The Gatekeepers are Gone . . .
. . . and so are the gates. For the past century, the publishing world was controlled by gatekeepers, the large publishing houses. Publishers weren’t better than the writers, and without talented writers, leadership and wise decisions, publishers would have faded into the distance like buggy whips and clunky telephone that hung on the wall in my parents kitchen. No, they weren’t better. Publishers simple had singular access to the two channels essential for publishing success: printing presses, and a listening audience.
Owning and operating a printing press requires a huge investment in time, money and expertise. As the technology changed from movable type platen presses to photographic plates to computerized typesetting, the investment increased. An author’s only option depended on getting a busy editors attention with an astounding proposal, or knowing someone on the inside.
Even if an author could get a book printed, the publisher still controlled the marketing and distribution channels, and thus the listening audience. How could the little guy get a break? How does an author get their book past the gatekeepers, and bring their work to the marketplace?
Well, in the last decade, social media, digital distribution and a risk taking company called Amazon literally torn the gates down, and put these essential resources in your hands. Anyone with access to the net can purchase a book, digitally or in print, and have it shipped to their door. I don’t know if you watched 60 Minutes the first weekend in December 2013, but Amazon announced that they are working on delivering packages by Drone, in major cities, within 30 minutes of order placement. (http://mashable.com/2013/12/01/amazon-unveils-flying-robot-delivery-drones/) Amazing and Amazon may soon be synonyms.
The same access now awaits you to a listening audience. Your tribe is out there, waiting to hear from you. You may be the only person God created to communicated your message. The world is tired of mass marketing solutions that are watered down and generalized to meet the needs of a wide audience. Today’s viral messages are unique, individual, responsive and relevant to the minute if need be.
What’s this mean? Amazon has pulled down the gates, and now your publishing success is in your hands. Here are four strategies to consider as you write your goals for the New Year. (You are writing down your goals, aren’t you?)
- Nothing stands between obtaining your writing goals and where you are today, nothing but time, practice, and self-confidence. Go for it.
- Nothing will balance and energize your writing journey like becoming a member of a writing group. Find a few people who share your passion, or let a few friends hold you accountable.
- Nothing equips you as a writer like a writing conference. Plan to attend a writing conference this coming year to learn about the marketplace, and writing opportunities.
- Not everyone will like what you write. You will hear no, you will get bad reviews and an occasional troll on your blog. Yet is you are willing to hear “No,” each rejection brings you one step closer to a “Yes.”