Sunday, 12 October 2008

The life of an author

This a question from here, answered by marketing guru and successful writer Seth Godin:

I think aspiring writers have a lot of romantic illusions about "The life of an author", which have little to do with the actual hard-nose reality of the publishing business. What do you think are the hardest lessons for a first-time author to learn?

Books are souvenirs that hold ideas. Ideas are free. If no one knows about your idea, you fail. If your idea doesn’t spread, you fail. If your idea spreads but no one wants to own the souvenir edition, you fail.

Book publishers don’t make authors successful (clarification: 175,000 new authors a year, 300 become successful because of publishers). Authors make themselves successful by earning the privilege of having a platform, by creating ideas that spread, and yes, by building a tribe. (Harry Potter anyone?)