What is my best advice for authors and what do I think the future holds for authors and publishers?
First, advice for writers seeking to create a career and make a living in this crazy business. No matter which publishing route you take for any individual project, you need to understand why that’s the best choice for you, for that title, and for your audience. Which is why I hate labels like “Traditionally published” v. “self-published” or the odious, lab-experiment gone awry, “Hybrid author.”
It’s not important HOW you publish any given work… what’s important it HOW WELL you publish. My best advice to any author, whether looking for a traditional contract or interested in indie publishing is to have one guiding principle to keep you focused. If you do this, every decision becomes easier. Simon Sinek calls this starting with your “why.”
My personal guiding principle is: How can I delight and excite readers so they’ll tell their friends about my books? It’s been quite successful for me and is based on advice Jeffery Deaver gave me after my first novel was published. He told me, “Never forget, the reader is god.” I’ve found that if I keep my readers happy, they keep my bottom line happy.
As for what the future holds for publishing, I believe this truly is a Renaissance for readers and writers. Thanks to ebooks revitalizing backlists, readers will be able to find any book they want.
Authors will take control of their careers and form selective publishing partnerships as they create their own, individual Global Media Empires, and they will have a wealth of opportunities to choose from for print, audio, translation, and ebook licensing.
I’m more worried about the future of corporate publishers in the next several years. Publishers who treat books and authors as if they were easily exchanged widgets on an assembly line and who have no concern or appreciation of readers will fail.
I think the ones who survive and thrive will be those who truly understand and love their readership.
Readers deserve great books—from all of us. Remember, there are ONLY two things that every successful book has in common: an author who created it and an audience who fall in love with that creation.
Everything else is just business and subject to change, whimsy, and the winds of fate. Take charge of your own destiny and career, know your why, know your story, know your readers and you’ll survive (and hopefully thrive!) on this rollercoaster ride known as publishing.
Winner of the International Thriller Writers’ coveted Thriller Award, CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).
Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net