getting published, self publishing

the shocking truth about getting published

November 3, 2012

getting published, self publishingNearly every blogger I know has the goal of getting published. Unfortunately, few ever reach that goal. Some struggle with the high perceived investment of time and/or money. Others feel like they may not be able to overcome certain technical aspects of publishing. Regardless of the obstacle, if you’re one of those bloggers who dream of getting published, then I’m here to share a shocking truth with you.

It may not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. And it is a lot of work. Our dreams and goals rarely ever just happen to us. But if you’ve been blogging for a while (six months or more), then the truth is…

Let me tell you a little story that might encourage you. I had been blogging for a few years when it happened for me. And I was struggling with the idea that I wasn’t even close to getting published when someone gave me some encouragement. Then an author friend challenged me to consider the work I’ve already done. At the time I had about 600 posts on my blog. And at an average of about 500 words each, I had over 300,000 words of content already published!

Considering that an average 200-page book is about 60,000 words, I quickly realized that I had written enough content to fill FIVE full-length books!

So I had already done the work, I just needed to figure out how to convert some of that existing blog content into a book that I could market and sell.

To make a long story short, within a few months I self-published my first book. But that’s not even the most exciting part of the story! While I was in the launch process of that first book, a small, start-up publisher read the book, and offered me a contract to write another book with them. Then, within a few months after that deal I was signing yet another book contract, but this time with one of the major publishers in my niche!

This could be your story too!

How can I say something like that? Well, the truth is that I’m nobody special. Which means that if I can do it, then so can you. I’m so certain about this, that I’m going to help you make that happen! I know for a fact there are far better writers out there than me. But for whatever reason they feel like the obstacles preventing them from getting published are just too big. So I’m here to tear down those obstacles, and help you achieve your dreams.

The first step in this process is to stop listening to the lies that you can’t do it on your own. Do you know who says more than anyone else that you’ll never get published without a literary agent? You guessed it, literary agents!

The publishing industry is getting flipped upside down these days, thanks to a little device called the e-reader. That means anything is possible!

kindle, e-reader, e-book, publishing

My goal is to help you learn how you can leverage the latest technology and trends in the publishing industry to take the steering wheel for reaching your publishing goals into your own hands!

I’m developing a course as we speak that will help you learn everything you need to know about how to take the work you’ve done on your blog and turn it into a published book that you can market and sell. My plan is to deliver three key resources to help you out at whatever level you need:

1. FREE webinars where I’ll teach you more about the process of getting published
2. A full training program that will walk you step-by-step through the process and give you deeper how-to instruction an every task involved
3. Personal coaching from me to answer questions and offer advice to help you be as successful as you can be

Dude… seriously… let’s rock this thing! Let’s get you to where you want to be in your writing career!

Dan King

Dan is the founder and president of Fistbump Media. His uncanny wisdom and online prowess is the stuff of legend. When he’s not leading incredible growth around here, he’s loving on his wife of 19+ years, and five kids (2 biological, 3 adopted).

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Comments

46 Comments

  1. HisFireFly

    My biggest challenge is still silencing the voice that says “you’ll never do it, never be good enough”. Second challenge is lack of tech knowledge.

    Reply
  2. Sharon O

    I think for me it is believing the potential is there. Many have told me ‘my writing is good’ but I have to believe and understand it is encouraging enough. God gave me the courage to write the blog, then the courage to put each year into books for our children, 2010 and 2011 but to actually ‘write’ so others can read it? much bigger task. My blog used to be private then one day my husband said to me, “if you wrote a book would you know always who was purchasing and reading it?” I said ‘Of course not’… that was his point. He said “by keeping your blog private you are not allowing others to be blessed by your words.”… with fear sitting beside me I opened my blog to the ‘public’ and it has been Ok. scary but ok. I agree with the other commenter, tech knowledge and belief in the gift are issues.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      How did you put your blog into books, Sharon? My daughter did that for me for Christmas once, but she cut and pasted every. single. entry. of about a year and a half, and none of the photos. I write directly into the blog screen, so I don’t even have Word copies except for a few guest posts.

