Author writes book; author finds agent; agent finds publisher. Right? That’s the “roadmap” for getting your book published—at least it was!

Then the rise of self-publishing threw my perceived roadmap on its ear and took out the middle men and women of the publishing industry.

In truth, the roadmap has changed primarily because the authors’ goals have changed. Since getting a book published is as easy as clicking through on CreateSpace or KDP, the goal of “being published” gets subdivided into different types of goals. For example, many authors want to build a large online following so they have more of a chance of being picked up by a major publisher. Other authors want to connect with a group of literary peers who can help promote one another’s work in the market. For some authors, getting reviews online can help them establish their credibility. Some authors have the noble goal of getting their word out to help others.

Many authors who are self-publishing hope that they can someday catch the attention of the big publishing houses and get a contract, although that’s becoming less desirable with lower advances and less marketing budget.

The point of all this is, blaze your own trail and create a roadmap based on the goals that are truly important to you. And choose people to help reach those goals, whatever they are. Of course everyone wants to make money, but most authors are in it for more than a paycheck. Otherwise they’d be bankers or something, right?

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