Whether you’re a first-time writer trying to make your debut or a seasoned author with several titles out, you know the publishing industry has changed. Houses have merged, folded, or simply cut back. Marketing budgets are dwindling, and the editorial support authors receive has drastically decreased. Writers are expected to come to deadline with a near-perfect manuscript, and even then there’s no guarantee of publication—even with a solid record of sales and readership. It’s increasingly difficult to get your work into readers’ hands. That is, unless you take control of your own publishing pursuits.
Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page (Cormorant Books), suggests that authors take a realistic look at what is happening in the industry. “We’re still clinging to an idealized image of what print publishing is,” she argues. “We need to take into account that it is now marketing that is making most editorial decisions for publishing houses. The larger publishers are consulting with booksellers to decide what will sell.”