By Wale Makinde
Congratulations! You have penned the last word in the concluding chapter of your book. It is also likely that you have started shopping around your book, hoping the best publisher will snap it up and offer you a six-figure advance.
You are not alone. Every writer dreams of having their books on a big 5 publisher’s list of fast selling titles. But few writers are aware of the fact that most publishing executives, I mean the book editors, book marketers, reviewers and publicists were once writers who later found their voices in the works of other writers. And that finding a publisher isn’t quite as easy as it seems. This is one reason you need to learn all about publishing.
In this article, I will highlight five facts that say you need to take a publishing course:
1) You can learn some new tricks
Publishing has so many tricks and intrigues, most especially for those who will be interested in mastering one of its numerous units. For instance, you can make more money selling individual territorial rights with or without your local publisher. How? You need to take a course in rights and contracts. Who knows, the next Laura Bradford might just be you. Most publishers have had to employ the services of a foreign rights agent to handle the complexities of rights sales and permissions.
Even if you are a University lecturer or fully funded writer, you can make an extra income understanding the business of publishing. Academic publishing is always left in the hands of Publishing Executives, while University Dons complain of low royalty from their works. You might not necessarily start a publishing firm, but understanding the business side of the Academics will afford you more opportunity to optimize your income flow.
3) Save Your Editor The Major Headaches
If you are a writer and it is your dream to win some major accolades for your works, then it is recommended you take a course in book editing. For example, taking a course in publishing will afford you the opportunity to see the creative work as a human skeleton and how to effectively fix in the parts to make a beautiful human body.
4) Learn How To Produce a Bestseller
Most writers always assume the publishers have a magic wand that turns a book into a bestseller. Yes, they do. But not in all cases. Understanding how the book business works will afford you the wisdom of deliberately writing books that will sell no matter the season. We call them – the book of all seasons! You will learn how to churn out books that will make you and your publishers smile to the bank every now and then.
5) Learn How To Use Pictures To Decorate Your Words
Most writers underestimate the power of visuals, so they write prose or poetry with a lot of weak verbs and filters. and unclear language. Taking a course in publishing will expose you to how publishers employ editing and design skills to make the book more appealing to the ever buying readers.
As you pen your next draft, you will consciously write words and be able to mentally picture the right visuals that will sell the book to its audience.
Wale Makinde is the Programmes Officer of The Publishing Academy, a newly established publishing school based in Ibadan. To register for a publishing course in The Publishing Academy, visit www.publishingacademy.org