      Reply
      • David Rupert

        I have used blog2book — it’s a great service that simple brings all your RSS feeds directly over, including photos, into a book. I gave that one to my mom for mother’s day

        Reply
        • SimplyDarlene

          you guys are so smart.
          😉

          Reply
  3. Matthew Kreider

    Can I echo HisFireFly’s comment? That inner voice can be ugly. And regarding the strategy and tech savvy, with so many expert voices out there, a path for moving forward can look daunting. A sparkly vision with some clear steps would do wonders. And thanks, Dan, for sharing your vision, as well as your gifts, with us. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sherryl

    Believing in myself is first challenge, second would be technical issues.

    Reply
  5. Sandra Heska King

    I still love hardback books oh. so. much. I have an e-reader full of them, but I’ve read only a handful. Like yours. 😉 I always go back to the physical piles.

    I need a firm grip on what’s my job and what’s God’s. How much do I have to go looking for an audience versus simply depending on Him to bring it? There’s still something about the traditional route that seems to give a stamp of approval that yes, these words are worthy to be shared with a wider audience.

    One friend (who’s in publishing) encouraged me out of the blue to self-publish a book of my poetry and photos.) When I mentioned it to another (also in publishing and a poet) discouraged it. I have a friend who just self-published a book in both formats (soft-cover and Kindle.) It’s a wonderful story, but I noticed several typos and some formatting errors that made me wince.

    Whatever I do, I want it to be of excellence. And it still floors me when something I write touches someone else, and I think that has to be all God.

    I think I need a pep talk.

    #Fistbump, dude. I’m pretty much in awe of the connections and relationships God’s created through all this online stuff, so maybe this will be His way of reaching the world. For such a time as this. Grateful for you.

    Reply
  6. Louise Gallagher

    I have the outline. I have most of the content written — I’ve been blogging, every day, for six years — it isn’t the techie part of creating the ebook that stymies me — it’s the marketing of it. how to build the list, how to get attention. My blogging has never focused on building a list or selling, so I haven’t capitalized on my audience base nor my track record, nor my content even. Long and short of it — I know how to write, I don’t know how to sell what I write!

    thanks!

    Reply
  7. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    I’m not concerned about learning the technical stuff. It’s what Karin and Sandy said.

    The primary stumbling block: My own lack of confidence. (And that’s so prideful, when I write it out like that! Ouch.)

    Reply
    • Nancy Franson

      At least you had the confidence to go first and say it out loud on the internet, Sheila. The rest of us on the other side of the screen are surely thinking it.

      Reply
  8. Rachel

    Hi Dan!
    My passion is “transition” phases (middle to high school, high school to whatever is next, and then the next stage of life after the “whatever is next”) and the way faith can support and nourish during these awkward times. I’m finding there are few good devotional/spiritual practice resources for these times in a way that is relevant, meaningful, approachable, yet still theologically grounded. I would really like to be able to fill that gap and have actually written several, but don’t know where to go from there.
    Please pick meeeee!
    Rachel

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Well, Ms. Rachel… You’ve been selected for one of the free coaching sessions! I’m reaching out to you via email now to set everything up. I look forward to talking with you through some of this. Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Suzie Gallagher

    So I guess I am coming at this whole publishing malarky from a differnet angle than most because I abhor marketing. Yeah, already wry smile across your face, how are you going to get published without some marketing, will you have a total readership of one? I totally hear your inner voice as you think of your own marketing strategies and to be honest I have no idea how I can sell my book without going over to the dark side.

    There is an assumption in our society that you cannot succeed without marketing yourself or the product that you are trying to shift. Although more difficult and with infinitely more pitfalls and potholes I hope to produce a book that some people would like to read. I don’t want to create a need in a person, just to write a book that as a person peruses the shelves of their local library pick mine up, open a random page and is captivated by the style and substance of the writing.

