May 05 Written by 

Advice for the Unpublished

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Picture a longtime couples therapist who has written a book for men. It's short and snappy, because men can't read good. Publishers also told her that men don't buy or read books, especially books about relationships, and that's because they're sort of like, well, unevolved, and live in basements, and now and then their women and kids throw bananas down the stairs. After a year of rejections, the author, unwilling to give up, came to the January meeting of the St. Louis Publishers Association. The speakers were two authors fiendishly successful at marketing their books. The therapist presented her problem and asked for advice.

I listened, majorly, because I wanted to tell everyone with unpublished manuscripts what was said.

Could you maybe start a blog about relationships? they asked the author. Everyone's interested in relationships. Did you place some articles on that topic online at or Helium? Yeah, you don't get paid for those articles, but it costs you nothing and your name is on them, and a link to your website or blog, and if they're good articles and get picked up by various websites and e-zines, they travel, give you a presence, establish your credibility as an expert in this field, which is what you are. Then publishers might give you a listen.

And maybe put excerpts from your book online? Maybe some chapters on your website? Yes, before it's published, so people will get to know and appreciate your work.

"But I don't want to give too much away," the author said.

"There's no such thing as giving too much away," the expert said. "If people like what you have on the Internet, if they read and value what you write there, they will want to buy your book."
Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.