Ignite Tulsa, Meg Myers Morgan, Lessons learned from self-publishing to landing a book deal



this second speaker further hi you guys they are an author motivational speaker college professor and career coach they have of officiated weddings for two former students though they did marry each other so that's you know two second weddings you guys in order to understand these like that's important to give you an image to help you visualize the difference between these two publishing tracks so essentially a writer to become a published author is like a tourist to go into a different country for the first time no one knows exactly what to expect except for what they've maybe seen or read on the Internet so a tourist essentially has two options for traveling in this new land they can hire a tour guide or they can get a map and go it alone so keep that image in your mind as I go forward with my insights the first insight is you control the itinerary when you travel alone what self publishing you get decide mid morning that you publish your book and you can have it for sale by noon you get the kind of trip where you eat when you're hungry and you sleep when you're tired and nobody gets in the way of you getting to do what it is you want to do when I publish self-published my book my only concerns were about which essays I was going to include what was going to be the title or who was going to design the cover but I was never worried if I was going to get to be a published author that was a trip I can take anytime I want to now if anyone and everyone can take a trip anytime they want to many if not most people will cobble together a very terrible itinerary but a few will be diligent and thoughtful and put together a trip worth taking the second insight I've had from from publishing self-publishing and traditional publishing is that you see more sites with a guided tour so much like a tour guide can get you around two more sites traditional publishing exposes an author to far more landmarks than you would see with self-publishing so one great example is that the New York Times bestseller lists doesn't count books they're self-published to see that site you have to get a tour guide the itinerary for traditional publishing is far more packed and far more rigid you have to get an agent who's got to be interested in you to help you polish your manuscript and get it into an editor who's interested that editor then has to get the approval of the editorial board you man your manuscript has to go through multiple rounds of edits with multiple editors your book gets professionally designed your cover gets debated you've got to have sales and marketing coming up with a strategy and legal has to sign off as a caution so hmm oh I'm far behind so in the end either way it's your journey so you are responsible as both the traveler and the writer for what you're going to put into this journey it's your experience to put in your attitude to bring what you want to get out of it and so if you're on a guided tour you still have to participate you still have to look around and raise your hand if you need to go to the bathroom or ask the tour guide speak up if you think the tour is going off course one of the things my friends were worried about when I got a book deal with that I would suddenly lose control over my writing but this just wasn't the case it's true that I have to get more buy-in for more people I've had to defend some ideas that were great and I've had to concede other ideas that weren't that great but I just think about is the loss of control I think of that as the addition of support so whether I have the backing of a publishing company or I go this alone these are my books this is my writing and this is my career I built a lot of muscles was self-publishing around promoting I was responsible for every book selling so it was on me to promote myself well and market myself as a writer and with traditional publishing I built skills around my craft because you were getting so much feedback from your editors and so most forms of publishing got me into shape in different ways as a writer in the end what's important to understand is whether it's a self-guided tour or a traditional publishing you're still trying to see the same destination if you come up on the Colosseum in Rome whether you've walked for three miles with a shattered map in your hands or you've written up on a Segway with the tour guide using a microphone it's still the same site the path is different the experience is different but for the writer all you want to do is all this that you want to see is your book in the hands of an experienced writer an engaged reader thank you you

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