Well-Published-PathA well published path paved with gold? Maybe… Graphic courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

In this age of DIY publishing and so many choices (more each day), the hard truth is that anyone with a keyboard can jump online and publish a “book.”

It may not be a very good book. It may suffer from as many errors as there are holes in baby swiss cheese, but it’s happening… and all too often.

Worse, we see authors who have unbelievably great stories being left by the proverbial roadside, unable to find the right agent, editor or publisher who will love their words. And again, all too often, they end up making a bad deal with a publisher who’s eager to grab their cash, but not so eager to make sure their words find a loving audience.

So, how do we pursue “well-published” in today’s market, this new “golden age of writers” that all too often produces tin?

We do what writers do best; we research!

With just a week left until this year’s PubSense Summit (shameless plug – if you haven’t registered yet, promo code WWW2015 affords you 10% off!) we’ve had a flurry of attendees submitting their synopsis and five pages to potential agents, editors and publishers. With each submission we get a little thrill ourselves; could this be the match made in heaven?

And knowing that we researched the living daylights out of the 64 agents, editors, publishers, and other fabulous speakers coming to this year’s conference, we’re confident that yes, once again, many matches will be made.

Last year, several publishing deals were penned. They weren’t all huge, six-figure deals. Some are still working with the agents they met to find the right fit. Others chose quality partner publishers. Another made a traditional publishing deal after all her previous books had been self-published. And just last week a 2014 attendee announced she’d been offered a contract by a prestigious small press she met last year.

And although she has her publishing deal, she’s coming back to PubSense Summit this year, this time to shop for a publicist and learn some marketing expertise for when that book hits the street. In my humble opinion, as fortunate as she was to get a deal, that publisher is equally fortunate to sign an author who’s still researching, to make sure that book has the biggest audience possible.

Both sides recognize this endeavor is a partnership. And that, my friends, is the very definition of well-published.

Naturally we’re fiercely proud that we were able to play a small role in this and a dozen more authors who were able to make and further these connections and find their own “well-published” solution. But we can’t take the credit, not really.

Fact is, we could put a thousand agents, editors and publishers in front of 5,000 authors, but it’s still ultimately up to YOU. You’re the one who knows your words better than anyone. You’re the one who must do the homework to research and uncover your publishing match-made-in-heaven.

Are you well-published? We love a well-published success story, whether you chose the traditional or indie author route. Tell us how you found your match with your comment below…

ShariStauch Improve Your Author Marketing with Teamwork!Creator of Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years. Shari is a founding member of the PubSense Summit, the principal author of the WWW blog, and speaks at conferences around the country. The Where Writers Win team’s  Winner Circle offers vetted book review directories, book clubs, indie bookstore listings, calendars of conferences, festivals and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.

4 thoughts on “What Does it Mean to Be Well-Published?

  • March 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I met my awesome publisher in a most unique way. When I completed my first children’s novel, THE WALKING FISH, I had no one to provide a critique. My published picture books had all been critiqued by my writing group, but that group limited itself to picture books and magazine stories. So I posted a request on a yahoo children’s writers discussion group: “Looking for a volunteer beta reader for a middle grade science adventure novel.”

    I received a reply from a writer who said she writes the same kind of books and would be happy to read mine and provide feedback. Turns out this individual was not only a writer, but a quality publisher of STEM books for middle grade, and she LOVED my story!

    After I agreed to a few edits, she offered me a contract with her company, Tumblehome Learning. I never had to go through the grueling, lengthy process of querying publishers or agents. Not only was Tumblehome Learning the best possible fit for my book, but the the co-author of THE WALKING FISH–my brilliant and talented 86 year old uncle–got to see his first book published in his lifetime.

    • March 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Rachel, thank you for a truly inspiring story. Love how you reached out like that and were rewarded for your efforts – that’s what it’s all about!

  • March 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Looking forward to next week!

    • March 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks, JoAnne – so are WE! See you at PubSense…

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