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The Roundabout Blog

The Indecisive, the Stalled, and the Misled: A Tale of Four Authors

Sam and three of her friends each have manuscripts. They’ve been reading each other’s writings for years. Sam’s watched her friends stand at that intersection, trying to decide what to do with their books.

Steve has a business book that he hoped to use to promote his consulting business. Being an information junky, he researched and educated himself on all of the vanity press options available to him, not understanding the difference between vanity press publishing and publishing his own book—or that he even could. Sam watched Steve hesitate and finally go back to printouts of his PowerPoint presentations, presented in 3-ring binders to share with audiences of his workshops.

Jane has a memoir project. She’d edited her father’s World War II journal and letters, hoping to publish through a traditional publisher. Unable to find an agent who would show any interest in the final manuscript, she allowed the book to languish and sit for another generation. She resorted to photocopying and comb-binding copies of the book to share at a family reunion. She’s let that suffice, even though she’s returned to her copy center a couple times for more copies of her dad’s life story for many friends and loved ones who have requested them.

Sam’s neighbor Paul has his own “Great American Novel” (GAN), a fictionalized account of a backpacking and train adventure that he took with two other friends throughout Europe after college. Paul signed up with a vanity press publisher whose salesperson assured him that his book was going to lead a new wave of Baby Boomer books and might even be sold to a production company for a movie deal. A hundred copies later, Paul understands that his story is entertaining, but doubts it’s unique enough to warrant media attention or even a look-see from anyone related to the film industry.

Sam’s seen her writing group ride a rollercoaster of hope and cheerleading, only to watch them struggle with—or worse—give up on their writing projects. Her parenting book is like a beloved child to her, as special as her friends’ projects were to them. Sam’s checked out a few Websites and read a few blogs. She understands that there are several publishing options available to her, but isn’t sure where to get straightforward, grounded information. She just wants to publish and sell her book, and help parents and children with her book.

Redbrush offers educational resources with no strings attached. Redbrush’s staff knows the right questions to ask, to help authors determine what path will make the best sense for them—based on a wide number of parameters and goals. If Sam can identify five bits of information, she’ll be ready to strike out with greatest confidence.

1. What and how important is the message of my book?

2. Who are my three primary audiences?

3. What is the time frame for my project?

4. What do I want to accomplish by publishing my book?

5. How much money am I willing to invest in my project’s budget?

Chances are no one asked Steve, Jane, or Paul these questions—at least not all of them. There’s only one thing more challenging than not choosing one’s publishing path based on the answers to these questions: choosing publishing options based on only some—or none—of them. There are companies out there counting that authors are not focusing on these questions and instead basing their choices on the hype that’s echoing in the phone. They are counting on authors not being aware of what they need to be successful.

With a little thought and consideration, motivated authors will be able to answer these questions, receive straightforward feedback, and be more successful with their book project. Redbrush’s indie-publishing model has been created to do exactly that from the very first conversation.