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Author Joe Harwell

Joe's Vision

“I'm not a writer. I take copious notes on the conversations between the voices in my head, the rest is editing.”

When I self-published my first novel in 2009, everyone, even people who didn't know a thing about writing and publishing, said self-publishing was a mistake. With the world economy and publishing business in chaos, I chose to utilize my experience in marketing and sales to publish and promote the book after reviewing dozens of vanity publishers and early rejection by traditional publishers, most of whom didn't even acknowledge my attempts at contact.

Every day, hundreds of Americans succumb to vanity publishers and pay hundreds, or thousands of dollars to get their book in print and eBook. I'm in favor of writers paying reasonable prices for services like good editing, a good book cover, and other skills they may not possess like formatting. What I don't like are the deceptive practices and lies too many vanity publishers use to bilk writers with no regard for their work or ultimate success.

I'm not a snob about traditional subsidy publishers either, but I know too many writers chasing a publishing deal who have awesome books that could achieve success by being self-published NOW. Ultimately, the public decides whether a book is successful. 

My talented writer friend from the UK, Maria Savva was recently asked in an interview to give advice forwriters trying to get their work noticed? Her response was, "Unfortunately not. The best advice is just keep writing. A book is, in my opinion, a separate entity and if its time has come nothing can stop it being noticed. You can’t force it."Once a book is ready to publish, the really hard work of marketing begins which requires specific skills many writers may not possess. Decades in sales and marketing taught me a valuable lesson called, The Rule Of 100. Until you have personally asked 100 people to buy your book, you haven't done anything to help your success. The really tough part of this rule is out of 100 people, 5% or fewer will actually read your book. The number will increase if you ask a more targeted demographic, but even then the number of people who will be interested enough to purchase and read your book will be a surprisingly small.

I share this to let you know the difficulty involved in marketing and selling your book. Traditional publishers face the same problem as self-published writers. Both have to put the book in front of people and ask them to buy. It's the reason traditional publishers pay writers less than ten percent of the selling price of their book, regardless of the advance which may have been paid. If your book has been properly edited and vetted by readers in your target demographic with positive results, why spend years chasing an agents or publishers to notice your work? Publish it now and put it in front of people instead of it being stuck in the files of your computer or bottom desk drawer.

Am I a best-selling writer? No. At least not yet. Have I sold more copies of my books than 99% of other writers since 2009? Yes. My team of editors, book cover designers, print and eBook formatting experts, and my marketing and sales experience can put you ahead of the curve with your book. Let's discuss it.

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