A Million Titles Published

According to RR Bowker, the company that compiles and tracks publishing stats, more than one million authors saw their books published in 2009. Though some might be updates of established titles or reprints of titles in public domain, most of the titles are new. Besides that, at least half of those titles were produced by small or micro-publishers (like me) who utilize POD technology.

Think about that for just a minute. If someone wants to buy a new, current book, there are a million titles to pick from. Then there's the hundreds of thousands from 2008, 2007 etc. etc. Then there are the classics that have been on the shelf for decades. Even for the most avid reader and book lover, choosing could become a daunting task.

What does that mean for you the author or author to-be? Whether you are published traditionally, via a "self-publishing/POD" company or independently, if you want to sell books you need to understand you are one voice among thousands.

If you're writing just to write or for friends/family, not a problem. But, if you wish to sell books, to get anyone's attention at all, you and your work must stand out in a big way. "Publish it and they will come" could not be further from the truth for the vast majority of writers and books. There's a lot more to it these days.

Not trying to scare you or discourage you from trying to get a book out. On the contrary, this is the reality of today's publishing world and not being informed is, in my opinion, one of the quickest ways to failure. Learn as much as you can about your craft, put the "wow factor" into your book from the beginning, be a student of marketing and you'll have a much greater chance at success.

Lastly, if you like numbers and want to see how the million breaks down by category etc. you can find the full article at www.bowker.com

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


Are We Having Fun...Still?

When is the last time you really enjoyed writing-your writing? Do you finish a section, an article or a few lines and get joy out of it occasionally, sometimes, often? Rarely? If the answer is toward the rarely scale, that's not good and it's probably time to step back and figure out why.

Even if you must write to make a living, hopefully, more often than not, you like what you're doing. Few of us are lucky enough to love every bit of work we do, and there is a reason it's called work, but with at least some frequency, when we use our gift, it should bring us happiness, joy, maybe a laugh, or at least a job well done, accomplished feeling.

Author Dee Stewart posted about this whole idea the other day on The Master's Artist blog and it made me stop and think about which of my writing I like best (my newest book) and why I stopped writing a newsletter (I really didn't enjoy it, could do something else instead). Take a peak at what she has to say then I hope you'll come back and share what makes writing fun for you.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


Authors and Illustrators

I recently had a mini coaching call with a new author and thought I'd share the information here as well. One of her questions was in regard to illustrations. She loves the illustrations a relative did for the children's book she's written and pretty much assumed that they could be used when she got the book published.

These are just a couple of the tips I gave her:

1. Most traditional publishers have their own team of illustrators and generally match an author with one of them. It is the exception rather than the rule for an author and illustrator to be accepted for publication together.

2. (If going pay to publish/POD or Independent) If the artwork was drawn/painted on paper not using a computer design program, a graphic designer would have to make them print ready by scanning them in and adjusting as needed. Cost would depend on how well the initial scans processed the artwork.

3. Soft cover is the only affordable way to print color at this point for small publishers who can't do thousands of copies at a time. Cost per copy is still fairly high though so that must be a consideration when setting cover price and projecting profit.

Could you use personalized coaching to move your book project along? We can do a "preview" session of about 15 min at no cost by phone or a brief email chat to and then you can decide if a full hour session or more would be beneficial. Contact me via my contact form at publishinganswers.com or find me at Facebook.com/cherylpickett.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett