Fact Myth Signpost Meaning Correct Or Incorrect Information

It seems like every time I look on Facebook there’s another “promoted post” or sidebar ad offering to help me write and/or publish my “bestselling” book. Targeted ads obviously target me, because as a writer and publisher I post about and look at book-related stuff. But if you’ve shown any interest in the subject, or simply entrepreneurship or business, you’ll be seeing them too.

It seems like suddenly a load of get-rich-quick (them more than you) “coaches” have noticed that entrepreneurs are writing and publishing books to add authority to their brand and attract business, and these coaches are keen to claim they can help with either or both, for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds.

At Rethink Press, we’ve been coaching entrepreneurs in planning, writing and publishing their books for many years. We’ve developed reasonably priced and genuinely valuable services to help you do this well. We have plenty of clients who we help to succeed in their aims; we’re not afraid of competition and know there’s plenty of room in the market for other experienced professional writing coaches and publishers.

So all we want to do is warn you about those who sound persuasive, will happily sign you up to expensive courses and ‘academies’, but either do not have the expertise to help you achieve your goals, or in some instances have no intention of doing so.

NO ONE can help you write a good book

  • In one weekend
  • In five days
  • In a month…

… unless they are working with you personally, intensively and are a really experienced writer and coach. A book on its own, an automated video or email course, a webinar or two – are not enough to support a new author through positioning, planning and writing a great book that will be valuable to them.

Examples of people who are not experienced WRITING coaches are: general business/life coaches; entrepreneurs who have written one book themselves (or possibly had it written for them) and think their enthusiasm equals expertise; inveterate sellers of get-rich-quick courses and offers, who see another chance for making a quick buck themselves out of your laudable goals.

snake-oilThe most pernicious of these snake-oil writing “gurus” hold big speaking events at which they whip up audiences into signing up to expensive personalised writing support – which simply doesn’t materialise. We have rescued a number of authors from such scam offers, but of course they’ve ended up paying twice for their book; scammers don’t give refunds.

When it comes to publishing your book…

NO ONE can help you publish a good book

  • If they don’t have your manuscript professionally edited (by someone other than the writer)
  • If they don’t use a professional book cover designer
  • If they aren’t an experienced professional book publisher
  • If they don’t have your best interests at heart…

People who do not give good PUBLISHING advice include: general business/life coaches; entrepreneurs who have self-published one book themselves and think they understand the publishing environment; inveterate sellers of get-rich-quick courses and offers, who see another chance for making a quick buck themselves. There are also good, professional writing coaches who think it’s easy to extend their services by helping their clients self-publish. It’s not and they mostly get it wrong. We have recently helped a number of authors whose books have gone out of stock on Amazon because of misguided publishing advice.

There are some large and some small ‘self-publishing companies’ (a misnomer and contradictory term) that are set up to provide poor services at high cost, over-selling and under-performing, and selling unquantifiable services such as book marketing and promotion.

You should be suspicious if a ‘self-publishing company’

  • Contacts you out of the blue
  • Is at all unclear about what they provide for what fee
  • Doesn’t provide you with a responsive, single point of contact
  • Insists you buy a fixed number of books (some traditional publishers now also do this)
  • Includes or upsells services like marketing and PR
  • Is the ‘self-publishing’ arm of a big publisher
  • Doesn’t have its books on Amazon
  • Claims you can have huge “passive income” from book sales alone

Always check out ‘self-publishers’ or hybrid publishers before working with them. Look them up on the Editors and Predators website, http://pred-ed.com/ and Writer Beware, http://sfwa.org . Also search ‘disputes with (name of company)’ or ‘problems with (name of company)’ and see if anything comes up.

We wish you all the very best with planning, writing and publishing your book and finding the right support to do so. Please, just be careful before you part with your money in exchange for services – and if you want to ask us for any advice, do email lucy@rethinkpress.com.

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