literary blueprintThe Literary Blueprint?

by [ Anonymous Author ]
March 2010


Is there really a literary blueprint for self-publishing or getting published? Lately, I have been overwhelmed with emails and messages via Facebook regarding getting “put on.” The publishing industry is similar to many other entertainment industries, especially the music industry. So, no, I can’t take on the burden of the world. Please stop getting mad when I hit you back with a simple congrats on completing your novel. I have only been in the industry for a few years myself. I will be the first to admit I am still learning and finding my way.

Research and networking will always be your two most important weapons of mass destruction concerning the publishing industry. What works for me may not work for you. I can only speak on my personal experiences and believe it or not, many were very unpleasant and harsh. Be careful who and how you approach people because some are jealous and will purposely mislead you, giving you incorrect information. I’m not sure why folks waste their time ensuring you never get put on but they do. Take your career seriously and do your research so that when you approach someone looking to network, you will be knowledgeable about the business. Please don’t get it twisted. I am not saying don’t approach people that you admire for information. If you don’t know how a particular individual is moving, by all means don’t approach them.

I say this because what can they offer you and you offer them? For example, I am reading a book by an author who is also a publisher. The book is not engaging and it’s filled with errors. If I were a new author, I wouldn’t approach them simply based off their history of show and tell. If they don’t care enough about their own work, will they honestly take the time to nurture you and your project? Probably not. Be smart and selective. As far as writing the book, no one is going to assist you with writing the book. It is as simple as this, write your book. When you are done writing your book, then do a rewrite. Search for an editor. As far as looking for a publishing deal, shop your work.

If a publisher, whether a major or independent wants to offer you a deal, be prepared to have an attorney explain the contract. Everything that a publisher promises should be in that contract. If not, that is your first red flag. Understand that publishing contracts will forever be written with the publisher’s best interest in mind. That is where your lawyers come into play. You will never get what you deserve, only what you are smart enough to negotiate.

I was offered three deals to date and have turned all of them down, one of them from a major publishing house. Always operate with a plan A, B, and C. If the right deal doesn’t come through, I can still put my own projects out.

If a publisher requires you to pay any type of upfront fee, then you might as well self-publish. Why would you give away the rights to your book and still have to pay a fee to a publisher? Foolishness. Would you give away a diamond Rolex watch and then pay the person to wear it? Of course, you wouldn’t. The only thing worth paying for prior to submitting your work is editing. I would never sign with any publisher that requires a fee. If you pay them a fee to publish your work, then you are lost. Take that fee and publish your own book.

With that said, below are frequently asked questions and my answers sent via email and Facebook that I no longer respond to. But I will direct everyone to this article:

“I just started writing my first book. Can you offer me any advice about writing and getting my book published?”

Congrats on starting your first novel. Complete your novel, have it edited by a professional and do your research.

“I’m writing a book of poetry can you help me get it published?”

Unfortunately, I can’t assist you in getting a book of poetry published. Self-publishing is always an option. Best of luck.

“I have been following your career for a while now. I am a new author and I wanted to know if you can give me any advice about the industry. My book will be out in a few months. Thank you.”

I am wishing you the very best in your career.

“Now that I have self-published my first novel, what’s next? What do I do? How do I win awards, become an Essence Best Selling Author, and get press in magazines and on the internet?”

Once your book is in print and prior to receiving your book back from the printer, your job changes from author to salesman to publicist to brand strategist. No one can sell or market your product better than you. Best to you.

“I just read one of your books and it was really good. I also just loaned it to my cousin to read. I think (insert big name author here) is the best author in the game. Can you be my mentor because I am writing a book too?”

I did not respond to this person. I exercised my right to delete them from my social network for being so damn lost that they were indirectly disrespectful. I feel as though they should contact that best author in the game. Why would they want me to be their mentor? Send the author an email and see if you get a blueprint to publishing or your hand held.

“I wrote a book about my life growing up and wanted to chop it up with you about the steps I should take in getting my book published and any other advice and information you can give me concerning the industry. Please call me ASAP.”

I wish you continued success. If you have a specific question, please send it my way.

“I just had my book edited and the editor said I should have someone else do a copy edit on the book. Why? Do you have any advice for me moving forward and getting my book published? Thank you.”

Yes, you should obtain a second editor in addition to reading behind the first and second editor especially if you are planning on self-publishing. As far as getting your book in print, you have to decide whether to pursue a publishing deal or to self-publish. That is a decision you have to make for yourself and research. Be smart and have a plan A and plan B.

“Do you have a publishing deal? If so who publishes you?”

I am a self-published author. Like the rapper Drake said "They did it with a deal and I did it without one."

“I feel I’m stuck and need to sell more books and get more press. Do you have any advice? Should I get a publicist to help? You had a publicist how was that relationship?”

You have to think outside the box and do what’s best for you. Keep in mind, just because you obtain a publicist doesn’t necessarily mean your books will fly off the shelves. Press, promotions, and marketing are three separate entities that are meant to coexist. A publicist usually gets you press. Best to you.

“I just got hooked up with a publisher. Can you look over my contract and advise me? It looks fine to me.”

Although I am very familiar with publishing contracts, it is certainly not my place to advise anyone. Please contact an attorney and have them explain the entire contract to you. This is a business and please treat it as such. Please be smart. Publishing contracts are not to be taken lightly. Always wishing you well.

