Leave Your Publishing Expectations at the Door

Updated: Sep 25



So you say you’re ready to publish. You’ve written everything you needed to write and edited everything you needed to edit.


You even asked yourself – and answered – the age-old authorial question of whether to put your work out there under your real name or not.


As such, you’re ready to go! Time to make some money, right? I mean, you certainly put in the time and trouble.


You deserve to be rewarded for those efforts, for crying out loud.



I get it. Believe me. I’ve been there and published that. But there are a few more steps you’ll want to take, research you’ll have to do and thoughts you'll need to think before you take the publishing plunge.


One of those thoughts being this: What are your expectations once you’re published?

Have you ever heard someone gush over a movie, only to watch it yourself and think it rather lame?


More than likely, you’ve experienced something like that with something. Books or food or perhaps even people. It’s just as likely that you’ve experienced the opposite, where you were told to expect the worst, only to be pleasantly surprised.


Life so often comes down to perspective, you see. Which is why it isn’t a bad idea to have the proper mindset before you start pursuing publishing your book.


Publishing Expectations:
Perhaps you should do this at the very beginning of your authorial journey before you invest too much time, effort and emotion into the process of putting together a novel manuscript. But you should most definitely do it once you’re past the writing process and editing stages.
Before you start researching your publishing options, you need to ask what you want out of it. That may seem silly at first when the obvious answer is (more than likely) to sell as many books as possible. But try thinking deeper than that. For your own sanity’s sake.

What do you really want out of this journey? And what do you really think you’re going to get?

Take out your pen and paper, or your computer and think about the following questions.


  1. Do you expect to sell a few hundred books? A few thousand? A few million?

  2. Are you anticipating an easy route going forward of writing and eating bonbons all day?

  3. What kind of reception do you think you and your book are going to get?


As we’ll discuss further on this week, being published can be a very involved state of existence. No matter whether you’re crazy successful, mildly successful, or not successful at all, there will be pros and cons.


It’s okay to have dreams and goals and ways that you think life is going to go. Perhaps it’s even healthy. But if this is your first book you’re looking to promote, there’s only so much you can predict.


You don’t have a track record to work off of yet. That’s why your publishing expectations should include two things above all else.


You’d better be prepared to work for everything you’re going to get. (And not get.) Plus, you’d better take up yoga. Because you’re going to need to be flexible going forward.


After all, once you’re published, the power is no longer completely in your hands.


Editor’s Note: Read the next post on publishing expectations here.

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