Hard Work For Authors, and a New Imprint From Thomas Nelson

2009-10-21 inner workings

With the upcoming release of Curse of the Spider King, I’ve had a significant rise in email, Twitter, and FaceBook correspondence with regard to the issue of writing. And it excites me, as I believe we need more authors writing quality material, not less…especially Christ-centered works. Honestly, I simply can’t write fast enough to keep all the moms happy who have children that quite literally devour novels! But more than that, I believe that a very small percentage of Believers who have something worth saying are actually getting published, and for that matter, too many writers, who have already said all they can say, keep having different versions of the same material released simply because it makes money. Both problems are addressed by one solution: you, the future author, getting good at what you do.

In a previous post, I shared a few tips for aspiring authors. (And got some great feedback, too! Thanks!). Today, I want to add to that by including links to two other incredible posts that I think you might find quite helpful.

First is Thomas Nelson’s announcement of starting their own P.O.D. imprint (Print On Demand), West Bow. Presently, POD’s, or “vanity presses,” are frowned upon by industry professionals. For one thing, many are downright scams, asking you to putting up large sums of money and promising big marketing campaigns. First one thing, publishing any book with any publisher requires a HUGE amount of work from the author, and its success (or lack thereof) relies heavily on the amount of time you put into your own grassroots marketing strategies. So beware of lofty promises. Secondly, POD’s are typically used by people who want to “self-publish” a work. Simply put, you are fronting the money for the project yourself. Places like Barnes & Nobles and Borders won’t even crack open a book that is self-published…only because anyone can self-publish, and they’ve been suckered one-too-many-times by terrible writers with a nice cover. Major stores rely heavily on the “filter” of an established publisher to send them only what they trust is a “legitimate” work. This is where West Bow comes in. Essentially, it’s Thomas Nelson using their reputation to connect you with outstanding manufacturing (interior/exterior design, quality control, etc), and then further add options for promotion. Of course, the catch is you have to pay for it, and it’s not cheap. But, I believe, it’s well worth it. For more info, please read the announcement above from Michael Hyatt’s site (CEO of TN). (Additional info: “traditional publishers” [ie. not “vanity presses”] front the money for you when publishing a work, but you take only a percentage of sales in return on their initial investment).

Secondly, on Mr. Hyatt’s blog, he has made room for some guest bloggers, one of which is an incredible woman named Mary DeMuth (follow her on Twitter: @mdemuth). Without getting too much into her entry, she outlines the key factor it takes to become a master at anything…and in this case, writing books. The point here is that the most frequent issue I come up against in people is work ethic. In fact, in some cases after hearing a person’s idea for a novel, and then reading a sample of their writing, I can confidentially say they have better ideas than I do, and may even write better than I do. But there is one thing that separates us vastly. And it’s quite simple. I have written my book, they haven’t. The core concept being this: I meet a lot of dreamers, a lot of brilliant people, but until you actually change your lifestyle to accommodate the work necessary to accomplish those dreams, they will remain simply that: dreams.

What things are keeping you back from starting on your dream? What do you need to change in your life to start engaging with what you desire to do? Make room for “it,” and see what happens. ch:

  • Seth

    Hmmm, I think this is a clue in the ARG (for those that are playing, it’s not actually what Mr Hopper said, but something in between the lines) but I’m not sure. It seems like a code…

  • Cool stuff Mr. Hopper!

    Wasn’t West Bow already in existance before? As a normal publishing press? Or was it always POD? I do believe Ted Dekker printed with them for quite a while. I’ll keep them in mind though.

    Nice “medallion” as well Sir Hopper 😀

    Take care! and rest up for the NY signings!

  • seth: glad you found it.
    np: yes, West Bow has been in action for a long time, but they have changed its vision from a traditional imprint division of TN to a pure POD under TN. minor change, but a change nonetheless. and thanks on the medallion. 😉
    ch:

  • Millardthemk

    Hehe** true also about the Medallion, but can we continue on>>? I am quite sure we can but….I have no proof.:(

  • Very motivating post, Sir Hopper (no, that does not have a hidden meaning *laughs*). You are absolutely correct that the world desperately needs more material that is Christ-centered. Thank you for the tips!

    • You’re very welcome! (And thanks for re-commenting on the “moving” post). 😉 ch:

  • Seth

    Yes, I see your point CH! I’ll think about this in a little while though :(. Got to go

  • Millardthemk

    None…Yet it will have some once we get the “other” thing. *i hope*

    :Ch is the Cotsk adventure set up? or is it the arg?

  • Seth

    Hmm, it seems as though Millard gets to know stuff we don’t just cause he has a copy of Curse of the Spider King. Alas, I somewhat envy you, although I shouldn’t, as it is a sin. 🙁