Walk the Walk
By Rick Frishman - Jan 11 , 2008
The rewards of getting your book published can be huge, but the costs can be steep.
If you want to be a published writer, understand that you will probably have to adjust your thinking and walk The Publisher’s Walk. Your dynamic keynote speech that received that long standing ovation may not translate into a salable book; your comic routine that makes them double-up in their seats may not work when it’s put in writing. Your book that your children can’t have read to them too often might not cut it in the competitive world of kids’ books.
If you want to get your book published, you’ll have to relearn how to walk. You’ll have to learn how to walk The Publisher’s Walk, but when you do, you may be able to walk directly to the bank!
Believe in your idea! Keep that fire burning in your heart and stay convinced that your book must be published!
Then feed agents, editors, and publishers exactly what they want. Play the game, walk The Walk.
Walking The Publisher’s Walk is not always simple; it’s cluttered by so many rules. Plus every house, editor, agent, bookseller, and reader has their own requirements, preferences, and biases on what and how you must deliver.
Fortunately, each and every one of them is different. They have different backgrounds, different reactions, and different likes and dislikes. Also they can be open, curious, willing to take a chance, or like, understand, or identify with you. So follow their rules, as hard as they may seem, because it could get you noticed and increase your chances of selling your book.
Adopting a positive attitude is the hallmark of a Professional, and it will pay off in the long run. Everyone—especially agents, editors, and publishers—wants to work with Professionals, and they will ultimately be more accommodating and helpful to Professionals. So do yourself a big favor and make getting your book published easier by adjusting your outlook. Then, prepare to cash in.
Years ago, I wrote a book called The Thank You Book, which has been revised, updated, and is still successfully in print and selling very well. That book embodied the spirit of my work as a writer. When I first shared the idea, I was told it was a magazine article, not a book. It would have been easy to quit right then and there, but I believed in the art of gratitude and knew this book was meant to be.
I have put this book’s philosophy to work throughout my career. If an editor assisted me, a librarian guided me, or anyone offered me help or advice, I made sure to send them a handwritten thank-you note. A key to success in any business is to express your appreciation to those individuals who make a difference in your career from the ground up! Keep in mind, an Attitude of Gratitude goes a long way!
- Identify the items involved in getting your book published that you didn’t expect. Just list the things that you can think of at this time without exploring further in this book.
- List the items you must complete to get your book published that you don’t feel comfortable with. What do you think your weaknesses will be? What haven’t you ever done or don’t do well?
- List all of the possible benefits that getting your book published can bring. Think expansively. Don’t just include those that should occur, but also list the wildest possibilities.
- Compare the effort you will be required to make with the benefits that you might get. Will it be worth it?
- Write what you think being a professional writer means to agents, editors, and publishers.
Aspiring writers are frequently not prepared for the obstacles they must overcome to get published. For example, they may receive many conflicting opinions that they don’t want to hear. Frequently, they don’t know how to deal with them and find them difficult and discouraging. Many get frustrated, disillusioned, and quit.
If you want to get your book published, believe in your ideas. Keep the fire burning in your heart, and remain dedicated and convinced that your book must be published. Give agents, editors, and publishers exactly what they want, even more than they ask. Play the game, walk The Publisher’s Walk. Develop a platform from which your voice can be clearly heard.