100,000 Hours of Mastery
LEARNING ALL ASPECTS OF THE BOOK PUBLISHING BUSINESS
Many say you need 10,000 hours to be considered a Master. I think most people who have a creative passion have spent a lot more than 10,000 hours. As the headline says 100,000 Hours of Mastery. Yes, that’s right, I have at least 100,000 hours in practically every aspect of the book business. I was astonished too when I started adding it up the other day.
As I mentioned before, my family owned a brick-and-mortar Christian bookstore for 27 years (opened when I was 11). I learned all about traditional publishing and how the Christian book business operated, how huge Christian Bookseller Conventions all over the United States worked, along with meeting authors and publishers all by watching my mother operate her business along with the many other aspects of running a retail bookstore.
I have been a newbie taking a creative writing class assignment (my first children’s manuscript see the previous post) and having the instructor tell me that she thought it could be published as a children’s book! I about fell out of my chair. After 47 rejections out of 50 (the other 3 never responded). A couple of publishers offered a glimmer of hope, “it’s different we just aren’t buying now.” Another, “If you self-publish we will put it in our catalog.” I didn’t even know what self-publishing was it was so new. After those 47 rejections, I figured that writing books was not for me and put my publishing dreams away.
As a life-long learner, I was intrigued by the concept of self-publishing so I had started studying about that on the off chance that I might one day decide to write another book (I was thinking of a devotional this time). Five years later, I had an opportunity to be a part of the first annual Children’s Book Festival with the African American Museum (my agency client) and the downtown Dallas Public Library. So I took my shot, self-published and sold my first 100 books, and never looked back.
For 25 years, I exhibit and spoke at library conferences in Texas and Colorado, published 5 more books, signed a traditional contract with a National Library Publisher, continued to speak at schools, libraries, corporations, military bases, and non-profits. Then later learning an exciting new platform called Amazon and something called ebooks and #1 Best-Seller rankings, moving from just publishing my own books (7 now) and created 104 Straight #1 Amazon Best-Sellers for clients and myself since 2013.
I have over 48 years of experience in multiple disciplines: advertising, business, distribution, events, marketing, media, non-profits, podcasting, offline and online publishing, public relations, speaking, writing, and more. I continue to learn new things every day.
So I am here to tell you it doesn’t matter where you start it only matters that you keep going. Whatever you want to accomplish you can!
On those book projects, you must set a deadline and finish them. If you have started a writing project then finish it. If you have a manuscript then look for a publisher or self-publish. If you have a published book always be looking for new ways to market or get it in front of more people. New platforms show up every day, as we have all witnessed over the last 5, 10, and 15 years. You might even create the next new platform.
Thanks so much for reading and if you know someone who might be interested in writing and publishing a book, please forward a copy of this e-Newsletter to them and encourage them to subscribe.
If you have a specific subject or question about publishing be sure to put it in the comments below or email me at email@example.com.