Many years have passed since I first met Michael Hyatt. He was with Word Books when I was involved there in a major publishing project. Since then, I’ve watched Michael’s career evolve to his present role as an astute observer of the publishing industry and dispenser of helpful guidelines for any who want to get published and/or known professionally. I don’t read all of Michael’s blogs and I disagree with some of his self-marketing values. But much of what he writes is excellent and very practical including his recent podcast on publishing (http://www.michaelhyatt.com – November 26, 2014.) You can learn from this even if you never plan to write, but want to market your ideas and services.
- Hyatt states, “There’s never been a better time to get published. Changes in the market have conspired in the author’s favor.” But the publishing industry keeps changing. Sending a manuscript or proposal to a publisher almost never works. If you are unknown, it’s too risky for a publisher to produce your manuscript. Life stories or books on mental health issues seem especially unlikely to sell. The potential market is too small.
- The best authors have innate ability but even more, they are skilled practitioners who consistently refine their craft. They write almost every day. Most are avid readers. They know that writing is hard work.
- Successful writers (or private practice coaches) are effective marketers. Unless you are famous, a successful writer, and/or have a big platform like a major radio program, few publishers will advertise your work. It’s not worth the cost, risk, and effort. You need to do ma yourself.
- Digital publishing opens huge new possibilities. Currently about two-thirds of books published in the United States are digital. This “gives the opportunity to get your book out there…. [but] it’s not going to mean people are going to beat your door down to get your book, because if they don’t know who you are or have a relationship with you, that’s not going to happen.”
- Here’s another critical issue that sometimes we forget: No one person – writer, speaker, counselor, coach, leader – is likely to reach everybody. Decide on your audience. Know your audience well. Then focus on that group.
Is this discouraging? It’s realistic but not hopeless. Take time to learn about publishing. Sometimes a coach or friend can help. Then apply what you learn. What do you think? Please comment.