Sunday, November 26, 2023

Seasons of Publishing

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Sometimes because of my role as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, authors will ask when is the best time of year to publish their book. There used to be seasons for books and their release was much more segmented and planned. With the volume of books being released, I believe most of those plans have been tossed. 

In 10 Publishing Myths, I told the story of Penny Sanseveri teaching a workshop and explaining over 4500 new books are published every day. That story was several years ago and the volume of new books which are being published continues to increase. Recently I read on Brian Feinblums blog about trends in publishing. He said there are 7,000 new books every day (follow the link to read the full article). 

Like clockwork from now until after New Years Day, a different season begins. I call it the silent days of publishing. While I am making phone calls and writing emails and even sending new book contracts to authors, these actions are almost met with silence or no response. Some people might call this inaction ghosting. 

For many writers, this season can be challenging and full of your own inaction. In this article, Im encouraging you to take a different course of action and standout. During these silent days you can move your writing life forward--but only if you take action. 

I understand the lack of response. People are traveling, taking a break from their writing and involved in other types of activities. Some years Im surprised with the people who do sign and return their contracts and move forward. Other times the response is silence. 

What can a writer do in such a season? My encouragement is for each of you to lean into it and use these days wisely through writing something new. As writers, we have an almost endless list of possible writing projects such as:

--work on an online course

--write a new book proposal

--write a new book manuscript

--create query letters that you send out at the first of the year

--review some books

--if you havent received a response to your submissions, use the gentle followup to make sure the editor or agent got your submission.

Normally Im prompt at processing my Morgan James Publishing submissions but some times they slip through the cracks. Im going to make a true confession. Last week an author sent me an email asking about his submission which was sent in April. Yes, this is November and I hadnt processed it. I apologized for my oversight, and then set up a phone conference for next week. 

What submissions do you have which have not received a response? Can you gently ask about them and get something moving forward? Some editors and agents make more time to read and process submissions during this season. Others do not but you might reach out to someone and get a quick response. 

Sometimes as writers we feel powerless and like our words do not impact our world--but they do--and only if you continue to take action. Use tools to pass along valuable content to others and subscribe to newsletters. If you are not a subscriber to these blog articles, heres where you can subscribe. If you are a subscriber, please pass this link along to other writers and encourage them to subscribe. If we get our words into the world, they can change lives.

Do you have things you wanted to do this year but didnt get done? Maybe a book to read and review or a new area to explore and learn. I have a number of those things. Tackle them during these silent days. Print this article and use this list as action items for your writing life. Get your fingers on the keyboard and keep pressing forward.

Each of us have limited time and energy for writing. We have to seize our days and do it: write something. How do you handle this season of publishing? Let me know in the comments below. 

My Articles in Other Places. 

In these articles, I often encourage you to publish your book on other blogs and other places. Here’s some of my articles which have been published recently: 

Writing is a Business. Many writers think of their writing as a ministry or a way to get their message out. In this article on the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, I remind authors of the business aspects of our writing. 

Consistent Action Instead of Perfection. While we want to publish excellent work, many writers hold back from submitting as they seek perfection. In this article on Writers on the Move, I encourage consistent action instead of perfection. 

Understand and Know Your Competition. Many writers believe their idea is unique without competition. In this article on Almost an Author, I stress the importance of understanding and knowing your competition because every book competes in the marketplace. 


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