7 Publishing Tips for Struggling Writers

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy Powell, Director of Balboa Press (a new supportive self publishing division of Hay House Publishing). In our discussion, Sandy describes the biggest area that most authors get stuck - finishing their manuscript. She talks to many people at conferences around the world and they tell her they are writing a book but they haven't finished it. It is sitting in a pile on their desk or in a drawer somewhere. Her advice to these authors can be summed up in this list.

  1. Set a Date to Hold Your Book in Your Hands. Just imagine the first moment in which you are holding your completed book. Target a particular day. It could be a holiday, birthday or speaking engagement which will be the first time you share your beautiful book with others. Then create a timeline. You need to work with someone to hold yourself accountable. Set milestones and plan to celebrate your success.
  2. Find Outside Editing Resource. Everyone needs editing. I have not seen a manuscript yet that does not need editing. A book is judged by its mistakes so make sure you put your best book forward.
  3. Create Quality Design. Take the advice of whatever publisher you go to and listen to experts within the industry. Don't be stubborn when it comes to integrating their suggestions into your original design concepts. What sets a book apart is quality design, from book cover to paper quality and print font.
  4. Determine the Best Time for You to Write. Block this time off on the calendar and in your daily planner. Most people know when they are the most productive (early morning, evenings) but not many people will actually block out that time.
  5. Start Planning Promotion Before Manuscript is Finished. Determine your audience -- who are you writing for, what audience are you going after? What is the best way to reach them? How are they most likely to find your book? This will help you establish and start building your platform which you can do yourself or get help from others.
  6. Plan an Event to Celebrate the Publication. Established book launch events are key motivators in getting a manuscript completed. You can't have a party if the book isn't done. You really need to envision the end celebration and plan the journey to get there.
  7. Research Publishing Options. Traditional Publishing, Do It Yourself Self Publishing (you do everything -- buy your own ISBN, etc.), Supportive Self Publishing (Balboa Press, for example).
The key elements to consider are:
  • Who owns the content? Traditional publisher owns the content. With Do It Yourself (DIY) and Supportive Self Publishing you own the content. The importance of owning your own content is you can repurpose it however you want. If you have a big platform, chances are you will be approached by people to create and share your content in different ways with various partners.
  • Investment of time and money. DIY requires a large time investment with a savings of money because you are building your house yourself and not hiring a contractor.
  • Speed to market. DIY and Supportive Self publishing will be quicker than Traditional publishing.

This is all great information. Are you looking forward to your book launch celebration? Stay motivated and take that manuscript out of the drawer today!

If you want the advantages of self-publishing but you don't think you can do it on your own, you should check out the services offered at Balboa Press and I can offer you a discount: Now through January 31st they are offering you a 20% discount on any of the self-publishing packages. Go to BalboaPress.com and use this coupon code at check out: 20FORD to access the discount.

Sandy Powell has worked in the self-publishing industry since 2001. Over the past nine years, her positions include Director of Production, Online Director and Business Development. She has worked with several major traditional publishers to launch new publishing models and continues to develop new partnerships in the independent publishing arena. Sandy is Director of Balboa Press, a Division of Hay House. Launched in May 2010, it is the only self-publishing imprint focused exclusively on titles with positive, self-help messages.

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: www.HowToWriteMyBook.com