SerenDestiny #36: Want to Write a Book? No More Excuses

“I have heard every excuse on the planet – except for a good one.” – health expert Bob Greene

What a pleasure it was speaking at the ASJA conference in NYC and sharing my premise that, “E-publishing has removed all barriers to getting your message into print. There are now no more excuses for NOT writing your book.”

Moderator Susan Johnston did an excellent job keeping our panel (Peter Kay of W. W. Norton, Smashwords founder Mark Coker and me) on track and delivering “can-use-that-today” inisights to everyone in the room.

Mark and I had an opportunity to talk afterwards in the plush chairs on the mezzanine of the historical Roosevelt Hotel.

We were marveling at the rapid expansion of the e-publishing industry. We both agreed the world has finally caught up to Dan Poynter’s pioneering vision that self-publishing is an equal opportunity option whose time has come.

I remember Dan preaching the gospel of self-publishing at our first Maui Writers Conference (which I emceed for 17 years) in the early 90’s.

Dan was surrounded by the top agents , authors and editors. To say they looked at him a bit askance is an understatement. Remember, back then, self-publishing was called “vanity” press.  (Shudder.)

It was perceived to be a last resort – something pursued only by people who couldn’t get a “real” book deal.  Aaahh, how things have changed.

Back then, as Mark so eloquently observed, “New York publishers were gods. Getting access to a top agent or editor was rare. They had to pick YOU. Only a fortunate few ever passed their exacting standards and got the kiss of the ring. If you weren’t ‘blessed’ by a publisher; you were out of luck.”

As Mark noted, “Who knows how many cultural treasures were lost due to this bottle-neck?  The good news is, self-publishing has now moved from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Heck, it IS the bus.”

E-publishing has democratized the process of getting your ideas into print. Now, anyone can publish a book.

Of course, elitists may sniff at this and say, “Not everyone has a book in them.” True.

However, self-publishing is founded on the premise that EVERYONE HAS A VOICE AND A RIGHT TO BE HEARD.

Mark , Dan and I agree that, with the right of self-experession, comes the responsibility of self-expression.

None of us recommend you rush something into print.

BOOKS HAVE A LONG TAIL OF INFLUENCE.

It’s in every author’s best interest to assume accountability for producing quality e-books that, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, “are a good date for the reader” and add value for everyone who purchases them.

You don’t want a book out there you’re not proud of (although one of the many advantages of e-publishing is you can actually go back – whenever you want, as often as you want – to correct typos and update/improve content.) Imagine that.

Dan Poynter still logs tens of thousands of miles a year speaking around the world, (40 countries and counting), sharing his passionate conviction that “No one should die with their book still in them.”

I believe Mark Coker is continuing Dan’s visionary contribution to the evolutionary continuum of publishing.

Not only does Smashwords provide a quick, efficient process for getting your thoughts into print, it gets your e-book onto more than a dozen different mobile platforms. They deliver the holy grail of writing. . . DISTRIBUTION!

This is different from the old days, when big house publishers held the keys to the kingdom because they were the only way to get distribution with Ingram and Baker & Taylor which was the only way to get into brick and mortar stores .

Now, e-publishing is a viable, sometimes even preferable, option for Authorpreneurs® (a term coined by Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and author of POP!) who want to:

• scale their profile, visibility, brand recogntion and revenue

* have autonomy over their project (vs. abdicating decisions to others)
• benefit from a quick turn-around (an amazing 24 hours)
• generate almost pure profit with little or no overhead
• instantly access global markets
• build a loyal tribe by leveraging free online promotion via social media & blogs

Smashwords even helps with marketing. As a former PR agency owner, Mark shares 31 tips for boosting sales and building buzz for your work in his free, full-of-fantastic-advice ebook, The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.

One of the many things I like about Mark is that he shares Dan’s socially responsible belief that self-publishing is an ultimate form of self-expression.

They both have a higher level mission for self-publishing. They see it as the democratization of information and influence – an opportunity to create more enduring, meanginful connections with our fellow human beings.

The blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have shown the truly global impact (i.e., the Egyptian uprising, the Japan earthquake and tsunami) e-communication can have.

Self-publishing can bring us closer together and cgive voice to people who might otherwise have lived silently, whose voices would have gone unheard.

Are you wondering what this has to do with SerenDestiny?

SerenDestiny is betting on yourself – going all in on your talent and drreams – and doing what puts the light on in your eyes.

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Do you believe that sharing your story, experience or expertise will put the light on in your eyes?

If so, do not put the destiny of that dream in someone else’s hands.

No more excuses.  Visit www.Smashwords.com  and www.parapubulsihing.com  and www.SamHorn.com  . . . TODAY . . .  to discover what you can do to turn your intentions into action and to get your message into print.  Write on!

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3 responses to “SerenDestiny #36: Want to Write a Book? No More Excuses

  1. Great article, Sam!
    I agree that authors should make quality job #1. Some things never change–only the highest quality books will float to the top of the millions of ebooks that can now be published with relative ease.

  2. Pingback: - Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards

  3. Dear Sam,
    I am the author of Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law (Aspen Publishers 2009). You can see more about the book on http://www.bestfriendsatthebar.com. I really enjoyed your remarks about e-publishing. I have a second manuscript prepared, and who knows??? I am really sorry that I will be missing you at Leadership Fairfax on Thursday, July 14. I will be speaking at a law firm at the same time. I will have to catch up with you another time.

    Thanks again for sharing this info.

    Susan Blakely

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