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Dear Dr. Rosie.

Dear Dr. Rosie:

I've had great success with my self-published non-fiction book. I've sold more than 10,000 copies in almost eight months. However, I am now looking into having my book picked up by a large publishing house so that I can relax and not be concerned about the publicity for my book. Is this a good idea?

Congratulations on the success of your first book! You have shown that you are focused and determined. However, it sounds like you are suffering from what I call, "Author's Burn-out Syndrome." When attempting to make a decision regarding your writing and publishing future, you must revisit your motivation for writing in the first place. Let's look at a few reasons why writers write:

* They feel compelled to do so.

* They want the personal satisfaction of being published.

* They want to advance their cause.

* They want to share their knowledge.

* They want to advance their career.

* They want to earn a fortune.

The reason it is important to take another look at your motivation is that it will help you decide what to do if a major publisher does not give you a book deal.

Now, back to your original question, Is it a good idea to want to get published by a large publishing house so that you can relax and not be concerned with publicity? There is nothing wrong with wanting to be 'picked up' because there are many things that you can obtain with a larger publisher. However, publicity, promotion and marketing will still be something that you will very much have to be concerned with.

It is a fact that in today's publishing industry, the author is expected to take a very active role in helping to publicize their book. In editorial meetings, a frequently asked question is, "Does the author have a platform?" This is especially true when publishers are evaluating the feasibility of a non-fiction project. How hard the author is willing to work on behalf of their book--with public appearances, newspaper editorials, magazine columns, etc. carries a great deal of weight when publishers are considering work for publication.

The bottom line is there are no early retirement plans for the successful author. The book is always your business. It's like a partnership. You have to do more than show up for the camera and wait for royalty checks. In fact, if relaxing is your plan, it is more likely that you will never receive a royalty check. And that can lead to never getting another book deal.

Once again, look at your reasons for writing, and remember there is no free ride in the publishing business.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Cox, Matthews & Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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