    I write at http://thewritepractice.com/ on wednesdays (words on wednesdays) and on my own blogs

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Suzie… I was just checking out some of your stuff, and I have to say that I was (to use your own words) captivated by your style and substance! #fistbump

      I also want to let you know that you’ve been selected as one of the people who will get the free 30-minute coaching sessions! I’d love to talk more with you about the whole approach, specifically that marketing piece. Personally, I struggle with the same thing sometimes. I’m not a hard marketer, and I’ve picked up some strategies that help me do it in a softer, more subtle way. I’ll share more when we chat…

      Reply
  10. David Rupert

    For me, it’s a matter of consistent content. Some people blog about the same things (fishing, brokenness, diabetes, kids with disabilities, cooking).

    Reply
    • SimplyDarlene

      consistently inconsistent… keeps ’em guessing.

      blessings.

      Reply
  11. Heather Windeler

    Picking a topic, I bounce between 2 different ideas/target audiences. (One on how we were led to re-vamp our Youth Ministry and it created thriving active Christ followers. And the other on dealing with fear and the call for missions to women. Whether it’s God call for them or their children. Sharing from my own missions experience as a momma.) Fear is another issue for me, and the whole, who in the world would want to read his when there are so many other great writers out there. (I can hear Jeff Goins telling me, “But you are a writer;”. lol ) So I just keep blogging what the Lord asks me to and occasionally writing up outlines and paragraphs for a book and then never finishing them because I run into someone else who has written a book along similar lines. I also am balancing my writing time to my fabulous family time, and living the life worth writing about following God’s call. If I am only writing about it and cease to live it then there is a bigger issue at stake. Aye, too many issues! 😉

    Reply
    • Dan King

      I feel very much the same way about living it before you write it… and I applaud you for keeping that focus Heather!

      I also want to let you know that you’ve been selected for one of the free 30-minute coaching sessions! I look forward to talking through this a little more with you and sorting it all out!

      Reply
  12. Charity Singleton

    Dan – Wonderful idea. My biggest obstacle? Believing that I don’t have time. You are certainly WAY busier than me! I love that you doing this.

    Reply
  13. Holly Baxley

    I was always told that you had to have a big blog following before a publisher would look my way. That’s one of my issues – not a lot of followers.

    Reply
  14. Tammy Bunk

    Dan, you helped me a great deal, but I would love a further consultation as I am will be moving toward an e-book. My biggest challenge would be since I will have to do as much as possible myself to save cost, (but i do not want to sacrifice quality.) I need to know more about technical formatting. I love what you are putting together and I can’t wait until it is complete and available!! I love what you are doing!

    Reply
  15. Kelli Wommack

    The whole technical part bogs me down… I just wanna write it!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Kelii… I hear ya! I think most writers feel the same way!

      And, I wanted to let you know that you’ve been selected as one of the people who will be getting the free 30-minute coaching session. I’d love to talk more with you about this!

      Reply
  16. Nancy Franson

    I’m just going to echo much of what my fellow bloggy friends have said here–inconsistent content, lack of confidence, ugly inner voice. I’m pretty much a seething mass of insecurity.

    But I have some pretty decent technical skills. And I’m funny. So there’s that.

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Well… Ms. Nancy… you’ve been selected for one of the coaching sessions! And this is NOT a joke! I’ve just sent you an email so that we can pick a time to chat. Thanks for the interest!

      Reply
  17. Kris Camealy

    my struggle is always the iner voice that whispers to me that I can’t do it. Agh! that voice needs a muzzle!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Well, this voice is screaming and cheering for you! You can do it! You’ve been selected to get the free coaching… I’m reaching out now to set up a time!

      Reply
  18. D.K. Tippit III

    So I am in the middle of writing what will probably end up an e-book, but I wasn’t going to be the person who had to do the converting. Because computer problems assisted in my missing the deadline, if I want to see my first book to be e-book I have to figure out how to do it myself. I am halfway done with the book with no idea what is first and how to publish my first bit of writing. New to this writing stuff all together. Please help!!!!

