Blogger: Mary Keeley
Inevitably, December sneaks in through the back door while we’re still cleaning up the dining room after Thanksgiving. Rude, isn’t it. In another week, editors will cease entertaining submissions and focus on finishing current projects before taking time off for Christmas. I have to discipline myself to concentrate on execution of my to-do list for the next several weeks while my mind wants to jump ahead to the promise of 2015, a year for hope and fortitude.
I have a list of hopes for Christian publishers in 2015.
- I hope they have foresight rather than hindsight to see that readers become saturated with the tried-and-true story templates that have been popular and crave something fresh and new. They might not know what that is exactly until they see it in print. Editors who monitor trends, demographics, and their cultures will be able to take informed risks. Publishers who don’t take these risks will find themselves stuck in a revolving door, where there’s no forward momentum, while the world walks by.
- I hope they will recognize the wisdom of striking a healthy balance between acquisitions from their stable of contracted authors and investing in the future by acquiring promising new novelists with fresh, perhaps genre-stretching stories. If hindsight functions instead of foresight, they could lose bright new authors to indie- or self-publication.
- I hope they will be open to, and secure distribution outlets for, new genres such as Boomer Lit and New Adult fiction and nonfiction, which are popular in the general market. Otherwise they are sure to lose these CBA reader audiences—and revenue—to the general market, where a worldly, rather than Christian, worldview perspective reigns.
- I hope they become agreeable to raise the industry-standard e-book royalty rate to 30%.
- Don’t we all hope that publishers will invest more staff and dollars to market authors’ books. However, I realize publishers have only so much money to work with in order to stay afloat. If it were to come down to an either-or decision between this point and the first point, I would hope they’d choose #1 in 2015, because of the industry-wide benefits. Hopefully, publishers will trickle down some of those benefits in the form of more marketing dollars for authors in the future.
I also have a list of hopes for you writers to best position yourselves to reach your publication goals.
- Set aside funds to invest in a writers conference, website design or re-design, promotion, hiring a publicist, online training in social media marketing, and books on craft, especially if you might consider self-publication.
- Learn all you can about maximizing the return on your investment in social media advertising.
- Learn how to streamline your social media activity to save time.
- Continue to grow your craft. Practice. Polish. Practice some more. Polish. Edit.
- Learn the industry and grow your business sensibility.
- Develop a thick skin. Remind yourself that rejections and disappointments aren’t personal; they’re steppingstones.
- Follow publishing blogs like those Rachelle Gardner listed in her post yesterday. Agents follow these blogs too. It takes concerted effort to keep up with technology and the industry as they constantly change. I admit I need it, so I’ll be catching up with them over the holidays.
What do you hope publishers will do in 2015? What are your plans as a writer to make 2015, a year for hope?
One agent’s lists for making 2015, a year for hope for publishers and authors. Click to Tweet.
Forward thinking by publishers + hard work by authors = 2015, a year for hope. Click to Tweet.