If you have an agent and a publishing house you won’t have to make all the decisions or do all the work yourself. You’ll have partners along the way — from editors to publicists. They will do the lion’s share of the work and pay the lion’s share of the bills. Yes, you might want to — even need to add to some of those efforts — adding more marketing or more PR — but much of the work of publishing will be done for you.
When you self-publish, you are on your own.
. . . .
If Lee Child, Sara Gruen, Laura Lippman and Jennifer Weiner all get edited, can self-published authors afford not to do the same thing?
Yes, an editor costs money. And yes, an editor might require you to do more rewrites. Yes, you might be tired of writing the book and not even want to work on it anymore.
But if your goal is to sell books, get readers, and build word of mouth — you absolutely need professional help.
It’s like cooking. Just because you can scramble eggs doesn’t mean you can make a soufflé. 99.9% of all books can be improved by a good editor (and we’re not talking about your sister or your great Aunt Mary, unless they are editors by trade).
Link to the rest at HuffPost Books