    Reply
  19. 1lori_1

    Can I throw my hat in the ring?I have had several tell me that I should do this but I am clueless as to how to start. I am with Kris, I have that same inner voice, but I am learning to ignore it more and more!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Congrats Lori! You’ve been selected to get one of the free coaching sessions! I know that the getting started part can be the most difficult obstacle to overcome… I look forward to talking to you more about this soon!

      Reply
  20. ~Brenda Coats

    My biggest challenges are technological long with time to blog AND be involved in other blogs enough to build readership. I find visiting and commenting on a lot of blogs actually drains me and takes up most of my writing time as I raise a family. So I either have time to write, or time to visit. Technically, I am just dumb. and poor. therefore, my blog is bland in looks.

    Reply
    • ~Brenda

      Sorry for all the typos. I am on my phone!

      Reply
  21. cherylsmith

    Challenge, obstacle or question… How might an e-book with blog content be leveraged towards a more traditional publishing approach with new content?

    Reply
  22. frank friedl

    Ditto Brenda: how to build readership/community when writing, reading and leaving comments on other blogs, engaging in social media, and personal study take more time than there is in a day when balanced with work and family. Also, how to translate content into something worthwhile. I’m not a story-teller and I don’t write flowery prose. My strength is teaching, so most posts are lesson-oriented. And that doesn’t translate well into a manuscript or e-book

    Reply
  23. Crystal Rowe

    My biggest challenge (other than time) is really narrowing down what I want to write about. I have so many ideas that I cant seem to focus on just one or two…

    Reply
  24. Dawn Paoletta

    I have Writer’s Diarrhea and yet and too many things running through my brain. As much as I love blogging it really was only a way for me to step out hiding in my little writer’s closet and coming out. Now I want to go back in but the instant gratification I get from hitting publish sidetracks me from The Book. I want it out in any form because I know I have more where it came from…but this first one needs to come OUT! Ok, thanks and I so appreciate your post and have realized that I also have written enough for a number of books just on the blog!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      Dawn… congrats! You’ve been selected to get one of the free coaching sessions! And I have to say that your “writer’s diarrhea” comment made me laugh pretty hard! I look forward to chatting and hopefully I can be like a giant bottle of Pepto-Bismol for you!

      Reply
  25. Dan King

    Hey SimplyDarlene… guess who was just selected for one of the free coaching sessions? These are some great questions, and I look forward to talking more with you about them!

    Reply
  26. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    Now I’m struggling not to break the 10th Commandment.
    Congratulations to all the winners!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      LOL…. more winners will be picked next week too!

      Reply
  27. Erica Hale

    First of all, I want to say thanks for the encouraging post. I was uplifted having read it, at a time when I really needed that boost! I have been struggling with feeling discouraged and “lost” in my writing lately, feeling derailed and trying to figure out how to get back on my feet. My blog has suffered from a lack of direction and from neglect, I am writing some fiction (a very different genre from the blog) and thought I could back off the blog while I worked, but I’m finding that blogging helped to keep the words flowing. Now I’m scratching my head, trying to get a fresh start and fighting a really big lack of confidence. Instead of concentrating on writing the book, I’m struggling with feeling like I can’t break through and just *do* writing. It’s a little like being stuck in quick sand! Help! How do I get un-stuck and feel like I can do this again?

    Reply
  28. Redwood Agile

    My challenge has always been choosing a topic and format. Enlightened and factual novel? Informative and actionable philosophy? Inspirational self-help? Hmmm…where to start. I am a story teller-and my life experience, including my career as an entrepreneur, observer and enabler, is rich in stories, failures, successes, hacks, tips, tricks, philosophy, and an insatiable search for simplicity amongst a complex society. Some influencers are Tom Robbins, Tim Ferris, Jack Kerouac, Napoleon Hill, Rolf Potts, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

    Maybe you could help me hone in, taking my style and vast amount of content (60,000 words seems very doable), and mentor me through the process?

    -Joel Serino

    Reply
    • Dan King

      I’d love to work with you though that process Joel! I’ll follow-up via email so that we can start talking about what that looks like.

      Reply

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