As you can see, many of the above questions went purposely unanswered. Some questions were just way out of line with a few being none of their business to put it simply. There comes a time and place when you must get it yourself. No one person gave me the blueprint to the publishing game. I'm not saying I don't pass on vaulable information, because I always do. The above questions simply were seeking a platinum blueprint to succeeding in the publishing game. I don’t have it. I can’t possibly pass over everything I have learned over the course of a few years. I can’t and I won’t.

My time is just that, my time. To do me and write my own books. If you think I am going to go back and forth over Facebook with you to answer each and every one of your questions, you are mistaken. Would you do it? I am not. I am done with feeling guilty about it.

Throughout the course of a day, I wear many hats. So, if I let five lengthy emails per day take me away from my own work, shame on me because I value my time and I will guard it as such. I don’t have an issue answering a specific question if I can. But, honestly I don’t have the time nor the desire to guide another person through the literary maze of this jungle called publishing.

For one, your definition of success is probably very different than mine. I have no desire to woo you either way. If you want and desire a publishing deal, great, go and get one. Pick up a book and do some research. I do it every day. There are several books on the topic of self-publishing. The sky is the limit and dreams do come true. If you want to self-publish your project, get to it.


Comments page 1 of 1:
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Runway K :
Posted 2140 days ago
Wack article. If there was any more self gratification going on, the author would need some lotion and tissue next to his keyboard. Anybody who has ever sold a book can tell you its tough and that there is no real 'blueprint.' for this. There was not one piece of constructive advice in there. Just write from your heart. Find an editor to clean up the loose ends, and get out there and hustle. If I would've written this, I would've posted it anonymously too.
Hmmm??? :
Posted 2538 days ago
Lil Wayne is Relentess No Life Aaron....major player in what game??? The Game of Losers?? Yeah that sounds about right. I only see your books in small book stores and they offer them at 50% off. No major bookstore in the south carry your titles Relentless...they have to be ordered but why bother, who cares? You are like a crackhead and your pageless books are your addiction....you are still chasing the high from that first book deal......wake up homie, you will never get that high again....I mean that literally...you wil never get high, reach the top...your fan base collapsed like our economy and there aint a stimilus coming for you sucka!!
Lil Wayne :
Posted 2575 days ago
@SMH & Problem Child, LISTEN UP CLOSEY, THE ASSHOLE WHO WROTE THE ARTICLE IS A DICK. SHIT I TURNED DOWN 116 DEAL FROM THE MAJORS, SO YOU ASSHOLE HOLD THAT. i'MA MAJOR PLAYER IN THE GAME. WHO R U?
Amused :
Posted 2586 days ago
At the end of the day that is what google is for. Nothing is a secret or hard to find out. Some people are just too lazy to research. Me personally, I would not want to do what the next person is doing, or their way for that matter. That is why the industry is producing the same types of projects, stories, etc... Make your OWN way of doing things. On the flip side, for you big-headed authors, remember that you were at the botton at one point. It's nothing wrong with sharing advice and encouragement. God don't like ugly, so get off of your high horse before he takes all of your successes away.
LeeLee :
Posted 2588 days ago
If the answers are meant to be sarcastic what's the point? What's the point of this article? What's the point of the author's answers? What was the point of being anonymous? Just what is the point all around?
SMH :
Posted 2590 days ago
@Tondra, did you read the article? It states the answers were purposely meant to be sarcastic! Damn man! And it goes on to say that this "author" does help!

@Lil Wayne, seems you're the only person who is "typical," and who are you? Are some of you people really serious?
tondra :
Posted 2591 days ago
Im on both sides of the fence with this one these questions are hilarious but the answers are sarcastic its either you can or you can't help. but the unspoken duty of a human being is to give back instead of holding all the info for himself share you dont have to give your life to these people but why not share your knowledge with the next person besides thats the reason we as a people can never get ahead because someone in the crowd has to be the selfish one.
Problem Child :
Posted 2592 days ago
This dude "Lil Wayne" has problems! He's back ya'll with his clown suit and red nose ready to start it up! This dude really has some major issues. I would hate to be around or involved with anything he's involved with. I feel sorry for his girl or "wife," if he's has one!

The dude has nothing positive to say. He talks about everyone and can never engage in ongoing commentary as an adult. No one can really care about an article that much. It's impossible. "Lil Wayne's" anger is deeper than he even knows and he need some real help. Go see a doctor dude!
Pathfinder :
Posted 2592 days ago
Blueprint? I couldn't agree with Joey more.
Lil Wayne :
Posted 2592 days ago
OK, TYPICAL OF UBS. WHO IS THIS PERSON? WTF IS THE POINT. MATTER OF FACT WHERE IS THE MOVIE ABOUT URBAN FICTION.
UBS IS GETTING SO SAD. I WILL NEVER SPEND ADVERTISTING MONEY HERE.......
WOW :
Posted 2593 days ago
Authors need to do their OWN research and stop thinking everybody is gonna help them and walk them through everything!!!
Joey Pinkney :
Posted 2597 days ago
To sum this article up, here are the secrets to "The Blueprint": There are no secrets...
 

 


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