March 18, 2021– I’d like to take a second to wish my nephew, Denver a very Happy 3rd Birthday today! And I’d like to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday today as well! Hoping that all of your wishes come true for the both of you. X
We’re continuing to answer your questions during the month of March, so if you’d like to send us yours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Today’s question is:
Q: “I’m struggling to decide whether to traditionally publish my book, or to self-publish. How much say do I get (traditional publishing) on what my book looks like and other elements of style?”
A: Great question. Traditionally publishing your book means that you sell the rights to the publisher for a royalty rate. In terms of getting an artistic say on the look, formatting, or the overall book in general, the short answer is, you don’t get one. The publisher’s job is to ensure that the book is saleable, that it meets the industry standards, and that it looks the way that it should. It can cost upwards of $8,000.00 to publish a book; that’s a huge risk on an unknown author and I don’t say that to be cheeky. We take the risk so we are in charge of every element. If you’re a control freak, you should certainly look at self-publishing because you’re the person in the driver’s seat from beginning to end. You’re in charge of every element of your book including the look, layout, style, marketing, and everything in between. What you say, goes. You’re the boss. I will offer a word of caution though, do not go the self-publishing route alone. It’s long and difficult without help. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m saying that you should hire an expert to assist along the way. It will be more cost effective in the long run and you’ll still be able to keep 100% of your royalty. Best of luck on your publishing journey!
If you have a question that you would like answered, send us an email at email@example.com
July 5, 2019– Check out the question for this week!
Q: “Lacey, how do you manage to keep positive when people tell you they don’t like your work? I wrote a short story and my colleagues didn’t care for it. They were nice enough, but I could tell that they weren’t being completely truthful so I pressed them and they told me the truth finally. I was pretty upset and hurt. Maybe I should quit writing…”
A: “This is a good question! I get hate mail all of the time telling me that I’m a terrible writer, that people don’t like my books, and that I should stop writing because I have no talent. It’s something that comes with the territory and this business has given me a thick skin!” Here’s how I manage to stay positive:
- I remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s just it, it’s their opinion and not the truth or reality that I choose to focus on. They can hate me and my books and I’m ok with it because writing is art and art is subjective.
- I stay in my own lane and focus on my own craft. I don’t pay attention to what other people say about me. You will never be criticized by someone doing more than you. Read that again. If I worried about what other people thought of me, I’d never write another word.
The point is, keep writing because you want to write. Who cares what anyone else thinks? The only person’s opinion that matters is yours.
June 21, 2019– Wow, this is an excellent question! Let’s dive right in.
Q: “Lacey, my family doesn’t support my dream of becoming a writer. They tell me that I won’t make any money and that I should focus on getting a real job. Writing is something I love, but I understand that I will need to pay my bills at the same time. How do I convince them that I’m doing something that I love and that this will pay off?”
A: Whoa…for a second after reading this, I was at a loss for words. I’ll break it down because there are a couple of hidden questions in here and I don’t want to miss them.
- My family doesn’t support my dream of becoming a writer. Sometimes, families aren’t supportive of our dreams. They mean well, but then again, some of them don’t. Some families don’t support the arts, and they don’t understand or appreciate any form of artistic expression. This can be very difficult. You have to follow your OWN path and whatever journey that leads you on. No one can decide what you should do with your life. If you want to be a writer, by all means, do it! Find others that will support you in all of your endeavours no matter what they are.
- They tell me I won’t make any money and I should focus on getting a real job. I can tell you from first-hand experience that this has been said to me time and time again. “Writer’s don’t make any money,” “How are you going to pay your bills?” “No one is going to buy your books,” “Who do you think you are?” Yep, it hurts. But, that’s what makes victory so sweet. The fact is, there are millions of writers out there who make plenty of money writing books. And there are so many ways to make a living writing! You can write for magazines, you can do copywriting, editing, content creation, blogging, journalism, and hundreds of other things that revolve around writing. Focus on honing your skills and getting as much experience as possible. Last time I checked, which was 56 seconds ago, writing was a real job.
- How can I convince them that I’m doing something I love and that this will pay off? You can’t and you never will convince them so stop trying. Do what you want to do because YOU want to do it. Life is way too short to be living your life based on what other people want you to do, say, or think. Getting up in the morning is a gamble, crossing the street is a gamble, travelling is a gamble, and the list goes on. There are no guarantees in life except that we only have one shot at it. Don’t spend your life wondering what if. If this is what you want to do, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. I can’t tell you that this will pay off, but what I can tell you is that you won’t regret trying. We only regret the chances we never take.
Keep your head up. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
If you have a question you’d like answered, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.