The first sentence of Tom Matlack’s editorial at The Huffington Post immediately caught my attention. After I read the first paragraph, I was hooked:
Let’s face it — the whole chain bookstore, publishing house, agent, author thing is bankrupt. It’s even more 19th century than newspapers and old-fashioned crank music records. Don’t get me started on why the book business is worse off than television, radio, or magazines (all of whom are under extreme pressure). Of all these industries facing revolution, the book folks are the most arrogant. They just don’t get it.
Matlack offers up his personal experiences in trying to get the anthology, The Good Men Project, published, and how his journey made him decide to go for publishing the book despite 50 rejections from major publishers.
In a nutshell, Matlack discovered, just from launching his site despite the rejection, that men WANTED what he had to offer. Publishers had no clue just how big this project could be. They were too intent on pretty sales charts that offers up definite moneymakers instead of creativity. They were too intent on what they THOUGHT they knew about the market, instead of thinking outside the box. (Sometimes it reminds me of working in Corporate America, when a big company buys a little company and comes in with a one-size-fits-all-pencil-pusher formula that is supposed to work for everyone.)
Matlack’s story should encourage each and every author who has experienced rejection. It should also make you get off your butt and start networking online and building your fan base so you can SELL.
Look at authors like Scott Sigler, who got picked up after he built a following. Or James Melzer or Mur Lafferty. These authors believed in themselves and they used all the technological tools at their disposal to make their own success.
You can do this, too. You just have to establish your brand, map out a marketing plan and produce content for fans.0