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Good Morning: My Take on Your Chances to Publish

Good Morning
Good Morning

It’s raining and cloudy this morning. I woke up a tad tired. I remember a time I would not have called it a good morning, especially since I planned to take a walk today.

Oh, yeah, I can walk in the rain. I own boots, a rain jacket with a hood, even rain pants. What do you know? It is a good morning.

What does that have to do with writing and publishing books? Everything.

I hear so many people talk about the publishing climate. What does it mean when bookstores are going out of business and publishers are cutting jobs? What does it mean for you, an author?

Write a great book proposal.
Write a great book proposal.

There is some meaning to be found, of course. It is getting more difficult to get a traditional publisher. And that’s good news. It means you need to really research your book, your audience, competitive and complementary books. It means you need to make an airtight case for your book. It means you need to work hard to develop your platform (your following, mailing list, internet presence, etc.). And it means you need a fantastic promotion plan for your book.

Isn’t that great news? It’s much more likely to insure your book is a big success and reaches even more people.

In my experience, when you write and publish a book, the universe is going to put a few challenges in your path. You set a big goal (like writing a bestseller), the universe will put some opportunities in your path for honing your skills, learning to overcome obstacles, raising your frequency, so to speak. Isn’t that great? All those things you might view as obstacles are actually the universe supporting your vision by making you stronger and better equipped to meet your big, big vision.

Years ago, at a writer’s conference, I heard a whole bunch of women on line to pitch their books to an agent. “It’s nearly impossible to get an agent or get published,” they all agreed.

“Wait, I’m published. I had no credentials for my book when I began. I got tons of rejections. It’s not that hard. You need to be persistent and just keep learning as you get feedback. You’ll get there.”

These women had given up before they even began. They were telling the universe that didn’t believe in themselves. What kind of message is that to put out in a world that delivers what you expect, what you send out vibrationally?

Whoa. Put the stops on that one. If you’re telling yourself it’s difficult or impossible to get published, stop that thought right there. One of my clients just signed a mid-five figure book deal recently. The world of publishing is still alive. Sure, it will continue to change. The internet will continue to become a bigger force in the

But it isn’t all a bad thing that publishing companies are in trouble. Many of them are poorly run. As someone with a master’s in management (business) from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, I’ve taken my share of business and strategy courses and it’s always amazed me how publishing companies didn’t employ many of the obvious and simple business principles everyone else did.

There are huge opportunities now for publishing companies to manage themselves better–and those that do will flourish. I’m sure of it. It’s not like people have stopped reading.

So, if you want a traditional publisher, go for. Just do your research, hone your proposal, and keep reminding yourself what a good morning it is, rain or sun.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Deb Scott says

    Thank You Lisa!

    Your postive sunshine thoughts just melt away this gray rainy day.

    As a soon to be, self published author, i feel refreshed by your attitude of seeking to discover the good in the bad, regarding today’s tough publishing environment.

    Do you think self publishing might grow as a result of this difficulty getting to traditional publishers?

    Do you personally suggest any network groups or resources (other than your fabulous blog of course!), that can help some of us soon to be revealed authors, stay inspired and motivated?

    Much appreciation for your sharing of personal time, treasures and talents.

    Valuable facts packaged with fun. Love it!

    Continued blessings your way…



    • lisatener says

      In answer to Deb’s questions,
      Yes, I think self publishing will continue to grow as a result of the changing publishing landscape with most publishers decreasing the number of books they publish. The internet will only increase in importance as a distribution channel–this is how you will see most books being bought/sold.
      Think about it, as my friend Rusty Shelton of Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists pointed out on Thursday at Harvard Medical School’s Publishing Course: You see someone interviewed on TV or hear a radio interview and think, “Wow, that was really interesting. You may or may not take time to look for the book. But if you’re on the internet already when you hear about a book, that book is only a click away–you’re much more likely to explore and buy it.
      I’m planning to make a list of network groups and resources. One I recommend is International Association of Writers or information on writing, publishing and for opportunities to build your platform. I also like Help a Reporter Out for finding out about publicity opportunities (it’s a free resource) to build your platform as an expert.
      Taking classes can be a powerful way to connect with others. I will also let you know when I’ve compiled my list–these are just a few. And thank you for your upbeat attitude and comments, Deb. I look forward to seeing your fabulous book in print.

  2. Stephen Monrad says

    I also like the positive message. I am slogging away trying to build my platform. It is slow work and takes perseverance. I do believe that my work will pay off and my book will get published. The road to publishing is longer than I thought it would be, but I am much more confident in success now that I know the path.

  3. Amanda Price says

    First, I’ve gotta say, your blog is great. I mean it. Beautifully organzied, easy to navigate, user friendly format. The design is clean and uncluttered. No lime green text on black, or flashing message that tells me I should “click here” to claim my prize. It’s nice.

    Every few years I decide it’s time to start writing “my book”, so I surf the web for a site that will tell me exactly how to begin, or if I should begin at all (or if, possibly, maybe, I should just find someone who will write it for me). I’m not much of a writer, have had no training, and don’t know the first thing about how to make a story good, or readable. But this is something I really feel I need to do, and I’d like to figure out how.

    Your blog has already answered some of my questions, and I feel encouraged. I’ll be back, and hopefully with the courage to open up a little and maybe ask a question or two.

    • lisatener says

      Dear Amanda,
      It’s great to hear from you. Please do comment and ask all your questions–that’s really how I know what my readers want and need. Don’t be shy–I’m counting on you to tell me what you want to know.

      I believe most people can write well with the right tools–I’ve seen several people who didn’t think they were writers at all end up writing very moving pieces after learning a few basics and getting coaching.

      I generally only recommend a ghostwriter when either the person is just too busy to write their book themselves, or the person doesn’t have an interest in learning the craft of writing. It’s a joy to write–and even people who don’t feel like they’re writers often fine themselves falling in love with writing as they learn skills and gain confidence.

      Sounds like you have wisdom to share. Jump in!

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