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#9 of Top Ten Mistakes Authors Make

Author Mistake #9: Acting Like a Diva

I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway. Please, regardless of how frustrated you may become with the publishing process, do not express your frustration in any way, shape, or form that anyone can interpret as diva-like. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion, or that you can’t let your team know when you disagree with a decision being made on behalf of you or your book. The key is to maintain a diplomatic and civilized tone throughout…try to avoid swearing and—this is essential—refrain from using ALL CAPS in your email correspondence with your editor or anyone on the publishing team.

Remember, publishing is all about building relationships. Your goal should be to maintain a happy and profitable partnership with your publisher over a number of books. Also keep in mind that the publishing industry is a tiny community. Word gets around like wildfire when an author starts putting on airs and acting just generally disagreeable. You want people to like you, especially people who can help you on your path to becoming a bestselling author.  I’m not saying that you have to be a pushover because there will be times where you’ll need to be strong and not be afraid to put your foot down. But when you start complaining about deadlines or the number of edits you are being asked to make, or refusing to show up for publicity events, those publishing professionals who genuinely want you to succeed—because they also succeed from your success—are going to get annoyed. They are not going to want to work with you and they aren’t going to put a huge effort into promoting you or your book, which is only going to upset you further.

I’ve worked with my share of diva authors both as an editor and as an agent. Believe me, you want your team to be excited for the day your book publishes because they want to see it do well, not because they’ve been counting the days until they don’t have to work with you again.

Jon Malysiak is part of the Networlding Publishing Team. He works with me to support our ongoing efforts to educate thought leaders on the best practices for success in this new world of publishing.

You can also find him at:

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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